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This is a Teen Sci-Fi about a girl who gets mistaken for an alien princess and kidnapped. Brought to another planet in a different galaxy, she's forced to pretend to be the princess until the real one is found back on earth. If she fails, then she'll set off a war the human race probably won't survive. Along the way, she falls for her kidnapper, and struggles to avoid the real princess's betrothed.
There's a page at the top left sidebar which will show you an excerpt from the book, however, I decided to also post he first chapter here. I might end up deleting this post later on. Again though, please go and check this out on the Swoonreads.com website, as that's where it matters most. If any of you did so and are having trouble with their eReader, just let me know here, or through my Goodreads.com account (the link of which can be found in the sidebars) and I'll send you a more traditional eBook copy!
Without further ado, here's the first chapter of Prisoner of Glass:
“I hate it.” Delaney Grace stared into the mirror at her reflection, lips pressed in a thin line, brow wrinkled at the center. She’d made an awful mistake. Probably the biggest mistake of her entire life.
“It’s not that bad,” her best friend and roommate, Mariana, said from the doorway of their tiny bathroom. It could barely fit them both on a good day, those mornings where they crammed in, bumping shoulders to try and squish their images into the two by three mirror that hung over the sink.
It used to be painted white, but now the walls were turning a soft gray, and the small tub in the far right corner had begun to gather a rust spot at the base of the faucet. The floor could certainly afford a good washing, but neither of them ever had the time, being students at Cymbeline High School.
CHS was a small, not well known school in upstate Maine, which was why they could even afford an apartment. Fortunately, they’d both turned eighteen back in January, and had insisted on moving out of their parents houses and in together. The private school was a live-in with dorms anyway, so Delaney had been on her own for over three years already, despite her parents living in the state. They’d gotten all the necessary paperwork and had moved two blocks down into the dinky apartment they now called home.
Delaney let out another groan, wishing she hadn’t been so stupid earlier. She’d completed her final exam this morning at ten, signaling the end of her senior year. To celebrate, she’d decided to do something bold, something brash to kick off the summer. When she’d been walking back from campus she’d passed the town’s only salon and bam. The idea had struck her. Before she could change her mind, she’d gone in.
“I’m a complete idiot.”
“No,” Mariana shook her head, “I’m serious. It’s really not that bad. You just need to get used to it, that’s all.”
“I’m never going to get used to this.” She held out both hands to her hair, her hair that now didn’t even reach the tops of her shoulders. She should have at least kept it that long, but no, she’d wanted to go big or go home.
“At least it’s not, like, a pixy cut,” Mariana shrugged.
She squeezed her eyes shut. “Not helping.”
“This you can pull off,” she went on, “a pixy cut…not so much. You just don’t have the proper bone structure to go that short. But, trust me, by tomorrow morning, your hair won’t seem like such a big deal.”
Being that she was a natural redhead, with thick curly hair, there was the upside of not having to worry about styling. That was part of the reason she’d agreed to it when the stylist had suggested it. Her hair was constantly getting out of hand, the unruly curls tangling and clumping to the point where she’d get frustrated and merely sweep it up into a messy ponytail. She could still pull it back, but the end would be more a stub than a tail.
She hadn’t done any major layering either, just a little shorter at the front to accommodate her side bangs and that was it.
“How long do you think it’ll be until it grows back?” she whined, feeling a bit pathetic in the process. She wasn’t the complaining sort, had always been either the strong silent type, or the tell-it-like-it-is type, depending on who she was with. But this… “Complete idiot.”
“Alright,” Mariana braved the cramped room and stepped up behind her. Placing her hands gently on her shoulders she shook a little and grinned at her in the mirror. “Enough already. What’s done is done, no use dwelling. What you need is—”
“—a distraction,” she gave her a mock glare for interrupting but continued. “I’ve got my last final at noon, and I should be done within forty-five minutes, an hour tops. How about we meet up in Portland for late lunch early dinner? Then we can hang around and do a little bar hopping.”
Despite the fact she was smiling, Delaney rolled her eyes. “You might be comfortable using a fake ID, I am not.”
“You’re no fun,” she pouted, pursing out her full cherry red lips.
Mariana was gorgeous, that exotic dark beauty type that Delaney in all her fair skinned glory secretly wished she could be. It wasn’t that she disliked herself, just that her friend’s golden complexion and wide doe brown eyes always seemed more appealing. Her hair was thick as well, but unlike the crazy red curls on top of her head, Mariana’s were heavy black waves that dropped to her elbows like liquid ink.
At eighteen, neither of them were legal, but that never stopped Mariana from trying. She knew all the best places that didn’t card, and had even convinced Delaney to join her a time or two.
“Besides,” Delaney sighed, “there’s no way they’ll let me in with this hair. I think I inadvertently took off three years. I look like I did back in middle school.”
“Coming from someone who actually knew you in middle school,” she snorted, “no, you don’t.”
Instead of responding to that, she reached for her phone on the edge of the sink and unlocked the screen. Meeting her friends gaze in the slightly fogged over glass, she quirked a brow.
“You said your exam was at twelve, right?”
“It’s eleven fifty.”
“Shit!” Mariana bolted from the bathroom so fast she knocked one of the towels down off the racks without touching it. She clambered around the two bedroom apartment, crashing into things as she went. When she sped by a second time, heading towards the door, her half opened Jan Sport bright pink backpack was slung over her right shoulder.
She slammed her left hand against the bathroom doorframe to stop her decent, glaring pointedly at Delaney. “Portland. Two hours. Don’t be late.”
“Good luck!” she called after her retreating back, chuckling at the insanity that was her friend. Her smile died on her lips when she turned back around and glanced into the mirror again.
Ok, she was being dramatic, but she was allowed to care about trivial things like her hair every once in awhile. Convincing herself that she wasn’t being ridiculous, she left and headed down the narrow hall towards her bedroom.
The apartment was a mess, courtesy of Mariana, so she had to step over dropped sweatshirts and discarded shoes as she went. She didn’t mind, though. She found the clutter made it feel a bit more like a home. Her parents, while great, both came from old money, and had grown up in households that believed in the old adage, “children should be seen and not heard”. She’d had a nanny to help pick up all of her toys, and her clothes had all been neatly pressed and folded up until she’d entered high school and had refused to allow anyone to choose her outfits for her.
She’d even been allowed to chose the private school she attended. They’d been surprised when she’d chosen to remain in Maine, albeit, a good couple of hours drive from where they live. They’d been even more so when she’d told them a few months ago that Cymbeline State University was where she was continuing her education, even knowing they’d stashed away a sizable college fund for her.
Truth be told, if she’d found an ivy school she’d liked, she would have used it, her pride wasn’t so big as to turn away a good education. However, she had no clue what she wanted to major in, and had gone with Mariana to tour CSU. She’d immediately fallen in love with the quaint campus, and had convinced her parents to at least allow her to attend her first two years there doing her gen-eds.
It always baffled her that they reacted more to her choice in college than they had when she’d decided to move out of the monitored dorms at her high school. They’d barely put up a fight with her on that, in fact.
Mariana had left the TV in the living room on, and it caught Delaney’s attention as she lifted the remote to shut it off.
“The Vice President met with Trump Lorus of the Vakar today to discuss new immigration laws. The two entered around…” the stoic blonde news woman’s voice drowned into the background as Delaney stopped listening.
She watched a moment longer as the cameras panned out to show a large white metal building surrounded by security belonging to both the president and the trump. Having seen enough, she shut the TV off with a shudder and dropped the remote back down onto the paper strewn surface of the coffee table.
It’d only been three years since the discovery of not only extraterrestrials, but ultra terrestrials as well. Having decided to make themselves known, the aliens had appeared to all of the world’s leaders at once on a secure broadcast no one had any idea how they’d managed to create. After exposing their existence, there’d been talk of a merger, which of course the humans had protested.
They’d attempted to fight, but their weapons were toys in comparison to the technology those from Zenith had. That was the name of their planet, Zenith, and once they’d proven there was no fighting against them, they’d dropped their second information bomb on the world.
This wasn’t their first trip here. They’d stumbled on the planet millions of years ago and had witnessed the birth of mankind. Curious, they’d infiltrated the race, leaving some of their own behind to grow and develop alongside them. As the years passed, interspecies breeding caused separate branches to develop, such as the Neanderthal and countless others that Delaney never wanted to attempt wrapping her brain around.
At first there’d been a wide spread panic, of course, at the discovery that not only were their actual aliens out there, but that they’d been here the entire time without anyone’s knowledge. And they hadn’t been as cut off from their own species as most would have liked, either. It’d come as no surprise to the ultras, as they’d come to be called, who’d grown up here.
A debate on whether or not ultras were actual citizens of planet Earth had quickly started, with some wanting to immediately ship them back to Zenith, and others arguing that because they’d been born here, had lived their entire lives here and had never once actually been to Zenith, that they were in fact Earthlings. Those from Zenith had been in a debate over it as well.
From what Delaney knew about it, there were two types of humanoid aliens living on Zenith, the Vakar and the Kint. The first wanted peace between their species, including the allowance of their people to remain on the planet, and for others of their kind to travel to Earth. A dual citizenship, of a sorts.
The Kints, from what she’d gathered the few times she’d gotten enough courage to tune in, wanted total control of the planet. They believed, being that they were the most advanced race, they had the right to Earth and its inhabitants. Though they’d been warring nations for a while, apparently the Vakar and Kint had recently come to an agreement which had saved Earth from total enslavement.
Shivering again, Delaney entered her bedroom and tugged out her favorite jacket. It was styled after a more chick version of a letter mans jacket, with a gray cotton vest and white leather sleeves. She’d always loved the way it made her red hair pop, so that it appeared more like strands of copper on her head. She definitely needed all the help she could get after the new cut.
Her room wasn’t much bigger than the bathroom, but fit her twin sized bed flush against the far wall, and her desk at the left next to the door. Her closet was small, definitely not the walk-in she had back at her parents’ house, but everything she needed was packed inside.
Having grown up in a house big enough to hold two elephants comfortably, one would think she’d find space like this cramped. Instead it was the opposite. She loved that she could get from one end of the apartment to the other in less than five minutes. That she always knew where her things were because there weren’t many places to leave them. That it didn’t take her an hour just to find the damn pair of jeans she wanted to wear, or pick out a pair of shoes.
She liked order. Control.
Grabbing her neon yellow low top Converse, she plopped down on her bed, the springs squeaking beneath her. The room smelled like a mixture of pumpkin spice body lotion and the half empty harvest apple scented candle on the edge of her desk.
After the first six months, everyone on Earth realized that there was little to worry about when it came to the aliens. At least, there was nothing they could do even if there were, so life started returning to normal. For the most part, the average day hadn’t been affected in the least, and even ultras were starting to be accepted.
Delaney had been terrified that first day when those from Zenith had arrived, while Mariana had become obsessed. Fact was the only reason she knew half of what she did about them was because of her roommate. If she had her way, she’d go about her business pretending that they didn’t exist.
And why not? Her life wasn’t affected by their existence or their presence.
She slipped her phone into her back pocket and went to get her keys. The drive to Portland would hopefully help clear her head, and she decided heading there early would be nice. She could do a little window shopping—reward herself for her hard work this year the way she should have before recklessly cutting her hair—and prep herself for a great night with her best friend.
She’d always been good at putting up a front, and the best way for her to get used to her new do was to own it, out in public. As she passed the bathroom she paused and took one last look at herself in the mirror.
Squaring her shoulders, she forced a determined curve to her pale pink lips and stared straight into her light blue eyes.
“You are going to have a killer night tonight.”
* * *
She’d bought too much.
She knew it by the fact there were five bags in her hands as she rushed down the street towards SeaSide, Mariana and her favorite restaurant. The sky was waning above her, turning from the cerulean blue it’d been all day to a dull gray that had her gritting her teeth.
Her night was so not going to be ruined by a little rain.
She’d spent the better part of an hour browsing the strip, and had come away with more than a few unnecessary items that she’d fallen in love with despite the price tag. The way she looked at it, she’d spent all year carefully counting pennies to ensure she had enough for rent, and books, and food. Why not splurge a little now?
Of course, she’d lost track of time, and had received the text from Mariana five minutes ago wondering where the hell she was. She’d booked it from the store, and was winding her way through the crowded streets on autopilot now. The sudden burst of energy clued her in on the fact she was starving, and her stomach growled so loudly she was surprised no one else heard it.
Being that it was May, and almost the start of the summer, the place was already packed with tourists. Cars lined the streets, and the smell of fried foods and sugary sodas filled the air. It was still brisk enough that the black shorts she’d chosen left her skin breaking out in tiny goose bumps, but she ignored the chill.
Taking a corner too sharply, she sucked in a breath when she slammed into another girl around the same build as her. Except gorgeous.
Her mouth actually gaped a little before she found her composure and blurted out an apology. Her bags were strewn across the ground along with the girls purse, and she quickly stooped to pick up their belongings.
“I’m so sorry,” she repeated, shoving items that had fallen out into the girls purse without really seeing them. “I wasn’t paying attention. I’m really sorry.”
“That’s alright,” the girl said kindly. She’d dropped down next to her and had gathered all of Delaney’s shopping bags. Holding them out to her, she took her purse and stood.
They were about the same height, with the same small shoulder width and long legs. The girls hair was even the same length, however that inky color that Mariana’s was. Delaney tried not to think about how much better the short-do looked on her. Her eyes were almond shaped, tipped at the outer corners, and the color of spun gold. She was dressed like the average college student, but had smartly worn jeans instead of shorts.
She reached out and rested a hand on Delaney’s shoulder then, giving her another friendly smile before stepping around her to head the way she’d just come. “Enjoy your evening.”
“Um, yeah, you too,” she called after her.
By the time she’d reached the restaurant, she’d put the odd encounter out of her head. Any lingering traces dissipated when she spotted Mariana and her annoyed expression.
“Finally!” Mariana threw her arms up as Delaney took the seat across from her.
The restaurant had seating both indoors and outdoors, and she’d somehow managed to snag one of the five round tables closest to the street. The place was packed with people, so much so that she brushed against the man seated behind her when she slid into the white metal chair and had to apologize to yet another person.
Dropping her bags with a huff, she leaned back and took a deep breath.
“Dramatic much?” Marina teased, then leaned over the edge of the table to glance at the bags. “What’d ya get?” Her dark eyes glimmered.
Shaking her head, she lifted the teal bag from the bunch sliding it across the table. “Don’t worry. I didn’t forget you.”
“How could you?” she joked, then dove at the present like a wild animal. She let out a tiny screech that drew a bit too much attention from their neighbors before hugging the item to her chest. “I love it!”
She’d known she would. When Delaney had spotted the foot tall otter stuffed animal in the corner of one of the shops she’d instantly thought of her. Mariana’s bed was covered in stuffed animals, and she’d always loved otters. It didn’t matter to her that she was eighteen, or that some of their friends teased her for still liking cuddly toys.
Mariana never had trouble being herself, which was one of the things Delaney loved most about her.
Still, she lifted a brow when her friend settled the otter in her lap and placed the bag on the ground at her side.
“Uh, yeah,” Mariana said like she thought she was stupid. “Something this cute cannot be bagged.”
“What about when we hit up the clubs later?” she taunted. “Gonna carry him around then?”
“You changed your mind?!”
“Not about drinking,” she quickly corrected. “But you’re right. We both just finished high school. We deserve to have a little fun.”
“Hell yeah, we do!” She lifted her hand and held it out for a high five. “We are going to have the most badass night imaginable,” she promised.