Popular... Pretty... Cheerleader. Those words create images in my mind. They take me back to high school where I wasn't any of those things. I'm short, full-figured, and I march to the beat of my own drum.
What happens when the beautiful swan becomes the ugly duckling?
Starr Valentine has a perfect life in Middleton, Ohio. She was named captain of the cheer squad, her mother finally allowed her to get highlights, and the cutest boy in school asked her to homecoming. But everything comes crashing down when she finds out her parents are actually monarchs in exile from a mysterious planet called Vega. Starr doesn’t want to leave, but loves the idea of being a princess, and decides moving to an alien world might not be so bad. When she gets there, however, she discovers that something is terribly wrong.
Starr has always been the winner of the family, but now everyone is fawning over her chubby older sister, Astra. And everyone, even a handsome and annoying young duke named Julian, seems to hate her. That is when she realizes the awful truth. Astra is now the pretty one. Astra has all the friends. Astra gets all of the attention. And Starr Valentine, voted Miss Perfect, is now the ugly duckling. Her biggest fear is…will she be able to turn back into a swan, or is she doomed to be a loser forever?
That was when I met Julian. He walked around a bend in the garden path just as I tried to shove a monkey into my purse. I’d finally managed to catch one, tearing my stockings in the process, and now the stupid animal screamed its head off, causing all its friends and relatives to start screaming in every tree in the palace garden. There were a lot of trees. There were also a lot of stupid monkey creatures.
“What art thou doing? Art thou a complete idiot?”
Tall, like all Vegonian men, and handsome, like all Vegonian men, he looked at me like I was an absolute moron. That, sadly, was also like all Vegonian men. I’d begun to notice a pattern.
I looked up in surprise. “No, I art certainly not. I…thou…you…” I tried to speak proper Vegonian, but it seemed hopeless. “Who are you?”
He had a small, pale scar that pierced his lip. He also had one ever-so-slightly crooked front tooth. So, in spite of his dark hair and eyes the color of Godiva chocolate, he was slightly less than perfect. That, for some reason, made me happy.
“I am Princess Starr Valentine.” I raised myself up and tried to ignore the fact that my name sounded like a Japanese cartoon character or a Pretty Pony, the kind that might have stars tattooed on its butt.
Musings from Michigan