Please welcome Lindy from Emerald Bound
here to answer a few questions from her author Teresa Richards !!
Hi everyone! I’ve talked a lot this week about my main character, Maggie, but Emerald Bound has two leading ladies. So today we’re sitting down with Lindy, the girl who inspired Hans Christian Andersen to write the tale The Princess and the Pea in the first place.
Me: Hi Lindy, thanks for being with us today.
Lindy: You’re welcome. Sorry we have to meet out here under this water tower. In the dark.
Me: *yawning because it’s 2am and glancing around at our unusual surroundings* It’s okay. Whatever I have to do for the interview.
Lindy: I don’t have much time before they notice I’m gone—what would you like to know?
Me: Well, I heard you opened up to Maggie and told her about your past. What inspired you to tell the truth after all these years?
Lindy: I’m not really sure. I guess seeing Maggie escape the curse that destroyed my life gave me hope. Hope that one day I might also be free. That by helping Maggie I’d also be helping myself. *fidgets and looks down at her hands.*
Me: Well, that sounds like a good reason. But … is there something more?
Lindy: *leans closer to me, even though there’s no one around to overhear us* It was my fault.
Me: Excuse me? What was your fault?
Lindy: Maggie’s friend getting trapped. And the girl before her. And the girl before her and so on and so on for the past four centuries. It all started with me and I was supposed to stop it. I just … didn’t know how.
Me: Wait, what do you mean you were supposed to stop it? Who told you that?
Lindy: Calista. Right after it happened. She said I had the power to break the curse, but of course she never said how. I tried to do it anyway, really I did. But I never figured out how. And now so many people have died because of me. Not only the girls, but the citizens of my country when Calista waged war on them.
Me: You can’t blame yourself for what Calista did. That’s on her, not you.
Lindy: *sniffles* Maybe. But I still do. That’s why I’m helping Maggie. In four centuries, she’s the only one who escaped Calista’s curse and that gives me hope.
Me: Well, good luck to you both.
Lindy: Thanks, we’re going to need it. *glancing around at the shrubbery, as if she’s afraid someone is going to pop out at any moment and yell Boo!* Was there anything else?
Me: Oh, yeah, I had one other question. Where does Hans Christian Andersen fit into all this? What inspired him to write your tale and how did he get it so wrong?
Lindy: Mr. Andersen’s great-great-great grandfather was unfortunate enough to stay a few nights in our inn, back in Scandinavia. He was one of many that passed through without knowing what was really going on. The ones who came to give up their daughters, well, they knew a portion, but had they known the whole truth I have to believe they would have never agreed to Calista’s terms. Anyhow, Calista insisted we refer to the gemstones we collected each night as “peas” so that anyone who overheard us would believe we were speaking of supper arrangements and nothing more. Mr. Anderson must have overheard one such conversation and told his family. Over time, I presume the story grew and changed until little Hans heard it from his grandfather and wrote it down. Calista’s son was certainly charming—back then, anyway—perhaps that’s where the prince part came from. And patrons of the inn would come and leave their daughters in Calista’s care in exchange for a royal sum—perhaps that’s where the idea of princesses came from? Certainly Mr. Andersen’s tale is much more charming than the truth.
Me: Well, that’s an understatement. The truth is horrifying.
Lindy: *nodding and gazing into the night sky* That it is.
(At this moment in our interview, Lindy gasped, clutching her stomach as if she was in pain.)
Lindy: I must go. *rising and taking a shaky step toward the mansion where she lived*
Me: Wait, are you okay? What’s happening?
Lindy: *calling back to me over her shoulder as she stumbled away* I’m fine, I just … have to go.
I attempted to contact Lindy again the next day, but she hasn’t responded to my calls. I suspect we’ll have to read the rest of her story in Emerald Bound.
Lindy, if you’re reading this, I sincerely hope things work out for you.
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Fantasy, Romance, Suspense
Evernight Teen Publishing ~ 83,000 words
A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale...
Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years.
Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.
Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.
If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.
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A part of me died long ago.
It was the part of me that feels, and it was Calista’s fault.
What happened tonight was nothing new—innocent victims welcomed into our home, not knowing they would never leave. I learned long ago I could not help them, so I stopped trying.
But this time something was different. This time I was awake, burning with a gut-wrenching guilt, as the next victims slept downstairs. This time I knew the victims. And they didn’t deserve what was coming.
It had always been hard for me to make friends. I’d been called loner, loser, outcast, and freak. Even still, I remembered Maggie offering to show me around when I first transferred to their school. Through her, I met Kate and Piper. The three of them were always nice to me, while other kids kept their distance and spread rumors behind my back. I told myself I didn’t care—I wasn’t like them.
But being a loner was lonely.
So tonight when I saw Maggie and her friends here, something inside me snapped. Or, perhaps it was the dead piece of me coming back to life. Now I cared desperately about what was happening in the room below mine.
But there was still nothing I could do.
Calista usually lured in victims from out of town to avoid arousing suspicion. Pregnant ones were a particular favorite—easy prey, she called them. But Maggie and her friends came here all on their own. The opportunity was too good for Calista to pass up.
Everyone thought Calista was my mother, but she wasn’t.
Back in my day, almost four centuries ago, Calista had an alternate method of luring in victims. She and her husband, Theodore, advertised for hired help with their inn. The number of parents willing to sell their daughters into a life of servitude in exchange for a forgiven debt or a clean slate was staggering.
My father was one of them.
By the time my mother found out what he’d done, it was too late. There was no escape. I was bound.
My story was well known in this land, whispered as a bedtime tale to ease children into sleep. But, just like any other story passed down through time by rumors and idle gossip, the fragment that survived was woefully incomplete. It began something like this:
There is rumored to have been (once upon a time, of course) a princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses.
That much was true, though in actuality it was only one mattress, not twenty. The pea was also real, though most would call it a precious stone—an emerald, to be precise.
The gem that sealed my fate was now in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Calista was furious when she found it missing. She thought I’d stolen it until she remembered my limits. The identity of the true thief remains unknown.
Even though the emerald is no longer in our possession, we are still bound to it, as it is bound to us. Admirers of the opulent necklace where it rests don’t understand it. Like me, the gem is a prisoner, struggling against its fate.
Even now, centuries later, I don’t understand all the details of what happened to me that night. But it began with a troubled slumber on a bed of enchanted emeralds.
Teresa Richards writes YA, but loves anything that can be given a unique twist. Her zombie stories 'Are You My Mombie?' and 'The Zombie Code' can be found in Z Tales: Stories from the Zombieverse by The Fairfield Scribes.
When Teresa’s not writing, she can be found either chasing after one of her five kids, or hiding someplace in the house with a treat her children overlooked. Emerald Bound is her debut novel.
You can connect with her on twitter @BYUtm33 or at authorteresarichards.com.
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Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card