In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies-a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely-and the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.
“They’re everywhere,” I whisper, yanking off my mask. “They know we’re here!”
Rémy pulls me inside and presses a finger to his mouth, signaling me to be silent. He goes to the window, glancing out at the street below.
Heavy footsteps reverberate through the house.
“We have to get out of here.” Edel scrambles to pack our things into satchels.
“How did they find us?” Amber asks.
“I don’t know. Maybe the housemistress reported us,” Rémy says. “Hurry.”
I tie my waist-sash around me and tuck the sleepy teacup dragons into it. Shouts echo through the walls.
“Eye-films in and mask on, Amber,” Edel directs.
I fumble to put mine back on, my fingers shaky with nerves.
Rémy touches my shoulder and nods, his quiet confidence a temporary balm.
Amber jams in her eye-films. “I can’t see anything.”
“Blink and they’ll settle,” Edel replies.
Amber struggles to tie on her mask, her eyes watery, her fingers fumbling. The ribbons rip as she pulls them too tight, but there’s no time for me to help her before we’re slipping into the hall behind Rémy.
“All boarders are summoned to the common room,” a voice commands.
“We’ll leave through the kitchens,” Rémy whispers. “Put your cloak hoods up.”
The boarders swarm the space with confusion and chaos, allowing us cover to sneak down a back set of stairs. My heart thumps with each step I take. Soldiers rummage through rooms, flipping up beds and snatching open closet doors.
“Any of you found to be harboring fugitives will face the maximum punishment allowed by the Courts of Justice,” a soldier barks. “That’s fifteen days in a starvation box. The Minister of Justice will not be lenient.”
We ease into the kitchen.
A soldier steps out of the pantry. “And just where do you think you’re going?”
Rémy shoves straight through, knocking him to the ground. Another soldier appears in the doorway behind us. I grab the nearest cast-iron skillet and hit him on the head. He crashes into the table.
“Run!” Rémy yells.
Edel pushes through the back door first.
I stumble out with Rémy at my side. We duck behind a carriage just as a scream cuts through the air.
Instinctively, I turn back toward her, toward my sister, toward my best friend. She thrashes about in the arms of two soldiers, writhing in their grip.
“We’ve got one of them!” a soldier hollers. “The others must be nearby!”
The world slows around me.
Amber’s wails pierce the air; each one hits me like the stab of a knife.
I start to go to her. Rémy grabs me by the waist. “We have to leave. We’ve already been seen. The longer we linger, the more of them there will be.”
“No.” I wrestle with his tight grip. “We can’t.”
“Camille, he’s right. We’ll all be captured. And they want you the most.” Edel squeezes my chin, forcing me to look at her. “We can’t help her right now. If we’re taken, too, it’s over. We can’t find Charlotte. We can’t fix all of this. We can’t do anything.”
Tears storm down my cheeks.
“We’ll find a way to get her back.”
Edel tugs me forward, toward the dark shadows of the alley, as the guards drag Amber away and she disappears, like a post-balloon snatched by its ribbons.
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.
Dhonielle Clayton (“Dhon” like “Don” or “Dawn”) spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books.
She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City. She was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (honey nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays you could find her with her equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily.
She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School because her parents thought Catholic school would keep her out of trouble. She went to Wake Forest University, and studied pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English, and earned a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School.
She taught secondary school for several years – at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America – living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda – and wandering the planet. She’s been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them.
She is a former elementary and middle school librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent – and decidedly diverse – literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.
What’s next? She will be enrolling in culinary school in New York City and plans to open up a restaurant in the city of her soul, Edinburgh, Scotland.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE EVERLASTING ROSE, US Only.
Ends on April 2nd at Midnight EST!
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