The Princess of Baker Street
By Mia Kerick
Published by: Harmony Ink Press
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult
“Always wear your imaginary crown” is Joey Kinkaid’s motto. For years, Joey, assigned male at birth, led the Baker Street kids in daring and imaginative fantasy adventures, but now that they’re teenagers, being a princess is no longer quite so cool. Especially for a child who is seen by the world as a boy.
Eric Sinclair has always been Joey’s best friend and admirer—Prince Eric to Joey’s Princess Ariel—but middle school puts major distance between them. As Eric’s own life takes a dangerous turn for the worse, he stands by and watches as Joey—who persists in dressing and acting too much like a Disney princess for anybody’s comfort—gets bullied. Eric doesn’t like turning his back on Joey, but he’s learned that the secret to teenage survival, especially with and absent mother, is to fly under the radar.
But when Joey finally accepts who she is and comes to school wearing lip gloss, leggings, and a silky pink scarf, the bullies make her life such a misery that she decides to end it all. Eric, in turn, must decide who he really is and what side he wants to stand on… though no matter what he chooses, the consequences with be profound for both teens, and they’ll face them for years to come.
Is there a chance the two teens can be friends again, and maybe even more?
Each of us in our little group is faced with the fight-or-flight dilemma. I’m a little bit surprised when this concept pops into my mind; I guess I was paying attention in counseling on the day I learned about a body’s instinctive response to a threat—get ready to fight or run like hell.
Do I stick with Shaylee and defend her? Or do I ditch her and save face?
And once again I find myself standing on a window ledge beside Shaylee, and this ledge is high enough to be on the side of the Empire State Building. From way up here, one of two things will happen to me: I’ll be stared at by everybody as far as the eye can see while I shiver in the wind, or I’ll fall 102 stories to my death.
I have another option….
I could climb back in the window where I’d be safe, leaving Shaylee alone on the ledge.
What surprises me most about my new friends, and even more about myself, is it seems like none of us have much of a decision to make. Even though we’ve only been hanging around together for a few weeks and are not exactly BFFs, we’re all more or less decent human beings. We know Shaylee doesn’t deserve this treatment, and doing the right thing is more important than covering our butts.
Maybe there’s one other thing we could do….
A few teachers rush around the room haphazardly, trying to get the crowd to sit down and shut up. But they aren’t doing a thing to help Shaylee. So the five of us glance at each other and make a spur-of-the-moment silent decision. We form a tight circle around Shaylee—who’s freaking out with her hands covering her mouth and tears filling her eyes—and we shuffle backward to the wide entrance, managing to get her out of the cafeteria without being further exposed.
Once we’re in the foyer, she breaks out from the middle of us and runs to the nurse’s office. We stand in the now-empty circle, gawking at each other with round eyes and shocked faces until Dr. Rosenthal comes out of the office and stands in front of us. “What on earth happened in the cafeteria?”
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son, heading off to college. (Yes, the nest is finally empty.) She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing scholarship essays. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it’s a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled people in complex relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for Young Adult e-book Fiction, among other awards.
Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.
From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
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