TITLE: The Persnickety Princess
GENRE: Middle Grade Historical Fantasy
The line-up flowed all the way across the Great Hall, out the double doors, down the corridor outside, to disappear around the corner. Everyone brought presents. The first suitor in line had a tiger on a leash. The second one had a huge treasure chest full of gold. The third man brought a ruby as big as a baseball, a box of jewels, a rolled-up exotic carpet, and a baby elephant.
Roland was fourth in line. He had nothing impressive, just his grandmother’s old engagement ring that needed polishing, and a bouquet of flowers he had picked along the way.
“Nine Lords a leaping, where is she?” the man in front of Roland said. “This is taking forever.”
“Good thing we got here early,” Roland said. He had received the notice just like every other eligible man in the land: On the third day of May, all candidates interested in marrying Princess Penelope have the opportunity to propose. Signed, King Wilhelm.
Roland expected other suitors to show up, just not so many of them and with so much more to offer. He glanced down at his bouquet, which wilted along with his hopes.
A trumpet sounded.
“Here she comes,” whispered the third man, as everyone turned toward the doors.
But it was just King Wilhelm and Queen Gertrude. The Queen flopped onto her throne and yawned, as if in for a long day. The King scanned the line-up, searching for something. Or someone. He smiled, nodding and winking Roland’s way.