This book sounds like so much fun! Think Thumbelina plus the Bachelorette placed in the future, and I'm pretty sure that this is what you would get! I'm so excited!
Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic
In 2065, the Lilliput Project created Lina - the first six-inch-tall winged girl - as the solution to a worldwide energy and food crisis. Isolated in a compound amidst the forests of Denmark, Lina has grown up aware of only one purpose: learn how to survive in a world filled with hawks, bumblebees, and loneliness. However, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she’s not the only teenager her size. Six 'Toms' were created shortly after Lina, and now her creators need to prove to the world that tiny people are the next logical step in human evolution. In other words, they need to prove that reproduction is possible.
Um. No thanks. Lina's already fallen in love with a boy she met online named Jack. Only he has no idea that thumbelina1847 could literally fit inside his heart.
When her creators threaten to hurt Jack unless she chooses a husband from among the ‘Toms’, Lina agrees to star in a reality TV series. Once the episodes begin to air, the secret of her size is out. Cut off from any contact with the outside world, Lina assumes Jack is no longer interested. After all, what guy would want to date a girl he can’t even kiss?
Slowly, very slowly, she befriends the six young men who see her as their only ticket to happiness. Perhaps she can make just one guy’s dream of love and companionship come true. But her creators have a few more twists in store for her that she never thought possible.
She’s not the only one playing to the cameras.
I'm a visual effects artist for film and television by day, and at night I don my author cape and pen stories for the YA crowd. I love a good fairy tale, especially if there's a creepy twist, so that's what I write.
I met my husband in the World of Warcraft and we live in Los Angeles with our cat. We spend our time playing video games, reading, hiking, sweeping up cat hair, and cursing the terrible traffic.
I have a bachelor's degree in Religion and Philosophy from Hillsdale College, and some of my past jobs have included: swimming lessons teacher, lifeguard, furniture salesperson, barista, and loan officer. I was especially terrible at the loan officer bit and that's what prompted me to make a major change and go off to Canada to get a diploma in 3D Animation and Visual Effects. After that, I moved to Los Angeles by myself and roomed with two crazy sisters I found on Craigslist. But that's another tale.
And don't forget about "Sugar Plum," Jennie's novelette for the series!
It's currently FREE on Smashwords!
I land right in front of the first one. He reminds me of a piece of overstretched taffy. When I shake his hand, he grips mine sincerely. His eyes are earnest, serious, and nothing like Jack’s. Tom2 has strawberry-blond hair, and he smiles so hard I think his face will break. Next. Toms3, 4, and 5 are forgettable and go by in a blur. However, when I get to Tom6, I’m completely startled by his vivid blue eyes. His hair is completely black and his features suggest his DNA is primarily Asian, but his eyes… Then I realize I’m not taken aback so much by their color, but the intensity that reminds me of Jack. Except Jack is not as serious. Jack would have me laughing by now.
“I’m very pleased to meet you,” he says as he lifts my hand to kiss it.
He turns his eyes to my hand, breaking the spell. I give my head a little shake to clear the fog and then I focus on his jet black hair. It’s only hair. He’s just a guy. He’s not Jack. Still, I’m a little unnerved by my reaction. Maybe I should just avoid staring into his eyes for the rest of the evening.
The Toms turn to their seats, and I’m about to follow suit when I spot George hovering nearby. He’s got a guilty expression on his face which can mean only one thing: a new computer. The rest of the room has gone back to their conversations, so I shouldn’t draw too much attention to myself if I go and talk to him now.
“One moment, guys. I’ll be right back.” I fly over to George and hover right in front of his face.
“You’re quick,” I say.
He shrugs sheepishly. “Happy birthday.”
“You’re a peach, George. Thank you!”
“Shhhhh.” He ducks his head, sticks his finger into the black olive in his drink and then lifts the empty glass. “Time for more.”
“Enjoy.” I return to the table and suppress a groan when I see the Toms are all watching me eagerly, waiting for me to come and sit with them. There’s only one seat open and it’s at the head of the table. When is this party over? When do they all go home?
As I approach the table, they all stand up, and two of them reach out at the same time to pull out my chair for me. I bite my lip as a wave of guilt sweeps over me. This isn’t their fault. It’s not their fault that they’re not Jack, that I’m the only girl their size, or that Dr. Christiansen has put us all into this room together.
I take a deep breath. I can be polite and friendly and charming for one evening. I’m pretty sure that’s all I have in me right now. So I put on my game face and take a seat.
“Thanks for coming,” I offer.
“I bet we had as much of a choice as you did,” Tom4 says without looking up. Well, at least he’s honest.
Tom1, Overstretched Taffy Boy, clears his throat. “Shut up, Shrike.”
“Shrike?” I ask.
“Only the staff call us by our numbers,” Tom2 says cheerfully. “We’ve come up with names for each other.”
“That makes sense. What are they?”
“We picked the names of birds, and they’ve gotten shortened down over the years. Let’s see if you can guess what they stand for.” Tom2’s smile nearly cracks his face in two again.
Tom5 runs a hand through his fiery red hair and rubs his eyes. “Are we really going to do this?”
I ignore him and nod at Tom2. ”Okay, you start.”
“My nickname is Row.”
I squeeze my lips together while I think. “Short for Sparrow?”
I can’t help but smile at his enthusiasm. I turn to Tom1. “How about you?”
He unwraps himself from his dinner plate. “Sorry, but it’s Crane. I don’t have a nickname other than that.”
“Oh, well, at least it suits you.”
He stops chewing and gives me a sideways glance.
“I mean, you’re really tall. And sorta thin?” Oh my gosh, Lina, stop talking now!
“I’m called Blue.” The deep voice snaps my head around. The blue eyes are staring through my skull again, but this time I manage to grab hold of my composure as it tries to flee the room.
“Hmm… Not Bluebird. That doesn’t quite fit. Bluejay?”
He nods but says nothing. Man of few words, that one.
“Well, you’ve got him pegged already!” Row says. “Very perceptive!”
I’m beginning to wonder if Row should be renamed Mark. Short for Exclamation Mark.
Shrike tosses his napkin onto the table and leans back in his chair. “My turn.”
“I don’t think I’m familiar with—”
“Tiger Shrike,” he interrupts. “It’s a small bird of prey. Eats butterflies.”
I raise an eyebrow. I suppose there has to be one bad apple in every group. Shrike would be attractive if his default facial expression wasn’t a scowl. He’s got medium brown hair, and he’s smaller than the others. Maybe he has something to prove.
“Charmed,” I say.
“Your turn.” Row elbows Tom6, a hulking boy-man with midnight skin.
“You can call me Al,” he says after swallowing his food. He would be a lot of fun to sculpt with his incredible inky skin and toned muscles.
“Al is for…Albatross? Let me guess—you fly the fastest.”
Shrike snorts. “Nah, just the longest. He floats like a feather. Perry’s the fastest.”
“And that must be you?” I turn to Tom5. He’s the one with the bright red hair.
“Short for Peregrine. Peregrine Falcon.”
“Does that mean you’re twice as fast as the rest of us?”
He winks at me. It is not a friendly wink. “Sure.”
Row leans forward, breaking the unpleasant connection between myself and Perry. “I have to say that I love your hair. I—we—were so worried you wouldn’t be, you know, normal. It’s very refreshing. Says a lot about you.” He takes a breath. “I’m sorry I’m so talkative. I’m not normally this talkative. I guess I’m nervous!”
He blurts out an awkward laugh, and I can’t help but join him. They’re all watching me, and every single one except for Row resembles a rapidly deflating balloon. Row made me laugh, and they didn’t. Their disappointment seeps into my own heart. I have to say or do something funny. I need to turn this ship around, and I need to do it fast.
“I’m glad you like the hair. This is actually my natural color.”
“No, it’s not,” Shrike says. “They told us you were blonde.”
Crane sighs. “Which donor did you get your tactlessness from, Shrike?”
“At least I don’t look like a limp noodle. I don’t have one either.” He laughs at his own joke, but no one joins in. Crane’s face turns bright red, and he reabsorbs himself with the thrilling activity of pushing bits of food around on his plate.
“Did you dye it yourself?” This time it’s Blue talking to me. I’m getting whiplash from turning my head so often.
“Yes. Earlier today.” My head begins to pound. I rest my elbows on the table and close my eyes for a moment while I rub my temples. I want this to end so I can go home, boot up my new computer, and have my real birthday with Jack. I’m sure he’s wondering where I’ve been for the past day and a half. Last time we spoke, he told me he was planning something special, and I have no idea what it is. I can’t wait to find out.
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