Emily Wilde is graduating in two days from UCSD with her masters in gifted education. She knows exactly who she is, has a job lined up in Naples, FL and knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. All of that changes when her roommate and dear friend, Craig, finds a note on the door for Emily. That note changes everything for Emily and we follow her on a whirlwind adventure as she realizes, as one guy put it, "She's the best kept secret since the Monroe incident."
Published by Kelly Depp, LLC Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2016 Kelly Depp, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.
'Whew -- talk about a whirlwind! The American Princess by author, Kelly Depp, sweeps a reader up into its fairy-tale story with nothing more than a titillating calling card left on Emily Wilde's door, leading to a series of surprises too bold and daring for most young women to even dream of.' - Anna Questerly
'I just wanted to let you know that I read your (latest?) book and I really enjoyed it! I started it during my lunch break on Tuesday and finished it Thursday! (It kept me wanting more so I couldn't put it down). I really think you should write a sequel to it!' - Dawn H
At age 24, I had my whole life ahead of me. I was finishing my Master's degree in gifted education at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and then headed to Naples, Florida to be an 8th grade math teacher in a public school. As the last week of school was wrapping up, I was looking forward to my new adventures.
It was two days until graduation, my last Monday in San Diego. I would miss the west coast, but I was ready to get back east. I wanted to be closer to my family. My parents and younger siblings lived in Columbus, GA. My older sister, Marla, was living in New York.
In San Diego, I was renting a room in a house where I lived with three other people. I was in the process of packing everything that was mine and storing it all in one corner of my room until Friday morning. The plan was to graduate on Wednesday, spend some time with my friends on Thursday, then pick up the U-Haul I rented on Friday morning and hit the road for the drive to Florida. It would be a long drive and a bit lonely, but it would also be nice to have that time to myself. I was really looking forward to it all.
"Hey, Emily, you got some mail." Craig said as he wandered into my room with an envelope in his hand. "Wow, you're almost done packing." He paused, surveying my room, "You sure you'll be fine driving to Florida alone?"
"Yeah. I'll be fine." I turned and looked at Craig, winking at him. I took the envelope from his hand. "And what's this we have here?" I looked at the letter funny. It was an envelope with my name on it, Emily Wilde, but it had no address, no postmark or anything. "Where did you find this?" I asked, confused, as I began to open the envelope by running my index finger under the flap very gently.
Craig crashed on my bed in his designer jeans and t-shirt and began looking at my most recent copy of Cosmopolitan. He looked up at me and said, "Oh, it was stuck in the door when I came in." This was a practice that I had learned over the past few years. It was quite normal for living in college dorms and the apartments and houses nearby that housed college students.
When I pulled the card out of the envelope, a business card dropped on the floor. I picked it up and held it with the envelope in my right hand while I sat on the edge of my bed and read the hand written card that was in my left hand.
I understand that you are graduating on Wednesday and leaving the San Diego area shortly thereafter. I would like a chance to meet with you before you leave. Please call me at the number on the enclosed card to schedule a meeting.
Sincerely, Elizabeth Harding
"Hey, is this a joke or something, Craig?" I re-read the card.
He looked up from the magazine, confused, "What?"
"It's a note from Elizabeth Harding. It's got to be a joke, right?" I inspected the card, which was cream with a beautiful silver cursive "H" on the front of it. Then I looked at the business card that had fallen out. It wasn't a business card at all. In fact, it was a calling card. It simply said "Elizabeth Harding" in a beautiful script that matched the "H" on the note card with a phone number below her name. All of the print was in silver and it looked very elegant.
Craig took the hand written card and inspected it, then suggested, "Call and see. What can it hurt?" He shrugged then returned to looking through the magazine.
I took the card back, picked up my cell phone and dialed the number. What the heck? Craig was right.
"Hello?" came a voice after two rings.
"Hi. This is Emily Wilde. I got this number in a card from Elizabeth Harding."
"Ms. Wilde, thank you for calling. Would you like to come to the house before or after your graduation?" The woman's voice was kind, but all business.
"I'm sorry...who am I speaking to?" I asked, confused.
"Oh, I'm sorry, this is Carole, Mrs. Harding's personal assistant." She paused a moment. "So, would you like to come by tomorrow or Thursday? I understand that you will be very busy on Wednesday."
"Um...is this THE Elizabeth Harding we're talking about...?" I had to ask because this was all so bizarre.
"If you mean the mother of the First Lady and the former First Lady herself, yes." Carol replied, very matter of factly.
"I'm sorry, I'm just a little surprised." I paused, trying to determine what to say next. Why did she want to meet with me?
"Ms. Wilde, are you still there?" Carole inquired.
"I'm sorry, yes, I am." I paused to contemplate what to do. I figured I should take the meeting. It isn't often that you get to meet a First Lady. "Um...let's meet tomorrow." Why not, right? Then it would be over and I wouldn't have it hanging over my head for graduation.
"Wonderful, Ms. Wilde. Would lunch work for you?" Carole inquired.
"Lunch sounds good. Where shall we meet?" I wondered to myself - where exactly does a former First Lady dine with someone like me?
"The house is actually in Carlsbad, on the beach. I'll send a car to pick you up. Does 11 am work for you?"
Pausing only long enough for effect, I answered. "Sure. I'll be ready then. Um...do you happen to know what Mrs. Harding wants to see me about?" I was completely at a loss but trying to play it cool and confident.
"Unfortunately, you'll have to find out for yourself. She doesn't normally let me in on what the meetings are regarding, just who will be calling." Carole was very matter-of-fact. There was a reason she was Mrs. Harding's assistant - she was all business.
"Okay, thank you, Carole. I'll see Mrs. Harding tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it." I hung up the phone feeling as though I sounded too eager and completely confused. What in the world would Elizabeth Harding want to meet with me about?
Though Craig was still perusing my magazine, I knew he had been listening to every word. As soon as I hung up the phone, he said, "So?"
He was very curious, so I filled him in on everything. I was having lunch tomorrow with THE Mrs. Elizabeth Harding. She's American royalty. I mean if America had royalty...she would be the Queen. And I had absolutely no idea what she wanted to meet with me about.