The Deseret News calls Lauren Skidmore’s “What is Hidden” “…a charming twist on a classic fairy tale,” adding that it’s “…an enchanting story of friendship, romance and loyalty, complete with royal balls and a prince in disguise.”
Keep reading for another excerpt from “What is Hidden,” which is available in bookstores and from online retailers.
Stripped of her mask, identity, and home, mask maker Evie finds herself alone and desperate. Already rejected by her neighboring doctor and fearing rejection from her best friend Aiden, she searches for a way to protect herself and wonders if the servant mask she received from her friend Iniga could be the start of her new life.
The ties were nearly torn clean off, and the lining was all but gone. Otherwise, it looked pretty good. I could work with that. The ribbons were still in good shape; they just needed to be resewn into the lining. Thankfully there was enough of that along the edges that I could rig it to work.
And while a palace servant would want the most comfortable mask available, I could not afford to be so picky, so the current lining would have to do.
After studying the mask for a long moment, I shoved it back in my bag. I would have to be crazy to even think of wearing the mask myself. I would be no better than the Chameleon.
And yet . . .
It wasn’t like I’d stolen it. Iniga gave it to me, and it had been given to her. She wouldn’t be in any trouble.
And I wasn’t stealing anyone’s identity in particular . . . just an anonymous scullery maid or laundress or something.
It could work.
It was insane, but it could work.
Finishing my scanty meal, I pulled myself to my feet, brushing off my skirts. I frowned—I would need better clothes if I were to pass as a palace servant.
Maybe if I could just get in there, I could grab some clothes as well.
A twinge of remorse pricked in my gut. It was so easy to fall back on theft when I had nothing else.
But I couldn’t ask anyone for help. Iniga would be risking her position if she snuck me in, and I didn’t want to rely on her charity when I could fend for myself.
As for Aiden, I had hoped to see him when I’d gone back to my home, but he was nowhere to be found, and I didn’t know where to look for him. Besides, he wouldn’t be able to do anything for me that I couldn’t do myself.
And it would kill me if he looked at me the way Dr. Vito did.
As the doctor’s face flashed across my memory, I made my decision.
I would hide, and I would fend for myself, and I would do it on my own.