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Un-Veiled

 

Rumor has it... 

...that the Zimmerman twins, Ginger and Cinnamon, are the hot hair-stylists in Santa Bonita. Their Do It Up salon has been swamped ever since hometown-Hollywood-star Courtney Day had her wedding hair done there. Now the sisters know every secret of every bride-to-be that crosses their threshold: does she or doesn't she, will she or won't she, how often, and with whom? 

What happens at Do It Up stays at Do It Up -- until Craig Esposito strolls 
into the salon with the latest wedding party. Cinnamon's dazed reaction suggests there's something only she knows about  his handsome cousin to the groom -- making Ginger wonder if he's the mystery father of Cinnamon's young daughter (which should kill her attraction to him, but doesn't). Now the sisters' own secrets are the subject of small-town gossip...and Ginger is about to tease out some surprising truths about her family, her town -- and herself.

EXCERPT

 

Chapter One

February 8, 2006

 

If it wasn’t the wedding of the decade, it most

certainly was the wedding of the year. Courtney

Day and Brett Sedd vowed to love and cherish

each other in front of a crowd so beautiful, it

would have made Michelangelo weep. No one

(except maybe the groom) was more beautiful,

however, than the bride, who returned to her

hometown of Santa Bonita, California, to have

her hair done by her high school chums

Cinnamon and Ginger Zimmerman at Do It Up

for the lavish beachfront ceremony complete

with fireworks.

 

Cinnamon’s rune card for the day was Haegl, the Dark Goddess, the goddess of chaos and creativity.

 

“I don’t understand,” Cinnamon said, waving the card at me as she packed Sage’s things up for a day at Grandma Rosemary’s. We were thrilled to get the wedding business, but it did mean finding somebody to babysit Cinnamon’s seven-year-old daughter, Sage. Keeping her at the salon didn’t work. The last time we’d tried that, Sage had burned herself on a curling iron, spilled a soda all over the counter that almost hit the bride’s veil, and generally pestered Cinnamon until I was afraid Cinn was going to duct-tape her daughter to a wall. Wouldn’t that have given everyone something new to talk about? We could maybe even have made the Santa Bonita Daily Mail with that one.

 

“Courtney’s a blonde. A white-blonde even. You can’t be blonder than her without having no pigment in your hair at all,” Cinnamon said, continuing to fret about her rune card. I wondered if I could duct-tape Cinn to a wall. But then, who would do Courtney’s hair? I knew Cinn had something special in mind already, probably something I wouldn’t be able to pull off. And when an honest-to-goodness movie star is getting her hair done for her wedding at our salon, you want you’re a team playing. “She’s even a real blonde, unless she started dying her hair in second grade, which I sincerely doubt. So this doesn’t make sense. Why would I get the dark goddess?”

 

I resisted the urge to tell Cinn exactly what the odds were that she would eventually pick the goddess of chaos and creativity from the deck of twenty-five cards. I had taken statistics last semester and was pretty sure that I could calculate that one in my head (four percent, if you’d like to know). I also wanted to tell her that because random chance dropped the goddess of chaos and creativity into our lives on that day didn’t mean that anything chaotic or creative was going to happen. Or that the chances of the card she’d randomly picked having anything to do with what our day held were about as good as the chances of the alignment of the stars on the day we were born determining our personalities. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t have worked. Cinn loves astrology almost as much as she loves runes.

 

I was pretty sure that the gravitational pull of Calista Flockhart probably had more impact on my birth than the stars Cinnamon consulted so regularly. My sister, however, doesn’t allow facts to dissuade her from her favorite theories, and especially not from New Age-y belief systems, which she mixes and matches like a kid with a new wardrobe full of Underoos.

 

We were born all of seven minutes apart, and looks-wise we are peas in a pod. Personality-wise? We could get into a “tastes great/less filling” debate at the drop of a hat, but then we’d just be one more set of twins in a beer commercial, and I really don’t think the universe needs any more of that.

 

“I’m sure it will all be clear by the end of the day,” I said, and gave the screen door a little kick at the bottom so it would unstick. We all headed for the Mustang; I crossed my fingers that she’d start. That kind of chaos I did not need.

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