Book Marks: If I Fall, If I Die – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

If I Fall If I DieIf I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

Goodreads Summary

A heartfelt and wondrous debut about family, fear, and skateboarding, that Karen Russell calls “A bruiser of a tale… a death-defying coming-of-age story.”

Will has never been outside, at least not since he can remember.  And he has certainly never gotten to know anyone other than his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who panics at the thought of opening the front door.  Their world is rich and fun loving – full of art, science experiments, and music – and all confined to their small house.

But Will’s thirst for adventure can’t be contained.  Clad in a protective helmet and unsure of how to talk to other kids, he finally ventures outside.  At his new school he meets Jonah, an artsy loner who introduces Will to the high-flying freedoms of skateboarding.  Together, they search for a missing local boy, help a bedraggled vagabond, and evade a dangerous bootlegger.  The adventure is more than Will ever expected, pulling him far from the confines of his closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood, and all the risks that everyday life offers.

In buoyant, kinetic prose, Michael Christie has written an emotionally resonant and keenly observed novel about mothers and sons, fears and uncertainties, and the lengths we’ll go for those we love.

My Thoughts

There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t like as well.  I was very interested in reading this book when I read the summary but it didn’t seem to hold my interest.  Reading felt more like a chore than fun pastime, which makes me sad, so it took me quite a while to read this one.

The beginning of the book was super slow, the middle got pretty good, but then the end seemed rushed and anticlimactic.  There were too many story lines mixed in and I just couldn’t keep up!  And then it just ended…as if the author was told to wrap it up.

If I Fall, If I Die certainly wasn’t the worst book I have ever read but it wasn’t my kind of book at all. I probably will not be recommending this book to many people but I wouldn’t mind trying another book by Michael Christie if he writes one.  His writing style was good; I just didn’t enjoy this story.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Creepy Fun Halloween Quiz

We’ve all taken lots of silly quizzes on Facebook or someplace else on the Internet, but I’m used to them being upbeat queries like “what superhero are you most like?” or “what literary hero are you most like?”

This creepy quiz asks you innocuous questions that don’t give you any indication that the answers are comparing you to scary monsters. And when I got my result that the literary monster I’m most like is Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King’s It, well, let me just say, that was creepy!!

Take the quiz and share what scary monster you’re most like! (Courtesy of Grammarly


Get Some Free Love

More free books available this week. Yay! Now if only I could find us both some free time to read more!

Little Miss Lovesick by Kitty BucholtzLittle Miss Lovesick
by Kitty Bucholtz (yup, me! Haha!)

FREE October 21-25, 2015
on Amazon




Crushing cover



by Elena Dillon

FREE October 19-23, 2015
on Amazon




Girlfriends and Secrets coverThe Alex Chronicles: Girlfriends & Secrets
by Tracy Reed

FREE on  iBooks

Book Marks: Crushing by Elena Dillon

I’d like to introduce you to my friend Elena Dillon today. She writes YA (Young Adult) novels with lots of action and suspense and emotion. Read on as she tells us about her free-this-week novel, Crushing.

Crushing coverElena: How do you all feel about love triangles? I know some people love them, and some people hate them. When I sat down to write Crushing I hadn’t thought much about them either way but I also didn’t intend for Crushing to have one as a key part of the romance. Not in my plan at all. I thought I was writing a teenage mystery with a romance. Shows what I know.

The problem started when one of the characters that I intended to be kind of a jerk, Dominic, had other ideas. As it turns out, he’s had a crush on Rory, the main character for a long time. And he refused to be a jerk, he was a sweet guy. He was her friend and, by the way, he had no intention of stepping back and letting this new guy step in and take his girl. Wait, what?

Rory and the other love interest each had a different viewpoint about this situation which added to the complexity of the story. I actually had conversations with Dom, in my head, explaining what I had planned, but he was extremely uncooperative. The entire book felt like one long battle. Looking back I realize I shouldn’t have worried. It all worked out in the end.

All that being said Crushing is all about love, friendship, and choices. I had no idea writing a love triangle could be so complicated. It was a really fun book to write, but I’m not sure who was in charge, me or them.

Crushing is available for Free on Amazon October 19th – October 23rd!

Here’s an excerpt of one of the scenes:

A small clinking sound coming from the balcony distracted me. Huh.

Then another one. Clink.

I got the chills. What was that?

I stood up and slowly moved over to the French doors. On my balcony were two pennies.

Clink. Another one hit the glass right between my eyes.

My heart in my mouth, I looked out into the yard. Gage was standing there holding the puppy and getting ready to throw another penny. He jerked his head toward the beach, turned, then went through the gate on the side.

Oookay. I guess I was just supposed to follow? Why were all the males in my life so overbearing? I huffed and put my shoes on. I needed to revert back to my old ways a bit. My parents were still up, and no way would a walk on the beach go over without a fight. And walking with Gage wouldn’t be any better in their eyes.

I went out onto my balcony. The drainpipe was still there even though it didn’t look quite as sturdy as it did a few years ago. I hadn’t shinnied down a drainpipe in years, but I imagined the process hadn’t changed that much. Good thing I had on appropriate shinnying clothes.

As I climbed over the rail and reached out for the drainpipe, I felt a flurry of excitement. Trouble—an old friend I hadn’t visited in a while. I had to suppress the giggles that wanted to bubble out of my chest. I missed this. I made it to the bottom without too much damage, although I wouldn’t be wearing a skirt anytime soon, what with the scrape on my knee now.

I came through the gate, and he and the puppy were waiting at the beginning of the beach path. By the time I caught up, the puppy was running ahead toward the water and then running back to us, barking and tripping over her feet. Her paws were almost the size of my palms. I think she had grown since I saw her yesterday, and Gage must have given her a bath because her fur was fluffy and she looked even more adorable.

He didn’t say anything; we just started walking. This felt weirdly familiar. Because of his stutter, we had spent a lot of our childhood not talking. If I had something to say, I would just jabber on like a monkey in a tree, and he listened. Too nervous for speech now, though, I tried to figure out exactly what I wanted to say.

We walked and our arms brushed. The squirrels in my stomach were at it again, and now they were doing the Mexican Hat dance. Really? I needed to calm down. I annoyed myself.

Clear and beautiful, the night was made for a walk on the beach. I loved the sound of the ocean, and most nights I fell asleep with my balcony doors open. A bit of a breeze blew, but even though it was still winter, it was only a little chilly.

We found a small sand dune and sat down to watch the puppy running at the waves and barking. Gage was looking out over the water. He looked relaxed, but I could barely keep my knees from bouncing. I really had to focus to keep myself calm. I breathed deep.

“So why didn’t you tell me who you were the other day?” I blurted out.

He laughed. “Sorry, I guess I was shocked you didn’t recognize me. I’m pretty forgettable, huh?”

“Well, since you don’t look the same at all, and you are about a foot and a half taller, I think I should get a pass.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “I hear you’re either a drug dealer, a cheater, or you got the dean’s daughter pregnant. Should I be worried about being out here on the beach with you? I came prepared.” I dangled my keys with the pepper spray my dad insisted I keep at hand. I knew I was perfectly safe, but I wanted the real story.

He laughed. “Wow, is that what’s going around? I guess I’m not surprised. We Southerners do love our gossip. I didn’t actually do any of those things, but in the spirit of honesty, I did get expelled.”

I nodded. If I let my mouth run away with me now, I would never get the story out of him.

“It was for fighting.” He did have the grace to look a little embarrassed. “I would imagine you aren’t shocked about that, but it was unavoidable so—”

“So that’s why you’re back? Because you got kicked out of school?”

He opened his mouth to answer, when the puppy came skidding to a halt right in front of us and decided to shake the water and sand off her body all over us. I shrieked and tried to block it with my hands, but too late. Lovely. Good thing she was cute.

“Did you come up with something to call her?” I asked while I was attempting to brush myself off.


“Cute. What made you pick it?”

“Well, we had to bail her out, so it seemed to fit. She reminds me of you, actually.” He nudged me with his elbow.

“I remind you of a dog?” He was obviously not trying to win any points with me. First I’m fat, and now I remind him of a dog.

“Uh, no. She reminds me of you. Getting herself into messes I have to get her out of.”

“Oh really?” I smiled. “Well it’s been a long time since you have attempted to get me out of any messes.”

“Until yesterday. And tonight.”

I frowned at him. “As a matter of fact I was thinking earlier that my life has never been more dramatic than since you showed back up.”

“So it’s my fault?”

“Well, it stands to reason. My life seemed normal before, and it’s been upside down since you got back . . .”

“Ah. I see.”

That reminded me.

“Hey what did you mean when you saw me in the storm drain and said ‘of course’?” I glared at him again.

“Just that. Of course you would get stuck in a storm drain trying to save a puppy.”

“You act like you know me now. You don’t, so don’t pretend you do.” I wasn’t sure why, but I was mad. It didn’t make any sense, since I was pretty sure he hadn’t had a choice about leaving. Still, he didn’t get to pretend like he knew anything about my life now.

He didn’t say anything, just turned away. Now I felt bad.

We stared out at the ocean for a while just listening to the waves. I thought about when he left. There had been a hole in my heart where only he fit. I had shut off that part of my heart and didn’t even realize it. We weren’t the same people now, and I didn’t know if we would ever be able to get back to the closeness we had when we were kids, or if I wanted to.

The puppy had finally tired herself out. She came over to me and climbed into my lap, then she curled up and went to sleep. She was adorable.

There was something I wanted to ask him. I wasn’t sure if I should, but I really needed to know.

“What happened with that fight? I don’t understand.”

“Holden’s a tool,” he said with a grimace.

“Well, yeah, but you knew that when we were eight. Why would you hit Dominic when Holden was the idiot?”

His face got serious, and he didn’t answer right away. He looked back out to the ocean.

“Is he your boyfriend?”

“Umm, no.”

He looked back at me. “That didn’t sound too convincing.”

“Well, we’re good friends. It’s complicated.”

He rolled his eyes. “You’re either dating or you’re not. I’m hoping not, since you’re out here with me. That wouldn’t be cool.” He sounded disapproving.

I didn’t want him thinking I was like that. Eww.

“We aren’t. Our parents would love it, and I don’t think he would object, but he hasn’t asked, and I made it clear I don’t want a boyfriend. Clear enough?” Sheesh.

“You don’t want a boyfriend, or you don’t want him for a boyfriend?”

“As you well know, I have two very large overprotective brothers and a dad who still likes to think I’m six years old. Would you want to deal with that?” I realized he had turned the conversation back to me and away from him. Convenient. “You still didn’t answer me.”

He looked back out to the ocean before he answered. For some reason I knew the answer was important.

“I don’t like him. He should have made Holden let go of you himself. No guy has the right to put his hands on a girl against her will. Ever. If you aren’t doing something about it, you are enabling it, and I hate that almost as much. Even if he isn’t your boyfriend, as your friend he shouldn’t have allowed it. If you don’t believe me, ask your brothers.”

Wow. Okay. I think I hit a sore spot.

“I guess I can see your point of view. I don’t actually think Dom saw it until you guys started pushing and shoving, but okay. He probably doesn’t take Holden seriously, since we see him like that a lot.”

“He grabs you a lot?” He was starting to look angry.

“No. He’s obnoxious and drunk a lot. I appreciate that you were concerned, but it wasn’t necessary.”

He shrugged. “That’s your opinion.”

“I can take care of myself. I’m not sure why nobody gets that.” Why were guys so irritating? Ugh.

“Yeah I saw how well you were taking care of yourself.” He didn’t look convinced.

I wasn’t getting anywhere. I looked at the time on my phone. I didn’t want to go, but I also didn’t want my parents to check in and find me gone. That would not help my situation.

“I’d better get going.”

I handed him Bailee so I could get up. She was obviously exhausted from her adventure. “I’m glad your uncle let you keep her.” I rubbed her head.

“Yeah, I think he feels bad because he isn’t home much.”

“I worried he would make you take her to the pound,” I said as I brushed myself off.

“Well, I think he wishes he could change his mind now,” he said with a laugh.

“What happened?”

“She chewed a pair of his seven-hundred-dollar shoes. Not a banner moment for her.”

“Oh man. Poor Bailee.” I reached over and gave her a scratch. “It’s not fun to be labeled a troublemaker.” She looked at me sleepily and licked my hand.

I worked up the nerve to ask him something I’d been wondering about since he came back.

“So…” We started back up the beach toward home.

“Uh-oh.” He laughed.

“No more stutter?” I asked.

“Nope. Gone for good.”

“I’m going to be totally nosey here. What happened?”

“It’s fine. When we moved to Florida, my grandma and I took foreign language classes.”

“And that helped?”

“Yup. She read somewhere that it could help. I became fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.” He shrugged like it was no big deal. “Once I could speak another language without a stutter, it pretty much went away. Totally gone by the time I was fourteen.”

We had stopped in front of my gate. I reached out and gave him a hug, squishing Bailee in the process.

“Whoa. Okay.” He hugged me back.

“I’m sorry. I’m just so happy for you.” I knew it must have been more work than he let on. I was relieved he didn’t have to live with that stutter forever. I could feel tears behind my eyes trying to get out.

“It’s okay, Rory. I’m all good.” He shook his head at me.

I gave him another squeeze, then let go and stepped back.

He walked me through the gate up to my back door. I turned and we just stared at each other.

“I’d better go in.”

“Wouldn’t want the parents to know you are out with the bad boy and not the ‘Mr. Perfect’ they’ve picked for you,” he said.

I felt bad that he knew how my parents felt about him. My life was not usually this full of drama. I huffed out a breath. “Sorry.”

“Here, give me your phone. I don’t want you to have to climb down a drainpipe just to talk to me. I thought you would just come out the back door like a normal girl. I should have known you would do things the hard way.”

We exchanged phones and put our numbers in.

He handed me back my phone. His face was serious all of a sudden. “Now I won’t lose you again.” He gently brushed his fingers over my cheek and pushed a piece of hair behind my ear.

I shivered. We stood there staring into each other’s eyes. Bailee yawned a huge yawn, and the moment was lost.

“See you,” I whispered as I snuck in my back door. I turned and looked through the window. He was still watching me. When he turned and walked away, there was a tiny ache in the area of my heart. I already missed him. Not good.

* * *

Elena DillonAuthor, Elena Dillon, is the winner of a Weta Nichols Writing Award and an InD’tale RONE award. She was also a finalist in the Book Buyers Best, the Published Maggie’s and the Reader’s Favorite Awards all in the Young Adult category. She writes sweet teenage romance with sass, suspense and swoon.

Elena has never lived anywhere besides Southern California, which is probably a good thing since she hates being cold and is terrified to drive in the snow. She loves being a wife to her husband of twenty-five years and a mother to her three kids and high-maintenance bulldog, Brutus. A self-proclaimed nerd, she spends her days writing and catering to Brutus, who considers her “the help.”

Liliana’s Letter by Alina K Field

Liliana's Letter ebookI’m excited to host my friend, Alina K. Field, whose new book Liliana’s Letter released today! Congratulations, Alina! And I understand you’re giving one lucky commenter an ebook copy – yay! Please tell us a little more about your story.

Alina: Thank you for hosting me today, Kitty!

Today is release day for my latest Regency novella, Liliana’s Letter! After I finished my novel Bella’s Band I went to work on another Regency series. But a character from Bella’s Band, the hero’s uncle, nagged at me to tell his story, so I put aside my other project to reveal the story of how Lord Grigsby, the dependable, conscientious, dutiful Baron, found his own true love.

This was a great deal of fun to write, also a bit of a challenge because it’s a prequel to the novel. I found myself going back and forth between the published novel and the manuscript, thanking my lucky stars that I had not gone into a lot of detail about the characters in the novel!

I love that the baron found his true love and I hope readers will enjoy the story, too! Here’s the book’s description, and I included an excerpt at the end as well.

Liliana’s Letter

The Matchmaker

Lord Grigsby wants nothing more than to retreat to his study, but a promise to his long-dead sister has forced him back into society to broker the marriage of his nephew to the heiress whose money can save the young man’s earldom. If only the young lady’s starchy hired companion would move out of the way.

The Matchbreaker

Hired to launch an heiress’s society debut, seemingly straitlaced spinster Liliana Ashford’s future as a professional chaperone depends on the girl’s successful marriage. But Liliana had her own close encounter with a scoundrel years ago, and she won’t let her charge be forced into marriage to the same kind of rogue, no matter how hard the man’s widowed uncle tries to woo Liliana around to the match.

Secrets and a Scandalous Murder

A shadow from Liliana’s past appears bearing an unfortunate letter she wrote long ago, and then the earl is murdered, evoking the scandal of the season. While she scrambles to make a respectable match for her charge before her own past can be exposed, Grigsby sets about finding his nephew’s killer—and Liliana’s secrets.


The woman at Grigsby’s side was like a lightning rod expecting a bolt to strike, or like a Fury about to deliver one. This close, scent wafted from her, roses and lemon, he’d guess. Tall, straight, and stiff, underneath her self-possession was a temper ready to unleash. He would bet on it.

Intriguing. He dared to poke her ire. “You clearly don’t approve of the match. Do you intend to openly oppose it?”

Her head whipped around, and she glared. “It’s not for me to approve or disapprove. Katie—Miss Mercer—will decide.”

Passion flashed in her eyes, sending an answering spark through him. She was magnificent—though so very mistaken. “Really? Then her father is more liberal than I expected.”

She looked him over more closely. “What do you know of this matter?”

I might ask you the same question. Her tone had been stiff, like the crystallized dome covering bubbling lava. He fixed her with his sternest glare, not entirely surprised at her cheek.

His glower didn’t impress her. She lifted her shoulders higher. Stood a little taller, proud, lovely, and filled with indignation.

Quite righteous indignation. He gave into an unmanly sigh, truly weary of his responsibility for Thomas. “I know a good deal, Miss Ashford. I have been negotiating for these nuptials. The arrangement is my doing as much as Mr. Mercer’s. Much more than it is my nephew’s. He is probably the least culpable, except for his abominable behavior.”

She clenched her hands tightly. “I see.”

“Thomas’s mother was my older sister. I made a promise to her that I would look after him.” Her gaze softened, and she bit her lip in a way that made him want to taste the part that she was nipping.

And where had that thought come from?

“And your nephew needs money and an heir.”

He nodded. As a woman of the ton, of course she would understand how marriage worked. Marriage wasn’t about love, or the bride’s approval, or a plump lower lip that begged to be kissed.

“He needs money most of all. He has a younger brother in the army who would make a far more dutiful earl.”

He covered his mouth with his hand. The words had rolled out, shocking him. He rarely spoke this frankly with any woman.

Very well, he never spoke this frankly with any woman.

She released a soft breath. “And there is the matter of the ore.”

His mouth gaped and he quickly closed it. Mr. Mercer had shared that information? Well. “That part of the county is rich with newly discovered veins of iron.”

That information brought her up straighter. She looked away, gazing intently at a thick, dark spot of foliage, making him want to pry into that sharp mind.

“I see,” she said. “I believe we should go back in now.”

Not yet. He tucked her hand over his arm but did not move. “I had hoped we were not finished talking. I’ve learned your Christian name is Liliana, but I don’t know anything else about you. I don’t know where you’re from or anything about your family.”

He sensed her bristling, and waited for some reaction, perhaps a slap, verbal, or, with a woman of her passion, even a physical one. Strictly speaking, he was importuning her, and damn if he wasn’t enjoying the nerves rippling through her.

* * *

If you enjoyed this excerpt, you can purchase Alina’s novella at Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. You also have a chance to win a free ebook copy by leaving a comment below! :) Alina will randomly pick one winner in a few days.

Alina K FieldAward winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she found her true passion in reading and writing romance. Though her roots are in the Midwest, after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband and a blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.

She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner in the novella category, Rosalyn’s Ring, a Regency novella; and the novel-length sequel, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band, both Soul Mate Publishing releases.

Visit her at:
Her website –
Facebook –
Twitter –
Goodreads –

Book Marks: Instant Happy Journal – Book Review by Carrie Kurtz

Instant Happy JournalInstant Happy Journal by Karen Salmansohn

I love journals! I love happy things! I love the cover of this journal!  I just love this!!! Ok, now that I’ve gotten control of myself, I’ll explain why I love this so much.

Goodreads Summary

This colorful diary inspires journalers to apply happiness guru Karen Salmansohn’s Instant Happy principles to their everyday lives, with 365 prompts to encourage a year of gratitude.

On the heels of Karen Salmansohn’s wildly popular gift book Instant Happy comes this happiness journal, with daily prompts to help you think about and apply happiness wisdom to your own life. Each page features a specific intention, inspiring quote, surprising scientific fact, or thought-provoking question to ponder.

When you approach your day with Salmansohn’s “happiness prompters” in mind, you amp up your ability to notice (and create!) many more joyous moments in your day. But that’s just half of what it takes to live a supremely happy life.

This journal teaches the top two habits of happy people: to naturally set their intention to enjoy a happy day, then end the day reflecting on what made them happy. When you end your day writing about what went right, you further strengthen your happiness mindset. With fill-in dates so that you can write and reflect at your own pace, this little journal features a graphic design and fresh attitude perfect for today’s modern happiness-seeker. 

My Thoughts

If you read the beginning of this post (which I’m assuming you did or you wouldn’t be at this part), you already know how I feel about this journal.  I am so excited that I was given the opportunity to review it! I absolutely love journals so you can probably just imagine how excited I was when this was delivered to my house!

This Journal isn’t just a blank, write whatever you did that day type of journal.  It has little prompts at the beginning of every page encouraging you to focus on happy things.  Such a wonderful idea!  Especially in the “post all of your troubles and drama on social media” days we live in!  Sometimes people just need a boost of positivity and this journal helps you find the good in each day and situation!  I love it!

I decided to give this copy to my daughter and I’m planning on buying one for my niece and one for myself. If you like keeping a journal, or you know someone who does, then I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this journal.

There are so many prompts that I loved but here are two that I thought I’d share:

Love yourself for who you are now. Believe in who you have the power to become.”

“Be a kind person. Yes, even to jerks. Let them be jerks. You be a kind person.” 

*Note: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Carrie Kurtz


Carrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.

Cinderella’s Shoes by Shonna Slayton

cinderellas shoes bannerYou might remember that I used to be one of the founders and bloggers on Routines for Writers, a blog that ran for five years with my friends Stephanie Shackelford and Shonna Slayton. The three of us have been friends since the 1990s (!) and we’ve written a lot of words together. But nothing is more exciting than seeing the words you wrote – or in this case, that your friend wrote – in a book!

Shonna’s first book, Cinderella’s Dress, was released by Entangled Teen last year, and its sequel, Cinderella’s Shoes, came out TODAY! YAY! To celebrate, Shonna wrote a cool blog post about Cinderella’s stepsisters, and below that is a short excerpt from the book. I hope you enjoy it!

cinderellas dressThe Descendants of Cinderella’s Stepsisters
by Shonna Slayton

What great villains Cinderella’s stepsisters make. They are the ultimate mean girls, given permission for their awfulness by their own mother.

In adapting the classic Cinderella tale to my 1940s novels, the descendants of the stepsisters had to be involved.

In Cinderella’s Dress, readers are introduced to one line of stepsisters, headed by the matriarch Ludmilla. I just love this name for a villain, even though it means “loved by the people.” She has sons who do her bidding for her and inadvertently tip Kate off to the potential power of the shoes.

In Cinderella’s Shoes, I get to introduce the other line of the stepsisters and their matriarch, Malwinka. Another great name for a villain. The “w” is pronounced like a “v.” Malwinka is firmly ensconced in the power struggle happening in Poland after World War II.
The two stepsisters (they still call each other that even though many generations have gone by since the originals) are quite different in their attitudes and approach to the Cinderella legacy.

Kate is unsure who she can trust in this game of cat and mouse, but she is determined to find the missing glass slippers and use them to find out what happened to her dad. But her obsession and willingness to walk the edge threatens to put a wedge between her and her boyfriend Johnny. Travels and adventures ensue in this sequel, and the conclusion, to the Cinderella’s Dress series.

Cinderella's shoes_500Excerpt – Cinderella’s Shoes: Chapter Two pp 14-16

“I don’t mean to be disrespectful, Kate, but short of finding Cinderella’s missing slippers, I don’t know how your brother will find anything new. It’s been—”

Kate held up her hand. “It’s been too long. That’s what everyone keeps saying. But Mom and I can’t quite believe it. She still won’t look through Dad’s things that the army returned. She’s still hoping… Wait. Why would you mention the slippers?”

Johnny looked sheepish. “That’s what those Burgosov men said. I know they were trying to trick you, but why would they come up with that particular lie? They didn’t seem like the brightest fellows, so maybe they let the truth slip out.”

Kate leaned back and stared at the ceiling. That was exactly what she had been thinking. “Did I make a mistake?”

“You followed your intuition, and it paid off. They didn’t have the slippers, and they didn’t know about your dad. Doesn’t mean the shoes aren’t real.”

“I wish I could talk to them again.”

“The guys in jail? You’re kidding, right? Why don’t you just ask Princess Kolodenko?”

“I did, but she told me the shoes were lost to the family. The Burgosovs are the only ones who can help.”

Johnny gaped at her. “Do you hear what you’re saying? You want to risk talking to those criminal brothers to get information on a pair of fairy-tale shoes that don’t belong to you, and whose owner seems to be satisfied that they’re gone. She’s not even looking for them, is she?”

Princess Kolodenko didn’t have the need that Kate did. One of her granddaughters had died in the war, but they knew what happened to her. There was no mystery for them to solve. No need to risk anything. Kate raised her eyebrows in a look that she hoped said, Yes, it sounds foolish, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Johnny laughed. “Anyone hearing us outside this room would think we were loony.”

Kate smiled, and soon began laughing herself.

Johnny sobered. He leaned forward and searched Kate’s eyes. “How do you think the shoes will help you find your dad? Didn’t the prince have to go door to door until he found Cinderella?”

The last of the laughter floated out of Kate. “I don’t know. I thought maybe if I wore them, they would guide me to him.” She cringed. “Silly, right? But the dress is unusual. What if the shoes are, too? What if they do find people? I have this crazy connection to a fairy-tale family; I should be able to use it when I need help.”

“Okay,” he said. “I’m in. Whatever you need me to do.”

If you’d like to win a copy of the book and a CD of the soundtrack of Disney’s new Cinderella movie, enter the Rafflecopter drawing here!

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Shonna SlaytonAbout the Author
SHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novels Cinderella’s Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella’s Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

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Bewitching Desires – A Fun Halloween Read

My RWA friend Rebekah Ganiere and eleven other writers have put together a collection of stories perfect for Halloween. The book was just released last week so it’s available to purchase now. Yay! Read on for more information.

Bewitching Desires infographicBewitching Desires: A Savannah Coven Anthology

by Rebekah R. Ganiere, Tami Lund, Niki Daninger, Jennifer Ray, Danielle Donaldson, Sheri Williams, Michele Mohr, Maria Arell, A. E. Snow, Andra Shine, Sonja Fröjdendal, and Kay Blake

Bewitching DesiresTwelve Paranormal Stories of Love, Hate, and Desire. Bewitching Desires, The Savannah Coven Anthology, is packed full of Witches, Warlocks, Werewolves, Ghosts, and even a Reaper. All based around the great holiday of Samhain – or, as mere humans call it, Halloween. The witches of the Savannah coven are all preparing themselves for their favorite holiday, but on the night when humans and spirits collide, nothing ever goes as planned.

Journey with an angel across the country, with a reaper chasing a soul hiding in someone else’s body, to a haunted hotel, with a reluctant supreme witch who’d rather give her powers to someone else, not to mention eight other wild and intriguing encounters.

Twelve interwoven tales from bestselling and up and coming authors will have you wishing Samhain came more than once a year…

iBooks Buy Link   Amazon Buy Link   Barnes & Noble Buy Link

Here’s the description of Rebekah’s story plus a short excerpt. Remember, there are eleven more stories in the book! Take a look…

Kissed by the Reaper  by Rebekah R. Ganiere
Some loves are worth a battle with both heaven and hell to keep.

Rose committed an unpardonable sin right before she died. As penance, she has been reaping souls for Lucifer for over twenty years. On Halloween night she finds herself in Podunk nowhere ushering souls back to hell when she runs into the mysteriously handsome Gabriel who’s not at all what he seems. After chasing him into a cornfield and battling an angel to get Gabriel’s soul, she leaves with more questions than answers.

Gabriel is an angel hiding out as a jumper. A soul that jumps from body to body to stay hidden on Earth. But when he finds himself mortally wounded there is only one person he can turn to for protection. The feisty and beautiful reaper who tried to kill him the year before.

With Gabriel recuperating in her bed, Rose is summoned by her boss to hell where he makes her a proposal. Find the jumper Gabriel and deliver his soul, and she will be set free. Fail and become Lucifer’s bride forever. It should be an easy choice. Problem is, Gabriel is the first person Rose has been able to touch without scaring to death in the last twenty years. And just his presence has begun to bring back hidden memories from her human life. In the end Rose will have to make the ultimate decision. Choosing Gabriel or choosing herself.

Short Excerpt:

“Did you know there’s a black guy slumped on the floor in the last aisle?” said one.

“What?” Alarm bells went off in her head. “Crap.” The guy from the back door. She’d completely forgotten about him.

Rose rushed to the side of the counter, threw the separator up and raced down the last aisle. The bell tinkled for the front door, but she kept moving.

She found him splayed on the floor, face down. “Dammit.” She knelt by his side and rolled him over. “Hey. Hey, wake up.” She patted his cheek.

His eyes fluttered open and went from hazel to golden and then back again. “Rose.”

Her heart pounded. A Jumper. “Elijah?”

He nodded. No wonder he knew her name.

She threw his arm over her shoulder and helped him into a seated position.

“How did you find me?” She glanced around while trying to get Elijah to his feet. A Jumper, especially a hurt one wasn’t the norm for her. As a Reaper it was her job to play bounty hunter and send Jumpers to hell. They didn’t usually come asking for help. Someone was on his tail.

“I’ve known all year.” Blood dribbled down his chin.

She laced her fingers between his, got him up, and leaned him on the shelf. She needed to move him out of sight and get everyone out of the store. No! She needed to get his butt out of her store. She still bore the scar from her last visit to Lucifer’s pad a year prior when she’d let him slip through her fingers.

“Did you take the angelbreath?” she asked.

He nodded. “The whole container.”

“You gotta leave. Now. At sundown I’ll have to reap you.”

He gaze connected with hers. “I’ve missed you.”

Her gut tightened and the feeling that she knew him from somewhere rushed through her again. All year she’d tried to forget him, but it was hard to forget an angel Jumper. Especially one who looked at her the way he did.

“Ah, damn. Come on.” She half dragged, half carried him toward the front of the store. It was slow and he stumbled several times but they finally made it to the curtain separating the store from the back rooms. She glanced toward the front counter. The goths were gone. So was the merchandise. Stupid girls. They’d pay for stealing from her.

She used her hip to nudge the curtain aside and helped him through the box maze over to a large red chaise lounge. She threw him down on it. He grunted and tried to pull himself into a sitting position.

“What the hell happened to you?” She looked around and located a box of tissues. Pulling out several, she dabbed his mouth, wiping away the blood.


She stopped dabbing. “Reapers plural?”


“Reapers don’t work together.”

He gave her a winning smile. “I’m a special case.”

My Very Own Personal Superhero

Unexpected Superhero cover by Kitty BucholtzWhen I first started writing Unexpected Superhero, the idea was that a woman who is tired of her husband ignoring her (in favor of video games and comic books) creates her very own superhero who will be everything she ever wanted in a man.

I laugh when I tell this story because, yes, it’s true that I was a bit irked at my husband at the time the idea came to me. LOL!

But as I started writing, the story morphed and changed and became about the two of them as they realized she had super powers, too, and how they handled that unexpected twist in their newlywed lives.

Tomorrow is my husband John’s birthday. He really is my very own personal superhero. He has supported me in everything I’ve wanted to do in life, including this very long road between publishing your first book and paying all your bills with your writing. He makes me laugh almost all the time, and he likes to spoil me – just enough so that I don’t become too spoiled. 😉

Superman symbol with a heart

To celebrate my hero’s birthday, I’m putting the ebook of Unexpected Superhero on sale for 25% off October 1-10. Wherever you like to buy ebooks, it’s $2.99 for the next 10 days. (Here are the links for most of the places you like – Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.)

If you haven’t read it yet, keep in mind that there are two “accidental” prologues. :) “Superhero in Disguise” is a free ebook short story about how Tori and Joe met on Halloween, and A Very Merry Superhero Wedding is the novella-length story of how they got married on Christmas Eve. You can get the wedding story for free by signing up for my newsletter (see up at the top right corner of my blog? or click here), so you can actually read all three stories for $2.99 for the next week and a half. :)

I’d love it if you’d share this with your friends on Twitter and/or Facebook! Thanks!

And Happy Birthday, John! 😀

Book Marks: Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore

Drawing FireLast week I finished my friend Janice Cantore‘s newest book, Drawing Fire, book one in the Cold Case Justice series. When I was done, I emailed her with “Wow!” in the subject line and told her this is definitely her best book yet!

The story is categorized as romantic suspense, but I would say it’s more a police book with heart. It’s set in Long Beach, California, where Janice used to be a police officer. The intertwining plot lines are so interesting that I would sometimes forget about one of the story threads when we came back to it because I was so into what was going on with the other threads.

But the whole thing comes together in such a way that you feel a sense of closure and justice. Yet the last page or two gives you a sense of what might be coming in the other books in the series. I’m super excited to read book two and asked Janice WHEN??

But – LOL! – I forgot this book is rather new. It just came out in May, so the next book won’t be released until sometime in 2016. Janice doesn’t have a date yet.

If you’ve been reading my posts about books I’ve read (generally categorized under “Book Marks” here), you know that I like lots of action, I really want to like the characters, and I want the story to pull me smoothly along without me having to stop and try to figure out what’s doing on. If there is a faith element or someone is wondering about or talking to God, I usually like that, too. Drawing Fire gave me all that and more. I fell asleep reading two nights in a row because I really wanted to find out what happened next! I really liked this book!

I don’t give many books 5 stars, only the ones that keep me up at night dying to finish. But this is a 5-star book to me. 😀 I can’t believe I’m going to have to wait 5+ months for the next book in the series!