by Kristina Meister
Date Released: July 2, 2018
About Cinderella Boy
Being perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Sixteen-year-old Declan is the perfect son . . . except for one tiny issue. When his sister Delia comes home to find him trying on her clothes, he fears her judgment, but she only fears his fashion choices. One quick makeover later, Declan is transformed into Delia’s mysterious cousin Layla and dragged to the party of the year, hosted by Carter, the most popular boy in school.
When Carter meets Layla, he fumbles to charm her. He adores her sense of humor and her poise. But when she vanishes in the middle of the night, he’s left confused and determined to solve the mystery of who she is.
As their school year begins, their high school embraces a policy of intolerance, and both Declan and Carter know they must stand up. Carter is tired of being a coward and wants to prove he can be a knight in shining armor. Declan is sick of being bullied and wants desperately to be himself. If they team up, it could be a fairy-tale ending, or a very unhappy ever after.
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An Excerpt from Cinderella Boy
“Hi, I’m Carter. This is my party.”
She blinked at him, unmoved and more stunning close-up.
“You’re Layla, Delia’s guest.” When she still said nothing, he waved his beer expressively, and as the words “She’s my ex-girlfriend” came out of his mouth, he kicked himself.
The dark head turned away, concealing a face that was even lovely when unimpressed. “I know who you are.”
“Um . . .” For the first time in his life, he had no idea what to say. “You want the fire on?”
“That’ll certainly make for an interesting evening when the football team finds it through the bottom of a vodka bottle.”
He snickered and looked at the back of her neck, finally understanding what swanlike meant. His mouth dried up, and his brain ground to a noisy halt. If Delia were here, she’d make fun of him, and he’d laugh and feel like a human being again, instead of a robot with a gear loose.
“Can we start over?”
She examined him. Her eyes were unreadable, depthless, and when he couldn’t tear free of them, they vanished in a fanning of long lashes.
“Give it a shot.”
“Hi, I’m Carter. It’s nice to meet you, and normally I’m not a giant douche.”
“Good to hear. Have a seat.”
“I hope Delia has only said good things.”
“It’s a double standard, right?”
“What do you mean?”
Her brow lifted. “What women say about a man matters, while a girl could be a complete bitch, and guys would line up.”
“Men don’t have trust issues.”
Layla laughed out loud and shook her head. “You are so full of shit, Carter Who-is-not-usually-a-giant-douche.”
He grinned and recalibrated. This was not going to be a normal conversation. Layla was a different breed.
“Okay, you got me. We just think with our dicks. But that is genetic and can’t be helped! It’s as embarrassing and inexplicable to us as it should be, I promise! It’s like when we hit twelve, we lose our minds.”
She leaned back and eyed him. “Is that when you start pulling girls’ hair?”
“Yes. We have no idea why we do it! It’s like this bizarre compulsion that controls our hands. And when they get mad at us, we hate ourselves, but we still can’t stop.” He squeezed the air and made a face that she seemed to find amusing.
“So when do you stop being idiots?”
“I’ll let you know.”
She took a sip of her hard lemonade. “See, this is one reason why Disney is so bad for young minds.”
“Oh?” He leaned back and relaxed. How he could do that with so many butterflies swarming in his gut, he had no idea, but she somehow managed to inspire both.
“Disney says the prince is supposed to just ride around on his white horse scanning the horizon for a poor shoeless damsel who fits. That all that matters is meeting a pretty princess and spawning a bunch of dukes. And the damsel is supposed to wait to be found. What he’s actually doing is riding around tugging on braids, violating the personal space bubble, until he meets the girl who breaks his nose and puts him in the Friend-zone. He doesn’t give a good god damn what shoe size she is. And she probably doesn’t care about her shoes at all.”
“You’re not wearing shoes,” he pointed out helpfully.
“But if I pull your hair, will you sock me?”
“Right in the face.”
“And the Friend-zone is a real place?”
“Glad we skipped all that. I was getting tired of being an aimless, if utterly charming, prince.”
She pressed her mouth down on a wry smile. “No, you’d prefer to get ahead of yourself.”
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
She looked away coolly. He’d touched a nerve, and if he weren’t so eager to know the answer, he’d have felt bad about it.
About Kristina Meister
Kristina Meister is an author of fiction that blurs genre. There’s usually some myth, some mayhem, and some monsters. While Kristina’s unique voice and creative swearing give life to dialogue, her obsession with folklore and pop culture make for humor and complexity.
She and her mad-scientist husband live in California with their poodles Khan and Lana, and their daughter Kira Stormageddon, where they hoard Nerf toys, books, and swords—in case of zombie apocalypse.
Connect with Kristina
To celebrate the release of Cinderella Boy, Kristina is giving away a canvas swag bag (with cover art) that includes a t-shirt, an engraved pen, and a tiara! (Yes, really!) Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 7, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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