Cover, Excerpt & Book Trailer Reveal
Little Black Box series Book One
Fairy godmothers are not all alike, as Allie Adams is about to find out. When the man of her dreams walks into her life, she’ll need more than the right pair of shoes to win his heart. With the help of a most unusual fairy godmother, Allie just might get everything she wants. Cherrie Mack puts a new twist on an old favorite in Book 1 of the Little Black Box series, My Sister’s Shoes.
When Prince Charming comes looking for the woman who stole his heart at a Manhattan shoe store, he instead finds her stepsister, Allie. Allie doesn’t leave the best impression with the handsome Zach Brady, who quickly dismisses her as the maid. But an unusual fairy godmother with bulging biceps, long hair, and a cool demeanor has plans for her. Can Allie keep herself from falling for the wrong man and convince him to help her snag Zach? This duo quickly learns that sometimes if the shoe fits, the pair could be all wrong.
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Release Date: June 24, 2013
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Purchase links: Liquid Silver Books Amazon ARe B&N
Allie Adams wore black. Her stepsister, Adrienne, wore black as well. But underneath Adrienne’s black trousers and dark purple, man-tailored shirt, she wore red. Allie wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t seen it for herself. A red bra and frilly red panties adorned Adrienne’s beautifully-toned body. Allie thought it said volumes about her phony stepsister.
Thinking about how Gregory called them stepsisters was enough to make her gag. But she supposed it was his way of showing her she belonged. She wouldn’t be mad with Gregory; she couldn’t. Although their time together was short, he was the only father she’d ever known.
The luncheon at Chadwick and Fritz Web Design, one of the many companies he had started, was in honor of Gregory. She had no choice but to attend. Sitting at a table rather than the table was a slight she thought Trudy and Adrienne rather enjoyed. Allie uncrossed her legs and straightened her posture. She was tiring of watching the show in which Adrienne played the devastated little girl—and every man in the room was falling over themselves to console her.
Allie snorted. Gregory Chadwick would think this a mockery. Closing her eyes, she recalled Mr. Slotsky’s words. "Allie, Gregory had no idea Adrienne was his biological daughter. Trudy never told him. She was too busy marrying someone else."
Allie opened her eyes and squirmed in her chair. Fidgety and impatient, she excused herself to go to the powder room for a breather. Trudy shot her a sympathetic smile as she got up to leave. Wench! Once in the ladies room, Allie applied fresh lipstick while glancing at her reflection in the mirror. She really was unnoticeable. Her mousy, light brown hair lacked shine, and her eyes were drab. Her body was lean, but her clothing was outdated and too big. She never put any effort into taking care of herself. When her mother got sick, it was all about her care, and Allie had let herself go.
Taking one more look, Allie wondered why she bothered. Walking into a room where Adrienne was present was like sending a baton thrower into the big parade after the arrival of the winning team. That I’m never on. She shrugged her shoulders at her reflection and wondered when she’d become so angry and despondent. Oh yeah. It was when life yet again kicked me to the curb.
On her way back to the luncheon, Allie stopped. Just on the other side of the double doors applause erupted for the late Gregory Chadwick’s daughter, Adrienne. Unable to bear it, she turned herself around and walked out. She had to make a change, the sooner the better.
* * * *
Allie pulled her long hair up on top of her head and tied it. She had put off cleaning for three days, and it was only a matter of time before Adrienne would say something. After scooting out of the luncheon early, she had decided to clean up before Adrienne came back. She was probably shopping anyway. She hardly missed an opportunity to stop and buy something lavish, and Allie had a hunch she’d reward herself very well for attending the luncheon.
As she finished her cleaning routine, she compensated herself with her favorite cup of peppermint tea. As she blew over the surface to cool it down, she smiled. Ah … the first sip is always the best. Until she heard the chatter. It was a sound Allie knew well, and it told her Adrienne wasn’t alone. Trudy, the evil queen mother, accompanied her daughter home from a hard afternoon of shopping, no doubt. Allie placed her tea cup down on the table without so much as taking a sip and looked longingly at the steam as it rose into the air. Why couldn’t she become like the smoky water and float above all the hot water down below? She pushed her chair back from the kitchen table and walked into the front room.
Both women held more shopping bags than they could handle and had been laughing at the expression on the driver’s face as they made him carry their purchases to the car. Very mature! Trudy smirked at her. "Where did you disappear to?"
"I had cleaning to do." So sorry I ruined your gloating time.
"I should say so. This place was quite untidy this morning. I think my daughter has been very generous to allow you to live here while you study for your boards, but you will need to practice some discipline. Set up a schedule. It might help."
"I’ll take that under advisement."
"Well, good. Before you start to contemplate, I would like some coffee, strong and black," Trudy retorted. Turning her attention to her daughter, her tone changed to sugary sweet. "Would you like a cup of coffee, dear?"
Adrienne was searching through her shopping bags. "No, Mother, I wouldn’t. It wrinkles you. Where is the bag from Tiffany? I want to try on my new watch."
As the two women searched through the day’s purchases, Allie went into the kitchen to brew a cup of strong, black coffee. She ground double the amount of the strongest coffee beans she could find. She giggled. This should knock her into orbit. But just as fast as she smiled, she frowned. The little hairs on her arms stood up as Trudy’s shrill voice echoed through the kitchen. "So? Did you open the little black box yet?" Without turning to face her, Allie shook her head. "Not yet."
"What are you waiting for? Aren’t you dying to find out what Gregory has left you? I, for one, am quite curious. Believe me dear, it was a shock to him when I confessed Adrienne to be his biological child. But I never thought he would cut you out of the will."
Allie swung around and leaned on the counter. "He didn’t cut me out. The will wasn’t up-to-date. It stated that everything would go to charity if he didn’t have an heir. I wouldn’t get anything anyway. Besides, I don’t care about the money."
"Oh? We all say we don’t care, honey. You and your self-sacrificing martyr routine make me sick."
Allie held out her coffee mug. "I’m sorry you feel that way. Here’s your coffee. Can I get you anything else?"
"No. Why don’t you go clean something?"
* * * *
Allie had been studying when she heard Adrienne screaming for her. "Allie! Allie, quick!" Running into the living room, Allie found Trudy lying on the couch, flat on her back. "What’s wrong?"
"My mother says her heart is racing. I called 911 already, but she looks worse."
Allie’s eyes went wide. "What? I’m a nurse—almost. Why didn’t you call me sooner?"
"I told her not to," Trudy snapped. "Don’t touch me, Allie. You’re not a nurse yet. Besides, you’re used to people dying. I refuse to die."
Allie rolled her eyes. It figures.
As the paramedics arrived, Adrienne’s actress came out of hiding. "Please. My mother is sick. She’s all I have in the world." A paramedic rushed to her side. Allie interjected, "I think she just has a mild case of—"
"Excuse me." The paramedic pushed her aside. "Don’t worry, miss. We’ll take care of her."
"Thank you. Thank you so much," Adrienne said in her fake breathy voice.
Allie sat on the end of the couch as they tended to Trudy. Watching the scene unfold had her stomach in knots. The emergency personnel decided a trip to the emergency room was the best course of action, allowing them more time to fawn over Adrienne, no doubt. In a whirlwind of activity, Allie was once again left to clean up the mess.
* * * *
After carrying the packages to Adrienne’s bedroom, Allie was left holding the bag from Tiffany. She stared at it and then let her curiosity get the better of her. Inside the signature blue bag, she discovered a diamond-encrusted watch. She blew out a breath and sank to the luxurious carpet. Why should she get everything? And all Allie had received was a little black box that she refused to open. Allie was running her fingertips over the diamonds surrounding the face of the watch when the phone rang.
Grabbing the receiver, Allie sighed. "Hello," she said unenthusiastically.
"Hello, Allie. This is George downstairs. There is a Mr. Zach Brady here looking for a Miss A. Chadwick. Shall I send him up?"
Sometimes people think I’m a Chadwick. "Did he say Allie or Adrienne?"
"He didn’t specify, miss. Shall I inquire?"
"No, that’s okay, George. Send him up."
Allie smoothed the stray hair away from her face and looked down at her clothing. She was a mess. Did it really matter that she smelled like cleaning products? Probably not. It was probably for Adrienne anyway since she wasted no time in changing her name. The buzzer sounded, indicating the arrival of Zach Brady. When Allie opened the door, she was stunned.
Zach Brady stood at least six feet two and towered over her petite five feet five height. Chiseled features of a distinguished nature and a prominent cleft in his chin threw Allie’s heart into overdrive. It began to pound so loudly in her chest that she clasped her hand over it for fear he would hear the thumping. Oh, my Greek God!
"Can I help you?" she asked as she desperately tried to look appealing. He gave her a smile that sent flames shooting through her body and landing in the pit of her stomach. And then he looked past her as if she wasn’t there.
"I am looking for Miss Chadwick. Perhaps you can let her know Mr. Zach Brady would like to speak with her."
When his gaze met hers once again, she stammered, "She’s not here at the moment. Can I leave her a message?" She recognized the look of disappointment in his expression.
He sighed and held out a shoebox. "Can you please give her this box and tell her that Mr. Zach Brady feels she deserves these beautiful shoes. Tell her that she is not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well."
Seriously? Her sarcastic smirk was evident, but quickly changed to complete mortification when he said, "Are you permanent or are you from a service?"
She stared at him. Was he serious? Did he really think she was the maid? "Part-time, but I’m always looking for more hours," she said without thinking it through. Why would she say such a stupid thing? Maybe because you’re gonna need a job?
"I see. Please make sure she gets them. I attached my business card. It has my personal cell phone number on the back."
"Sure. I’ll make sure she gets it."
"Thank you. And your name?"
"My name is Alli…son."
"Thank you, Allison. That is a beautiful name. By the way, I hope I’m not being offensive, but I’m actually looking for someone right now. If you need some extra hours, maybe we can work something out. I can speak to Miss Chadwick if you’d like."
"Uh … she doesn’t share well. Not her employees, anyway. Can I call you on the side perhaps, and maybe we can arrange for an interview?"
"Sure. Sounds great. Don’t wait too long, though. I’m kind of all over the place, and my house gets quite unorganized."
"Sure. I’ll call soon." Like never.
"It was nice meeting you, Allison." And with those last words, Zach Brady left Allie standing in the doorway holding a shoebox in one hand and her heart in the other.
Purchase links: Liquid Silver Books Amazon ARe B&N
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