{Review/Giveaway} AFTER THE BALL by Sarah Cross

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the book that spawned AFTER THE BALL!

Check out today's guest post, The Fairy Tale Princess You Don't Want to Be, with author Sarah Cross!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

MIDNIGHT ARRIVED, on the third and final night of the ball, and Dusty’s enchanted gown started shedding flowers. 

Flowers fell from her dress as she ran down the hotel staircase. She lost one of her golden shoes, but didn’t go back for it, because the prince was behind her, yelling “Wait!” in that desperate, confused way that didn’t sound like him at all. The golden strands of her hair were reverting to their natural black, and as she ducked into the waiting limo, she covered her head with her hands, as if she could hold on to her disguise. 

The flowers trailed her all the way to her bedroom in the attic, where she curled up on the floor, panic racing through her. What had she done? How had this happened? 

The prince wasn’t supposed to have feelings for her. It was too fast, they were too different, he wasn’t her type. And maybe that had felt less true while they were together … but that was the magic, making everything seem special. She’d been caught up in the moment. They both had. 

The dolls from her dead mother’s doll collection regarded her with their cold, plastic eyes. Kewpies and Barbies and American Girl dolls. Hearty porcelain toddlers in faux-velvet coats. Dusty let her gaze move from one doll to another, to the cardboard boxes stacked in the shadows, and the dingy clothesline that served as her closet. The familiar decrepitude of the attic made those three nights at the ball seem like they’d happened to someone else. 

She was hidden now, safe. She didn’t have to face him, or decide anything.

(Page 2, US .pdf edition)

AFTER THE BALL is a gorgeous way to give you a taste of Sarah Cross and her beautiful way of bringing fairy tales to life through her lyrical writing style.  I could wax poetic about this forever.  I wish there were more gems like this for me to devour because I'm not ready to leave the world of Beau Rivage just yet!  Sarah Cross has so much more to offer us, and I can't wait to follow her career in the future.

You can read AFTER THE BALL without reading KILL ME SOFTLY.  Cross takes care to reflect on the unusual town of Beau Rivage, whose citizens are cursed to reenact fairy tales, whether they like it or not.  In Dusty's case, she does not.  She knows that she's destined to be a Cinderella, and she knows that a popular boy named Max is a Prince Charming.  Her two stepsisters are in love with Max despite knowing little about him.  Dusty wants to get back at her stepsisters for always being so cruel, but she never expects Max to come after her...

This is still a tale of Cinderella, only in a world both surreal and modern.  It also features roots from some of the older versions of the tale that aren't as well-known as the "Disney Version."   It's darker, grimmer, and yet there's still something utterly enchanting about it.  Our Cinderella isn't a wide-eyed dreamer, either.  She doesn't want to fall for a prince she knows nothing about, which is a problem many people have with the original tale.  The things she does to make sure her Prince Charming doesn't realize she's the girl he danced with at the ball add a new twist to the story we all know and love.  This is also the first time I've seen a Cinderella named Dusty, and I rather enjoyed that fresh take a lot!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:


But the included illustrations by Oona Pohjolainen with the .pdf file are LOVELY!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Sarah Cross
Release Date: Out now unknown 2012]
Publisher: Sarah Cross
Received: Free Online Read

AFTER THE BALL is a short story set in Beau Rivage, a city where fairy tales come to life, and ancient stories are played out again and again. You can read more about the cursed fairy-tale characters of Beau Rivage in KILL ME SOFTLY.


Sarah Cross is giving away one audiobook of KILL ME SOFTLY, read by Kim Mai Guest!

Please make sure you've also filled out the Giveaway Registration Form
we're using during the event for all winners!

Open to US/CA citizens at least 13 years old.

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