Monday, April 12, 2010

The Cinderella Curse by J.L. Penn

What happens when a cursed woman turns into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight? Find out in this humorous novella, The Cinderella Curse by J.L. Penn. Fiction For Dessert presents an excerpt from Penn's newest work. If you like what you read here, you can purchase the entire novella at or the online ebook source, Smashwords ( for only 99 cents! What a deal for a fun read! And now we give you, The Cinderella Curse . . .


My name is Cindy, and that may be the problem. Then again, it doesn’t really matter because knowing the reason doesn’t change the circumstances. I mean, knowing an earthquake is coming doesn’t keep it from happening, right? My life had always been a bit of a fairy tale – popular cheerleader in school, legs too long not to notice, more male suitors than I had time to reject – until one fateful autumn afternoon.

I was walking through an apple orchard one day, picking apples naturally, when I came upon a witch. Well, I didn’t know she was a witch at the time of course. It’s not like they wander around with long black dresses and pointy hats. In retrospect, the crooked nose, the “Something wicked this way comes” t-shirt, and the apples could have been a clue though.

At any rate, this woman was hogging what appeared to be the best apple tree in the orchard. Every time I’d try to lean in for a pluck, she would be right there in front of me. So I decided to grab one of the little ladders the orchard provides and go for the loftier apples. This strategy seemed to work as she busily snatched apples just below me, until I accidentally dropped my basket on her head. It wasn’t full or anything, but nonetheless, it seemed she was none too pleased to be clocked on the head by a basket of apples.

After a startled jump and a vigorous rubbing of her head, she began ranting at me incoherently. At least, I thought it was incoherent, but apparently it was witch speak for “you are now cursed.” I apologized profusely, not entirely sure she understood what I was saying, but she just continued with the ranting. Eventually I had to just leave.

On my way out of the orchard, I stopped to check out a cute little pumpkin that would make a perfect jack-o-lantern, but it was really too early to be buying Halloween pumpkins. I picked it up though, rolled it around in my hands, and admired its perfect shape. Now maybe that was indeed the problem. Perhaps the curse was that the next thing I touched would be what I would turn into – it’s hard to say what the semantics of the spell may have been. All I know is that ever since that fateful encounter – and you have to agree that it was pretty fateful – I turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight. I don’t mean that figuratively, even if there were a figurative way to mean it. I’m not even talking about my skin getting a bad airbrush tan hue to it. I’m talking full-on bulbous pumpkin. So here I am a grown woman living every night in fear of becoming a gourd. If I was sixteen, I’d swear my parents put the old witch up to it in order to keep me honest. But I’m not, so you can see the crimp this sort of hex puts on a social life.


About the author:
My name is Jenn and I am an author I suppose. As I say in my blog, I have absolutely no professional writing training or credits prior to Reunion so if you don't like my work, I've got a good excuse; but if you do, then I must actually have some talent. My current writing credits include Reunion, a critically acclaimed Facebook inspired chick lit novel, and The Cinderella Curse, my new novella.

I live in the suburbs of Maryland with my husband and daughter. Although a Mom first and foremost, I wear many hats at this point in time. I am a part-time project controls specialist, president of the local MOMS Club, and manager of two rental properties in addition to being a writer and the sole marketer of my own work. When I'm not busy with any one or all of those things (which isn't often), I enjoy reading, cooking, scrapbooking, traveling, romantic comedies, games, and music. My all-time favorite TV show is Seinfeld and my favorite movie is Christmas Vacation. If it's not obvious, I hold comedy in the highest regard and my own brand smacks of dry wit and sarcasm. I love spending time with friends, and I am a firm believer in charity. I was raised to believe that if you don't share your blessings, you'll lose them, and I feel that way to this day. "Look on the bright side" and "this too shall pass" are two of my favorite mantras that I take to heart and don't hesitate to dole out as advice. I guess you could say I'm quirky and creative yet terribly traditional with a penchant for finding humor in the everyday.

You can find me online most all of the time these days ... Facebook, Twitter, MobileRead, Kindleboards, Amazon Kindle forum, and of course my blog ( I have a fan page on Facebook where I always love to hear from readers. And if you're looking for the very latest on whatever I happen to be working on, visit my website at As always, thanks for reading!

JLPenn The Blog

1 comment:

J.L. Penn said...

Just popping in to say hi. It's always exciting to see one of your books featured someplace new. Thanks so much for the feature, Karen! :)