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VINE VOICEon December 27, 2010
This is not a complete story or even a novella but a promo chapter like you would find at the end of books for the author's next work. The characters are interesting enough: a young teenage girl who went through an awkward stage and now is enjoying her youthful beauty as she tours with a traveling carnival. She helps her paternal grandmother with the fortune telling tent.

This piece abruptly ends with the young girl realizing her shape shifting heritage. The story is too rushed and leaves too many questions unanswered to enjoy. I understand that it was free but it should be labeled as an advertisement for the full length story.
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on December 30, 2010
This short story was MUCH shorter than I expected, and although it started out smoothly enough, piquing my interest, it jumped very quickly to it's resolution... before I really had the chance to figure out what was to be resolved.

I suppose I might give the author's full length books a try, because I'm a second-chance type person, but my first impression is that, although there may a great story in here somewhere, the construction of this tale was sloppy enough to make me wonder if it's worth giving Smith's work another shot.

If I can't find another Kindle freebie by her, I'll probably just go check out one of her books from the library...
but first, I have several dozen more Kindle freebies to get through. ;)
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C. L, Smith is advertised as a New York Times best-selling author. This free amazon kindle book is one of her short stories. A sixteen year old girl, who has just begun to feel her sexual urges and who has begun to love to flirt, is sent by her mother to her grandmother because her mother can't deal with her coming of age. Her grandmother works in a carnival and reads minds. The girl is certain that her grandmother is a fake because no one can really read minds. But then her grandmother leaves her alone to read the minds of customers and she discovers two things. First, she can read minds. It is a skill that runs in her family, from her father's side. This is why her mother could not deal with her and sent her to her father's mother who has this skill. Second, she discovers that she is not only a girl, but also a cat. People can read the tale and understand it literally or see the ability to read minds as a metaphor for her becoming mature and paying attention to and understanding people. Similarly, her being also a cat could mean that she is beginning to recognize and use her ability to flirt.
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on July 18, 2011
Cynthia Leitich Smith's "Cat Calls" story is quite entertaining, but when I got to the end, I didn't realize that I was at the end. I kept trying to go to the next page, but there wasn't a next page.

Tiff gets a chance to sit in for her grandmother who is a fortune teller in a carnival. Tiff seems like an everage teenager, but she sure doesn't feel ready to start telling fortunes from a crystal ball all by herself. A few people come in and she tries very hard to give them a decent fortune, but it doesn't work very well. She calls a woman's son by name and Tiff realizes that this woman never revealed the name to her.

A young man comes in who has a western style of dress, and strange eyes. Tiff feels that he could be looking at her as his dinner...literally. Tiff finally finds out something about this fellow and about herself, and I think from others' reviews there is a book that will answer the questions of what happens to Tiff and the man named Trevor.

It took only about five minutes to read, but with such an abrupt ending it was very frustrating because it really wasn't an ending, it was a teaser for more to come in a book.
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on April 29, 2011
The author set an interesting stage for the story and included good story elements, but the way it was tied together wasn't very good. It was written like a story in a playboy magazine; the descriptions of the characters were superficial, the ending was abrupt, and all in all it was cheesy.

I would really like the author to take a second stab and re-rwite this, I think the premis and characters could work if they were more in-depth. I know that 'short stories' are short, but this was (again) written like a 'letters to penthouse' book than an engaging story.
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on December 27, 2010
Albeit, it was free but it was entirely too short & rushed. \
Has a good premise but no "meat".
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on February 9, 2014
Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith

2.5 stars

Tiffany works at a carnival. Her grandmother is a fortune teller and she's leaving Tiffany on her to discover what she's capable of. Of course, fortune telling may not be the only thing in Tiffany's future. Well this one was rather a let down. Of course, I wasn't expecting much from something so short, but this one was just... weird. I don't mean the concept was weird. No the writing was completely weird. It felt stilled and forced. Just off. It made the story very un-enjoyable. I also had the strangest sense of deja vu when reading. It was just strangely similar to a short story I read in Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction. At least at first it was and then it went in a good direction. I think this would've been better if it was longer and had more depth. More time to really flesh out and create a solid short story or novella.

The main female character is Tiffany. I don't really like her all that much. She calls herself a flirt and does stupid things to mess with the guys at the carnival. It's just weird and I don't think it really needed to be mentioned at all. I wanted to see where the story with her grandmother and father could've went. There was room at the end to have an explanation at some point by her grandmother about who her father was. Really Tiffany was just so underdeveloped that she didn't know who she was or where she came from and since it wasn't touched on, it made Tiffany seem like more a placeholder than an actual character.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 5

Then there was just some random guy who looked like a cowboy named Trevor. He, like Tiffany, had a lot of potential of character development if this would've been longer.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 5

The Villain- kitty

you've read the story this makes total sense.

Villain Scale: 0

So overall it's a quick and easy read. It's free on Kindle Amazon and if you (like me) want to hurry up and complete your 2013 reading challenge this is a quick read that is under 30 minutes.

Cover Thoughts: It's simple and nothing special. Just a basic black cover with the title.
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on October 3, 2015
This was an engaging read about a young girl who goes to spend time with her grandmother, her fathers mother who she wants to get to know better. Her grandmother is a fortune teller for a carnival and when she goes to stay with her and her grandmother leaves her alone to tend to the practice everything in her life changes.
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on April 30, 2016
The short story did make me want to read more. It was interesting and easy to follow from the very beginning. I will look forward to reading more from this author. She knows how to catch and hold the attention of her readers.
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on March 23, 2011
This short story is now available for free from Amazon. Unfortunately I did not realize it was a short story. I started reading it and when I hit the end, I desperately wanted the story to continue. For fans of Cynthia Leitch Smith's Tantalize,Eternal and Blessed, you will love the story. For others who have not read her works it will draw you in. Her writings, in this world she created, are very addictive. It is an amazing short story and it first appeared in a collection from Candlewick Press called: Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical. But I will warn you - this story will make you want to have that whole collection immediately! If you have not read any of her books, get the free download and sample her writings; if you have, you will love this new short story.
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