Cat Tiorney discovers a leprechaun who can repair her best shoes and create even more magical ones. Even more interesting, the little man stashes leprechaun gold in a most unusual place. But once she’s paid him with her body, can she save him from a St. Patrick’s Day curse?
Praise for Shoe Repair (Celtic Magic 3)
"Loved it! So this was interesting, but really good too. It definitely makes you think about looking below the surface of someone and seeing what is inside and who they truly are."
-- 5 Stars from Tapnchica, Amazon Review
"Perfect St. Patrick's day read! It even stars a Leprechaun and his gold!"
-- 5 Stars from Jennifer, Amazon Review
"This was a very well-written story. The plot was very intriguing. I couldn't put the book down. This was written by a new to me author."
-- 5 Stars from Aineenmarie, Amazon Review
"What an interesting short read. Cat is vain, obnoxious,selfish and just not a nice person. She thinks only of herself and appearances. But in just a few day time she does a 180. Thanks to a broken heel. This book will have you thinking of shoes, gold coins and back rooms the whole time."
-- 4 Stars from Marsha Hunt, Amazon Review
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Shoe Repair (Celtic Magic 3)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2023 Siondalin O'Craig
“So, um, is this guy any good?” I asked awkwardly to fill the moment, nodding my head toward the door.
“Oh, is he ever,” sighed the youngest, just stepping out onto the sidewalk. One of the other women elbowed her hard and they erupted in laughter. They swirled around me and walked on down the sidewalk, humming and chatting and cooing amongst themselves. I watched them walk off. Something about the way they bumped shoulders, laughing together, tugged at something in my heart. As if it were possible that a group of frowsy women of the sort who had their shoes fixed might have something I was missing.
I shook my head and dismissed the thought. Not possible, I reminded myself. My life is perfect.
“Well, then,” I said aloud, steeling myself to go in. “Fine.” I pushed open the low wooden door. It was heavier than I expected and groaned on its wrought iron hinges. A set of brass bells jingled as the door swung inward, then jingled again as it moaned shut behind me, shutting out the light. I blinked against the dark silence and the woodsmoke-filled air.
Once through the doorway I could stand upright, but not by much. A haze of blue woodsmoke swirled just above my head under the low stucco ceiling.
Nor was there much room to move amidst the stacks of leather, shoe forms, cobbler’s benches, racks of hammers, and shelves and shelves and shelves covered with shoes. Stacks of them, boots and pumps and loafers and even a few worn pairs of sneakers. Next to the counter, oddly out of place, hung a single small rack of shoelaces in shiny plastic packages.
“Hello?” I called tentatively, fighting back claustrophobia and trying not to touch anything. “Anybody here?”
“Anybody here, anybody here,” came a loud mocking voice with a gritty Irish brogue. “Next she’ll be saying, Ooo, I didn’t see you there.”
The voice emanated from behind the dusty countertop. I peered over it and spied the top of a man’s head. A short man, hardly clearing the counter, with bushy hair nearly the same color as his absurdly comical red cap, a clean-shaven face, a shirt that may have once been white tucked into olive trousers held up by a huge black belt with a square brass buckle. On his feet were odd square-toed black boots. He reminded me of an elf. Not necessarily in a good way.
I bit my tongue to refrain from saying ‘I didn’t see you there.’
“I’d like these shoes repaired,” I said, pulling the flannel-wrapped Spanish stilettos out of their box and handing them over. “And I’m in a bit of rush. Need them by the seventeenth.”
“Of course you do. Why else would you be here?” He grabbed the shoes in their flannel bags and threw them onto a shelf behind him which was already precarious piled with slipping, jumbled pairs of shoes.
I gasped aloud. “Aren’t you going to look at them?”
“Bah!” He grimaced. “Purple. Spanish. Royal-made. Heel snapped. What’s there to look at?”
“How did you…”
“Shoes are my business. My business. My business.”
“I need them. The seventeenth,” I tried again. “An event. A very, very important event. They have to match. An event. An event.” Oh God, I thought, why did I say that? That almost came out sounding like him.
“I’ve got lots of shoes in back.”
“Yes, but, see, I need these shoes, these particular shoes, these are special shoes…”
“Special shoes? I’ll show you special shoes. Special shoes are in the back.”
He stepped out from behind the counter in a rolling shuffle, raising his arm in what might have been a gesture of invitation. He was an ugly little gargoyle, with a stiff pointed little nose and bushy eyebrows. The top of his head barely reached the height of my hipbone. I felt my irritation rising, and claustrophobia was wrapping around me like an unwanted hug.
But I had to admit I was curious. What would special shoes look like to a… a creature like this who had just so casually dismissed my prize pair, a pair that sold for probably ten times what this guy made in a year?
“You wanna come in the back?” His voice was curt, insistent.
He crossed his arms.
“You gotta say it,” he said.
He raised his eyebrows, pushed his lips together in exaggerated disbelief at my stupidity, and circled his fingers in my direction, like he was pulling the words out of me.
I looked straight into his face for the first time. His bright blue eyes shone under those bushy eyebrows, piercing me with a look that was both intense and incredulous, like he was looking right through me and seeing something else entirely. For an instant, they disarmed me.
But I had no clue what he was getting at, and I felt my patience with this irritating gnome evaporating. I broke away from his powerful gaze. “You mean, say I want to come in the back?”