Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cinderella's Dress by Shonna Slayton Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop in CINDERELLA'S DRESS Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Today we have a Guest Post & an awesome Tour-Wide Giveaway.

 Cinderella's Dress

Cinderella's Dress
Published: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen  
Genres: Young Adult, Historical 

Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dresses is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she's working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dresses, life gets complicated.

Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart, Johnny, stuck in the middle of battle, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.

After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.

The ups and downs of writing a Fairytale Retelling novel.

The fairy tale genre is such a strong one. There are so many good authors writing in this space, from Gail Carson Levine to Robin McKinley and Cameron Dokey. Jackson Pierce, Melanie Dickerson, and Jessica Day George. They set a pretty high bar for the aspiring authors following in their footsteps.

I felt I needed to do something different to distinguish my work. Instead of retelling a story from beginning to end, I took a piece of the Cinderella fairy tale (the dress) and gave it a bit of a life of its own. Passing the dress down from generation to generation, I could give it all sorts of adventures.

And secondly, I added real history to the fairy tale. This particular move was both a good and bad decision.


The good was that the historical setting gave me a framework to play with. I had to find true events to carry my characters. In the backstory, before chapter one, I have the current Keeper of the Wardrobe living in Poland when WWII breaks out in 1939. This is the impetus for moving the dress at that particular time. But they don’t arrive on Kate’s doorstep until Spring of 1944. In my mind, I have them traveling throughout Europe helping to hide Jewish children. They make their way to one of the last ships leaving India which takes them to California. To make sure this could happen, I found their ship, a brief description of the trip, even what they ate for their first meal.

It’s a lot of fun finding these puzzle pieces, and it really helped to make my characters more real to me. To a large extent the plot becomes driven by real-world events, and how the characters respond to them.

I keep two Pinterest boards for images related to
1940’s Home Front and 1940’s New York. I wish Pinterest had been around back when I started writing this. It makes it so easy for a quick reference. Here’s a peek at them:

1940’s New York:

Follow Shonna Slayton--YA Author's board 1940s: New York on Pinterest.

1940’s Home Front:

Follow Shonna Slayton--YA Author's board 1940s: Home Front on Pinterest.


Which leads to the bad about writing historicals….you spend a lot of time doing research. A lot of time. (Which I love to do, but it can be all consuming.) I read every book on WWII I could get my hands on. I even bought 1940’s Seventeen magazines off of Ebay to help get a feel of the teenage culture of the times.

Sometimes the constraints of history are frustrating. My story is bookended by two major events in the 1940’s. One being so major it affects the entire novel, and that is WWII. The other was a fashion bomb that went off in the late 1940’s which influenced fashion for decades. This made me stretch out the timeline a bit more than I would have liked, but I honestly could not think of a better way to do lay out the timeline than what I did. When writing a book about a famous dress, and a main character who works in a high-end department store in fashion, it would be unthinkable for me to leave out the New Look by Dior.

Overall, I’d do it again. It was fun to play with history, adding a little fairy tale magic along the way.

Shonna Slayton finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. While writing Cinderella’s Dress she reflected on her days as a high-school senior in British Columbia when she convinced her supervisors at a sportswear store to let her design a few windows—it was glorious fun while it lasted. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.


6/2/2014- Zach's YA Reviews- Review
6/2/2014- Dark Novella- Excerpt
6/3/2014- Angelic Book Reviews- Review
6/3/2014- Pages From My Thoughts- Interview
6/4/2014- YA Book Madness- Review
6/4/2014- The Cover Contessa- Guest Post
6/5/2014- Crossroad Reviews- Review
6/5/2014- Such a Novel Idea- Guest Post
6/6/2014- The NerdHerd Reads- Review
6/6/2014- Fire and Ice- Excerpt


6/9/2014- Racing To Read- Review
6/9/2014- Paranormal Book Club- Interview
6/10/2014- The Phantom Paragrapher- Review
6/10/2014- Addicted Readers- Guest Post
6/11/2014- Creating Serenity- Review
6/11/2014- Every Free Chance Book Reviews- Interview
6/12/2014- Si, Se Puede **link with YA Books Central review- Review
6/12/2014- A Backwards Story- Guest Post
6/13/2014- The YA's Nightstand- Review
6/13/2014- Curling Up With A Good Book- Excerpt

Event Organized By:
 RockStar Book Tours


  1. Alicia, thanks for having me on your blog today. You gave me a great topic to talk about! BTW, I really like your pile of books there on the left sidebar. Is that a plugin? What a handy way to keep track of the books you've read.

  2. I haven't heard of this before but it sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I grabbed a Time Life book on WWII and the home front earlier in the week at the library because of this book.

  4. Cinderella's Dress sounds like a fantastic read!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com


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