Monday, October 3, 2016

Hidden Gems: Shonna Slayton

I have with me, today, a lovely author who writes YA historical fiction with a delightful fairy tale twist! I love these novels and I think perhaps you will too! ^_^

Scroll down for a fabulous interview with this author, and enter to win a signed copy of the beautiful Cinderella's Dress!


Introducing ... Shonna Slayton

SHONNA SLAYTON writes historical fairy tales for Entangled TEEN. Cinderella's Dress and Cinderella's Shoes, set in the 1940s are out now. Spindle, a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s, will be out October 2016.

She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

Reasons I Think This Author Is One You Need To Discover:

  • Books are an Intriguing Blend of Fairy Tale & Historical
  • Suspenseful Adventure
  • Clean & Sweet
  • Great Characters
  • Fun, Endearing, Unique
  • If you're a fairy tale-lover & enjoy history, these are for you! ^_^



Being a teenager during World War II is tough. Finding out you're the next keeper of the real Cinderella's dress 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 dress, life gets complicated.

Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart shipped off to boot camp, 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 war may be over, but Kate Allen’s life is still in upheaval. Not only has she discovered that Cinderella was real, but now she's been made Keeper of the Wardrobe, her sole responsibility to protect Cinderella’s magical dresses from the greed of the evil stepsisters’ modern descendants.

But Cinderella’s dresses are just the beginning. It turns out that the priceless glass slippers might actually exist, too, and they could hold the power to reunite lost loved ones like her father—missing in action since World War II ended. As Kate and her boyfriend, Johnny, embark on an adventure from New York to Italy and Poland in search of the mysterious slippers, they will be tested in ways they never imagined.

Because when you harness Cinderella's magic, danger and evil are sure to follow ...

~ Standalones ~

New York City, November 14, 1889. Young newspaper reporter Nellie Bly sets sail on the Augusta Victoria for a trip around the world. She plans to beat Jules Verne’s fictional record from the novel Around the World in Eighty Days. She thinks she can circumnavigate the globe in under seventy-five days, and prove that a woman can do what no man has even tried.

Hours later, and unbeknownst to Nellie, another writer, Elizabeth Bisland boards a train going in the opposite direction attempting to beat Nellie back to New York. Elizabeth is a reluctant player in this high-stakes publicity stunt, but financial needs outweigh her pride.

Neither woman is prepared for what will happen on this trip, or how the race will change her.

**Note: Liz and Nellie is just Historical-Fiction (no Fairy Tale involved)**

Set during the Industrial Revolution, Sleeping Beauty's happily ever after isn't the end of the story ...

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger.

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner ... though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness—and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales … and in the power of a prince’s kiss.


Author Interview

What genre(s) do you write?

Shonna: I primarily write historical fairy tales, where I take a fairy-tale artifact and bring it into a different time and place and see what happens.

Do you have a release date for your next book?

Shonna: My next book, Spindle, is out Oct 4, 2016! I’m so excited about this one—a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s in a cotton mill.

What made you decide to start writing?

Shonna: I’ve always loved books—since before I could read. It was probably fifth grade when I made the connection that I could be a writer. My teacher had been reading so many great books to us—The HobbitWatership Down—and I just had to try my own hand at writing a novel. I wrote a little fan fiction of Watership Down (back before it was called fan fiction!)

Why do you write?

Shonna: Following from the previous question, when I was younger I simply wanted to be a part of this wonderful world of authors and books and libraries and stories. That’s what got me started.

What keeps me going? I love the challenge of grabbing two seemingly disparate ideas and seeing if I can mash them up into a story that makes sense.

I also like that my books can fill that space of bridge books for readers going from the middle grade section up to the YA shelves where topic-heavy books aimed at 17 year-olds are shelved alongside books for 13 year-olds. There can be quite a range of suitable content in that span! Plus, there are those YA readers who want books free from swearing and blush-worthy scenes. My aim is to write for those readers.

What was your hardest book to write, and why?

Each book was hard to write in its own way. DRESS was hard because I was still so new at writing. I wrote it during NaNoWriMo as a panster (no real plan other than some scattered scenes, so I was writing “by the seat of my pants”) then spent the next couple of years trying to figure out the story.

SHOES was hard because I had limited time compared to DRESS. I didn’t have the luxury of years to figure out the story—but I did have the advantage that it was a sequel.

SPINDLE was a different kind of hard in that it was a brand new idea, combined with limited time to write it. I worked really hard on this novel. I’m getting more comfortable with the process, so I’m working on building up my areas of weakness as a writer, and that’s hard. Lot’s of thinking involved!

What writing project are you working on right now?

Shonna: Another historical fairy tale, of course. Still too new to talk about, but it’s another of the “big” fairy tales.

What does your writing process look like?

Shonna: I use Scrivener to write the first draft. I like how flexible it is—I can write down scenes as I think of them and rearrange them quickly in the corkboard view. I tag the four different stages of the novel with various colors to help keep me organized. As I’m writing I go back and forth between research and scenes. As much as I can I try to intertwine the plot with actual history, and the research helps keep writers’ block at bay. Once it goes to my editors everything is done in Word.

Shantelle, thanks so much for featuring me in your Hidden Gems series!

You're welcome, Shonna! So glad you could be here! Can't wait to read more of your fairy tale/historicals, and I hope others will too! *smiles*

Connect Further with Shonna Slayton:


Enter the rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a signed copy of Cinderella's Dress! One Winner. USA ENTRIES ONLY.
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  1. What a fun review, Shantelle! It's so cool to learn more about authors. :D

    These books look so good! I'm definitely entering the giveaway! (Also, that cover of Cinderella's Shoes? GORGEOUS. <3)

    1. Interesting stories! Are there any plans for a Beauty and the Beast retelling?

    2. Thank you, Mary! Yes, it certainly is! :)

      Ah, they really are! I adored Cinderella's Dress & Cinderella's Shoes, and now I'm really excited to read Spindle!

      Best of luck! :D And yes, beautiful cover, I agree!! ^_^

    3. Yes indeed, Rebekah! :) And I don't know, actually. Maybe Shonna Slayton will stop by and answer that question! :)

  2. "Cinderella's Dress" and "Cinderella's Shoes" were good books! :) I want to read "Spindle"

    1. Yes, they were, Natasha! I'm so glad you read them! :D I know, me too!! Sounds really good! ^_^

  3. I've been interested in Shonna Slayton's books for a while! I'll have to check them out, soon! And that cover for *Spindle* is absolutely GORGEOUS!!

    1. You really should, Olivia! I so enjoyed them! One, because I love fairy tales!! <3 And two, I love the WWII era! :D

      It is! I can't wait to read Spindle!

  4. Yay! Shonna Slayton is a great author. I want to read Spindle now.

    1. I agree!! ^_^ Spindle officially released today! EEE! :D

  5. Oooh! I loved "Cinderella's Dress" and "Cinderella's Shoes." The cover on "Spindle"!!!!!! Can't wait to read it some day:) ~Moriah

    1. They were just lovely, weren't they, Moriah? ^_^ I know!! It's so beautiful! Maybe I should buy a copy! ;)

  6. I loved this post, Shantelle! I've been wanting to read Cinderella's dress for awhile - I might just do that now :).

    ~ Savannah

    1. So glad you did, Savannah! :) I hope you will give Cinderella's Dress a try! :D

  7. Replies
    1. They are great books! Well, Cinderella's Dress and Cinderella's Shoes, at least. But I'm excited to read the other two! I hope you will too! :)

  8. Wow, I really want to read this book! It looks so amazing. :)

    1. It is, indeed, Kellyn! I hope you can someday! :)

  9. Thanks for doing this post Shantelle! I have seen these books around and was a little curious, but have not had time to check them out yet.

    1. You're welcome, Polaris! :) I hope you will give them a try soon! :D

  10. Really want too read her books

  11. Her books sound good :) Great post!

  12. Her covers are all so beautiful! :)

  13. Replies
    1. Yes, indeed! Whoever does the cover-designing for Shonna Slayton does a fabulous job! :)