You might remember that I used to be one of the founders and bloggers on Routines for Writers, a blog that ran for five years with my friends Stephanie Shackelford and Shonna Slayton. The three of us have been friends since the 1990s (!) and we've written a lot of words together. But nothing is more exciting than seeing the words you wrote – or in this case, that your friend wrote – in a book!
Shonna's first book, Cinderella's Dress, was released by Entangled Teen last year, and its sequel, Cinderella's Shoes, came out TODAY! YAY! To celebrate, Shonna wrote a cool blog post about Cinderella's stepsisters, and below that is a short excerpt from the book. I hope you enjoy it!
The Descendants of Cinderella’s Stepsisters
by Shonna Slayton
What great villains Cinderella’s stepsisters make. They are the ultimate mean girls, given permission for their awfulness by their own mother.
In adapting the classic Cinderella tale to my 1940s novels, the descendants of the stepsisters had to be involved.
In Cinderella’s Dress, readers are introduced to one line of stepsisters, headed by the matriarch Ludmilla. I just love this name for a villain, even though it means “loved by the people.” She has sons who do her bidding for her and inadvertently tip Kate off to the potential power of the shoes.
In Cinderella’s Shoes, I get to introduce the other line of the stepsisters and their matriarch, Malwinka. Another great name for a villain. The “w” is pronounced like a “v.” Malwinka is firmly ensconced in the power struggle happening in Poland after World War II.
The two stepsisters (they still call each other that even though many generations have gone by since the originals) are quite different in their attitudes and approach to the Cinderella legacy.
Kate is unsure who she can trust in this game of cat and mouse, but she is determined to find the missing glass slippers and use them to find out what happened to her dad. But her obsession and willingness to walk the edge threatens to put a wedge between her and her boyfriend Johnny. Travels and adventures ensue in this sequel, and the conclusion, to the Cinderella’s Dress series.
Excerpt – Cinderella's Shoes: Chapter Two pp 14-16
“I don’t mean to be disrespectful, Kate, but short of finding Cinderella’s missing slippers, I don’t know how your brother will find anything new. It’s been—”
Kate held up her hand. “It’s been too long. That’s what everyone keeps saying. But Mom and I can’t quite believe it. She still won’t look through Dad’s things that the army returned. She’s still hoping… Wait. Why would you mention the slippers?”
Johnny looked sheepish. “That’s what those Burgosov men said. I know they were trying to trick you, but why would they come up with that particular lie? They didn’t seem like the brightest fellows, so maybe they let the truth slip out.”
Kate leaned back and stared at the ceiling. That was exactly what she had been thinking. “Did I make a mistake?”
“You followed your intuition, and it paid off. They didn’t have the slippers, and they didn’t know about your dad. Doesn’t mean the shoes aren’t real.”
“I wish I could talk to them again.”
“The guys in jail? You’re kidding, right? Why don’t you just ask Princess Kolodenko?”
“I did, but she told me the shoes were lost to the family. The Burgosovs are the only ones who can help.”
Johnny gaped at her. “Do you hear what you’re saying? You want to risk talking to those criminal brothers to get information on a pair of fairy-tale shoes that don’t belong to you, and whose owner seems to be satisfied that they’re gone. She’s not even looking for them, is she?”
Princess Kolodenko didn’t have the need that Kate did. One of her granddaughters had died in the war, but they knew what happened to her. There was no mystery for them to solve. No need to risk anything. Kate raised her eyebrows in a look that she hoped said, Yes, it sounds foolish, but I’m going to do it anyway.
Johnny laughed. “Anyone hearing us outside this room would think we were loony.”
Kate smiled, and soon began laughing herself.
Johnny sobered. He leaned forward and searched Kate’s eyes. “How do you think the shoes will help you find your dad? Didn’t the prince have to go door to door until he found Cinderella?”
The last of the laughter floated out of Kate. “I don’t know. I thought maybe if I wore them, they would guide me to him.” She cringed. “Silly, right? But the dress is unusual. What if the shoes are, too? What if they do find people? I have this crazy connection to a fairy-tale family; I should be able to use it when I need help.”
“Okay,” he said. “I’m in. Whatever you need me to do.”
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About the Author
SHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novels Cinderella's Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella's Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. 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.
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