I’ve been looking for a place for fairy-tale fandom to gather and haven’t seen a one-stop shop like what I’m envisioning…so I joined forces with author Ashlee Willis and we created a group on Facebook. Groups are different from profiles or pages in that all members can start a discussion. I’d like our group to be a place that we can talk about upcoming fairy tale news, learn about unique fairy tale items for sale on etsy, learn how to build fairy gardens, hosts some contests, etc. We’re hoping to get things started and have you all join with us and keep it going. *I know you want to talk about the new Beauty and the Beast movie.*

It’s a closed group, so you have to ask for membership. (I’m just hoping to keep out the single guys looking for dates.)

Check it out here: Fairy-tale Forum

Spindle Playlist

December 5, 2016

I’m frequently asked about my playlist.

Many authors curate a list of songs to play while writing their novels. These songs can help set the tone for an exciting scene, for instance, such as a dramatic piece from a movie soundtrack. Or a love song can help the author create a romantic mood while writing the scene where the love interests finally declare their affections.

For Spindle, I tried to find old-timey music for my muse, but the further you go back in history, the harder it is to find music with a beat to keep you writing. However, I do mention three songs in Spindle: a hymn, an Irish reel, and a popular song from the era. If you are familiar with the songs, they’ll add a richness to your reading experience.

1. “It is Well” by Horatio Spafford from 1876.

This song becomes even more meaningful when you learn about the tragedy that led to it being penned. The short video below tells the story:

2. The Irish Farewell Reel.

During the Great Famine in Ireland in the early 1800s many Irish emigrated to other countries. When they left for North America, friends and family would play a farewell reel, calling it an American wake. They knew they’d never see their loved ones again. I couldn’t find a youtube video for it, but here is the story of it told in song: “American Wake” by The Elders.


3. “Daisy Bell,” otherwise known as “A Bicycle Built for Two” is such a cute, fun song from the era.

Here is a barbershop quartet version of the song:

And the original 1894 song from a phonograph:

(Note: This blog was adapted from a stop on my Spindle Blog Tour. You can read the original along with an excerpt here: Kindle & Me.)

Spindle Goodreads Giveaway!

November 29, 2016

Giving away a signed first edition copy. Enter here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Spindle by Shonna Slayton


by Shonna Slayton

Giveaway ends December 12, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

How do you choose?!? The library is burning and you can only rescue one book. In this video I talk about the one book I would save, plus which books two of my characters in my new book, Spindle, would save.

I got a little carried away with this video on two fronts:

1. I had some fun with it. An actress I am not, but my teens say it’s not too embarrassing and it was okay for me to post it. *eep!*

2. I also created an ebook version of Briar’s one book selection. I’m giving it away as a thank you for signing up for my new release mailing list. If you are already on my list and want this book, just send me an email asking for the code.

Spindle Blog Tour

October 10, 2016



Tour giveaway: Signed first-edition copies of Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes (Oct 3 – Oct 14)

SPINDLE by Shonna Slayton for web

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.

The tour is hosted by Chapter By Chapter.

October 3, 2016 – Verbosity Reviews – Review
October 3, 2016 – A Book Addict’s Bookshelves – Guest Post “Inside the Mind of an Author”
October 3, 2016 – Lori’s Little House of Reviews – Spotlight
October 4, 2016 – Books,Dreams,Life – Spotlight
October 4, 2016 – Books Are My Fandom – How to Make a Fairy Tale Your Own Story
October 4, 2016 – Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps – Review
October 5, 2016 – Library of a Book Witch – Review
October 5, 2016 – Laura’s Interests – Review
October 6, 2016 – A Dream Within A Dream – Review
October 6, 2016 – Rattle the Stars – Review
October 6, 2016 – Fictional Fetish – Non-Spoiler Review
October 7, 2016 – Becca’s Book Affair – Review
October 7, 2016 – Kindle and Me – Spindle Play List

**Weekend Break**

October 10, 2016 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review
October 10, 2016 – Kayl’s Krazy Obsession – Excerpt
October 10, 2016 – Jennifer M. Eaton – Interview: Breathing Life into a Well-Known Fairy Tale
October 11, 2016 – Kimber Leigh Writes – Interview
October 11, 2016 – Book Briefs – Review
October 11, 2016 – Omg Books and More Books – Review
October 12, 2016 – The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt
October 12, 2016 – Kendra Loves Books – Review
October 12, 2016 – Taking It One Book at a Time – Review
October 12, 2016 – Becky on Books – Interview
October 13, 2016 – Book-Keeping – Spotlight
October 13, 2016 – The Alchemy of Ink – Review
October 13, 2016 – WS Momma Readers Nook – Top Ten Snacks for Writing a Novel
October 13, 2016 – Seraphina Reads – Dream Cast
October 14, 2016 – jrsbookreviews – Review
October 14, 2016 – Girl vs Books – Spotlight
October 14, 2016 – Chapter by Chapter – Interview
October 14, 2016 – A Thousand Words A Million Books – Review


YASH is now over. Thanks for your interest! Follow YAScavengerHunt on Twitter to be notified when the Spring hunt starts!


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Spindle Booktube Video

September 23, 2016

We are two weeks out from the October 4th pub date for Spindle. Enter the Goodreads Giveaway for your chance to win a copy!

Enter Here


Olympic rings and motivational slogan. Olimpic rings. Olympic card. Eps 10. Vector illustration

In this week’s Creative Penn podcast Joanna Penn challenged her listeners to review their past career leaps based on the four-year Olympic cycles, then project our goals into the future. What a fun challenge! Year to year changes seem small, but when you look at a four-year leap, you can see the gains better. I stopped everything and started sorting through my vague memories to see just how far I’ve come.

2008 Beijing

In 2008 I was a homeschool mom by day, aspiring writer whenever I had time.

I was working on a blog called Routines for Writers with two of my writing friends. We were learning how to do all the things online while we worked on our fiction projects. I had no social media presence, and the internet seemed a bit of a scary place for someone who is quite private.

Back then I was getting ready to query a middle-grade fairy tale. I’d been a professional writer before having kids, but took time away to raise my children. (I worked full time as a technical writer and wrote freelance teen articles.)

That spring I took a (now defunct) course for authors called Author MBA. We covered branding and goal setting, ultimately coming up with a personalized business plan. Over these next few years I took classes from Margie Lawson and focused a lot of my time on learning how to write and revise.

November 2008 is the NaNoWriMo when I wrote the first draft of my YA novel Cinderella’s Dress, which would go on to become my first traditionally published book.

Twitter was my first social media account.

2012 London

Four years later and nothing measurable on the writing career front. That middle-grade fairy tale was met with limited success (requests for fulls and partials—including a full request at a publisher I would have been thrilled to sign with—but no contracts.) And then I’d started querying the Cinderella book.

In the fall I went to a local SCBWI conference and learned about a new publishing house, Entangled Publishing. The publisher, Liz Pelletier was speaking, but I hadn’t planned on going to any of her sessions. Until I heard her first pitch. After all the panelists gave their spiel, I changed all my plans and went to all of Liz’s sessions. This was a new company doing publishing in a new way and I wanted to learn more.

I submitted Cinderella’s Dress that November, got the “call” or in this case, email in June 2013. By January 2014 we were in edits and the book came out June 2014.

I created my own website and signed up for social media accounts like crazy, along with every webinar on social media marketing I could get my hands on. I even started a YouTube channel. (Never expected to do that!) AND joined Toastmasters for a few months to break that fear of public speaking (Can’t I just write the books? Do I have to TALK about the books, too?)

Fun events: being on two panels at Phoenix Comicon, getting rock-star treatment at ALA Last Vegas (American Library Association conference), local book signings, and the Yallapalooza event at the famous Changing Hands Bookstore, plus several school visits in front of creative writing classes, English classes, and, surprise (!) an assembly.

2016 Rio

By 2016 I had two traditionally published books out, and a third set to launch in October. I’d been listening to Joanna’s podcasts for a several months as my interest in self publishing had been piqued after watching several friends put out their own books, and I was curious if the grass was greener on the other side.

I had a project that I loved, but was a hard sell for traditional publishing as it didn’t fit into any neat category. It was the perfect book to try to do on my own. I published Liz and Nellie, a historical retelling of Nellie Bly’s race around the world, and learned the grass wasn’t greener, it was purple. Self-publishing is quite different from traditional publishing in many ways (need another blog post for this), but personally rewarding.

In another surprise turn of events I took a summer job as the writer in residence at Mesa Public Library. I taught four classes and held one-on-one appointments with aspiring authors. I grew a lot professionally as I helped aspiring authors further their careers. That job wrapped up yesterday, leaving me more time and energy to focus on writing my next historical fairy tale this fall.

Along with a group of three other writing friends, we decided to put together a writing retreat this summer. After all our planning we sold all the available slots, and thirteen local authors went up to Pine, AZ to escape the heat and focus on writing and networking (AKA eating, laughing, and general tomfoolery–read the series of tweets regarding the uninvited centipede one night!)

And lastly, in a twist of irony over my almost-conquered-fear of public speaking, I’m one of the moms in charge of Speech and Debate club for school this year. How did THAT happen?

2020 Tokyo

What could change in another four years? Well, my job as homeschool mom will be coming to a close. One child will be out of the house with the other soon to follow. I’m not going to dwell on the empty nest feelings here, but when it happens, I want to be ready to take a big leap in my writing career. What will that be? I have a few more years to figure that out. I did enjoy the one-on-one mentoring during my residency at the library, so maybe I’ll look into doing more of that.

I’d also like to continue the one-book-a-year path I’m on. This year it was two books and that was a stretch given all my other responsibilities. However, I do have more ideas for self published projects, so once in a while a bonus book will get tossed in the mix, I think.

I’d also like to see my middle-grade books find homes with publishers. I suppose if several more years go by and they remain unsold, I can publish them myself. Middle grade is a harder sell for self-pub, but better than having these stories I love hide out on my computer with no readers at all.

To sum: since 2008 I’ve had three books published, another on the way, both traditionally and self-published. I’ve been a panelist at several events, the largest being Phoenix Comicon. I’ve had a stint as a writer-in-residence and helped plan/create a writer’s retreat weekend that will likely turn into an annual event.

I couldn’t have done any of this without a willingness to try. Especially a willingness to get out of my comfort zone and just say yes when an opportunity came up. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2020 Tokyo has in store. Thanks Joanna for the challenge!

Writer in Residence

July 13, 2016

Writer in residenceFor the rest of July and August, I’ll be the writer in residence at the Mesa Public Library. I’ll be teaching four workshops and holding one-on-one appointments with other writers. I’ve added a tab to the menu above (one on one appointment) where you can sign up for a 30 minute slot to talk about writing, or have me look over your work and offer some advice.

I’m really excited about this opportunity. Writing is one of my favorite things to talk about and my family gets tired of my enthusiasm sometimes (!)

When I’m not conducting workshops or taking appointments, I’ll be working on my own projects. I’m at the beginning stages of a new idea, so I’m researching and getting started on a first draft of a new historical fairy tale.

More information is here: Mesa Public Library.

And this is my workshop schedule:

Tues | July 19 | 6-7:30pm | MEL
Retellings are hot right now. Learn tips and tricks to put a new spin on a classic story. Perfect for writers who love retellings, and also those who need help coming up with plots. Leave class with a fresh start on a new tale. Skills addressed: developing ideas, brainstorming, help with plotting. Open to all skill levels.

I’ve written a first draft—now what?
July 20 | 6-7:30pm | DR
Children’s author Shannon Hale once said she was “writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” Learn editing techniques to help you shape your castle—er—manuscript. Skills addressed: three-pass edit system; overview of macro and micro editing. Bring sample chapters and a pack of colored highlighters to fully experience the class. Open to all skill levels.

Level Up!
Sat | Aug 13 | 1-2:30pm | RM
Interested in taking a step up the publishing ladder? Learn some basic routines of published authors to see what you can do to improve your speed and your writing skills. Skills addressed: creating writing routines, finding information about the industry, and more. Open to all skill levels, but beginners, hold onto your hats!

Tools of the Modern Writer
Wed | Aug 24 | 6-7:30pm | MN
Curious about the day in the life of a writer? Learn about writing software, author communities, social media, and more. Skills addressed: networking, self-help, websites.

This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

My publisher is giving away a series starter kit. Here some info on what they’ve got planned these next few weeks:

Have you had your eye on at least one – if not many – of our TEEN series? Why not put your steaming TV and movie nights on hold and, instead, binge read through one (or many) of or completed TEEN series with Entangled TEEN as we YA Series & Chill.


Well between Monday, June 20, 2016 and Sunday, July 3, 2016, we have several first books in a series on sale for the sweet price of $0.99, which makes diving into a new-to-you series so much easier. Best of all, we’ve got something for everyone with some YA Fantasy, some YA Sci-Fi, some YA Contemporary Romance, and even some awesome MG Fantasy on sale over the next two weeks.
From now until Sunday, June 26th, you can pick up the following books at a great price:
Shea Berkley‘s The Marked Son, the first book in the Keepers of Life Trilogy. (Check out the killer new covers for this YA fantasy series populated by a fae-like race!)

Cate Cameron‘s Center Ice, the first book in the Corrigan Falls Raiders series. It’s perfect for YA contemporary romance lovers who like sports romance, especially of the hockey variety. Each book follows a different couple, including one guy who plays semi-pro hockey on the Corrigan Falls Raiders team. (We’d highly recommend it – and the other two books in the series – for fans of Elle Kennedy’s The Deal.)

Tracy Clark‘s Scintillate, the first book in the Light Key Trilogy series is a YA fantasy that is full of dark secrets that people who do anything to keep hidden. (Just like The Marked Son this one has a brand new cover that we love!)

Pintip Dunn‘s Forget Tomorrow, the first book in a YA Sci-Fi / Dystopian about a world where teens receive a future memory to mark their adulthood, which determines the kind of life they’re meant to lead, but unfortunately, Callie’s memory suggests that she’s going to kill her little sister, who she’d do anything to protect, and sets in motion a fast-paced story.
Come back here next week to find out what other books are on sale from June 27 to July 3!

To help celebrate these awesome YA steals, we’ve got a bunch of fun events planned for the next two weeks, including a blog series about YA series, some Facebook takeovers from some of our fave YA series authors, a live Twitter Chat, and an amazing YA giveaway.

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