Archives For Fairy tales

The Fairy-tale Forum is a brand new Facebook group for all lovers of fairy-tales, old and new, classic and retold. Right now the Fairy-tale Forum is hosting an awesome GIVEAWAY in celebration of the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Four winners will be chosen! Here are the spectacular prizes!

1st Prize:
Fun snowflake string lights
Beautiful custom-made rose ring
Beauty and the Beast coloring book

Signed paperback of Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

Runner-Up #2:
eBook of My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Runner-Up #3:
eBook or audiobook (winner’s choice) of A Wish Made of Glass by Ashlee Willis

Be sure to join the Fairy-tale Forum so you won’t miss any discussions or future giveaways. And don’t forget to share with your friends!

Note: physical prizes are for USA entries only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are some additional graphics to help you share via social media:



Monday, March 6, early screenings of Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast were held across America at select Imax theaters. I was so excited to have scored two tickets…and then the night of learned that my two tickets were in fact tickets to stand in line to get tickets…and that I needed to have gone to the theater that morning when it opened to score the actual tickets. Okay, venting over. So instead of giving my own early review, I thought I’d post some more fun videos about the movie!

This is probably my favorite youtube review of Beauty and the Beast so far:

And for you behind-the-scenes nuts, here is a fascinating video showing the crew and actors working. I’ve got a teenager with the acting bug, so it’s great to be able to show her how her school play practices are similar to filming a movie.

And if you haven’t read my Beauty and the Beast short story called Beginnings, click here to get it. It’s my own re-imagining of a new beginning for the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale to tide my readers over while I sketch out my next novel.

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

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


I loved today’s Google Doodle so much I had to share it here so I’ll remember it!

and the behind the scenes:

Spindle Cover Reveal Day!

April 11, 2016

Today is the day! I can start sharing the striking cover of SPINDLE, my Sleeping Beauty inspired YA novel set in the late 1800s.  My publishers is running a contest to win copies of my first two books: Cinderella’s Dress (ebook sale ending sometime today) and Cinderella’s Shoes. How to find where a reveal is being hosted? Search on Twitter for SPINDLE and several links will pop up, especially as we get closer to the noon reveal.

I found some blogs hosting the tour. There may be others, but these are the ones who tagged me:

A Backwards Story

Emily Cox / Nicole Allen

A Book Addict’s Bookshelves

Mama Reads / Hazel Sleeps

Devouring Books

Anxious Canadian Mom

Christy’s Cozy Corners






You all know I get excited when I learn about new Cinderella inspired books, and there is another one coming out! I love so much about this novella already, and am eager to read it. From the title: A Wish Made of Glass!!!! [exclamation points are mine because it’s such a great title] to the storyline about the stepsister, I cannot wait.

The author, Ashlee Willis, and I are swapping websites today. I interviewed her and she interviewed me on her blog (where I talk a little bit about the making of Cinderella’s Shoes for the first time!) Check it out here: Finding the True Fairy Tale

About the book:


Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

Author Interview:

What was the story spark that captured your attention and led to this book?

There actually was no spark in the beginning. Cinderella has never been one of my favorite fairy tales, to tell you the truth. But I’ve always loved reading books told from the “other side” of the story – the darker side, I guess you could say. Not because I enjoy that darkness, but because I’m intrigued to see how characters we’ve stereotyped actually became who they are. There’s always a reason. So I thought it might be interesting to tell Cinderella’s story from the point of view of the step-sister (in A Wish Made of Glass there’s just one step-sister). I think it was from the moment I decided to write it from that angle that I began really getting interested in writing this story. I thought “Oh, a deeply flawed person! Now that’s a point of view I can write from!”


Where does your story veer off from a more traditional telling of Cinderella and why did you choose to go that direction?

It veers off in a lot of ways. Though I’m calling my story a Cinderella retelling, I don’t like to compare it too much. It is so loosely based on the original that some readers may end up being disappointed. I hope not – but they might! Especially if they are looking for a singing-mice-feel-good type of story! My story is darker than the original Cinderella, certainly. My main character, being a step-sister and in whose character I tried to delve more deeply, is very troubled and angry and hurt. In some ways it’s very sad story. I chose to go that direction because, basically, those are the types of stories I like to read. There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching, and connecting with, characters who have depth. Characters who have deep issues, but must grow in a very real and sometimes even painful way in order to overcome those issues.


What is one symbol (like the fairy godmother, pumpkin coach, glass slipper, etc.) that you used in your story, and how did you use it?

As you can probably guess from the title, I do use the glass slippers in my story. Every fey creature (the fey folk are a different type of creature than humans) wears slippers made of glass – even the males have glass soles on their boots. Isidore’s (the main character) mother tells her a story of how the fey folk keep their hearts within their shoes, so that every step they take they are reminded of how fragile and precious their hearts are. This symbolism continues throughout the story in regard to the glass slippers . . . although it ends in a way that ended up surprising even me.


What factors led you to self-publish this one after going on a more traditional route for your debut?

Impatience 🙂 I do plan on having my agent submit future work to traditional publishers, but for this book (especially with its being a novella), I just wanted to get something else out there for my readers. I’ve always heard that an author who has just one book out isn’t going to get as much attention as an author with multiple books. I’ve had this story sitting on my computer for the past two years, and I had an author friend who had read it contact me and say, “Hey, have you thought about self-publishing that novella? You really should while you’re writing your bigger books.” So I went in and did some pretty heavy revising to the story, then hired a professional editor to make sure it was as polished as it could be.

I also feel that in this market it’s hard to find a traditional publisher. Things are really competitive and people are self-publishing more and more. Just because I’ve been traditionally published once is no guarantee that I will be again. If that’s how it ends up, I’m perfectly happy with that. And I thought that if there was a chance I might indie publish someday, doing a smaller project like this novella would be a good way to get my feet wet and learn the ropes.


To learn more about Ashlee and her books:

Twitter: Ashlee Willis
Website: Finding the True Fairy Tale
Goodreads: A Wish Made of Glass

Cinderella authors unite! Introducing a new Cinderella tale slated for publication in June: A Dream Not Imagined by Shantelle Mary Hannu. Shantelle is among the next generation of entrepreneurial authors. I think it’s an exciting time for young people (and us old ones) who love to write, and have the opportunity to get their work out there and start building an audience as they build their careers.

I’ve got an exclusive mini-interview with Shantelle in my Reader’s Group newsletter which goes out on Tuesday night. Be sure to sign up to find out more about Shantelle and her new book. I’m excited for her and her future as an author!

About the Book

A Dream Not Imagined Cover

A MAID, a PRINCE, and a DUKE. A GARDENER, a STEPMOTHER, and a secret

     Ellie Abbington, a beautiful yet unassuming young woman, quietly longs for her life to change. Too privileged to associate with the servants—too underprivileged to associate with her own family; she dreams a dream of a prince and a happily ever after.

But it could be that her own stepsisters, conniving Dezmarie and easily-influenced Adelaide, are dreaming the same dream…of the same prince.

In the end, are dreams even all they’re made out to be? Especially with deep and long-hidden secrets about to be unearthed?

A Dream Not Imagined is a non-magical fairytale novella based loosely on the classic tale of Cinderella.


Tentative Release Date: June 2015



Add to Goodreads

 About the Author

KODAK Digital Still Camera     Shantelle Mary Hannu was born in the mountainous west, spending her golden childhood years there. Since then, she has relocated time and again with her parents and seven siblings, making cherished memories in both the South and Central United States.

A Christian homeschool graduate, Shantelle has a passion for writing and all things books. From a young age she’s been penning tales with a hope of sharing with the world adventurous and soul-stirring stories that bring glory to God.

A Dream Not Imagined, a fairytale novella, will be her first published book. She’s currently preparing a full-length fantasy novel for publication as well, and working on its sequel.

Shantelle blogs at A Writer’s Heart: about her stories, favorite books and movies (with reviews), healthy wheat-free recipes, and hosts fellow authors, among other things. One of her joys is connecting with fellow writers and readers! You can also find her on:

Facebook: Shantelle Mary Hannu, Author

Twitter: @shantellemary

Goodreads: Shantelle Mary Hannu

Google+: Shantelle H.

Pinterest: Shantelle H.

About the Illustrator

     Natasha H. is an aspiring photographer and also loves drawing and painting. A Dream Not Imagined is the first book she has drawn the cover picture for.

Learn more about her work at her blog:

Cinderella movie posters
We took a school field trip this morning (#benefits of homeschooling!) to watch the first showing of the new Disney Cinderella movie. The show was held in the large theater and by the time we got there, 10 min early, it was pretty full already. (It was spring break for half the schools in our area this week.) There were several boys and dads in attendance so my teen son didn’t feel too badly outnumbered by girls. Here are our thoughts, minus any spoilers…yes, there are a few surprises in this movie!


Overall, I thought the movie was fantastic. Disney stuck to the classic story, filling in some much-needed motivation for why the characters do what they do. The beginning is quite sad, and the troubles keep coming. Little bits of humor were thrown in to lighten the mood, but you feel the sadness more in this movie than in the animated version. Poor Cinderella.
Disney did take a stab at making the romance based on more than physical attraction at a dance, but I wish the couple had spent more time talking about important things instead of swinging in the garden. Time was ticking, Cinderella!


Wow, this movie is colorful and gorgeous. I figured it would be based on all the publicity photos I’d seen, but to see it on the big screen was great. The dress and the shoes were worthy of the legacy. The computer animation was entertaining–I especially enjoyed the carriage chase after the clock strikes midnight. The pumpkin raised some logic issues since it grew very large, but ended up as a normal-sized carriage. But I guess, that’s magic for you!


Lily James may become as synonymous with the name Cinderella as Megan Follows is with Anne Shirley. She was great, showing all the characteristics we expect from a Cinderella: innocence, beauty, kindness, an internal joy, and a faithfulness to her family (her mother and father, not necessarily the steps).
It was hard not to laugh at the silly stepsisters. Drizella was my favorite, partly because I enjoy watching Sophie McShera as Daisy on Downton Abby. The stepmother? Ouch. She was evil. Well played, Cate Blanchett, well played. I also really enjoyed the scenes between the stepmother and Cinderella.

Here’s what the kids thought:

From the 11yr old girl:

I just saw the Cinderella movie today, and my favorite parts were the mice, the very clueless stepsisters, the fairy godmother, and the magic turning the pumpkin and everything else in to the coach, footmen, etc.

From the 13 yr old boy:

It has some logical inconsistencies. For example, when they search for the “mystery princess” they try the shoe on EVERYONE, even girls who were not blonde. And Cinderella and the Prince meet twice, barely talk, and mostly laugh, and giggle. But they get married after those few times! Other than those big two logic errors (and a few smaller ones,) it was logically sound. And the mice were pretty funny.


If you are a fan of fairy-tale retellings, you probably already know about Melanie Dickerson. She’s been writing retellings with an historical take for several years. She created her own kingdom for her story world, and several of her characters make cameos in other books. It’s fun to keep an eye out for them as you are reading.

I’ve been wanting to sit down and chat with her for a while, and today was the day. I loved her explanation of what led her to her Cinderella retelling. I’m sure you will, too.

The new Disney Cinderella Movie comes out March 13, 2015. I’ve been collecting links in separate blog posts and Pinterest pins and Tweets, and thought it was time to put them all in one spot where I can add to them as the promotions continue. If you know of any others, please add them to the comments section.

Here is the latest trailer. We are given a good look at what the story line will be (in addition to the classic plot.)

The Clothes

Costume designer Sandy Powell took her cues from the 1940’s or 1950’s, depending on which article you read. Given that plain, war-time fashions didn’t change until Dior’s New Look in 1947, and the original Disney Cinderella came out in 1950, I’d say 1950’s might be correct.

The Rag Dress

rag dress

“I didn’t want her in rags, as she is often portrayed in the storybooks. What I gave her instead is a dress that starts out pretty and ends up looking faded, tired, and worn out.” –Sandy Powell

The Pink Dress

I haven’t found any information about Cinderella’s mother’s dress, (the pink one that the step family destroys) but this video gives us a look at the first ball gown and at the two different looks of the Fairy Godmother. She’s a fun one.

The Ball Gown

“When I first put it on, I felt both empowered and scared. How could I live up to this? Then I realized I could use that fear to show me how Cinderella would feel at that moment.” – Lily James

Cinderella ball gown


Quick Facts:
Layers: 12 (plus a corset and petticoat)
Fabric: crepeline silk, printed polyester, and iridescent nylon in different shades of blue and turquoise and lavender
Amount of fabric: 270 yards
Number of crystals: 10,000
Number of dresses made: 9
Number of tailors: 18
Number of hours per dress: 500

Here is an update link talking about the dress and the controversy over Lily James’ waist: Daily Mail: Yes, Lily James, You Shall go to the Ball.


The Wedding Dress

Cinderella wedding dress

“Cinderella wins the Prince’s heart through her goodness, so I wanted to show this through her clothes. I wanted her to stay modest and pure even though she was going to be a part of royalty.” –Sandy Powell

Quick Facts:
Hours to make: more than 550
Number of tailors: 16
Flowers: hand-painted

Love Story Featurette Interviews with Lily James and Richard Madden.

The Shoes

cinderella shoes

Quick Facts:
Number made: eight pairs
Material: Swarovski crystal
Size of heel: 5 inch
Interesting fact: Cinderella didn’t wear any of them. She wore leather shoes, which the special effects department turned into crystal.

The Stepsisters and Stepmother


“They are meant to be totally ridiculous on the outside—a bit too much and overdone—and ugly on the inside,” – Sandy Powell

Quick Facts:
Stepmother: Cate Blanchett
Anastasia: Holliday Grainger
Drisella: Sophie McShera


“The Legacy” trailer with interviews:

The Carriage

cinderella carriage

The carriage is on display at Disney Hollywood Studios until April 11.

Quick Facts:
Designer: Dante Ferretti
Size: 10 feet tall and 17 feet long
Weight: almost two tons
Decorated with: gold leaf


Vanity Fair First Look: The Making of Cinderella’s Wedding Gown
What Would Cinderella Wear? Costuming Lily James and Cate Blanchett in Kenneth Branagh’s Forthcoming Film
LA Times: Live-action ‘Cinderella’s’ costumes get a glammed-up makeover
Golden Carriage from ‘Cinderella’ Arrives at Disney’s Hollywood Studios