Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cinderella, Cinderella . . .

In light of the upcoming deadline for Five Enchanted Roses, I wanted to take a moment and let all of you know about something fun I've seen cropping up here and there over the last few months . . .

As many of you know, we had a terribly difficult time trying to pick winners for the Five Glass Slippers collection of Cinderella stories. There were so many wonderful stories submitted, and we only had five slots available! We even toyed around with the idea of expanding the number of winners (very briefly . . . ultimately we realized that wasn't a reasonable idea nor truly fair to the contestants).

In the end, we were delighted with the five stories we chose, which we felt represented a lovely range of storytelling voices, offering something to many different types of reader. But what became of all those other great stories?

Well, quite a few of them have gone on to have lives of their own! And I want to take a moment to mention those which I have happened upon:

FAIRY SLIPPERS: Bonus Short Story Companion to Bleeding Heart
by Amber Stokes

Spring 1888

Margaret is fragile. Zachary is tough. Both are lonely. Will a dance in a redwood lumber town bring them together - or drive them apart forever?

Discover the continuing story of the cook from Bleeding Heart in this short but sweet retelling of Cinderella.

This two-story collection is a wonderful taste of Amber Stokes' delicately sweet writing voice, featuring a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling along with the "Cinderella" retelling, Fairy Slippers. What a great deal for those of you looking for more fairy tales to enjoy!

By Bridget Ladd

This is a retelling of Cinderella with a sci-fi, Indian, steampunk, twist . . . where Cinderella may not be entirely human, with a setting in an alternate version of India, and where a young man will do everything he can to find the love that was once stolen from him . . .

This was such a gripping story! I remember calling up one of the other readers right after I'd read it and telling her that she needed to put it next on her reading list. A beautiful and unique setting and a fantastical twist on the original tale! Bridget Ladd is such a talent, and if you enjoy her short story, she has two longer novels out as well, also set in a breathtaking, steampunk world.

By Elisabeth Grace Foley
A short and sweet retelling of the beloved Cinderella story set on the Montana prairies.

Life on her brother's ranch is lonely for Ellie Strickland. Ed's ungracious manners and tight-fisted habits keep visitors away and his mother and sister close to home. But when Cole Newcomb, son of the wealthiest rancher in the county, meets Ellie by chance, he is struck by an unexpected impulse to rescue her from her solitude--and Ellie's lonely summer is transformed.

When Cole asks her to go with him to the Fourth of July dance, Ellie is determined that nothing, from an old dress to Ed's sour temper, will stand in her way. By the time the Fourth of July fireworks go off at midnight, will they herald only more heartache, or maybe--just maybe--a dream come true?

 All right, this story was just downright darling. I remember when I read it how I thought Elisabeth must certainly write her first drafts by hand . . . for her narrative has such an easygoing flow to it that just breezes along with great charm. A style I find indicative of those who draft by hand and a perfect fit for this story. This is truly a warm-you-to-your-toes sort of tale.

CURSED BEAUTY: A Fairy Retelling
By Dorian Tsukioka

A pair of glass slippers that can change her life? When something is too good to be true, it usually is...

Adelaide has lived her entire life cursed with a birthmark that makes people shy away. When an invitation to the Elder Prince’s ball falls in her lap, she knows attending would only cause people to shun her more.

A fairy godmother feels her pain and offers her a pair of glass slippers that not only transform her ragged dress to an elegant gown, but also removes the mark that covers her face. However, Adelaide soon learns that the beautiful slippers can steal away more than just her birthmark, leaving her cursed in a far worse way.

This retelling of the classic Cinderella story will resound with readers of young adult fiction who love paranormal fantasy, fairy tales, and a splash of romance.

There's a moment right near the beginning of this story that totally made me GASP in horror . . . and then proceed to read the rest of the story in a single gulp because I just had to see how this twist could possibly turn out! This variation on the original story is so exciting and so perfectly creepy, a reader can't help but be sucked in. But I won't spoil it! So you'll just have to get it and read for yourself.

These are only four of the Cinderella retellings I've discovered in the last few months since the contest ended . . . and for all I know, there may be quite a few more. My hope with this contest--and all of the subsequent contests--is to see writers discover potential and possibilities for their work which they might not have otherwise explored. While only five stories could be chosen for the official collection, all of the above stories are winners as well in that their creators recognized, Hey! I wrote a great story! and went on to do something with their tales.

The above novelists also have other works either already published or in the works. Amber Stokes just released a whimsical fantasy, How a Star Falls. Bridget Ladd is in the process of writing and releasing her Rise of the Ardent series, beginning with book 1, The Lotus Effect. Elisabeth Grace Foley has a whole list of mysteries and westerns to her name, including Left-Hand Kelly. And Dorian Tsukioka is working on a second fairy tale retelling which she hopes to release soon, Ai of the Mountain.

So all that to say, if you grab those Cinderella novellas and love them, there's lots more great reading to come!

I hope this post will be an encouragement to those of you working away on your Five Enchanted Roses stories. The contest is great! But the actual creation of great stories is just that much better.

Meanwhile, don't forget that the deadline for the Five Enchanted Roses submission form is December 16 this year. If you plan to submit, your form needs to be postmarked no later than the 16th. You can revisit the rules and find the submission form here.


Unknown said...

That is SO COOL! I loved Five Glass Roses, so I absolutely must get my hands on these!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing Anne! I am definitely checking out these books and other novels by them! :D

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

You guessed right; I do write my first drafts by hand! I finished this one very nearly on the stroke of midnight, appropriately enough. :) Thank you so much for featuring Corral Nocturne!

Kendra E. Ardnek said...

My would-be submission for the 5GS, CinderEddy, wasn't quite finished in time for me to send it in (much to my dismay). However, once I did finish, I did run it through my own set of editors and publish it myself. (Incidentally, on the exact same day that 5GS came out. I was amused, since I hadn't exactly planned that.)

Meredith said...

How very exciting! So wonderful that these intriguing-sounding stories are being published! I've been working on editing one of my Cinderella retellings, (Isabella and the Kiln Master,) and its gotten more fleshed out and is super fun to revise. Congratulations to all these wonderful authors.

Hannah said...

That's so AWESOME!!!!

Clara said...

Oooh, these sound so good!

Anonymous said...

They sound so exciting!

Arielle Melody Bailey said...

I HAD been wondering what happened to the other stories so I was very excited to see this post!! Thank you, Anne Elisabeth!

Now I have more books to check out. :)