Being seventeen 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.
2. Glimpse of the mystery with Aunt Elsie
Elsie gave a cry and stepped forward, uncomfortably close. “You have amber necklace!” She reached out as if to grab the pendant but stopped, leaving her hand hovering over it like it was a hot stove and she was afraid to touch it.
“Babcia always wore it,” Kate whispered. Even now she could picture her grandmother staring into the flecked honey amber in the morning sunlight when she thought Kate was still sleeping. It was then that Kate imagined Babcia was thinking of her homeland.
“Ha!” said Elsie in a hard outburst. “In Poland she not leave everything behind. My sister is clever.” She paced around the room, letting loose a string of whispered Polish words.
The only word Kate recognized was siostrzany, sister.
Elsie’s gaze darted to the necklace, and instinctively, Kate wrapped her fingers around the pendant.
Elsie mimicked the motion. “We say amber is Baltic gold. Sun-shape necklace is special, made in Gdansk, where amber washes up from Baltic Sea. Is very, very old. I thought it disappear forever.”
“She said it has been in the family for centuries.”
“Tak.” Her voice was tight. “Katja gave it to you. I surprised to find it in America.”
Kate began to feel defensive. “Babcia said it was part of my heritage,” Kate murmured, almost to herself. She traced the smooth amber between her fingers. As it warmed, the faint pine scent tickled her nose.
Shonna Slayton finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. While writing Cinderella’s Dress she reflected on her days as a high-school senior in British Columbia when she convinced her supervisors at a sportswear store to let her design a few windows—it was glorious fun while it lasted. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona. You can visit her website at shonnaslayton.com
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One Signed copy of Cinderella’s Dress, an Amber sun pendant set in sterling silver a Tatting shuttle and thread, a dress form ornament and bookmark swag. US Only.
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