Book Jacket


rank 174
word count 26903
date submitted 25.09.2011
date updated 25.08.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, ...
classification: universal

Dear Cinderella

Deborah Lee Clark

This is not your normal story tale. Elle isn't your chamber maid alone, in fact she prides herself on being no ones.


Meet Elle, a chamber maid hell bent on forgetting and not forgiving Bryn. The stable boy who took not only her affection but her step mothers wealth, amidst using Elle, Bryn falls for the seemingly mean less milk maid, Amelia.

Can Elle forgive not only Amelia, but Bryn once she finds out the pain Bryn has caused both woman?

Will she be able to stop the hatred that dwells inside her very being, when she meets her Prince Charming?

Besides who is Prince Charming?

Well, maybe he is not quite as charming as you thought he would be.

More importantly can she do this all before she steps into the very real reason of why she is even alive.
Or will she ruin her story tale forever?

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Jim Darcy wrote 60 days ago

He he, put Amelia next to Amelia on my shelf!

AshNau wrote 432 days ago

This is a fascinating and fast paced read. It is unlike any re-telling of Cinderella I have ever read. I personally love the idea of her seeking revenege and it brings a new twist the one of the tales with the classic happily ever after. It does not read as standard novel prose, which I view as a strength. We are drawn into her mind, one that has been clearly damaged, and the reader cannot get out. STARRED AND BACKED!

Marissa P
Our Fathers

M Morgan wrote 445 days ago

I like the style, artistic and angry. The first few chapters are easily good enough to make me want to read on.

LCF Quartet wrote 479 days ago

Hi Deborah,
I checked the first three chapters of your book to have a feel of your novel and writing style in general.

You have an authentic voice which is easy to follow and one can easily get lost within. Evelyn Veronica seems and sounds like a fun character -thanks to your sincere descriptions and tight dialogue parts that set the tone.

The coach is drawing through the open gates to the castle, as I hold her hand in mine knowing, hoping that the child within her womb is fine. (This is a great line, and I would suggest you to cut 'knowing' as it's not so necessary.)

Your first-person voice is highly artistic and I gave you high stars for your high sense of sentence structure. (You deserve all the 'high' praise here!

Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

AlexiaDeAngelis wrote 545 days ago

Hi Deborah,
I have had your book on my WL for some time and have now had a chance to read your work. I liked many things about your writing when I got into the first chapter; the premise, the little details which contriibuted to the atmosphere (soot on face, jam on bread, sickly earth, blue velvet hood,) and tone of voice. Infact, the voice sounds very much like the way one of my best friends speaks. The letter to Bryn could be a letter from any scorned woman, in that way any female reader (or male!) would be able to instantly connect with the MC. I particularly liked the line 'I would rather be a peasant than your queen'! I also enjoyed the inner voice of reason toiling against Elle's sarcasm and supressed rage.
I do however have some observations for you, I hope they make sense!
I found your pitch jarring. Short pitch; I'd change story tale to fairy tale. In your long pitch I'd break up some the sentences to help ease of flow for the reader. e.g '...Bryn (full stop to a comma) , the stable boy....' Start the next sentence at 'Amidst using Elle...'
'Less milk maid' - this would make more sense to me if it were 'lesser milk maid'.
Chapter 1: 'lets me in and hurries me' to 'lets me in hurriedly' eliminating too many 'me's.
I found there were many short sentences which can also be quite jarring e.g 'I have obviously not. She wont know this.'
'If my mother caught me in this dress. Well lets just say it would be the last of this dress.' could be better as --> 'If my mother caught me, well, lets just say it would be the end of this dress.'
'She is quite fond of me now and lately' perhaps take out the 'now and' and just say 'lately'. You say now in the next sentence.
There are also other grammatical errors (no space where needed etc) but these can easily be smoothed out.
I hope this helps - I am by no means an accomplished writer - my spelling is awful but it was only with help of honest Authonomers that my MS is at the state it is now and not by people saying it was great - that didn't help at all!
I will read on because I think you have something special here. I have rated 5 star for now.
Warm wishes
Confessions of a Dervish

Di Manzara wrote 549 days ago

Hello Deborah,

This is a fascinating tale I truly enjoyed. I love Cinderella and any remake of her story is something that will surely appeal to me. This one did. You grabbed me with your pitches and the strong, emotional first chapter.

Elle is a very strong female protagonist. I like her attitude and I think she handles herself very well, even in tough situations. Unlike the others, she's not predictable and I loved that. You take pride in your work and it shows.

I really enjoyed it and because of that, I'm giving you high stars. There's something about the story that's irresistible, so I'm sure, many will love this tale like I did. Very good job.

May I invite you to read and rate my book as well? Thank you in advance for your help!


Mark Cain wrote 549 days ago

Cinderella with an attitude, and a major axe to grind! Also, stream-of-consciousness Cinderella. In a way.

This is a very interesting turn on an old tale. We would never even think Elle capable of such thoughts, or writing some of the four letter words she can manage.

Like others before me, I think you need to spend time on your pitch. Your story is too good, and your pitch is a disservice to it. The pitch should pull in readers, and it will if you work on it some.

Aside from that, this is well done. It has lots of possibilities.


Emma Carey wrote 571 days ago

Club Nora Critique
Dear Deborah,
I like it. A dark version of the original fairytale. A well written story so far. I only have good points to say, nothing bad. I really enjoyed reading your story. Good work and best wishes Emma

femmefranglaise wrote 573 days ago

Club Nora Review

Hmm, from the pitch I probably wouldn't have read on, only because it has so many mistakes in it. I gives completely the wrong impression of the book, which I found, judging by the first chapter, to be pretty well written with only a couple of minor typos.

A dark, atmospheric take on the Cinderella story with a feisty MC, bent on revenge for the wrong her lover, Bryn, has done her. I like the way you have opened with a letter but I felt it went on a bit too long. It conveyed well the idea that she is angry and I would have like, in the first chapter, to get a bit more into the action and have a bit less of her anger and hatred.

It's good enough to make me want to read on though, so well done.

La Vie en Rosé

Tod Schneider wrote 576 days ago

This is one dark, edgy take on Cinderella! Your voice is strong, along with the general tone of your writing. The tension is continual, keeping us wondering where things are going. Great narrative descriptions and inner thoughts. Keep up the good work!
Best of luck with this!
And if you have any interest in children's literature, do drop in on the Lost Wink.

marcie8 wrote 577 days ago

Hi Deborah,

A Club Nora Chapter One Critique:

I think you've broken every rule of writing that I follow, but it all works beautifully. I feel so out of my depth that I have no suggestions to offer. Keep doing what you're doing with this one. Its uniqueness will hold my imagination and bring me back for more.


Sasha12345 wrote 579 days ago

I will read your book soon. I have put it on my shelf and highly starred.

L_MC wrote 582 days ago

Club Nora First Chapter Review

The first thing to say, is that you have a very unique style and find you have your own voice.

This chapter is full of hatred. We see a young woman (presumably Elle, but she isn't identified) burnt by love. She's bent on revenge, she thinks she hates him but doesn't seem able to see she is hurt by rejection because she loves him.

There is a poetry to your writing and I admire you for taking on a difficult style. For me, the idea works and I like the letter full of anger but there are times when the style lost me and there was too much repetition of her anger. I see that she wants revenge, I get a glimpse of Bryn and Amelia's roles and that part of Elle's plan is to see Bryn found and arrested but I'd like to see a little more of the interaction with the other characters and how she is carrying out her plan, rather than just her internal turmoil.

I do however appreciate this is just a first chapter and it certainly sets a tone for the story and makes it clear this isn't your average fairy tale.

benedict wrote 583 days ago

Hi there Deborah,

This is a very different kind of fairytale. I like the way you inject so much emotion into it and the opening letter works well. I also like the different elements of the fairytale you have included like Cinderella's chores, the glass slippers etc.

Her character comes across very strongly and the relationship with Bryn is interesting as it veers so far from the original tale and makes us curious to learn more. You have some very nice passages of description and the plot moves along quickly to hold the reader's interest. This is very important for the opening of a book as it's vital you grip your reader and catch their attention from the very beginning.

I wasn't always clear with the difference between normal, italicised and the grey font text, is it the difference between her thoughts and narration? Though the concept and details of the piece are very nicely thought out I think you do have to pay a little attention to some grammar points.

I made a note of some errors I think you could easily correct as I read through the first two chapters. I hope they help, though you are free to ignore them if you disagree.

Now IT’S my SISTER’S turn to delude me
Now IT’S my mother’s…

These corridors I follow
-no down (not typical!)

Wishing it WOULD burn

You MADE your choice
-more typical

Maybe it is Amelia
-no comma

Taken me A WHILE

Veronica and Opal’s father


To sale
-as a verb it’s more typical to use to sell – even in this antiquated context

A very nice idea, well planned out. I will star accordingly!

Best of luck with it and thanks for looking at mine,


Diane60 wrote 586 days ago

wow very different and sometimes confusing sometimes very funny. i've read all 24 chapters.
enjoyed it and wish you every success!

Christina in AZ wrote 586 days ago

Club Nora Review of Chapter One
Hook - I’m a little confused. “isn’t your chamber maid alone, in fact she...” what do you mean? I have more than one chamber maid? She is a chamber maid to others? And in the long hook “the seemingly mean less milk maid” do you mean “seemingly meaningless milk maid”? Neither hook reveal much about the book and I do not find the long hook particularly enticing to read, unlike the title, which is quite intriguing.
Opening - The letter is interesting. Letters are usually signed. It seems odd to end it with the name of the person to whom it is intended.
Conflict & Plot - The reader is immediately thrown into the conflict of a love triangle although we don’t know all the details.
Setting - I think some further description of what she is doing and where she is going, what she is seeing would add to the first chapter.
Dialogue - Only one line of dialogue so far.
Style - The style is quite different. I find it choppy and abrupt, but it suits the character and situation.
Technical -
Paragraph starting “And now my sister’s... (not sisters)
Paragraph starting “To think he is... Everyone has spoken (not spoke)
Paragraph starting “What were... Opal’s (not Opals)
Pace - I am a bit confused about the action. I thought she was going to deliver a letter, but then she gets to her home and sees her sisters? More description and explanation appear to be required. However, I have only read the first chapter and there is much more to be revealed.

I like the unique style and character of the MC (in first person). I think it is interesting to get to know the other characters through her eyes. An intriguing first chapter!

All the best,
Modern Adventures in Sherwood Forest

Kristen_Undead wrote 587 days ago

Elle's got some balls, huh? I love how feisty she is. I also love the name of Chapter 3 "To The Whore." I laughed out loud. This has some darker twists on the classic tale, and I like that Elle is not a victim. A lot of fairy tale princesses come across as weak with a moment of strength, but that's not the case here. I can't blame her, I would mad too under these circumstances!

Just a couple of the tense, a couple of times, especially in the dream sequence, you slip into past tense. You may want to have Elle sign her name at the end of the letter, I assumed I knew who was speaking because I read the synopsis. The letter is so strong, you don't want to have any doubt to who the speaker is.

Nice work!
Immortal Dilemma

Dekkle wrote 589 days ago

The beginning grabbed me – I liked the letter introduction, it gives the reader a direct route to her emotions and state of mind, almost sets us up for any madness that follows. And from the looks of things, I have a feeling that total insanity could ensue.

This Cinderella is dark, she’s twisted but still seems to have a sense of fragility to her. Give her a sharp weapon and she’ll take your eye out and maybe shed a tear about it - years later. I like the flow of the writing, the slight poetic style as well; it reads well and kept me captivated. There were some sentences that didn’t read clearly to me, but I’ll come back to the story and give you a larger critique later during the week. I’ve only read chapter one, but it sounds good so far – I’d like to see how far down this warped, maybe perverse maze Elle descends.

I’ve added you to my watchlist. When I come back to read the next chapters, I’ll see about backing your story.

Thanks for letting me read. Good luck!


CaileD wrote 590 days ago

Grimoire Review
Definitely out there. This Cinderella is nuts, well, angry as hell. I like it when she goes off on one, reminds me of a Burroughs on acid, and lots and lots of adjectives. After reading that I feel I wanna tinker with something, pull something apart, like a fly or a spider...
Good one.

Sabina Frost wrote 590 days ago

Club Grimoire Review

You have quite the style in your writing. Angry. The voice leaps out of the pages. I like that you started with a letter to Bryn, for we understand her hatred for him. After that, a little ranting about him is good, but I believe you're going overboard with it. After I'd heard her rant about him for a while, she just started to repeat herself and it lost some of the impressive atmosphere it had in the beginning.

Also, I think you should make the letter in italics, so that it stands out more.

I was a bit unsure what was happening, since she's ranting so much that there is no room for descriptions or actions. You should balance these things out, and then I think you've got a great story here. Not the damsel in distress, but a badass woman. Once you clean up the writing and put a few commas where they belong, I think this will be great.


Abby Vandiver wrote 594 days ago

Cinderella sure has an attitude. Especially the swearing. The first chapter is written in a fleeting, poetic style. The style is nice, however, it need to read better so that the reader can understand the plot. The other chapters are good and filled with questions making the reader want to turn the page.

Good job.


rikasworld wrote 595 days ago

This is a very strong take on Cinderella, you can feel the anger radiating out of it. I like the if love comes she's going to spit at it and push it downstairs. The letter works well and the whole thing is quite stream of consciousness. It's intriquing, what has she done with Bryn, what is going on with the search?
I think it needs some editing, mainly because of the style of writing which needs a lot of punctuation. Sorry I can't explain what I mean there!
Just a couple of edit suggestions - in the para. starting To think he is stupid ...everyone has spoken.
Opal's father. All I know is they are here in my face, as always, ....
It's a really powerful voice and original idea.

Ferret wrote 595 days ago

Club Grimoire Review
I like the idea of a furious - apparently half-mad - Cinderella, who seems to be taking her fate into her own hands rather than waiting for rescue beside the fire.
However, I did struggle with your style - for instance, eve in your short pitch you begin "This is not your normal story tale" and repeat "story tale" later - but story and tale mean exactly the same thing. How about 'fairy tale'? I found the second sentence hard to understand "Elle isn't your chambermaid alone" - 'isn't just a chambermaid?' and "prides herself on being no one's" - but no one's what? While in the long pitch I simply don't understand "seemingly mean less milkmaid".
In the first chapter I assume the fractured style reflects Elle's feelings but I did find the story difficult to follow. I suspect that this may be my problem, and another reader would enjoy this very much.

junetee wrote 596 days ago

Club Grimoire.

I love the beginning. The way you immerse the reader into the letter. At first I didn't realise it was a letter - maybe italics would be an idea?
You write this beautifully and I can feel so much emotion behind your words. I have only just realised you haven't mentioned a name for your character who is speaking to us - well done for a whole chapter, and it didn't seem lacking in any way.
She is full of pain and anguish and I feel for her so much. I love her anger against Bryan. And especially the sentances you add here and there like 'Fck love, I do not need her.' They express her feelings brilliantly.
I was a little confused to what was going on throughout the chapter, but I guess in her mood she would ramble a little. Maybe if you could add something to explain the situation she was in a little bit clearer, somewhere along the way, in might do it more justice.
A most enjoyable first chapter. Great work.
FOUR one.The Rock Star

Abbiealso wrote 596 days ago

Club Nora Review
Hello Deborah, once agin staying true to your niche of bewitching streams of thought. I found it really hard to get into, i think it's just not 'my thing" bu i can def appreciate the beautiful web you spin with your words.:)

Mindy Haig wrote 598 days ago

Club Nora Critique:
Hi Deborah, I just read chapter one of Dear Cinderella. You have a unique writing style. I like that about your work, but I did find your linguistic choices harder to understand in this book. I thought the letter at the beginning might have been italicized or indented to emphasize that it is a letter. There were a few places that I thought might be minor typos (on instead of in, that sort of thing) but I was not sure if the word choice was intentional. Anyway, I like the premise. I like the pitch. I am looking forward to reading more.
The Wishing Place

pclady wrote 600 days ago

Club Nora Critique:

Took me a while to figure out I was reading a letter at the beginning, though you do make the writer's anger very clear. You have a way with words, portray emotions quite vividly. I got a little lost mid-chapter with how the story/plot was supposed to progress. Guess that comes from my preference for standard romances.

Wish you luck with your efforts. They are quite different and surely have a niche audience that will embrace them with the same passion with which you infuse them.
[Heart's Desire & Love Me, Love Me Not]

Jaymarie wrote 604 days ago

Hi Deborah,
I found the first chapter a bit confusing, I didnt realise I was reading a letter until quite a way in, any agent would have got bored and not read through the second page. If you are going to start with a letter make it obvious thats what it is. You seem to want to tell the reader every single thought, every emotion and consequently overwrite, the idea is great but remember the golden rule 'Don't tell, show.

For example your paragraph that starts: It is damp here. Would read better with something like:

The rain will come soon and I wish that I was back at home, no matter how desolate it seems, I would rather be surrounded by the cold of that stone, than the chill of the dampened muddy Earth.
Your last sentence about it being sickly adds nothing, and simplifing the whole paragraph gets to the point without over doing it. One editor I worked with deleted 10,000 words from my book, much to my horror, but getting rid of all the un-nessasary words makes more of a dramatic statement. I hope you will take my comments as constructive and remember all writing is about editing and re-editing to get the perfect product. Lots of luck with this I will back it for you.

Lucy Middlemass wrote 607 days ago

This is a Grimoire Review

Cinders, Letters to Cinderella

I very much like the idea of a damaged, hurt, foul-mouthed Cinderella. I read the first couple of chapters twice - once for the story and then again to pick up on any close crit I could offer. Your writing is smooth and the pace is good, kept up by Elle’s strong voice.
You’ve added, I think, to the traditional story with the characters of Bryn and Amelia but kept some of the most important elements - the sisters, step-mother and glass slippers.

Some close crit, in case it’s helpful. Kindly meant, of course.

The short pitch gets me interested but I’d cut the first part and leave, “Ellle isn’t your chambermaid alone…etc.” I think it’s clear just from that we’re not about to read a children’s book and the book’s title tells us we’re in for a take on a fairy tale.

In your long pitch, “admist” is a typo, I think. In the third paragraph, I think the full-stop ought to be a comma because the sentence starting, “Our Prince Charming…” doesn’t quite make sense on its own. Alternatively, you could cut “who” and it would make sense.
I would have expected you to use “Ella” rather than “Elle” since it’s a more natural shortening. Nothing wrong with the way you have it though! Possibly I’ve seen Ella used in pantomime and so on.

Chapter One

There’s a great deal of anger in the letter from Elle to Bryn- you get that across effectively. It makes for an striking opening and, along with using the first person, is a good way of immersing us into your MC’s mind quickly.
I’m not sure about the opening speech marks. Is Elle quoting someone else? I think the italics set it apart well enough without the speech marks. I don’t know why initial “Brynn” is outside the speech marks or why it is spelt differently - just a typo?
“in any body’s eyes.” “anybody” might be better as one word.
Unlike some of your other reviewers, I quite like the “fucks”. If they don’t suit a certain time period or whatever, it doesn’t matter to me. As a fairy tale, this is free to an extent from the constraints of time and place.
I like, “shoving my body down their throats.”
You personify love rather nicely.
Should “give him wind” be “give him word”?
“in front of my person.” reads oddly to me. Just “in front of me” would be maybe be simpler? But perhaps you intend it as part of Elle’s voice?

Chapter Two

“Bryns’ eyes” has the apostrophe in the wrong place.
The seasons descriptions of Elle’s sisters is nicely written.
Do you mean “kohl liner” rather than “coal liner”?
I like the hint at the end of this chapter that the gypsy woman who gave the shoes and dress to the tailor might have been Elle’s mother. And of course, it’s great to have the all-important glass slippers make an appearance.

This is edgy and surprising, full of feeling and emotion. Highly starred.


MrsGray wrote 607 days ago

Club Nora Review

I love the letter you start with. The emotion of the MC feels so real and raw. Her passion clearly comes through in ch 1. I had a teensy bit of trouble following the action, but since it was meant more to tell us of her emotional state that wouldn't stop me from reading on.

I did wonder why the MC made a point of saying she wanted to deliver the letter to him personally, then goes to so much effort to avoid him after she sets the authorities on him.

Overall, it was a pleasure to read. You truly have a gift for words.

April Gray
The Illusion

Jaymarie wrote 608 days ago

Hi Deborah,
I have added your book to my watchlist, I will read it soon!

StrikeAMatch wrote 608 days ago

This review is for: Deborah Lee Clark’s Cinders, Letters to Dear Cinderella
Date: 08.22.2012
Review By: Elizabeth Raine
Chapters: 1
Short Pitch – Very intriguing.
Long Pitch – I love the questions. It really pushes the reader to want to give it a chance (which I did). The only issue here is this sentence ‘Or will she ruin her story tale forever?’ I believe Story Tale doesn’t rub me the right way. I’m not sure if it was meant to be fairy tale or if the ‘tale’ wasn’t supposed to be in there.
Chapter One: The anger that is introduced right off the bat is just overwhelming. Really grips the reader and keeps their mind in the moment. As if they are her, Elle, who is writing it (I presume?). I found myself easy to feel the anger, panic and rage that was building within her as she wrote and went about what she was doing. The entire chapter is very well done and taking a darker look at an old classic was a fantastic idea. Great job on that.
The only mistake I noticed was the various use of the word ‘fuck’ which threw me off everytime I read it. I feel a woman of such old fashioned nature as well as her surroundings (it seems) would not use such a word. Just one small misstep is all. =)
Watched Listed. Backed. 6/6 stars.
~ Elizabeth.

mat012 wrote 611 days ago

Club Grimoire Review:

There is certainly no doubting the anger and betrayal your MC feels in this chapter. It is a very different style of writing than I am used to and it took me a while to get into it but eventually I did and became very curious as to what would happen when (if) they caught Brynn. A few things that stood out for me when I was reading through it:

"Don't ever fuck with me again…." This language seems out of place with the rest of the letter, particularly when placed so close to the old fashion send off of Good morrow.

The use of the word austere seems out of place with the rest of the list she would rather be.

"I let it spin, because as a girl I was strawberry blonde." Perhaps it is just me but I'm not sure I see why should let her hair curl because of the color.

I think this has promise as a new twist to Cinderella.

Good luck


K.T.Bowman wrote 614 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique

This was an interesting read, very different to the style of a lot of other books here :) more of a stream of consciousness. This was a brave choice, and at first I found it a little tricky to get into, but once I kept reading it and settled into the flow it became easier.

Not my usual choice, but by the end of the chapter I was intrigued to know more about your MC and her relationship with Bryn, whoever he is. And I thought the bitterness is your tone was very good :)


FrancesNewton wrote 614 days ago

Club Nora Review.

I really liked your pitch, first of all.

I think the style and voice are great, it has a very poetic tone to it :)

I don't know what else to say really, apart from that I really enjoyed chapter one, and went onto chapter two. Overall, just a great idea, well written. Nice work :)

Jane Mauret wrote 616 days ago

Cinders by Deborah Lee Clark
You asked me for comments and I had a go but I found the rhythm very unsettling, a bit all over the place and I had too many queries as I went along, thus:
“or put down loosely” = not sure what that means.
“But now I know it was or is just an illusion.” Need some commas in here.
“it was spilled out on paper so long ago, blindly followed for me to live it.” I don’t get the meaning between “long ago/blindly followed.”
“So I stick this challenge to your now.” I find the use of the word stick a bit jarring here for some reason (!).
“be such an imposter on what my life was” Not sure if “imposter on” go together.
“With the coal I use for liner” I don’t know what this means; do you mean eye-liner?

I don’t want to say this is not interesting writing, but I do not feel qualified to say too much as the genre text is so outside of my experience. Sorry I could not be of more help. I hope this project goes well for you.
Jane Mauret

Kayla H wrote 619 days ago

Club Grimoire Review:
This is a beautifully venomous first chapter, hovering somewhere between poetry and prose. The narrator’s voice is strong, articulate and angry. It’s very hard to stop reading at the end of the first chapter.
I love the rhythm of this line: “I will not kill for you, lie for you or die for you.” And this one: “you will be caught and found, shattered and bound.”
I thought this was a vivid line: “So, when Love comes again, tries to blind me of all her faults I will spit at her, push her down the stairs and call her names.”
Some nitpicking:
“But you love me, right?” This line was a bit jarring and its tone seemed a bit out of place.
“Does it matter that my words and my hatred will fill up empty bottles.” I love this line, but I think it needs a question mark at the end.
“Everyone is my victim though.” Should probably have a comma after “victim”
I think this needs some kind of punctuation: “I seal up the letter tight with the parcel in my hands I tie and untie the ribbon so many times.” A semicolon after “tight”?
“I would rather be a whore then your Queen.” Should be “than” not “then.” And Ella says she would love to see his face when he reads that line. But that exact line isn’t in the letter, is it? She actually wrote: “She can be your queen. I would rather be a whore. I would rather be a peasant than your queen.”
“rumors get worst each day” should probably be “worse” instead of “worst”
“She is so sick” at the start of this line you have the quotation marks facing the wrong way.
“Nope, I won’t” is missing a period at the end of it. And it might just be me, but “nope” felt a bit out of place. Maybe just, “No, I won’t.”?
Anyway, I thought this was brilliant and I’ve watch listed it for further reading.

Emily Rebecca wrote 621 days ago

Club Grimoire Review:

This is a very unique voice, almost a stream of conscious. A bit hard to follow along with at first, but enjoyable once I got into the rhythm of it. A very dark, mad rush of information in the prologue and first chapter. Leaves me wondering exactly what is going on. Will have to return to this later on.

Best of luck!

Lenny Banks wrote 623 days ago

Hi Deborah, I read chapter 5. I was hooked with the pitch it is interesting to see a new spin put on an old tale, I am sure that his how they arrived at the original 'patent' stories (interesting Disney gave the seven Dwarfs names). Your story is good, it flows well, is easy to follow and the characters real, I liked this and hope it does well for you. Well Done.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock.

EllieMcG wrote 625 days ago

club Grimoire: Dear Cinderella 

Whoa. Wasn't expecting such a bitter first chapter. Love it. Anyway, it's totally different, and a fun read (in a completely bitter way). I enjoyed the prologue and first chapter a lot - the writing is poetry rather than prose, but it never bogs you down. The anger takes on an almost crazed quality that draws you in - this woman is MAD! 

-She had a reputation farther than mine - this didn't make sense to me. Maybe "She had a reputation worse than mine."
-Because I would rather be everyone else on the streets, shoving my body down their throats - to be honest, this sentence confused me. I'm still not sure what it means, actually.
- With my golden curls so straight - maybe its a deliberate contradiction, but I wonder if this would be better as "with my golden locks so straight"
- If only she stayed to her duties. - I think this should be "if only she stayed WITH her duties."
- fantastic hook at the end of the prologue. A nice conclusion to the bitter rant. :)

- just one nitpick from the first chapter:
What were Veronica and Opals father like? - "What WAS Veronica and Opal's father like?"

Anyway, just some thoughts - I look forward to the next chapters!

Nancy Lopez wrote 629 days ago

Club Grimoire:

Hi, Ellora,

Wow, talk about beware of the heart of a scorn woman. This is an unusual openig. Different and, I like it!

There are some powerful word choices and phrases in that letter that pops out from the page. And, no, not all the fuck words. I admit to being a litle confused because it opens as if she were already a queen and is dissapointed in her people or else why say, you loved me once, right? and then it shifts to the present where it sort of puts you into the future. She banting and writing this letter she's sending out.
--there are some commas needed in that part where she talks about sealing the parcel.
I tried moving on to chapter 2 to get a better feel, but, today has been an awful day when it comes down to opening chapters on Authonomy. Maybe they're doing updates.

I admit to having many friends that feel the same way.."Fuck love, I don't need her." great ending!!

I am going to wait and try to go back and read chapter 2 for a better over all feel. You're chapter 1 was short anyhow.

Happy Writng Author!
High stars for creativity and that last sentence...
Backward Glances

John Bayliss wrote 629 days ago

Club Grimoire Review

The title "Dear Cinderella" suggests a fairy tale, but it is clear from the opening words that this is no fairy tale. As a portrait of an angry (and presumably, out for revenge) woman I don't think this could be bettered. The reader might not necessarily like your narrator as a person, but they are certainly intrigued by her behavior and would be eager to read on to discover what has happened to her and what she intends to do -- and most of all, what her eventual fate will be. Unlike conventional fairy tales, a "happy every after" isn't necessarily the natural conclusion to this story.

There are a small number of books that are beyond normal criticism, because they are so much "themselves" and there is nothing to compare them with. I think that Dear Cinderella could very well be one of those books. I could nit-pick and point out places where (in my opinion) the punctuation isn't quite right, or a sentence isn't quite grammatical; but then it could equally be argued that these "mistakes" are part of the voice of the narrator and therefore completely valid. This is the sort of book where that doesn't matter so much; it's what's being said that's important.

One idea that occured to me whilst I read this chapter: I wondered if she might use sealing wax to seal the letter. The blood red wax on white paper, impressed with the image of a signet ring, would be a potent image in the circumstances, I think.

best wishes and good writing, John

anthrax wrote 630 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique

Hi, Ellora,
This is a really strange start to a story.
‘But you love me, right?’ sticks out as not right tone for this rather formal style of writing.
Having read more, I can see that this is just one example of the mixed types of speech you use. For example, ending with ‘Good Morrow, Bryn’ sounds very old fashioned, quite out of keeping with the fucking this and that. Then you talk about the fates, switch back to older era, then we’re in another age and country altogether with the wanted poster and the sheriff.
This is a story impossible to judge on the first chapter. The narrator comes over strongly as a very angry, disillusioned girl, but that’s about all we get definitely so far. The story could be set anywhere, anytime. Possibly that was your intention in the mixed up speech patterns.
Intriguing is my word for this one.

Jenny-B wrote 631 days ago

Club Grimoire Review – Dear Cinderella
Deborah Lee Clark

**Chapter One **

The opening is like a song. There is a lot of emotion, anger and frustration expressed in the opening. But it seems mixed – like the narrator was once weaker than she is now, and she regrets her own choices as much as she is angered by whatever has transpired in the past.

“I watch it wishing that it will burn, but if it does all my work and penmanship will be nothing if not given directly to him” – I found the last part of this sentence a bit awkward.

“Everyone has spoke” – perhaps should be “spoken” – but this could be a narrative voice thing.

**Chapter Two**

I’m breaking the rules, because Chapter One was very short and more poetry than prose.

I’m trying to trying to think of who this internal dialogue reminds me of . . . it’s on the tip of my tongue – he’s famous, but it’s a very old style of writing. Oh – not internal dialogue, but stream of consciousness, perfected by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Thomas Pynchon. Your style of writing also has a bit of post modernism flavour. This is very different from most of the books I have read on Authonomy.

“No matter how desolate it seems there I would rather be in the cold of that stone, then the chill of the dampened muddy Earth, she seems sickly today.” – then should be than. I would also place a period after Earth – if indeed it is the Earth that is sickly. Otherwise, it’s a comma splice and disrupts the flow.

“Maybe it is, Amelia who walks among them doing in your deeds like you used to ask of me.” – I found this sentence awkward to read.

“Her mother I know was beautiful once it’s just hard to see it, now” – again, a bit awkward, nothing a few strategically placed commas couldn’t fix.

“Opals father” should be “Opal’s father”

I enjoyed this – it’s refreshingly different. It’s an interesting use of language and cadence – something to watch as it evolves and takes shape.


K E Shaw wrote 631 days ago

Hi Elora,
Confession - I read up to chapter 3, mostly because I just wanted to find out what is going on here. Your blended peotry/prose style was a bit of a shock to my system at first, but I couldn;t help getting caught up in it. I'm no fan of the first-person, present tense - BUT it works here, and it works very well. Your style is unique and original in a way that captivates the attention.

There is a great deal of raw, strong emotion from the opening letter to the descriptions of Veronica and Opal. I can feel this young lady's pain and disappointment with a man (boy?) who has hurt her at an almost visceral level.
However, if I had not read the pitch, I would have had no idea whatsoever that this was a re-invention of the Cinderella tale - for me it was just not in there at all - until perhaps towards the end of chp 3, when we meet the sisters and the mother who never calls her except with a raised voice.
But without the pitch, even that is only a hint. Given that anyone who reads a book will probably always read the pitch first anyway, perhaps this is not a problem. But I did feel that no connection was drawn, even indirectly, at all. Perhaps it could be brought in somewhere in place of one of Elle's reflections on her pain?

Quite a few grammar and punctuation nitpicks, but I think those have been dealt with in other comments.

Overall impression: original, startling - intrigued despite myself! I'm wondering where Elle is going to go - and grow- from here.

Karataratakas wrote 632 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique.

Decided to go with this book next, as 'Elora' happens to be the name of a character in my own book! Yes, she's a really, really evil character, but still--it must have been fate! (Last year I ended up having to change the name of the main villain in another novel I was writing because one of my new housemates had the same name, so these things happen, lol ;)

You clearly have a great talent in writing, your pacing is good, your style and use of imagery is imaginative and you have the originality to come up with an entirely new take on a fairytale that's been re-imagined time and time again, but I have to be honest and say it's a take I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like. On the one hand I'm impressed because the voice you use is a dead-ringer from someone I used to know, and you portray it so skillfully I was amazed--but unfortunately, this happened to be a person I didn't want to be reminded of, ¬_¬

And it's a shame, because that obviously isn't your fault, I just wish I could give a better critique. I will say that I found it a little difficult to know what was going on in the first chapter (assuming 'Chapter One' is a prologue, it reads like one, and chapter two is the first chapter) but other than that I can't think of anything to say that isn't a matter of personal taste. Ah well, a compelling opening none the less.

Best of luck!


Eftborin wrote 634 days ago

Club Grimoire comment.

Hi Deborah, nice opening with the letter.
I suggest that you add commas to the first para, "I seal up the letter tight, and with the parcel in my hands, I tie and untie the ribbon so many times."
"...but if it does, all my work..."

It will is unusual for me to wait for the next chapter reading as i dont particularly like romantic type books. Going good so far.

Elizabeth H wrote 635 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique

Hi Elora, Well this is a new take on Cinderella. I love it!!!!

The letter at the start is a great way to show what has happened and what Ella is feeling about Bryn. There was also a certain cadence to it and an expectation of a threat delivered along with the letter to make me wonder if it was a spell in disguise.

Time seems to have past and Ella is no longer the golden-haired beauty. She appears to have no children, so I wonder if the marriage went ahead, or she is still waiting and he is cheating on her? Apparently he likes the more earthy women of the lower classes.

I wonder what else Bryn has done that people would be after him? This is a very compelling hook. I want to read on. I also want some sort of recovery for Ella, who is so against love as a result of Bryn.

There are some comma missing and I found one typo.

I would rather be a whore then (than) your queen

Thanks for a very enjoyable read.

Shelvis wrote 635 days ago

Club Grimoire Review of “Dear Cinderella” by Deborah Lee Clark [aka eloraville]

Hi, Elora!

I'm sorry I'm just now here, but I wanted to properly mull everything over before I wrote. But don't be scared, it's not bad! In fact, it was so deep (at least to me) that I needed a few hours to contemplate it.

First impressions: Heartbreak rendered in stream-of-consciousness poetry, a window into the aftermath of a recent event that changed this (young?) woman’ s life, that she’s been rejected for a different girl.

I read this twice. I think everyone who reads it should. It’s one of those sorts of passages that’s initially enigmatic, but on a second pass something just clicked in my mind and I understood it completely: caught the subtle nuances, felt the torn heart and the pain that went into the letter. So much is explained, and two plot threads are laid out: the girl and Bryn, and the girl and her family—betrayal and consequences, two delightfully dark themes for what promises to be a great gothic novel.

I did catch some grammatical errors (and this didn’t detract from the story at all for me!) that you may want to take a look at, and I’ll pm them if you want—especially since I don’t typically go through the other comments, so they’ve probably already been addressed. ^_^

My favorite lines:
- “…caught and found, shattered and bound.”
- “You will know my eternity now.”

In summary, the prose has a good solid feel of a backstory beneath it, which I’m anxious to see unfold (if it does) and to see what happens next. The immediate sense of conflict was a great hook for me, despite it being mysterious and slippery on the first read. The letter and the implications of it are certainly elements that need to be digested, and the story springs to life.

Your writing is eloquent, evocative, and compelling, and I really mean that. I wish I had a lot more time to just read and enjoy it.

~ Shelley

Hyperion wrote 636 days ago

My Club Grimoire comments,
I came to this expecting something very different. We have been watching the Once upon a time alternative fables and the people in storybook, as they lead their twin lives spent in fairy land and modern day America. this is currently running on British TV. and I rather expected this to be something like it.
Well, it is different, but equally enchanting.
Your style forced me onwards at a breakneck speeds as if I was gulping down large amounts of emotion and feelings into a letter or diary. I also read onwards to chapter two to get a better sense of where you were going and to be able to comment on your writing. Once again, I was left breathless and at a loss to describe your book and your main Protagonist.

I came away with an impression of someone who has come to hate men and despise love, what a shame, I heard myself thinking, do I care about Cinders now, will I read on, Certainly! Ray Jones,(Druids of Gybi,