Thursday, April 28, 2022

5 Thoughts on Cindy Ellen

Hello, everyone! It's DAY TWO of the Midnight Curfews release party, and today we're celebrating Rachel Roden's Cindy Ellen, book 3 in the Wunstaponia series of Old West fairy tale retellings. This is a nonmagical short story retelling, and it's pretty fun. I'll be sharing my thoughts on it here, but first, let's get the rundown of book and author.

About . . .

Cindy Ellen

Wunstaponia #3

Once upon a time, way out west...

Cindy Ellen runs the local store, selling supplies to foresters, ranchers, and prospectors while her stepmother gives her neverending orders and spoils her stepsisters. She can't do anything right, even as she's the only one doing anything. Can one ball change her life forever? Perhaps not, but at least it might give her one night of freedom.

Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads

Rachel Roden

Rachel Roden is a natural storyteller, capable of weaving the most hilarious of fairy tales. She fell in love with the Lone Ranger in her teens, but ended up with a basketball referee instead. A homeschool mom of four, she also teaches with VIP Kids and tutors any other kid who wanders across her path. She might also be the sole human who still uses math after college.

Find her online at: Blog || Goodreads || YouTube || Instagram || Twitter

5 Thoughts on Cindy Ellen

  1. Old West fairytales are just fun. This isn't quite the same brand of Old West as Rapunzel's Revenge (a delightful graphic novel retelling of, you guessed it, Rapunzel), but it still has the vibes. And, of course, it's a nice change of pace from the usual fairy tale settings.
  2. It's always interesting to see non-magical retellings. I would say Cinderella is probably one of the easier stories to rework without magic, but it's still neat to see how the author changes things to suit a setting that doesn't support fairy godmothers and enchanted pumpkins.
  3. I liked the twists on the prince character. It's difficult to say a lot here without spoiling things, but I will say that the prince in this story is almost as much of a mysterious figure to the community as Cinderella is, and there's some elements traditionally associated with her that get switched over to him. It's definitely not a full-on genderbend, but it is rather clever.
  4. I do have a little bit of uncertainty around the timeline? This normally wouldn't be worth mentioning — some days, I can hardly keep track of real-world time, let alone story time. But it does affect the age gap between the members of the main couple, which is . . . I'll be honest, it's a bit on the wide side for a story in which one character isn't an immortal elf or something similar. It's not necessarily out of place for the setting, just . . . yeah. Your mileage may vary.
  5. All in all, it's a fun take on the classic fairy tale. Is it the best Cinderella I've ever read? No. But it is a pleasant read and a creative twist on the original, and I'd say it's well worth picking up.

Are you excited about Cindy Ellen? How do you feel about non-magical retellings? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


  1. I have never even considered a fairytale retelling done as a WESTERN?! That's a thing?! I love the creativity. I need to expand my horizons, haha

    It won’t let me put my proper url for some reason but this is Stefanie from, haha

  2. Yeah, Google throws a hissy fit when I try to use my Google Account too, and I own the blog. :P

    YES, western fairy tales are fun! This series and then Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale are the main ones I've seen.


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.