The time it was about The Belles

Posted February 4, 2018 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 10 Comments

I was instantly intrigued by The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton.  The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis gives just the right amount to get hooked.  As soon as I got the email for the blog tour, I couldn’t sign up fast enough.

Before we get to the interview with Dhonielle, let’s check out the book!

Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Pub Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 448
Find it: Disney Books | IndieBound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for The Belles.

Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies meets Marie Antoinette’s court where everyone in Orléans is born degenerative, but there’s girls who can change you down to your bones for the right price.

2. Which came first: the world or the characters?

The world of came first. More specifically, the magic of the Belles and the fairy-tale quality of them and their talents. I always enter the world first, and as it starts revealing itself, I find the characters. I wanted to build a world around some of my favorite things – beauty products, teacups and tea, blimps and balloons, miniature pigs, and teahouses.

3. Why do you love Camellia and why should we root for her?

I love Camellia because she’s ambitious and creative. I think readers should root for her because she’s a girl with a plan – and there’s nothing more dangerous than that.

4. You have a lot of characters in this story. Who was the easiest and hardest to work with and why?

Aside from Camellia, the easiest character to write was Edel. She’s one of Camellia’s sisters, and she’s feisty and breaks all the rules. The hardest character to write was another one of Camellia’s sisters, Amber. She’s a rule-follower, teacher’s pet, and competitive. Those   character traits have always irked me, so I found it difficult to make sure readers wouldn’t hate her.

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scenes always deal with Princess Sophia. I especially liked writing a card party that she throws later in the book. I love writing scenes where the setting also informs the tension happening between the characters. At this particular moment, the mood of gambling and probability seep into what happens between Camille and Princess Sophia.

Speed {ish} round:

1. You find out that you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

Screaming and jumping around and calling my parents.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

Pepto Bismol, water purifying tablets, and mosquito repellant.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

4. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?

I’d love to date Cash from Sarah Nicole Lemon’s Done Dirt Cheap. I’d love to be BFF with Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

That none of it makes any sense and you will never figure it all out.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question}

I choose Jacob. Team Jacob forever.


Dhonielle Clayton is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series. She grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs on the Maryland side and spent most of her time under her grandmother’s table with a stack of books. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Dhonielle is co-founder of CAKE Literary—a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers—and COO of the non-profit, We Need Diverse Books.

She’s got a serious travel bug and loves spending time outside of the USA, but makes her home in New York City, where she can most likely be found hunting for the best slice of pizza.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Huge thanks to the lovelies at Rockstar Book Tours for the invite and to Dhonielle for taking the time! Make sure you’re checking out the rest of the blog tour and keep scrolling for a giveaway!

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10 responses to “The time it was about The Belles

  1. Danielle Hammelef

    I’ve been excited about this book since I first read about it. It’s on my TBR and my wish list. Can’t wait to read this book.

  2. Holly Kreczko

    I wasn’t originally drawn to this storyline, but it’s getting such good reviews! It sounds like there’s a lot more to it. Really looking forward to reading it and seeing Dhonielle at NYC Bookcon in June.

  3. I loved The Belles! I just finished writing my review for it(5 stars!) I’ve loved learning more about Dhonielle Clayton and the book through these posts. You asked such great questions and I learned that I have a lot in common with one of my new favorite authors! I’d bring Pepto Bismal as well lol and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban would be my one book too. Also Team Jacob forever. But he has nothing on Rémy! Congrats to Dhonielle on the release of The Belles! I can’t wait for book 2!

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