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Saturday, January 21, 2023
About the Book
Book: Shattered Reflection
Author: Madisyn Carlin
Genre: New Adult Christian Fantasy / Fairytale Retelling
Release date: December 21, 2022
Can hope be found for four shattered souls?
Princess Nordica Icerri’s crown will be purchased with blood—her blood. Now the sole heir to the throne, she is determined to be the queen the Snowlands deserve, but that comes with a price: a numbed heart and soul. Only when she meets kidnapped physician Loren Alocer does Nordica allow herself to hope she can become queen without completely losing herself. But not everyone wants what’s best for the Snowlands, and Nordica’s upcoming rule is compromised at every turn. Can the criminal physician—and his faith—thaw Nordica’s heart, or is she destined to be the heartless queen she is being forced to become?
War shattered not only Breac Finson’s heart, but his faith as well. Tired of fighting, Breac only wants to be left alone, but his efforts are for naught when a friend calls in a favor. He soon finds himself in an unexpected alliance with Layree Alocer, a woman determined to find her wrongfully-kidnapped brother at all costs. Can a broken soldier help right a wrong—and find his faith again in the process?
Sides must be chosen and loyalties will be tested as a new war approaches. Can broken lives be mended in time to help save the Snowlands, or is evil already too deeply embedded?
Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.
What comes to your mind when you think about fairytale retellings? Is it Disney’s 1950 retelling of Cinderella? Glittery swirls of magic? Talking animals? Pretty gowns? Or, perhaps, frying pans or a sassy dragon?
My interest regarding fairytales was first piqued when I was young. Though I was only three, I distinctly remember riding in the car and flipping through the three-story fairytale collection my mom just purchased for me. I couldn’t read, but the bright colors and abundance of animals entranced me. Now I not only read fairytales, I write retellings of them.
Why, though? Aren’t fairytales just fun stories that sometimes impart a lesson?
No. Fairytales are much more than that. The majority of fairytales contain deep, important lessons the authors or culture of that time wanted their readers and listeners to learn from. Fairytales offer encouragement, hope, and include gentle reminders about doing the right thing even when we don’t want to.
Take, for instance, The Snow Queen, which is the fairytale I modeled Shattered Reflection after. In The Snow Queen, the forefront themes are loyalty and perseverance. No matter what trials the female protagonist endures, she pushes on with the mindset that rescuing her best friend is worth the effort and pain.
Aside from being rich in wry humor, breathtaking scenic descriptions and worldbuilding, and interesting characters, The Snow Queen contains faith and reminds readers that our ultimate source of strength is God—not ourselves.
This is what I wanted to emulate in Shattered Reflection. This story—with its broken characters, tattered kingdoms, and insidious antagonists—contains plenty of faith amidst pain, questions, and wounded hearts. I wanted to illustrate that, no matter what we’re going through, God is in control and nothing and no one ever slips from His grasp.
What is Shattered Reflection?
Title: Shattered Reflection Series: The Shattered Lands | Book One Genre: NA Christian Fantasy Subgenre: Fairytale retelling (The Snow Queen) POVS: 5 Ages: Appropriate for ages 15+ due to non-graphic violence Core Themes: Salvation, Loyalty, and Forgiveness
Shattered Reflection is a Christian fairytale retelling which incorporates heavy faith elements, numerous action scenes, clean romance, and plenty of evil villains.
Content Warning: SR1 contains heavy topics, although none are described in a gratuitous and gory manner. There is also a lot of violence, so I do not recommend this book for anyone younger than fifteen. If you are older than fifteen and are easily bothered by such content, then this probably is not the book for you.
I love that this is a fairy tale retelling with an emphasis on faith throughout the book. I loved the description the author uses to make us feel icy cold as we join the characters on the adventure. I did look up what the story is based on and found that it was close to the original story in details. The cover of the book is breathtaking and I applaud whoever designed it.
This adventure includes several characters who are trying to do the right thing and rely on their faith when faced with danger. I love the bond between brother and sister who are Layree and Loren. Layree is very determined to rescue her brother and I liked how she was strong willed and never backed down. She has to trust someone she has never done before but working with this person may help her get her brother back.
There are some harsh scenes when Loren faces the cruelty from the people who kidnapped him. When he witnessed the slaves hard at work and the threat of death if they didn’t do well was a little too much for Loren to take in. As he and Nordica meet they soon form a bond. I can’t imagine the evil power that Nodica’s aunt and uncle display as they are hungry for more. I enjoyed how Loren was able to continue in his faith and believed that he would be able to help Nordica and also hopefully see his sister again.
There are quite a few characters in the book that at times did keep me hopping. The author does a marvelous job of having the characters interact with each other either through danger, pride or standing on faith. There is one character that captured my heart and I embraced their bravery. Who is that character? Well I will leave it to readers to see if they can guess who it is. The story provides great entertainment with a good vs evil theme and plenty of action along with emotions that enhance the adventure.
I received a copy of this book from Cerebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
Besides the God-fearing, decent folks seeking new beginnings, adventurers, miners, risk-takers, fugitives, perverts, and runaways alike—even royals—comprise a few of the characters in book one of the ‘New Beginnings Family Saga’ titled WAGONS WEST. The two-thousand-mile journey is wrought with danger, trials, troubles and tragedies, deprivations, and of course, romance, but the lure of gold and a fresh start urges the sojourners on to the Promised Land!
Blaire Beechy, a widow with two almost grown daughters, Adeline and Beatrice, and a twelve-year-old son Tucker sells everything to go for the gold only to discover the rules of wagon master Ambrose Lee forbids them to join his wagon train, but the widow is determined. Though the disgruntled and handsome widow turns his head, the man deals with troubles of his own. His train isn’t full, he has yet to hire a scout, and his integrity thrusts him into saving a troubled young woman called Birdie. The journey is an arduous undertaking, but he’s done it before and is up to the task.
This story was first published in episodes at Kindle Vella, Season One, by the same name. Season two SETTLERS & TOFFS continues the story and episodes are now being published and are available at Kindle Vella.
Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over sixty published now—delight readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen to a few on YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-four grandsugars (six are greats), Caryl and her high-school-sweetheart-husband of fifty-four years Ron live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.
More from Caryl
What a fun, new adventure writing WAGONS WEST! Ron and I stepped up to try a new program Amazon offered authors called Kindle Vella where we’d write episodes rather than chapters. In a year’s time, WAGONS WEST had thirty-five episodes and was over one hundred thousand words, about four hundred pages.
We continue to write Season Two of the “New Beginnings Family Saga” SETTLERS & TOFFS, with the same characters going into the following year, 1850, scattering into three settings: those from Season One’s wagon train who decide to settle Auburn, California, those just starting the sojourn west with Emmerson Pierce, scout in Season One, now wagon master, and we sail the Atlantic to England when the son of the Earl of Farnsworth receives word of his older brother’s death.
The characters in WAGONS WEST made it so special for me, and I believe you’re sure to love them as well. Robert E. Lee’s older brother Ambrose is our wagon master and the story’s main hero. As all my heroes (thanks to Ron’s part of our collaboration) he is strong but flawed.
Our matriarchal heroine Blaire Beechy, recently widowed, has sold everything and uprooted her three children—two almost grown daughters Adeline and Beatrice and their twelve-year-old brother Tucker—only to discover Captain Lee’s idiotic rules forbid an unmarried woman from traveling in his wagon train. Why must there be a man at the head of each family?
WAGONS WEST offers readers adventures with a colorful cast of characters who support, cause trouble, act a bit crazy, and play ball to make the story one you just can’t put down. All along the way, God is questioned, given praise, denied, and surrendered to, saving sojourners again and again—not only in the spiritual realm.
It’s a story I’ve certainly enjoyed writing, and I’m hoping you’ll enjoy reading WAGONS WEST as much!
As always, I’m ‘Praying my story gives God glory!’ Hallelujah! There is no one like Him! He alone is the Great King over all the earth! Not a man that He could lie, but worthy to receive all glory and all praise!
I adore stories during this time period and when you add a wagon train to it well I’m sold. The author delivers an experience where readers will feel like they are riding along the trails in a slow moving wagon with dust, heat and rain facing their journey. It was easy to feel every movement because of the vivid picture painted with words. It is no secret that I love this author’s writing and am always amazed at how the stories capture my attention right away.
I’ve decided not to go into much detail in this review because I don’t want to spoil anything for readers. The characters are wonderful, the trials they go through are heartbreaking mixed with joy. I love the strong female lead in the story and her determination to make a better life for her children.
There is one character that stands out to me and her fight to survive the demons inside her. For some this may be hard to read, but I found it important because it followed a Biblical example where demons were cast off. It is not spoken about much, but I liked how the author handled it. It gives hope to those who struggle emotionally and sheds a light on how God can save those who seem hopeless. As always I have come away with a deeper relationship with Jesus after reading a book from this author. I appreciate that she tackles hard subjects and shows how Jesus sets us free from our sins.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Will love solve everything — or immerse them in even worse peril?
Restless and ready for a change, Grace Stratton gladly accepts the opportunity to leave her remote parsonage home to serve as a wealthy spinster’s companion in the idyllic country town of Lindenfell. Its warm atmosphere and friendly inhabitants sooth Grace’s lonely heart. But when a mysterious stranger arrives, she soon discovers things aren’t always what they seem.
Convinced chloroform will revolutionise the medical world, Dr. David Carbury frequently administers it to his London patients — until one of them dies. Facing a grave trial to prove his innocence and defend a drug most people view as poisonous, he makes hasty plans to buy time to bolster his case. But he wasn’t expecting to face an even deadlier challenge.
As attraction sparks not long after they meet, Grace soon suspects he’s hiding something, and David knows he can’t run from the truth forever.
But neither of them could imagine the sinister threat lurking just around the corner…
Immersed in faith and intrigue, this Christian Victorian romance from award-winning author Edwina Kiernan will encourage and delight you long after you turn the last page.
Edwina Kiernan is the Christian author of the award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption.
An enthusiast of classic novels and history, Edwina combines her faith, imagination and research to create hope-infused tales set in times past.
A lifelong word admirer, with Welsh and Irish heritage, she started writing stories early in childhood.
She is a committed follower of Jesus (the Living Word), and endeavours to use her pen to point others to Him.
More from Edwina
Have you ever wished you could travel back in time to a place where quaint buildings are bathed with a golden glow in the afternoon light, where the people are polite and respectful, and where the pace of living allows your soul to breathe and just… be?
In that case…
Welcome to Lindenfell!
The Letter introduces us to Grace Stratton (daughter of the hero & heroine from my award-winning novel, Ruby’s Redemption), who accepts a position as a lady’s companion in a place she’s never been before, but where she’ll soon discover a whole new world.
“The air in Lindenfell had a scent of its own — one of warmth and peace. Of hope.”
Lord-willing, the Victorian Virtues series will have nine books, each based on an aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit, and each exploring the historical events and everyday realities that change and challenge eighteen main characters and nine blossoming romances.
Friends and foes, tragedies and triumphs, hopes and heartaches — the best and worst of life, all in one fictional market town in Victorian England.
It is my deepest hope that, as you travel to Lindenfell in each book of the series, you’ll find the truth and hope you need to navigate your own trials and triumphs, and discover that the refreshment your soul longs for is already available to you, wherever you may be.
When was the last time you received a handwritten letter from someone? Have you recently sent a handwritten letter to a friend? I think the days of that special way to correspond to each other is not popular anymore. With this story it was a valuable commodity and brought news to people who may not hear from someone without that special letter. I adored this book because it brings a sense of nostalgia to me where a personal way to communicate was welcomed.
The author uses special letters between characters to express great desire, sorrow and hope. I loved how a letter could bring hope to someone who needed to read words of forgiveness. In another letter it expresses feelings of despair and lost love. But perhaps the best letter would soon come and bring reconciliation and a new beginning.
I liked how Grace wanted to be adventurous and took on the job of being a companion to a widow. Her excitement is contagious as she meets her new employer. I loved how she is grounded in faith and never sways from her beliefs. Grace is lonely at times and has a hope that someday the right gentleman will come along to make her happy.
David is someone I liked very much. He is a gifted physician and does his best to help those who are ill. When one of his patients dies, the family blames him for the death. It was interesting to learn about how chloroform was just beginning to become popular and it was considered to be the best new drug for anesthesia. I was so upset when David’s fellow partner turned on him. Now David faces a trial which could either send him to jail, prove his innocence or sentence him to death.
Going to visit his aunt turns out to be more than he bargained for. He finds Grace there and is smitten with her. There is a slight problem though as David has not been truthful to his aunt or Grace. I think others in the town were a little suspicious of him as well. The story focuses on how a lie turns into ruining relationships and causing someone great pain.
David is overcome with guilt and just as he is about to give up someone befriends him. I loved this moment as David finds a true friend who is willing to help him clear his name. It is a long road for David but in the midst of the storm he finds something very special. Don’t miss this part of the story where the author illustrates God’s grace and unconditional love.
There are a few twists at the end of the book that heightens the intense feeling of the story. The trial is full of drama and surprises as David has faith that God will clear his name. Just as I thought the story was coming to a close, the author shocks me with one more tense scene. In the end our characters realize that telling the truth will “set you free.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
He controls the answers to her past and future, but she threatens his inheritance and his heart.
Maggie Prescott may not know her real name, the circumstances of her birth, or her father’s identity, but based on a song her shipwrecked birthmother taught her before she died, Maggie’s certain the answers lie on the island of Antigua. Unbeknownst to her beloved adopted family, she sends her maid to finishing school in her stead and convinces her uncle, Captain Anthony Middleton, to sail her to the Leeward Islands. Time is of the essence to discover her heritage before the next family gathering exposes her duplicity.
Lord Samuel Fredrick Harcourt Granville was groomed to inherit the Cardon title and lands, but the possession of his father’s temper has put Samuel’s future in jeopardy. After discovering his fiancée cavorting with his so-called friend, the ensuing altercation lands Samuel in court before of the House of Lords. As an example, for all aristocratic sons to quell their hedonistic living, the House of Lords banishes Samuel to the island of Antigua until he can prove he’s worthy of his privileged birth.
On the island, Samuel works to rein in his temper and revive a dying sugar plantation. Still, his return to England and all his efforts are threatened when a mysterious woman breaks into his island home, claiming to be the true heiress of the sugar plantation. Guilt, resentment, and fresh yearnings sizzle under the island sun as Maggie’s search uncovers a much greater treasure than either of them expected.
Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.
More from Lorri
Maggie first appeared in The Captain’s Quest as the feral child shipwrecked on a deserted island. Readers fell in love with her character and emailed me, hoping to learn more of her story. It didn’t take much coaxing for my imagination to delve into how a child, who’d lived outdoors and struggled with daily survival, would adapt to Regency England’s intricate social conventions of the le bon ton as a grown woman.
Like Maggie, my grandfather and mother-in-law were both adopted. Each felt a disconnection from their roots and a natural yearning to fill a void by learning their origins. The thriving industry of Ancestry.com and 23-and-Me exists due to this pervasive desire to understand one’s background. Understandably, Maggie longs for answers, but the guilt of being disloyal to the family who accepted her into their loving home temps her to fabricate a lie and cover up her journey to the island of Antigua.
Another driving force for Maggie is that in Regency England, questionable heritage could hinder an adopted child from marrying within the upper social ranks. Unknown lineage could taint noble bloodlines, and many aristocrats wouldn’t dare align their families with someone of uncertain origins. Maggie’s marriage prospects would have been limited unless she uncovered her past. She’d have been considered too risky to wed among the gentry but raised too highborn to marry within the lower classes.
The Heir’s Predicament is the last installment of the Leeward Island series, and I will miss immersing myself in the rich cultural history of the Caribbean. I loved exploring different isles and island-hopping with readers through various settings. The island of Antigua, where The Heir’s Predicament is set, boasts of ninety-five miles of scalloped coastlines, white and pink sand beaches, a tropical but arid climate, windmills and plantations, and a sugar and spice history complete with Caribs and pirates. Island tensions create a lively setting and weave their way into the characters’ stories, for instance, the push and pull between the island’s calming beauty and battering storms, water abounding but not much of it drinkable, a laid-back culture of hearty survivors, and a legacy of slavery versus colonization.
The journey, however, isn’t over, my next series will take place in the rolling hills and quaint towns of England’s Cotswold, but there’s hope of a Windward Island series in the future.
Is it possible to fall completely in love with a story? The answer is yes for me. This story is so full of adventure, laughter, mystery, pride and deceit that I couldn’t put the book down. Oh I know that people say that all the time, but it is true with this book. I was swept away to an island where royalty lived and a time period where slaves were used. I enjoyed how the author includes the talk about freeing slaves. There were some who didn’t want this to happen and readers will find out how far they will go to prevent a vote from making slavery abolished.
Maggie oh how can I put into words how captivating you are. She is desperately searching answers to who she is and stumbles upon a place where she believes God has led her. An accident leaves her stranded at the estate of the dashing Lord Samuel Fredrick Harcourt Granville. I was shocked at the turn of events which leads us to how Maggie and Samuel meet. It is not without a few laughs and an explanation that sounds a bit crazy. Maggie is just so set on finding out about her parents that she doesn’t think everything through. She is stubborn, argumentative and did I say stubborn?
Samuel has secrets but right now his focus is on getting Maggie well. I do think he felt guilty of what happened but he wants to make sure Maggie is nursed back to health. Her presence brings sunshine into his life and laughter that he hasn’t had in forever. Wait till you read his explanation for why Maggie is staying at his estate . It made me laugh out loud. There does come a time where Samuel wants to help Maggie get answers but he worries it may affect him in a way where he could lose everything. He has grown to care for Maggie and wrestles with what to do. I loved how the author wove faith into the story where we witness the main characters praying for guidance from God.
Through discovery of secret diaries Maggie gets closer to the truth. She wants to be accepted by others but learns that God loves her unconditionally and that should be enough. As the story comes an epic conclusion I was on the edge of my seat. So many questions ran through my mind. One of the best ending I have read in a while included something that will forever stick with me. “ Sacrifice means giving up something you love for something you love more.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.”