Today is the beginnings of the Broken Mirrors Launch Tour, where six Snow Queen Retellings are celebrated and five are released. I have four of the authors here (Wyn couldn’t make it due to other commitments in her book’s world) for a group interview. We’ll have the author interview first, then I’ll tell you more about the books and where you can find them.
KA – Kendra Ardnek
HE – Heather Elliot
SP– Sarah Pennington
EG – Erudessa Gentian
Me – The interviewer
Me: Welcome to Madi’s Musings, ladies. Let’s begin with this question: Usually an author has a favorite character. Which Broken Mirrors character is yours?
KA: Will, Ginny’s older brother who grew up on the streets and is a litttttle bit jaded. He is a bit of a change from William in Mansfield Park, as he also plays Yates’ role, but I had fun with him, and I love his arc.
HE: I feel a little bad that it’s not my main character but…. Eugenia, hands down. I rarely see mothers with children in fantasy stories. I thought it would be fun to have a relatable mother portrayed realistically. She’s also an older sister, as am I, so I found writing adult sibling interactions highly amusing.
SP: Don’t make me choose! I love all my Through a Shattered Glass characters, though not all for the same reasons. But if I have to pick someone . . . probably Kai. Or Chess. Or Alys. It depends on the day.
EG: My current favorite human character is probably Sterling. I’ve always loved him from the series, and in this story he gets to step up and help rescue the trapped players.
Me: Writing is a process which involves many potholes and unexpected hiccups. What have you learned from one of these writing potholes/hiccups?
KA: Keep throwing spaghetti against the wall until it sticks.
HE: I thought I was a planner but learned I’m a bit of a discovery writer as well. I do need to have an outline and broad idea of themes, goals, locations, and arc, but as soon as I start writing, the characters turn into people who make decisions and they change the nuances of the story. I’ll get anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 words into the story, have to stop, rethink everything, and start over at the beginning. This happened three times on OIAR – once to solidify the characters and their arcs; once to solidify all the history, worldbuilding, mythology and lore; and by the third rewrite of those
original 30,000 words, I felt like I finally has all the pieces in place to finish the entire draft.
SP: Always leave yourself a runway. This technically isn’t a lesson I learned from writing Through a Shattered Glass, but it is how I avoided a lot of potholes while writing this particular book. I made a point of never ending a writing session at the end of a chapter or scene; I always gave myself at least a few sentences (and usually at least a paragraph) of the next bit. That made it much easier to get back into the flow of writing the next time I opened the document and meant I wasted much less time trying to figure out how to start things.
EG: I’ve learned it’s okay to be a slow writer. Sometimes I can whip out a ton of words in a couple days, but more often than not, a full book takes me a while to complete the first draft. When you see other successful authors publishing book after book every few months, it can be discouraging. Until I remember that’s not my story. If I rushed myself like that, my content would be terrible, if I got anything down at all. Everyone has different strengths, and while I can learn to do it quicker, I don’t have to mirror anyone else.
Me: What advice would you offer a new writer?
KA: Read, read, read.
Write, Write, Write.
Edit, edit, edit.
But know that you’ll never achieve perfection.
HE: There is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Find what works for you. The most important thing is to write, write, write. Keep learning, keep asking, keep trying, but when it comes down to it, actually writing will give you the experience to write better.
SP: Not every strategy or technique that someone suggests to you will work for you. But some of it will. And sometimes what advice does and don’t work for you will change over time. That’s ok. Just do what you need to do to keep getting words on the page without getting burned out. The more you write, the better you’ll get.
EG: Something to remember for all authors: There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you give. Learn what you can from that experience (maybe they’re pointing out a weakness), and then learn to move on. Don’t let negative reactions freeze you up. You can never please everyone. Not even chocolate does that.
Me: Would you like to reside in your Broken Mirrors world? Why or why not?
KA: I think it would be fun, especially if it was while Elinrose was the Gardener. There’s no wifi, but Enchanted Forests are a fun place to be, you know.
HE: Oh yes. I’ve been cherry-picking favorite things from over 5,000 years of real-world history so everything about the Flamesend world is something I would love to explore.
SP: I would definitely like to visit Wonderland. Live there? I’m not sure. After the end of Through a Shattered Glass, it could be very pleasant, but I don’t think I’d want to live there during the events of the book.
EG: Well, not in the glitchy virtual reality, but the world it’s set in, yes! It’s 2,000 years in the future, with some cool tech I’d love to take advantage of.
Me: If you had to permanently choose between writing your stories by hand or by typewriter, which option would you select?
KA: I already do a lot of handwriting, and a typewriter would just mean more typing, so … the former.
HE: I already do much of my drafts and edits by hand, so I’d choose typewriter. I have my late grandfather’s 1953 Remington Portable and I love using it.
SP: By hand! I used to write all my first drafts by hand, and I frequently think that I should go back to doing that. (But then I don’t, because I have deadlines, and typing means I’m more likely to meet those deadlines.)
EG: By hand. I can cross out and scribble any amount of notes that way. I make a lot of mistakes in my first drafts…
Me: Thank you for joining me, ladies. Readers, scroll on to learn more about the Broken Mirrors books.
ABOUT THE BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Rose Petals & Snowflakes by Kendra E. Ardnek
The Austen Fairy Tale #4
Ginny doesn’t belong in Snowfield Palace, but she has nowhere else to go. An old promise between her mother and Lady Bethim keeps her off the streets when she’s left alone in the world, and she’s eternally grateful for the home – and the friendship of Kaimund, Lady Bethim’s son. She makes herself useful however possible and life is quiet.
Until the far-too-charming Prince Hans and his sister Maia visit and send her world spinning. A shattered mirror is nothing to laugh about, and a new, dark magic could destroy everything.
Purchace Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BBSRX4ZC/
Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60712076-snowfield-palace
Series Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RW49WHQ
Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she’s frequently known to act before she thinks.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || TikTok || Tumblr || Amazon
The White Queen’s Spell by Wyn Estelle Owens
Release date: January 2023
Last Summer, Ailsa stumbled her way into a tangled web of curses and power that resulted in her not only rescuing her Kingdom’s princesses, but also freeing the Fae King of Summer from his century-long imprisonment. This Summer has been much more peaceful, as she awaits and anticipates not only Princess Mairead’s wedding to her best friend Fionn, but her own to Summer’s King.
But when Ailsa lets her guard down and stumbles her way into not one, but two terrible curses, the wheel of fate begins to turn again.
Fiachra, King of Summer, has spent the year since his release strengthening his realm and wooing the lady who freed him from his curse–only to have his betrothed snatched away by Winter’s Queen. And not only is Ailsa trapped in another court, but the doubled curse upon her has left her only a shadow of herself. But it is Summer, and duties tie him to his Court—but Ailsa is not friendless.
Fionn and Mairead are determined to repay Ailsa for all her help, and set out on a dangerous journey across Faerie and through the Courts of the Seasons, to the very depths of Winter itself, where a terrible power awaits.
There is more than one way to become heartless, after all.
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BG1FK1FD?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420
Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62675770-the-white-queen-s-spell
Wyn Estelle Owens is the penname of a young woman who’s still figuring out what this whole ‘adult’ thing is all about. She lives in a big, old house in Maryland by a Hundred Acre Wood (dubbed Neldoreth) with her parents, three occasionally obnoxious brothers, her dog Jackie, and her personal plot bunny, Joker.
She is fond of reading, writing, drawing, speaking in dead or imaginary languages, playing videogames, quoting classic or obscure literature, being randomly dramatic, and generally making things out of yarn. Her dream is to write stories that inspire people to chase after the wonderful world of storytelling.
Her favorite all-time author is J.R.R. Tolkien, who first inspired her to pursuing novel writing when she read the Hobbit at the age of seven.
Find her online at: Goodreads || Facebook || Amazon
Shattered Reflection by Madisyn Carlin
The Shattered Lands | Book One
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?
Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61188852-shattered-reflection
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.
Want to connect? https://linktr.ee/madisyncarlin
Of Ice and Roses by Heather M. Elliot
Release Date: 12/22/22
The shadow of war hangs over Forstur. In a kingdom where magic is seldom encountered, a conflict with their magic-wielding eastern neighbors would be a disastrous. Gemma finds unexpected love in Forstur’s crown prince, Ebenezer, but as her fairytale starts, the rest of her world comes crashing down.
Long held secrets come to light and Gemma learns she has been at the center of the brewing war for almost half her life. A lost friend she barely remembers is the key to gaining vital intelligence that could help her new husband defend their kingdom. There’s a problem – the last sighting of her friend was in the magically-formed glacial regions of their foe, the kingdom of Morforst.
Now Gemma must leave everyone she loves and journey beyond the enemy’s borders to rescue her friend from the spellcasters who control the region. The journey promises to be fraught with danger – highwaymen, river monsters, spellcasters, and the elements. With each new danger, she must decide what she is willing to sacrifice for the fate of two kingdoms.
Purchace Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BFVNWVKS
Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62674015-of-ice-and-roses
Heather lives in Upstate New York, with an impressive number of books, almost as many story ideas, and, sadly, no pets.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Facebook || Instagram || Amazon || Goodreads
Through a Shattered Glass by Sarah Pennington
Release Date: 12/23/22
Drop the mirror and you break the world in two.
Alys hasn’t set foot in Wonderland in years. Not since the White Queen’s mirror shattered; not since her best friend, Kai Hatter, was killed; not since Alys fled back to her own world with a shard of enchanted mirror in her eye. She’s done her best to set aside the past and move on — until a red-painted rose appears in her room, and the portal opens once more.
Simultaneously desperate for hope and terrified of what she might find — or cause — Alys ventures back through the mirror. But the Wonderland she finds is not the same one she left behind, and though Kai is less dead than she thought, he still might be past saving. To make matters worse, the mirror shard is still in Alys’s eye, and Wonderland is all too susceptible to its corrupting power.
Only Alys can save the land and friend she loves — but if she’s not careful, she might be their doom instead.
A dark portal fantasy remix of The Snow Queen and Lewis Carroll’s Alice duology.
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BFVSH518
Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62669175-through-a-shattered-glass
Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list.
Find her online at: Author Site || WordPress Blog || Blogspot Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Instagram || Twitter || Amazon
Anyone who preordered Through a Shattered Glass or who purchases the paperback on release day can submit a proof of purchase to receive a set of character art stickers featuring art by the lovely Chloe Grace (@chloegraceartist on Instagram). One set of stickers per person; proof of purchase must be submited by end of day on December 26.
Link to request stickers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfBj-_REBIbaXY0ZjaAchJsjRLddu9Mq3KycXAAbmeVJVE1Ew/viewform?usp=sf_link
Christmas Games by Erudessa Gentian
Release Date: 12/24/22
A Kynaston Royal Saga Short Story
Beware the harmless Christmas Gift.
When a group of friends decide to play a new immersive role playing game, exciting fun turns into a glitchy mess.
Larkspur’s real-world superpowers interfere with a simple, in-game mission. Discovering they’re unable to exit gameplay, the team scrambles for answers. When their leader and most experienced player, Conan, is kidnapped by the game’s main Boss, it’s up to Lark, Joshua, and Shamira to save him … and themselves.
Join the beloved Kynaston Royal Saga cast in this short Snow Queen retelling.
Purchase Links: Ebook: https://www.books2read.com/christmasgames Signed Paperback: https://www.erudessagentian.com/product-page/christmas-games-signed-paperback
Add Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62633438-christmas-games
Kynaston Royal Saga Epoch 1: https://www.books2read.com/powerintime
Erudessa Gentian is a firm believer that clean entertainment can be powerful. Inspired by her love of cultures and learning, she produces dynamic art to spark imagination and touch souls.
Erudessa writes in multiple genres, but specializes in fantasy and science fiction. She posts about lifestyle, travel and so much more on her blog.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || YouTube || Newsletter || Instagram || Amazon
Who else is excited for these chilly releases? Have you ARC read any of them? If so, what did you think? What’s your favorite snow/winter-themed story, and do you have any snow where you live?
And here’s a quote from Shattered Reflection to entice you into reading it. 😉