Review: In the Midst of the Storm

A deadly threat. A woman in hiding. A man who isn’t all he seems.

Author: Latisha Sexton

Genre: Christian Suspense

Length: 360 pages


A deadly threat. A woman in hiding. A man who isn’t all he seems.

Olivia James is on the brink of success at a prestigious marketing firm. But when a deadly stalker sets his sights on her, she’s forced to leave everything behind and go into hiding to protect herself and those she loves.

While volunteering her marketing expertise to help a struggling café, she meets William Cooper. Their brewing attraction has her longing to share her secret and deepen their connection. But the closer she gets to Will, the more withdrawn and secretive he becomes.

Uncertain who to trust—even herself—can Olivia discern God’s plan and trust Him in the midst of the storm?


4 Stars


In the Midst of the Storm is a Christian suspense filled with romance, action, and plenty of faith.

The plot was quite interesting and kept me wondering until the climax.

Olivia has been through so much, but I admired her courage and tenacity. Plus, she’s tall! Which is a huge bonus because tall FMCs are rare. I also liked her character arc and how she grew in her faith throughout the book. Also, I liked how she wasn’t worthless and helpless when problems arose. She could think for herself and not allow the circumstances to reduce her to a screaming, worthless mess like how we see most heroines portrayed.

Will was good too. We didn’t experience the events through his POV as often, but Sexton portrayed him so well through Olivia’s perspective that that’s not an issue.

The Creep: a.k.a. Stalker Man and He-Who-Needed-To-Be-Shot-With-An-Arrow is a menace. Honestly, I would have liked to have Will shoot this nasty piece of work because a lot of emphasis was put on Will’s Ute heritage and how good he was with a bow and arrow. But The Cretin’s ending suffices. And good riddance. Nasty soul.

I really, really liked the faith Sexton incorporated. It’s strong, real, and natural to the plot. The faith element is definitely one of the book’s strongest points.

Violence/Content Warning
Rape and torture are mentioned; the villain is truly sadistic; a torture scene may frighten sensitive readers; a character is smashed upside the noggin.

What I Wasn’t Fond Of
There was one thing I wasn’t quite sold on, and that’s the mention of zombies, vampires, The Walking Dead, and Twilight.

One of the childhood anecdotes regarding vampires was hilarious, and that wouldn’t have bothered me if that was the only time. But there were about five-to-six mentions of these, and I just wasn’t fond of that. I do not believe Christians should have anything to do with such elements of the dark supernatural. Plus, from what I hear, Twilight is just a mess of problems in and of itself.

That won’t bother all readers, though, so do not let this dissuade you from reading this book.

In the Midst of the Storm is a solid Christian suspense novel with a beautiful amount of faith and a heart-pounding amount of action. It sets it up well for Book Two, and I already ship those characters. I liked this book, and I’m not a suspense reader, so those who are into this genre will certainly enjoy In the Midst of the Storm.

*I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.


Even in Darkness Hope Endures

Time is an oddity, isn’t it? An almost cruel dichotomy at times. Somehow, it can feel like its passing at a snail’s pace while also speeding along. The day can feel long, but when we look back, we’re amazed at how the year has flown by.

I’ll admit I’m not too fond of the era God has placed me in. Yes, I am overjoyed at the overturning of Roe v. Wade. I am overjoyed that so many babies are now saved due to God’s mercy and moving through the Supreme Court and governors to eradicate this wretchedly vile wickedness.

But there’s a lot of bad going on too. America is apathetic as our foundations crumble into dust and our freedoms are trampled over. Freedom of speech is being destroyed. Marriage—the union between man and woman, the Biblical union—faces persecution as pride and filth raise their fists, shaking them at God as they proclaim they know better. The two sexes, Man and Woman, are now considered obsolete. Why bother being old-fashioned and following the Bible? It’s old. Its ideas and values are now considered a thing of the past. We’re progressive now! We think for ourselves.

Or do we?

Science is the know-all, they say. The cure for everything under the sun. We sit in dark rooms, emulating Hindi poses while “going inside ourselves” and “emptying our minds”. And what’s that about the world being created in six literal days? Malarkey! We really evolved from monkeys after the Big Bang began structuring the universe’s formation.

As if order could come from chaos.

We see truth being ignored. We see those who speak for what’s right being silenced by Marxist methods that will eventually lead us in China’s footsteps. We see life, valuable, precious life spit on and considered unworthy if it’s an inconvenience to others.

After all, as Darwin said, only the strongest survive.

We see a rapid decline in church attendance. We see post-modern churches aiming to please people instead of God. We see false theologies emerging and climbing the rank with rapid ascendance. We hear music on Christian radio that is not Christian. In fact, it is so far from it. But we do nothing about it. We’re afraid to speak against cults like Hillsong, Elevation Worship, and Bethel, because it’s not cool to disagree with what’s in.

How bad can it be? It’s just music. It’s not like we acclimate to the message and entertain unBiblical falsities that speak the opposite of the Bible.

We’ve heard the term love so often that we’ve lost sight of what it really is. If you love someone, then you love them. That’s that. Man loving man, woman loving woman…what’s the harm? We see children being sexually brutalized as they “transition” from boy to girl and vice versa. We see the church accepting this with cowardly silence. We hear, “Come as you are! Doesn’t matter what you’re doing! Jesus loves you no matter what!” Oh, you’re a sinner? Nah, we don’t want to offend you. We’ll just tell you Jesus loves you and leave it at that.

Because we need to love each other, and love trumps speaking out against what’s wrong.

We’re being told that if we don’t get the Covid “vaccines”, then we’re murdering our neighbors. If we don’t feel comfortable injecting an untested mixture of who-knows-what into our bodies per the government’s mandates, that we’re terrorists. That we deserve to die. That we should lose our homes and livelihoods. We’re told to welcome those who are injected, but woe betide you who reject the “vaccine”. You should be ashamed for not loving your neighbor enough to get something you believe is harmful and wrong. Never mind that this is reminiscent of 1930s Germany. Never mind that Hitler himself enacted such mandates.

Because having a choice over what you put into your own body is now unimportant because the government knows what’s best for you.

I’m not saying to to depress you. I’m summarizing what’s going on in our culture today. It’s depressing. It’s infuriating. We are mired in a swamp of sin, of sinking sand, and no matter what we do, we cannot escape.

A reviewer recently remarked that a common theme in my books is no matter what we’re going through, God is in control. I never thought about it until I read that, but now that I contemplate that statement, I see it’s true. I don’t think I put that message in my books for my characters, though. I think I put that in there for myself. Because that’s a struggle I have—remembering that God is in control no matter what.

Friends, we live in a rough time. The future is uncertain and there are more questions than answers. But, if you are a Christian, you need not fear. No matter the trials we face, we know it ends well. Because our end is not when our physical bodies perish. We stand on the Rock when all else is sinking sand. We are stead in the storm because of the Anchor. We can walk through the fire knowing we will be rescued. We can face tribulation knowing the war has already been won.

We cannot request the world to act according to our standards. They won’t. They can’t. But we can be a light. Even if you feel like your flame is the slightest in size, even if you feel like your are this close to flickering out, you can still shine.

One of my favorite Tenth Avenue North songs, says, “I have this hope in the depth of my soul: In the flood or the fire, You’re with me and You won’t let go“.

No matter what happens, we do not endure this life on our own strength.

Let us always cling to the promise that the Lord will never abandon us. Let us remember that the darkness cannot overwhelm the Light.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:5

Shattered Reflection: Release Day (+ Giveaway and More)

Today is an appropriate day for SR1’s release. One, it’s the winter solstice. And two, it’s cold. And windy. And blowy. And cold. As in -40 degrees with heavy snow.

So, happy release day, Shattered Reflection. You were a doozy of a book to write.

Keep scrolling and you’ll learn some quick facts, how to enter an epic giveaway not just for SR1, but five other retellings as well, and a mini-character interview.

The World

Quick Facts:

  • SR1 is my first published story incorporating 5 POVs. I once swore I would never read a book with more than three POVS, much less write one. And now look at me.
  • My favorite character is a toss-up between Marcus and Breac.
  • SR1 was originally inspired by Ruins by Ledger, a picture of an exhausted queen, and the desire to have more nonmagical fairy tale retellings.
  • SR1 is the first in a series with four projected books. Marcus en Rhwyndor will be the only common POV in these four novels. At least three novellas are in consideration as well.
  • SR1 is heavy. Some might call it dark. It was hard to write those weighty chapters, but they’re there for a reason. I do not believe in shock value. These have a purpose, and that purpose is twofold: to strengthen my characters’ faith and remind readers that no matter what we endure, God will never forsake us.
  • SR1 wasn’t supposed to happen. It really wasn’t. I wrote the first few chapters and called it quits, only, in January of 2022, to have the idea keep nagging at me. 113,000+ words (counting errors and erased chunks) were hastily written in less than three months.
  • The betas claim they barely survived. Since they’re still here and pestering me for some reason about being nice to my characters, I question the veracity of that claim.
  • SR1 was compared to Jaye L. Knight’s Ilyon Chronicles. You may wonder why that’s in bold. It’s because Knight is one of my all-time favorite authors and to even be considered in the same category as her is wow. And unexpected. Totally unexpected. But so, so cool.

Characters Interview:

We are now entering a mini interview. Thank you to Saraina, who sent in the questions.

SW: What are your thoughts on ice cream?

Loren: I’ve heard of it, but I still don’t know what it is.

Layree: I’ve never heard of it.

Breac: Kor has mentioned it numerous times, something about it being frozen milk or something, but we haven’t found a way to replicate it that satisfies him. He always claims it’s incorrect. Doesn’t stop him and Tandri from eating the attempts, though. Then they’re all wired and energetic and I have to deal with their pranks.

Marcus: I’ve seen it while traveling through the Coastlands, but I never had time to stop and try it. It can be made in many different colors, although I don’t understand why anyone would want to try something that supposedly tastes like frozen raspberries covered in too much sugar.

SW: Loren and Layree, what’s it really like to be fifteen minutes apart in age?

Loren: It’s not any different from having a sibling that’s a year or two younger, except that Layree is really close in age to me. The fact still stands that I’m the eldest, even if it’s by fifteen minutes. That means I get to play the eldest card when it’s necessary.

Layree: Ignore him. We’re the same age with less than half-an-hour’s difference between us. In fact, Mother may have been incorrect about who is the firstborn. Heaven knows I am the more mature of the two.

Loren: Wait, what? Just how did you arrive to that absolutely incorrect conclusion?

Layree: I’m not the one who’s always getting into scrapes and having people try to kill me.

This argument has been relocated to another room due to the siblings delaying the remainder of the interview.

SW: Breac, what annoys you most about Canon? chuckles

Canon is my best friend, and he’s had my back countless times. I’d probably be dead if not for him. But he does have a few annoying qualities, like he’s always so chipper and he always has to try one-upping me on insults, which then results in an insult war, which Silci usually has to break up, and she’s never thrilled about that. And guess who usually gets blamed for starting it. Yes. Me.

SW: Marcus, what’s one of your happiest memories? (Heaven knows he needs more of those. commences to weep)

One of my happiest memories was when I was nineteen. It was Gramps’ birthday and we all went fishing. I managed to catch the largest fish. That was one of the last times I was ever able to participate in a family event.

SW: Nordica, what would you say you genuinely love about being queen?

I love the ability to do my best to undo the evil and pain my aunt and uncle inflicted. While I cannot fully erase and mend the swath of destruction they caused, I can give my people fairness and a promise that I will never be like the despots they just experienced.


Shattered Reflection is included in the Broken Mirrors, which is a group of six Snow Queen retellings which release this week. You can enter to win a paperback copy of all of these wonderful stories here:


About SR1

Genre: Christian Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling (nonmagical)


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?

To see content warnings and what other readers are saying, follow the Goodreads link.

Inspiration board:

Also, if you snoop around enough on my Pinterest and Goodreads, you’ll find Book Two.

Thank you so much for joining me in SR1’s release celebration. I have been awaiting this time for a long while, and it’s exciting that it is now here. Have you entered the giveaway? You only have six more days for a chance to win. If you are, by chance, the winner, you’ll not only receive a copy of SR1, but character cards, as well.

What is your favorite snowy story? What about your favorite fairy tale retelling? If you read SR1, who was your favorite character?

Christmas Around the World

Every holiday is associated with particular traditions. Valentines Day (the origin of which is far more somber than you’d expect) typically involves tooth-rotting and cavity-inducing amounts of sugar, whether it be in chocolate or candy heart form. You’re supposed to pinch people not wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day. Thanksgiving, first celebrated by the Pilgrims and enacted into law by President Lincoln, is when we give thanks, eat pumpkin pie, and avoid the scales.

Christmas, too, has traditions. Christmas Eve Candlelight service; manger scenes; Christmas carols; trees topped with stars or angels; presents tucked beneath the tree or hidden away from those certain snoops who try peaking before Christmas Day; candy canes and hot chocolate; and, most importantly, celebrating Christ’s birth.

The fun thing about Christmas is that it’s celebrated universally, but certain countries have quite distinct traditions and ways to honor the holiday and what it represents.

Iceland: Jólabókaflóðið/Jolabokaflod (yo-la-bok-a-flot)

One of the ultimate traditions where everyone receives a new book and spends the day reading and drinking hot chocolate.

According to, “This tradition began during World War II once Iceland had gained its independence for Denmark in 1944. Paper was one of the few commodities not rationed during the war, so Icelanders shared their love of books even more as other types of gifts were short supply. This increase in giving books as presents reinforced Iceland’s culture as a nation of bookaholics”.

Philippines: Giant Lantern Festival

This tradition is held in San Fernando the Saturday before Christmas, where “Eleven barangays (villages) take part in the festival and competition is fierce as everyone pitches in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. Originally, the lanterns were simple creations around half a metre in diameter, made from ‘papel de hapon’ (Japanese origami paper) and lit by candle. Today, the lanterns are made from a variety of materials and have grown to around six metres in size. They are illuminated by electric bulbs that sparkle in a kaleidoscope of patterns” (

The Christmas Star was what led the wise men to Christ. I don’t know the origins of this tradition, but it’d be amazing if those who started it wanted to celebrate Christmas in a way that reminded people of the Star.

Scandinavia: St. Lucia’s Day

St. Lucia’s Day is held on December 13th, instead of the 25th, but it paves the way for Christmas Day. According to, “The celebration comes from stories that were told by Monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden. […] St Lucia was a young Christian girl who was martyred, killed for her faith, in 304. The most common story told about St Lucia is that she would secretly bring food to the persecuted Christians in Rome, who lived in hiding in the catacombs under the city. She would wear candles on her head so she had both her hands free to carry things”. adds, “The festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Scandinavia, and it is meant to bring hope and light during the darkest time of the year”.

While this celebration does not celebrate Christ’s birth, it honors a defender of the faith. The lights, bringing hope during the darkest time in that area of the world, are symbolic. Christ is the Light, and from Him we draw hope during our darkest of times.

Brazil: The Generous Papai Noel

Papai Noel is the Brazilian version of Father Christmas. In the U.S, we leave stockings by the fireplace. In Brazil, children leave stockings by the window. If Papai Noel, on his nightly stroll, finds a stocking, he’ll exchange it for a present. This is a great way to get rid of your partner-less socks.

Mexico: Posadas (Inns)

This tradition spans nine days, and “commemorate[s] the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph’s search for a place to stay where Jesus could be born” ( Mary and Joseph’s search is reenacted as the outside group, representing Mary and Joseph, travel to nine inns. At each inn, they sing the Posada litany. The inside group, or innkeepers, deny them room until they reach the ninth inn. There, they are allowed inside.

Must-haves for Posadas include piñatas, little bags of candies called bolos, a Mexican Christmas fruit punch called Ponche Navideno, tamales, and singing.

Finland: Last Minute Christmas Trees and Almonds

Jokes galore are made about last minute shoppers, and for good reason. They abound everywhere you go. Despite doing this every Christmas, they never learn from their procrastination. However, there is one place where this is celebrated – and expected.


Christmas Eve is very important in Finland. This is the day (and sometimes the day before) when Christmas trees are purchased (real—no fake trees for the Finnish, no siree) and breakfast is rice porridge and fruit juice made of plums. At noon, a special radio show is broadcasted. Graves of family members are visited. The main Christmas meal is consumed on Christmas Eve. This consists of lutefish (salt fish), pork, casseroles, salmon, and riced pudding. Within the pudding is one almond. It is believed that whoever finds the almond will have a year of luck.

Croatia: Candles of Christmas and a Meat Fast

In my town, Walmart had Christmas decorations up in September. Croatia’s Christmas celebration doesn’t begin that early, but they start earlier than us Americans. Christmas in certain parts of Croatia begins November 25th, which is St. Catherine’s Day. Advent wreaths are a big deal and typically include four candles. These symbolize creation and hope, embodiment and peace, redemption and joy, ending and love.

On Christmas Eve, most follow a meat fast—fasting from meat. Because of this, they eat fish, mainly dried cod. Apparently fish meat isn’t considered, well, meat. Another odd tradition is the popular Christmas Day side dish, sarma, or cabbage rolls filled with minced pork meat. Foods normal humans consider tasty are included, like cookies, cakes, and donuts.

Christmas is universally celebrated, but fortunately, certain traditions are not (sarma, anyone?). Still, it’s fun to know what others are doing on these special days. Whether it’s reading books while sipping hot chocolate, walking around with a candle-laden wreath on your head, or purchasing your Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, traditions are part of the Christmas experience that will forever stick with us and create countless memories.

What traditions does your family celebrate? Which of the ones listed above piqued your interest? I know I certainly wouldn’t mind borrowing Iceland’s. There are few things better than the entire family sitting in the living room while reading and enjoying peppermint hot chocolate.


IRON Launch Tour: Meet the Characters + Wrap-up

Welcome to the final post for IRON’s Launch Tour. A huge thank you to everyone who participated. Today, you will meet the characters and learn about what’s next for The Redwyn Chronicles…plus help decide a fairytale for an upcoming project in this series.

IRON released yesterday! Thanks to those who preordered, it made its way into the top 100 Christian fantasy books category! I wasn’t expecting that at all.

The ebook is still on sale at $0.99 for the next seven days, so if you’re an ebook person, get your copy now before the price is raised.

Meet Redwyn

Red is my feisty character. She swept in and claimed the story from day one. She’s suffered pain through the years, including losing her parents. This will really come into play in a later book.

I thought it would be fun to make her a detective, but for that, I had to learn how to think like a detective. So, to achieve that, I watched several Hallmark Mysteries and Suspense movies. (This is not a blanket recommendation for Hallmark. They have gone woke and nasty, but some of their older movies are good and do not include this wretched leftist agenda.)

A lot of readers ship her with Denton, and I dislike sinking ships, but I have bad news: that’s not who she ends up with.

Meet Carter

Carter was interesting to write. I didn’t really know his story until I returned to IRON in July 2022. He’s a horse-loving, attention-hating sweetheart with so much pain and too little trust. His character and spiritual arcs reminded me, as I wrote them, that while people will fail and hurt us, God never will.

I wanted Carter to be Red’s best friend. Their relationship is purely platonic, and even familial, which is not something I see much of in fantasy. Was it possible to change the story so they would end up together? Yes, but that wasn’t where I wanted IRON to go. Thus Carter was saddled with a crazy best friend who doesn’t know the meaning of patience and rest. It was fun watching their personalities clash.

Meet Chamonix

Pronounced Shaw-mah-nee, this quiet princess kind of just…happened. Her personality was clear from day one, and while I had to be creative about her issue (the weak lungs/asthma), she was fairly easy to write once I knew the logistics.

Chamonix’s original name was Eileen. But, after watching a Hallmark movie where the little girl’s name was Chamonix, I fell in love with the name and gave it to Veerham’s princess. It fits her much better than her former name.

I’ve always despised the heroines who, when the hero is being beaten up and injured, just scream and whimper and cower in a corner, useless and just aggravating. Chamonix is not a fighter, not like Red, but I wanted to illustrate how strength comes in many different forms. Chamonix received strength of character and faith, even if she can’t run very far without having an asthma attack. No whiny, worthless heroines in this book.

While my male characters are easiest to write, the females are the opposite. I was pleased and grateful at how Chamonix turned out, because it was difficult to really nail her character. She wasn’t sassy like Red, didn’t have Carter’s issues, and, on top of that, she was a princess. I didn’t want her to be rebellious, as is often the case where princesses are portrayed. But I also didn’t want her to be doormat and incapable of thinking for herself.

Fan Art

The incredibly-talented K.R. Mattson made my day when she surprised me with these fan art pictures (my first ever!). She really nailed Red’s and Chamonix’s personalities. (And that wolf and cardinal!)

Redwyn Deathan, drawn by K.R. Mattson

Chamonix Seyden, Drawn by K.R. Mattson

You can learn more about these crazy characters by going to the inspiration board. If you dislike strong female characters who know how to think for themselves (without the current feminist garbage), an overt faith element, and clean romance, IRON is not the book for you

Also, be sure to visit the character interviews! (Linked to in tour schedule)

What’s Next?

I am currently working on Denton’s story, which has yet to receive a definitive name. I will have it up on Goodreads late next week, Lord willing. You can see what I have of the inspiration board here. All I can tell you regarding the story is the first chapter breaks my heart.

The main female character in this little novella has sisters–and they need names! If you have suggestions, drop them in a comment.

I have another little prequel up my sleeve (here’s a hint: the characters’ names begin with C and I…and you meet them in IRON.) But I need a fairytale for them. Let me know your favorite fairytales! Those who provide the tale that I will use will be mentioned in the Acknowledgements.


There’s still time to sign up for the giveaway if you haven’t already.


An autographed paperback if the winner is a U.S. resident. Ebook if international.


An ebook in PDF or Epub format.

Enter Here.


You can find the tour schedule here.

Once again, thank you to everyone who helped make this tour possible, and thank you to the lovely commenters. The giveaway winners will be contacted next week.

Which are you partial to: boisterous female characters or quieter ones? What elements/themes do you think are crucial to fairytale retellings? Which of these would you like to see more of?

*all graphics plus the cover designed by Mountain Peak Edits & Design

Shattered Reflection + Broken Mirrors Cover Reveals

I’m excited to announce Shattered Reflection is part of the Broken Mirrors retelling collection, which releases this December.

What is Broken Mirrors?

The Broken Mirrors are six retellings of The Snow Queen by six different authors. You don’t want to miss any of them!

The blog tour runs December 19-24. We’d love for you to join us in celebrating the release of these frosty retellings. To learn more about the Broken Mirrors ARC options and the blog tour, go here. (Details are being added as you read this, so if there aren’t any up when you visit the page, check back later.)

SR1 is the monster of the group, meaning it’s significantly longer than the others. What else can you expect, though? The Snow Queen is a long, long story and SR1 has five povs.

*Please consider promoting more than just the one person you came here for. The point of a multi-author release is getting as many eyes on as many books as possible.

It’s Prize Time

Yep. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs.

How to Enter (copied directly from Kendra Ardnek):

Now, the giveaway – like last year, we have two prizes for y’all to earn, two different ways, this next week only!

Method 1: Preorder all six books and email your receipt to me at This week only, they are all just 99 cents each, so grab ’em now!

Method 2: Share all six covers on your blog, Instagram, tumblr, newsletter, Facebook, etc, and send me a link to the same address. (though, if you’re sharing on Instagram stories, make sure I am tagged @fairytalearista and message me telling me that it’s an entry, before emailing me.) I have a folder of graphics and metadata for you to use – and more graphics will be added soon, I just haven’t finished them yet.!AjAmS-99p507gbNiJfX5DafQNiP8ag?e=FOUUPi


For doing one task: A PDF with a first peek at the first chapter of all six Broken Mirrors.

For doing both tasks: A free full ebook from one of our backlogs. The list you can choose from will be compiled shortly. You will still receive the first chapters as well.

The main page, blog tour sign-up, and ARC request form, will be compiled and added shortly.

Blogger’s note: IRON is included in this!


To be honest, I never expected this book to be fully written, let alone published. I wrote the first 18,000 words up camping, surrounded by squirrels, gray jays, lodgepole pines, allergies, and the fresh, clean mountain air. Then I tabled the story until, in January 2022, a random act of recklessness convinced me to try another go.

I ended up putting down 113,000 words in three months.

SR1 also landed me promises of death threats from beta readers (I have no idea why).

It releases December 21st.

The Official Blurb:

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?

Ebook Preorder sale: (Because I’ll be upping this little monstrosity’s price after release day.)

Add on Goodreads:

If you can’t participate in the blog tour, but would still like to ARC read SR1, go here: SR1 ARC Form. There is no rush at all, but if your review comes in before November 10th, I can put it in a “What Readers are Saying” page.

Fun Facts about SR1:

This was the first concept/aesthetic board I made.

Some things have changed (singular reflection, no wolf, and the tagline are different), but the concept remains. Betas will know who the characters are. (To see the cast of characters, go here.)

First Line:

For three years he’d worked to lock away the past, to keep it hidden and out of sight, thought, and memory.

Random Line:

Tandri gasped. “I am a perfect influence, thank you.”

Random Quote:

“Look, kid. I’m just an honest swindler trying to make a living.”

Notable Typos:

“A book to to the ribs.”

And calling my character “Mucus” instead of “Marcus”. (My poor, sweet boy. He didn’t deserve that.)

Why am I calling it “SR1”?

Because I’m weird and every book title in this series has the initials of S. R. . Thus, SR1.

This books is nothing like Frozen. I despise that movie.

This post does not adequately convey my excitement. I have waited so long for this day and I love this story dearly.

Have you ever read a fairy tale retelling? Which ones? Which was your favorite? Have you ever read the original Snow Queen story? If not, you should. It’s one of my favorites. What about SR1? Are you looking forward to it? What about the other books in the tour? Which ones catch your eye?

Book Review: McKenzie

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Author: Penny Zeller

Series: Montana Skies, Book One

Publisher: Whitaker

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” is the reasoning that prompts McKenzie Worthington, a young lady of Boston’s high society, to respond to an ad for a mail-order bride for a man in the Montana Territory. McKenzie is desperate, after all, to save her beloved younger sister, Kaydie, from her evil, abusive husband, who robs banks for a living. And so, it is with reckless determination that McKenzie runs away from the comforts of home and hearth to head West and meet her new husband-whom she’ll divorce, of course, after she rescues her sister.

Desperate times call for desperate measures is the reasoning that also prompts Zachary Sawyer, a rugged rancher after God’s own heart, to post an ad for a mail-order bride in various newspapers across the country. Managing a ranch and caring for his adoptive son, Davey, has become more than one man can handle alone, and Zach prays for God to send him a wife with whom to build a life and share his dreams.

When McKenzie arrives at Zach’s ranch, she immediately puts her plan in motion, searching for her sister and doing all she can to keep her new husband from forming an attachment. But his persistent kindness and significant self-sacrifices begin to change her heart-and ruin her plans. God has a way of working things out to the good of those who love Him, though, as McKenzie and Kaydie will soon see.

If you enjoyed reading McKenzie, you won’t want to miss the sequels in this series: Kaydie and Hailee.


5 Stars


What lengths would you go to to save your sister?

That is the question McKenzie Worthington must ask herself when she learns of her sister’s dire predicament. The book’s tagline is, “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” and that is exactly what McKenzie does–enacts a desperate plan to save her beloved younger sister.

This is such a sweet, gentle story. Zeller does well crafting a variety of characters, from snotty siblings, loyal ranch hands and mentors, and a wonderful hero and adorable child. Of the main characters, I think Zach was my favorite, but just barely. Of the secondary, how can I choose? I want to snuggle Davey and Asa and Rosemary are gold. And Lucille. Oh, boy. Lucille is one of those supporting characters who provides oodles of humor, and her antics kept me laughing. She means well, but that doesn’t mean everything always goes according to plan.

McKenzie is chock full of good lessons, including honesty, love, the importance of true faith, and loyalty. I’ve seen some of the reviews complaining about McKenzie being selfish and spoiled, and yes, she was to certain degrees at first, but going after your sibling the way she did is the opposite of selfish. And Zeller really did craft a well-rounded character, and used McKenzie’s flaws to grow her.

I am quite looking forward to the next book and Jonah and Kaydie’s story.

In short, McKenzie is a sweet romance that I can easily envision being made into a movie similar to Love Comes Softly. Fans of Christian historical romance should add this book to their TBR.

Why We Need Hope in Fiction

As I was exercising the other day, the lovely auto-play chose which song I would next listen to. A secular song, one I never before heard, came on, and while there was nothing inherently bad about it, it got me thinking.

The song could easily be a character song, and I may use it for that purpose one day. But what really struck me was how most of the lyrics contained no hope. Music possesses the ability to control our moods, whether that is uplifting or evoking sadness or nostalgia. This song did not uplift me. Instead, it reminded me of a faceless soul standing on the edge of a cliff, staring at the swirling, misty hopelessness below and asking, “Would anyone care if I jumped off?”

It struck a chord. Whether good or bad, I cannot say. But I went from trying to be positive and telling myself to survive the workout to thinking about that sad, almost dark song for the rest of the day.

I then listened to a Christian song, Valley of Death by Skillet, and compared the two. Valley, unlike the other song, contains hope. A surge of it that tells the listener no matter how trying a time or how dark the valley they’re currently in, God is in control.

The songs are similar genres. But I rather listen to Valley because it gave me hope.

There’s not that much difference between books and songs. Of course, in songs, the words are set to music, but they both carry the power to affect our emotions. I was rereading Resistance by Jaye L. Knight recently and found the book altering my mindset. I’ll admit the sorry state of affairs our country is in often gets me down, and I have to work to keep my eyes on the Light and not the darkness inhabiting the world.

While Resistance is fantasy, and thus set in an fictional world with fictional events and characters, it gave me hope. The characters endure all types of trials and difficulties, some similar to what we may experience in the near future. What keeps the book from becoming dreary and depressing is the hope Knight infuses through the characters’ faith. I finished the book feeling encouraged. Just as the characters had hope because they knew Who was in control, I could have hope because I know nothing will happen outside of God’s plan.

That’s the power of words, which is why it is so, so important for writers to infuse their stories with hope. There’s nothing wrong with approaching heavier topics, or digging into how fallen and evil humanity is, but we cannot only include those topics. We must offer hope.

Hope can strengthen faith. Brighten an otherwise-difficult day. Provide a reminder that, though the world can and will worsen and grow even darker, the Believer’s end is not death, but eternal life with Christ.

I’m not saying don’t include heavy topics—merely, don’t let those themes be the only topics you include. If I did not include hope in my stories, they’d be too dismal to read.

Words are possibly the best medium through which to convey hope. Writers, we have been given a duty to infuse hope into our stories, no matter how heavy they may otherwise be. Our end goal should be to uplift and encourage, not depress.

Let’s guide our readers toward the Light, not the dark.

Story Snippets

I usually aim for two posts a week. I wrote a book review earlier (I think it was Monday?) and was hoping to finish a “What’s the Difference” post or a post about constructive criticism in reviews, but I’m too tired to put much thought into anything right now.

So I’m doing something a bit different today.

Story Snippets! I want to know what you’re writing–tell me all about your writing project by dropping a snippet or a line/sentence or two from your current WIP(s). Or, if you’re not a writer, tell me what you’re reading. If you want to do both, please feel free to.

Below are a few snippets from my three WIPs plus a quote from my most recent read. The snippets have not been thoroughly polished, so there may be a few errors.


“There’re two of us and one of him. What can go wrong?”


One action-packed scene later:

Heavy breaths announced Denton’s presence. He looked as terrible as Carter felt, with multiple tears in his shirt and blood staining at least half the material. A long cut graced the right side of his jaw with another just above his left eye.

Carter glared. “This is why you never ask what can go wrong.”

“How was I to know someone wanted to use you for target practice?”

The Baker and the Bodyguard

Some explanation is required for this one. I want BatB to be a Redwyn Chronicles prequel novella. I haven’t written much on it, but it’s already promising to be hilarious.


Something burned in the kitchen, and it wasn’t her sister’s cooking.


Detectives did many things: snooped around, asked questions, wrote answers in notebooks, and used logic criminals hoped they’d forgotten.

What detectives did not do was play bodyguard. That was reserved for common law officers and soldiers and actual guards.

Kaden was not bodyguard material, nor was he interested in changing professions.

Officer Endstrom didn’t care. With his overabundance of mustache quivering and his round eyes narrowed to slits, he firmly reiterated that Kaden had just been demoted from detective to bodyguard.

Granted, he was still to investigate, but his primary job would be protecting a wilting flower who thought a slight cut merited fainting.

Shattered Reflection

Lord willing, this book will release later this year. The brave souls who beta’d this hodgepodge mess of a story will understand the significance of the first snippet. (And *cough* for you betas, I made things a smidge better for Marcus.)


“I forgive you.”


“You weren’t the only one who fought.”

“I didn’t see you on the battlefield.”

“I was on the council.”

“Which is just another way of saying you were too cowardly to pick up a sword and fight.”


“Our reflections are two-edged blades. We can look at ourselves and see, with humility, what God has created, or we can look and see ourselves as worthless because we do not live up to others’ standards.”

“What do you see when you look at your reflection?”

The simple question knocked the breath from him. He hadn’t thought about it through his time as a Night Guard. Afterward, he found himself unable to decide. Was he viewing his Maker’s craftsmanship or a man whose hands were stained by the blood of innocents and those he was unable to save?


Heaven help him. Three matchmakers were running amok through the palace.

I just finished ARC reading Forgotten Memories by Penny Zeller. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and posted my review early on Goodreads. Forgotten Memories is on a special preorder sale: the ebook is $0.99 only for preorder.

The Dragons of Chiril


Before DragonSpell, on a different continent and a different time, a young emerlindian’s desperate decision threatens to disrupt the foundation of the world.
Tipper has been caring for her family’s estate for years now, ever since her father disappeared, making a living by selling off his famous artwork. Then she learns that three statues she sold were carved from an ancient foundation stone, and the fabric of her reality is crumbling.
She must free her father and save the world. But she can’t do it alone.
Her ragtag band of adventurers includes Beccaroon, a giant parrot; Bealomondore, an aristocratic young artist; a handsome dragonkeeper prince; the Wizard Fenworth; and the tumanhofer librarian Librettowit. Together they travel through valleys and kingdoms and consort with purveyors of good and agents of evil to find and reunite the missing statues. Will they learn to rely on Wulder’s grace and guidance along the way?


5 Stars


The Dragons of Chiril is a sweet, fun story filled with Paul’s trademark humor, faith, and action.


Tipper has the propensity to be a bit irritating at times; her ability to whine can grate on the nerves. However, she is also a great character as far as three dimensional and her overall arc. I particularly liked how she gradually warmed to the truth; it wasn’t easy for her to accept Wulder’s existence, and her reactions to the imparted knowledge were well in her character.

Beccaroon was an intriguing character. Rarely are we granted the chance to read from a bird’s perspective, much less a grand parrot’s, and one who has a serious sense of protection, (too much) dignity, and a good dose of pride. I wish we would have seen his choice between believing in Wulder or still considering Him a myth. In that way his character arc wasn’t wrapped up, but he was an endearing character.

Verin and Peg Schope were the sweetest couple. Peg needs a hug and Verin needs a comfy place to rest. It was fun to see how Tipper had adopted some of their attributes.

Bealomodore definitely has potential. This arrogant, self-important artist who just wants his love of art to be accepted quickly endeared himself to me. It probably helps that I know how his story continues in the next book.

Jairus, though I knew where his arc would lead, was too arrogant at first. But that did serve well for how he matured (really matured) through the story. His first profession is one I wouldn’t mind being: a dragon keeper. Imagine the ability to speak with all those adorable dragons.

Wizard Fenworth and Librettowit are, undoubtedly, my favorite characters. Fen’s seemingly nonsensical conversations and conclusions and Wit’s frustration and adamant “you’re going to kill us with these incorrect spells and backward whirls” are hilarious. Fen also needs a hug and Wit needs some tylenol for the headaches Fen’s antics give him.

The antagonists: Paul definitely has the gift of creating nasty characters. I’ll leave it at that. (Although I might steal Queen Venmarie’s candlestick and whop a few nasties over the head. Just saying.)


As usual, the settings are superb. A perfect amount of description so the reader can envision themself with the characters.


The book’s plot is, overall, perfect. The end is where it gets a little confusing. We’re left with no conclusions on some of the issues (like if Verin Shope ever fully recovers; if Bec comes to believe in Wulder, Paladin’s job, etc.), and it’s a little jarring when the book ends. However, it’s still a grand story, and a certain character receives more time in the spotlight in the next book.


The Dragons of Chiril is a delightful tale of adventure, faith, trust, and discovering that God has a purpose for everyone.