Blog Tour | Reflections by Jena Baxter
Author: Jena Baxter
Age: Young Adult
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing / Jenabaxterbooks
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | CreateSpace
When Juliette has a domestic servant beaten for pursuing a young man above her station, she finds herself cursed by a witch to live in a world behind her own mirror. She is unable to leave except on the first night of a full moon.
Juliette is forced to seek what food and shelter the new world provides with the help of a unicorn, a man who is half bear, and a centaur. Together they struggle to survive against lions, wolves, and the challenges of watching their friends live and die through the back of the mirror, as their own world, family and friends moves on without them.
Reflections begins in Regency era London, and ends in Clover Springs, California, an all but abandoned Gold Rush town.
A tale of love, friendship, and facing unavoidable challenges.
“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” --Charles DickensChapter 1London, England. 1807Juliette shut the front door behind her, and slowly climbed down the stairs of her home, cringing at every creek of the steps. She walked down the paved road, back straight and chin up, until the house was out of view. She looked around, pulled off her bonnet, and ran all the way to the beach.Stopping to catch her breath, she scanned the riverbank until she spotted Emily, gazing into the clouds above the Thames. It was a gray and dreary day, but a fisherman stood in the water trying to entice the fish, and a few people were scattered along the shoreline. Sea birds flew back and forth, seeking a tasty morsel. Juliette joined Emily, and sat in the scrub.“It took you a long time to get here,” Emily said, smiling.“Sorry, it’s my birthday and mother is hosting a party tonight. I had to sneak out of the house, but no one saw me. Then I ran all the way here.”Emily shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.” She held out her arm, and opened her hand. “I made this for you.”Juliette took the hair pin with a tattered yellow ribbon tied in a bow attached to it.Emily’s cheeks colored. “Sorry it’s not new.”Juliette hugged her. “It’s wonderful. Thank you. I have to go back now, before they notice me gone,” she said, pushing the pin carefully into her hair.“Okay, I’ll go with you. How old are you today?”Juliette smiled. “I’m six years old,” she said, as they made their way back to the road. “How old are you?”“Seven, since last month.” She ran dirty hands down her tattered and stained black dress.“Look!” Juliette stopped, and pointed toward the water.Emily followed the direction of her finger. “Oh! What a beautiful chestnut horse.”Juliette shook her head, ringlets blowing in the wind. “No, it’s not a horse. It’s a unicorn sighting for my birthday.” She continued walking toward the road.“But unicorns aren’t real,” Emily said, looking back at the animal.“How do you know they aren’t real? That horse has a black horn. Trust me, that’s a unicorn.”They stepped onto the dirt road.“I’ll race you there!” Juliette yelled.Laughing, they ran until they found Mrs. Barrows waiting at the front door of Juliette’s home. Juliette went silent and ran to her mother. Emily stopped in the road.“Where have you been? Look at your hair, it’s a mess … and what is that ugly thing sticking out of it?”Mrs. Barrows swiped the pin off Juliette’s head. She winced as strands of her hair fell with the ribbon to the ground.Juliette followed her mother’s eyes as she glared at Emily, standing on the road.“What have I told you about spending your time with people like that, Juliette? That girl has no business talking to you, and you have no business playing with our domestic help.”“But she’s not our domestic help, Mother.”“The girl is as good as employed by this household with her aunt Zylphia, working here.”“I don’t want to see you with her again. Do you understand me? What if someone saw you?” Mrs. Barrows shrieked. “You embarrass the entire family associating with people like that, Juliette. Get in the house!”Juliette jumped when the door slammed shut behind her.
My ThoughtsThis was a very interesting YA Fantasy read for me. I enjoyed the writing style the Jena Baxter provided. It was very detailed and kept me engrossed in ever word and turn of each page. The world building was pretty amazing. I felt as if I was sucked into the world and lived through every detail that happened and appeared in the book.
The moral within this story was absolutely impeccable. I totally enjoyed the idea that Juliette was cursed because of her wrong doing. The journey after she is cursed teaches her so much about being kind and about survival.
I love the whole fantasy aspect with the unicorn, centaur and the half human-bear man. That was totally awesome! The whole story line and plot was simply amazing and something I have not read much of. This is not your typical fantasy read, but it definitely takes fantasy to a whole other level.
If you're looking for a different kind of YA fantasy novel I definitely suggest you check this beauty out.
About the AuthorBorn in Ojai, and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California, Jena always loved to read, and dreamed of writing a novel. Having the ability, but lacking the confidence to do so, she enrolled in the UCLA Writer’s Extension, and soon her first novel was in process.
Jena writes YA, historical fantasy, and paranormal romance. She is also a screenwriter, and reads for a screenwriting contest annually. She spends her free time with her husband, amazon parrot, and toy maltese. You can visit her website at www.jenabaxter.com.