About the Book
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale
Release date: February 1, 2022
Held prisoner by all she’s lost, Katarina’s about to lose all she has.
Grand Duchess Katarina Volstova barely escaped the Russian revolution, arriving in Paris just before the birth of her twin daughters. With her heart still captive in her homeland, she haunts the Louvre each day, spending hours gazing at one painting, lost in her pain.
Not the man he once was, Timothy Smythe never returned home to England after the Great War. Instead, he hides himself away doing maintenance in the Louvre and watching the beautiful woman whose pain seems riveted on one painting.
When Katarina returns home to find her daughters and their nanny missing, the loss opens her eyes to all she has to lose now.
Frantic to find her girls, her distress causes Timothy to offer his assistance. Together they put together clues to a puzzle they must complete before the kidnapper ensures Katarina and her daughters are never reunited.
Slashed Canvas offers a retelling of The Lost Princess that mingles self-centered grief, spoiled little girls, and proof that nothing will stop a mother from saving her children.
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The is a novella loosely based on the fairy tale, The Lost Princess. The original tale included two very spoiled children from different families. In this novella, both children are in the same family but, my goodness, they are spoiled. So the details of the tale might be different but the major lesson on responsible parenting is the same. I like how Tolsma chose a setting of Paris with the irresponsible parent being a Russian princess who escaped the revolution.
That this is a fairy tale is evident in that Katarina, the exiled Russian princess, had plenty of money to sustain her in Paris. As Tolsma reveals in her Author's Note, that was not the case for most Russian nobles who escaped the 1917 revolution. I certainly appreciate Tolsma's attention to historical and cultural detail. It made reading this novella an informative as well as entertaining experience.
There are other important lessons beside the parenting one in this fairy tale. One is that we cannot live in the past. There is a time we must go forward and let the past go. Another is not to discount a person because of a disability. I like the good life lessons, good historical setting and skilled writing by Tolsma
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
More from Liz
How Slashed Canvas Came to Be
It was the last evening of the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference three years ago. A group of us decided that frozen yogurt sounded good, so we walked the few blocks from the university where the conference was being held to the local fro-yo shop.
On the way back, I was walking alongside fellow author Chautona Havig. We were chatting about various projects we had underway, and she mentioned that she and Sandy Barela from Celebrate Lit had come up with an idea for a boxed set. This involved taking a fairy-tale and turning it into a 1920s mystery. Would I be interested?
You don’t have to ask me twice if I’d like to be in a set with Chautona that’s put out by Sandy. Before I knew what was happening, I was agreeing to it. Then we got talking about what fairy tales I might use. As soon as she said The Lost Princess, an idea sparked in my brain. It really was that instant. 1920s. Princess. Russia. Exile.
This might come as a surprise to both Chautona and Sandy, but I really didn’t know the story of The Lost Princess. Not at all. When I was working up the idea, I had to read the story and figure out how to make my idea mesh with the fairy tale. Thankfully, the story did work well with what I intended to do with Slashed Canvas.
And that title? Well, that was quite difficult. At the time, my niece was staying with us and interning for me. One night, we sat and ran through idea after idea until we came up with “Something” Canvas. I wanted a strong adjective and we offered and rejected many until we came up with Slashed Canvas. I hadn’t written a word of the book, but I managed to work a slashed canvas into the story.
And what about the painting in Slashed Canvas? I knew I wanted it to be by a Russian artist and hang in the Louvre, but there weren’t (and aren’t) many paintings like that in the Louvre. Russia has been loath to allow any of its art to leave the country. So what was I going to do? I really was going crazy.
Then I spoke on the phone to Kristy Cambron. Not only is she a fabulous author, but she also has a degree in art history. It was her idea to make up my own painting. That way, I could make it work however I needed it to for the story. What a relief. I did just that, and the story flowed from there.
And the clues to the mystery? Those were my dad’s ideas. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything!
So that’s how Slashed Canvas came to be. It was the work of so many different people. Authors, much as we hide behind our computers, never work in a vacuum. Very often, there are many fingers in the pie to make the finished product.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 7
Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, March 7
Texas Book-aholic, March 8
For the Love of Literature, March 8
Inklings and notions, March 9
Christian Bookaholic, March 9
For Him and My Family, March 10
Elly Gilbert, March 10
deb's Book Review, March 11
By the Book, March 11
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12
Blossoms and Blessings, March 12
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 13
Paula's Persuasion, March 13
Connie's History Classroom, March 14
Genesis 5020, March 14
Babbling Becky L’ s Book Impressions, March 15
Older & Smarter?, March 15
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16 (Spotlight)
Blogging With Carol, March 16
Simple Harvest Reads, March 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 17
Maureen's Musings, March 17
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 18
Connect in Fiction, March 18
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 19 (Author Interview)
Back Porch Reads, March 19
Mary Hake, March 19
Through the Fire Blogs, March 20
The Book Club Network, March 20
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)