RainShadow is written and illustrated by Candice Gartzke. The story is about a jungle princess named Rain. She has a protector named Shadow that can change from panther to human in the shadows, but in the light, he is stuck as a panther. Shadow and Rain grow up together and fall in love. At night, Shadow decides to go on a quest to get a diamond ring to propose to Rain. Shadow meets a fellow named Trapper that shows him diamond rings on the outskirts of the desert. With the sun about to rise, Trapper surprises Shadow and traps him in the light as a panther. Rain notices that Shadow has gone missing, she stumbles into a spider and an old man. They helped her fall into a spider’s web to teleport to Shadow’s location. From, there Rain rescues Shadow and their story will be remembered forevermore.
RainShadow has all the qualities of a spectacular fairy tale with shapeshifting, magical enchantments, antagonist, and a heroine. Candice Gartzke’s illustrations are sepia in color and have a rough look. RainShadow is a great story to help kids’ imaginations grow! Candice Gartzke has made a modern fairy tale for the whole family to enjoy.
5 OUT OF 5 STARS
Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite
"RainShadow by Candice Gartzke is a fantasy picture book that revolves around the isolated life of mythical creatures in the rainforest. RainShadow is the combining of names that belong to two of the story's characters. Rain is an elemental spirit who is able to harness the power of the weather, with climate dictated by her will and, less pleasantly, through her emotions. Shadow is a shapeshifter that moves between his physical forms of a two-legged being like Rain, and his sleek, stealthy panther existence. The pair grow to love and depend on each other, separated only when the outside influence of human greed and consumption forces Shadow into a danger that only the perseverance of love and connection can fuel...something only Rain possesses.
RainShadow is a unique story in a long-established genre, and Candice Gartzke does well in the way she whispers a bit of new life into a place where only very old tales exist. The illustrations are a mix of sketch and paint-styled artwork that take on the appearance of earthy pan tones layered in gradients on top of a watercolor wash. Rain and Shadow are ethnically ambiguous, which is important to me with young readers in our diverse household. In a nod to how far storytelling has come, it was refreshing to read about a female rescuing a male. This is the standout theme of this book for me. The narrative is likely to be considered a bit on the mature side, particularly where it unapologetically introduces violence and entrapment, but again, Rain pushing forward to save her “protector” gave the book a strong leg up. Recommended."
Other Tales yet to be published
ScareCrow is a tale about two boys that are searching for spices. On the way to the market, the younger brother, Colt, tells Darius, the older brother, that it would be much faster to trespass! Darius disagrees, but Colt does not listen. Colt turns into a scarecrow! Darius must find a way to turn Colt and others back to normal.
DreamCatcher is a story about a lunar princess named REM. She goes on a journey to Earth and notices a man running amuck. His name is the DarkNight and he steals peoples dust from their nightmares and grows stronger everyday. He starts to grow strong that he can put people into sleeping comas. REM finds that it is her duty to stop the DarkNight!
StoneCold is about a young man named Carius that goes on a hike up the mountains with his best friend, Sailor, a white small dog. Carius forgot one thing though, water. When searching for water, an old woman named Silver jumps out of the bushes and tells Carius that she has just the drink for him. Little does he know the StoneCold drink would turn him into stone! Silver tells Carius when he is a stone statue that she is going to poison his hometown's water supply with the StoneCold concoction. Carius is left feeling helpless. Will Carius save the day?
MistyDew is a story about a young women that lives in the lake. She is what you call a Lake Shrine. She has the ability to breathe under water, walk on water, and float to the skies. However, Lake Shrines are not allowed to go on land for they will burn and many are worried that people on land will try to hunt them as some do. Her parents told her to never socialize with anyone on land. However she finds herself looking up to the stars and finds herself running into a young man. Misty finds Colt quite interesting, but when talking they were interrupted by a hunter! This hunter has tried to capture many Lake Shrines to help remain youthful. Does Misty and Colt capture the hunter?
MistyDew has a fully written manuscript. Concept is being created right now.
Timeless Tomes is a collection of tales that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Candice has been working on over 40 manuscripts in hopes to find an agent and publisher that is the right fit. Candice has always loved fairy tales especially stories or renditions told by Walt Disney. There is something amazing about a heroine or hero that has struggles and conflicts that need resolving so that the better good of society can persevere through troubling times. Please follow on Instagram or Twitter to see the illustrations and stories develop. Thank you for your time. Have a great day or night wherever you are in the world.