Cady Elizabeth Arnold

Cady Elizabeth “Betsy” Arnold is a Social Worker who believes in the healing power of narrative. In addition, she believes in the beauty of the world, and the meaning to be found in relationships. She has the great good fortune to have served as a counselor in an elementary school, at two colleges, and in various other settings where students have shared their stories with her while on the path to healing and wholeness.
Currently, she spends her non-writing time enjoying her family, spending time with friends, kayaking, mountain biking, eating chocolate, and taking long walks in the New Hampshire woods with her dog, Oscar.


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"A glowing, potent fantasy tale for teens and adults."

Kirkus Reviews


AWARDS, PRESS & INTERESTS

Unexpected skill or talent Flat water marathon kayak racing.

Passion in life Helping people heal from sexual abuse.


BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

CHILDREN'S & TEEN
Pub Date:

This second volume of Arnold’s (Tapestry, 2012) medieval romance series explores the fate of Lord Tristam’s kidnapped wife and daughter.

When readers left Lord Tristam and Lady Grace of the kingdom of Blinth, they were ready to move beyond their respective, tragic pasts. Tristam had recovered from the loss of his wife and 9-year-old daughter to kidnappers in the aftermath of war with neighboring Polomia, and Grace no longer suffered from the trauma of sexual abuse. Then, Tristam’s daughter, Faith, miraculously returned to Blinth. This installment tells the tale of how she survived being abducted, along with her mother, by six greedy men on horseback. Near the border with Polomia, they were taken up the Boldengarth River into the heathen lands of Lolgothe. Constance bled to death after a beating, and Faith was sold into slavery. She became the property of a cult that worshipped a deity called The Beast and lived in a castle among other young virgins. Faith’s intelligence and sharp temper gained her respect from the Crone, who ran the sisterhood; nevertheless, years passed without any indication that Tristam was searching for her. Eventually, Faith’s stature in the cult grew, until she became known as the She-Beast. It’s to Arnold’s credit that she delivers a page-turner despite the fact that readers know the eventual outcome. The themes of tenderness and loss that Arnold developed in the previous novel are refreshed here; for example, when Faith’s mother is buried at sea, Faith tells readers, “Long after she passed from my sight, I clung to the rail searching the waves, adrift in my sorrow.” The cult’s inner workings, which help cover up the rapes of underage girls, are truly creepy (“The basin represents the womb,” Faith is told, “the birthplace of those who serve The Beast”). At her lowest point, Faith even seems to view her own body from the outside—a survival mechanism that Grace similarly uses in the first book. These and other intricate threads connect the two volumes, and Arnold builds great anticipation for the third.

A dark fantasy sequel that enriches its predecessor.

CHILDREN'S & TEEN
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-936447-06-0
Page count: 318pp
This debut medieval romance sees a traumatized teen regain her passion for life, with the help of a man haunted by his own tragic past.
In 1122, in the kingdom of Blinth, a young teen runs in panic through the woods before finally collapsing. She awakens next to a stag that tells her that the men following her are friendly and that she should go with them in order to heal the cuts on her feet. Tristam, the leader of the hunting party, carries her to King Stefan’s castle. However, once her fever breaks, she finds herself unable to speak or remember anything about her past. Tristam names her Grace and takes a personal interest in her recovery. He’s still healing as well, after losing his wife and daughter in the woods years ago, and he grows closer to the foreign girl at the risk of his own reputation. Eventually, Grace starts communicating through sign language, going to school, and enjoying close friendships inside and outside the castle. But both she and Tristam sense a tragedy in her past that she’s blocked out completely. Will their deepening bond help or hinder her full recovery? Arnold sets her incredibly layered narrative in a Christian kingdom while offering mystery, romance and a parable on the power of healing. The chapters alternate between Tristam’s and Grace’s first-person accounts, and the author emphasizes the sense of touch throughout, characterized by tender dignity: “I go to him,” says Grace, “and wrap him in my arms as best I can. I stroke his hair. I kiss his brow.” However, this is also a story about healing from sexual abuse, and Arnold handles the traumatic subject with exceptional realism, particularly when she depicts Grace’s oscillation between isolation and acceptance. Splendid secondary characters, such as Becca and Geneva, keep the tale from becoming too dour. Grace’s headmaster provides moments of wisdom, as when she tells Grace in a moment of doubt, “[M]any times those who are different are indeed our brightest.” Plenty of court intrigue and a stunning twist at the end could bring readers back for a sequel.
A glowing, potent fantasy tale for teens and adults.

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