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Winter's Child

Nichole’s whole life has been marked by loss - the loss of her parents, her stillborn daughter, and with her baby’s death, the only chance of Nichole ever having a biological child of her own.

But when a tragedy brings a bittersweet miracle into their lives, Nichole and Jhon feel as if they have another chance. The miracle is Elizabeth - an innocent girl abandoned by her mother, then robbed of her adoptive parents in a mysterious fire.

Elizabeth is crying out for the love and affection Nichole and Jhon have been so desperate to share. And Nichole is certain the three of them will be the perfect family.

However, as the seasons change, so too does Elizabeth’s nature. Shy and sweet in the spring, warm and gregarious in summer, she suddenly becomes subdued and anxious in the fall. Then, as the nights grow colder, a darker side to Elizabeth’s nature steps to the forefront.

Manipulative. Cunning. Dangerous.

Soon, Nichole realizes that the dream life she’s built stands on the foundations of a nightmare. To protect those she loves the most, she’ll have to go against every instinct and principle she has as a mother.

Winter’s Child is a taut and chilling thriller from Christine D. Shuck - a gripping page-turner in the tradition of Gillian Flynn, Willow Rose, Jayne Renshaw, and Sarah Denzil.


Do you ever wonder what compelled an author to write a particular story? The underlying theme? The reason why a book is written? What was the author thinking? And why?

Well, wonder no more...

I was sitting in the Spaulding adoption class, a mandatory training all adoptive parents in Missouri must attend, when the idea for an adoption gone wrong story struck. 


It quickly took shape in my mind there in the class, and in the weeks that followed. And it was based mostly on my own hopes for a family. My eldest has had many choice things to say, most of them deprecating, on my lifelong wish to be a mother. My own parents haven't been much better. Perhaps this is why I'm an only child. In the end, the words that Nichole speaks on the first page of the first chapter are mine. I have always wanted a family. A husband. Children. And the writer in me can never be content with simple answers or solutions. It has to turn life on its ear. It has to ask that question - what would happen if the very thing you wanted the most is the thing that will destroy you?


I also have spent a lifetime watching a family member deal with severe depression that seems unresponsive to any medications. I've held off that same depression in my own life, fought it with action, and anger, and more - just so I can feel I'm functional. As I moved through writing Winter's Child, I wanted to highlight the negative self-talk I've found so present in my life and the lives of my loved ones. I hope I was successful in conveying how pervasive and damaging it can be, and is, to our daily lives.


Fostering has been a rollercoaster of emotions from the first day we embarked upon it. Four years later, we are still waiting to adopt our first placement. It isn't easy, and it isn't for everyone, but it is a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor. 

The Story Behind The Story

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