Forever We’ll Remember Memorial Day Countdown

Greetings, Everyone:

I would like to bring to your attention a wonderful memorial day countdown being held by a dear friend. Alyssa has a heart for our veterans and fallen heroes, and she’s honoring those who have given everything to protect us on her blog this week.

This is the schedule:

Day 1: May 23 – A Day To Remember

Day 2: May 24 – Madisyn Carlin (yours truly), Guest Post

Day 3: May 25 – Folds of Remembrance

Day 4: May 26 – The Perfect Sacrifice

Day 5: May 27 – Guest Post by Grace Johnson

Day 6: May 28 – Their Valor of Sacrifice

Day 7: May 29 – Our Nation Lives

Day 8: Memorial Day!! May 30th – Heroes Never Die

Please join us in honoring our valiant heroes who died so we might continue living in freedom.

Land of the free because of the brave.

Book Sale and Giveaways

UPCOMING:

May 27: First, in honor of Memorial Day, DECEIVED’s ebook will be on sale for $0.99 on May 27th. So, if you’ve not yet read DECEIVED, or would like an ebook copy, this is your opportunity.

May 21: Second, if you’re on Facebook, be sure to join the 2 Girls and Book Review group. I’ll be hosting a giveaway and takeover on Saturday, May 21. Prizes are an autographed copy of DECEIVED and a character card.

ONGOING GIVEAWAYS:

5/16 – 5/21: DECEIVED is featured in the Basketful of Books giveaway! This giveaway features twelve Christian books, two winners, and a host of genres, including fantasy, historical romance, and suspense. You can enter here. 1st place prize is a copy of every book (author’s choice of format) and 2nd place is winner’s choice of three (3) featured books of their choosing (once more, author’s choice of format).

There’s also a giveaway for Love in Disguise by Penny Zeller going on! Be sure to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy. You can enter here.

“What’s Your WIP” Tag

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you & link to their blog.
  • Link back to the creator, Katja @ Little Blossoms for Jesus, & add the tag graphic. 
  • List the rules. 
  • Answer the questions. 
  • Feel free to add snippets!
  • Tag as many or as few people as you wish & let them know they’re tagged. 
  • Add a clean copy of the questions at the end of your post for the “tagged.”

Many thanks to Alyssa for tagging me.


THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?

My WIP”s title is Shattered Reflection. It’s a non-magical Snow Queen retelling.

Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?

I’m too lazy to write a synopsis and I don’t have a blurb yet. Think Oath of the Outcast (C.M. Banschbach) x Keeper of Shadows (Bridgett Powers). Here’s the inspiration board.

Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?

I do have a final cover for SR, but I’m not sharing it yet. However, if things go the way I think they will, be on the lookout for cover reveal signups in the next few weeks. Another author and I are doing a special collaboration, and it’s going to be epic.

How did you get the idea for this story?

Ruins by Ledger first sparked the idea after I read the original story. It grew from there into a massive story with five POVs.

How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?

I originally planned SR to be 80-90 words long. The first draft is 100,000. The final will probably be well beyond that. Five POVs plus a deep plot doesn’t afford one the ability to keep the story short.

Who’s your favourite character so far?

My favorite character…I don’t know. It’s either Breac or Marcus.

What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?

My favorite memory in SR is handwriting the first fourteen chapters (around 18,000 words) while in the mountains.

Any special person(s) who helped create it?

My sister provided inspiration for a certain character in SR. And, of course, my undying gratitude to the betas who poured over the rough, rough, rough draft. Couldn’t have done it without you ladies.

What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?

One of my favorite scenes is when a specific character cries out to God. I can’t provide more detail than that, because it would be a major spoiler.

Can you give us a snippet? 

I can’t provide a snippet, but I can offer some randomly selected sentences.

A queen did not show fear.

___

“I didn’t take you as someone who’d betray those they called family.”

___

“Nothing you do now can undo what’s been done. You can’t change the past.”

___

“I am a mortal physician. I can tend to your flesh wounds and nothing more. But we serve and belong to the Master Physician. He can mend everything, even the scars you think could never heal.”

___

“Humor me. Please? I’m your big brother. It’s my job to protect you.”
“You’re fifteen minutes older than me. That hardly qualifies you to use the seniority card.”
“Fifteen minutes older is fifteen minutes older.”

Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?

SR has thrown multiple curve balls. I never expected SR to be so deep and raw. It makes DECEIVED feel lighthearted and airy. It’s also thrown more than a few curve balls by way of work. I only need to make a bazillion edits and finishing touches along with rewrite Chapters One and Four and add four to eight chapters so things can be explained and expounded and not rushed. I love this book, and it’s the only books I’ve ever cried during while writing. It’s my favorite book I’ve written thus far.

Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?

Psalm 51 has been major in shaping this story. This pin too has been instrumental. It applies to all five MCs for different reasons.

When and where have you done most of the writing so far?

The majority of writing has occurred on the couch.

Where do you get inspiration for this story?

Music mostly. Valley of Death by Skillet released at the perfect time and became the perfect character song, especially considering what the character was enduring at that time. And it’s a retelling, so there’s that. Plus these crazy characters just went their own way and did their own thing. I couldn’t stop them despite my best efforts.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Plotter.

Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?

I pray and ask God to have me write only the words He wants written.

Are you thinking of publishing this story?

Lord willing, I will absolutely publish SR. I can’t put into words what this story has done to me. I put so much into DECEIVED, and that book and those characters (especially Rogan) have a special place in my heart, but I’ve put everything—heart, mind, soul, and sanity—into SR. There’s just something about this story that calls to me. To my knowledge, SR will be published either in September or October/December. If this book touches one person, if the messages of salvation, redemption, family, adoption, and remembering God’s faithfulness touch one heart, then all of the emotional heartache will have been worth it.

What things have you learned while writing this story?

Through my characters, I have learned that tears can bring healing. I’ve been reminded of the beautiful, heartbreaking rawness when someone reaches the end of their rope and is reminded God is in control. I’ve been reminded of the importance of forgiveness, that no one is beyond God’s reach. And I’ve been reminded what a tender and merciful act God’s gift of salvation is.


TAGS:

I’m not tagging anyone specifically, but if you want to do this tag, go ahead and consider yourself nominated.

CLEAN COPY:

  1. Has your WIP a working title? If so, tell us! If not, have you any idea of what it might be?
  2. Have you a synopsis for your WIP? If so, give it to us! If not, can you give us a blurb on what your WIP is about?
  3. Have you a working/mock cover for your WIP? If so, show us! If not, have you an idea in mind?
  4. How did you get the idea for this story?
  5. How long do you think it will be? Is it longer or shorter than you thought it would be?
  6. Who’s your favourite character so far?
  7. What’s your favourite memory related to this WIP?
  8. Any special person(s) who helped create it?
  9. What’s your favourite scene so far (if you can tell about it without spoilers!)?
  10. Can you give us a snippet? 
  11. Is the story still what you thought it would be or has it thrown you a couple curveballs?
  12. Is there a Bible verse, poem, hymn, picture, or quote that helped shape this story?
  13. When and where have you done most of the writing so far?
  14. Where do you get inspiration for this story?
  15. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
  16. Do you have a little ritual before you start writing?
  17. Are you thinking of publishing this story?
  18. What things have you learned while writing this story?

Celestial

For millenniums, angels like Captain Jediah had waged war against their former brethren: the demons.


Title: Celestial

Author: Hannah Mae

Genre: Supernatural

Length: 322 pages


ABOUT

For millenniums, angels like Captain Jediah had waged war against their former brethren: the demons. As Keeper of the Abyss, it’s his duty to ensure Appolyon’s army remains imprisoned until the end of the age. Unfortunately, despite all that God had entrusted him with, Jediah is plagued by an unceasing guilt. It drives him to thirst for Christ’s redemptive power, but there’s one glaring problem. He’s not human. God’s gift of salvation is meant for mankind alone.

When God appoints him to lead a task force of five wildly different angels to capture two dangerous demons, Jediah ponders if his return to earth might be his only chance to learn what the core of human salvation truly is. However, one of Jediah’s angels hides a secret agenda, and Jediah’s dark past is hellbent on hunting him down too.

Can Jediah risk everything for the relief he’s desperate for? Or should he even bother chasing what he cannot have at all? What does living redeemed mean?

– Winner of the ACFW “First Impressions” Award for Speculative Fiction! –


RATING:

4 Stars

REVIEW:

I am always wary and hesitant when I read supernatural books, as there is a delicate line the author must walk to avoid incorrect theology. Angels and the supernatural are both mystifying and something not to treat with levity. The majority of authors who approach this topic can neither deliver a solid, theologically accurate story nor do well in portraying the angels, demons, and other supernatural elements.

Miss Mae is not one of those authors.

Supernatural is not a genre I usually prefer to read. I can count on one hand the books I’ve enjoyed in this genre; books that are actually worth rereading. Celestial is now included among those few.

The most appropriate word I would use to describe this story is unique. The story’s beginning is intriguing; the second chapter, captivating. And the ending…well, I may have been a bit teary-eyed. So simple, so poignant, and such a perfect end to the book.

There were multiple things about this book that I enjoyed. The overall tone is serious, but there is much humor interwoven. Akela is hilarious and the angels’ attempts at blending in with humanity (view spoiler) was where I really laughed out loud. And the weapons! I’m a sucker for quality, unique weapons, and boy are there some good ones in here.

Miss Mae infused her story with excellent descriptors, humor cleverly woven in, well-written battle scenes, and a beautiful faith element. And Jediah. I love his name. It’s perfect for him. He and Alameth were my favorite characters. Speaking of characters, each possesses a unique personality that really makes them vibrant, three dimensional characters.

There were a few rough spots that are the type that some will notice and others won’t, so this is personal opinion. At times the book told more than showed; that tripped me up a little as a few parts were confusing due to this. A few other times it seemed like we jumped into a different angel’s POV for a few sentences before reverting back to the original. Again, however, like I said, that’s personal and certainly something that won’t bother everyone.

The author has much potential and a lot of blooming talent. I look forward to seeing how she continues to hone her writing and what type of tale she’ll treat us to next.

Well done, Miss Mae. You have delivered a captivating debut.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway Alert

Giveaway time!

What’s better than a garden of flowers? How about a garden of books!

I have partnered up with @celebratelit Celebrate Lit Publicity to do an amazing giveaway just for you for the opportunity to shower one winner with books! Prizes are a $500 gift card or 40+ books. There are a ton of different genres and some well-known authors like Penny Zeller, Lynette Eason, and Lisa Phillips also participating.

To sign up, go here: https://promosimple.com/ps/1c61c/2022-a-garden-of-books . If you follow this blog, you already have an in. 😉

The event and giveaway is going on now through May 14.

Love Unforeseen

Will a best friend’s matchmaking scheme be successful?


Title: Love Unforeseen (Love Letters From Ellis Creek, Book Two)

Author: Penny Zeller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Length: 151 pages


ABOUT

Will a best friend’s matchmaking scheme be successful?

Tillie Waller finds her life’s purpose in molding young minds as a teacher in Ellis Creek in the late-1890s. While she claims contentment, there is a part of her that longs to marry and be a mother, like her sister, Meredith, and best friend, Lula. But no matter. With her students and books, how could she ever be lonesome?

Willard “Will” Fairbanks has longed to return to Ellis Creek since the day he left the town with his family twelve years ago. When a job offer at Ellis Creek Mill beckons his return, Will eagerly embraces the opportunity. An added bonus? He hopes to reconnect with Tillie Waller, the girl he has always loved—the girl who never felt the same about him.

When Tillie encourages her pupils to write to pen pals in another town, she can’t possibly foresee how such an assignment will impact her own future. Her best friend, Lula, concocts a plan, unbeknownst to Tillie, for Will to become Tillie’s pen pal under a false name. Tillie forms a connection with her pen pal and even dares herself to fall in love.

When she falls in love with both Will and her pen pal, which one will she choose?

Will love unforeseen become a reality for Tillie and Willard?


Rating:

5 Stars


Review:

Will a best friend’s matchmaking scheme be successful?

Lula Plessner is minding her own business when she stumbles across a friend from the past. When the opportunity to play matchmaker arises, she eagerly accepts the challenge. And if she receives those delectable miniature jawbreakers as payment? Well, all the better.

Tillie Waller is content being a schoolteacher, forming young minds and encouraging them to embrace a love of learning. When she runs into a man she thought she’d have the fortune of never again meeting, she’s not only disturbed, she’s discombobulated and distressed.

Willard “Will” Fairbanks is finally returning to Ellis Creek. Not only does he have the opportunity to once again reside in the place he’s always considered home, he might have the opportunity to properly win the heart of the girl he’s always admired.

This was such a fun book. It was a delight to see how the characters, who were young in Love from Afar, have grown up. Distinct personalities, a ton of shenanigans and humor, and solid friendships really make Love Unforeseen an enjoyable read. Plus, Tillie is a logophile! You don’t read often about characters with a love for words and dictionaries, so that particularly endeared her to me.

The secondary characters, particularly Lula and Gideon, were a blast. Lula, who has a passel of energetic youngsters she calls her own and a great love for miniature jawbreakers. Gideon, whom I assume will soon have his own story (please, we need his story), is a good friend to Will and a bit ornery, which creates some hilarious scenes. Genevieve, whom we don’t see much of but is still an integral character, also needs her own story.

Love Unforeseen is the second book in Love Letters of Ellis Creek Series. This story is a short novella, so the plot moves quickly. It is well-written, never possessing a dull moment, and just all around fun. The little bit of mystery for Tillie was amusing as well, and the resolution and ending were so cute. If you need a lighthearted Christian historical romance to read, I highly recommend Love Unforeseen.

DECEIVED Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Greetings, Everyone:

Today is the final day in the DECEIVED Blog Tour. It’s been a long (and, to be honest, exhausting) fortnight. I never knew releasing a book required so much energy and mental acuity. I have survived, my characters have survived, and these bloggers have survived.

Being unafraid to stand up and speak out for what’s right and what’s True, no matter who stands with or against you, has always been important to me. From that grew what is, perhaps, the most integral aspect and theme of DECEIVED. It is the driving force behind all three books: no matter what, even if you stand alone, always stand for Truth. No mortal army can silence God’s Word.

On a different note, there are nine things which I wish to address:

First, I’ve seen some ship names floating about, so let me introduce the official ship titles: Rovelle and Tholder.

Second, thank you to the wonderful bloggers who have participated in this tour. It would not have happened without you.

Third, my immense gratitude to everyone who has been so supportive over DECEIVED. This book has taken me on a roller coaster of a journey, from a rejection, to thinking it would never be published, to today (thanks, Mom, for pushing me to do this ❤ ). You truly cannot publish a book on your lonesome.

Fourth, since I am a permanently fatigued pigeon who currently and simultaneously resides in four different worlds, I’ve projected two differing dates regarding the giveaway: May 7th (today) and May 10th (Tuesday). I am extending it to May 10th due to the error.

Fifth, do be sure to sign up for the giveaway! Or, if you’ve pre-ordered this story with its four minions of mayhem, be sure to fill out the pre-order swag form. Both links are below.

Sixth, I encourage you to visit the tour stops. These ladies have been a blessing, and I’ve appreciated the opportunities they’ve presented for DECEIVED.

Seventh, if you’ve read DECEIVED, let me know who your favorite character is! For those who have been keeping up with the Q&As and author interviews, you already know mine is Rogan. Yes, authors have their favorite characters. And/or tell me your favorite scene!

Eighth, stay tuned via this blog and my newsletter for more updates regarding giveaway opportunities, releases (a non-magical fairy tale retelling novella is in the works right now, projected to be published by the end of May/early June), and more.

Ninth, any questions about the characters? The book? The tour in general?

Thank you for stopping by and following DECEIVED on it’s blog tour adventure. I hope this book will touch lives and that you will be emboldened to stand for Truth after reading it.

Stay strong, stay steadfast.

Sincerely,

Madisyn (a.k.a the sleep-deprived author)

In a world built upon lies and deception, uncovering the truth can be deadly.


PREORDER INFORMATION

If you have preordered DECEIVED or order it during the duration of this blog tour (April 25 – May 7), and want some swag (character card and autographed bookplate), go here.

Giveaway Information:

Want a chance to win an autographed copy of DECEIVED and a character card? Be sure to go here. Or, if you don’t have social media, leave a comment at every blog post to be entered. Giveaway ends May 10th. (PDF will be sent to international entrants).

DECEIVED BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

Monday, April 25

Madisyn Carlin | Intro + Book Spotlight

Joy Woodbury | Book Review

Tuesday, April 26

Madisyn Carlin | Release Day! + Fun Facts

Vanessa Hall | Author Interview

Autumn | Book Spotlight

Wednesday, April 27

Esther | Book Review

Saraina | Character Interview: Therese

Joy Woodbury | Guest Post

Thursday, April 28

Madisyn Carlin | Group Interview

Kristina Hall | Book Review

Friday, April 29

Vanessa Hall | Book Spotlight

Olivia | Book Review

Saturday, April 30

Madisyn Carlin | Character Spotlight: Holder

Olive Creed | Book Spotlight

Monday, May 2

Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Grace Johnson | Guest Post + Book Spotlight

Tuesday, May 3

Madisyn Carlin | Meet the Characters

Stephanie | Book Review

Wednesday, May 4

Grace Johnson | Author Interview

Saraina | Character Interview: Rogan

Thursday, May 5

Madisyn Carlin | Character Q+A

Issabelle Perry | Character Spotlight: Therese

Friday, May 6

Grace Johnson | Book Review

Autumn – Author Interview

Jenavieve Rose | Book Review

Saturday, May 7

Madisyn Carlin | Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Olive Creed | Author Interview

Katja Labonte | Book Review

Saraina | Author Interview

DECEIVED: Q&A with Characters

Greetings, everyone. Today is another interview with the main characters of DECEIVED. There are extra snickerdoodle cookies on the log table over there, as well as some hot chocolate since springtime has not yet truly arrived in this area.

The setup is similar to the last interview’s. Holder, Therese, Ivelle, and Rogan, in that order, join me around the campfire. All wear degrees of wariness, and Rogan looks like he’s going to ignore my rules, again, and bolt. In addition to the campfire, blankets are provided to stave off the day’s chill.

I adjust my notes and greet them. Only Holder and Ivelle offer a verbal reply. Therese nods. And Mr. Grumpus selects to ignore me.

A dangerous move considering I’m in the process of writing BETRAYED.

“This is from Olivia G. Holder, she would to hear some stories from when you and Rogan were growing up. Preferably funny.”

Holder’s shoulders lose a tad of their tension. He’s not as wane and worn as he was last time, and his eyes aren’t as tired. “There aren’t really that many. The first one coming to mind was when we were crossing a stream and Rogan face-planted in the bank. He refused to wash off because he dislikes wearing wet clothing. By the time we returned to the castle, the mud was so dried on him no one recognized him and he could barely speak and move.”

Rogan crosses his arms. “You had it worse when you snuck into the kitchen. The cook was so mad to find you filching those cookies he threw raw eggs and flour at you. You looked like a ghost.”

“Juan told me they were for the taking. How was I to know they were for some celebration?” A smile hinting at Holder’s hidden orneriness crossed his face. “What about that time you fell in the manure pile?”

“I refuse to talk about that.”

Ivelle leaned forward. “I want to hear this.”

“An older soldier told us there was a chest of weapons in the stable’s loft. Rogan ignored my warnings and climbed up there to see what he could find. A pigeon scared him so badly he screamed like a scared toddler and toppled over the loft’s edge. Right into the manure pile.”

Rogan arches a brow, pointedly ignoring Ivelle’s laughter. “You’re the one who screamed when you saw a rabbit.”

“I thought it was a snake.”

“I told you it was a rabbit.”

“You also told me a squirrel would eat my fingers if I tried feeding it some bread. There’s a reason I didn’t believe you.”

I clear my throat as the debate escalates. “You were rather bratty, Rogan. Not as bad as Ivelle, but still a brat.” Paying no heed to his indignant glare, I locate the next question. “The remaining questions are from Brooklyn O’Brennen and K.R. Mattson. Brooklyn wants to know, ‘At what point of the book did you laugh so hard at anything (could be a mistake or just a funny look) that you could have snorted milk through your nose?’ I believe the answer to that is when I was writing Rogan’s interactions with Redwing.”

Rogan scowls. “Those weren’t funny.”

“They were to me, and that’s all that matters. Brooklyn next wants to know if any scenes made me cry. The answer to that is no. I came close a few times, but rarely do I cry while writing.”

Rogan, who apparently does wish for me to make things worse on him in BETRAYED, mutters, “That doesn’t surprise me.”

“Brooklyn also wishes to know which scene was the hardest to write.” I cough as all four glare at me. “I plead the fifth on that. Next question. She wishes to know which scene was easiest. That would be the final chapter.”

If looks could kill, I’d be buried in the Mariana Trench. Holder and Rogan are not pleased. Probably for good reason.

“K.R. wants to know if I regret writing any scenes. That would depend on your definition of regret, I suppose. Do I regret any scenes that are in there? No. Do I regret writing about what’s happened to you four? Yes, if regret means being the unfortunate soul who’s had to jot down your painful pasts.”

“No one forced you.”

One of these days, Rogan’s lip was going to land him in some hot water. “To the contrary, Rogan Cetrin. You four forced me. You especially.”

His brows lower. “Why? Do you really think I’d want”–he gestures to himself–“anything about me written down?”

There is a brewing storm in his eyes, but behind that is undimmed pain. One of these days, he’ll realize he’s far more than the unwanted pestilence his father has treated him as.

I flip to the next questions. Rogan’s grumpiness is more than a personality defect. It’s a means of protection. Now isn’t the time to tear those walls down. ‘These are still from Brookly. “Which character was the hardest to write? Which character required the most research’?.

“The answers would be Rogan and probably Therese.” I don’t elaborate aloud on my answers. Rogan because, well, it’s not easy to research emotional trauma and how an adult who grew up emotionally abused and neglected behaves. Therese because I had to dig in and find poisons and killing methods.

I turn to the next set. “Brooklyn would like to know if any of you ever tried eating dirt. Holder, we’ll begin with you.”

He shrugs. “Rogan and I wrestled when we were little. There was probably more dirt in us than on the forest floor. And, before they replaced the training grounds’ floors with sand, there was packed dirt. Pretty sure I consume a lot from there too.”

“And you, Therese?”

She shifts, though her expression is not so wary. “I’m sure I did when I was a toddler. I don’t remember doing so, though.”

Ivelle grins before her humor fizzles out, like a sudden stain demolished a good memory. “I know I ate dirt. One time my brother and his friends had a contest to see who could eat the most soil. They said I was too little to join. I beat them all.”

I can only imagine how many worms and grubs she consumed in the process. “That’s disgusting.”

“It was nasty. But the point is I won.”

Can’t argue there. I shake my head and turn to Rogan. “And you?”

His mulish demeanor hasn’t lessened one iota. “What Holder said.”

“Any other occurrences?”

Holder pipes up. “I think he ate some when Redwing threw him. It was in mud form, but that’s still dirt. Just…wet dirt.”

Rogan opens his mouth, likely to protest. I interrupt. “Again from Brooklyn. ‘When was a time in your childhood you felt super important’? Rogan, you go first.”

“Why?”

“Because I’m the author and I said so, that’s why.”

He huffs but complies. “When Captain Geros congratulated me during training. It happened once and I don’t remember for what, but I do remember it happening.”

“Ivelle?”

A soft smile crosses her face. “When Ma let me bake biscuits on my own for the first time. She told me she trusted me enough to let me loose in the kitchen.”

Therese almost balks when I indicate it is her turn. But, like Ivelle, a smile softens her countenance after a moment. “My name was the first word Nora said.”

“And you, Holder?”

“When Father let me ride by myself. Looking back, I realize we were in a sturdy corral and I was on the oldest horse in all of Orm, but I felt like an accomplished rider the first few minutes into the ride.”

“Next question. She would like to know if any of you know what a paper plane is.”

Blank expressions provide an answer.

I find the next page. The wind is picking up, creating disorder despite the numerous paperclips and staples. “K.R. would like to know what weapon you would pick if you could pick any weapon in the world.”

Ivelle’s smirk puts me on edge. Last time she said she wouldn’t kill anyone unless they harmed Claudine or Emmy, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t opposed to introducing noggins with blunt objects.

Holder answers before Ivelle can. “The sword is fine. A knife is the best though. I can throw one with more accuracy than I can a sword.”

I turn to Therese. “And you?”

She shifts, eyes on her hands, which are clasped and resting in her lap. “A knife, I suppose.”

Rogan eyes her like she’ll pull said weapon and begin threatening Holder with it.

Ivelle rubs her hand, expression gleeful. “Cayenne pepper.”

Something tells me she’s used this as a weapon before. “Pardon?”

“Cayenne pepper. It’s hot, spicy, and when you put an overabundance in someone’s food, unbearable. It feels like it’s searing your esophagus and burning through your tongue.”

I stare at her. She smiles, not bothering to pretend innocence.

Characters. Give them a page and they’ll take a book. I never authorized her to be this crazy.

“Alright, then. We’ll know not to eat your cooking. Rogan, what about you?”

“A sword.” He crosses his arms and stares at the fire, refusing to speak one more word.

“You sure it’s not the bow and arrow?”

Rogan harrumphs.

Well. At least Holder is laughing at my joke.

Unfortunately for Sir Grumps-A-Lot, he won’t be able to stew in his cantankerousness for long.

I snap the papers and clear my throat. “What is your favorite color? Rogan, go first.”

“Blue.”

Ivelle answers green, Therese, pale pink, and Holder agrees with Ivelle.

Raindrops have dirtied my glasses, and I take them off to clean the lenses, sparing a scowl for the gray clouds. “This next question is for me, courtesy of K.R.. ‘Why did you pick the season that you did for the book? Did you want them all to freeze to death in the second one’?”

“I chose late winter/early spring mostly because I needed BETRAYED to begin with snow. Do I want them to freeze to death? No. Will that happen? I hope not.”

Four horrified expressions are aimed my way.

“K.R. also asks, on a scale of one to ten, where does DECEIVED fall regarding being hardest or easiest to write? DECEIVED has been the easiest book to write, rough draft-wise, thus far. Reworking the issues with it places it on a six out of ten for difficulties, but it’s by far not the hardest book I’ve ever written.

“The final question is from Brooklyn. First, she’d like to know which ice cream flavor you like best.”

The four had been presented sample-sizes of a variety of flavors. Some were automatically spit in the trash. Others were embraced.

Chocolate marshmallow, coffee, rocky road, and butter pecan were automatic absolutely nots. I knew my characters had good taste.

Holder likes chocolate, Therese prefers mint chocolate chip, Ivelle could probably eat an entire tub of cookies ‘n cream (like yours truly), and Rogan favors vanilla. I knew he was my favorite for a reason.

“We’re done with these, interrogations, right?” Rogan twirls a knife as he stares at me.

Interrogation, thank you very much. And you’re done for now until Book Two releases.”

“Assuming we’re all alive,” he snarks.

“Yes, assuming you all are still breathing an in decent enough condition to hold an intelligent conversation.”

Ivelle inspects her nails, not-so-surreptitiously smirking at Rogan. “I know of someone who’s already disqualified. His mind is never in decent enough condition to converse with a rock, let alone be in an interview.”

I pass out the packets of cookies and cups of hot chocolate before ushering these minions of mayhem from the scene. “I’ve an outline to firm up, evil to scheme, and a book to write. Off with you.”

They leave with minimal encouragement, like they’re afraid I’ll nail them with more questions should they linger.

I clean up before gazing at the mountains. Snow still decorates their jagged peaks. They’re not the High Mountains, not as sharp and steep, but they’re my mountains. Hopefully, after Book Two ends, the four will feel some love for their mountains. Mountain truly are the best geological formation, and a wonder of God’s handiwork.

Silencing my musings, I grab my bag and leave. BETRAYED won’t write itself.

***

Thank you for joining me for the final group interview! Which type of ice cream is your favorite? If you could choose any weapon to be your favorite, which would it be?

Be sure to enter the giveaway, and there’s still time to sign up for the preorder goodies.


PREORDER INFORMATION

If you have preordered DECEIVED or order it during the duration of this blog tour (April 25 – May 7), and want some swag (character card and autographed bookplate), go here.



Giveaway Information:

Want a chance to win an autographed copy of DECEIVED and a character card? Be sure to go here. Or, if you don’t have social media, leave a comment at every blog post to be entered. Giveaway ends May 10th. (PDF will be sent to international entrants).


DECEIVED BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

Monday, April 25

Madisyn Carlin | Intro + Book Spotlight

Joy Woodbury | Book Review

Tuesday, April 26

Madisyn Carlin | Release Day! + Fun Facts

Vanessa Hall | Author Interview

Autumn | Book Spotlight

Wednesday, April 27

Esther | Book Review

Saraina | Character Interview: Therese

Joy Woodbury | Guest Post

Thursday, April 28

Madisyn Carlin | Group Interview

Kristina Hall | Book Review

Friday, April 29

Vanessa Hall | Book Spotlight

Olivia | Book Review

Saturday, April 30

Madisyn Carlin | Character Spotlight: Holder

Olive Creed | Book Spotlight

Monday, May 2

Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Grace Johnson | Guest Post + Book Spotlight

Tuesday, May 3

Madisyn Carlin | Meet the Characters

Stephanie | Book Review

Wednesday, May 4

Grace Johnson | Author Interview

Saraina | Character Interview: Rogan

Thursday, May 5

Madisyn Carlin | Character Q+A

Issabelle Perry | Character Spotlight: Therese

Friday, May 6

Grace Johnson | Book Review

Autumn – Author Interview

Jenavieve Rose | Book Review

Saturday, May 7

Madisyn Carlin | Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Olive Creed | Author Interview

Katja Labonte | Book Review

Saraina | Author Interview

DECEIVED: Meet the Characters + Character Spotlights

Greetings, everyone. Today you get to properly meet the four main characters in DECEIVED: Holder Lygor, Therese Westa, Rogan Cetrin, and Ivelle Quade.


HOLDER LYGOR

Image from Pinterest. Credit goes to the original photographer, of whom I do not know the identity of.

Favorite hobby: Reading

Least favorite person: A toss up between King Eligor and Svetalna

Introvert or Extrovert: Ambivert.

You can read Holder’s character spotlight here.

And no, Holder does not have facial hair unlike the character inspiration picture. No facial hair allowed on my main male characters.


THERESE WESTA

This amazing character art was created by Paige Coffer.

Favorite hobby: Right now she’s focused on providing for her sisters, but she wouldn’t mind taking up sewing.

Least favorite person: King Eligor.

Introvert or Extrovert: Introvert

Therese’s character spotlight will be available on Thursday.


ROGAN CETRIN

Sorry, folks. No picture available. I haven’t found adequate character inspiration for him.

Favorite hobby: Practicing his weapons.

Necessary hobby: Evading Holder’s “homicidal equine” of a horse.

Least favorite person: His father.

Introvert and Extrovert: A hardcore introvert. Being around people does nothing for his already cranky demeanor.

Appearance: 6’1” and strong; blond hair and blue eyes

Age: Twenty-one

Personality: Serious, often grumpy, and intense

Positive Traits: Loyal, protective, and focused

Negative Traits: Too stubborn, cynical, has a tendency to be rude

Character Song: “Back to Life” by Skillet and Broken by Lifehouse

ABOUT ROGAN:

Rogan was the only character I knew about when the idea for DECEIVED first came to me. I knew he was loyal and good with weapons. I also knew he’d eventually one day be fighting for his life. I originally had his and Holder’s personalities swapped, with Rogan being the gentler one and Holder being rude and more sarcastic. That didn’t last long, for as soon I wrote the first four chapters, it became evident these characters were going to be quite different from how I first imagined them.

Out of the four main characters, Rogan defied me the most. He came with a different personality, was far more mulish and stubborn than I anticipated, and refused to get along with most of the other characters. Another thing which surprised me about him was his past. Out of the blue, I learned he did not have a good home life. Beneath that gruff, rough, cantankerous exterior was a wounded heart, one that makes me want to wrap him in a blanket, give him a big cup of hot chocolate, and tell him everything will be okay.

Regarding character development, Rogan is the easiest of the four. His hidden wounds—physical, emotional, and mental—and his strong determination to do what is right, even if he does have misplaced loyalty, make him easy to develop. His full character arc will take all three books to fully come about, and, even though it may not look like it at the end of DECEIVED, he has already made great strides.

Rogan is an interesting character. I much imagine him as that meme where an introvert is in their bubble and hissing and snarling at the extrovert reaching in and attempting to drag them out. Only in Rogan’s case, he has no tolerance for most people and does not appreciate others coming into his space and pestering him, whether they be friend, still-to-be-decided, or foe. He can talk for hours about weapons if he wishes, but unless he trusts you and genuinely desires to spend time with you, he’ll not say more than the most necessary of words while in your presence. His hobby is practicing with his weapons and his least favorite thing to do is deal with those who irritate him.

One of Rogan’s greatest foes is Holder’s horse, a red roan with a colossal attitude and dislike toward Rogan. I have no idea why this horse despises him so, but I do feel for Rogan. The horse has bitten him at least three times despite his attempts, albeit half-hearted, to be nice.

While the other three characters have senses of humor, particularly Holder and Ivelle, Rogan is my least humorous main character.  His intense personality and reluctant willingness to smile may play part in that. Where others would laugh, Rogan would remain frowning. Not much amuses him. I hope in the future two books he will add some humor, but he’s defied me before and he’ll likely defy me again.

What I want most for Rogan is for him to come to faith. Right now, he is firmly entrenched in believing what he shouldn’t. Currently, his broken, wounded self is almost beyond the ability to realize there is a Father that loves him. I know he will, eventually, but I hope both for his sake and mine he realizes that sooner rather than later.

My favorite quote of Rogan’s:

“No one with a touch of sanity would sacrifice themselves for others. People aren’t worth it.”


IVELLE QUADE

Art found on Pinterest. Belongs to the unknown artist.

Favorite hobby: Anything to do with plants; irritating Rogan.

Least favorite person: Anyone involved with King Eligor.

Introvert and Extrovert: Extrovert.

Appearance: 5’9”; black hair and gray eyes

Age: Twenty-One

Personality: Extroverted, kind, and sarcastic

Positive Traits: Protective, intelligent, thinks quickly on her feet

Negative Traits: Sometimes too sarcastic, willing to lie, can be grim

Character Song: “Foreigner” by Ledger

ABOUT IVELLE:

Ivelle was a surprise character, and also my final MC to be developed. I knew I needed four, but I wasn’t sure who the other main female character would be. Then she waltzed into Therese’s first chapter in the form of a young woman with a hearty rebellious streak, a heartbreaking past, a sarcastic sense of humor, and the kindest heart ever.

Unlike the other MCs, Ivelle was born in the High Mountains, and she has the accent to prove it. She’s sturdy in build and strong in determination and stubbornness. Two things surprised me about Ivelle: her past and her profession. At age ten, Ivelle watched her village be slaughtered. She barely survived and bears nasty, raised scars on her inner forearms from the burns she sustained during the attack. Enter in Ivelle’s profession. After she escaped to Varway, she was taken in by a businesswoman named Claudine DeGrim. Not only does Claudine own an emporium, a store specializing in novelty items, but she is deeply entrenched in the black market. Claudine raised Ivelle to assist not only with the Emporium, but also in the smuggling business. Ivelle is now an adept smuggler and handler of illegal goods, most of which are weapons.

Ivelle has a kind heart. She genuinely cares about others, which is evident as she helps Claudine care for a young orphaned girl with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. What she does not possess is the ability to amiably interact with those she dislikes, one of whom is Rogan. This is where her sarcastic streak emerges, and she nearly lands herself in trouble a few times.

For a long time, Ivelle has known there’s something not quite right about the religion fostered in the kingdom. Couple that with her penchant for rebellion, and she has no issue decrying the religion (worshipping the stars) and the king who fostered that religion.

Ivelle’s character arc is subtle in DECEIVED. Her recognition of the wrongness of worshipping the stars is the most overt. However, if you really watch her internal musings and the way she interacts with certain characters, you will witness the change in her.

What I want most for Ivelle, aside from her recognizing her need for a Savior, is for her to redirect her strong personality so she can effectively help others. She already has a kind heart, as is seen throughout the book, but she lets her past, her pain, and her surroundings prohibit her from reaching her full potential.

My favorite quote of Ivelle’s:

“He may be your king, but he is not mine.”


Based off this information, who is your favorite character? Or, if you already have a favorite, what was one interesting fact you didn’t know about them?

To see which DECEIVED character you are, go here.

To see the inspiration for DECEIVED, along with more character songs, go here.


PREORDER INFORMATION

If you have preordered DECEIVED or order it during the duration of this blog tour (April 25 – May 7), and want some swag (character card and autographed bookplate), go here.


Giveaway Information:

Want a chance to win an autographed copy of DECEIVED and a character card? Be sure to go here. Or, if you don’t have social media, leave a comment at every blog post to be entered. Giveaway ends May 10th. (PDF will be sent to international entrants).


DECEIVED BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

Monday, April 25

Madisyn Carlin | Intro + Book Spotlight

Joy Woodbury | Book Review

Tuesday, April 26

Madisyn Carlin | Release Day! + Fun Facts

Vanessa Hall | Author Interview

Autumn | Book Spotlight

Wednesday, April 27

Esther | Book Review

Saraina | Character Interview: Therese

Joy Woodbury | Guest Post

Thursday, April 28

Madisyn Carlin | Group Interview

Kristina Hall | Book Review

Friday, April 29

Vanessa Hall | Book Spotlight

Olivia | Book Review

Saturday, April 30

Madisyn Carlin | Character Spotlight: Holder

Olive Creed | Book Spotlight

Monday, May 2

Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Grace Johnson | Guest Post + Book Spotlight

Tuesday, May 3

Madisyn Carlin | Meet the Characters

Stephanie | Book Review

Wednesday, May 4

Grace Johnson | Author Interview

Saraina | Character Interview: Rogan

Thursday, May 5

Madisyn Carlin | Character Q+A

Issabelle Perry | Character Spotlight: Therese

Friday, May 6

Grace Johnson | Book Review

Autumn – Author Interview

Jenavieve Rose | Book Review

Saturday, May 7

Madisyn Carlin | Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Olive Creed | Author Interview

Katja Labonte | Book Review

Saraina | Author Interview

DECEIVED Blog Tour: Character Spotlight – Holder Lygor

Today is the character spotlight for Holder Lygor, one of the main characters in DECEIVED. He’s also become the favorite of most readers thus far. You can take this quiz to see which DECEIVED character you are.

CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT: HOLDER LYGOR

Age: 20

Appearance: A little taller than average; light brown hair and hazel eyes; leaner, but strong, build

Positive Personality Traits: Caring, gentle, compassionate

Negative Personality Traits: Sometimes doesn’t see what’s going on in front of him; can be oblivious at times

Character Song: Destiny by Skillet

ABOUT HOLDER

Holder did not turn out the way I originally anticipated. He was supposed to have a personality more akin Rogan’s: sarcastic, snappy, grumpy. Instead, he surprised me during the first chapter by being an utter sweetheart. Holder’s dedication and compassionate personality is evidenced in the way he cares for his ward. As a bodyguard, it is his duty to physically protect her from harm. He goes beyond this and offers her an older-brother figure to look up to and a listening ear she can speak to. Where others tell his ward she cannot cry due to being a princess, and believe it necessary for her to be free of grief just after her parents perish, Holder gifts her the ability to be a child who can mourn her lost family.

I don’t remember why I made Holder a royal bodyguard. I do remember I needed him to be close in proximity to the antagonists. Whyever the case, I daresay he is a wonderful protector. I am interested in seeing how this develops as Holder’s tale continues.

Out of all four characters, Holder presented the least amount of emotional challenge to write. He doesn’t have emotional trauma like Rogan and Ivelle and he doesn’t have a horribly massive moral dilemma like Therese.

Though Holder is kind and gentle and quiet, he possesses an almost wry sense of humor that usually emerges when he’s ribbing Rogan. Holder can also get along with most people, provided they have no nefarious intent toward him.  

Holder is a character after my own heart. He is a bookworm, a voracious reader. He will read almost anything he can get his hands on, though that primarily is history. When no doing his duties, he can be found tucked away reading in a corner.

Holder is also a walking disaster. He’s not clumsy, but he does often create unorthodox ideas and solutions. These usually gain him a wound or several, and he is known for his heartfelt attempts that often end in disaster.

One trademark aspect about Holder is not something about himself, but the steed he rides. Its reputation is that of monster and beast, and for good reason. This red roan gelding has caused many a rider to break a bone and may or may not have bitten Rogan at least three times. Somehow, whether through Holder’s ability with horses, his grit, or his determination, he has managed to train the gelding enough that he can ride it without being thrown. The same cannot be said for others, however, and anyone else who attempts to master this horse will soon learn the error of such an assumption.

Holder is quite open to Truth and faith. His parents have paved the way and, though he does not interact much with him, his godfather assists in a more minute way as well. With a strong sense of right and wrong, Holder is eager to learn the truth. He is well on his way to shedding the false beliefs propagated in Orm.

My favorite quote of Holder’s:

Were they right?

(You’ll see why when you read the book. 😉 )


PREORDER INFORMATION

If you have preordered DECEIVED or order it during the duration of this blog tour (April 25 – May 7), and want some swag (character card and autographed bookplate), go here.


Giveaway Information:

Want a chance to win an autographed copy of DECEIVED and a character card? Be sure to go here. Or, if you don’t have social media, leave a comment at every blog post to be entered. Giveaway ends May 10th. (PDF will be sent to international entrants).


DECEIVED BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

Monday, April 25

Madisyn Carlin | Intro + Book Spotlight

Joy Woodbury | Book Review

Tuesday, April 26

Madisyn Carlin | Release Day! + Fun Facts

Vanessa Hall | Author Interview

Autumn | Book Spotlight

Wednesday, April 27

Esther | Book Review

Saraina | Character Interview: Therese

Joy Woodbury | Guest Post

Thursday, April 28

Madisyn Carlin | Group Interview

Kristina Hall | Book Review

Friday, April 29

Vanessa Hall | Book Spotlight

Olivia | Book Review

Saturday, April 30

Madisyn Carlin | Character Spotlight: Holder

Olive Creed | Book Spotlight

Monday, May 2

Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Grace Johnson | Guest Post + Book Spotlight

Tuesday, May 3

Madisyn Carlin | Meet the Characters

Stephanie | Book Review

Wednesday, May 4

Grace Johnson | Author Interview

Saraina | Character Interview: Rogan

Thursday, May 5

Madisyn Carlin | Character Q+A

Issabelle Perry | Character Spotlight: Therese

Friday, May 6

Grace Johnson | Book Review

Autumn – Author Interview

Jenavieve Rose | Book Review

Saturday, May 7

Madisyn Carlin | Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Olive Creed | Author Interview

Katja Labonte | Book Review

Saraina | Author Interview