Review: The Tethered World

Title: The Tethered World (The Tethered World Chronicles, Book One)

Author: Heather L.L. FitzGerald

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (Please keep in mind Mountain Brook no longer publishes Christian spec fic.)

Available: Wherever books are sold



“Normal” means different things to different people.

For sixteen-year-old Sadie Larcen, family dynamics look a little different than most. Parents with oddball occupations? Normal. Five homeschooled siblings—one with autism? Normal.

Police knocking on the door and parents gone missing? Definitely not normal!

When Sadie uncovers the reasons behind her parents’ disappearance and the truth about her heritage, she despairs of ever feeling normal again. Especially when she learns that her mother’s interest in Bigfoot, Dwarves, and other lore extends beyond her popular blog. Sadie’s family has been entrusted with keeping the secrets of the Tethered World—home to creatures that once roamed the Garden of Eden.

Sadie and her siblings must venture into this land to rescue their parents. Stepping out of reality and into a world she never knew existed is a journey Sadie fears and resents. But she chooses to risk all to save her family.

She’s just not sure she will survive in the process.


5 Stars


Whowzers. Um, okay. What was this, my fifth time reading The Tethered World? And I’m still mourning the end of the book even though I know where the series goes.

This, my friends, is what Christian YA should be.

Urban Fantasy with a Biblical twist…kind of. It’s super unique and just fun and enjoyable. Clean, family-friendly, no amount of cringe material whatsoever, and just wholesome. Lots of adventure packed with good lessons, including the importance of family. Plus, I really liked the adoption thread, minor as it was. And the fact that we have a homeschool family as the main characters is a major YES for me.

Most homeschoolers can identify with Sadie’s exasperation at the “Oh, you’re a homeschooler?” part. I mean, come on, folks. Quit gawkin’ at us like we’re creatures from Mars. Or the Tethered World. We know how to “socialize” far better than your precious public school darlings, and I dare say we’re more intelligent over all. You know. Because our curriculum isn’t packed with nonsensical, anti-God, anti-intelligence, and anti-American garbage.

Anyway. Rant over. Needless to say, I empathized. Such stupid reactions we homeschoolers, and homeschool graduates, receive.

The Tethered World is beyond fascinating. The sheer amount of creativity FitzGerald packs into this story blew me away. Worldbuilding can become tricky when writing straight-up fantasy. But worldbuilding while tying it in with the Bible? And the real world? That’s a doozy. A doozy FitzGerald did marvelously at. You’re there in the passage ways, atop Odyssey’s back (and passing out with Sadie), and traveling to the different parts of the “World”.

Sadie’s a hoot. A sarcastic hoot. I was laughing for about half of this book due to the humor mixed in. I liked how organic her character arc was–the good, the bad, and the sassy.

Brady is great. Because I know what happens in future books, I have to say he’s my favorite. (Which ends up killing my heart in Book Three, but I’ll not go there.) An arrogant little twerp, but he learns so much during the adventure.

Sophie’s the stereotypical younger sister. I definitely empathized with Sadie about her.

Brock is Brock. Lovable because of who he is, not because he “interacts” a lot with the reader.

The myriad of supporting characters are fantastic as well. Except for the baddies. They’re not fantastic. Well, they’re fantastically nasty and evil and vile and putrid and just all-around miserable sots. It was easy to dislike them. Stinky creatures.

Faith/Spiritual Elements
Again, very organic. We learn with Sadie and we are reminded of the importance of relying on God and that He is in control no matter how dire the situation.

Many, many kudos to FitzGerlad for achieving something you rarely find in YA: a solid, nuclear family that actually loves each other. Liam and Amy’s devotion toward each other was so tender, even in the roughest moment, and I was delighted regarding Sadie and her siblings’ relationships and interactions. You don’t get that wholesomeness in most YA books, even if they’re touted as “Christian”.

Content Warnings
Characters are injured, kidnapped, smacked around, and bloodied. War and battle and their casualties are mentioned. Nasties are slain in self-defense. There’s no profanity to speak of (no pun intended) and the romance is pure and simple.

I reread this book after being exhausted by an absolutely colossal YA failure, and this is so refreshing. We need more YA authors like FitzGerald.

Like I said before, this is what YA should be. This is what Christian YA should be. Wholesome, clean, faith-filled, and just great for the entire family. The Tethered World falls into the same category as Chuck Black and Donita K. Paul: perfect for the entire crew.

If you want an excellent book that defies the typical YA boundaries, incorporates faith and family, and mixes in a generous heaping of adventure and hints of romance, The Tethered World is the book for you.


IRON Launch Tour: Meet the Characters + Wrap-up

Welcome to the final post for IRON’s Launch Tour. A huge thank you to everyone who participated. Today, you will meet the characters and learn about what’s next for The Redwyn Chronicles…plus help decide a fairytale for an upcoming project in this series.

IRON released yesterday! Thanks to those who preordered, it made its way into the top 100 Christian fantasy books category! I wasn’t expecting that at all.

The ebook is still on sale at $0.99 for the next seven days, so if you’re an ebook person, get your copy now before the price is raised.

Meet Redwyn

Red is my feisty character. She swept in and claimed the story from day one. She’s suffered pain through the years, including losing her parents. This will really come into play in a later book.

I thought it would be fun to make her a detective, but for that, I had to learn how to think like a detective. So, to achieve that, I watched several Hallmark Mysteries and Suspense movies. (This is not a blanket recommendation for Hallmark. They have gone woke and nasty, but some of their older movies are good and do not include this wretched leftist agenda.)

A lot of readers ship her with Denton, and I dislike sinking ships, but I have bad news: that’s not who she ends up with.

Meet Carter

Carter was interesting to write. I didn’t really know his story until I returned to IRON in July 2022. He’s a horse-loving, attention-hating sweetheart with so much pain and too little trust. His character and spiritual arcs reminded me, as I wrote them, that while people will fail and hurt us, God never will.

I wanted Carter to be Red’s best friend. Their relationship is purely platonic, and even familial, which is not something I see much of in fantasy. Was it possible to change the story so they would end up together? Yes, but that wasn’t where I wanted IRON to go. Thus Carter was saddled with a crazy best friend who doesn’t know the meaning of patience and rest. It was fun watching their personalities clash.

Meet Chamonix

Pronounced Shaw-mah-nee, this quiet princess kind of just…happened. Her personality was clear from day one, and while I had to be creative about her issue (the weak lungs/asthma), she was fairly easy to write once I knew the logistics.

Chamonix’s original name was Eileen. But, after watching a Hallmark movie where the little girl’s name was Chamonix, I fell in love with the name and gave it to Veerham’s princess. It fits her much better than her former name.

I’ve always despised the heroines who, when the hero is being beaten up and injured, just scream and whimper and cower in a corner, useless and just aggravating. Chamonix is not a fighter, not like Red, but I wanted to illustrate how strength comes in many different forms. Chamonix received strength of character and faith, even if she can’t run very far without having an asthma attack. No whiny, worthless heroines in this book.

While my male characters are easiest to write, the females are the opposite. I was pleased and grateful at how Chamonix turned out, because it was difficult to really nail her character. She wasn’t sassy like Red, didn’t have Carter’s issues, and, on top of that, she was a princess. I didn’t want her to be rebellious, as is often the case where princesses are portrayed. But I also didn’t want her to be doormat and incapable of thinking for herself.

Fan Art

The incredibly-talented K.R. Mattson made my day when she surprised me with these fan art pictures (my first ever!). She really nailed Red’s and Chamonix’s personalities. (And that wolf and cardinal!)

Redwyn Deathan, drawn by K.R. Mattson

Chamonix Seyden, Drawn by K.R. Mattson

You can learn more about these crazy characters by going to the inspiration board. If you dislike strong female characters who know how to think for themselves (without the current feminist garbage), an overt faith element, and clean romance, IRON is not the book for you

Also, be sure to visit the character interviews! (Linked to in tour schedule)

What’s Next?

I am currently working on Denton’s story, which has yet to receive a definitive name. I will have it up on Goodreads late next week, Lord willing. You can see what I have of the inspiration board here. All I can tell you regarding the story is the first chapter breaks my heart.

The main female character in this little novella has sisters–and they need names! If you have suggestions, drop them in a comment.

I have another little prequel up my sleeve (here’s a hint: the characters’ names begin with C and I…and you meet them in IRON.) But I need a fairytale for them. Let me know your favorite fairytales! Those who provide the tale that I will use will be mentioned in the Acknowledgements.


There’s still time to sign up for the giveaway if you haven’t already.


An autographed paperback if the winner is a U.S. resident. Ebook if international.


An ebook in PDF or Epub format.

Enter Here.


You can find the tour schedule here.

Once again, thank you to everyone who helped make this tour possible, and thank you to the lovely commenters. The giveaway winners will be contacted next week.

Which are you partial to: boisterous female characters or quieter ones? What elements/themes do you think are crucial to fairytale retellings? Which of these would you like to see more of?

*all graphics plus the cover designed by Mountain Peak Edits & Design

Shattered Reflection + Broken Mirrors Cover Reveals

I’m excited to announce Shattered Reflection is part of the Broken Mirrors retelling collection, which releases this December.

What is Broken Mirrors?

The Broken Mirrors are six retellings of The Snow Queen by six different authors. You don’t want to miss any of them!

The blog tour runs December 19-24. We’d love for you to join us in celebrating the release of these frosty retellings. To learn more about the Broken Mirrors ARC options and the blog tour, go here. (Details are being added as you read this, so if there aren’t any up when you visit the page, check back later.)

SR1 is the monster of the group, meaning it’s significantly longer than the others. What else can you expect, though? The Snow Queen is a long, long story and SR1 has five povs.

*Please consider promoting more than just the one person you came here for. The point of a multi-author release is getting as many eyes on as many books as possible.

It’s Prize Time

Yep. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs.

How to Enter (copied directly from Kendra Ardnek):

Now, the giveaway – like last year, we have two prizes for y’all to earn, two different ways, this next week only!

Method 1: Preorder all six books and email your receipt to me at This week only, they are all just 99 cents each, so grab ’em now!

Method 2: Share all six covers on your blog, Instagram, tumblr, newsletter, Facebook, etc, and send me a link to the same address. (though, if you’re sharing on Instagram stories, make sure I am tagged @fairytalearista and message me telling me that it’s an entry, before emailing me.) I have a folder of graphics and metadata for you to use – and more graphics will be added soon, I just haven’t finished them yet.!AjAmS-99p507gbNiJfX5DafQNiP8ag?e=FOUUPi


For doing one task: A PDF with a first peek at the first chapter of all six Broken Mirrors.

For doing both tasks: A free full ebook from one of our backlogs. The list you can choose from will be compiled shortly. You will still receive the first chapters as well.

The main page, blog tour sign-up, and ARC request form, will be compiled and added shortly.

Blogger’s note: IRON is included in this!


To be honest, I never expected this book to be fully written, let alone published. I wrote the first 18,000 words up camping, surrounded by squirrels, gray jays, lodgepole pines, allergies, and the fresh, clean mountain air. Then I tabled the story until, in January 2022, a random act of recklessness convinced me to try another go.

I ended up putting down 113,000 words in three months.

SR1 also landed me promises of death threats from beta readers (I have no idea why).

It releases December 21st.

The Official Blurb:

Can hope be found for four shattered souls?

Princess Nordica Icerri’s crown will be purchased with blood—her blood. Now the sole heir to the throne, she is determined to be the queen the Snowlands deserve, but that comes with a price: a numbed heart and soul. Only when she meets kidnapped physician Loren Alocer does Nordica allow herself to hope she can become queen without completely losing herself. But not everyone wants what’s best for the Snowlands, and Nordica’s upcoming rule is compromised at every turn. Can the criminal physician—and his faith—thaw Nordica’s heart, or is she destined to be the heartless queen she is being forced to become?

War shattered not only Breac Finson’s heart, but his faith as well. Tired of fighting, Breac only wants to be left alone, but his efforts are for naught when a friend calls in a favor. He soon finds himself in an unexpected alliance with Layree Alocer, a woman determined to find her wrongfully-kidnapped brother at all costs. Can a broken soldier help right a wrong—and find his faith again in the process?

Sides must be chosen and loyalties will be tested as a new war approaches. Can broken lives be mended in time to help save the Snowlands, or is evil already too deeply embedded?

Ebook Preorder sale: (Because I’ll be upping this little monstrosity’s price after release day.)

Add on Goodreads:

If you can’t participate in the blog tour, but would still like to ARC read SR1, go here: SR1 ARC Form. There is no rush at all, but if your review comes in before November 10th, I can put it in a “What Readers are Saying” page.

Fun Facts about SR1:

This was the first concept/aesthetic board I made.

Some things have changed (singular reflection, no wolf, and the tagline are different), but the concept remains. Betas will know who the characters are. (To see the cast of characters, go here.)

First Line:

For three years he’d worked to lock away the past, to keep it hidden and out of sight, thought, and memory.

Random Line:

Tandri gasped. “I am a perfect influence, thank you.”

Random Quote:

“Look, kid. I’m just an honest swindler trying to make a living.”

Notable Typos:

“A book to to the ribs.”

And calling my character “Mucus” instead of “Marcus”. (My poor, sweet boy. He didn’t deserve that.)

Why am I calling it “SR1”?

Because I’m weird and every book title in this series has the initials of S. R. . Thus, SR1.

This books is nothing like Frozen. I despise that movie.

This post does not adequately convey my excitement. I have waited so long for this day and I love this story dearly.

Have you ever read a fairy tale retelling? Which ones? Which was your favorite? Have you ever read the original Snow Queen story? If not, you should. It’s one of my favorites. What about SR1? Are you looking forward to it? What about the other books in the tour? Which ones catch your eye?

Cover Reveal: Majesty

Today is the cover reveal for Stefanie Lozinski’s Majesty!

Because I’m so wonderful, I’m going to let you stew in anticipation and wonder what the cover looks like as I bombard you with details about the book and author.

Release: Majesty releases October 2022


The sacrifices to the gods have ceased.

A wicked king thirsts for power.

A forbidden love threatens everything. 

Raised from birth to fulfill the duties of his role as Envoy, Wes Cervos had always known where his place was in the Four Kingdoms. But ever since meeting his best friend—a dragon called Celesyria—everything has changed. 

After escaping the prison where he’d been held on charges of blasphemy, Wes finds himself facing new challenges. The Codex Veritatis is still missing. Violent crime has never been more of a threat. Old alliances are wearing thin. And worst of all, the elves are venturing out of Nox. 

With Wes refusing to offer sacrifices to the Dracodei, the people fear that the remaining dragon Guardians will no longer protect them. King Kylan Ursa seeks to raise a force strong enough to keep the rule of Kaveryth in the hands of men, but can he be trusted to wield such power?

Change is in the air, but one thing is certain: the rule of the High One is not going to be restored without a fight. 

Storm & Spire is a Christian fantasy series, perfect for readers who enjoy fantastical creatures, political intrigue, and a touch of clean romance.

To learn more about the author, head over to my interview with Stefanie.

And now for the cover.

Isn’t it intriguing?

Feathers and Roses: Cover Reveals

This is a pre-scheduled post. I am currently out of town. When I return, I will approve and respond to all comments post haste.

Hosted by Jen’s Author Assistance

I am ecstatic to announce the dual cover reveals for Feathers and Roses: All Things Fairy Tale. Jen and I have been hard at work preparing our books and dealing with stubborn characters, and it is so exciting to finally be able to release our covers into the world. Both books are, as you might assume by the title, fairy tale retellings. Mine is Cinderella and Jen’s is Sleeping Beauty.

All graphics are designed by Mountain Peak Edits & Design and the reveal is hosted by Jen’s Author Assistance.



Title: Iron: The Redwyn Chronicles, Book One

Genre: Christian Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling


Enforcing justice comes with a price.

Detective Redwyn “Red” Deathan will stop at nothing to uncover those behind the ruthless kidnappings of multiple children. But things are not as they seem, and Red’s efforts are thwarted at every turn. With each discovery the danger grows, putting Red and the lives of those she cares about at risk. Can she reveal the mastermind’s identity before she herself becomes a target?

Pre-order link –

Goodreads link


Madisyn Carlin is a Christian, homeschool graduate, blogger, voracious bookdragon, and author. When not spending time with her family or trekking through the mountains, she weaves tales of redemption, faith, and action.

Want to connect?

COVER REVEAL FOR: Of Roses, Thorns, and Curses


Title: Roses, Thorns, & Curses: The Dreamwalker’s Saga, Book One

Genre: Christian Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling


A Fae bides her time, waiting to unleash her wrath on those who betrayed her. A prince seeks the answer to the dream that has plagued him for months. A princess who has lain in slumber awakens to find her world not quite right.

When Sorren finds the answer and awakens the princess, he also finds himself involved with a curse. Before Maelle can exact her revenge she is enslaved by Sorren’s brother, a beast of a man who pits Fae against Fae in his uncle’s arena. Aurana must navigate memory loss and her newfound Dreamwalking abilities that send her between her world and the realm of the Fae. After Sorren and Aurana work with an old friend of Maelle’s to rescue her from the arena, they must seek help from someone who betrayed Maelle if Aurana wishes to control her Dreamwalking before she descends into madness.

When an ancient evil from the Fae realm threatens them all, they must set aside their own agendas to stop the looming darkness and learn that righteous vengeance shall overcome what revenge has left broken asunder.

Pre-order link –

Goodreads link


Jenavieve Rose has had a love for stories and a highly-active imagination her whole life. Creating her own stories and worlds through Fantasy, or any other branch of Spec-Fic, makes her feel closest to her Creator. In doing so she mimics The One Who created all things. She’s inspired by a myriad of different books, movies, and even video games, but especially by fairy tales. She writes stories where good overcomes evil and hope shines all the brighter through the darkness, for those are the stories that mean something, the ones that really matter.

Music also inspires her and her writing, sparking a story idea or fueling her passion on a topic she wants to share. It’s rare to see her without her headphones on and either worship music or movie soundtracks flitting between her ears.

In all she does she strives to do the will of her Father and spread His hope.

Website –

The blog tour signup is coming soon, so be on the lookout!

Author Interview with Kaitlyn King

Today I am joined by author Kaitlyn King, who has penned multiple devotionals and Christian fantasy books.


What is your go-to space for writing? 

It depends what phase of writing I’m in. I hand write my first drafts and have started using my writing desk with a candle and mood music to keep me in the writing head space for that. When it’s time to put in on the computer, I sit at my work desk. If I’m just brainstorming then anywhere is fair game: my chair, my bed, my car…

What is your favorite genre to read? 

Fantasy, especially Fairytale Retellings right now. I love seeing the different unique spins on the familiar tales.

Words of wisdom for those who are just starting out on the writing path? 

Keep going! The fact of the matter is, you’re not going to have all the answers when you start out; and no matter how many supporters you have, the voices of the naysayers will play on a loop in your head. Despite all of that, if you keep going, it will all be worth it in the end.

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?  

Editinggggggggg! Ugh! I’m one of those “measure twice cut once” sort of people. I want it to be done correctly the first time. It hurts my heart to see those red lines all over my manuscript.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? 

Brainstorming. I love when I have a new idea and I can’t help telling everyone I see about it, and figuring out the details of my new world, and characters, and adventure! I’ll have notes everywhere for a while, then when I’m ready to get serious about it, I’ll start compiling them all in one place.

Do you focus on one project at a time or do you have multiple projects going simultaneously? 

My mother teases that I write like I read. By that she means, I work on several books at one time. I used to have books I’d be reading at school and different ones at home. Right now, I have 2 fictional series in progress, a stand alone, and a devotional series. And sometimes other ideas creep in so I have to take a break to write them down somewhere, or they won’t shut-up when I’m trying to work on other things.

What project(s) are you currently working on? 

Currently, I am working on the second and third books of my YA Christian Fantasy Series: More than Conquerors, a stand alone YA Christian Fiction book about Angels, a Christmas YA Christian fantasy trilogy, and a devotional series based on a year-long devotion guide I released last year. I know, I know, I sound crazy! Just imagine how many projects I’m not telling you about! 

How do you select the names of your characters? 

I like my character names to hint at what they are hiding or what they will learn on their journey. I don’t always use this method, but I try to most of the time. 

Has there been one particular person who has been a major source of influence for one of your characters? 

I often use people in my life as inspiration for my characters. My uncle was a major influence in how I designed the mentor character in my More than Conquerors series since I have memories of him teaching me to sword fight when I was younger. Don’t worry, the swords were fake.

How do you get inspiration to write? 

My ideas usually come from a “What if” question. What if there was a kingdom that only valued being a conqueror? Or what if my childhood nutcracker collection could inspire a story? It’s hard for me to figure out another way to explain, but basically, I’m inspired by the things around me, pictures, posters, toys, etc. and a “what if” question appears in my head. 

What inspired this series and the characters? 

More than Conquerors came from the theme my parents’ church chose one year. I walked in and there was banner hanging with the words written across a shield. That what if question popped in my head and by the end of the announcements I had the four main characters mapped out scribbled all over my bulletin.

On average, how long does it take you to write the first draft of a book? 

I’m still new to the process. My first book took a year to write the first draft, the second one took closer to six months. I believe I will get faster as I go. 

How do you incorporate your faith into your writing? 

I believe that whatever is in your heart will come out naturally in your writing. I try to show a believable relationship with God. I hope that through my writing I’m inviting others to grow closer to God,

What first inspired or gave you the “spark” to write? What books and/or authors have influenced your writing? 

The first time I wrote a story, I was in junior high. There was a certain class that I really hated (it was an elective so not one of my core classes) and so I would sneak a book in and read it instead of listening to the teacher. (Yes, bad, bad, bad, and now we’re over it.) One day I didn’t have a book, so I tried to write my own. My mother was very impressed with it, (Of course I didn’t mention the ignoring the teacher part) and insisted I show it to my grandmother (an English teacher.) She promptly used her red pen to edit it. My paper was practically bleeding. I thought that meant that I wasn’t a good writer so I didn’t try again for many years. I went to a camp and met an author who wanted to write books for Christian teens. I was inspired to do the same. I ignored that inner critic and got started. 

Every writer has a message they want to impart to their readers. What is yours? 

That’s a loaded question! I guess I want my readers to know they’re not alone. When I became a teenager, I realized I didn’t relate to the teens written about in books. Most were not written from a Christian perspective. I don’t want other Christian teens to feel that way. 

What is your favorite, underappreciated novel/series? 

I always recommend these two series: The Ranger’s Apprentice series and The Four Kingdoms series. Both deserve all the love in the world. 

What book of the Bible is your favorite? What makes this particular book your favorite? 

Esther, it’s reminds me of a fairytale. 

Who is your favorite Biblical character? 

I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I relate most to Martha. Like her I have a tendency to put working above all else, and need to be reminded to choose the better part.

If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would it be? 

Needing correction does not mean you are wrong. I wish I had kept writing back when I was thirteen. I believed that since I was bad at it that that meant I could never be good at it and was wrong for trying. The more you try, the better you will be at it.

How did you come to be a writer? Was this something that you always knew you were destined to be or did you arrive at this point via another path?  

I was sixteen when I felt God call me to be a writer, that doesn’t mean that it’s been an easy path. I’m still working to fulfill that destiny.

To learn more about Kaitlyn, check out these links:

Facebook: Author Kaitlyn King

Instagram: @authorkaitlynking


Thank you, Kaitlyn, for such a marvelous interview! I know I am definitely a lot like Martha, and I too love fairy tale retellings (and am writing two right now). What about you, dear reader? Which book of the Bible is your favorite? Have you read any of Kaitlyn’s books? If so, which ones?

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.”


“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.”


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.”


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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


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.”


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


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.


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).


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