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

DECEIVED Blog Tour: Group Interview

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the fourth day of the DECEIVED blog tour. Today I am interrogating interviewing the four main characters with questions provided by K.R. Mattson.

I shuffle my papers and risk glancing at my characters. The five of us form a loose circle around a fire pit. A small fire warms the chilly spring air, but it does nothing to warm the cold glare on Rogan’s face. Holder sits to my left, then Ivelle and Therese, with Rogan to my right. The former three don’t look exactly thrilled, but they’ve not put up any fuss. The same can’t be said for Rogan.

“Remember, you all agreed to behave.”

Ivelle shifts, tucking away strands of hair tugged loose by the light breeze. “What is the point of this? Why do people want to know these things about us?”

“Because they’re curious. You should feel honored.”

“But we’re not that interesting.”

Despite her claim, all four squirm.

I settle on the log I’m using for a seat. “If you all behave you won’t need to worry about your secrets being exposed.” Not waiting for a reply, I find the first question.

“Holder, these next few are for you. ‘Do you ever wish you had any siblings? I know that’s a cheesy question, but it’s valid.'”

Holder offers a slight smile. He looks tired, and his hand never strays from the bandage wrapped around his side, but he’s functioning. “It’s not a cheesy question. Yes, I do want siblings. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want them.”

  “‘If you had a choice between saving Rogan’s life and saving Anastasia’s, whose would you save?'”

Holder fists his hands as his posture straightens. “It is my job to protect the princess,” he says slowly. “But Rogan is my friend. I would try saving both.”

That doesn’t really answer the question, but I won’t push it. ‘”If you could pick any occupation and any way to relive your life, what and how would you do it?'”

“I’ve been a soldier all my life, so I really don’t have much experience with any other form of occupation. I think I would like to have a horse ranch and raise and train horses. As for reliving my life, I would find a way to make my parents stay and not vanish from the kingdom.”

His voice lowers and, despite the distance, I can see the pain in his eyes. I want to tell him everything will be fine, but I can’t guarantee that.

I clear my throat. Therese and Holder look wary, Ivelle is eyeing me like she doesn’t know what to think, and Rogan is hunched, arms crossed and staring at the fire. “These next two questions are for all four of you to answer. All four. That means you, Rogan.”

Ivelle snorts. “The only person he answers to is the king. Good luck.”

It will be nothing short of a miracle if those two don’t murder each other before Book Two releases.

“‘Do you prefer snow or freezing rain?”‘

All four say snow.

“‘What is your favorite thing to do?'”

Holder smiles. “Read and ride Redwing.”

“And Redwing’s favorite thing to do is bite.” Rogan rubs his upper right arm as though reliving the multiple times the red roan has tried taking a chunk out of him.

“He’s not that bad.”

“He’s worse.”

I motion for Therese to answer as the two continue bickering about the “homicidal equine”, as Rogan calls the horse.

She almost shrinks in on herself before Ivelle nudges her. “I like sewing.”

Unexpected, though I shouldn’t be surprised. “What do you like to sew?”

She shrugs. “I’ve never had the opportunity to explore. All I know is I like sewing clothes for my sisters.”

“And you, Ivelle?”

“I like riding and helping Claudine harass Borros.” A mischievous grin lights her expression. “It’s quite entertaining.”

“I’ll be sure to send Borros my condolences. What about you, Rogan?”

“I like sparring. Practicing with my daggers.”

‘”Do you like sunsets or sunrises?”‘

The tension lining Therese’s face eases. “Sunsets. That means I’ve survived the day.”

Holder agrees.

Rogan says sunrises.

And, shock my heart because I never thought this could happen, Ivelle concurs.

Still attempting to recover from the almost-heart attack, I turn to a new page of questions. “Ivelle, these are for you. First, ‘what’s it like have the power to kill someone in your very hands, yet continue healing them every day’?”

Ivelle brings her braid over her shoulder and begins playing with the tassel. “I haven’t thought about it, honestly. I wouldn’t kill someone unless it was in self-defense or they were hurting Claudine and Emmi. I rather see people heal than die.”

“That’s a surprise,” Rogan mutters. He ignores Ivelle’s glare, one suggesting while she wouldn’t kill him, she certainly is not opposed to connecting a frying pan to his head.

I roll my eyes. “Remember, everyone promised to behave.”

“I’m behaving.” Ivelle offers a smug smile.

Just barely. “Next question. K.R. wants to know if you would ever strangle Rogan.”

“I’ll admit that is tempting, but no, not unless he was threatening or harming Emmi.”

 ‘”Do you ever think of marriage? Who would you marry?”‘

“Rarely do I contemplate it and I do not have an answer for the second question. I’m too busy to think about fanciful notions.” She shrugs. “Besides, my career demands secrecy, and that’s rather difficult when trying to get to know someone you might spend the rest of your life with.”

‘”When you read, are you drawn into to the story or do you feel like an outsider?”‘

“That depends on the book. If I read a journal, I’d feel like an outsider because I’m reading someone’s private thoughts. If I’m reading a fictional tale, then I’m drawn into it.”

“‘Are you afraid of death?”‘

Her demeanor cools. “Is this what you call foreshadowing? Does my answer affect how you’ll write my story?”

“No. Nothing of the sort will occur here.”

“Then I would say I am not afraid of death itself. I just don’t like the thought of pain accompanying my departure.”

‘”Do you prefer putting your hair in a bun or in a braid?”‘

“Braid.”

“‘Out of all the herbs in the world, if you could only have one at your disposal, which would you choose?'”

She answers without hesitation. “Goldenseal. It’s excellent for infection and is easy to grow and cultivate.”

‘”Can you garden? Do you enjoy it?”‘

“Gardening isn’t my preferred activity, but I have no issue doing it. We don’t have a traditional garden at the Emporium. Claudine has soil in some old barrels and we grow some herbs in those, but that’s the extent of my current gardening experience.”

I wave the paper. “Good answer. Sorry in advance for these next sets of questions. I can’t guarantee they’ll be easy to answer.”

Holder and Therese wince. Rogan shifts even further away from me. Ivelle purses her lips. “That does not sound promising.”

“It’s not. K.R. says, “‘I think we get a pretty clear picture of how you feel about your family’s deaths, but can you tell us what you think of when all of those memories come back to haunt you? Do you try to shove them away? Do you embrace them? Would you rather think of something else?'”

Ivelle slowly exhales. Her face has lost a few shades of color, the contrast stark against her black hair. Her hands tremble. “Do I have to answer?”

“Yes. Sorry. Interview rules.”

Rogan mutters something about cruelty.

Perhaps witnessing Ivelle’s emotional pain will soften him toward her, but I doubt it.

She swallows. “I try to distract myself with work or reading or playing with Emmi. Of course I try to shove them away. It isn’t like I came home to find them dead. I watched it happen. Nothing good would come from embracing the memories. And, yes, I would rather think of something else. But sometimes that’s not always possible.”

I fiddle with the paper. I dislike seeing my characters experience turmoil. “Do you need a break? I understand if you do.”

Ivelle lifts her chin though she still is wan. “I’m fine.”

‘”Are you a workaholic?”‘

“No. If anyone is a workaholic, that’s Claudine.”

‘”Would you be an assassin for a living if C and E’s lives depended on it?”‘

Ivelle frowns. “I suppose this contradicts what I said earlier about killing, but yes. I would do anything for Claudine and Emmi.”

I withdraw a package from my backpack and instruct Rogan to hand it to Ivelle. “These are cookies made by K.R.. I told her if she wanted to put you four through the wringer, she better provide some chocolate chip cookies to make things better.”

“And she willingly made these?”

It would appear Ivelle is the chattiest. Once more, not a surprise. “She said something about me putting you four through the wringer, but that’s irrelevant to this conversation.” I turn the page before Holder can ask the question I sense brewing. No need for them to know what’s coming up in their lives. It’s not like I have total control of the plot, after all.

“Rogan these next two are for you. ‘Why are you so glum, but have to have such a wonderful sense of sarcasm?”‘

Rogan is not amused. Blond hair ruffling in the breeze and his blue eyes narrowed, he looks like he rather deal with Ivelle than answer the question. “Your friend is weird.”

“She’s a delightful individual, and I’ll thank you to keep your opinions about her questions to yourself. Now, answer, please.”

He huffs. For all his usual rigidity and desire to follow the rules, he’s doing everything he can to break mine regarding the interview process.

“One, I’m not glum. I’m just not one of those annoying happy-all-the-time types. Two, I don’t think I have much sarcasm, but I’ve been told otherwise. It’s unintentional.”

Holder leans forward. “You sure about that? You like to rile Svetlana.”

“She needs to be riled, the sour old crone.”

“That is true. You are a ray of sunshine compared to her.”

I snap the paper to regain his attention. ‘”Every horse must be trained and seasoned before it is battle ready and obedient. Why do you hate Holder’s horse so much? He’s simply a poor little animal scared of everything!'”

“That thing Holder rides is not a horse. It is a monster who likes to murder people for fun.”

Holder smirks. “You dislike him because he bit you.”

“Yes, I do. And you can’t tell me he’s not thinking of murdering me whenever I get within a league of him. I’ve seen that glint in his eyes.”

“He’s a horse, Rogan. He has no reason to hate you.”

“He’s a monster, Holder. A verified monster and no one can convince me otherwise.”

They cease their discussion when they see my grin.

“Remember, Rogan, you promised you’d answer the questions.”

Rogan shifts like he’s preparing to jump to his feet and escape.

“K.R. would like to know if you like Ivelle. ‘Don’t just spit out a no. She wants the the truth. Look at all of her virtues–don’t say she doesn’t have any–and protective instincts and ask: would I feel safe putting baby Holder in her care?'”    

Dark crimson sweeps up his neck. “What kind of question is that? Of course I don’t like her. She’s a traitor, a smuggler, and a treasonous criminal. It’s my job to arrest her ilk. And she has no virtues I can see unless you call being an expert liar a virtue.” He shakes his head. “No, I wouldn’t entrust her with Holder if he were a baby. I don’t trust her now with him being an adult.”

Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and right now Rogan is quite ignorant of the death glare Ivelle’s bestowing upon him.

“Remember, Ivelle, I need him alive and you won’t kill him because he’s not threatening Claudine and Emmi.”

“There’s always an exception.”

I direct my attention toward Therese. She shrinks back; any further and she’ll fall off the rock she’s perched on. “These last few are for you. Due to certain individuals’ ignorance regarding your employment, this first question is rather vague.”

“K.R. says, ‘Therese, you’re such a broken little thing. What’s it like to be forced to do your job?”‘

Therese shudders. “It’s awful. I can’t imagine anyone purposefully choosing such a profession.”

‘”Why is there such an age difference between you and your sisters? Is there another sibling we don’t know about? One that perished at a young age? Ran away? Was taken?”‘

“I don’t know why there is such a gap. I suppose that’s just how it happened. No, there was no other sibling. There is only me, Nora, and Delli.”

‘”Can you teach me how to fight like those in your profession?”‘

Therese recoils. “I prefer not to.”

I can only imagine the trouble K.R. would get into should she have assassin training. “I’m going to say no too, K.R.. You don’t need that type of knowledge. Time for the final question, Therese. ‘”If your sisters weren’t so dependent on you, what would you do with your life?”‘

“I cannot imagine not being a caregiver for my sisters.” A flash of wistfulness claims her expression for a fleeting second. “If circumstances were different, I don’t know what profession I’d choose. With some training I could possibly be a lower-level seamstress. I’d even be a waitress if that type of job as available in Varway. Both would pay enough to support Nora and Delli.”

Standing, I push the papers in my backpack and dole out the other packages of cookies. Holder will probably be weaseled into giving his to Anastasia and I can guarantee Therese will take hers to her sisters. I can’t fathom what Rogan will do with them.

“Thank you all for coming and, for two of you, being so well behaved. Next time I’ll provide some water bottles and more cookies.”

“Wait, there’s a next time?” Rogan all but jumps to his feet, ready to flee. “Count me out. I have more important things to do than catering to nosy readers.”

“Nosy readers who care about you.” I wave aside his growing list of excuses regarding why he can’t make the next “interrogation”. He will attend. He has no choice in the matter.

After bidding everyone farewell, I gather my things and watch them disappear into the forest. The interview ended just in time, for storm clouds are gathering above the mountaintops and the wind is picking up. Weather befitting Book Two, in my opinion.

“Until next time,” I say, though no one save a gray jay and curious chipmunk are there to hear. Grabbing my backpack, I leave the scene and prepare to begin writing Book Two.


Many thanks to K.R. Mattson, who provided such a delightful slew of questions. (Well, I thought them delightful. My characters, not so much.)

Do you have questions you’d like to ask these minions of mayhem? Drop a comment!


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