Summer Beach Reads Giveaway + Free Book Alert

It’s giveaway time!

DECEIVED is included in the Summer Beach Reads giveaway, where ten Christian fiction books, from fantasy, to historical romance, to suspense and more, are featured. First place winner will receive all ten books (author’s choice of format) and second place wins three books of their choosing (author’s choice format).

To enter, go here:

FREE BOOK ALERT

DECEIVED’s ebook is free on Amazon tomorrow only (7/15/22), so if you haven’t read it yet, be sure to grab a copy!

If you have read and enjoyed DECEIVED, would you consider leaving a review on Amazon? Reviews are crucial for authors as they convince potential readers whether or not to purchase the book.

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: Release Day! + Fun Facts

Greetings, everyone, and welcome to the second day of  DECEIVED’s book tour. Today is also release day! My book is now released to the world. The ebook is available for purchase, and the paperback will be up soon.

So…happy book birthday, DECEIVED! You put me through a lot, and I’m relieved you’re finally here.

If you haven’t signed up for the giveaway yet, or if you’ve purchased the ebook and would like some swag, scroll until you see the giveaway and/or swag graphics. There you will find the information you need.

Onto the fun facts!

Fact #1: DECEIVED took a long, long time from start to finish.

DECEIVED took over three years to reach completion.

Fact #2: DECEIVED was almost shelved indefinitely.

I began DECEIVED on Thanksgiving Day, 2019 and ended it in late January-early February 2020. It was by far the quickest story I’ve ever written. A few months later, I sent DECEIVED’s proposal to a Christian fantasy publisher. It was rejected. I then shelved DECEIVED. Although I almost sent its proposal to a few other publishers, my faith in the story had fizzled to an almost non-existent spark.

Then, in October 2021, my mom suggested I self-publish. The only finished story I had that didn’t require a complete rewrite (or two) was DECEIVED, so I set to editing and getting a cover designed. Then, in November, I handed it off to some extremely brave betas. Fast forward five months, multiple prayers, and a lot of screams and threats and tears later, and DECEIVED is released.

Fact #3: Very little of the plot went according to plan.

Oh, the basic idea stayed the same, but when I look back on my early notes, it is obvious this book hadn’t traveled the course I originally intended. Which is fine. How it ended up is much better.

Fact #4: DECEIVED was not originally an allegory.

I was quite surprised when, one day, I reread what I had written and discovered I had an allegory in the works. I’d never considered writing an allegory, nor had I begun DECEIVED with the intention of making it an allegory. This is what happens when characters ignore the writer’s directives.

Fact #5: I have a favorite character.

Shocking, I know, that an author would favor one main character over the others, but it does happen. In this case, Rogan is my favorite. He’s always been and always will be my favorite, from the moment he sparked the idea for DECEIVED to the very end of the third book. I know there’s a Holder Fanclub, where most of the current readers are, but there is a small (as in three person) Rogan Fanclub. If you read DECEIVED and want to join the Rogan Fanclub, let me know! This dear boy needs more love.

Fact #6: DECEIVED has a map.

Rather, the lands of Orm and Uri have a map. You won’t find said map in the book, though, or anywhere online. The map, contained in my map sketchbook (yes, I actually have one; yes, it contains about twenty different maps from my various writing projects), may or may not be smeared with chocolate cake. I may or may not have been snacking on said cake as I began the basic outline for 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.


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

Sherrice | Author Interview

Saturday, April 30

Madisyn Carlin | Character Spotlight: Holder

Stephanie | Character Spotlight: Rogan

Sherrice | Book Review

Olive Creed | Book Spotlight

Monday, May 2

Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Grace Johnson | Guest Post + Book Spotlight

Stephanie | Book Spotlight + Character Spotlight: Ivelle

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: Welcome + Book Spotlight

Welcome to the first day of DECEIVED’s blog tour! I am so excited for you to learn more about my debut novel and to introduce this story to the world. DECEIVED releases tomorrow.

At the bottom of this post, you will find giveaway information and the blog tour schedule. Be sure to stop by each blog!

To start off the fun, take this “Which DECEIVED Character are You?” quiz and let me know who you scored!

SPOTLIGHT:

ABOUT:

Genre:

New Adult Christian Allegorical Fantasy

Blurb:

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

Therese Westa is sick of death, but taking lives is what provides for her younger sisters. When a client approaches her with an unusual request, Therese takes the job offer, which includes the condition of “no questions asked”. As Therese uncovers the reason for the request, she is faced with a choice: kill an innocent man or save her sisters.

Therese’s hesitation to carry out the assassination thrusts her into the aftermath of a dangerous chain of events. Caught between security and truth, Therese must choose where her loyalties lie, for the answer will determine who survives.

Find:

Paperback and Barnes and Noble links coming soon!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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? Find her social media links 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

Sherrice | Author Interview

Saturday, April 30

Madisyn Carlin | Character Spotlight: Holder

Stephanie | Character Spotlight: Rogan

Sherrice | Book Review

Olive Creed | Book Spotlight

Monday, May 2

Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Grace Johnson | Guest Post + Book Spotlight

Stephanie | Book Spotlight + Character Spotlight: Ivelle

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 Sign-Up

It is officially one month and four days before DECEIVED releases! Am I nervous? Yes. Am I scrambling to keep my sanity? You bet. Am I excited? Definitely.

DECEIVED’s blog tour is open for sign-ups! It will tentatively run 4/25-5/7.

ABOUT DECEIVED:

Title: DECEIVED (The Deception Trilogy, Book One)

Releases: April 26, 2022

Comparables: Resistance (by Jaye L. Knight) x Dare (by Tricia Mingerink)

Genre: New Adult Christian Allegorical Fantasy (it is not YA)

Inspiration Board:

Blurb:

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

Therese Westa is sick of death, but taking lives is what provides for her younger sisters. When a client approaches her with an unusual request, Therese takes the job offer, which includes the condition of “no questions asked”. As Therese uncovers the reason for the request, she is faced with a choice: kill an innocent man or save her sisters.

Therese’s hesitation to carry out the assassination thrusts her into the aftermath of a dangerous chain of events. Caught between security and truth, Therese must choose where her loyalties lie, for the answer will determine who survives.


WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

“If you like to walk with characters through their struggle for survival in an ever darkening world, you’ll have the read of your life time.” – K.R. Mattson

“Very impressive worldbuilding and good characters.” – Cat Williams


I would be very much honored if you joined me in celebrating the release of my debut novel.

The form can be found here.

DECEIVED Cover Reveal

Today is the cover reveal for my debut novel, DECEIVED. I am super excited about this book, as it is not only my debut, but holds a close place in my heart. Also, when/if you preorder, hang on to that preorder receipt, because I’m having character art drawn, and I’ll be opening up a form come the book’s blog tour so you can enter your preorder receipt and receive a character card and autographed label sticker.

ABOUT DECEIVED

Title: DECEIVED (The Deception Trilogy, Book One)

Genre: Christian Allegorical Fantasy

Releases: April 26, 2022

Resistance (by Jaye L. Knight) x Dare (by Tricia Mingerink)

DECEIVED‘s ebook is available for preorder here. Paperback preorders will be available in April.

Cover Design by Lynnette Bonner of Indie Cover Design

BLURB:

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

Therese Westa is sick of death, but taking lives is what provides for her younger sisters. When a client approaches her with an unusual request, Therese takes the job offer, which includes the condition of “no questions asked”. As Therese uncovers the reason for the request, she is faced with a choice: kill an innocent man or save her sisters.

Therese’s hesitation to carry out the assassination thrusts her into the aftermath of a dangerous chain of events. Caught between security and truth, Therese must choose where her loyalties lie, for the answer will determine who survives.

Add Deceived on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60230945-deceived


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

CONTACT:

Blog: https://madismusingsblog.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.dk/madisyncarlin/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56238198-madisyn-carlin

Instagram Handle: madisyn_carlin


Isn’t the cover just gorgeous? The black and darker colors capture the sinister evilness in the book, but the lighter, brighter colors imply the subtle, but strong, theme of hope also woven through the pages.

Keep an eye on this blog, because blog tour sign-ups are coming up! You’ll meet the characters, see what inspired the story (on that note, be sure to check out DECEIVED’s Pinterest board), and more.

Thank you for celebrating my book cover release with me!

Reviewing 2021, Looking Ahead to 2022

Hoo boy. 2021 was a chaotic, crazy, undesirable doozy, wasn’t it. I don’t have much hope 2022 will be better, but we never know what God has planned. We’re certainly not the first to be in such tumultuous and dark times, and I daresay we won’t be the last.


REVIEWING 2021

Total posts: 79

Total words: 72, 496 (if only gaining this word count for a book was so easy)

I am so grateful for how God has allowed my little blog to grow. I’ve met wonderful people, both authors and readers, and have made some wonderful connections.

Writing:

I wrote 60,000 on one manuscript before doing what I do best: doubting the story and shelving it. I did, however, rewrite a book that is very close to my heart.

The Oren Chronicles, Book One was originally written in 2019. It was then rejected and set aside. Earlier this year, I decided it needed a rewrite. I added three POVs, resulting in five total (it sounds like a lot, but I like the way it delves into the personalities and provides a deeper look into the overall plot). This came out at one hundred six thousand words. Definitely not my longest, but not my shortest, either (it was originally 90K with two POVs). I’m not ready to give the book it’s third rewrite, but someday I hope it is God’s will that the Oren brothers get their stories published. I think they’re my craziest, most chaotic masters of mayhem yet.

Favorite lines:

“Could you spell your brother’s name?”

“T-R-O-U-B-L-E.”

“Your brother’s name is Trouble?”

“Might as well be.”

DECEIVED:

I didn’t have publishing on my mind until Mom suggested it in October. Through a brutal and exhausting process, God revealed my original idea wasn’t to be the one I published. Instead, He guided me back to DECEIVED, a story that’s gained a lot of my sweat, tears, threats, and headaches.

Lord willing, April 25 will be when my baby is released to the world. I have the cover, people! It’s incredible. So much more than I could have imagined. Be on the lookout for the cover reveal sign-up sheet in a few weeks. The cover designer perfectly captured the sinister and evil side, yet the cover also showcases hope. And the castle. That’s all I’m going to say for now, but, yeah. It’s an epic cover.

After the beta readers provided valuable feedback, I set to work on editing. Fourteen rounds. Fourteen. Painful. Rounds. But that resulted in some funny parts, some heart-wrenching parts, and more of the male character the betas were fondest of, who is actually not my favorite. I love him and he’s an utter sweetheart, but he’s not my favorite. Funny how readers pick their character and threaten the author if any more harm comes to said character.

I finished the fourteen rounds of edits on December 31. Those trying, wearisome days were appropriately called The Editing Trials.

Favorite Line:

“I’m not meant to go airborne.”

I want to state I am in no way responsible for what happens to my characters. They make their own choices, get in trouble by their own devices, and give me nothing but stress.

Miscellaneous:

Madis Musings received a minor facelift. Farewell, old barnwood background. Hello, lupines in the mist. Also, there are some new tabs, and Question or Comment? now has a new purpose. Be sure to check them out.

I have my own business! In the middle of quite a stressful situation, God planted an idea in my mind last May. That idea was Mountain Peak Edits & Design. MPED offers editing services, website and blog design and overhaul, promotional graphics and items, A+ content for Amazon, and cover design for reasonable prices.

Early last year, the senior editor at the place I intern at, Answers in Genesis, asked me if I’d like to write a character write-up for one of their VBS characters. Meet Flip the Flapjack Octopus. Flapjack octopi are so cute and tiny, and they’re such amazing creatures whose incredible design is yet another testament to our Creator’s ingenuity.

Favorite 2021 Book Releases:

Love Under Construction by Penny Zeller

Of Fire and Ash by Gillian Bronte Adams

The Heart’s Charge by Karen Witemeyer

Favorite 2021 Music Releases:

Skillet: Refuge and Standing in the Storm.

About a Mile: Godless America

Danny Gokey: Fighter, Finish Strong

Sidewalk Prophets: I Believe It Now

Building 429: Not Finished Yet

Concerts:

We were able to see Sidewalk Prophets again. It was so awesome, crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in a room jammed-packed with believers.

We saw Building 429 too. I didn’t stick around to get an autograph, but I was able to add a shirt to my collection that says, The setback is the setup. The reason behind the shirt struck me. What we see as a setback, God is using as a setup. We don’t see the big picture. God does. He orchestrates things in just the right way, at just the right time, and never once is He not in control. In all the craziness of the past two years, and whatever we endure on a personal level, that pain, that hardship, that stress, those questions, will be used for His glory. We can’t see what’s ahead, but we follow a God who does. A God who is never caught by surprise.


LOOKING AHEAD TO 2022

We need to hold to our plans loosely, since they will change and God alters our course, but it never hurts to have an idea of what you want to accomplish.

Reading/Book Reviews:

I am so terribly behind on book reviews. To those who’ve requested one from me, I’m sorry.. You are at the top of my list for 2022, and I hope to get the backlog read by June.

Authors of books to be reviewed in 2022 include: Penny Zeller, Kristina Hall, Vanessa Hall, Christy Dietz, S.D. Howard, Donita K. Paul, and more.

Writing:

Publish: DECEIVED

Write and Publish: BETRAYED (Book Two in TDT)

Write and Publish: As the Silence Echoes, a novella retelling of The Pied Piper (be on the lookout for this one; I hope to have ARC copies by mid-February).

Write and Publish: A sequel short story to A Past to Bear, which will probably be published sometime during summer in another Whitstead collection.

Tentatively Write and Publish: A Cinderella Retelling novella, which has yet to be titled, for a tentative anthology a few of us are putting together.

Write: A Little Mermaid retelling to be published in 2023.

And, if I have a few brain cells left, I’ll begin on the third book in TDT, which is wavering between two titles.

Anticipated Books:

Love in Disguise by Penny Zeller.

A top-secret project Kristina Hall has been keeping quiet about.

DECEIVED.

As the Silence Echoes. I’ve not really met him yet, but a certain secondary character is going to be utterly hilarious.

The third book in Karen Witemeyer’s Hanger’s Horsemen series.

And I’m really, really hoping Jaye L. Knight will have the final book in Ilyon Chronicles out this year.

Blog Posts:

I want to start a tag for Valentine’s Day, but we’ll see.

A post on how to write characters with glasses.

Possibly a post on how not to write a female character. Which is hilarious since I do better writing male characters, but certain tropes, trends, and cliches need to be addressed.

Possibly a post or two about the dos and don’ts for authors requesting book reviews; and a similar blog post for bloggers on how to handle book review requests. There’s more to it than people think.

Possibly a post on how to write a book review.

Miscellaneous:

I’ll be writing a guest post, which will be featured on January 13. I’ll post the link when it’s up.

If you’re on Facebook, join the 2 Girls and a Book Review group. I’ll be hosting a giveaway in May for Deceived at the very least.


ANNOUNCEMENT

Madi’s Musings is looking for guest posts. I’d love to feature you on my blog. Anything writing-related or book-related, preferably. I might be open to a devotional, but that will be by a case-by-case basis.

What is not allowed:

Try to stay away from political issues. I have my stance and believe in the necessity of speaking up and being active, but let’s keep things focused on writing.

Note: Abortion is not a political issue. It is a Biblical one. If you want to write on the sanctity of life, please do.

Anything promoting the following groups: Elevation Worship; Hillson; Bethel; Cory Asbury; Lecrae; and Jesus Culture.

Anything promoting the following persons: Todd White; Beth Moore; Joyce Meyers; Sarah Young; Joel Osteen; Rick Warren; Max Lucado; JD Greear; Andy Stanley; Timothy Keller; and anyone associated with The Gospel Coalition/TGC itself.

These groups and individuals are not theologically accurate and are not allowed on my blog.

For more on what is not allowed, go to my Request a Review page and scroll until you reach BOOK REQUIREMENTS.

I reserve the right to deny a post.

The signup sheet can be found here. Please feel free to sign up for more than one post. I want to do at least one guest post most months.


How is your 2022 going so far? We’re welcoming it in with negative twenty-one degree weather. So, so warm. What are your plans for this year? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If you do, how long do you plan on keeping them? What’s in your 2022 TBR or to-be-written piles?

As another year is placed behind and we enter into another unknown three-hundred sixty-five days, rest in the knowledge that no matter how crazy, evil, and dark the world gets, no matter how difficult life becomes, and no matter how often it seems like things are spiraling out of control, God is never taken by surprise.

Stay steady. Stay steadfast. Stay strong.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10