IRON is participating in the Be My Valentine giveaway!
The Be My Valentine Giveaway runs 2/6 through 2/11. The 1st place winner will receive all ten books (authors’ choice of format) and the 2nd place winner will receive three books (authors’ choice of format) of their choosing. A variety of genres, from fantasy to historical romance to suspense and more, are featured.
Never fear if you don’t have social media–there are author newsletters and blogs you can follow to gain points. Most importantly, for an additional set of points, you have to answer this question: Do you like chocolate, and if so, what’s your favorite type (dark, milk, white, etc.)?
Which cover on the giveaway graphic is your favorite? Are there any you’ve not seen before? If you’ve read IRON, who was your favorite character and would you want to reside in that world? (Regrettably, they do not have chocolate.) And, if you’ve read IRON, did you know the prequel, CROWN, is released? It features some special characters you likely won’t meet in any other TRC book.
How is your writing going? I’m pulling an insanity shift by attempting to write 50,000 in 15 days.
It’s giveaway time once again, and this time, you have the opportunity to win IRON along with these other fantastic books in the Stockingful of Books giveaway.
About Stockingful: This giveaway runs 11/6 through 11/12, and the prize consists of ten Christian books. The 1st place winner will receive all ten books (authors’ choice of format) and the 2nd place winner will receive three books (authors’ choice of format) of their choosing. A variety of genres, from fantasy to historical romance to suspense and more, are featured.
Never fear if you don’t have social media–there are author newsletters and blogs you can follow to gain points as well as share about the newsletter for bonus points (if you don’t want to try copying and pasting all the information, you can simply provide the link to this blog post). Most importantly, for an addition set of points, you have to answer this question: What’s your favorite Christmas carol/song?
Also, who loves fairytale retellings? More specifically, The Snow Queen retellings? If you do, then I have an exciting opportunity for you.
I have joined with five other authors, including Kendra E. Ardnek and Sarah Pennington, to bring you a fabulous lineup of some chillingly awesome (yes, yes, I know; poor pun) fairytale retellings. So if you’re a reader who enjoys fairytale retellings or a blogger or bookstagramer who’d like to participate and be entered to win the Grand Prize, go here to learn more about the ARCS and Release Tour. You can interview characters and authors, post snippets, spotlight, and more. We’d love to have you!
Here are the covers. (Mine is the third from the right. Isn’t it pretty?)
Did you enter Stockingful of Books? If so, which book(s) would you most like to win? Also, which of these beautiful covers catches your eye the most?
Welcome to the final post for IRON’s Launch Tour. A huge thank you to everyone who participated. Today, you will meet the characters and learn about what’s next for The Redwyn Chronicles…plus help decide a fairytale for an upcoming project in this series.
IRON released yesterday! Thanks to those who preordered, it made its way into the top 100 Christian fantasy books category! I wasn’t expecting that at all.
The ebook is still on sale at $0.99 for the next seven days, so if you’re an ebook person, get your copy now before the price is raised.
Red is my feisty character. She swept in and claimed the story from day one. She’s suffered pain through the years, including losing her parents. This will really come into play in a later book.
I thought it would be fun to make her a detective, but for that, I had to learn how to think like a detective. So, to achieve that, I watched several Hallmark Mysteries and Suspense movies. (This is not a blanket recommendation for Hallmark. They have gone woke and nasty, but some of their older movies are good and do not include this wretched leftist agenda.)
A lot of readers ship her with Denton, and I dislike sinking ships, but I have bad news: that’s not who she ends up with.
Carter was interesting to write. I didn’t really know his story until I returned to IRON in July 2022. He’s a horse-loving, attention-hating sweetheart with so much pain and too little trust. His character and spiritual arcs reminded me, as I wrote them, that while people will fail and hurt us, God never will.
I wanted Carter to be Red’s best friend. Their relationship is purely platonic, and even familial, which is not something I see much of in fantasy. Was it possible to change the story so they would end up together? Yes, but that wasn’t where I wanted IRON to go. Thus Carter was saddled with a crazy best friend who doesn’t know the meaning of patience and rest. It was fun watching their personalities clash.
Pronounced Shaw-mah-nee, this quiet princess kind of just…happened. Her personality was clear from day one, and while I had to be creative about her issue (the weak lungs/asthma), she was fairly easy to write once I knew the logistics.
Chamonix’s original name was Eileen. But, after watching a Hallmark movie where the little girl’s name was Chamonix, I fell in love with the name and gave it to Veerham’s princess. It fits her much better than her former name.
I’ve always despised the heroines who, when the hero is being beaten up and injured, just scream and whimper and cower in a corner, useless and just aggravating. Chamonix is not a fighter, not like Red, but I wanted to illustrate how strength comes in many different forms. Chamonix received strength of character and faith, even if she can’t run very far without having an asthma attack. No whiny, worthless heroines in this book.
While my male characters are easiest to write, the females are the opposite. I was pleased and grateful at how Chamonix turned out, because it was difficult to really nail her character. She wasn’t sassy like Red, didn’t have Carter’s issues, and, on top of that, she was a princess. I didn’t want her to be rebellious, as is often the case where princesses are portrayed. But I also didn’t want her to be doormat and incapable of thinking for herself.
The incredibly-talented K.R. Mattson made my day when she surprised me with these fan art pictures (my first ever!). She really nailed Red’s and Chamonix’s personalities. (And that wolf and cardinal!)
You can learn more about these crazy characters by going to the inspiration board. If you dislike strong female characters who know how to think for themselves (without the current feminist garbage), an overt faith element, and clean romance, IRON is not the book for you
Also, be sure to visit the character interviews! (Linked to in tour schedule)
I am currently working on Denton’s story, which has yet to receive a definitive name. I will have it up on Goodreads late next week, Lord willing. You can see what I have of the inspiration board here. All I can tell you regarding the story is the first chapter breaks my heart.
The main female character in this little novella has sisters–and they need names! If you have suggestions, drop them in a comment.
I have another little prequel up my sleeve (here’s a hint: the characters’ names begin with C and I…and you meet them in IRON.) But I need a fairytale for them. Let me know your favorite fairytales! Those who provide the tale that I will use will be mentioned in the Acknowledgements.
There’s still time to sign up for the giveaway if you haven’t already.
An autographed paperback if the winner is a U.S. resident. Ebook if international.
Welcome to “IRON’s” launch tour. I am the exhausted author/host, Madisyn Carlin.
WHAT IS IRON?
1) A general market “clean” book.
2) A magical fairy tale retelling.
3) Light and fluffy.
4) YA (Young Adult).
1) A Christian Fantasy.
3) Deep. Different from DECEIVED and not near as intense as SR, but still deep because it deals with human trafficking.
4) NA (New Adult).
5) A story with three (3) POVs in the organized, structural I always follow.
Genre: Christian Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Enforcing justice comes with a price.
Detective Redwyn “Red” Deathan will stop at nothing to uncover those behind the ruthless kidnappings of multiple children. But things are not as they seem, and Red’s efforts are thwarted at every turn. With each discovery the danger grows, putting Red and the lives of those she cares about at risk. Can she reveal the mastermind’s identity before she herself becomes a target?
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.
I originally chose IRON due to the original blurb, but since that ended up not making the cut, I used it to signify an extremely pivotal moment in the book–specifically for Red. You’ll have to read the book to find out which scene. 😉
Why the cover?
I received some comments (and saw some) about how the cover did not look like a fairytale retelling. I concur with that. It doesn’t. But it does fit IRON.
The cover was originally a filler, but Mom saw it, asked if it was the actual cover, and that’s how this book received the cover it has.
Why a Cinderella Retelling?
When the first seeds of IRON were planted, I had Redwyn investigating different fairytales, but from the moment I put fingers to the keyboard, the story took a different direction. I found myself writing a Cinderella retelling, but it also went beyond a fairytale retelling. Serious themes were incorporated, new characters were introduced without my planning them (Ward being one of them), and the book took a completely different direction.
IRON went from being a novella to a word count of almost 100,000.
I wanted IRON to be short, around 40,000. Well, 40,000 came and went, and I upped the word count to 65,000. The same thing happened to 75,000 and 85,000. By the time I wrote, The End, IRON was at 97,500 words.
IRON wasn’t supposed to be self-published.
I began IRON in 2019 with the intent to submit it. That did not happen, and only when I first collaborated with a fellow writer in early 2022 did I contemplate returning to IRON. It went from being a half-baked idea to being a long, long book.
IRON was my first fairytale retelling attempt.
My second attempt is the first book in a side-series to The Redwyn Chronicles. If you read the book and thought there were only four kingdoms and one continent, think again. This side-series has a Celtic, Viking-ish feel, and I’ll give you a hint: the first book is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, complete with wyrms, missing legs, and nefarious siblings.
If you like thick paperback books, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to win IRON .
First Place Prize:
An Autographed Paperback if winner is U.S. resident. If the winner is an international resident, then they win an ebook.
Second Place Prize:
An Ebook in the reader’s choice of Mobi or epub.
For an extra entry point, comment and tell me your favorite fairytale and/or fairytale retelling!
Calling all readers. I need assistance choosing a name for a character.
She will be featured in a Redwyn Chronicles novella as the main female character in a Little Mermaid retelling. The MMC’s name is Denton. I have narrowed this down to five possible names, all of which are water-related.
If you’re looking for an ocean-inspired name that’s uncommon, Morwenna might be it. It means “waves of the sea” and is Welsh in origin. It’s starting to see a comeback in Wales, where it originates, and is slowly making its way stateside. (edited)
Of Greek origin, Nerissa is a girl’s name and means “from the sea.” It’s not as common as its similarly-sounding sisters Melissa or Marisa, but it still has the same meaning.
I usually aim for two posts a week. I wrote a book review earlier (I think it was Monday?) and was hoping to finish a “What’s the Difference” post or a post about constructive criticism in reviews, but I’m too tired to put much thought into anything right now.
So I’m doing something a bit different today.
Story Snippets! I want to know what you’re writing–tell me all about your writing project by dropping a snippet or a line/sentence or two from your current WIP(s). Or, if you’re not a writer, tell me what you’re reading. If you want to do both, please feel free to.
Below are a few snippets from my three WIPs plus a quote from my most recent read. The snippets have not been thoroughly polished, so there may be a few errors.
“There’re two of us and one of him. What can go wrong?”
One action-packed scene later:
Heavy breaths announced Denton’s presence. He looked as terrible as Carter felt, with multiple tears in his shirt and blood staining at least half the material. A long cut graced the right side of his jaw with another just above his left eye.
Carter glared. “This is why you never ask what can go wrong.”
“How was I to know someone wanted to use you for target practice?”
Lord willing, this book will release later this year. The brave souls who beta’d this hodgepodge mess of a story will understand the significance of the first snippet. (And *cough* for you betas, I made things a smidge better for Marcus.)
“I forgive you.”
“You weren’t the only one who fought.”
“I didn’t see you on the battlefield.”
“I was on the council.”
“Which is just another way of saying you were too cowardly to pick up a sword and fight.”
“Our reflections are two-edged blades. We can look at ourselves and see, with humility, what God has created, or we can look and see ourselves as worthless because we do not live up to others’ standards.”
“What do you see when you look at your reflection?”
The simple question knocked the breath from him. He hadn’t thought about it through his time as a Night Guard. Afterward, he found himself unable to decide. Was he viewing his Maker’s craftsmanship or a man whose hands were stained by the blood of innocents and those he was unable to save?
Heaven help him. Three matchmakers were running amok through the palace.
I just finished ARC reading Forgotten Memories by Penny Zeller. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and posted my review early on Goodreads. Forgotten Memories is on a special preorder sale: the ebook is $0.99 only for preorder.
What do Quilling in the Pines and fan art have in common?
Some of you may know K.R. from when she attended KDWC. Others may recognize her name from her zany, witty, and hilarious comments she’s left on my blog. Today, I happy to announce K.R. has launched her own blog. K.R. is a dear friend and has been so supportive of this slightly-insane, often-worry-wartish writer. She’s patient, too, always putting up with my fussings and worries about my writing being less-than-acceptable. Be sure to stop by Quilling in the Pines, follow K.R., and show some support!
Speaking of support, I mentioned above K.R. has been extremely supportive. In fact, she’s so supportive that she surprised me with this amazing fan art/character art of Redwyn “Red” Deathan, one of the main characters in my upcoming release, IRON.
Isn’t it incredible? She captured Red perfectly, and the wolf, well, you’ll discover why the wolf’s there when you read the book. 😉
So hop on by K.R.’s blog and show her some support! And do be sure to comment on her first post.
I refuse to support NaNoWriMo in any way, which includes no participation in any of their camps or activities. However, I see the value of designating a month and really pushing for a writing goal.
I am on some serious writing deadlines and am henceforth proclaiming July the month where I endeavor to finish both Shattered Reflection and IRON. (Adding four to eight chapters on SR and writing the final 20,000 words on IRON). But…knowing myself, I’m going to get distracted. So stressed and insecure about these stories (it happens quite often; just ask some of my betas) that I will put them off and try to ignore them.
If you’re like me and would like a writing partner of sorts, feel free to join me and shoot for your writing goal this July. There will be no designated group, no condemnation if you do not reach your goal. Merely some crazy (because, let’s face it, all writers are crazy) writers attempting to conquer their writing goals. Once July begins, feel free to message me a message or Instagram, contact me through my contact page here, or, if you have my email, email me and let me know your progress!
Writing can be a difficult adventure, and we need to stick by and encourage each other.
What are your thoughts? Are you attempting a specific writing goal for July? What is it? Let me know!