Giveaway for Writers

It’s giveaway time!

What many of you also don’t realize is I have my own business. Mountain Peak Edits & Design offers quality, affordable services for authors. These services include, but are not limited to, editing, graphic design, and promotional materials. I back MPED with over seven years of graphic design experience, an English degree, and an editing internship at Answers in Genesis.

Now for the exciting news:

MPED is offering a giveaway!


The winner will receive either their choice of a pre-made cover, three promotional graphics for their books, or a three-panel A+ content. If you don’t yet have a book published, that’s fine. The prize can be redeemed up to a year later from winning (you’ll just have to remind me).


The winner will receive their choice of a pre-made cover, three promotional graphics for their books, or a three-panel A+ content.


Each is worth one point. The more points you have, the higher chance you possess of winning.

1) Share the Instagram post (@madisyn_carlin)
2) Comment! Which prize would you like to win? Include your least favorite season in your comment.
3) Sign up for my newsletter if you aren’t already (can be found on the sidebar of this blog)
5) Spread the word. Tell others about this giveaway on another social media platform or in a writing group and be sure to let me know where you shared it!
5) Visit MPED and look around. The link is above.

*Your book MUST comply with MPED guidelines.

And there you go! A random drawing will occur on July 31st.


MPED offers:
Graphic Design
Website/Blog Design
Premade Covers
Mailchimp Newsletter Design
Promotional Materials
Social Media Setup
A+ Content (the graphics you see on Amazon)

The Get to Know Me Tag – Writer’s Edition


  • Link back to the person who created the tag. (Savannah)
  • Thank the person who tagged you. (Thank you, Alyssa and Saraina)
  • Share the tag graphic [I couldn’t get the graphic to download, so you’ll have to go to Alyssa’s or Saraina’s blogs to get it]
  • Tag eleven bloggers 

Vital Stats and Appearance

(pen)Name: Madisyn Carlin

Nicknames: Madi and Spider Slayer.

Birthday: Confidential

Hair color and length: Confidential

Eye color: Confidential

Braces/piercings/tattoos: I’ve had braces, I had pierced ears when I was young, and I will never get a tattoo.

Righty or lefty: Ambidextrous.

Ethnicity: I am a mutt. A 100%, full-blooded American mutt.


First novel written: The first novel I embarked on was A Commander’s Curse. I never finished, but I plan to give it a thorough rewrite and upgrade someday.

First novel completed: Protector. I lost 40,000 words when transferring it to the computer to print, and to say that was devastating is an understatement. I recuperated, though, and this book ended up at 107,000 words long.

Award for writing: I won a short story award a while back. And does landing on the college’s dean’s list count? Because I know it wasn’t my math or Spanish grades that put me there.

First publication: DECEIVED.

Conference: None yet.

Query/Pitch: Three proposals.


Novel (that you wrote): Currently I’m going with Shattered Reflection. There’s just something about this story.

Genre: Christian Fantasy.

Author: I do not have one favorite author. For Christian Historical Romance I like Penny Zeller, Karen Witemeyer, and Robin Lee Hatcher. For Christian Fantasy I particularly enjoy Jaye L. Knight, Morgan L. Busse, and Gillian Bronte Adams.

Writing Music: It is a rare occurrence that I listen to music while I write. However, I do listen to it before I write, usually to my WIP’s playlist. (for SR’s, you can go here)

Time To Write: Whenever I have a moment.

Writing Snack/Drink: Water. I don’t care for tea and coffee is just an abomination. And I don’t snack while writing. It is too messy.

Movie: My three favorite movies (including two series) are Beyond the Mask (if you haven’t seen this movie, you need to), LOTR, and The Hobbit Trilogy (I know, I know, they deviated from the book, but aside from Tauriel being rather annoying at times, I like it).

Writing Memory: Mom assigning me to write a full novel in a year. I never imagined what that would explode into. I didn’t even know the word count of a full novel.

Childhood Book: Goodnight, Moon and the story of David and Goliath.


Reading: Midnight Will Come by Kristina Hall.

Writing: Shattered Reflection. I’m learning it’s much harder to go in and add chapters than just write all the way through. And I have to add more romance too. Ugh.

Listening to: Shattered’s and IRON’s playlists.

Watching: I am not currently watching anything.

Learning:To trust my writing to God. It will be completed in His time, with the right plot and appropriate amount of chapters, and Madi really must stop holding to her stories with such a desperate choke hold. They, after all, are not truly mine to begin with.


Want To Be Published:  Already happened.

Indie or Traditional: Both, Lord willing.

Wildest Goal: To poignantly illustrate through my stories no matter how broken, weary, worn, or torn down you are, God is in control, and that you are never to lost to come to Him. I want readers to find healing in laughter and crying. That’s why my writing tagline is, Tales of redemption, faith, and action.


Sisters Three


And anyone else who would like to do it. I can’t think of eleven right now. My brain is on writing/editing overload.

Feathers and Roses Dual Cover Reveal Signups

I’ve been hinting at another release coming up. May I introduce Feathers and Roses: All Things Fairy Tale, a collaboration with Jenavieve Rose to bring you two fairy tale retellings in September, 2022.

The dual reveal is hosted by Jen’s Author Assistance.

Why feathers and roses?

Feathers are a big part of my Cinderella retelling, IRON, and roses are integral to Jen’s Sleeping Beauty retelling, Roses, Thorns, & Curses (which sounds so intriguing).

Dual Cover Reveal occurs on: June 24


IRON (Cinderella)

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?

(My Note: Think Cinderella x Detective)

Roses, Thorns, & Curses (Sleeping Beauty)

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

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

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

Both books are Christian Fantasy.

You can sign up here.

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.


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


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. 😉 )


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

Giveaway Information:

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


Monday, April 25

Madisyn Carlin | Intro + Book Spotlight

Joy Woodbury | Book Review

Tuesday, April 26

Madisyn Carlin | Release Day! + Fun Facts

Vanessa Hall | Author Interview

Autumn | Book Spotlight

Wednesday, April 27

Esther | Book Review

Saraina | Character Interview: Therese

Joy Woodbury | Guest Post

Thursday, April 28

Madisyn Carlin | Group Interview

Kristina Hall | Book Review

Friday, April 29

Vanessa Hall | Book Spotlight

Olivia | Book Review

Saturday, April 30

Madisyn Carlin | Character Spotlight: Holder

Olive Creed | Book Spotlight

Monday, May 2

Vanessa Hall | Book Review

Grace Johnson | Guest Post + Book Spotlight

Tuesday, May 3

Madisyn Carlin | Meet the Characters

Stephanie | Book Review

Wednesday, May 4

Grace Johnson | Author Interview

Saraina | Character Interview: Rogan

Thursday, May 5

Madisyn Carlin | Character Q+A

Issabelle Perry | Character Spotlight: Therese

Friday, May 6

Grace Johnson | Book Review

Autumn – Author Interview

Jenavieve Rose | Book Review

Saturday, May 7

Madisyn Carlin | Blog Tour Wrap-Up

Olive Creed | Author Interview

Katja Labonte | Book Review

Saraina | Author Interview

DECEIVED 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?”‘


“‘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!

To learn more about the giveaway, pre-order fun, and more, go here.

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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


“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.

Within the WIP – Know the Novel, Part Two

Today I am doing Part Two of Christine Smith’s Know the Novel, a three part series addressing our writing goals for November. Even if you aren’t actively aiming for a certain word count, I encourage you to participate in this, as it forces you to delve deep and learn more about your WIP.

How’s the writing going overall?

Writing? What is writing?

It’s not going well, overall. I’ve hit a lot of mental roadblocks, and the project I wanted to write during November hasn’t worked for a multitude of reasons. After scrounging around for an idea, watching my sanity pack its bags and leave, and staring at the screen for hours as nothing traversed my blank mind, I finally buckled down and began working on BETRAYED, book two in The Deception Trilogy (Book One will release April 2022, I hope). The hardest part is I had to cut my 50,000 word goal in half. There’s no way I can reach that this time, and I may not even reach 25,000. I must acquire 11,000 words in seven days. I am not an expedient typist. If my characters cooperate, it may be possible, though.

What’s been the most fun aspect about writing this novel so far?

The characters. I get to revisit one of my favorite characters of all time, put into motion my outline, and give a lot of evil cackles as I put my characters into so, so many character development moments. Plus, I get to continue their stories, which need to be told.

What do you think of your characters at this point? Who’s your favorite to write about?

They’re complicated messes, that’s what I think. An assassin, a smuggler, and two king’s guards, each with their own problems, secrets, and struggles. They can be irritating at times, but overall, I love them. I’m not going to provide my favorite character’s name, since that would spoil DECEIVED, but I’m going to leave it at this: DECEIVED began as another character’s story, but ended up being Favorite Character’s.

Has your novel surprised you in any way?

No surprises yet. I’m only 13,000 words in.

Have you come across any problem areas?

It’s feeling dry, which is why I just added in an attempted assassination. That’s the main problem. Once I get the characters to Point B, then it’ll be easier, but it’s the journey between A and B that’s worrying me.

What’s been your biggest victory with writing this novel at this point?

I’m writing!

That’s my biggest victory. I maybe gained five thousand words during the first 1.5 weeks. Maybe. Now it’s picking up, and I’m falling in love with these bundles of mayhem all over again.

If you were transported into your novel and became any one of the characters, which one do you think you’d be? Would you take any different actions than they have?

I’d rather be Ivelle, since she has the least amount of issues, though she has plenty to overcome. Would I do anything differently in her shoes? Maybe? We’re pretty similar. Strong-willed, stubborn, hard-headed, overly protective. I’d probably be more interested in learning weaponry so I could defend myself and my surrogate little sister. Not saying she’s not protective, but right now, her mind is in a muddle and she’s trying to figure out what their future holds.

Give us the first sentence or paragraph then 2 (or 3!) more favorite snippets!

First sentence: Death.

Favorite Snippet No. One: Dying would have been preferable, but his lot in life never went the way he needed and wanted it to.

^ This is from my favorite character’s POV. As one beta put it, he needs to be wrapped in blankets and given soup.

Favorite Snippet No. Two: “Let me put this bluntly since you can’t seem to comprehend anything but the simplest sentences.”

Favorite Snippet No. Three: He didn’t know how much longer he could tolerate being in the paragon of self-righteousness’ presence.

Share an interesting tidbit about the writing process so far! (For example: Have you made any hilarious typos? Derailed from your outline? Killed off a character? Changed projects entirely? Anything you want to share!)

Typos: He’d paid in blood, sweat, and paint.

Changed projects completely? Yes. Five times in the past two weeks. Killed a character? Almost. Never! I need them right now, but there will be plenty of death in the later half of the book.

Take us on a tour of what a normal writing day for this novel looks like. Where do you write? What time of day? Alone or with others? Is a lot of coffee (or some other drink) consumed? Do you light candles? Play music? Get distracted by social media (cough, cough)? Tell all!

Depending on work and my schedule, I might sit down and type a few sentences here and there throughout the day. Evening is when I really buckle down and write. I usually perch on the couch. My family members are either reading in the general vicinity, doing their chores (or, supposed to be), or writing in the office (Mom’s working on another release besides Love Under Construction!).

Coffee is wretchedly nasty and not even allowed in the house. My beverage of choice is water. Candles, unless they’re birthday or emergence, also aren’t allowed in, so the ol’ light bulbs have to do the trick. I do listen to music before I write, sometimes. I have a designated playlist and man is it intense. Puts me right in the mood for the upcoming torture character development.

I plead the fifth about social media.

So many were so supportive and excited about Lethal Trust, and I am so grateful. I apologize for the switch in plans. I have a multitude of fairy tale retellings bubbling up within me, but it’s been made clear they’re to wait and a series that’s extremely close to my heart is to be my writing focus.

I know my November writing journey has been choppy and inconsistent, but there is some good news. I’m published! My fantasy short story, A Past to Bear, is included in the Whitstead Harvestide anthology. DECEIVED, Book One in The Deception Trilogy, is on track (currently) to be published in April. The cover designer is working on the cover and it’s with betas right now. Come December, I’ll be settling down for some extensive editing before sending it off to the editor.

This is the summation of the trilogy: In a world built upon lies and deception, uncovering the truth can be deadly.

I can’t wait to introduce my four bundles of mayhem to the world. Be watching, come February and March, for updates, including sign-ups for cover reveal and the book launch tour. This book is best described as Resistance by Jaye L. Knight x Dare by Tricia Mingerink.

How about you? How’s your November writing been going? How are your WIP and characters treating you?

Introducing: A Past to Bear

Graphic created by Mountain Peak Edits & Design

I’ve kept pretty hush-hush about this, but now that the release is almost here, I’ve some exciting news: I’m getting published. Whitstead Harvestide is a specualitive anthology taking place in 1845 Whitstead, England. A group of thirty authors came together to contribute to this anthology, and we’re so excited to introduce our stories to the world.

Whitstead Harvestide releases TODAY (we hope).


Whitstead, Harvest 1845⁣

Darkness slips over the village of Whitstead as the harvest season comes. Evil forces are on the move, threatening not only the town as a whole, but individual hearts and minds. As All Hallows’ Eve approaches, the veil between worlds begins to thin, and demons, vampires, dangerous fae, and madmen are not the only threat—spirits and ghosts loom near as well.⁣The barriers of time are crossed. Love is lost, won, and threatened. An exiled heir seeks audience with dragons. An ancient guardian faces his most dangerous challenge yet. Aliens seek lost equipment. A ghost must face unfinished business to find peace. A mother searches desperately for her lost daughter. A fawn faces defeat, and a terrible quest. The autumn queen of the faeries visits an old friend… And a cowardly boy must learn the power and courage of song.⁣

Sacrifice and redemption. The value of children. Injustices confronted and overcome. Despair in the face of loss and the light of hope. The chill of the season and ultimate peace despite adversity as bounty and wonder touch Whitstead in autumn.⁣

Thirty stories of struggle, courage, adventure, humor, loneliness and family, myth and legend, home and homecoming.


The town of Whitstead may change, but not so Eltaen MacGredd, a recluse with a secret to keep, a curse to bear, and a community to protect.

What Inspired A Past to Bear:

The theme of this anthology is harvest. When I first decided to submit something for it, I had no clue what I would write. A few days after, while I was doing a mundane chore – the type where your mind wanders – inspiration hit me. A man with a painful past, a terrible secret, and whose name was Eltaen MacGredd. Tall with dark hair and silver eyes, I could see his haunted expression and feel his yearning for redemption. As I wrote the opening line, his personality unfolded, his past became clear, and I knew the direction I wanted his story to take.

Hardships of writing A Past to Bear

I can’t just write a short story. I must take an idea and form it into a series, and that is what I did. While I managed to control my word count and keep it below the maximum 5,000, Eltaen will, Lord willing, make an appearance in following Whitstead books. And his nephews and their offspring have claimed a four book series of their own.

Also, since this takes place in England, we had to write in British english; that means using u’s where in America we’ve removed them from words like color. I’m still stuck in that u rut, and have found myself adding them for the English spelling.

Themes in A Past to Bear

My writing tagline is Tales of redemption, faith, and action. Those are three themes thickly-woven into APtB. I wanted to show how one’s past, no matter how dark, fractured, and dismal, can never strip away salvation and remove us from God’s love, which is something Eltaen struggles with. Familial bonds and love are also strong themes.

Favorite Character in A Past to Bear

Eltaen, naturally, though his nephews hold a close second. You’ll see why if you read it.

Favorite parts in A Past to Bear


“These people are strange.”

“That’s hilarious coming from you. You’re the strangest person I’ve ever met.”

It wouldn’t be one of my stories without a bit of snark and wit.

My utmost gratitude to Lil Sis, for reading, rereading, and re-rereading APtB before I sent it off, and to Mom, for being so excited for me. Now there are two authors in the house.

Many thanks to Abigail and Sarah Falanga for putting Whitstead together and editing, to Hannah Falanga and Sara Raciti for the amazingly incredible cover, to Melinda K. Bush for proofreading and polishing, and to EJ Sobetski, for letting me use your characters in part of my story.

And, most importantly, thank You, God, for giving me the idea and the words to write. To You alone be the glory.

If you’d like to join Whitstead Events to learn more about the other authors and stories, go here:

To see inspiration for APtB, go here: