Giveaway and Interview with Debut Author Madeline Martin

Alyssa here: It is my very, very great pleasure to introduce to you Madeline Martin, a writer I’ve known for a few years now. She will soon be experiencing one the best days an author can have, a debut release! A debut only comes one in a lifetime, after all. 🙂 And even more, she’s worked exceptionally hard for it while balancing family in a way that makes me want her to be my mom! Take a little time to get to know Madeline, and then enter the giveaway by commenting below!

It’s 9:30 at night and though I look like I’m sitting in a high-backed chair in an air conditioned Florida home, I’m really lost in seventeenth century Scotland where waves crash against the jagged rocks and a castle towers into a brilliant sky. There’s a man in a kilt – a great, strapping man with a knee-buckling brogue – and the beautiful English maiden who has captured his heart. They’re leaning in toward each other, the temptation for that first taste of love hot and hungry on their lips.

The pat of bare feet sounds against tile.

Then, just like in the Princess Bride, my hero and heroine freeze in their locked, unfulfilled embrace and I’m popped back into modern day reality at my dining room table with a cup of cold coffee in front of me.

MinionPic6I glance toward the hallway just in time to see YoungestMinion, defyer of sleep, come around the corner with her tousled blonde hair spilling over bare shoulders and an overloved, pink-gray baby blanket wrapped around her torso.

She gives me that shy smile other people fall for and says in a sweet voice. “Can you please get me some water, Momma?”

I hit save and get up from my chair. I know after the water will be an extra hug and a kiss and another tucking in.

I know it’ll take a few minutes to get back into my writing.

I know this won’t be the last time I’ll be seeing YoungestMinion emerge from her room for a completely “legitimate” reason.

This is one of the many ways being a single mom while working a full time job and trying to build a writing career is not easy.

Time is a precious commodity and one I often find myself incredibly short on. I’ve had to learn to manage time in such narrow increments, I’ve dubbed myself an official “Time Scraper”.

One of the things I decided long ago was that I would not write while the girls were awake. I don’t want them to look back on their childhood and see me slouched in front of a glowing laptop. Nor do I want to see them as teenagers and wonder how many books ago I’d missed out on them being children.MinionPic4

When they’re awake, we’re silly and we have fun. We bake cupcakes and decorate fairy houses and do dance offs and train for crazy races. And though it makes time a little snug for me, I don’t regret it.

MinionPic7Being a single mom complicates my writing career, but it doesn’t make it impossible. I’m a strong believer in making things happen when you want them bad enough.

I also don’t see my children as a hindrance – rather the opposite. They’re the biggest cheerleaders I could ever hope to have. In fact, the only time they ever go to bed without waking up once is when they know I have to talk to my agent. They are enormously proud of my accomplishments and will tell anyone who will listen about my book coming out.  They even starred in this adorable little one minute promo video for me:

The minions are also an incredible inspiration to me.

They make me want to be a stronger woman, a harder worker, a greater role model. I want them to look at me and see someone who loves them and can still be a mother who accomplishes her dreams.

The biggest sacrifice I give up to accomplish my writing and the time I spend with my girls is sleep. I usually only get about 5 hours a night, but it affords me enough time to do what I want and it’s a sacrifice I gladly make.

What sort of sacrifices do you make in life to achieve your dreams? Whoever answers will be entered for a chance to win an ecopy ARC of Deception of a Highlander before its release date on April 28, 2015.

DeceptionOfAHighlander_notaglineScottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.

To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest mission for the sharp-witted and daring Mariel is to find two people in a heavily fortified castle on the Isle of Skye, a castle headed by the clan MacDonald and the powerful Kieran. Mariel is to seduce Kieran and get him to take her to Skye. If she succeeds, Aaron promises to let Mariel’s young brother go, and to free both of them from their debt. If she fails, her brother will die.

What she doesn’t count on is craving Kieran MacDonald almost immediately upon meeting him. Now Mariel must keep a secret from Kieran—one that could get them both killed—as she tries to form a plan that will save her brother, get her out from under Aaron’s thumb once and for all, and keep her in Kieran’s strong arms forever.


MinionPic2Madeline Martin lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (AKA OldestMinion and YoungestMinion) along with their two cats: SketchyCat who stares at walls and eats fuzz and LapCat who has a shoe fetish and enjoys Kung Pow peanuts. All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter.

Madeline graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Business Administration and works for corporate America. Her hobbies include rock climbing, running, doing crazy races (like Mud Runs and Color Runs) and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseous. She’s also a history fan (really more of a full on history dork) and loves to blog about random curiosities from her research.

After living in Europe for over a decade, Madeline enjoys traveling overseas whenever she can. Her favorite place to visit thus far: Scotland.
Writing has been a passion of hers since she was a child and now she finally gets to see her lifelong dream come true with her first book, Deception of a Highlander to be released April 28, 2015 followed by Possession of a Highlander on August 11, 2015.

Find Madeline Online!

Twitter: @MadelineMMartin
Facebook Author Page:

Follow Alyssa Alexander:

Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes. Alyssa’s debut release, THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, was awarded 4.5 Stars and Top Pick, nominated for 2014 Best First Historical by the Romantic Times and Best First Book in the Romance Writers of America RITA contest. Her second book, IN BED WITH A SPY, released in December 2014 from Berkley, and received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic times. She has been called a “talented newcomer” and “a rising star you won’t want to miss.” You can find Alyssa at all the usual places! Please stop by and say hello! And you can always reach her by email at

53 Responses

  1. Ki Pha

    Welcome Madeline! How excited I am for your first major step towards your dream and debut! And your daughters are adorable.

    Sacrifices are tough when you want to achieve a dream. And it’s even tougher with children. I don’t know how that feels for I’m not a mother but seeing and hearing about balancing all that as a mother and making it work is truly inspiring.

    As of right now I’m sacrificing my day job and my savings to go abroad for an unpaid voluntary internship. I don’t know how it’ll go over there but I’m not certain I’ll come back richer either, other than gain more knowledge and experiences. It’s scary because I know I’ll come back poorer with no job but it’s also an opportunity for a new beginning to finding and opening a door to my dream job.

    • madelinemmartin

      I can imagine that must be scary, but how exciting! 🙂 After having lived in Germany myself and hearing of all the amazing trips my brother has taken around the world (he’s living in Africa now), I can promise you it will be rewarding – even if not financially. Those kind of memories can’t be bought, only earned through an amazing experience. I wish you the absolute best of luck! 🙂 If you’re planning about blogging your internship, I’d love a link!

      Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments. I truly appreciate it. 🙂 Best of luck in your incredible adventure – I truly hope you find your new beginning. 🙂

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Wow, Ki! That is so very brave! Sometimes finding the dream takes stepping out onto that limb. I’m sending good wishes for safe travels, and that you find what you’re looking for!

  2. Maggi Andersen

    Lovely to meet you on Embracing Romance, Madeline.My hat’s off to anyone who can write and bring up their family, let alone as a single parent. Your book sounds wonderful.

  3. Madeline Martin

    Thank you so much and I really appreciate you having me as a guest here. 🙂 I love your website!

  4. Patricia WIssore

    Congratulations on your first novel! Single moms raising their kids always put me in awe. When ever my husband leaves me with our 3 over extended periods of time for his work, I panic! (actually I lock myself in my bedroom with a book while they try to pick the lock, 1-16, 2-11 yr olds, all girls.) What I sacrifice is time. I spend my time on being involved with my girls and their schools versus on my own dreams. I figure I’ll have time after they’ve moved out and are started on their own way into the world, instead of me missing out on one more band show or one more play. (Beautiful girls by the way!)

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Patti, I feel the same way when Mr. Alexander leaves me alone with my ONE child. I panic, and then write myself a massive to do list so I don’t forget things like making lunches for the next day. Or dinner. Or laundry. Or wine…wait. That I wouldn’t forget! 😉

    • madelinemmartin

      Thank you so much, Patricia! 🙂 I bet your hands stay full with all those girls – especially the twins LOL. Also, I’m sure your home is as glitter sparkly as mine with all those sweet girls running around there 🙂
      Confession: I lock myself in the bathroom sometimes too. But with Nutella. And a spoon. It’s shameless, really.
      I can tell you right now that your girls are going to look back on their beautiful childhood and really appreciate the sacrifices you’re making for them. 🙂
      Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Kids have a tendency to do that! But I hope you get some “me time” this upcoming Mother’s Day!

    • Madeline Martin

      Kids are definitely time consuming. Hopefully as they get older, you’ll be able to squeeze in some activities just for you. 🙂

  5. Lea Ann Edwards

    Madeline, I’m so excited to read your debut book! I love historical romance, and am looking forward to this one! I dream of just having time for myself. I still have 3 sons at home and two of them are special needs (cerebral palsy and autism) so I stay really busy! I admire you for making your dream come true while raising your daughters alone and working full time! Good luck with this book and any you write in the future!

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Lea Ann, bless you for all the hard work and busy days of raising special needs boys! I imagine your days are full and busy!

    • Madeline Martin

      And I admire you for working so hard for your family – I certainly don’t doubt that you stay busy! I’m sure they appreciate you for what you do for them. 🙂 Thank you so much for your wonderful compliments and for being so excited for my new book. Hang in there and I hope you manage some down time for yourself periodically.

  6. Hazel Bauer

    Madeline I cannot wait to read your book, my hat goes off to you that you have accomplished this first novel, it is big and you will go on to reach your every goal because you are completely modivated. Good luck going forward

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Isn’t she amazingly motivated? I don’t know that I could do it! Thanks for stopping by, Hazel.

    • Madeline Martin

      Thank you so much, Hazel and Alyssa for your sweet compliments. 🙂 And I absolutely appreciate the vote of confident, Hazel 🙂 Thank you!!!

  7. dfosterbooks2015

    You have my deepest admiration! The book sounds great & can’t wait to read. I’m always happy to add new authors to my ever growing TBR pile.

  8. ginaconkle2013

    Congratulations Madeline! I hear you on the writing and kids part. I used to write after my boys went to bed. Then 8:00 to midnight was writing time. I look forward to reading your books. Congratulations!

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Ditto over here. 8pm to 11p…Midnight is too late, as my alarm goes off between 5 and 5:30, so 11p has to be bedtime!

    • Madeline Martin

      LOL – gotta love the shared determination of writers. 🙂 We’ll sleep when we die, right? 😉 Thank you so much, Gina!

  9. jdh2690

    Thanks, Alyssa, for the introduction to Madeline and her writing! I confess, I can’t get enough of Highlander romances. 🙂 And I totally and completely understand about single motherhood and working fulltime, etc. I was once a single mother myself for five looooong years after first husband took off in the middle of the night with a “younger woman.” In addition to working fulltime and being a mother, I was also going to school to complete a certification for legal secretary. I ended up graduating top of my class with my son and daughter cheering me on…started a fulfilling career with a law firm…and then met and married a lovely man — and we’ve been married 36 years now. I like to think the hard years were worth the rewards at the end…so hang in there, Madeline! Congrats on your debut release. I’ve already pre-ordered the second book in the series! 🙂

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Wow, kudos to you for making it work and hanging in there during some tough times! And it seems you got your happy ending. Congrats on 36 years!

    • Madeline Martin

      Your story gave me happy chills 🙂 I love that your children were cheering you on. I’m so happy for you that everything worked out as beautifully as it did, especially when you worked so darn hard to get there. I love what you said about the hard years being worth the rewards at the end – I definitely believe that too. Women like you are truly inspiring – thank you for sharing your story. 🙂
      Thank you so much also for your support. I really hope you enjoy my books (I’m a little highlander obsessed too LOL)

  10. Abby Sharpe

    I completely agree with spending time with the kids (they’re 11 and 13) instead of writing! There are occasions when I hightail it to the nearest bookstore to write (hello deadlines!), but hanging out with them and creating memories is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

    Now, whether they want to hang out with *me* is another story…

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Hey, Abby!! I hear you on whether they want to hang out with mom. I have a six year old, and so far, I’m still his best friend. But I imagine that is going to change all too soon… *sniff*

    • Madeline Martin

      Hey, all parents need a break every now and then – especially on deadline! 🙂 Mine still like hanging out with me, but I imagine OldestMinion won’t feel that way for long… LOL Thank you so much for stopping by, Abby! 🙂

  11. Glenda

    Hi Madeline. Excellent post! The blurb sounds like Deception is an exciting book. My ‘sacrifice’ was a career that I had been set on for years. But I have never regretted giving up my job to be a stay at home mom for my kids. I was and am lucky to have a husband who was ok with being a little poor for the sake of the kids.

    • Alyssa Alexander

      It’s lovely that you and your husband were in agreement on the ‘sacrifice.’ But it seems to me you took on the world’s best (and toughest!) job!

    • Madeline Martin

      Thank you so much, Glenda!
      I’m so glad you’re getting to spend that incredible one-on-one time with your babies. The great thing about jobs is that they’re always there – kids grow up and move on. I love that you get to enjoy your time with them now. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂

  12. Barbara Monajem

    What an inspiring story. I don’t know how you manage, Madeline, but I salute you! Congrats on your debut release–wishing you great sales. 🙂

  13. Glenda S. Hefty

    Congratulations on your debut book…it sounds like it would be very interesting. I admire you so much for all your accomplishments…not easy. I really don’t feel I myself have sacrificed anything. I feel very fortunate. Of course things have not always been easy, most people have a few trials in life, some more than others. I guess I’ve never really had a really burning desire to do anything in particular…if I had then likely there would have been what I would consider sacrifices.

    • Madeline Martin

      I think it’s awesome you don’t feel the need to sacrifice anything in your life currently – I’m sure it was not always that way and am glad you get to reap the rewards now. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂

  14. Kathleen Bittner Roth

    Great post! I don’t really feel that I sacrifice anything to write my stories. Widowed and living alone, I can do whatever I want. I plan specific times to socialize so I don’t feel like a shut-in, but I do work hard to achieve my goals and dreams.

    • Madeline Martin

      Kathleen, you’ve definitely had your share of hardships to get to where you are today. One of the many things I love about you is that one would never know that about you with how sweet and wonderful you are. 🙂 I’m so happy you are in such a great position right now. <3 🙂

  15. eileendandashi

    I’m most pleased to get to know you, Madeline. You and most writers start out juggling their lives and yes, it either makes you stronger or you give up.

    I started out with high hopes, being on stage and singing. But then I met my husband. I loved him, young and didn’t understand what I was giving up. I brought his two little ones up, lived all over the world and I always took a back seat to the most important thing — keep the house going, work at anything and everything and give the children the best possible life we could. However, in the doing my dreams never were reached.

    That being said, I’ve gained a lot, too. Just haven’t gone in the direction I thought I would.

  16. Madeline Martin

    That is a huge sacrifice you made for your family. It sounds like you definitely got a lot out of it though, and I think that’s fantastic. You sound like a very sweet, giving person. 🙂 Maybe it’s not too late to realize your dreams still now that you have more time for you. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story. I truly appreciate it.