Tuesday, December 29, 2015

WIN, LOVE, OR DRAW - Cyrstal Barnes - One Free Book (print or ebook)

Dear Readers, we have an author who hasn’t been on this blog before. I’m eager to read her book. I’ve been reading Christmas stories the last two months, and now I’m ready to get back into the other books in my to-be-read pile. This one is at the top.

Welcome, Crystal. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Oh, wow. I’d say every writer includes a part of themselves in their characters whether they intend to or not. However, with Win, Love, or Draw, I knew I’d be pouring a lot of myself into Cat’s story, for her tale is very similar to mine and that of those I love.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky? When have I not been quirky? Oh, this is a hard one. Hmm … um … we might be here all day as I try to single out one thing. How about we chalk it up to becoming a writer? No one in my family (including myself) or my friends saw that one coming. Oh, the fun surprises God throws our way. J

Don’t you just love it when He does that? When did you first discover you were a writer?
Discover is such an interesting word choice. I took a creative writing class in high school just for fun, but I didn’t take the teacher’s suggestion to enter a short-story contest. Boy, now do I wish I’d listened. J heehee. However, it wasn’t until January 2011 that I started to discover what God had up His sleeve. At an evening church service, unexpectedly, my pastor had everyone pray for me that I would find a job. That very night and on through morning, an idea burned in my brain. It wouldn’t let up until I put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard). Then and there, I knew God had called me to write. The rest, as they say, is history. J

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Ooo, fun question. J I love reading my Bible. Oh, you mean fiction. Well, I just can’t get enough Christian historical romance. Set it in the west, and it’s even better. J I also enjoy Christian romantic suspense and some inspirational contemporary romance as well.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Sanity? What’s that? LOL. J

Truly, Christ is my Anchor. He is the one who keeps my head … in the clouds? J Looking for Him to return for His church. He’s my Everything, and He’s the One who makes life worth living.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Oh, I’ve found them in lots of places—my family tree, government censuses, cemetery listings… (Yes, I know I’m weird, but it takes all kinds. J )

Very good places to look and not at all weird to another writer. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Choosing Jesus as my Savior. Everything else is only secondary.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Hmm…what kind of animal is unique, loyal, loving, enjoys both play and sleep, but fiercely determined … ? I think I just described a dog. Hmm … is there any other more exotic, exciting animal that describes? (No offense to the dog lovers out there. J )

What is your favorite food?
Anything Italian … or deer meat

I love both, but I haven’t had any venison to cook since my father went home to glory. I’d like some right now. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I guess I’d have to say lack of self-confidence. Some days, I think we all still struggle with that. But like with any struggle, we overcome by the Word of God.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” ~ Philippians 4:13

What He says is truth. Anything else is a lie of the devil. Also it helps to not compare ourselves to others. (Romans 12:1-3)

Tell us about the featured book.
Win, Love, or Draw is an inspirational historical romance set in the west about a Texas horsewoman whose world erupts into chaos when her absentee husband returns home with his troubles trailing not far behind.

Here’s the blurb:
Catherine McGarrett is a strong woman. Life in Texas demands such. For five years, she has built a growing horse ranch while praying for the return of the one man who stole her heart and shattered it in a million pieces when he left.
Now he’s back.

Samuel McGarrett rides into Cater Springs, Texas, toting two six-shooters and too many scars. The trouble and pain from the past erupts around the couple. And not just in their marriage.

Can Sam win Catherine’s trust? Will their love survive? Or will his final draw be his last?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Tuesday, November 13, 1877—Cater Springs, Texas
Catherine McGarrett jolted to a halt on the bustling boardwalk outside Koch’s Mercantile. Tighter than a cinch strap, her focus fastened on an unexpected form farther up the dirt street. It couldn’t be … Her heart stopped, then slammed with renewed vigor against her rib cage. A chill skidded down her spine that had little to do with the crisp November breeze and everything to do with the apparition riding through the middle of town.

“Ouch! Mama, you’re hurtin’ me.”
“Huh?” Catherine dragged her gaze from the busy road filled with wagons and cowboys to the five-year-old who picked at her grip. “Oh, I’m sorry.”

She loosened her hold on his arm, all the while striving to keep sight of the fetching rider with the black duster and tan horse. The brisk wind whipped a strand of her blond hair across her cheek, but she paid it little heed as she followed the pair’s progress. Her wayward husband invaded her dreams often enough. What were the chances her mind would play tricks on her in the daylight?

Benin, I know this might sound silly, but do you see a dark-haired man with a black Stetson riding toward the livery?”

“You mean that fella on the buckskin there?” Her son pointed at the figment of her imagination.

“Yes’m, I see ’im.”

“You do? Well. Good.” Catherine released her son, lest he feel her sudden shaking. “I’m glad to know I’m not imagining things. Let’s put our purchases in the wagon, shall we?”

Benin’s gaze bore into her while they rounded to the back of their buckboard.

Loud yapping broke the hum of ordered activity. A mangy mutt dashed across the street in pursuit of a striped cat, racing straight toward the cowboy. Harnessed horses reared. Wagon drivers shouted their displeasure and fought to keep their rigs from spilling into the street. The sandy buckskin veered around the chaos with ease. Well trained.

Her mouth went dry.

Were any of the general’s men in town? A quick scan of the various establishments and sidewalks yielded nothing, but then again, she only knew one of their faces. No, they preferred to terrorize her from the shadows. Wait. What was she thinking? The general and his cohorts wouldn’t know what Sam looked like; they’d never met him. Besides, that might not even be him. A breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding seeped from her lungs.

Benin handed her his small parcel. “Mama, do you know that man?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m so glad you asked. J Readers can connect with me at my website or on my blog, my Amazon Author pageGoodreadsPinterestGoogle+, or on my Facebook author page.

I look forward to “seeing” y’all!

Thanks so much, Lena, for having me as a guest on your blog!

It's my great pleasure and blessing to feature you here. I know my readers will be as eager to read your book as I am.

Dear Readers, if you click on the title link in the interview, it will take you to the Amazon page for the book.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book, your choice of a print or Ebook. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

Yee-haw for westerns! Can't get enough of 'em!
J.C. -Indiana-

Anonymous said...

would love to win. angela in ky

Crystal L Barnes said...

Haha,J.C. You bless my heart. That about chalks up how I feel about 'em too. :D

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Angela! I hope you get a chance to read Win, Love, or Draw. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Linda Shenton Matchett said...

Hi Crystal: Great interview. How fun to learn more about you. Looking forward to reading your book. Being an East-coast girl, I don't read too many westerns. Guess I need to change that!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Linda!!! So glad you stopped by! Yes, you most definitely need to change that. :) Broaden your horizons, gal. I hope you enjoy Win, Love, or Draw. :)

Connie said...

As the daughter of a western-loving Daddy, I enjoy reading a good western and reminiscing about times past.
Happy New Year!
Connie from KY

Crystal L Barnes said...

I hear ya, Connie, but my mama loves the westerns more than my dad. :)

Happy New Year to you too!

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for a great interview. Crystal has a good one on her hands! Thank you for the opportunity.

Melanie Backus, TX

Crystal L Barnes said...

Aww, thanks, Melanie. :) So glad you could stop by.

Mary Preston said...

A fun interview with all of the smiley faces.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

I enjoyed the interview and Crystal's spunk. The excerpt has me wanting more. I would love to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Raechel said...

Thank you for the interview and giveaway - sounds like an interesting book to be sure!
Raechel in MN :)

Wendy Newcomb said...

You had me with the first paragraph, sounds like a winner!

Wendy in FL

wfnren at aol dot com

Beth Gillihan said...

I love western novels! Sounds like a good read! Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Brenda Arrington said...

Can't wait to read this one, Crystal. I enjoyed the interview. Happy New Year!
Brenda in VA

Kim Amundsen said...

Sounds like a great read. Love the title and the cover. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom. North Platte Nebraska

Beth S. said...

So nice to meet you, Crystal! You are on my wishlist and I look forward to reading your work!
West Salem, IL

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Mary P! So glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Cindy! You made me smile. :) Glad you enjoyed the interview and I hope you get a chance to enjoy Win, Love, or Draw. :) Thanks for coming by!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Raechel! Thanks so much. I hope it sounds interesting. :) So glad you could stop by.

Crystal L Barnes said...

Haha! Wendy, that's what a writer loves to hear! :) So glad you could drop by. I hope you get an opportunity to read it.

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Beth G! I love westerns too. Glad you like the sounds of this'n. Hope you get an opportunity to read it. :) Thanks so much for coming by today!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Brenda! I can't wait for you to read it too. ;) Thanks for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

Happy New Year to you too!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Kim A! Thanks for the compliment. I actually designed the cover, and I really enjoy coming up with titles. :) Glad you enjoyed the interview, and I hope you get to enjoy Win, Love, or Draw too. :)

Happy Trails!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Nice to meet you too, Beth S! You just blessed my heart. I hope you enjoy the story. :) Happy Trails!

Trixi said...

You have all the elements in a book I love....western, romance, a little mystery, romance, reunion story, romance.....you get the idea....lol! And I can tell just by the first page that it's gonna be a doozy of a story. I can see all sorts of sparks flying, and not all in a good way....sounds like Samuel has a lot of 'splaining to do :-) Would love to read this one! Thank you for the chance :-)
I enjoyed getting to know you through this interview. I also like to go to cemeteries, not for character names, but I like to find the oldest ones! It's always sad though when I find them for small children or babies who never had a chance. Probably because the birth mortality decades ago wasn't so great, some women/babies losing their life in childbirth or by stillbirth. What heartache for the families! But I do find it fascinating that some of the older tombstones are so ornate. There's a lot of history there :-) So glad I'm not the only weird one here...haha!

Trixi in OR

Crystal L Barnes said...

LOL! Trixi, you are definitely not the only weird one here. :D I also love to ponder the stories of those who've gone before, and I try to find the old grave stones too. Sounds like you're like-minded history lover.
I hope you get a chance to enjoy Win, Love, or Draw. I'm glad it has the elements you love. Hope you don't mind a bit of humor--that's tossed in the mix too. ;)

P.S. Do I detect a hint of a fellow Lucille Ball lover too? :)

Happy Trails!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun book, and you sound fun, too. :)

-Melissa M. in TN

Crystal L Barnes said...

Haha! Thanks, Melissa. I hope you get a chance to read Win, Love, or Draw. :)

Trixi said...

Crystal, I surely do love humor in my stories, you betcha! I enjoy a book I can laugh out loud with and have my hubby look at me like I'm a crazy woman :-) 'Course he already knows that I am, but married me anyway....lol!
Funny thing is too with history, I hated it in High School! I couldn't keep track of all the dates/people/events in my mind. But I'm finding that I learn a whole heap when I read historical fiction (which is my top favorite genre) & now find it rather fasinating. And a good author will do their research to be accurate historically-wise & savvy enough to sprinkle it in here and there!
Last thing....you and I are kindred spirits if you love Lucille Ball :-) I Love Lucy show always makes me laugh till I cry, I think my two favorite episodes are the chocolate factory & the Vitameatavegamin one. Oh my, such classic slap-stick humor :-) The oldies are goodies to me! Now I have a hankering to go find an episode or two just for the laughs...HA!

Crystal L Barnes said...

LOL! Trixi, we are definitely kindred spirits. :) The oldies are the goodies for sure. I've got the whole I Love Lucy collection. I think my favorites include the Vitametavegin episode, The Diet, and LA at last. Laugh-out-loud funny!

I think a lot of folks would love history more in school if they made it come alive like we find in historical fiction. I was the same way. I did it 'cause I had too. Now I love finding those gems in fiction and when I research. My head is filled with "useless" knowledge. :-)

Edward Arrington said...

I would really love to win this book. I love books with a western setting - some of my favorites are western. I like paper.
Edward A in VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me for the book copy!!!
Conway, SC.

apple blossom said...

oh, sounds like a good book that I'd totally enjoy reading. thanks for the chance to win a copy. live in ND

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Edward! Thanks for stopping by! I love me some westerns too. I hope you get a chance to read Win, Love, or Draw. :)

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Sharon! I love your enthusiasm. :) So glad you dropped by! Happy Trails.

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi apple blossom. :) I hope you get a chance to totally enjoy Win, Love, or Draw. Thanks for commenting. :) Happy Trails!

rubynreba said...

I enjoy historical books set in the west so I know I will enjoy this.
Beth from IA

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Beth! I hope you do get to enjoy Win, Love, or Draw. Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy New Year!

Terrill R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terrill R. said...

Crystal, I am so excited to see your book spotlighted here. This series sounds so fun! I wouldn't expect anything less, b/c you're fun personality shines on the "stitches" blog. I wish you continued success.

Terrill - WA

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a interesting book. Shelia Hall sheliarha64@yahoo.com

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Terrill!!! You're so sweet. Thanks so much for your kind words and for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to enjoy Win, Love, or Draw.

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Shelia! I'm glad you think so. I hope you get an opportunity to enjoy it. :) Have a great week! Happy New Year!

Sydney Harries said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway! Sydney Harries GA

Lourdes said...

Book sounds like it will be fun reading looking forward to it.

Lourdes Long Island, NY

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Sydney!! I'm glad you like the sound of it. :) Hope you get a chance to enjoy Win, Love, or Draw. Thanks for stopping by!

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Lourdes! I hope you enjoy Win, Love, or Draw. Thanks so much for dropping by! Have a great weekend!