Dear Readers, when I first read Crystal Barnes’s debut novel, I told people that she is an author to watch. Her stories really grabbed my heart, and her writing is wonderful. I have to confess that I haven’t read this one yet, because my copy hasn’t arrived. The other two grabbed me and wouldn’t let go until I finished reading them. And she does her own covers, which I loved, too. So I asked her to design the cover for The Gold Digger. The cover wasn’t what I expected, but I loved it. When she told me she prayed about the cover and this was the design that came to her, I knew why.
Welcome back, Crystal. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Tell us a little about your family.
Ooo, what a question. We love playing games—board games, card games, etc. My parents both came from big families so get-togethers can be a bit chaotic. And loud. Quietness is not our strong suite. Maybe that’s ’cause we grew up playing outside in the sticks where noise didn’t matter so much. J There’s always loads of laughter, though when we get together.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Oh my, yes! I don’t get near as much reading time as I used to, but reading is still one of my definite ways to recharge those creative juices. I also know when I get a hold of a good book because I’ll stop wanting to pick it apart and get sucked into the story. Oh, the woes of an author. J
Recovering from a book launch. J My novella Signed, Sealed, and Delighted has the special thrill of currently being included in the Texas Historical Romance collection titled Lone Star Love alongside four other great authors. We threw a week-long Facebook party to celebrate. Loads of fun!
I’m also working on my next story Hook, Line, & Suitor (Marriage & Mayhem series, book 3). Ideas for a future series are also swimming in my brain.
What outside interests do you have?
Outside as in outdoors? Or outside as in “not in my office”? LOL. I’m looking forward to a trip this summer. We hope to spend family time horseback riding, hiking, swimming, and maybe even finding a museum or two. OH, and how could I forget fishing! We hope to do that as well.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Well, I know
I’ve lived here all my life and have been traveling all over it since I was a
kiddo. So I work with what I know. Although all my places so far have been
fictionalized, oft times loosely based on real places. I’ve also based some of
the houses in my stories on homes that I’ve toured on some of my trips. I’ve
got pictures of some of them up on my website (www.crystal-barnes.com).
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Hmm…that’s a hard one. I talk to Jesus every day. He’s both past, present, and future. Other than Him, perhaps…hmm…I don’t know. Annie Oakley? Or maybe one of my ancestors who first came to
Texas in the 1840s?
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Oy, another hard one. Maybe…don’t rush the learning process. I know some of us have to learn the hard way, but taking the time to learn from others mistakes and successes is never a waste.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Trusting Him amidst the chaos. Being an author (a human), there are so many things that demand my time and focus. New things pop up often. If we listen too much to the “noise” around us, we get all jumbled up and may miss what He’s trying to tell us or teach us in that moment. I don’t want to miss anything He is saying or teaching me. I love Him and I want how I spend my time to reflect that. He knows what I need to get done and when it needs doing.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Follow God’s leading.
Write to please Him. Not others. He’ll take it from there. J
Those are so true. Tell us about the featured book.
Signed, Sealed, and Delighted is an adapted version of one of the first stories I ever wrote, the first story that God really dropped into my heart and sealed my calling to write for Him. Originally released as the short story “Let's Make a Deal,” Signed, Sealed, and Delighted is more than double the length and packed with even more fun, faith, and friction than before. As I mentioned earlier, it’s currently being featured in the collection Lone Star Love with fellow authors Janice Thompson, Kathleen Y’Barbo, Vickie McDonough, and Marcia Gruver.
Here’s the blurb:
Her father's dying wish changes everything ... After years of working in the Cater Springs’ clinic, Sarah Asher never planned on marriage. However, she neglected to mention that to her pa. Determined to fulfill his dying wish, despite her well-informed fears, Sarah marries Joseph Matthews but only after a few signed and sealed promises. One in particular—he can kiss any dreams of sharing a room with her goodbye.
Joe has never had any luck with woman, and marriage doesn’t seem prone to change that. Sarah might be a handsome filly and his only ticket to inheriting the ranch promised him, but she’s pricklier than a barrel cactus and more temperamental than a
tornado. Keeping his distance from her should be easy. Only it isn’t. The
beautiful woman attracts trouble and constantly requires saving, putting her
well within arms’ reach.
Will signed promises seal their fate to a loveless marriage, or can Sarah move past her fears to find a love worth delighting in?
Please give us the first page of the book.
May 25th, 1877 –
“Young man, this is normally when you say ‘I do.’”
Joseph Matthews shifted his focus from Sarah Asher to the silver-haired preacher who stood grinning at him. Swallowing, Joe resisted the urge to tug at his collar. He’d sealed his fate with those two words weeks ago just before digging her father’s grave, but today they threatened to crawl back down his throat and strangle him.
Allen Asher’s bloody but relieved face flashed through Joe’s mind. Shaking away the searing image, he wiped sweat from his forehead. That stampede had changed everything. That, and Allen’s dying wish. His mentor knew Joe had no luck with women. Why had he made such an outlandish request? Why did marrying Allen’s daughter have to be the only way to get the ranch he’d promised Joe, the ranch he’d put years of blood and sweat into?
“Son?” The old preacher shifted and placed a weathered hand on his Bible.
Twin lines formed between Sarah’s dark brows.
“Uh, sorry.” Joe rubbed at the tension building in his neck. “I do.”
With a tilt of her head, Sarah eyed him, then turned her attention to the preacher who was posing the same question to her.
Joe let his gaze slide the length of his soon-to-be wife. Maybe marrying Sarah might not be so bad. After all, she was a mighty handsome woman. Even bathed in trail dust. And wearing a Stetson. A smile tugged at his lips. Did she realize she still wore her hat? Doubtful. What female in her right mind got married in a cowboy hat? Then again, who would confuse Sarah for most women? If her raven locks didn’t set her apart, her mouth would the minute she opened it.
“I…” Deep green eyes wide with uncertainty sought his, then shifted back toward the preacher. “Excuse us a moment, Reverend?”
“Uh, of course.”
Joe looked at the minister in stunned astonishment a split second before Sarah grabbed his arm and tugged him down the aisle of the small, stuffy church to within a foot of the exit.
“What’s the matter?” The words hissed through his lips. “I thought this is what we’d agreed upon?”
Sarah peeked at the preacher, then answered in the same hushed volume. “There are a few things I need to make sure of first.”
“You couldn’t have mentioned that a day ago? Or maybe even an hour? The preacher’s waiting.”
“Do you want to keep your word to my father or not?”
Joe frowned. “You know I’m a man of my word. Now what’s this about?”
“You mean there’s more than one?”
Readers, see what I mean. Doesn’t that make you want to run out and get her book right now?
, how can readers
find you on the Internet? Crystal
I’m so glad you asked. J Readers can connect with me at my website or on my blog, my Amazon Author page, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, or on my Facebook author page.
I look forward to “seeing” y’all!
Thanks so much,
having me as a guest on your blog!
It’s my great pleasure to feature you here,
Readers, here are links to the books. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Signed, Sealed, and; Delighted: Prequel Novella (Marriage and; Mayhem Book 0)
Lone Star Love: Five Historical Romances Set in the Lone Star State
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the your choice of the books. 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:
I've seen this book before! It sounds really great! Can't wait to read it!
Glad you like the sounds of it, JC. I hope you get an opportunity to enjoy it. :-)
I look forward to having the chance to read this. It sounds like a great story!
I hope you get a chance to enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by. :-)
Would love to win!! I am from the awesome state of Texas:)
Great interview. Blessings on your writing, Crystal.
I think the way this blog features a first page is brilliant because I immediately noticed that Crystal has a captivating writing style. Looks to be really good!!Thanks for this giveaway.
~Amanda from Florida
Woohoo! Another Texan! :-)
Thanks so much, ma'am. Nice of you to stop by. :-)
Aww, thanks, Amanda. I hope you get a chance to enjoy the rest of story as well. How are things in Florida?
I love this book. Sweet romance with a touch of humor. Great interview ladies!
I enjoyed the interview thank you.
This sounds like a wonderful book. I would truly love to win a copy.
Smiles & Blessings,
I live in Indiana
Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)
Thanks, Cindy. I hope you get a chance to enjoy it. :) Thanks for stopping in.
Aww, thanks, Marcia.
Hi Crystal, I loved reading your interview and especially enjoyed learning that you'd like to spend time with Annie Oakley. There was a popular TV show when I was young about Annie and I loved that she had her own horse and wasn't afraid of 'those bad guys'!
Connie from KY
Why have I never seen this author before? She sounds like a fun, delightful author to read. I'd love to have this book Signed, Sealed, and Delighted because it sounds like one of those light hearted, easy reads that we all need sometimes to find that moment to relax and recharge.
Vera in the middle of North Carolina
Thanks, Lena, for another lovely review
Thank you, Crystal. I'm still new at responding to blogs so my reply was in the wrong spot. Two hours south of me in Orlando, our state still has many hurting families, but in my quiet corner of Florida, the weather is hot and the day beautiful.
Crystal, your book sounds like such a fun read! Your Sarah's spunk.
Sandy Q. TX
I live in North Dakota. Thanks for the chance to win. Sounds awesome
Hi Connie! I think I've seen some of those shows. I've even had folks jokingly use her name as a nickname for me. :-)
So glad you dropped by.
Hi Vera! Nice to "meet" you. :-) I hope you get to enjoy the story. I love books that grip you and take you to another time and place. Hopefully my books are that kind of escape for you. :-) So glad you could drop by.
Hi Sandy! Glad you like the sound of it. I like me some spunky gals. ;-) Thanks so much for coming by.
Thanks! So glad you dropped by. :-) Hope you get an opportunity to enjoy the story.
I imagine they still are. Glad you're able to enjoy a quiet corner. I've been enjoying the beautiful outdoors this week too.
Reading the first page got me hook. Also enjoyed the interview. Would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance.
Brenda in VA
Beautiful cover! The first page has me wanting to read the rest of the book!
Thank you for the giveaway:)
Lientjie QLD, Australia
Glad you liked it, Brenda. Hope you get it an opportunity to read more of it. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks, Lientjie. I worked hard on that cover. :-) I hope you get an opportunity to enjoy all of the story. Appreciate you dropping by.
I absolutely love the titles to Crystal's books! Hope to get the chance to read this one.
Jasmine in Montana
Hi Jasmine! I hope you get an opportunity to read it to. :-)
(I do love me some titles. 😉) Thanks so much for stopping by.
Enter me for the paper back book copy!!
Hi Sharon! Thanks for stopping in. 😃
This story looks like it will be a lot of fun to read. Love those first page blurbs!
Pam in OH
Thanks, Pam. Hope you get an opportunity to enjoy the whole story. :) So glad you dropped by!
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