Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Crystal L. Barnes {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Crystal...

An award-winning author, Crystal L Barnes also happens to be a born-n-raised Texan and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She has a degree in Computing Science because she loves putting things into their proper place, and she enjoys writing because she gets to share her love of old-fashioned things and the Lord. You can also find her watching old sitcoms like I Love Lucy. :)

Connect with Crystal...

Find Crystal at her website,
Connect on her blog and Stitches Thru Time group blog
Amazon Author page
Facebook author page
Want to be notified of her latest releases and other fun tidbits? Subscribe to her newsletter
Purchase: Love, Stock & Barrel

Get to know Crystal L. Barnes

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

God called me to write in January of 2011. I never saw it coming. :) I am enjoying the ride though. He’s taught me so much and helped me to grow in countless ways as a writer and as a child of God. I’ve spent countless hours reading ever since I stumbled over Janette Oke books in my middle school library. From there our Christian romance library began to grow with authors like Lori Wick, Dee Henderson, Mary Connealy, Janice Thompson, Karen Witemeyer… I could be here all day. :) Suffice it say I’ve always enjoyed true Christian fiction where the spiritual thread is so interwoven into the story that if you were to remove it the story/plot would fall apart. That’s the kind of stories I strive to write—one’s that will minister to hearts in a time of need like those stories did for me and continue to do today. That’s where my heart lies.

Emilie here: I used to devour Janette Oke books when I was younger! I love the purpose you feel for your writing!

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book...

Why did you write it? 
Well, I needed a second story for my Marriage & Mayhem series, so I knew it had to have marriage and mayhem. I figured a shotgun wedding qualified for that pretty well. J However, I wanted this to be different from your average shotgun wedding tale. Most folks know that a shotgun wedding normally has the gun pointed at the fella. Well, I figured I’d through a twist into it and see what would happen if the gun was pointed at the gal for a change. J Thus was born the story Love, Stock, & Barrel. :)
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
Hope. With God, there is always hope for every circumstance we face, no matter how hard. And trust me, I throw some hard stuff at Dinah and Russell.

Was there a passage of scripture you came across or used while writing it that you’d like to share?
“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”—Philippians 4:11–13 
Did you get to do any fun research for the book? 
Oh, I got to learn a lot about guns and rifles of the old west. (My heroine grew up in a gunsmith shop after all). At a Texas Ranger museum, I got to take apart and reassemble a Colt Peacemaker. Do you know those things weigh as much as a bag of sugar? (Right at 5 1bs.) I also learned which rifles and handguns used the same bullets. I visited Colorado Bend and Inks Lake State Parks in the Texas hill country – beautiful!

Emilie here: Sounds like SO much fun!

What made you choose the setting for the book? 
I chose Crystal Falls, Texas for a couple of reasons. For one, I’m a Texan, born-n-raised, so I write what I know. Second, in 2014, I wrote a short story called Husband Hunting (currently released in the Out of the Storm collection) that was set in the imaginary town of Crystal Falls, Texas. I had such fun with the characters and location I wanted to go back. :) So I did. J Love, Stock, & Barrel starts in the east but I don’t take long in getting my gal to Texas. :) Crystal Falls is loosely based upon places I’ve visited in the Texas Hill Country.


Let’s talk about your writing life....

How long did you write before you got published? 
I started learning the craft of writing in January 2011. I’ve been learning ever since but plunged into the published pond in 2015 with two short stories and my first full-length novel Win, Love, or Draw.

Are you a Panster or Plotter? 
Pantster…although I’m trying to be a more focused pantster. (If that’s even possible :D )

Emilie here: I am right there with you - and I'm hoping it's possible too hehe.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing? 
Write from the heart. Do what God tells you to do. He’ll bring the right people across your path when you need them. Trust Him to lead the way because He loves you and won’t steer you wrong. One verse I have stuck up in my house is Psalm 25:12 (NASB), “Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.”


What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it? 
Historical Romance – if it’s set in the west even better. J I love the exciting time, the challenge of living off the land without modern conveniences, a time when men lived and died by their word, and held their families dear.

What’s your favorite green food?
Hmmm… I guess that’d be a tossup between green beans and spinach.

If you could travel to any location and stay there for one month where would you go? 
Ooo, hard one. There are so many great places in Texas to visit. Palo Duro Canyon is gorgeous. But there are also countless lakes and streams to drop a line into and relax a day away. However, last year I got to see Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota, such wide open spaces and towering peaks. There’s a ranch outside of Yellowstone tucked up next to a mountain and opposite a beautiful lake. I could gladly disappear there for a while (as long as it’s warm or I stay that way :D ).

What are you currently reading?  
Love Me Tender by Janice Thompson 
I have a TBR list a mile long that I hope to get to visit more often. :)

Emilie here: Amen and I hear you on that one! My TBR is about a mile long too haha! But thanks for taking time out to chat with us here!

Check it out:

Crystal is offering a 15% discount coupon for your readers to use in my author estore. Simply enter the code SIGNINGDEAL at checkout:

Store link:

Don't miss this opportunity readers!!!

Love, Stock, & Barrel 
(Marriage & Mayhem, Book 2)

Hiding from a rat of a fiancé, Dinah Lexington makes tracks for Texas and who she hopes is her late mother’s relative. She’s seeking answers but finds more than she bargains for when she gets caught in a shotgun wedding—with the rifle pointed at her.

Russell Cahill can’t believe his father is demanding he marry the feisty redhead. The sharpshooting female would only add to his troubles, but how does one argue with a gun and an attraction he's fought to ignore?

Sparks fly. Secrets surface. Loss threatens.

Will a dream for love shatter forever, or will the pair find a marriage worth lock, stock, and barrel?

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