Hi friends 🙂
I’ve had the delightful pleasure of getting to know Crystal Walton over the past few weeks, and – since she’s chatting with me today here on the blog – you can too!
Amidst multiple moves up and down the east coast, Crystal received her bachelor of arts from Messiah College in PA, married her exact opposite in upstate NY, and earned her master of arts from Regent University in VA, where she currently resides with her husband. She writes inspirational romances with humor, broken characters, and emotional plots full of grace and hope. When not working her accounting day job, she’s delving into the wonder of words, supporting her Starbucks habit, or laughing over movie quotes & singing eighties songs with her husband.
Connect with Crystal
Crystal is also teaming up with authors Nicole Deese, Tammy L. Gray, Jessica R. Path, Melanie Snitker, Melissa Tagg, and Susan May Warren for a Facebook Party on Monday, October 10th starting at 6:30pm EST. There’ll be author chats, giveaways, swag, free books, and plenty of laughs, for sure. 🙂 And they’re giving away a Kindle Fire so don’t miss it! Click on the image below to RSVP!
Crystal’s book, Write Me Home, is “a sweet romance full of nostalgia, forgiveness, and second chances”.
He lives by his heart. She lives by her plans. Until an unseen enemy and growing affection threaten control of both.
Returning to his hometown in the Catskills is the last thing firefighter Ethan DeLuca’s ready for. He’d rather leave memories where they belong–buried under ashes. But if he doesn’t step up to take care of Nonna, who will? Working at the camp down the road seems like the perfect solution. Until his feisty redheaded boss ends up being one fire he has no idea how to put out.
Cassidy McAdams is on a mission. Get the camp Grandpa left her ready to sell, turn enough profit to bail Mom’s business out of foreclosure, and hightail it back to her life in New York City. With unexpected complications mounting, she can’t afford any distractions. Especially a ridiculously charming one who’s eager to rescue her at every turn.
It’d be easier on them both to hide behind professional boundaries. But when unexplained attacks on the camp ignite a connection between them they can’t ignore, running away is no longer an option.
Welcome to the blog, Crystal! I start everyone out with a fast four –
Crystal: Apples. I’m going to blame this one on growing up in NY.
Carrie: There is no blame when it comes to apples. Only good.
Crystal: Is this a genuine question? j/k 😉 Summer! Seriously, I get goosebumps in temps below 70. I’m definitely not made for the cold.
Carrie: Is ‘summer’ a genuine answer? LOL just kidding. I guess. #teamwinter
Crystal: Cats. Dogs drool and slobber. The end.
Carrie: <crickets> I’m not sure we can continue with our chat. Zuzu is highly insulted. The end. 😉
I assured Her Highness that you couldn’t possibly have meant that … that it’s the cooler fall weather giving you goosebumps & affecting your judgment. She’s deigned to allow the Q&A to proceed but it was a close one 😉
Moving on… quickly.
Crystal: I’m a 100% super fan of green tea. I could get into all the health reasons, but bottom line is, I don’t like the taste of coffee. 🙂
Carrie: Ugh. Me either. And green tea is the only tea I can tolerate too.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Crystal: Does typing while a cat is trying to hog the keyboard count? Lol For real, it’s a talent.
Carrie: haha! yes, I think so. I’ve tried typing while all 65 pounds of Zuzu tries to sit on my lap. It takes skill. LOL.
You and I share a love for “good, compelling fiction” – the kind you just cannot tear yourself away from once you’ve started reading it. What are a couple of books you’ve read lately that you would place in this category?
Crystal: I prefer stories that focus on a character’s journey of learning to tear down lies/doubts, uncover a kindling of faith to see themselves as they really are, and accept love, forgiveness, and grace. Throughout that journey, we tend to fail. Miserably. We wrestle with temptations. We make bad decisions. We give in to fears. It’s not always pretty. So, for me, stories that capture the raw, identifiable brokenness we all go through in a way that highlights how amazingly beautiful redemption can be is what really sets a story apart. The most recent book I’ve read like this is Kristen Heitzmann’s Told You So. (Honestly, all her books fit in this category for me!)
Carrie: YES! Love her books – and loved Told You So too. Told You Twice is amazing as well!
If you and your husband had an 80s music karaoke sing-off, who would win?
Crystal: LOL Oh, if only you could hear my husband attempt to sing, it would make this question even funnier. You know the part in The Notebook when Noah’s trying to sing to Allie in the street, and she tells him he’s a terrible singer, but she likes this song anyway. Yeah, that’s us. Dave sometimes calls me at work to sing a song on the radio he knows we like. All I can do is listen and smile at his off-tune serenade, which makes me love him even more.
Carrie: haha! I love it!
In your book Write Me Home, the hero Ethan “lives by his heart” while the heroine Cassidy “lives by her plans”. Which one do you most closely resemble?
Crystal: Oooh, confession time! Truth be told, I wish I were more like Ethan, but I tend to have much more of Cass’s cautious, analytical, and pensive nature. Total opposite of my husband, I geek out over details and organization, think through things before speaking, and map out schedules on date books. The idea of flying off the cuff gives me hives. 🙂
Carrie: Geeking out over details and organization is fun! (hello, Trello!)
Besides the heart vs. plans debate, what are five words (for each character) that describe Ethan and Cassidy?
Crystal: Ethan – Protective. Passionate. Handy. Broken. Vulnerable. Cassidy – Responsible. Headstrong. Guarded. Brave. Wounded.
Carrie: One is broken and one is wounded – but in spite of this they are respectively passionate and brave. I love that.
On your website, you’ve put together soundtracks for some of your other books. Which songs inspired you as you wrote Write Me Home?
Crystal: If you read any of my books, you’ll very quickly pick up on the theme of the beauty/power of art. As a HUGE lover of all things artsy, I can’t help weaving different art forms into each other, which sometimes translates into soundtracks for books. 🙂 I didn’t create an official one for WMH, but here are a few songs that resonate:
“Worth Living For” by Nicole Serrano
“All She Wants Is You” by Dave Barnes
“Penguin” by Christina Perri
“Tell Her You Do” by Dave Barnes
“The Sun Will Rise” by JJ Heller
“Page Is Turned” By Bebo Norman
Carrie: Ahhhhhh!!! “Page is Turned” is one of my very favorite songs! So beautiful!
Crystal – again, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Crystal: Almost every one of my reviews for Write Me Home mentioned hoping Ti would have her own story, so that’s what I’m currently working on. Begin Again is set in a tiny beach town in the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina. The hero and heroine have a bit of a Luke and Lorelai (from Gilmore Girls) relationship, which has been a blast to write. Ti is so eccentric, her character cracks me up half the time while I’m writing. But we also get to dive into some real wounds and questions that, frankly, I don’t have answers for. So, in a lot of ways, it’s both challenging and encouraging as I meet God’s grace for my own life on these pages. Humor, banter, romance, family, healing, and of course, art and redemption—I think it’s going to be a fun one.
Carrie: I can’t wait to read it!!!
Crystal is graciously offering an ebook copy of Write Me Home to one of my readers!
What about you? Do you live more by your heart or by your plans?