Ti Russo is in the house today, y’all!! (Or… however you say “you guys” in New York speak.)
In case you haven’t yet met Ti, she is the best friend to Cass in Crystal Walton’s Write Me Home and the heroine in her own story (because that’s how heroines typically work) – Begin Again.
And in case you haven’t met Crystal Walton yet …
Crystal writes relevant, 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.
You can read Ti’s story in Crystal’s latest release, Begin Again.
What happens when a free-spirited artist from big-city New York collides with an uptight business owner from small-town Ocracoke? Fireworks. The kind neither saw coming.
A single call is all it takes to drive artist Ti Russo into what she does best. Run. But hey, lying low in a beach town for a while isn’t so bad. Thanks to the distraction of playing consultant to a guy she’s determined to crack, she can almost forget about the past stalking her back home. But she never counted on the real danger being a picket-fenced life she has no business falling for.
Focus and self-preservation have gotten single dad Drew Anderson through the last nine years. With the threat of his shop’s foreclosure jeopardizing his daughter’s health care, the last thing he needs is a distracting hippie chick swooping in to shake up what he’s fought to protect. Including himself. The bank’s deadline adds enough pressure without re-risking feelings better left buried.
But as sparks flare and secrets escalate, the race against time propels Ti and Drew into a choice neither’s ready to make: Find the faith to surrender their past or forfeit their only chance to begin again.
If you’re a Luke Danes and Lorelai Gilmore fan, you’ll love Drew and Ti’s sparring relationship, along with Begin Again’s small-town setting, quirky characters, and family bonds.
Hi Ti! I’m honored to have you on the blog! I met you in Write Me Home, and I’ve been looking forward to your story. Thank you so much for chatting with me! 🙂
I start all of my guests out with a fast four-
Ti: Oranges. Did you know vitamin C is great for your skin?
Carrie: I did not, actually!
Ti: Summer. Sooo many cuter shoes to wear.
Carrie: Like… flip flops, perhaps? 😉
Ti: As long as it can curl up in my lap and give smooches, I’ll take either.
Carrie: Then… dogs. Because I don’t know many cats who give smooches. LOL.
Ti: Is this a rhetorical question? I didn’t think anyone but Drew existed without coffee.
Carrie: I’m about to really blow your mind then… I don’t like either one 😀
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Ti: Other than knowing how to press Drew’s buttons? 😉 He’d say I’m a talented artist, that I see things other people miss when I’m photographing or painting a scene. It’s still hard to think of it as a gift, but I’m learning. (Just don’t tell him he was right)
Carrie: He won’t hear it from me… but I’m glad you’re embracing your artistic talent as a gift! You really are very talented!
Are there any favorite books that you’ve read lately?
Ti: Right now, I’m reading Ocracoke: The Pearl of the Outer Banks. Not that I need a book to tell me my new hometown is an unexpected treasure, but the next time Drew’s daughter, Maddie, wants to talk about Blackbeard’s tie to the island, I want to actually contribute something to the conversation other than smiles at her adorable enthusiasm.
Carrie: You had me at “Blackbeard”
If I snuck a peek in your bag right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Ti: That I don’t go anywhere without my essential oils. Never know when an uptight business owner needs a little help relaxing. 😉 It’d also tell you I’m a photographer, that I’m always taking voice notes on my cell, and I may or may not carry a caffeine IV around with me always.
Carrie: A caffeine IV definitely comes in handy. Not that I know this from experience or anything …
It’s safe to say that you’re free-spirited. It’s also safe to say that Drew Anderson is not. Without giving away too much, whose personality is most shaken up by your interactions?
Ti: At first, it was Drew, hands down. You should have seen the way he’d look at me when I’d catch him off guard. Priceless. But the deeper things went, the more he undid me. Like no one else ever has. Even now, I still wonder if he’s real. If it’s fair for my heart to still pound uncontrollably when his dimples edge too close. And don’t get me started about what seeing him in a Henley does to me. Yeah, I think it’s safe to say shaken is a good word. Or, you know, incapacitated works too.
Carrie: Is it weird if I agree with you about the Henley thing?
You’re from New York. The big city. Sooooo… what are you doing in teeny tiny Ocracoke, North Carolina? (Population 948)
Ti: Girl, you know how many times I asked that same question when I first got here? It was supposed to be a temporary escape. A vacation, sort of. At least, that’s what I pretended it to be. I never expected to fall for this white-picket-fenced beach town. But seriously, a few days here, and my willpower was toast. It’s the home I never realized how much I wanted.
Carrie: “the home I never realized how much I wanted” – I love that!
What’s something you’ve learned recently that you would like for my readers to take with them?
Ti: Looking over my life, I never would’ve believed God was working out a purpose through all I’ve gone through. Until I met Drew and the family who welcomed me as their own. As hard as it was to accept, I finally saw God’s grace through even the most painful of circumstances. Little by little, my heart learned to embrace the truth that good can come from heartache. That there’s nothing unredeemable. And even when we keep running, love never stops pursuing us.
Carrie: All my yeses, right there.
Girl, 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 Crystal Walton.
Ti: I’m so excited for this. The next installment in the Home In You series is going to feature my soon-to-be brother-in-law, Cooper. And let me tell you, chica, the man’s got a story to tell. One I’m dying to see unfold.
Carrie: I can’t wait for Cooper’s story!!
To celebrate Begin Again’s release, Crystal Walton is giving away some sweet goodies. Enter the giveaway on her website for a chance to take home these treats:
- A signed paperback of Begin Again
- A cute leather journal (pink, of course)
- A Jeremiah 29:11 bookmark
- An adorable coffee cup candle
- Two bottles of essential oils
- A box of Davidson’s Christmas tea
Ends on February 17th so head on over and enter!
What about you? Ti is really into her essential oils. Lavender is one of her faves. Do you use essential oils? If so, what’s a favorite of yours?