Let’s Chat! Crystal Joy

Welcome, Readers!

Crystal JoyI‘m very happy to re-introduce you to author Crystal Joy, who labels her contemporary sweet romances as deep-rooted romance.

Crystal is guest blogging this week about her new release, Shackled Heart

**Crystal is offering an ebook copy of Shackled Heart to someone who comments below!**

**Congratulations to Susan Snodgrass & Ann Ellison, winners of Shackled Heart drawing!**

Take It Away, Author Crystal Joy!

I’m so excited to talk about my latest release, Shackled Heart! It’s a contemporary romance novel that took me seven years to write and publish. Sharing this novel with readers is a dream come true! (Click to Tweet!)

Crystal Joy’s “What Ifs…” That Birthed Shackled Heart 

Charlie Grimm was in my head for a long time before I wrote the first draft of Shackled Heart. At first, I wanted him to be a man who had to go back to his small Iowa town, but didn’t want to. I wondered, what would make him not want to go home? Here was my thought process: Maybe he’s haunted by the past mistakes he made when he’d last lived in Maple Valley. What if he committed a crime there? If he committed a crime, then he would’ve gone to prison. If he went to prison, what kind of crime did he commit

Shackled Heart and Author Crystal Joy

The novel begins when Charlie is still in prison, waiting for his parole meeting. It took a lot of initial research to develop Charlie’s perspective. I’ve always been a rule-follower, or in other words a goody-too-shoes. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to commit a crime and live in prison for several years. (Click to Tweet!)

Shackled Heart Gets Personal for Crystal Joy


T
hen life intervened. After I wrote the second draft, someone I love went to prison. Suddenly, I had a close-hand look at what a person goes through while incarcerated. As a result, I put Shackled Heart away for a while. I couldn’t separate my life from Charlie’s story and it hurt too much to write the book. (Click to Tweet!)

Eventually, as the shock and pain lessened, Charlie’s story still tugged at my heart, and I knew it was a book I wanted to publish. (Click to Tweet!)

The Story Takes Shape

Enter Mackenna Christensen (nicknamed Mac). She’s the heroine of the novel and Charlie’s parole officer. Thankfully, the research for her character was much easier because my dad was a parole officer. I could call him at any time and ask him questions. Fun story—I was talking to him on the phone and asking him a question about parole when I went into labor with my son. I’ll never forget that moment!

Even though the research was easier, Mac’s character was initially hard for me to relate to. She grew up with two alcoholic parents who didn’t love her. Her idea of love is very jaded and she believes love can’t possibly exist; otherwise, why wouldn’t her parents love her? In her mind, to believe in love would mean that she is unlovable. (Click to Tweet!)

Author Crystal Joy’s Journey to Understanding Her Characters

Mac is very different from me, but when the person I love went to prison, I grew to understand her character arc—experiencing her anger, compassion, and love for Charlie (not that she views it as love, at first). Once I understood both characters, I wrote two more drafts and went through multiple revisions and edits.

Like I said earlier, sharing Shackled Heart with readers is a dream come true. Charlie and Mac’s story is very dear to my heart because of the personal experiences I’ve had over the last few years. This may sound odd, but writing those initial drafts truly prepared me for real-world experiences. (Click to Tweet!)

From the very beginning, Charlie’s story was meant to be about loving someone despite their past mistakes. I hope that readers can see and feel this as they read the novel. All too often, society quickly labels someone once they’ve made mistakes. They are a prisoner, criminal, liar, thief, murderer, or a “bad guy.” But they are so much more. They are a person, they are human, and just because mistakes landed them in prison doesn’t mean they are unworthy of our love and compassion.

I hope Charlie and Mac’s story shows the stilting power of guilt, the necessity of forgiveness, and the beauty of falling in love. (Click to Tweet!)

A Synopsis of Shackled Heart

 After losing his wife in a horrific car accident, Charlie Grimm believes that he deserves to pay for the life he stole. Haunted by his irreversible mistakes, Charlie vows he’ll never fall in love again, and who could see past his criminal conviction anyway?

MacKenna Christensen strives to support all of her parolees. But when she discovers Charlie is her client, she refuses to help him. She can never erase the gruesome images of his wife’s death. Yet when she sees Charlie’s anguish, she realizes he’s not the reckless monster she imagined.

As the disdain between Charlie and Mac turns to desire, guilt tears them apart. Is Mac willing to take a chance on a client at the risk of losing her job? Can Charlie forgive himself and open his heart to Mac, or will she become one more regret?

About Author Crystal Joy

Crystal Joy lives in Iowa with her family. She has two young children, who love playing with dolls, building blocks, and riding bikes. When she has a free moment with her husband, they love to dance awkwardly, watch reality TV, and visit real locations from their favorite books.

You can learn more about Crystal Joy at her website www.crystaljoybooks.com. If you want to sign up for her newsletter, “From My Heart to Yours,” you’ll receive exclusive giveaways, opportunities to enter contests, and noteworthy news. Click on this link to sign up: http://eepurl.com/cHgfZ9

You can also connect with her at:

Crystal@Crystaljoybooks.com

facebook.com/profile.php?id=14817699

twitter.com/CrystalJoyBooks

pinterest.com/crystaljoybooks

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Lord, how marvelous are Your ways in all of Earth. You promise to straighten our crooked paths and remove the rocks along our way. Crystal Joy serves as a beautiful example of a young woman who has held to Your promises. We pray You will expand her territory and bless every single word she writes for You. 

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Crystal Joy

  1. Ann Ellison

    A new to me author and her book sounds like a good one.

     
     
    1. Yes! Her personal connection to the “shackled” concept makes it very special. Thanks for stopping by, Ann. 🙂

       
       
    2. Thanks, Ann! I hope you enjoy reading my books!

       
       
  2. Susan Snodgrass

    Sounds good!

     
     
    1. Yes! Thanks for joining us, Susan!

       
       
    2. Thanks, Susan! I hope you enjoy reading Shackled Heart!

       
       
  3. Crystal, may I live with you? You are so lovely, inside and out. I just want to be around you 😊 Maybe some of you will rub off on me—like angel dust. Can’t wait to read Shackled Heart!

     
     
    1. Yes, of course, Linda! Please join me in Iowa. Thank you for your kind words. I’m excited for you to read Shackled Heart! Thank you again for hosting me on your amazing website.

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Crystal Joy!

Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, Author Crystal Joy!

Crystal JoyMeet Crystal Joy. This week we welcome this author whose pen name fits her photo perfectly: Crystal-clear Joy. 

I‘m excited to get to know Crystal better, and I think you will be, too. Please leave a comment in the Reply box below, and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a print copy of Crystal’s Completely Captivated.

Congratulations to Stacy Simmons, winner of a print copy of Crystal’s Completely Captivated!

Who Is Crystal Joy?

 

I write Contemporary Sweet Romance, but I like to refer to my writing as Deep Rooted Romance. 

First, I resigned from my teaching position as an 8th grade Language Arts teacher because I knew God was calling me to pursue a writing career. I loved my job. The students were fun and quirky, and I worked with an amazing staff. But God kept pushing me in another direction, and I knew I had to follow. It was really scary leaving a secure job to pursue a “not-so secure” career. (Click to Tweet That!)

Now I know I’m doing what I was called to do because every day when I sit down at my computer, I feel a sense of peaceful contentment wash over me. 

A Debut Experience for Crystal Joy

My first published book is titled Completely Captivated. It’s a collection of short fictionalized love stories about real-life couples.

My writing career did not start off like I thought it would. When I resigned from my teaching position, I intended to work on my sweet romance novels and publish them right away. But my novels needed a lot of revisions.

While I taught, I woke up at five in the morning to write, went to work, then lesson planned and graded at night. Writing at five in the morning did not create enticing, well-written books.

In the meantime, I wanted a way to connect with readers, so I wrote short love stories for real-life couples. Every month, I interviewed a new couple, wrote their story, and posted it on my website. The stories became such a hit that I decided to publish collections of these heartfelt stories. (Click to Tweet That!)

Right before I published Completely Captivated, a hurricane hit my publishing company, and the company didn’t think it would have my books printed in time. I had to push back the date of my book launch party, but it gave me more time to plan an amazing party.

What’s up with Crystal now?

Now I just finished my second book, Completely Yours. It’s the second collection of love stories. Although it’s a mix of love stories just like the first book (engagements, break-ups, weddings, tragic circumstances), this collection is much deeper than the first.

These couples really laid it all out there for you—questioning if their spouses still love them, if they should give up on long-distance relationships, if they should share their feelings with their childhood crushes. I love how open these couples were during their interviews because it made their stories realistic. Love isn’t easy. Relationships are hard work. (Click to Tweet That!)

Finally, I hope these heartfelt stories touch your heart as much as they did mine.

Ordering and Social Media Links for Crystal Joy:

Completely Captivated 

Completely Yours

Newsletter

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

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Lord, You are Joy. Your are the eternal source of joy for us, your children. How marvelous are Your ways in all the Earth. Crystal’s joy shines clearly because it’s from You. You are Love. You’ve called Crystal to write stories about love—fictionalized stories based on true love stories. How unique and captivating! Bless Crystal’s every word that lifts up Your glorious name: Love. ~ For Jesus’ sake 

 

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Crystal Joy!

  1. Stacy Simmons

    I thoroughly enjoyed your interview. I left teaching to go into another field as well. Your book sounds wonderful and I wish you the best in your new career.

     
     
    1. Thanks so much for joining in, Stacy.

       
       
    2. Thank you so much, Stacy! I hope your new profession is going well and you’ve found a job that you love!

       
       
  2. Marilyn R

    Completely Captivated and Completely Yours sound like wonderful romance stories to read. Thank you for sharing your writing journey and the leap of faith you took to pursue God’s will. Blessings as you continue to write for His glory.

     
     
    1. Great to see you in our chat circle this week, Marilyn!

       
       
    2. Thank you, Marilyn! I thank God for the opportunity to write these stories. I finished one of the stories in Completely Captivated right before the wife passed away. I drove to Mark and Rene’s house and gave them their story in person, and discovered that they were planning funeral arrangements for Rene. The story was read over and over again at Rene’s funeral, as a way to honor her life and relationship with Mark. They are one of the best couples I’ve ever met. Writing Mark and Rene’s story and finishing it right before her passing was all God’s timing. Thanks again for reaching out to me!

       
       
  3. I Love both of these books. It always amazes me how Crystal puts these stories in such a readers adventure.
    I Love the fact that all of them don’t end happy.
    CRYSTAL IS A GREAT AUTHOR!
    I encourage new or other readers to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

     
     
    1. Thanks so much for joining our chat, Sandy! Please come back.

       
       
    2. Thanks for your kind words, Sandy! I am so blessed to have a reader like you in my life!

       
       
  4. Evangeline

    This sounds like a delightful book, and I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance. I am putting your books on my wish list! Blessings on your continued writing ministry.

     
     
    1. Hi Evangeline–Thank you for your kind words! Happy Reading!

       
       
    2. Great to see you in our circle this week, Evangeline!

       
       

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