Crystal Joy: Let’s Chat!


Welcome, everyone!

Crystal JoyCrystal Joy is stopping by for a chat this time. This author with a heart for people writes deep-rooted romances often based in real-life love stories.

Just looking at Crystal’s photo makes me smile. 

Join the chat below to add your name to the drawing for Crystal’s Shattered Heart. 

A Word From Crystal Joy

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Linda! As Christmas quickly approaches it’s so easy for us to become overwhelmed and anxious instead of grateful for all of our blessings. I know I certainly fall into this trap. Maybe this year more than ever.

I’m worried about getting the right gifts for my three little ones, grandparents, and friends. With two kids in school this year, our schedule is fuller than ever. I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to meet my financial and creative goals for 2019.

I’m also working on my fifth book, Stained Heart. It’s the third novel in my sweet and wholesome small-town romance series. All of the characters in Shackled Heart and Shattered Heart make an appearance in this final book of the series, which features Grace Cunngingham and Caleb Meyers. They were high school sweethearts and haven’t seen one another in ten years. Grace is a single mom with a nine-year-old son. As a mom and the owner of a bed and breakfast, Grace struggles to do everything well. She’s a perfectionist. Although her circumstances are different than mine, at her very core she is me.

Crystal Joy: A Worried Youth

Crystal JoyDuring my teenage years, I started worrying about my body image. Unlike many of the girls at my high school, I never developed curves. Standing a little over five feet, I sometimes felt like a little girl compared to the rest of the tall, well-developed girls striding by me in the hallway. When would I feel like a woman?

In college, the negative perception I had of my body continued to seep into my mind like a poisonous gas. I gained about fifteen pounds, which only made me hate my body more. While trying several diets for a few months, I ate as little as I could without starving. I lost all of the weight I’d gained and exercised like crazy, but I still wasn’t content with my body.

Crystal Joy: A Worried Wife and Mother

Crystal JoyAfter I got married, I doubted my ability to have children. I had no valid reason to believe I would have trouble getting pregnant, except I didn’t “feel womanly.” I can only imagine God smiling down on me and shaking his head. As soon as my husband and I started trying, we conceived right away.

As my baby bump continued to grow, I became so thankful for my body, and in awe of God—that He had made me to help create a new life. Slowly, my immense gratitude diminished the negative perceptions, and a peaceful contentment took root inside my heart. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care if my arms looked toned. I didn’t mind if my thighs couldn’t fit into my jeans. It didn’t matter if my feet could barely squeeze into my cute flats.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10

Crystal Joy: Weighed in the Balance

Crystal JoyAround twenty weeks into my pregnancy, my joy was tested. The doctor noticed that my cervix had started funneling, and I was showing signs of pre-term labor. She told me that if I went into labor now, my son would have a fifty percent chance of living. My husband and I were scared. I was terrified of losing my son, and I wondered if my body would fail me after all. All those familiar doubts crept in, but I refused to drown in them like I once had. I immediately took my fears to God, praying that He would keep my son safe.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Through God’s leading, we found a new doctor who had very similar beliefs. During our first appointment, he said, “Only God knows when your son will be born. There is no reason to worry.” His confidence in God’s plan reaffirmed my faith. God designed my body as a beautiful “masterpiece,” just like my son’s. I needed to trust in God’s future for us.

Whittling Worry Down to Size

Crystal JoyFear and worry could’ve taken away my gratitude during such a special time in my life. I could’ve hidden in bed, attempting to control the situation. But I put God in control by praying and thanking him for my son. I didn’t want my fears to take away the peace I’d finally found.

Thankfully, my son was born just three weeks early. He was a healthy seven-pound baby. Holding him in my arms for the first time, I called him beautiful. At that moment, I fully grasped how God sees His children.

No matter our size or shape, He views each of us as beautiful masterpieces.

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, there is no flaw in you.”
Song of Songs 4:7

My hope for all of us is to enjoy this holiday season. To love ourselves and others and to enjoy every little moment along the way!

Some questions to consider this holiday season:

  1. Are you letting fear drive away your peace?
  2. Is there anything preventing you from seeing yourself like God sees you? If so, ask God to help you feel as beautiful as you really are.
  3. What are three things about your body that you are most thankful for?

FREE Giveaway From Crystal Joy:

Since I gave away the first book in my small-town romance series last time, I’m giving away the second book of the series today! You’ll get to know Grace a little bit in this second book, but you’ll get to know her best friend, Amanda first. Here is the back cover blurb if you’d like to know more about it:

Shattered Heart by Crystal Joy:

Crystal JoyAmanda Meyers is a force to be reckoned with, especially when her beloved father is diagnosed with lung cancer. She’s all too familiar with the heartache of losing a parent. But this time, she refuses to watch her dad suffer from the debilitating side effects of toxic medications like her mom did.

As a successful oncologist, Ethan Contos is more than capable of fighting for the lives of his patients. But when he starts falling for Amanda, he finds himself fighting a battle between two desires—pursuing the feisty daughter of an ailing patient and moving back to Greece to make amends with his parents.

When Amanda’s dad urges Ethan to spend time with his daughter, Amanda and Ethan can no longer deny their chemistry. With her dad’s deadly diagnosis, an ex-boyfriend who still cares about her, and Ethan’s impending move, Amanda can’t handle much more. Will her heart shatter to pieces, or can Amanda find a way to have her happily-ever-after?

Happy Holidays from Crystal Joy!

Crystal JoyIf you’d like to connect with me, please send me an email.

Email: crystaljoybooks@gmail.com

If you’d like a copy of any of my books, I’m currently doing a 12 Days of Book-Mas on Facebook. 12 days, 12 amazing deals!

Author Facebook Page: 

https://www.facebook.com/CrystalJoyBooks/?ref=bookmarks

Crystal Joy Crystal Joy
Crystal Joy Crystal Joy

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Lord, please bless each and every word Crystal writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

6 thoughts on “Crystal Joy: Let’s Chat!

  1. Marilyn

    A beautiful and uplifting testimony and interview with Crystal Joy. Thank you for sharing and providing scriptures for readers this Christmas season or any time when the enemy wants to rob a Christian of their peace. Blessings for a joyous Christmas.

     
     
    1. Ditto! and Amen! Marilyn. Just looking at Crystal’s photo makes me smile. 🙂

       
       
    2. Crystal

      My pleasure, Marilyn! I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog. Have a Merry Christmas!

       
       
  2. Alicia Haney

    What a very inspirational author interview you have shared! I loved reading it and what she had to say. Crystal is such a faithful lady and God loving lady. I am so happy for you that everything worked out for you.God Bless you.

     
     
    1. Hi, Alicia! So good to see you in the circle. I agree with you about Crystal. You’ve encouraged both of us.

       
       
      1. Crystal

        Thank you, Alicia! I’m glad it inspired you. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!!

         
         

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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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