I’m excited for you to meet my friend, and debut author, Crystal Caudill. As of March 15, her Historical Romance “Counterfeit Love” is available for purchase. Crystal is offering a copy of her book as a giveaway. Comment on this interview by March 22 for a chance to win!
She’s also hosting a separate month-long giveaway and offers a free short story for newsletter subscribers. Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for all the info.
Welcome Crystal! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I am the incredibly blessed wife of a romantic and level-headed husband, which is great for my readers and my sanity. He keeps me grounded and teaches me what a godly hero looks like on a day-to-day basis. I’m the mother of two teenage boys who are complete opposites of each other but totally have my heart. I’m also a caregiver for my mother-in-love who lives with us.
Family is hugely important to me, so I’m also going to mention I’m the older sister of an incredible nurse practitioner brother and the daughter of two wonderful parents who taught me to never give up, despite the obstacles life throws at you.
I know that never give up attitude serves you well as a writer. How and when did you start writing?
I’ve always written as a way to process and escape the challenges of my life. I never had any intention of publishing. At. All. However, when God wants something, nothing is going to stop His plans.
I’m a teacher at heart and I love to learn. For my 30th birthday, my husband bought me a ticket to a small local writer’s conference I’d seen an ad for but never told him about. (God moment #1.)
Gregg Bridgeman asked me at that conference why I wasn’t pursuing publishing. Did I believe God had given me these stories? Well, yeah but… (God moment #2) I brushed it off, but he’d planted the seed. Then all but one of the classes I’d chosen on writing craft got canceled last minute, leaving only publishing classes. (God moment #3)
I left that conference certain that God was calling me to pursue publishing . . . but I fought with Him for six months over it. He won. From that point on, it’s been a journey of obedience to Him.
So cool. I love God stories like yours! What genre do you write and what inspired you to write that particular genre?
I write inspirational historical romance with a heavy dose of danger and suspense, and it mostly has to do with my childhood. While I wouldn’t change my childhood, it had lots of struggles that made stories of danger and adventure a necessary escape. I needed to see that if others could survive things much worse than what I was going through, I could survive this.
The historical aspect came into play through my love of history, and frankly the fact that I needed an escape as far from the here and now as possible. What better place than in a completely different century?
I think lots of readers love historical fiction for the same reason…escape. How did you select the names for your characters?
I generally look at census records for the area and find names that match the region, ethnicity, and age of the character. If I can find special connections or meanings with the names, I do. However, I do have a fun story about Theresa in particular as she went through three names changes.
Jane Plane was her original name as a play on the saying “plain Jane.” Then she took the name Kessara after I fell in love with the unique name of one of my former students. However, contest feedback made me realize that Kessara was too unique and modern. While I was trying to decide on a name, our family was binge watching The Mentalist. . . and that’s how I ended up with Theresa. Theresa stole her name from Theresa Lisbon.
How long do you spend on research before you begin writing a book?
It really depends on the book. I do a lot of heavy research before starting a series. I want to have a solid understanding of the hero or heroine’s career, what their socio-economic life would look like, details about the setting, what was going on politically that might affect my plot, and any number of details I can get to just really sink into that time period.
However, once I have my foundation, I do a lot of research as I go, especially for those niggling details of what did the inside of Carpenter Hall look like? Details that help build the visual world out.
I also do quite a bit of research in the editing process to make sure details are correct, that I haven’t learned anything new that will bite me in the butt later, or to fix the dreaded plot hole.
I can’t imagine the research that goes into writing historical fiction. Contemporary is hard enough. LOL. What did God teach you through the writing of Counterfeit Love?
Oh my, that is a big question. I wrote a post in the bonus content of my website detailing just how God used that story to teach me to love Him even if everything I know and love was stripped from me.
You can read the full story here.
God has a way of using our hard circumstances to really teach us, doesn’t He? Share one of your favorite quotes from Counterfeit Love.
“In a few years he might laugh about catching an angel, but right now he felt like he’d caught an anvil.”
Broderick says this after catches Theresa falling from a tree. We all have this beautiful, romantic image of being caught, but the reality isn’t usually quite like we envision it. I did some research into injuries sustained by catching even a child from a second-floor window. If not done right, you can have torn ligaments, broken bones, and a whole lot of muscle pain.
Poor Broderick would like to have the romanticized version, but what he gets is a good dose of reality with his heroism.
That’s interesting. Many years ago, my mother and grandmother had to jump from a second-floor window during a fire. I hadn’t thought about the man who caught them getting injured. We’d love to know what’s next from you.
Book two of the Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series, Counterfeit Hope. In this story, readers will get a surprising view of Andrew Darlington—an operative who has little tact and tends to see things in black in white. Readers and the heroine will discover that he’s not quite the man he appears to be and is worthy of the title hero.
In book three, Counterfeit Faith, Josiah Isaacs’s charming ways get put to the test when he partners with the matron of Final Chance House of Refuge.
Readers have lots to look forward to! Thanks so much for sharing with us this week, Crystal. And congratulations on your debut book launch!
Join the conversation. Do you enjoy historical fiction? What about those laced with mystery and intrigue? Do you ever read for an escape from reality? Any questions for Crystal?
Be sure to comment by March 22 for a chance to win Crystal’s book! (Keep scrolling to find the comments section)
Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill
Click the book cover for purchase link
Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves–or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down?
After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name–and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home–and the truth.
After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiancée is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career–but that’s better than failing her twice in one lifetime.
They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there’s no question they’re both still keeping secrets–and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.
Combining rich history, danger, suspense, and romance, Crystal Caudill’s debut novel launches this new historical series with a bang. Fans of Elizabeth Camden, Michelle Griep, and Joanna Davidson Politano will be thrilled to find another author to follow!
Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW. She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.
Download a FREE copy of Crystal’s short story, Banking on Love, by signing up for her monthly newsletter. Subscribers are the first to know of publishing details like cover reveals, sales, and newsletter subscriber only opportunities. You can unsubscribe at any time.
BOOK LAUNCH GIVEAWAY: This giveaway is going on across multiple sites.
Grand Prize – Counterfeit Love Book Box – a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love and an “Always Booked” tote full with surprises related to the story to be opened as they read and reach matching post it notes.
Runner Up – Winner’s choice of a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love or e-book, a pair of bookish socks, and a “I Love Big Books” bookmark
2nd Runner Up – Winner’s choice of a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love or e-book and a “Read More Books” zipper bag with paper bookmarks
Fine Print: Physical prizes only available to those living in the contiguous United States who are legally eligible to win. Non-contiguous U.S. and International winners will get an unsigned copy of the book through Book Depository if available and the author will mail a signed book plate and bookmark.
Drawing runs from 12:01 a.m. March 1st to 11:59 p.m. (EST) March 31st. The winner will be randomly picked via Rafflecopter on April 1st.
The winner will be emailed during the first week of April and will have 7 days to respond before a new winner is drawn. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts list to ensure you receive your email.
Join the fun for Crystal’s Virtual Launch Party on March 22 at 8 p.m. EST! Click here to RSVP.
Please share this post to help spread the word about Crystal’s debut novel!
If you missed last week’s Zoom interview with Janet Morris Grimes, find it here.