A Tour of Counterfeit Hope’s Story World

A Tour of Counterfeit Hope’s Story World

Why would I set a counterfeiting romantic suspense story in rural Indiana? As usual, research is the answer.

I discovered an article from 1883 describing the successful arrest of the Honchins (or Houchins, depending on the resource) gang by a joint effort of the Secret Service and US Marshals. The gang was responsible for not only counterfeiting but killing stock, stealing, and terrorizing the citizens with threats, insults, and violence. Even the local police were afraid to stand up against them. Stendal was the original town I was going to use, but I ended up creating a sister town next to Stendal so that I could set up the building locations and population to better suit my needs. While the original undercover Secret Service operatives spent months covering three or more counties, I needed to focus my area a little more confined for the sake of plotting. Below you can find information on two real locations from the story, including pictures of my visit to the real Stendal.

Stendal, IN

Stendal owes its beginnings to the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church which was formed in 1861. Services were held in members’ homes until 1864, when a church was built. In 1867, Reverend William G.C. Bauermeister became the first resident pastor. Land was donated to form the town, and he named it Stendal after his birthplace in Saxony.

As is usually the case with rural locations, modern-day Stendal is a shadow of the town it once was. While it was always small compared to other areas, it was once a booming little town. This was largely due to Stendal being many miles from any railroad or waterway with nearly impassible roads and trails, making it necessary to be a self-contained town.

From: A History of Lockhart Township by McKinley Hagemeyer

“Stendal at one time had a tobacco barn, a cooper’s shop, cobbler’s shop, two furniture and casket factories, two blacksmith shops, a millinery, a wagon works, a brickyard, a livery stable, a gristmill, a sawmill, a creamery, a flour mill, a canning factory, three churches, three doctors, an undertaker, a barber shop, a saddle and harness shop, and, of course, few towns would be self-contained without a saloon and hotel. Stendal had those too. The same causes which brought these industries drove them away: bad roads, poor transportation, plus another, automation. When the need for them passed, they too surrendered to progress.”
Photos of my trip to Stendal and photos of Stendal’s glory days.

Boonville, IN

One of my favorite parts of the Boonville setting was visiting the Boonville Jail. Well, visit it in fiction. I never had the pleasure of visiting it in real life. I know there was a big push to have the building restored in 2019, but there have been no more posts from the group pushing for it since then.

The Boonville Jail

The Warrick County Jail was built in 1876 and was state-of-the-art for its time. I had running water for sinks, toilets, and showers. The cells were made of straight and corrugated iron bars. The building had a large yard surrounding it and large windows with glazed glass. The jail was built in two sections. The main level of the front part held a food pantry, kitchen, parlor, and main hall. The upstairs was used as living quarters for the sheriff and his family and space to hold female prisoners. From my understanding, the kitchen had a steel door barrier to the prisoners, and it was the responsibility of the sheriff and his family to cook and serve meals to the prisoners. Meals were cooked for the prisoners and delivered to their cells.

The back half was one and a half stories tall with 12 prison cells. It had high arched ceilings for airflow and to prevent escape attempts. In each lighted and ventilated cell, there were two bunks, a sink, and a toilet. The walls were 22 inches thick and plated on the inside with boiler iron.  Below are a few pictures of the jail.

Here are some pictures of Boonville back in the 19th century.







Month-Long Giveaway & Which Counterfeit Love character are you?

Month-Long Giveaway & Which Counterfeit Love character are you?

It’s release month, and I thougth what better way to celebrate than to do a month-long giveaway with great prizes. This giveaway is being shared through multiple blogs and social media platforms, so you may see it floating around all month. Share away and let’s see how many people we can get involved.

The Giveaway Details:

FREE FOR EVERYONE: Anyone who wants to, can download a copy of my short story, Banking on Love, by signing up to join my newsletter at https://BookHip.com/RGLTQF.  I send out monthly newsletters that you can always unsubscribe to, but this group is the first people to know of publishing details like cover reveals, sales, newsletter subscriber only opportunities.

BOOK LAUNCH GIVEAWAY: This giveaway is going on across multiple sites.


Grand Prize – Counterfeit Love Book Box – a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love, homemade book sleeve, and an “Always Booked” tote filled with surprises related to the story to be opened as you read and reach the matching post it notes.

Runner Up – Winner’s choice of a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love or e-book, a homemade booksleeve, a pair of bookish socks, and an “I Love Big Books” bookmark.

2nd Runner Up – Winner’s choice of a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love or e-book, a homemade booksleeve, 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 bookplate and bookmark. If the grand-prize winner is outside the continuous U.S., they will also get a $15 Amazon gift card.

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 crystalcaudillwrites@gmail.com to your contacts list to ensure you receive your email. 

Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A just for fun quiz: Which Counterfeit Love character are you?

Everyone likes a quiz right? Well, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the release of Counterfeit Love with a quiz. So take the quiz below and then comment on which character YOU are. And then check out below for the details on a month l

Comment with who YOU got. I’m curious to see who we get the most of.

It’s your last chance to preorder!! Don’t forget to message me or fill out the Google form at Bit.ly/PreorderBonuses to get all the goodies below! Those go away on March 14th at midnight.

Preorder Bonuses

Preorder Bonuses

Friday’s will be kicking off something new in addition to the book reviews, interviews, and reading challenges. With so much to share about Counterfeit Love and my writing world, I’m going to use Fridays to share about things related to Counterfeit Love and my writing process. This first Friday, I’m excited to share about the preorder bonuses I put together.

So many authors now offer preorder bonuses to their readers, and I wanted to be able to give something to you to thank you for supporting me in this writing journey. I wasn’t quite sure how to accomplish this, but I figured I’d have some fun playing with images.

While Kregel is creating my bookmarks, I made my bookplates, and I absolutely adore them. They say “Fear not. He is with you. Even if . . .” This is based on 2 Chronicles 20:17, the Bible verse that carries the theme of the story. It was a lesson I had to learn myself throughout the writing of Counterfeit Love. “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” When you read the entire context of the story, it is just so powerful. Really. Go read it all the way to the conclusion of the battle, and then read it again, slower. It is amazing what God does.

I also created three phone backgrounds – one focused on the cover, the other focused on the “Even if” statement, and the other on the Bible verse itself. The printable verses are 2 Chronicles 20:17 and Ecclesiastes 4:12, “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

And what good is a freebie if food isn’t involved? Through my research, I found a fun hot chocolate recipe from the Victorian era. There was a sweet version and a not-so-sweet version. Given our generally sweet tooths in America, I went with the sweeter version, even though I myself prefer the dark chocolate version with little to no sweetness.

The only thing I’ve left to create is the video. I have some ideas about what I might include: a personal thank you, some fun facts from my research, maybe even a little bit about the history of the Secret Service. However, I’d LOVE your input. What questions would you have me answer in a preorder video? What things would you want to be included? I’d love to hear your opinion. Drop a comment below, and who knows, I might incorporate it into the video. Or maybe it will become its own blog post!

Just in case you don’t know about the book, I’ve thrown the cover and blurb down below. Next week I’ll share one of my first endorsements.

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!

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