OOPS!!! I cannot believe I MISSED MY OWN RELEASE DAY!! *Insert Face Palm* In case you missed it,  Counterfeit Love is officially out in the world. As I’m putting with every post related to Counterfeit Love, the information to join the month-long giveaway is down at the bottom. If you haven’t entered yet, I encourage you to do so soon.

Here are the Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Book Depository | Bookshop.org | IndieboundChristianbook

Here are the direct links to leave a review: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Bookbub | Books-A-Million |  Christianbook | Goodreads

What’s it like to be a debut author?

This is a question I’ve been getting a lot, and so I thought I’d give as best an answer as I can. Being a debut author is akin to being the navigator on a cross-country road trip but forgetting the map. You’ve done all the planning and preparation. You have a good idea of where you’re going, the general route to get there, but when it comes down to the specifics you’re completely lost without the map and having a slight panic attack. I know that doesn’t quite work as an illustration in today’s GPS world, but I grew up being the navigator for my family’s cross-country trips back when all you had were the Rand McNally and AAA Trip maps.

Writing and editing the first book was the easy part, however, as I entered this season of debut release the entire world changed. With a three-book contract, I’ve managed to have my hands in all three books at once. I’ve been working on marketing and getting the word out about book one. I’ve filled out countless interview questions, scheduled both social media and blog posts, recorded podcast interviews, created images, figured out giveaways, ran a launch team, tried to figure out the ins and outs of social media (pro-tip: you won’t so don’t stress), and spent most of yesterday and today trying to comment on every single post I see related to Counterfeit Love or myself. During this season, I’ve also completed developmental (big picture) edits for book 2, Counterfeit Hope, and am trying to get nearly 2000 words a day done on book 3. This week, I’m miserably failing on the latter.

This isn’t said for pity, or anything, just giving an honest glimpse of what life looks like. Practically, it looks like laundry piling up, dinners being ordered in or made by others, and my kids seeing me during the time frames I take them to school, pick them up, and run errands, but that’s pretty much it. It means trying to be present with my family on the weekends when I *try* not to work, but struggling with the mental weight of knowing I’m falling behind.

However, despite all the challenges, this has been an amazing blessing. God is reteaching me my dependency must be on Him alone and that my worth comes in who He says I am, not in what I do or what reviews say. I’ve read three great reviews of Counterfeit Love but realized my heart is not ready for the impact they can have. So I’m going to wait until after I have book three written.

Before I sign off, some of you have wanted to know how I’m going to celebrate. Despite wanting to find a non-food-related activity, I have eaten half of a strawberry-rhubarb pie (soon-to-be a whole), bought myself carnations (my favorite flower), and I plan on hopefully going out to see a movie with my family sometime over the next couple of weekends. 🙂 Well, I’m hosting a party in the Blue Ridge Readers Connection group on Facebook, so I better get back to that. Then book three is calling for words in between posts and comments.

The life of a debut author is tiring, but it is a gift from God that I wouldn’t change. Thank you for all the support, messages, and well-wishes. I’ve tried to respond to every single one I receive, so if you didn’t get a response, know it’s just because either Facebook didn’t notify me or I just haven’t seen it yet. Thank you, and God bless! Crystal

Enter the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win one of three prizes: (Grand prize) – A signed copy of Counterfeit Love with a book sleeve made by my Momma, a toe bag with story-related prizes inside, (2nd prize) – A signed copy of Counterfeit Love with a book sleeve made by my Momma, socks, and a bookmark, (3rd prize) A signed copy of Counterfeit Love with a book sleeve made by my Momma and a bookish zipper bag. Entries run from March 1st to March 31st, 11:59pm EST. *Open to those legally able to enter, U.S. residents only for the physical prizes, international winners will be given a prize of equal value to whichever level they win.*

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