Saturday, August 8, 2015

Of Ranchers, Cooks, and Books #Giveaway

Howdy y'all! It's me again, Crystal Barnes. I've got another treat to share with you today. Misty Beller is here with me to share with you a bit about herself and her newest novel, The Rancher Takes a Cook. This gal is a great writer of westerns that have a woven Biblical message in the mix. I met her at the ACFW conference last year and it's been a pure pleasure knowing her ever since.

So, Misty, tell us a bit about yourself.

I was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so my Southern roots run deep. Growing up, my family was close, and we continue to keep that priority today. My husband and two daughters now add another dimension to my life, keeping me both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in my heart to combine my love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of my characters.

I can definitely see that in your writing. I've enjoyed your other series so much. What inspired you to write this novel/series?

Anna (the heroine) is inspired a little after myself. A hard worker, a Southern belle, enjoys being in the kitchen, holds family very dear. I love history, and always wished I grew up on a ranch in Texas. The storyline was purely my imagination on overdrive. :)

Tell us a bit more about The Rancher Takes a Cook.

Here's the blurb:

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch. Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well- controlled plans.

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?

"Release control to God's capable hands," definitely a lesson we all need learn. Care to expound on this?

The theme through all my books is Following God's Leading, and this book especially addresses how much better things go when we give up control and let him guide us. My theme verse for this story is:
Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)

A great verse and theme. Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?

One of my favorite passages, and the one I write in every book I sign, is Colossians 1: 9-11. It's my prayer for my readers. :)
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. (NKJV)

Thanks so much for sharing that with us. Speaking of sharing, where can readers connect with you? Where can readers buy your book?

You can find me on my website, reader blog, marketing blog for authors, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Here are the links for my books:  The Lady and the Mountain Man or The Lady and the Mountain Doctor. My latest book, The Rancher Takes a Cook, released June 26, 2015, from Prism Book Group. The Ranger Takes a Bride is scheduled to release Aug. 18 (this is the sequel to The Rancher Takes a Cook).

Thanks for those links. Your stories have great settings. With this one, did you do any traveling for research? If so, could you tell us about it?

I didn't take any trips during the actual writing of the book, however I traveled through many parts of Texas as a child. I have many dear family members in California, so growing up, my grandparents took us on numerous road trips across the country (from South Carolina to Southern California). Each time, we would try to take a different route, and my favorite part was always when we reached those first few western states. Texas, Wyoming, Montana—I adore these wide-open spaces and amazing views God provides. They capture my heart anew every time. I love the way animals and ranching are critical to the people in those states, and history is treasured! So far, all three of the series I'm working on are set in one of these areas!

Sounds like loads of fun. :) Okay, last question: apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet?

When I was younger, I always said I didn't have a creative bone in my body. LOL. Turns out, I was thinking about painting and the really artsy things. Music is one of my creative outlets. I play the piano and was a sacred music major my first year in college.

I'd definitely call piano creative. :) Thanks so much for sharing with us today. 

Everybody, Misty is doing a bit more sharing. For those who comment on this post this weekend, your name will go into a drawing for a copy of A Rancher Takes a Cook. The winner will have their choice of either paperback or ebook and will be announced in the Weekly Wind-up post on Monday.

So let's keep the fun going. Misty enjoyed traveling as a child. As did I (still do). How about you? Did you enjoy road trips as a child? Do you enjoy traveling now?


  1. Lovely to meet you here Misty. I look forward to catching up with your books.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! It's a pleasure to meet you.

  2. I love your life verse, Misty, but I especially love that you chose Psalm 55:22 for The Rancher Takes a Cook. I am moved that you choose verses as kind of themes for your books. It really shows how you are using your stories to glorify the Lord and I am sure He is guiding your hands in each one. Thank you for your sweet, historic tales.

    As for traveling, I have always been a bit of a home body. Since i live in the Pacific Northwest smack in between the Cascade Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean (Puget Sound,) I like to spend time outdoors hiking, going to the mountains, lakes and falls, yet being close to home. Not to say I haven't traveled. It just doesn't take me long to yearn for home.

    1. Oh your area sounds so lovely. No wonder you don't like to leave home often. :) So glad you dropped by today!

    2. I do pray that God guides each word of the books, and uses them for His will. Having a "theme" verse does help me with that!

      I agree with Crystal about how wonderful your home sounds! What a blessing!

      So glad you stopped by!

    3. I love the idea of a theme verse. My favorite books are the ones that I can genuinely see God is working with the characters which is a reflection of the author. That is great you pray when you write Misty

  3. Road trips are a favorite past time for us.. Just a day long out and about is relaxing and we enjoy exploring our area :) I'd enjoy reading A Rancher Takes a Cook..
    dkstevensneAToutlookD otCoM

    1. I just love seeing all the different scenery. Thanks for stopping by, Deanna. I hope you get an opportunity to read Misty's books. :)

    2. That sounds wonderful, Deanna! I love road trips, too, and always have! Especially up to the mountains, which is about a two hour drive for us.

      Great to meet you!

  4. Hi Misty,

    Welcome to STT. I've read the Lady and the Mountain Man and enjoyed it. Your other books are on my TBR list. So like your writing style and the spiritual lessons woven through your stories.

    1. Thanks so much, Elaine. That's one of the highest compliments I received! I glad you enjoyed Mountain Man, and I hope you have an opportunity to read others. Great to see you here!

  5. Hi, Misty! I enjoyed your lovely interview and appreciate the giveaway opportunity. I love traveling, whether it's seeing new places or revisiting old favorites.

    1. Hi Britney! Do you have a favorite place you like to see?

    2. Me, too, Britney! So glad you stopped by the blog today!

  6. Psalm 55:22 is one of my favorite verses. Also I love the cover of your book and sounds like a great book. By the way that is a beautiful horse. I love horses

    I also loved traveling as a child. I remember some neat places. I still like traveling

    1. Hi Alaina! Go glad you took time to drop by and enjoy the interview. :) Lovely to see you here.

    2. Congrats, Alaina! You're our winner! Please contact us and let us know which format you prefer (ebook or paperback). Hope you enjoy The Rancher Takes a Cook!

  7. Misty, I loved your Lady and the Mountain Man. Good luck with this book.

  8. My family was able to take trips to our neighboring states when I was growing up. My husband and I ran a dairy farm for most of our marriage so traveling wasn't possible
    The past few years we have been able to see our beautiful state and I have loved it!
    Thanks for this interesting interview.

    1. Those milk cows do have a way of tying a person down. :) So glad you're getting a chance to travel now, Connie. Thanks for stopping by!