Beneath a Star-Lit Sky Author Interview!

About the Book

Book: Beneath A Star-Lit Sky

Author: JL Crosswhite

Genre: Christian romantic suspense

Release date: February 21, 2022

Beneath a Star Lit Sky

Small town girl looking to mend her broken heart…

…Small town boy needing to repair his reputation.

Who knew those simple goals could unearth life-threatening danger?

Holcomb Springs has a wild past, and the wilderness outside its borders hides a treacherous present.

Teacher Ella Sommer is ready to forget about her broken engagement and escape from running into her ex. An overnight hiking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail offers what she needs to clear her head and breathe out under the stars.

Ex-military Reese Vega left Holcomb Springs with a bad boy rep, but has returned wiser, longing for a fresh start in his hometown. His hiking tour business offers that opportunity, especially when he can get into the great outdoors and let his past evaporate into the mountain air.

When Reese and Ella are thrown together on the overnighter, what starts as a simple trek ends up being filled with danger when they stumble across something they weren’t supposed to see.

Can they put aside their history and use their wits to get out of this situation?

Or will it be too late?

You’ll love Beneath a Star-Lit Sky because while the wilderness can’t be tamed, the human heart can.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Jen Headshot 032119

JL’s favorite thing is discovering how much there is to love about America the Beautiful and the great outdoors. She’s a mom to two, navigating the young adult years while battling her daughter’s juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, exploring the delights of her son’s autism, and keeping gluten free. A California native who’s spent significant time in the Midwest, she’s thrilled to be back in the Golden State. Follow her on social media to see all her adventures and how she gets inspired for her books!

More from JL Crosswhite

What does writing a book have in common with…


I’ve got a new series with the first book releasing this month. The series is called Holcomb Springs Small Town Romantic Suspense, and the first book is Beneath a Star-Lit Sky. I like how this series and this book show how long the creative process can end up being for me.

Before when I’ve talked about where I get my book ideas, I mention that I call it the compost pile. Any of you gardeners know about the magic of compost. You take a bunch of unrelated kitchen scraps—coffee grounds, carrot tops, egg shells, lettuce that went bad, rotten oranges—and throw them in your compost pile. With the magic of decomposition, in about a year you have something wonderful for your plants.

The creative process is a lot like that for me. I get bits and pieces of ideas from all over the place—things I’ve experienced, places I’ve visited, a news story that stuck with me—and I toss them in my mental compost pile. When something has come together enough to actually be a story idea, it gets its own file.

The germination of Beneath a Star-Lit Sky began at least ten years ago. I remember being on a long drive and talking to my dad on the phone and somehow getting on the topic of criminals in the wilderness, particularly the Sidney Poitier movie, Shoot to Kill. A lot of things can go wrong in the wilderness, and having a bad guy after you just makes it worse.

As I was writing and finishing up the previous series, In the Shadow, I had been wanting to write a series set in a small town. I liked the idea of all the characters continuing to run into each other and being a part of one another’s lives, for good or for ill.

My previous books had been based in the Southern California beach town of Laguna Vista (which also exists only in my imagination). But if you’ve read any of the In the Shadow books, you might have noticed that they made frequent visits to the Southern California San Bernardino mountains.

Since I grew up at the base of these mountains and spent a lot of time up there, I wondered if I might figure out how to create a small town in the mountains. There are some up there, but I like creating my own so I can take liberty with things and not feel like I’m insulting any real town.

There was an old gold mining town—Belleville—that used to exist in an area called Holcomb Valley. I imagined what would have happened if that boomtown had continued on to become a resort town similar to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead. I liked the idea of having a small town on the edge of the wilderness with all of the problems and possibilities it can bring. And it was within driving distance of Laguna Vista, so all of our old friends could come up and visit.

So the compost pile came together to truly cause my story idea to flourish and blossom into a full-fledged book! Toss in a few previous characters, and I had a ton of fun thinking about all the possibilities while keeping in touch with old characters who have become like friends. I hope you enjoy what’s to come. It’s going to be an adventure!

Interview with J.L.

  1. How do you overcome writer’s block? Do you have any advice for others in finding their process to overcome it?

Not only do I write books, I teach writing and I’m an editor and book coach. So I talk to authors all the time about writer’s block. I think it’s important to get at the root of what’s causing it. Sometimes so much is going on in life that you simply cannot write. The way we are wired is to protect ourselves during times of stress, and it’s hard to be creative when our stress response is activated.

But other times what happens is writers are trying to edit their work as the write. If you are too critical of your work while you are creating, your creative brain will pack up its toys and go home, thinking you don’t want it around. So I encourage writers to set aside separate creative and editing times.

  1. How did you come up with the title for your book?

I’m terrible with titles. I try to come up with all the titles for a series at once, so they have to flow and make sense together. I actually had the title for book 2 first: Under an Indigo Moon. So then I knew I wanted something in each title to do with the sky. And since this book would involve camping out in the wilderness, I wanted to include stars because I love how close the stars seem when I’m camping. So that’s how Beneath a Star-Lit Sky came about.

  1. What’s your favorite writing snack, drink, and/or music?

I love hearing how other writers are inspired to write. I personally like quiet when I write or some soft background music like you’d find in a spa. If it even remotely has words, it’s too distracting for me.

I’m usually drinking water or tea, and I try really hard not to eat at my keyboard. It’s a good excuse to get up and walk around if I want a snack.

  1. Do you participate in writing challenges on social media? Why or why not?

I usually do NaNoWriMo in November—National Novel Writing Month—mostly because I love the idea of a month being dedicated to novel writing and writers everywhere working on projects. But I usually do it as a rebel, which means I don’t follow the rules. It’s rare that I’m starting a new project in November. But it’s still fun to play along.

  1. Is your writing space pristine or organized chaos?

You can tell how far I am into my book writing process by the state of my office. I like things neat and organized, and will usually keep it that way. It’s too distracting otherwise. But as I get near to the end of the book, I tend to have tunnel vision on it and everything around me tends to fall by the wayside. So my desk will get more cluttered until I have time to file things and put them away. Usually it’s a great way to take a break after the book is done.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 5

Texas Book-aholic, April 6

For Him and My Family, April 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 8 (Author Interview)

The Sacred Line, April 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 9

deb’s Book Review, April 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 12

Inklings and notions, April 13

Guild Master, April 14 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, April 14

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 15

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 16 (Author Interview)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 17


To celebrate her tour, J.L. is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


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