Win a copy of Crystal Walton’s debut novel EYES UNVEILED

Melissa Tagg Giveaway, Guest 18 Comments

File this under things I love about the internet: Meeting people like Crystal Walton!

Crystal and I met through the blogosphere and we’ve exchanged emails a few times…and can I just say, she is super encouraging! And I’m so happy to have her here today. She’s talking about college memories…and she mentions the mega blessing of making it through college before the invention of Facebook, which made me laugh. (I just read last week that people born in 1981, which includes me, were the last to make it through college before Facebook really took hold. Phew, barely made that cut-off!)

In her post, Crystal also mentions her new book, Eyes Unveiled. I’ve got this one on my sumer reading list, for sure. You’ve got a chance to win a copy down below!

Best years of my life

profile pic3I don’t remember how we started talking about it, but I remember the impact.

My friend rolled her chair to the side of the desk and peeked around her office door, eyes lit with memories. “Man, I loved college. Those were some of the best years of my life.”

I couldn’t help smiling. “Me too. I’d relive them in a heartbeat.” Hands down. No question. Sign me up.

College days were a blast. Free gym access to work off all those oversized mugs of ramen noodles made in our dorm rooms and the countless occasional late night runs to Friendly’s. Extended sleepovers with our best friends while taking the dorkiest pictures imaginable, which we’re now looking at, saying, “Who was I??”

(All I’m going to say about that is, God had some kind of special grace on us by postponing the invention of Facebook until after we graduated.)

Lest we ran out of laughable memories, there was always the unintentional competition for the “Most Awkward Meet Cute” award. And we can’t forget the talent shows with swoon-worthy guys singing renditions of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be,” while we sat in the back, dreaming up scenes for unwritten romance novels. Tell me that wasn’t just me.

engagement ringsSpeaking of awkward, does anybody else have a picture like this from college? Mind you, my hand isn’t featured because I’m the one taking the picture. You know, the roommate without a ring on her finger. Photographer Extraordinaire. AKA Fiancée-less.

But not for a lack of searching. My platform sandals hit the college pavement in August 1998, ready to run. Radar on full blast. Mission ready. Ever After, here I come! (And the whole no-Facebook blessing kicks in yet again.)

Embarrassing or not, the truth is, there’s something special about that season. It’s when we didn’t know how we’d survive a day without our best friend. When we were trying to figure out who we were and what we were supposed to do with our lives. It’s that time when we fell in love like never before, and when we fell apart like never before. It shaped our lives.

Eyes Unveiled - EbookOne of my favorite parts about Eyes Unveiled is that you get to relive those moments all over again. The laugh-until-you-snort moments. The heart-flutters-taking-flight moments. The on-the-floor-crying-your-heart-out moments. All of it. Doubt. Faith. Friendship. Love.

Now, let’s be real. Those moments can be pretty painful at times. Scary, even. They take vulnerability. And yeah, there’s gonna be some risk. But what I love so much about Emma’s story is the way it reminds me I can’t safeguard my heart from it was made for. It won’t let me. And the beautiful thing about that risk? It’s worth the cost.

I’d love for you to come hang out with these fun characters and relive your college days. I’m giving away a free copy of Eyes Unveiled (your choice—eBook or paperback). To enter, leave a comment sharing one of your laughable college memories…and/or do any of the other snazzy Rafflecopter entry options. 


Amidst multiple moves up and down the east coast, Crystal received her bachelor of arts from Messiah College in PA, married her exact opposite in upstate NY, and earned her master of arts from Regent University in VA, where she currently resides with her husband. Crystal writes contemporary inspirational fiction fueled by venti green teas from Starbucks. Connect with her at

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    Comments 18

    1. Rachel Dodson

      I didn’t go to college. I got married and had kids instead lol. I’m sure there are many funny things about those first few years.

    2. Rebecca Maney

      I hung with some crazy girls (still friends after all these years; primarily by keeping up through FB, ironically) and we did some crazy things like hitting convenience stores in the wee hours of the morning in our pajamas and fuzzy slippers.

      1. Crystal Walton

        Ha! We did stuff like that too. Pretty sure I have at least one picture of us in a store at some crazy hour, posing with sunglasses that have tags covering half our foreheads. Good times.

    3. Sally Davison

      Since I married and started a family at a young age I missed out on the fun times others experienced but I adored my children instead.
      I admit I was a bit crazy even as a mom, but they still love me anyway!

      1. Crystal Walton

        But just think of what fun and memorable moments your kiddos have from sharing those early years with you. Every so often, my family used to do a little slideshow with old pics from childhood. Those pics can be pretty hilarious. :)

    4. Deanne Patterson

      Going shopping with my girlfriends we were shopping in the lingerie department . I was wearing my new cowboy hat that I thought looked so snazzy. People kept looking at meas I walked around the store. Not sure why I thought they just liked how I looked in my new cowboy hat. As I was passing a mirror in the store I was shocked to see a bra on a hanger hanging off my hat. My girlfriends kept giggling but hadn’t told me why. The joke was definitely on me !

      1. Crystal

        Okay, that’s just awesome. Totally something my girlfriends would’ve done to me too. lol. Love it. :) Tell me this was pre-cameras-on-your-cell-phone days. :)

    5. Rissi

      What a fantastic post! Congrats to Crystal on this new release. Like you, Melissa, I have this one on my summer TBR. It’s SO happening. :)

    6. Carla Kersey

      I attended college in my hometown. I lived at home and went to classes for half days so that I could work to earn money to pay my way. I feel that I missed out on so much by not living on campus.

      1. Crystal Walton

        Those who are still paying off their college loans might beg to differ. 😉 I know what you’re saying, though. Dorm life is certainly an experience. But I think the heart of it is friendship. And thankfully, we get to share those in all seasons of life. That’s one of my fave parts about this book too. Those kind of lasting friendships really are priceless.

    7. Jennifer Hibdon

      I loved my first time away from my large family!!!!! I was an individual, not one of the girls! I sang in a student gospel group. It was loads of fun! Lots of great friends. Loved learning!!!! Studying, not so much!!!!lol

      1. Crystal Walton

        I hear ya on the studying part. I was a math major. So, yeah. That’s all we’ll say about that. 😉 The friendships really were the life-changing part. And I LOVED getting to relive those memories while writing this story. So precious. Hope you get to catch up with some old friends over the summer!

    8. Carrie S.

      My most laughable college-aged memory (I was an elem-ed major; we didn’t have time for much frivolity lol) was when my best guy friend and I each separately told my roommate that we were never ever ever ever going to date each other and after three years she needed to find someone else to pair up. The next day we started dating 😉 We’ve been married 15 years in September. Guess the joke was on us haha!

      1. Crystal Walton

        Ha! Love it! I don’t know if you’re a writer, but I’m just saying, that sounds like a pretty good story line right there, girl. 😉 The two MCs in Eyes Unveiled go through a sort of similar experience. Love is scary. And sometimes our fear of what we can lose keeps us from experiencing what we could gain. (and I totally starting singing Taylor Swift’s song after reading your “never ever ever” line. ;))

      1. Crystal Walton

        Hey Caryl, I bet there are a few in there. I love that college was such a diverse time. There were the fun laughable parts, but there were definitely a lot of hard and even painful ones too. I think the fun friendship moments were sort of a stress-reliever from how much pressure we felt from studying and working. I remember one time, my two best friends dragged me away from my textbooks one night to go play in rain puddles. Completely childlike and probably not the most dignified thing I could’ve been doing, but man, I needed it. :)

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