Spotlight – CJ Samuels


Who doesn’t love getting to know others better? Especially ones who write? I am starting a series of interviews with some of my favorite authors, many of whom have become good friends over the last couple of years. I hope that you will enjoy hearing them open up and sharing with us. I will tell you that many authors are introverts by nature and it is difficult for them to just open up. So I know that these interviews are very special.

First on my list is an author by the name of CJ Samuels. I met Cindy about three years ago, and she has become one of my dearest friends in the world. I hope that you will help me welcome her to my little spot on the web.

I’d like to start with a few fun questions, if that’s okay with you?

Sure! I am always up for fun questions!

Favorite munchies to eat while you write –

I’m a huge dark chocolate fan. Also jolly ranchers, chips and salsa are all favorites. Are you seeing a pattern here? I like food.                                                                                                                                                

What is your favorite genre to read?

Historical western has always been my favorite. Whether it’s romance or pure western, I thoroughly enjoy it. I find myself avoiding it these days because it’s the genre I write in. I’m leaning more toward mysteries.

Where do you like to write?

I’ll write anywhere it’s quiet.  

What/who inspires you?

My family and friends graciously allow me to share their stories and their names. If you know my family, you’ll see some of them in my characters. Logan, the hero in Elli, has a habit of twisting his beard. That’s from my son, Jordan. He has a peculiar way of twisting it, and I knew when Logan appeared in my head he would be doing it.

Traditional or indie?

I’m a proud indie!  

Outside of reading and writing, what do you like to do for fun?  

I sing.  I love southern gospel music. If you see a lady driving down the road singing loudly and proudly,. it’s probably me.

Who is your favorite author to read?

That’s a tough question. I’d have to say Callie Hutton. She’s a talented writer and a good person in general.
Have you met her in person?

I have. When I met Callie, I fan-girled. I stood outside the conference room she was in and started crying. She was absolutely wonderful.

  Writing conferences -Yeah or Nay?

Yay! I love them. I’ve learned so much from every conference I’ve been to.

When did you start writing?

I think I was writing the moment I learned the alphabet. I wrote articles for the church bulletin for many years. After my parents went “home,” I wanted to save some of the stories I knew from my parents’ childhood for their grandchildren.

At what point did you realize that you could actually publish your book?                                                     

The day I finished Christmas in Trace Hollow. I don’t think I even imagined I could publish until I wrote the words “the end.” It was terrifying and beautiful at the same time.

You have published two books so far. What prompted you to write in this genre? 

I loved watching westerns with my Dad. It was a hard working, yet simpler time. I think we can learn from it still today. 

What was your favorite western movie? 

The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County.

Your first book was “Christmas in Trace Hollow.” Why did you start with a Christmas title?                              

The Santa story was a real part of my Dad’s childhood. He always had a Santa giving out presents at the Christmas pageant. I had to let my children know where that came from.

I love the covers of your books. How did you decide how you wanted them to look and who did the covers for you?

Erin Dameron is an absolute genius. She designs all my covers.

Do you put a little part of your personality in your characters? Can you tell us about it?

All of my characters have a little of me. I think it’s interesting when someone knows me well and points it out.


Will there be another book in this series? Can you tell us about it?  

I have several more in process right now. Sophia is the next in series. Sophia is more like me in her feelings and actions than my other characters have been. She’s also been harder for me to write. Sophia had more insecurities than the other women I have written and described. Shes also a very strong personality in front of people. She thinks she keep most of her fears in her heart and head, but the people who love her can see it and help her to overcome those casualties of a former life.

Is there someone that you look to for encouragement?  

Absolutely. My daughter is my # 1 fan. My sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles have graciously allowed me to use them and their stories in my books. I have friends that tell me daily I can do it. I couldn’t ask for more.

How does the Lord factor into your writing? What Christian values do you incorporate into your stories?

I want the Lord to use me. If each book touches one life, I know that God gave me a way to give back to Him.

Are you interested in writing in another genre?

I’ve considered contemporary, but for now, historical is my choice.

I really appreciate your taking the time to chat with us today.I know that you work full time and your time is precious.  One last question for you. Is there a way we, your readers, can pray for you in your writing life?

I’d love for them to pray that I can touch someone. Let my writing touch a heart and remind them that God is always there. In our darkest hour, He guides us. We are loved

Cindy, I know you are a very busy woman, and I want to thank you for the time you took to answer these questions me. You know that I probably knew the answers to many of them already, but I wanted to introduce you to so many people because I think you are the greatest! Is there anything else you wanted to share with those that are reading this? 

To order “Christmas At Trace Hollow,” Click Here

To order “Elli.” click here


Thank you again.

If you want to connect with Cindy, you can follow her on her Amazon author page at:

Follow CJ Samuels on Amazon

Or her webpage at:

Connect with CJ on her website




3 thoughts on “Spotlight – CJ Samuels

  1. Delightful interview! I enjoyed this so much! Looking forward to reading her books!

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