Friday, July 30, 2010

Karen Witemeyer ~ Interview + Giveaway!

*You can earn up to 6 entries in this giveaway. See below for details.*

Today author Karen Witemeyer is telling us about her new book, A Tailor-Made Bride. She has offered an autographed copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.

Welcome, Karen! Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a wife, mother, and Bible study leader who is also an incurable romantic. I'm addicted to happy endings, chocolate chip ice cream, and snuggling with my kids.

How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I started writing with intent to publish in 2003. I sold a couple of short pieces to magazines and anthologies along the way, but my first contract for full-length novels came in January of 2009. A Tailor-Made Bride is my first novel. My second, Head in the Clouds, will be released in October.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
I think my writing style is similar to Cathy Marie Hake, Vickie McDonough, and Tamera Alexander. I try to incorporate humor, drama, adventure, and spiritual depth into my stories for an entertaining and uplifting read. I would say that the level of romance in my books could be considered PG. Romance is central to the plot, and you will find a couple kissing scenes. One reviewer recently described my romance as sizzling without sizzling. There is love and attraction, yet everything is kept very chaste.

In your own words tell us a little about A Tailor-Made Bride.
A Tailor-Made Bride is a fun-filled romp in which a feisty seamstress tangles with a set-in-his-ways livery owner in 1880s Texas. Hannah sees beauty as a gift to be shared while Jericho judges her fancy goods as nothing but vanity. However, when his sister befriends Hannah and solicits her help in catching a beau, Jericho discovers that Coventry's new dressmaker is far from the shallow creature he expected. But gaining her favor would require exposing his wounded heart. Can two stubborn people learn to stop judging and instead choose love?

Blurb:
Jericho "J.T." Tucker wants nothing to do with Coventry, Texas's new dressmaker. He's all too familiar with her kind--shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothing, this seamstress is not at all what he expected.

Hannah Richards is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?

When Hannah decides to help Jericho's sister catch a beau--leading to uproarious consequences for the whole town--will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

What made you want to write this story?
It all started with a question: What happens when believers disagree about what the Christian life should look like?

Hannah Richards believes she is being a good steward of the talents the Lord has blessed her with by turning her needle to creating dresses that are pleasing to look upon. She is imitating the Creator God who designed wildflowers, rainbows, and sunsets.

Jericho Tucker, on the other hand, believes that fancy dress goods encourage women to focus their attention on vain, superficial beauty instead of the inner attributes of a gentle and quiet spirit that Scripture promotes as true loveliness.

Both are right. Yet both see the other as wrong. By throwing Jericho's sister Cordelia into the mix, I forced these two characters to face their differences and learn from each other, to mend those tears of condemnation with threads of grace.

What research did you have to do for this book?
As in any historical novel, there is a barrage of research that must be done. Since my heroine is a seamstress I researched a lot of fashion plates from that time period as well as sewing machines and fabrics. One specific are that required additional research was the calisthenic regimen Hannah engages in every morning.

You see, I wanted to create a Victorian-era makeover, but to do that, I first had to discover if people in the 1880s were aware of the health and weight loss benefits of physical exercise. As it turns out, the 19th century was a time of great social reform, and one such movement included the promotion of physical exercise for women and children.

I modeled Hannah's daily routine after exercises found in a manual published in 1862 entitled The New Gymnastics for Men, Women, and Children by Dio Lewis. It included the use of small wooden dumbbells, exercise rings, and Indian clubs (think bowling pins that you swing in large arcs), all of which make an appearance in A Tailor-Made Bride. Dr. Lewis was a pioneer in the fitness movement and is largely responsible for the inclusion of physical education in today's schools.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
This is a tough question for me. Many authors use celebrity photos to inspire their characters, but mine live fully in my imagination. I did a search on the Internet and here's what I came up with: Kate Bosworth would play Hannah and Christian Bale would play Jericho. What do you think? Pretty handsome couple.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
My second release, Head in the Clouds, will be hitting the shelves in October. Since I enjoy Regency romances as well as those set in the American West, I thought it would be fun to blend the two by bringing an English nobleman to Texas. In Head in the Clouds, a recovering romantic takes a job as governess for the mute daughter of a sheep rancher and soon learns her heart is not the only thing in danger.

My current work in progress, recently titled To Win Her Heart is a story set in the late 1880s that asks the question – what happens after the prodigal son returns? So many times, we focus on the wonderful homecoming the lost son received from his father, but have you ever asked what life was like for him after the celebration was over? How did he relate to his bitter older brother or the servants and townspeople who were only too aware of his past arrogance and wild living?

In my third book, I play on those very questions. My hero is a man recently released from prison who has returned to his faith roots and rededicated his life to the Lord. The heroine is a woman who has been disappointed by men in the past and has little tolerance of those who don't meet her high standards. In an effort to make a clean start, Levi hides his past and Eden believes she has finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when his secret is revealed will both their futures be shattered?

How can readers get in contact with you?
I would love to have readers visit my Web site at: http://karenwitemeyer.com. You can find fun information about the hobbies and interests of the characters featured in A Tailor-Made Bride as well as sign up for my monthly book giveaways and receive a free a download for a biblical fiction piece inspired by the life of Rahab.

You can also find me on Facebook. Come by and visit anytime. I'd love to hear from you!

What are you currently reading?
I recently finished reading Julie Klassen's The Silent Governess. This book received the coveted Christy award this year for Christian historical romance. It is an intriguing regency story full of mystery and rich in well-researched historical detail. A very pleasant read.

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
Hmm…something readers may not know. Well, I sing with a local community chorus. I love roller coasters. And I hate peas. How about that? I also cross-stitch, administer collegiate tests for my day job, and love old Hollywood musicals. I could go on, but that was probably more than anybody wanted to know.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
This question makes me laugh. In grade school one of my close friends and I decided we would choose unique animals for our favorites. Most of the other girls chose horses or kittens or puppy dogs. We wanted no part in that. She selected the armadillo, and I latched onto the stately hippopotamus. I even traveled to Africa on a mission trip once and started a collection of carved hippo figurines. However, as a woman who will admit to being a tad self-conscious about her appearance, I can't quite manage to answer that I see myself as a hippopotamus. That doesn't paint a terribly flattering picture, does it?

So instead of a hippo, I'm going to say that I am a kangaroo. With three young children who love to have Mama carry them around (even though they're getting much too big for that), many times I feel like I have my own pouch. Or should. And since motherhood fills such a large part of my identity, I wanted to select an animal that emphasized that nurturing aspect. In the Hundred Acre Wood, I would definitely be Kanga.

FAVORITES:

Color?
Cranberry red.

Childhood memory?
The time it snowed in southern California where I grew up, and I got to take a sample to school for show and tell.

Era to write about?
1880's Texas

What is/was this book’s release date?
A Tailor-Made Bride released in June 2010.

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/excerpt_tailor.html
(This is an excerpt, not the first chapter.)
~~~~~
**USA residents only, please**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of A Tailor-Made Bride!


TO ENTER:

*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.

*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.

*Here are the ways to get entries:

(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.

+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.

Read and leave a comment on one of my recent book reviews.
+2 So Over It

+2 Enter my other giveaway of Divine Appointment: Our Journey to the Bridge.

**You can earn a total of 6 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**

*The contest will run from today (July 30) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (August 5). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 6th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.

Good luck! Thanks for visiting.

58 comments:

Diane said...

This book sounds great and I love the cover art. I would love to enter and am a follower of this blog.

Thanks!
estrella8888 at roadrunner.com

Linda said...

Love your premise, "It all started with a question: What happens when believers disagree about what the Christian life should look like?" And I so appreciate your research. Sounds like a great book. Please enter me. Thanks.

Vidisha said...

Book sounds great!!!!!

vidishamun@gmail.com

Linda said...

I'm a subscriber by email and follower by GFC.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

Ooops! Forgot my email addy with my comment:
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Amber S. said...

I would love a chance to win this book! :D Thanks so much!

+1 I'm a follower. :)

~Amber

stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

Kathryn said...

I've had 'Tailor Made Bride' on my too-read list since I first heard of it months ago! I would love to win a copy :) And wow, 'To Win Her Heart' definitely piqued my curiousity! I will keep an eye out for this author's future works.

ksmiley2[at]kent[dot]edu

Casey said...

I really, really, REALLY want to read this book, so please enter me!

I am a follower.

Email in profile. Thanks!

Casey said...

+2, left a comment on your So Over It review. Thanks!

bluerose_shelnut said...

This is one of my favorite books!!! (So I'm not entering)
I can't wait to read Head in the Clouds!

misskallie2000 said...

Karen, I enjoyed your interview and know how it feels to have your children hanging on to you. lol .. I love your story and can't wait to read. Thanks for stopping by to chat.

Pls enter me in the giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I follow via GFC and subscriber via email

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I left comment on So Over It. Great review.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

Entered Our Journey to the Bridge.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

PriviesAndPrims said...

This sounds like such a fun story line!

I'm a follower and a subscriber. Please enter me!

Doreen
priviesandprims@ yahoo. com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Wow! Thanks for all the encouraging comments. I wish I could give copies to all of you.

And bluerose - I'm so glad you enjoyed Hannah and Jericho's adventures. They were certainly fun characters to work with.

Diane - You are so right about the cover. The Art Department at Bethany did a fabulous job. I couldn't have asked for anything better. Not only is it gorgeous, but it so completely captured the tone of the story. Too fun!

Linda - thank you for your comment about my premise. I truly believe that for Christians to have the unity that Christ prayed about, we have to learn to see things from others' perspectives and distribute more grace than condemnation. Sometimes a difficult thing to do.

And misskallie - do you ever wish God would give mom more arms--at least one for every child plus two to actually get things done? Might look a little strange, but it would sure come in handy.

Thanks again for all of you who stopped by today.

~Karen

Sylvia M. said...

Oh, I would love to win this book! I love the cover on this one and the cover on the second one too. Just beautiful!

nina4sm[at]gmail[dot]com

Esther Y.M. said...

HI,

Please enter me in this giveaway

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

Esther Y.M. said...

I am already a follower of your blog


estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

Esther Y.M. said...

Read you other review, will probably check the series out.

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

Esther Y.M. said...

Entered the Divine Appointment giveaway too :))

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

hopey2020 said...

This book looks really good! My friend already read it and said it is a must read. Thanks for giving it away!
hsattazahn@gmail.com

Atypical Girl said...

This sounds like a great book!!!

Amy S.
artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

Michelle said...

I've been wanting to read this one! Please enter me into the contest.

Thank you,
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Michelle said...

+ 1 entry. I am a follower of your blog.

Thank you,
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Michelle said...

+2 entries. I read your review and left a comment for So Over It.

Thank you for entering me!!!

Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Michelle said...

+2 entries. I entered your other giveaway for a Divine Appointment: Our Journey to the Bridge.

Thanks so much!
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Cindy W. said...

I would love to win this book. I've heard great things about it.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a follower and email subscriber.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a follower and email subscriber.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I entered your giveaway for Divine Appointment. +1

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I entered your giveaway for Divine Appointment +2

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Leah said...

I cant wait to read this book!! It looks/sounds so good!!
I am a follower.
I also entered your other giveaway,
Divine Appointment: Our Journey to the Bridge.
dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

Anita Yancey said...

I would like to be entered to win this book. It sounds wonderful, and I would love to read it. Thanks for this chance.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

I am a follower!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

Entered for Divine Appointment: Our Journey to the Bridge. +2

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

rbooth43 said...

I would love to be one of the kittens, so young and fresh and playful. I'm addicted to happy endings, fudge royale ice cream, and snuggling with my grandson. A Congrads on your first novel Tailor-made Bride,which I would love to win. Looking forward to Head In The Clouds in October.

rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anne Payne said...

I would love to be entered in this contest! You have fantastic blog, and so much great information. I did all the above things to enter the contest. Thanks again for such a great opportunity.

homesteading@charter.net

Sheila said...

Thanks for the great interview and giveaway! This book sounds like my kind of read. :)

showcasesisters at gmail dot com

Robin said...

Great interview. I'd love to win this book. It sounds exciting and fast moving.

Thanks
Robin

robinribbit@yahoo.com

Sylvia M. said...

I commented on the post for the book So Over It.

nina4sm[at]gmail[dot]com

Meredith said...

I'd like to win this one! Sounds romantic!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

I'm a follower.

Sylvia said...

I have become a follower to this blog.

nina4sm[at]gmail[dot]com

barbjan10 said...

Hi Karen, enjoyed your interview very much. I'm looking forward to reading this story. It is placed in my favorite time period, has romance, relationships, ideas, and a question that needs answering in the serious sense. You worked very hard on the background in detail and are to be commended for that. I think this is a real winner!!

Please enter me into this giveaway.

Blessed Be in Christ,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10(at)tx(dot)rr(dot)com

barbjan10 said...

I would like to be a kind someone's pet puppy! I love backrubs abd kits if hugs!

I wrote a comment on your review of So Be It. That is one fantastic book for the younger set.

Blessings,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10(at)tx(dot)rr(dot)com

barbjan10 said...

I am a follower and am subscribed.

I will be entering your other giveaway of Divine Appointment: Our Journey to the Bridge.

Thank you for all the chances to win.

Christian Regards,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10(at)tx(dot)rr(dot)com

barbjan10 said...

Would love to win this giveaway!
I'm a follower
I'm subscribed
I wrote comment on review
I'm entering giveaway for the other book - Divine Appointment, etc.

Thank you,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10(at)tx(dot)rr(dot)com

barbjan10 said...

This was such an interesting interview and I'd really like to read this book. Thanks for all the chances to win. This is my 5th entry. I've done all that you required to gain entries.

Thank you,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10(at)tx(dot)rr(dot)com

Anonymous said...

This book sounds good. Yes, being a Kangaroo would be helpful to carry kids around I agree.

I'd love to have the chance to read this book.

Blessings

Nora Stlaurent
norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Just became a follower of this blog.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Just became a follower of this blog.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Just left a comment for Divine Appointment. It does look good. Hadn't see that book before.

Blessings

Nora

norafindinghope(at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I just read your review of So over it. I haven't read that book. Sounds good, something my daughter might read.

Thanks

Nora St.Laurent

norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I just read your review of So over it. I haven't read that book. Sounds good, something my daughter might read.

Thanks

Nora St.Laurent

norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thank for the chance to win this wonderful book.

Bee
jc.pierce@att.net

cheryl c said...

This book sounds wonderful! Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

castings at mindspring dot com

cheryl c said...

GFC follower
castings at mindspring dot com

cheryl c said...

+2 left a comment on your SO OVER IT book review.

castings at mindspring dot com