Friday, April 29, 2011

Karen Witemeyer ~ Interview + Giveaway!

*You can earn up to 4 entries in this giveaway. Read below for details*

Today author Karen Witemeyer is telling us about her new book, To Win Her Heart (May 2011). 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 leave a comment on this post to find out the answer!

Welcome, Karen! Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a deacon's wife and an incurable romantic who believes this world needs more happily-ever-afters. So, in order to help meet that need, I combine my fascination for bygone eras with my passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels full of love and laughter. I'm also an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bake a mean apple cobbler. I live in Abilene, TX with my hunky, computer nerd husband and three children who are kind enough to put up with Mom's imaginary friends.

Tell us about your salvation experience.
I grew up in a Christian family, so my faith developed rather organically. I was baptized into Christ when I was ten years old, but it was six years later, when my father died unexpectedly, that my personal faith really solidified. There's something about going through trials that refines us for eternity in a way everyday living cannot.

How do you handle disasters/BIG problems? Do you have a funny or interesting story showcasing how you handle them?
I tend to be very task-oriented. Give me a task, I work it till it's done, then move on to the next one. When things go wrong, however, emotions get thrown into the mix, and that can get rather messy. Not too long ago, I was working on a marketing questionnaire that my publisher asked me to complete. I had spent several hours crafting just the right answers only to have everything disappear from the computer when I accidentally closed the wrong window. Panic set in as I tried everything I could think of to get it back. Then desperation hit. I begged my computer savvy husband to work his magic, but there was nothing he could do. Then I became distraught. Tears pooled in my eyes followed by anger over the injustice of the situation. Four hours of work down the drain. Finally, I came to a point of acceptance, realizing I had no option but to recreate the entire document. This is where the task-orientation came back into play. I shoved aside the distracting emotions that threatened to draw me back into a pity party, and worked the problem. In an hour and a half the project was complete. And properly saved this time!

Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
This may not be all that surprising since I write historical romance, but I adore old Hollywood musicals. Singing in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Sound of Music, The Harvey Girls, Summer Stock, My Fair Lady … I could go on and on. This past summer I joined Netflix just so that I could introduce my 12 year old daughter to several of these classics. I've had so much fun revisiting these favorites, and she seems to like them, too. Hooray!

What is one book that you recently read and would recommend to your readers?
Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad. This book would be a great summer read, but I read it in the cold of January and still loved it. The heroine. Marguerite, is feisty and independent and the hero, Trip, is dreamy and just stubborn enough to give our heroine a run for her money. The second in Lorna's series, A Great Catch, comes out May 1st. Should be another fun one.

What is your favorite time of day to write?
Because I work full-time and have three kids at home, by necessity, my favorite time to write is whenever I can find time. Ha! Usually early afternoon is a preferred time for me, but I can make anything work in a pinch. Except after around 9:30 p.m. That's when I turn into a pumpkin and start the steady downhill slide into sleepdom. My day starts early at 5:00 a.m., so by 10:00 I am tuckered out. One of my hubby's favorite hobbies is laughing at me when I fall asleep in my recliner while trying to watch television with him in the evening.

If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
My books are similar in style to Deeanne Gist with a little Cathy Marie Hake and Tamera Alexander mixed in. I would rate the level of romance in my books as PG. There is physical attraction, romantic thoughts, and kissing in my stories but the romantic love always grows out of a friendship, mutual respect, and common values between the characters to form a foundation for a love that is deep, lasting, and true.

What are you working on now or going to write next?
I'm currently working on my fourth historical romance for Bethany House. The working title is Short-Straw Bride. Four brothers draw straws to see who will marry the heroine in this twist on a marriage of convenience story. All Travis Archer cares about is his brothers and his land, but when a good deed goes awry, he's stuck with a bride who endangers both.

One fun tidbit about the brothers in this story – they are all named for heroes from the Alamo. Travis is the main character, the next oldest is Crockett, the kid brother is Neill (for the Alamo's commander who missed being at the fight because of a family illness that called him away), and the third brother's given name is Bowie, but he refuses to answer to anything except Jim. I don't blame him. Poor guy. What we authors do to torture our characters.

Book’s back cover blurb:
A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets. . . .

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi’s renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

What research did you have to do for this book?
Any historical novel takes a great deal of research. This book was no exception. For my hero, I studied prison life and convict labor camps. I studied the craft of blacksmithing and limestone quarrying. For my heroine, I researched the Victorian art of flower pressing and 19th century literature. I strive to be as historically accurate as possible and really enjoy learning all the fun tidbits I can, even those that never make it into the book.

Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?

Well, Hugh Jackman is one of my favorite Hollywood leading men. I'm a sucker for the dark hair and the reformed bad boy persona he affected in the X-Men movies, and with the muscle he put on as Wolverine, he'd make a right fine Levi Grant.

I did a search online for auburn-haired actresses, and the one who caught my eye as looking most like the Eden I had envisioned was Isla Fischer. I'm not familiar with the roles she's played, but she definitely has the sophisticated look I would want for my heroine.

Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter or an excerpt of this book? The link to the first chapter is under the book cover image.

How can readers get in contact with you?
I'd love to have you visit me at my website: I host a monthly giveaway of historical Christian novels from a variety of well-known authors as well as post interesting tidbits about my characters and the research behind their stories.

You can also find me on Facebook. Send me a message sometime. I'd be honored to chat with you.

Is there anything you would like to add, or tell your readers?
In March, I learned that my debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, was named a finalist for the Best First Book category in the RITA® contest. This is the coveted national award sponsored by Romance Writers of America, and I am still pinching myself over the honor.

**USA addresses only, please**

Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of To Win Her Heart!


*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 do not want 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.

+2 Read and leave a comment on my review of

**You can earn a total of 4 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. (You can put them on one comment if you want to, you don’t have to separate each entry into its own comment or anything like that.)**

*The contest will run from today (April 29) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (May 5). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner either directly after choosing him/her or 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.


Sarita said...

THis sounds like a lovely book!

snowdance1 at gmail dot com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Hi, Sarita. Thanks for stopping by. You're in the drawing!

diana said...

+1-I would love to win this book! Head in the Clouds was great!

diana said...

+1- I subscribe to your blog via email.

diana said...

+2-I left comment on your review of Save The Date.

Bluerose said...

+1 I would LOVE to be entered!! I really want to win this book! :)

+1 I'm a follower.

+2 I left a comment at Save the Date. (I'm following the lead of the previous person, because it didn't show up which review(s) to leave a comment. Just let me know if I need to leave one elsewhere).

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Diana - So glad you enjoyed Head in the Clouds. I hope you enjoy Levi and Eden's story equally well.

Bluerose - Thanks for stopping by today. I wish you well in the drawing!

Courtney said...

Hello again Karen!! I think this is the second time I've seen you on a blog I follow!! I have all your other books, I think your writing is just great so I hope I get to win this one, but if not I'm for sure buying it!! It's been on my amazon wish list for a while! :-)


Courtney said...

I am also a follower! +1

And I commented on your review for Save the Date! +2


Anne Payne said...

+1 I love Karen's books! She writes such sweet & fun stories.

+1 I'm a follower

+2 Left a comment on your Save the Date review

Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.


Maureen said...

Really want to read this...I enjoyed both of your previous books!

I am a follower and a subscriber!

I left a comment on Save The Date!


Leanne said...

I'd love to read this!

+1 email subscriber.

Commented on your review of Save the Date.

leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

Jackie S. said...

Would love to win this....I really enjoyed Head in the Clouds!

Jackie S. said...

I subscribe via E mail.


Karen Witemeyer said...

Courtney, Anne, Maureen, Jackie - You gals are the best. I wish all of you could win.

Leanne - Thanks for leaving a comment! Wishing you well in the drawing, too!

amber said...

oooh, i'd love to read this!! i haven't read anything by her yet but she's on my "to read" list.


amber said...

and i follow your blog via email


Linda Kish said...

Sounds great. Count me in please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Ariel said...

Hugh Jackman and Isla Fischer would make such a good couple!!!

Looking forward to this book!

I am a follower +1


Faye said...

I have heard so much about this book! I can't wait to read it!
Thanks so much Carman for hosting this awesome interview!

And Karen, I love your books and have read every single one that my local library owns! I think "Short-straw Bride" sounds amazing, can't wait til it comes out! Glad to know that I'm not the only person who cross stitches!

Carman, Please enter me.

I am a follower.

I left a comment on your review of "Save the Date."

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

Faye said...

Oh, and congrats Karen, on the RITA nomination!

Tressa said...

Karen - I LOVED your first book (thank goodness I bought it so I can read it as many times as I'd like). I've read your second book as well and am planning on reading this one, so I would love to win a copy (thanks for giving one away)!

How do you come up with your plots/ideas for stories?

Carman - 4 entries: GFC follower and email subscriber. Left a review on Save the Date as well since that's your last review.

tressa dot sherman at hotmail dot come

Mallorie said...

I so look forward to reading this book! It sounds like a really good one! :)

Karen Witemeyer said...

Amber and Linda - Thanks for your interest in Levi and Eden. Hope you get to enjoy their story.

Ariel - Hugh Jackman would be great with anyone, don't you think? LOL

Karen Witemeyer said...

Faye - A fellow stitcher! I love it!! I got hooked on it when my best friend in high school got me to try it. I've been stitching ever since. Glad to know there are others out there to keep the craft alive and well.

Tressa - So glad you enjoyed Tailor-Made. If you haven't already found it, there is an epilogue posted on my website. So if you'd like a little more of Hannah and Jericho's happily ever after, you can find the link on my books page. Enjoy!

Mallorie - So glad you came by. You're in the drawing!

wfnren said...

Please enter me in this giveaway, I would love to win this book. Carman sent me.

wfnren at aol dot com

Meredith said...

This sounds like a great book! I'd love to read it! Opposites attract, right?

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

GFC follower

meredithfl at gmail dot com

PriviesAndPrims said...

I'm a follower and a subscriber.

This looks like a good one!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Charity U said...

Please enter me! :)


Charity U said...

I follow. :)


Jo said...

Please enter me in the giveaway. This book looks good.


Jo said...

I'm a follower


casey said...

I love Deeanne Gist! One of my favorite authors ever. All her books are super amazing. Can't wait to read this one :) Please enter me into win. I am a follower :)

Edna said...

I would love to win this book


Edna said...

I am a follower


Edna said...

I have your button on my blog


Edna said...

+2 I left a comment on Daddy In the Making


Wilma said...

I'd love to win this book.

Sheila said...

I enjoyed Head in the Clouds. looking forward to winning this book!


+1 follower --email subscriber
+2 left comment on review of Save the Date

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

+1 This looks like a great book, I would love to be entered into the contest.

+1 I'm a new follower.

+2 I also left a comment at Save the Date.

thesunsetwont [at}

Anonymous said...

Karen, as a horse lover "To Win Her Heart" looks like a beautiful and romantic love story. I can't wait to read it. I am a subscriber and soon to be a follower. I would love to win this book!

Anonymous said...

I have Karen's first 2 books and would love this one. The first 2 are great! Wonderful interview!
I am a follower +1
Commented on review of Save the Date +2

Beth said...

Hi Carmen! I would love to win a copy of this novel (Whitmeyer's novels are always checked out at the library)!

I commented on your post about Save the Date and became a follower!

Haha, I don't have to say "Carmen sent me" ;) Thanks so much for the giveaway!


Pam K. said...

I like that Karen does so much research to make her books historically accurate. I also like her selection of Hugh Jackman for the role of Levi!
Congratulations to Karen for being a finalist for the Best First Book in the RITA contest.


Sylvia said...

I really enjoyed the first two books and look forward to this one.

Congratulations, Karen, on the RITA nomination!


Sylvia said...

I am a follower of this blog.


Lisa Nelson said...

Please enter me!
Carman sent me.
I have enjoyed Mrs. Witemeyer's
earlier books and I am looking
forward to reading this one!
Thank you!
Lisa Nelson

Wanda said...

I've had my eye on this book for a while. Can't wait to read it!

CarolM said...

I'm commenting, I'm a follower and I'm headed to save the date [mentioned in the comments above]

So looking forward to this book! May order it today with my Amazon order anyway ;).

carol at carolmoncado dot com

Amanda said...

Great interview ladies!! Gosh, I’m just in time, huh? ;) I always get so excited when I see Karen’s name come up on blogs or I see her book in stores or online!! And I always learn something new in her interviews about her that endears her to me even more :) Karen, your answer to the question about your salvation experience brought tears to my eyes. What you said here, “There's something about going through trials that refines us for eternity in a way everyday living cannot.” was so beautiful and really resonated with me. I’m sorry you lost your daddy at such a young age. You are a beautiful testimony of the Lord carrying His child through a life changing tragedy and an inspiration to others.

Your next book sounds fantastic and I’m greatly looking forward to learning more about it and for the day I can get my hands on a copy!! But, first things first – I would LOVE to win a copy of your latest, To Win Her Heart!!! Thank you both for the chance :)

Carman, thank you for having Karen here and coming up with such great questions! And as far as romance in her books, I don’t know how she does it be it is ALWAYS PERFECT!! I can’t explain it but there is just something so special about it and unique in the way she approaches it. Just like the incredible way she incorporates God’s Word in her stories. She just know the right amount of each and it is a massive blessing to the reader!

Carman, I am now a follower of your blog! +1
I commented on your review of “Save the Date” +2

Blessings to you both!!

Mary / Touch of Heaven said...

+ Would love to win this book! I love historical Christian romance, especailly western settings.

+ I am a follower

+ I am a subscriber

Thanks....Mary B.

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like an amazing story. I would really enjoy reading this book. Please enter me. Thanks!


Anita Yancey said...

Follow on GFC(Anita Yancey).
Subscribe by email.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview. Book sounds great, looking farward to a good read.

true_sheila at yahoo dot com

Nancy D'Oporto said...

I have not read her books before. Would to start. Please pick me!!
gr8fullone at gmail dot com

editor said...

I'd love to win!!

Eve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amada Chavez said...

I would LOVE to win this!!! Please enter me!

Amada (prnounced: Chavez

Amada Chavez said...

I'm such a dork and confused! This contest is over right?

Carman said...

Yes, it is over. :)