*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.
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:
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?
Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter or an excerpt of this book?
http://www.fictionfinder.com/book/detail/1166 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: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/. 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.