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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interview & Giveaway! Karen Witemeyer ~ Author of Short-Straw Bride!!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Karen!! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm a California gal who migrated to Texas to go to college, fell in love with a studly computer nerd, and never left. I now consider myself a Texan since I've got more years under my belt here than I had in California. Wes and I have three fabulous kids, and we both work for Abilene Christian University (our alma mater). He's a data analyst, and I'm the testing coordinator. I give ACTs, CLEP tests, etc. Writing gets squeezed in whenever I can wrangle a few minutes of free time.

What is your book, Short-Straw Bride, about?

Here's the official blurb:
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you? 

I live next door to my in-laws . . . and actually love it.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was always an avid reader but never really thought much about writing. Not until I graduated from college and started immersing myself in fiction again. After graduate school I vowed to never read another textbook ever again. Ha! I started jotting story ideas down in a journal and thought, maybe someday I'd give writing a try. But it wasn't until I was a stay-at-home mom with three kids in diapers and my husband came home to tell me his position had been cut that I decided to get serious about pursuing writing. At first I thought I could help supplement the family income from home while he searched for work. I know . . . don't choke on your snack while you laugh. I ended up going back to work a couple months later, but by then the writing bug had bitten hard. I haven't looked back since.

How many books have you written/published and do you have a favorite?

I've published four books so far. As for a favorite? That's like asking a mom to choose her favorite kid. It can't be done.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I'm one of those weird ducks who insists on editing as I create. Most writers create first then go back and edit. My perfectionist streak is too well ingrained. I have to edit as I go. This habit makes my writing pace very slow, but when I get to the end of the first draft, I have a polished manuscript ready to submit.

Where do you like to write?

When I'm writing at home, I need a place where I can close the door so my kids don't constantly pester me with questions or TV noise. Since I don't really have an office, you'll usually find me sitting on my bed, pillows propping me up, laptop on a lap desk on (you guessed it!) my lap.

What is the best and/or worst part about being a writer? 

The best, hands down, is hearing from readers. The worst is the stress of a looming deadline when you are not as far along as you should be. I try very hard to plan out my writing schedule with enough cushion to avoid this scenario, but every once in a while it sneaks in.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I enjoy cross-stitching, reading, goofing off with my kids, and just sitting quietly next to my husband watching movies from the comfort of our recliners.

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?

If money was no object, I would love to tour the castles of Germany. I love mountain settings, romance, and fairy tales. What could be more romantic than the castle that inspired the home of Disney's Sleeping Beauty situated in the Bavarian mountains? I get dreamy-eyed just looking at pictures of Neuschwanstein. I'd also like to see elegant Eltz Castle and historic Wartburg Castle. Wartburg is one of the oldest preserved castles as well as a place where church reformer Martin Luther lived and translated the Bible into German. How awesome would that be to see? My daughter would love touring the castles and my husband would dutifully ooh and aah, but I might have to bribe my boys with a ski trip or something to get them to tour the castles with me.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

Disney's Enchanted, the BBC miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice, and the 1996 version of Jane Eyre with William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg are some of my favorite movies.

What is your favorite dessert?

Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 

The one that keeps me going in the middle of a project is: He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 1:6

The one I keep on my desk to remind me that writing is a ministry and not about the prestige or praise is: Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. ~Psalm 115:1

Here are a few this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms?

Thunderstorms – I love seeing the fingers of lightning flash across the Texas sky when we are driving. And at night, they are a great excuse to cuddle with my husband (or a child if someone gets frightened).

Tea or Coffee?

Tea – I've never developed a taste for coffee. Even with tea, my tastes are pretty plain. Give my regular Lipton tea sweetened with honey, and I sit back and sigh in contentment.

Indoors or Outdoors?

Indoors – I love hiking and being in nature on special trips, but on an everyday basis, I'm almost always inside. Reading, writing, watching TV, cross-stitching. Plus in the Texas summertime, it is just too HOT to be outside for long.

Early-bird or Night-owl?

Early bird – I often fall asleep in my recliner before 10:00 p.m. My preference is to sleep in until 8:00 a.m., but my daily routine has me up at 5:00 a.m. in order to exercise before getting ready for work.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs – Just can't beat that loyalty and protective instinct.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?

My editors usually steer me away from series, but we all had so much fun with the Archer brothers in Short-Straw Bride, that we decided to give another brother his own book. Be watching for Crockett's story, Stealing the Preacher, in June 2013!

Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

I love to hear from readers. The best way to contact me is through my website: www.karenwitemeyer.com. You can find extended backgrounds on my characters, deleted scenes, and monthly giveaways, as well as information about my books. I am also a regular blogger at a western-themed blog called Petticoats & Pistols. All the fillies over there have a grand time blogging about cowboys and life in the old west. You can find us here: www.petticoatsandpistols.com. Finally, I'd love to connect with you Facebook as well. You can find me at: www.facebook.com/karen.witemeyer.

Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of Karen's book, Short-Straw Bride! Giveaway is only open to the USEnter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for this

    raffle:Avie Serolf..;D

  2. I want to read all of her books! I love historical fiction.

  3. This was SUCH a good book! I LOVED it! I really enjoyed the interview! :)

  4. The titles and the covers of your books are delightful and promise a fun read. I shall have to see about reading your books. Perhaps I'll win. ;)

  5. I read this book so dont need to be in the drawing, I really liked the story Karen gave us in this one, looking forward to future story of another brother, they were all lovable characters. thanks Karen
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  6. I keep hearing such fabulous things about this book! I hope I win. :D

    Great interview, Melanie and Karen!!
    -Rosie W.

  7. This book sounds really cute! I love this type of fiction and so do my mom and sister. I'd pass it on to them after I read it :) Thanks!

  8. Hi Melanie! Got your invite from Goodreads, thank you! You have a beautiful blog and I love the scripture verse above this comment box! I think this is my first time here but I definitely hope to visit again soon :)

    Loved your interview with Karen! Great questions all. I'm with her for tea, indoors, and dogs, though, I'm gonna go with snowstorms instead of thunderstorms ;) And I was so blessed by the scripture verses she shared. I've read all of her books and LOVED everyone of them!!

    Thank you so much for the chance to win Short-Straw Bride!! :)


  9. Would love to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway! julierupert@gmail.com

  10. This sounds like such a cute story! Can't wait to read it, thanks for the chance to win!


  11. BTW the last comment I was entering for my Mom. (The comment was saying something about this being a nice giveaway)

  12. I LOVE Karen's books and I can't wait to read this newest one! :)

  13. To bad, I already own this. Great book! Highly recommended. Karen Witemeyer is one of my favorite historical-romantic authors.

  14. Would love to read this book

  15. Short-straw bride sounds like a precious book! Great interview!

  16. This cover is so cute and the story so unusual I can't help but try to win a copy of the book. Thank for the chance.

  17. Crockett!!! Oh yes, yes, yes!!! Cannot wait for that book to come out!! :D

    eve @ essence of eve

  18. This looks like a great book. My first experience with this author, can't wait to get started.

  19. I would love to win this book!!
    God Bless!
    Sarah Richmond

  20. I have heard SO much about this book. I am looking forward reading it. Hopefully sooner than later.

    Amy Campbell

  21. This book sounds great. I am so jealous that you get to read all these books- I wish I had a little more time. Thanks for the giveaway!

    your1chef at aol dot com

  22. I have this book on my to-read list and it sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.


  23. Enter me this book looks absolutely wonderful!!

  24. This was one of my favorite books. Loved it!

  25. What wonderful comments, everyone! Thank you so much for all the kind words from those of you who have read Travis and Mereidth's story. It was certainly a fun one to write. And I just got so attached to those Archer boys that I begged my editor to let me write Crockett's story. I just turned in the manuscript for that one, so it will be coming soon. Yay!

    1. I'm so glad you chose to write a sequel! I loved Short-Straw Bride and am really looking forward to Crockett's story. :)

  26. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. Just wanted to stop by and say hi, Karen! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview. In part, Melanie, because the questions were such fun!

    Your fellow Californian-turned-Texan, and BBC Pride and Prejudice fan, Becky

    1. Thanks, Becky! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! :)

  28. This sounds like a great book..Thank you for the giveaway..


  29. HI i like the way you did the book i put it on my blgo and gogle pus
    blog is deis plce goggle is desiree rielly

    deistheblonde at msnd tocom
    if i get the book i puthtem on twtter fb good read amazon bn and other site to blog on

  30. I enjoyed A Tailor-Made Bride and would love to read this one also.


  31. Would love to win and read your book. I would gladly leave a review after reading too. Rhonda

  32. I love all of Karen's books. She is one of my favorites. Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. I've read a few other of Karens books, cant wait to read this one!

  34. I love the idea of this book and would love to win and read it.

  35. What a great premise! I'd love to win a copy for my library!
    katsaddress AT gmail. DOT com

  36. I haven't read any of her books. I would love to win.

  37. This was my favorite of Karen's books so far and probably one of my favorite books!

  38. Hi! Thanks for the neat giveaway! :)

  39. I love Karen's books! I think To Win Hher Heart was my favorite, but they are all good. This one has been out for a while now, can't believe I haven't read it yet.

    Patty H

  40. I would love to read this book, thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  41. Looks like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  42. Melanie~I like the way you ask the questions to Karen. It makes me feel I know the author behind the book! I want to read this. I am happy to discover a Historical Fiction author. Thank you for the entry!
    Cyndee Thomas
    I also follow "Love Being Vegan"

  43. Karen~I love your answers to Melanie's questions.Melanie you interview with gusto.
    I always feel like I learn so much about the author(s) behind the book(s)I really want to read a new Historical Fiction book by Karen..a new author I met through your Blog today. Thank you for the entry:)
    Cyndee Thomas

  44. I think this would be a good feud/romance book.

  45. This sounds like such a great book. Would love to win.

  46. Thanks for posting this :)

    ~Camille M.


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