Friends, I am super excited to have Karen Witemeyer visiting with us today! I have been reading her books since 2011 when her very first book “A Taylor-Made Bride” hit the shelves. I’ve not missed one of her stories, I’ve gobbled them all up like a hungry book dragon. Today, you get a front row seat to our conversation about Karen’s news book More Than Meets the Eye! Grab yourself a drink, a cozy chair and don’t forget to enter the giveaway before you go.
Christy Award finalist and winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.
Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.
Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?
Grab your copy today!
Welcome, Karen! I’m thrilled to have you visiting with us today and chatting about your latest book release. Let’s get started with a few fun questions and then chat about the book.
Q: What is your favorite season, and why?
Karen: Spring – I love seeing new life emerge. Wildflowers (especially Texas bluebonnets), budding trees, grass changing from brown to green, baby animals coming into the world – it’s a season of hope.
Trisha: Yes! Spring is my absolute favorite season as well!
Q: What is the best part of your day?
Karen: The evening. Work is done for the day, dinner dishes are finished, relaxation can begin. Usually this entails sitting in my chair next to my hubby and watching a TV show or two. I usually cross-stitch while he plays on the computer. However, now that it’s summer and the kids don’t have homework to rush off to complete, one or two evenings a week we play board games. Love having the whole family together for a little fun-spirited competition.
Trisha: Evenings are the ideal time to relax and unwind from a busy day.
Q: What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?
Karen: Christy by Catherine Marshall is my favorite of all time. I also really enjoyed Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
Trisha: Oh, yes! Two wonderful selections!
Q: If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?
Karen: My favorite genres include 80’s love songs, oldies, Christian, and Big Band. So names you might see would include Celtic Woman, Josh Groban, Lauren Daigle, Toby Mac, and Bing Crosby. How’s that for variety?
Trisha: I love the variety!
Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?
Karen: In More Than Meets the Eye, I would say that the characters came first. Years ago, I read a book by Julie Garwood called For the Roses where a group of street-toughened New York City urchins find a baby girl that someone had tried to dispose of and they decide to take her in and make a new life for themselves out west. This idea of family bonds being formed through shared hardship really spoke to my heart and came back to me as inspiration when I was brainstorming a new idea for a series. I wanted to bring together a group of orphans and have them create a family for themselves. Then came the idea of the orphan trains, but I needed my orphans not to be chosen by families so I had to give them reasons to be discarded and overlooked. Zach, the oldest, became a loner with a huge chip on his shoulder. Seth came into play as a sickly kid with weak lungs and a poor constitution. But how would I make the cheerful, tenderhearted heroine I envisioned for this story undesirable to adoptive families? That’s when I hit on the idea of heterochromia – or two different colored eyes, something people would see as unnatural and cause their superstitious minds to leap to unsavory conclusions. Once I had these characters in mind, the plot began to grow.
Q: Which character took you by surprise
Karen: Well, I don’t want to tell too much, because I want this character to take readers by surprise too, but I will say that I had no idea this little fellow was going to show up until one of my secondary characters spoke him into existence near the end of Chapter 22. I usually keep a tight rein on my story as I write, so when something surprises me, it’s a rare treat and a keen reminder that, ultimately, I’m not the one in control.
Q: What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
Karen: I don’t write at night. That’s my down time. My brain pretty much turns to mush around 8:00 pm and is only good for watching television and handling the occasion family board game. I’m best in the morning or early afternoon. Which means I write a lot over the weekends.
Q: What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
Karen: I don’t write multiple drafts. I write one, very slow, very careful draft so there’s not much chopping that goes on in my manuscripts. (I know. I’m strange.) I have had a time or two when my editor comes back and says a particular scene isn’t working, leaving me to cut or completely rework a section, but that doesn’t happen too often. I have two such scenes posted in the Bonus Material on my website. One is a deleted epilogue cut from my debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride. The other is a scene removed from A Worthy Pursuit. You can find those here. I didn’t have any large cuts with More Than Meets the Eye. Thank goodness. Those are hard on a writer’s heart.
Q: What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)
Karen: I have two upcoming projects. The first is a fun Christmas anthology where I got to team up with authors like Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade. The concept is a family heirloom that is handed down from mother to daughter across the generations – an heirloom that brings true love to its owner, often when least expected. This was my first stand-alone novella, and I had so much fun writing it. In fact, my Facebook group, The Posse, helped me plot the story and brought in a four-legged critter that ended up playing a key matchmaking role in the story. The Christmas Heirloom releases on October 2.
The second project is a sequel to More Than Meets the Eye. Older brother Zach Hamilton meets his match in an independent baker who ignores his death grip on bachelorhood and bargains him into a marriage of convenience. Secrets with the power to destroy their happiness loom and a vengeful villain with the power to destroy their lives sabotage them at every turn. The working title is More Than Words Can Say, and it is slated for release next June.
Thanks so much for having me!
Trisha: Thank you, for visiting. It has been a pleasure to chat with you! Friends, Karen is generously giving away an autographed print copy of More Than Meets the Eye. Read below for the details!
***** GIVEAWAY *****
Karen is giving away 1 (one) autographed print copy of “More Than Meets the Eye”. Please note: Due to shipping cost this giveaway is only open to those with U.S mailing addresses.
Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.
Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.
To Enter the Giveaway:
1.) Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Have you read one of Karen’s books before? If yes, do you have a favorite?”
2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.