Hi, reader friends! I’m simply delighted to feature today’s author, Karen Witemeyer! Her stories are among my favorites and must-reads for fans of historical romance. She’s sharing some of her favorites, her latest bookish news, and a giveaway for y’all!
about the author
For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.
Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, visit her website. Join Karen’s private FB fan group, the Posse.
Favorite secondary characters
Karen: The Chandler sisters from my Ladies of Harper’s Station series. This pair of maiden aunts couldn’t be more different from each other. Bertie (Alberta) Chandler is the soft, sweet, nurturer of the ladies in the women’s colony while her sister Henry (Henrietta) Chandler is the feisty, militant, suffragette. Whenever she believes an injustice has been done to one of her ladies, she dons her bloomers, fetches her revolver, and is ready to go to war.
Amos Bledsoe in Heart on the Line dubbed them Cookie Granny and Revolver Granny. One of my favorite Henry-isms is when she’s giving advice to the ladies after a villain set fire to the Harper’s Station church in No Other Will Do –
“. . . worrying about tomorrow is as pointless as milking a dry cow. Leaves you frustrated, frazzled, and with nothing to show for your effort. On the other hand . . . a good night’s sleep can shrink any problem down to a manageable size. So that’s what I aim to do—get some sleep and leave the worrying to the Lord. I suggest you all do the same.”
Beth: I love the Chandler sisters! Henry is a teeny bit intimidating but Bertie is always nearby with a plate of cookies to soften her rough edges 😉
Karen: I’m a historical romance gal all the way. I rarely read anything contemporary. Ever since my Little House on the Prairie days, I’ve loved escaping into the past through stories. Maybe it’s the big dresses, but something about historic settings enhances the fairy tale effect for me. So, when I decided to try my hand at writing, there was no question about what my genre of choice would be. Write what you love!
Beth: Historical romance is my first love genre!
Favorite time and place to write
Karen: I’m most fresh in the morning, yet because of working a full-time day job, I rarely get to write in my sweet time spot. During the Christmas/New Year holiday, I was blessed with two weeks of vacation, and nearly every day, I carved out time to write directly after breakfast. My glamorous writing location? On my bed with my laptop. Not even a desk. Ha! But I didn’t mind. It’s so fabulous to get my page count goals met and still have the majority of the day to accomplish other tasks. During vacation, that included a lot of family board games. Play time!
Beth: That sounds like a lovely couple of weeks!
Karen: Early in my writing career, several years before I was published, I attended a local writers’ guild meeting where a lady spoke on the power of strong verbs. She gave an example that resonated with me so much, it became one of my favorite words—sagged. Probably not what you were expecting, huh? There’s just something about that word, though. It encapsulates such emotion yet can be so versatile—despair, disappointment, hopelessness, physical fatigue or emotional relief. It can be used to great effectiveness in a variety of settings and circumstances and paints such a vivid picture. You immediately know what the character is feeling. I try not to overuse it, but I bet if you read all of my books and searched for it, you’d find that word in nearly every story I’ve written.
Beth: Nope, wasn’t expecting that one! ????
Favorite book setting
Karen: I already mentioned my love for historical settings, but what might be a surprise is that when I read for pleasure, the majority of the books I read are set in Regency England, not in the American West. This gives me some variety, though I have to be careful when I start writing that my characters don’t start slipping in British slang or upper crust vocabulary.
Beth: Variety is good!
What is your go-to beverage?
Karen: Almost every mid-morning and mid-afternoon, I refuel with a large cup of hot tea. I don’t go in for fancy, flavored teas. I just like plain black tea sweetened with honey. A touch of caffeine, a touch of sweet, and I’m ready to power through.
Beth: Woo! A little bit of fuel to put some pep in your step 😉
What is your comfort food?
Karen: I love ice cream. If I’ve accomplished something, I look to ice cream as a reward. If I’ve had a rough day, I look to cheer myself with some creamy goodness. Unfortunately, it’s not too good for the waistline, so I try to restrain more often than I give in, but I do love a bowl of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip every so often.
Beth: Mmmmm, I love ice cream!
Tell us about your latest release
Karen: Hearts Entwined is a fun novella anthology that I had the honor of working on with some great author friends—Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears. The four stories are loosely connected by the theme of how love can tie you up in knots. We had fun with the titles. My story is The Love Knot. Mary’s is The Tangled Ties That Bind. Regina has Bound and Determined, and Melissa has Tied and True.
The Love Knot is the final story in the Ladies of Harper’s Station series. It stands alone, so you don’t need to have read the other stories in order to enjoy this one, but for those who have been looking forward to Claire’s story and finally discovering what led her to become a runaway mail-order bride in No Other Will Do, all is finally revealed.
Here is the blurb specifically pertaining to The Love Knot: Claire Nevin has identified herself in many ways during her brief eighteen years: Irish immigrant; professional embroiderer; jilted fiancé; runaway mail-order bride; and most recently, apprentice healer for the ladies of Harper’s Station. The one role she treasures above all, however, is sister. When her troubled younger sibling sends her an unexpected package by rail, the gift, and the man who delivers it, threaten to redefine her life once again. Fighting to hold on to all she has built, will she lose what matters most?
Beth: I’m so fond of these stories!
Hearts Entwined by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, Melissa Jagears
In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train.
Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede.
Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels?
And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory.
Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.
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Tell us about your next release
Karen: My next book will kick off a new series about a group of unwanted orphans who bond together to create their own family after the orphan train they are riding derails. The first book in the Patchwork Family series is Evangeline’s story – More Than Meets the Eye. It will release in June.
More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer
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?
Beth: I’m so excited about these orphans and looking forward to this series! Thank you so much for sharing your favorites and book news with us, Karen Witemeyer!
Karen Witemeyer has generously offered to send one Faithfully Bookish reader a signed paperback of Hearts Entwined!
Say hi to Karen Witemeyer! Does anyone else have a favorite word to share?
What are your favorite story elements in historical romance?