Thursday, October 07, 2010

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS - Karen Witemeyer - Free Book

Welcome back, Karen. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

Historical romance is my favorite genre to read, so it was only natural that I gravitate to that genre when I decided to write stories of my own. And I write for the Christian market because I long to honor God with my words. My characters reflect bits and pieces of my own strengths and struggles as I strive to live for the Lord. My prayer is that readers enjoy a fun romp through the late 1800's while at the same time nurturing their commitment to Christ.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

This is a surprisingly difficult question for me to answer. I am the type of person that looks for joy in every day and looks more to the future than the past. Besides, how could I possibly choose between the days each of my three children were born, or the day I married my college sweetheart?

How has being published changed your life?

I am much busier. Deadlines on one project, marketing another, brainstorming a plotline for a third. But there are many rewards as well. Hearing from my readers never fails to touch my heart. And the interaction with authors and publishing professionals who have become dear friends at conferences, workshops, or just via e-mail interchanges is always an encouragement. My life is richer for having become part of the publishing world.

What are you reading right now?

I mentioned earlier that I love historical romance. Well, my passion for this genre is so strong that it is nearly all I ever read. I enjoy stories from authors like Deeanne Gist, Tamera Alexander, Cathy Marie Hake, and many others. In fact, a dear friend of mine, Jody Hedlund, is debuting a new historical romance this month as well. Her novel is inspired by the life and love of John Bunyan. Look for The Preacher's Bride in a store near you.

I will be featuring Jody's book on this blog later this month. What is your current work in progress?

I am currently working on a story set in the late 1880s that asks the question – what happens after the prodigal son returns? So many times, we focus on the wonderful homecoming the lost son received from his father, but have you ever asked what life was like for him after the celebration was over? How did he relate to his bitter older brother or the servants and townspeople who were only too aware of his past arrogance and wild living?

In my current story, I play on those very questions. My hero is a man recently released from prison who has returned to his faith roots and rededicated his life to the Lord. The heroine is a woman who has been disappointed by men in the past and has little tolerance of those who don't meet her high standards. In an effort to make a clean start, Levi hides his past and Eden believes she has finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when his secret is revealed will both their futures be shattered?

What would be your dream vacation?

I adore the mountains. However, I'm a wimp when it comes to the cold, so for me, the ideal vacation would be to travel to Colorado in the spring or summer to hike the mountain trails in search of the perfect waterfall. Or maybe I'd visit a dude ranch in Wyoming and ride the range with real western cowboys. That would guarantee plenty of inspiration for future novels.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I have a fondness for the American West, Texas in particular. I grew up in California but came to Texas for college and never left. I love this rugged land with its stunning sunsets and adventurous spirit. So far, all of my novels have been set somewhere in Texas. I usually create fictional towns while basing them on the history of actual towns that existed in my time period. However, Head in the Clouds features an actual small Texas town—Menardville. The town has since dropped the "ville" and goes simply by the name Menard.

My favorite decade is the 1880s. The railroad was making its way across Texas by that time and towns were springing up. The Indian threat had passed, so new families were eager to move in and settle the previously untamed land. This was a time of great growth for Texas and is ripe for stories about the people who made this land home.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I am an avid cross-stitcher. It is hard to find time to stitch with a full-time job, a writing career, and busy family life, but I sneak it in whenever things slow down. I also love to sing. Church offers many wonderful opportunities, but I also sing off and on with our local community chorus. I love the rich harmonies of blended voices and feel closest to God when I'm singing his praises with other believers.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

I'm learning that my most difficult obstacle is often different for each book. Sometimes it's finding plot details that feel fresh. Sometimes it's finding a way to incorporate humor in a story that leans more toward drama. Sometimes it's finding the right opening. On my current project, I had to completely scrap the first two chapters and start over in a new place before I was satisfied.

Whatever the obstacle, the best way for me to overcome is to pray about it and listen for the Lord's guidance. I have a tendency to fret until everything is just right, so it stretches my faith to leave things in the Lord's hands. But he hasn't disappointed me yet!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Toughen your hide but not your heart. Writing is a challenging business. There is so much rejection and criticism involved in the process. You have to be able to deal with the hurt in a positive manner. Don't allow yourself to brood or grow bitter. Don't discount negative comments as worthless because the person obviously doesn't understand you or your book. Look deeper and try to learn from each criticism, but let go of the things that don't resonate with you as true.

On the other hand, don't grow so callous that you have no compassion for other writers or your future readers. Keep your heart tender to God's leading, full of love for those who encourage you, and full of grace for those who would tear you down. Sometimes you can make a greater impact for Jesus in the way you handle adversity than in the way you handle success.

Tell us about the featured book.

When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner, her heart’s not the only thing in danger.

Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a Central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America’s wool industry, never expecting to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn’t uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon—and intrigues him at the same time. But he can’t afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.

When Isabella’s uncle comes to claim the child—and her inheritance—Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man’s evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?

Please give us the first page of the book.

Cisco, TX – April, 1883

Adelaide Proctor stared at the man across from her, so many flutters dancing in her stomach she couldn't possibly eat a bite of the apple pie he'd just ordered for her. Tonight was the night. She could feel it. The secret smiles he'd sent her that morning over breakfast at the boarding house, his request to dine with her so they might discuss the future. The future! How could it be anything else? Henry Belcher was finally going to propose.

"Is the pie not to your liking, my dear?" Henry set his fork down and glanced up at her. Always solicitous, that was her Henry.

"I'm sure it's delicious," Adelaide said, looking down at her lap and fiddling with the hem of the white tablecloth. "It's just that you mentioned you wished to discuss something with me this evening, and I'm afraid my curiosity has stolen my appetite."

"Of course. How thoughtless of me." He pushed his plate of half-eaten pie to the side and reached across the table, holding his hand palm up. "I should not have kept you in suspense all through dinner."

With a hitch in her breath, Adelaide drew one arm from her lap and eased her fingers into his. His thumb rubbed the back of her hand. An intimate gesture that infused her with hope. And if it didn't stir her deeper emotions . . . well, what did that matter? Not all marriages were based on a grand passion. She and Henry shared something much more likely to last: common interests and mutual respect. If carefully cultivated, she had no doubt such attributes would bloom into love.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I would love to have readers visit my Web site at: . You can find fun information about the hobbies and interests of the characters featured in my books as well as contests and free giveaways like bookmarks and a download for a biblical fiction piece inspired by the life of Rahab.

You can also find me on Facebook. Come by and visit any time. I'd love to hear from you!

Thank you, Karen, for this interesting peek into your life and writing.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Robyn said...

Adelaide sounds like a very sweet girl with big dreams. Can't wait to see what happens.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

K said...

oooooo!!! I really want to read this book! Please enter me!

Keli Gwyn said...

I loved Karen's debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, and I'm eager to read Head in the Clouds.. (I have a copy of the book in my TBR mountain, so please don't enter me in the drawing.)

I can vouch for Karen's singing voice. I stood beside her at the Faith, Hope & Love meeting during RWA® Nationals in Orlando this past July. We were singing, and I mouthed the words so I could enjoy listen to her praise the Lord in song. God has given her a real gift.

patsy said...

This book sounds great. Love the cover. Would love to read it.

Karen Witemeyer said...

Robyn, K, and Patsy. Thanks so much for your positive comments and interest in Head in the Clouds! I had so much fun with Adelaide, giving her all the hopeless romantic tendencies I try to keep restrained in myself. :-)

While we wait for the drawing, if you want to read a little more, I have a link to the prologue and first chapter on my website.


Karen Witemeyer said...

You're such a sweetie! I can't wait to return the favor and have one of your books on my TBR mountain!

grannyvon said...

I would love to win this book. The first page leaves me hanging and wanting to read more, THanks for the chance.

Sylvia said...

Oh, I loved the first book and have been looking forward to reading this one very much!


Connie Chrane said...

I loved Karen’s first book, A Tailor-Made Bride, and can’t wait to read this one! Karen is a wonderful author and a wonderful person. Love her! We have become friends through our work and I am blessed to know her. It is so fun being a part of the beginning of her career as an author.

Pamela McAdams said...

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Karen a bit and her life style is a shining light to the Lord she serves, as her books are. I can't wait to read the next book, knowing that I'll be just encouraged and uplifted with it as I was the first.
Thanks Karen for your hard work and for the love, care and faith you put into your work!

MJ said...

Looking forward to reading this one.

rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

Karen Witemeyer said...

grannyvon and mj - Thanks for stopping by today! Glad you liked the teaser. Best of luck on the contest!

So glad you enjoyed A Tailor-Made Bride. Jericho and Hannah were a lot of fun for me. I hope you enjoy meeting Adelaide and Gideon, too.

Connie and Pamela - you gals are the best! Thanks for all your love and support.

Merry said...

I can't wait to read Head in the Clouds, I loved Karen's last book. Please put my name in!

Candice Valdez said...

I really enjoyed A Tailor-Made Bride and am really looking forward to reading Head in the Clouds! Would love to win it!

karenk said...

would LOVE to read karen's latest novel...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Judylynn said...

Oh, I know where Menard is - I grew up in San Angelo, Texas. Menard is just down the road.

Please enter me in this giveaway!


Katie G. said...

Please enter me! It sounds like a marvelous book! THanks so much!

God bless!

~Katie G.

holdenj said...

Head in the Clouds sounds like a great story, thanks for the chance to win! I enjoyed the interview and think Karen's work in progress sounds good too.

scottsgal said...

I enjoyed the interview - sounds like a wonderful read
msboatgal at

Jan Cline said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you for exploring the post prodigal son story. I have been anquishing over this issue for some time due to my own prodigal's return. There is often still serious issues with the brother left behind and we just aren't told what the relationships were after the celebration. Cant wait to read about it.

Theresa N. said...

Adelaide sounds like a great character.
Theresa N

apple blossom said...

love the book cover. thanks
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Thanks for all the positive response! I'll be sure to have everyone entered in the drawing.

Judylynn - A San Angelo gal, huh? How cool. That's just down the road from my home in Abilene. Great to connect with you here.

Jan - I rejoice with you that your prodigal has returned! But there are always lingering consequences and issues aren't there? God's forgiveness is so much more complete than our humoan version. It shouldn't be that way, but it often is.

Blessings to all of you!

Anne Payne said...

Karen's a great writer and her stories are quite engaging. I loved A Tailor-Made Bride so I know I'll love Head in the Clouds, as well! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

Diane said...

So many twists and turns. It sounds like a great book!

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

kristen said...

What a gorgeous cover!! Please enter me:)

jenmmcclure said...

Sounds like a fun book to read! Thanks for the opportunity to win it!


rubynreba said...

I'd really enjoy reading this.

Stacielynn said...

sounds like a great book...I'd love the chance to read it!

Cindy W. said...

Would love to be entered into your contest to win a copy of Head in the Clouds. Thank you for the opportunity, it sounds like a wonderful book!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Pam K. said...

I enjoy "discovering" new authors. I'd love to win and read this book by Karen.


Kristen said...

I love historical fiction and would love to win this book. It sounds like a really good one. :-)

Trinity Rose said...

Would love to be able to read this book. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.
Many blessings,
Trinity Rose

Julia M. Reffner said...

This one looks like a lot of fun. Would love to read it.


Carman said...

Please enter me! I can't wait to read Karen's books.

Brenda said...

Sounds like a great read!

dancealert at aol dot com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Count me in!
Ann Lee Miller

Jan Marie said...

I would love to be the lucky winner of Head in the Clouds. I don't usually read historical books but this one sounds to good to pass up. Thanks for the opportunity.


Anna W. said...

Sounds great! I really enjoyed Karen's first book. :) Please enter me in the giveaway!

Renee Ann Smith said...

Please enter me. I'm not familiar with Karen's books and would love this chance to own one! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Maureen said...

I still have "A Tailor-Made Bride, on my list to read...please include me in this draw!

Hope said...

Sounds great! Please enter me!

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy Karen's style of writing and I would love to be entered into the drawing for her new book! Thanks!!



Lindsey said...

This book sounds like a fun read! Thanks for giving us the opportunity of winning a copy. :)


Bakersdozen said...

I love historical romance and this book sounds interesting with the prodigal son storyline.

misskallie2000 said...

Would love to win this book. Head in the Clouds sounds like a great book.
Thanks for this opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Cynthia said...

Please don't enter me in
this drawing as I already
have this book. Just wanted
to mention it is an awesome
first novel. If you don't
win it here, you need to
go out and get one for
-C. Lovely