She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.
Welcome back, Karen. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
My spiritual themes usually center around issues that I struggle with in my own faith journey. Pride, forgiveness, waiting on God's timing, carrying one another's burdens, trust, not judging, realizing that living right is more important than being right.
In Stealing the Preacher, the theme centers around the idea that in order to truly fulfill God's calling on our lives, we must be willing to surrender our assumptions and rationalizations about what we think that calling entails to follow him in the direction he actually leads, even if that guidance takes us in a different direction than we expect. A secondary theme emphasizes the need to never grow weary of scattering spiritual seed, for God will never give up his pursuit of any individual soul.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
My next project is actually a novella that features Neill Archer, the final brother in the Archer clan. I just couldn't let him go without giving him his own happily ever after. Away from the Archer ranch for two years to earn the money needed to start up his own spread with his childhood friend, Josiah, Neill takes a job repairing a little old widow’s roof. Only the widow isn’t old nor is she little. She’s nine months pregnant with her deceased husband’s child, and she meets Neill with a shotgun aimed at his chest.
Neill’s story, A Cowboy Unmatched, will be part of a collection entitled A Match Made in Texas. It releases January 2014 and includes novellas by three other wonderful historical authors: Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Carol Cox.
I must feature this book on my blog. You four are some of my favorite historical authors. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Being a music lover, I'm going to pick Josh Groban. I love his voice, and if I could somehow convince him to let me sing a duet with him (no audience, of course), I think I would float around in a delighted haze for weeks.
A good choice. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Elizabeth Blackwell. I remember reading a book about the first woman doctor when I was in 5th grade, and it made a huge impact on me. Plus, I would love to ask her a ton of questions about medical treatment in the 1800s for research purposes.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Publishing with a traditional house can be a difficult journey that requires perseverance and tough skin. Rejections are a big part of it. I wrote for 6 years before signing a contract. And that contract came after the same publisher rejected my first manuscript. Thankfully, they saw enough potential in me that they asked me to submit again. Even after publication, rejection is still part of the game. The last time I was up for a new contract, my publisher rejected 2 out of 3 of the story ideas I proposed. I had to go back to the drawing board and start again.
Do your best to learn and master the craft of writing, read extensively in your genre, study the market, find critique partners or freelance editors to help you uncover problem areas, enter contests and listen to the feedback you receive, attend workshops and conferences to meet and network with industry professionals, but most of all, just keep writing and submitting.
Tell us about the featured book.
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can't believe it when he’s forced off the train by an outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the preacher she requested for her birthday. He's determined to escape—which would be much easier if he could stop thinking about Joanna Robbins and her unexpected request.
For months, Joanna had prayed for a minister. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. But just when it seems her prayers have been answered, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett he ended up right where he was supposed to be?
I have read this book and loved the characters and plot twists. Please give us a short excerpt from the book for my readers.
The horse whinnied at the rough treatment and thrashed about trying to gain his freedom. Crockett used the diversion to make a run for the trees. A building of some kind lay to the north. A building meant people. People meant help. He just prayed he'd been right about the bandits not wanting to lodge a bullet in him.
A shot rang out. Angry shouts demanding he stop followed. But no lead slammed into him, so Crockett kept running.
He ducked beneath post oak branches and zigzagged from one tree to another, taking advantage of any cover the terrain afforded.
The building was getting closer. A barn, maybe? He just had to keep his legs under him.
Hooves pounded into the earth behind him. Crockett's heart rate tripled. They were running him down. And he was running out of trees.
Open grassland lay between him and a fenced pasture. Keeping to the trees would only allow him to delay capture, not elude it. His only chance was to scale that fence and hope that Silas and his gang wouldn't risk discovery by pursuing him onto private property.
Lungs on fire, Crockett burst out of the woods and sprinted for the fence. The hoof beats behind him escalated.
A soft whirring caught his ear a second before a lariat dropped over his head and shoulders. Crockett made a desperate grab for the rope, but before he could get his thumbs hooked, the noose tightened around his chest and yanked him backward. In a flash he was flat on his back staring at the sky.
He'd just been lassoed like a new calf at branding time.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
The easiest place to find information about my books is on my website at:
I also love to interact with readers through Facebook and the two group blogs I contribute to. My author page on Facebook is:
If you like my page, you can gain access to the first three chapters of Stealing the Preacher for free.
I blog with a group of western romance authors on a site called Petticoats & Pistols. This group features both Christian and general market authors.
The second group I blog with is called Writes of Passage. This group is made up of bestselling inspirational historical fiction authors. Some names you might recognize are Tracie Peterson, Tamera Alexander, Julie Klassen, and Lynn Austin. We have so much fun together and love to interact with readers.
Karen Witemeyer is "kindling" the excitement for Stealing the Preacher (Bethany House) with a Kindle Fire Giveaway and connecting with readers at her June 18th Facebook Author Chat Party!
One winner will receive:
- A Kindle Fire
- Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer
So grab your copy of Stealing the Preacher and join Karen on the evening of June 18th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Christianbooks.com
Stealing the Preacher - Amazon paperback
Stealing the Preacher - Kindle
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