Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SHORT-STRAW BRIDE - Karen Witemeyer - One Free Book

Bio:Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at:
Readers, I’m reading this book right now. You’re going to love it. Now welcome, Karen. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
My spiritual themes tend to be influenced by my own struggles. In my newest release, Short-Straw Bride, my hero and his brothers have isolated themselves from the rest of their community. This originated from necessity since they were orphaned as young boys and had to fight to stay together and protect their land. But when the need for isolation passed, their habits had become so ingrained that the Archer brothers failed to reintegrate. Until Meredith Hayes breaches their solitude.

I tend to be introverted and love to hide myself away. However, the Bible calls us to live a life of community, of hospitality, of ministering to our neighbors and carrying each other's burdens. I can't do this if I barricade myself away. By tackling this spiritual theme in my novel, I was forced to face it myself. I tend to step on my own toes most of all when I write.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
I only write one book a year, so Short-Straw Bride is the only one arriving in 2012. However, I recently learned that my 2011 release, To Win Her Heart, won the 2012 HOLT Medallion for Best Long Inspirational Romance, so I guess I'll brag on that one a bit. It is also a finalist for the RITA and the National Reader's Choice Award. Those results will be announced at the end of July at the RWA national conference.

Those awards are wonderful. My 2011 release recently won the Selah award for historical fiction. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Now, I just confessed to being an introvert, and now you want me to meet up with a complete stranger? Ha! I guess I need to keep working on that hospitality thing. 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.

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. I'm writing a scene right now where my hero has to remove a bullet from another character, and having her input would be a tremendous help.

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 discover 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.
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?

Please give us the first page of the book.

Anderson County, Texas - 1870

Ten-year-old Meredith Hayes balled her hands into fists as she faced her tormentor.

"Hiram Ellis! Give me back my lunch bucket this instant!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, Meri. Did you want this?" His voice dripped sarcasm as he dangled the small pail in front of her.

She lunged for it, but her hands met only air as the older boy snatched it away then tossed it over her head to his snickering brother. Meredith ricocheted between the two, never quite fast enough to get more than a finger on the tin.

Why was she always the one to get picked on? Meredith stomped her foot in frustration. She thought she'd gotten enough of a lead today after school, but Hiram must have been watching for her. He'd had it out for her ever since her family moved to the area last spring. Probably because the land they bought used to belong to his best friend's family.

"Meri, Meri, quite contrary," Hiram sang in a ridiculously high pitched voice, skipping in a circle around her and swinging the lunch bucket back and forth. A group of girls came around the bend and stopped to giggle behind their hands. Meredith asked for help, but they just stood there smirking and whispering behind their schoolbooks. Even Anna Leigh, her desk mate, and the one girl Meredith thought a friend. Angry tears pooled in her eyes, but Meredith blinked them away. She'd not let Hiram win.

You can read the entire first two chapters on my website, here:

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with readers. The best place to do that is through my website: Here you can learn about my books, find deleted scenes, background on my characters, and a chance to enter my monthly giveaways.

I'm also fairly active on FaceBook. I'd love for you to send me a friend request.

I blog twice a month with a group of western romance authors over at Petticoats & Pistols. We have a lot of fun together, and if you enjoy rugged cowboy heroes, you'll fit right in. Come visit us here:

Thank you, Karen, for visiting with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Short-Straw Bride - paperback
Short-Straw Bride - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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 4 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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


karenk said...

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

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Amy C said...

I have been eyeing this book for awhile. Can't wait to read it! Great interview!
Amy Campbell
Southwest VA

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview.

JoyAnne in TN

Patty said...

I love Karen's writing! I like a little humor with my romance=).

Patty in SC

scottsgal said...

love the title - sounds like a book I'd enjoy
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Bluerose said...

I am SO excited to read this book! I have LOVED Karen's other books that I've read!

Tammy from AL

Anonymous said...


lovedandamazed said...

I've heard about this book and had been wanting to read it! Thank you for the chance to win.

I live in Missouri.

Lisa E. said...

I read another of Karen's books recently, A Tailor-Made Bride, and just loved it. She really brings her characters to life. Thanks for the chance to win this one!

Lisa E. in Washington State

Karen Witemeyer said...

Good morning everyone! What a delight to find so many positive comments!

Amy - I hope you get your hands on a copy soon. Travis and Meredith are dying to meet you. :-)

Patty - I love that you prefer a side of humor with your romance. We can all use a little more laughter in our lives, right?

Sue said...

I'd LOVE to be entered to win Karen's book. A true delight!

In Oregon

RED~Scribe said...

I rarely read westerns, since I'm not a huge romance genre fan, but the summary of Show-Straw Bride has caught my attention, and now I'm thoroughly intrigued.

Eldra in BC

Karen Witemeyer said...

Hi, Eldra.

I'm thrilled to be tempting you over to the dark side. Ha! I hope you get a chanceto try it.

Liz R said...

Karen's books are wonderful and I'd love to win this book!

Liz R in AL

RED~Scribe said...

Karen - If I don't win the book here, my library is bringing it in, so I'll definitely be reading it that way. Dark side... Maybe, maybe not...

Pam K. said...

I'm currently reading this book and loving it. I was elated to find it at my library. I also enjoyed To Win Her Heart. Thanks for the interview and the chance to win a copy of Short Straw Bride.


Melanie said...

I've seen this book around a lot! Hoping to win a copy - thanks for the chance! Short-Straw Bride sounds absolutely fantastic!! :)

Mary Preston said...

I would love to read SHORT-STRAW BRIDE thank you. It looks wonderful.

Mary P


Karen G. said...

Enjoyed the interview. Now I must get the book. Sounds interesting.

Karen from Troy, NY

Ladette said...

This book looks so good to me!! Definitely in my TBR pile. :)

Ladette in GA

Kandra said...

I enjoyed one of Karen's previous books, so I know I'll like this one! Please enter me!
Kandra in Tennessee

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

This one sounds great, please put my name in the hat! :)

Anna W. from GA

Joanna Richmond said...

This one looks great. I would Love to read it. enter me in the give away. Thanks
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

It looks and sounds interesting!
Enter me in the drawing!
My sister Abigail loves your books and I am sure I well enjoy this book too.
God Bless!

Krista said...

I can hardly wait to read this book!!!! Please enter me!

Krista in Oregon

Unknown said...

I would love to win this Book, it sounds so good. I also enjoyed the Interview, thank you so much.

I live in S.Illinois


Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book sounds and looks absolutely wonderful!!
Sharon Richmond

Sharon said...

Loved "Tailor Made Bride" and am looking forward to reading Karen's other books. Thanks for the opportunity to win "Short-Straw Bride"
Sharon from Eagan, MN

Diana Gardner said...

Looks great! Please enter me in the drawing. Portsmouth, VA

Ceska said...

I love this author so much, I love how when I pick up one of her books I slip right into that time period and get lost in the story and the characters, I find myself smiling or a giggle slips through or I even tear up. She has a way of bringing the story to life.

Abigail Mitchell said...

I Love Karen's books!!! I have all the others, read them and Loved them!
Can't wait to read this one! Please enter me! Thanks and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me. This sounds interesting.

Nad in Texas

Jackie Tessnair said...

Would love to read this book.Thanks...Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

rubynreba said...

I enjoy Karen's books and this one looks very good!
from IA

Evlin said...

Nice interview. Would love the chance to win the book. Read a great review about it and got me interested.

Kevlin in NY

Jo said...

Enjoyed the interview. This is a book that I have been wanting to read.


Anonymous said...

Loved the interview.This looks like a good book to read. Please enter me.
Maryann from NY
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Faith's Grandma :) said...

Love your book cover, would love to win this book....Faith's Grandma/OH

Kristie said...

I often wonder about those who do not marry for love. In books and movies they always fall in love at the end. I'm not sure how believeable that is. Anyway, sounds like a good read. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

jessie said...

I would love to read this book!!! i read the sample and im definitly ready for more!!! So bring it on!!!! God Bless!!! Jessie childs texas