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If you enjoy the the wind on your face and open sky before you, you have come to a good place to find the romance and flavor of the West.

Karen Witemeyer ~Head In The Clouds~ Book Giveaway

Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul. Karen holds a master's degree in Psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and her local writers' guild. She's 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.

If you could only take five books with you on a journey of ten years, which ones would you take?

First and foremost, I would take the Bible. It's the only book I know that teaches me something new no matter how many times I read it. Then, I would definitely need some good fiction. I always pack a stack of novels when going on a trip. Let's see . . . I'd have to take Francine River's Redeeming Love. Then I'd need a couple of my favorite general market reads like Julie Garwood's The Secret and Julia Quinn's The Duke and I. For my last book, I think I'd have to choose a road atlas—to see if I could find some shortcuts to shave some time off of this ten-year journey. I'm homesick already!

What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Sleeping. LOL I have yard work that has been neglected all year. I would love to finally get some flowers planted in the side yard that has only grown weeds this past year. I also enjoy cross-stitching. I have a Noah's ark scene that I have been working sporadically on for over a year. I'd love to have more time to devote to it. My goal is to have it finished by Christmas so I can finally give it to my boys. And of course I'd have more time to read, volunteer with my ladies group at church, and spend more time with my husband and kids without having to shush them.
A Tailor-Made Bride

 Who's your one biggest fan/supporter of your writing?

My husband, Wes, is my biggest supporter, but I can't say he's a fan because he's never read any of my books. And being the understanding wife that I am, I've never asked him to. The only page I forced him to read was the dedication page in my debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride. Since it was dedicated to him, I figured he wouldn't mind. Yet, even though he hasn't read a word of my stories, he goes out of his way to tell everyone he meets about my books. He carries pictures of my covers in his ipod touch so that he can show them off at a moment's notice. He keeps promo materials on display in his office and talks up the books among his co-workers. He even talks them up with his online gaming buddies who are all sci-fi nerds like he is, but he's garnered several sales for me because even sci-fi nerds have mothers and wives.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

My range is so narrow, if you blink, you'll miss it. I read historical romance. That's it. But I don't read it just because I write it. No, I've been an historical romance snob since high school. There's something about travelling to the past that enhances the romance and the escape for me. In fact, the reason I write historical romance is because I'm such a genuine fan of the genre. I simply write books I would like to read.

What kinds of things can readers expect from your books?

I've only had two books release so far, so I am still building my brand. However, based on what my editors and readers tell me, you will always find well-developed characters that touch your heart, a blend of humor and suspense elements that keep the pages turning, and accurate historical research that flavors the story with unique perspectives.

What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

I'm a much better editor than a writer. Coming up with original plots is like pulling teeth. It is only by God's grace that those ideas have sprouted into full novels. However, because my strength lies in editing, I never turn the editing voice off in my head. Instead, I draw from that strength. I edit and rewrite as I go, which makes my pace very slow. I will spend 30 minutes getting a sentence right if that is what it takes before moving on. Yet, when I'm done, I'm actually done. No multiple drafts for me, just one that takes 10+ months to get into the computer.

How do you decide on your characters names?

Names are so important. When I go to choose a name, I use several criteria. First, since I write historicals, the name needs to be appropriate for the 19th century. Next, the name needs to conjure up the same personality as the character. Elizabeth is formal and prim and proper where Millie is fun and mischievous. At least in my mind. Last names are important, too. They need sound good to the ear with when combined with the first name or with Miss or Mister. Sometimes, I even use names that have hidden meanings. In Head in the Clouds, my heroine is a teacher and her name is Adelaide Proctor. A proctor is one who supervises students. And the man she initially pursues who turns out to be a toad? Well, I didn't like him very much, so dear Henry got saddled with the last name Belcher. Pretty distasteful, don't you think? (Although, I did know some Belchers several years ago and they were lovely people, so no offense to the Belchers of the world.)

What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

I like to create characters who are believers, but who struggle with different aspects of their faith. In A Tailor-Made Bride the two main characters wrestled with the idea of beauty vs. vanity. However, we also tackled issues of pride and forgiveness. In Head in the Clouds, we look at characters who must learn to trust God when their lives spiral out of their personal control. They must wait on the Lord and trust him with their dreams. Most of my readers are already Christians, and I want my spiritual themes to challenge them to grow in their faith, or perhaps just to give them a reminder of things they already know to be true.

What gave you the inspiration for Head In The Clouds?

Since I enjoy regency romances as well as those set in the American West, I thought it would be fun to blend the two by bringing an English nobleman to Texas.

Head in the Clouds started with a clear idea for theme and the story grew out of that. I wanted to write about a woman with big dreams who grows impatient when God doesn't seem to be answering her prayers. The longer God is silent, the more confused and frustrated she becomes until she finally takes matters into her own hands and pursues her dreams in the way she thinks best. In the process, she makes a thorough mess of things. It is only when she learns to wait on the Lord that he begins to work in her life to bring about blessings she never before imagined.

How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I had so much fun creating Adelaide. Like me, she is addicted to romantic stories, everything from fairy tales to novels. My favorite 19th century novel is Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. I read it in high school and fell in love with the story. I've seen every major film version and even watched a live theater musical retelling of the class tale. Not only is this novel Adelaide's favorite as well, but she finds many similarities between her own unfolding story and that of Bronte's Jane.

On a less cheerful note, I also share some personal history with Adelaide. We both lost our fathers when we were sixteen. And like Adelaide, it brings me comfort to imagine my dad looking down on me from heaven with love and joy as he watches me muddle through my life.

One attribute that is all Adelaide would include her tendency to be messy. I'm not a neat freak, but clutter makes me stressed. I need to keep things tidy. I also know nothing about shooting a gun. I've never touched anything more sinister than a water pistol. My horse riding skills also leave much to be desired. I can handle a walk a maybe a trot, but seeing as how I can count on one hand the number of times I've been astride such a creature, a canter would have me screaming and gripping the saddle horn for dear life.

Give us an introduction to Head In The Clouds.

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.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected 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?

What’s next after Head in the Clouds?

I'm currently working on rewrites for my next novel called To Win Her Heart which is set to release early summer, 2011. It is set in the late 1880s and 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 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 the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back her affections?

A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

WHERE TO FIND YOU ON THE WEB

Web site:http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/

Facebook:Look for me under Karen Witemeyer


Karen, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us. To have the possibility to receive a copy of Head In The Clouds:

  • Leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). 
  • Giveaway closes Sunday, October 24, 2010 at midnight (CST). 
  • Only US postal codes.
  • If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to AJHawke.blogspot.com to leave your comments.

45 comments:

Renee Ann said...

I'm not familiar with Karen's writing and would love the chance to win a copy of this book! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Thanks for the interview, A.J.! And, Karen, thanks for sharing about your life and the ideas that help you create your stories!

karenk said...

I enjoyed Karen's debut novel very much...thanks for the chance to read her latest story.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo.com

lotus82 said...

Wonderful interview. Thanks so much for the chance to win the book as well.

~Steph
soklad@hotmail.com

barbjan10 said...

I enjoyed Karen's interview and learning more about her. Your current book appeals to my reading appetite. I look forward to finding out how everything comes out in the end. Your book that is in the works sounds particularly interesting. I enjoy historical novels and this story sounds like it's packed full of problems to overcome. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win this book. I hope I do!

Sharing God's Love,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Cindy W. said...

The cover art for Head in the Clouds is absolutely beautiful! I enjoyed the interview and the fact that you put a lot of yourself into you character. I would love to be entered to win a copy. Thank you for a chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Katey said...

I love this new cover. I loved Tailor Made Bride. It was a such a good book.
katey(dot)1m(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jalana said...

I have never read one of Karen's books, but I saw it recently and would love a copy to read! Even the cover is appealing as it reminds me of myself!lol
jalanafranklin(at)gmail(dot)com

Candice said...

I loved your first book and can't wait to read this one. I hope I win it!

valdezc_1@sbcglobal.net

Charlotte Kay said...

I am ecstatic to have a chance to win a copy of Karen's book!
Karen, do you use another editor other than yourself?
God bless!

Charsaltz(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carla Gade said...

I enjoyed this interview so much. I read both Karen's books in record time and look forward to her next release. It's fun to learn more about her. So much in common!

Karen Witemeyer said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments and encouragement. I appreciate you so much!

Charlotte - I do not use a freelance editor, but I make regular use of my critique group and then my in-house editors also give me valuable feedback and help me with the rewrites.

Blessings to you all!
~Karen

Charity said...

OOO!! Please enter me:) I would so love to win this! I read Karen's first book and am doing a giveaway with this book but I wasn't able to read it:) Thanks for the chance at winning it!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Ann Shorey said...

Sounds like a great story. I have one of Karen's books in my TBR pile--I'd like to add this one. :)
annshorey [at] msn [dot] com

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'd love to win.
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Patsy said...

This book sounds great. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for giving it away.
plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Hope said...

Please enter me; I read Tailor Made Bride and loved it! So I'd really like to win this one!
onepilgrim86[at]yahoo.com

rubynreba said...

Great review. I'd love to read this.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much to both of you for sharing this wonderful interview! Karen's books look great.

I'd love to be entered:)
Blessings,
Karen
klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This book has the cutest cover, and I've read such great reviews of tailor made bride. thank you for the contest!

inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

Sheree said...

would love to read this book!
sheree
neednspace at aol dot com
booknroll.blogspot.com

Renee G said...

I enjoyed the interview and would love to read this book.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Grace said...

Great interview! This book sounds so intriguing ^_^ Carman sent me!!!

gracethorson at gmail dot com

Thanks much!
~Grace

Kait said...

This looks like a great book to read! Please enter me!

Carman sent me!

Kait
momiswayweird(at)gmail(dot)com

Michelle said...

So happy to have another chance to win this book!

I've read the first chapter, and I can't wait to read the rest!

Thanks so much for the great interview, and for the chance to win!

Blessings,
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Kate {The Parchment Girl} said...

Looks like a great book! I'd love to have a chance to enter.

kate[at]parchmentgirl[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Karen Witemeyer is one of my favorite authors. I was up till about 3 or 4 reading her other book, 'A Tailor-Made Bride'. It was fabulous! She really is a talented author!
Thank you for this giveaway!
April
apeygirl at gmail dot com

Anne Payne said...

I loved the Tailor Made Bride! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of Karen's new book.

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Jennifer said...

I haven't ever read Karen's books. They sound like just the kind I love to read. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

Jennifer
jmschwindt at cox dot net

Valerie said...

I haven't read one of Karen's books; thank you for the opportunity to win one! Carman sent me.

Sylvia said...

Oh, I've been looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed the first one so much!

nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

Carman sent me.

barbjan10 said...

Carmen sent me back to let you know that I'd really like to win Karen's book. Each time I look at the clever cover I want to yell a warning at Adelaide to be careful, she is about to step off the porch and might fall. Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win this fun book. I hope I do!

Blessings,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Emma said...

Good interview. Head in the Clouds sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win this book.
Carman sent me. augustlily06(AT)aim(DOT)com.

~Prism~ said...

Loved the interview! Head in the Clouds looks like a great book. Thank you so much for the chance to enter! :)

girlofmanycolors (at) gmail (dot) com

Blessings,
~Prism~

Casey said...

I loved Karen Whitemyer's last book. Can't wait to read Head in the Clouds! Please enter me in to win.
randomness.is.awesome@gmail.com

Katie M said...

Ohh, Id love a chance at winning this book! Please include me!

legacy1992 at gmail dot com

jenmmcclure said...

I would love to read this book! Thanks for the chance to win it.

jenmmcclure(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lady DragonKeeper said...

I haven't read anything by Karen Witemeyer before, but this book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win!

jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

Katie G. said...

Please enter me! I would really like to read this one! Thanks!

God bless!

~Katie G.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Sounds like a good book --and I agree with the above comments-- the cover art is beautiful!

kristia4(at)hawaii(dot)edu

(Sent by Carman).

Maureen said...

Carman sent me.

I love books about the old West. Please include me!

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Pam said...

Carman sent me to this site.
"Head in the Clouds" sounds like a fun read. The girl on the cover reading while walking reminds me of my daughter. She'd enjoy this book too.
Thanks for having the book drawing.

pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Kathryn said...

I would love to read this! I love a good "literary" heroine.

Please enter me :)

ksmiley2[at]kent[dot]edu

Sandee61 said...

I'd love a chance to win Karen's book, please add my name to your giveaway. Thank you! I love the covers of Karen's books too...so pretty.

Have a great day!

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Michelle said...

Has the winner been chosen for this giveaway?

Karen Witemeyer said...

Congratulations to Jennifer F. AJ picked her name as the winner of Head in the Clouds. Jennifer has already been contacted and the book is on its way.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. Blessings to you all!

~Karen

 

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About Me

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I love the wind in my face, the open sky before me, the romance and flavor of the West, but, most of all, our loving and living God, who created it all. I love how He works out His plans in the realm of human events, which is His Story. I have been blessed with a gift: a compulsion to write Historical and present-day novels set in the American West that demonstrate His power to transform ordinary people into true heroes and heroines. I am just a scribe really. I find the joy of participating in the creation of inspirational fiction indescribable. May our Lord Jesus Christ receive all of the credit and be glorified.

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