Tag Archives: Karen Witemeyer

Top 10 Tuesday — Recent Reads

4 May

After a slow reading year in 2020 and a busy wedding schedule this year, I am trying to get my reading groove back. It’s been a slow process, but I think I am hitting my stride again. That being said, I’m sharing my most recent reads for Top Ten Tuesday this week. Have you read any of these books?

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Recent Reads

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Currently reading:

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

Whispers in The Branches by Brandy Heineman

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Animals

27 Apr

This week our Top 10 Tuesday prompt is animals from books. I had a post like that back in November. Could I come up with another? Yes! I love when authors include animals. Some of these books I have read; others are in my TBR pile.

Do you have a favorite book that features an animal?

For more bookish animals, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Bookish Animals

Wild And Wonderful

A wild boar from More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

A python from Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

A parrot from Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Canine Companions

Called to Protect by Lynnette Eason

Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink

No Filter by Heather Day Gilbert

Friendly Felines

The Cat That God Sent by Jim Kraus

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Audiobook Mini-Review: More Than Meets The Eye

22 Mar

The past month has been tough emotionally, so I really needed an easy read for my morning walk. So how do I define easy? — a book with engaging characters, perhaps a little (or a lot) of romance, some humor, and no heavy topics. While More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer checked all the boxes, is was not fluffy. There is a great message about not judging people’s appearances or limitations, but looking at them how God does. This book was really what I needed!

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?

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, please visit http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.

My Impressions:

I admit I read The Patchwork Family series out of order. I learned about the Hamilton family in More Than Words Can Say which features oldest brother Zach. I found the book charming, so I was eager to learn more about this patched together family. More Than Meets The Eye, book 1 in the series, starts with the main characters as children riding an orphan train to find new families. They are not successful for a number of reasons, and tragedy and a promise cause them to form a family of their own. The book follows Zach, Seth, and Evangeline in their early adulthood. Although they are prospering, they still haven’t found a place in the surrounding community. Differences seen and unseen from the townspeople of Pecan Gap keep the siblings aloof. Two strangers enter their circle, and the dynamics change quickly. I really liked all of the characters in the book. Each has a unique story that many can identify with. The plot moves at a brisk pace, and besides romance, there is mystery and suspense. I loved how God changed hearts and minds as well.

If you are a fan of historical romance set in the western America, I think you will really enjoy More Than Meets The Eye. I found it to be a great way to keep on track with my morning walks.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Audiobook Mini-Review — The Christmas Heirloom

19 Dec

December always finds me trying to stick with my fitness goals. Walking everyday is one of the ways I de-stress and keep moving. A Christmas novella in audiobook form goes a long way in keeping me on track. I listened to The Christmas Heirloom, a 4-novella collection, a few weeks ago. It was great! Here’s more about the book.

 

In Kristi Ann Hunter’s Legacy of Love, Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer’s Gift of the Heart, widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s A Shot at Love, Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade’s Because of You, Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

 

My Impressions:

The Christmas Heirloom features a unique brooch handed down from one generation to another. Its symbolic promise of true love permeates all of the stories. Four women, separated by place and time, all find the love they are looking for — the love of a husband and the love of God. I really liked the way each story was unique and the message presented in different ways. The 4 novellas take place in Regency England, Texas following the Civil War, West Virginia in the 1950s, and modern-day Washington State. Having different authors for the stories allows each main character to have a clear and distinct voice. I really did love all the novellas, but my favorites were A Shot at Love and Because of You. Vastly different in time, place, and characters, those two resonated with me the most. The audiobook has 4 narrators — another way the characters came to life as individuals.

The Christmas Heirloom is a great addition to Christmas reading. Each novella is short enough to finish in 1-2 days, depending on how far along you are in your Christmas planning. 😉 If you start now, you can have it finished on Christmas Eve! A great way to gift yourself. 🙂

Recommended.

Audience: adults

(I borrowed the audiobook from my library. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

If You Liked . . . The Christmas Table

16 Dec

I normally do the If You Liked posts at the end of each month, but you really need these recommendations early. You don’t want to miss out on some great Christmas-y reading! The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere had laugh-out-loud moments and some tear-inducing scenes. The book features an heirloom table and some special family recipes and includes great messages of hope and the power of prayer. This novella is my favorite so far by VanLiere. I have selected the following books that have similar themes and elements. I hope you find one to love!

 

Another Favorite from Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Promise

Seven years ago Gloria endured a family tragedy that almost shook her faith entirely. Each Christmas she places a card in an envelope on her tree, restating a promise she made to her husband before he died. Now, having moved from her small town and all the painful memories it held, she is building a life by caring for people in need. Whether it’s a young mother who can’t pay her electric bill or a family who needs some extra food, Gloria always finds a way.

Miriam is a thorn in Gloria’s side. Miriam is a constantly critical, disapproving neighbor who looks with suspicion at all the good things Gloria does. When a twist of fate makes them roommates instead of neighbors, it’s the ultimate test of patience and faith.

Chaz has a good job as head of security at Wilson’s Department Store, but each night he returns home to an empty apartment. He longs for a wife and family of his own but realizes that the life choices he’s made have alienated him. He befriends a young boy whose mother has fallen on hard times, giving him a chance to have a life he thought impossible.

In The Christmas Promise, the lives of these characters collide and we learn that even as we move ahead, the past is never far behind. And when we are forgiven much, we love much. In this warmly humorous and deeply poignant story, we are reminded that the Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances.

 

Family Heirloom

The Christmas Heirloom (4-novella collection) by Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade.

In Kristi Ann Hunter’s Legacy of Love, Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer’s Gift of the Heart, widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s A Shot at Love, Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade’s Because of You, Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

 

Funny and Poignant

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that’s exactly what she’s getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix — in the dead of winter, no less–the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride — and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be an exciting ride!

 

Importance of Family

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

Rick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard and answers to no one. So when his mother calls on Thanksgiving weekend begging him to come home after his stepfather has a stroke, Rick is reluctant. He’s never liked Art, despite the fact his own father abandoned them when Rick was twelve. Rick’s attitude sours even more when a couple of days helping at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keeps hanging about,

Slowly but surely, the little bookstore and its quirky patrons — as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day — work their magic on him, revealing to Rick the truth about his family, his own life, and the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Parties

5 May

Parties of more than 10 people won’t be happening for many of us in the near future. It is sad that the things that bring us together — celebrations large and small, somber or silly — are prohibited during these days of social distancing. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about bookish parties. I have gone in a different direction this week than was probably intended in order to bring you books that feature gatherings that violate safer options. It doesn’t hurt that several of these books are also set at Christmas — the ultimate gathering time. I am hopeful that soon we will all be able to crowd together to laugh, cry, dance, sing, and just party!

For more bookish party fun, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Parties Found in Books

 

Balls

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah Ladd

 

Family Gatherings

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

Still Waters by Lindsey Brackett

 

Festivals

Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

 

Parades

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade by Virginia Smith

 

Weddings

Glory Road by Lauren Denton

The Wedding Dress Christmas by Rachel Hauck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Tropes Are Tops!

20 Aug

This week Top 10 Tuesday is all about the tropes — common themes or devices used in literature. My list is all about plot devices that define a story line, such as rags to riches. While many turn their noses up at tropes, terming them cliches, there is a reason they are used over and over — they are stories readers want to read! My list contains the very common (and popular) tropes that were excellently used in the books mentioned. And as you can see, tropes can be used in any genre — romance, suspense, historical, and fantasy. Hope you find a book you will love!

For more bloggers and their favorite tropes, please visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Tropes

Amnesia — Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze

Cold Case — Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

Best Friends to Lovers — Sweet on You by Becky Wade

Long-Lost Heir — Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck

Love Triangle — The Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

Marriage of Convenience — More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

Missing Person — Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Second Chance at Love — Falling for You by Becky Wade

Unlikely Hero —A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr

 

What’s your favorite trope?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Baby Names Inspired by Favorite Characters

9 Jul

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday is a character freebie. My husband and I will be first time grandparents in early 2020 *woo hoo*, so it is time to bring out baby name suggestions. I am listing boy and girl names inspired by recent novels I’ve read. What do you think? (And no, I don’t really think any of the names on my list will be chosen by the parents! 😉 )

 

Top Baby Names from Recent Reads

Girls

Annie from All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

Belinda from Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

Camden from On A Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Cecile from The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma

Elsie from Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

Joanna from The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

Kayden from Silenced by Dani Pettrey

Kiera from Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey

Rosa from The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

Sophie from The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

 

Boys

Alex from The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

Itzhak from The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

Kjell from Dawn’s Prelude by Tracie Peterson

Nate from Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

Reef from Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey

Seth from On A Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Stone from Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

Tank from Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble

Zach from More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

Zander from Sweet on You by Becky Wade

What’s your favorite character name?

 

 

Book Review + Giveaway! — More Than Words Can Say

28 Jun

About The Book

Book: More Than Words Can Say

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: May 7, 2019

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about, just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples. Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him. Once vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Impressions:

If you are looking for a spark-filled, sweet romance, then More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer is a sure bet. Set in the late 1800s in small town Texas, this novel is a fun and fast read that will delight. Hunky hero Zach Hamilton (last seen in More Than Meets The Eye) is a man of few words, but what he does say he means. And, especially in his case, actions speak louder than words. Abigail Kemp, a determined businesswoman who whips up treats in her Taste of Heaven Bakery, wants to keep their relationship strictly professional, but Zach is as tempting as the sticky buns he loves. I loved this marriage of convenience story. There is chemistry right from the start with the characters — it was only a matter of time before they both recognized it. 😉 Honey Grove, the setting for the story, was perfect — small town people with big hearts and down-home celebrations.  There is also conflict introduced that kept Zach and Abigail committed to their arrangement, while keeping the pages turning for the reader. Guilt and unworthiness are explored in the novel, and the characters supported each other in their faith journeys. Reminiscent of the story of Joseph in Genesis, circumstances and the machinations of others did not keep God from working out His plan for their lives.

Fun and funny, sweet and sizzling with some great kissing scenes, More Than Words Can Say checks all the boxes for fans of historical romances.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

More from Karen:

Settings – Real or Imagined?

One of the key decisions an author has to make before she begins to write is selecting the setting for her story. And the first choice she faces is the question of whether to use a real or imagined location. Roughly half the stories I have written are set in fictional towns. The use of a fictional setting allows an author greater freedom to manipulate the environment of her characters to fit her plot. This provides a great deal of flexibility. However, there is something special about setting a story in a real place. First, readers who are familiar with that place never fail to get excited about seeing a town they recognize in print. Second, if an author can find historical photos and documents, she can add a wonderful layer of authenticity to her setting that might otherwise be missing. Third, an author may turn up fascinating tidbits when studying the history of her setting that find their way into the story and bring a flavor the author never could have supplied on her own. This was the case as I wrote More Than Words Can Say. All of the stories in my Patchwork Family series have been set in real places. Pecan Gap, Texas for More Than Meets the Eye, Honey Grove, Texas for More Than Words Can Say, and coming this fall we’ll travel to Gainesville, Texas for the concluding novella, More Than a Pretty Face. Researching each location brought its own unique discoveries, but I have to admit that researching the small town of Honey Grove brought this history-loving girl a special level of joy. For example, there is a legend about how the town got its name that I knew needed to be incorporated into my story. Legend has it that when Davy Crockett was on his way to join the fight at the Alamo, he stopped in a grove of trees and set up camp. There were so many bees in that in letters to family and friends, he called the place a “Honey Grove.” He carved his initials into one of the trees and intended to return and settle there after the war. Unfortunately, as we know, Crockett did not survive the Alamo and therefore did not return. One of his friends, Samuel A. Erwin, later found the grove and became the first settler in 1839. Many people recall seeing the initials carved into Crockett’s bee tree even into the early 1900s, which led me to believe that this legend was based in truth. It doesn’t play a pivotal role in my story, but if you watch for it, you’ll find it mentioned. Discovering the Honey Grove Preservation League’s website proved a tremendous boon. Their online historical resources are some of the best I have ever come across. Historical photos, newspaper articles, government records—it was like stepping through a time portal every time I visited. And I visited often. Thanks to the Preservation League, I was able to mention real people and places in my novel. Places like the Commercial Hotel, the home of James Gilmer that was built during my time period, Wilkins, Wood & Patteson Dry Goods, and Dora Galbraith Patteson’s millinery shop on the east side of the town square. While Zacharias Hamilton and Reuben Sinclair are completely fictitious characters, there really was a lumberyard located on the corner of Sixth Street and Rail Road. As fiction authors are wont to do, I did take a few liberties with Honey Grove’s history. To my knowledge, there was never any city ordinance banning women from owning businesses in town, which was a key plot point in More Than Words Can Say. In addition, Mayor Chester Longfellow was a complete invention of my imagination. The true mayor of Honey Grove during this time period was J.H. Smith, a man who served in that capacity from 1888-1897. He must have been a well-loved city official to hold office for nearly a decade. I paid brief homage to him by having him step back into office when my fictitious mayor resigned. I hope you enjoy stepping back in time with me into historic Honey Grove, Texas. Zach and Abigail might not have lived there in truth, but I like to believe their tale is a representation of the many amazing love stories have taken place in that sweet little town through the years.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, June 15

She Lives to Read, June 15

Real World Bible Study, June 15

Carla Loves to Read, June 15

Baker kella, June 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 16

EmpowerMoms, June 16

Daysong Reflections, June 16

Through the Fire Blogs, June 17

Genesis 5020, June 17

Lighthouse Academy, June 17

Bigreadersite , June 17

Among the Reads, June 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 18

For The Love of Books, June 18

C Jane Read, June 19

Inspired By Fiction, June 19

Mary Hake, June 19

Hallie Reads, June 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 20

For Him and My Family, June 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 20

Living Life Free in Christ, June 20

Connect in Fiction, June 21

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 21

Splashes of Joy, June 21

Pause for Tales, June 21

Stories By Gina , June 22

Worthy2Read, June 22

Blossoms and Blessings, June 22

Southern Gal Loves to Read, June 22

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 23

Connie’s History Classroom , June 23

Vicky Sluiter, June 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 23

Wishful Endings, June 24

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 24

Simple Harvest Reads, June 24 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Texas Book-aholic, June 24

A Baker’s Perspective, June 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 25

amandainpa , June 25

janicesbookreviews, June 25

Britt Reads Fiction, June 26

Quiet Quilter, June 26

Older & Smarter?, June 26

A Reader’s Brain, June 26

LifeofLiterature, June 27

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner , June 27

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, June 27

Inklings and notions, June 27

Emily Yager, June 28

Lukewarm Tea, June 28

By The Book, June 28

The Becca Files, June 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes More Than Words Can Say, More Than Meets the Eye, and a $20 Panera Bread gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f4/more-than-words-can-say-celebration-tour-giveaway

2016 Carol Award Winners!

28 Aug

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Carol Awards — excellence in Christian fiction.

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Contemporary:
The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

Historical:
Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

Historical Romance:
A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller:
The Aleppo Code by Terry Brennan

Novella:
A Bride for Bear from The Convenient Bride Collection by Erica Vetsch

Romance:
Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

Romantic Suspense:
No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason

Short Novel:
Covert Justice by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

Speculative:
The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart

Young Adult:
Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

Debut:
The Calling of Ella McFarland by Linda Brooks Davis

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