Tag Archives: Karen Witemeyer

If You Liked . . . The Mistletoe Countess

31 Dec

My book club LOVED The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham. It was the perfect book for a busy December. Besides it being a Christmas-y book, we enjoyed the historic setting, the marriage of convenience trope, and the amateur sleuthing instigated by Grace. It was a fun and oftentimes funny read. If you liked it too, here are a few book recommendations for your.

Historical Marriage of Convenience

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

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.

Contemporary Marriage of Convenience

Practically Married by Karin Beery

Ashley Johnson moved to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrived in time to attend his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farm house. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’ problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend.

Sleuthing Duo

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

Introducing Drew Farthing. From the tip of his black Homburg hat to the crease in his cheviot trousers, he’s the epitome of a stylish 1930s English gentleman. His only problem? The body he just discovered. Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. With the help of beautiful and whip-smart Madeline Parker, a guest from America, Drew proposes to use the lessons he’s learned reading his mysteries to solve the crime. Before long, he realizes this is no lark, and no one at Farthering Place is who he or she appears to be — not the blackmailer, not the adulterer, not the embezzler and not even Drew himself. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer — and trying harder to impress Madeline — Drew must decide how far to take this dangerous game.

Coming Soon!

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham (January 15, 2023)

Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.
 
Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?
 
The Cairo’s Curse is a delightful sequel to The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham in the Freddie and Grace Mystery series.

Top 10 Tuesday — Cozy Reads

29 Nov

Happy Tuesday! Have you recovered from your Thanksgiving festivities yet? We have extended our fun with a two week visit from our not quite 3 year old granddaughter. Whew! I am old! 😉 I keep reminding myself that when our oldest was her age, I had a 14 month old and another on the way. But I was a lot more agile back then.

Blogging has taken a backseat to the care and feeding of a preschooler, but I didn’t want to miss a TTT. This week’s theme is Cozy Reads. That could take all forms — from mysteries, to romances, to small town reads, and Christmas books. I am featuring some from all those categories so that you have a good mix to choose from. Hope you find a book to love!

For more favorite cozy reads, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Cozy Reads

Cozy Mysteries

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

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Cozy Romances

Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

Just Let It Go by Courtney Walsh

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Small Town Cozy Reads

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

Home to Hickory Lane by Deborah Raney

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

Cozy Christmas

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

The Ornament Keeper by Eva Marie Everson

Spotlight On The 2022 Christy Awards!

3 Nov

The Christy Award Finalists 2022 JustRead Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for The Christy Award Finalists organized by ECPA and hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! We extend our sincere and enthusiastic congratulations to The Christy Award 2022 Finalists!

The Christy Award Finalists 2022

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

All That Really Matters Bookshop by the Sea Husband Auditions

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong (Kregel Publications)

FIRST NOVEL

All That Is Secret Recorder Sugar Birds

All That Is Secret by Patricia Raybon (Tyndale House Publishers)
Recorder by Cathy McCrumb (Enclave Publishing, a division of Oasis Family Media)
Sugar Birds by Cheryl Grey Bostrom (She Writes Press)

GENERAL FICTION

The Letter Keeper The Secret Keepers Old Depot Grocery Under the Magnolias

The Letter Keeper by Charles Martin (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox (Revell/ Baker Publishing Group)
Under the Magnolias by T. I. Lowe (Tyndale House Publishers)

HISTORICAL

Between The Wild Branches Drawn By The Current The Widows Of Champagne Yours Is The Night

Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
Drawn by The Current by Jocelyn Green (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
The Widows of Champagne by Renee Ryan (Love Inspired)
Yours is the Night by Amanda Dykes (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

As Dawn Breaks Hope Between The Pages Shadows Of Swanford Abbey Until Leaves Fall in Paris

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham (Barbour Publishing)
Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin (Revell/ Baker Publishing Group)

MYSTERY/SUSPENSE/THRILLER

Aftermath On The Cliffs Of Foxglove Manor The Barrister And Letter Marque

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)

SHORT FORM

A Texas Christmas Carol False Pretense Mr Nicholas

A Texas Christmas Carol (in Under the Texas Mistletoe) by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House/ Baker Publishing Group)
Mr. Nicholas: A Magical Christmas Tale by Christopher de Vinck (Paraclete Press)
False Pretense by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press)

SPECULATIVE

A Time To Seek Dark Intercept Recorder Windward Shore

A Time to Seek by Tracy Higley (Stonewater Books LLC)
Dark Intercept by Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson (Tyndale House Publishers)
Recorder by Cathy McCrumb (Enclave Publishing, a division of Oasis Family Media)
Windward Shore by Sharon Hinck (Enclave Publishing, a division of Oasis Family Media)

YOUNG ADULT

A Gentle Tyranny Realms of Light Shadow

A Gentle Tyranny by Jess Corban (Wander, an imprint of Tyndale House Publishers)
Realms of Light by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads (Enclave Publishing, a division of Oasis Family Media)
Shadow by Kara Swanson (Enclave Publishing, a division of Oasis Family Media)


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive print copies of The Christy Award finalist titles from one category of their choice!

The Christy Award 2021 Finalists JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight November 3, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on November 10, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


REGISTER FOR THE CHRISTY AWARD 2022 EVENTS

Art of Writing on November 17, 12:30-5 pm at Lipscomb University in Nashville $99
A conference for writers, storytellers, and publishing curators.

The Christy Award Gala on November 17, 7-9 pm at Lipscomb University in Nashville $89
Celebrate this year’s finalists and winners with authors, editors, publishers, and readers!

Bundle the Art of Writing Conference & The Christy Award Gala $139

REGISTER

The Christy Award® is a program of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) and is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction since 1999. For more information about ECPA, visit ECPA.org. For more information about the Christy Awards and Art of Writing conferences, visit ChristyAwards.com or email TheChristyAward@ecpa.org


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

If You Liked . . . The Lady’s Mine

31 Oct

My book club really liked The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers. It generated more discussion than we have had in months! The characters are great, the setting came to life, and the story line resonated with us all. If you liked it too, I have some more reading recommendations for you.

A light hand and an Old West feel —

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

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?

A woman who wants her independence —

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy

Augusta Travers has spent the last three years avoiding the stifling expectations of New York society and her family’s constant disappointment. As the nation’s most fearless–and reviled–columnist, Gussie travels the country with her Kodak camera and spins stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. But when her adventurous nature lands her in the middle of a scandal, an opportunity to leave America offers the perfect escape. 

Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and escapades that will further her career. Instead, she finds herself facing a plague epidemic, confusion over Gabriel’s sudden appeal, and the realization that what she wants from life is changing. But slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she’s long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her. 

A Woman in The Gold Rush

The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

1902: Upon arriving in Kenworthy, California, mail-order bride Juniper Cohen is met by the pounding of the gold mine, an untamable landscape, and her greatest surprise of all: the kind and charming man who awaits her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper’s husband, John, vanishes, Juniper is left to fend for herself and her young daughter in the dying town that is now her home.

Juniper pens letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost. Perhaps worse, rumors abound claiming the man she loves could be an outlaw. Fighting for survival, she befriends the few people left in Kenworthy and refuses to leave, resolving to be exactly where her husband left her in case he comes home. Surviving in a ghost town requires trusting the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband’s disappearance.

Present day: Trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his children and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in what was once known as Kenworthy in the San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers Juniper’s letters and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name—and as a love story from the past touches his own world, Johnny might discover yet that hope and resilience go hand in hand.

With The Gold in These Hills, acclaimed and beloved author Joanne Bischof returns with an absorbing masterpiece of faith, perseverance, and love that changes the course of history.

2022 Christy Award Finalists

11 Oct

Image Credit: The Christy Awards

Congratulations to all the fabulous authors who are 2022 Christy Award Finalists. I’ve read several of these books, including 4 that were my book club’s choices. All look so good! You are welcome for the additions to your TBR pile! 😉

Romance

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese

Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

First Novel

All That Is Secret by Patricia Raybon

Recorder by Cathy McCrumb

Sugar Birds by Cheryl Grey Bostrom

General Fiction

The Letter Keeper by Charles Martin

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

Under the Magnolias by T. I. Lowe

Historical

Between The Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette

Drawn by The Current by Jocelyn Green

The Widows of Champagne by Renee Ryan

Yours Is The Night by Amanda Dykes

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

The Barrister And The Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson

On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

Speculative

A Time to Seek by Tracy Higley

Dark Intercept by Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson

Recorder by Cathy McCrumb

Windward Shore by Sharon Hinck

Historical Romance

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Short Form

A Texas Christmas Carol by Karen Witemeyer (in Under The Texas Mistletoe collection)

False Pretense by Heather Day Gilbert

Mr. Nicholas by Christopher de Vinck

Young Adult

A Gentle Tyranny by Jess Corban

Realms of Light by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Shadow by Kara Swanson

Top 10 Tuesday — Smiling Faces

7 Sep

Happy Tuesday! Today I am taking this week’s Top 10 topic and putting a spin on it — big surprise. LOL! The books I am featuring have smiling faces on their covers. Do you know how hard it is to find book covers with full on faces, let alone those that are smiling? There are plenty of covers with the backs of heads and others in which the models look determined or pensive or something other than happy. I picked books that I have reviewed and went a ways back in the archive. There are full on smiles, plenty of hints of a smile a la the Mona Lisa, and a couple of smirks. 😉 I hope you find a cover and a book to love.

For books that make us smile, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Covers with Smiling Faces

Above The Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

For The Love of Joy by Janet W. Ferguson

Let It Be Me by Becky Wade

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

My Dear Miss Dupre by Grace Hitchcock

Star Rising by Janet W. Ferguson

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Summer Plans And Other Disasters by Karin Beery

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

Top Ten Tuesday — From 2nd to 1st

10 Aug

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about giving secondary characters some love. I decided to feature book series in which secondary characters — friends and/or family — from the first book are the main characters in subsequent books. This is a common practice in series, so it wasn’t hard to find some favorites. I’ve included a a variety of genres, so you should be able to find plenty of books to love.

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

Top Series Featuring Secondary Characters

Blue Justice series by Lynette Eason

Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade

Capital Intrigue series by Rachel Dylan

Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney

Hidden Justice series by Cara Putman

Orphan Train series by Jody Hedlund

A Patchwork Family series by Karen Witemeyer

Saturday Night Supper Club series by Carla Laureano

Three Sisters Island series by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Triple Threat Club series by Lis Wiehl

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.)