Tag Archives: Karen Witemeyer

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 โ€” From 2nd to 1st

10 Aug

Todayโ€™s Top Ten Tuesday is all about giving secondary characters some love. I decided to feature book series in which secondary characters โ€” friends and/or family โ€” from the first book are the main characters in subsequent books. This is a common practice in series, so it wasnโ€™t hard to find some favorites. Iโ€™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.)

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you start now, you can have it finished on Christmas Eve! A great way to gift yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 โ€” as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day โ€” 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 —Aย 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

 

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?