Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Giveaway Karen Witemeyer's Head in the Clouds




Welcome Karen Witemeyer. Karen will be giving away her new release, Head in the Clouds. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.



Fairy Tale Endings

I love happy endings. That's why I adore reading and writing romance novels—I long for that contented sigh at the end, for the hope it instills, for the dreaminess of knowing that love really can conquer all. Love stories with tragic endings? Ugh! They tear my heart out and leave me desperately re-writing the ending in my head to try to capture what was lost. My husband still gives me a hard time for getting so angry in the theater at the end of Sommersby. I edited that ending in my head for days afterward.

Adelaide Proctor, the heroine in Head in the Clouds, is a hopeless romantic—much like the author who created her. She adores love stories, fairy tales, and novels with happy endings even though it is this very passion that gets her into trouble.

Now, happy endings have been around since the beginning of storytelling, but my editors were concerned that having Adelaide use the phrase happily ever after would be too modern an idiom for her 19th century setting. They felt it was more a product of the Disney generation.

Okay, I admit it. I love Disney. I can probably sing the soundtrack to most of their classic animated movies by heart. But my editors got me to thinking . . . Is happily ever after a Disney-ism or is there a basis for it in the fairy tales from which those movies orignated?

The Grimm brothers published their first volume of fairy tales in 1812 and after several revisions and additions had their collection completed by 1857. In my search for a happily ever after, I skimmed through several of the 200 stories. Here are some samples of what I found:

"He led her to his kingdom where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented." – Rapunzel

"…and there they lived happily a great many years." – The Frog Prince

"…and they lived happily together all their lives long." – Briar Rose

"…but Snowdrop and the price lived and reigned happily over that land many, many years." – Snowdrop

"…and they lived very happily the rest of their days." – The Four Clever Brothers

You've probably noticed that I failed to find the exact phrase happily ever after, although many are quite similar. So I continued searching, moving on to the works of Hans Christian Andersen, with no success. Finally, I tried Charles Perrault, the Frenchman who first published such classic tales as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Surely, I would find a happily ever after with him. But alas, it was not to be.

Then, just when all hope was gone, I discovered a book of fairy tales published in 1858 entitled Four and Twenty Fairy Tales: Selected from those of Perrault, and Other Popular Writers. I scanned through the stories without much expectation until three little words caught my eye at the bottom of page 335. It was the tale of Princess Minute and King Floridor penned by the Count De Caylus, and it concluded with this wonderful sentence:

"They married, and lived happily ever after."

Ah . . . there's the ending I was craving, both for the fairy tale and for my research project. Adelaide now has her happily ever after, and I have mine. I pray that you will find yours as well.

So what do you prefer? Do you like those tear-jerker stories that wrench your heart, or do you prefer the fairy tale endings with the knight riding off into the sunset with his lady? Leave a comment and be entered for a chance to win a copy of Head in the Clouds.



About 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 co

mes 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?



Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, October November 15st.

37 comments:

  1. I would say that I am somewhere in between. I want to connect with the characters, feel what they feel, and I want the "happily ever after". I like to have a few more details as well. Epilogues that give insight into what happened after the ever happily endings are my favorite.

    wowendi{at}gmail{dot}com

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  2. Hi, Wendi. I love epilogues! My heart tells me that the happy ending will last, but it's always fun to get a glimpse into the future just to know for sure.

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  3. Happily-ever-afters with some tears are my favorite!! But I love them both separately, too. :-)

    Thank you for the opportunity to win Karen's new book! I've been looking forward to reading this one!

    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  4. Hi, Michelle. I don't mind a few tears as long as there is happiness at the end. I'm glad you are more well-rounded in your literary taste. :-)

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  5. I would like to be entered too. I love happy ending but tears on the way books.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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  6. I tell everyone that I don't like happy endings. There's a big part of me that feels like there aren't happy endings in life. But, in reality, that's the part of me I let show to the "big, mean world." Inside, I like a good happily ever after. As long as it's believable. I mean, the prince can't just ride in on his big white horse, pronounce a magic spell and make it all better :D I guess what I'm saying is, Happily Ever After = good, Fairy Tale ending = bad (unless we're talking actual fairy tale, of course!)

    I liked the way Tailor Made Bride ended. And I do believe that qualifies as happily ever after - so now I've revealed my romantic side :D

    I'd love to win Karen's book...but I was an influencer for Tailor Made Bride & it's only fair that someone "new" win this time round. Thanks for the great blog post.

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  7. Happily ever after for me!
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

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  8. Hi, Tammy. Thanks for posting. I completely agree that the happy ending has to be believeable or else it comes off as cheesy and a bit of an eye-roller.

    I want my characters to fight hard for their happy ending, that way I know they will continue to fight hard when life throws junk at them later. That's what truly makes me believe in happily every after - two people who are willing to work hard together, supporting one another, balancing each other's strengths to handle life's difficulties. When that happens (and when they allow God to lead them) true love really can conquor all.

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  9. Oh, hands down happily ever after endings!! :) Though as stated above, they have to be believable.
    Thanks for entering me for this draw! I have read Tailor-made Bride and SO enjoyed it! :)
    Kim
    lonebanana(at)msn(dot)com

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  10. I think that Happily ever after is ahead. =) Life in general has too many bad endings. If I want to hear or read something sad all I have to do is turn on the TV, read the paper or the internet news. For me, I don't want to waste my time on something sad. I want a happily ever after. Something to pick me up and see how God's love, mercy and grace works in peoples lives. I don't mind a few tears along the way, I just don't want to end with them.

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  11. I lean towards the tear jerker. Happy endings aren't always what I want to read.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  12. Love the cover art and don't we all have our head in the clouds at times. Great story idea!

    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

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  13. Hi, Debbie Lynn. Thanks so much for having me here. I agree about there being enough sad endingd in the world. That's part of what draws me to romance stories - the promise of that happy ending. I love leaving a book with a sense of hope and happiness.

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  14. Debbie - Thanks for speaking up for the tear jerker fans. Some people find those stories very cathartic and leave them with more appreciation for the blessings they have in their own life. Just look at how successful Nicholas Sparks has been with his tear-jerker love stories. There must be a lot of people out there who agree with you. :-)

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  15. Kim - thanks for your kind words about A Tailor-Made Bride. So glad you enjoyed that one. You are definitely in the drawing for Head in the Clouds.

    Diane - Bethany House has one of the best Art Departments in publishing (IMO). I love their covers. And yes, I am so much like Adelaide. I often have my head in the clouds, and I have to admit to occasionally running into a wall or missing a chair when I'm trying to sit down if I have a book in my hand. LOL

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  16. I like my heartstrings tugged and the tears jerked from me along the journey of the story, but I like it to end with a happily ever after.

    I am very excited about "Head in the Clouds" and would love to win a copy!

    ksmiley2[at]kent[dot]edu

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  17. happily ever after endings. Head in the Clouds sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the wonderful giveaway. augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

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  18. I look for the positive most of the time, so I am a happily ever after lady. Life can be so turbulent, so every ray of sunshine is appreciated! I loved A Tailor-Made Bride, it is in my top books for this year. Please include me for Head in the Clouds.
    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

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  19. I like books with Happy Endings...this one sounds sweet..except for the Uncle. Love the cover.
    Please include me.

    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  20. i love the title of this book and the cover art!

    sheree
    neednspace at aol dot com
    booknroll.blogspot.com

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  21. To be honest, I like the happily- ever- after reads the most. The ones that take ahold of your heart and then break it, sometimes leave me a little depressed at the end. I know what your thinking- 'wow, this girl is too into books!'. I really can't help it though. When I read, my emotions are open to anything. Sometimes i even get teary eyed after a happy book. I am RIDICULOUS! :D
    April
    apeygirl at gmail dot com

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  22. I like the happily ever after the best. Such an attractive and striking cover! I would be drawn to it without even knowing what it was about. Thanks for the chance to win this book.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  23. Wow, I'd have a hard time choosing. I guess I probably like the happily -ever-after best, but I do love reading some good tear-jerker stories too.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!
    onepilgrim86[at]yahoo.com

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  24. I love happily ever afters, but I enjoy a good cry too.

    Thanks for the giveaway, I'd love to read this! :)

    Joy G Lee G@ aol. com

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  25. I love reading about happily ever afters. I hope to get one of my own someday :) Really great book. I love it!
    randomness.is.awesome@gmail.com

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  26. I love the happily ever afters - and would love to read this book. njloewen@sasktel.net

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  27. Even when the story has been a tear jerker, I like a "happily ever after" ending. I like to feel satisfied when the book is over! I love the cover of "Head in the Clouds." Except for the dress, that could be my daughter, reading as she walks off the porch. Thanks for the interview and book drawing. I'd love to win! Carman sent me to your site.
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net.

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  28. I'm a happily ever after girl and hope everyone finds theirs.
    Theresa N
    weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. I haven't read Karen's stories, but every blog I visit is raving about her work! I'd love a chance to be entered in this giveaway. I would say that I love a hopeful ending in a book. So even if there are heart-wrenching moments, I like the end to be hopeful--if not straight out "happily ever after." reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  30. i love 'happy endings' your novel 'a tailor made bride' was fabulous, karen...i'm looking forward to reading your next masterpiece.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  31. I like happily Ever After endings. I want them to be believable though. I don't like the stories that everything goes perfectly for the characters. As someone mentioned before I like the epilogues just to get a little extra about how their lives end up.
    I'm really looking forward to reading this book sometime! Thanks for the chance to win it.
    Jennifer
    jenmmcclure(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. LOL! Okay the HEA are still in the lead! =) It is great that we have both to choose from. I have to admit that even if I always do write HEA...and read them. But imagine a world where everyone liked the same thing. Can we say boring! It's good to have both.

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  33. I love happy endings! I would love a chance to win!!!

    Thanks
    Jennifer

    jmschwindt at cox dot net

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  34. I prefer, "and they lived happily together all their lives long." – Briar Rose :) Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book. I am really looking forward to reading this one. I adored A Tailor Made Bride!

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  35. I like a good tear-jerker with a fairy tale ending practically on the last page:)
    Thanks for making this win possible!
    chakasa58 at gmail dot com

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  36. Haha I suppose I like both! I like a good ending that's heartrenching at the same time. ;-) I'd love to win! Thanks!

    Kait
    momiswayweird(at)gmail(dot)com

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  37. The cover of this book describes quite well the girl the story is about. I enjoy looking at the cover. I've tried in several giveaways to win this book...I thought I'd try again. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win Karen's story. I hope I do!

    Blessings,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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