WELCOME KAREN! SO HAPPY TO HAVE YOU BACK!
LEAVE A POST AND ANSWER ONE OF KAREN'S QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM TO BE ENTERED IN THE DRAWING!! AND MAKE SURE YOU READ ABOUT HER CONTEST!
Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House and was recently named a RITA® Finalist in the category of Best First Book for her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride. She loves to watch movies (even those not inspired by true stories), cross-stitch, and eat chocolate chip ice cream. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas with her hunky, computer nerd husband and their three children. To Win Her Heart is her third novel.
Karen Witemeyer has a fun announcement about a new contest she is sponsoring on her website. It is open to any writer or reader who would care to try their hand at fan fiction. In conjunction with the release of her latest novel, To Win Her Heart, she is inviting readers to write an epilogue for two of her secondary characters - Duncan and Chloe.
Entries will be judged on creativity, trueness of character, and the sigh factor – how much she enjoys the ending you create for this pair who stole her heart during the writing of Levi and Eden's story, and who deserve a fitting happily ever after of their own.
And she is giving away some great prizes, too.
$40.00 Amazon Gift Card
Your fan fiction piece published on her website
An autographed copy of any one of her books - winner's choice
The contest will run from now until the end of June. And the winner will be announced no later than July 15th.
Anyone can enter. Full guidelines are available on her website. http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/contest.php
Inspired By Actual Events
My husband always gives me a hard time when I get excited about a movie trailer that has the catch phrase, "Based on a True Story" or "Inspired by Actual Events". He rolls his eyes and moans while I perk up and move to the edge of my seat. I can't explain it, but there is something about the knowledge that this story was based on real people and events that adds another layer of enjoyment to the experience for me.
When I write, my characters are strictly products of my imagination. However, if I stumble upon an element in my research that allows me to weave threads of actual history into my stories, I get that same little thrill of excitement as when I see those movie trailers. My plots aren't in any way based on true stories, but every once in a while, a story element comes to life that I can honestly say was inspired by actual events. That happened for me in my latest release, To Win Her Heart.
My hero, Levi Grant, enters the story after spending two years in Huntsville State Prison for an unintentional crime. He is a large, muscled man and was put to work in the labor camps breaking rock at a granite quarry. The abusive camp sergeants he faced there left him with scars inside and out, but the compassion of a prison chaplain helped him rebuild his faith and rededicate his life to serving the Lord. Upon his release, he takes up his father's blacksmithing trade and tries to create a fresh start by keeping his past a secret. Now, as the author, I couldn't allow this secret to stay hidden forever. So I began looking for ways to expose my hero's past. And I found the perfect solution in my time period research.
(Top Picture) Texas Capital as it appeared in 1875
(Bottom Picture) Texas Capital after the fire of 1881
In 1881, the Texas Capitol building was destroyed by fire. The Texas Legislature decided that when they rebuilt, they would use only materials native to the state. They initially chose limestone, as there was a quarry near Austin, but when iron particles in the rock led to discoloration, they elected red granite instead. The granite was obtained from Granite Mountain in 1885, and to cut costs, the state contracted convict labor for breaking the stone. The use of free—or almost free—convict labor in the quarries, however, was seen as an attempt by the state to undermine unionized labor and was opposed by virtually every organized labor group in Austin. Hence, word spread throughout the region about the controversial labor force.
This historical event allowed me to supply Levi with quarry experience during his incarceration (breaking rock at Granite Mountain), but with a project that was so well known for using convict labor, that it could easily expose his past should anyone learn of his involvement. And, of course, someone does. History provided me the perfect scenario.
So no, To Win Her Heart, is not based on a true story. But yes, there are some aspects of the setting and character development that were inspired by actual events.
How about you? Are you inspired by books and movies that are based on real people and situations? Which true story movies are your favorites? Some of mine include Apollo 13 and Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.Unstoppable, and the new Christian film, Soul Surfer looks good, too. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of To Win Her Heart. I'm still waiting to see Unstoppable, and the new Christian film, Soul Surfer looks good, too. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of To Win Her Heart.
To Win Her Heart
A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?
Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets. . . .
Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.
Levi’s renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?
Thanks, Karen, for that wonderful tidbit! I love history. Thank you for being on my blog!
CONGRATULATIONS Charity. You won The Sheriff's Sweetheart by Laura Kingery.
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, May 9th.