Monday, June 11, 2012

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer Ends June 18th


Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Karen, it's great to have you here with me this week. I finished Short-Straw Bride last night and have to say I loved it and I think it was my favorite! It was a lot of fun. Karen is giving away a copy of her new release answer the question below to be entered in the drawing. As always don't forget to leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win, and tell me if you are a follower so you get that second entry. Good luck and enjoy the interview.  
Question for readers:
Short-Straw Bride was inspired by the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. What is your favorite musical? Or what book have you read that you think would convert well into a musical format?

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
Right now, I'm actually up at my office at work using a few spare moments before closing time to get a start on this interview. I'm in my normal business casual attire, sporting tan pants with a sage green top. I wish I were at home in my jammies. That would be much more comfortable.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
Their personalities rarely if ever surprise me because I usually have a pretty strong grasp on that part of their character before I start writing. However, sometimes their actions or backstory surprise me.

For example, as I was writing Short-Straw Bride, I wanted Travis to take Meredith to some hidden spot on the ranch where the two of them could be alone and do some courting away from his brothers. As Travis led her down to the creek, out of nowhere came this memory he had of going to the creek to do some fishing as a young boy and accidently coming across his parents having a romantic moment by a large boulder at the water's edge. Suddenly, he wanted to mimic his father's actions and take Meredith to the "kissing rock" as he'd dubbed it in his mind as a child. Until I wrote that scene I never even knew there was a kissing rock on the Archer ranch.

If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?
I'd like to say Jane Eyre since she's my favorite literary heroine, but I'm not sure I could handle living through her harsh, unloved childhood. So instead I'll choose Elizabeth Bennett. She seemed to have such a wonderful relationship with her father and eldest sister and had a sensible head on her shoulders. Besides, she ended up with the heroic Mr. Darcy. It's hard to beat that.

What is something that very few people know about you?
 Historical novels have always been my favorite reading material, but as a kid, history was my least favorite subject in school.

Can you tell something about this book or in writing it that is maybe a behind the scenes that we’d find interesting?
As a diehard romantic, I have to admit that I adore the sappy old Hollywood musicals, and my all-time favorite is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I adore the western setting, the rough and tumble men, and the marriage of convenience story. In fact, it's this very musical that served as the inspiration for Short-Straw Bride.
My story has four brothers instead of seven, and the men don’t sing and dance while they do their chores. However the spark came when I thought about this movie and then asked, what if? What if instead of having the heroine agree to a marriage of convenience at the beginning of the story, the brothers drew straws to see who would marry her when a good deed of hers goes awry? And what if instead of all the brothers being named in alphabetical order after Bible characters, my four brothers were named for heroes from the Alamo?
From there, the Archer clan was born—Travis, Crockett, Bowie (who only answers to Jim), and Neill. And when Meredith infiltrates their isolated ranch, these bachelors are never the same.

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
I guess I would have to choose 1880's Texas, since all of my books so far have been set somewhere in this large state during this decade. The Indian wars were past, civilization was stretching across the state, and small towns were sprouting up along the rail lines. It was an exciting time of growth and change. I would love to experience that. Of course, I would need in-depth tutoring on how to use a wood stove, how to drive a buggy, and just about everything else that goes with living in that era. Do they have an app for that?

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
If money was no object, I would love to tour the castles of Germany. I love mountain settings, romance, and fairy tales. What could be more romantic than the castle that inspired the home of Disney's Sleeping Beauty situated in the Bavarian mountains? I get dreamy-eyed just looking at pictures of Neuschwanstein. I'd also like to see elegant Eltz Castle and historic Wartburg Castle. Wartburg is one of the oldest preserved castles as well as a place where church reformer Martin Luther lived and translated the Bible into German. How awesome would that be to see? My daughter would love touring the castles and my husband would dutifully ooh and aah, but I might have to bribe my boys with a ski trip or something to get them to tour the castles with me.


What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
I'd have to say my wedding ring. Except for my watch, it’s the only piece of jewelry I wear most days. It reminds me of the love and commitment I share with the man who is my true hero, and I never go anywhere without it.

 
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?


DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.
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,  June 10th . Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

69 comments:

  1. I loved the first 3 books I read by Karen! A little humor along with the romance is great... add my name to the drawing.

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I've enjoyed Karen's books, too. And as I said. I think this is her best!

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  2. I enjoy books set in Texas and love hitorical romance fiction so I know I'd love this book!

    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. Karen sure does a great job with her settings in Texas. Can't wait to see the state this fall.

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  3. Feedburner subscriber
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  4. I haven't read any books by Karen yet but have been wanting to.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Oh my, Jo! You are really missing out if you haven't read any of Karen's book. And I truly mean that. If you don't win, you should buy the book. She'll have you hooked!

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  5. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is actually my favorite musical! I cannot wait to read this book I have loved all of her other 3!
    I think I'm following by feed burner. I got an e-mail but I'm not sure exactly how it works yet.
    smilesalot2010(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. LOL! Yep, you're a follower, Morgan. I hate to admit it but I've ever seen all of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. I guess I'm going to have to make a point to watch it!

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    2. Never seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?? OMGoodness, Debbie Lynne. We are going to have to arrange an intervention. An all-musicals weekend. Hog ties optional. :)

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    3. If you come on down here I'll make all the popcorn, brownie and sweet stuff you want for that weekend! And you won't even have to hogtie me!

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  6. I've not seen 7B's/7B's, so this would be an interesting book for me. But being picked as the last straw?? This would also be my first book by Karen.

    Favorite musical: Would have to be Sound of Music (if that's considered a musical).

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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    1. A great musical at that. Love the Sound of Music.

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  7. Thanks for all the great comments this morning!

    Morgan - It's fun to meet other 7 Brides fans. Maybe we can hogtie DebbieLynne and force her to watch it from beginning to end with us. LOL!

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  8. Hi, Linda.

    Sound of Music is definitely a musical and another one of my faves. Love that romance between Maria and the Captain!

    Oh, and there's more than meets the eye to the straw draw. ;-)

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  9. LOL! With it being your favorite and another readers fav, I promise you don't have to hogtie me. I'll watch it. I'll watch it! ;o)

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  10. Hi Karen and Debbie, I just finished Short Straw Bride, and I loved it! I gave it a 5-star review on Goodreads and Amazon. It's a wonderful story!
    Blessings,
    Carrie

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  11. I would luv to win..'Short-Straw Bride by writer Karen Witenmeyer...sounds like a exciting historical romance book....babyruthmac16@yahoo.com

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    1. Funny, a bit of suspense and lots of romance.

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  12. I'm looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. :)
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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  13. This was a terrific interview! I am loving this story, and am deeply jealous that Debbie Lynne finished before me! :)
    to answer your question, I fell in love with the musical Shenandoah. I saw a live production of it in the eighties with Ralph Waite, the father from The Waltons. It was shortly after that I started my own Civil War story set in the Shenandoah Valley. :)
    I don't need to enter since i am already immersed in this wonderful romance.

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    1. Ha! Finally I beat you on reading a book. :o) I had to make myself put the book down so I could get some sleep. LOL.

      All the other entries will be glad to see that you aren't putting your name in the hat as random numbers seems to have a crush on you right now! It has drawn Kathy's name the last 2 times on my blog. But she graciously had me draw again and gave up the books to someone who hadn't read it yet.

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  14. um, are you my twin? history was my least favorite subject but I only really read historicals, the castle tour would be my dream vacation, 7 brides for 7 brothers is one of my favorite musicals (because I refuse to pick one favorite), Jane Eyre and P&P are tops on that list, etc. If Debbie Lynn had interviewed me I'm not sure I would have had any different answers....except perhaps the pajamas, I just got out of them. :)

    rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Melissa - My sister! Where have you been all my life. LOL. Who knew we had so much in common? I love it!

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    2. Hmmm, maybe I'll make up a new interview and give it to each of you and air them at the same time. heehee

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  15. thanks for the chance to read karen's latest masterpiece.

    my favourite musical is 'the phantom of the opera' i love the music...oh, and i love 'the sound of music,' too.

    i'm follower, too

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. Phantom is a great one, Karen. I have a Michael Crawford CD with several of the key Phantom of the Opera songs. Great music. I usually sing them at the top of my voice in the car when no one is riding with me. :-)

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  16. Karen's books are the best!!! Please enter me in the drawing!

    ecriggs1990(st)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Liz! You're definitely in the drawing. :-)

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    2. I'm in agreement with you, Liz.

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  17. I'm a follower via FEEDBURNER.

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

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  18. I'm with you Karen-I love history and crazy about the West. I'd love a chance to read your book too. MaggieBrendan(at)comcast(dot)net. :)Mags

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    1. I love the historical west, too. And anyone who walks in my yard or house will know it, from the antique wagon wheel leaning against my house to the old boot birdhouse my brother-in-law made me. Inside, I can't seem to get enough western...and yet I live in SC. LOL

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  19. I've read a few of Karen's books and have enjoyed them very much! Can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the chance to win!

    seventysevensusieq[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. You'll really enjoy this one Susie. Good luck.

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  20. Accck.. I thought I had already commented here. Guess not.

    This COVER... I LOVE it!! It alone makes me want to READ THIS BOOK! :)

    And that blurb up there... really makes me want to read it. Sounds like an enjoyable escape! Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

    Ladettek[at]gmail[dot]com

    I follow via Feedburner and GFC

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    1. That was me, Ladette. I saw the cover and knew I HAD to read the book. It's great and tells so much about the book.

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  21. I always look forward to reading a new novel by Karen. Whe is wonderful. I enjoyed the interview very much.

    As to a favorite musical, 7 Brides is way up there on the list. I fact I like most any of Howard Keel's musicals. I'm a sucker for a sappy old Hollywood musical. You can't beat anything that Julie Andrews did either. Who will ever forget Mary Poppins?

    Shirley
    beekeeper5(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    I'm a follower

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    1. My kids still love Mary Poppins, Shirley, and my daughter is 14. That's a classic for sure. I also love all the Judy Garland musicals - The Harvey Girls, Summer Stock, Meet Me in St. Louis. Gene Kelly is another fave.

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    2. LOL. Sappy is good. I agree! Good Luck Shirley. And thanks for stopping by.

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  22. I have not read any of Karen's books, but this one sounds like a fun one to start with! I loved the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I enjoyed the interview and I too like the 1880 era - not just Texas, but any area, especially the West. Thank you for the give away and the opportunity to win a copy of this book - I love the cover too. I am a follower!

    Blessings,
    Lori

    triplel(at)evertek(dot)net

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    1. Hey Lori,

      Thank you for stopping by. I keep saying it, but you'll love this book. You're right it's a great one to start with.

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  23. Bummer - I'm assuming I missed this but I only found out about it today (the 12th) through the ACFW loop - :-( Anyway - musical that could be interesting as a novel - Sound of Music. silygoos at gmail dot com.

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    1. Hey Susan. No bummer! You're entered! We run Saturday. Good luck!

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  24. I can't wait to read this book and have on my wish list. I loved 7 Brides for 7 Brothers and Short Straw Bride reminds me of the movie. I love the old musicals and my fav later movie is Sound of Music. I fell in love with Cinderella when I was 6 and absolutely love the movie, which I have a DVD of and watch several times a year. I still have not found my Prince Charming but maybe it is not too late. lol
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hey Miss Kallie, You need to move this one from your wish list to your HAVE TO READ list. You won't regret it!

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  25. I follow with Feed Burner & also GFC follower

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  26. I was elated to find Short Straw Bride at my library; I'm currently in the midst of reading it and loving it very much.
    The Sound of Music is my favorite musical.
    Thanks for interviewing Karen. I found it interesting that she'd like to tour castles in Germany. I was able to tour several when we were stationed there with the military. We even stayed in an Austrian castle for a weekend retreat. They are beautiful and romantic but COLD! I prefer modern heating systems!
    I follow your blog with Feedburner.
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Hey Pam, thanks for stopping by and for following! We took a trip to Italy for our 25th anniversary and stayed in a castle for 3 nights in Perugia. Castillo de Oscano. It was fabulous! It wasn't all decked out but it was beautiful none the less. I could have stayed there for ever.

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  27. Would love to read this fun book! Karen is new to me, and i appreciate this opportunity to win a copy.

    gwen(dot)gage(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm happy to have introduced to you such a talented author, Gwendolyn. Good luck on the drawing. But if you don't win, I highly recommend getting your hands on this book.

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  28. Thanks for a great interview with loved author. i have a few of her novels, and am looking forward to this one. i have never seen a musical, and don't really know what it is, so does that mean i'm out of the running? i hope not. Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. oh, and i am now following you at marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com. Thanks

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    2. LOL! No you're not out of the running. I can't believe you've never seen a musical. Have you never seen a Shirley Temple movie? Gracious, you need to get on an old movie channel. Oh and Fred Aster movies are wonderful. YOu get the dancing too!

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  29. Great interview. Have not read any books my Karen but have my eye on this book. Putting it on my wish list. Thanks for the chance to win one.

    Karen
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. Forgot to say I just subscribed through Feedburner.

      Karen
      kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    2. It's a good book of Karen's to start with. Good luck!

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  30. I have read Karen's first three books, and I loved them! Can't wait to read this new one. Just signed up for Feedburner and your website, Debbie Lynne. Please enter me for the drawing for Karen's book. Twice! :)

    Thanks and God bless!
    Carol
    cnemeth@citlink.net

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    1. LOL! I sure will, Carol. thanks so much for following me! Good luck!

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  31. Lady DragonKeeperJune 15, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    I love musicals! One of my favorites is "My Fair Lady". Thanks for the chance to win! I've read and enjoyed all of Mrs. Witemeyer's previous titles. =)

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  32. I love this author so much, I love how when I pick up one of her books I slip right into that time period and get lost in the story and the characters, I find myself smiling or a giggle slips through or I even tear up. She has a way of bringing the story to life.

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  33. The description of the Short Straw Bride makes me giggle. I love novels that involve multiple prospects... it just keeps everything interesting until the very end. I've been wanting to read this for quite some time. I haven't read anything from Karen Witmeyer yet. I'm sure it's a fantastic read. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    jean(dot)marie356(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. I already follow your blog. I would love to be entered to win this. I know Karen's work well.
    jrs362 at hotmail dot com

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  35. Please add my name to the giveaway. Would love to win and read this book. Thank you.

    Kevlin
    prettyinpurplerose(at)aol(dot)com

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  36. I'm now following with Feedburner.

    Kevlin
    prettyinpurplerose(at)aol(dot)com

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  37. every response to this book has been so positive as i've checked twitter feeds.. looking fwd to a good read ;)

    i'm a gfc fllwr plus now added email ~ confirmed.

    ty for the opp to enter !
    i have tweeted your link

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