To Win Her Heart. To learn more about Karen and her book, read on!
Title: To Win Her Heart
Publisher: Bethany House, May 2011
Cover blurb: 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?
1) How did this story come to you?
Have you ever wished there was an epilogue to Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son? I have. When I decided to write To Win Her Heart, one question prompted the plot development: What happens after the Father welcomes the prodigal son home? So often we focus on the wonderful homecoming the lost son received, but have you ever asked what life was like for him after the celebration was over? How did he relate to his bitter older brother or the servants and townspeople who were only too aware of his past arrogance and wild living? My story plays on those questions.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
This was book 3 of a three-book contract, so the journey was a more direct route than my first book. However, every book takes its own path. I had to do extensive research into the blacksmith trade, 19th century literature and lending libraries, the use of convict labor in Texas, granite and limestone quarries, and the Victorian art of flower pressing. I wrote a synopsis encompassing the major plot points, received approval from my editors, then began the writing journey. Ten months later I had a finished manuscript that, of course, wasn't truly finished until it passed through the substantive and copy edit stages. Now, I'm enjoying the beautiful view toward the end of the road with To Win Her Heart sitting on the bookstore shelves.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
• I work full-time proctoring tests like the ACT and CLEP at a Christian university. (Exercising the left side of my brain so I can devote the right side to fiction writing.)
• I love old Hollywood musicals.
• I'm one of the few dinosaurs left in the world who doesn't own a cell phone. (Can you believe it? Although, I'm also about to have my first teenager in the house, so the no cell phone thing might be changing soon. But for now I'm living proof, that yes, you can survive and even be a productive member of society without a cell phone.)
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I've been blessed to have signed another three-book contract with Bethany House, so you can expect at least three more historical romances from me over the next three years. Hopefully with more to follow after that.
The working title of my current project is Short-Straw Bride. Four brothers draw straws to see who will marry the heroine in this twist on a marriage of convenience story. All Travis Archer cares about is his brothers and his land, but when a good deed goes awry, he's stuck with a bride who endangers both.
One fun tidbit about the brothers in this story – they are all named for heroes from the Alamo. Travis is the main character, the next oldest is Crockett, the kid brother is Neill (for the Alamo's commander who missed being at the fight because of a family illness that called him away), and the third brother's given name is Bowie, but he refuses to answer to anything except Jim. I don't blame him. Poor guy. What we authors do to torture our characters.
7) Parting comments?
Thank you so much for having me here. It's been such fun. Please leave a comment or ask a question for a chance to win an autographed copy of Levi and Eden's story, To Win Her Heart. I'll try to respond to comments throughout the day.
8) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I'd love to have you visit me at my website: www.karenwitemeyer.com. I host a monthly giveaway of historical Christian novels from a variety of well-known authors as well as post interesting tidbits about my characters and the research behind their stories.
You can also find me on Facebook. Send me a message sometime. I'd be honored to chat with you.