I am thrilled to have Karen Witemeyer joining me for coffee today! Won’t you pull up a seat with your favorite beverage and join us?
About Karen Witemeyer
Private Investigator Ava Worthington and her partners head to the mountains to solve the death of a farmer’s son. Without local cowboy Cory Mortel’s protection, Ava won’t get the chance to follow leads as the killer tries to stop her investigation. But Cory seems reluctant to get involved.Cory Mortel has retreated to the seclusion of the mountains after a personal disaster. The last thing he needs is to babysit a beautiful amateur detective and her friends. But Ava seems to attract danger, so Cory has choice but to step in and protect her. One suspect after another is cleared from Ava’s list until she’s sure she has the real killer targeted in her sights, but he’s hunting her, too–a dangerous fact when she’s distracted by her growing feelings for the handsome cowboy who’s there every time she needs him.How will Ava and Cory find the killer and admit their love before they are buried under a mountain.
my point of view:
This story was quite a surprise for me, while there is a great deal of suspense, and romance, of course, there is also a fun element to it! I thoroughly enjoyed reading every moment of it!. Erin Unger is a new to me author, and I am so pleased to have found her! I will definitely be reading more of her stories, as this one captured me from the very first page. Not only are the main characters completely engaging, but you become completely enamored by the friends and co-workers of Ava, I am so hoping each girl is going to have her own story!
The twists and turns to the mystery keep you on your toes and they are really quite surprising! I found myself more than once thinking – I never saw that coming, lol! If you enjoy a good mystery, a great setting and nice faithful journey into romance, you will certainly enjoy this book, and I highly recommend it to you!
AG: Oh, I don’t find near enough! But I usually reserve one day a week strictly for writing. It’s all I can do these days, but I’m thankful for it. My favorite place to write is anywhere quiet that has soft music playing.
PM: I want to thank you for your service as a military wife, i have many relatives who serve or have serviced in the military, and i know it is not easy on the ones left at home. How do you handle the stress of deployment?
AG: You’re so very welcome! It’s our honor, but I don’t do much really. Just support and encourage. We’ve been quite blessed with deployments. He had an extended deployment some years ago, but we are done with that. Yay! He’s put in his time and will retire in four months. It’s been a long, sometimes hard, but always blessed twenty-two years.
PM: What is one thing about you that your readers would be shocked to know?
AG: I just discovered I have a cast phobia. I fractured my ankle 12 weeks ago. They tried to put me in a cast up to my knee, and an hour later, I was freaking out. It felt like the worst claustrophobia, and I needed it OFF. That night, I remembered I was born double clubfooted and spent the first two years of my life with both legs in casts. Apparently, it was painful, and I hated it and beat them against everything. So that’s the cause of my phobia, I’m guessing. Weird, right? Anyway, the doc mercifully removed the cast and gave me a boot instead. He’s now my favorite doctor!
PM: If we were to open you your refrigerator right now, what would we find in it?
AG: -Unsweetened almond milk. I drink about a gallon of it every week. Love that stuff.
-Fresh strawberries. I’m on a strawberries-in-everything kick. Sadly, they’re not tasting as great these days. Looking forward to spring!
-Too many condiment bottles! And shelves that desperately need wiping down…
PM: What was your favorite subject in school?
AG: History! Followed closely by English.
PM: Do you have any family pets that currently own you?
AG: Haha! Oh, yes. Two German Shepherds. One of them is a perfectly normal, happy doggie, but the other one is…special. We rescued Jackson when he was 2.5 years old. His dog-hoarder owner had 500+ German Shepherds. Jackson was practically feral. Had no name. Had never been touched. He was a MESS. Five years later, he’s a real sweetheart, but still a little wacked in the head. We love him all the more for it.
PM: If you could have dinner with anyone from history, other than Jesus, who would it be, and why?
AG: I think I’d want to eat with a member of the Creek Nation who lived during my books’ setting (1813-1817). To really get a feel for the people and the culture.
PM: I am so curious about your mention in your bio of learning a third language – what is your second language?
AG: I grew up in Spain (missionary parents), so I speak Castilian. I plan to tackle Italian next!
PM: If you couldn’t be a writer, what career path do you think you’d choose to be on?
AG: I’ve always wanted to own a little used bookstore. I would put it in an old, refurbished house and have a little coffee nook/reading area.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
AG: Thanks for asking! The best way is through my newsletter. https://www.subscribepage.com/d7f9l0
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
AG: Coffee! No sugar. Just, you guessed it, almond milk! Sometimes PG Tips tea with almond milk, no sugar.
Thanks for having me, Paula Marie!
About April W Gardner
Free book for everyone! Plus enter below to win a $5.00 Amazon Gift card!
Affluent businessman from Houston in need of help with his sick nephew… A small-town paramedic in need of healing… Will a season of romance bring them together or pull them apart?
Businessman Andrey Sergeyev’s organized life changes in ways he never planned when he becomes guardian of his orphaned nephew. He moves to small town Rios Azules to care for grieving Ilya in the boy’s familiar environment. Andrey’s fiancée breaks off the engagement because of Ilya’s health challenges. Another romance is not on Andrey’s agenda, no matter how much paramedic Melinda Macalister attracts him with her sweet smile, kindness, and neighborly support for Ilya…
Melinda isn’t looking for love, either, especially after her last boyfriend left her because of her health issues. She’ll just have to hide her crush on her new neighbor. He’s going back to Houston soon anyway. But she can’t refuse to help him with Ilya, who needs her more than ever. Problem is, the more she gets to know Andrey, the more she realizes he might be the one for her.
Will Andrey and Melinda choose to keep holding on to old hurts? Or will they find love in Rios Azules, Texas?
my point of view:
Honestly, this story will melt your heart….I absolutely fell in love with these characters! So much so that I have read this book more than once! I am always a ‘sucker’ for a story with children, but Ilya is a true treat…and his uncle isn’t so bad either, lol!
I can only imagine what difficulty having a child with an illness can be, but to be dealing with diabetes as well….Melinda is a true hero in my eyes! Then for Andrey, a hard working single businessman, to step up and take responsibility for his sick nephew is so beautiful it makes my heart melt. Another favorite storyline for me is the struggle of where you are in life and what it means to live a life for God.
Enter below to win a $5.00 Amazon Gift card by telling us what you are thankful for this year! Contest will end December 5th at 6pm EST and winner will be notified via email!
I am thrilled to be meeting Leanna Sain for the first time! Thank you for joining me for coffee this morning and allowing us to get to know you a little! I admit to checking out your website in anticipation of our chat today, and I found it so interesting!
PM: I would love to know a little more about your Heartland Amish Furniture, how did you become involved in that? I love handcrafted wooden furniture, and I would probably go a little crazy in your store!
My husband first saw Amish made furniture in Alaska back in 2005. We already owned a ready-to-finish furniture store, and were used to working with solid wood furniture, but the quality and craftsmanship of the Amish blew him away. After some investigating and several trips to Amish country in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, we started our own enterprise. Most of what we do is built to order. Many pieces are one-of-a-kind. It’s a lot of fun, but we’re definitely spoiled now. Less than Amish-quality just won’t do.
PM: If there was a news story about your life, what would the headline say?
Right now, it would be: North Carolina Author Writes for a Cause. I wrote my newest novel, Hush, while watching my mother struggle through the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It was a dark time for me. There was a lot of anger, and frustration, and confusion, and pain. To help me cope with that, I created a minor character with that disease. It enabled me to weave some of the things my mother said and did, right into the story. It also allowed me to work out some of those emotions … therapy, if you will. I dedicated the book to Mama, but I wanted to do more, so I decided to donate half of any book royalties to help find a cure for this horrible disease. Hopefully, one day soon, Alzheimer’s won’t be the death sentence it is today.
PM: I am so sorry you had to go through that, thank you so much for sharing such a painful time in your life in your writing.The name of your farm sounds so beautiful, did your family name it or was it The Miracle Hill Farm when you moved there?
We named it and believe me, the name fits. The story is a little long, but it’s worth telling. We drew out and built the house with our blood, sweat and tears (all literal) and lived in it about a year before our marriage sort of imploded. We decided to divorce, sell the house, split the proceeds and go our separate ways. The house sold much more quickly than we thought it might and after we signed the papers, we decided to try to make our marriage work. It was hard, but we did it. We’ll be celebrating our 34th anniversary this December.
But our house was gone. We looked and looked for a place that might measure up to our dream home. Nothing came close. We had a realtor helping us look. Still nothing. We started thinking we’d have to build again, something that neither of us looked forward to.
Then a friend called me and told me about a house on 5 acres of land was being foreclosed on, and she thought we might be interested. When my husband brought the newspaper home from the store that evening, we read through the foreclosure notice together. We reached the address of the property at the same time. It was our house! And it was being auctioned off the next day!
Guess where we were the next day? Though we didn’t have a clue how it all worked, by the end of the auction, we had our house back. We thought we were done, but came to find out that there was a 10 day time period where other people could “up-bid” us. We could counter-bid, but then the 10 days would start again. In my mind I pictured this going on forever. This was Thursday. We were to leave for the beach on Saturday. Armed with the courthouse phone number and the property reference number, we left for vacation. Each day my husband would call to see if there were any other bids. Not yet. So far, so good.
Then Tuesday, after spending the morning on the beach, we returned to the condo and called our store manager to see if there were any problems or questions that needed to be addressed. Eleanor was obviously upset. We asked what was wrong. “Haven’t you heard?”
“Turn the TV on…any station. Terrorist have flown jets into the Twin Towers in New York.”
We turned on the television and watched in horror, tears streaming down all of our faces and our nation changed forever, right in front of our eyes. We were too in shock at the time to realize what it meant to us.
Banks closed down. No one could’ve gotten a loan to pay for that land, even if they’d wanted to, but upsetting a bid was the farthest thing in anyone’s mind. We got our house back because of one of the biggest tragedies our country has ever faced. In my book, it was a miracle. And that’s where the name came from.
PM: That is a truly amazing miracle, Leanna, I too remember that day vividly and the heartache everyone suffered. It is so uplifting to hear your outcome from such a tragedy. What is it you hope most to get across to your readers in your books?
I write suspense, but I’m a big believer in “happily-ever-after” stories. Even if bad things happen, everything works together for good. Basically, Romans 8:28.
PM: Amen, that is one of my all time go to verses as well. Who was your greatest influence when you decided to become an author?
Ultimately, my mother. She taught me to love reading, love books. That led me into writing my own stories. I wrote and illustrated lots of little stories when I was a child and when my own children came along, I wrote some for them. I never, in a million years, thought I had a novel in me, though. That was a happy surprise.
PM: Where do you get the inspiration for the suspense stories you write? I love a good mystery suspense, but I cannot imagine creating one, lol!
I call them “story seeds,” and they can come from anywhere, the newspaper, a street name, seeing a school bus covered in kudzu vines, or a homeless person wearing a court jester hat… I make sure to have a notebook in my purse to jot down ideas whenever they come, plant the seed in my brain and let it sprout. It’s fun to see what will grow.
PM: What is your favorite go to snack, midnight or any time?
Apple wedges with crunchy peanut butter spread on them
PM: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite gender?
Remembering that men and women don’t think the same. My husband is my secret weapon. He makes sure I get it right.
PM: What do you think you’d like most about living in the 19th century (since this your secret desire, lol)?
No cell phones, computers, and other technology. People used to talk to each other… in person, face to face. You didn’t see families in restaurants with mom on her cell phone, dad on his and the kids on theirs. Kids played outside and there was almost no childhood obesity because they ran, and played ball, and climbed trees and rode bikes and built forts. I think life was much better before we had all that. Simpler… Although, I have to admit I would miss the cut/paste capability of my laptop.
PM: If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?
Diana Gabaldon’s, Claire. The idea of time travel really appeals to me.
PM: Oh my, I have read all of that series as well, time travel is one of my favorite fantasies – I always felt I was born in the wrong time, but, um, I really like my cell phone and internet too, lol! What’s your favorite song?
“I Will Trust in You,” by Lauren Daigle
PM: Also one of my favorite songs! How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
My Facebook page: Leanna Hewitt Sain. And my website: www.LeannaSain.com
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
Coffee! With French vanilla cream.
Newest release “Hush” by Leanna Sain:
She dreams a murder before it happens.
A young woman is strangled while her killer sings the words from the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby.”
Lacey Campbell’s life is full, but not idyllic. As head chef for a chic restaurant and primary caregiver to a mother with Alzheimer’s, she doesn’t have time for the nightmare and at first she tries to deny it. But the next day, she discovers it’s a disturbing reality. When she dreams the second heinous murder she knows it’s time to tell the police.
Detective Ford Jamison is called back to the little coastal town to help with the case and soon notices an alarming trend: the killer is using the lullaby as a “blueprint” to target women who resemble Lacey. This doesn’t slow the killings and now Lacey is afraid to fall asleep at night because the next face she sees in her dream might be her own.
As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?
About Leanna Sain:
North Carolina author, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, before moving back to mountains of NC. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. Her writing accolades include: Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year; nominations for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the Global Ebook Award; and the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the NC Society of Historians for her time travel trilogy (Gate to Nowhere; Return to Nowhere; Magnolia Blossoms.) She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com
After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.
Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?
my point of view:
I must admit, I have heard so many fellow readers recommend Karen Witemeyer, but I had not read anything by her until now. What a fun book to start with, too! I just love reading about an independent woman, and in Texas in 1896, this is not an easy thing to accomplish! Abigail Kemp is forced to make a choice when the city council upholds an antiquated ordinance stating a woman cannot own business property within the city limits.
She either needs to sell the property and close her family’s bakery – or find a man she can trust enough to marry and place his name on the deed. This marriage of convenience story has it all, romance, friendships, a little mystery….and a lot of forgiveness needing to be found by the main characters. Abigail has her own issues to overcome, always being told she was not ‘good enough’ she has a hard time believing a man like Zach could actually fall in love with her. Zach has his own insecurities from his past to deal with as well, but these two come together so beautifully, with their encouragement and support of one another, there is a lesson to be learned by all who read it!
Sometimes it takes a difficult situation to make us really turn to God, as these characters soon realize. When you put your trust into The One that matters, He will work all things for the good! I, for one, am so glad to have found this author, and cannot wait to read more of her books!
Cassie Chambers, a dedicated youth worker, is determined to rescue the troubled youth in the city of Perth, Australia.
Cassie has made mistakes but hasn’t allowed tragedy or divorce to stop her. She devotes every working hour at Youth Connect. But her own needs are neglected.
Chef Chris Evanson offers work experience to young men from Youth Connect. Cassie and Chris’s encounters become more than sassy bantering with a hint of attraction. Chris is a sincere romantic.
How will Chris respond when he finds out her secret? She must tell him before he falls in love, but will he believe she deserves more than a second chance?
To complicate matters, one of Youth Connect’s troubled teens needs rescuing. She’s pregnant and moves in with Cassie, bringing absolute chaos. Chris gains insight into what life with Cassie involves. Does he still want the total package?
Will Cassie finally find her true soul mate?
More Than A Second Chance is the first in a series of novels featuring women who’ve found themselves single, either widowed or divorced later in life, but hopeful to overcome all setbacks that life has thrown them.
my point of view:
I truly enjoyed this story, so different than a typical romance. The main characters have each been married before, so this means that they have had a bit more life experience than your average 20 something, and that they have lived through some heartache….
That being said, the title is very fitting, for each of them this is more than a second chance at love and life! I scored the.way Cassie has dedicated her life’s work to helping at risk youth. That has always been a passion of mine, and her organization reminds me of a group here in Jacksonville called Daniel’s Kids. I have worked with their teens in the past and Cassie’s work reminded me so much of them!
I was also quite taken with the setting….I have had the opportunity to read a few stories set in Australia and this one was just as lovely. Makes me truly wish to visit the Country some day! Another wish list item, lol! The best part was watching the journey of these two, and another sublet within the story that is vital to the entire relationship. I highly recommend this powerful “second chance” romance!
Often touted as the Dark Continent, some people believe that Africa is a poor and backward land, but contrary to what you often read or hear, Africa is a source of extraordinary bio-diversity and home to the most ravishing landscapes known to mankind.
God in Africa: 90 Days in the Land of Majesty & Mystery offers an inspirational insight into all the amazing things God has created in Africa including an enduring vision of her diverse landscapes, culture, people, wildlife and more.
You will read of some of the breathtaking parts of Africa the media never shows you, providing a fresh and insightful perspective on the creativity of God in the continent.
If you want to know the real Africa beyond the extreme images and hunger narratives often portrayed in the media, then this book is for you.
my point of view:
I have been blessed beyond measure to be able to have read this devotional by Shirley Corder. This devotional takes you on a spiritual journey and a trip through Africa at the same time. Shirley has an amazing knack for taking in the the everyday life around her and turning into a an amazing Bible life lesson.
In all my years of reading, never has a devotional touches me in such a personal way. Shirley has a way of bringing South Africa to life for me all while having me draw closer to God. Thank you for this amazing book that I intend to read again and again!
When a mysterious painting offers her a trip to the past, will Isla find new hope for her future?
On the brink of aging out the foster system, the last thing Isla Laird wants is to spend Christmas in an old-fashioned plantation. What’s the point of bonding with her foster mom when it’s too late to ever be adopted? But when a mysterious painting suddenly thrusts her into the nineteenth century, Isla is forced to face hurts and memories she’s long tried to bury. With time running out and her heart in tatters, can God use an impossible miracle to bring Isla hope for a new future?