This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Short-Straw Bride
Bethany House Publishers (June 1, 2012)
Karen Witemeyer

Karen Witemeyer is a deacon’s wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master’s degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.

Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House.

Learn more about Karen and her books on her Website.


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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Short-Straw Bride, go HERE.



I have been a fan of Karen Witemeyer’s books ever since I was given the opportunity to review her debut novel A Tailor-Made Bride. Each of her subsequent books (Head in the Clouds and To Win Her Heart) just served to reinforce my fondness for them. So I awaited her newest novel Short-Straw Bride with great anticipation and forced myself to leave it in its proper place in my to be read and reviewed stack. If I allow myself much leeway with my book calendar, I will soon find myself missing deadlines coming and going.

Well the wait was finally over and well worth it. As expected, Short-Straw Bride was just as much fun as Karen’s previous tales. Her heroine, Meredith Hayes is sassy and spunky with a huge heart but somehow sees herself as less than desirable. Hero Travis Archer has spent most of his life fulfilling a death-bed promise to his father and his strict adherence to it has resulted in total isolation of himself and his three brothers from the surrounding community. Meredith’s abrupt appearance on their ranch starts a chain of events that will change all their lives forever.

Each character in Short-Straw Bride had a specific purpose. Some were special people with endearing qualities and others were the kind you love to hate. Then there were a couple who were not exactly bad people but really should have known better. The Archer brothers were great and the story behind their names was interesting. As always, the dialogue was superb. Karen’s trademark humor was also present but possibly a tad more subdued in this novel. Plenty of action, drama, suspense, and yes, romance round out the plot to make it a real winner.  A strong undercurrent of faith runs throughout the story but does not detract from the plot. My only complaint is that the book ended too soon and I would really love to know how things turn out for the other Archer brothers.