This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
I always look forward to Karen Witemeyer’s new releases. Not only do I enjoy her visits, but her stories are such fun to read! If you haven’t had an opportunity to read any of her books, you’ll definitely want to move them up on your to-be-read list. Her newest story is More Than Meets the Eye. (You can find my review here.) I’m excited to have Karen visiting to share more about the story—and herself— today! Before we get started, let’s take a peek at the story.
Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.
Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?
Welcome back, Karen! What inspired you to write this series or this novel in particular?
More Than Meets the Eye is the first book in a new series. It’s a tale filled with secrets, flawed characters fighting for a fresh start, a hero bent on revenge, and an unconventional heroine whose cheerful demeanor holds the power to soften even the hardest of hearts. Oh, and a feral hog named Hezekiah who thinks he’s part of the family.
The premise behind my new Patchwork Family series is a group of orphans who bond to form their own family when their orphan train derails. These youngsters were overlooked, discarded, and unwanted by the families they met along their journey. Zach, because he is a belligerent loner with a giant chip on his shoulder. Seth, because he is sickly, weakened by asthma. And sweet, little Evangeline because she was born with mismatched eyes.
I loved the bonds between these “siblings.” Who is your favorite secondary character, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
Zacharias Hamilton, Evangeline’s oldest brother, is my favorite secondary character. He’s the thirteen year-old loner who found himself responsible for two other orphan children and managed to keep them all alive and mold them into a family along the way. He’s a survivor yet incredibly protective of those in his care. He bends and breaks rules to keep them fed while growing up, and as an adult, he shelters them from the consequences of his past less-than-scrupulous choices. He’s tough and gruff and never actually says “I love you” out loud, but his actions prove it to be true over and over.
And yes, he’s probably my favorite because I’m currently in the middle of writing his story. I always fall a little bit in love with my heroes as I write them.
I can’t wait to read it! Do you have personal experience with any of the events in More Than Meets the Eye, and if so, could you share about that?
None of my characters or situations are based on any real-life experiences. However, the themes and spiritual struggles of my characters definitely tie back to my own issues. I might not be an orphan with heterochromia, but I know the pain of rejection and the desire to shun conflict and hide myself away. I might not be an ex-gambler bent on avenging his father’s death, but I know what it is like to lose my father at an early age and how that grief can change the trajectory of my life.
Perhaps that’s why your characters seem so genuine and their actions and attitudes so realistic. What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
Our Lord came to bring hope to the outcast, to adopt the unwanted into his family, and to turn shame into glorious victory. For readers who are buffered by ostracism and seeking a place to belong, my prayer is that they find hope in this story and gain the courage to reach out to friends and family for support. That they come to see their value in being a child of God and cease believing the lies of shame hurled at them by the world. For readers blessed with a healthy self-esteem, my prayer is that their eyes will be opened to the Evangelines in their own lives. That they will be encouraged to reach out in kindness and friendship, perhaps becoming an anchor for a lost soul in danger of drifting away.
I love this. Our world can be a cruel place, but we don’t have to allow it to determine our self-worth, and we have opportunities throughout life to encourage and lift up those around us. More That Meets the Eye shows us both sides of that! Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to cross-stitch, though I don’t have as much time for the hobby as I would like. I always have a large project going, but I intersperse smaller projects along the way, especially around the holidays. I just love getting that feeling of completion. Here is an ornament I made for our Posse Handmade Ornament Exchange last Christmas.
Our Posse group has also been doing a spring/summer adult color project. I never really got into the whole adult coloring book fad, but we decided as a group to do one color sheet a week, using a design that features a Bible verse. One of our members, Janette Foreman created all the designs for us, and I have quickly become addicted. It’s so wonderful to see how different every pictures looks even when we are all using the same design. And meditating on the same scripture as a group has really fostered a wonderful community atmosphere.
If any of you would like to join us, we’ll be coloring through August. Click here to join The Posse.
I haven’t had time to jump in on those, but I have enjoyed seeing the pictures that have been shared. One day maybe things will slow down a bit and I can participate, too. 😉 Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
I have two Bible verses that I keep at my computer where I can see them whenever I sit down to write. The first is Psalm 115:1 – Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. This is a constant reminder to me to write with humility. I would be nothing without the Lord’s inspiration, without his creativity, without his strength. The glory is not mine. It belongs to Him.
The second is a verse that struck me as I was reading through the epistles a couple years ago. You can see it in the image [above] that I made into a mouse pad that sits directly beside my keyboard. This verse perfectly captures my mission in writing. God has entrusted me with a message that I am called to share. Yet my goal is not to please people, but to please God. I need this reminder often because this business is all about meeting reader expectations, creating an enjoyable reader experience, and crafting my books to be attractive to the widest audience possible. As important as those business goals are, they can never eclipse the deeper purpose of creating a product that pleases God, that conveys his message. He knows my heart. He knows when I lose sight of that calling. And he gave me this verse to remind me to stay on track with his mission.
That’s such a great reminder to each of us, though. Whatever it is we’ve been called to do, pleasing men should be less important than pleasing God — even if others pressure the opposite! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today, Karen!
Your turn! Do you enjoy a creative or artistic hobby?
More about Karen:
For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA® and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. Learn more at www.karenwitemeyer.com or join her private Facebook group-The Posse.
More Than Meets the Eye Giveaway:
Karen has generously offered to give away one autographed print copy of More Than Meets the Eye to one US winner. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.