Please help me welcome back a favorite author of mine:
I'm so excited to have Karen back with us today. She brings with her one of my favorite heroes - Crockett Archer in Stealing the Preacher! If you read Short Straw Bride, you'll understand how its possible for me to already love this guy, and after reading some excerpts I'm also in love with the lovely heroine, Joanna Robbins. Be sure to leave a comment and we'll enter you in a drawing for a copy of Stealing the Preacher!
A funny little side note... in my current WIP, Loving Tiffany, I introduce a future hero whom I created way before I knew about Joanna. His name is Christopher Robbins. How funny is that?
Now, without further adieu, I present to you my dear Karen Witemeyer:
Linnette asked me to share a little peek behind the scenes of the inspiration that sparked Stealing the Preacher, my newest book set to release June 1st. Not surprisingly, the inspiration for Stealing the Preacher sparked during the writing of Short-Straw Bride, the novel which introduced the reclusive Archer brothers. Crockett Archer played a key role in the book, his smooth, teasing charm a balance to older brother Travis's gruff, over-protective nature. I knew in my heart that this man deserved a story of his own.
When the Archer brothers were children, growing up alone on their ranch and defending it from those who wanted to take advantage of their youth, Crockett's niche in the family evolved into that of spiritual mentor and healer. He was in charge of the family devotionals the Archers conducted in lieu of attending a church service, and whenever an injury occurred on the ranch, Crockett was the one to tend it. For years, the Archers never left their land, yet as he grew to manhood, Crockett felt God's call deepen within him—a call to not only minister to his brothers but to a congregation of his own.
So what kind of heroine could I create for this noble preacher-to-be? Well, she had to be someone who shared his values and his calling to ministry. But if I left it at that, we'd have an awfully dull story. So to liven things up, I made Joanna Robbins the daughter of a retired outlaw, one who despises "sermonizers" and their hypocritical ways.
Since Crockett is no ordinary preacher, but a gun-toting rancher with a gift for doctoring . . . well, that meant a plot full of scrapes, trouble, and shenanigans. But amid the adventure and romance lies a heartrending tale of God's pursuit of a single lost soul. I hope you'll give it a try.
Here's a short excerpt to whet your appetite:
The horse whinnied at the rough treatment and thrashed about trying to gain his freedom. Crockett used the diversion to make a run for the trees. A building of some kind lay to the north. A building meant people. People meant help. He just prayed he'd been right about the bandits not wanting to lodge a bullet in him.
A shot rang out. Angry shouts demanding he stop followed. But no lead slammed into him, so Crockett kept running.
He ducked beneath post oak branches and zigzagged from one tree to another, taking advantage of any cover the terrain afforded.
The building was getting closer. A barn, maybe? He just had to keep his legs under him.
Hooves pounded into the earth behind him. Crockett's heart rate tripled. They were running him down. And he was running out of trees.
Open grassland lay between him and a fenced pasture. Keeping to the trees would only allow him to delay capture, not elude it. His only chance was to scale that fence and hope that Silas and his gang wouldn't risk discovery by pursuing him onto private property.
Lungs on fire, Crockett burst out of the woods and sprinted for the fence. The hoof beats behind him escalated.
A soft whirring caught his ear a second before a lariat dropped over his head and shoulders. Crockett made a desperate grab for the rope, but before he could get his thumbs hooked, the noose tightened around his chest and yanked him backward. In a flash he was flat on his back staring at the sky.
He'd just been lassoed like a new calf at branding time.
I like to describe Crockett Archer as a charmer with a hidden core of iron. What are your favorite types of romance heroes?
I'll be giving away one copy of Stealing the Preacher (US residents only) today, so be sure to leave a comment.
*To be entered into the drawing, please leave your email address in a comment which must be left by Sunday at midnight. Please leave a space on each side of @ in your email address in order to help avoid spammers. Winner will be notified via email. Thank you and have a wonderful day! :D