New Release and Giveaway!!!

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With This Ring bethany house

Click cover to order.

It’s always so exciting when a new book comes out, but I’ve been chomping at the bit to get this one into the hands of readers ever since A Worthy Pursuit came out last June. My latest project, a novella titled The Husband Maneuver (from the collection With This Ring?), is finally here! I’ve been dying to share Daniel Barrett (aka Dead-Eye Dan) and Marietta Hawkins’s story with you.

Dead-Eye Dan is a dime novel hero inspired by the exploits of Daniel Barrett during his bounty hunting days, but Dan gave up that life to be an ordinary mule trainer. Only, the dratted dime novels keep glorifying his past and making it impossible to escape. He’s been in love with his boss’s daughter for two years, but his promise not to make advances while in Jonah Hawkins’s employ has kept him silent about how he feels. That and the fact that he worries Etta couldn’t love an ordinary mule trainer if her head was full of dime novel nonsense.

Marietta loves the man, not the legend, but when Dan decides to leave her father’s ranch for good in order to start his own spread, she panics, fearing she’s about to lose him forever. She takes drastic measures to convince him of her wifely suitability, but when a deadly hailstorm hits the ranch, will her dreams shatter like broken window glass?

With all the dime novel aspects in this novella, I wanted to work in actual scenes from a Dead-Eye Dan novel. Those scenes ended up being my favorite sections to write. I start each chapter with a Dead-Eye Dan excerpt, so the reader gets to enjoy two stories in one!

I thought I would share one of the Dead-Eye Dan excerpts with you. Enjoy the over-the-top sensationalist dime novel style.

The cover for the e-single version that will be available in May.

The cover for the e-single version that will be available in May.

Dead-Eye Dan climbed the tall oak with the skill of a cougar. Jaw tight, he scaled the tree hand-over-hand, his gaze locked on the v-shaped branch above his head. He had one chance to slow his prey. One chance to gain the upper hand. He wouldn’t squander it.

When he reached the branch he sought, Dan positioned himself in the cradle, bracing his legs against the sturdy trunk. In a single, smooth motion, he slid his Remington long range rifle from the custom holster on his back and lifted the Vernier peep sight into position with a flick of his thumb. The walnut stock fit against his shoulder as if it were an extension of his body.

Dan leaned forward and rested the barrel against the branch in front of him, notching it against a broken twig’s stub to keep it steady. He located his target. Four horses, 750 yards ahead. Four thieves and a woman. His woman. Taken when the desperadoes left the bank. They thought to use her as a shield to keep him at bay. A fatal error. The moment they touched Mary Ellen Watkins, they’d signed their death warrants.

–from Dead-Eye Dan and the Outlaws of Devil’s Canyon

  • Who are your favorite over-the-top cowboy heroes? From TV, movies, books – there are plenty to choose from.
  • I’m giving away 2 copies of With This Ring? today. Leave a comment to enter.
Karen Witemeyer
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. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

100 Comments

  1. Some of my favorite over-the-top cowboy heroes are Lucky Luke from the comics by RenΓ© Goscinny and Morris and Brisco County, Jr. from the TV series.

    1. I remember Brisco Country, Jr. He was definitely a great over the top hero. Just that name alone makes me want to roll my eyes yet smile at the same time. Great ones, Minna!

    2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers Brisco County Jr! We loved that show!

  2. I faithfully watched Bonanza with Ben Cartwright and his sons, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe.

    I also watched The Big Valley with the Barkley family: Mrs Barkley, Nick, Jarod, Heath and Audra.

    1. Those are two of my favorite, too. I had a huge crush on Adam Cartwright. πŸ™‚

  3. I’d probably have to say Bonanaza for my favorite over-the-top heroes. Either that or the Sacketts in Louis L’Amour’s books. πŸ™‚ Congrats on the new release!

    1. Thanks, Faith. Both the Bonanza boys are the Sacketts are great choices. Tough, no-nonsense men.

  4. The Sackets by Louis L’Amour and Big Valley and John Wayne

    1. Can’t get more over the top cowboy than the Duke! John Wayne always rode tall in the saddle. Thanks, Debra.

  5. Cannot wait for this!!

    1. Thanks, Susan! Hope you have fun with Dead-Eye Dan. πŸ™‚

  6. Oh, and I don’t know if I can pick any top favorites, I love all cowboy heroes!

  7. Karen, congrats on the new release! The Husband Maneuver sounds fantastic. Love how you weaved in some of the actual scenes from a Dead-Eye Dan dime novel. Brilliant!

    1. Thanks, Linda. I had more fun with this project than any other, and it was strictly because of those dime novel scenes. They were a hoot to write!

  8. Congratulations on your new release, Karen! It looks fantastic!

  9. I grew up watching all the westerns on TV with my dad. The shows will give away my age – Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Gunsmoke, The Rifleman, Maverick, Have Gun, Will Travel, Sugarfoot – the oust goes on. Still have a love for Cowboys in my books.

    I love ALL your books and would love to win this one.

    1. Great shows, Pam! I grew up with the reruns and loved them all. Some of my favorites were Wagon Train, Bonanza, and the The Big Valley.

  10. I don’t really have a favorite western hero, but I am so looking forward to reading the new novella collection. I love your books, Karen. Hope I win a copy!

    1. Thanks, Ashley. I’ve got your name in the hat. πŸ™‚

  11. I can’t wait to read this collection! I’ve really enjoyed all of your books I’ve read so far and I’m looking forward to reading more. The only westerns I can remember watching star Jackie Chan, lol

    1. Ha! I remember watching Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights. Those were fun! Thanks, Beth!

  12. Love the cover. You always have such nice covers. Makes we want to read the book for sure. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Thanks, Shirley. This cover was a crazy journey. The collection cover is so different from my usual style, but it still has it’s own unique appeal. The e-single cover (second) one is more in my usual style, though her clothing seems a bit too much 1950’s TV western instead of authentic 19th century style, but the colors are great, and hey – we’re talking dime novels, so over the top is perfectly acceptable. πŸ™‚

  13. Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Big Valley – I grew up on the old westerns. I still love it when my dad comes to visit and takes over my television to his western shows. It’s not the same to watch when he’s not there. And Adam was very cute but I have to admit that I liked Hoss. I’m a teddy bear type! Congratulations on the new release

    1. Perfect, Cissie! Hoss was a sweetheart, that’s for sure. πŸ™‚

  14. Loved your excerpt Karen! Just made my chuckle for the day. Best wishes on your new release!

  15. Congrats on your new release! Can’t wait to read it! I don’t really watch any shows with cowboys in them. I guess I would say John Wayne!

    1. Can’t go wrong with John Wayne! πŸ™‚

  16. When I was a kid, I watched gobs of cowboy shows with my dad. I think I fell in love with cowboys and horses back then–probably why I write about them now. Some of my favorites were The Big Valley, High Chaparral, The Virginian, and Bonanza.

    1. All great ones, Vickie. Funny how early television viewing can shape our adult preferences. Reading, too.

  17. I watched a lot of Westerns growing up because my parents loved them! I would have to say John Wayne was my favorite although there were others…..Bonanza men, Wild, Wild West men, to name a couple others! I still like them today because they aren’t so violent! I LOVE to read old west stories too…..my favorite in Historical Fiction! And, you KNOW, Karen, I L-O-V-E your books! I wait ever so NOT patiently for every one of your books! I would love to win this one! I’ve been waiting for Dead Eye Dan’s story since I read A Worthy Pursuit! I fell in love with his character then! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Valri! I want to know how you managed to get such a perfect last name. πŸ™‚ I guess it’s a good thing you like cowboys with a name like that. Ha!

      1. I know, right?!! My maiden name is BROWN, so I needed to find a guy who embodied the spirit of the West and I found one! Lucky guy πŸ™‚

  18. I would say the guys from Bonanza, since I haven’t seen many western shows besides that show. Always entertaining.

    1. Nothing beats that opening scene with the fire burning away the old map. Love it!

  19. I have enjoyed every one of your books! Can’t wait to read the next one!!

  20. John Wayne stands out in my mind, I believe I’ve watched every one of his movies. My best friend growing up got me hooked on Big Valley & Bonanza. I’ve also enjoyed the Rifleman, Gunsmoke and a smattering of western movies. My dad was a huge western fan….movies, TV shows, music, and books. Lois L’More (spelling?) and Zane Grey were the authors he read. There’s a lot of western out there to be found! I love old-timey shows/movies πŸ™‚
    Congrats on your new book,Karen! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    1. I agree, Trixi. And I’m excited that we are starting to get a few more westerns back into TV and the movies. I’d love to see more!

  21. Love the Chapter excerpt! I loved these two the moment they showed up in A Worthy Pursuit. Excited to read it!

    1. Wonderful, Kat! I hope they live up to your expectations. πŸ™‚

  22. I loved the cowboys from Bonanza, Big Valley, Maverick, and The Wild Wild West. I enjoy reading historical westerns now since we don’t have too many cowboys on TV any more.

    1. I miss those TV cowboys. I hope they come back. The few that have made it back to cable have been too R-rated for my taste, but maybe we’ll get some cleaner options soon.

  23. I really can’t think of a favorite cowboy there’s too many! I was so excited to see a new book! Congrats!

  24. I grew up watching Bonanza and all the John Wayne movies with my dad! I loved them! I so love all your books and am always excited to read them! ?

    1. Hi, Ariel. I love that so many of us got hooked on Westerns because of our dads. That’s awesome.

  25. Yay for your new release! I think my favorite cowboys are the one is all the love comes softly series movies! I love those hard working cowboys who love the Lord and their family!

    1. Amen, Cori! Nothing better than a God-fearing, hard-working cowboy. πŸ™‚

  26. Oh my goodness… picking a fav is hard… so many great choices out there! Congrats on this latest release! πŸ™‚

  27. No favorite cowboy.

    1. I can understand, Kim. It’s hard to choose. πŸ™‚

  28. Karen you know I’m always thrilled when you have a new book release!
    I think my favorite cowboy is in whatever book I am reading at the moment! Heavy sigh.

    1. I can so relate to that, Rosie. πŸ™‚

  29. Hi Karen, well, Dead-eye Dan sounds absolutely delicious! Congratulations on the two-for one! I always thought Nick Barkley (this is a TV series us oldsters will remember from our childhoods) was kinda over the top…so angry and passionate about Everything…and who doesn’t love John Wayne’s Big Jake. Oh, he knew and could do Anything! My favorite scene is the “Shoot Him, Daddy”. For overall hunky western guys, I am a bit currently obsessed with Anson Mount of Hell on Wheels…Cullen Bohannan is currently my screen saver LOL. Hugs and best wishes on the wonderful novella!

    1. Perfect, Tanya! Those are great choices. πŸ™‚ I remember Nick Barkley well.

  30. Bought this and read it last week….great bunch of stories…be glad when your next full length novel comes out…Love the humorous adventures in your stories…:)

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Patricia. My next full-length will be out in June. No Other Will Do. It will be the start of a new series.

  31. My favorite over-the-top cowboy heroes always come from books! Some of my favorites are Jackson McCall from Marcia Lynn McClure’s Desert Fire, Boyd Finnegan and Jack Harmon from novels that I am currently working on (watch for my novels some time in the next two decades! haha), and hero from you, Karen. I love your books!!! I am NOT a patient person when I am waiting for another one of yours to come out! Can’t wait to read this one!!! I need to have your books in print as well as on my Kindle.

  32. *any heroes from you* sorry for the typo!

    1. Those pesky typos. Ha! They creep into my comments, too. Thanks for you great comment, Jennifer. You’re my ideal reader. πŸ™‚ I’ll definitely be looking for those hunky cowboy heroes of yours in the future. πŸ™‚

  33. I would have to say Bonanza,Jimmy Stewart westerns,and the Rifleman are some of my favorites.Thank you Karen,for the wonderful post and your terrific stories!! Your one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to read this latest story!

    1. Thanks, Lynne! I will never forget the opening title scene from the Rifleman with that repeating rifle. That has inspired a few scenes in my own books. πŸ™‚

  34. I’m so excited to read this!! I am always eager to get lost in your stories! My favorite by far is definitely Short Straw Bride!

    1. Thanks, Natalie! Short-Straw Bride is definitely the readers’ favorite. I hope I can recreate that same magic one of these days. πŸ™‚

  35. Any show or movie that has Tom Selleck or Sam Elliot in it are the ones i love those two are still sexy today

    1. You are so right, Vickie! Those actors made iconic cowboys. And I can sit back and just listen to Sam Elliott’s voice for days. Makes me want to go out and buy a Dodge truck every time I hear one of his commercials. πŸ™‚

  36. SOUNDS GREAT,I HAVE GOT TO READ.

  37. Congratulations on your release! For over the top my first thought was The Wild,Wild West with Ross Martin and Robert Conrad! I liked the remake movie with Will Smith and Kevin Kline too!

    1. I never saw the TV show, but I did see the movie, and you are right on the money with over the top. So fun, though! πŸ™‚

  38. Have read all of your books and look forward to adding this to that list also.

  39. Love all your books and can’t wait for this one!

  40. My favorite is Brisco County Jr – from an awesome TV show with far too few seasons!

    1. You’re right, Glenda. That was a fun one for sure!

  41. Looks exciting! My sister and I have read everyone of your books!

    1. Wonderful, Rebecca! I hope you love this one as well. πŸ™‚

  42. Congrats on your new release, Sam Elliot has always been my favorite cowboy actor.

    1. He’s a great one, Quilt Lady. Love that voice of his! It personifies the West.

  43. My favorite are all of Clint Eastwood movies,raw hide,and,Cheyenne,and loved all the Archer brothers ..congrats on the new book,can’t wait to get a copy …if I don’t win!!:)..

    1. Clint Eastwood is a classic. Great choice, Debbie!

  44. When I think of heroic cowboys, I picture a God fearing man, strong and hard working, full of life and advice, always willing to help someone in need, able to melt a woman’s heart merely by tipping his hat in her direction and smiling slightly, and as brave as a rooster in a hen house. There are several characters off the big screen that come to mind, like Robert Fuller as Cooper Smith from Wagon Train, or James Arnes as Matt Dillon in Gun Smoke, but my favorite cowboy character is Sam Elliott playing Con Vallian in The Quick and the Dead. Rugged and gentle.

    Thank you for visiting with us Karen, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to win new your novella. It sounds like it is going to be as sweetly warm as a freshly baked hot apple pie. God bless you, Carolyn

    1. I had such a crush on Robert Fuller after seeing him in Wagon Tragon. Sigh. And Sam Elliott makes the perfect cowboy. Great choices, Carolyn. And I love your description. Sounds like my ideal cowboy hero. πŸ™‚

  45. I grew up watching Gunsmoke! I loved Matt, Festus, Newly and Doc! Can’t wa to read this book!

  46. I love Adam and all the Pontibee brothers in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I know they’re more mountain men than cowboys, but they still work hard and go after what they want, namely their women. πŸ˜‰

    1. That is my favorite musical of all time, Deborah! Did you know that it inspired my novel Short-Straw Bride? Love those red-headed mountain men! πŸ™‚

      1. No way! I didn’t know that! If I could jump into a fictional novel, I’d be an Archer bride for sure. So that’s awesome!

  47. Well John Wayne has got to be one of the best cowboys but I do enjoy watching Walt on Longmire.

    1. I LOVE Longmire, Arletta. Walt is a great cowboy hero. Great pick!

  48. I can’t help but like westerns, even if they are overdrawn. Hard to pick a favorite, but Louis L’Amour’s Utah Blaine was really good. Of the TV shows, I prefer the series where the “good bad guy” has a better chance of surviving, like Bonanza. I also admire the Virginian: he always knew what to do.

    1. Thanks, Darcy! Louis L’Amour is the king of classic westerns! Love it!

  49. Just started the 12th chapter of “Stealing the Preacher” so favorite cowboy currently would be Crockett Archer. I am looking forward to reading more of your books.

    1. That’s awesome, Rita! Hope you enjoy the rest of Crockett’s story. πŸ™‚

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