No Other Will Do – Giveaway!!!

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This is the official release week for No Other Will Do. Yay! It’s always so fun (and a little nerve-wracking) to see a new book enter readers’ hands. I’m particularly excited about this one because it is the first in a new series and based on a town of women – feisty, independent women who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and support each other against dangerous odds.

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Emma Chandler is a strong-minded female raised by spinster aunts to believe that women can do anything men can if they worked together. So she invests her inheritance in starting a women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas – a place where women can come for a fresh start. Women escaping abuse. Women alone, who have no means to support themselves or their children. Women looking for a place to practice a trade normally only acceptable for men. All are welcome as long as they agree to pull their weight in the community with honest labor and lend assistance to any sister in need. Following in her late father’s footsteps, Emma runs the bank and the town, offering loans and compassion to women in dire circumstances. But when an outlaw bent on running them out of town threatens the safety of her ladies, she is forced to admit that she might need a man’s help after all. And there is only one man she trusts – Malachi Shaw.

Here’s an excerpt from when Emma and Malachi reunite after ten years of separation:

The first buildings of Harper’s Station finally came into view as Malachi crested a slight hill. Dark silhouettes of pointed roofs rose above the vegetation spread out on the flatland below him. His gut clenched. Emma lived under one of those roofs. The one closest to the edge of town, the old stagecoach stop that had given the town its name.

An odd lightness danced upon his chest as he spotted the building he sought. He rubbed at the spot then scowled when the itch failed to dissipate.

Mal slowed his mount and took stock of the rest of Harper’s Station. A tight cluster of businesses lined one side of the road. A handful of other buildings scattered beyond. Not much there to covet that he could see.

A creak of a door focused his attention back on the station house. A young woman emerged from inside and stepped onto the covered porch. A sophisticated woman with dark hair pulled back from her face and wound into an intricate bun at her nape. A grown up woman of means and mission.

Mal’s heart thudded in his chest as he halted his mount. After all the letters they’d exchanged over the years, he’d thought he’d been prepared to see her again. He’d been wrong.

She curled her fingers around the railing post and leaned forward to look at him. Her brows arched slightly. “Malachi?”

The name fell from her lips so softly, he doubted he’d actually heard it. Must’ve just read the shape of it on her mouth. A mouth within a face achingly familiar yet changed.

Mal stared. He couldn’t help it. His little Emma had grown into a handsome, well-put-together woman.

The long, tan skirt she wore swept the porch steps as she slowly descended. Her ivory blouse puffed up slightly at the shoulders, nipped in nicely at her tiny waist, and swelled over curves he hadn’t remembered being quite so . . . pronounced in the thirteen-year-old girl he remembered.

His collar seemed to tighten around his throat.

“Malachi? Is that you?” She’d reached the bottom stair, her hand falling away from the post.

“Yep.” The short, scratchy croak of an answer wasn’t much of a howdy after ten years, but it was all he could manage.

Then she smiled. No, it was more than a smile. Her entire face lit up with such joy it nearly knocked him from his horse. He’d forgotten. Forgotten what it felt like to have someone look at him like that. Like the world had suddenly gotten better because he’d arrived.

Unable to withstand her beaming a moment longer, Mal jerked his attention down to his saddle and concentrated on dismounting without doing something stupid like fall on his rear. He hoped his impassiveness would dim her enthusiasm enough for him to get a grip on his sputtering brain and allow him to think of something slightly intelligent to say.

He should have known better.

The instant his boots hit the dirt, she hit him. In a full-on, no room to breathe hug.

woman with sketched strong and muscled armsIn honor of release week, I’m giving away THREE copies of Emma and Mal’s story.

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment about one of your favorite strong female leads from a book or movie. Or better yet, real life.

What characteristics make this woman strong in your eyes? What trait do you wish you had more of in your own life?

 

Karen Witemeyer
Winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the HOLT Medallion, and two-time RITA finalist, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance for Bethany House believing the world needs more happily ever afters ... and hunky cowboy heroes. She's an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. She makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

115 Comments

  1. A strong female lead…let’s see, um, that is a hard one for me. I guess probably one of the strongest female leads for me would be on NCIS and that was Ziva David played by Cote de Pablo. For a novel, I’d say it is usually the heroine of the book I am currently reading. They may have a weakness or two but most of the heroines are strong in some way.

    I would love to win a copy of your book Karen.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    1. I love NCIS. And Ziva was the definition of strong, for sure. Great pick!

  2. Great excerpt. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Strong fictional heroine I guess would be Claire from Outlander because she has _survived_ and _adapted_ to all kinds of situations and events that have been thrown at her in multiple books.

    As for me, since I’ve had to be independent and resourceful all my life since the age of 17, I’m working on the characteristics of letting more things go, accepting things as they are, and loosening up on the reins if you will. Let go, and let God.

    1. Great message we all need, Eliza.

  3. I think Eve from In Death is very strong. She had a hard beginning and still rises above it.

  4. This sounds like a fantastic new read! I look forward to this summer reading adventure.
    A strong female – that would be my mother. She is the strongest woman I know. She has been through much in her life. At age 33 she lost her mother who had suffered for years with complications from diabetes. My mother took over caring for her father, his business, as well as taking care of her own family. At age 54 she lost my father suddenly. Then just 2 years later her father passed away. Never has my mother whined or complained or given up. She has remained strong even through the tears and pain. She continues to work part time in the public school system food services. She is my rock and example of a strong woman.
    Fictionally strong females – well that would depend on the book I am reading. I often read mysteries with female leads. Those are my favorites.

    1. What a wonderful example you have with your mother, Dawn. I’m inspired just hearing about her. Great choice!

  5. Hi Karen! I love the sound of your new book and the excerpt was enough to wet my book appetite. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    Strong female, that’s a hard one! There have been many in history that has changed the world for the better. One that comes to mind is Rosa Parks. She refused to give up her bus seat thus spurring a city wide boycott that eventually lifted segregation on the public buses. How about Ruth and Naomi who left their country to start a new life after their husbands death. There’s many more examples in the Bible & throughout history!
    I love the idea of strong heriones in a book and yours sounds like one I’d really enjoy 🙂

    1. Rosa Parks is a great one, Trixi. And I love the Ruth and Naomi story. Wonderful!

  6. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a wonderful read. I really like strong woman/women characters.

    1. Thanks, Melissa. Me, too. 🙂

  7. My youngest daughter is very strong. She sets her goals and sets out to accomplish them. She is amazing with all the things that she has accomplished. She is an Early Childhood/Elem school teacher, has her masters plus 30, and her administrator’s certification and two precious girls and she will only be 30 this winter. She is definitely an advocate for the children that she teaches. It is amazing the home life that some of these children come from. She stands up for these kid’s rights and is always making sure that they have food and clothes. I am really proud of her.

    1. She sounds like a hero-material to me! Thanks, KC.

  8. Wow I can see that scene you have up right in my head with Malachi and Emma, stunning, fantastic and such a superb start to a book. I definitely will want to read it.
    Now for a strong female lead _ Easy MY MOM who at 35 was widowed by My Dad’s unexpected death at 38 leaving Us 6 Kids ages 14 to just barely a Year old. I was 6 and on the porch that Sunday when my dad collapsed going into the house and died right in front of me, I screamed. My mom was the best, strongest woman I know and our family took a huge blow at her unexoected death at just 77 on my only nephew’s 21st birthday. But our family did not fall apart but our anchor was gone. We have braved on and right now have a niece Kailyn who died 2 years agi May 28th a week shy of her 29th birthday and her birthday was June 5th Sunday where she would have been if here at 31. This week has been hard and emotional but had to make sure my sister Janet, her mom has been alright this last week or so, combined w/putting a beloved sick, elderly dog down just prior too the other week, he helped keep her going so losing in effect her whole immediate family has been rough, her ex died at 30 of Aids, she had a baby that died 45 min. after birth in 2000, her only daughter & niw the dog. We have been strong, still are and another niece Jenni now 34 lost her dad 10 days prior to her cousin May 18th 2014, then her most beloved cousin and now is going through Beeast Cancer treatment and decided next month she will do the double mastectomy. Strong females we are in our family, because we grew up strong and have had to be and still are. Myself I had a stroke at 56 Aug. 8th 2013 and have almost completely recovered from it but for a limp and prior to that just had close a 13 year Workers Comp case where I have a permanent injury from where I got hurt at work with boxes falling on my neck & shoulders and needed 2 neck surgeries, 2 shoulder surgeries, am in constant pain & more after finding out 2 months ago my 2nd bone graft never took and need mire surgery. I said no more & will live with the pain. So my family is strong, especially we females with a great Mom to lead us and we take after that with our own fights still today. We are not done yet but I can see we will not give up or in, we will fight to the end or die trying and I just guess we do still and beyond. Thanks for the blurb it is great.

    1. What a testimony to a strong family, Elaine. You all have persevered through incredible hardship. I’m in awe.

  9. Hi Karen! I am thrilled that you have a new book out and I cannot wait to read it! My mother has always been a very strong woman. She tackled every obstacle put before her and now as the sun is setting toward the end of her life, she still works hard in physical therapy recovering from a broken hip. Her mind is failing her and that is so hard to face but each day she shares her smile with everyone who comes in contact with her. More than anything I could say about her, I am most thankful that I still have her and that she taught me to always put God first in my life as she has in hers.

    1. Beautiful thoughts, Melanie. Our mothers play such a vital role in our lives. I pray your mom continues to inspire you for many years to come.

  10. So excited that you have another book out, Karen. LOVE them! And reading this excerpt has gotten me even more excited!!

    As far as strong female characters go, I guess I will say Mary Craweley from Downton Abbey. I just did a post about Downton Abbey over on my blog so I am thinking about that. Mary has to deal with a lot. After losing the love of her life, Matthew, she is kind of lost. But she does the best that she can to pick up the pieces and be strong. She starts helping her father and Tom make decisions about their house and land and even tries to find a new love. It takes her a little while, but she re-discovers herself and eventually does find love again! Love her character!

    Thanks for the givewaway and chance to win a copy of your book!

    1. Mary Crawley. Sorry for the typo.

    2. It takes a lot of strength to continue on after a loss. Good choice!

  11. As always, I have to revert to Jane Austen, specifically Pride and Prejudice. I love that Lizzy Bennet refuses to bow to convention or to accept marriage proposals to men she neither loves nor respects simply to have an easier life. And Jane herself refused to marry someone she could not respect. That takes strength to me.

    1. Amen, Carol. Sometimes standing up against what society expects is the hardest thing of all.

  12. This book sounds awesome! I’m excited to read it.

    The strongest female lead in one of the last novels I have read is Aunt Sam from Lorna Seilstad’s The Gregory Sisters. She was very involved in women rights organizations and just living her life the way that she wanted regardless of society. She took in her nephew’s sisters-in-law and treated them as her own. When she had the chance to possibly marry a man that I believe she truly loved, she decided not to because he didn’t believe or support many of her views and ideas. For me, that takes a lot of strength. And her faith never wavered throughout the entire series. She was just a wonderful character, and I wish she was my aunt!

    1. I love Lorna’s books, Stacey. Wonderful! And I didn’t realize she had an Aunt Sam. I have an Aunt Henry and Aunt Bertie in my book. How funny!

  13. Great excerpt, Karen. You know how to draw us in!

    My favorite lead character was a woman named Lillian. She took me into her home, treated me like I was wanted and one of her own in a time in my life when I wasn’t sure who or what I was. She loved me unconditionally, encouraged me, praised me (even bragged about me!) and taught me about grace like no one else ever has. She truly lead with love. I want to be like her if I ever grow up.

    1. What a wonderful testimony, Rosie. Lillian sounds like a woman after the heart of Jesus. Lovely!

  14. Can’t wait to read this book! thanks for the chance to win!
    A strong female lead… I love Josie Jensen from Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon. She becomes friends with a Navajo boy, who is older than her, and teaches him about books and music.

    1. Sounds like a great example of compassion and strength, Candice.

  15. Real life strong woman was my Grandmother. At 30 she married a widow with 5 children a couple a couple of them had already left the house. She had 7 more living children of her own. She took in her husband’s former mother in law and cared for her until her death. She took in other family members over the years too. She almost always had a job. She sold books and insurance door to door when my mom was little. She was a great seamstress and often worked in high end clothing shops doing alterations. She put up with a lot from my grandfather who most likely bi-polar, one time he decided, while she was at work, that he was tired of all the old furniture in the house so he and the boys hauled it out of the house and burned it. That is only one episode, there were many. She was stern but loving. Always had enough food to feed us all, my grandfather had a habit of inviting people to meals without telling her. She always had a house full of grandchildren to look after too. She had a teaching degree but never taught, she was always taking care of someone else. She was such a Godly woman, so strong in her faith and set such a good example for all to see. She was always singing or humming a hymn. I learned so much from her and miss her every day.
    As far as fictional strong women go, I seem to remember a teacher named Charlotte Atherton being rather strong.

    1. What a woman, Andrea! I’m amazed at her story. Harsh circumstances didn’t keep her down – only made her more compassionate toward others in need. I want to be like that.

      1. I failed to mention the “old furniture” was all my grandmother’s antique furniture, the beds the dressers the table and chairs the end tables and a tea table. Even the cradle her father made for her. It was most of the furniture in the house. I don’t know how she lived with him after that but she did.

  16. I would say that one of the strongest women that I know is my mother. I know, cliche but she has been through so much in her life and I would love to have the wisdom, grace, pwrserverence and love that she possesses.

    1. Our mothers are our best teachers. We get to see them close up and notice the inner strength they possess that the world doesn’t often see. There’s nothing cliche about admiring your mother. It sounds like she was a wonderful role model.

  17. Hmmmmm. Can I choose Esther from the Bible?
    I just love that story. I’m not sure I could do what she did!!

    In real life I have two good friends who were widowed in their mid forties. I am amazed at their resilience and their perseverance. Two Godly ladies just keeping on day by day.

    I can’t wait to read your book! So far I’ve loved them all!!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. And, yes, you can absolutely choose Esther. I love her story. Especially since she didn’t really want to go to the king at first, but went ahead and did it despite her fear. That’s true courage.

  18. Congratulations on this new release Karen!! If this excerpt is any indication this is going to be another winner, Am really looking forward to reading it!! As for a female I look up to I would have to say my Grandmother Feuerstein. During the Depression my grandfather died of pneumonia leaving her with 3 children,1 on the way,and a farm. Thankfully her parents came to help and with her faith in God she was able to keep the family together and the farm going. I really admire her strength and faith in the face of such tragedy. As for fiction there are so many that it’s hard to choose,but I guess the first one popping in my head right now is Scarlett O’Hara. Not for her selfishness of course,but the determination to survive. Thanks for this post Karen and the giveaway. Love your stories!!

    1. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman, Lynne. Thanks for sharing a piece of her story.

  19. Congrats on what looks to be another winner! Lately, I admired Carly Fiorini. I think she handled herself well with all the testosterone stacked up against her.

  20. a deceased relative that had a difficult personal life but you would have realized it by speaking to her–she was always upbeat.

    1. I love people like that – who don’t let hard circumstances get them down. Great!

  21. Woohoo on the new release! There are many females that I am proud of who are strong roles. I hope to raise my daughters to be them!

    1. We need strong women for our daughters to look up to. I’m with you on that, Susan. 🙂

  22. Honestly, I think my strong woman is Deborah from the bible. God used her to do incredible things! Looking forward to reading your book when it comes in tomorrow!

    1. I love Deborah, Allison. Great choice! A woman of faith and leader of her people. Even when she had to kick her military general in the butt to get him to follow God’s direction. Ha!

  23. Went to Lifeway to get your new book…they said they have six copies in stock, but no one could find them..so I will wait for another day…:( As for a strong woman…my daughter is amazing to me…got her 1st degree in Film and Video Production and worked in a number of venues until her son was born…when it was realized that he was on the Autism Spectrum, she was left alone to raise him..came back home and went back to school to get a degree in Special Ed…I baby sat while she completed her Masters..She now teaches a Special Ed class all day and deals at night with the issues that transpire daily through her son…He is brilliant, but very socially inept..She does it all without complaint even though I know she is often exhausted…

  24. Oh, no! I hope they find the books. As for your daughter – Wow. A mother’s love has made her so strong. I admire what she does.

  25. My mom. She moved many times and was a church planter pastor’s wife in several different locations over the years. She was a supportive and hospitable pastor’s wife and friend to many. She homeschooled all 5 of us. She taught us to love learning about the world around us. And she taught us so much about loving and living for our Creator and King.

    When storms and difficulties have arisen in life, she’s someone you know you can count on – to commiserate, encourage, and remain steadfast. She’s not perfect, but she does her best to live a life honoring our Lord.

    She is a wonderful grandmother too! My children think she’s one of the best people on earth. ???

    1. Oops. Put emoticons at the end and it turned them into question marks – haha!

    2. Sounds like a true heroine, Brianna. Wonderful!

  26. Karen, I love your books and as usual the excerpt for this one painted a vivid picture in my mind.

    The strongest woman I know personally is my Sister of the Heart. We have been friends for 40 plus years. Her husband passed away 18 years ago. Her children and siblings all live elsewhere in our country. Her husband was an only child and his parents out lived him.She cared for his mother until she passed last year. Now to her strength …. she had not driven from her home town and now travels all over. she is a volunteer and play organ and piano for church in spite of the crippling of her hands due to arthritis and she is always in pain but seldom do others see that. We have loads of fun together and often running away on adventures!

    1. She sounds like a wonderful lady, Connie. I’m so glad you are blessed with her friendship.

  27. I recently finished Kristi Ann Hunter’s A Noble Masquerade. I enjoyed the female lead, Miranda, because she’s a strong willed, determined character who didn’t let society’s standards keep her from accomplishing what she needed to do.

    1. I remember reading that book. Very fun. I met Kristi at ACFW a couple years ago and we hit it off right from the start. Fabulous author and person.

  28. I am really anxious to get this book. Actually I always am NOT-patiently waiting for your new books. Short straw bride is still one of my all time favorites(so far)

    1. Thanks, Janet! I hope you enjoy Emma and Malachi’s story just as well as Travis and Meredith’s. 🙂

  29. Maisie Dobbs in the series written by Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie is a woman with strength of character, high principles and values and forges on.

    1. Sounds like my kind of heroine. Thanks, Elaina. 🙂

  30. Strong women that come to mind in my life are a few pastors’ wives. Even though I am a pastor’s wife (my husband is now retired), these women provided examples to me to be ever-cautious to remain positive, not to share in gossip, to support my husband and children, and to remember that am the daughter of the King.

    1. They sounds like marvelous examples, Glenda.

  31. My mother-in-law whose life these past four years has been difficult to put it mildly. 2012 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo radiation and chemo. Not one complaint. The she had to have thumb surgery and not a whine. Then last year she had tendon and wrist surgery which was painful and 10 months of hand therapy. Next week she has to have the other wrist surgery. She is brave, quiet and strong.

    1. Wow, Ruth. She has been through a lot these past few years. I admire her courage in facing adversity.

  32. A strong, courageous and humble woman whom I knew well lived through tough times. The depression, raising three kids and being kind, generous and thoughtful to others. That was her credo and her outlook in life. This cousin never took but gave of herself and was happy to do it.

    1. What a lovely woman, Pearl. Being kind and generous even with her history of the depression speaks tremendously well of her. Beautiful!

  33. I had a teacher in college who was a wonderfully strong Christian lady. A genuine lady with real grit, Virginia. She had been working at this college for many years, starting in the resident life department and then becoming teaching faculty. Her favorite class to teach was The Teaching of Jesus, and I was so privileged to take this course under her instruction, because she believed and embodied every aspect of what she taught. She had been a single young lady while working in the resident life department, when one of the other teachers approached her one day. He invited her to his home to have tea with his wife. The teacher’s name was Art and his wife, Sarah, was dying (probably of cancer, though I don’t think they knew for sure back then). Sarah had been praying because she knew she was dying and Art was going to be left to raise their teenage children on his own. Sarah was praying for a new wife for Art and a new mother for her kids. Sarah was confident that God had directed her to Virginia. So over tea, Sarah and Virginia talk about life and death and Sarah’s suggestion that Virginia marry Art. Virginia didn’t love Art. Art didn’t love Virginia. But with much prayer and time to think it through, they decided to get married. Virginia got to know Sarah as much as she could in the last months of her life. After a time of mourning, Art and Virginia got married. They still didn’t love each other, but they came to love each other. When I met Virginia and Art, they had been married many years and they were in love. Virginia had been a good wife, mother, and answer to prayer. And she was a huge blessing in my own life as I got to know her and learn from her.

    1. What a beautiful story. That Sarah could love her husband and children so unselfishly and that Virginia would give up any dreams of love and marriage that she had to fulfill her friend’s wish is a wonderful testimony to the type of person she is. I’m so glad that she and Art found love along the way. Reminds me of an old Hallmark movie I watched a long time ago – The Substitute Wife. Similar story line, but not one I would have expected to hear about in modern times. Thank you so much for sharing.

  34. I would have say a strong female character would be Jane from Jane Eyre because with every situation she made the best out of it and she took risk.

    1. Jane Eyre is my favorite classic novel. Love Jane’s inner strength. Great pick!

  35. The strongest woman I know is my mother. When she was pregnant with me, my biological father left us with nothing. She worked three jobs in order for me to have nice dresses while she got little in return. Her second marriage didn’t go well, he was an abuser. With courage she left him and continued on making sure that I was taken care of. After a few years she finally meet her man and had two children with him. Life is still hard but she fights the hardship with unimaginable strength! She’s the strongest woman I know.

    I would want to be wise like her and stronger. I’m quite and introverted so we definitely have our differences but we are the best friends!

    1. What a wonderful testimony to a woman who dealt with incredible hardship. So glad you two are close after all those turbulent years.

  36. Think of it this way women have been the strongest from the beginning she puts up with men, has the kids, raises them and does whatever she must to survive. Men well they would never have kids beyond maybe an accidental unwanted pregnancy if they had to carry the baby and give birth. We would almost be extinct if that happened. They think of themselves first, love to fight, battle, go to war, die or get maimed, sick, hurt so who would take care of him if not a female, huh men are actually the weaker sex no wonder many peoples are matriarchal not based on man at all except for progeny. Women can and have done it all before, could now and probably still will in the future. The joke is on us why men think they rule all. Women have always been there in the background maybe dictating the man’s actions, words & deeds to her benefit if possible. Behind every great man is a greater woman, so true to some degree for good or ill. So women are strong, have been and will be strong that is why men are afraid of them, declare them witches, whores, maybe get killed for it to keep the men in seeming control by brute force which is their physical strength so want to get rid of a wife for another get rid of her, behead her, hang her, set her on fire or drown her. Maybe if you think about history you see why men don’t understand the laws of nature and living, healing like women they discredit, shun, exile or maim them look at Sharia law, female genital mutilation, so no pleasure nothing but pain. Barbarians vs civilized man, not much difference except religion by man to control again women. Sorry it is long but once you think of 1 thing, 10 others come to mind so history tells us man feared women and their brains, knowledge and did not educate them until late in history unless royal. So who else can see strong women in history real or fixtion since this is about books too. Sorry again Karen, this came to me because of my niece fighting cancer, what she posted, said & replies got my brain working overtime. Delete this is you want, it is fine bit did my best to stay on topic pretty much.

    1. Hi, Elaine. I think you and Emma’s Aunt Henry (from my new book) would get along famously. 🙂 So sorry your niece is going through cancer. Such an awful disease. I’ll be praying for her.

  37. Strong woman from a book? I have lots of them and the one thing I respect the most in all of them is their faith. None are perfect, but they do not give up on God. Something I wish to emulate in my own life. Would love a copy of this book!

    1. True strength comes from God. That is so true, Kathy.

  38. A strong woman I look up to is Ann Romney. She has bravely battled MS and raised a beautiful family. Her strength and character came through during Matt’s campaign.

    1. Great thoughts, Kelly. It takes a strong woman to endure a political campaign without the challenge of MS. Thanks!

  39. The strong woman I look up to is my mother. She didn’t learn how to drive until I was out of college. Since my dad died several years ago, she has become so much more independent!!

    1. I love that she is continuing to grow and find new ways to impact lives. Thanks, Linda.

  40. The strongest female I have ever known is Corrie ten Boom. To survive all that she went through and still be willing to forgive is amazing! She was a very independant woman!!!

    1. I agree. Remarkable woman with incredible strength of mind and heart. Great choice!

  41. When I think of strong women, outside of my family of examples, I think of pioneer women who traveled West, raised a family (and often delivered new family members) on the trail, and started new lives (sometimes in their own)!
    I’m so excited to bump this book up on my “to be read” list, one way or the other.

    1. Yes, those frontier women were amazing. Thanks, Kerri.

  42. Wow, that’s a hard question. I would have to say my mom. We lost my dad when I was fifteen and she managed to keep everything together. As far a a fictional strong woman, there are just too many to try to pick just one!

    I have very much enjoyed the two books that I have read so far of yours, Short-Straw Bride and To Win Her Heart (both of which I had trouble putting down!), and am looking forward to reading more!

    1. Thanks, Colleen. I lost my dad at 16, so I can easily imagine what you went through. It’s so hard to persevere through the emotional grief of loss, yet somehow we do what needs to be done to take care of those we love.

  43. My daughter is one of the strongest little girls i know. She is resilient in the wake of bullying, she is determined to succeed, she is focused on her goals, and she puts God first in every moment.

    1. I love it, Naomi. Good for her. I’m sure she has learned much of that fortitude from her mama. 🙂

  44. Hi Karen! How exciting for you to have another book released! I’m so proud of you and the success you are enjoying!
    The strongest person I know is my daughter, Ashley Thornton Schafer. In the face of the great tragedy of losing her beloved husband (Rick Schafer) in a plane crash last year, she tirelessly works to raise money for Folds of Honor (foldsofhonor.org). Because both of her daughters (our granddaughters) are recipients of the Folds of Honor scholarships to honor the fallen in our country’s service. Rick’s legacy lives on through this special organization.

    1. What a lovely way to commemorate her beloved, Cheryl. Ashley’s heart must be so big to continue ministering through her grief. What a blessing to her children.

  45. So excited about your new book!

    I would have to say that my grandma is the strongest lady I know! She turns 101 years old tomorrow! When I think of the time when she was born, all the hardships she has endured, and how she keeps going and going! She loves plants and gardening and my dad thinks that is probably what has kept her so active and young at heart! Just this year have we told her that she is not allowed to go outside to water her plants! She is something! Her mind is still very sharp and she loves watching OKC Thunder basketball.

    1. Hi, Jamie. Your grandma sounds a lot like mine. In fact, No Other Will Do is dedicated to my grandma. She turns 100 this year and some of my best memories revolve around picking strawberries in her garden and eating her famous persimmon cookies. She is a no-frills kind of woman. Always practical and busy. Taught herself to quilt when she was in her 80s. Just love her!

  46. Love the excerpt! My prime strong woman examples from real life were my maternal grandmother and her mother. My great grandmother got up and went to vote the first time women were allowed to vote in her tiny Kansas community despite having given birth earlier in the day. The contest was decided by a single vote.

    1. Wow! What a fabulous story. Her vote could have been “the one.” Love it!

  47. I have to agree with Eliza’s choice of Claire from Outlander for a strong fictional heroine for all the reasons she gave.

    For a real person, I would select Mother Teresa. Not exactly a romantic lead, but a strong woman who lived by her convictions and never took the easy way out. She believed in the importance and dignity of every human being no matter what their station in society was. She lived to serve anyone who needed help, especially the sick, abandoned, and the dying. She and the order of nuns she founded live simple lives with few comforts. All their resources and efforts go into helping those who need their care.

    I look forward to reading this new series. It should be interesting. Yes, women can pretty much do anything a man can do, but they are still nice to have around. You have another perfect cover.

    1. Mother Teresa is a great inspiration of the strength it takes to always put others first. Hard to do in this self-centered generation.

  48. I would have to say my cousin. For the last six years satin has really tried from every angle to bring her down. While she get discouraged, and angry at times, still always comes back to how awesome our God is and has a trust and confidence that he will see her through this valley. She is a great encouragement to me. No matter how discouraged she may feel about her own situation, she is the first to offer help and encouragement to others. Love her so much.

    1. Satan not Satin. 🙁

    2. Great example! it takes a lot of strength to keep a positive attitude in adversity.

  49. Hey Karen, you completely missed my comment towards the top….LOL! 🙂

    1. Oh, man! So sorry. Thanks for telling me. I must have been reading too fast. I added a comment. (Blushing)

  50. Oh wow. I don’t even know where to even start with this.
    Honestly, I love all strong female leads. Young girls really need to start paying attention to these characters and stop looking up to the mainstream “celebrity” women that we hear so much about.

  51. Congratulations, Karen! I’ve been looking forward to this book’s release for what seems like a while, and I’m sure it’s way more exciting for you!

    One of the strongest women I know is my mother. She halted her career to homeschool her three children despite complicated health issues that doctors can’t figure out. She is cheerful, patient, loving, and persevering. And no matter what pressure she faces, she sticks by what she knows the Lord has called her to do and say. She’s pretty much my hero. 🙂

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

    1. What a wonderful testimony, Darcy. Your mom sounds like a true heroine. Thanks for sharing.

  52. Laura Ingalls Wilder

    1. One of my favorites, Lori. 🙂

  53. Strong real life female lead would be my mom. She’s 98 years old, barely been sick a day in her life, just amazing. She has always been a great role model. She’s an extraordinary woman.

    Can’t wait to read the new book, Karen!

    1. Sounds like a hardy heroine, indeed. Thanks, Dali. 🙂

  54. Can’t wait to read this! Love all of your books! 😉
    I choose Esther. Her devotion, her character, her courage even when she was afraid.

    1. I love Esther’s story. Thanks, Cindy.

  55. I’ve had the privilege of knowing several strong women in my lifetime. One of them is a current friend of mine, who is a few years older than I am. She is not only a widow, both of her sons died as young men. She is without blood relatives, so could easily feel alone and depressed, but that is not the case. She lives a vibrant and active life, and is so very busy helping others. She is quite a role model and is a very strong woman. She is a blessing and shines the love of Christ.

    1. What a remarkable story, Kay. I stand in awe of people who can rise above such heartbreak to find new reasons for living, revived purpose, and renewed joy. What a wonderful example.

  56. A fictional strong woman I admire is Charlotte Atherton, from your book A Worthy Pursuit. I liked the way she would do anything to protect the children and was adventurous when she needed to be.

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