A Stetson Full of Giveaways!!!

Ever have one of those weeks where every big project you could possibly be involved in falls into your lap at the exact same time? Yep. That’s where I’m at this week. Slammed at the day job, just got handed rewrites on the novel I turned in in August, have a deadline coming for a novella I’m about halfway through writing, and a proposal to refine for a new book contract. Not to mention all the other responsibilities that go along with kids starting school and soccer and marching band and . . .

I know I’m not the only one. We all have crazy weeks like this from time to time. And since my flood is merely metaphorical and nothing compared to what my fellow Texans along the gulf coast are experiencing, I have absolutely no room to complain. So instead of whining, I’m going to celebrate the fact that I have the privilege of being gainfully employed in two different spheres and have a house that is not buried underwater.

And since my favorite way to relieve stress and forget my responsibilities for a little while is to read, I thought I’d giveaway a handful of western romance books that I picked up at the RWA conference back in July. Many of these are autographed copies, so I know you’re gonna love ’em.

Also, for those of you who haven’t heard, I’ve started up a private Facebook group for my fans. I call it The Posse. This is not a promo group, so there are no requirements for joining beyond being a fan of my books. I picture it as a place where you can help me brainstorm characters and plots, where we can swap favorite reads, and discuss the pros and cons of corsets. (Just kidding on that last one, though I have tried one on as part of a historical workshop, and it was surprisingly comfortable. Ha!)

Click here to join The Posse.

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So here is what I’m giving away. Two winners will be drawn from those who leave comments. One winner will receive a pair of Joan Johnston novels and the other winner will receive three signed copies of great stories from authors Carolyn Brown, Lynette Austin, and Delores Fossen.

For a chance to win, tell me about your favorite way to de-stress.

Maybe I’ll pick up a tip or two along the way.

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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.

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  1. Hi Karen, I used to de-stress by grabbing the current book I was reading and while taking a long hot bath I would read and totally relax. I’ve moved from the house with the large Grecian tub and now have one that would probably be big enough for a leprechaun (if they existed that is), so baths are out, but a good shower also helps me. Also, climbing between the pages of a good book always helps!

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.
    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

    1. Ahh, a bath. That sounds lovely. We do have a good-sized tub but I rarely use it. Too busy rushing from task to task. Maybe this weekend, I wipe the dust off and try it out. Thanks, Cindy. 🙂

  2. Good morning Karen- yes you do have your cup runneth over . Reading, reading, and more reading is my favorite way to distress, as is walking and playing with my dog and listening to music. ( preferably George Strait or any older country music from my childhood Or good classic rock music)
    I sure hope you don’t get anymore bogged down and you’re able to deplete your growing piles of ” needed to get this done” down to a reasonable small pile of ” I conquered it all ” pile.
    Yes we are so much more fortunate than those in the gulf coast. My prayers still are going out to my fellow Texan’s and LA. neighbors. Praying Irma doesn’t deliver an even more catestrophic punch to others in our wonderful country.
    Have a great day.

    1. I love the “I conquered it all” pile. That sounds so triumphant. I’m going to start piling every little accomplishment I can in that pile, Tonya. And yes, I’m praying that Irma will weaken and spare our country from another dose of destruction.

  3. I love being a part of your FB Posse! 🙂
    A warm shower, a good book, and some of my favorite Christian songs on the radio/CD player help me destress.

    1. So glad you’re having fun with the Posse, MH. I’m having a blast, too. And reaping the benefits of all the wonderful brainstorming the group has done. I should have started this years ago!

      Relaxing music is so soothing. Great reminder! I might need to just be still and listen for a while.

  4. The best way for me to de-stress is to read of course. There’s nothing bettee than escaping into a good book to remove yourself from your life stresses!

    1. Thank you for the invite to your Possee I can’t wait to see what it’s all about! I just began reading again in late October after a friend sent me a book to read and review. I hadn’t read in decades between kids and work then I ended up on disability with MS and had the time to read. I couldn’t concentrate to read though and gave up on trying. Along came that first book and I devoured it and I’m now on my 77th book! Talk about escaping stress I’m doinf it ten fold. I would love to have any of y’alls books to read!

      1. What an encouraging story, Stephanie! 77 books. That’s AWESOME! I’m sorry it took MS to bring reading back into your life, but I’m thankful you found this blessing to ease your days.

  5. This week I could use the discussion on the pros and cons of corsets! Our first granddaughter is getting married and the bridal shop suggested a corset to go with her gown so she called and asked what I thought! She said it was weird but not uncomfortable. I guess they really are making a come back.
    Crazy busy does happen to all of us. I think wild fires and floods and hurricanes help put a lot of things back into perspective for all of us.

    1. How funny, Rosie! As long as they aren’t laced too tightly, corsets are like most any other foundation garment. They certainly make sitting up straight a lot easier. There’s a reason women of the Victorian era had such great posture. Ha!

  6. I de-stress by reading a good book—-there is no better way for me.

    1. Getting swept up in a great story is the perfect escape, isn’t it? Thanks, Estella.

  7. It’s always been reading for me. Especially the last thing at night before going to sleep. I also like to play games of any kind 🙂

    1. I love board games! The trouble is finding enough family members with available time to play them with me. We played quite a few during the summer, but once school started again, schedules filled up and games have fallen by the wayside. Hopefully, they’ll get picked up again soon.

  8. I like to destress by reading or sleeping. Shopping is another way I like to destress, but often that leads to another kind of stress, bills.

    1. LOL. So true. That’s one of the reasons I have a hard time relaxing when my to-do list is so long. I keep thinking of what I could be accomplishing from the list while I’m relaxing and it adds stress. But if I accomplish enough during the day, then relaxing in the evening becomes my guilt-free reward.

  9. Destressing is sometimes necessary as we walk down life’s pathways. For me, swinging in our glider swing and looking out at our lake melts stress away. Watching the sky turn beautiful shades of pink as the sun sets is the best medicine for any stress related ailment.

    1. That sounds heavenly, Melanie! I love swings. The motion is so soothing. And a water view? Perfect!

  10. There are many ways that I de-stress. I love to read, listen to music (Piano Guys, 2 Cellos, etc.). My favorite way to de-stress and kind of reset myself is for me and my husband to take a ride through the countryside. We live on the Cumberland Plateau now and the peace of being in the mountains, for me, is indescribable. Now we have the summer fading into fall. It’s overwhelming sometimes to try to absorb the peace and stillness of spirit that I experience during these rides. Plus it’s uninterrupted time with my husband.

    1. That sounds lovely, Kara! My husband rides a bike for exercise. I occasionally ride with him, but my pace is much slower. So I tell him he can only take me along when he’s ready for a leisure ride. I wish we had mountains to look at while we go, but I’ll settle for West Texas sunsets.

  11. I usually get out and take a long walk and it seems to help.

    1. That’s a great idea, Quilt Lady. Especially when the weather is nice.

  12. I enjoy walks since they take my mind off of my ills.

    1. I often long for a winding, wooded path to walk along. So serene and calming. Unfortunately, my area of Texas has very few trees. I guess I’ll just have to keep using my imagination to block out the Texas heat. 🙂

  13. To de-stress I really need to just be quiet and relax. I’m an introvert to begin with so quiet still time is very calming for me. Reading or sitting around with a latte in my hand de-stresses me. Also sitting on my deck or around the pool and listening to nature works!!

    1. That sounds lovely, Susan. I’m an introvert, too, so being by myself is usually part of the relaxation plan. Your deck sounds wonderful!

  14. A cup of tea and reading gives me pleasure and relaxes me.

    1. Anne – we must be sisters at heart. I love a cup of tea while I’m reading. I usually try to spend at least 20-30 minutes at the end of each day with precisely those two things.

  15. During the summer sitting outside in the backyard with the peace and quiet and a book de-stresses me from thinking about my RA and problems.

    1. That sounds very peaceful, Pearl.

  16. sitting in my quiet place at the river and reading a book also taking a early when the sun is just up walk around the city quietest time of the day.

    1. That sounds heavenly, Kim. I love rivers. So peaceful and beautiful. Even picturing one helps me de-stress.

  17. reading a book–Betty Neels and Grace Livingston Hill are my ultimate comfort authors

    1. Don’t you love those favorite authors that you know will just make you happy? That’s exactly what a keeper shelf is for – guaranteed great reads when you need them most. 🙂

  18. I de-stress with a good romance novel with a HEA ending. It helps so much to lose myself in a book.

    1. Love those happy endings, Cheryl. They just make the world seem a better place, don’t they?

  19. Destressing tactics for me are like many of those already offered. A hot shower, crisp clean sheets and a book generally works the best. Sometimes music is the ticket, while at other times it may be a comfort or keeper read, or even a switch to suduko puzzles. Sometimes watching a favorite movie does the trick. I almost forgot–the company of our pets is also great.

    1. Great suggestions, Eliza. And the fuzzy pet factor is a great tactile soother! Too bad I don’t have any pets. But I do have some rough and tumble boys who give great hugs. That works, too. 🙂

  20. Myfavorite way to de-stress is to read, go on walks and journal.

  21. A nice hot bath & a book. Someone already posted.this, but that is a good unwind for me.

    1. I seem to only take baths when I’m on vacation in a hotel somewhere. Why is that? I have a perfectly good bathtub at home that I never use. I need to change that.

  22. A hot cup of tea with whatever book I’m currently reading

    1. I love tea and reading. My favorite combination!

  23. Sitting in my recliner with a ice cold drink (tea or coffee ) and reading.
    When I was younger and lived by the beach listening to the ocean waves.

    1. Ocean waves would be lovely. Don’t get too many of those in Texas.

  24. De-stress… I love reading, listening to soothing music, and sometimes drawing…

    1. Nice! My drawing is atrocious, but I could color.

  25. I sit down and read a good book…or I write. Writing allows me to “let loose”. No rules…just words.

    1. I love your free spirit with writing, Haley. How therapeutic. I enjoy writing, but since it’s a job, it’s not exactly low stress. Or no rules for that matter. 😉

  26. My favorite way to de-stress is to grab a book and glass of iced tea and head to the swing or the deck. I may not always get to read the book because I’m listening to nature and relaxing. Another way, as crazy as it sounds, is mowing the lawn. I can take my frustrations out on the grass and when I’m done and when I’m done I can see my results of a job well done.

    1. I adore swings! I really need to invest in one at the house. I don’t have a front porch, but I do have a back patio. Another thing to add to my wish list.

  27. I grab a book!

  28. Karen, so sorry about your stressful week! Love your positive, joyful attitude towards your insanely busy week. It’s such an encouragement & great reminder to be grateful for all of the responsibilities God gives us.

    The Posse is my all time favorite group on Facebook! So much fun…you’ve got an awesome & creative bunch of people. ?

    Reading or baking are two things I sometimes do when I’m stressed.

    Praying God will sustain you through this busy season & you’re able to get all tasks accomplished.
    Blessings,
    Emilee ?

    1. Thanks, Emilee. I’m loving The Posse, too. So much fun!

      Baking doesn’t necessarily de-stress me, but eating baked goods certainly does. 🙂 At least until I get on the scale the next morning. 😉

  29. My favourite way to destress is to bake! I put on some good, upbeat music, grab my cookbooks and bake to my heart’s content. I love my kitchen and I love to bake.

    1. You and I need to de-stress together, Arletta. You bake, I’ll eat. 🙂

  30. I read a good book along with anything chocolate. I have also been known to go in the bathroom and make sure the door is locked and ignore any shouted questions!

    1. Ha! Love the stealthy bathroom escape. Perfect! And yes – CHOCOLATE. A definite must for de-stressing.

  31. Reading or baking! As I really don’t need to eat the baking, reading is the go-to de-stresser!!

    1. You can always ready while the goodies are in the oven. 😉

  32. Reading is my #1 go to. Or I may pull out my latest Crosstitch project, and then there is the ever brain numbing Candy Crush!

    1. Another cross-stitcher! Yay! I love cross-stitching. I do it almost as much as reading. (Neither of which is very often, sadly.)

  33. I destress by going out to our pond, laying in the hammock and reading. It is nice with the birds chirping and beautiful butterflies ? breezing past me.

  34. Butterflies and chirping birds? Sign me up!

  35. I love to fish! Sometimes, I even read while I’m fishing. ?

    1. My grandparents were all avid fishermen. I never really enjoyed it. But then, I never had a book with me. That would have made it so much better!

  36. A cup of coffee with friends usually Friday after we have all completed our work week. We call it coffee break but few of us actually drink coffee. We usually sit and visit at least an hour. Just unwinding.

    1. What a lovely get together, Marcia. I love it!

  37. Since my week (month – year) has been similar to yours, de-stressing is important. Right now running away seems to be the best option. Problem is you eventually have to come back and still have to do everything and now you are in catch-up mode. If I can’t run away, reading is the easiest way and a good hike is a nice option.

    1. Ha! That running temptation has been strong lately for me, too, Patricia. I find comfort in checking even the smallest thing off my list, though. Seeing that I’m making some progress, even a tiny amount, encourages me to keep going. Like I tell my college student daughter – you really can eat the entire elephant if you focus on one bite at a time. 🙂

  38. Hi Karen ! Thanks for this post,really got me thinking about things I should be grateful for. Some of my favorite ways to destress is reading,listening to old radio shows on Youtube ,watching old movies or tv shows, or even a good documentary on classic stars or movies.

    1. I love old movies! I used to watch them a lot when I was younger. I need to renew that love.

  39. I destress by taking my dog for a walk. He is a lovely Boxer named Rocky. If I’m really stressed I will hold a book and read while I stir food I am making on the stove. I love reading at almost any time, any place. I’ll bring a book in the car and read while my husband drives.

    1. Books make everything better, don’t they? Well, maybe not driving, but most other things. LOL.

  40. Karen, I’m praising my way through Harvey’s aftermath. Our house had 8 inches of water in it. We are living about 20 miles from home in a hotel. I’m grateful for the prayer coverage!

    Blessings and ((((HUGS))))

    1. Wow, Caryl! So glad you and your family are safe. we will certainly continue praying for everyone down there. Hope the damage to your home can be repaired quickly.

  41. A cup of hot Chamomile Tea, a light snack (maybe Lorna Doone shortbread cookies) sit in my comfy recliner with a good book…in the winter have my gas firelogs going 🙂

    1. Mmm – Tea and shortbread. That has to be one of my favorite combinations. Yum!

  42. Hi Karen, I know about that type of stress a little, Especially when my 7 kids were young and all involved in sports or after school activities. I don’t think the fog or trance I was in passed until they each graduated and/or became adults. lol
    Thank you for sharing and the giveaway chance.
    Carol L

    1. Seven kids???? Whoa. And I thought three was a handful. You are super woman, Carol!

  43. I’m definitely in the relax with a book club! I do have to be careful it doesn’t become too much of “avoid life with a book,” though.

  44. Praying, playing the piano, reading, x-word puzzles, and eating dark chocolate!

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