To Win Her Heart – Celebrate with a Giveaway!!!

Happy Friday the 13th!!! I’m determined to make this a LUCKY day for two of today’s visitors. In honor of To Win Her Heart being named a finalist in the 2012 Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest for Best Inspritational Romance, I’ll be giving away two copies of Levi and Eden’s story.

And because my stomach is still all fluttery over the announcement and I’m having trouble concentrating, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the book and hopefully entice you into leaving comments for your chance to win.

In this scene, our heroine, Eden Spencer (spinster librarian and daughter of the town founder) has just met the man applying for the blacksmith position. In her father’s absence, it is her duty to ensure he is qualified for the job, but once she gets a good look at Levi Grant, she has a hard time keeping her mind on her task.

Oh, and as a side note for those not familiar with the story – Levi has a speech impediment that gives Eden a false first impression of his intelligence. For a book-loving librarian, a man who has trouble stringing a sentence together is not much of a catch. So why can’t she stop staring at him?

 

Excerpt from To Win Her Heart:

Eden fiddled with the bonnet strings that draped over the arm of her chair and into her lap. Even though she and Mr. Grant were not alone in the room, it suddenly felt as though they were. She glanced in his direction, and her gaze collided with his. They both smiled then quickly looked elsewhere. Well, Mr. Grant looked elsewhere. Eden couldn’t seem to find another object in the room on which to rest her gaze. But it wasn’t as if she wanted to look at him. The man was as big as a mountain. Where else was she supposed to look?

 

He certainly possessed an abundance of brawn. Eden’s attention flittered over his arms as he leaned forward and balanced his forearms on his knees. The fabric of his sleeves seemed too meager to contain the muscles within as it stretched thin over his biceps. The heavy aspects of ironwork would be no hardship for this man. It was unfortunate that his intellect hadn’t developed to the same extent as his physique. Then again, he wasn’t interviewing for a position as schoolmaster, so what did it matter? Except that it did matter—to her—a bit more than it should.

 

A vague feeling of disappointment had circulated through her when she first heard him speak. Why his halting verbiage should bother her, she had no idea. It wasn’t as if she had any personal attachment to the man.

 

Eden sat up straighter in her chair, uncrossing her ankles then crossing them again in the opposite direction. She forced her eyes away from the blacksmith, glancing behind him to where Mr. Draper stood hunched over the desk, penning an addendum into the lease contract. Unfortunately, Mr. Grant chose that moment to straighten his own posture, the top of his head moving to block a good portion of the banker’s back and half of the preacher’s arm from her view. Eden bit the inside of her lip.

 

For heaven’s sake. She was tempted to think he had somehow discerned her intention to ignore him and taken action to prevent it.  But, no. The man was just restless. He lifted a hand and scratched a spot behind his ear as he turned his face toward the window. When he finished, a small tuft of hair stuck out, somehow making the gargantuan man seem almost boyish. Eden’s lips curved slightly before she pressed them back down into an indifferent line. His thick, dark brown hair was cropped into short waves. She wouldn’t call them curls; that descriptor sounded much too feminine for a man as rugged as Mr. Grant. However, the strands looked as though they would easily wind around a person’s finger … should a … uh … person’s finger have cause to be in his hair.

 

The smith glanced back at that moment, and Eden dropped her gaze to her lap. Where her right index finger had apparently wound itself up in her bonnet ribbon while she’d been contemplating the man’s hair. She immediately extricated the iniquitous digit and gave it a firm glare.

 

Eventually Eden learns there there is much more depth to this quiet man than a mound of muscle and hair that temps her fingers to bury themselves in its waves, and it is this depth of character that truly wins her heart. But a stunning first impression never hurts, right? Ha!

How about you–any memorable first impressions you’d like to share? Or maybe like Eden, you had a false first impression later proved wrong. Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway.

Oh, and if you would like to read the entire first chapter of Levi and Eden’s story, click here.

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.

67 Comments

  1. Usually my first impressions are pretty close. There may have been a time or two I was wrong but not to often.

    Your books sounds fabulous and I would love to read it. The excerpt left me wanting more. Thanks for sharing with us today.

  2. Thanks for sharing that ,,great post,,would enjoy reading that for sure

    vlbelk(at)Hotmail.com

  3. can’t think of any first impressions that stand out right now so to speak.

    This book sounds good thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  4. Hi, Quilt Lady. You must have great instincts about people. I wish I was that intuitive.

    Thanks for stopping by today!

  5. Vickie and Apple Blossom – Thanks for your kinds comments. You are both entered in the drawing!

  6. Impressive book and excerpt which I enjoyed. This novel would be memorable. I have throughout my life felt that intuition which has always been correct.

  7. Avatar

    I can’t wait to read this book.
    I try to go by my first impression, maybe that’s not always good.
    carolynj63@att.net

  8. Hi, Annie! So glad you enjoyed the excerpt. You are entered in the drawing!

  9. I’ve been married to my sweet husband for 35 years now, but the first portion of our first date didn’t go as well as I’d anticipated! I had already decided after the first 30 minutes that I wouldn’t be seeing him again. I know now that he was nervous at first and it was later in the evening that his true personality came to life. I also thought he was a bad driver, but, sorry to say, I still think that and our children have to agree! First impressions can be wrong, especially in matters of the heart!

  10. Thanks for coming by today, Carolyn. First impressions can be hard to discount, can’t they? Many times they are right, but when they aren’t it can be hard to let go. Your name is in the hat!

  11. Great story, Marilyn! Thanks so much for sharing that. When I first met my hubby, I didn’t think we would ever be anything but friends. He wore me down, though, with his humor and heart, and boy am I glad he did! 🙂 We’re celebrating 20 years this June.

  12. Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. Glad to share the love, anon1001. You’re in the drawing.

  14. I love this type of book, I’d love to win it.

  15. To Win Her Heart sounds great. I love the cover.

  16. Congratulations by the way! This is a true love story. It shows that outward appearance and speech is not what matters the most, it is what is in the heart. PS: love the setting of a library. I have read all three books and can’t wait for Short-Straw Bride!!

  17. Wilma – glad to have you with us today. I’m dropping your name in the hat!

    Crystal – Thanks for your enthusiasm. I’m awfully fond of the cover, too. My project manager slaved over thick volumes of male model porfolios to find just the right muscles for Levi. No sacrifice is too great for her. 😉

  18. Hi, Tonya. I so appreciate you dropping by to share your opinions of Levi and Eden’s story. And Short-Straw Bride is coming soon! Only about a month more to wait. Yay!

  19. Your book sounds really interesting. I have had a couple of first impressions that I was influenced by but later like those people.
    My son was born on Friday 13th.

  20. Hi, Joye. You must have a special appreciation for Friday the 13th if you recieved such a precious gift on that day. 🙂 Maybe today will be another lucky 13th for you.

  21. I’ve been a receptionist for years… and let me tell you that first impressions do count and, for my workplace, were usually spot on.. Nice excerpt and cover art! Congrats on being a finalist!!!

  22. I’ve loved Eden and Levi’s story. It was so sweet. I’ve been married to my husband for almost 33 years. He had a dry sense of humor that should have made a shy person like me run for the hills but something attracted me and I’m more in love with him now than when we first met. He doesn’t use endearments but the things he does to show he loves me are so much sweeter. Anything worth having takes work…so for all the young ones out there. Marriage is a commitment, involves compromise, and needs God to perfect it. Thanks for the chance at this book. Karen. I love all you write…can’t say which is my favorite because they all are special!

  23. Bet you don’t get many male readers, huh? As for first impressions, I know it sounds weird, but I just could not stop looking at the cute way my wife (future wife, that is) would curl her lip when I first met her. “Cute” was the word I actually used to describe her to a friend. And you ladies thought men look at other things more closely…

  24. CateS – I imagine first impression are a huge part of your job! Thanks for the congrats. I’ve got you in the drawing.

    Susan – Loved the story about you and your husband. And the way that your love has only deepened over time is my definition of a happily-ever-after in action. Love it!

  25. Harpo – My books are definitely targeted at the female demographic, but I’ve been surprised by the number of men who have read them. One of the elders in my church read one just for fun, and my granddaddy insists on reading them all. He’s such a dear man. The other day, I noticed that the most recent review on To Win Her Heart on Amazon is by a man. He even gave it 4 out of 5 stars and said it was a very good read even though he usually prefers sci fi/fantasy/thriller. Since that describes my husband’s reading preferences, I felt like standing up and cheering when I read it. LOL. (My husband has yet to read any of my books. But I love him anyway.)

  26. Karen, I loved this book. Levi was such a special hero. And Eden was the perfect match for him. Congratulations again on the RITA nomination! I’m rooting for you.

  27. Thanks, Linda! I love you, filly sister!

  28. Girl, you really hooked me with that excerpt. I do believe that I am as “taken” with Levi as Eden is.:-)
    Congrats on the RITA nomination! What a huge honor.

  29. I really relate to Eden in the sense of first impressions. When I was 13 and a freshman in highschool I met a senior boy through a mutual friend. After getting to know him I thought to myself, “He doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t seem smart to me. I could never date a dummy.” Little did I know that he went on to get straight A’s in college (minus speech class!) or that I’d fall madly in love with him! Been happily married to my super intelligent husband for 7 years!

  30. This book sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to read it Great excerpt. Congrats on the nomination! Can’t wait to see what happens between Levi and Eden.

    Joanne B
    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

  31. Hi, Cheryl. Thanks for the compliment! I have to admit that Levi won my heart, too. I seem to fall for all my heroes. Sigh. Then again, where would the fun be in writing if I couldn’t fall a little bit in love with each of my leading men? 🙂

  32. Ashley – I LOVE your story. That is exactly what Eden went through, plus a few other impediments. But as you found out – true love is worth the struggle. Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. Hi, Joanne. So glad you came by today. I hope you get to read the rest of their story soon. Your name’s in the drawing. 🙂

  34. Karen,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful book with us..First impressions- well my husband was an impression that I will never forget…I loved him from the moment I saw him…He unexpectedly passed away in Oct and I miss him so much…We were married for a long time…Would have been 25 years in May….We went to the prom together and everything..

    Now as for today making it lucky for me would to win a copy of this book….See eleven years ago today my father in law passed away so its seems to be unlucky for us…Anyway Karen would love to win a copy…

    Take care and keep them coming

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  35. Fifty-two years ago I met my husband. He and a cousin stopped to talk to my friend and I while we sat on my front steps bemoaning the fact that I had been stood up by my date that night. I hit off right away with his cousin, thinking him too shy. BUT at the end of the evening it was he who asked me out. As we dated over the next few months I discovered that while he was quiet, he was not shy. He had a wonderful sence of humor which has kept me laughing for the 49 years we have been married.
    Love the story line and will be seeking this one out. Congratulations.

  36. COngrats on your book being a finalist! That is wonderful news! 😀
    I am the quiet one… I have friends that have told me later on that they thought that I was odd, maybe stuck up until they got to know me… it takes me some time to feel comfortable around people and start to relax and be myself…

  37. I loved Eden and Levi’s story so much. Couldn’t put it down! I love that it is centered around a library. Such a great setting. Also, I am so excited for Short Straw Bride! I can hardly wait 🙂 🙂

  38. Can’t wait to read it! Looks amazing and I love books where the characters are so alive!

  39. Great excerpt! Thanks for the chance to win the book! I’ll be cheering you in Anaheim!
    spooler(at)comcast(dot)net

  40. Oh, wow! As I read that description my fingers were just itching to dig into Levi’s hair. I think I’ll go and run my fingers through my husband’s hair instead!

  41. Melinda – So sad to hear your Friday the 13th blues. Losing someone is never easy, no matter the day. I hope today will fill you with new happy memories to balance the painful ones. Blessings, my friend!

  42. Connie – LOVE your story. And 49 years? That’s FABULOUS!!! Definitely a happily-ever-after going on there. I’ve always been a sucker for the strong silent type. And the humor is a great plus, too. So happy for you and your hero husband!

  43. Colleen – I can so realte to you. I was the shy bookworm in school and was often accused of being stuck up because I stayed on the edges of the group. Once I found my core niche of friends, I came out of my shell, but even today when I’m by myself in large groups, those old urges to duck and hide come out again.

  44. Hi, Casey. Thanks so much for stopping in today! You’re such a sweetheart! Only about a month or so before the Archers make their appearance in Short-Straw. I hope you love them as much as I do. 🙂

  45. Jessica – So glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Your name is definitely in the drawing.

    Lyndee – You’ll have to come find me in the crowds at RWA. I’d love to meet you. Thanks a bunch for the well-wishes!

  46. Margaret – LOL You crack me up. I have to admit, though, that no matter how fond I become of my fictional heroes, the real thing is always better!

  47. Congrats on the RITA nom, Karen. And I love spinster librarians! I might have been one a century ago LOL…until the Stetsonned stranger rode into town….

  48. Thanks, Tanya! What librarian could resist a Stetsonned stranger? Not me. 🙂

    Hi, Nanette. I hope your luck gives you lots of smiles today!

  49. Congratulations on the nominations and best of luck.
    I just picked up HEAD IN THE CLOUDS yesterday and can’t wait to read it. I don’t know who does your covers, but I love them. They are lovely and SAY so much about the characters.

    When I was in 7th grade we moved from the city to the country. My brothers and sisters started in the new school, but my parents left me at my old school, a convent. I think they were hoping it would help me. Sorry, Dad. Anyway, the next year I switched to the new school. When I got on the bus that first day, I was a bit intimidated. My siblings already knew everyone. I kept my head down and sat by myself in the back. I was shy and not very outgoing. Unfortunately, that was not the first impression I gave everyone. One of the girls on the bus who later became my best friend, told me everyone’s first impression was that I (the city girl) felt I was too good for them (the country kids). That couldn’t have been farther from he truth. I was scared and lonely.

    I always try to give people a break on first impressions. I give them time to either confirm or disprove them.

  50. Hey, Patricia. I hope you enjoy Head in the Clouds. My cover designer works directly for the publisher, and he’s always given me great art. I couldn’t be happier.

    And I agree about letting people prove who they really are by getting to know them over time. Especially if it is someone you are going to interact with on a regular basis.

    Thanks for stopping by today!

  51. I have been know to ignore my first impressions and found out later I should have listened. I look for things to like about a person which has made me slow to make friends after so many bad people took advantage of me. Why can’t everyone just be nice and not take advantage of others?
    Can’t wait to read your book Karen.

  52. I’m afraid my husband’s car made a bigger first impression on me than he did. It was a purple and white Dodge Challenger and it set my heart all aflutter! Happily, forty years later, the car is long gone but he is still around.

    No need to enter me in the drawing. I bought your book, and am loving it. Congratulations on your nomination!

  53. Hey, Miss Kallie. I tend to look for the good in people, too. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But this can leave you open to hurt. Although, I still think it is better than to be closed off and cynical. But maybe that’s just the Pollyanna coming out in me. 🙂

    Hope you get to read To Win Her Heart soon!

  54. Hi, Judy! Seduced by a car, huh? LOL. I’m glad you decided the man behind the wheel was the true prize. Forty years is a great track record. I hope the two of you have dozens more!

    Thanks for buying my book. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!

  55. I can remember as a teenager reading Movie Magazines and how they glamorized the places like Palm Springs where the stars hung out…. years later I was so excited to get to go to Palm Springs and it was such a letdown…don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful place to visit which I’ve done many times since….but my first impression was not at all what I had in my mind that it looked like. Sometimes first impressions are deceiving.

  56. So true, Jackie. I’ve never been to Palm Springs even though I was raised in California. I can tell you, though, that may of those glamorous palms trees lining the roadways are actually poor, beat up, scraggly things when viewed up close. Everything looks better with a sunset behind it.

  57. I ‘ve judged people before and my 1st impression is usually pretty close… But I can be wrong just like everybody else. I love your books!
    Thanks!
    Hannah

  58. Hi, Hannah. So glad you dropped by. First impressions are a lot like judging a book by its cover. We do it every day. But sometimes I wonder how many great reads I pass up because the cover turned me off. I suppose it might be the same with people.

  59. Hi Karen,

    Sorry, I’m a bit late to the party today. I just loved Levi, Karen, he’s such a wonderful hero.

    I just hate when my mind travels the path like Eden’s did and I judge someone as lacking in some way just by their first impression, especially since I’m always hoping people won’t judge me too harshly on days I know I’m not at my best.

    Congrats again on the RITA nomination, you deserve it!

  60. Sorry, RITA FINALIST, not nomination. Guess I’ve heard too much about the election. :o)

  61. Karen (great name – it’s my best friend’s name!) I love the cover! That alone would make me want to read the book! I think first impressions are so important but I’ve learned that it’s SO important NOT to judge a “book” by its cover (ie, a person) because I’ve either done that to a person or someone has done it to me. Let’s get to know a person first! So much is great on the inside and that’s what counts!

  62. Oops, I forgot to say that I’d love to enter your contest so put my name down 🙂

  63. Hi! I made a little mistake and judged my husband-to-be. . .we were in a college class together and I thought he was a little “geeky.” Then I got to know him and got to looking at him a little more and fell head over heels for him. He is now a studly Park Ranger and there is nothing geeky about him! I’d love to read your book. Thanks for the chance and congrats!

  64. Hi, Kristen. Glad you came by. Thanks for your kind words and congratulations. It means a lot!

    Valri – I think it is much easier to give people the benefit of the doubt when we ourselves have been misjudged. Sometimes we need that reminder. I’ve got you in the drawing.

    Christina – I love that your geek turned out to be a studly Park Ranger. How cool is that? Thanks for sharing!

  65. I love your book!! These books make me feel like I am not alone and it MEANS ALOT!!!!!!!!

  66. Hi, Shelby. What a sweet compliment. Thank you!

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