Favorite Brother Combinations

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In just a few weeks, my last Archer brother story will be hitting the shelves. I have to admit that a part of me is sad to be saying goodbye to these proud, Texas men. All named for heroes from the Alamo – Travis, Crockett, Jim, and Neill have battled since their boyhood to protect their land and each other at all cost. . . until a woman found her way onto the secluded ranch and changed everything.

Archer Composite 2

Travis and Jim found their happily ever after in Short-Straw Bride, Crockett found his with an outlaw’s daughter in Stealing the Preacher, and now it’s Neill’s turn as part of the novella collection, A Match Made in Texas.

In honor of the Archer brothers, I thought I’d share with you, the three sets of fictional brothers who most inspired the creation of the Archers.

First – The Pontipee brothers from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

SevenBrides-Pontipee Bros.


This is one of my favorite musicals, and much of inspiration for Short-Straw Bride came from this movie and the brothers’ relationships.





Next – The Cartwright brothers from Bonanza!

Cartwright Bros



I grew up watching reruns of this classic western series and had a huge crush on big brother, Adam Cartwright. He looks good all in black, doesn’t he?




Finally – The McMurray brothers from Jodi Thomas’s Whispering Mountain series.

Texas Rain




Travis, Teagan, and Tobin McMurray are hard workin’, hard fightin’ Texas men who instantly won my heart. Their childhood struggles lent inspiration to the situation my Archer brothers faced.







  • Who are some of your favorite fictional brothers – or perhaps men that are as close as brothers?
  • Fellow Filly, Mary Connealy, has a fun story in the novella collection as well. Do you enjoy reading novella collections? Have you ever found a new favorite author by reading a collection?


Be looking for Neill Archer’s story January 1st!

A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer in A Match Made in Texas MatchMadeInTexas-cover

Tired of living in the shadow of his older brothers, Neill Archer leaves the family ranch, determined to prove himself his own man. After two years of doing everything from laying railroad track to driving cattle, he’s nearly saved enough to purchase his own spread. While passing through a small town in the Texas panhandle, a handwritten ad literally falls into his lap during the local church service and convinces Neill that God is steering him toward his next job.

There are two things Clara Danvers cannot hide—her grandmother’s Comanche blood and her hugely pregnant stomach. After her husband got himself shot cheating at cards six months back, she has worked hard to make the shabby cabin he’d left behind truly hers. But there are some things a pregnant woman can’t repair, and a leaky roof is one of them. When a handsome cowboy shows up at her door with a tale about a nameless woman hiring him to fix her roof, she’s suspicious but desperate enough to let him work.

Scarred by the men who have failed her in the past, Clara is forced to trust the stranger when danger threatens her child. Neill might prove to be an able protector, but can she trust him with the battered remains of her heart?

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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.

38 thoughts on “Favorite Brother Combinations”

  1. All of these books sound wonderful and I love their covers. I loved the brothers in The Sons of Katie Elder. Of course, I loved the brothers in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers….one of my favorite musicals. My daddy was one of five boys!

  2. Oh I just love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! Sad day that there are no more Archer brothers. Oh well, time to find some new brothers! 🙂

  3. FAvorite brothers, well, I loved the brothers in Big Valley, such great DIFFERENCES between them. And of course Bonanza.
    The Sons of Katie Eldier, Melanie, great ones.
    My Cowboy is one of seven sons, so lots of brothers there, good grief!!!!!!!
    I loved my brothers in The Kincaid Brides. I think those are the only BROTHERS I’ve ever done. I seem to lean more toward sisters. Hmmmm….maybe I need to explore why I do that, huh????
    I have to think about this.
    I feel like I’m missing some good ones.

  4. Bonanza… if you fell in love with one of those guys… your death was certain… later years, it was those people in red shirts on Star Trek!!

  5. Melanie – Great addition! Can you believe I’ve never seen The Sons of Katie Elder? How have I missed this John Wayne classic? I think I need to rectify that oversight soon. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  6. Mary – I LOVED the Big Valley. You had the rational lawyer, the hot-tempered rancher, and the outsider with a chip on his shoulder. Radically different personalities, but when they all came together to rescue someone or fight for their land, they were unstoppable. Great example.

  7. CateS – You made me laugh. It was so true, though. If a Cartwright brother fell in love, the poor girl died. They seemed to bounce back from heartbreak pretty fast, though. 🙂 And after years of watching Star Trek with my sci-fi loving hubby, I know exactly what you mean about those poor red-shirted crewmen. I guess it’s a good thing I loved Adam Carwright from afar. 🙂

  8. Seven Brides is one of my all-time favorite movies. (I always had a thing for Benjamin, the second eldest Pontipee brother played by Jeff Richards. Such a good looking man!) I’ll be sorry to see the Archer Brothers end, too, but I can’t wait to see where you go next!

  9. Hi, Saundra! Great minds must think alike – or get crushes alike, anyway. I had a thing for Benjamin, too! 🙂

    My next book goes back about 40 years to 1851 down in the Galveston area with secret pirate daggers, exploding steam engines, and an obsessive scientist. Should be an adventure! Full Steam Ahead comes out in June.

  10. I love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and I watch the movie every chance I get! Also fond of The Sons of Katie Elder! The Kinkaid brothers are also a favorite!

    I’m sure Neill will join his brothers as book favorite brothers!

  11. Hi Karen – Always hard saying good-bye to characters who’ve been with you a long time. Maybe you’ll revisit them again?

    I don’t think I missed one episode of Bonanza growing up.Like so many other girls, I had a big crush on Little Joe, of course.

  12. Connie – I finally broke down and bought a copy of SEven Brides this past year so I could have a copy on hand for whenever the urge strikes. 🙂

    Charlene – I know I’ll visit the Archers in my imagination even if not in book form again. But who knows? They might make a reappearance someday.

  13. Hi Karen, oh, sob, having to say good-bye to characters you loved setting in a world. Congrats on the series btw. I loved the brothers on the Big Valley. Each was a hottie in his own way. And I love Charlene’s Slades of Sunset Ranch. Bring on the cowboys! xo

  14. How about Tell, Oren and Tyrel Sackett, now THERE were some tough brothers. Loved those Sacketts from the Louis L’Amour books. I loved all the Sacketts but none better than these three brothers.

  15. Sounds like a good story, Karen. I have enjoyed all your books, I still need to get this series, and look forward to reading these. Anthologies are a favorite. I can finish a story when I haven’t much time and sample new authors without getting “stuck” with a long book I am not enjoying.

    My first favorite brothers were the Cartwrights. Each one had their own distinct personality and something to offer. I didn’t discover Seven Brides For Seven Brothers until my daughters were in high school in the 1980’s. We all love the movie and I usually need to get it from my daughter if I want to watch my copy. She had a great crush on the youngest, Gideon, and named her son after him.

  16. The Sacketts were the brothers I felt were missing. I’m glad they made the list. Seven Brothers, Sacketts, and Archers are friends I revisit often.

  17. I have 5 brothers (no sisters), so I guess I relate more the relationships between guys than girls. Love the Archer brothers! I’m reading book 2 now and looking forward to book 3.

    I do like novellas, so I’m excited about this one. Mary Connealy is another one of my favorite authors.

  18. In fiction? Definitely the Sacketts.

    On TV, probably Slim and Jess from Laramie. Not brothers in blood, but partners and the closest of friends.

  19. All I can think about are the Sackett brothers. How funny. It took me all day to remember their names. That is old age sneaking in. But they are my favorites.

  20. I love 7 Brides for 7 Brothers and they were actually the first ones I thought of when I read Short Straw Bride. As far as brothers, what about the Wright Brothers? I read they were very close to their sister too and were mad at her when she “broke the pact” and married leaving, her brothers to their bachelor housekeeping. 🙂

  21. Loved the McMurrays in Jodi Thomas’ books. Such hunks! 🙂

    The Sons of Katie Elder was a good “brother” story. Mad &

    testy with each other,but nobody better gang up on one of

    them ’cause they’d be protecting their back! Lida Lael

    Miller has had some really NICE brothers in her books, too.

    Sigh, a Texan, a cowboy, a good story! Makes for a great

    read. I picked up The Short Straw Bride the other day. It

    & the other books look GOOD!! Merry Christmas

  22. Great additions, everyone. I agree that the Sacketts need to be on the list for sure. And there were a few brothers in Linda Lael Millers Stone Creek series, if I remember right, and that was my favorite series of hers by far.

    Patricia – I love that your daughter named her son after Gideon in 7 Brides. How perfect!

    Laura – I love to revisit old favorites, and I’m thrilled that the Archers made your list.

    Jan – I never had sisters, either, so I’m with you on being more comfortable in the male realm. Maybe that’s why the idea of brothers appealed to me so well.

    Shay – I love stories where there are men who are as close as brothers and who trust each other with their lives. There is something about that relationship that never failed to claim my heart.

    Mary – My memory fades at the most inconvenient times. Here I am a writer, and more often than not I stop mid sentence when I’m talking because I can’t think of the word I wanted to say. Grr…

    Anne – I hadn’t read much about the Wright brothers. I love the way you describe their relationship with their sister, too. Makes for some fun family dynamics.

    Jean – Hope you enjoy the Archers. Have a wonderful Christmas season! May you be blessed with many great books filled with hunky Texas heroes. 🙂

  23. Love all the brothers mentioned here.

    My number 1 pick is the Pontipees. My sister and I always argued which one of us would marry Benjamin. 🙂

    We also loved the brothers from Shenandoah. Jacob, James, John, Henry, Nathan and “The Boy.” Then there was Jennie who held her own among her tough brothers, but still managed to be feminine and graceful. Great movie.

    Excited about Neill’s story! I loved his fiddle playing in “Stealing the Preacher.”

  24. Hi, Natalie. Great addition with Shenandoah. Neill’s fiddle comes into play again in A Cowboy Unmatched. It had become such a part of his character, I just couldn’t leave it behind. Hope you enjoy it.

  25. The Pontipee brothers, the Sacketts (especially Tyrel, Orrin, and Tell), and Archer brothers are some of my favorites. I didn’t realize “Stealing the Preacher” was about Crockett. I haven’t read it yet since it hasn’t become available, but now I am even more excited to read it! That and “A Match Made in Texas”.

  26. Great brothers, Faith. I hope you get to read a copy of Stealing the Preacher soon. As well as Neill’s story. Stealing the Preacher has been out since June in the US. Are you in another country?

  27. Oh my stars … I can’t possibly choose between the McMurray brothers and the Kincaids! When it comes to real life brothers, I enjoyed reading about Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp through the eye of Virgil’s wife, Allie, in the book “Tumbleweed” by Jane Candia Coleman.

    Looking forward to the anthology… I’ve discovered several writers through collections.

    Whimpering at saying “bye” to the Archers 🙂

    Nancy C

  28. Hi Karen. I have the first two books and need the third. As to the Novella Collections. I like them fine, except when they come at the end of a series like this. I just prefer a complete book by the author. But, I’m sure it’s good.
    I love the brothers in the Sackett stories in Louis L’amour books. Some fine brothers. Then, I’ve always loved Bonanza and Big Valley brothers. I watch them now on a channel with all of the old series from way back that I watched. Just as fun now. God bless.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  29. Hi, Maxie. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I was excited to get a novella for Neill because my publisher usually prefers that I not write series. I twisted their arm to let me write Stealing the Preacher, so I didn’t want to push my luck with a third. Besides, with a novella I could get it out faster so fans didn’t have to wait. I hope you give it a try, and maybe find some new authors to enjoy as well.

    Have a blessed week!

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