A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer

A Tailor-Made Bride

When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly! 

I started reading A Tailor-Made Bride immediately after I finished Head in the Clouds. Though nothing could send Head in the Clouds toppling from it's place at the top of my favorites list, A Tailor-Made Bride certainly catapulted onto that list, as well. 

Just as hysterically funny and well-researched as the other, A Tailor-Made Bride is an engaging read that will leave you thinking about the characters long after you've turned the last page--which in my estimation makes it the best kind of book.

Hannah loves to exercise. She's energetic and I really liked that about her. She's also devoted to her dream, which easily made her a heroine to cheer for! 

Jericho isn't as easy to decipher, but he's male, so I understood that. Witemeyer did an expert job at pulling me inside his point-of-view, though, and making the process tons of fun. 

The love story unfolds like a rose at times and other times whirls like a waterfall. The clashes between the characters made me smile and laugh (I've discovered that the author's witty style has a way of coaxing those reactions from me). Also, the bit of intrigue woven in, though it ended somewhat anticlimactically, certainly added a dash of adventure.

I heartily recommend this book to those looking for a light summer read, as well as those who like a snippet of suspense stirred in. The Christian undertones to this book are thought-provoking...I loved how both Jericho and Hannah worked through their prejudices. 

Also, the romance? The book ended too soon, but with a happily-ever-after worthy of a western fairy-tale.

About the Author

Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. 

Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success

Intimidated by the thought of plotting out your book or planning a character arc? K.M. Weiland has the answers and they're all neatly compiled in Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success. 

This book is chock full of great advice, pithy tips, and expert analysis of what makes outlining work.

One of my favorite additions to this writing how-to book were the author interviews at the end of each chapter. K.M. Weiland asked the same questions of ten different authors. They each gave different answers, proving that the writing road looks different for everyone. What gems of knowledge are found in this book. 

My absolute top favorite part of the book are the checklists found at the end of each chapter. I'm a big fan of to-do lists and having the author provide detailed but doable goals to work toward helped cement in my mind what I'd learned.

I recommend this book to all my writing friends. Even those who may not think outlining is for them. Outlining Your Novel is not just about outlining. It's about understanding story structure and character journeys and making sure you've hit all the checkpoints found along the path to a successful novel. I can tell I'll be returning to this book again and again!

About the Author

K.M. Weiland is the author of the historical western A Man Called Outlaw and the medieval epic Behold the Dawn. She enjoys mentoring other authors through her blog Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors, editing services, and her instructional CD Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration. She lives in western Nebraska.

Read my review of Structuring Your Novel.

Disclosure: The author provided me with this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer

I'm staring at my copy of the book right now, trying to narrow down exactly what it was that I loved...so many things to choose from! 

I love how Rebekah grows. She seemed to me to be a little shallow at the beginning of the novel, but she travels states to care for the children her aunt was responsible for. 

And she falls in love with the children. I love the children. They were each unique with true-to-childhood voices. I've read books where the children seemed stilted. Wings of a Dream isn't one of them.

I love that Rebekah's story is told in first-person. I've found this is rare in Christian fiction outside of YA, especially historicals. The uniqueness and Rebekah's personality lend itself well to this choice. 

I love how the love story is soft and sweet. This book reminded me of the gentle way of Janette Oke in Love Comes Softly, that quintessential classic romance.

I would have liked to learn a little more about the hero, Frank. But it was enough to see Rebekah falls in love with him without the grand adventuresome fireworks and fanfare she thought she wanted so much. The last line? Oh, I won't spoil it, but it encapsulates her journey just perfectly...

About the Author

 Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing historical fiction since childhood. In 2000, she began studying and working to hone her craft, finally resulting in a publishing contract in May of 2010. Along the way she reached the finals of ACFW's Genesis contest three times and saw her short essay, "Let it Snow", published in A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. Anne lives in Texas with her equally history-obsessed husband. They have three children, now in various stages of high school and college, who have spent many a family vacation touring historical sites.

Read my review of A Home for My Heart.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner, her heart's not the only thing in danger!

This book is filled with ironic twists of phrase and a humorous glint in the style of Mary Connealy and Kelly Hake. The stunning and uh-oh glimpse of Adelaide on the cover is in every way indicative of the adventure to be found within the pages of Head in the Clouds. 

This story kept me reading. The characters were altogether engaging and loveable. Gideon was such a clash of cultures. An English nobleman now a sheep farmer? 

And Adelaide. I could relate to her on so many levels, yet she pulled me into circumstances so unique...the pages turned of themselves.

By the way, she's a great fan of yellow, books, fairy tales, and twirling her hair around her finger. So I adored her, of course. This is definitely a keeper story that holds a treasured place on my bookshelf. I'll be rereading and rereading this one!

Truly, I just studied the front and back and flipped through a couple pages just now, but I don't think there is anything about this book I didn't agree with or enjoy. Scanning a few sentences puts a grin on my face and puts Head in the Clouds right back on my to-read list.

For Christian fiction lovers, this book presents the faith-filled life in a way that is neither over-the-top or under-done. For romantics like myself, Adelaide's oft-addlepated escapades are hysterical while Gideon is just plain loveable. And if you are looking for a book that will make you laugh and smile at regular intervals, well, pick up this one. Karen Witemeyer is now officially on my favorite authors list!

About the Author

Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. 

Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna White

In 1784 peace has been declared, but war still rages in the heart of Lark Benton.

Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland is an exquisite book. It is probably the best Christian historical I've read this year (and it's only May)! The characters grow soooo much and the plot twists and turns in a soft, subtle way that kept me ever guessing. Especially right around the middle, which is, in my opinion, the best part of the whole book! {No spoilers, though!}

The way White writes is stunning in its authenticity to the times. She has had a lot of education that helps her to that end. The result is the feeling that I'm reading a book written in the 1780s not just about the 1780s! The character's voices have an almost musical cadence that draws me straight into the story and paints a picture of what newborn America was like. This is one of my favorite time periods so the writing's ability to draw me in like that was fascinating.

And... I must say that Sena was an absolutely captivating character. She was so much fun to read about. I loved the way her story ended just as much as I loved how Lark's did.

It was quite a new feeling to begin the book and feel such sympathy for the heroine...and dislike the hero so strongly. Oh, Emerson made me so mad! I could have just clapped for Lark when she decided to "escape" him by going to Annapolis.

Thankfully, though, I grew to like him by the end. Although he does leave her on the street at one point -- that was my least favorite scene because I thought he could have at least offered to escort her home or something alone those lines. Oh, well, it worked out just fine in the ending -- which was woven together seamlessly.

The characters...the story...the voices...the rich history... All of these facets combine to make Annapolis shine. I thoroughly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction, lovers of Christian fiction (the strong message is neither preachy nor pushy but brought tears to my eyes), and lovers of romance (she made me love a guy I very much disliked at the beginning of the book ~ that's talented).

About the Author

Roseanna M. White
 Roseanna M. White is the author of two biblical novels, A Stray Drop of Blood and Jewel of Persia, both fromWhiteFire Publishing, and Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, a historical romance, with Summerside Press. She is the senior reviewer at the Christian Review of Books, which she and her husband founded, the senior editor at WhiteFire Publishing, and a member of ACFW, HisWriters, HEWN Marketing, and Colonial Christian Fiction Writers.

Find Roseanna on her Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

Read my reviews of Roseanna's other exquisite books: Ring of Secrets // Fairchild's Lady (a FREE novella) // Whispers from the Shadows // Circle of Spies

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Guest Post on Go Teen Writers!


I blew off the idea of yWriter when K.M. Weiland first mentioned it in Outlining Your Novel. I thought I wasn’t techie enough for special “writing software.”

I was wrong. 

Read the reason I tried yWriter, after all, and why you should as well. Thank you, Stephanie, for the honor of guest posting on GTW last week!

My College Journey: Daring to Leap

Today I graduate.


Two years ago I walked across the stage of a small white church and received my high school diploma. 

Two years later... a few hours from now... I'll walk across the stage of a huge coliseum and shake a president's hand and receive my Associate's degree. 

Two years ago I wore blue. A blue I wasn't even sure I liked at the time, but that looks all right in the pictures I have of that day. 

Two years later I'll wear black. Which is blah. Oh, well. I do get to wear an honor cord.

Which I think is pretty cool.

I'm feeling like doing this today.

I'm that excited thrilled giddy.

I'm not even sure why. Could it be the sense of accomplishment? The sense of ahhh, I'm done with that now--time to move on? 

Two years ago I threw a party. With a beautiful cake decorated with peach flowers. With a peach rose bouquet. With peach blooms and peach pebbles on all the tables. And me in a peach dress.

{Quick, who wants to guess what my favorite color is?}

Two years ago, two short months after my peach party, I started community college

With oh-my-goodness-I-didn't-know-words-could-cost-that-much books, a peach-swirled binder, and a bag that attests to my love of silver and bows. The purse I carry today could pass for its close cousin (I didn't even realize that until I examined this picture).

Oh, and I still have those capris, too. My fave pair. I guess my fashion-sense hasn't morphed all that much.

 Which makes me giggle.

Like it looks like I'm doing in this picture, taken on my first day of college.

I still have that wild, riotous, mass of curls, too (it's even a bit longer). And that smile that makes my eyes crinkle. 

But I have a lot more. Two years of college under my belt. Things I've learned. Things I'm glad I've learned. Things I wish I hadn't learned. Some stuff some might call smarts. Know-how. Book learning.

The most important thing I've learned in the two years since I walked across the stage of that little white church and walking across that stage tonight is described fairly well by this song.

Confidence...sure of myself...ready to take on the world...wise enough to look both ways before she leaps.

Do I always feel confident? No. I think I would prefer an invisibility cloak quite often, actually. 

Do I feel ready to take on the world?

Absolutely not.

Define ready.

Do I look both ways now before I leap?

Most of the time, if by looking both ways you mean look up to Him who holds my life-map.

The thing is, even after two years, I am still 
to leap.

That college hasn't pilfered from me, though at one time I feared it just might. That college can never pilfer from me. 

That daring to leap nothing can pilfer from me except I let it.



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