About the Book
Book: More Than Words Can Say
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2019
After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about, just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples. Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him. Once vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.
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About the Author
Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.
More from Karen
Settings – Real or Imagined?
One of the key decisions an author has to make before she begins to write is selecting the setting for her story. And the first choice she faces is the question of whether to use a real or imagined location. Roughly half the stories I have written are set in fictional towns. The use of a fictional setting allows an author greater freedom to manipulate the environment of her characters to fit her plot. This provides a great deal of flexibility. However, there is something special about setting a story in a real place. First, readers who are familiar with that place never fail to get excited about seeing a town they recognize in print. Second, if an author can find historical photos and documents, she can add a wonderful layer of authenticity to her setting that might otherwise be missing. Third, an author may turn up fascinating tidbits when studying the history of her setting that find their way into the story and bring a flavor the author never could have supplied on her own. This was the case as I wrote More Than Words Can Say. All of the stories in my Patchwork Family series have been set in real places. Pecan Gap, Texas for More Than Meets the Eye, Honey Grove, Texas for More Than Words Can Say, and coming this fall we’ll travel to Gainesville, Texas for the concluding novella, More Than a Pretty Face. Researching each location brought its own unique discoveries, but I have to admit that researching the small town of Honey Grove brought this history-loving girl a special level of joy. For example, there is a legend about how the town got its name that I knew needed to be incorporated into my story. Legend has it that when Davy Crockett was on his way to join the fight at the Alamo, he stopped in a grove of trees and set up camp. There were so many bees in that in letters to family and friends, he called the place a “Honey Grove.” He carved his initials into one of the trees and intended to return and settle there after the war. Unfortunately, as we know, Crockett did not survive the Alamo and therefore did not return. One of his friends, Samuel A. Erwin, later found the grove and became the first settler in 1839. Many people recall seeing the initials carved into Crockett’s bee tree even into the early 1900s, which led me to believe that this legend was based in truth. It doesn’t play a pivotal role in my story, but if you watch for it, you’ll find it mentioned. Discovering the Honey Grove Preservation League’s websiteproved a tremendous boon. Their online historical resources are some of the best I have ever come across. Historical photos, newspaper articles, government records—it was like stepping through a time portal every time I visited. And I visited often. Thanks to the Preservation League, I was able to mention real people and places in my novel. Places like the Commercial Hotel, the home of James Gilmer that was built during my time period, Wilkins, Wood & Patteson Dry Goods, and Dora Galbraith Patteson’s millinery shop on the east side of the town square. While Zacharias Hamilton and Reuben Sinclair are completely fictitious characters, there really was a lumberyard located on the corner of Sixth Street and Rail Road. As fiction authors are wont to do, I did take a few liberties with Honey Grove’s history. To my knowledge, there was never any city ordinance banning women from owning businesses in town, which was a key plot point in More Than Words Can Say. In addition, Mayor Chester Longfellow was a complete invention of my imagination. The true mayor of Honey Grove during this time period was J.H. Smith, a man who served in that capacity from 1888-1897. He must have been a well-loved city official to hold office for nearly a decade. I paid brief homage to him by having him step back into office when my fictitious mayor resigned. I hope you enjoy stepping back in time with me into historic Honey Grove, Texas. Zach and Abigail might not have lived there in truth, but I like to believe their tale is a representation of the many amazing love stories have taken place in that sweet little town through the years.
This book is definitely on my best of 2019 books. I couldn't get enough of the characters and how easy it was to relate to them. The author has charmed me with her attention to details and historical facts scattered throughout the book. It is a book about forgiveness, secrets, pride and humbleness.
Abigail was a delight to read about. Being the oldest daughter she took her role of taking care of her younger sister seriously after both parents passed away. I loved reading about the bakery she ran and could smell the delicious aromas filtering out into the street. Abigail is not very confident in her looks and I could understand her insecurity. I think a lot of women, me included have issues with out looks. The author examines this as she gently leads the character to overcome her insecurity and understand that God made her in His perfect image.
Zach is my favorite character. He is strong, independent and fiercely protective of his siblings. It was interesting to hear about his childhood and how responsible he has become. I could picture him as a tall and strong man who may intimidate people, but was really a big teddy bear. How him and Abigail become married is funny but necessary. There is no way that Abigail is going to lose her bakery and Zach is the answer to saving it.
The story has several lessons in it that I didn't overlook. Each character had a secret from their past that prevented them from forgiving themselves . This hindrance has caused them to stray away from relationships and more importantly, forgive themselves. As I read the book, I thought about the title. It reminds me of the saying, "Actions speak louder than words." In this book that saying is perfect as Zach and Abigail learn to trust each other by their actions rather than words. A simple act of bringing coffee to her husband, brought a deep sense of love to Zach. His commitment to always stand beside Abigail brings her to realize just how much he cares.
There is one character I \can't forget to mention which is Rosalind. Being the pretty sister as Abigail sees her, also brings with it danger of being taken advantage of by others. What I love about Rosalind is how little she thinks of her looks and how encouraging she is to see her sister happy. She is always there to lend a hand to her sister and only wants the best for her.
It is a tug of war between love, respect and forgiveness in this wonderful story. I liked how the author took the relationship of Abigail and Zach slowly and peeled away the scabs that had never healed from their past. The author fills the story with God's wisdom and as I finished the book, I immediately took a look at my life. How many times have I been discouraged by my looks? Have I really allowed God to be first in my life? Am I thankful for a husband who loves me unconditionally? I am thankful for an author that writes stories that not only entertain but gives us words of compassion and love through stories that highlight God and His infinite love.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes More Than Words Can Say, More Than Meets the Eye, and a $20 Panera Bread gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f4/more-than-words-can-say-celebration-tour-giveaway