The Reading Habits of Karen Witemeyer (with giveaway)

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The lovely Karen Witemeyer shares her love of novellas, a fiction pet peeve, and a book cover that has recently caught her eye! Be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of her latest, Heart on the Line!

Are you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?

I have been known to re-read favorite books, but I usually wait about five years or more before diving in for a second helping. That way I don’t remember every detail of the story and can discover new things to love about it. Now that my writing career is in full swing, though, I haven’t re-read a book in a long time. Probably because I can’t keep up with the new books filling my TBR pile. There’s just not enough time in the day anymore.

When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?

I read non-fiction in the morning with breakfast and fiction in the evening right before bed. The non-fiction is usually spiritual in nature and gets my mind and heart in the right place before tackling the day. Then when the crazies of the day are over and the house is quiet, I tuck into a novel and savor the story before the sleepies take over.

Karen's TBR Pile - Nonfiction

Karen’s Non Fiction TBR Stack

I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!

I personally like novellas. I like reading them as well as writing them. I especially love novellas at Christmas. There’s just something about Christmas novellas that I love. They’re quick and festive and put me in the holiday spirit. It’s the one time of year I actively seek them out.

Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?

I am a historical romance reader, nearly exclusively. I rarely read outside this genre. It has always been my favorite, since my days with Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. I write it and read it because I love it.

Which factors most influence your selection of a book?

  • Is the author a favorite of mine?
  • Did the back cover blurb draw me in?
  • Are the reviews positive?

Since I have so little free time these days, I am very picky about which books I add to my TBR pile, which means I investigate before I buy. If #1 and #2 are in place, I can skip #3. If not, #3 is the deciding factor.

Your fiction pet peeve?

I have very little patience with the romance trope of I hate him/her for 75% of the book until I finally realize that all those strong feelings were really love not hate. Maybe it is because my own love relationship blossomed from friendship, but I just don’t see how a long-term happy ending can take place if you don’t like/respect/get along with the person you’re attracted to.

How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?

Well, bookmarks are never in short supply around my house. Ha! I have boxes of them laying around. I have a collection of other bookmarks, though, that were given to me from friends and family over the years, and those are the ones I use for my personal reading. However, I have been known to use a receipt or any handy paper when in a bind. I’d rather memorize the page number than dog-ear the corner.

Karen's TBR Pile - Fiction

Karen’s Fiction TBR Stack

What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?

The classic Christy by Catherine Marshall was my first Christian fiction book. I read it in high school and was immediately captivated.

Snack/drink of choice while reading?

Hot tea flavoured with honey.

What book cover has really caught your eye?

The book nerd in me really loves the cover of Roseanna White’s new release, A Name Unknown. Love all those old books! That and I love historical covers where the women have updos. 😊

I recently participated in a writer’s retreat in Washington, DC, and one of the highlights of the trip was touring the Library of Congress. Julie Klassen, Jody Hedlund, and I spent an hour looking at all the old books from Thomas Jefferson’s collection. Hundreds of years old. So much history and knowledge encased there. Fabulous!

What book do you wish you had written? Why?

In truth – none. God gave me the stories he wanted me to tell, and wishing I received someone else’s story is dangerous. It opens my heart to envy and discontent. I’ve fallen into that trap before, so I try very hard to avoid it. Instead, I choose to thank God for the stories he gives me, continue to pray for guidance and skill and creativity as I write, and rejoice when I see other authors making an impact on the world with the stories the Lord gave them.

Be sure to get your hands on Karen’s latest novel…


Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

Thanks Karen!

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 Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at

Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Witemeyer @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Karen’s website
Buy from Amazon: Heart on the Line or Koorong

RR Heart on the Line

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56 Responses to The Reading Habits of Karen Witemeyer (with giveaway)

  1. It depends – if it’s an author that I’ve read before and liked then it doesn’t matter what the description or cover is like, I’ll read the book. If it’s a new to me author, I’ll take the cover into serious consideration. Reader reviews speak louder than the description on the back of the book.

  2. I love the hero already. I use to like this particular authors until her hero/ heroine storiesstarted to recycle itself. I realized that these relationships are unhealthy. How can you treat someone with so much contempt and turn around and say you love them? These heros/ heroines were coming from a place of unhealed wounds and looking for someone to complete them and make up for their past. I decided that any relationships that is unhealthy in a book is not worth my time if they are not seeking God and the help of a professional.

  3. I consider the author and a trusted friend/blogger’s review.

    Love the interview! Thank you for the chance.
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

  4. I choose by author or if a cover attracts my attention then I read the back blurb. Thank you for the chance.

  5. I choose a book by:
    1. author
    2. recommendation from a friend
    3. cover/description

  6. I’m pretty much the same way, except I don’t really read book reviews. Since I write reviews myself, I don’t pay much attention to other people’s.

    If it’s an author I already love, I know I’ll like the book. I also always read the back cover to see what the book is about and if it interests me enough, I’ll pick it up to read. I think the first thing that draws my eye is a beautiful cover :-) And I SO love the cover of this one! Karen’s books are full of humor and wit and this one sounds great especially with the unconventional hero angle!

    One way or another, I will be reading it :-) Love to win a copy, thanks for the chance Rel & the fun interview!

  7. The cover usually catches my eye, then check out a little of the synopsis. I usually only read the first paragraph or something, because sometimes summaries have spoilers.

  8. It often depends on many things. Publisher, cover, author, back cover copy, reviews. They factor in for me. :-))

  9. If it’s written by an author I know and love, then it’s an automatic purchase. Otherwise, I choose very similarly to how Karen does.

  10. what a wonderful interview. I agree with her pet peeve. I look at the cover and title. I look at the authors name. I want to be drawn into the story by the back cover. I really want it to be a Christian book.
    quilting dash lady at

  11. Thanks you so much for having me, Rel! It’s always fun to talk books.

  12. I choose an author I have already read. Then if a cover catches my eye and the cover blurb sounds like it interests me. There are so many good books out there that I tend to stay with the authors I know and branch out but usually within my favorite genres: Historical, Suspense, Cozy and all the better if it combines them.

  13. A lot of times I choose a book based on reviews and if I previously enjoyed another book the author wrote. I like “clean” books, so I need to pay attention to the publishing company or author’s style before I invest in a book. Thank goodness for the internet to help me along my book buying journey!

  14. I usually choose my new books based on the author and cover and then I read the back. I love Karen’s books!

  15. If it is a known or favorite author, I usually just pick up the book! If unknown, I am usually first intrigued by the title/cover, and then I read the summary on the back. Sometimes I then read the first page or two, for a quick feel of the style/type. If buying online, then I pay even more attention to the reviews. Looking forward to this new release as I always read every one of Karen’s books, and I greatly enjoy them. Interesting interview!

  16. I generally choose books based on the author. For new to me authors, a trusted blogger friends has great insight.

  17. I admit that the cover is what first catches my eye. I often find new authors or genres just by perusing covers at the library…and now on Goodreads.

  18. I have to say the cover is usually what draws in. Sometimes you just know it’s going to be a good book by just looking at the cover!

  19. I loved your answers to the interview questions. And your books are great. Thanks for this chance to win.

  20. I’d say the cover is what draws me in, then if the description sounds good I’ll read it. There are so many good Christian fiction authors out there now usually you can’t go wrong with the genre.

  21. A lot of time it’s a cover that first grabs me, then I just watch for any and everything they publish.

  22. Christy by Catherine Marshall is my favorite book too!

  23. Though I read extensively, my budget for buying books is very limited. Most books I buy are by authors I’ve come to love. Often it will be the next book in their series that I just MUST have.

  24. I love my e-reader! I take it with me everywhere even if I get a few moments between innings or when a new pitcher is warming up at the ballgame. I’ve read more books in the last few years than my whole life.
    I agree with you about the hate/love thing in many books. It’s too predictable and seems shallow to me.
    The author of a book is what grabs me with most books I want to read. Once you have found writers that hit your heart you want to go back to that place again. I am finishing the fourth Chris Fabry book that I’ve read this last week. Often the description will entice me, too.
    Christy by Catherine Marshall will remain in my top ten books. I also, read it when I was young. I can still visualize scenes in my head.
    I read the most at night time and like you I read my nonfiction books during the day but I will read anytime and anywhere. As a book review blogger I’m a book addict! But my Bible is first thing in the morning.
    Christmas novellas catch my interest; others occasionally.
    Thank you for sharing, Karen!

  25. When I choose books for my TBR shelf, I chooose from authors I love, Goodread ratings of 4 or better, the back cover summary, and/or the cover. I have been known to purchase a book simply because the cover has captivated my interest.

  26. amy guillaume linderman

    i go by author first, then cover

  27. I choose books based on author, genre, reviews and cover. A good cover can entice me to try a book I might not otherwise pick up. I am faithful to my favorite authors and genres, but good reviews of an unknown author or less liked genre will also cause me to read a book. I really love discovering new books by indie authors, although it is still a hit or miss proposition.

  28. Synopsis is a big deal to me, particularly if it is not an author I’ve read before. If it is a book I will be reviewing, I stay away from the reviews so that mine isn’t influenced by it. Sometimes I will take a look at the first page to see if the beginning grabs my attention right away.

    I definitely like the synopsis of Karen’s new book so that is going on my TBR list. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

    • So glad Amos and Grace appeal to you, Loraine. I hope you get to enjoy their story. And thanks for all you do in leaving reviews. That really is a blessing to authors and readers alike.

  29. Usually based on the author and whether or not my library has it. Sometimes I will buy a new author, but normally I try to get at least one book by a new (to me at least) author from the library first.

  30. Not always sure why I choose a particular book. Generally if it is a new to me author, or one I’m not real familiar with, then the story synopsis, and perhaps a review or two, will decide for me. There are a few authors I almost don’t even bother with the story details.

  31. I usually choose books by authors I’m familiar with or are recommended by my friends with similar tastes. I also check out the cover and the blurb to be sure it sounds interesting to me. I’ve heard so many great things about your books, Karen. I’ve got a couple of them in my TBR pile. I need to get to them soon! Your new book looks and sounds fascinating. It’s definitely going on my wish list!

  32. Lynne M Feuerstein

    Thanks for sharing your personal reading habits,Karen! Fun to read what you like to read and how you choose it !With so many books to choose from I usually go by story synopsis or author. Then if I’m still undecided a good detailed review sometimes helps. Thanks for your stories,Karen ! You’re books are always a top choice!

  33. I consider author, cover, and mainly creative storylines.

  34. I have my auto-buy authors but if it is not an auto-buy author I rely on a few blogs where I know the writer of the blog has the same tastes as I do, a cover will definitely sway me too. I also look at all the negative and positive reviews on Amazon.

  35. I volunteer in the church library and have for almost 40 years.
    When I choose a new novel, I will see if we don’t already have it, I read a little bit about the book and the author, and the front cover gets me every time.

  36. I almost always read new books by my favorite authors. If the storyline seems interesting, I will add it to the TBR pile. But if something sounds too predictable, I will usually pass as there are so many books that I want to read.

  37. Cost is a factor when it comes to choosing a book to purchase, however, there are a few authors that I kind of ignore that piece when a new release comes out. I am a huge fan of Kindle deals and will pick up new to me authors through Kindle deals because of the low price point.

    Choosing a book in general is most heavily weighted on friend recommendation (yeah social media).

    Thank you for the chance to win!! I enjoy Karen’s books and had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago. :-)

  38. I decide my next book to read by description and reviews that I read online. Exposure and a great cover also pay a part in my choice. I think an awesome cover makes a person want to pick up the book.

  39. If there’s a book by an author on my list of favorites I don’t even have to read the back cover to know I’m going to read the book. It’s not even an option. I have to read every single book by my favs ya know? If it’s by an author I’ve never heard of or would give-or-take their books then the synopsis is the deciding factor for me. I try very hard not to be the person who judges a book by its cover…but sometimes if it’s just super gorgeous that’s why I’m attracted to read it and then sometimes if it’s really poorly done that’ll be a turn off. Another thing that plays a large part in deciding which books I make worth my while to read is who is the publisher.

  40. I always read my favorite author’s when possible. I also take recommendations from the Avid readers of Christian fiction group on Facebook. I have found so many through the group.

  41. Author and cover are very important to me. Synopsis can also make or break my decision to read a book, particularly if it’s from an author I’m not as familiar with.

  42. Familiar authors usually take top priority when I am purchasing new books. I have discovered several great new authors lately from books I have won on review blogs!

  43. I am drawn in by a books cover. I also have some favorite authors and I do read others reviews also.

  44. If it’s an author I love it doesn’t matter what the cover looks like

  45. I choose by reviews mostly. I’ve read some really wonderful books with really awful covers that I would never have picked up without those many great reviews.

  46. Connie Saunders

    I agree with Karen that the author is of prime importance. Favorite authors immediatey get my attention. Another draw is ifthe book is getting good reviews and lots of press. I also pay attention to what my favorite authors are reading!

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