With This Ring? ~ Meet the Characters and a giveaway

withthisring_bookMeet the characters from 

Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, & Melissa Jagears’

historical novella collection

With This Ring?

Bethany House


The Story

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Husband Maneuver,” Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins when the ranch foreman she loves seems to be leaving forever. Regina Jennings offers “Her Dearly Unintended,” where friends stranded by a rising river pretend to be newlyweds when a dangerous stranger arrives.

Mary Connealy’s “Runaway Bride” finds a Texas ranger getting more than he expected when he rescues a young woman fleeing a dangerous arranged marriage. And Melissa Jagears’ “Engaging the Competition” finds a young woman forced to assist the man she’s sparred with for so long after an accident leaves him helpless. Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

Meet the characters!

Describe your main characters with five words/adjectives each.


Charlotte: Stubborn, Rough-and-Tumble, Practical, Dependable, Competitive

Harrison: Stubborn, Intelligent, Well-read, Determined, Encourager


Daniel Barrett: Honorable, Protective, Sharpshooter, ​Mule-Trainer, Dime-Novel-Hero-Alter-Ego

Marietta Hawkins: Determined, Persistent, Loyal, Marriage-Minded, Hailstorm-Fodder


Katie Ellen Watson: Inventor, OCD, Short-tempered, Sassy-Mouthed, Besotted

Josiah Huckabee: Ornery, Reckless, Messy, Determined, In Love


Carrie: Delicate, Brave, Loyal, Endangered, Bold

Who was your favorite secondary character in this novella and why?

Melissa: Reverend McCabe. You don’t usually have a male matchmaker in stories–and though he was subtle–he was definitely matchmaking.

Karen: This story is a little different in that there are virtually no secondary characters. Dan and Marietta are isolated for most of the story. However, ​Jonah Hawkins, Marietta’s father arrives at a key moment toward the end and does a bit of reverse-engineered matchmaking, so I’ll choose him as my favorite.

Regina: This story is about a young couple who get trapped by a flood and must pretend to be married to keep a creepy traveler at a distance. The creepy character, Silas Ruger, was inspired by Uncle Si of Duck Dynasty. Would you want to be trapped with him if you didn’t know him? :) He’s delightfully menacing and annoying.

Mary: Carrie’s little brother Isaac was such fun to write. A brave young man smart enough to know he did not want to grow up like his troubled father.

When you start a novel or novella, do you usually begin with a character, theme, bit of dialogue? Do you make a detailed outline, write as you go, or fall somewhere in between?

Melissa: Usually I have a plot point/romantic event that I want to have happen that starts my story creating, but I’m definitely driven by characters, so they’re next. I figure out what kind of characters would be involved in that hopefully unique scene I want to happen. I think I’m fairly abnormal for a romance writer and I want it all outlined before I go in. Each story I’ve tried different outlines (snowflake outlines to hundreds of excel charts to writing out forty page synopses), but I want a really decent handle on what I’m doing before I start writing so I don’t end up taking the easiest way through.

Karen: Up to this point, all of the novellas I’ve written have built off of characters introduced in a previous novel. So I guess you could say that I start with the character. I already know who they are and ​have a handle on their backstory, so that makes it easier to come up with plot ideas and twists. Sometimes I even have ideas already spinning in my head while writing the novel in which they first appear. That’s what happened with Dan and Marietta. I hinted at their love interest in A Worthy Pursuit, knowing I would follow up with them in a novella. However, I recently finished a novella where I asked readers to brainstorm plot ideas for me. It was a huge success, and even though I already had my characters in place, I was able to expand my plot based on what the readers wanted to see. That was fun.

Regina: I usually start with a bit of plot. What if this happened? What about a conflict like this? Then I go backwards from there and imagine what kind of character would have the hardest time dealing with this. As far as plotting, I do have the main points of the plot determined beforehand, but it’s not detailed. I like to leave room for adjustments.

Mary: Novel or novella, I always start with story. Yes, when you’re writing about a character who’s appeared in another book already, you have to be true to (in this case) him so he shapes the story I want to tell. But I always begin with a story and let the rest come from that.

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Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Karen’s website and blogs
Visit Mary’s website and blog
Visit Regina’s website and blog
Visit Melissa’s website
Buy at Amazon: With This Ring or Koorong

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47 Responses to With This Ring? ~ Meet the Characters and a giveaway

  1. They’re the best, otherwise they wouldn’t be showcased! A favorite story for a new reader. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  2. Thanks for featuring out book, Rel!

  3. A great thing about a novella is that I can enjoy having a whole story to read if I only have a short amount of time. They can be tricky though. Sometimes the couple’s relationship is way too fast to be realistic. The best ones are where they have already met before the story starts. They actually don’t even have to be romances. I’ve read some good ones that are more women’s fiction.

  4. I love novella collections because I get to hear from different authors around one theme or storyline. It’s great!!

  5. Looking forward to reading the collection.I am especially intrigued by the character inspired by Duck Dynasty’s Uncle Si. Got me thinking of some character traits I could use in my WIP.

    • Just realized I didn’t answer the question. I love well-crafted novella collections because the writing has to be so very tight to get everything in such a short framework.

  6. I like it when the novellas are connected to other full length books. It’s kind of like adding a few more chapter s to a well loved story.

  7. Collections are short and sweet, and sometimes that’s all I want.

  8. I enjoy novella collections because you get multiple stories and sometimes it’s nice to just read something shorter than the average novel! I love when authors write novellas that are connected to their other books, like these four! It’s like getting to visit an old friend or get an introduction to some new ones in the case of prequel novellas!

  9. Novella colletions are enjoyable because a lot is packed in a smaller amount of space! I can read a short story a feel satisfied! Then I can put the book down and live my own life for a while, before I am compelled to read once again!

  10. Thanks for letting us visit again, Rel! It’s always a pleasure.

  11. I love that I can finish a story in one setting. A nice quick read!

  12. I loved reading all the other responses to your great questions, Rel! Thanks for spotlighting our quirky collection. :-) I was blessed to work with the best group of authors around. I hope we have the chance to work together again soon.

  13. Great authors! Novellas are good when I have a lot going on! I still have to read.

  14. I typically get frustrated with novellas because they leave me wanting more but these authors are all on my favorite authors list, so I can’t pass this collection up!

  15. Well, in general I prefer full-length novels because it give you so much more time to get to know the characters. But sometimes it really is fun to be able to sit down and read a whole story in one sitting (without it being an all day and all night kinds of sitting.) 😉 These all sound like such fun novellas! I’m particularly looking forward to Dead-Eye Dan and Marietta’s. :)

  16. I enjoy reading a snippet from different authors, especially when they are authors that I love, such as these four. Ü ♥

  17. Love when authors can come together and write a great bunch of stories. Also those authors I have not read gives me much more books to read.

  18. I really like novellas! I like to see how the authors interact with the characters!

  19. As a fast reader, novellas are a fun treat when I have an evening to myself. I love getting through a whole story while sipping a mug of tea.

  20. I love that each story can be read quickly and I don’t feel stuck reading the whole thing in one sitting, which can be hard for this busy working mom!

  21. I love reading a quick story when I don’t have a lot of time!

  22. Love fun, quick reads!

  23. Love having a quick story to read when I don’t have time for something longer

  24. They are a great way to find new authors and good when you might not want to read a full length novel.

  25. With this particular novella collection, I love that the four authors are some of my favorites. With other larger collections, there is usually a mix of favorite authors with some I’m not familiar with. That gives me a chance to sample the work of those unfamiliar authors and then to perhaps seek out more of their books.

  26. I’ve enjoyed several of Mary Connealy’s books, met her and her Cowboy for lunch in my hometown, and look forward to reading more!

  27. I just love to read ! Anything Christian Fiction – I “Share the Love” within that group – historical, suspense, romance – I enjoy them all! This one looks like an awesome read & I can’t wait! Thanks for doing this giveaway for your readers! Have a Blessed day!

  28. Loved meeting the characters of “With This Ring” through the authors eyes. I love the writing of each of the authors, and will enjoy the novellas in this collection so much!! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    Reading novella collections gives me the opportunity to sample the work of new, to me, authors before investing in longer works. It provides me with a short period of reading enjoyment when I don’t have time to get involved in a novel, as well as the opportunity to enjoy the work of several different authors within a relatively short period of time.

  29. I love the different writingn styles on the same theme- it is always enjoyable.

  30. I enjoy a story that doesn’t take me days to read! I’m so busy sometimes. I love this awesome group of authors. :)

  31. Pauline Cotton Osborne

    I like these authors and with their names there I know it will be “Good Reading”,thanks Ladies.

  32. I love collections. You get more than u book to read and all the books are amazing.

  33. So many stories & many different authors

  34. Nicole Wetherington

    Love all the short stories in one book!

  35. I hate to say that normally I do not enjoy novellas. However, there have been a few (thinking specifically of Jen Turano’s and Elizabeth Camden’s) that I really, really enjoyed. So, considering the authors of this collection, I must say that I’m looking forward to reading a condensed story from each of them.

  36. I prefer books over 350 pages, but no less than 300. Saying that, there are those times when I will get a tad burned out and a novella is the perfect alternative. It can get me over a reading hurdle if need be. Also, I like when novellas tie into a series that I enjoy like the stories in With This Ring.

  37. I like a couple of things about novella collections. First, the books are fairly short and I can get through an entire story in one sitting. Second, collections give me a chance to “sample” several authors, often at least one that I don’t usually read. If I like them, I can look for their longer books. If not, I don’t feel so guilty skipping their story in the book since there are others I might like better in the same book.

  38. Books are awesome, so what’s not to like about a collection of books all wrapped together?

  39. I like reading Novellas as they are a quick read that I can do in one sitting. I think that sometimes there doesn’t seem to be enough time to really work out much of a storyline, but I think Mary Connealy and Karen Witemeyer are especially good at it.

  40. I usually don’t like novellas unless it is a collection then you get a bunch of quick ones sitdown readings and you get to find new authors

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