Monday, June 14, 2010

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer - REVIEWED

"...hardships are sure to find their way to your doorstop. Confidence is the only way to combat them - confidence in yourself and in the God who equips you to overcome. Never forget that."
(p. 10)

Hannah Richards receives these words of wisdom from a spunky older woman as she sews a bright red dress for her burial. No scene could be more appropriate for this romantic romp of a book! A Tailor-Made Bride centers around Hannah - a very talented seamstress who dreams of owning her own shop. She has a strong faith and a tremendous ability to work hard and enjoy the work given to her hands to do. When she winds up in the little town of Coventry, Texas, she literally runs into J.T. Tucker - only to discover that the means to her dream was once the key to his dreams as well.

J.T. and Hannah get off to a hilarious and often complicated beginning in this story, and as the tale progresses it seems that someone doesn't want Hannah or her shop to spoil the scenery in Coventry. As J.T. once again comes to Hannah's aide, it seems their relationship - and perhaps Hannah herself - might not survive the strain of learning to lean on one another in a time of need. You see, they both have a healthy dose of pride and independence woven into their character!

Anyway, this is a delightful book with characters that you will easily enjoy and love! If you enjoy a historical romance, pick up A Tailor-Made Bride today!

Karen Witemeyer holds a master's degree in psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and the Abilene Writers Guild. She has published fiction in Focus on the Family's children's magazine, and has written several articles for online publications and anthologies. A Tailor-Made Bride is her first novel. Karen lives in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.Visit Karen's Web site at

An Interview from Bethany House Publisher's with the Author!

1.What prompted you to write A Tailor-Made Bride?

I have a heart for helping Christian women mature in their faith and a passion for romantic stories from times past. Writing this book gave me the chance to combine both of these loves. Besides, who could resist the opportunity to create a rugged hero whose gruff exterior hides a soft heart and an independent heroine who privately questions her life’s direction? I just had to see what would happen when I threw these two strong-willed people together.

2.How did you develop the overall theme for this book?

It all started with a question:What happens when believers disagree about what the Christian life should look like? Hannah Richards believes she is imitating the Creator and being a good steward of the talents He has blessed her with by plying her needle in the making of fine dress goods. Jericho Tucker, on the other hand, believes that fancy dresses only encourage women to focus on vain, superficial beauty instead of the inner attributes of a gentle and quiet spirit that Scripture promotes as true loveliness. Both are right. Yet both see the other as wrong.When Jericho’s sister, Cordelia, is caught in the middle, they must decide which is more important—being right or living right.

3.Your writing style tends to incorporate the use of humor. Is this something that

comes naturally to you?

I love to laugh.Whether it’s being silly with my kids, giggling at one of my husband’s quips, or smiling over the fact that the pancake I just turned more closely resembles a deformed slug than the teddy bear I’d intended, I truly believe that finding joy in life lends us strength. As a reader, I’m drawn to stories that make me laugh. I want action and drama, too, but if a witty turn of phrase can make me smile or a character’s reaction can elicit a chuckle loud enough for the people around me to stare, that’s even better. This is the type of experience I hope to create for my readers.

4.What interesting facts did you uncover during your research for A Tailor-Made


I wanted to create a Victorian-era makeover, but to do that, I first had to discover if people in the 1880s were aware of the health and weight loss benefits of physical exercise. As it turns out, the 19th century was a time of great social reform, and one such movement included the promotion of physical exercise for women and children. I modeled my heroine’s calisthenic regimen after exercises found in a manual published in 1862 entitled The New Gymnastics for Men,Women, and Children by Dio Lewis. It included the use of small wooden dumbbells, exerciserings, and Indian clubs (think bowling pins that you swing in large arcs), all of which make an appearance in A

Tailor-Made Bride. Dr. Lewis was a pioneer in the fitness movement and is largely responsible for the inclusion of physical education in today’s schools.

5.What makes your characters unique?

Each of my characters has a special quirk that sets them apart. For example: Hannah is a 19th-century fitness maven who can’t start her morning without a cup of cocoa. Jericho is a toothpick-chewing livery owner whose grouchy manner contradicts his compassionate spirit. Then there’s Tom, Jericho’s stable hand whose mental deficiencies give him a childlike perspective and an eagerness to please that has him running everywhere he goes. And Ezra, a man so steeped in grief that he forgoes any effort to maintain personal hygiene. He is stinky, vermin-infested, and disheveled, yet a good heart beats beneath his sour exterior.

6.What message would you like readers to take away from A Tailor-Made Bride?

In John 17, Jesus prayed that his followers would all be one so that the world might believe that he was indeed sent by the Father.Many times, we as Christians are quick to condemn other believers because they do not adhere to a doctrine identical to our own. However, if we wish to foster the spirit of unity that Christ desires, we must be less concerned with proving our arguments and more focused on loving our neighbor and extending grace in times of disagreement. Only then will we be a light to the world.

1 comment:

Mocha with Linda said...

I really enjoyed this book!