Friday, June 01, 2012

Fiction Friday

Giveaway of:  The Short-Straw Bride, by Karen Witemeyer, plus a fun "Texas Bonanza" (quiz), by the author.

This brand new release by Karen Witemeyer looks like good clean fun for historical romance fans, and you can enter a drawing for a free copy simply by leaving a comment below this post.

Special thanks to Karen Witemeyer for offering a copy of her new book to Woman of Faith readers!

Karen also wrote the following interesting post, including a fun "quiz." Enjoy while you learn something new.


A Texas Bonanza!
by Karen Witemeyer
Quiz time.
What was the leading industry in Texas at the turn of the 20th century?
Oil? - No, that came later.
Cattle? Cotton?
The answer: Lumber.


Lumber? Are you kidding? I live in Texas. There are no trees. Oh, we've got some scrubby little mesquite and an occasional oak, but nothing that this California native would call a tree. So how in the world did the lumber industry out-perform cattle and cotton, two Texas staples?

Well, as anyone who has ever driven across this great state can tell you, Texas is a big place. Yes we have desert regions and prairie and grassland and hill country, but over in the southeast is a lovely section called the Piney Woods. And as the railroad worked it's way west in the 1870's and 1880's, lumber men from the Pennsylvania like Henry Lutcher and G. Bedell Moore saw the virgin forests of east Texas as a gold mine. Local boys like John Henry Kirby got in on the action, too, buying up and consolidating individual sawmills into complete lumber manufacturing plants. Kirby rose to success so quickly, he became known as the "Prince of the Pines," having become the largest lumber manufacturer in the state by combining 14 sawmills into the Kirby Lumber Company in 1901.
Not only did the railroad boom make travel to the Texas woods easier, it was also one of the biggest  sources of demand for timber. Railroads needed lumber to construct rail cars, stations, fences, and cross ties in addition to the massive amounts of wood they burned for fuel. Each year railroads needed some 73 million ties for the construction of new rail lines and the maintenance of old ones, estimated by the magazine Scientific American in 1890. From the 1870s to 1900, railroads used as much as a fourth of national timber production.
This combination of supply and demand fueled a "bonanza era" for the Texas lumber industry that lasted 50 years, from 1880 until the Great Depression. During this time, Texas became the third largest lumber-producing state in the nation.
Northern investors swooped in to buy up land, sometimes even taking advantage of "use and possession laws" to seize property from families who had owned it for generations. Corruption abounded as logging companies controlled their workers, paying them only in vouchers for the company store despite the incredibly hazardous working conditions. These "cut and get out" operations left acres of land decimated.
This is the climate in which my next book, Short-Straw Bride, is set. Travis Archer and his brothers own a prime piece of forested land that also happens to the key to connecting investor Roy Mitchell's holding to the railroad. Mitchell wants the ranch and is willing to get it any way he can. But the woman he's been courting (to get his hands on her inheritance, which just happens to be more Piney Wood real estate) overhears him plotting to take the Archers out. Meredith Hayes has secretly carried a torch for Travis since he rescued her when she was a girl of ten. When she discovers the threat, she knows she has to warn Travis. Unfortunately, her good deed goes awry and she ends up with more trouble than she bargained for. She ends up a short-straw bride.
Short-Straw Bride officially releases today. If you'd like to read the first two chapters, click here.
Spiritual themes include the battle between trusting God vs. trusting self, the power of community, and the need to foster the spiritual discipline of hospitality.

 Thanks again, Karen, for that fascinating bit of history and for holding a drawing for readers. 

Remember, leave a comment with your contact email to enter to win Karen's book!

You can get Karen's book right away through the following link. If you win a second copy, you'll have a great gift for a reader on your gift list.

 Short-Straw Bride 


Visit Karen on the web at the following sites: 
Short-Straw Bride

21 comments:

TheInterviewGirl said...

Katelynmwhitley@yahoo.com I would LOVE to win "Short Straw Bride"! I've been wanting to read it ever since I heard about it. I loved "A Tailor-Made Bride", it's one of my favorite books! Keep writing, Miss Karen! i am one of your #1 fans!

Karen Witemeyer said...

Thanks, Katelyn! I hope you get to meet the Archer brothers soon.

Carolyn said...

I'd like to win Short-Straw Bride.
Great contest.
carolynj63@att.net

vcncvbnw said...

nanette.baker@gmail.com - I can't wait!! THANK YOU!

Nanette said...

Sorry, was logged in under my husband...;)

`Candle said...

Love all of Karen's books. Hard to pick my favorite between "A Tailor Made Bride" and "To Win Her Heart". Thanks for the chance to win a copy of her latest. Susan G
prism2318@gmail.com

Karen Witemeyer said...

Glad to have you all here today. I love a good contest!

Sarah Holton said...

I love your books! Hope I win this one!

Mindy Brown said...

I have june 1st marked on my calender for this book to come out!!! SOOO excited!!!! I live each and everyone of your bookd!!! I would have to say you are for sure my fav.!!! I cant wait to read this one and look forward to hear of new titles in the future!

Mindy Brown said...

I have june 1st marked on my calender for this book to come out!!! SOOO excited!!!! I live each and everyone of your bookd!!! I would have to say you are for sure my fav.!!! I cant wait to read this one and look forward to hear of new titles in the future!

Mindy Brown said...

I have june 1st marked on my calender for this book to come out!!! SOOO excited!!!! I live each and everyone of your bookd!!! I would have to say you are for sure my fav.!!! I cant wait to read this one and look forward to hear of new titles in the future!

Candice Valdez said...

Can't wait to read this book! It's on the top of my list!
valdezc_1@sbcglobal.net

Unknown said...

Have read the rest of Karen's books - SO looking forward to this one!!

I didn't know that Lumber used to be Texas' leading industry! That's really interesting.

Thanks for the post and the giveaway!
Kim
lonebanana(at)msn(dot)com

Unknown said...

I cannot wait to read this book! I've read a few of your books and am really looking forward to digging into this one as well.
my email: bekaboobear(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

I cannot wait to read this book! I've read a few of your books and am really looking forward to digging into this one as well.
my email: bekaboobear(at)gmail(dot)com

mbm said...

Is it to late to enter? if it is, that's ok. this book is going on tbr list!
Thanks for giving us an opportunity to win a copy!
Beth

Pam said...

I read one of Karen's books and enjoyed it immensely. I'd love to win a copy of Short Straw Bride. Thanks for the giveaway.

pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

Linore Burkard said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. It is NOT too late to enter! Anyone can enter until midnight on Thursday (tomorrow) so tell your friends! (If they win, you can swap out the copy and both get to read it.) : )
And thanks again, Karen, for giving away a copy.
Don't forget to come back on future "FICTION FRIDAYS" for more giveaways, everyone.

Unknown said...

jenmoscow@yahoo.com

I would LOVE to win a copy - LOVE her books!

Thanks for the opportunity!

Jennifer

Susanne Dietze said...

This sounds great! Please enter me into the drawing. srdietze at sbcglobal dot net

Linore Burkard said...

We've got a winner! (Sorry for the late notice) Bekaboobear gets a copy of Karen's book, The Short Straw Bride!
Congratulations, Bekaboo!
I'll notify Karen right away and she'll be in touch to send your book.

Thanks everyone for entering the drawing. Come back on Friday for the newest giveaway.