Monday, June 13, 2016

NO OTHER WILL DO by Karen Witemeyer ~ Character Interview

 Welcome, welcome! 
Karen needs no introduction here. Read on! 

 She Trusts Him For the Job,
But Can She Trust Him With Her Heart?

 Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler's suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper's Station, a women's colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he's always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma's telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she's not a girl any longer. She's a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn't deserve.

As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper's Station must choose between safety or risking everything to fight for their future.

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Interview of Emma Chandler from No Other Will Do

Your most embarrassing moment?

Heavens! There are so many to choose from. My best friend, Tori, is always warning me to stop and think before I act, but I tend to lead with my heart. Like when I saw Malachi for the first time in ten years and nearly bowled him over with a hug that had a running start. The poor man stood there, stiff as a board, probably praying for deliverance from the crazy woman who'd just attacked him, and all I could think about was how much I'd missed him. It took several long moments of no response from him beyond one awkward pat to my back before I recalled we weren't children anymore and finally released him. It's a miracle he didn't run back to Montana that very night.

What happened the last time you spoke to a large group of people?

As town founder and director, I speak to large groups on a regular basis. I established the women's colony of Harper's Station with a firm belief in the democratic process. I never make a major decision without first consulting the ladies of the community and gaining their opinions. Even when the outlaw threatening our town grew so bold as to necessitate bringing in help from outside, I waited to send for Malachi until all the ladies had been consulted and had the chance to vote on whether or not to allow a male to temporarily reside in our community. Thankfully, my testimony to his character swayed the vote, and Malachi was permitted to come.

What are your hobbies?

Hobbies? Who has time for hobbies? Between running the bank, running the town, and doing everything I can to outsmart this mysterious outlaw that keeps trying to evict us, I barely have time to breathe. Several of our ladies left the colony out of fear for their safety after that stunt the outlaw pulled by shooting up the church, so any free time I manage to find has been devoted to quilting. Definitely not a hobby, though. I can barely sew a straight line, and I tend to poke my finger more regularly than the fabric, but we have quotas to fill, and if the quilting ladies don't meet them, they'll default on their loans and send our delicate economy into a downward spiral. I can't let that happen.

Do you have any grandparent figures in your life? How have they influenced you?

My aunts, Henrietta and Alberta Chandler, though they are really more like parents than grandparents. Henry and Bertie have had the raising of me since my father passed when I was a young girl. They are both so incredibly strong, but in different ways. Henry is a suffragette through and through, always ready to draw up battle lines and fight against injustice and the feminine cause. Bertie, on the other hand, is the nurturer. She'll feed you, hug you, and is the best at talking impulsive girls off of ledges. These women taught me to dream big, love strong, and never let conventional thinking stand in my way. It's because of their influence that the women's colony at Harper's Station exists.

Any current romantic interests?

I have to admit that I had a rather serious crush on Malachi when we were kids. He was two years older and always stood up for me. He was my best friend and my hero. Then he left. It's been ten years since I've seen him face-to-face, though we kept in touch via letters. Seeing him as a man, well . . . my heart still hasn't quite recovered. He grew into those long arms and legs rather nicely, I must say. And the man is just as heroic as the boy had ever been. Leaving his job at the drop of a hat to ride to my rescue. How could I not dream of a future with him? At least in the dark, secret hours of the night. In reality, he's a temporary solution to a problem, not a permanent answer to my heart's yearning. I run a women's colony. He's a man. He's an explosives expert for the railroad, living in camps that are filled with low morals and high prejudices against women. He can't live in my world, and I can't live in his. So, I'll enjoy the reunion while it lasts and focus on preserving the safety of my ladies. My own personal dreams come a distant second.

What is your worst fear?

My worst fear is that I'll let my ladies down. So many women have come to Harper's Station looking for a second chance. Some are escaping horrible abuse, others craved the opportunity to practice a trade usually only accepted for men, while others simply needed a place to earn an honest living after being widowed or abandoned. They are my family, and they look to me to lead them. But now that we are being threatened by an outlaw that attacks from the shadows and won't even face us in a fair fight, I'm out of my depth. I can manage loans, work assignments, and create economic stability out of the leanest means, but I don't know how to do battle with renegades. If I fail, my ladies pay the price.

When’s the last time you had a really good meal? Courtesy of whom?

Ever since Malachi returned, Bertie has been pulling out all the stops in the kitchen. The other morning, she made these glorious pancakes with homemade blackberry syrup. I think Malachi ate about seven of the things. I was distracted by the previous night's fire and didn't have much of an appetite, but even so, I put away at least two. Nothing beats Bertie's flapjacks and blackberry syrup.

Christy Award finalist and winner of both the ACFW Carol Award and HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. To learn more about her books or to sign up for her newsletter, please visit her website at

NO OTHER WILL DO by Karen Witemeyer ~ Character Interview (Click to Tweet!)

Comment Fodder:
  • Have you ever heard of a woman's colony in Texas in the 1800s?
  • What do you think would be the pros and cons of such an arrangement?
  • Have you ever eaten flapjacks and blackberry syrup? 


  1. I love homemade blackberry syrup.

  2. i have never heard of a woman's colony in Texas! Or anywhere for that matter lol. I am so looking forward to reading Karen's latest. Fun character interview, ladies! :)

  3. This was fun to read. I'm looking forward to reading No Other Will Do. I've read all of Karen's novels and really enjoyed them. I haven't heard of a women's colony in Texas but it sounds interesting.

  4. Thanks for doing this fun interview, Natalie. Emma really enjoyed answering your questions. :-)


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