Head in the CloudsHead in the Clouds
Karen Witemeyer
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Adelaide Proctor longs to find a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a governess position on a remote Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her silly romantic yearnings behind.

Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, never expecting to end up with a child. To his dismay, five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon-and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions.
     


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 Our Interview with Karen Witemeyer


 

What inspired you to write Head in the Clouds?

Since I enjoy Regency romances as well as those set in the American West, I thought it would be fun to blend the two by bringing an English nobleman to Texas.

Head in the Clouds started with a clear idea for a theme and the story grew out of that. I wanted to write about a woman with big dreams who grows impatient when God doesn't seem to be answering her prayers. The longer God is silent, the more confused and frustrated she becomes, until she finally takes matters into her own hands and pursues her dreams in the way she thinks best. In the process, she makes a thorough mess of things. It is only when she learns to wait on the Lord that He begins to work in her life to bring about blessings she never before imagined.


Any deleted scenes you’d like to share now? (Please set it up before you share it.)

No deleted scenes, but I did add a scene when I saw how wonderful the cover art turned out. A picture really is worth 1000 words, or in this case, 832. Adelaide about to take a tumble off the porch steps was too fun to pass up, and of course I had to get Gideon in on the action. Once the scene was added, it seemed so natural I couldn't imagine the story without it.


What is your favorite holiday recipe?

As a mother of three, my favorite holiday recipes tend to fall into the dessert category. OK, I shouldn't blame it on the kids. It's my own sweet tooth that dictates that.

This recipe has been a favorite of mine since high school. My youth minister's wife used to make it for us, and before I left for college, I begged her for the recipe. It's not fancy, just delicious.

Chocolate-Nut Crispies

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups chunky peanut butter
2 T. margarine
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 - 12 oz. package chocolate chips

In a three-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and the syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat for five minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter and margarine. Add the Rice Krispies. Spread mixture in a 13x9x2 inch pan. (Use waxed paper to press mixture evenly in pan.) In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate chips over low heat. Spread melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixture. Chill one hour, then cut and eat.

 

Can you share a favorite memory from the holidays?

We don't get much snow in West Texas, but a few years ago, we had a beautiful white Christmas. It started snowing on Christmas Eve and snowed all night, leaving a storybook scene to greet us in the morning. The kids made snow angels and miniature snowmen (it was only a few inches deep), but my favorite part was simply looking at it through the window; so peaceful, untouched, and pure. It had melted by the end of the day, but for a brief time, we had our own Currier and Ives moment.


What is your favorite Christmas song/hymn?

Oh my. I'm a music lover, and my husband can tell you that I sing Christmas carols from the day after Thanksgiving straight on through New Year's Day. If I had to narrow it down, I'd say my favorite contemporary carol is “Mary Did You Know?”; my favorite traditional carol is “O Holy Night”; and my favorite kid's holiday song would definitely be “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”


Does your family have any holiday traditions?

Everyone opens one gift on Christmas Eve. We always eat pigs-in-a-blanket on Christmas morning (because those little piggies are mobile and won't slow down the package opening). And, of course, we read the biblical account of Jesus' birth.

But my favorite tradition is the stockings. I'm a cross-stitcher, and after my husband and I married, my first priority was to get a pair of Christmas stockings stitched. And when my three children were born, I made sure they each had a stitched stocking done in time for their first Christmas (thankfully, none were born later than May!). Mrs. Santa does most of the stocking stuffing, but Santa is in charge of hers. And now that the kids are getting older, there is an elf that usually adds a surprise or two as well. The kids are allowed to open the stockings as soon as they get up on Christmas morning, while the packages have to wait until everyone is awake. Although in our house, Mom is usually just as excited about her stocking as the kids are about theirs, so they aren't alone in the living room for long.


What is your favorite holiday movie?

Hmmm … another hard choice. I love the classics. It would have to be a tie between Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life. Although there was a made-for-TV movie back in 1986 that I remember loving. (Now don't laugh!) It was called A Smoky Mountain Christmas, and it starred Dolly Parton and Lee Majors. Maybe I liked it so much because it was a play on Snow White, with orphaned kids instead of dwarves, and a rugged mountain man instead of a charming prince. Or maybe it was because I was fifteen and didn't know any better. Who can say? But it stuck with me all these years, so there must have been something magical about it.


Do you have a favorite holiday book?

 We don't have a particular story that we read every year, but I've always been fond of The Polar Express. We have both the picture book and the movie, but I think I like the book better. There is something inside me that wants desperately to hear that bell ring. It's a great reminder of the power of childlike faith.

 


 

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