THE KISSING TREE Book Blog Tour Mini-Reviewapalooza – Review & Giveaway

THE KISSING TREE

Four Novellas Rooted in Timeless Love

KAREN WITEMEYER, REGINA JENNINGS, 
AMANDA DYKES, and NICOLE DEESE

Genre: Christian / Romance / Anthology
Publisher: Bethany House
Date of Publication: October 13, 2020
Number of Pages: 400

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In this Texas-sized romance novella collection, courting couples, decades apart, leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak’s bark. 

Regina Jennings: “Broken Limbs, Mended Hearts” When a young man from her past returns and upends their small town with a new invention, schoolteacher Bella Eden is reminded of the heartbreak she suffered years ago under the old oak tree. When her job is on the line, can she trust the man who disrupted her life to help her fight for a brighter future?

Karen Witemeyer: “Inn for a Surprise”
Determined to keep love alive for others, Phoebe Woodward builds an inn that caters to couples. When her father sends a property manager to help make it a success, she finds her whimsical vision thwarted by his stodgy practicality. Finding the right blend of romance and reality is a challenge, and her spinster heart may be in for a surprise. 

Amanda Dykes: “From Roots to Sky” WWII airman Luke Hampstead found comfort in letters from the sister of a lost compatriot. When he visits Texas to thank her, he discovers her constructing a project with surprising ties to his letters . . . and that she herself is even more surprising. While a promising opportunity awaits him elsewhere, will what they’ve shared be enough to give their future flight?

Nicole Deese: “Heartwood” Abby Brookshire’s world is turned upside down when the historic tree she’s strived to preserve as the head groundskeeper at the Kissing Tree Inn is put in danger of removal. Making matters worse, the only way to protect its legacy is to partner with the man she’s been ignoring since he left town years ago. Will she have the courage to move on from the past and start a new beginning?

 

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With its four delightful, heartwarming, and romantic novellas,  The Kissing Tree is one of my favorite books of 2020. Easily in the Top 20 of the 160 titles I’ve read so far.

Four excellent stories of love spanning generations. Three historical, one contemporary. One special tree at the center of them all. Related storylines, seamless integration of elements from one story to the next, cohesive execution. Each time I finished a story, I’d say it was my favorite. In the end, I couldn’t pick one. I choose all four. 

Broken Limbs, Mended Heart by Regina Jennings tells the story of how the stately live oak in Oak Springs, Texas became The Kissing Tree through Bella Eden and Adam Fisher. The pairing of schoolteacher and modern farmer is something I don’t read often and I’m long past the point of being able to relate to characters in their early 20s, but this sweet story appealed to me because Ms. Jennings created a lovely tale of young dreams being fulfilled and of a community coming together to welcome an innovation after initial skepticism.  

Inn For a Surprise by Karen Witemeyer had me laughing with the rivalry between romantic innkeeper-wannabe Phoebe Woodward and practical self-made businessman Barnabas Ackerly. I love their conversations and the way their contest showed them how well they complement each other’s styles. Opposites do attract and with parental matchmaking at work, these two have their happily-ever-after. Barnabas’ nicknames for the inn are some of the highlights of this story. I also like the cameo of Bella and Adam from the first story to establish continuity. 

Phoebe’s line really resonated with me: “I refuse to settle for anything other than soul-stirring, fully reciprocated love.”

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes is both light and deep. I always have a soft spot for military romance and this story of pilot Luke Hampstead and Hannah Garland, the woman he’s been corresponding with, induced me to both laughter and tears. Hannah’s vibrant personality matched Luke’s quiet steadfastness perfectly. As in the previous story, I love it when the couple works together to achieve a common goal. This time, on building the cottage inspired by Danny’s letters and Luke’s drawings from Europe. 

Heartwood by Nicole Deese gutted me. The only contemporary story of the collection, this second-chance romance between Abby Brookshire and Griffin Malone is the most relatable to me. Like Abby, I too lost my father to illness and that letter she wrote him had me bawling. While tears-inducing, this story managed to also have light moments and it ends the series on the right note. That of hope and strength in community and love. 

This is one of my favorite quotes- “When things feel completely out of my control, my options become very simple: I can either tighten my grip and hang on no matter how much that hold might hurt myself or others, or I can open my fist and trust in a process much bigger than myself … and let go.” 

 

The stories have an awesome sense of place. I actually looked up “Oak Springs, Texas” and “The Kissing Tree, Texas” on the internet with the intention of visiting them when it’s safe to travel once more. Alas, they’re only in the imagination of four talented authors.

Thanks to Lone Star Lit and Bethany House for giving me an early copy to review this wonderful book. 

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, with a degree in English and a minor in history. She’s the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award, a two-time Golden Quill finalist, and a finalist for the Oklahoma Book of the Year Award. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and at First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She lives outside of Oklahoma City with her husband and four children.

Website ║ Facebook

Voted #1 Reader’s Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling author  Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.

Website ║ Karen’s Posse Reader Facebook Group 

Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She’s a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas.

Website ║ Instagram

Nicole Deese’s eight humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include the 2017 Carol Award-winning A Season to Love. Her 2018 release, A New Shade of Summer, was a finalist in the RITA Awards, Carol Awards, and INSPY Awards. Both of these books are from her bestselling Love in Lenox series. When she’s not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior.

Website ║ Facebook

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

SIX WINNERS! Grand prize: print copy of The Kissing Tree plus custom, 18” x 3.5” wooden sign; five other winners: print copy of The Kissing Tree.
 
 October 20-30, 2020
(U.S. Only)

Click on the photo to enter

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CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY.
Or, visit the blogs directly:

10/22/20

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

10/22/20

Review

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/22/20

Review

Missus Gonzo

10/23/20

Review

Carpe Diem Chronicles

10/23/20

Review

Book Fidelity

10/24/20

Review

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

10/24/20

Review

Librariel Book Adventures

10/25/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/25/20

Review

That’s What She’s Reading

10/26/20

BONUS Promo

All the Ups and Downs

10/26/20

Review

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/26/20

Review

Reading by Moonlight

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A RUMORED FORTUNE by Joanna Davidson Politano – Book Blog Tour Review/Giveaway

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A RUMORED FORTUNE

BY

JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO

Genre: Historical Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 31, 2018
Number of Pages: 416

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Synopsis
MyDDDxMQWelcome to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England. Tressa Harlowe’s father kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it.

Now Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune—before someone else finds it first.

 
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I don’t normally read Christian Romance, finding some of them too forceful in preaching, but I made an exception for A Rumored Fortune and I did not regret it. Joanna Davidson Politano’s faith and the faith of her main characters Tressa Harlowe and Donegan Vance shone throughout the book and is essential to the growth of the hero and heroine and the development of the story.

Almost allegorical in its story-telling, A Rumored Fortune is a fascinating novel. The descriptions of the settings and characters, the dialogues, the conflicts, and the narration take the reader in a journey of intricate family relationships, class warfare, historical societal norms, viticulture, mystery, and romance.

I appreciate the deft way Ms. Politano drew her characters. They’re real and relatable. Tressa is kind, intelligent, and artistic but she has prejudices too. Donegan is forthright, but is also deceptive. Even the secondary characters are rounded out: Lucy, Tressa’s mother, Andrew, Margaret, Dr. Caine, Neville and Ellen, Mr. Prescott. They’re not caricatures and have reasons for their behaviors.

With its unpredictable twists and turns and affecting lessons in the practice of trust and acts of charity and sacrifice to demonstrate faith and love, A Rumored Fortune is a highly engaging read.  I give it four stars. ✩✩✩✩

 

PRAISE FOR A RUMORED FORTUNE:

7ZN2R6-w“Everyone loves a treasure hunt—pair it with a heroine you can’t help but love, a hero you can’t help but swoon over, and a family mystery that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat, and you end up with A Rumored Fortune. This book is a treasure in itself and one you won’t be able to put down!”—Roseanna M. White, bestselling author of the Ladies of the Manor series and Shadows Over England series

“Politano combines romance and mystery with great skill to create plot twists that will keep readers captivated until the very end.”—Publishers Weekly

“The author has done a great job, offering up a plot filled with wit, charm, action, and a lot of female strength.”—Suspense Magazine

 

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Kobo     IndieBound     Books-A-Million

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AboutTheAuthor

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Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears. She freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her.

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK     TWITTER

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE     GOODREADS

 

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GRAND PRIZE: Copy of A Rumored Fortune + Novel Teas (box of 25 tea bags) + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Copy of A Rumored Fortune+ $10 Starbucks Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: Copy of A Rumored Fortune+ $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
(US ONLY)
September 11-20, 2018

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

9/11/18		Notable Quotable	Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
9/12/18		Review			Momma on the Rocks
9/13/18		Author Interview	The Clueless Gent
9/14/18		Excerpt			That's What She's Reading
9/15/18		Review			StoreyBook Reviews
9/16/18		Notable Quotable	All the Ups and Downs
9/17/18		Character Interview	Missus Gonzo
9/18/18		Review			Tangled in Text
9/19/18		Author Top Five		Kelly Well Read
9/20/18		Review			Carpe Diem Chronicles

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Happy Book Birthday, Bonnie & Clyde #2: DAM NATION

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DAM NATION

BOOK RELEASE BLITZ

Bonnie and Clyde #2

by

CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL

Genre: Historical / Alternative History / Romance

Publisher: Pumpjack Press

Date of Publication: March 24, 2018

Number of Pages: 266

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cover HI RES Dam Nation_preview

Bonnie and Clyde: Defending the working class from a river of greed.

The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting folks back to work. So, why is someone trying to blow it up? That’s what Bonnie and Clyde set out to uncover in the novel Dam Nation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, the second book in a provocative speculative fiction series that re-imagines the outlaws’ lives.

“A rollicking good read!” –Midwest Book Review

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EXCERPT

WHAT IF?

The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes. “Let’s pretend for a minute it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush,” he said. “Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”“How would I know?” Sal asked. “I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn’t.”“I won’t be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them outlaws.”“If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don’t use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around.”

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Authors Hays_Mcfall Photo_previewABOUT THE AUTHORS: Clark and Kathleen wrote their first book together in 1999 as a test for marriage. They passed. Dam Nation is their sixth co-authored book.

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BONNIE AND CLYDE: DAM NATION

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LONE STAR BOOK BLOG TOURS

MAY 17-26, 2018

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Happy Book Birthday – MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY by Elizabeth Essex

Congratulations to award-winning author Elizabeth Essex on the release of her latest book MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY, the fourth highly anticipated novel in the Highland Brides series.

MadBadandDangeroustoMarry_ecover_final.jpgHow would you know your one true love, if you didn’t even know your own self?

A MAN STRIPPED OF HIS PAST
Ewan Cameron, 5th Duke of Crieff has his future carefully laid out. Heir to a great estate, he’s been betrothed to Lady Greer Douglas since childhood. After years of correspondence, the date is set—they will meet, marry and be happy. But on the way to his wedding, a vicious attack steals everything he holds dear—his home, his future, his bride, and his very self.

A WOMAN ROBBED OF HER FUTURE
Lady Greer Douglas has been faithfully writing to her betrothed, the Duke of Crieff for ten years. Finally, the day she has waited for is at hand—but fate has unkind plans. When her wedding day turns into a funeral, Greer must leave the past behind, and embark on a future without her bridegroom.
While mourning her lost love, Greer is drawn to an injured stranger she encounters on the moor. Compassion leads to friendship, and friendship leads to love that reopens the doors to his shuttered memories. Convinced this man is the lost duke, she helps him embark on a journey to regain everything he has lost. But his would-be murderers lurk nearby, and every step into the past puts their lives in peril. Can they regain their future, without losing their reawakened love—or their lives?

A HEART-RENDING TALE OF LOVE, LOSS, AND REDISCOVERY.

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Available from the following retailers:

• Amz: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmamz
• BN: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmnk
• iB: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmib
• Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmkobo

2017 Bloggers’ Choice Awards – Best Romance

The Lone Star Book Blog Tours team has voted, and the results are in! From
Best Fiction to Most Engaged Author, we have seventeen awards to hand out
to the awesome Texas books and authors featured on Lone Star Book Blog
Tours in 2017. From February 15-23, 2018, please join us as we hop around the
LSBBT blogs and share the winners, runners-up, and shortlisted titles. Don’t miss it!

Congratulations to the winners and short listed authors and books for Best Romance!

best romance

Click to learn more about:
Badlands by Melissa Lenhardt
Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren
Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Broday
Loving Luther by Allison K. Pittman
Comfort Plans by Kimberly Fish
Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside by Lori Wilde
A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

LSBBT 2017 Titles

AWARDS SCHEDULE:

2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook , Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA, Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction/Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual

2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, Best Fantasy / Alternate
History
2/20: Best Cover, Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book

 

PARTICIPATING BLOGS:
Best Mystery / Suspense, Best Romance, Best Fantasy / Alternate History
2/19/2018
A Page Before Bedtime
Books and Broomsticks
Books in the Garden
Carpe Diem Chronicles
Chapter Break Book Blog
Forgotten Winds
Hall Ways Blog
Missus Gonzo
Momma on the Rocks
The Librarian Talks
Reading by Moonlight
Rebecca R. Cahill
StoreyBook Reviews
Syd Savvy
Tangled in Text
Texas Book Lover

Come back tomorrow for the next award announcements!

 

 

Lone Star Book Blog Tours’ 2017 Bloggers’ Choice Awards

I’ve only just joined, but I’m excited to share these award-winning Texas books and authors with y’all.

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The Lone Star Book Blog Tours team has voted, and the results are in! From Best Fiction to Most Engaged Author, we have seventeen awards to hand out to the awesome Texas books and authors featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours in 2017. From February 14-23, 2018, please join us as we hop around the LSBBT blogs and share the winners, runners-up, and shortlisted titles. Don’t miss it!

LSBBT 2017 Titles

AWARDS SCHEDULE:

  • 2/14: Awards Announcement
  • 2/15: AWARDS: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
  • 2/16: AWARDS: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
  • 2/17: AWARDS: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
  • 2/18: AWARDS: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
  • 2/19: AWARDS: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
  • 2/20: AWARDS: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author2/21:
  • AWARD: Best Texas Book2/22:
  • AWARD: Best Non-Fiction Book2/23:
  • AWARD: Best Fiction Book

 

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PARTICIPATING BLOGS: 

(Not all blogs posting every day)

A Page Before Bedtime

Book Fidelity

Books and Broomsticks

Books in the Garden

Carpe Diem Chronicles by Maida Malby

Chapter Break Book Blog

Forgotten Winds

Hall Ways Blog

Missus Gonzo

Momma on the Rocks

The Librarian Talks

The Love of a Bibliophile

The Page Unbound

Reading by Moonlight

Rebecca R. Cahill, Author

StoreyBook Reviews

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

Syd Savvy

Tangled in Text

Texas Book Lover