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Sunday, October 25, 2020

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Kissing Tree (Four Novellas) by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese (Romance Anthology)


THE KISSING TREE
Four Novellas Rooted in Timeless Love
by
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


Scroll down for the giveaway!






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?







Short story collections are generally not my go to reads, but there was something about the synopsis of these stories that drew me to open this book. From the anthologies that I have read, I'm used to them tending towards an overarching theme, like in this case, love, but I was so not prepared for how amazingly interconnected each of these stories truly was! Though written independently of one another, these stories perfectly flow together. As each story progresses, the decades pass to showcase new generations, but the thematic cohesiveness and continuity across the pages is absolutely breathtaking! It is incredibly difficult to pick out any one story to hold out as my favorite, as each was so well done and satisfying as a strong standalone, but connecting them across the entire book makes this a stand out collection that is highly recommended! 

"[T]he sprawling old oak...had taken on such a life, so much lore and legend to it. It seemed to lay its branches upon the ground like unfolding fingers, inviting one to climb up inside and stay awhile."

With each story, the beauty of the tree continues to mature and symbolize the motivation for each character's desires. Life surrounding the tree may change, but its steadfastness guides them towards their heart's content, which is so remarkable to bear witness to as a reader along for the journey.

There is a little bit of everything for any romance reader to enjoy within these stories. I especially adored the inclusion of the hate to love troupes that were featured. And as a war veteran myself, "From Roots to Sky," painted such a poignant reflection of sacrifice and service that certainly speaks to what it takes to survive in the darkest of moments. The seasons of life are filled with departures, new beginnings, heartbreak, reunions, and everything in between, and these stories were able to capture those moments so remarkably well and with such stunning grace and tenderness. You'll easily become invested in the outcomes of the couples as well as the future of the tree itself! 

Fans of both historical and contemporary romance will swoon over these sweet and masterfully written tales. I hope there are plans for another set of stories from these authors, but until then, I'll be checking out their individual novels! Such a delightful collection that will warm the heart and celebrates the power of love!



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.




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.




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.




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.




Six Winners!
Grand Prize: Print copy of The Kissing Tree plus a custom 18" x 3.5" wooden sign
Five Winners: Print Copy of The Kissing Tree
October 20-30, 2020
(U.S. Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway  BEST OF LUCK!

Many thanks again to the authors and Lone Star Book Blog Tours! It was an absolute pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

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Missus Gonzo

10/23/20

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10/24/20

Review

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

10/24/20

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Librariel Book Adventures

10/25/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

10/25/20

Review

That's What She's Reading

10/26/20

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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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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful review & bookstagram of what sounds like a beautiful book. Just what we need right now! Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete