Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Kissing Kin by Karen Hulene Bartell ๐Ÿ’•Guest Post, Book Tour and $25 Gift Card Giveaway ๐Ÿ’• (Paranormal Romance)

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Kissing Kin by Karen Hulene Bartell ๐Ÿ’•Guest Post, Book Tour and $25 Gift Card Giveaway ๐Ÿ’• (Paranormal Romance)

As carnal urges propel them into each other’s arms, they wonder: Is their attraction physical…or metaphysical?

Maeve Jackson is starting over after a broken engagement—and mustering out of the Army. No job and no prospects, she spins out on black ice and totals her car.

When struggling vintner Luke Kaylor stops to help, they discover they’re distantly related. On a shoestring budget to convert his vineyard into a winery, he makes her a deal: prune grapevines in exchange for room and board.

But forgotten diaries and a haunted cabin kickstart a five-generational mystery with ancestors that have bones to pick. As carnal urges propel them into each other’s arms, they wonder: Is their attraction physical…or metaphysical?

What are your favorite TV shows?

Young Sheldon is my favorite show because I can relate to his character, Missy, and Meemaw. I find the relationship between his sister and his father sweet, and (living in East Texas) I have to laugh at the East Texasisms. I enjoy the sitcom’s imperfect characters, who do their best in extenuating circumstances.

I’ve begun watching BBC’s All Creatures Great and Small. Though I’d read the series decades ago, I’m now enjoying the stories a second time.

What is your favorite meal?

I’m a foodie, so asking me what’s my favorite meal is a tricky question. However, if a menu is combined with a holiday--for instance, Thanksgiving--that fusion transcends mere ingredients to edible (and cherished) memories. With that synthesis in mind, I’d say my favorite meal consists of smoked turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, a medley of root veggies, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

Have to admit, I’m attracted to the paranormal. Because nearly every geographical area has its local legend of cryptids, I’d like to write a series about regional phantoms, wolves, foxes, devils, blue dogs, or bigfoot. In fact, on April 8, my latest novel, Fox Tale, is being released. The paranormal romance deals with Kitsunes, or supernatural foxes that can shapeshift and work time shifts, and it’s Book II of the Sacred Emblem Series.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

Rather than idolizing one author, it’s more accurate to say each and every author since I learned to read has influenced me in style, expression, or pacing. However, when I was a child, I read every Nancy Drew book our library loaned, so if I had to choose one author who inspired me, I would have to name Carolyn Keene.

How did you come up for the title of this book?

I keep a running list of titles that come to me at odd times--when I’m walking the dog, driving, or shopping for milk. (I admit to loving alliteration: Seven Summers, Cats and Cactus, Sacred Stone.) Each time I begin another book, I scour that list for ideas, then word play, using those words as the basis for the next title. 

For a series title, for example, I might use Saline Series--think salt--briny--brackish. Then I brainstorm.

TITLE: Salt of the Earth

TITLE: Worth His/Her Salt

TITLE: [With a] Pinch of Salt

TITLE: Salt and Pepper--Differing Couples: old/young, different races/types/personalities

TITLE: Salt Away

TITLE: [Rub] Salt in the Wound

TITLE: [Throw] Salt Over His/Her Shoulder

TITLE: Old Salt--Brackish Mariner

However, for Kissing Kin, I combined my love for alliteration with the fact that the protagonists are shirttail cousins, and voilร --Kissing Kin came to mind. 

The sky was a rich twilight blue--deepening yet crystal clear, as if clarifying the situation. 

“Didn’t realize the time.” 

The vineyards reflected the rusty-red tones of the late winter sunset.

Dusk. I held back a sigh as I glimpsed the winery and cozy cabin. Heartrending in its homey beauty, the scene tugged at my earliest recollections.

The child of vagabond parents, I was often on the road at dusk, just as the lights began coming on in the houses we passed. Growing up without a permanent address, I fantasized about living in one of those comfortable homes instead of viewing them through the car window.

“Gets dark early in the mountains.” He caught my gaze, did a double take, then stared.

“Is something wrong?”

“Your hair…”

“Is something on it?” I swiped at my head.

“No.” He chuckled. “The sunset captures your hair’s highlights--gives it a reddish glow.”

“Oh.” Pleasantly surprised, I gave a nervous laugh as the heat crept to my cheeks. “Thanks.”

He reached out his hand and hesitated. “May I?”

“Sure.” I quivered as his hand swept my hair behind my ear. As arousing as a caress, the gesture sent a shockwave through my body.

Then his hand molded itself just above my neck, gently supporting my head as he leaned toward me.

Without warning, I ached to feel his mouth on mine.

He leaned closer.

His warm breath tickling, I met him in a rush of hormones and adrenalin. Then lifting my lips, I closed my eyes, reveling in the give and take of his kiss.

Only Teddy’s insistent bark woke me from the daze.


Author of the Trans-Pecos and Sacred Emblem series, Karen is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life, who writes multicultural, offbeat love stories. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved often, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Texas Piney Woods with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.


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  1. Thank you so much for featuring KISSING KIN today.

  2. How do you come up with book ideas?

  3. Sounds like a very interesting book to read

    1. Hope you'll read it to find out, Sherry! Thanks for dropping in!

  4. looks like a fun one

    1. Daniel, I hope you'll read it to find out! Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Nancy!

  6. Thank you so much for hosting KISSING KIN! Apologies for the delayed response, but we were in Alaska last week without Internet access. Appreciate your help!

  7. This looks like a fantastic novel. Thanks for hosting.


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