Monday, November 30, 2020

THE DRESS SHOP ON KING STREET by Ashley Clark, Reviewed by Nicole Cook #ReleaseDayDec1

The Dress Shop on King Street is the first book in author Ashley Clark’s Heirloom Secrets series. This time slip novel is filled with deep emotion, heartbreaking moments, and hope for the future. Ashley Clark intricately weaves the past and present together in this compelling tale of following our dreams, while incorporating beautiful messages of God’s faithfulness and purpose in our lives. 
The Dress Shop on King Street focuses on the present-day storyline and the historical storyline beginning in 1946. However, the brief glimpse back to 1860 in Charleston completely broke my heart, with the anguish that Rose, a young slave and mother, experienced. In 1946, dark moments in the past led to the difficult decision of hiding part of her heritage as Millie Middleton struggled with the implications of her racial identity in Charleston. Both storylines were well written, but the historical storyline definitely captured my interest. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
The Dress Shop on King Street is recommended for readers of romantic women’s fiction.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine. Inkwell Faith Content Rating: 2 (light)

Harper Dupree has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her how to sew. As Harper rethinks her own future, long-hidden secrets about Millie's past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton--the daughter of an Italian man and a Black woman--boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston to find the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they've both dreamed of. But it's not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams. 

Bethany House, December 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:

Ashley Clark ( writes romantic women's fiction set in the South. With a master's degree in creative writing, Ashley teaches literature and writing courses at the University of West Florida. Ashley has been an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers for almost a decade. She lives with her husband, son, and two rescued Cocker Spaniels off Florida's Gulf Coast. When she's not writing, she's rescuing stray animals, dreaming of Charleston, and drinking all the English breakfast tea she can get her hands on.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Don't Miss Our Giveaway! 6 New Paperbacks THANK YOU, READERS!

The Inkwell Inspirations gang share our greatest wishes for your holiday season! In a very unusual year, we don't have the comfort of our usual Thanksgiving, and a lot of other 'normals', but we do have so much to be thankful for.  We're making a point to pray for you, our readers, and your families. May the peace of God surround you and may all the blessings feel very real when worries surround you.
To celebrate our thankfulness to our readers, we've created a virtual gift basket of paperbacks that will go out to one random entrant in our rafflecopter below.  Click to Tweet!
Our Giveaway Basket includes:
1.) Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant  (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook
2.) Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon (new paperback) donated by Rebecca Maney

3.) The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas

4.) Star of Persia by Jill Eileen Smith (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook

 5.) The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas

 6.) Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, Kathleen Y'Barbo (new paperback) donated by Debra E. Marvin

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

TO STEAL A HEART (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency Book #1) by Jen Turano, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

With her signature comedy and cast of quirky characters, Ms. Turano once again gives us a delightful story. Add in a trope I love: past friends to more- with a twist and this is a winner. She packs it with fun elements such as Daphne, an author who does not go anywhere without a book and Winston, the one-eyed dog that you must talk to like a pirate and you have hilarious happenings.

What would an inquiry agency be without a mystery to solve? This one has several that come to a resolution despite the ineptitude of the agents. “Trepidation flowed freely when he saw Gabriella suddenly hurtle herself through the air, taking the person she had been chasing to the ground in a tangle of arms and legs.”
The theme of repentance and turning your life around is woven through the story and a few characters attribute their changes and decisions to God.

I love that the author shows the civility of the era even when characters were in the midst of a quarrel or set down.

I can’t wait to see which ladies will be featured in future books of the series.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*I give this 5 stars. A moderate faith thread.
BackCover Blurb:
After a childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend--until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step. 

Bethany House, November 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Saturday, November 28, 2020

All JOURNEY FICTION Ebooks 99cents including THE NOSY PARKER Series for fans of the Girl Detective

 That includes all FIVE of the NOSY PARKER SERIES

The Counterfeit Clue

The Case of the Clobbered Cad

The Case of the Beleaguered Bride

The Executed Executive

The Vicious Victim

 Thanks to Jennifer Farey, Lisa Karon Richardson, and Gena Webb.

Join in the fun with the Nosy Parkers and check out the other Journey Fiction books! 

Starting Friday, 11/27 through 12/31, all Journey Fiction ebooks will be discounted to 99 cents each.

Thanks To You... an Inkwell Thanksgiving 6 Book Giveaway!

The Inkwell Inspirations gang share our greatest wishes for your holiday season! In a very unusual year, we don't have the comfort of our usual Thanksgiving, and a lot of other 'normals', but we do have so much to be thankful for.  We're making a point to pray for you, our readers, and your families. May the peace of God surround you and may all the blessings feel very real when worries surround you.
To celebrate our thankfulness to our readers, we've created a virtual gift basket of paperbacks that will go out to one random entrant in our rafflecopter below.  Click to Tweet!
Our Giveaway Basket includes:
1.) Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant  (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook
2.) Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon (new paperback) donated by Rebecca Maney

3.) The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas

4.) Star of Persia by Jill Eileen Smith (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook

 5.) The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas


 6.) Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, Kathleen Y'Barbo (new paperback) donated by Debra E. Marvin

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 27, 2020

THE DEEDS OF THE DECEITFUL (Hope Street Church Mysteries Book 6) by Ellery Adams and Tina Radcliffe, Reviewed by Kim

I’ve never read a cozy mystery, but I knew when I saw Tina Radcliffe’s name on the cover of The Deeds of the Deceitful, I had to try it out. I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed this story with its likable characters, interesting mystery, and really sweet romance.
Cooper and Jon’s romance was my favorite part of this story. I know, I know, it’s a cozy mystery, but I loved them! Especially Jon! But, don’t get me wrong, I thought the mystery was really good too! I fluctuated between what I thought really happened and why and who did it. I also enjoyed glimpses of the lives of the members of the Bible study group. It makes me want to go back and start with the first book in this series! If this book is a good example of what cozy mysteries are like, I will definitely be reading more of them!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith element is light. 
BackCover Blurb:
Welcome back to Hope Street Church, where friendships are formed, fresh starts are encouraged, and mysteries are solved . . .

It’s June in Virginia, and the scent of flowers and the sound of wedding bells are in the air, an unwelcome reminder to Cooper Lee of the long-distance relationship she recently ended. When Cooper and her Bible study group are invited to spend a weekend at a newly renovated historic inn, it’s the perfect chance to get away with friends and put her bittersweet memories behind her—until the inn’s pompous co-owner is murdered and one of the suspects is Cooper’s own mother.

Certain that someone on the inn’s staff must have done the cruel deed, the Bible study group begins piecing together the clues, only to learn that everyone there has a motive for murder. When they discover that a valuable painting has also been stolen from the inn, they know they’re up against an especially cunning evildoer. Determined to bring the culprit to justice and save her mother, Cooper and her friends devise a risky scheme to trap the killer, because even the Bible study group must sometimes work in mysterious ways . . .

Includes heavenly recipes from Magnolia Lee’s kitchen!

About the Authors:
New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Her series include the Supper Club Mysteries, the Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries, the Hope Street Church Mysteries, and the Book Retreat Mysteries, among others.

A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, four-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.
Available in digital ebook:


Wednesday, November 25, 2020


Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch

Joy to the world, indeed! These lovely short stories, written with accomplished grace, will have readers humming the words of this most beloved Christmas hymn for days to come.
Could Christmas possibly gift two hearts with a second chance? Misunderstandings and changes of circumstances should never have kept them apart in the first place for . . . "there was no room for pride, not when life begged to be lived". - Carolyn Miller, Heaven and Nature Sing

Two haunted and overlooked souls bond through difficulty and distress while discovering that the words of an ancient hymn can take on new meaning; "Not merely a carol sung at Christmastide, but an encompassing of the miracle of Christ's birth in all its wonder and promise". - Amanda Barratt, Far as the Curse is Found

"She was Lady Priscilla Haverly, dutiful, soft spoken, accommodating, and always steering toward the safest path. Such it has always been, and such would it always be." Let's certainly hope not. An endearing Scottish painter is about to shake up Cilla's perfectly manicured world. "After all, it would be Christmas, the time of year when miracles were supposed to occur" . - Erica Vetsch, Wonders of His Love

*I purchased a book and was under no obligation to provide a review. Light faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
 Inspirational Regency romance with a Christmas twist from three best-selling authors
In Joy to the World, three popular authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas in one book have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.

"Heaven and Nature Sing" by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome their obligations and fears to find their way back into each other's arms?

"Far as the Curse is Found" by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

"Wonders of His Love" by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter with a hidden identity finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he'd fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.

Kregel Publications, Nov. 2020
Available in digital ebook and paperback:

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M Eden, Review by Winnie Thomas #BlogTour!

Sarah M. Eden has long been a favorite author of mine. Her creative talent and fun sense of humor greatly appeal to me. Her new book, The Gentleman and the Thief, showcases these brilliantly. With rich historical detail and colorful, intriguing characters, Eden brings Victorian England in 1865 alive, so I could easily envision the scenes and actions.

The main characters are so fascinating and endearing that I was immediately drawn to them. Part of that is due to their unique talents, a Penny Dreadful writer and a music teacher/thief bent on recovering her family’s stolen treasures. Hollis Darby is a wonderful hero who is compassionate, brave, and smitten by Ana Newport. Ana is talented in both music and thievery, and is courageous and determined. I enjoyed the witty banter between them and the other characters. It brings such a touch of fun and amusement to the tale.

This is the second story in The Dread Penny series. It can easily be read alone, but there is a little carry-over from the first book in the series. There is also a little bit of a cliff-hanger at the end of this one, but the main story is complete in the book.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Shadow Mountain. All opinions are my own.

A standalone novel in The Dread Penny Society set in 1865 London brimming with secrets, scandal, suspense, and romance.
From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he's smitten. Even though he's from a wealthy, established family and she isn't, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.
Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father's successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the "Phantom Fox." She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.
When Hollis's brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.
When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?
Available from Shadow Mountain Press:
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2019’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, The Lady and the Highwayman, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.

Join the virtual online blog tour of THE GENTLEMAN AND THE THIEF, Sarah M. Eden’s highly acclaimed second novel in The Dread Penny Society Series, November 2 through November 29, 2020. Forty popular blogs specializing in historical mystery/suspense, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with exclusive excerpts, spotlights, or reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.
Nov 02 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)
Nov 03 Getting Your Read On (Review)
Nov 03 Literary Time Out (Review)
Nov 03 Storybook Reviews (Review)
Nov 04 Heidi Reads (Review)
Nov 05 Library of Clean Reads (Review)
Nov 06 Relz Reviewz (Review)
Nov 07 Probably at the Library (Spotlight)
Nov 09 So Little Time… (Spotlight)
Nov 09 Captivated Reading (Review)
Nov 10 Among the Reads (Review)
Nov 10 Bookworm Lisa (Review)
Nov 11 For Where Your Treasure Is (Spotlight)
Nov 12 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)
Nov 12 Fiction Aficionado (Review)
Nov 13 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)
Nov 14 The Book Diva's Reads (Spotlight)
Nov 15 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
Nov 16 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
Nov 17 Book Bustle (Review)
Nov 18 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)
Nov 18 An Historian About Town (Review)
Nov 19 Lu's Reviews (Review)
Nov 20 Reading with Emily (Review)
Nov 20 Books and Socks Rock (Review)
Nov 21 Bringing Up Books (Review)
Nov 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)
Nov 22 The Bibliophile Files (Review)
Nov 23 Impressions in Ink (Review)
Nov 23 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
Nov 24 Bookfoolery (Review)
Nov 24 Wishful Endings (Excerpt)
Nov 25 Joy of Reading (Review)
Nov 26 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
Nov 27 Fire and Ice (Review)
Nov 27 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
Nov 28 Impressions in Ink (Review)
Nov 29 Laura's Reviews (Review)
· "The real joy in Eden's follow-up to The Lady and the Highwayman (2019) is the furthering of the overarching crime story and the work of the Dread Penny Society as Hollis and Ana pursue a chaste romance. Eden excels at exploring the realities of Victorian life and class differences. Once again, chapters of penny dreadfuls written by the characters are interspersed throughout, with Hollis' story about a school for ghosts offering particular delight. Fans of Eden's smart series will be thrilled and impatient for the next installment."— Booklist, starred review

Monday, November 23, 2020

THE RED CANARY by Rachel Scott McDaniel, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

“The night was quiet, but he was about to knock on death’s door”

Ms. McDaniel continues her expert writing in a new tale about the 1920’s.

This time we meet spunky Vera Pembroke in a speakeasy run by her boyfriend, Carson Kelly. Sergeant Mick Dinelo has a hot tip to go to The Kelly Club. There he encounters Vera who has escaped a hard past. She is more than he bargained for when they are faced with fleeing a murderer.
There is lots of cute banter and jargon of the era for good measure. The feisty heroine and stoic hero make the sparks fly.

Both Mick and Vera are flawed and find strength and healing on their faith journey. “Didn’t she know to be flawed was to be beautiful...To be healed by His wounds was to be freed by His surrender, now that was a beauty no cosmetic could duplicate.”

If you are looking for a terrific story filled with fun and faith, come back to 1928 Pittsburgh and see what Mick and Vera get up to. You will be so glad you did.
*I received a complimentary ebook from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars strong faith thread.
BackCover Blurb:
Music sparks her world, but can love ignite her heart?

In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian.

Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe.

Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.

Smitten Historical Romance, November 2020
Available in digital ebook and paperback:

Sunday, November 22, 2020

ONLY YOU by Susan May Warren, Reviewed by Nicole Cook

"This is what heroism is...doing what is right despite the consequences. Choosing to love with all your heart, even if you get hurt."

Fans of Susan May Warren's Deep Haven and Christiansen series are in for a special treat with the return to Deep Haven in her latest novella, Only You. Susan May Warren is one of my all-time favorite authors, and her books are guaranteed to become favorites among readers. Longtime fans of hers will delight in the return of many beloved characters, while new readers will have the opportunity to fall in love with Deep Haven for the first time.

When first introduced to Seth Turnquist in the love triangle for Amelia Christiansen's heart back in the Christiansen series, surprisingly, I was not a fan of his. In fact, I was actually rooting for his romantic rival, Roark St. John, to win Amelia's heart. However, Seth turns out to be quite the hero in Only You and becomes every bit as fabulous as Susan May Warren's other leading men. Only You is the perfect prequel novella to launch the upcoming Deep Haven Collection series, as Seth finally gets his opportunity to find true love.
If you haven't read any books by Susan May Warren yet, this is the perfect opportunity. Only You, and all of Susan May Warren's books, are strongly recommended for readers of contemporary romance. Only You is currently available for free when you sign up on the Sunrise Publishing website:
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine. Light faith thread.
BackCover Blurb:
He ran from his broken heart…

Seth Turnquist never thought his heart would mend after being shattered by his former love, Amelia Christiansen. But three years away from Deep Haven fighting fires as a smokejumper have burned her away, leaving fresh soil for a new love. Still, he’s ready to put Deep Haven in his rearview mirror for good, which means selling the custom log home he built for Amelia and walking away from the family business. But what he doesn’t realize is that the seeds for a second chance have already been planted…

She loved him from the sidelines…

Ree Zimmerman couldn’t let herself love Seth—not when he was her best friend’s boyfriend. And after Amelia broke his heart, there simply wasn’t anything left in him for Ree except friendship. But that never stopped Ree from dreaming of a happily ever after with the lumberjack from Deep Haven. When he returns home for his grandfather’s birthday, she’s not about to let him walk away, again…

Return to Deep Haven in this charming homecoming story about the second chances that await us when we let the past go.

USA Today bestselling, RITA, Christy and Carol award winning novelist Susan May Warren is the author of over 80 novels with nearly 2 million books sold, most of them contemporary romance with a touch of suspense. One of her strongest selling series has been the Deep Haven series, a collection of books set in Northern Minnesota, off the shore of Lake Superior. Visit her at

Saturday, November 21, 2020

AN ALASKAN FAMILY CHRISTMAS by Beth Carpenter, Reviewed by Kim

One of my favorite things about this series by Beth Carpenter is the setting. I haven’t read many books that are set in Alaska, but this series has really given me a sense for what it feels like to live there and how different it is. This particular story takes place around Christmastime. So, if you’re wanting to get in the mood for Christmas, this is the story for you! In fact, my favorite part of this story was their Christmas celebration. Tanner and his family own a cabin which is basically out in the middle of nowhere Alaska. This sets us up for the most perfect tree cutting media free holiday!

I liked both Tanner and Natalie and their relationship. Although I have to say that Tanner was my favorite character. He’s so nice you can’t help but immediately like him. Natalie took me a bit to warm up to, but that made sense because of the circumstances surrounding her and Tanner meeting. Speaking of those circumstances, I did think how they met and how the family took her in so easily was a bit unrealistic, but once I got past that, I enjoyed this story and Natalie and Tanner’s relationship.

If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming old fashioned Christmas, this just might be the story for you.
*This is a clean read. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
A little mix-up…

Could make her Christmas wonderful!

Natalie Weiss is mortified. After mistaking handsome Tanner Rockford for his cousin, she’s followed him to rural Alaska. Now she’s stranded—until Tanner invites her to spend Christmas with his family in their rustic, cozy cabin. But in this idyllic winter wonderland, Natalie discovers the family she’s never had…and the love she never knew she needed. But what happens when they all discover why she’s really there?

Harlequin Heartwarming, November 2020
Available in digital ebook and mass-market paperback:

Friday, November 20, 2020

THE KISSING TREE COLLECTION Reviewed by Paula, Kim and Winnie

The Kissing Tree Collection. Four novellas steeped in love and faith set in Oak Springs, Texas.
Broken Limbs-Mended Hearts by Regina Jennings.
This was the cutest novella, showing self sacrifice and helping others out of a kind and godly heart. I loved the description of the old oak tree and the canopy that touched the ground and offered a cool, sheltered respite. Bella Eden, a schoolteacher who was afraid of tests and an old schoolmate, Adam Fisher, reunite when he comes to town with his new-fangled thrashing machine. A sheer delight.

Inn For A Surprise by Karen Witemeyer
In her wonderfully witty way, Ms. Witemeyer has given us a heart tugging tale of romantic Phoebe Woodward who wants to open the Kissing Tree Inn and no-nonsense Barnabas Ackerly who has been tasked to help her by his boss who happens to be Phoebe’s father. He doesn’t know it yet but Barnabas has a romantic side hidden beneath his business acumen. I loved the cute names Barnabas called the Inn in the confines of his mind: “Inn of the Smooching Shrubbery, Inn of the Osculating Topiaries and Inn of Pecking Pulp Providers.” This was a clever, touching story.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes
Amanda Dykes lovely poetic style tells a story of an airman home from the war to find the sister of a buddy he lost in France. Luke and Hannah have dreams for the future: “some dreams fade away when you grow up, an I s’pose that’s all well and good. We trade them for other dreams.”
The old oak tree plays a part in yet another romance. This one had a homey, nostalgic feel to it.

Heartwood by Nicole Deese
Hope from brokenness was the theme here.
Abby and Griffen find triumph and community after a tragedy. Ms. Deese paints a picture of restoration from shattered pieces.

This is one of the best novella collections I have read. The continuity of the old oak tree shines through the eras.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the authors. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this 5 Stars and a medium faith thread.

The Kissing Tree is a compilation of four novellas. Each story takes place during a different time period, but in the same small Texas town and features an old tree that has been dubbed The Kissing Tree.

The first story is by Regina Jennings and it explains how the kissing tree got its name. I liked both main characters and while I liked the story overall, not a lot happened, so it left me feeling like I wanted more.

Next we have Karen Witemeyer’s story. It was a cute story that featured a decorating contest between the hero and heroine. I liked this story and thought the contest was fun because he was so practical and she was a true romantic.

Next up is a story by Amanda Dykes. This story was very different than I expected. The heroine was such an interesting character! Enjoyable.

Last, but not least, we have Nicole Deese’s story. This is the only contemporary story and it’s a second chance romance which I love. This story dealt with grief and this quote really resonated with me, “That was the strange thing about grief: Sometimes you wanted to wrap yourself in it like a thick winter quilt, and other times you wanted to throw the blanket to the ground and pretend you wouldn’t be cold without it.” I liked both characters and how they dealt with their grief.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith element was light.

The Kissing Tree by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese

Four of my favorite authors band together to tell the story of The Kissing Tree, a giant oak tree in Oak Springs, Texas through several generations of time. Each novella is set in a different time period, but they are tied together through common elements. It was interesting to see the various takes on the theme and how the authors wound their tales around the history of The Kissing Tree. 

Each of these talented authors brought a special element to the collection to make this a delightful book. The characters were realistic and endearing, and I enjoyed meeting them and hearing their stories. Although they were novellas and by nature quite short, each tale felt complete in itself and when combined with the others made reading this book a treat.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House and NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 
BackCover Blurb:
Bestselling novelist Karen Witemeyer joins award-winning authors Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese for this Texas-sized romance novella collection. Each of the authors' unique voices is on display in stories where courting couples leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak's bark.  

In Regina Jennings'
Broken Limbs, Mended Fences, a small-town teacher has her credentials questioned by a traveling salesman.

In Karen Witemeyer's
Inn for a Surprise, two opinionated collaborators with conflicting visions must turn a doomed business venture into a successful romantic retreat.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes follows a young WWII naval airman who heads to Texas to meet the sister of a lost compatriot.

Heartwood by Nicole Deese is a modern-day romance about the groundskeeper of a historic inn who's reunited with someone from her past while she fights to save a town landmark.
Bethany House Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:


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How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.