Book Release & Giveaway

My latest novella collection hit the shelves yesterday, and I can’t wait to share Barnabas and Phoebe’s story with you!

The Kissing Tree is a multi-generational collection of stories that center around a giant oak in Texas where couples carve their initials through the years.

The tree that inspired our giant oak was The Century Tree on the Texas A&M campus. In fact, my daughter (who is now at A&M working on a PhD) was kind enough to ask the tour guide to take them by the tree so she could get her nerdy mom a photo during her college visit last spring.

They don’t allow initial carving in this glorious tree, but there is a tradition for proposals happening beneath these branches.

In my story – Inn for a Surprise – Phoebe Woodward and Barnabas Ackerly are forced to work together to design a romantic retreat for couples. The Kissing Tree Inn is Phoebe’s brainchild, and she has definite ideas about how to make the place romantic.

For example, she starts off by having it painted the color of love – a shockingly vivid shade of pink. Barnabas does his best to hide his shock when he sees the inn for the first time, but his professional life flashes before his eyes – and not in a rose-colored glasses type of way.

The two definitely don’t see eye-to-eye on inn design, but as they work together to make the inn a success, they come to see that practicality and sentimentality can coexist and can even lead to love.













To celebrate the release of The Kissing Tree, I’m giving away autographed copies to two readers chosen from the comments.

To enter, leave a comment about which character you most resemble:

  • the sentimental Phoebe or
  • the practical Barnabas.


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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at:

48 thoughts on “Book Release & Giveaway”

  1. I am a strange mixture of both — practical in some ways and sentimental in others. I am a romantic at heart, more like Phoebe, but I like practical gifts, like Barnabas.

    • My daughter is really enjoying her time at A&M, although it’s been hard for her to really acclimate with almost everything being online. She only attends one class in person because of all the COVID mess. She’ll be there for 4-5 years, though, so hopefully she’ll have plenty of time to get immersed in the Aggie culture. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’m a combination of both but more like Phoebe. I believe all readers can relate to Phoebe, a romantic at heart wanting to create a place of beauty and rest.

  3. Welcome today. Oh but this is a very generous give a way Thank you. Until a few years ago I would say that I was definitely sentimental Phoebe. Now though I think I am a mix between the two. That Inn. Oh my gosh I can see why Barnabas looked at it in shock. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  4. I’m a Capricorn driven to get things done yet practical like Barnabas. I’m sentimental about pictures.

  5. I like to think of myself as a healthy balance between practical and sentimental, but I certainly have waves where one overtakes the other. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I would say that I am a mixture of both. I am a very sentimental person when it comes to certain things pictures, birthdays, family, etc. I am practical when it comes to spending money, how I spend my time, my friends, etc.

  7. I’m probably most like Barnabas. My husband is sentimental and likes to hang on to things. If I’m not super attached to an object or it doesn’t serve a legitimate purpose, I don’t want it around collecting dust. We really had to learn to compromise when we married.

  8. I’m sentimental! I love to look through items I have kept & have them remind me of a loved one that has passed!

  9. I am definitely sentimental, but I know when I must be, to be practical. So I am mostly Phoebe with just enough Barnabas. LOL

  10. Both, My practical side keeps my eye out for items everyone and anyone can use, and my budget rules my life. But then, like almost all commenting today- I’m I have a sentimental side. I keep letters and baby things from my children, grandchildren and next year, I’ll be putting things I’ve kept from my first great grandchild.

  11. I’m a bit of both! I’ve read books with B & B’s in them. In one series, they tell why they painted the Inn the kind of strange colors they did because of the research they did of the time period the house was actually built in, and they wanted the house to be true to it’s original period, and even involved the historical society as the townspeople didn’t like the colors. Once they proved that the colors chosen would have been perfect for the time the house was actually new, then people accepted it. It was actually very interesting to read about!

    • I had fun researching Victorian era paint and wallpapers. We tend to imagine this period in sepia tones because they didn’t have color photography, but they really did like their color!

  12. Definitely Barnabas for day to day affairs, but a Phoebe in my heart as most women cherish those moments in life that are so special like getting married and having children and all the wonderful times as your family grows in the years that go by way to quickly.

  13. I am a Barnabas and modest. Although, my best friend is a Phoebe. We bring each other out of our comfort zones and embrace each other strengths. She makes me laugh with her flamboyant likes and personality. I wouldn’t trade a besti for the world!

  14. This book sounds like it has some very good reads, and I really love the book cover, it is Beautiful! I am a romantic and I am also practical, I don’t have to have fancy things and for sure I don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. I live a very comfortable life, I have everything I need and many things I don’t need for sure, and I am happy. Have a Great rest of the week and stay safe.

  15. I am definitely a Phoebe, but with a practical side. I am usually the one that makes all the ideas and plans that are possible but not always practical. I like to have my flight of fancy and then settle down to see what will work best, still trying to keep a bit of whimsy.

  16. I think I’m more like Barnabas when it comes to practicality. But I have a hidden sentimental side too ๐Ÿ™‚ A mixture of both could be fun!

    Thank you for the giveaway chance Karen, this novella set sounds great!

  17. I think Iโ€™m a mix of the two. Iโ€™m pretty practical, but thereโ€™s a lot of sentimentality, too. Does that make me Barna-be? Iโ€™d love to read this book. Thank you for the chance.

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