Author Interview Karen Hulene Bartell: Kissing Kin

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Author Interview: Karen Hulene Bartell

What are four things you can’t live without?

It’d be easy to say I couldn’t live without a particular person–a relationship, such as a spouse or parent. But I’ve learned the hard way that it isn’t true. You do survive the death of loved ones.

So what four things are necessary for life? Think survivalism: Air, water, food, and shelter.

However, to live a fulfilling life, I need love, laughter, the beauty of nature, and good health to enjoy them.

What is your favorite television show?

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.

If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?

I read Gone with the Wind at the age of 13, and Scarlett O’Hara became my role model. Granted, as I grew older and re-read the bestseller, I became aware of her character flaws. She was married three times, yet always in love with another man. She lied, cheated, and killed, but she was a strong woman with an indomitable spirit. She was a survivor, and I can’t offer any higher praise than that.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

I’m bringing you springtime and a solar eclipse! My first release this year, Kissing Kin–a paranormal romance all about starting fresh and starting over–comes out March 13, six days before Spring officially arrives. My second release comes three weeks later–April 8, the same day as the total solar eclipse. Fox Tale is a paranormal romance about finding love amidst time shifts, shape-shifters, and kitsunes that can see beyond time or space.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Rather than one author or title inspiring my writing, 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, I would have to name Carolyn Keene.


by Karen Hulene Bartell


GENRE:  Paranormal Romance



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?



Our shoulders rubbed each time we moved. The downy hairs on the back of my neck tickling from the electricity passing between us, I shivered as the currents barreled down my spine.

“Cold?” Eyes wide, he caught my gaze.

I opened my mouth to speak but, forgetting what I meant to say, lost myself in his inviting brown eyes and could only nod.

He reached his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close, sharing his body warmth.

With the faint scents of leather and saddle soap wafting from his jacket, his nearness was intoxicating, and I was tempted to lean into a kiss. Yet huddled together on the bone-chilling ledge, I gazed instead at the rugged wilderness surrounding us, content to savor the sweet ache of longing. If more is meant to be, it’ll happen.

Then thoughts of Cody froze me like a blue norther. Why did he come to mind?


So close, Luke felt the rise and fall of her chest each time she breathed. Her hair tickled his ear, raising goosebumps–and possibilities. If she turns toward me or gives any sign…But her sigh signaled something else. He side-glanced to read her mood, but she stared at the scenery, apparently oblivious of his rising libido.

“Want…” His voice cracked. Clearing his throat, he tried again. “Want some water?” “Sure.” She turned her head quickly, her hair brushing his cheek with a citrus scent.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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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11 responses to “Author Interview Karen Hulene Bartell: Kissing Kin”

  1. Thank you so much for hosting KISSING KIN and me today! I have a question for your viewers: What four things can’t you live without?

  2. It’s a pleasure to have you here Karen! Congratulations on this exciting release!

    • So glad for the opportunity to join you today with Kissing Kin!
      Karen Hulene Bartell

  3. Thanks so much for hosting KISSING KIN and me today!
    Karen Hulene Bartell

  4. Hopefully, my question makes sense. There are currently two books in this series, and they’re different genres. How do they fit together?