Love Stories GIVEAWAY: A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

Posted February 10, 2020 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Jessica Kate, Love Stories 2020, romance / 28 Comments

in this post: a girl’s guide to the outback

Happy February – official (according to me) KissingBooks month! And welcome to another Love Stories giveaway post! This LOVE STORIES giveaway series is thusly named for two reasons – first, because I love stories and second, because I love Love Stories.

Throughout the entire month of February, I’ll be spotlighting swoony Christian fiction & ‘clean read’ romances. Three cheers for KissingBooks!!! So… grab a fan or two, your trusty fainting couch, and maybe a freezer just to be safe and start making your KissingBooks tbr list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Today’s first book is A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by author Jessica Kate, who also shares the three ingredients in our favorite kissingbooks!

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance / RomCom
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2019
PAGES: 368

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster looms, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?


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Three Ingredients In Our Favorite Kissing Books

by Jessica Kate, author of A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

Kissing books. We all love them.

But what makes one your favorite? Which kisses are more noteworthy than others? What’s the differences?

If I may, this romance author would put forth her humble opinion:

Emotion is everything.

A kiss scene’s power comes from the emotional connection between the two characters—not the physical descriptions. That’s why even non-kiss scenes that are emotionally charged get talked about—like the moment where Mr Darcy takes Lizzie’s hand to help her into the carriage. That’s about as innocent as you can get, and I’ve seen people get more excited over that than other actual kisses.

So, without further ado, here are three factors that go into my favorite kissing books, movies and TV:

  1. History between the characters. It can be romantic history (The Notebook, Sweet Home Alabama, Jane the Virgin), conflict-ridden history (North and South, The Hating Game, Sweet Home Alabama) or friendship (New Girl, When Harry Met Sally, Emma, Anne of Green Gables and SWEET HOME ALABAMA!).

The important thing is, that history had to include emotional intimacy. Ideally these characters have, at some point, relied on one another. At the very least, they know one another better than most and have a strong (though sometimes begrudging) respect for one another.

  1. The kiss is communicating a message. Some of the most interesting kiss scenes are the ones that represent a major shift for a character. Take Leap Year for example. For most of the movie, Amy Adam’s control-freak character has driven Matthew Goode’s laid-back character crazy. But in the previous scene she opened up to him about her unreliable father and the burden of responsibility she’s carried from a young age. He now understands her, respects her, and is coming to admire her. At this point in the movie, they’re pretending to be a couple (for reasons too complicated to explain here), and their hosts start cheering for them to kiss.

The smooch these characters share demonstrates a turning point not just in their physical attraction to one another, but also an increase in the level of trust between them as friends.

  1. The more anticipation, the better. This is why almost-kisses are so great!!! It’s also a great time for a character to remember a previous interaction in a new light (I’m looking at you, The Hating Game). When the writer draws out the moment, it keeps me frantically turning pages.

When writers combine these elements, they pack one powerful emotional punch. Now our favorite characters aren’t just kissing, they’re communicating and showing how much they mean to one another. This communication means so much more when it’s carrying the weight of history and has been preceded by a slow build-up.

So tell me, which are your favorite kissing books, and what makes them so great?

Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with sassy romances.

She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast (official podcast of Reading Is My Superpower!) When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.

Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes released July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hit shelves in January 2020.

Receive her sassy shorts The Kiss Dare and The Kiss Thief FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at

website | Facebook | Instagram

StoryNerds podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at

Jessica Kate is offering a print copy of A Girl’s Guide to the Outback to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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and check out all the posts on the JustRead takeover tour by clicking the banner below!

What about you? What interests you most about A Girl’s Guide to the Outback? Which are your favorite kissing books, and what makes them so great?

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28 responses to “Love Stories GIVEAWAY: A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

  1. Megan

    I really enjoyed Love and other mistakes, Jessica! I agree with everything you said about kissing things. I think it’s the intimacy and emotional buildup that makes them so romantic.

  2. Winnie Thomas

    This sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the post and chance to win! What a great bunch of kissy/love books you’re featuring, my dear BFFFC!

  3. I enjoyed Jess’s first book but haven’t had the chance to read this one yet.

    I’ve never really thought about “kissing books” until I started seeing the term going around. Jody Hedlund writes some pretty swoony kiss scenes!

  4. Pam K

    I really like the cover and enjoy reading about Australia. I’ve read a lot of great kissing books. Julie Lessman, Becky Wade, and Pepper Bashman come immediately to mind as authors who write great kissing scenes.

  5. Caryl Kane

    I’d love to visit Australia! This cover is so fun!

    Some of my favorite authors of kissing books are Pepper Basham, Julie Lessman, Kara Isaac.

  6. Amy M.

    One of my earliest Christian fiction reads was “The Colonel’s Lady” by Laura Frantz. The first kiss between Roxanna Rowan & Colonel Cassius McLinn is one I still remember fondly to this day. (FULL DISCLOSURE: It’s probably because I re-read it often!) It was EVERYTHING this kissing book lover could hope for. I’ve read many great kissing scenes since, but this one was the first stand out to me.

  7. Carolyn Tye

    Any of Julie Lessman book is great for kissing. Of course the author’s section made me think of the last scene of the book North and South. In the book, that scene is a room, not a train station like the movie. Oh my, the scene is magical and still makes me forget to breath.

  8. Debra Branigan

    The book sounds like a very fun read and I believe I would enjoy. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a book title of a good “kissing book”. I do agree you can have books where not getting to this kissing stage can be as romantic as doing so. I can picture The Age of Innocence for example.

  9. Diana Flowers

    Denise Hunter writes some swoony kissing scenes! And definitely Julie Lessman! Love anything Australia!

  10. Karen VanAntwerpen

    I love the description of your book and am excited to read it. I have added both of your books to my Goodreads Shelf. Thank you for sharing our gift with us!

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