Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer Blog Tour Launch Party — Featuring editor Christina Boyd & Giveaway Prize

Sun-Kissed, edited by Christina Boyd (2015)It is a pleasure to welcome Austenprose reviewer Christina Boyd here today in celebration of the release of her first book, Sun-kissed, a summer-themed short story anthology. Christina has been a contributor here at Austenprose reviewing Jane Austen-inspired books for seven years. In fact, she was my first recruit to the staff in 2008. Christina has an eye for a great story and I always had a hunch that she would make a fabulous developmental editor.

In her first outing, she has whipped up an intriguing summer frappuccino for us. Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer is a new anthology of eight original romantic short stories inspired by the summer season and even Jane Austen. Four of the stories are by popular Meryton Press authors, and four are selections from the short story contest they held this past winter. They are the perfect beach read: light, fun and romantic, and I hope you will give them a try.

♥ Be sure to enter the giveaway contest in celebration of the release of this great new anthology. Contest details are listed at the bottom of the post. Good luck to all!


“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, or at least some remote and distant hope…” —Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

It’s an honor celebrating at Austenprose the release of Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer. Thanks, Laurel Ann. Having been discovered by you, it seems fitting to commence the blog tour here.

This summer-themed anthology was conceived during autumn 2014 by Meryton Press publisher Michele Reed.  She’d been toying with the notion, working out logistics, and then finally tossed the idea to her authors, creative staff, and subcontractors, like me. During winter 2015, published and aspiring authors alike were invited to submit summer-themed short stories. In the spring, a panel of bloggers, authors, editors, and readers judged each and culled to the Elite Eight—wherein even more panelists gleaned these promising writers to the Final Four…joining four of Meryton Press’s most popular and award-winning authors. There was even a worldwide contest via social media to name this collection. Finally, Sun-kissed, proposed by Australian Sarah Steed and chosen by internet vote, was born.

As it would happen, my family decided to go on a spring break to Washington, D.C. (The remarkable point is that we were actually leaving the state…on a plane…and for more than a long weekend!) Assuming that once the scoring was tabulated, the schedule would accelerate and working with eight authors, a marketing contractor, a cover designer, art/layout director, and the publisher—I knew timetable might get hairy. Poor timing to go on a weeklong holiday indeed! Therefore, I made the ambitious (read: insane) decision to do initial edits on EVERY submission—regardless of what would inevitably be included—as I knew our publishing timeline was extremely tight. Consequently, once the Final Four were announced, I sent off my edits. Working with eight authors across various time zones and some using different software was often like herding cats. In fact, one author was on a month-long holiday, scampering about the English countryside—with oftentimes limited wifi. But what an experience! I appreciate the authors’ professionalism and respect for their craft. I can’t imagine the olden days when this would have been accomplished via typewriter and mailed back and forth…by post!

Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou is the wizard behind the gorgeous cover—creating exactly what I wanted even before I knew what that might be. I adore that the postcard is marking a page—do you recognize the text?

As an editor, reader, and reviewer, I expect my finished product to be no less than perfect. Naturally at the end of any editing project, even with the final eyes of The Incomparable Ellen Pickels—whose expertise in grammar and all things Austen is inarguable, I am always anxious. With my name on this cover, Edited by Christina Boyd, and the publisher giving me almost full autonomy, I feel all the weight of this endeavor.

If you desire a little heat, a summer flirtation, or an escape to bask in your own private sun, this whimsical collection is inspired by all things summer.

  • In KaraLynne Mackrory’s, “Shades of Pemberley,” Mr. Darcy, with some fantastical assistance, discovers Elizabeth Bennet in a most unlikely place.
  • Karen M. Cox’s, “Northanger Revisited” modernizes Northanger Abbey at a fictionalized Georgia seaside.
  • Linda Beutler takes us to Paris as a young gentleman is schooled in the ways of amour in “The Incomplete Education of Fitzwilliam Darcy.”
  • In “Spyglasses and Sunburns,” J. Marie Croft takes the Miss Bennets to the seaside where they chance upon former acquaintances.
  • In Abigail Bok’s. “A Summer in Sanditon,” a little sea-bathing seems just the thing to cure what ails Anne de Bourgh.
  • In Natalie Richards’, “Midsummer Madness,” an honest confession between strangers at a bal masque might mend a misunderstanding.
  • Sophia Rose reimagines a modern-day Persuasion in “Second Chance at Sunset Beach.”
  • In Morgan K Wyatt’s, “Dream Spinner,” a near-death car accident and an unlikely trucker bring fresh perspective to a young co-ed’s love-life.

Like a box of chocolates, you’ll discover your favorites. Whether you read whilst you “sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure” (Jane Austen), are en route to your holiday destination, or cuddle like a cat in your favorite reading nook, this anthology of eight contemporary and Regency tales was dreamt as a perfect summer refreshment to bring a smile to your own sun-kissed face.


Author Christina Boyd headshot 2015 x 150Christina Boyd wears many hats as she’s an editor at Meryton Press, a contributor to Austenprose, and a ceramicist for the Made in Washington stores under her own banner, Stir Crazy Mama’s Artworks. She studied Fine Art at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Salisbury University in Maryland.

As a moody teen, she read more Thomas Hardy than Jane Austen; and it wasn’t until 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice that sparked her Austen fascination. After reading all of Austen’s novels, Christina’s thirst could not be slaked despite discovering on-line Jane Austen fan fiction, purchasing ALL the movie adaptations, and even attending her first Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) Annual General Meeting–all within that first year! A life member of JASNA, Christina lives in the wilds of Washington State with her dear Mr. B, two teenagers, and a Chesapeake Bay retriever. Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer is her first book.

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Sun Kissed Blog Tour Prize Package x 500

It would truly not be a blog tour launch party without a giveaway prize, right? Christina has generously put together a wonderful summer-themed gift package for our readers which includes:

  • Your choice of one trade paperback copy or eBook (Kindle) format of Sun-kissed.
  • One 30″ x 60″ white beach towel with the words “‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!’” Jane Austen”
  • One original handcrafted ceramic bowl (approx. 8″ across x 5″ high) created especially for this blog tour launch party by editor Christina Boyd, embellished with the words, “’To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.‘ Jane Austen”

To qualify for the giveaway, please leave a comment by 11:59 pm PT, Thursday, June 25, 2015, stating what intrigues you about reading this short story anthology, or which of the stories you will read first and why. The winner will be announced on Friday, June 26, 2015. Shipment to the US addresses only. Good luck to all!

Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer, edited by Christina Boyd
Meryton Press (2015)
Trade paperback & eBook (251) pages
ISBN: 978-1936009435

Amazon | Goodreads

Cover image courtesy of Meryton Press © 2015; text Christina Boyd © 2015,

80 thoughts on “Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer Blog Tour Launch Party — Featuring editor Christina Boyd & Giveaway Prize

  1. Confetti and champagne to you, Christina!! Congratulations!!! What a fun project to work on. “Life is like a box of chocolates”, and so is this anthology. Best of wishes for this project and for an exciting blog tour. See you at the next stop.

    Liked by 2 people

    • All the authors were wonderful to work with–and like one Amazon reviewer stated, “Not a bad apple in the bunch”–I’d have to agree!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish to extend my congratulations and best wishes on an amazing accomplishment that promises delightful reading moments!

    Your metaphor of “a box of chocolates”… including every sort of nuts, chews, creams, and other confections… sounds exactly right for the variety of topic and style of the various stories! :-)

    The first one by KaraLynne Mackrory lauding to a surprise meeting at Pemberley is my very first choice. It suggests to me the delightful surprise romantic scene from my favorite passage in P&P. And even if it turns out to be completely different, I’m sure to like it as I’ve enjoyed other writings of hers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As you are a KaraLynn Mackrory fan, I am delighted to share that she and I are edited her next book now. We hope to have it published before the stork brings her 5th baby!! THAT is one busy woman.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Although all the stories sound just wonderful,
    I am especially drawn to the theme of second chances and the sweet love in Persuasion, so
    that would be my first choice to read.

    Congratulations on your first book and
    thank you for this giveaway!

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Sunset Beach” has Likeable characters and has so many things I adore: artist, strong women, service, honor, military men, angst, love unfulfilled, HEA…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How funny–I just watched Persuasion last night, so the modern-day retelling of that story is especially intriguing. But I love Laurel Ann’s description of the book–it totally hooked me:

    “…she has whipped up an intriguing summer frappuccino for us.” I just love that description–cool, refreshing, sweet and utterly necessary to survive summer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you liked it! I would think a short story collection would be perfect for a busy woman like you. Read one HEA short story in one sitting!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Congratulations and best wishes. This collection would be enjoyable and provide me with a real treat this summer. Northanger Revisited is a beautiful favorite for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you, Laurel Ann, for your unwavering support in so many of my endeavors and for your solicitous advice on short story collections given your own experience with the wildly popular JANE AUSTEN MADE ME Do IT. The blog posting looks fabulous. My thanks for your time and effort!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations and best wishes on this launch. I do have it sitting on my kindle to read and know I will enjoy it. I can’t add much to the compliments by other friends and acquaintances above except to say, “Well done”. I love this community of JAFF readers and admirers. I have one book I am reading before I get to this one.

    An aside: I have a daughter and son-in-law who lives in WA so was nicely surprised to read you live there also. And, of course, there are several authors living near you, with whom I am well acquainted.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sheila! I look forward to your thoughts and opinions on this collection. Btw if you follow me on Twitter @xtnaboyd I usually post lots of photos (media) from our gorgeous Pacific Northwest adventures.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So, if our anthology is like a box of chocolates, I suppose my story would be the nuts.
    I don’t qualify for the giveaway, but the bowl is beautiful. And so is Christina. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with her.
    Thanks for starting off the blog tour, Laurel Ann.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joanne, Your “Spyglasses & Sunburns” will surely have the readers laughing! Your clever story starts us off and sets the tone or the whole collection! I was so delighted to have had the opportunity to work with you. I do hope you are considering a submission for the planned winter Holiday Romance anthology.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Major woots to you, Christina, for all your hard work–and, I might add (as the author who was gallivanting about England): your patience and flexibility! All those panicked e-mail messages from 8 hours and 6,000 miles away, but you handled them like a pro, even when you were taking your daughter to swim practice at 5:00 a.m.! I can’t wait to read the other stories, enjoying works from authors I love already and discovering the pleasures of some new voices.

    (Please don’t enter me in the contest, as I have a copy on the way already.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Abigail–thank you for your generous words! As the winner of the anthology contest, your SUMMER AT SANDITON short story is sure to be a hit! A great mash-up between P&P’s Anne deBourgh and the inhabitants of JA’s first draft chapters in SANDITON.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like lovely summer reading!

    The stories that I’d probably read first would be those with Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam. I adore those characters so much.

    Thanks for such a great giveaway!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sophia Rose, flatterer!! I can’t wait to see more from you! Congratulations on your first publication–I’m thrilled to be a part of your experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, of course, I want to read Austen inspired stories, but I am most excited about Northanger Revisited. So few writers use NA as an inspiration, which always surprises me as Henry Tilney is the most appealing of the Austen heroes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Then you will surely love Karen M. Cox’s story. I think someday she should expand this short story to a full length novel. So much potential. “…but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.” JA

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This does sound like a wonderful project, and it’s hard to choose the most intriguing story to read first. I think I’ll have to toss a coin, but at least I have narrowed down my FIRST selection to read to two – KaraLynne Mackrory’s, “Shades of Pemberley,” as I can never resist another scene with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, especially with the reference to Lady Catherine’s indignant speech in the wilderness patch at Longbourne.
    Abigail Bok’s. “A Summer in Sanditon,” partly because of the lure of Sanditon – a book that Jane Austen died before finishing – and because one can’t help wanting some happiness for Anne de Bourgh, and it sounds like this book might provide it. I also wonder what aspects of the book Sanditon will creep into the story. Will the carriage overturn? Will there be hot chocolate if it’s set in summer? Will the exotic heiress befriend Anne? Hmm. Maybe this story is even more intriguing than those shades at Pemberley!
    Thank you for the chance to win and (whether or not winning) the opportunity to dream!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s difficult to choose where to begin! However, I’ve always been interested in Anne de Bough’s story, so I will pick “A Summer at Sandition” to start reading. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Summer at SANDITON is a surprising favorite! As SANDITON was Austen’s last work, though unfinished and only a rough draft, this story by Abigail Bok is sure to interest even the newest fan to AUSTEN. The mashup between both works is so well done!


    • On that same note, you might also be interested in “Summer at Sanditon”–Would love to hear how you like the collection. Thank you.


  14. Congratulations with your writing! A really great job too! Love your blog and I rebooted you so that others may read you too! I am a huge Thomas Hardy fan as well so I felt right a home with your writing! Terrific stuff!


  15. Congratulations on your book! The anthology sounds intriguing to me because of the range of stories and the idea of such a collection for summer reading really appeals to me and puts me in a vacation frame of mind… even though I’m working most of the summer! I like the idea of exploring Persuasion and Sanditon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you’ll enjoy it! I think it’s a great choice for busy people–each short story can be finished in a single sitting! Thank you!


  16. Many congratulations, Christina! I’m not in the US but wonder if I qualify for an entry in the ebook draw? Doesn’t matter if I don’t, though. This selection sounds fascinating and a literary “box of chocolates” is a brilliant way to describe it. I loved Laurel Ann’s Jane Austen Made Me Do It and this project sounds as if it will be equally enjoyable. I have JAMMDI as an audiobook. Are there any plans to do the same for this one?

    When it comes to which story I’d read first, I have to admit to being a bit OCD and can never dip in and out of an anthology on my first reading. I HAVE to read through, in order, from cover to cover. Afterwards, yes, I can pick and choose, depending on my mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure, if an international reader is selected, we can send an ebook! Good luck. Look forward to hearing how you like it. Thanks.


  17. Congratulations to Christina and all of the authors on such an enjoyable anthology! I was probably most interested to read the modern Northanger Revisted, but all of them intrigued me.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This book sounds fun since it touches on so many of my favorite characters. I think I would read Sophia Rose’s contribution because Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am waiting for my book to arrive and I am very eager to read ll of the stories but maybe I will start with “A Summer in Sanditon” to see if Anne can be a “normal” person and have a proper life!! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m super intrigued! I love short stories, romance and Jane Austen so I would start at the beginning and go from there! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Huge congratulations on your first publishing project, Christina. I hope I get the chance to read this anthology because I love short stories and takes up less time. I’m not from US so please don’t enter me (unless it’s open worldwide).

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I guess what intrigued me was my friend Christina’s editing of the book! I read it in pieces between other books, and loved it. My favorites were “Spyglasses and Sunburns” and “Shades of Pemberley.” Great job Christina and authors! Can’t wait for the Holiday edition!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwwww, thanks, lady! And so glad you enjoyed the collection. PS–I know you are a fan of KaraLynn Mackrory’s books…We are in edit stage of her latest work. Hoping to beat the stork to publishing.


  23. Pingback: Giveaway Winners Announced for Sun-kissed and Mr. Darcy’s Rival | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

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