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!
WELCOME CHRISTINA BOYD
“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.
Christina 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.
Follow the Sun-kissed Blog Tour
- 6/15: Austenprose
- 6/16: My Jane Austen Book Club
- 6/17: Diary of an Eccentric
- 6/18: So Little Time…
- 6/19: The Little Munchkin Reader
- 6/20: The Calico Critic
- 6/21: Margie’s Must Reads
- 6/21: My Love for Jane Austen
- 6/22: Best Sellers & Best Stellars
- 6/23: Songs and Stories
- 6/24: Wings of Paper
- 6/25: Writer Wonderland
- 6/26: My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice
- 6/27: Babblings of a Bookworm
- 6/28: The Delighted Reader
A GRAND GIVEAWAY
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
Cover image courtesy of Meryton Press © 2015; text Christina Boyd © 2015, Austenprose.com