Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer

“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in…” Thomas Hardy

If you desire a little heat, a summer flirtation, or an escape to bask in your own private sun…this whimsical collection of original short stories is inspired by all things summer. From some of Meryton Press’s most popular and award-winning authors, the anthology debuts other promising and emerging talent.
  • In KaraLynne Mackrory’s Shades of Pemberley, Mr. Darcy, with some fantastic 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 handsome acquaintances.
  • In Abigail Bok’s Summer at Sanditon, a little sea bathing seems just the thing to cure what ails Anne de Bourgh.
  • In Natalie Richards’ Midsummer Madness, an honest confession and a promise between mysterious strangers at a masque ball mends a misunderstanding.
  • Sophia Rose re-imagines 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, brings fresh perspective to a young co-ed’s life and love.

Contemporary and Regency alike, each romance was dreamt as a perfect summer refreshment to bring a smile to your own sun-kissed face.

Stories by: KaraLynne Mackrory * Karen M. Cox * Linda Beutler * J. Marie Croft * Abigail Bok * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Morgan K Wyatt

Post Update
Note to conservative readers: I have not read this title myself, and therefore do not officially endorse all of the short stories within.  One of our readers has alerted me to the fact that some of the chapters are quite steamy, so if that's not your preference, I would recommend caution.

Welcome to the next top in the Meryton Press Sun-Kissed Blog Tour! Today we have an excerpt from author Karen M. Cox from her short story contribution, Northanger Revisited. Following that we have a giveaway, too!  This looks like a fun collection of short stories, perfect for summer reading by the shore or pool.  Here are the other stops in the tour-- check them out for more excerpts, giveaways and more!

6/15: Guest Post at Austenprose
6/16: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
6/17: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
6/18: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time… 
6/19: Guest Post & Giveaway at The Little Munchkin Reader
6/20: Excerpt & Giveaway at The Calico Critic 
6/21: Review at Margie's Must Reads
6/21: Guest Post at My Love for Jane Austen
6/22: Guest Post & Giveaway at Best Sellers & Best Stellars
6/23: Excerpt & Giveaway at Songs and Stories
6/24: Review at Wings of Paper
6/25: Excerpt at Writer Wonderland
6/26: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice
6/27: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
6/28: Author Feature & Giveaway at The Delighted Reader

The tradition is going to continue! Meryton Press will be releasing a holiday-romance-themed anthology late this fall. The short story contest for that volume is now open for submissions. Click here for further details!

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck to all who enter!

Excerpt: Northanger Revisited

Catherine Morland, a 21 year-old college student with a penchant for romance novels, is spending the summer with her Aunt Paulette and Uncle Alan on Northanger Island, just off the Georgia coast. For a college girl, Catherine has led a sheltered life. This summer, however, will teach her a thing or two—about friends, about love, and most of all, about herself.

Today, though, she’s only after a piña colada from the beachside snack bar…

“Two piña coladas please.” Catherine pushed her sunglasses on top of her head and smiled at the cabana boy behind the bar.

“You got ID, miss?”

“I do.” She pulled the driver’s license out of her wristlet and handed it to him. As he handed it back, she became aware of someone at her elbow, leaning over to take a look at the card in her hand.

“Well, you sure are twenty-one, aren’t you? Could’ve fooled me.” His slow, lilting, Southern speech was accompanied by a lazy grin. “Just barely though.”

“Barely gets it,” Catherine retorted, zipping her wristlet closed and lifting her chin in defiance. She turned to face him, and her features softened into a smile. He was young, probably no more than five years her senior, and the first thing she noticed was the pleasant good humor in his expression. He was nice looking, but not pretty. His hair was a curly mop of brown curls high-lighted to a burnished gold by the sun, and his eyes were a warm whiskey brown. The lemon-yellow polo he wore contrasted with his tanned skin.

He laughed and sat back on his bar stool while he took a pull from his beer bottle. Suddenly, as if deciding on something, he held out his hand to her. “Henry.”


“Pleasure, darlin’.” He held her hand a second longer than was strictly polite.

“So, you here on vacation, Miss Catherine?”

“Yes, and I’m having the time of my life.”

He grinned, showing off a matching set of dimples. “Did you talk your boyfriend into drinking one of those girly piña coladas?”

“My boyfriend? Oh”—she shook her head, smiling—“I don’t have a boyfriend. This is for my aunt.”

“And who might your aunt be? I know most everyone around here.”

“Paulette Allen. My aunt and uncle rented a home here on the island for the whole summer. My uncle is Alan Allen.”

“Really?” He looked amused.

“Do you know them?”

“I don’t believe I do.”


“But being a local, I would be considered an insensitive boor if I let you go without the traditional tourist welcome.”

“There’s a traditional welcome here? You mean, like a handshake?”

“Certainly. It goes like this.” He put on an affected version of his delightful Georgia drawl and took her hand in his. “Well, hello there, little missy. Welcome to Northanger Island.”

She laughed. “Thank you, kind sir.”

“Is this y’all’s first visit?”

“Why no, sir, but I haven’t been here since I was a child. I hardly remember.”

“It can’t have been that long since you were a child.”

“I’m twenty-one last February.”
“That can’t be! I declare it impossible.”

“Why the surprise?”

His voice deepened into its normal timbre, his eyes dancing with mischief. “I have to seem surprised to keep the conversation going. Now, let us proceed.

“Well then, since you’re all grown up, on this visit, you should make sure to visit the Pump Room café, and the Upper Dance Hall for night life, and the shops on Crescent Avenue for various souvenirs and trinkets. Now I can go about the rest of my day knowing I’ve welcomed you properly.”

She giggled.

“Oh, I see what you’re thinking. You’ll be posting on Instagram about that weird guy you met down by the beach.”

Catherine put on a teasing voice of her own and batted her lashes in wide-eyed innocence. “How do you know I even have Instagram?”

“Of course you have one; all you co-eds have Instagram. You’ll post a selfie, wearing your designer swim attire with its matching cover up.” His eyes took in her outfit but came back to rest on her face. “The caption will read, ‘Looking good, but had to suffer a goofy stranger trying to chat me up while I bought a piña colada.’ Don’t forget to post a picture of the piña colada.”

The bartender rolled his eyes.

“I’ll do no such thing,” Catherine declared.

“You know what you should post, don’t you?”


“‘Met this great guy down at the beach snack bar. Had a fascinating conversation. He’s probably a genius. Want to get to know him better.’ That is what you should say.”

So, should our Catherine find out more about this handsome charmer?  Inquiring minds want to know…

GIVEAWAY:  Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer
International - Ends 6/27/15 at 12am EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio

Karen M Cox writes novels accented with romance and history. She is the author of two Austen-inspired novels. 1932, a Pride & Prejudice alternate path, won a Bronze medal in Romance at the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Her second novel, Find Wonder in All Things, is a modern retelling of Persuasion. It won a Gold medal in Romance at the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards, and was a Finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her third novel, At the Edge of the Sea, tells the story of two unlikely young lovers: a minister’s son and a small town’s sadder but wiser girl. At the Edge of the Sea won two categories—Romance and Chick Lit—in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. 

Karen was born in Everett, Washington, a circumstance that resulted from arriving in the world as a United States Air Force officer’s daughter. By the age of twelve, she had lived all over the country, including stays in North Dakota, Tennessee, and New York State. Her family then returned to their home state of Kentucky, and she still lives there in a quiet little town with her husband and children. She works as a pediatric speech-language pathologist, and spends her spare time reading, writing, being a wife and mom - and now, a grandmother!

Connect with Karen



  1. Karen's Henry was so much like his original to me. Playful and fun, but caring.

  2. Excellent modern adaptation of Northanger Abbey--though you need not have read Austen's original to appreciate this short story! I wish it were a full novel length story even!

  3. Northanger Revisited ended too soon, but I don't mean that in a bad way. It was THAT good, I simply wished it wasn't over yet. Way to leave 'em wanting more, Karen!

  4. Thanks for the comments, girls! Of all the Austen characters I've translated into another era, I think Henry (and his antithesis, John Thorpe) may have been the most fun.

  5. Never had a summer romance - not sure I would fall for this Henry - I would view him with suspicion at first as he seems too friendly for me

    1. Henry has to get down to business - cause it's a short story :D Thanks for the comment, Vesper!

  6. Catherine should get to know more young men in her life and be friends with some of them. If there's an attraction, it could lead so something more.



Related Posts with Thumbnails