Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sun-Kissed Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hey, Everyone! This summer is starting off with some pretty awesome reads! I have quite a few guest posts coming up! 

As part of the Sun-Kissed Blog Tour, J. Marie Croft is here with an excerpt of her short story that is in Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer.


Men bathed in the nude in a separate area 200 yards away from the women
and were known to observe them bathing through a spyglass.
(~Sharon Wagoner, Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine)

The above quotation inspired J. Marie Croft to write a romantic-comedy for the Meryton Press Summer Lovin’ anthology (now available as Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer).  

In that short story, some of our favorite Pride and Prejudice characters are in Sandfirthstrand (a fictional seaside resort) rather than at Pemberley during the summer of 1812.

It is inevitable that a single man
in possession of a good telescope
must behave somewhat sheepishly
in an excerpt from Joanne’s:

Spyglasses and Sunburns

“... then I dined at the Thyme & Tyde and viewed the oil painting of the cove. The scenery hereabouts is quite charmingly picturesque.” Darcy picked up a newspaper and glanced at the front page. “Did you see any interesting sights in your travels?”

“What do you mean?” The mahogany box holding his spyglass was hugged close to Bingley’s chest. One moment he met his friend’s gaze challengingly, and the next he could not look him in the eye.

“I am merely curious.” Darcy glanced up from the newspaper and waited. And waited. Raising his eyebrows, he prompted, “So?”

“So what?” Bingley fidgeted with the case’s clasp.

“Did you do or see anything noteworthy today?”

Beet red, Bingley narrowed his eyes, trying to discern whether there was suspicion in Darcy’s expression or inflection. “Why? I mean—Why, I did a bit of bird watching, is all.”

“Good heavens, man. You must have been out in the sun too long. You are behaving quite barmy, and your face is burnt again.” Darcy looked away for a moment and then back at Bingley’s pale countenance. “Well, I thought it was red. Merely a trick of the light, I suppose.”

“No, no. Perhaps I did get some sun today. I took my telescope out and observed the seal colony as well as seabirds and—” Shifting on the seat, Bingley’s gaze fell to the instrument case.

“And? Did you observe any other creatures? Any mermaids sunning themselves on the shoals?” Darcy asked with disinterest.

“You do know!” Bingley shot to his feet.                                                                                                      
Darcy calmly folded the paper, tossed it aside, and quietly observed the other man. “I do know what?” said he in a clipped tone.

Seated again, Bingley slipped a finger between his Adam’s apple and cravat. “You do know, um, that mermaids are mythical.”

Scrutinizing the fellow’s flushed face, Darcy softly said, “Do you require a physician, Bingley?”

“No, I thank you.”

“Is there nothing you could take for relief? A glass of gin, perhaps? Shall I get you one?” Darcy’s concern for his friend was interrupted by a light knock on the door, and he bade entrance.

Georgiana swept into the room, all barely contained excitement and wide smile. “I met Mrs. Gardiner today, and she is perfectly charming!”

Immediately fearing the worst, her brother and his friend bombarded her with questions.

Joanne will be dropping by, off and on, today; so feel free to bombard her with questions.

J. Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight (Meryton Press, 2013), bears witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter.

Connect with J. Marie Croft


“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. In collaboration with some of Meryton Press’s most popular and award-winning authors, this 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 “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 and a promise between strangers at a masque ball 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 new 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

Buy: Amazon • B&N
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provide, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

For more stops on the tour:

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 

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time!! Meryton Press is giving away One e-copy of Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer to one lucky person! To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment!

Many thanks to Meryton Press!!

  • One person will win an e-copy of Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer.
  • Open Internationally
  • Last day to enter: June 25th, 2015.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please, leave a comment! We'd love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave any questions you might have for Joanne! 
Remember, to enter the giveaway you MUST fill out the Rafflecopter (shown above). If you need help entering, email me by clicking on the email icon at the top of the sidebar. Thanks! 


  1. Enjoyed the excerpt, probably I am going to wish it was a very very long story. Though I prefer novels to short stories the book would introduce me to some authors I have not yet read

  2. Thanks, Vesper.

    At just under 15,000 words, my story could be considered a ‘novelette’. I enjoyed spending time in Sandfirthstrand so much that I didn’t want to leave!

    To be honest, I usually prefer novels over novellas; but short stories provide a nice change of pace. And our Sun-Kissed anthology of ‘short and sweet’ stories has other advantages over longer works. A reader can sample the authors’ styles without investing the time, energy, or cost involved in eight separate novels. Short stories are easy to pick up and put down; so they’re good choices for reading before bedtime, in the bath, on lunch break, during a commute, or while waiting for an appointment.

    Short stories are kind of like fairy tales ... or literary single servings, easily digested in one sitting. So, dig in! I’m sure you’ll find something to savour.

  3. Bird watching, indeed. This story makes me laugh regardless of the countless times I have read it. Your characters are so full of wit! Clever you!

  4. Well, I stand behind Bingley. He WAS bird watching!
    Thanks, Christina. I enjoyed working with you on this story.

  5. I like the excerpt, thank you for sharing with us!! I have read some novels by these author and I know I cannot miss this collection.

  6. Thanks, and you’re welcome, Chiara.

    This anthology has been compared to a box of chocolates; so, hopefully, you’ll find more than one favourite in the collection. Unlike chocolate, though, this book won’t melt in the sun. But I should warn you. Some of the stories in Sun-Kissed are pretty darn sweet. Readers may be the ones melting!

  7. What!!! Nude sunbathing in Regency England? That's almost as shocking as finding out the women didn't often wear underwear at the time. The things I learn from reading blogs!!!

    What a terrific excerpt. It was so easy to picture this in my mind's eye, Bingley blushing profusely and Darcy enjoying his discomfort. This was a hoot and a half, J. Marie. I can't wait to read the rest of the story. Have fun on your blog tour.

    Candy, I already have this so please do not enter me. Thanks!

    1. I can't help but wonder if there were something like bathing machines today if more people would skinny dip at public beaches...

    2. They'd still have to beware of mysterious glints from the cliff tops. ;-)
      Ugh. I don't like being seen in a bathing suit, let alone my birthday suit. Double ugh.

    3. Holy hypothermia, Batman!!! Sea bathing off the Oregon coast requires a wet suit, parka, warm gloves, and a bon fire when you get done. No nudity for me - not even with a bathing machine, no binoculars, and blindfolds for everyone else within sight.

    4. Hahaha! I'm with you Joanne, I don't like being seen in my bathing suit either! ;) So, no skinny dipping for this girl, even with a bathing machine! Lol!

  8. Thanks, Joy!
    Uh huh. Sea bathing in the nude!
    Check out my Spyglasses and Sunburns Pinterest board for some eye-opening images.

    1. I am gasping for air. Did you notice it was the women in the pictures with the spyglasses and binoculars? Holy moly!

    2. I've just added your Pinterest site to the "Connect with..." above, Joanne. :)
      Joy, I guess the women were a bit curious about the men, no? Lol!

  9. I read this story earlier this week and it was a very good thing I wasn't drinking or eating b/c I laughed several times. What a hoot! Poor Bingley...

  10. Poor Bingley? Serves him right, the naughty fellow!
    Yay! I made you laugh. I love it when that happens! However, I'll have you know, Sophia Rose, your story brought tears to my eyes. Lovely!

  11. Your stories are always fabulous and make me laugh a great deal so I look forward to the rest of this. I'm with all the other skinny dipping for me. The public thanks me profusely. LOL

    1. Aw, Stephanie, thanks! Your last sentence made me laugh.

  12. Thanks for the preview into what sounds like a good book. Can't wait to read it.

  13. So far, the only one here expressing an interest in skinny-dipping has been Christina. Hmm.

  14. Ooh I'm gonna have to check out that Pinterest board now. I think I'd have had to have a spyglass of my own handy - to look out for sharks and things, of course...

    I think we might be surprised at how many people would skinny dip whether we had bathing machines or not. Not me, though! Lol Even the sharks would be throwing up in their mouths a bit.

    Can't wait to read Sun-Kissed! :)

  15. Right, Monica. Sure. Of course.
    So, say for instance, if Mr. Darcy was skinny-dipping ... you'd use the spyglass to look for sharks (and things). Right. ;-)

    1. Of course! I couldn't let anything take a bite of Mr Darcy! Except me ;) *naughty face*

  16. Such a noble use for a spyglass! Are you blushing or is that a sunburn?

  17. Candy,
    Thanks for participating in the Sun-Kissed blog tour and for putting up with my nonsense today. It's been fun!

    1. Oh, Joanne! It's been a pleasure! I've laughed as I've read everyone's comments! Thank you for being here!!

      I don't know, but I think Monica has the right of it! We definitely need to keep Mr. Darcy safe! I'll take the first shift. :)

  18. I'll ask Bingley if you can borrow his spyglass. Enjoy your shift, Candy.

  19. Is it really true that men bath in the nude? How come I've never heard about this fact? And who did Bingley see from his spyglass? Jane Bennet perhaps?

    Sorry, lots of questions that are playing in my mind when I read this delicious excerpt. Can't wait to read your story, Joanne.

  20. What an imagination you have! Men ... sea bathing in the nude!
    And Bingley ... spying on Jane Bennet? Pshaw! The poor guy was innocently watching birds through his telescope, until ...
    Well, yes, you'll just have to read the story.


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