Hello Songs & Stories Readers!
I am so happy to be with you today. It has been a tremendous experience participating in the Meryton Press short story contest and having my story, a modern-day Persuasion retelling chosen to be a part of Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology.
Natalie has graciously allowed me to share an excerpt from my story, Second Chance on Sunset Beach with her readers. It is a second-chance romance at heart as well as a tribute to my favorite author.
Second Chance on Sunset Beach
“Meet me at the pier…
Eight years ago, a summer romance beginning on a beach had the makings of forever love for a budding artist and a Navy SEAL.
"If you don’t show, I’ll know to move on.”
But then inexplicably they went their separate ways. Now, the wedding of mutual friends brings them back - older and with bitter regrets and maybe a wistful longing- to Sunset Beach.
Now, Callie’s heart twisted on seeing Cameron. She wished she could be as indifferent to Lt. Commander Cameron Fforbes as he seemed to be towards her. She took her time putting her supplies away and giving the others the opportunity to settle. To her chagrin, Callie watched in fascination as Cameron smiled at the statuesque woman beside him and then tucked a blond tendril loosened by the breeze back behind her ear. Callie recognized Sarah from pictures on Kristy’s dresser and remembered Sarah was a veterinarian. Callie hoped to slip onto the edge of the blanket unnoticed. However, Evan, ever the gentleman, guided her over with a wave and cheery smile.
“Hey, Cal! Glad you’re enjoying the beautiful day instead of slogging over our wedding. You know my brother Dante, of course, but this is Max, my younger troublemaking brother, and over there is Cam. You remember, Cam? That’s Kristy’s bestie, Sarah. This is her other bestie, Britney, and well, of course you know your own cousins.”
She smiled as the rest laughed. Callie avoided eye contact with Cameron as Dante made room for her on the blanket.
Dante swept his arm out over the spread of food and people. . “We already started, but I’ll get you a plate. Any preferences?”
Callie looked over the containers and shook her head. “Surprise me!”
Evan’s older brother grinned and went to work piling on food. Kristy stopped him. “Smaller portions. Callie doesn’t eat like a guy. She won’t eat half of that.”
“Finicky, huh?” Cameron’s voice spoke to her even though he was looking at his plate. There was the hint of annoyance.
Sarah laughed. “Well, I’m not. I’ll try anything.” Sarah tossed her silky blond hair over her shoulder drawing Cameron and Max’s eyes to her.
Dante moved back to sit with Callie. Callie took what he offered. “Thanks! I’m actually pretty hungry after being out in the fresh air and sunshine. It’s not that I eat like a bird. I just get busy and forget to stop and eat.”
Dante nodded. “I’m that way at the office, and my assistant has to remind me to eat when I get like a bear.”
Callie kept up a friendly conversation with Dante, valiantly ignoring the people at the other end of the blanket. “I imagine your cases can be fascinating, and they distract you.”
“Like your painting distracts you? I saw you. Kristy said your name three times, and you didn’t notice until she was right beside you.” Callie smiled. She did get lost in her work.
Kristy said, “She was always like that when she painted or sketched. Callie is so talented and dedicated to her work.”
“Well, that’s surprising,” Cameron muttered.
Kristy flashed him a confused glance but finished her thought. “But she doesn’t get to paint anymore since my uncle keeps her busy as his assistant. It’s all paperwork, phones, and computers for her these days.”
Callie glanced at Evan, and he gave her a slight shake of the head. He hadn’t told Kristy about Callie and Cam’s secret past.
Thanks for reading! Are you a Jane Austen fan? What’s your take of the second-chance romance trope?
About the Book:
“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.
About the Authors:
Karen M Cox writes stories with romantic and historic elements. Her novels have garnered awards from the independent publishing industry, including two IPPY awards: a Bronze in Romance for 1932 (2010) and a Gold in Romance for Find Wonder in All Things (2012), which was also a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2013. Her third novel, At the Edge of the Sea (2013), won the Romance and Chick Lit categories in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her favorite part of writing is readers saying her stories made them smile, or think, or remember.
KaraLynne Mackrory is better known for her hilarious and ready wit than for her books, though they aren't too bad either. She has published three books with Meryton Press: Falling For Mr. Darcy (2012), Bluebells in the Mourning (2013) and the 2015 Romance Bronze medal IPPY winner, Haunting Mr. Darcy (2014). In her spare time she likes to pretend she does not have chip crumbs down her shirt from when her kids ate their snack on her.
Linda Beutler has published three novels of Austenesque romance through Meryton Press: A Will of Iron (June 2015), Longbourn to London (July 2014), and the Silver IPPY Award-winning The Red Chrysanthemum (September 2013). She is also a garden writer, publishing through Timber Press, including the forthcoming Plant Lover's Guide to Clematis (March 2016), Garden to Vase (2007), and Gardening with Clematis (2004).
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 lighthearted novel, Love at First Slight (Meryton Press, 2013), bears witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter.
Sophia Rose, a northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the U.S., is a quiet yet curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening, and is encouraged in her pursuits by an incredible man and loving family. Writing has been a compelling need of Sophia’s since childhood, and being a published author is a dream come
Morgan K Wyatt is an author, mother, former special needs teacher, and avid gardener. She’s published seventeen books with four more coming out this summer 2015. She’s active on the blogosphere at Writer Wonderland, Lowcarb Believer, and Dating After Fortyeight--the last she started writing when dating her husband. While mainly a romance writer, she’s also working on a new cozy mystery series with her beloved husband.
Natalie Richards is a blogger, singer and writer. She started her book review blog, Songs & Stories, in late 2010 after falling in love with Jane Austen fanfiction. Her writing can also be found on Figment, the Darcy & Lizzy Forum and in TeenInk magazine. Midsummer Madness is her first published short story. She resides with her family in the Oregon countryside and currently works as a professional babysitter.
Abigail Bok is the author of a contemporary Austenesque novel, An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, and of "A Dictionary of Jane Austen's Life and Works," published as part of The Jane Austen Companion. She is currently at work on a series, called Darking Hundred, set in England in the year 1800.
Christina Boyd wears many hats as she is 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. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen's England remains on her bucket list.
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