You could win all this!


Join us on a new journey as Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer travels 8,767 miles across North America and back. Just like the Then Comes Winter Road Trip, the summer anthology, Sun-Kissed, sets out on a warm weather trip to visit all its authors. As the book journeys on, it will collect little souvenirs and autographs from its 8 authors and editor.

The only undefined stop is its final one which will be decided by this rafflecopter drawing ( You could be that destination and win the collection of goodies and what will be the only copy of the anthology signed by all the authors and editor. 


The journey begins May 1, 2016. Entries for the drawing end July 15, 2016.


  • Washington State
  • Nova Scotia
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • California
  • Oregon (2 stops)

Portland, OR

Penultimate stop!

Linda Beutler

The Incomplete Education of Fitzwilliam Darcy is Linda's inclusion in Sun-Kissed.

July 1, 2016

Welcome to the City of Roses, aka Portlandia, little copy of Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer! And more particularly, welcome to my home, Tanglevine Cottage, which has appeared in numerous gardening books and on many garden tours. To our Unknown Winner I say welcome to my garden: your copy has been on a tour of its own on a hot June day, looking for shady places full of flowers and comfy wicker chairs for smelling the roses and curling up with cold sparkling wine and a good story or two, or in this case, eight! 

Included with my signature on the title page of my story, "The Incomplete Education of Fitzwilliam Darcy" are three packets of seeds for your sun-kissed garden, Dear Winner. These are all types of plants—sweet william (from the Berlin Botanic Garden), hollyhocks (from East Lambrook Manor in Somerset), and ragged-robin (from the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall) that Jane Austen could have grown, and surely did, in her garden at Chawton Cottage. I collect seeds as I travel, and am delighted to send these on to you! Happy Planting and Happy Reading!

-Linda Beutler


You have until July 15th to enter the drawing ( to be the winner of this unique book with all the author and editor signatures and tons of swag from its journey across the continent and two countries. You could be the final stop on this journey.


Aurora, OR

We've made it back to the Pacific Northwest

Natalie Richards

Natalie's Midsummer Madness is included in Sun-Kissed.

June 25, 2016


Aurora, Oregon is a quiet, country town surrounded by farmlands and nurseries. This time of year, one of the best things to do on a lazy afternoon is to take a good book out to the garden and soak up the sun while enjoying the story. Or stories.

On a less lazy afternoon, I took Sun-Kissed out for a Renaissance Faire adventure to hang out with the knights in shining armor and, oh, the odd shirtless Scotsman or two. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm prevented my getting the book and the Scot in the same photograph. If I look a tad undone in the last picture, it is solely because of the weather, I swear!

-Natalie Richards

One author stop left. Don't forget to enter to be the last stop on the #SunKissedRoadTrip.


San Francisco, CA

The road trip makes it back to the Pacific

Abigail Bok

Abigail wrote A Summer in Sanditon

June 19, 2016

Sun-Kissed is full of the pleasures and promise of summer. So when our fun-loving book headed out on tour, one of its stops had to be in California! Like me, it’s always ready for a little sun and sand—no matter what the calendar says. I couldn’t take the book to Sanditon, where Anne De Bourgh cuts herself a swath in my short story, but this spot looked like the next best thing.

No trip to the San Francisco Bay Area is complete without a pilgrimage to the top of the Marin Headlands, where you can stand in awe of panoramas of the ocean, the bay, the city, and of course the Golden Gate Bridge.

But there’s a lot more to the Bay Area than gorgeous vistas, and I wanted to take Sun-Kissed to meet one of my favorite heroines of days gone by, Rosie the Riveter. Rosie has her own museum in my hometown of Richmond, full of stories of the gutsy women who took care of business while the men were fighting overseas in World War II.

Rosie was kind enough to contribute to the swag pile that Sun-Kissed has been picking up along its journey: she threw in an image of her famous poster as well as a little tin of chocolates—because any romantic short story is better with chocolate!

I think of Rosie, and the heroines of my stories, as “obstinate, headstrong girls,” so we also teamed up to add a T-shirt with that message to the swag pile.

And now it’s time for Sun-Kissed to move along to its next destination, after one last romp in the California poppies.

-Abigail Bok


Lawrenceburg, KY

Now we're in Bluegrass country.

Karen M Cox

Karen's Northanger Revisited is a modern take on Jane Austen's classic.

June 14, 2016

This week, I welcome the Sunkissed book and all of you gentle readers to Lawrenceburg, a little slice of nowhere in the middle of Kentucky’s somewheres!

Kentucky is often called the Bluegrass State, and the Central Kentucky region is the Bluegrass-iest of them all, home to several stops that represent Kentucky to the rest of the world. The book was a real trooper about our humid summer weather, and managed to tour with nary a page wilted in the heat.

One of Kentucky’s most famous exports is bourbon whiskey, and central Kentucky is to bourbon what Napa Valley is to wine. Here’s some history of “America’s Original Native Spirit” from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail website:

It began in the 1700s with the first settlers of Kentucky. Like most farmers and frontiersmen, they found that getting crops to market over narrow trails and steep mountains was a daunting task.

They soon learned that converting corn and other grains to whiskey made them easily transportable, prevented the excess grain from simply rotting, and gave them some welcome diversion from the rough life of the frontier.

Since then, generations of Kentuckians have continued the heritage and time-honored tradition of making fine Bourbon, unchanged from the process used by their ancestors centuries before.

So how did it get the name Bourbon? Well, one of Kentucky’s original counties was Bourbon County, established in 1785 when Kentucky was still part of Virginia.

Farmers shipped their whiskey in oak barrels — stamped from Bourbon County — down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. The long trip aged the whiskey, with the oak wood giving it the distinct mellow flavor and amber color.

Pretty soon, whiskey from Bourbon County grew in popularity and became known as Bourbon whiskey.

In 1964, Congress officially recognized Bourbon’s place in our history — and our future — by declaring it a distinctive product of the United States.

Kentucky is also famous for horse racing. About an hour to the northwest of Lawrenceburg, Louisville is home to Churchill Downs, which hosts the longest running annual horse race in America, the Kentucky Derby. It’s run on the first Saturday in May, and is the backdrop for my very first story “D-Day: D is for…” , still posted on A Happy Assembly.

Forty-five minutes to the east of Lawrenceburg, Lexington is the center of Kentucky’s horse industry, home to the lesser-known (but more charming, in my opinion) Keeneland Racetrack and the Kentucky Horse Park. Horses are part of the history here. Bucolic scenery with horses grazing in fenced fields can be seen from tree-lined, two-lane highways. Streets around these parts have names like Man-O-War Boulevard, and Citation Way.

And in the middle of these two relatively large towns, Lawrenceburg is nestled next to the Kentucky River—quiet and humble, a historically rural community about twenty minutes south of the state’s capital, Frankfort.

Lawrenceburg is home to not one, but two distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a tour of bourbon craft sites dotting the central portion of the state. Wild Turkey, arguably the more well-known of the two, sits on the banks of the Kentucky River. Four Roses is the other, built in 1910 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The book was interested in seeing the “real” Lawrenceburg, so I took it to Four Roses, the smaller, more picturesque of the distilleries.

Then, we toured downtown.

I let the book sit on the horse statue located on Main Street (these are all over—Lexington has some funky, modern art ones scattered about town).

So after the complete downtown tour, which took all of about fifteen minutes, including stops for pictures, the book expressed an interest in seeing the state capital, so, back in the car we went and wound our way north to Frankfort.

Here the book enjoyed the landscaping around the Capitol.

The book topped off the afternoon by quoting Mrs. Elton’s opinion on the gardens:

People who have extensive grounds themselves are always pleased with any thing in the same style.

(Nonsensical book!)

After collecting some souvenirs: a pen, some postcards and a recipe for bourbon balls, the book was satisfied that it had seen what it came to see, and was ready to push on to the next stop: all the way across the country!

And finally…

While I couldn’t take the book to a concert while it was here, I did want to share our very beautiful state song, “My Old Kentucky Home”, sung by the acoUstiKats (University of Kentucky Men’s Choir Acapella group – trust me, they’re really good):


Will you be the book’s final stop on the #SunkissedRoadTrip ? Follow the trail and enter the giveaway to win the book, signed by all 8 Sunkissed authors and any loot the book collects along the way.
Next stop…California!

-Karen M Cox


Noblesville, IN

Heading outside of Indianapolis

Morgan K Wyatt

Morgan's contribution to Sun-Kissed is Dream Spinner.

June 8, 2016


The great thing about this time of year in Indiana is so green that is almost hurts your eyes. I decided to take the book on an early morning walk along Potter’s Bridge Park. The park includes a covered bridge that was a marvel when it built. Now, it mainly used as a backdrop for wedding and prom photos.

The Hamilton Fairgrounds hosts everything from the 4-H fair to the Master Gardner’s sale. Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer had the opportunity to spend time in the rose garden created by the master gardeners.

-Morgan K Wyatt


Green, OH

Further exploring the Midwest in Ohio

KaraLynne Mackrory

KaraLynne's Shades of Pemberley is included in the Sun-Kissed anthology.

May 30, 2016

Green, Ohio is on the skirt tails of Amish Country.  Ohio boasts the second largest population of Amish people next to Pennsylvania with around 40,000 residents.  The beauty of living so nearby means that all the delicious Amish baked goods, canned jams and other food stuffs are right at one’s fingertips.  Not to mention all the great fresh vegetables.  Amish country is also a popular destination for vacationing (while reading a good book?) in Northeast Ohio.

Pictured are the rolling hills of Holmes County, Ohio – named in Ohio’s top 10 most beautiful places to visit. With its lush green landscape, rustic farmland and the spotting of the occasional glistening black Amish buggie – Amish country, Ohio is a breath of fresh air. Also nearby is the world’s largest cuckoo clock.

Rebecca’s Bistro is the secret hidden gem of Amish Country – this breakfast and lunch café is a favorite in the area for their delicious soups, salads and sandwiches.  What most people don’t know is that once a month, Rebecca’s opens for a special dinner night.  Reservations for that evening are currently booked until the end of 2018.  I’ve experienced their romantic dinner and believe me – its worth the wait.

Goodies picked up in Amish country for the road trip is authentic Ohio maple syrup as well as some Amish sweet popcorn glaze.  Make yourself something yummy and sit down to read Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer.

-KaraLynne Mackrory


Detroit, MI

Our third stop is Detroit, Michigan on the border to Canada and a convenient point to return to the states.

Sophia Rose

Sophia's submission, Second Chance at Sunset Beach, was inspired by Austen's Persuasion.

May 21, 2016

Detroit, Michigan sits on the Detroit River facing Windsor, Ontario right across the way. The Ambassador Bridge is the connection between Detroit and Windsor. Sun-Kissed wanted a road trip across to Canada, but the traffic line for the bridge is waaaay too long today. Poor thing got rained on but it does like prancing in front of the camera.

It's nickname, Motor City, attests to it's history as the place where the automobile industry took root and grew into a big part of modern life with such innovators as Henry Ford, the Dodge Brothers, and Walter Chrysler leading the way. Ford Rouge Plant was the first assembly line factory plant that Henry Ford built and the model A was the first to roll off the line there. That's me with my buddy, Hank Ford. He loves Sun-Kissed. I could tell.

Historic Fort Wayne (not Indiana), was built around the time of conflicts between the United States and Britain during Jane Austen's lifetime. Sun-Kissed posed with a Viet Cong reenactment soldier near the guardshack and gates.

-Sophia Rose


Nova Scotia, Canada

Second Stop all the way east to Novia Scotia, Canada's Ocean Playground.

J Marie Croft

J Marie Croft is the author of Spyglasses and Sunburns included in this anthology.

May 16, 2016

This province is ‘Canada’s Ocean Playground’ for good reason. Wherever you are on the peninsula, the ocean is, at the most, 67 km/42 miles distant.

A popular tourist destination is the rocky, coastal community of Peggy’s Cove (lighthouse image). This spot was chosen for a Sun-Kissed photo because the fishing village (settled circa 1766) was officially founded in 1811, during the Regency era in which my stories are set.

One of my favourite nearby places is Uniacke Estate Museum Park (house pictured), part of what was Attorney-General Richard John Uniacke’s country estate. The grounds include lawns, a lake, and several trails throughout surrounding forests. The house, built between 1813 and 1815, is a perfect example of Georgian architecture in my ‘neck of the woods’. Inside, its furnishings and exhibits provide a glimpse of life amongst Nova Scotia’s gentry 200 years past. 

Before I sign and package up the anthology for its journey to Sophia Rose in Michigan, here’s what I’m adding:

  • Bluenose magnet - Nova Scotians have been nicknamed ‘Bluenosers’ since the 1760s, but ‘the Bluenose’ was a fishing and racing schooner launched in Lunenburg, NS, in 1921. Its image graces our Canadian dime as well as our province’s license plate.
  • Nova Scotia Tartan ‘micro mitt’ - Ours was the first provincial tartan in Canada, and we have a strong Scottish heritage. ‘Nova Scotia’ means ‘New Scotland’ in Latin.
  • Love at First Slight bookmark - Love at First Slight is my 2013 Meryton Press novel.
  • Sun-Kissed notecard with recipe on the back for ‘Sun-kissed Wild Blueberry Pie’

 - From August until late-September, wild, sun-kissed blueberries are harvested in Nova Scotia.

So, for now, it’s Farewell to Nova Scotia.

-J Marie Croft


Custer, WA

Starting point on this journey, Custer, Washington lies just south of the Canadian border in the Pacific Northwest.

Christina Boyd

Christina Boyd edited this sweet collection of romances in Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer.

May 1, 2016

Spring has definitely sprung in the Pacific Northwest, and I'm inclined to think that if Spring comes, Summer can't be far behind. Summers in the Pacific Northwest are spectacular--not too hot, not too cold, and glorious sunshine. On any given weekend, you can find my family hiking in the Olympic or Cascade mountains, exploring tide pools by the Salish Sea, or simply enjoying our own backyard not five miles from the Canadian border. And a book is usually in hand (or backpack).

-Christina Boyd


31 Responses

  1. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    Lovely warm and light pictures, Christina!

    • Christina Boyd
      | Reply

      It was a sunny 70 today and I sat outside and read Suzan Lauder’s ALIAS THOMAS BENNET. Lovely day!

  2. Suzan Lauder
    | Reply

    This trip is so exciting! We all wish we were that book, meeting each author. We’ll have to live with the photos of the trinkets they leave with it as it travels along getting signed by everyone. Good luck to all who enter for the chance to be the final stop and win the book with all the presents specially chosen by each author!

    • Christina Boyd
      | Reply

      I know! I would love to be the book–what a fantastic road trip.

  3. Mary
    | Reply

    What a fantastic road trip,indeed!
    Oh! To be that book,to see all those breathtaking sights along the way,and to be privy to the conversations held while traversing the highways and byways,not to mind being witness to things that no book should ever lay eyes on!!!
    Thanks for the unique opportunity to win this!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We’re all a little jealous of the book. Best of luck in the drawing!

  4. KarenMC
    | Reply

    Great pictures! Anxiously awaiting the book here in Kentucky.

  5. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    That is gorgeous, Joanne! Thanks for sharing about your home grounds. 🙂

  6. jmariecroft
    | Reply

    Our anthology begins its journey from Nova Scotia to Michigan today, and I look forward to seeing photos of its time with Sophia Rose and all the other authors.
    Safe travels, Sun-Kissed!

    • Christina Boyd
      | Reply

      Gosh, NovaScotia is gorgeous!

    • Sophia Rose
      | Reply

      I agree with Christina. Lovely spot you live in.

      I’ll treat our little friend to a good time and send it on its way to Kara Lynne! 🙂

  7. Suzan Lauder
    | Reply

    “Farewell to Nova Scotia” is such a classic Canadian folk song! I know all the words. I’ve been to seven of ten Canadian provinces, but Nova Scotia isn’t among them. Mr. Suze has been to Halifax a few times on business and cruelly taunted me with photos of the colourful wood houses. Just today, a Globe and Mail travel article ranted about the beauty of the Three Sisters. Some day!

    Sophia, I love how you love your town and sports. I’m into architecture, and I’ve heard Detroit is working to save many heritage homes. Not an easy task for any city, especially when there are so many of them. Jealous of that book, going places I’ve never been.

    • Sophia Rose
      | Reply

      Thank you, Suzan!

      I do have a bit of hometown pride. Just a bit. Haha! Detroit is an old city and it is fun to explore. You would love what they have done with the old historic train station. It is restored to its former beauty and boutiques and shops are now it’s residents.

      That’s neat that you covered most of the provinces in Canada. Sadly, I’ve only been to one.

      Oh yeah, that book has me envious of it’s journey, too. 🙂

  8. Deborah
    | Reply

    What an exciting surprise trip. I have travelled through Nova Scotia in 1988. Some of my husband’s Tory ancestors ran there after the American Revolutionary War.

  9. jmariecroft
    | Reply

    Thanks for showing us your neck of the woods, Sophia Rose.

    Suzan, I’m pleasantly surprised that you’re familiar with ‘Farewell to Nova Scotia’. I thought the song was only known around the Atlantic Provinces. If you ever plan a road trip in this direction, be sure to let me know. I’d love to show you (or any JAFFers) around. ‘There’s so much to sea’ here … including the Three Sisters at Cape Chignecto Provincial Park (a three hour drive for me).
    There are differing Mi’kmaq legends about those sea stacks. One tale is of three exuberant daughters stranded on the pillar-like rock formation by an exasperated father who wanted them to think deeply and at length about their wild behaviour. (Oh, Mr. Bennet, what have you done?)

    • Sophia Rose
      | Reply

      You’re welcome, Joanne!

      I tried to find some fun iconic spots between soakings. 🙂

  10. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    What a delightful place to take SK, KaraLynne! The romantic dinner sounds great.

  11. Anji
    | Reply

    I love reading about the various places the book is visiting on the tour. I’ve only been to North America (USA twice and Canada once, included in the first trip) twice in my life and none of these places are known to me.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We’re so glad you can travel along vicariously with the book as even those of us who live in these two countries are doing. 🙂

  12. Abigail
    | Reply

    I see Sun-Kissed is making its way westward—can’t wait to welcome it to the San Francisco Bay area! And I’m enjoying reading about all its stops along the way.

  13. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    Loved covered bridges, Morgan! Pretty walk with SK.

  14. denise
    | Reply

    Lots of lovely stops! I was born in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. My mom grew up Plain. Very familiar with the Amish and other Plain People and their customs.

  15. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    You took SK to some interesting places, Karen. So jealous of that book. 😉

  16. karen
    | Reply

    I think the book is ready for some great California weather. Go West, young book!

  17. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    Neat-O, Abigail! The Rosie the Riveter museum sounds great. Love seeing your pictures. They make me homesick since I grew up near Sacto and visited the Bay Area often. 🙂

  18. Abigail
    | Reply

    The Rosie museum is really interesting–they have experiential displays that really make you feel you’re in WWII Richmond, along with some informative short films about the era’s history. If you ever get too homesick, you must come for a visit! Have to say I adore being here.

  19. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    Wow, Natalie love the gardens and fun, a Ren Faire. SK is one lucky book.

  20. Suzan Lauder
    | Reply

    The pictures are fantastic. It seems like every place either reminds me of home (small prairie town) or a place I’ve visited. And what a pile of loot so far!

  21. jmariecroft
    | Reply

    Love your photos, Natalie. But, heh, one of these things is not like the others.

  22. Abigail
    | Reply

    Ooh, Sun-Kissed getting a little hot kilt action! Be still, my beating heart!

  23. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    What a lovely garden, Linda! Great summer treat for SK.

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