Here is a new lovely collection to celebrate the festive season with great reads and the right mood. I posted about a writing contest back in June and maybe among the winners there may be one who entered it through FLY HIGH! and is now among the debuting authors published in "Then Comes Winter"! I'm really glad for all of them on their achievement. Congratulations and to greater success! The blog tour to promote this new Meryton Press anthology starts right out from our blog, here and today. To open it, a lovely guest post by the editor of the collection, Christina Boyd. Enjoy and don't miss the chance to win your copy (to enter the giveaway use the rafflecopter form below this post - the contest is open internationally)


Thank you so much for kicking off the Then Comes Winter blog tour at your gorgeous site, FLY HIGH! I have been a facebook fan since the autumn of 2011 so I am especially thrilled to be here.

Christina Boyd
It all started as an idea for one anthology and then someone at Merton Press suggested a summer theme anthology and then someone else suggested maybe a holiday collection. Or vice versa. I do not recall which was first. Eventually, I signed on to edit the summer anthology as 1) the editing would begin late winter and release early summer since 2) editing and promotion for a holiday anthology would be in full-swing during autumn and that is my busiest time of the year with my pottery business for holiday purchase orders, and 3) anyone that knows me, knows that winter is my third, if not fourth favorite season. So, yes the sensible choice for me would be to edit the summer anthology. Long story made short (no pun intended), after months of wrangling an amazing group of authors from many different time zones, June 1, 2015, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer was born. Sometime in those heady, early days of publication, the publisher at Meryton Press announced the editor who had originally been slated to edit the holiday anthology had a conflicting commitment, and asked if any of the Meryton Press’s editors were interested. I was still on a publishing high, much like after child birth when you hold your baby for the first time and you have forgotten all about the agony and are all about the hope. Of course, I raised my hand. After all, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck

Like the Sun-kissed anthology (left), this winter/holiday anthology was comprised of short stories from contracted Meryton Press authors but also submissions from any writer—previously published or not—in a two-tier judging process. There was a team of volunteer judges (bloggers, reviewers, great readers, and writers) who read and rated the numerous contest submissions. Their first impressions were invaluable in narrowing down the submissions to eight. Then another set of judges read and scored the stories to cull the submissions again. Unlike Sun-kissed, however, the publisher included all of the eight top submissions to add to the initial four Meryton Press authors’ anchor stories. Our first place winner is Natalie Richards for her modern story, “A Man Whom I Can Really Love.” 

Natalie was also published in Sun-kissed. Our 1st runner-up was the modern story “Becoming Fanny” by Melanie Stanford. In the end, we published eleven of those stories: four Regency romances including three inspired by Pride and Prejudice, one modern Northanger Abbey, one Sense and Sensibility-inspired modern story, one modern story inspired by Fanny Price of Mansfield Park, three modern Pride and Prejudice-inspired stories, and one modern retelling inspired by Persuasion.
All of the short stories are prefaced by a quote from a famous person to set the tone for the short story and hopefully make a cohesive collection. In looking for fitting quotes, I came across a line from an obscure mid-20th century American poet, Gertrude Tooley Buckingham. “Then comes Winter, with bluster and snow, that brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…” and it struck a chord with me as I had been reading short stories filled with glowing cheeks from romantic interludes and, or the winter chill…and all it took was a few interested colleagues to like it and we had a title!

A book is rarely the consequence of a single person. Therefore, this editor would be remiss to not acknowledge a number of gifted and generous folks who supported this project from its inception: Michele Reed, publisher of Meryton Press for underwriting this project; Ellen Pickels, editor/proofer/art director extraordinaire; our ever talented cover designer Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou; and marketing lead, Jakki Leatherberry. Thank you to the brilliant authors who were such pros to work with: Lory Lilian, Linda Gonschior, Suzan Lauder, Beau North, Brooke West, Natalie Richards, Melanie Stanford, Maureen Lee, Sophia Rose, Denise Stout, Erin Lopez, and Anngela Schroeder. It’s not easy to submit a story, only to have initial edits returned and marked up in a blood bath of red with entire paragraphs slashed or with suggested re-writes. I have found only the most courageous professional can humbly accept, smartly defend, and trust that this editor has their best interest at heart. I am grateful for their confidence and dedication to the craft and commitment to get this done right.

I am proud to present this collection and have my name on the cover. Not only did I enjoy working with all the authors but I made a few new friends along the way. Each has a wonderful story, not only here in this anthology, but as well as in their remarkable lives. I feel blessed to have been a part of the process. I hope everyone who reads Then Comes Winter is uplifted and can find even a moments escape from the troubles of the day—and fill their heart with the Spirit of the season. Bob Hope says it so well, “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we wait for Christmas to do that?” Cheers! 

Christina Boyd

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. On Twitter @xtnaboyd.

About the book

Then Comes Winter holiday anthology blog tour     

Edited by Christina Boyd

Authors:  Beau North & Brooke West, Melanie Stanford, Natalie Richards, Erin Lopez, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Suzan Lauder, Maureen Lenker, Denise Stout, Linda Gonschior and Lory Lilian

“Then comes Winter with bluster and snow,
that brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…” Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

If you long for a toasty snuggle on a cold winter’s night, this compilation of original short stories inspired by the magic of the holiday season—and more than a nod to Jane Austen—is fancied as a sublime wintertime treat. On the heels of the summer anthology, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer, and in concert with some of Meryton Press’s most popular authors, this romantic anthology introduces more promising writers. With a robust mix of contemporary and Regency musings, Then Comes Winter rekindles passionate fires with equal wonder, wit, and romance. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour step by step

11/30: Guest Post & Giveaway at FLY HIGH
12/1: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
12/2: Character Interview & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
12/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Jennifer Vido
12/4: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
12/5: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
12/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Delighted Reader
12/7: Review at Just Jane 1813
12/8: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
12/10: Review at From Pemberley to Milton
12/11: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
12/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
12/13: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
12/14: Author/Character Interview & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
12/15: Author Feature at Songs and Stories
12/16: Author Feature & Giveaway at Tome Tender
12/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Chick Lit Plus
12/17: Author Feature at Skipping Midnight


Christina Boyd said...

Thank you so much for hosting this stop! It's been a great tour and appreciate all the support for the authors and their stories. Happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

What a great blog post! Thanks for being such a great editor, Christina. I loved working with you and I hope we will have a chance to work together again in the future.

Christina Boyd said...

I would work with you again anytime, Erin! Thank you.