Dec 282015
 

The Comes WinterCuddle Under a Blanket and Be Charmed by This Cozy Collection!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

The wonderful people at Meryton Press have released another stellar compilation of romantic and Austen-inspired short stories, this time highlighting the holiday and winter season. I loved their first anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and was eagerly anticipating their newest release. Like Lady C, I desire to β€œhave my say” about each story and author, so you will find a brief breakdown below! πŸ˜‰

HOLIDAY MIX TAPE – Beau North and Brooke West

Type of Story: Persuasion Retelling (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: I love how the story alternated between present-day and flashbacks to Anne’s and Eric’s romance years ago, and that Anne wrote a novel about them that revealed her heart to Eric. David Wentworth and Anne’s hobby of deejaying were also great touches.

BECOMING FANNY – Melanie Stanford

Type of Story: Mansfield Park Inspired (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: I love the positive spotlight on Fanny Price and her admirable qualities. I thought the quiz motif was perfect and Blair’s reaction to her results and analyzation of herself and Fanny as a character profound and perceptive!

A MAN WHOM I CAN REALLY LOVE – Natalie Richards*

Type of Story: Sense and Sensibility Inspired (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: I thought this was a brilliant update, I loved that it was all about Marianne and Brandon. I thought it was so illuminating to see Marianne’s thoughts while in a coma and Brandon’s understated revelations about his feelings captured my heart.

THE UNEXPECTED GIFT – Erin Lopez

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation (Regency)

My Thoughts: I loved how Georgiana shrewdly deduced her brother’s heart and took action to bring him some happiness. Seeing how the Bennet family reacted to an unexpected gift was quite humorous. I do wish this story was a little bit longer though.

NORTH FOR THE NEW YEAR – Sophia Rose

Type of Story: Northanger Abbey Retelling (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: I love the setting of Tahoe in December and seeing all the winter activities that one can enjoy there! Chris was ΓΌber swoon-worthy *sigh*, and I thought the added conflict between Elly and Bella a nice development.

WINTER’S AWAKENING – Anngela Schroeder

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation (Regency)

My Thoughts: I love how the premise placed all the key players unexpectedly in Derbsyhire for Christmas. Loved seeing Darcy frustrated with himself, then unexpectedly candid, and later dashingly come to the rescue.

DELIVERY BOY – Suzan Lauder*

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Inspired (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: Not exactly a retelling, Ms. Lauder plays up the mistaken first impression brilliantly in this story. Witnessing the truth unravel was so entertaining, and the attraction between Billy and Elizabeth was extremely palpable. I was riveted!

THE FOOD OF LOVE – Maureen Lee*

Type of Story: Austen-Inspired Original (Regency)

My Thoughts: I loved how this story had an all original cast that I immediately found interesting and endearing. There are a lot of different Austenesque flavors swirling around in this one and the mixture was delightful and well-crafted.

CHRISTMAS MIRACLE ON OYSTER BAY – Denise Stout*

Type of Story: Austen-Inspired Original (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: I love that this story took place in a bookstore and with an original cast. I immediately found our heroine, Lissa, to likable and admirable. The events at the store were enchanting, and I loved the awkward and unexpected romance between Lissa and Simon.

THE CLOCK DOESN’T LIE – Linda Gonschior

Type of Story: Austen-Inspired Original (Contemporary)

My Thoughts: Original characters/loosely-based on Lizzy and Darcy. Loved the setting and the air of mystery that surrounded this lone stranger in a diner during a blizzard. Danielle was adorable and I enjoyed the sweet concern she had for Chris. This story felt like it ended too soon though.

A PERFECT CHOICE – Lory Lilian

Type of Story: Pride and Prejudice Variation (Regency)

My Thoughts: Blackie, Mr. Darcy’s dog effects quite a new course! I loved seeing Darcy get a kick in the pants, lose his resolve, and come to new understandings about marriage, hist duty, and Elizabeth. Loved his frank conversation with Mr. Bennet too.

CONCLUSION:

Congrats to the talented team at Meryton Press for such a splendid second seasonal anthology! I thought the progression of stories, the balance between contemporary and Regency, and the diversity of P&P, non P&P, and original stories to be, in a word…perfect! The blend of all these heart-warming works of short prose was harmonious, sweet, and flavorful. Please say there will be more anthologies in the future, MP!

*Happy to say I loved every story, but these ones are my most favorite!

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  22 Responses to “Then Comes Winter – Edited by Christina Boyd”

  1.  

    Just lovely Meredith. I bought this book in November while the authors were doing live question and answer posts. I really enjoyed that and loved the book. My favourite story was the last one by Lory Lilian. Can’t wait for your next review thank you.

    •  

      Thank you, Glynis! I know my review is a bit lengthy, but I really loved talking about each individual story! Great choice on your favorite! The whole collection is fabulous, isn’t it?

  2.  

    Yes, this was a lovely read and perfect for the season. Great review, Meredith. There were several that I was wishing were longer or even made into books. Delivery Boy was one of those. And the Clock Doesn’t Lie left me with many questions – could have enjoyed expansion on that one. But enjoyed all the stories.

    •  

      Thank you, Sheila! I would love to see Delivery Boy turned into a longer work too! I agree with you about the unanswered questions in And the Clock Doesn’t Lie – it was a very intriguing situation! Glad you enjoyed all the stories!

  3.  

    I’m so looking forward to reading this new collection! Short story writing is in some ways more challenging than novella or novel writing, and it’s great to see so many skilled practitioners of the art!

    •  

      I can imagine it being hard to condense – a lot of lopping and cropping! πŸ˜‰ There are so many skilled writers at this form of short prose! Greatly enjoying meeting new authors through these works too!

  4.  

    I am thrilled you enjoyed our collection of winter/holiday short stories. Thrilled! And relieved. Your endorsement is invaluable–and support of the anthology and authors so appreciated. Thank you.

    About future anthologies… Well, I did pitch an idea to the publisher recently…

    •  

      Thank you and well done, Christina! You make me feel like a harsh critic when you say you are relieved! πŸ˜‰ lol. Keeping my fingers crossed! There is so much talent in these works, its great to have it all together!

  5.  

    So looking forward to reading this even more so after your review Meredith

    •  

      Great! Hope you get the chance to do so soon my friend! It is quite funny that it is a winter anthology and here in NC we have been having unseasonably (almost summer) warm temps these last 3 weeks!

  6.  

    Glad you liked it, Meredith! Appreciate that you read it and took the time to do mini-thoughts on each.

    Happy New Year!

    •  

      Thank you, Sophia! I love that you wrote about NA! I’m so excited to see more of your writing! I hope you will write more in the future! Wishing you a very happy New Year!

      •  

        Since “Sun-kissed” I’ve been urging her to write a full length novel. Sophia is a talented storyteller. (Taps foot impatiently)

  7.  

    Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Denise

  8.  

    Sounds like a lovely read. The first story would be the one I would read first as I love love love Persuasion. Even though I read P&P first as soon as I read about Anne and Captain F Wentworth that was it for me. Happy New Year to all!!

  9.  

    Thank you for such a detailed and thoughtful review, Meredith! I’m so glad you liked it!

  10.  

    Yay! So glad you loved this anthology! I can’t wait for my copy to arrive! πŸ™‚

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