Hello Delighted Readers! Today I’m welcoming special guest, author KaraLynne Mackrory, to our blog to help introduce us to herself and her latest release that’s part of a fun, summer-themed short story anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer.
The weather has finally started to cooperate here in Southeast Michigan so I thought for our chat we’d sit out on the screen-in porch where it’s shaded and the bugs won’t get to us. I made my first batch of lemonade for the year and set out strawberry biscuits so hopefully she’s a fan.
Ah, KaraLynne! Glad you could make it. Hope you had no trouble finding your way here to our small little place off the beaten path. Care for some lemonade and dessert?
Oh yes, get cozy there, and tell us a bit about the new book. It has a theme, right?
The great thing about this book is that every story in it can be easily imagined by the reader. Its summer, the weather is nice (or should be) and each story in this anthology is set in the same season. There are modern short romances and regency ones, Jane Austen inspired and not. There is simply something for every reader.
And what inspired your own story in the anthology?
My story has a little bit of a surprise at the end that I cannot reveal so the readers will just have to read it to find out what it is. It was the humorous idea of that twist at the end that inspired me to write the short story. My short is a Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice inspired one set in Regency times. So I also loved the idea of trapping Darcy and Elizabeth together in a room. When I used to fight with my siblings my parents used to make us hug until we worked it out. The idea was sort of along these lines – trap them until they learn to get a long…and maybe a little more.
Ooooh, now I’m dying to know about the surprise at the end….
These are short stories and it makes me curious. Other than the short story takes up less time, how was the experience of writing a short story compared to a novel-length story?
Oh sheesh! In some ways short stories are way easier and other ways they are more challenging. In a novel you naturally develop the characters as they go, bringing the reader on the journey of their emotions and growth. The pace is easier to believe because it spans the entire novel. In a short story you have the make the HEA happen quicker and yet not seem rushed either. People have to believe the characters really did fall in love so quickly. Add to this that you have to make sure that love is felt just as strongly by the reader so that they too can appreciate it’s authenticity.
You nailed it for me with that answer. That’s exactly what I need from a short story.
Were any of the characters particularly difficult or cause you some amusement?
Not really. By this time Darcy and Elizabeth are old friends in my addled mind. They usually speak for themselves when I create scenes for them and often surprise me with their actions.
And yes, another author confirms that the people in her are real and talk just as they do to us readers. Haha!
Do you have a personal memorable moment in your story?
At one point Darcy and Elizabeth having just been locked together in the room are speaking through the door to Elizabeth’s uncle. They can both hear the concern in his voice that they are stuck there together and alone. Their embarrassment is funny to me (and me, too) because I imagine I would feel the same way. Elizabeth’s uncle is just trying to protect her but the reason for his concern is naturally the insinuation that anything improper might happen behind those doors. Both characters trapped, unbeknownst to the other at this time wouldn’t mind a little impropriety and their blushes add humor to this.
After talking about a book with such a theme, it makes me wonder about your own preferences. Are you a beach person or would your ideal vacation/holiday be to somewhere else?
I don’t know if I will make any sense here but I will try. My ideal vacation would be somewhere hot but not too sunny (I am fair skinned and don’t tan well), someplace pretty like the beach but without sand (Okay, now I sound like a grumpy old lady), and someplace to do fun things with my family (but with resources to leave them occasionally to be just with my hubby).
Nope, I get what you’re saying. My mom has specifications like that from her need for skin protection right down to the need to keep from getting too grubby.
Summer vacation is always an adventure for my crew. I don’t think we’ve ever had a trip go by without an odd incident or a catastrophe taking place (and yet we intrepidly leave out on our family adventures). Had any crazy summer vacation incidents before?
Once while my husband and I travelled one summer in England for our anniversary we were caught in a pretty wild rain storm on the coast of England in Lyme Regis. The wind was so crazy that you could not walk 10 feet without getting drenched. Yet the air was relatively warm so it was almost pleasant too. We wanted to see the shops but could hardly go anywhere in that weather. It was so fun and spontaneous. We ran through the streets until we could find a store and by some Wellies (rain boots) and some rain gear. One of my favorite memories.
If I got my chance to see England, I don’t think I’d let rain stop me from seeing sights either, Karalynne! Stomp into those Wellies and Tallyho!
And with that, I’ll wrap up with one final question as I wrap up some of this strawberry dessert for you take with you. What’s up next for author KaraLynne Mackrory?
I am currently editing my next novel that will hopefully also be released this summer. It is called Forever Yours, Darcy. As you might guess from the title, the book involves some letter writing. The premise is this: Darcy has written Elizabeth secret letters since the beginning of his acquaintance with her. They are his way of releasing the tension associated with falling in love with a woman he doesn’t feel is his equal at first, and later, after the proposal – doesn’t feel is his equal yet again only in a different way. There is a lot of angst in this one, more than I have in my other books since it starts post proposal at Hundsford. What the reader will have to find out is if Elizabeth or someone else learns of and reads the letters. And which would be worse?
Oh now that does have some appeal especially if those letters did find their way into certain hands.
Thanks for stopping by, KaraLynne. We’re delighted to have you visit.
Giveaway Time: Hi Readers!
KaraLynne brought an e-book copy of Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and it will go to one of our readers. This is an international giveaway and will be for one commenter randomly chosen between now and July 5th. Comments may discuss the interview, offer congrats to KaraLynne on her latest book release, or talk about your own favorite summer getaway.
“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.
KaraLynne Mackrory ● Karen M. Cox ● Linda Beutler ● J. Marie Croft
Abigail Bok ● Natalie Richards ● Sophia Rose ● Morgan K Wyatt
BIOS for Sunkissed: Effusions of Summer
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 true.
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.