Featured Author: Summer Fair (a Storypenny Charity Anthology for RAINN) #giveaway

Storypenny’s Summer Fair anthology, a fundraiser for RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) is now available in ebook and print formats. This is a great cause, folks, so please give them a little love.

There’s also a giveaway at the bottom of this post so make certain you read to the end!

Note: I am promoting this anthology because of the cause involved, because of RAINN. If there is erotic content in this anthology (which there may or may not be based on the authors involved) please know that I do not promote such content on my site. I am promoting the charity involved. (Secondary Note: I have not read this anthology.)

Included Authors: Harley Easton, Annabeth Leong, Gregory L. Norris, R.L. Merrill, CM Peters, Marie Piper, Sienna Saint-Cyr, Arden de Winter

Available at:   Amazon   Apple   Barnes & Noble   Kobo  Universal

Anthology Blurb:

Summer festivals bring the aroma of popcorn, the excitement of rides, and the promise of real-life enchantment. Seven authors bring you original love stories, each set at a different summer celebration. You’ll experience the thrill of the Chicago World’s fair through the eyes of a plucky girl reporter and the quiet desperation of a teen working a summer job at a traveling carnival. Get whisked away on romantic journeys around the world from a sweet Texas Dewberry Festival to a lantern-filled temple celebration to a surprisingly rowdy New England Founders Day. Whether it’s the magic of a Renaissance Fair, the excitement of a Theater Retreat, or the pulse of a Music Festival, you’re sure to get geared up for all things summer with this delightful new collection.

Included Stories: “Riding the Wave” by Annabeth Leong, “Amaryllis and New Lace” by Gregory L. Norris, “Salty and Sweet” by R.L. Merrill,  “Dewberry Kisses” by CM Peters, “All the World” by Marie Piper, “Carnie” by Sienna Saint-Cyr, “The Storyteller’s Side” by Harley Easton, “With Stars in His Eyes” by Arden de Winter

Excerpt (non-exclusive) from “All the World” by Marie Piper:

She decided to do something bold. “Come up in the wheel with me.”

“I’ve been up in the wheel,” but Cathleen didn’t say no. “You don’t have to buy me a ticket.”

“But I want to,” Anna said. “I want to go up there with you. The line is long. It may be the last thing I get to do today, and though I’m terrified I can’t pass up the chance to do something that is once-in-a-lifetime.”

“No, I imagine you can’t.” Wiping her face, Cathleen finished her hot dog. Anna did the same, and they returned their glasses to the Pabst booth and then got into the long line for the wheel. Children bounced in line, excited to go up but bored with waiting. Men smoked and sent the wafts of smoke across all the people in line, and more than one person looked nervous about going into the sky in the steel contraption.

Anna and Cathleen bought tickets and, by virtue of space, were shoved together as they shuffled slowly to the front.

“Mercy, but it’s high.” Anna felt as if she might be sick.

“You don’t have to do it, you know.”

“But I’ve already bought a ticket.”

“Someone’d pay you for it.”

“But I’ve come all this way and I’m here standing underneath it. Besides, what’ll I do if I don’t—go look at the Fisheries?”

She felt a warm hand take hers and nearly fainted. Cathleen had taken her hand. “Don’t be afraid. It’s fun. It really is.”

“Thank you.”

“And if it collapses and we die, at least we’ll die together.”

Anna groaned but did not take her hand away. Hand in hand, they reached the front of the line and waited with a group of thirty others for the next car to come down and to board. Cathleen pulled them to a windowed corner where they could both press against the glass.

Still, they held hands.

And when the car started to move, Anna squeezed hard from nerves without thinking. Cathleen ducked her head in and put her lips to Anna’s. It was brief, just a momentary touch, but then she whispered into Anna’s ear. “Don’t be afraid.”

Anna wasn’t. Cathleen’s lips against hers had taken away all the fear she had felt about the Ferris Wheel, and then some. With Cathleen beside her, their fingers entwined, she rode the car that rose into the air and beheld the entire fair in all directions before her. She saw the Coliseum of the Wild West show, and the balloon in the sky, and all the trains, and all the people, and all the way back to the basin where she’d first entered the fair off the Lake. The sun was just beginning to go down in the sky. Soon, it would be evening, and Anna would need to get on her way—but with the incredible views and the hand of the lovely girl in hers, and Anna’s heart swelled about to bursting. She could have wept at it all, at this perfect day.

The car started to descent.

“We get one more loop,” Cathleen said.

“I wish it was a hundred,” Anna replied, turning to her friend. “I wish we could stay here forever.” It was an honest confession.

Cathleen smiled, but sadly. With the displays below, Anna felt as if she could see all the world ahead of her. And all the world seemed so small and unimportant.


And here’s a unique take on foods from R. L. Merrill, the author of “Salty and Sweet” from the  Summer Fair anthology. (BTW, I can totally do the fries and Frosty thing)

According to this BuzzFeed post, people who dip their French fries into Wendy’s Chocolate Frostys just might be the best people on earth. If that’s the case, then my character Heather in the story “Salty and Sweet” is an immensely good person. The title of the story refers to the fact that the combination of salty and sweet is a good thing, not only in our foods we eat but also in personalities.

 There have been many attempts to pair salty and sweet snack foods, usually involving bacon and chocolate, and it certainly is an acquired taste. This article suggests things such as melon and prosciutto and eggplant and honey as being good pairings. But what’s the science behind it? Delish attempts to explain it here using taste buds and sodium sciencey stuff that is only a tad complicated, but for whatever reason, these pairings really seem to work for some people.

But what about relationships? Sometimes the best partnerships are formed with complementary amounts of salty and sweet in the couple’s character traits. Some might say it’s an opposites attract thing, but there are certain traits that combine at different levels to make a relationship work. For example, my husband and I can both be super social but also enjoy staying home. At different times in our relationship, we’ve each taken turns being the one who wants to be out and about or wants to host gatherings. Sometimes he’s the life of the party and I hang back, and other times we switch. Being flexible and able to step up for your partner is key. I tend to be more optimistic than him, but when I get “salty” about something, he’s the first one to remind me of my usual positivity. We balance each other. Can you think of a couple who exemplifies this?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue, before and/or after you get a chance to read my story in the Summer Fair Anthology. You can join my reader group on Facebook, Ro’s Roadies of Romance and share your thoughts, or you can comment on my Facebook page where I have a video posted where I demonstrate the fine art of eating French fries paired with a Chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s. Thank you for getting salty and sweet with me!

— R.L. Merrill


The authors are giving away a $75 Amazon gift card – for a chance to win, ENTER HERE via Rafflecopter.

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