Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer Blog Tour Launch Party — Featuring editor Christina Boyd & Giveaway Prize

This is a wonderful blog… Give it a whirl.. Full of interesting facts and reviews and a Thomas Hardy fan to boot!

Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

Sun-Kissed, edited by Christina Boyd (2015)It is a pleasure to welcome Austenprose reviewer Christina Boyd here today in celebration of the release of her first book, Sun-kissed, a summer-themed short story anthology. Christina has been a contributor here at Austenprose reviewing Jane Austen-inspired books for seven years. In fact, she was my first recruit to the staff in 2008. Christina has an eye for a great story and I always had a hunch that she would make a fabulous developmental editor.

In her first outing she has whipped up an intriguing summer frappuccino for us. Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer is a new anthology of eight original romantic short stories inspired by the summer season and even Jane Austen. Four of the stories are by popular Meryton Press authors, and four are selections from the short story contest they held this past winter. They are the perfect beach read: light, fun and romantic, and I…

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Getting Cheap EBooks (or How to Clog Your Kindle on a Tight Budget)

Getting Cheap EBooks (or How to Clog Your Kindle on a Tight Budget). A great way to fill up your Ereader. This is an excellent blog! I use all the sites to get books including subscribing to Kindle Unlimited which you can borrow up to ten books at a times and you can do that twenty times a day or more if you wish! It’s a great way to get a lot of reading done… You don’t keep the books but you get to read lots! I will tell you that you fill up your kindle or Ereader super fast with all theses sites but it’s well worth using them!

Oh Boy….

I have been reading non stop, but I have neglected to write my reviews mostly because I am trying to get the house sorted in order to put it on the market and move a bit further north west. I live in a really nice house but I am not pleased with its location… I love gardening and being outside in the summer sitting in the shade with a cool drink and a good book…. Can’t do that here as it’s just too noisy from traffic noise! 

Anyhow, I have read about thirty and I am not kidding but thirty books since last dinner and a book review so I am going to try to get them all out… Here is a pic of my iPad…. My kindle which has 576 books on it has started to act up so now I’m using my iPad much more for reading.


As you can see…. There’s one page and here we are now…. 


Also I might add that the storage on my iPad is starting to get cranky lol… They are all read and finished either on here on on my phone or kindle…. I’m starting to think I need help! 

There have been some brilliant giveaways that I have entered and consequently received a books to my delight, I just love the fact that the authors do this! I have entered into a community of Janites and Austen lovers to which I never really knew existed as intensely as my love of Austen!  I am truly humbled by it all but am totally loving all the new friends I’ve met through Facebook and blogs! So, let me finish this new book I received from my new friend Rose Fairbanks yesterday called:  No Cause to Respine and paired with a dinner recipe I will review it soon. 

Dinner time and my book review!


Ahhhhh March goes out with a blustery day and here we are with lovely April! Enjoy the month everyone, it promises to come to us for 30 days, so live life to your potential and dream on! Go for it!

Dinner was a curry made with Lamb and Barahat! My parents lived in Dubai for almost 25 years and I have been a curry food lover since I was a teen! This curry is a recipe from Bahrain and I recently had it in England while I was visiting my father.

Here’s the recipe!

  • 1-11/2lbs of  lean lamb cubed. ( left overs ok to use also)
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of  Baharat spice mix
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (liquid included)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup of basmati rice




1 cup of water

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro 



Baharat, Arabic for “spice”, is a popular spice blend found in Arab cuisine.  Ingredients can vary, but it typically includes black pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg.  An intensely flavorful spice blend, Baharat can liven up any dish.  It is commonly used as a rub for lamb, chicken, beef and fish and can be combined with olive oil and lemon juice for a delicious marinade.  It is also used in soups and sauces.

  1. In a large, wide pan, dry-fry the minced lamb with garlic and onion until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the Baharat spice mix and cook for 1 minute. Add the can of tomatoes,  cinnamon sticks and simmer covered for twenty minutes. 
  3.  Season with salt and pepper add cilantro and add water, rice and simmer for another twenty minutes covered.

Remove cinnamon sticks and serve.  Serve with a cold beer and warm nann bread.

My book review: 

I am a very open minded individual and embrace life excepting of all its foibles and intricacies and this book touched on a few. Historically in many countries which were considered as the most cultured and civilized, the families particularly the Royals stuck together and kept close. It took me a while to get my head around this book. I can say that I took a guess at what would be the outcome to the conundrum with regards to Elizabeth’s relatives was going to turn out to be and I was happy to be correct.

The story is told from Elizabeth’s perspective. It seems to me that had I, myself, been told the same revealing tale that Elizabeth was told by Lady Catherine, I certainly would have turned off all thoughts of marriage particularly to Darcy. Alas, as the story progressed the mysterious and life changing events for Elizabeth  and Darcy surpassed my expectations and kept me reading right through to the end. I started this book yesterday morning and finished it at dinner time! It was that engrossing!

To quote a fellow blogger, ” Lady Catherine de Bourgh is definitely pissed off not to marry her daughter to her nephew, but let’s face it, that’s probably a good thing for the gene pool and it puts her daughter into play for so many adaptations.” (From What’s Not in Jane Austen by Jennifer Petkus, March 31, 2015 Jennifer) However in this adaptation Lady Catherine takes her nastiness to the next level. 

This book will keep you engrossed and it is worth a read. The dialogue is very good and it is well paced. I had no issues with the story changing to the third person and back to Elizabeth’s telling. It seemed to flow quite well through the transitions. 

I give it 📗📗📗📗out of five. 

March 15 Dinner and a book!

I was on Facebook checking on some of the groups that I belong to and I came across an author who wished to find volunteers to read and write a review on her newly published book.  I thought that it sounded very intriguing and I wanted to give it a whirl.  I gave her my name and she gave me the honour of reading her book and I will write a review about it along with dinner.  The interesting thing about this book is that it actually included recipes in it which I thought was great! I have read many other books before that have included recipes in them and have actually made several of the recipes as they usually sound delicious. I like cooking as you know!

I read a review by another acquaintance I have recently friended on Facebook and she made some of the cookies from one of the recipes at the end of the book. I think she is very much like me and likes to read and cook like I do.

One of the recipes in the book is Strawberry Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans which is one of my favourites because it’s so simple to make! When I was in the UK in January visiting my father I made him this as he had not eaten strawberries in his salad before…he loved it!

Strawberry Salad (and for the go with a med raw Barbequed Steak)

  • 6 oz baby spinach leaves (Sometimes I make it with baby romaine lettuce)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup crumbled  feta cheese
  • 1/8 of a cup of diced red onion cut very small (the tangy onion pairs well with the sweet strawberries)
  • balsamic vinaigrette (I use Renee’s dressing for this salad, oh and Panera,s Raspberry dressing is great with this also)
  • I sometimes make my own candied pecans or buy ones already sweet in a package….I found them in the supermarket in Niagara Falls USA as I live on the Canadian side and I shop over there often!


Put that salad with a juicy BBQ steak medium-raw that my husband barbequed outside on the grill as it was a balmy 8 degrees Celsius outside…Spring is coming… I swear!…Nevertheless my husband loves to BBQ and will do it even at at 20 below!


To drink, a beer each! This sounds like a summer meal…which we eat often when the days are warm and hazy….but it felt like spring outside and I just wanted the head start! (next week I swear it will drop down to -10 just in spite of my optimism)

So, back to my review, I was reading a book called Green Card by Elizabeth Adams.  I finished it just as my husband had finished the steaks.


I felt myself in a very romantic mood after I had read Green Card and quickly sought out another romance book to read last night in bed which I will no doubt review on here later. But that said,it just goes to show that the book left me in a remarkably cheery mood as well as hungry and I did get inspired by the recipes.  I made my dinner with the book in mind.

The romance story in this book is rather common but the way that Elizabeth Adams writes it makes it quite unique.  It doesn’t follow the same sort of plot lines that other romance stories do with a marriage of convenience, something epic happening to one person, they run off etc., (because they are not going to tell each other their feelings scenario) or its  followed by the fly across the planet and shout undying love format……no this book doesn’t do that.  The main characters, Kate and Will do get married in order for Will to keep his company in the US and get his green card; however the book focuses on these two characters getting to know each other in every instance.

We are immersed right into their relationship and all the things that most people have to deal with in their daily lives from their family relationships, tensions, to their friends and figuring out all those personal boundaries. Their marriage is to be a short contract and they will try to both honour it, but the contract is over after two years when Will receives his green card. They have a great deal of time to figure each other out….like an arranged marriage (are they good or bad?). They fight, they laugh, they are leaning on each other for support, all the while their relationship moves toward a true partnership with true understanding. They come to care and gain a true love of each other.


As always, I will tell you if there are any negatives….with the story itself, no I really enjoyed it.  With some of the smaller secondary characters, there were some stories lines that just went too long I thought.  Also,I did find some spelling errors ex: new was written instead of knew and other similar type errors,  This book is a delight to read and it will keep your romance lingering mood looking for more to read!

In my view this book gets 4 books out of 5  closed-book-clip-art-9izxdG9iE closed-book-clip-art-9izxdG9iEclosed-book-clip-art-9izxdG9iEclosed-book-clip-art-9izxdG9iE

Today’s book and meal! 

I made Green Chicken Thai Curry. It was so yummy and very easy to make! The recipe is from this book:

And the recipe is :


Today’s book  I’m reading is called

This is the fifth book in the series which involves Elizabeth Bennet and Mr.Darcy. In this series we meet new Darcy relatives that live in America.  What’s fascinating about this book series is that they take place in the first person, who in this case is Elizabeth Bennet. It is multifaceted with many little stories entwined with new characters in the Bingley, Bennet and Darcy families. As well,  the wonderful original characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice are reworked into this warm heart filled tale.  The other books in the series are:  (They are best read in order.)

📚Girl finds Eternity

📚Girl finds Fortune

📚Girl finds Destiny

📚Girl finds Peace

📚Girl finds Resolve

📚Girl finds Hope

I love the quirkiness of the the writer talking to the reader every so often. For example:

(Excerpt from Girl finds Resolve by C.M.Mitchell)

The only issue I have with these books is the editing… I have come across many mistakes with the vocabulary as well as typos in these books which are available on,  .uk and .ca. They are also available on Kindle unlimited at the moment.

📚I give this series 📕📗📘 out of five.

Hello Readers,

I am an avid book reader who loves to read everything… but particularly I have a keen fondness for Jane Austen. I read Pride and Prejudice variations as a hobby as well, ELizabeth  Gaskell and Thomas Hardy….however I do like mysteries both contemporary and old as well as Romance, Erotica and History. I also like autobiographies which just about covers most genres, oh and I love cookery books, not that I’m a gourmet cook, far from it but I try!

I am going to post books I’ve read often with a short review and what I feel about them… I am also not adverse to negative reviews because I feel sometimes being critical can help the writer to write better or readers not to waste their hard earned money on a book!