Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Then Comes Winter Blog Tour - Review



I am delighted to be reviewing Then Comes Winter, edited by Christina Boyd and at such a poignant time of the year!
As some of you know, at one time, my desperate need to read JAFF, wherever and whenever possible, led me to the beauty of THE SHORT STORY, who knew a HEA could be gained so quickly.
With a mixture of new and established authors, this anthology had me excited. With limited time during the holiday season, well written short stories are great when the commitment to read a full length novel can be a struggle.  I even thought it would be fun to read each story while out and about taking snap shots of the countryside at winter, however the milder weather and lack of lay-bys in which to pull over and take pictures, put paid to that plan.
However once I began, each story created such a unique picture of  winter or the holiday season that my disappointment was soon forgotten.


Review 

The first story began with a modern take on Persuasion, with each chapter being a song on a mixtape. It was the end that had me stunned into grinning silence, all I will say is tattoo, without giving anything away. However what I will say, is that the twist is, rather than Wentworth delivering the awe inspiring speech, Anne does, well not a speech per se, but considering she’s had 200 years to say something just as awe worthy, I can say it was worth the wait.

Much to my delight but maybe not to the delight of our main heroine at first, a modern twist on Mansfield Park was up next. I thoroughly enjoyed the humour and was laughing out loud so much in the beginning that I even made myself jump, oh the joy of laughter.

Okay so I was really smiling now, a modern take on Sense and Sensibility, another Austen theme! I enjoyed this little tale, it focuses on how Marianne falls for Brandon and it really is a ‘it came on so gradually’ scenario, however our heroine has time to process how it has happened and why, which was nice to witness. The idea for this is really clever and the wit had me chuckling throughout.

I nearly lost all good sense when I turned the page to discover Darcy was up next and in the Regency era, could this get any better? Captivated instantly with the opening scene, I knew I was in for a treat and indeed I was, to witness Mr Darcy browsing in a milliners shop is always a delight to visualise. It would seem he also has excellent taste (although I never doubted it) and thanks to Georgiana I believe someone else will agree with my assessment. This story was a great beginning for a JAFF novel, so I was a little disappointed that it did not continue.  

As a fan of JAFF I could not but be pleased that the next story was a modern Northanger Abbey, it is not a story that often gets chosen for a reinterpretation. This story was sweet and reminded me of the fun and innocence of young love.  It had a wonderful feel of Northanger Abby against the back drop of 'Dirty Dancing' meets Christmas, a modern tale that I think would also appeal to younger readers.

Back to the Regency era, I was excited to meet with Elizabeth and Jane in Lambton, in a coffee house, just before Christmas, dragging Mr Darcy’s character through the mud (well Lizzy was anyway). All the while, the man in question is but a couple of tables away. Oh dear, he just heard Elizabeth declare him the last man in the world, oh the story just gets better.

Yes! Another Pride and Prejudice and a modern this time. Although I was pleased to see my favourite couple again they were not similar in character to canon. However this did not detract from the fiery love match. I really enjoyed this romantic story, if you like pizza and some witty banter then you’re in for a treat as Billy aka Darcy becomes pizza delivery boy for the evening.

The next story was more regency than it was Austen however I will not complain to see Fanny again and another play, the ‘Twelfth Night’. Although Fanny is not the love interest but Anne, Fanny’s cousin. Will she find love with a past crush or can people characters be seriously misjudged? I believe so (please refer to Elizabeth Bennet lol).

If you’re a fan of ‘You’ve got Mail’ you will hopefully enjoy this story, book store owner meets Professor who saves the day. Although the conclusion was brought together quite quickly I had to remind myself it was a short story, and a quick HEA was what I wanted.

Stranded on Christmas Eve, oh no! Stranded with a great guy, oh yes! This was a nice little story however definitely one that left you feeling there should have been more. Both characters seemed to be sketched with Darcy and Elizabeth in mind, therefore anything related to Pride and Prejudice meets with my approval.

The saying goes save the best till last, however that is a little unfair therefore I will re-word it and say my favourite featured last and the wait was worth it. Regency era, 1995 Pride and Prejudice characters and Lory’s great story telling skills, do I need to expand further? I think not but I will, we meet again at Netherfield, do you remember the dog Elizabeth played with in 1995 well it turns out it’s Darcy’s dog according to Miss Lilian, what a wonderful idea for a short story. Luckily Darcy is not in the bath this time but outside with his dog. Another lovely tale of love that had me feeling all warm and cosy inside.

I guarantee you will be satisfied with this lovely collection of short stories, cleverly edited to keep the author’s voice and ideas prominent. It was lovely to see bloggers, fans and authors coming together to bring a little Winter Happiness to book lovers and Janeites alike.

I did manage to find one spot to pull over, as you can see the English countryside is determined not to look wintery!

Book Blurb


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

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—was 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 several more promising writers. With a robust mix of contemporary and Regency musings, Next Comes Winter, rekindles passionate fires with equal wit, wonder, and romance. 

Edited by Christina Boyd

Stories by:  Beau North & Brooke West  Melanie Stanford ● Natalie Richards   Erin lopez
Sophia Rose  Anngela Schroeder  Suzan Lauder  Maureen Lee
Denise Stout  Linda Gonschior  Lory Lilian 


Then Comes Winter Blog Tour Schedule:
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 & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight


I was given an ARC copy for my honest review



13 comments:

  1. Fantastic review! Thanks for your thoughtful comments on each story (without giving anything away) and really "getting" the intent. So delighted you enjoyed this collection and thank you for your glowing endorsement!

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    1. Ha Ha glowing, i like :) thank you for the kind words, this anthology is definitely a hand bag accessory! Congrats to you and all the authors and to Meryton press.

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    1. Congrats! thanks for the story :)

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  3. I am eagerly looking forward to reading this book. Lucky you; you got to read it already!

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    1. I hope you get to read it soon, such a lovely and diverse selection :) Good luck if enter any of the giveaways along the tour.

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  4. Thank you for your thoughtful review!

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    1. You're welcome, I really loved the ending :) congrats to you and Brooke.

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  5. Ooh la la! You created a mood and not just a review, Tamara. Thanks.

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    1. Hello my lovely you know I only realised it was you who wrote the story when you commented :) to be honest I wasn't looking at the authors as such as I was engrossed in the storylines, you know how it goes :) Congrats on another short story.

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    2. Surprise! Yes, it was fun to have a story published, Tamara. And I am the same way about stories and not remembering titles or authors names afterward.

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  6. Thanks so much for your wonderful review, dear Tamara. About my story - I will keep the scene with Darcy in the bath for the summer anthology ! "evil grin".

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    1. he he! Hello My lovely I'll hold you to that! You know I will lol! Congrats! It is a lovely anthology thank you for your contribution.

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Thank you! Your comments are always welcome