Monday, December 1, 2014

REVIEW: 2014 Summer Anthology (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: 2014 Summer Anthology
Author:  Various
Series: Romance Anthologies
Pages: 196
Date Published: June 4th, 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Format: eBook
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Five complete sweet to sensual stories from five multi-talented authors in settings to make any summer occasion more special. Included are:

Meet Me In Seattle by Markee Anderson
 Madysen Duke has been coerced to participate in a reality show with her teacher friends. But little does she know, her high school flame is also along for the ride, with intentions much different from hers. Even though she's out for the money, he's trying to thwart whatever crime is happening right before their eyes.

Arrow Through The Heart by Stephanie Burkhart
 Summer vacation and the Fourth of July brings Ella to New Hampshire while participating in a tennis competition. Logan is an innkeeper's son who bumps into Ella and invites her for an ice cream. Attraction flares and they enjoy spending time together, but each has their own plans for their life. Then disaster strikes Ella. Can a summer attraction truly become a lasting relationship?

Taking Liberty by Gerald Costlow
 Liberty "Libby" Bell is a waitress at a roadside diner, trying to hide from an abusive ex-boyfriend who refuses to leave her alone. She strikes up a romance with Roger, a hunky local fireman, and seems to be getting her life back into gear. Then her ex-boyfriend tracks her down.

Will she be forced to leave Roger and run away again, or see the ex- boyfriend and risk a violent confrontation?

And if that isn't enough to handle, suddenly there's a serial killer in their midst.

Marcy’s Struggle by Larry Hammersley
 Marcy Mason is in her final year of graduate school, pursuing a PhD in chemistry. She has brains and looks, but struggles in the romance department. She met Ross Franklin in undergraduate school when she was a senior; he was a freshman and second-string quarterback. Her problem – she was hung up on Leroy Doyle at the time.

Leroy is married and moved away, but Ross, now star quarterback, isn't convinced she’s over Leroy. When Leroy arrives on campus to give a lecture, Marcy must make all the arrangements. After contact with Leroy, Marcy admits to what she’s known all along—she’s over Leroy and wants Ross in her life. Can she convince Ross to look past their different backgrounds and give love a chance?

The Garden by Jory Sherman
 Summer brings forth fresh vegetables in the garden and with them, the ultimate fight against insects and wild critters to protect those vegetables. Harvey enjoys his garden, especially the corn – watching it grow, providing food for his beloved wife Ruth. Then, something unusual happens in the garden and his corn begins to disappear.
~My Thoughts~
Meet Me In Seattle
This was hilarious and such an original idea! Madysen (ack...weird name spelling...) has been tricked into participating in a romantic reality show with some of her coworkers. Along for the ride is a very hunky hottie from her past, one that makes her forget her past pain...but might just be in the market to cause her some brand new kinds of suffering. This was a fun story, though strangely a bit dated. For instance, I doubt anyone in their twenties would say, "puffing up her bouffant" anymore... however it was light, funny, and romantic read as well as a bit mysterious so a very fun time!

Arrow Through The Heart
Stephanie Burkhart has been on my radar for a while now. She's got such a unique style of writing that once you know it, you would be able to pick any of her books out of a lineup. Ella was a nice character that you could really get behind. Too often, heroines fall into either the super bitchy or the clutzy clueless category which really grates on my nerves. Ella is none of these things, and although something horrible happens to her, she is able to be strong and push her way through it. I enjoyed her and Logan's chemistry immensely.

Taking Liberty 
Probably my least favorite of the bunch, but that's because Libby rubbed me the wrong way. Although she grew on me as the story went along, there wasn't really enough time for me to come out of it liking her. The addition of a serial killer plotline to this Enough/Sleeping With The Enemy story was different and made it stand out in an otherwise rather overdone plotline. An okay read, nothing terrible, but not my favorite.

Marcy's Struggle
Ahh college romances! A sweet sweet time full of alcohol and confusion! Marcy was a fun character and though she did hem and haw a bit, she was strong and knew what she wanted and was a driving force in getting it for herself. I actually really liked this story and it may be my favorite of the lot! Not really sure though...they all had their good points! Just the name Leroy makes me think of a loser so I'm glad she didn't fall back into his arms. Ross was SO much more the better catch anyways!!!

The Garden
The Garden was...odd...and not quite what I was expecting. It was cute and whimsical in a way, but also a bit confusing. I was engaged in the storyline simply because I didn't expect it or know where it was going, which was very cool.

Overall this collection is simple, romantic, flirty, and fun. You aren't going to break your brain on any of these reads, but you are going to have an enjoyable time out of it. There are cute and dashing heroes, heroines that range from whiny to whimsical, and just a general sweet atmosphere that makes you believe that true love might exist. Definitely give the Anthology a try so that you can get a feel for some new romance authors and go away happy at the end! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
From Meet Me in Seattle:

Madysen sighed and picked up more books. "How much is this going to cost me?"

"Nothing. You could even make money doing this. It'll only take a week of our time and voila, instant rich women." Iris threw her hands into the air and laughed, showing off her dimples.

Madysen wished she had dimples and that her skin was as smooth and pink as Iris' skin. With Iris' wild red hair, the woman actually glowed all the time. But instead, Madysen had to settle for her long wavy brunette hair and freckled skin. She wasn't ugly, but bright green eyes seemed to turn the men away for some reason. Or maybe it was her rail-thin figure. Or maybe Mac had dumped her for that college co-ed for some other reason. It certainly wasn't for the young girl's brains.

Madysen had to stick to the conversation instead of dwelling in the past. "Who else will be there tonight?"

"Just the Cast-Off Club. And maybe my brother."

Madysen rolled her eyes. "You aren't going to try to fix me up with Quentin again, are you?"

"Ah, come on," Iris said, and nudged Madysen with her elbow. "He's fun and employed. What else could you ask for?"
~All the Authors!~ 
Markee Anderson makes her home in northeast Wisconsin, surrounded by Packer fans, snow, and cheese. Along with her husband, they have three adult children and two Boston terrier babies. She writes under different pen names, all at: Come visit her at:

Stephanie Burkhart was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, she joined the U.S. Army. She spent eleven years in the military, seven stationed in Germany. She left the Army in 1997 and settled in California. Stephanie has been married for over twenty years and has two boys, Andrew and Joseph. She now works for LAPD as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. Come visit her at:

Gerald Costlow lives in Michigan and has published several novels and numerous short stories and novellas over the years. He's currently publishing a romantic-supernatural series with Publishing by Rebecca Vickery.

 Larry Hammersley is 76 and has been married to Sue for 51 years. He has two children and five grandchildren. Larry enjoys jogging, amateur radio, occasional woodworking, and is active in his church. He's been writing for 39 years. Come visit his blog at:

Jory Sherman began his literary career as a poet in San Francisco's famed North Beach in the late 1950s, during the heyday of the Beat Generation. He has been published widely in literary journals. His first book of poetry, So Many Rooms, was published by Galley Sail Press in 1959. 

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  1. Originals ideas are always welcome. Helpful review thank you.

  2. Thank you so much for having us here today. It's always a pleasure to visit. I'm so glad you enjoyed the the anthology. 4th of July is one of my favorite summer holidays. I always try to take vacation around it. Stick me near water and throw in a little fireworks and I always have fun. Does anyone else take a summer vacation? Where do you like to go?

    Steph Burkhart
    Romance Under the Moonlight.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your reviews of the stories in this anthology. It's nice to see such a mix of stories and styles together in one collection.

  4. Thanks for the reviews of all the stories. :-)