GUEST POST – Summer Fair – Charity Anthology – #Excerpt #Giveaway

There’s a new queer romance anthology out that benefits RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) – Summer Fair. Please join me in celebrating the upcoming release of Summer Fair. One of the authors, R.L. Merrill, has stopped by today to tell us about how music inspires her writing!

Summer Fair – A Charity Anthology by Various Authors

Authors: Harley Easton, Annabeth Leong, Gregory L. Norris, R.L. Merrill, CM Peters, Marie Piper, Sienna Saint-Cyr, Arden de Winter
Series: The StoryPenners Anthologies for Charity (book 3)
Publisher: The StoryPenners
Release Date: Tuesday, August 21 2018
Length: Novella 20k-50k / 167 pages print / 8 stories at 9k max each.
Cover Artist: Aleisha Knight Evans Photography & Design
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Contemporary (most are) and fantasy.
Pairings: f/f, m/m, m/f and poly m/m/f
Tropes: May/December, Interracial, Multicultural,
Keywords/Categories: gay, lesbian, poly/bi, trans

QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

About the Anthology

COVER - Summer Fair - 350Summer 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.

Note: Most stories are fantasy, but this anthology also includes historical, paranormal and contemporary works.


  • 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


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.

Summer Fair meme

☆ Guest Post ☆

R.L. Merrill

Music is my biggest inspiration for the stories I write, followed closely by the experiences I’ve had and those of people close to me. I’d love to share my playlist for Salty and Sweet, my Contemporary f/f contribution to this anthology. In my story, Heather Wright needs university credits to clear her California Teaching Credential and decides to join a summer theater program at the university. The first day of the program she manages to irritate her shop instructor Naomi Oliver, and develop a huge crush on the woman. While writing the story I listened to the soundtrack for Kiss Me, Kate, the film version, and I absolutely fell in love with Janelle Monae. Her quirky, soulful sound and meaningful lyrics just felt right for the sound of the story. I also read an in-depth interview with her about her decision to come out as pansexual. Her story really resonated with me. Throw in some Janis Joplin and Storm Large, because Heather has that strong, powerful personality, and this playlist felt very well-rounded.

I make playlists for just about all of my writing projects as well as themed lists for special occasions. Follow me on Spotify and you just might find something you like.

Spotify Playlist for Salty & Sweet

Thanks again, and Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance!


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Meet the Authors

The brain child of Chicago romance author Marie Piper, the StoryPenners is a collection of fiction and romance authors dedicated to producing independent anthologies to support charitable causes. The StoryPenners has members from the Midwest, the West Coast, New England, Canada, England, and Australia.

Original Members: Marie Piper, Harley Easton, CM Peters, S.B. Roark, and Sienna Saint-Cyr

Contributing StoryPenners: Randi Perrin, Annabeth Leong, Gregory L. Norris, R.L. Merrill, Katey Tattrie, R. Diamond, Arden de Winter

Previous Anthologies: Melt | Haunt

Author Websites

Annabeth Leong | Harley Easton | R.L. Merrill | Marie Piper | Sienna Saint-Cyr | Gregory L. Norris


The authors are giving away a $75 Amazon gift card – for a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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