All About Anthologies

I’m happy to welcome author Ryan Jo Summers. Today, Ryan chats about anthologies and Crossing Jordan, her contribution to the anthology Craving Forbidden.

Here’s Ryan!

Anthologies are great both to read and to write. The first anthologies I read was two fictional horse collections sometime around age nine or ten. They fed my insatiable appetite for horse literature. Then I discovered my mom’s collection of Reader’s Digest anthologies. Those volumes opened up doors to my young eyes that have shaped and helped my writing career.

They introduced me to new genres and new authors and lead to a more open mind in both my recreational reading and my writing. I never want to say I “only read X stories” or I “only write X books”. The world of literature is limitless, even more so it seems, and anthologies seem to play a part of that growth. And perhaps that is why my romance novels tend to blur the lines of subgenres…

The first anthology I wrote for was a Christmas-themed collection with a publishing house I had already published about four regular novels through. The anthology was a fantastic experience from start to finish. There were a total of seven authors and we really got to know each other through the process. One of the way we promoted the book was via a series of newsletters and that was great for sharing personal bits about ourselves among our group and to readers and we learned about our fellow contributors beyond the author hats we wear. Of the four anthologies I’ve been part of, that one remains my favorite in terms of working with my fellow contributors.

Anthology # 2 also came from a house I’d had a couple of novellas released through. There was about nine authors and the stories were all food-themed. This house handled the anthology title and cover art, which was something we authors in the Christmas collection collaborated on. This second time it all just came in the email with a “here it is” announcement. It was still a good experience, though we contributors never achieved the level of friendship that the writers from the first anthology had.

Anthologies #3 and #4 are from another house, one that I had not already published with. I discovered them from an on-line call for submissions. They are both larger volumes, with twelve and thirteen authors respectively. The first one released in January 2018 and the second one just released in September. So there is a very fast turnaround. And again the experiences have been different from anthologies 1 and 2. There have been no newsletters or getting to know the other authors much pre-publication. Perhaps some more with this last one in the last few weeks, via social media events.

Of course, I am personally busier this year than I had been for the first two collections, with less time to try and socialize. This house also tends to do a bit more promo on the anthologies, so there isn’t the drive for the authors to be so directly involved. I did volunteer—a moment of insanity—to organize this last release. I feared I might become bored and wanted an organizational challenge. Indeed I got the challenge, mostly due to my already overflowing organizationally challenged life. Yet we all survived and had a bit of fun. Still, I cannot name one single personal, non-author thing from any of the last three anthologies like I can from the first one. However, I have enjoyed reading their contributions, hearing their writing voices, and seeing their collective styles.

And I will certainly be on the lookout for more anthologies to write for in the future. First, they are relatively easy to write. The theme is already provided for. That’s a big jump on getting the wheels turning. Most are around 10,000-12,000 words long, so I can write that around my current, longer works in progress. Edits are quicker as well. And I always discover new writers that I can follow for their other works and perhaps some lasting networking contacts and new promotional ideas.

Anthology Blurb

Forbidden—Banned. Prohibited. Not allowed. Off limits.

There’s one word which means something completely different, yet it always seems to go hand in hand with the forbidden…


It follows the untouchable, clings to the taboo, slowly luring you in, only to corrupt the last bit of self-control you might have. Nothing is more enticing or more alluring than the one thing that has forbidden stamped all over it.

Like the beautiful daughter of your mortal enemy. Or the gorgeous best friend of your older brother. There’s also the much older man who makes you want to throw all your inhibitions to the wind. Whatever your vice, this collection is everything you need to indulge.

So, forget about the rules. Ignore the warning signs.

Embrace the illicit, and allow yourself a taste of the…


“Crossing Jordan” tagline by Ryan Jo Summers

Jordan Kelly couldn’t get her ex-boyfriend, and the town bully, to leave her alone or allow anyone near her. Will Larkin has just come home temporarily between Army tours, to help his Grams and mom with their café. Neither one dreamed they could offer the other something permanent. Or safe.



Ryan Jo Summers writes romances that blur the lines of subgenres. She mixes contemporary with time travel, Christian, suspense, sweet, and paranormal like blending a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Her non-fiction works have appeared in numerous trade journals and magazines including ‘WNC Woman Magazine’, ‘Critter Magazine’, ‘Journey Devotions’, and ‘Vet Tech Journal’. She is a regular contributing author for the ‘Asheville Pet Gazette’.

Her hobbies include baking, crafts, gardening, enjoying nature, and chess/mah-jongg/word-find puzzles. She pet sits/dog walks when she’s not busy writing and she fosters homeless pets for area animal rescues.

She lives in a century-old cottage in North Carolina with her own menagerie of rescued pets and way too many houseplants. “Crossing Jordan” for “Craving Forbidden” is her fourth contribution to an anthology and her second with the Craving series with Limitless Publishing.

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