Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Linda O. Johnston | Anticipating the New Year
Author Guest / December 31, 2011

Can you believe that tomorrow is the first day of the new year? I can… even though 2011 went really fast for me. So here comes 2012. What’s coming up during the next year? Well, I’m not much of prognosticator but there are a few things I’m fairly sure of. Number one? I’ll be writing! Plus, I’ll have a few books published. The first of my new books will be HOUNDS ABOUND, the third Pet Rescue Mystery from Berkley Prime Crime. It will be an April release. My first Harlequin Romantic Suspense book, UNDERCOVER SOLDIER, will be a July release. And my fifth Harlequin Nocturne novel, the fourth in my Alpha Force miniseries about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, will also be published this year, although its title and publication date have not yet been confirmed. Busy? Yes! Especially since I’m working on the next Pet Rescue Mystery, OODLES OF POODLES, and on new ideas for the other series. Number two? I’ll be enjoying the pet rescue volunteering I do. It started out as research for my Pet Rescue Mysteries, and I found I really enjoy it. I’m a dog adoption counselor for Pet Orphans of Southern California, which…

Darci Hannah | The Impact of Unexpected Gifts
Author Guest / December 30, 2011

We all have them, those unexpected gifts that in one way or another change our lives for the better. Like the long-eared, yet-to-be-housebroken puppy Santa left under the tree that swiftly became our dearest confidant and taught us what it meant to care for another soul, or the shiny ten-speed bike that gave us our first taste of freedom.  My kids might argue that it’s the IPod Touch, putting the world (for better or worse) at their fingertips.  But the gift that surprises me again and again didn’t arrive on Christmas.  It was the result of a frantic phone call in the spring of 2006, when my best friend Jane rang to tell me they were moving to London.  I supposed it was bound to happen when one marries an Englishman, and the thought of adding more distance to our already long-distance friendship was staggering.  However, it was her next sentence that would live to have a lasting impact.  “I want you to have my piano,” she said, “that is, if you still want it.” I did, and made my husband drive 350 miles to get it! The piano in question was an old, abused and neglected baby grand Jane…

Fresh Pick | THE HAND THAT TREMBLES by Kjell Eriksson
Fresh Pick / December 29, 2011

August 2011 On Sale: August 2, 2011 Featuring: Ann Lindell 320 pages ISBN: 0312605056 EAN: 9780312605056 Hardcover $24.99  Add to Wish List Mystery Woman Sleuth Buy at Suspense in Sweden The Hand That Trembles by Kjell Eriksson A Swedish county commissioner walks out of a high-level meeting and disappears. Many years later, one of the town’s natives is convinced that he’s caught a glimpse of the missing man while traveling in Bangalore, India. When the rumors reach his hometown, a veteran police officer stumbles across a seemingly unrelated case. Separately, Ann Lindell, Eriksson’s series detective, must investigate a severed female foot found where a striking number of inhabitants are single men. But the owner of the house where the victim is believed to have lived is no longer able to answer any questions. . . . Previous Picks

Sara Reyes | 2011 Recap: Lists versus Pondering
Author Guest / December 28, 2011

I’ve been inundated this week by everyone in my household making lists, cleaning up and decluttering and last dash attempts at completing projects. Ah the world of people who write. I never realized that it’s so important to make lists of what you’ve read or films you’ve watched or tv shows viewed, but apparently that’s an all consuming task that seems to me becomes a chore. I don’t read for list making, so I have no idea nor do I want to know, the number of books I read in 2011 or 2010 or plan to read in 2012. You must understand, I’ve never looked on reading as something approaching a homework assignment. I read for pleasure, for conversation, for thinking and pondering. Ah, pondering, I love to PONDER. My Christmas gift this year was AMERICAN NATIONS. Yes, a heavy, non-fiction, thought provoking, and ultimately depressing tome on why Americans including Canadians and citizens of Mexico are not part of a “melting pot” but maintain nationalities very similar to the fractious Europeans. As I said, depressing in the end. But along the read, very thought provoking. I’d suppose if I had to keep a list or make a roster of…

Spotlight on Julie Anne Long and HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON
Author Spotlight / December 27, 2011

“You will LOVE the Pennyroyal Green series!”—#1 NYT Bestselling Author Julia Quinn HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON is here! Since 2012 is just days away, I wanted to be among the first thousand or so people to wish you a Happy New Year, lovelies—and I hope you and yours are thoroughly enjoying (and safely surviving) the holiday season. Since I feel it’s my duty as an author to alert you to opportunities to warm up those e-readers Santa brought ;): HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON is here—AND the e-book is priced at only $4.99 at all your favorite e-book retailers! Not only that, but I’m so thrilled to tell you that it’s arriving on a veritable wave of raves, including a Starred Review from the Library Journal AND (this floored me) selected it as one of the Best Books of the Month! I truly hope your new year launches with similarly lovely surprises! I can’t wait to hear what readers think—HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON is the sixth book in my Pennyroyal Green series, the follow up to WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE (chosen by Amazon as one of the Best Books of 2011), and I’m still half…

Spotlight on Bella Andre
Author Spotlight / December 27, 2011

Meet Gabe Sullivan – the third Sullivan bad boy to fall in love! I’m so excited to announce the release of CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE, the third book in my bestselling contemporary romance series about the Sullivan family! Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire…and can’t stop thinking about. Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving – and losing – a man with a dangerous job again. Only, when Gabe and Megan meet again and uncontrollable flames of desire ignite between them, how can he possibly ignore her courage, determination, and beauty? And how can she deny not only his strong bond with her daughter…but the way his sweetly sensual kisses are challenging her to risk everything she’s been guarding…

Matt Rees | The real Mozart Comment to win MOZART’S LAST ARIA
Author Guest / December 27, 2011

Who do you think Mozart really was? In MOZART’S LAST ARIA, my new historical crime novel about the great composer’s death, I counter the idea that he was a buffoon who somehow wrote sublime music. That perception turns out to have been based on snobbish appraisals by Viennese aristocrats who thought Mozart ill-bred. But it was cemented in the public imagination by Amadeus , Peter Shaffer’s stage play which was directed so successfully for the cinema by Milos Forman in 1984. Mozart was far more complex, intelligent and liberal than he has been given credit for. For a crime novel set in an autocratic police state, all of those elements of his character are very useful — because they put him in such danger. So I based the novel around the investigation by his older sister Nannerl into the risks Wolfgang took. Ultimately she (and we) gets a much deeper understanding of Mozart and his music than previous fictional portrayals allowed us. To be sure, Wolfgang was excitable and silly after musical performances. But The Rolling Stones have been known to drop television sets out of tenth-floor hotel rooms to let off steam and they’re no Mozart. Wolfgang’s letters and…

Nadia Lee | Secondary But Not Unimportant (Or Less Interesting)
Author Guest / December 26, 2011

A lot of authors do various things to flesh-out their characters — character interviews, bios, sketches, photo clippings (of celebs, or clothes / shoes that they think their characters might wear), etc. Of course, some authors don’t do anything because their characters come to life fully fleshed-out the first time.) I did character interviews of all the major supporting characters for THE LAST SLAYER. It was a bit of a frustrating and bemusing experience to say the least, as it was the first time I’d done interviews for secondary characters. Depending on how the interview goes, I can figure out a lot about a character. For example, Toshi, the subservient dragon, babbled a lot, and about 50% of what he said was about how he might have done something wrong and lots of “I beg your pardon”. He also occasionally went into TMI territory, though from time to time he told me he couldn’t tell me something because his lord forbade him. (Rolls eyes… *I* created his lord!) Alexandros the Incubus King made me laugh with his super ego. I have no idea how the man’s head can fit through doors. He was mostly interested in talking about how he…

Fresh Pick | SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS by Jill Shalvis, Hope Ramsay, Katie Lane
Fresh Pick / December 24, 2011

November 2011 On Sale: November 1, 2011 ISBN: 145551361X EAN: 9781455513611 Kindle: B005JT1UBA e-Book $2.99  Add to Wish List Holiday, Romance Anthology Buy at Cozy up with this Holiday anthology Small Town Christmas by Jill Shalvis, Hope Ramsay, Katie Lane New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis headlines this touching anthology of Christmas stories as readers come home for the holidays to Lucky Harbor, WA; Last Chance, SC; and Bramble, TX. Three heartwarming holiday stories to prove that love is the greatest gift of all Kissing Santa Claus NASCAR driver Logan Perrish returns to Lucky Harbor, Washington, with love in his heart and a ring in his pocket. But can Sandy Jansen forget the past and give him a second chance? Or will Logan be spending another Christmas alone? I’ll Be Home for Christmas After ignoring the advice of Miz Miriam Randall, local matchmaker, Annie Roberts expects another hum drum holiday in Last Chance, South Carolina. But when a stray cat arrives in the arms of Army sergeant Matt Jasper, a calico named Holly just may be the best matchmaker of all. O Little Town of Bramble All Ethan Miller wants for Christmas is to celebrate in Bramble, Texas,…

Monica Marlowe | Finding Felicity
Author Guest / December 23, 2011

I love this time of year! All the hustle and bustle, the glittering decorations, sparkling lights, and of course, the food. Christmas is just two days away and is a birthday party like no other. Amidst all the shopping and wrapping and cooking, I remind myself to pause and reflect on the meaning of Christmas. The birth of Jesus Christ changed the world and Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on his life, and our own lives. Jesus taught many lessons and to me, it is the qualities that he embodied that inspire. First and foremost, Jesus embodied faith and love, an unwavering faith in his connection to God, an unwavering love for God. It was his faith that enabled him to manifest miracles. He life teaches us to have faith in God, faith in life, and faith in each other. He reminds us to love and be loving. He embodied compassion, wisdom, humility, and integrity, all qualities to strive for in our day-to-day lives. He also was capable of heartfelt forgiveness; who among us cannot strive to learn that lesson? When I look back on this year, one of my most satisfying accomplishments was the publication of my…