Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Leigh Duncan | Come Along on a Florida Cattle Drive
Author Guest / December 6, 2012

Fourth-generation cattleman Ty Parker looks into his childless future and wonders what will become of the ranch he’s worked so hard to preserve.  His answer might be a five-year-old boy abandoned on DCF’s doorstep, but only if the rancher convinces a jaded social worker that he’s good father material on a two-week cattle drive through Florida’s version of the Old West. Wait a minute.  “Florida’s version of the Old West?”  Did I hear that correctly?  Why yes, yes you did.  While Florida is better known for its orange groves and theme parks, as a setting for a cattle drive, it’s more fitting than a lot of people might guess. Cattle ranching has been a staple of Florida’s economy for a long, long time.  We can blame Ponce de Leon for that.  He brought seven head of Andalusian cows with him on his second visit in 1521.  And, despite the mosquitoes and the floods and the heat, people have been ranching here ever since. Did you know that today Florida is the third-largest beef-producing state east of the Mississippi?  Or that 1.1 million head of cattle graze its pastures?  We use term “Florida Cracker” when we’re talking about someone who was…

Lynne Marshall | Hand Me That Gun, Please? (Comment to win)
Author Guest / December 5, 2012

No this isn’t a story about Christmas shopping gone horribly wrong. This blog is about research and the writer. Never in my life did I expect to get up close and personal with a handgun until I wrote TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. But there came a point in the story when I realized my heroine, Joy, needed to learn how to use a gun, so in the name of research… Off I went (uncomfortably) to my local gun shop (filled with guns and ammo and other scary things) where I discovered they had a handgun gun safety class on Friday nights.  I was nervous about my first lesson and was sure I’d be out of place with the group. To my surprise, there was diversity in age greater than I’d expect in the class from young women and men to geezers and beyond. As the evening went on I felt a bit like Grandma-with-a-Gun as we handled many different types of guns and learned to shoot in front of each other. Turns out I preferred the Smith & Wesson 38 two inch revolver for the size and feel, and it suited my hand strength. Surprisingly, Joy in TOO CLOSE FOR…

Fresh Pick / December 4, 2012

Royal Spyness #6\n \n November 2012\n On Sale: November 6, 2012\n Featuring: Lady Georgiana Rannoch\n 320 pages \nISBN: 0425252787\nEAN: 9780425252789\nKindle: B008EXJZHE\nHardcover / e-Book\n$24.95\n Add to Wish List\n Mystery, Holiday, Mystery HistoricalBuy at Georgie is back … in time for a Christmas mystery to solve The Twelve Clues Of Christmas\n by Rhys Bowen She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the new year—before a Christmas killer wrings another neck… On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig. So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead…. Dickensian, indeed. Freddie’s merely a stocking stuffer. On my second day…

Cleo Coyle | Holidays are Murder—with Recipes
Author Guest / December 4, 2012

“Pluck” is a word I usually associate with chickens. On the other hand, Booklist was kind enough to describe my amateur sleuth as having pluck (a valid observation because Clare Cosi may be many things, but she is no chicken). A divorced, single mom in her forties, Clare is a coffeehouse manager by day, a relentless snoop by night, and she displays quite a bit of pluck in HOLIDAY BUZZ, the brand new release in my Coffeehouse Mystery series, already an Amazon bestseller in mystery, a Barnes & Noble Holiday Mystery Pick, and a Mystery Guild Featured Alternate Selection. At the close of a glittering winter charity party—known as the Great New York Cookie Swap—Clare finds the bludgeoned body of a pretty baker’s assistant. The murder victim is an illegal Irish immigrant, a young woman Clare knew and liked. When the detectives in charge of the case pursue the wrong suspect, Clare begins to ask her own questions. In the course of her investigation, she must dodge a pair of reality show divas, hoodwink a randy hockey player, outwit a conniving Cajun cook, and butt heads with one of the biggest forensic freaks in the New York Police Department. Clare’s…

Melinda Leigh | Canine Characters
Author Guest / December 3, 2012

My debut novel, SHE CAN RUN, starred a police dog reject, Henry, who was originally intended to add a bit of humor to the storyline. But Henry evolved, as characters sometimes do, into much more than just a dog. He nearly stole the limelight from my hero. My kids were annoyed that I wrote a fictional dog into my book when we had two perfectly good dogs in our house. They demanded that I write one of our dogs into my next book. So, Bandit (photo) received a starring role in SHE CAN TELL (releasing December 4th). Bandit is a dog of many breeds we rescued from the local animal shelter two years ago. There’s a large dog trapped inside his small body, a Rottweiler crammed into a spaniel’s skeleton. At a mere 18 pounds, he would fight to the death to defend any member of his family. He might be small in stature, but his heart and soul are enormous. Bandit is devoted to his family and hates strangers with equal passion, just ask the USP man or those people who came to deliver a religious pamphlet last week. He scared the bejeesus out of them. I had a…

Jill Shalvis | Top Five Most Interesting Gifts I Ever Received
Author Guest / December 2, 2012

Lucky Harbor is one of the most favorite settings for Jill Shalvis‘s fans and she has a treat in store with her shorty holiday story, UNDER THE MISTLETOE. In the meantime, Jill stopped by with a Top Five list: the Most Interesting Gifts she Ever Received.. 1.   Once I asked Alpha Man for an overnight trip, just us.  I was thinking somewhere warm, maybe even with a beach, drinks, and room service.  What I got was tickets to the NCAA finals.  Note to self: be more specific 2.   Then there was the year my daughters got me a lizard.  Yes, you read that right.  I don’t know why.  But Lily the Lizard was sweet if not a bit challenging.  Rest in peace, Lily. 3.   Several years ago my mother bought me a house cleaning service for one month.  I’m pretty sure she was trying to tell me something… 4.   My favorite presents are always plants.  But unfortunately I kill them.  So one year my family bought me a huge, fake plant.  Only they didn’t tell me it was fake.  I watered that thing every day until it molded.  Yes, I’m still living down the fact that I killed a fake…

Sara Rosett | Mistletoe, Merriment, and Murder
Author Guest / December 1, 2012

About fifteen years ago I was invited to my first white elephant gift exchange party. The first rule was that we had to bring something from home—we couldn’t spend any money. The second rule was that our gift had to be awful as possible. I can’t remember now what I took, but I do remember that what one person thought of as “trash,” another person saw as a “treasure.” The party was a blast. We had so much fun competing over gifts that at first glance wouldn’t seem that valuable. For instance, one woman brought a broken sewing machine. Another woman fought to get it because she wanted a sewing machine and knew her dad could fix anything. I “won” this kitchen utensil. Can you guess what it is? I couldn’t either. Turns out, it’s a tomato slicer, a quintessential white elephant gift. I wasn’t writing books at the time, but knew I wanted to attempt to write a mystery someday, so lots of my everyday experiences went in my mental “that’s interesting” file. The white elephant gift exchange party went in that file. Fast forward thirteen years or so. I had written six Ellie Avery mystery series by then…

Holiday Greetings from Lucy Monroe
News / December 1, 2012

I hope your Holiday season is off to a great start! This is always a special time of year and I’m so blessed that I get celebrate Christmas with my new grandson who finally made his arrival in Mid-November. He’s beautiful and I’m so in love. I’m also excited for my two rereleases coming out this month. SILVER BELLA (Samhain Publishing) will be released on December 4th and THE BILLIONAIRE’S PREGNANT MISTRESS (Harlequin Special Releases) will be released on December 17th. As a special “Thank You” to the readers both publishers have discounted the book for a limited time. You can check out the specific details on my website. SILVER BELLA THE BILLIONAIRE’S PREGNANT MISTRESS  Kindle To stay up on all the latest news follow Lucy on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or visit her blog.