Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Barnhart | The Many Masks of Halloween
Author Guest / October 9, 2014

I love Halloween, but I particularly love the many masks of Halloween. Scary, magical, campy, thrilling, and haunting, Halloween reveals its many faces in delightful and creepy ways. That’s why the entire month of October I’m dedicating this column to Halloween! From magical to hilarious to horrific to revisionary, I’ll select books that delight, terrify, charm, and amaze. So grab your Trick-or-Treat bag and get ready beg for these books that will put you in the Halloween spirit! This week is all about the magic—because what Halloween would be complete without a witch or two and a ghostly romance? SALT & STORM by Kendall Kulper SALT & STORM Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe is a witch of Prince Island, and like her grandmother, she wants to make the charms and spells that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has other plans. She’s forced Avery to give up magic for a life of respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows she must unlock her magic and save herself. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island, but magic always requires a sacrifice. Fresh Fiction Reviewer Samantha Randolph says, “For those looking to have…

Stephanie Laurens | The Traditions of BY WINTER’S LIGHT
Author Guest / October 9, 2014

BY WINTER’S LIGHT is an unabashedly holiday-themed novel. How did that come about? The concept was fortuitously created by the characters, rather than being a deliberate choice made by me. In the Epilogue of the preceding Cynster novel, THE TAMING OF RYDER CAVANAUGH, at the Cynster Summer Celebration in August of 1837, the older group of children go off in a group to discuss some subject – and the most obvious subject I could imagine them discussing  was where to hold their family Christmas gathering later that year. The older group is dominated by males, and the notion that they would vote for a Christmas in Scotland, where they could ride in forests and hunt, again seemed an obvious tack – and thus BY WINTER’S LIGHT, the Cynster holidays of 1837, held at Richard and Catriona’s manor in the Vale of Casphairn in snowy Scotland, came to be! Can you describe the Norse, pagan, Druid, and folk customs that feature in the story? Because we are looking back so far – in some cases possibly a millennia or more to the beginning of some of these traditions – it’s not always easy to say this custom derived from this tradition…

Cheryl Sawyer | La Créole: The Slave Who Never Gave Up on Freedom
Author Guest / October 9, 2014

I often notice that writers who visit Free Literary Mentor, my blog about new fiction seem very aware of fear: fear of not being able to finish a novel; fear that the path to their goal is not clear; fear that publishers and agents won’t be interested … My heartfelt advice is: always remember that no work ever springs from fear—it springs from passion. If you believe in your characters, your message and your story, writing is one of the most inspired and inspiring things you can do, because readers can sense that passion at the core of what you offer them. Passion makes everything possible, even a journey that at first looks too daunting for words. Once upon a time I lived and worked in a beautiful French château, with the pleasant job of looking after the little daughters of a marquise. Being with them in their elegant heritage home made it easy for me to imagine the glittering world of their ancestors. A few months later I found myself in the nearby town of Chevreuse, teaching English at three primary schools, and there I met a new friend, a teacher who had been born in Martinique and was…