Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
History ReFreshed: God Love Ireland
History / March 18, 2016

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this month we’ll give a nod to the wearin’ of the green with a series of stories featuring Irish characters and settings. For as the old Irish saying goes: “Always remember to forget The friends who proved untrue But never forget to remember The ones who stuck by you.” And what friend is better than a great book? So raise a glass of green beer to your current favorites, and may you find new ones in the list that follows! Although all of the books touch on The Great Hunger, the Irish potato blight that began in 1845 and was responsible for the death of over a million Irish men, women and children and the migration of two million more, we’ll begin with the stand-alone by Michael Grant, IN THE TIME OF FAMINE. Featuring an upstairs-downstairs interaction between the families of the landlord, Lord Somerville, and one of his tenant farmers, Grant’s book unveils the struggles from two very different social perspectives. Michael Ranahan, the tenant’s son, dreams of a new life in America and escape from being yoked to the land. But when the blight strikes, his family needs his strong arm—and the…

Fresh Pick | FROM BAGS TO RICHES by Sandra D. Bricker
Fresh Pick / March 18, 2016

Fresh Pick for Friday, March 18th, 2016 is FROM BAGS TO RICHES by Sandra D. Bricker #InspirationalFriday About FROM BAGS TO RICHES A Jessie Stanton Novel Jessie Hart worked so hard to put her Louisiana roots in the rear view mirror and her Adornments boutique on the map. So when renegade “husband” Jack turns up again, the new and improved Jessie catches his attention. As he fights through his residual legal battles, he makes every effort to win her back and marry her for real this time… before Danny gets the chance. When a celebrity stylist with her own reality show makes Adornments a hot spot, Jessie’s hard work is finally paying off. But amid award shows and photo shoots, Jessie’s beloved grandfather is diagnosed with cancer and she’s nudged back to the Louisiana roots she worked so hard to escape. Now, in her quest to find the success, true love, and faith that has always eluded her, will God really lead her right back home? Buy FROM BAGS TO RICHES: Amazon.com | Kindle| BN.com| iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR…

Gail Ingis | Amelia Island: A Hidden Gem
Author Guest / March 18, 2016

A hidden gem, right near the beach, boutique shopping and four centuries of history, why not go there? If you are fortunate enough to find out about Amelia Island . . . it’s worth a visit. Last year, we found it by accident on our way home from Florida. Read the rest on Ingis About Gail Ingis Gail Ingis writes historical romance, loves history and romance of course, has taught history, and her weekly blog frequently covers historical content. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Ingis’s early days began and ended with writing, drawing and music. Her inspiration to write came from books gifted to her by an aunt. But life had other ideas. After graduating from the New York School of Interior Design with a BFA in Interior Architecture and Design and masters’ studies in Architecture and Design Criticism at The New School (Parsons). Her career in interior design and architecture led her to the other arts. Ingis founded the Interior Design Institute, a school of interior design, that she eventually sold, but during her tenure, she was twice asked by publishers to write a textbook, her efforts were thwarted by a heavy schedule. Ingis resides in Connecticut with…

Magnolia Smith | Wine Country Vacations…for an Alpha Male!
Author Guest / March 18, 2016

When you think of wine country vacations, lazy days of wine tastings, Michelin-starred meals and gatherings at art bars might come to mind. This is what my U.S. Marine husband thought and why he distinctly did not want to go – at first. After I promised to create an itinerary designed to please his Alpha male temperament, he relented and decided to look forward to a vacation sans children. And I eagerly went about researching the various ways a man, who does not like wine, loves comfort food, has a fetish for log cabins, and would rather join a pickup game of basketball than rub shoulders with elegantly dressed aficionados of the grape, could have a good time. Check out my findings below! Winecation: The Alpha Male’s Guide to Napa – Where to Stay Winecation: The Alpha Male’s Guide to Napa – Where to Eat Winecation: The Alpha Male’s Guide to Napa – What to Do About Magnolia Smith With a father who was a former member of the Vietnam-era 82nd Airborne, a cousin who was a Green Beret in the eighties and nineties, another cousin who currently works for the CIA (albeit in an administrative role) and a brother…

Tina Ann Forkner | Saddling Up Anyway: A Romantic Twist on Women’s Fiction
Author Guest / March 18, 2016

A few years back I was writing a women’s fiction novel with a strong romantic twist. My only problem was that the guy my protagonist loved was boring. He was dependable, handsome, and said all the right things, but he lacked charisma. I was brainstorming with an author friend about my lackluster story when she asked me something like, “What if he is this totally hot guy that exudes masculinity?” I laughed. The man she was describing was straight out of a romance novel, and I didn’t write straight romance. My women’s fiction always has a romantic thread, but I admit that I’m a pretty straight-laced girl. My books have never been considered hot or steamy. Writing about anything hot would make me blush, so at first I didn’t think I’d be able to write the kind of man into my novel that my author friend was talking about. I didn’t even know if a man like that would interest readers of women’s fiction, even they do tend to like romantic threads in their stories. Around the same time that I was trying to enliven that novel with a stronger love interest, my husband and I attended a Professional Bull…

Mesu Andrews | The Eighty-Six-Year-Old Dancer
Author Guest / March 18, 2016

You know those interviews on blogs, where the author reveals something about themselves you probably didn’t know? I’m about to do that. (Deep breath, clearing my throat.) I was on a dance team during my senior year of high school. This may not seem like a major revelation to some, but if you knew how utterly uncoordinated I am, you’d gasp. I have two left feet and ten big toes. It’s tragic, really. The team’s director had only one reason for allowing me within fifty yards of her national-championship dance team: I could twirl a rifle—you know the color guard fiberglass rifle-looking thing? Yep. I could spin it, toss it, catch it, hoist it, and set nice crisp angles on call. And Ms. D. wanted her dance team to incorporate rifles into their routine for that year. She and I struck a deal. I would teach her petite, graceful beauties to twirl those fiberglass sticks. In exchange, her best dancers would teach me to move in some sort of rhythm without falling on my face. Her dance instructors got the raw end of that deal. Why am I telling you this? Because in MIRIAM, my new release, the title character…