Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Mari Manning | Writing about Cops
Author Guest / June 20, 2016

I never thought much about cops until I started writing them. Sure, there were times when I sped past a radar-toting cop in a cruiser, and my heart leapt into my throat. A few times I’ve glanced into the rearview mirror and seen the red-and-blue flashing lights. I had to think about cops then. But until I started writing cop characters, I never thought about how they thought or felt. I never wondered what is was like to do the brave things they did, like burst into the home of a criminal with a gun or chasing a bad guy down an alley. The process of diving into cop characters lent me a new appreciation for their bravery and sacrifice. I wonder, though, what it is like to see the things they see, day-in and day-out. Not only the horrific and the senseless. But all the stupid things criminals do. I did a blog a few years back that included some of the dumbest of all time. There was the guy who stole someone’s pet monkey, then didn’t know what to do with it, so he tried to sell it back to the owners. Then there was the lady who…

Shelley Freydont | Recipe for a Gilded Age Murder
Author Guest / June 20, 2016

When I was asked to give the perfect set of circumstances for a historical mystery, I didn’t have to think long. It’s just like putting together a perfect recipe. A GOLDEN CAGE, A Newport Gilded Age Mystery. Take one opulent era of history. Mark Twain called it The Gilded Age and it ran from around 1870 to 1900. It was an era of serious social problems masked by a thin veneer of gold. A time of industrialization, huge growth, incredible wealth and wide spread corruption. A time of power struggles in commerce, justice and morality. A time of conspicuous consumption by the haves and poverty and hard work by the have nots. Add in one seaside Resort town. Newport Rhode Island in 1895. Where the nation’s wealthiest families summered in sumptuous mansions they called “cottages”. Add a dollop of family. The wife and daughter of a prominent well respected judge threw him a huge birthday fete and invited all the richest families (among them, the Vanderbilts, the Astors, the Oelrich’s and the Fishes), mayhem ensued. Mix with a professional theatrical troupe. Hired away from their theater for the evening to present a play called The Sphinx. Stir in one ingénue…

Amanda Carmack | Mary, Queen of Scots at Fontainebleau
Author Guest / June 20, 2016

One of the biggest perks of writing historical fiction is the research! I am a library junkie, and could spend way too much time digging through dusty old books. Getting to travel and see the places in my books is even better! Fontainebleau is one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, with a fascinating history, and I enjoyed the chance to spend a little more time there with Kate Haywood (even if only in my imagination!) at one of its most turbulent times in history. The 1560s were an incredible period for amazing women, and I had a lot of fun incorporating two of them, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Catherine de Medici (one of my favorite historical figures) into Kate’s adventures. Mary Stewart (1542–1587) has, of course, been a figure of much fascination for centuries, the subject of endless stories/movies/plays, and it’s easy to see why. She was renowned for her beauty and charm, she was an adventurer at heart (even though those adventures ended in mayhem more often than not), and she died most tragically. She is a counterpoint to her cousin Elizabeth I’s great success. The only surviving child of King James V of Scotland (who…

Krista Davis | How to Look Like a Domestic Diva Without Really Trying
Author Guest / June 20, 2016

I have been accused of being a bit of a domestic diva. That’s not surprising with books like THE DIVA SERVES HIGH TEA! But I like to keep things easy, and I love recipes I can prepare in advance. This is celebration season. Graduations, bridal showers, and family reunions are on the calendar. So I thought I would share a dessert that everyone loves and anyone can make. I’m not in the habit of promoting products. Recently, though, while I waited for something, I killed some time (and some cash) in WalMart where I found adorable little glass trifle bowls. They’re the perfect size for a single serving. At $2 a pop, you wouldn’t break the bank if you needed enough for a small luncheon. Imagine how they would dress up ice cream! This recipe is super simple. If you’re a domestic diva, use your favorite sponge cake or pound cake recipe. If there’s no time for baking (or it’s just not your thing), pick up a sponge cake at the store or look for Sara Lee’s pound cake in the freezer section. Kick this up a little bit by adding your favorite liquor for the adults. I’m fond of…