Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
This and That: Getting to Know Tessa Afshar
Author Guest / June 2, 2017

I was born in the Middle East and lived there the first thirteen years of my life. The people of Iran, where I grew up, value family and friends above most things. I have learned that nothing is as important as relationships, both Divine and human: not writing, not succeeding, not finishing my to-do list, not even reading my favorite books. After Jesus, people come first. Love is more important than accomplishments or pastimes. I was almost fourteen when we moved to England. Half of my family still lives there. When we first moved, my English was limited. I became fluent while attending Princess Helena College, a boarding school for girls in Hertfordshire. So although I’ve lived most of my life in America, my accent still has shades of the Queen’s influence. That, and a bit of Persian. Americans usually ask me if I’m Irish. The Irish ask me if I’m American. The real answer is that I’m a citizen of heaven. I became a bookworm when I was very young. Most of my pocket money went to buying novels. It still does, come to think of it. I would not be who I am today without books. In fact,…

Why It’s Easy to Fall in Love With a Small Town
Readers / June 1, 2017

The first romance novel I remember reading is DARK PRINCE by Christine Feehan. Christine Feehan’s world of vampires, Carpathians, and magic blew my mind and got me hooked on paranormal romance. Next up, Victoria Alexander, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn enticed me into reading historical romance with jaunty tales about dukes, rakes, balls, and bluestocking heroines. I had never really been interested in contemporary romances until discovering Jill Shalvis, and then later on Susan Mallery. Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series and Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold made me a fan of contemporary romance and, specifically, romances set in a small town. I suppose it’s not really a surprise that I would adore these types of romances, since the small-town factor is exactly one of the things I’ve always loved about cozy mysteries. There are a few fictional towns that I would love to live in: Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold, Kendra Leigh Castle’s Harbor Cove, Kate Angell’s beach town Barefoot William, Carolyn Brown’s Dry Creek, and LuAnn McLane’s Cricket Creek. After reading SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE by Jill Shalvis and ALL SUMMER LONG by Susan Mallery, I was charmed by small town life that includes hardworking citizens, longstanding friendships, and the hint of romance…

Countdown to Boas & Tiaras: 5 Things to Know About the Adolphus Hotel
Readers / June 1, 2017

Fresh Fiction’s annual Boas & Tiaras tea is all about making you feel like a book-loving queen, and there’s no better place for a royal tea than Dallas’ original luxury hotel. As we continue our countdown to Boas 2017, this week’s Fun Facts are all about our beautiful venue: the historic Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. In 1912, Adolphus Busch, founder of Anheuser Busch, built the Adolphus hotel as a show of Texas hospitality and world-class grandeur. The 22-floor hotel was the tallest building in Texas for a decade, and it has undergone several multi-million dollar expansions and renovations in the years since, keeping it at the peak of posh. Our beloved venue has been: Named one of the top ten hotels in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler Added to the National Register of Historic Places Declared an official landmark by the Dallas Landmark Commission Honored to host countless distinguished guests like George H.W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II Afternoon tea at the Adolphus is a rich tradition itself. The tea service’s custom china contains elements that evoke the hotel’s story, like the Anheuser Busch eagle and engravings of the hotel’s Beaux Arts style architecture. (And the tea…