Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jamie Beck | After “Happily Ever After”
Author Guest / January 30, 2018

Thank you for inviting me to speak to your readers about ALL WE KNEW, the second book in my Cabot series, which is set near Portland, Oregon, and revolves around the dysfunctional Cabot family. This book differs from most romance novels because Hunter and Sara are already married. Theirs was a love-at-first-sight union, having met by chance on campus on a sunny afternoon. After graduation, Sara moved away from her close-knit family in California to move to Oregon to be near Hunter. They married at twenty-five but, at thirty-four, have yet to start a family of their own. We first meet Hunter and Sara in the first book of the series, where we learned that a failed IVF cycle is creating a lot of stress. At the opening of their book, they are undertaking a second IVF cycle at the same time that Hunter is fighting to keep his father from selling the family business—one he considers his family legacy and wants to retain for future Cabots. The strain of these events is reaching a crisis point, and communication between Hunter and Sara is breaking down under its weight. Writing this story was an interesting challenge because it wasn’t about…

6 Online Dating Do’s and Don’ts
Author Guest / January 30, 2018

Online dating isn’t going anywhere, and with one in three people meeting that way (and that number is growing every year) not being online is a problem if you want to mate/date. If you want to meet someone, get your butt online! Yes, it has its challenges. Yes, it’s time consuming. Yes, it’s depressing at times when you have to sort through the riff raff to get to the goods. BUT it is worth it and is fun, and you can meet someone really great there, lurking in the pond. Here’s the quick and dirty of what to do and what not to do when online dating. DO use recent photos! This cannot be stressed enough. Nobody needs a five-year-old pic of you lingering online. Be straight up about who you are today, right now. Five pounds heavier? So what. You are beautiful as you are, so show them all that. Confidence is sexy. Fact. DO write an upbeat profile that says a bit about who you are, what you want, and that showcases your bright, vivacious personality. Not the place to man bash, be negative, or talk down about your ex. Call your girlfriends for that session. DO be…

Kat Martin | A Party to Remember
Author Guest / January 30, 2018

Since my hero in BEYOND DANGER, Beau Reese, is a mega rich playboy, a once-famous race car driver, I thought it might be fun to write about a mega-wealthy party I got invited to a few years back. Well, more than a few, considering it was a millennium party celebrating the thousand year change in our calendar. My husband and I wanted to do something really special for that night so I had been looking at different trips, hotels, and cruises. We wanted to do something we would never forget. Fortunately, about that time, I ran into an author friend I hadn’t seen in a while. When I told her I was on a quest to find something memorable to do for the millennium, she invited me to a weekend party at her parents’ home in Aspen, one of several they owned. I knew they were worth billions of dollars, had actually been to their incredible New York apartment, so I excitedly accepted. It was a magical weekend, with everything paid for by the party givers except our room–which cost a small fortune but was worth it! The party was poolside, held around an indoor swimming pool since there was…

Erin Nicholas | DIAMONDS AND DIRT ROADS Excerpt
Excerpt / January 29, 2018

I can’t believe it. I seriously can’t believe it.” Cori rolled her eyes and handed Ava another martini. It was her third, but she still hadn’t shut up about how her attorney’s advice had been to simply go to Bliss and do what Rudy wanted. “All he said was that it was the easiest thing,” Brynn commented, her words soft and a little slurry. She was definitely mellowed out from her one martini. But then Brynn was a lightweight. It would take another couple of rounds for Ava to start to relax. The woman was so tightly wound that Cori was seriously concerned. Ava had always been driven and worked nearly nonstop, but this whole trust and Bliss, Kansas thing might just be the final straw. Brynn waited until Ava had taken a huge drink, then said, “I think this could be a good thing.” Ava lifted one perfectly waxed brow, her glass poised before her shiny Coral Crush lips. She was in loose cotton pants and a tank top just as Cori and Brynn were, but where Brynn never wore makeup and Cori had already taken hers off—shoes, bra, makeup were the first things to come off when she…

Meet the Author: N.M. Brott
Author Guest / January 29, 2018

Being that I was a shy child, I’d always escaped into books to soothe myself after experiencing a socially awkward or painful situation. As I grew older, I often fantasized different outcomes for such situations, such as smart remarks I could have said (the first of many rewrites). I loved writing letters to relatives overseas and thought myself quite good at it. But writing actual stories didn’t occur to me until I’d read the book Women Who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. As if a creative dam had broken, after I’d finished the book, I awoke the next morning from a vivid dream, went to my computer, and began to write a story. At first, writing stories was just a creative outlet. While I knew I needed to learn more about the craft of writing, I finally dared to have someone else read what I’d written. From the positive feedback, I felt encouraged enough to keep at it. After I had a dream about a man who appeared to be made from plant materials, I wrote a few paragraphs of my impressions. Then I went back to the story I’d been writing at the time and forgot…

Tawny Stokes | Five Things That Influenced Lions and Tigers and Boys
Author Guest / January 29, 2018

I’m very excited to be here at Fresh Fiction. I have been a part of the FF community for a long time. Probably since my first Harlequin Nocturne was published way back in 2006, under my penname Vivi Anna. I’ve been away for a while, so it’s nice to be back and share the things that influenced me to write LIONS AND TIGERS AND BOYS. The Wizard of Oz: Which I imagine you gathered from the title alone. My book isn’t a retelling, but more of an alternate reality Wizard of Oz, with some elements in place and others absent. I liked the premise of an all-powerful Wizard, but wanted to play on how he traveled to Oz and why. Throughout the book, you’ll see sprinkles and tidbits from the original tale, like flying monkeys and magic and red ruby slippers, but others I made my own, like a shapeshifting lion and tiger, and a girl named Dani Gale. Harry Potter: One of the greatest series of books written, it’s hard not to draw from its brilliance, especially when you have a school populated with gifted students. In my case that school is the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts,…

Amber Hart | 10 Reasons to Read Thrillers
Author Guest / January 29, 2018

You know that edge-of-your-seat, what’s-going-to-happen-next, feeling? That’s one of the best parts of a thriller novel. They’re unpredictable. Exciting. Razor sharp. I could go on forever, but here are ten reasons you’ll want to pick up a thriller as your next read. They keep you guessing. Really…what difficulty will arise? Who is responsible? I adore how thrillers spin perfectly ordinary things, like a stroll through the woods, into something sinister. You can tuck yourself between the pages and get lost for hours, curled under the covers, looking over your shoulder as you read. The settings are usually eerie. Dark nights. Deserted roads. Spooky swamps. Sleepy islands. A sprawling, empty house. Ghostly coves. Shadows. Mystery. The setting itself becomes a living thing, with a heartbeat of its own. Like if you reach out, it just might grab you. The characters are sly. A thriller never fails to give you a mischievous character. You can’t figure out what they’re really up to, and that’s a good thing. Parts of them are hidden—perhaps it’s their past, possibly where they disappear to at certain hours of the day, or even their closely guarded thoughts. They make you wonder if maybe, just maybe, they could…

Molly E. Lee | Top Five Fandoms
Author Guest / January 26, 2018

We all love our fandoms, right? I have so many but right now these are my favorites 🙂 Harry Potter I’m a diehard fan of this series and a proud Ravenclaw! My husband is a Hufflepuff, so we are a happy house united. J via GIPHY Game of Thrones I’m so in love with this show, and I’m in absolute agony waiting for the next season! We’re currently reading the books, still on book one, just to satisfy the craving! We are also of House Targaryen according to the quizzes we took. LOL via GIPHY A Court of Thrones and Roses I’m obsessed with this series and have re-read it several times already. I’m an honorable Lady of the Night court and never get tired of Wingspan jokes. 🙂 Stranger Things This is a newer fandom that I’ve recently fallen in love with, but it counts all the same! The writing on this show is so brilliant and I’m a huge fan of all the nerd-power happening on here!!! via GIPHY Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake Can this count as a fandom? I mean, I seriously can’t help, but love anything these two do together. They never fail to make…

Katee Robert | History/Inspiration for THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER
Author Guest / January 24, 2018

THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER is follows the story of Eden Collins, an FBI agent who grew up as the daughter of a cult leader. She escaped her mother’s control and made a life for herself, bringing down human monsters. When someone emails her a picture of a dead girl with tattoos that mark her as a member of Eden’s mother’s cult, she goes home—despite her misgivings—to help with the investigation. I can trace the origin of this story to one specific moment. That ah ha moment where everything clicks into place. I was reading FBI Agent John Douglas’s book, MIND HUNTER. Douglas was one of the founding members of the FBI’s serial crime unit and he did a ton of research in regards to serial murder, including many interviews with incarcerated serial killers. It’s very interesting reading, and I highly recommend it if you’re intrigued by that sort of thing. The part that triggered the concept of this book was Douglas’s interview with Charles Manson. He has some fascinating views of Manson, one of which was his opinion regarding the murders perpetuated by Manson’s cult. Douglas questioned whether Manson even knew about the initial murders—or intended them (no question that he…

Meet Val Collins
Author Guest / January 24, 2018

I started writing when I was very young, long rambling stories that went on forever. I especially liked to rewrite the end of sad movies. I hated unhappy endings. When I was about ten, I made my first attempt at writing dialogue. It was dreadful and as a kid I had an unfortunate need to be perfect (I outgrew it) so that was the end of my writing career. At the back of my mind I always thought I would try writing again but somehow life always got in the way. Then one day I had more time on my hands than usual so I just started writing. I could picture the first scene of my book so clearly and I got such a kick out of writing it that I couldn’t wait to write more. Now I can’t imagine a life without writing and I’m so sorry I gave up writing all those years ago. About Val Collins My mum taught us all to read when we were three so I can’t remember a time I didn’t read. When I was little I lived in a tiny village in the west of Ireland and there were no book shops….