Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
L.E. Rico | Making Mayhem
Author Guest / July 23, 2018

Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota where the cats wear sweaters, the local priest dispenses love advice and you can find your fortune in the bottom of a pie plate. Sounds like a pretty strange place, right? Yeah, well that’s what I was going for when I created the backdrop for my series of sweet, small town romances called The Whiskey Sisters. Said sisters have inherited their father’s pub and are each named after a different liquor—Hennessy, Jameson, Walker and Bailey. I wanted these young women to be strong and independent but also fun and funny. And I needed to give them a hometown so unique that they’d never want to leave. And so was established Mayhem, Minnesota—a tiny hamlet in the region known as the Iron Range—where it gets mighty snowy, and mighty cold. When the town folk collectively adopt a group of cats rescued from a storm-ravaged region in the south, the find out pretty fast that the poor kitties are freezing their furry little butts off. Enter The Knitty Kitty. This business, owned by a very talented knitter by the name of Julie Freddino, caters to the feline population of Mayhem by outfitting them with stylish and functional apparel….

Sariah Wilson | #MOONSTRUCK
Author Guest , Excerpt / July 17, 2018

My newest release, #MOONSTRUCK, which goes on sale July 17, is the second in my #Lovestruck series for Montlake about “hometown” girls who fall in love with celebrities, with the help of social media. In #MOONSTRUCK, Maisy Harrison is a hairdresser and lead singer in the fledging rock band Yesterday. She and her three brothers play in a local bar once a week—and dream of making the big time. It’s actually her friend Angie’s obsession with international pop singer Ryan de Luna, though, that puts Maisy and Ryan together when he comes to town to perform in concert. And the obvious question I get asked a lot is, am I—or was I—ever a fangirl of celebrities? The answer is, YES! And I kind of still am. I make a daily stop at to catch up on entertainment news. I’m glad that I had no Internet or social media growing up, because I can see how that might have gotten me in trouble. I might have cyberstalked some celebrities back then! I’ve never had a backstage pass to a concert, as Angie and Maisy do in #MOONSTRUCK. When I was a teenager, going to concerts wasn’t something my parents could…

Christina Phillips | My fave friends-to-lovers romcoms
Author Guest , Top 5 / July 17, 2018

I absolutely love romantic comedies, and one of my fave tropes is friends-to-lovers. Sometimes a slow-burn romance, when the hero and heroine are trying so hard not to overstep that line, is just perfect. In my latest release, ONCE UPON A PLAYER, both Lucas and Violet fall for each other as soon as they see each other, but decide not to cross the friend line, because Violet’s vowed to never trust another player. And although Lucas knows he should walk away, he can’t. It’s better to be friends than nothing at all, right? Famous last words…😊 So, in no particular order, I thought I’d share three of my favorite friends-to-lovers romcom movies! Just Friends Well first of all, what’s not to love about Ryan Reynolds? He’s adorable, and not just in his movies! Nerdy Chris returns home for his ten-year school reunion and meets up with the girl he crushed on in high school. They were best friends back then, and when his grand plans to impress her come crashing down, it looks like friends is all they’ll ever be! Leap Year It’s so much fun watching Anna, who’s come to Ireland in order to propose to her boyfriend on…

Donna Michaels | The Final Ranger
Author Guest / July 16, 2018

Thank you so much for hosting me today to talk about my latest release in The Men of At-Ease Ranch Series. My original contract with Entangled was only for three books, but thanks to the fans that wrote to my publisher, I was contracted to write books for the remaining two Rangers. My new release: THE ARMY RANGER’S SURPRISE is the fifth book, and I’m so honored and excited to finally give my readers the story they’ve been waiting for, as well as my hero his well-deserved HEA. Why is it well-deserved? Because Leo is the reason At-Ease ranch was created. He represents the real-life service members who have a hard time adjusting to civilian life when they come home. Leo’s struggle has unfolded throughout the series, and thanks to his book, I got to dig in and help him find some happiness. But don’t worry. His story is not too dark. Like the rest of the books in this series, this one is a romantic comedy, too. And yes, everyone’s favorite character—Lula Belle the lovesick cow—makes an unforgettable appearance. A super big thank you to the fans for their overwhelming support of The Men of At-Ease Ranch! ♥ This…

Elizabeth Heiter | Top 5 Reasons to Write (or Read!) a Series
Author Guest / July 16, 2018

In the past five years, I’ve published books in three distinct series: The Profiler (a psychological suspense series featuring FBI profiler Evelyn Baine, whose job is to get into the heads of killers), The Lawmen (a romantic suspense series about three friends who make a pact to join the FBI after violence tears apart their lives, and what happens ten years later when that violence returns) and The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn (a romantic suspense series about three foster brothers ripped apart as children, who are determined to unravel the secret of their past). What is it about series that keeps me coming back? As a writer, it’s many of the same reasons that I can’t stay away from series as a reader: I can’t wait to revisit the characters: My Profiler series features one primary character, who returns book after book with new cases to profile for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. While the plot of each story revolves around her work as a profiler, part of what I love about her series is the character growth. In the first book in the series, HUNTED, Evelyn was socially inept and purposely isolated. By the time book four, STALKED, rolls…

Confessions of a Die-hard Mystery Lover
Cozy Corner / July 16, 2018

I have something to confess. I. Love. Mysteries. Not only do I write them, but I read them. Um, a lot of them. Not only do I nibble at their pages, but I consume them nightly on television. Why? There’s just something about the familiar characters, the sleuth and his sidekick or the detective sergeant and her trusty partner, that draws me in. I laugh at their silly jokes, bite my nails when they blunder into danger, and breathe a sigh of relief when they make it back safely to their apartment, cottage, or vicarage. The piece de la resistance is solving the mystery before my favorite detectives figure it out. Like chocolate cake, it melts in my mouth and makes my heart sing. What about you? Do you require your mysteries to be all sewn up by the end of the hour, chapter, season, or even—gulp–the end of the series? Regardless of your palate, this week’s cozy mystery new releases will help to satiate your love of solving mysteries, fighting crime, and sending those criminals where they belong, behind bars. BEACHES IN PARADISE by Kathi Daley Tj Jensen Mystery #9 Tj Jensen’s life is thrown into turmoil when a…

Rachelle Dekker | Five Character Types Every Suspense Novel Needs
Author Guest / July 16, 2018

Characters make or break a story, no matter the genre or theme. Readers have to be able to take the journey with each character that is written into the pages. They need to be able to place themselves in the characters’ shoes so they can experience the story as if it were a part of their own. When you accomplish this, you create a reading experience that is unforgettable. When creating a suspenseful setting and mysterious plotline, the characters have to be as dynamic and dimensional as possible. And not just your lead, but also the other major character roles that I believe every good suspense novel needs. First—The Protagonist: This one is obvious. Your hero, or lead, has to be relatable and honest. This is their story mainly, so all the elements of the story are in place to pull them forward to the end discovery. People need to like them, of course, but they also need to have weaknesses and struggles. They need to make mistakes, take the wrong path at times; they need to be afraid, and then filled with strength when the time comes. They need to reflect us so that the reader can relate to…

Freedom, Firecrackers And Fortitude
History / July 14, 2018

Fourth of July and Bastille Day celebrate the dynamic and unprecedented revolutions that spawned two new nations, one a former colony breaking away to control its own destiny, the other throwing off centuries of royal rule to create itself a republic—at least, for awhile. That Revolutionary France, and the dictatorship-turned-empire the followed, is explored by this column’s selection of historical fiction. Moving chronologically, we start with MADAME TUSSAUD: A NOVEL by best-selling author Michelle Moran. Trained by a Swiss doctor she calls her uncle, Marie Grosholtz becomes a skilled artist in the sculpting of wax and an astute businesswoman who helps run the family firm, Salon de Cire, which displays wax portraits and tableaux of the foremost personalities in France. Although her family’s home is a meeting place for budding revolutionaries like Desmoulins, Marat and Robespierre, when the royal family, impressed by her artistry, invites her to become a tutor to Princess Elizabeth, she cannot refuse. But as she gets to know her student, the king, and the queen better, she finds herself balancing a fine line between sympathy for her royal employers and the increasingly strident demands of the reformers. And when reform becomes the madness of the Reign…

Naima Simone | Did You Do Something Different with Your Hair?
Author Guest / July 11, 2018

I remember buying my first Christine Feehan book over fifteen years ago—DARK GOLD, Book 3 in her Dark series. I also remember almost not buying it, and the reason was entirely superficial. The hero’s hair was horrible. Like a pompadour and mullet got together and had all kinds of crazy wrong off-spring. Yeah, that bad. But my twin sister, who’d already read it, shoved it back in my hand, saying, “Don’t worry. He looks nothing like that. His hair’s long.” She could totally read my mind. So I bought it, and thus began my love affair with all things Christine Feehan. Just think… I could’ve missed all her wonderful goodness over a hairstyle. Hair on a hero is important to me. Great eyes, great body and yes, great hair. Because, I’m just sayin’… No hero should have a mullet. Or the Zach Efron-High School-Musical fringe bang. Or that Beatles-Ike-Turner bowl cut thing. Just a big bucket of nope. To me, a man’s hairstyle says a lot about his personality. When I start my characters sketches before beginning a book, I carefully choose the hero’s name and his appearance, which includes his hair. Here, let me regale you with my wisdom……

Linda Broday | The Conclusion of Texas Heroes
Author Guest / July 11, 2018

I’m so happy to be here, sharing my new release TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR! This brings the Texas Heroes series to an exciting conclusion and it’s been a long time coming. After I wrote the first two – KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS and THE COWBOY WHO CAME CALLING – the publisher folded and I never got to complete the series … until now. This is the book of my heart that I always wanted to write. We met Marley Rose McClain as a baby in KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS and now she’s all grown up and looking for love. But there are secrets. Why does she look so different from her parents? What is the secret they’re keeping? Why does a mysterious stranger seem to know her? She discovers Roan Penny lying severely injured at the side of the road one frosty morning and takes him to her family ranch. As he recovers, their attraction grows stronger and stronger and Marley knows he’s the one for her. He calls her his Texas Star and she sees undeniable love in his eyes even as danger surrounds them at every turn. Much of Marley’s time is spent helping to…