Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
France, Fashion, And Fortitude
Author Guest , History / September 24, 2018

With Paris Fashion Week beginning September 24, lovers of style and all things French turn their eyes to the City of Lights. In addition to producing iconic clothing, France’s twists, turns and sometime abrupt societal changes—from monarchy to revolution to empire–have long inspired historical novelists. 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 of Terror, she must put pragmatism before loyalty and do what is necessary to insure that…

Libby Klein | Midnight Snacks are Murder
Author Guest / September 24, 2018

Fresh Fiction My first short story won a very prestigious award setting my entire writing career into motion. It was called “The Magic Rabbit” and I won second place in my elementary school short story contest at the brilliant age of seven. Just listen to this prose: Once in a very far away land there lived a boy named Charlie and he had a brother named David. David had a rabbit named Dayton. Oh, that. Is. Good. I also feel I should point out at this time that Charlie and David are never mentioned again. In a very Avant Garde George R. R. Martin style, I kill off the protagonist and his sidekick in the first paragraph. I think my teachers could see that I had a gift for writing even then. This is also when I established myself as a writer who shuns most forms of punctuation. My agent will attest that I have kept that style true to this day. Most of the story is about a rabbit and a mouse who go on a “grand adventchure” in search of snacks. When they finally find carrots and radishes they celebrate with “a snack of reward.” I will point…

Allison B. Hanson | Must-Haves for Writing a Book
Author Guest / September 24, 2018

Must-Haves for Writing a Book by Allison B. Hanson An idea. Prepare for all the ways the ideas will come to you so you’re prepared. Ideas never come when you’re ready for them. Four o’clock in the morning ideas: Keep a tablet next to bed so you can jot down these gems. Note: the recording device on your phone might also work if you are especially good at translating Drunken Wookie. Shower ideas: Keep a washable marker in the shower. Note: do not use red. When the water makes it bleed down the shower it might scare other family members. At work ideas: Send the idea to yourself in the form of an email while also trying to pay attention to the meeting. Note: do not offer anything in the meeting, just nod and hope for the best. Dinner with friends ideas: Make sure to keep your voice low in the restaurant so other diners do not think you are really planning a murder in the next booth. Snacks. Nutritional snacks: to fuel you when you’re deep into an idea and don’t have time for actual meals. Candy: just because. You should never pass up a chance to eat candy….

Cleo Coyle | Top 5 Reasons Readers Demanded More Haunted Bookshop Mysteries
Author Guest / September 24, 2018

Some characters haunt you long after the book is done. That’s what fans of our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries told us after we stopped writing them. For nearly ten years their emails, notes, and posts implored us to revive the series. With this month’s publication of The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller, we finally did. We even dedicated the book to our readers, who wouldn’t rest until we brought Jack back. And who is Jack? THE HARDBOILED GHOST A tough PI from the mean streets of New York, Jack Shepard lived on the seamier side of life. His death (in 1949) was no picnic, either, leaving him with a hardened outlook, especially when it comes to judging people and their motives. Despite his troubled spirit, Jack has a wicked sense of humor, and he can’t help cracking wise about the absurdities of modern life—from bottled water and “smart” phones to television cop shows. THE PRIM BOOKSELLER A young widow with a little boy, Penelope Thornton-McClure once believed in spirits, until a succession of tragic losses took her faith away. Slowly, Jack Shepard is restoring that faith, and though Pen bristles at his retro male attitude, she’s encouraged by the strangest irony…

Lori Foster | Readers & ‘ritas Guest of Honor Interview
Readers & 'ritas / September 21, 2018

As part of our countdown to Readers & ‘ritas 2018, our Meet the Author interviews help you get to know the authors joining us in Texas on November 9-11. Read on to get acquainted with Guest of Honor and New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster, and purchase your ticket to meet her in person at Readers & ‘ritas! Pitch us your newest book in one sentence. DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: Alpha man and take-charge woman work together while danger looms and sexual chemistry explodes. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, who would you choose and what would you do? Brodie, from DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION, because he’s my new fave alpha who’s also crazy sexy, loves his family and animals, and is cocky to the extreme. I’d sit in the local bar, Freddie’s, and chat him up about life and his no-holds-barred perspectives on what’s right and wrong. What gets your creative juices flowing when you’re brainstorming a new story? My favorite part of any of my stories is the hero. I love, respect, and admire good men and enjoy “listening” as they tell me their stories so I can get them written. Which part of Readers…


Dear Readers: I started reading epic fantasy in high school, and I quickly devoured every single epic fantasy book that I could get my hands on. In fact, the very first (unpublished) book that I ever wrote back in college was an epic fantasy. That’s why I’m so thrilled to finally be writing my own epic fantasy series. KILL THE QUEEN is book #1 in my Crown of Shards series. KILL THE QUEEN focuses on Everleigh Blair, a royal who is distantly in line for the throne of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. But when the unthinkable happens, Evie finds herself fighting for her life—both inside and outside the gladiator arena. So the book is sort of like Gladiator meets Game of Thrones with a kick-butt heroine. If you are looking for a fantasy book with a strong heroine, plus lots of action, adventure, magic, and a healthy dose of romance, then you should check out KILL THE QUEEN. You can read the first chapter of KILL THE QUEEN on my website I hope that everyone enjoys getting to know Evie and all the other characters in KILL THE QUEEN. Happy reading! 🙂 New York Times bestselling author…

Tricia Tyler | Using the Setting as a Character
Author Guest / September 20, 2018

How many of you have thought of setting as a character?   As readers, don’t we all love to be taken away and sucked into the world we are reading about?   A great example of getting sucked into the world you are reading about is Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series. While I have never been to Chicago or been immersed in the biker culture, I could vividly picture it. She deftly draws you into the world until you can not only see it, you can hear and smell it as well. It’s like you’re in Chicago. Of course, I’d heard about settings being their own character, but it never really sank in until I was writing Dark Water. Not only did the lush beauty surrounding the Louisiana bayou firmly claim its place in the story, but New Orleans tagged in and brought its own personality to the page.   My ideas come to me randomly and in a different way every time I begin a new story. It can be plot, character… Etc. Well, you get the idea. With Dark Water it was my heroine, Evangeline’s Cajun grandmother, Maw Maw, who came to me first, and the…

Author Reader Match | Michele Pariza Wacek
Author Guest / September 17, 2018

WRITES: I write psychological thrillers that include romance (is romantic psychological thrillers a thing? If it is, that’s what I’m writing) plus a dash of paranormal. Basically what I love to explore is the idea of “things are not as they seem.” Is it a haunting? Or is there something else going on? Or … could it be both? My latest book IT BEGAN WITH A LIE is a perfect example of a few of my fave things coming together as it includes a haunted house (that may not be haunted) in a creepy “Twins Peak” like town with a love triangle just to spice things up. ABOUT AUTHOR: I taught myself to read at 3 years old because I wanted to write stories so badly. I’m a voracious reader of all types of genres (which is likely why I love nothing more then genre bending in my own books). I grew up in Wisconsin (and, so far, all of my books have take place there) but now live in the mountains of Arizona (and one day I hope to have a book take place here) with my hubby of twenty-plus years (!) and southern squirrel hunter, Cassie. WHAT I’M…

Exclusive Excerpt | What I’ve Done by Melinda Leigh
Excerpt / September 17, 2018

Buy WHAT I’VE DONE: | Kindle | | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Ripped Bodice | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR Plastic chairs and vending machines formed a small waiting area at the end of the hall in the emergency department. Lance leaned on a snack machine, assessing the pallor in Morgan’s face and the slight trembling of her fingers, which she was working hard to hide. “You should be resting.” “I know.” She sniffed, and her voice dropped to a whisper. “There’s nothing I’d like more than to go home and focus all my attention on an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But if I let go now, I’m not sure I could pull myself together again.” Her gaze broke away and traveled the hallway to where a deputy stood guard outside the room where Haley was being examined. The deputy had balked at being told to wait outside. The previous sheriff had been very old-school. There were no female deputies. The situation was unusual. Normally, the person being examined was the victim, not the accused. But seriously, where was Haley going to go? She was sick, and…

Anna Harrington | Top 5 Reasons Why Regency Romances are Sexier Than You Think
Author Guest / September 13, 2018

I’ve heard several readers of modern romances say that they don’t like to read historicals because they’re just not as hot and steamy as modern romances. Not true! In fact, Regency era romances are brimming with opportunities for sizzle, if you know where to look. No underwear = quick trysts. That’s right. People during this time period did not wear knickers, and a man who claimed to wear “small clothes” would be laughed at for being effeminate. There was simply no need for underwear when a woman wore multiple layers that went all the way down to her ankles and when men’s shirts had enough fabric to keep anything from being seen once it was tucked into their pantaloons or breeches. No underwear also made it much easier for women to use chamber pots…and much easier for both sexes for intimate encounters, when they don’t have to remove their clothes (considering how long it took to get dressed during this time, this is a huge bonus). While “drawers” for women emerged around this time, very few women actually wore them, and they were still open in the crotch. Carriage sex. With small compartments, pitch black darkness inside at night, and…