Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Ashley Hastings | Author-Reader Match: SWEET TALK + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 31, 2019

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present ASHLEY HASTINGS!  What I Write About: I write contemporary and new adult fiction that leans to towards the humorous side. My version of romance is steamy with a lot of hearts and flowers. My goal when writing is to rev up your libido while tugging at your heartstrings! All of my books are set in the small, fictional town of Peacock, and my characters cross over from book to book. Although the books are linked, they are all stand-alones, so you can jump in and start reading with any book. About Me: Lifelong romantic seeks readers who appreciate heroines who are facing change in their lives with courage and a sense of humor. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Must appreciate witty banter. Stray animals who show up and move in. Whimsical, over-the-top characters and predicaments. Must also love an Alpha male and the women who keep them in check. What to expect: Jaw-dropping plot twists. Swoon-worthy love scenes….

Alyson McLayne | Top 3 Places To Visit In Scotland
Author Guest / July 31, 2019

Scotland’s held a special place in my heart for a long time. My mom put me in Highland Dancing when I was little, and I can remember standing on a chair in our dining room for hours as she struggled to make my kilt–pinning and repining the pleats and making sure it sat perfectly on my hips. She also made me a fitted, velvet vest to wear over my lacey blouse. The final product was beautiful but heavy (all those deep pleats!), making the dances even harder to perform. Not surprisingly, when I grew out of my costume a few years later and needed a new one, she paid someone else to make it. We were both happier that she left it to the professionals! So years later, when I was on a University exchange in England for six months, the first trip I took during spring break was all the way north through Scotland to the Orkney Islands, off the northeast coast. To get there I stopped in Edinburgh, Inverness, and other places along the way. Scotland was a magical place to me with its history, castles, green valleys, craggy mountains, and wild seas. And brawny Scots in kilts,…

K. Bromberg | Exclusive Excerpt: RESIST
Author Guest / July 30, 2019

I walk onto the floor of Apropos. The light is dim and filtered a pale blue. It’s crowded tonight for a Thursday. Some women dance on the floor while men sit around the outside near the bar area, unwinding after a long day, wondering if they have a shot at a one-night stand with any of them. Their ties are pulled looser, sleeves are rolled up some, and jackets are hung on the backs of barstools. I move up the stairs to the pods where I typically work. The top tier overlooks the dance floor, but it is divided up into twelve private areas called pods. Each server is responsible for three pods at a time. These areas are reserved in advance and are typically booked by repeat customers here to relax under the guise of a business meeting, almost always to cater to their clients’ needs that they don’t always subscribe to themselves personally. Either that or to screw around on their significant others. Privacy and service is what they pay for. Privacy and service is what I give them. Moving into the Seven Pod, I assess the two men in deep conversation, one obviously angry despite the two…

Debbie Burns | My 5 Favorite Activities with My Dogs + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 30, 2019

There are so many things I love to do with my dogs, it’s hard to pick, but snuggling definitely tops the list. I have two rescues, Hazel (9) and Nala (3), and their personalities couldn’t be more different. Hazel, the border collie mix, is independent and task-oriented. Nala, who was DNA tested and found to be a mix of pit bull, Basset hound, Rottweiler, and Newfoundland mastiff, is a 55-pound, squat-legged companion dog…and the family snuggler. As soon as one of us sits on the couch, she’s up there with us and as close as can be. She doesn’t understand boundaries…at all! She sleeps on my bed most nights, and once in a while, I will wake up to find she’s using me as a pillow. Experiencing that quiet, unspoken trust makes my morning. My second favorite activity is the twice-daily walks around the neighborhood or to the park with Nala and Hazel. Sometimes we all three have different motivations—Hazel is on the lookout for squirrels and rabbits, Nala is all about other dogs and people, and I’m always hoping to work in some real cardio. We each make concessions, and I find these walks to be disjointedly peaceful. Any…

Kari Lynn Dell | Making it Real in Western Romance
Author Guest / July 30, 2019

As a born and raised Montana rancher and rodeo cowgirl, I am immersed in my subject matter—often literally in the case of mud, manure, and bovine amniotic fluid. Yeah, I see that face you’re making. I do occasionally get a little too real and my editor has to explain that not only is she baffled when I say a horse ‘broke in two’, but the visual is extremely disturbing. (For the record, it is a synonym for suddenly starting to buck, also known as ‘bogged his head’ and ‘blew up’.) Beyond the language and the technical details, though, I find a writer is most likely to miss the mark by failing to understand that this is a culture unto itself. Regular folks tend to find our values and priorities a tad difficult to comprehend. First, and most awesome, is the way in which women tend to be perceived. Imagine a world where you are routinely praised for being strong, aggressive, independent, and competitive. Where on a day to day basis you are valued for what you can do versus how you look and complimented for kicking ass. Imagine being in a relationship with a man who is utterly baffled if…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Cool Book Treats to Beat the Heat!
Author Guest , Cozy Corner / July 29, 2019

Can it get any hotter? Yes, it can! Luckily, I’m talking about mysteries on my bookshelf and not the temperatures outside. (I refuse to listen to the weather reports at this point.) The books I’ve chosen this month are heating up the charts and bringing a biting blast to enflame your imagination. July started out rather nicely with temps below normal, and a novel release of a curious cat prowling around in Booking a Crook! Laurie Cass’s ninth Bookmobile Cat Mystery will have you dreaming of creating your own snow angels (preferably not the ones that accompany dead bodies) and wondering if it can actually get cold enough outside to make your teeth chatter as Minnie Hamilton struggles to keep her bookmobile on the streets of Chilson, Michigan. The name of the midwestern town alone should help you feel the chill in the air, but if you’re still looking for goosebumps, imagine looking at the people you’ve known your entire life as murder suspects. The shocking twist at the end is guaranteed to freeze the blood in your veins! BOOKING THE CROOK by Laurie Cass Bookmobile Cat #7 It’s all paws on deck as a librarian and her rescue cat…

Beth Williamson | My Favorite Movies and How They Shaped My Writing
Author Guest / July 29, 2019

I am a huge movie fan, have been since I was little. That’s where I saw my first western, my first musical, my first romantic comedy, my first sci-fi, and my first drama. Then I went to college to be a screenwriter, and that didn’t quite work out like I planned. But I have to say, I love writing romance novels even more! And movies provide inspiration in my writing. It primes the pump, so to speak. So now for my favorite movies…. THE PRINCESS BRIDE – Oh how I love this movie. The love story, the snarkiness, the delicious comedy, and the ridiculousness of it all. Buttercup is a strong woman who knows what she wants, Westley, and manages to keep her strength despite life’s challenges. At its core, it’s well-written, well-acted, and a brilliant script. It’s about our choices in life and how they shape our future. Definitely not inconceivable. STEEL MAGNOLIAS – I wish I could see the play but I have seen the movie many times. Living in North Carolina the last 22 years has given me the perspective of what being a southern woman means. Steel Magnolias is about women, their friendships, their fortitude and…

Claudia Shelton | Five Reasons I Love My Shades Team
Author Guest / July 29, 2019

My current romantic suspense series, Shades of Leverage, is filled with action and adventure, set against the backdrop of sexy protector agents and strong-willed women. Locales can be anywhere from a city in the Midwest to the Florida coastline and the Gulf of Mexico. From the Northwest pines to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Filled with plot twists and cutting-edge equipment, most of the time, you won’t figure out the true villain until the last few chapters. Even then, there’s always one more thing you didn’t see coming. One more no-way will they survive. One more kiss. The Shades of Leverage series centers on the covert agency known as OPAQUE (Operation Protector Agents Quantum Elite). Their mission? Protect the innocent from the corrupt, and counter the crime-riddled greed and power of Coercion Ten (CT). The parts blur a great deal of the time because CT’s targets are their way of having leverage against someone lucrative to their exploits. Someday, OPAQUE will zero in on CT’s main base of operation. Until then, they keep fighting to save the targets. Keep compiling more and more intelligence. And leading the way is the Shades Team. They are an integral part of OPAQUE’s…

Author Guest / July 29, 2019

As a romcom author, it goes without saying that there’s a fair bit of romance in my stories – like my next book, How to Hack a Heartbreak, which is all about the highs and lows of searching for love on the internet. In the story, the main character, Melanie Strickland, sets her sights on one guy in particular, Alex Hernandez. But her burgeoning love affair with Alex isn’t the only significant relationship in her life. Equally important (if not moreso) are the friendships Mel has with her three best girlfriends: Whitney, Dani, and Lia. As I was writing How to Hack a Heartbreak, I wanted to convey the power of women and the importance of female friendships. Because let’s face it, ladies: lovers often come and go, but your girlfriends will always be your true ride or dies. The girl gang in this book was partially inspired by my own best friends, who’ve been there for me through practically every momentous life event – from my high school graduation to my wedding day, from my son’s birth to my mother’s death. Sometimes I think they know me better than I know myself, and frankly, I’m not sure I’d be…

Kat Martin | Real Life Heroes
Author Guest / July 29, 2019

As a writer, I’m always looking for new story ideas. For most writers, past experiences can be a very big help. Have you ever survived a dangerous situation? How did you do it? When I was first learning to snow ski, I got caught on top of Stowe Mountain, Vermont in a blizzard, after the lifts had closed. It’s a huge ski area. It was my first day on skis and somehow I got separated from my friends and wound up on a black diamond run. Of course, I started falling, and falling, and falling. Throwing myself down in the snow was the only way I knew how to stop! By the time I got halfway down, it was pitch black and freezing cold. I tried taking off my skis and walking, but the snow was deep and it was even harder than trying to ski. The clothes I had on weren’t nearly thick enough for a New England winter and I was afraid hypothermia would set in. I knew I was in big trouble. Maybe the reason I started writing Romantic Suspense had something to do with that day. Just when I was ready to give up, just sit…