Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Magan Vernon | 20 Questions: HEIRLY EVER AFTER
Author Guest / May 14, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? Heirly Ever After 2–What is it about? A young woman is attending her sister’s royal wedding–sans a date who broke up with her after she dropped out of college for him–so she takes a date with a Scottish man she meets on the train who happens to be the outcast of the royal family. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love the Cotswold feel of an English country town with rolling hills and the historical aspects of the castle that I built in my head in Heired Lines from watching a lot of Secrets of Great British Castles 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  She wasn’t supposed to be this dang persistent. In my head originally she was spunky, but I kept having to tell my brain one thing and she wanted to do another. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  That he’s genuine. His story could have been very different and he could have been a villain or an anti-hero. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  To make Lord Jacob a real hero and not an anti-hero. 7–Do…

Lynn Rush & Kelly Anne Blount | Exclusive Interview: GUTTER GIRL
Author Guest / May 14, 2021

Danielle: Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Lynn and Kelly Anne! Can you tell us about how you two started writing together? Lynn & Kelly Anne: It almost resembles a prom-posal. We met on our Seymour Agency loop when Kelly joined the agency. After becoming critique partners one day Kelly said something to the effects of, “Hey, we should write a book together.” And heck yeah, I said yes!   We talked over iMessage and on the phone, going over potential ideas until we settled on a sports romance, IN THE PENALTY BOX, which released in January 2021. Once we started writing IN THE PENALTY BOX, it led to the sequel, CROSSING THE LINE. It didn’t stop there, though, either. The 12-book concept of Twin River High a.k.a. Sweet Valley High meets Gossip Girl was born. In 2020, we wrote six books together through Google Docs, countless hours on the phone, and lots of texting. It’s been awesome! We are a great team and love creating new series, storylines, and characters for you to fall in love with! I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but how do you decide who writes what? Do you have any tips for…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: DON’T MAKE ME TURN THIS LIFE AROUND by CAMILLE PAGAN
Author Guest / May 14, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write DON’T MAKE ME TURN THIS LIFE AROUND, the follow-up to Life and Other Near-Death Experiences? Camille: Of all the characters I’ve ever created, Libby, the protagonist of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, has always been my favorite—her wry but optimistic outlook is arguably the closest to my own—and I knew even before finishing the first novel that I’d write about her again one day. Even so, the ending of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences was deliberately ambiguous, so I didn’t want to pick right back up where she left off, which was finding the courage to begin cancer treatment and start a new family. I wanted to wait a while and find her at a different stage of life. Jen: What is happening in Libby’s world at the beginning of the novel? Camille: Thirteen years have passed since Libby’s cancer diagnosis; she’s now 46 and by all accounts, her life is going swimmingly. Though she suspected her cancer had returned, she’s just received a clean bill of health. Her marriage is happy, if a bit routine, and one of her 12-year-old twins, Charlotte, has been successfully managing her own health crisis. Yet if Libby’s…

Julie Rowe | What Write What You Know Really Means (to me)
Author Guest / May 13, 2021

The write what you know writing advice is so well known and repeated it’s a cliche. It’s often dismissed as worn out and antiquated thanks to research being so much easier with our current level of technology (I grew up in the 80s and used a rotary phone. Wheee! Fun times). The thing is, write what you know doesn’t mean technical know-how to me. Anyone can research police procedure, medical facts, and rocket science, that stuff is easy. It’s the people stuff that’s hard to write if you’ve never lived it yourself. People stuff? Definition: People stuff – A mixture of psychology and life experience, including but not limited to: personality, traumas, successes, failures, deaths, injuries, odd relatives, first car, first love, betrayals, jobs, major life events (good and bad), etc… All of that and a lot more shapes our attitudes, understanding, and actions. It allows us to create a variety of characters who feel three-dimensional and alive. Every writer writes what they know, what they’ve lived through and have come to understand. Every writer has a personal theme that appears in every story they write. Mine is a combination of Protector and Healing. My stories are about characters who…

David Hirshberg | JACOBO’S RAINBOW
Author Guest / May 12, 2021

You’re a big believer in the importance of opening paragraphs. Please elaborate. I’ve got two favorites. The first is from A Tale of Two Cities, whose first sentence is, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I also really like: “Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear.” That’s from Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. When I open a novel for the first time, I want to be intrigued or amazed or unsettled—right from the start. In addition, within a few sentences, I’m eager to get into the rhythm of literary language, which encourages me to continue to turn pages. The opening line of my debut novel in 2018—My Mother’s Son—has been commented on by almost all of the reviewers: “When you’re a kid, they don’t always tell you the truth.” It’s followed by, “They tell others that they don’t want to hurt you or they think you won’t understand. But in reality, it’s just easier if they tell you what makes them feel good, or what gets them out of a jam.” Readers tell me that this braces them for the unexpected, and this is precisely how I wanted them to react. Here’s…

Maddison Michaels | Exclusive Excerpt: THE BACHELOR BARGAIN
Author Guest / May 11, 2021

Exclusive chapter excerpt from THE BACHELOR BARGAIN by Maddison Michaels, for Fresh Fiction. Being hauled over the back of Sebastian’s shoulder like a sack of coal, with her derrière resting high near his head, was not how she imagined the evening ending. In fact, some would think it rather mortifying, even though Livie found it a tad thrilling. She’d never been carried by any man before, well, at least not since she’d been a child. Though it was slightly uncomfortable being jostled on his shoulder while he stalked down the street, presumably to where her carriage was waiting. Hearing some horses in the distance, Livie knew her assumption was correct. Just as quickly as he’d scooped her up, he swung her down, careful to keep one hand of his on her waist as she steadied herself while he placed her cane in her other hand. Her breath caught in her throat from the touch of his hand against her own; even through her gloves she could feel the heat radiating from his skin. His hand was so large and work-worn, so very different from the manicured and soft hands of the gentlemen she knew. It was a hand capable of…

Samanthe Beck | Author-Reader Match: WET AND RECKLESS
Author Guest / May 11, 2021

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 Samanthe Beck Writes: Sam writes contemporary romances set in small towns, or big cities, featuring sweet-talking heroes, or dirty-talking heroes, or the strong, silent types and shy, straitlaced heroines, or bad-girls with golden hearts, or kick-ass heroines who take no prisoners. The only constants? Her stories are so sexy you gotta keep a spritzy-fan handy and pack the kind of emotional punch that requires a “book hangover” warning. About: Sam’s turn-ons include sleep (there’s never enough!), wine (um, again, there’s never enough!), her family (she has just enough!), and characters who come out of nowhere and make her laugh. Turn offs include missed deadlines, missed meals, missed sleep and being out of wine! What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: For my newest book, WET AND RECKLESS, my ideal reader must love: Small, southern towns such as Bluelick, Kentucky, the fictional town where the story takes place, (also known as the sexiest small town south of the Mason-Dixon line)! A strict small-town cop with a sexy scowl…

Emily Henry | 20 Questions: PEOPLE YOU MEET ON VACATION
Author Guest / May 11, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? PEOPLE YOU MEET ON VACATION 2–What is it about? I think a good pitch is When Harry Met Sally mixed with One Day. It’s the story of Poppy and Alex, best friends since college, who’ve taken a summer trip together every year for ten years—only for a disastrous final trip to Croatia to ruin their relationship. Now, two years later, Poppy’s determined to mend it with one last trip, so the book follows their post-friend-break-up vacation, as well as all the trips they’ve taken up to that point. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Usually, my books are pretty grounded in one location, but this one takes place in multiple cities and countries, and reliving bits and pieces of all the trips that inspired those particular scenes was a blast. I definitely think of this novel as a vacation in book form, and I hope readers will have that experience too. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  A lot of times, I’m very conscious of how I think my readership will react to my female characters. It just seems like it’s easier for female characters to grate on…

L.C. Sharp | 20 Questions: THE WEDDING NIGHT AFFAIR
Author Guest / May 10, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? The Wedding Night Affair 2–What is it about? It’s a murder mystery with the promise of romance to come. Juliana wakes up next to the body of her dead husband. He’s been stabbed through the heart, but she is sure she didn’t do it. Enter Sir Edmund Asheton, lawyer and criminal investigator. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Back then, in the 1740s, London was the biggest city in the world, but it had no police force. You could be hanged for stealing a loaf of bread – if you were caught. Criminal masterminds played both sides of the law, keeping their minions in check by threatening to turn them in. Mobs ruled, and they were frequent and dangerous. One of the reviewers of the book commented that I treated the mob in the book like an everyday occurrence. Well, if you read the newspapers (known as journals) of the time, they were just that. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Despite her parents treating her like a valuable piece of art, an asset rather than a person, she had an inner resilience. The brutal treatment she received…

Peggy Ehrhart | Strawberries on the Brain
Author Guest / May 10, 2021

Food is almost as important as knitting in my Knit & Nibble mysteries. The members of the Knit and Nibble knitting group take turns hosting the club’s weekly meetings, and each week’s host serves a sweet treat with coffee and tea at break time. I include at least one recipe in each book, often for the sweet treat baked and served by my amateur-sleuth protagonist, Pamela Paterson. In devising the recipes that my characters make and serve, I like to keep the time of year in mind. Knitty Gritty Murder takes place in May, so I have Pamela bake a rhubarb cheesecake for the knitting group. The recipe for that creation appears at the end of the book and photos of it appear on my website’s Knitty Gritty Murder page. But May is also the month for strawberries. Knit and Nibble’s only male member, Roland DeCamp, prides himself on doing his own cooking when it’s his turn to host the group. But he’s not the most experienced cook, so I give him simple recipes. In Knitty Gritty Murder, he serves Strawberry Jell-O Pie, which I learned to make in high school and which requires little more than a box of…