Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Laura Morelli | 20 Questions: THE STOLEN LADY
Author Guest / September 22, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE STOLEN LADY: A Novel of WWII & the Mona Lisa  2–What is it about? Two women, separated by 500 years, hide the Mona Lisa—with unintended consequences. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  In a year when no one could leave home, traveling vicariously by writing THE STOLEN LADY truly kept me sane. In my imagination, I whisked myself away to Renaissance Florence, over the Alps to the Louvre, to the breathtaking châteaux of the Loire Valley, and to the hulking medieval abbeys of southern France. What an incredible imaginary journey during the strangest of times! 4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  As a novelist, I have long wanted to explore the mind of someone who threw a treasured possession onto the Bonfire of the Vanities in Florence in February 1497. But building out the mindset and background of such a character (Bellina—a servant in Lisa Gherardini’s house) made me ask so many questions and then rethink them all. 5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  Bellina (at the turn of the 16th-century) and Anne (in the 1940s) are average women facing extraordinary circumstances. I think we’ve…

Alexa Aston | The History Behind the Lawmen of the West Series
Author Guest / September 22, 2021

As a former history teacher, I enjoy the research aspect when plotting and writing my Regency, Medieval, & Western historical romances. I have researched topics such as falconry, herbs, archery, the waltz, dime novels, food, and clothing of the various eras I write in. I can tell you the correct way to address a duke and the different positions men rode driving cattle to market. My recent Lawmen of the West series made for uncovering some fascinating facts, though! For Ballad Beauty, I visited the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame Museum in Waco, Texas (after a stop at Magnolia Bakery, of course). I viewed different kinds of weapons and uniforms on display and recorded the oath each potential Ranger took. I also researched Irish ballads for this romance, as the heroine was tracking a treasure her Irish father had hidden. He provided clues to its location using songs he sang to her as a child. Blind Faith had me studying bullet wounds and blindness, which my US marshal suffered during a mission to rescue a kidnapped senator and his son, while I delved into 19th-century painting since my heroine was a landscape artist. I like to think she was just…