Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Alanna Martin | Author-Reader Match: LOVE AND LET BARK
Author Guest / November 30, 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 you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Alanna Martin! Writes: I write contemporary romance with lots of family drama, humor, and heart. My heroines are smart and successful, and my heroes prove that nothing is sexier than kindness. It’s always my hope that my stories be reminders that love can win in the end, no matter the obstacles. For the characters in LOVE AND LET BARK, love is also about finding the strength to be the person you want to be. About: As a city girl transplanted to a small town, I’m always up for breaking big city and small town stereotypes. I love being outdoors, having coffee with friends, and dreaming big—all traits that have a tendency to show up in my characters. If I’m not writing, I’m probably lost in the mountains. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: -someone who loves a soft-spoken, big-hearted firefighter -who relates to a practical-minded, protective heroine -must love puppies -has a thing for found families -is tired of billionaires getting everything they want -is ready for…

Caitlin McKenna | Books and Movies to Get You in the Holiday Spirit
Author Guest / November 30, 2021

It’s that time of year when a warm inviting fire beckons us to curl up on the couch with a great romance novel and some hot cocoa. Perhaps this is why I couldn’t resist setting my latest romantic comedy at Christmastime. COLORADO CHRISTMAS MAGIC brings two high school sweethearts together to debunk a small mountain town’s famous Scrooge Legend. The more these skeptics attempt to prove that Christmas magic doesn’t exist, the more the magic begins to work between the two of them, and they soon experience love, laughter, and holiday cheer, which is what Christmas is all about. Is it me, or has life become so busy that it’s become more difficult to enjoy the holidays? When you’re answering work emails at midnight two weeks before Christmas, here’s a listicle of my favorite Christmas movies and books that will help to put you in the Christmas spirit. # 5 The Night Before Christmas by. This children’s book, for all ages, sparked my love for writing and Christmas. During the holiday season, my mom used to read this story to my sister and me before we dozed off to sleep. The detailed description of St. Nick and his reindeer is timeless,…

Babette de Jongh | A Professional Animal Communicator Who Writes Romance Novels
Author Guest / November 30, 2021

How does a professional animal communicator end up writing romance novels? It’s a fair question, because the two interests—animal communication and romance writing—don’t seem at all related. In fact, many well-meaning people have advised me to choose one and let the other go. Their point: It’s hard enough to succeed at anything when you’re laser-focused and giving it everything you’ve got. It was entirely possible that such a divided focus would doom both ventures to failure. But I’ve always believed that my passions would provide a roadmap to the next right place. So, as I honed my skills of animal communication, I honed my writing skills too. While I built my business as an animal communicator, I wrote a how-to book about animal communication, and several novels (some that are still under the bed, taunting me like Edgar Allan Poe’s telltale heart under the floorboards). But my romance writing and animal communication skills all came together one day at a romance writer’s conference, when a writer who knew my work said, “You should pitch something to Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks. She’d love your writing.” My truth-meter went off in a big way.  I knew without a doubt that some channel…

Julie Ann Walker | Exclusive Excerpt: SHOT ACROSS THE BOW
Author Guest / November 29, 2021

“I love you.” He wasn’t sure who was more surprised by his outburst, him or her. Her. Definitely her, he decided a second later when her face blanched and the pulse beating in her throat went thready. Fuck. So much for living up to your nickname. Romeo was romantic. That was just…clumsy. “Breathe, Mia,” he instructed quietly and watched her suck in a ragged breath. He opened his mouth to add, he wasn’t sure what, but she beat him to the punch. “I love you too.” He blinked, not quite believing his ears. His heart believed them. And it couldn’t decide whether it wanted to burst with joy or fly out of his mouth on wings of happiness. Maybe both. Fly out of his mouth and then explode like a confetti cannon, leaving little paper hearts raining down around them. He had to make sure the pain meds weren’t making him hallucinate. “You do?” he asked cautiously. “Of course I do. You’re the most amazing man I’ve ever met. The most amazing person I’ve ever met.” She shrugged. “How could I not love you?” With every word out of her mouth, his elation grew. In fact, it was so big…

Kris Ripper | Exclusive Excerpt: THE LIFE REVAMP
Author Guest / November 23, 2021

It didn’t take long to finish the details and open the account. I let [Diego] know how to set up the online portal and gave him the usual rundown on our services. Blah blah blah, don’t hesitate to contact me, you might find X, Y, Z interesting, here’s a big packet of things you won’t read. I set his own folder on top and settled it on the desk in front of him. “That’s it? That was…relatively painless.” I couldn’t help allowing the hint of a smirk into my expression. “Did you think it would be painful?” “Not exactly. But when you put something off for years before doing it, I think it tends to collect an…air of morbid dread around it. When it’s then accomplished in thirty minutes sitting across from, uh, you, I guess it seems a little silly to have worried about it for so long. Of course until recently I wouldn’t have had a you to take the edge off.” “I’m…glad I could help. In all the ways.” Which felt true. All the ways. The account. The alleviation of dread. The…mutual appreciation. He patted down his pockets, pulling out a crumpled receipt, keys tangled with a…

Coreene Callahan | My Writing Routine + Giveaway!
Author Guest / November 23, 2021

I’m often asked about my writing routine. How I write. When I write. Where the ideas come from and how I get each one onto the page. For me, ideas have never been a problem. I have too many most of the time. The trick is deciding which ones I connect with most. My characters help me with that when they show up and start talking. The loudest, most determined one always gets the most airtime inside my head, invading my creative bubble so insistently I can no longer ignore them. Sometimes, it makes for a chaotic start to my day! One thing for sure, though, remains consistent about my writing routine. I’m a morning person, pure and simple. So when I tell people I get up at 5 AM, seven days a week, to write, I am invariably treated to incredulous looks and even a few “Are you crazy?” comments. Maybe I am. Then again, maybe I’m just the right amount. My imagination is alive early in the day. From the moment I open my eyes, the story I’m writing comes to life inside my mind and characters take shape and form. There’s just something about a quiet house…

Ginger Bolton | Title Challenge + Exclusive Excerpt: DECK THE DONUTS
Author Guest / November 22, 2021

D is for Deputy Donut, both the cat and the shop. E is for Emily and the exciting Brent Fyne. C is for coffee, crime, and that cop. K is for mistletoe—you know what I mean. (And did I mention the handsome Detective Brent Fyne?) * T is for tourists stranded in town. H is for houseguests, feeling quite down. E is for events and entertaining all ‘round. * D is for donuts, detectives, delight. O is for observing, overhearing, and “Oooohs!” N is for nosing around in the night. U is for understanding the most subtle clues. T is for treats. (That includes mistletoe.) S is for sleuthing, skiing, and snow. Exclusive Excerpt from DECK THE DONUTS Chapter 6 I turned on the bedside lamp. Dep stood with her nose against my closed bedroom door. Her tail twitched back and forth, and the fur along her spine stood up in a way that made my own hackles rise. It was one thirty in the morning. Who had closed the front door? Had Paige left, or had someone arrived? I always locked the door, but maybe seeing Dep on Paige’s lap after I came in from parking the car had…

Coreene Callahan | Top 5 Attributes Every Dragon-Shifter Should Have
Author Guest / November 22, 2021

I had an incredible amount of fun writing FURY OF DESTRUCTION (the Dragonfury Series). Gage and Samantha’s story surprised me every step of the way. She’s tenacious, smart, and sassy while struggling to overcome a disability that challenges who she believes herself to be. He’s both tender and tough, a take-no-prisoners kind of guy who makes enemy dragon-warriors fly in the opposite direction. So to say I enjoyed writing about the pair is an understatement. Together, they make for an explosive, passionate, exhilarating combination. So today, in keeping with Gage’s tough guy routine, I’m listing some of the things I think are important for every dragon-warrior to possess. Top 5 Attributes Every Dragon-shifter Should Have: 1–A wicked amount of lethal. (Because you never know when he might need to pull a truckload of vicious out of his bag of tricks to send other dragons fleeing.) 2–Razor-sharp intelligence. (Not only to make quick decisions on the fly, but to catch the other Nightfury warriors cheating at the weekly poker game.) 3–A well-developed sense of humor. (If he can’t laugh at himself, no way he’ll survive a sharp-witted razzing from his fellow dragon-warriors. And honestly, it happens…a lot.) 4–Charm…and bucketsful of it….

Kait Ballenger | Exclusive Excerpt: WILD COWBOY WOLF
Author Guest / November 22, 2021

Dakota’s eyes widened. “What are you doing?” The gold of his wolf eyes flashed. “Exactly what I should have done days ago.” Dakota inhaled a sharp breath. From the dark look in his eyes, she almost expected him to strip the belt from his jeans and use it to make the bare skin of her ass a dusky shade of pink. The thought of her bent over his knee sent an unexpected wave of heat through her core. Her mouth went dry as adrenaline coursed through her. “Blaze?” she breathed again, prompting more from his non-answer. His chaps and belt were cast aside now along with his Stetson. The shirt came next. “Showering,” he ground out. His tone was harsher, more hardened than usual. She didn’t exactly dislike it. “Exactly like you are,” he growled. “What else?” He turned on one of the showerheads in the adjacent stall block facing her. Another cloud of steam filled the room. “Here?” she nearly squeaked. “What?” he snapped. “We’re both warriors, coworkers as you put it, and I may not be as drenched as your clothes were, but we’re both covered in blood.” His shirt was on the floor now, and those large…

Jerri Chisholm | Exclusive Excerpt: UNRAVELING ELEVEN
Author Guest / November 19, 2021

“Why is it,” Jeffrey Sitwell asks, “that you want to become a guard?” Under the desk, my steel-toed boot taps against the floor. Unsteady fingers smooth my ponytail, they tug my blazer straight. The past two hours were spent celebrating; Emerald is now a professional fighter, though it was never in question, and Maggie is a writer for Compound Eleven’s paper. I am happy for my friends, but now it’s my turn. I take a steadying breath and glance around the small office where I sit, one located on the fourth floor where the guardship is housed. A concrete room, no decoration or ornament whatsoever. Nothing to distract me from the two men sitting across the table. One of them has black hair and black skin, and his name is Dirk Nkrumah. He wears the uniform of a guard, but he is no regular guard. He is the most senior guard of the compound, and I loathe him for this reason alone. Beside him is Sitwell, a man much older, a Preme, one dressed in a navy-blue suit with gold cufflinks, one with white hair and a sharply cut nose. The one in charge of Compound Eleven’s security. His skin…