Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Leah Rachel | Expanding on her popular Instagram @TheYellowHairedGirl with LOVE STREET
Author Spotlight , Interviews / September 17, 2019

Leah Rachel came to Hollywood ready to make a name for herself, but she quickly discovered that her true love wasn’t always with performing but with writing and crafting her characters. With multiple shows in development and a new dramatic series with Netflix available now, Rachel is ready for readers to laugh along with her stories of love and woe in her new memoir LOVE STREET. Rachel stopped by Fresh Fiction to chat with us about LOVE STREET, the power of Instagram, and her favorite classic Hollywood films. Hi Leah. Thank you so much for your time! Your new book, LOVE STREET, is full of essays about the ups and downs in your love life. Before we jump into the book, can you tell me a little bit about yourself, what inspired you to become a professional writer? Basically, I came to Los Angeles Neely O’Hara style with no money and a vague dream of “making movies” when I was just out of high school. At first I wanted to be an actress, but quickly learned I liked writing so much more, instead. I was working as waitress when I wrote my first script, and a through a series of…

Readers & ‘ritas Author Spotlight: Jennifer Estep is a Guest of Honor
Author Spotlight / September 10, 2019

Get to Know Jennifer Estep, Readers & ‘ritas 2019 Luncheon Guest of Honor   Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. She is the author of the following series: THE CROWN OF SHARDS SERIES The books focus on Everleigh Blair, a member of the royal family 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. THE ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN SERIES The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy battling bad guys and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals—Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone. THE MYTHOS ACADEMY SPINOFF SERIES The books focus on Rory Forseti, a 17-year- old Spartan girl who attends the Colorado branch of Mythos Academy. Rory’s parents were Reapers, which makes her the most hated girl at…

Elizabeth Heiter | Interview with Kensie Morgan of ‘K-9 Defense’
Author Guest , Interviews / July 1, 2019

Fourteen years ago, Kensie Morgan watched helplessly as her younger sister was abducted in front of their house. Ever since, her life has been filled with dead-end leads and false hope. But then a note surfaces in Desparre, Alaska, claiming to be from her sister. Kensie ignores the advice of everyone around her and travels to the remote town. Desparre Herald Reporter: Before we get started, I just want to let you know what to expect… Kensie Morgan: I know how this goes. I’ve been talking to reporters about my little sister since I was thirteen. Desparre Herald Reporter: But wouldn’t your parents… Kensie Morgan: After few years go by, a missing child is old news. No one wanted to interview my parents anymore. They couldn’t get attention for her. But talk to the older sister who watched her get taken? That was still newsworthy. Desparre Herald Reporter: Sounds like a tough way to grow up. Kensie Morgan: If any of this means I can bring Alanna home, it will all be worth it. Desparre Herald Reporter: Okay, then, let’s get to why you’re here. Most of the people who come to Desparre are looking to get lost. Either from…

Movie Review: Elton John’s ROCKETMAN Is Out Here Having a Blast and We’re Invited for the Ride
Film , Review / June 3, 2019

Rated R, 121 minutes. Director: Dexter Fletcher Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones, Steven Mackintosh, Tom Bennett, Matthew Illesley, Kit Connor and Tate Donovan Last year’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY launched new interest in music biopics when its success pushed back into the spotlight the generationally beloved and iconic rock star Freddie Mercury, played by “Academy Award” winner Rami Malek. Sitting at number three from this weekend’s box office is another flashy film about the rise and struggles of a rock figure. But unlike BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, ROCKETMAN, a musical interpretation of piano man and singer Elton John’s early success, shows no fear while portraying Elton’s eventual spiral into alcohol, drug, sex, food, and shopping addiction with just a splash of uncontrolled anger issues on the side. Despite the grittiness, ROCKETMAN at least wants to have fun with the film’s subject, even when the story digs into his darkest moments. Taron Egerton’s entrance as Elton John is majestic and sassy; a red-horned devil with wings splayed across his back hammering through doors on his way to a group therapy session. Soul crushed with tears streaming down his face, Elton launches into a rendition of “The Bitch is Back” as…

Elizabeth Heiter | Writing an Injured Ex-Marine Hero
Author Guest / April 16, 2019

Meet Colter Hayes. He’s 6’2” tall, 180 pounds of mostly muscle, with close-cropped dark blond hair and intense blue eyes. He’s loyal to a fault, loves dogs (he lives with the Combat Tracker Dog who was his partner in the Marines), and can make a woman feel dangerous things. But all he sees is a man who’s damaged. Someone who came home from war with an injury that left him less than whole. Partly it’s his leg, now held together by a rod and screws. It’s accepting that the things he could do in the military police, alongside his K-9 partner Rebel – like tracking an explosion back to the person who set it – are now out of reach. But mostly it’s the way he and Rebel came home. Both forced out of the military because of injuries that would never have them back to “fighting shape.” And alone. Without the teammates he’d come to see as brothers. Overseas, Rebel saved Colter’s life by jumping on him and knocking him down into a bomb crater during an ambush. The rest of his team died that day and the attackers never realized Colter and Rebel were still alive. There are…

Hallmark parts ways with Lori Loughlin; fate of ‘When Calls the Heart’ and ‘Garage Sale Mysteries’ is unclear
TV / March 14, 2019

Gwen Reyes // Critic (reposted from Fresh Fiction TV) Legally embattled Hallmark heroine, Lori Loughlin’s name has yet to leave the news this week. In the wake of her involvement with the “Operation: Varsity Blues” college prep and college admittance scam, the family-friendly network has officially decided to part ways with one of their biggest stars – Loughlin. According to a statement sent by Hallmark, despite judge-granted permission for Loughlin to travel for work to British Columbia, where many of her Hallmark shows including, WHEN CALLS THE HEART and GARAGE SALE MYSTERIES, they no longer want to stay in business with their biggest stars. “We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations,” Hallmark said Thursday. “We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including GARAGE SALE MYSTERIES, an independent third party production.” This decision does not come as a shock, as the squeaky-clean entertainment company likes to keep anything deemed controversial away from its brand. When your marquee star’s hands are dirty with a scandal like the one cooked up by William “Rick” Singer to collect money…

Elizabeth Heiter | Meet Rebel: The K-9 Star of K-9 Defense
Author Guest / February 12, 2019

In the opening chapter of my upcoming book, K-9 DEFENSE, Rebel – a five-year-old Malinois-German Shepherd mix – saves the life of my heroine, who’s come to the wilds of Alaska in search of her long-lost sister. Rebel doesn’t need to be told what to do – when she sees a car sliding out of control through the town’s snow-covered streets, she leaps on the heroine, knocking her out of the way. It’s a role she knows well – that of a hero. Before coming to Desparre, Alaska, with ex-Marine Colter Hayes, she served beside him as a military Combat Tracker Dog. After serving together for two years, she saved his life during a sniper attack. Both man and dog were injured that day, ending their military careers. Since then, Colter has been hiding – and trying to heal from his emotional wounds as much as his physical ones – and Rebel has stayed by his side. When Harlequin approached me about writing a romantic suspense with a K-9, it didn’t take me long to agree. I’d never written a dog into a main role in a novel before – primarily because in all of my previous mysteries, my hero…

Elizabeth Heiter | Reflecting on Holiday Traditions and Looking Forward to the New Year
Author Guest / January 2, 2019

‘Tis the season for family, friends, and fun traditions. If you’re like me, you’ve got some that have lasted since childhood and others that morph every year. This time of year can be frantic and sometimes overwhelming, but I always love it. For me, the season starts at the beginning of December with a newer tradition: high tea surrounded by Christmas lights. Each year, I do it twice: once with a group of friends I’ve (mostly) known since elementary school, then again with my fiancé. Then, the season kicks into high gear with a long-time favorite: holiday shopping for my family. Next up is a newer one: tree and ornament shopping with myfiancé. The way that tradition is going, I’m going to have to buy a bigger tree each year to hold all of the ornaments! Next up are a few traditions that you might expect for a suspense and romantic suspense writer. First is something I do with my critique partner: the annual watching of our favorite holiday movie: DIE HARD (yes, it’s a holiday movie!). Then is a newer tradition – since I sold my first novels in 2012, I’ve either had a book due in December or…

Elizabeth Heiter | Writing Strong, Modern Heroines
Author Guest / November 27, 2018

Strong heroines. Deadly villains. Killer suspense. That’s my brand – three things I promise to deliver readers with every book. But what does it take to create a strong, modern heroine? Sometimes, it’s a FBI SWAT agent, a woman who’s as deadly with her bare hands as she is with an MP-5 submachine gun, like Maggie Delacorte, the heroine of SWAT SECRET ADMIRER. Other times it’s a socially awkward FBI profiler, a woman who struggles with simple small talk but can tell you what a serial killer will do next before he even knows it himself, like Evelyn Baine, the heroine of my Profiler series. Like real women, strong heroines are as varied as the individuals themselves. Yes, I’ll admit it: I have a soft spot for a woman like Maggie, whose teammates get a kick out of letting her “initiate” the new guy – by going to shake his hand and then promptly flipping him over her shoulder and down to the ground. But even the strongest heroines have vulnerabilities. For Maggie, it’s trusting anyone with the truth about her past and what led her to the FBI: being abducted and raped by a serial criminal who’s still out…

Elizabeth Heiter | When Life Imitates Art: Romantic Suspense in My Life
Author Guest / October 15, 2018

You’ve probably encountered a character in a book who’s one hundred percent convinced she won’t end up with a particular person (or type of person). And as soon as she said it (especially if the book was shelved in the romance section), you probably thought to yourself, “I know who you’ll end up with by the end of the book!” In my Profiler series, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine is extremely talented at her job and extremely serious. She got into it because her best friend went missing as a child and was never found. Now, all these years later, she sees every case as a chance to bring someone else the kind of closure she never got for herself. So, of course, FBI Hostage Rescue Team agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie is someone she immediately dismisses as an impossibility: not only is dating a teammate forbidden by the FBI (and Evelyn would never put her career in jeopardy), but he also never seems to be serious. But as the series progresses, that “impossibility” becomes reality. In my latest romantic suspense trilogy, The Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn, every set of heroes and heroines has someone who thinks “this could never happen” about…