Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Toni Blake | Exclusive Excerpt: THE LOVE WE KEEP
Author Guest / January 24, 2020

Suzanne was fed up. Ready to throw in the towel and give up on the Neanderthal on her couch. The only prob­lem with that plan? It didn’t get him off her couch or out of her cottage, or get her out of the position of car­ing for him. So giving up was not an option—not be­cause she was determined or noble but simply because she was stuck. So as the early darkness of winter fell over Summer Island, she did two things. First, she texted Dahlia, irate. Look, I don’t know where you are or why you’re not answering Zack, but he’s had a major mental setback. I accept that you’re not here, physically—but I need you to be present with him, Dahlia. He’s officially despondent now, and I’m not sure what to do. Please call him as soon as you see this. Second, she made a delicious dinner. Remembering that Dahlia had once mentioned Zack loved her meat­balls, Suzanne got out the recipe, which Dahlia had given her along with others, and started squishing ground beef into a mixture of bread crumbs, minced onion, Parme­san cheese, an egg, and some spices. She took her time, since he clearly needed…

Terri Reed | Creating Characters Led to Personal Growth + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 24, 2020

Thank you, Fresh Fiction, for hosting me on your blog. While coming up with a topic for this blog, I asked myself what is it about books that captivate me. The answer is Characters. So often when I think about books I’ve read and loved, I remember the characters. When I first started writing I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t understand craft, but I knew I had stories to tell. My mother-in-law encouraged me to ‘just’ start writing. I did, but my characters were flat. It took me many sets of revisions to the stories before I was really able to know and understand my characters. It was painstaking work, hence why it took me ten years to sell my first full-length novel to Harlequin. Now, nearly three decades since writing that first story, I finally feel like I have a grasp on characterization. But it required many classes and workshops, learning from authors whose work I admired and wanted to emulate. As authors, we want our characters to be likable, relatable, sympathetic and fictional people the reader can root for from page one to the end. I embarked all those years ago on a quest…

Nicci French | 20 Questions: LOSING YOU
Author Guest / January 24, 2020

1) What’s the name of your latest release?  Losing You.   2) What is it about?  A teenage girl goes missing and her mother has one short and terrifying day to find her. 3) What word best describes your heroine?  Unstoppable. 4) What makes your hero irresistible?  There is no hero. The heroine has to save her daughter by herself. That’s what makes her irresistible: she is like a tigress. 5) Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Nina turns to the police but the police don’t believe her. One of the themes that repeats in our novels is that people have to save themselves… 6) What do you love about the setting of your book?  Sandling Island is inspired by an island near where we live in South East England. It’s swept by the wind off the north Sea, it’s linked to the mainland by a causeway that is covered by the tide once a day and it produces the best oysters in the world. 7) Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)? Every book is a bit different. But this book is…

Nina Croft | Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 23, 2020

My Dark Desires series takes place around a thousand years from now, in the year 3048, in a distant star system, and follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space cruiser, the Blood Hunter. It was my favorite series to write, so when my publisher asked if I would be interested in writing a Dark Desires Origins series, I jumped at the chance. The new series takes place five hundred years before the original Dark Desires books, when the fleet of ships carrying the last of humanity, first reach their new home. What most of the fleet don’t realize is that it’s not only humans who escaped the destruction of Earth. One of the ships carries a cargo of supernatural beings, captained by a thousand year old vampire. (Ricardo Sanchez, hero of Break Out, book 1 in my Dark Desires series.) Malfunction, book one in the new series tells the story of Katia, a werecat, and Logan, a human, as they fall in love while investigating a series of murders and trying to stay alive. Both series are a blend of science fiction and fantasy—which have been favorite genres of mine for many years. So I…

Courtney Moulton | Five Ways My Life Has Changed Since Becoming an Author
Author Guest / January 23, 2020

When I was a teen, I wanted nothing like I wanted to be a published author, and my dream came true in 2009 when I was 23 and sold my first book to a major publisher. Over ten years later, I feel like I’ve grown up in the publishing industry. My fifth release, WARDENS OF ETERNITY, is a historical fantasy about a young woman who must use her wit and magic to outmaneuver Nazis and Ancient Egyptian gods to prevent global destruction. My dream has come with amazing experiences and daunting responsibilities, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! My art has become my job. That’s amazing! Not many people get to do their art every day and get paid for it. That’s because it’s very hard to make a living doing art. My life depends on my writing and that’s a huge weight on my ability to focus and create. In addition, authors get paid different amounts on different schedules. There’s very little we and our agents can do about that. Sometimes an author is living on a fixed income for a long time. I’ve been able to travel and see amazing cities and meet wonderful people. Some of…

Maddison Michaels | THE SINFUL SCOT
Author Guest / January 22, 2020

Hi Everyone, my name is Maddison Michaels and I’m thrilled to be doing a blog post for Fresh Fiction! First off, just to tell you a little about myself, I write historical romances that incorporate sexy history with a dash of mystery. My debut novel THE DEVILISH DUKE won the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year in 2019 for best historical romance! It is book one in my ‘Saints and Scoundrels’ series, and book two is THE ELUSIVE EARL, with my current up and coming new release THE SINFUL SCOT being the third book in the series (they are all stand-alone, though the characters do make appearances in the other books). One of the things I love about writing historical romances is researching the era and the setting that the book is set in. And I had such fun researching the Scottish Highlands which is where THE SINFUL SCOT is set in. I’ve never travelled there myself (though it’s on my bucket list) so I immersed myself online as much as possible to get a feel for the country-side. During my research, I spent some fun times looking at all of the castles in the regions, and…

Diana Lloyd | Perfect People Are Boring
Author Guest / January 22, 2020

Perfect people are boring. Also, kind of annoying. I’ll admit to occasionally pretending perfection but the ruse never lasts long. I don’t enjoy reading about perfect characters and I don’t really enjoy writing them either. Real people are flawed, sometimes hopelessly so. Characters in books need to have flaws too. Human foibles bring book characters to life. Visible “flaws” are limited by the eye of the beholder. I found The Emotional Wound Thesaurus (Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi) to be an invaluable resource for writing flawed characters. Emotional wounds and internal flaws are the salt & pepper of romance authors. Sprinkle that stuff liberally or risk a bland story. In my historical romance series, What Happens in the Ballroom, I purposely gave my characters a little more emotional baggage than they could successfully bear. And then I poked them with a sharp stick before writing their happily-ever-after. For book 2 of the series, ABOUT AN EARL, Oliver Chalford, the new Earl of Winchcombe, has scars he can hide and one he cannot. Unable to erase his physical scar, he struggles with the scars within that threaten to destroy his chance at happiness.  The son of an abusive alcoholic, Oliver wishes…

Carmen Falcone | Reading Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Author Guest / January 21, 2020

So, it happened. 2020 is here! We all talk about resolutions, but this got me thinking. As a reader, what are your resolutions? Could it be to read more books? To ditch paperbacks and embrace e-readers? To try a new-to-you author every month? Or, perhaps… reading outside your comfort zone. That’s one of my reader resolutions. I tend to favor m/f contemporary, erotic romance and mystery. It’s not that other genres don’t matter to me, they do, but we all have those kinds of books we’re drawn to. So, this year I will enrich my Goodreads Reading Challenge with more LGBTQ books, and who knows, maybe an inspirational or two (I tend to stay away from romances with no sex or closed-door sex).  I’m excited to open my mind to new reads and authors. Another resolution is…to listen to more audiobooks. I’ve come to love listening to audiobooks in my car. Guys, the amount of time I spend in my minivan (yes, glamorous! I know…) is ridiculous. When I have the children with me, I can’t listen to racy reads, but after I drop them off at school it’s fair game. And my third resolution as a reader is to…

Mariah Ankenman | My Perfect Day
Author Guest / January 21, 2020

What is a perfect day? It’s a different answer for everyone. For some, it’s a thrilling adventure at an amusement park with friends while for others it’s a quiet day at home in solitude. I think a perfect day is one that allows for resting and recharging, but also leaves time to enjoy the company of loved ones. If I had to choose, here is what my perfect day would look like: It would start with sleeping in as late as I want. I have two kids in the single digits so the “I’m hungry. She hit me. Mooooooomy wake upppppp!” Start early. After waking up I’d enjoy a warm cup of coffee and a yummy breakfast of fruit and cheese while reading a few chapters of a favorite book while the kiddos snuggle at my side with their own books. Reading doesn’t have to be a solitary enjoyment. Even if you’re reading different things, when you read together, it’s great family time. After enjoying a relaxing morning it would be time for a sandwich and snacks party with my friends where we’d munch while playing Tabletop games. Because it’s my day, the games on the docket would be Betrayal…

Melanie Munton | Author-Reader Match: LACE & LIES
Author Guest / January 21, 2020

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-ReaderMatch” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Melanie Munton! Writes: I’m bipolar with my contemporary sub-genres. Going back and forth between comedy and suspense, I like to mix it up between laughter and danger and sweet and intense. Lace & Lies, the first book in my new Brooklyn Brothers series, is ALL sexy thrills and lusty vibes with some witty sweetness thrown around here and there. But mostly, it’s urgent passion and those primal, desperate feels we all love to read about. About: Sarcastic, quirky lush—er, “wino”—who also identifies as a shut-in. Enjoys watching dry, offbeat comedies from the 80s and 90s and is shamelessly addicted to filthy romances. Unapologetic about my obsession with both Doritos and a great male derriere. Seeking readers who appreciate happily ever afters and cozying up with their favorite possessive book boyfriends. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: You have a thing for a protective alpha male with a few scars You admire a sassy, ambitious heroine with a love for fashion…