Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE by Karin Tanabe
Author Guest / July 23, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE?  Karin: I really liked the idea of writing about a struggling mother against the backdrop of the Cold War. I was dealing with my own postpartum depression and identity loss and wanted to channel that into a book. Admittedly, at first, I wanted her to be an assassin with a LOT of anger, but my editor talked me out of that one! So she is a spy with a LOT of anger instead – ha. While I was starting to piece together the story, a friend told me about Elizabeth Bentley, a Vassar College grad like me. She graduated in 1930 and went on to study Italian, earning a master’s degree in languages from Columbia University. While at Columbia, she joined a Communist Party cell and then fell madly in love with Jacob Golos, a Ukrainian-born revolutionary who conducted Soviet espionage. While Elizabeth Bentley certainly inspired the book, I did not follow her story that closely. She wasn’t a mother, and she didn’t live a gilded life in New York. But I loved the idea of giving a struggling mother a secret life and a sense of purpose. What leads…

Summer BBQ Recipe Round: THE GODMOTHERS by Camille Aubray + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 23, 2021

Somehow we have come to the end of another Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup! We are so appreciative of everyone who has commented and, of course, to the authors and publishers who took the time to share recipes and about their new books. Camille Aubray is here today with a look at her historical fiction novel and a fresh, summery recipe with a great drink pairing–enjoy!  And if you haven’t already, be sure to take a look at the amazing authors, recipes, and books we’ve celebrated all week long:  Day 1 with Minerva Spencer Day 2 with Sera Taíno Day 3 with Jennifer L. Wright Day 4 with Alicia Hunter Pace Day 5 with Camille Aubray *** CAMILLE AUBRAY’S Cocktails and Canapés Recipe A reviewer once said about my previous novel, “Don’t read this book on an empty stomach, because you will soon be hungry for the French cuisine in the story!” And now, my newest novel, THE GODMOTHERS, serves up some delicious Italian meals. THE GODMOTHERS is about four remarkable women from very different backgrounds who become sisters-in-law, and godmothers to one another’s children, in New York City from the 1930s through the 1950s. Each godmother has a secret from her past…

Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup: SWEET AS PIE by Alicia Hunter Pace + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 22, 2021

We are a lucky bunch today! We have a sweet summery recipe from Alicia Hunter Pace, inspired by her new book SWEET AS PIE. Make sure you check out how to enter for a chance to win a copy below!  Did you know we’re here all week with some of our favorite authors, their new books (and giveaways!), and delicious recipes to take to your next BBQ? Check out who’s been with us so far, and read their posts for some summer fun:  Day 1 with Minerva Spencer Day 2 with Sera Taíno Day 3 with Jennifer L. Wright *** In my Sound Town series, there were two young hockey players—Jake and Robbie—who were nothing but trouble for their older, wiser teammates. They earned the collective moniker Wild Ass Twins—and earned it well. It became apparent they had some stories to tell. SWEET AS PIE is Jake’s story. It will release August 24, 2021.  You can look out for Robbie’s in SMOOTH AS SILK in February of next year. Pro hockey player, Jake Champagne is looking forward to a new team, a new town, and a clean slate in Laurel Springs, Alabama. After a messy divorce, he got busy keeping company with…

Tessa Afshar | Captivated by Orphan Characters
Author Guest / July 21, 2021

Why do they capture our hearts? From Cinderella to Heidi to Pip in Great Expectations or my personal favorite, Jane Eyre, orphan characters have a way of grabbing our affections and not letting go. My own recent novel, Jewel of the Nile, features an orphaned main character, although Chariline is grown up by the time we meet her. But her heart is still living like an orphan, abandoned and unwanted. For me, this perennial fascination with orphans finds its taproots in the third chapter of the book of Genesis. Overnight, humans go from being cherished by the perfect Father to living orphaned lives. We are reduced from flawless belonging to a life of loneliness. From the outset of the loss, God begins to weave the warp and weft of his plan for our restoration into our ailing history. Nonetheless, we have lost that perfect connection with our Father. Eden is gone. Hence the appeal of the orphan. We may have been born to good parents, lived with loving families. Yet deep in every soul, a hazy memory of Eden’s bone-deep attachment still remains. In this fallen world, every attachment falls short of that uninterrupted sense of belonging, and the heart…

Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: VIVE LA FRANCE
Author Guest / July 21, 2021

Bastille Day on July 14 commemorates of the birth of modern France—a process that was lengthy, violent, and controversial.  But who can resist reading stories about a country so synonymous with wine, culture, fashion, elegance, and savoir-faire, most of the tales featuring real historical figures? We begin chronologically with THE SHADOW QUEEN by Sandra Gulland.  Claude des Oeillets, a real young woman from the theatre and daughter of a famous actress, narrates a story that describes the controversy and strife during the “war of the theatres” between Corneille, Moliere, and Racine and the opposing church.  During those days, she meets the beautiful, arrogant aristocrat who later becomes Madame de Montespon, Louis XIV’s mistress and “shadow queen” of his court. Recruited years later to become Madame’s personal attendant, Claude is brought into the heart of life at Versailles—the politics, the intrigues, and Madame de Montespon’s increasingly desperate and dangerous efforts to hold on to her royal lover.  An intriguing look at the decadent court of Louis XIV from a new perspective. We move forward to the eve of the Revolution in FINDING EMILIE by Laurel Corona, that also fictionalizes the lives of real people.  Daughter of brilliant and unconventional mathematician Emilie…

Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup: IF IT RAINS by Jennifer L. Wright + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 21, 2021

Another day, another awesome author to feature in the Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup! Today, historical fiction author Jennifer L. Wright is here with more info about her new book, a tasty and easy recipe to share, and a chance to win a copy of IF IT RAINS (details below)!  Have you checked out our recipes from Days 1 and 2? Please do! Day 1 with Minerva Spencer Day 2 with Sera Taíno *** In my novel IF IT RAINS, fourteen-year-old Kathryn is forced from her Oklahoma farm by the Dust Bowl. Her trip is interrupted, however, when she becomes separated from her father and is forced to continue the journey on her own. Crippled, frightened, and alone in a strange land, Kathryn longs for familiarity. She longs for comfort. She longs for home. As a military spouse, I am deeply familiar with this ache. In the past fourteen years, I’ve lived in three different countries and four different states. Just as soon as some place starts to feel like home, the Air Force sends my family and me packing again. It’s a hard life, but it’s also full of beauty. Because I don’t just have one home; I have several….

Mimi Matthews | 20 Questions: JOHN EYRE
Author Guest / July 21, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? JOHN EYRE: A TALE OF DARKNESS AND SHADOW 2–What is it about? JOHN EYRE is my dual timeline, partially epistolary, partially gender-reversed, supernatural Victorian gothic retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s JANE EYRE (and one other Victorian classic I can’t reveal without spoiling the story). It’s about strength, allyship, the struggle between light and darkness, and the battle with real-life monsters. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I loved being able to incorporate all of my favorite Victorian gothic trappings. There’s atmosphere and creepiness galore. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Bertha Mason Rochester may well be the strongest heroine I’ve ever written. Not because she started out strong, but because, in a deeply horrifying situation, she finds a level of strength she didn’t know herself capable of. By the end of the story, she’s become a formidable opponent. Truly a force to be reckoned with. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  He’s thoughtful and compassionate, and he knows how to listen. He doesn’t start out as an ally—a man willing to risk his reputation to help a woman—but by the end of the novel, he understands what it means…

Lisa Wells | Casting Call for My Book + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 20, 2021

Aggie the Horrible versus Max the Pompous Ass is an across-the-tracks romance that will lead the readers laughing one moment and shaking their heads the next at the hot mess these two main characters make out of their work-life situation. In a perfect world, Aggie the Horrible versus Max the Pompous Ass would become a primetime movie, AND I would be asked to cast all of its main characters. Afterall, no one knows them as well as I do. And since I hate to not be prepared for all of the what-ifs in the world, I thought I’d go ahead and pick the actors/actresses who would be invited to try out for each part. Cast of Characters: 1-AGGIE is a free-spirited young lady with a bit of a chip on her shoulder. She doesn’t feel the need to play by society’s rules. If anything, she takes pleasure in not playing by them. And she’s certainly not afraid to speak her mind. For her, I’d choose Emma Stone, most recently seen in Disney’s Cruella De Vil. 2-MAX was born into a dysfunctional wealthy family and was raised to view the world through rose-colored, privileged glasses. He’s driven to succeed for many…

Kari Lee Harmon | Author-Reader Match: UNTIL TOMORROW + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 20, 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 Kari Lee Harmon! Writes: About UNTIL TOMORROW: Emma Hendricks is a strong, independent journalist known for getting at the truth. She has everything she’s ever wanted until her fiancé leaves her alone and devastated a few days before the wedding. She’s the “go-to” girl for finding answers to unsolved mysteries, but even she can’t figure out what happened. Everything she believed in was a lie. Needing to get away, she heads to Beacon Bay–a small coastal town in Maine–for the summer. After finding an antique bottle wedged between two rocks in the ocean, she frees it only to discover there’s something inside. Breaking the bottle to retrieve her treasure, she cuts her hand. Kathleen Connor is the daughter of an artist mother and fisherman father, living in Beacon Bay during the 1940s in a time of war. She should be happy with her lot as a school teacher, but she’s always felt she was meant for something more. After pressure from her parents, she finally marries…

J.N. Welsh | 20 Questions: IN HARMONY
Author Guest / July 20, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? IN HARMONY 2–What is it about? It’s about musician, Nyah Monroe who is living a dual life as a classical double bassist and an underground dance music DJ. She’s trying to manage two careers on her own but needs help. Enter super-agent Tommy “Boombox” Mills who not only wants to help Nyah but secure the career legacy he’s envisioned for himself. He needs her and wants to make her famous. The problem is, she makes the rules and flying under the radar is her sweet spot. On a deeper level the book explores some intense themes like evaluating one’s legacy, inheritance, staying true to oneself, and loving someone through imperfection and challenges. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love that it takes place in some of the most simplistically enjoyable parts of New York; like Central Park on a summer day or even an apartment for one. Small underground clubs are the connective tissue of the city’s heartbeat and I wanted to highlight that scene because as the years pass, there are less of them around. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  I love how she pushes…