Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
KAT MARTIN | A bride trilogy, yes … “Cinderalla stories”, no …
Author Guest / April 23, 2010

I’ve always wanted to write a bride series. Something romantic with orchids and white lace. For years, I toyed with an idea for a sort of Cinderella story about a duke who accidentally falls in love with the wrong woman. Not his betrothed, the woman he has promised to marry, but his fiancée’s poor relations, a cousin hardly suited to become the wife of a duke. ROYAL’S BRIDE was the result. From conception, it was a book that involved three brothers, which gave me two more hunky Dewar men in need of the perfect bride. In REESE’S BRIDE, the middle brother, Reese, is the kind of dark, brooding hero I love to write. He is home from the war, retired from the cavalry and forced to live the sedentary life of a country gentleman, the last thing he wants to do. Worse yet, Reese’s next door neighbor is the woman he once loved, a woman who betrayed him by marrying another man. Elizabeth is now a widow, a forbidden temptation even more powerful than before. Reese definitely has his problems, but so does his younger brother, Rule. In RULE’S BRIDE, the handsomest, most rakish Dewar brother is shocked to find…

ROSE LERNER | How To Deal With A Tough Critique
Author Guest / April 22, 2010

I can’t remember when I first noticed that Five Stages of Grief are really, really similar to what I go through every week when I get a chapter back from my critique group with comments. 1. Denial. “Whatever, my chapter is perfect the way it is. I don’t really have to change anything.”“She just didn’t understand what I’m trying to do.”“Well, A said I needed to fix X, but B said it was okay, so it’s probably fine.” 2. Anger. “How dare she say that about my heroine?”“Don’t they realize how hard I worked on this chapter?”“MEANIES MEANIES MEANIES I HATE YOU!” 3. Bargaining. “Well, I know in my heart that this scene is under-motivated and lacks conflict like my critique group said, but maybe if I just give the heroine a new hat no one will notice.”“Can I put a band-aid on it?”“I’ll wait until my rough draft is done to make a decision.” 4. Depression. “I’m a terrible writer.”“Why is everything I do such crap?”“I’ll never sell a(nother) book.”“This can’t be fixed.” 5. Acceptance. This is the place I have to fight to get to, where I’m able to say, “Look, Rose, this is why you have a…

Emily B. Rowe | From Pitch to Published
Author Guest / April 21, 2010

Writer TipsThe nuts and bolts of the writer’s toolbox During the DFW Writer’s Conference writers had a chance to register for a ten minute scheduled appointment to sit down and pitch a piece of their work to an agent. But for first time writers sitting down with an agent for the first time is a heart pounding, stomach flipping experience. I know. I was lucky enough to sit down and talk with Laurie McLean, of the Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents, about one of my literary works. I had known for a couple weeks which agent I was meeting with. I didn’t feel nervous until the day of my appointment. At fifteen minutes before my appointment I stood outside the room, waiting to be ushered in for the actual sit down had my stomach doing back flips and my heart racing like a galloping horse. I wasn’t alone, nor was I the first to arrive. Other writers were waiting for their turn with their chosen agent. Some were nonchalant, others dressed up for it like an interview, and in a way it was. I spent the entire time telling myself that regardless of what happens I’ll still gain the experience of talking…

WENDY HOLDEN | Beautiful People…Hopefully I’ve Given You A Good Laugh
Author Guest / April 21, 2010

What makes you laugh? I find all sorts of things funny, although they are rarely jokes in the traditional sense. I can only remember one joke in fact – the one about the inflatable headmaster at the inflatable school telling the inflatable boy caught with a needle that not only has he has let the school down; worst of all he’s let himself down. But the best fun is when people are being amusing without knowing it. In my past as a glossy magazine journalist I worked with some staggering characters (sometimes literally if they’d been on the white wine and, as usual, hadn’t eaten). One editor asked me in all seriousness if I knew the difference between aristocratic legs and those of common people. Another had some good party tips: champagne made your breath smell, canapés were to be avoided because those that fell on the floor were put back on the trays and MTF men were to be avoided at all costs (MTF = Must Touch Flesh). Oh, and Desserts was Stressed in reverse. An assistant of mine once failed to show up to work because she was testing different shades of white paint on the wall of…

Susan Meier | What I Love About Reading and Writing
Author Guest / April 20, 2010

My birthday is April 22. The year I turned twenty-two, I was so impressed with the fact that I was turning twenty-two on the twenty-second that I set out to make my birthday a national holiday – or at the very least a local one – greatly annoying my older sister. Now, there was nothing special about me. I was a single legal secretary with no reason to get her name in the church bulletin, let alone the local paper, let alone a national anything. But I really liked to have a good time. Who doesn’t at twenty-two? I wasn’t a bad kid. I wasn’t even wild or deliberately obnoxious. The problem was I hated to be bored. So I wasn’t surprised eight years later, when I turned thirty and threw a major hissy fit. My husband said, “What is wrong with you?” I said, “I’m bored and not doing anything I want to do with my life.” He said, “What do you want to do?” and I said “Write.” And he said “So write.” Who would have guessed that two simple words would not only stave off boredom for the next _ lots of years.. but also start a…

SUSAN MEIER | What I Love About Reading and Writing
Author Guest / April 20, 2010

My birthday is April 22. The year I turned twenty-two, I was so impressed with the fact that I was turning twenty-two on the twenty-second that I set out to make my birthday a national holiday – or at the very least a local one – greatly annoying my older sister. Now, there was nothing special about me. I was a single legal secretary with no reason to get her name in the church bulletin, let alone the local paper, let alone a national anything. But I really liked to have a good time. Who doesn’t at twenty-two? I wasn’t a bad kid. I wasn’t even wild or deliberately obnoxious. The problem was I hated to be bored. So I wasn’t surprised eight years later, when I turned thirty and threw a major hissy fit. My husband said, “What is wrong with you?” I said, “I’m bored and not doing anything I want to do with my life.” He said, “What do you want to do?” and I said “Write.” And he said “So write.” Who would have guessed that two simple words would not only stave off boredom for the next _ lots of years.. but also start a…

Dianna Love | Diana Love is Passionate About…
Author Guest / April 19, 2010

Wow, finishing that sentence is going to take some thought. Many years ago I would have simply ended that sentence with “art,” because I’ve been a portrait artist since birth. I still love art, but now I love writing and fishing and motorcycle riding and golf and…my husband. Isn’t it funny how our passions sometimes change over a lifetime? I’ve always put my all into everything I ever attempted because I don’t know how to do anything half measure, but that doesn’t mean everything I tried became a true passion. At one time, I played competitive racquetball 4-6 nights a week. Before that I was around a group who rode motocross bikes. Both of these activities I jumped on, pursued, and loved. But I don’t actively pursue those now. Other things have stayed as part of my life in some form and become true life passions – art and now writing, motorcycles, fishing, and my husband. I’m passionate about practically everything I do, or I don’t do it for long, but recently I’ve found a new passion. Meeting readers. Up until 2001 when I started writing for the first time, I never expected to meet a reader except in a…

ANNA DESTEFANO |How does a story like The Firefighter’s Secret Baby happen anyway???
Author Guest / April 16, 2010

I’ve been in love with heroes my whole life. Show me a romance fan who hasn’t. We want to believe in the hero in all of us, and most especially in the hunky leading men that Harlequin and Silhouette bring to life on their covers every month, right? But how exactly does a novel like The Fireman’s Secret Baby get dreamed into being??? My Atlanta Heroes series started as a challenge to myself to find a way to write action and suspense into my “home and family” Superromance stories–because I’ve also fallen in love with suspense and intrigue as I write more and more novels. Plus, I wanted to write about everyday heroes that a reader might see in her own life. Lawyers and nurses and doctors and public defenders who put so much on the line to help others, but don’t always get their share of the drool-worthy romance novel covers. I’ve had a blast hearing from readers who’ve fallen hard for my “manly” Atlanta men and their feisty heroines. It’s been a great three years–including winning last year’s Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Book 2 of Atlanta Heroes, To Protect the Child. Along the way, my series…

Mary Eason | The Dark Side of Writing Dark, Romantic Suspense
Author Guest / April 15, 2010

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to look into the mind of a killer? What would you do if a killer were hunting you? What if you’re child was the target? What if the killer was someone you knew? To quote Friedrich Nietzsche: He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. In SILENT WITNESS, my Cerridwen Press release, the killer was someone who loved the story’s heroine, Faith McKenzie obsessively, and was willing to do anything to make her his, even if it meant killing her to keep her from belonging to anyone else. Ask any author who writes dark romantic suspense and they’ll tell you, it ain’t no walk in the park at times. I think even for writers who create fictitious killers it’s still disturbing to consider that there are really such depraved people living in the world amongst us. To make a believable killer you have to do your homework. For me, I love to watch Forensic Files and 48 Hours Mystery on TV. You can gain a great deal of knowledge simply…

Jessica Andersen | Who’s Your Favorite?
Author Guest / April 14, 2010

Mayan lore and modern science warn that 12/21/2012 could bring a global cataclysm … a threat that is far more real than we imagine. Dark forces stand poised to overrun the earth and crush humanity beneath a vicious rule of terror and blood sacrifice. Our only hope rests with a group of saviors living in secret among us: modern magic-wielding warriors called the Nightkeepers. Now, in the last few years before the 2012 doomsday, these magi must find and win their destined mates in order to protect the barrier of psi energy that forms humanity’s last line of defense against an ancient and powerful enemy. Greetings, Fresh Fictioners! I’m often asked, “Who is your favorite hero so far in the Nightkeeper books?” And when I’m asked that, I usually do a lost sort of guppy-gaping routine while I try to come up with a witty answer. But really, there’s only one answer to that question for me: I love each of them for different reasons. Every time I sit down to write, I fall in love with my hero and heroine, and get to watch them fall in love with each other. The first book in the series, Nightkeepers, introduces…