Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

ROSEMARY HARRIS | How Well Do We Really Know Our Neighbors?
Author Guest / April 13, 2010

That’s the tagline for Dead Head, my latest suburban noir novel (Minotaur April 2010). I started asking that question two years ago when a middle class mother of two in southern California was taken away in handcuffs after authorities learned she was a fugitive from the law. Ripped from the headlines is hardly a new concept – writers as varied as William Shakespeare and Dominick Dunne have looked to news reports for inspiration, so that puts me in good company! Almost every day there’s a news item that has the fledgling writer as well as the more experienced one thinking “that would make a good story.” Most writers I know have idea files – mine is six inches thick and filled with clippings and printed articles ranging from the story of a Chicago woman who poisoned the trees in a public park because they were obstructing her view to last year’s much more serious violent chimp attack, which took place five minutes from my home in Connecticut. (Yes, I had met the chimp once.) But this woman’s story really resonated for me. I’ve lived in cities and suburbs and it’s so easy not to know the person next door. We…

Jaye Wells | Authors are Readers Too
Author Guest / April 12, 2010

Even with the dividing lines between authors and readers blurring in this age of social media, there is still a misconception that authors aren’t normal people. Granted, some of our behavior–especially when alcohol is involved–makes this assumption somewhat fair. But the truth is most authors started out a lot like you. By this I mean, before we ever put pen to page, we were avid readers. For me, it started very young. My mother managed a bookstore and my grandmother owned a used book store, so I spent a great portion of my young surrounded by thousands of glorious books. To this day, the mysterious scent of old paper makes me smile. I won’t mince words: I was a nerdy kid. I was awkward and found it difficult to make friends at school. Instead, my friends were the kids from Narnia, Nancy Drew, the girls from the Babysitters’ Club, the subjects of Shell Silverstein’s poems. Even as I grew older and the social awkwardness gave way to finding my own tribes, I continued to read for pleasure. My favorite Sunday activity was to stay in bed all day and consume books by Anne Rice, Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey and Jude…

LACONNIE TAYLOR | The Topic Is A Little Too Touchy
Author Guest / April 9, 2010

One day, I got this funky, crazy idea. The timing was right, so I decided to give this romance writing thing a shot. The analytical side of me took over and I spent three months researching the industry. Terms like ‘unique voice’, ‘interesting story premise’, and ‘strong characterization’ kept popping up. Did I know what any of this meant? Uuh…didn’t have a clue. Well of course the first question that popped in my head was what would be the premise of my story. That’s when I sat down and thought back over my experience as a community public health educator for the past twenty-five years. Every day, I interact with individuals who struggle with chronic diseases and wage war to find quality treatment within a fractured healthcare system. Despite their failures and the socio-economic deterrents woven around their lives, many have fought to overcome issues we couldn’t wrap two thoughts around. Why? Someone came along and dared to love them during the most hideous time in their lives. Interesting story premise, huh? Hmmm…let’s see. What if I took a real-life issue from my experience as a health educator and put a romantic spin to it? I used domestic violence as…