Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: BRENDA JACKSON
Author Guest , Interviews , Jen's Jewels / November 8, 2019

Jen Vido: What inspired you to write Finding Home Again? Brenda Jackson: In Book 1 of the Catalina Cove Series, which was titled Love in Catalina Cove (October 30, 2018), I introduced secondary characters, Bryce Witherspoon and Kaegan Chambray. It was quite obvious they had history that hadn’t ended well, and I felt it was time to tell their story When Kaegan Chambray returns to Catalina Cove to run the family business, what’s his biggest fear? His biggest fear was failing as a business owner. He’d never intended to take over his family’s shipping company and knew the people who had worked for his father would depend on him. He believed they deserved to get paid fairly for the hard work they did and for their years of loyalty to a man who Kaegan at times felt didn’t always appreciate them. He wanted to be a better boss to them than his father had been. How does Bryce Witherspoon feel about Kaegan’s reappearance? She’s not happy about it at first, but then she comes to accept that there’s not and never would be anything between her and Kaegan again, and it was time to move on with her life. A…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: FIONA DAVIS
Author Guest , Interviews , Jen's Jewels / August 9, 2019

What inspired you to write The Chelsea Girls? I met an actress in her nineties who started telling me what it was like in the New York City theater world during the McCarthy era, and I realized this was a story that very few knew. As I dug into the research of that period, I was struck by how many actors and directors had had their lives destroyed by a misguided witchhunt, many of them at the very cusp of their careers, which means we don’t know the plays or performances that were lost because of McCarthyism. I wanted to tell that story. The Chelsea Girls takes place during the 1940s to 1960s. What is the most fascinating thing you learned while researching this time period? The book takes place at the Chelsea Hotel, and I was surprised at how many famous people had stayed there over the years. The poet Dylan Thomas drank himself to death there, and artists like Jackson Pollock and John Sloan called it home. Then you have all the rockers: Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Sid Vicious. Playwright Arthur Miller sought refuge there after his divorce from Marilyn Monroe. The list goes on an on, and…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: LIZ FENTON & LISA STEINKE
Author Guest , Interviews , Jen's Jewels / July 12, 2019

Every reader has favorite authors, even writing teams. Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke are a personal favorite of mine because, with each new release, their writing style evolves. Case in point … their latest book, The Two Lila Bennetts. The storyline is told in alternating viewpoints. The protagonist, Lila Bennett, is a multilayered character with a complicated life. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Well, so does Lila and the choices she makes ultimately defines her future. Thanks to Liz and Lisa for giving us a sneak peek at their upcoming release in the interview below. The Two Lila Bennetts will be available on July 23rd. Preorder your copy today wherever books are sold. It’s one of this summer’s hottest reads! And, don’t forget to check back for my next Jen’s Jewels interview next month, here on FreshFiction.com. *** The Two Lila Bennetts is a tale of regret and retribution. How did you arrive at the premise? We knew we wanted to write a book with a “Sliding Doors” premise. When we began exploring our storyline, we decided to focus the story around a complicated female protagonist who had made a lot of mistakes in her life. In the dual storylines, we…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: AMY MASON DOAN
Author Guest , Interviews , Jen's Jewels / June 14, 2019

Summer reads are my favorite kind of books. Being able to relax on the beach or sip sweet tea poolside with a new release in hand is what I look forward to all year. This month’s jewel, Amy Mason Doan, could not agree more. Her latest work, Summer Hours, is a novel about friendship, love, and ambition set in the mid ‘90s and 2008. Sometimes the path to achieving life’s dreams can be a little rocky as depicted in this thought-provoking book filled with hope and forgiveness. Go ahead, and grab a cold lemonade and get to know the superbly talented author behind the story, Amy Mason Doan.   What inspires you to write novels set in summertime? Summer seems like this lazy, golden season, but I think that’s deceptive. The summer months can be surprisingly intense. Summer is when we reinvent ourselves; I don’t think I’ve ever shaken off my shock over classmates who came back to school in September completely transformed. My mom has this long frame in her bedroom with a bunch of my pre-teen and teen yearbook photos in it. It’s held together with gold hinges, and I stare at it every time I visit her. I…

Jen’s Jewels | Meet Deborah Bedford
Jen's Jewels / March 20, 2011

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season comes an endless To Do list for moms. Whether it’s staying up late to bake cupcakes for a class party or being volunteered to sew buttons on costumes for a play, the stress of the season gets to the best of us. Throw in a couple of last minute school assignments for the kids like book reports and science projects, it’s a wonder we manage to enjoy the spirit of the season at all. Blended families are very difficult to navigate especially when it comes to the role of mothering. Whether it’s the lingering aftereffects of the divorce or the deep resentment over the loss of control in their children’s lives, many women struggle to find an acceptable balance. There is no perfect answer due to the many challenges associated with moving on. However, the way in which these obstacles are met will ultimately determine the emotional well-being of the family. This month’s Jen’s Jewels Deborah Bedford addresses this very topic in her latest release, HIS OTHER WIFE. It’s the emotionally charged story of two women who love the same man yet desperately want what’s best for one teenage boy. When…

Jen’s Jewels | Meet Linda Francis Lee
Interviews , Jen's Jewels / March 4, 2011

There are many reasons why dogs are considered man’s best friend. Loyal, compassionate, and trustworthy come to mind; however, these are not their most virtuous trait. Without a doubt, it’s their innate ability to judge a person’s character that reigns supreme. If a dog senses evil, take heed and run in the opposite direction. This month’s Jen’s Jewels Linda Francis Lee agrees wholeheartedly with the power of a dog’s intuition in her latest release EMILY AND EINSTEIN. It’s the story of Sandy Portman and Emily Barlow who seem to have it all until an unfortunate accident leaves Sandy dead. When the truth behind her less-than-perfect marriage comes to light, it’s up to a lovable stray dog named Einstein to help Emily get right back on her feet. As part of this interview, St. Martin’s Press has generously donated five copies for you, my favorite readers, to try to win. So, don’t forget to look for the trivia question at the end. And as always, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels a part of your reading adventure. Jen: A born Texan turned New Yorker, you have had the pleasure of living in two culturally diverse areas of the country. So that my…

Jen’s Jewels | Laura Alden Interview
Jen's Jewels / December 1, 2010

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season comes an endless To Do list for moms. Whether it’s staying up late to bake cupcakes for a class party or being volunteered to sew buttons on costumes for a play, the stress of the season gets to the best of us. Throw in a couple of last minute school assignments for the kids like book reports and science projects, it’s a wonder we manage to enjoy the spirit of the season at all. This month’s Jen’s Jewels Laura Alden knows firsthand what stress might do to a group of over-worked moms. In her debut novel MURDER AT THE PTA, the newly-elected PTA secretary Beth Kennedy must find out who killed Carver Elementary School’s most disliked principal. With a long list of harried mom as suspects, Beth must separate the good from the bad in order to solve this most nerve-wracking case. As part of this interview, Obsidian, an imprint of Penguin Books, has generously donated five copies for you, my favorite readers, to win. So, don’t forget to look for the trivia question at the end. And, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels a part of your holiday reading list. Jen:…

Jen’s Jewels | Interviewing Leigh Brill
Jen's Jewels / October 27, 2010

Living with a chronic disease presents daily challenges. Whether it is learning to navigate life’s obstacles with a physical disability or simply coming to terms emotionally with the harsh realities of an unremitting disease, it’s never easy. The best plan of action that I have found is to try to make peace with your situation and put your best foot forward each and every day. This month’s Jen’s Jewels Leigh Brill discusses this very topic in her heartfelt new release, A DOG NAMED SLUGGER. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, she tackles everyday activities with the help of an adorably smart guide dog aptly named Slugger. Through anecdotal tales of encouragement, she offers keen insight into the life of a person struggling with a debilitating chronic disease. Beautifully written from start to finish, her story is a true testament of courage, love, and hope. As part of this interview, Bell Bridge Books has generously donated five copies for you, my favorite readers, to try to win. So, don’t forget to look for the trivia question. And as always, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels a part of your fall reading list. Jen: The challenges that life presents often turn out to be blessings…

Meet Jennifer Erin Valent
Jen's Jewels / October 1, 2010

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were born a different race? I think oftentimes we are so comfortable in our own skin that we neglect to acknowledge the adversity faced by others. For example, the civil rights movement seems like an event found only in the pages of a history book, but in reality, it happened not too long ago. If it weren’t for bright, courageous authors who challenge us to remember the road once taken, we might forever forget the struggles our country has faced. This month’s Jen’s Jewels Jennifer Erin Valent is an expert, in my opinion, in making the past come to life. In her latest release CATCHING MOONDROPS, she continues the story of a brave young white woman named Jessilyn Lassiter who comes face to face with social prejudices in Virginia in the 1930’s. The third book in the series, she takes the reader to a place where the Ku Klux Klan reigns supreme and the rights of those of a different race are put to the test. As part of this interview, Tyndale Publishers has donated five books for you, my favorite readers, to try to win. So, don’t forget…

Meet Myla Goldberg
Jen's Jewels / September 22, 2010

The sight of leaves falling to the ground signals the arrival of fall. With the kids back in school, mothers can breathe a sigh of relief. That is until your son or daughter arrives home in tears with the story of how the school’s bully has ruined his or her life. It’s hard to believe that in this day and age of political correctness, bullying is still an issue. But, the fact of the matter is its real and it leaves deep emotional scars for years to come. This month’s Jen’s Jewels Myla Goldbergtackles this ever timely issue in her latest release THE FALSE FRIEND. It’s the story of a group of childhood girlfriends who are forced to come to terms with past school-aged transgressions. Emotionally gripping as well as painfully true to life, this book deserves a place on the top of your must-read list. As part of this interview, Doubleday Books has generously donated five copies for you, my favorite readers, to try to win. So, make a note to look for the trivia question at the end. You’ll be happy you did! And as always, thanks for making Jen’s Jewels a part of your reading adventure. Jen:…