Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Pintip Dunn | The Top 10 reasons Why You’ll Love Star-Crossed
Author Guest , Top 5 / October 4, 2018

10. The world. The planet Dion is absolutely breathtaking! Although my characters are confined to a small piece of land protected by energy shields (the result of a terraforming experiment gone wrong), the outside planet is characterized by brilliantly colored streams of water. As Vela says, “If a nebula broke off and fell into the water, this is what it would look like.” In addition, when the rain falls on the energy shields, the water explodes into different colors depending on the weight of the drop. 9. The food. Land is scarce, so there’s not enough food to feed the colony. Enter the Aegis, who have accepted a genetic modification so that they may convert food into energy more efficiently. The nutrition is then extracted from them via a pill and distributed to the rest of the people. However, when eating becomes your duty, and you must imbibe food all day long, it is no longer pleasurable. Thus, the food preppers’ task is to produce the must luscious, mouth-watering spreads possible, in order to entice the Aegis into taking one more bite.  8. The sacrifice. An Aegis may get to experience the taste of real food, and they have the…

Robyn DeHart | My Top Five Favorite Tropes
Author Guest , Top 5 / September 12, 2018

Fake relationships: Fake fiances, marriages of convenience – however you work it, I love me some fake relationships. I’ve written quite a few MOCs because I write historicals, but I read a lot of contemporary fake fiancé books and I can never get enough of them. It reminds me of that scene in Leap Year where they’re at that farmhouse and the family makes them kiss – totally cliched, but it works! Best friends to lovers: Admittedly I’ve never written one of these myself, but I read a bunch of them. I’ve always been a sucker for this trope. Frankly I think it stems from the fact that my sister married her best friend when I was like 13 so right at that ripe age for falling in love with falling in love. You get my gist. But it’s just the best for people who already love each other to realize that love can now involve sexy times. Nerds in love: OMG! I’m not sure this is an actual trope, but we’re going to call it one for my purposes. I don’t care if it’s the hero or the heroine that’s the nerd, there’s just something about the awkward sexiness…

Katee Robert | My Top Three Ménage Stories
Author Guest , Top 5 / September 11, 2018

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore ménage stories. There’s something just downright decadent about having three (or more) people getting hot and heavy in a relationship. The relationship arcs often take similar paths that you see in romances with two main characters, but a really good ménage has an extra level of depth because of the complicated relationship dynamics. It’s really four relationships in one! Each character must have a satisfying relationship with the other two members of the triad, and there’s the triad as a whole that needs to function smoothly. Whether these relationships are MMF (male-male- female; where the heroes are bisexual and intimate with each other as well as the heroine) or MFM (male-female-male; where the heroes share the heroine but aren’t intimate sexually with each other), they are so much fun to read! It’s definitely complicated, but when you find an author or book who pulls it off spectacularly, it’s one of the most rewarding reader experiences to have. You get the awesome relationships, and the opportunity to read some of the hottest sex scenes out there. Two is amazing, always and forever, but three (or more) just ups the game to a whole new…

Patty Blount | Top 5 Favorite Young Adult Novels/Authors
Author Guest , Top 5 / August 17, 2018

Angie Thomas – THE HATE U GIVE is probably the best YA written in the last ten years. First, let me say straight up, I’m a white woman who’s never experienced racism. I’ve experienced sexism. But the closest I’ve come to experiencing real racism was listening to someone call Italians “dirty” while at a book fair. No one has ever called the police on me for sitting in a Starbucks or working out a gym. My first response to “Black lives matter” was “All lives matter.” Then I read this book and it changed my mind. It opened my eyes to the kind of fear people of color face on a daily basis. I’ve never feared the police. They’re heroes, right? But sometimes, they get it wrong. And when they get it wrong, people die. Only nobody punishes them. Nobody stops it or does anything to prevent it from happening again. Instead, they put blame on the dead. They shouldn’t have been where they were, worn what they wore, said what they said. Angie does an incredible job of presenting all the ugly sides to racism in this novel. Main character Star has a cop in her family – in…

5 Essential Things All Highlanders Need
Author Guest , Top 5 / August 13, 2018

I love a book filled with adventure, passion, and humor—with a mandatory HEA, of course. Add a medieval setting—preferably in the Highlands of Scotland—and I’ll stay up way too late finishing the story!! But I can only imagine how tough it must have been to actually live there in the 1450s: danger from brigands and other clans, blustery cold in the winter months, the very real possibility of starvation, not to mention plague and pestilence. And if that wasn’t bad enough, women and infants had a much higher mortality rate during childbirth than they do now—some estimates are as high as 4% (and that sounds conservative to me). So Highlanders had to be a hearty bunch to survive, which got me thinking…what are some of the essentials all Highlanders need to not only survive, but to thrive? Here are my top five! A warm plaid to snuggle under—with a brawny Highland Laird, of course! A strong clan to call your own, and a warm castle to live in—preferably as Lady to that Highlander! A sturdy horse to flee your enemy, while sharing a saddle with your hot Scot. A sharp wit to outmaneuver other clans and the hated, bluidy Grit…

Christina Phillips | My fave friends-to-lovers romcoms
Author Guest , Top 5 / July 17, 2018

I absolutely love romantic comedies, and one of my fave tropes is friends-to-lovers. Sometimes a slow-burn romance, when the hero and heroine are trying so hard not to overstep that line, is just perfect. In my latest release, ONCE UPON A PLAYER, both Lucas and Violet fall for each other as soon as they see each other, but decide not to cross the friend line, because Violet’s vowed to never trust another player. And although Lucas knows he should walk away, he can’t. It’s better to be friends than nothing at all, right? Famous last words…😊 So, in no particular order, I thought I’d share three of my favorite friends-to-lovers romcom movies! Just Friends Well first of all, what’s not to love about Ryan Reynolds? He’s adorable, and not just in his movies! Nerdy Chris returns home for his ten-year school reunion and meets up with the girl he crushed on in high school. They were best friends back then, and when his grand plans to impress her come crashing down, it looks like friends is all they’ll ever be! Leap Year It’s so much fun watching Anna, who’s come to Ireland in order to propose to her boyfriend on…

Shannon Greenland | Five Things I’d Tell The Teen Me
Top 5 / July 6, 2018

Travel! I spent two years between high school and college seeing the world. I helped bathe orphans in Mexico, saw the wall come down in Germany, rode a bike in snowy Denmark, slept in too many airports to count, sang on a stage in Poland, and so much more. Since then I’ve sailed to the Bahamas, climbed a light house in Bermuda, hiked the Na Pali coast in Hawaii, canoed in Venezuela, zip lined a forest, crawled through caves in Ireland, and the list goes on… Travel! It’ll open your mind and soul to this incredible earth we live on. Be open to change. When your heart and gut tell you to take a less comforting choice, consider listening. 9 times out of 10 your heart and gut are right. Learn a language. Be it Spanish, French, Farsi, or whatever, dig in and learn it. Be willing to travel to a country that speaks your chosen language and do total immersion. Be willing to take more classes than are required for a high school diploma. Knowing another language is an irreplaceable skill. It’s okay to break up with a boyfriend. What’s it’s not okay to do is choose boys over…

Michelle Hazen | 5 Reasons to Look Forward to INSATIABLE
Top 5 / July 5, 2018

Michelle Hazen is back with INSATIABLE, the next standalone in her Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll series. When a sex addict lead singer falls into friendship with a hard rock diva, he must fight their attraction or risk ruining her life. Fans of rockstar romances will devour this angsty yet heartwarming story about a bad boy who’s a good man. 5 Reasons to Look Forward to INSATIABLE Fashion porn Ava and Jax are both rock stars and have lots of occasions to dress up. I picture Ava as kind of a hard rock version of Lady Gaga, so her fashion is appropriately edgy and trendsetting. She’s got a thing for outrageous shoes that are often more like sculptures, and there are a bunch of gorgeous ball gowns in this book, for all the various characters. This is a great book for anybody who loved to play dress up as a kid. Boxing I know, this isn’t exactly a traditional addition to a romance novel, but in this one there’s at least one fist fight (boys will be boys, am I right?) and some of the more organized, in a ring, kind of boxing because it is (surprise!) one of…

Shannon McKenna | Top Five Reasons … That a Bio-Engineered Boyfriend is Better!
Top 5 / June 25, 2018

I hate to limit myself to only five reasons. That constraint squeezes my brain like a pair of spike-heeled pumps three sizes too small. I struggle against my own limits! I want to be slim, fit, strong, smart—but I’m crazy about chocolate, and I’m afflicted with an overwhelming love of naps. And it’s so hard to figure out how to set the clock on my microwave. Fantasizing about people with fewer limitations gives me sweet relief from my own frustration with myself. Enter, the fabulous fugitive super-soldier characters from the Obsidian Files stories. My tailor-made compensation. Here are the five top good things that came out of their awful sojourn with the sadistic Midland researchers back in the day. All that torment had to be good for something. Super strength. The convenience of it. Need to move a refrigerator? No problem. A grand piano needs to be taken down five flights of stairs? He won’t even break a sweat. Need to push a van? Uphill? He’s your guy. And he’ll never, ever throw his back out. That’s pure gold. A couple years ago, I read an online article about gene-splicing in mice for muscle strength, and it blew my mind….

Jeannie Moon | Top Five Nice Guy Heroes
Author Guest , Top 5 / June 5, 2018

The alpha hero is a mainstay of romance, and whether he be a duke, a quarterback or a shapeshifter, we see the alpha as strong, aggressive and often arrogant in his manner and bearing. Honestly, who hasn’t had a serious crush on a big strong alpha at one time or another. In YOU SEND ME, the second book in my Compass Cove series, Nick Rinaldi is the ultimate good guy. Putting himself out to care for his sick neighbor, the former Navy doctor is, kind, helpful and strong willed. He’s an alpha with a heart of gold, and he’s in good company. I have a soft spot for nice guy heroes, and I’ve listed my top five in no particular order: Jack Sheridan: (VIRGIN RIVER by Robyn Carr) How do I love Jack Sheridan? Let me count the ways. A retired Marine, he moved to Virgin River for a quiet life. He settled into the town helping people as he could. Hunting and fishing as he pleases, Jack’s life is quiet and easy until the new nurse midwife comes to town and Melanie turns his world upside down. Jack can’t do enough for her and he’s so totally in love…