Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Ophelia London | How NEVER AN AMISH BRIDE Came About
Author Guest / July 3, 2020

Hello, Fresh Fiction! It’s been so long since I’ve been here. And I cannot tell you how great it feels to be back! Some of you may know me as the author of several sweet rom-coms, all contemporary settings. So then, how in the world did I end up writing an Amish romance novel? Did I go all “inspie” on my readers? (Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, of course!) Nope. The real story behind why I chose this path isn’t what most people expect. . . It all goes back to my sister. She moved from Tennessee to Hershey, PA about ten years ago. I was dying to go there, of course, because that is where all the chocolate lives! I mean, talk about my mecca. 😉 The first time I went out there for a visit, we did the whole Hershey thing–which was dang awesome. (PS: I have a whole series that takes place in and around Hershey, called “Sugar City.”) Anyway…what I didn’t realize then, was Hershey practically butts up to Lancaster County, one of the largest Amish settlements in the country. My sister had only been out there once, so we searched the internet and made…

Patricia Davids | 20 Questions: THE AMISH TEACHER’S DILEMMA
Author Guest / February 21, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? The Amish Teacher’s Secret 2–What is it about? It’s the story of Amish spinster Eva Coblentz and her decision to leave her extended family back in the Midwest and take a job as an Amish schoolteacher in northern Maine. Her family doesn’t approve, but Eva is determined to work. Willis Gingrich is the local blacksmith coping with the arrival of his three orphaned half-siblings. He’s delighted school is about to start so the new teacher can look after the mischievous kids during the day while he can concentrate on his work. 3–What word best describes your heroine? Bookworm. Eva loves to read and has a large collection of books that she can’t wait to share with her new students. 4–What makes your hero irresistible? His inability to cope with his instant family, especially seven-year-old Maddie and her imaginary friend Bubble and his closely guarded secret. Willis can’t read. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Because they are both new to the community, Willis and Eva turned to each other for support. She sees how he is struggling with the children and offers to watch them during…

Suzanne Woods Fisher | Exclusive Excerpt: TWO STEPS FORWARD
Author Guest / February 7, 2020

Jimmy led Prince back into his stall for supper and smiled when he saw Joey slip into the barn to follow along as he did the evening chores. It was becoming a habit, this shadowing by the boy, and Jimmy loved it. They had a little game they played together. Jimmy called it “Did you know?” Joey always started it off. “Did you know horse’s teeth never stop growing?” “Like a beaver?” “Yup. Did you know that horses have the biggest eyes of any animal?” “Hmm,” Jimmy said. “They do seem bigger than a whale’s eyes, I’ll grant you that.” When Joey had run out of the day’s newest horse facts, it was Jimmy’s turn. “Did you know that a horse’s whiskers are sensitive?” Joey peered at him. “Are yours?” Jimmy rubbed his chin, feeling the roughness of a five o’clock shadow. “Nope. But for a horse, those whiskers detect what eyes can’t see.” Joey rubbed his chin too. “Here’s another one for you. Did you know that a horse’s lips are loaded with nerve endings?” The boy wiggled his lips, pondering that fact. “Last one for the day. Did you know that a horse’s hooves are shock absorbers?” Joey…

Jan Drexler | Exclusive Excerpt: THE ROLL OF THE DRUMS
Author Guest / October 18, 2019

Footsteps on the porch reminded him that he was not alone. Ruby stepped to his side, her eyes searching his face. “What did the doctor say? Lovinia is going to recover, isn’t she?” Gideon shook his head, not trusting his voice. He swallowed. “He said her heart is weak.” Ruby pressed her fingers to her lips. “It can’t be. He could be wrong.” “I would like to believe that, but I know she is suffering–” His voice broke. She had been ill for years, and he hadn’t noticed. He had been too wrapped up in his own work, believing that her tiredness was a passing thing. “I don’t know how to tell the children.” “You should go to her, first.” Ruby said. “I’ll care for the children, but you need to be with her.” Ruby wiped away a tear that trickled down her cheek, pulling her bottom lip in between her teeth. The corners of her mouth quivered, but she gave him a smile. “Lovinia needs you now. She needs you to be strong. Let her know that you and the children will be all right after she’s gone. She worries about you.” Gideon glanced toward the upstairs window. The…

Fall Slow Cooker Recipe Potluck | A CHRISTMAS HOME by Marta Perry + Giveaway!
Author Guest , Potluck / October 11, 2019

It’s the final day of our Fall Slow Cooker Recipe Potluck! We’ve enjoyed following along with all of these great authors, their new books, and delicious slow cooker recipes. Comment below for a chance to win yet another book! And be sure to take a look back at all of the fun we’ve had all week:  Day 1 with Elizabeth Goddard  Day 2 with Soraya Lane Day 3 with Laura Lee Guhrke Day 4 with Jenn Burke  *** Autumn: Time for Comfort Food The mornings are crisp now in central Pennsylvania, and the mist hangs in the valleys for an hour or so after the sun makes its way over the mountain ridges. Leaves have begun to turn, orange pumpkins fill the roadside stands, and we bring in the last few tomatoes and winter squash from the garden. At a time like this, with winter not far off, my thoughts turn to comfort food. And for comfort food, what could be better than a slow cooker? Comfort food forms a large part of any collection of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes. The farmers, both Amish and English, who settled in these fertile valleys felt the need for plenty of carbohydrates to keep…

Suzanne Woods Fisher | How I Come Up With My Ideas
Author Guest / October 4, 2019

The question I get asked more than any other is: How do you come up with ideas? The answer is through interesting news stories that I’ve tucked away. After all, truth is always stranger—or more memorable–than fiction, right? Here’s an example: Years ago, I heard an amazing story about a pastor and a church in Texas. On a Sunday morning, Bishop Aaron Blake challenged his small congregation with a powerful question. “Brothers and sisters,” he said, “there are about 30,000 children in the foster care system in Texas and nearly a half a million in the U.S. Who will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandon, and neglected children in our community?” After a brief moment of silence, one lady rose to her feet. “Pastor,” she said, “I will.” Then another family stood up, and another, and another. Twelve years later, their Texas county has more than enough foster families to meet the need. That story inspired the plot for my novel Stitches in Time. The new and improved Luke Schrock, now a deacon, poses the same question to the Amish church of Stoney Ridge. Schoolteacher Mollie Graber is the first to raise her hand. Weeks later,…

Cindy Woodsmall | Clearing a Little Space
Author Guest / October 1, 2019

Against the odds, the oak sapling took root in our backyard that was filled with scrub pine trees and overrun with bramble. Despite the strong growth of the underbrush, the oak sapling, with its tiny trunk and even tinier branches, pushed upward, reaching for sunlight from high above. It was a decent height, maybe five feet, but scraggly and skinny. A canopy of other trees and thicket kept the sapling in the shade and depleted its soil of nutrients. Vines of various kinds wrapped around it, using it to gain a height of its own. But it didn’t die. It also didn’t thrive. It reminded me of a vine of poison oak more than an oak tree. Its sickly trunk bent and twisted, always jetting out and then reaching up, clearly trying to find a way to reach life-sustaining sunlight. At the time our backyard had a blind fence enclosing a half-acre of mostly scrub pines and thicket. We’d left it that way for over ten years because our youngest son asked us to. He loved being outdoors as well as the feel of “deep woods.” It seems he spent half of his childhood in that space. As children do,…

Melynda Price | Thrills and Chills
Author Guest / May 27, 2019

Thank you for hosting me for a guest post on Fresh Fiction to celebrate my new release, Vow of Silence. I’ve been fortunate for the opportunity to write a few different genre’s, but hands-down my favorite and the most difficult to craft is romantic suspense. I akin writing romantic suspense to putting together a mental jig-saw puzzle. Every piece needs to fit just perfectly, or the picture won’t come out right. For a pantser like myself, this is an especially difficult task, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. When I wrote Vow of Silence, I didn’t even know who the killer was until I was 2/3 done with the book. Sometimes I’m just as surprised as my readers at how a story evolves itself. Most of all, I think my favorite part of writing romantic suspense is the thrills and chills. For me, a great book is one that gives the reader goosebumps—both the good kind and the bad. Vow of Silence delivers both. Readers who are familiar with my work would agree that I’m known for writing the thrills. Who doesn’t love a good, steamy sex scene? But today, I want to focus on the chills. My favorite part of…

Suzanne Woods Fisher | The Power of Apology
Author Guest / February 1, 2019

One of my favorite movies is a British romantic comedy called About Time. Here’s the plot: When the males in a certain family reach the age of twenty-one, they’re given the special ability to travel through time and re-set the clock. They get a free pass, a re-do. Doesn’t that sound awesome? To erase the effect of a sharp word, a joke that fell flat, or avoid a misunderstanding. If I had that special time-travel ability, I’d be revising and editing my life a dozen times a day. Have you ever wished you could turn back the clock and have a second chance at something? Luke Schrock in Mending Fences sure did. He’s back in Stoney Ridge after a long stint in rehab, coming face to face with all the poor choices he’d made before he left. Bishop David Stoltzfus wants Luke to make a list of all those he harmed so he can make amends. They’re step 8 and 9 of the Twelve Steps Program, he told Luke, as he handed him a paper and pen. Reluctantly, Luke wrote down four names and put down the pen. “There. Done.” David pointed to the paper. “Keep going, Luke,” he said….