Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Suleikha Snyder | 20 Questions: PRETTY LITTLE LION
Author Guest / October 28, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? PRETTY LITTLE LION  2–What is it about? Really attractive miniature lions! Just kidding. It’s the second book in my Third Shift series, featuring various supernatural beings and humans in a post-2016 election world. This one sees lion shifter Elijah Richter, a gruff but deeply loving team leader, joining forces with celebrity influencer Meghna Saxena-Saunders, who is not exactly what she appears to be. The two must stop a would-be supervillain and deal with their sizzling attraction while other beloved Third Shift operatives grapple with problems of their own. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It’s New York City—and even in an alternate universe where things have gotten worse for marginalized communities, it’s one of my favorite places in the world to write about. It’s a city with a heartbeat—and its heart is comprised of people from all walks of life.   4–How did your heroine surprise you?  I invented her, so I kind of knew what she was up to. Other characters in the book surprised me, because I saw angles in their arcs I hadn’t thought of before, but not her. Meghna is a badass. In many ways,…

Michelle Major | 20 Questions: MISTLETOE SEASON
Author Guest / October 25, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? MISTLETOE SEASON 2–What is it about? Angi Guilardi always believed that food is love, and not just because she grew up working in her family’s Italian restaurant in Magnolia. Her passion is creating innovative and hearty dishes that showcase both her Italian heritage along with the more modern techniques she learned in culinary school. But only one year of culinary school due to an unplanned pregnancy that forced her to drop out of the renowned program. Of course she doesn’t regret sacrificing her dream for her three-year-old son, Andrew, who is the best part of her. She only wishes she could convince her parents to let her update the restaurant’s menu or add some of her cooking style into their family recipes. She gets a chance to try something on her own when she starts a catering company and enters into a partnership with the owner of Magnolia’s newest inn and wedding venue. Angi’s mother doesn’t appreciate her attempt to reinvent her life, certain she just needs a good man to be happy, and decides to take matters into her own hands as a matchmaker. But instead of falling for one of…

Tina Gabrielle | 20 Questions: ONE NIGHT WITH AN EARL
Author Guest / October 22, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? ONE NIGHT WITH AN EARL 2–What is it about? I’ve always wanted to write a diverse historical romance. ONE NIGHT WITH AN EARL features a Middle Eastern heroine and a duty-bound earl. Ana—short for Anahit—is the daughter of an Arabic scholar. Ana’s diverse background is based on my own family. Here’s a blurb: Ana Gardner is determined to lose her virginity before her thirtieth birthday. She’s no stranger to fake identities, having posed as a chaperone since the scandal that destroyed her titled family. So she dons a mask, changes into a low-cut red gown, and attends the city’s most elite brothel, the Silver Chalice. Oliver Bedford, the imposing Earl of Drake, is only at the Silver Chalice to appease his debauched friends—until he spots Lady Scarlet. She’s refreshing…and a complete mystery. Certain she’s a lady in disguise, Oliver is determined to learn her identity, but she eludes him at every turn. The night with Oliver was unforgettable. But when he arrives at her employer’s home, she’s horrified to discover her lover is the Earl of Drake, the son of the man responsible for her father’s death and subsequent family ruin. And…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: ONCE UPON A WARDROBE by Patti Callahan
Author Guest / October 22, 2021

Jennifer Vido : What inspired you to write Once Upon a Wardrobe? Patti Callahan: It’s so hard to answer what inspired me for this novel and yet that very fact is what inspired me to write this book! I often wonder what inspired some of my favorite tales, and when I interview other authors for Friends and Fiction, I ask other authors, “What is the origin story of your story?” And even I am often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” And the answer changes with time because we might look back and see where a story originated in hindsight. So this novel, Once Upon a Wardrobe, is a story that grew out of many other stories. When I was writing the novel Becoming Mrs. Lewis, I realized that the year that C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman met through letters was the same year that The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was released. During research, I would often see small crumbs of Narnia in C. S. Lewis’ young and middle life. Those crumbs stayed with me and I wanted to show them in a story. I wondered — What made Lewis start and then stop and then…

Rien Gray | 20 Questions: HER WOLF IN THE WILD
Author Guest / October 21, 2021

1—What is the title of your latest release? HER WOLF IN THE WILD. It’s out from Carina Press now! 2—What is it about? Christiana—a young bisexual woman—is on the run from her abusive boyfriend, who also happens to be a member of Arizona law enforcement. She gets picked up off the road by Micah, a butch biker who runs the Hounds of God, a local motorcycle club. Except it turns out the MC is a cover for the local werewolf pack—of which Micah is their alpha—that already has some trouble with the cops going on. The last complication these two need is finding out that they might be fated mates. 3—What do you love about the setting of your book?  It was really nice to go back to Arizona, metaphorically speaking. I lived there when I was twenty, and putting a supernatural edge to the desert was a lot of fun. I also liked exploring the background of LGBTQ+ motorcycle clubs, since that’s not what comes to mind when most people think of an MC. 4—How did Christiana surprise you?  She’s a younger and less experienced protagonist than I usually write, so finding her voice and motivation took a different…

Samanthe Beck | 20 Questions: WILD IN CAPTIVITY
Author Guest / October 19, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? WILD IN CAPTIVITY 2–What is it about? Ambitious L.A. lawyer Isabelle Marcano would rather run a mile in her Manolos than fly off to rustic Captivity, Alaska. But close the client’s sale successfully and her firm will find room on the letterhead for one more name. Still, taking a career detour to a place that doesn’t even have a Starbucks sounds like the seventh level of hell. Then her best friend points out the town has something stronger on tap than caffeine. Testosterone. With two single men to every single woman, this assignment might just be the best thing to happen to her sex life since the invention of the waterproof Rabbit. Until her sexy client introduces her as his fiancée to hide what she’s doing in town, and all her aspirations of hot Lumberjack Sex fly out the airplane window. Though…fiancés do have sex, right? Those who don’t want to answer to small-town busybodies better look like they do, epically, even when the mere prospect plays havoc with her professional responsibilities. And her hormones. Her firm’s getting antsy to finalize the merger. But the more she learns about Trace, about why…

Natasha Moore | 20 Questions: NOT SEEKING MR. RIGHT
Author Guest / October 12, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? Not Seeking Mr. Right 2–What is it about? It’s an older woman/younger man romance where 40 year old Ginny finds herself accidentally pregnant from a one-night stand with cute 25-year-old Josh. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I fell in love with Lakeside NY, and the people who live there, when I was writing the Men of Lakeside series. It’s similar to the area I live in, so I’m very familiar with a small town on a lake, where tourists flock every summer. When that trilogy was done, I didn’t want to leave the village and the people behind. The villagers love spreading gossip, but most rally around their neighbors, and show up often in the pages. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  How easily she accepted the idea of a one-night stand. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Not only is he hot as hell, with sun-kissed curls and a seductive smile, but he’s a responsible guy who wants to do what’s right. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  Getting the premise nailed down. I had a few different…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE MOTHER NEXT DOOR by Tara Laskowski
Author Guest / October 8, 2021

Jennifer Vido: What inspired you to write THE MOTHER NEXT DOOR? Tara Laskowski: I’ve been in several mom groups on Facebook or other places, and I’ve seen so much inner sniping and judging in those groups—along with a fierce protectiveness and defending as well. That, coupled with the strong community that forms with the parents in various schools, really got me thinking about how competitive and cliquish parents can be, especially when it comes to their kids. I think that was maybe the kernel of the story, and the rest of it fell out from there. Let’s talk about Theresa Pressley. How does she feel about moving to the idyllic suburban cul-de-sac Ivy Woods Drive? She thinks it’s a dream come true for her. I used to love driving by people’s houses at night and catching glimpses of families inside and wondering what their lives were like. When I was in grad school, I used to drive past this one house in my apartment’s neighborhood, and I loved that house. I always thought it would be a great house to live in. This is how Theresa feels. She used to look at Ivy Woods as the place that she’d live…

Suzanne Woods Fisher | 20 Questions: A SEASON ON THE WIND
Author Guest / October 8, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? A SEASON ON THE WIND 2–What is it about? A rare bird ends up on an Amish farm and creates all kinds of interest…and trouble. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It’s set in Stoney Ridge, a fictitious town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Rolling green hills, horses and sheep grazing in the pastures, bright blue sky with puffy white clouds, large white farmhouses. What’s not to love? 4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  Ben Zook left his Amish home to search the world for rare birds. He never expected or wanted to return to Stoney Ridge. But his nemesis bird, the one bird that kept eluding him, led him home again. 5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  They’re so flawed! One example is Ben Zook’s cousin Natalie, who keeps making the same poor choice and wonders why the outcome never changes. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  I’m an enthusiastic but amateur birder. Getting information correct about rare birds, those actually found in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, took careful research. And then…writing about a bird in such a way that…

Roshani Chokshi | Exclusive Interview: ONCE MORE UPON A TIME
Author Guest / October 7, 2021

Danielle Jackson: Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Roshani! We are happy to have you here! Can you give us your elevator pitch for ONCE MORE UPON A TIME?  Roshani Chokshi: ONCE MORE UPON A TIME is, perhaps, a very long epilogue to what I imagine must really happen after a happily ever after. ONCE MORE UPON A TIME was originally released as an Audible Original last summer and is now in print! Did you do anything different in your writing process when you knew it was going to be an audiobook first? What was the process like taking it into print?  Writing for something to be heard was fascinating. It makes you rethink the cadence of every sentence, the time spent on settings, the propulsion of the story, and the function of dialogue. A major thing I had to do was watch the verbs and adverbs surrounding the dialogue. Since someone would be narrating, they didn’t need me to provide tonal context…they would supply it via direction. When we got the news the story would go to print, what had been a process of subtraction meant quickly adding back in some of the tonal cues for readers. One of my favorite parts…