Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Cynthia Ruchti | Exclusive Interview: FACING THE DAWN
Author Guest / March 5, 2021

Hi, Cynthia! It’s been a few years since your last blog appearance on Fresh Fiction—welcome back! Thanks for having me! At the beginning of FACING THE DAWN, your lead character, Mara, is feeling burnt out. Her husband is halfway across the world, her job is demanding and unfulfilling, and her kids are trying every ounce of her patience. Do you think readers will relate to some of Mara’s early struggles? What do you hope people can learn from Mara?  I believe a lot of readers will relate to at least some of what Mara is going through early in the book. Most of us experience a season or, for some, even seemingly a lifetime of unmet expectations and challenges, struggles that appear insurmountable, concerns that occupy too much of our time and energy, or even just mundane disappointments that keep life from looking like we thought it would. My hope is that readers will accompany Mara on her journey and identify with what loss and grief can do to us. What happens when we respond in unhealthy ways or resist the help we need? Where can we find glimmers of hope when we walk through a grief that just won’t go away?…

Kerrigan Byrne | 20 Questions: THE DEVIL IN HER BED
Author Guest / March 3, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE DEVIL IN HER BED 2–What is it about? It is about a spy and a countess who share a tragic and secret past. They’re thrown together to fight a common enemy, but what they end up fighting is their intense attraction to each other. Francesca, the heroine, has trained her entire life in weapons, combat, and revenge…and eventually, she must decide if the hero, Chandler, is her ally or her foe. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love that it’s set in the heart of the London elite and is still dangerous as any Scottish battlefield or wild western. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Honestly it was how delicate she was. She has trained herself to be bold, strong, and single-minded. But beneath all that she loves not only with ferocity, but with a tenderness and sensitivity that is singular to women, I think. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  This hero is like James Bond meets John Wick and I’m so excited for you to meet him! 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  Mostly it was…

Deanna Raybourn | Exclusive Interview: AN UNEXPECTED PERIL
Author Guest / March 3, 2021

Hi, Deanna! We are so happy to have you back on Fresh Fiction. Please introduce yourself to our readers.  I’m a 5 foot, 5 inch-tall Gemini, I like long walks on the beach and men who aren’t afraid to cry. (Okay, I’m a 52-year-old 6th-generation Texan married to my college sweetheart with one child and a starter pack of Australian Labradoodles. I am currently working on my 17th novel and I have a mild addiction to Twitter.) The Veronica Speedwell historical mystery series is such a fun premise and has been enthralling readers for the last few years. What do you love about the character of Veronica?   Veronica is one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve ever written because she is–like Molly Brown–unsinkable. Nothing ever seems to get her down for long. We know she’s been through volcanic eruptions, shipwrecks, kidnapping by brigands, yet she’s irrepressibly optimistic. She’s very secure in her own sense of purpose, and I love that she is so thoroughly grounded in who she is. I suspect she might be a little tiresome in real life–she’s an absolute bulldozer to poor Stoker sometimes–but on the page, she delights me.   One of my favorite aspects…

Debbie Burns | 20 Questions: SUMMER BY THE RIVER
Author Guest / March 2, 2021

1–What’s the name of your latest release? SUMMER BY THE RIVER 2–What is it about? Single mother Josie Waterhill is perfectly happy with the “do over” she’s been given after her tragic upbringing. She’s created a new life and isn’t looking back. She and her six-year-old daughter Zoe are nestled safely in the Midwest, and Josie manages a tea garden owned by elderly Myra Moore. In fact, Josie can’t think of a thing she’d change. Invariably, the world starts pressing in when Myra welcomes more guests—journalist Carter O’Brien and his giant rescue dog, Buttercup. Carter is charming, compassionate…and way too interested in Josie’s past. Carter’s interest in Josie deepens, and he inadvertently stirs up trouble when he uncovers things that Josie would rather not have known. Ready or not, Josie must make peace with her painful past so she can create a glorious future. 3–What word best describes your heroine? Capable 4–What makes your hero irresistible? His charismatic demeanor and playful, flirtatious sense of humor. Once Josie gets to know him, she’s also drawn in by the kindness Carter shows to people she cares about including her six-year-old daughter and to the wounded stray dog he rescues. 5–Who are the…

Marie Bostwick | Exclusive Interview: THE RESTORATION OF CELIA FAIRCHILD
Author Guest / March 2, 2021

Danielle: Hi, Marie! Welcome to Fresh Fiction. Please tell us about yourself and your new book, THE RESTORATION OF CELIA FAIRCHILD. Marie: Hi! I’m happy for the opportunity to talk with you today! I’m a lot of things – wife, mom, quilter, dog lover – but mostly I’m a writer. So far, I’ve written nineteen novels that run the gamut from historical to contemporary, set in just about every region of the country. But there’s a common thread in all my books; though my characters face the kinds of problems and challenges that resonate with women, my stories always end on an uplifting and hopeful note. That’s why I’m especially excited about introducing readers to Celia Fairchild and her story. Celia is the kind of friend we all wish we had, and her story of restoration and hope is something that I think we all need right now. Celia writes a popular advice column, called Dear Calpurnia. I loved this aspect of the novel! What sort of research did you do into advice columns and giving good advice? Do you have any favorite advice columnists?   I’ve been an advice column junkie for a long time so, in a way,…

Abby Collette | 20 Questions: A GAME OF CONES
Author Guest / March 1, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? A Game of Cones 2–What is it about? It’s about family, friends, community, and of course murder! A Game of Cones is a cozy mystery and second in my An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery series. In it, Bronwyn’s (Win for short) former colleague from New York, Rory Hunter, and her Aunt Jack, the former manager of Crewse Creamer both arrive just as Zeke Reynolds is found shot to death. Zeke, a visitor from a Texas company set on gentrifying Win’s beloved Chagrin Falls, puts the entire village in a head spin. But be sure, there is enough ice cream to go around. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The small town filled with “neighbors.”  4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  Win Crewse is a go-getter, well-educated and family-oriented twenty-something. She’s also single. So, I put a handsome, helpful, smart guy right at her reach but she just does not seem interested. HIs name is O. A law professor and invaluable with it comes to all things illegal, like murder. It isn’t that Win hasn’t noticed those things about him, she’s mentioned them a time or two and even…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: FLOWERS OF DARKNESS BY TATIANA DE ROSNAY
Author Guest / February 26, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write FLOWERS OF DARKNESS? Tatiana: I wanted to explore the near future and how artificial intelligence and “smart homes” can wreak havoc with our intimacy. This book is a journey into a fragile woman’s paranoia. Clarissa has just discovered that her husband is being unfaithful and decides to leave him.  She moves into a highly sophisticated artistic residence, hoping to find a new start here. But little by little, her past and her traumas come back to haunt her.  She is a writer obsessed with places and the memories that are linked to homes and the past. She is convinced that the new “connected home” she now lives in is trying to pillage her creativity for the purpose of AI. Her daughter is worried she might be sinking into a depression, but her teenage granddaughter is convinced that her granny is right… I leave it up to the reader to decide! Why does Clarissa Katsef move to Paris? Clarissa is half French, half English. She was born in the UK but moved to Paris when she was in her twenties. She is perfectly bilingual, and my book discusses those “hybrid brains”, people who live, talk,…

Roan Parrish | 20 Questions: BEST LAID PLANS
Author Guest / February 26, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? BEST LAID PLANS (Garnet Run #2) 2–What is it about? BEST LAID PLANS is about Charlie, a gentle giant who lost his parents as a teenager and had to figure out at a very young age how to take care of everything–his younger brother, Jack, his father’s hardware store, their family home–putting his own dreams on hold in the process. Rye Janssen is his complete opposite: where Charlie is stable, Rye has never stayed in the same place for more than a year; where Charlie knows all the rules of adulting, Rye enjoys breaking them. So when Rye inherits a crumbling house in Garnet Run but has no idea how to make it livable, Charlie can’t help but get involved. At first, Charlie and Rye feel like they’re from two different worlds. But soon each one realizes the other is exactly what they need! Charlie never had a chance to figure out what he wanted for himself, and Rye helps him explore. Rye never had a home, and Charlie helps him make one. Throw in some hot sex, a bunch of adorable cats, and all the secondary characters you met and loved…

Jillian Boehme | 20 Questions: THE STOLEN KINGDOM
Author Guest / February 25, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE STOLEN KINGDOM 2–What is it about? For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir–and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling. When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.  3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love this question, because I love talking about how THE STOLEN KINGDOM came about! Years ago, I wrote THE SEEDS OF PERIN FAYE, my very first, very terrible novel. THE STOLEN KINGDOM is a complete rewrite of THE SEEDS OF PERIN FAYE. The rolling vineyards and secret magic of the original story are dear to my heart and are a huge part of THE STOLEN KINGDOM.  4–How did your main character(s) surprise you? …

Mara Wells | 20 Questions: PAWS FOR LOVE
Author Guest / February 23, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? PAWS FOR LOVE 2–What is it about? Danielle is dedicated to finding forever homes for retired greyhound racers and fancies herself something of a matchmaker when it comes to dogs and people. When her high school boyfriend comes back to town after fourteen years in the Marines, Danielle is determined to match him with a perfect dog, but it turns out it’s not the dog who’s his perfect match . . . 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Living in Miami Beach for fourteen years gave me a real appreciation of Art Deco architecture and Mid-Century Modern design. I tried to infuse that love into the Fur Haven dog park series. I also love writing about what it’s like for a regular person like me to live in a place more known for its celebrities and excesses. There’s definitely the glamorous side to life on the Beach, but there are also days when people crowd the beach because there’s a major fish migration happening and if you stand in the water, the fish swim around you. And of course it’s understood that if you see a dolphin, you…