Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Camille Aubray | 20 Questions: THE GODMOTHERS
Author Guest / June 18, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release?  THE GODMOTHERS 2–What is it about? Pitched as “Elena Ferrante meets Big Little Lies”,  THE GODMOTHERS is about four remarkable women from very different backgrounds who are united by marriage in an elegant, prosperous Italian family, and then must take charge of the family’s business when their husbands are forced to leave them during World War II. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  THE GODMOTHERS takes place mainly in New York City and its Westchester suburbs from the 1930s through the 1950s. I worked in the city and I loved discovering its old buildings and the great stories that went with it. That glamorous, dangerous, bygone aura still clings to places like Bergdorf Goodman’s, the Copacabana, the Majestic apartment building, Coney Island, Balducci’s Market, the Plaza Hotel—it’s all still there. 4–How did your main character(s) surprise you? They are so brave! The four Godmothers never fail to rise to the occasion as a team: Filomena overcomes childhood trauma to be a leader and protector of the family; Lucy uses her skills as a nurse to make the right decisions even when she feels betrayed; Amie recovers from an…

Hannah McKinnon | 20 Questions: MESSAGE IN THE SAND
Author Guest / June 15, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? MESSAGE IN THE SAND 2–What is it about? MESSAGE IN THE SAND is a love story: the love of small town life, teenage love, rekindled adult love, and what makes up the fabric of family. MITS is about a young war veteran suffering from PTSD, Wendell Combs, who returns to the sleepy small town of Saybrook, CT where he works on the lush and private estate, White Pines, for the Lancaster family. After a heartbreaking loss, all Wendell wants, and feels he deserves, is to be left alone. The Lancaster family, however, has different plans for him. Despite his best intentions, Wendell feels the pull of the family unit, especially fifteen-year-old Julia, their eldest and strong-willed teenage daughter. Julia has her sights set on a summer riding her horse, swimming in the lake of White Pines, and spending time with the boy next door, who she has never really noticed, but now fears she may be falling in love with. One perfect summer night, as Julia’s family hosts their glamorous annual gala, a tragic accident occurs that no one in the close-knit community could have imagined. The accident leaves Wendell and the…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF FRICK ISLAND BY COLLEEN OAKLEY
Author Guest / June 11, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write The Invisible Husband of Frick Island? Colleen: A few years ago I ran across a newspaper article about a woman in Australia whose husband had died, and she was in such denial about it, she left his body in their bed and continued to live her life as though everything were completely fine. It wasn’t until a neighbor noticed an… odor, that people found out. I know that’s so morbid, but as a novelist I found it fascinating—the idea that grief can make us do such strange things, and that no two people grieve the same way. And that woman’s story was the initial spark of the idea for The Invisible Husband of Frick Island, about a woman who is in such denial about her husband’s death, she wakes up every morning and lives her life as if he is right there beside her (fortunately, without the rotting corpse in the bed). Let’s talk about Piper and Tom Parrish. Who are they and what’s their connection to the island? Piper and Tom are high school sweethearts turned young newlyweds who live on Frick Island, a tiny strip of land smack in the middle of…

Regina Kyle | 20 Questions: HOW NOT TO MESS WITH A MILLIONAIRE
Author Guest / June 8, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? HOW NOT TO MESS WITH A MILLIONAIRE 2–What is it about? A sassy American interior designer and a brooding Italian restauranteur engage in a battle of wills over who gets to stay in a villa on the Amalfi Coast that should be big enough for two—but not these two. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It’s Italy. What’s not to love? The food. The wine. The Mediterranean. I wish I was there right now. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  All of my heroines tend to be spunky, but Zoe might be the feistiest one yet. And she’s super creative when it comes to dreaming up ways to get Dante to vacate the villa. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  He’s a classic alpha wounded hero. He knows how to love deeply but is afraid to go there again. It doesn’t hurt that he’s smoking hot, as Zoe quickly learns when she arrives at the villa and finds him buck naked. Plus there’s that Italian accent. Swoon. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  Honestly, it was Dante. I’ve never written…

Nekesa Afia | 20 Questions: DEAD DEAD GIRLS
Author Guest / June 4, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? Dead Dead Girls 2–What is it about? Dead Dead Girls is a prohibition-era about a tiny, tired Black lesbian who is forced into solving crime. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love the vibrancy and how alive the 1920s were. Even when the world was reeling, postwar, there is a generation that still grew and thrived on their own terms. 4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  My main character, Louise Lloyd, surprised me by being so confident and determined. She is put into many different situations and still manages to come through as herself and stronger. 5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  I think readers will relate to my characters because they’re human. They get to make mistakes and have fun and be wrong and right. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  One of the biggest challenges while writing this book was getting the vibes exactly right. I was trying to get myself in the headspace of a woman who was born nearly a century before me, and has lived a completely different life. It’s impossible to…

Katee Robert | Exclusive Interview: NEON GODS
Author Guest / June 3, 2021

Danielle: Hi, Katee! Welcome back to Fresh Fiction and congrats on the release of NEON GODS! This is a Hades/Persephone retelling. What appealed to you about this classic Greek Myth?   Katee: Thank you so much for having me! I was really excited to write a Hades and Persephone story because it’s the framework for so many of the stories we tell today. You can see echoes of the dynamics in a good portion of dark romances, and I was really excited to intentionally retell the myth through that lens as a contemporary dark romance. One of the things I love about your novels is how unabashedly sexy they are! NEON GODS is no different, and there are some really poignant and frank discussions about consent, birth control, and boundaries—which I think many readers will appreciate and enjoy. How do you balance the fun sexytimes and the important conversations that go along with them?  Honestly, this might sound a little strange, but I view those conversations as a different sort of foreplay. To me, there’s nothing sexier than a partner (or several partners) discussing how to make the experience enjoyable and safe for everyone involved. There’s a level of caring there, even before…

Brina Starler | 20 Questions: ANNE OF MANHATTAN
Author Guest / June 1, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? My upcoming release on June 1st, ANNE OF MANHATTAN, is a modern adaptation of Anne of Green Gables set on Long Island and in New York City. It’s actually my debut novel! 2–What is it about? Loosely based on some of the original book’s events, and inspired by L.M. Montgomery’s cast of beloved characters, Anne of Manhattan reimagines what it would be like if college-aged Anne Shirley, Gilbert Blythe, and their friends were going to school and living in modern NYC. It’s a romantic comedy that also deals with themes like #MeToo (sexual harassment) and learning how to trust in love. And hopefully, I’ve done a good job of paying tribute to a book I love so much! 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  There are two main settings in the book. One is NYC, where Anne, Gil, and their friends go to school and live. That bounces between Brooklyn, the Village area, and Hell’s Kitchen. The second main setting is Avonlea, which I set on Long Island for the purposes of it making sense so many characters would wind up living in the city. Since I wanted…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE SEVEN DAY SWITCH BY KELLY HARMS
Author Guest / May 28, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write THE SEVEN DAY SWITCH? Kelly: My contemporaneous parenting friends and I all have different varieties of lifestyles, with some of us working full time out of the home, many working from home, and a few working as stay-at-home mothers. I noticed that though we all had a lot in common, the grass always seemed a bit greener in someone else’s backyard. I had to explore this and the body swap genre was the exact right way for me to find my way into the story. How does Celeste Mason view motherhood? Celeste takes it as something natural she was born to do, and as something no one else could possibly do as well as she does. So, she brings a lot of confidence to the party that I personally have never felt, but with her daughter poised on the brink of teendom, we can be sure some of that confidence is about to be challenged. What is Wendy Charles’ take on being a working mom? Wendy is that frantic side of us who is going to do it all and be the best no matter what, even if she never sleeps again. She’s been…

Dylann Crush | 20 Questions: CRAZY ABOUT A COWBOY
Author Guest / May 28, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? CRAZY ABOUT A COWBOY 2–What is it about? CRAZY ABOUT A COWBOY follows the story of Jasper Taylor, a Texas cowboy trying to save his family’s land in Ido, Texas, and secure the title of Most Romantic Small Town, and Delilah Stone, a beauty queen who’s judging the contest. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I’ve fallen in love with the little town of Ido, Texas. The whole town is like one big family who’s come together to try to revamp their struggling economy. They love harder, smile longer, and stick up for one another in Ido. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Delilah has spent her entire life trying to please her mother. I enjoyed her journey from people pleaser to standing up for herself and figuring out what she wants out of life. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Jasper is the total package. He’s loyal to his family and friends, devoted to the woman he adores, and is willing to put everything on the line and do what it takes to take care of those he loves. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while…

Jeffe Kennedy | 20 Questions: THE PROMISED QUEEN
Author Guest / May 27, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE PROMISED QUEEN 2–What is it about? This is book three in the Forgotten Empires trilogy, which is about the marriage of state between two enemies – a rebel, ex-slave prince, and a queen trapped in her own diplomatic web. They learn to work together to face their common enemy, a tyrannical emperor who has terrorized them, their families, and their people. This book is the culmination of their unlikely love affair and their attempt to triumph in an unwinnable war. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  My queen, Lia, rules over the last good place left. It’s a tropical island called Calanthe where all pleasures are indulged, sanctuary is given to all, and no one judges anyone. I’ve heard some readers call it “Versailles in Hawaii.” It’s a beautiful place, full of flowers, gentle seas, birds, bees, wildlife, and peace. I love everything about it. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Lia has a lot of secrets – about who she really is, her magical gifts, who her mother was, and how she came to be born. All of that surprised me! 5–Why will readers love your…