Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Alexis Daria | Exclusive Excerpt: A LOT LIKE ADIOS
Author Guest / September 10, 2021

Chapter 4 Picking someone up at the airport in New York City was the biggest of favors, and Michelle hoped the big jerk appreciated it. But not even the nighttime traffic leading into LaGuardia Airport or BTS blasting positive-energy K-pop from her car’s speakers could distract from her jitters about seeing Gabe again.  What would he be like? Would it be weird to be around him again, or just like old times? She wasn’t sure which she preferred. It might hurt more if they slipped right back into their old dynamic, but she also harbored the hope that they could pick up where they’d left off. Although, the last time she’d seen him, they’d had their tongues in each other’s mouth. Were they going to pretend that hadn’t happened? What was the etiquette for reuniting with a former best friend you’d almost banged? The music was interrupted as her Fiat’s Bluetooth called out, “Call from Ava.” Gripping the wheel tight, Michelle debated whether or not to answer. Her stomach was a bundle of twisted-up knots, her teeth clenched tight. Ava would know something was going on, and Michelle didn’t want to explain what she was doing, especially since she wasn’t…

Julie Anne Long | 20 Questions: I’M ONLY WICKED WITH YOU
Author Guest / August 27, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? I’M ONLY WICKED WITH YOU. It’s the third book in the Palace of Rogues series. 2–What is it about? Hugh Cassidy is the battle-hardened son of a bastard, raised in the wilds of New York. Lady Lillias Vaughn is the sheltered, blue-blooded darling of the London broadsheets, destined to marry a duke. Their worlds collide at The Grand Palace on the Thames, a boarding house near the docks—and the war between them ignites when Hugh catches her smoking a cheroot and tattles on her to the Earl of Vaughn, her father. While their mutual attraction is incendiary and unwelcome…they’re absolutely at its mercy. But little by little, spark by spark, they begin to learn truths and vulnerabilities in each other that no one else in the world has ever uncovered. When their inevitable soul-searing indiscretion threatens to destroy their futures, Hugh comes up with a plan to unravel their entanglement…and the brutal truth is the best way to love her might be to break his own heart. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book? Everything! I’m having the best time writing the stories set at The Grand Palace on…

Cathy Maxwell | You Might be a Romance Reader If . . .
Author Guest / July 14, 2021

So many of my friends are non-fiction readers.  They don’t grasp the true enjoyment of reading. In fact, their idea of “reading” fiction is binge-watching whatever the latest book adaptation is on Netflix.  They don’t make a connection between the vibrant stories they enjoy and the books that gave them life. And they are fine with that. Meanwhile, I scratch my head. I’m also puzzled by the readers who think Romance is only about sex.  Now, let me assure you, I love the pull and verbal sparring of a couple destined to be in bed together (or anywhere else they want to be.). But that isn’t the reason I’m a dedicated Romance reader.  I knew the moment I was introduced to my first Romance heroine this is where I belong. Without fanfare, here are the reasons I knew I was a Romance Reader: I love a book where the woman decides to take control of her destiny, even if it flies in the face of societal norms or puts her in dangerous situations, or encourages her to go after that promotion. I know she is going to triumph and I’m onboard with cheering her on. I believe love is the…

Preslaysa Williams | Exclusive Interview: A LOWCOUNTRY BRIDE
Author Guest / June 1, 2021

Danielle: Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Preslaysa! Congrats on the release of your debut, A LOWCOUNTRY BRIDE! Can you tell us about your journey into publishing? Preslaysa: I started seriously writing fiction in 2008. At the time, I knew nothing about novel writing, but I was passionate about it. I first dabbled in young adult and middle grade fiction. Then I decided to focus on writing romance. Little did I know that I chose a challenging genre to write! It took me about 9 years to become skilled at writing a romantic arc, character arcs for two love interests, and a plot arc. All three have to be woven together seamlessly. (And there are more requirements for subgenres like paranormal romance, inspirational romance, erotica, or historical romance!). I entered my manuscripts in writing contests, and they would final or win those contests. Seeing my stories make the final rounds (or even win!) was a very encouraging part of my writing career.   In 2012 (very early in my journey), I received an offer of publication for A LOWCOUNTRY BRIDE, but after much thought, I didn’t feel comfortable with signing on the dotted line. So, I didn’t. I not only learned how…

Eva Leigh | 20 Questions: WAITING FOR A SCOT LIKE YOU
Author Guest / February 17, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? WAITING FOR A SCOT LIKE YOU 2–What is it about? Major Duncan McCameron is struggling to adjust to life in peacetime, so as a favor to a friend he agrees to escort a widowed countess on a trip north. He didn’t anticipate that Lady Faris would be a vibrant woman eager to explore all of life’s experiences. They clash at first, but as their journey turns into a wild ride, they can’t deny the explosive attraction between them. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love road stories because they’re always full of adventure, and this book is no different! 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Beatrice’s zest for living comes from the fact that she’s spent most of her life in an unsatisfying, confining marriage, and I loved learning how determined she is to finally break free. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Three words: grumpy Scot Dom. Okay, two more words: younger man. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  Making sure that Duncan and Beatrice challenge but also complement each other on their emotional as well as physical…

Lenora Bell | 20 Questions: LOVE IS A ROGUE
Author Guest / October 28, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Love Is a Rogue is the first book in my new Wallflowers vs. Rogues series with Avon Books. 2–What is it about?  It’s a gender-flipped take on Beauty and the Beast with an HGTV twist. It’s the tale of a bookish highborn lady, a handsome rogue of a carpenter, a fixer-upper bookshop, and the chance to build a love to last forever. I have a soft spot for carpenters since my grandfather, father, brother, and husband are all builders. In fact, parts of the book are based on my real-life experience fixing up a Victorian farmhouse with my husband (that’s how I met him!) in Portland, Oregon. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Bookish. Lady Beatrice Bentley has retreated from society to her brother’s Gothic mansion in Cornwall to work on her etymological dictionary. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  Ford Wright is a hot, rugged carpenter who builds bookshelves for Beatrice. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Beatrice turns to her best girlfriends, fellow members of the secretly subversive Mayfair Ladies Knitting League. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Beatrice and Ford…

Olivia Dade | Exclusive Interview: SPOILER ALERT
Author Guest / October 9, 2020

Hi, Olivia! Welcome to Fresh Fiction. Please tell us about yourself and your new book, SPOILER ALERT.  Hi! I’m Olivia Dade, a lifelong nerd and enthusiastic, pants-averse hag. I’m also a writer, and Spoiler Alert is my print debut. I’m incredibly excited about it, because the story tackles so many topics close to my heart: fandom, fanfiction, fatness, friendship, and family. It also contains a startling number of dirty geology puns, because no one stopped me!  Put briefly, the story is about a himbo actor, Marcus, who is secretly smart and hates how his worldwide-hit TV show has gone off the rails in recent seasons. He pours his frustration into anonymous fanfiction with the help of his online BFF, April–but if anyone found out he’d been criticizing his own show so openly, his career would be over. Which is a problem, especially once he meets April in person and falls in love. . . but can’t tell her they already know one another. Spoiler Alert is a sweet-hot romcom with lots of banter and emotion and nerdery, and if you read it, I hope you absolutely love it. The world of fandom is a relatively recent phenomenon in pop culture….

Suzanne Park | 20 Questions: LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT
Author Guest / August 18, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT, coming out August 18! 2–What is it about? LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is an #OwnVoices workplace rom-com set in the video game industry. In this novel, Korean-American producer named Melody Joo is tasked with launching a controversial video game while being antagonized by everyone around her, especially Nolan MacKenzie, the company’s new MBA intern. 3–What word best describes your heroine? Fierce. 4–What makes your hero irresistible? He’s a charming, smart, quirky, plaid-shirt-and-tortoise-shell-glasses-wearing kind of guy. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Her best friends Candace and Jane, as well as her mentor/friend at work, Kat. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book? The backdrop is Seattle, where I lived for a long time. I love the sense of place it invokes, especially with the weather and the food and cafe scene. The work setting is also something I loved including in this book: I hearkened back to my days in tech where we had cubicles/workspaces and hard-to-book conference rooms and it was a lot of fun to describe. 7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantser (write…

Danielle Dresser | In Which We Discuss the Bareknuckle Bastards
Author Guest / July 29, 2020

Would you love to chat with Sarah MacLean? Join us TOMORROW, Thursday, July 30, at 7pm CT for a Fresh Fiction Book Club chat. There’s an interview with Sarah first and then a chance to ask her questions directly, via a Zoom Chat. You can find out more details and register to attend here: Video Book Club with Sarah MacLean *** I was late to the Bareknuckle Bastards. Don’t ask me why–but it was always one of those sore spots in with my fellow citizens of Romancelandia… “You HAVEN’T?” and “Why NOT?” and “Oh, you MUST REMEDY THIS NOW OR WE WON’T BE FRIENDS.” That last one is slightly exaggerated, though not by much. I understood their astonishment that I, a Sarah MacLean fan, had not read each book as it came out over the last few years. I just didn’t. . . But then came the cover reveal for DARING AND THE DUKE, the final book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series and these books were back on my radar. I decided to read all three of them back-to-back-to-back, and readers, I’m so happy I did. The worldbuilding, the backstory, the characters. There’s so much to love in the part…

Kristen Proby | Exclusive Interview: AFTER ALL
Author Guest / July 14, 2020

Miranda: The first of your books I read were in the Fusion series. I loved it because it had friendships and realistically strong yet flawed female characters. How important is it for you to write strong female characters and friendships? Does the dialogue flow easily? Kristen: Thank you! I’m absolutely a dialogue-driven author. I also love to read dialogue. I think it moves the story along at a fast pace. Friendships are integral to every book I write. None of us just fall in love and have no one else in our lives. I think it’s important to show a character’s community, her family and friends, and their reactions to the character falling in love. One of the things I enjoy so much about your Romancing Manhattan series, as well as many of your other books, is the balance between romance, character development, and conflict. Do you consciously try and maintain balance in your books or does it just evolve organically? The books evolve organically, as I write them. As a huge fan of the series, I’m thrilled about your new Romancing Manhattan book AFTER ALL! But are there any supporting characters in any of your series that you’ve toyed…