Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

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…

Amy Pershing | Author-Reader Match: A SIDE OF MURDER
Author Guest / February 22, 2021

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Amy Pershing! Writes: I write the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries, which (obviously) revolve around food and Cape Cod. And murder.  And romance. Or, at least in the first book of the series, A SIDE OF MURDER, it was a romance. Now it’s, well, complicated. It all begins when Samantha Barnes — once an up-and-coming New York chef until an unfortunate YouTube video went viral — retreats home to Cape Cod.  There Sam finds herself dealing with a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy, and a job writing restaurant reviews. Oh, yeah, and a dead body. And the town’s new harbormaster, Jason Captiva.  Who, it turns out, was Sam’s high school crush. . . About: Like Sam, I am a total foodie.  I’ve edited cookbooks, reviewed restaurants, and pretty much eaten my way around the world. I’m also a total fool for love.  Especially first loves.  At 16, I thought my guy was the cutest, smartest, funniest, sexiest guy in the room.  I still do.  For more about me…

Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup: KILLER CONTENT by Oliva Blacke
Author Guest / February 10, 2021

Looking for a Galentine’s Day treat? Author Olivia Blacke has a vegan-friendly cake ball recipe that is sure to delight. KILLER CONTENT’s amateur sleuth, Odessa, works at a bookstore/cafe and has a great group of co-workers and friends to share this with during after-hours fun.  Of course, we’ll be back tomorrow with the next featured author during the week-long Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup—hope to see you again!  KILLER CONTENT’s (Feb 2, 2021, Berkley) Odessa Dean isn’t much of a cook. When she decides to leave her hometown of Piney Island, Louisiana for a summer in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, she’s overwhelmed by the unique and ever-evolving flavors of New York City. From food trucks to pop-up eateries to the eclectic menu at Untapped Books & Cafe where she works, there is always something new for her to taste. As much as she loves sampling unique dishes, she doesn’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen. Not that it would stop her from trying to make something fun and tasty for her friends when they decide to throw a Valentine’s Day party after hours at the cafe! While cake balls and cake pops might be blase in Brooklyn…

Bella Ellis | Exclusive Excerpt: THE DIABOLICAL BONES
Author Guest / February 10, 2021

From Chapter 6 of THE DIABOLICAL BONES Anne Anne felt no small amount of apprehension as she followed the rest of the party, led by Liston Bradshaw, into the oldest and, until recently, locked- away part of Top Withens Hall. It was the dense and sorrowful atmosphere that weighed the heaviest on her slender shoulders, for there were ghosts in every corner–of the spectral sort that Mr. Dickens liked to write about, but rather the remnants of memories that told of a distant, happier life. A group portrait of Clifton, his wife, and Liston, even from beneath the veil of cobwebs and dust shrouding it, showed a close family full of pride in and warmth for one another. On a windowsill a vase was placed, surrounded by scattered desiccated petals; a shawl was draped over the end of the bannister as if it had been left there only a few moments before, its owner expecting to return to gather it up at any moment. It seemed to Anne that the moment Mary had died thirteen years ago, Clifton Bradshaw had locked away every trace of the cordial family life that had lived there and buried it along with his wife….

Erika Robuck | Exclusive Excerpt: THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
Author Guest / February 5, 2021

As the dawn breaks, she turns her thoughts to the future, imagining the map of France dotted with stops on her circuit. The main region of her new network is located throughout the Massif Central—the highlands of central and southern France. It is remote and mountainous, and only the locals have a clear understanding of the geography. She had argued with Vera about stationing her in a mountain region. “Send me back to Lyon,” Virginia had said. “If you want to be a kamikaze, enlist with the Japanese.” “Then anywhere else, but not mountains. I can’t face that again.” “Then that’s precisely why you must.” Mountains. It’s impossible to articulate what they represent to her. The terror of the crossing in winter—with a prosthetic leg—was bad enough, but add the guilt over abandoning her people, the Gestapo breathing down her neck, and the knowledge the betrayer was still at large, and it crushed her. She had never experienced a terror like she felt on every level during that crossing, but even then, she hadn’t seen with her own eyes the murder of her people. Until today. The air feels as thin as it did in the Pyrenees. It takes her…

Susan Meissner | Exclusive Interview: THE NATURE OF SMALL THINGS
Author Guest / February 3, 2021

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Susan! We are so happy to have you here today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your new book, THE NATURE OF FRAGILE THINGS. I am a historical fiction novelist and native Californian who has lived in other states and abroad, but California is where I have spent the majority of my life and is probably the reason why I chose to set my newest novel around the time of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. I’ve experienced many tremblors; they are fairly common here, but none of the magnitude of that historic one. It reshaped San Francisco in many ways. Anytime you have a major event where ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances, you also have a backdrop for a story to be told. Sophie answers an ad to be a mail-order bride. An Irish immigrant in New York, she then travels across the country to marry a man she’s never met and take care of his daughter. Where did the idea for Sophie come from? What research did you do into mail-order brides, and did you learn anything truly surprising?  I wanted Sophie to have good reasons for wanting to…

Rachel Lynn Solomon | 20 Questions: THE EX-TALK
Author Guest / January 26, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE EX TALK 2–What is it about? THE EX TALK is a romantic comedy set in the world of public radio, about coworkers who pose as exes to host a show about dating and relationship—only to fall for each other as the show gains popularity. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I’m a born-and-raised Seattleite, and it’s a setting I really love exploring through fiction. I’ve always felt there’s a hopeful romanticism associated with the Pacific Northwest. One of my favorite scenes in The Ex Talk takes place outside of Seattle on Orcas Island, and without giving too much away, I will just say that there is only one bed. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  At the beginning of the book, Shay comes across as a fairly put-together person: she has her almost-dream job, she owns a house, she has a support system. But as her layers are gradually peeled away, I was able to see that she’s not entirely fulfilled at work, she’s still grieving the loss of her father, and she’s scared to enter a relationship, as badly as she wants one, because she’s always…

Camilla Bruce | 20 Questions: IN THE GARDEN OF SPITE
Author Guest / January 18, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? In the Garden of Spite 2–What is it about? It is a fictionalized account of the life and bloody deeds of Belle Gunness – one of America’s first and most prolific female serial killers. Belle was Norwegian (like me) but left for the US in her early twenties, a few decades before she became notorious. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love that the setting moves from Norway to the Midwest, so I could write about a place I knew very well, and one that was new to me. I also love the time period (1877 – 1908), and found it enormously interesting to explore the lives of Scandinavian immigrants at that time.  4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  Belle was undoubtedly a sociopath, but she had a soft spot for children, and that was very surprising to me. She would arrange Christmas parties for the neighborhood kids and visit them with gifts when they were sick. She also spoiled her own quite a bit.  5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  Belle is one of those characters you don’t want to not be able to relate to, since she…

Jennifer Probst | 20 Questions: OUR ITALIAN SUMMER
Author Guest / January 12, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release?  OUR ITALIAN SUMMER 2–What is it about?  Three generations of women in the Ferrari family must heal the broken pieces of their lives on a trip of a lifetime through picturesque Italy. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The book literally takes you through a tour of Italy, from Rome all the way to Tuscany. It’s full of amazing food, wine, and experiences that Italy is beloved for. 4–How did your heroine(s) surprise you?  There are actually three heroines in this book. Francesca is 49, Allegra is 18, and Sophia is 75! I love diving into the various points of view for each age. I think what surprised me the most about all of them is the inner strength each of them have to keep them pushing through challenges. 5–Why will readers love your hero(es)?  There are two main heroes in this book! Enzo is the Italian tour guide, and Ian is one of the tour members from Ireland. Enzo falls for Francesca, and Ian falls for Allegra. These love stories are both very different but extremely emotional and poignant. I know these two men will make my…