Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Samantha Downing | Exclusive Interview: HE STARTED IT
Author Guest / July 20, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Samantha! Please tell us about yourself and your new book, HE STARTED IT. Thank you so much! My new book, HE STARTED IT, is about three siblings (and two spouses) who have to go on a road trip in order to get an inheritance from their grandfather. Along the way, they have to deal with old grudges, family secrets, and a lot of scores to settle. This is a family road trip novel gone wrong–three siblings with strained relationships have to travel across the country per their grandfather’s will in order to receive a hefty inheritance. The route they are taking is the same road trip they took years ago with their grandfather, and they each have their own reasons for despising that trip. What is it about familial relationships, particularly sibling relationships, that you find fascinating? Sibling relationships are really complicated. If they grow up in the same house, they have a shared history during their formative years–something that can’t be repeated later in life. Siblings know your past, and you know theirs. And typically, they know exactly how to push each other’s buttons. Better than anyone else, in my experience. That makes siblings a…

Alexandra Burt | Exclusive Excerpt: SHADOW GARDEN
Author Guest / July 13, 2020

6 DONNA Marleen extends a round porcelain bowl with pills. I scoop them up, put them in my mouth, and take a sip of water from a glass on the nightstand. She leaves the room and I lean back and listen to the sounds of the house. Marleen karate-chops the throw pillows on the couch (I don’t care for that look but I won’t correct her) and wipes the kitchen counters (there is the tearing of a disinfectant wipe from the container, followed by the sound of the garbage can lid clinking shut shortly thereafter). Her heels clack, make their way down the hallway and into the powder room, followed by a silence during which she undoubtedly straightens towels on the shelf. The house phone rings. Marleen’s explanation about someone punching in the wrong numbers at the gate sounds contrived. I want to get up, hurry from my bedroom down the hallway and into the kitchen, want to get to the bottom of this–want to grab the receiver and demand to know who is on the other end of the line–but the phone stops ringing. I don’t want to be in this state of mistrust but– That book on the…

SUMMER BBQ RECIPE ROUNDUP | Breathe the Sky by Michelle Hazen
Author Guest , Giveaways / June 19, 2020

Wow, what an incredible week of fabulous books by wonderful authors, awesome giveaways, and great giveaways! Our Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup wraps up today with DESSERT! We’ll also learn more about Michelle Hazen’s BREATHE THE SKY, set in the Mojave Desert. Don’t forget—you can catch up on this week’s recipe roundup at the links below, and have chances to win books by commenting on those posts, too. Thank you for following along all week! We’ll be back with another recipe roundup in the Fall! Day 1, an appetizer with Lynn Austin: https://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10708 Day 2, a main course with Dylann Crush: https://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10709 Day 3, a side dish with Elise Hooper: https://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10710 Day 4, a bread recipe with Vanessa Riley: https://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10711 Day 5, a dessert with Michelle Hazen: https://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10712 *** In BREATHE THE SKY, Mari is a wildlife biologist, taking jobs deep in the Mohave Desert to hide from an ex-husband who won’t take divorce for an answer. She keeps to herself, scooping endangered species out of harm’s way on construction sites. Until she gets assigned to Jack Wyatt, the grouchy construction foreman who is the terror of all the other biologists. But he meets his match in Mari–the soft-spoken biologist won’t…

Hazel Prior | A Heroine at Eighty-Six
Author Guest / June 16, 2020

I used to think that dreams were the domain of the young. I assumed that by the time you reached, say, thirty you had everything sorted, you settled down and life got dull. Then I reached thirty and changed my mind… maybe forty was the age? But when I reached forty, that didn’t seem to be the case. Now I’ve found myself on the wrong (or is it the right?) side of fifty… and I’m still looking forward rather than back. This may be because I was a late bloomer. I drifted and I dreamed. Then a nasty, long-term illness jolted me into the realization that life wouldn’t last forever. I was already in my forties by the time I was finally diagnosed and fixed by surgery. The amazing gift of being able to function again gave me the determination I needed to knuckle down. Yet it still took years of harp practice before I could call myself a musician. And my first novel, Ellie And The Harp Maker, was only published last year. Perhaps it is not surprising I chose an older woman for the heroine of my second book, How The Penguins Saved Veronica. So many novels have…

SUMMER BBQ RECIPE ROUNDUP | The Cowboy Says I Do by Dylann Crush
Author Guest , Giveaways / June 16, 2020

The Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup continues with the main course, provided by contemporary romance author, Dylann Crush and her new book, THE COWBOY SAYS I DO. And don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post. . .  and come back tomorrow for more delicious fun! Day 1, an appetizer with Lynn Austin: https://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10708 Thanks so much to Fresh Fiction for inviting me to share a little bit about the first book in my new Tying the Knot in Texas series. . .  The Cowboy Says I Do. Like my heroine, Lacey, I grew up in Texas where everything seems bigger, including the cowboys’ appetites. There were plenty of backyard cookouts and gatherings with family and friends. But it was always so hot out that no one wanted to stand in front of a blazing grill. Lacey knows how to throw a party, so when she’s feeding a crowd she likes to toss together a batch of this Perfect Pulled Pork. Not only does it take just a few minutes of prep work, but it can be cooked the night before so a cowgirl doesn’t have to miss out on the party. There’s no such thing as a small get together in…

Sara Desai | Author-Reader Match: THE MARRIAGE GAME
Author Guest / June 9, 2020

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 Sara Desai! Writes: Books. Romance books Romance books that are funny. One romantic comedy book in particular: The Marriage Game, a sexy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a grumpy downsizing consultant and a hopelessly romantic personnel recruiter who battle to secure office space as they interview the ten suitors her father has selected for her to marry. About: Island-dwelling extroverted introvert with a passion for trapping grouchy alpha males and sunshiny heroines in close quarters and pitting them against each other in a battle of wills seeks laugh-loving reader who loves scrumptious Indian food, crazy characters, big loud families, and heroes who know how to grovel. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Loves cute, fluffy Westies who have a weakness for pakoras Will not start dancing during an interview Agrees that extreme pogo should not be an Olympic sport Hates any food that is deconstructed, foraged at dawn, curated, bespoke, or can’t be seen with the naked eye. Knows instantly that…

Kwana Jackson | Exclusive Excerpt: REAL MEN KNIT
Author Guest / May 12, 2020

It was then that Kerry walked by the back kitchen opening, and she paused at the doorway. “Errol! What are you doing here?” she said, stepping into the main lounge. The boy brightened at the sight of Kerry, his entire face opening up and his demeanor changing as he smiled at her. But then, as if remembering his mission, he quickly sobered. “Hi, Miss Kerry. I just wanted to come by to say how sorry I am about Ms. Joy.” Kerry stepped forward and took the boy into her arms in a hug. “Oh, Errol. Thank you so much. That is so kind of you.” Errol pulled back and unclenched his fists from the bag he was holding. He looked up at Kerry with a sad longing in his eyes and Jesse could see he was debating a question. “Will the shop be open again for us kids to come in for a lesson?” Kerry looked around at Jesse and his brothers, then back at Errol. “Errol, I’m not sure. The family has to do some figuring out about that.” Errol let out a breath and looked at Jesse. The boy nodded soberly as if he fully understood, despite his…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: The Closer You Get by Mary Torjussen
Author Guest / April 10, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write The Closer You Get? Mary: A friend told me about a single woman we knew who was having an affair with a married man. He left his wife and went to live with her, but the relationship didn’t last long and he went straight back to his wife. It made me wonder what would happen if both affair partners were married to other people and decided to be together; who would dare to take that first step towards their new life? How could you trust anyone enough to do that? If you were in that position and left your marriage and the other person didn’t leave, you would have burned all your bridges. So that became the start of the idea, that a married woman leaves home to be with a married man, but he doesn’t show up. What draws coworkers Ruby and Harry into having an extramarital affair? I think Ruby is a classic case of a woman who’s very unhappy at home and falls for the first person to show her some kindness and interest. On the other hand, Harry’s actually always been happy at home. His reasons for having an affair…

Victoria Schade | Fostering Saves Two Lives
Author Guest / March 27, 2020

Our first foster dog came into our home at an embarrassingly late stage in my dog training career. I’d been talking and writing about fostering for years but hadn’t made the leap to actually doing it for reasons (excuses?) that might sound familiar to you; I was busy, my resident dogs might not enjoy it, and I’d have a hard time saying goodbye to my new best friend. But when the heartbreaking photos of dogs in need on my feed got to be too much for me, I finally decided it was time to stop talking and start doing. We welcomed an adorable pitbull named Freddy and that dude helped us kick off our fostering journey. Since then my husband and I have gone on to foster a bunch of other dogs with more on the horizon. My initial concerns about fostering didn’t really matter when I saw the happy endings that happened once our fosters found their forevers. There are so many compelling reasons why fostering is important, but the following are a few of my favorites. Fostering Saves Two Lives Any time you bring in a foster you’re saving an additional life along with the temporary one under…

Deanna Raybourn | 20 Questions: A MURDEROUS RELATION
Author Guest / March 11, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  A MURDEROUS RELATION, the fifth Veronica Speedwell mystery. 2–What is it about?  My Victorian butterfly hunting sleuth, Veronica Speedwell, joins with her detecting partner, Stoker, to investigate a potential royal scandal during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror in London. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Intrepid. Veronica has a zero-tolerance policy for other people’s nonsense and she is never afraid to seize an opportunity or take on a foe. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  Stoker is a walking contradiction; he’s big and fit and dangerous, but he’s also the guy who needs a constant supply of candy and who reads French romance novels and cuddles stray dogs. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  My characters are always adding to their found family. They have a mentor–an elderly noblewoman who is the power behind the English throne–as well as a resourceful female reporter, a Black master pastry chef from Martinique, and a police detective who is just as likely to arrest them as take a bullet for them. But, always and above all, they turn to each other. 6–What do you love about the setting of…