Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Tessa Arlen | Exclusive Excerpt: POPPY REDFERN AND THE FATAL FLYERS
Author Guest / November 30, 2020

Half a dozen women, standing by a makeshift bar in Didcote’s Air Transit Auxiliary’s mess turned appraising faces toward us. For one panicky moment I felt I was back at boarding school on the first day of term. “Good morning, Miss Redfern, I’m Vera Abercrombie, Didcote’s commanding officer.” A compact looking woman with a direct no nonsense gaze introduced herself. I suppose, like everyone else who first met her, I was surprised that the Didcote ATA commanding officer wasn’t the standard issue senior male RAF officer with a waxed moustache. Vera Abercrombie was probably in her mid-thirties, but her fair northern skin was deeply lined, either from years of flying, or put there by the burdensome responsibility of her war-time job. She carried a clip-board with a sheaf of papers pinned to it and her glance strayed to it often, as if she might have inadvertently overlooked some small but important detail. There are not many women who have shot to the heights of command that Vera Abercrombie had achieved, without being conscious of their seniority every hour of their long working day, but there was no arrogance in her greeting and no feeling that this was her ‘show,’ and…

Lori Nelson Spielman | 20 Questions: THE STAR-CROSSED SISTERS OF TUSCANY
Author Guest / November 17, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany 2–What is it about?  The book, set in Italy, chronicles a life-changing journey of three second-born daughters who, according to centuries-old family lore, are believed to be cursed, never to find lasting love. But eccentric Aunt Poppy never believed in the curse. She invites her great nieces–and fellow second-born daughters–to accompany her to their homeland of Italy, where Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her 80th birthday, and break the supposed curse once and for all. As the trio traverses the Italian countryside, hearts are lost, memories are found, and secrets are revealed. . . secrets that could threaten the Fontana family far more than a centuries-old curse.  3–What word best describes your heroine(s)?  Independent 4–What inspired you to write about this group of women? When I worked as a high school guidance counselor, it wasn’t unusual for my young female students to come to me, heartbroken over some doomed teenaged romance. I tried to assure them they were young and had decades ahead of them, that if I had a crystal ball, we’d see that one day…

Jennifer J. Chow | Exclusive Interview: MIMI LEE READS BETWEEN THE LINES
Author Guest / November 9, 2020

Hi, Jennifer! Welcome to Fresh Fiction! Can you tell us about yourself and your latest Sassy Cat Mystery novel, MIMI LEE READS BETWEEN THE LINES?   Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be on Fresh Fiction today! A little about me: I write multicultural mysteries, and I live in Los Angeles, where I’m constantly on the hunt for all things matcha. In Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines, pet groomer Mimi Lee takes her big sister role to the max by trying to get her young sister off the police’s radar. Mimi Lee owns a pet-grooming business and has a talking cat! Where did you get the idea for this delightful series?   I grew up reading Garfield comics and loved his snarky attitude. Also, I was always drawn to this idea of a pet-owner connection, so I figured a telepathic sassy cat would make a great sleuthing partner–and add to the humor. I love an amateur sleuth! What do you think makes Mimi a great detective? Does she find situations or do the situations find her?  Mimi is a bold sleuth who’s willing to take chances to get to the answer. She really perseveres, especially when loved ones…

Christine Feehan | Exclusive Excerpt: LEOPARD’S RAGE
Author Guest / November 5, 2020

Flambé rose slowly, but without hesitation, although she seemed a little wobbly, and crossed to his side. He slid his arm around her, pulling her beneath his shoulder so she could fit snugly into the window frame with him. He could have easily moved over to give her room, but he wanted to see her reaction to his proprietary claim on her. She seemed to accept him, just the way her leopard accepted his close proximity. The man coming toward the house was still a distance away and was striding boldly up the walkway, two men on either side of him. He acted as if he owned the property, and no one would ever think to oppose him. “He has more men with him. They’re hidden from view in the shrubbery on either side of the house. I’ve counted at least six, but most likely there are more.” Sevastyan was matter-of-fact. Calm. He kept his arm around her. A little shudder went through her body and she took an involuntary step back as if to get away from the window. At the same time, she tried to tug on his waist to take him with her. Her little leopard pushed…

Jo Jakeman | Books Inspired by Cornwall, England
Author Guest / September 25, 2020

Like the main character in Safe House, I moved to Cornwall on the south-western coast of England recently. Only I wasn’t running away from my past, or starting over again with a new identity. And, as far as I know, no-one is after me to make me pay for past misdemeanours! I’ve always been devoted to Cornwall, having been on holidays here when I was a child to quaintly named villages such as Mousehole, and explored the ruins of Tintagel Castle imagining myself an Arthurian Knight. One of my all-time favourite books is based here too–Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. The new adaptation is soon to be released by Netflix and I wonder whether people’s interest in books based here will increase. I hope more people will fall in love with Cornwall, just as I have. If you’ve got a hankering to read more Cornish novels after Rebecca and SAFE HOUSE, here are five of the best. 1-Jumping straight in with the best non-fiction book I’ve ever read. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. Raynor and her terminally ill husband walked the entire South West coastal path after losing their home and being left almost penniless. Not just Cornwall but…

Robin Wells | Exclusive Excerpt: SHE GETS THAT FROM ME
Author Guest / September 25, 2020

I open the door. The guy is tall—probably six foot one or two—and fit, like a runner. He’s clean-shaven and good-looking. “Hello,” I say. “Hi. I’m Zack Bradley.” His eyes are like little pieces of sky, and a dimple winks in his jaw as he smiles. The smile transforms him from attractive to devastating. “Are you Brooke Adams?” Chill bumps chase up my arms, and it’s not cold outside. He looks familiar, but his name doesn’t ring any bells. “Uh, no. She’s not here right now.” For some reason, I can’t bring myself to say, She’s dead. His smile fades into disappointment. “Can you tell me when she’ll be back?” “Not, um, really. Is there something I can help you with?” I realize I sound like a clerk at a shoe store. I smile and stretch out my hand. “I’m her best friend, Quinn Langston.” “Nice to meet you.” He takes my hand, and my palm is encased in warmth. More goose bumps instantly prickle up my neck. It’s definitely a sign of something, but I don’t know what. “Her phone doesn’t seem to be working,” he says. Miss Margaret has Brooke’s cell phone. I’m not sure if she’s already…

Fall Recipe Potluck | SIMMER DOWN by Sarah Smith
Author Guest / September 9, 2020

We have MORE fabulous books and awesome recipes to share! We’ll be here all week, LOL. Also, check out the other posts that have gone up so far and check out the giveaways: Day 1: SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LAND by Reese Ryan Day 2: THE SECRET FRENCH RECIPES OF SOPHIE VALROUX by Samantha Verant *** My new book Simmer Down is a rivals-to-lovers romance between two competing food truck owners Nikki and Callum, who are fighting over the same coveted parking spot near one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches. After a whole lot of bickering and sabotaging, Nikki and Callum realize they have sizzling chemistry. Like in any good romance, they end up in bed together. A lot. When they’re not getting physical, these two are both capable of whipping up endless mouth-watering specialties. You can count on British hunk Callum to cook scrumptious English recipes, while Nikki has spent a lifetime perfecting her mom’s delicious Filipino dishes. Once these two finally get their happily ever after, they’ll be spending loads of time in the bedroom, as any newly in-love couple would. But that doesn’t mean cooking will be put on the backburner. Nikki would figure out a way…

Fall Recipe Potluck | THE SECRET FRENCH RECIPES OF SOPHIE VALROUX BY SAMANTHA VERANT
Author Guest / September 8, 2020

The Fall Recipe Potluck continues today with another delectable recipe and awesome new book to learn more about. Don’t forget to check the blog every day this week for more fun and opportunities to win books! You can see the previous post here: Day 1: SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE by Reese Ryan *** When I wrote THE SECRET FRENCH RECIPES OF SOPHIE VALROUX, I’d stay awake at night, envisioning recipes and tasting the flavors. In the morning, I’d wake up hungry and I’d run to the store to gather the ingredients and then test whatever I’d come up with, not knowing how it would turn out. Thankfully, this recipe for a roasted squash soup did. And it was delicious! You can get fancy like chef Sophie and add in the lobster and parmesan crisps, but this soup is also warm, hearty, and nourishing all on its own. Veloute de Potimarron* with Flambeed Lobster Tails and a Parmesan Crisp Serves 8 to 10 for an entree (small bowl) or 4 to 6 for a main course Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes Cook Time: 1.5 hours Equipment: parchment paper, baking sheet, large pot, cheese grater, kitchen scissors, food processor or…

Christina Henry | Exclusive Excerpt: THE GHOST TREE
Author Guest / September 3, 2020

The shade of the trees made her feel better almost immediately, although the headache didn’t disappear–just receded a little bit, like a fighter taking two steps back before charging in again with a flurry of punches. Still, she thought she might be able to get to her bike and make it home without fainting, which was the key thing. Lauren had almost reached the ghost tree and her bike when she felt it–a strange sort of shifting, although the shifting wasn’t anything external that she could tell. The trees all stood in their usual places and the wind rustled their branches like always and her feet were firmly planted in the ground and her stomach wasn’t even queasy any longer. But still–there had been something. A feeling that made her skin prickle and her left eye twitch and cold sweat pool at the base of her spine. She shook her head even though it made her headache feel like it was knocking from side to side inside her skull. Those were all things that happened to other people when they walked in the woods that bordered Smiths Hollow. They got spooky feelings and broke out in a sweat and talked…

K.C. Dyer | Exclusive Excerpt: EIGHTY DAYS TO ELSEWHERE
Author Guest / August 14, 2020

By the next morning, the snow has stopped, but many of the back streets are still sporting a sheen of black ice. Tommy’s picked up a cold somewhere, and so I wrap my head in a scarf to protect myself from the wind whipping between the buildings, and head out to Claire’s Patisserie for croissants. After taking a single step into the street, I dash back inside to grab my camera. The grey overcast hemming us in for weeks has blown away overnight, and the sun is rising through low fog like a ripe red dragon’s egg, way down the end of our street. I’ve been taking pictures as long as I can remember. My dad was a photographer before I was born, and there were always cameras around the house when I was small. He shot for AP overseas–Falkland Islands during the conflict, and Ireland too–but after I came along, he mostly freelanced. And when I made it into NYU, I majored in photography. I’ve always planned to take it further, but–well, you know. Life gets in the way. With this news about the bookshop, the chance of returning to film school is looking increasingly unlikely. These days I…