Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

Tessa Wegert | Exclusive Interview: THE DEAD SEASON
Author Guest / December 7, 2020

Hi, Tessa! Welcome to Fresh Fiction. Please tell us about yourself and a little bit about your book, THE DEAD SEASON.   Hi everyone! I grew up in Canada and now live with my family in Connecticut. I was a freelance journalist for many years, and while I enjoyed the work, I also craved a creative outlet. That’s what led me to start writing novels. THE DEAD SEASON is the second book in the Shana Merchant series of mysteries, the first of which, DEATH IN THE FAMILY, was released in early 2020. For readers who may not be familiar, can you give a little background on the setup for the Shana Merchant series?   Shana Merchant is a former NYPD detective who narrowly escaped abduction when the serial killer she was hunting turned his focus to her. All the police know about Blake Bram is that he, like Shana, is from Swanton, Vermont. Traumatized by her kidnapping and haunted by the knowledge that she has a personal connection to the killer, she moves with her fiancé to the Thousand Islands of Upstate New York, where she takes a job with the detective branch of the New York State Police and…

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…