Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Evelyn Sola | Top 5 Must Haves in a Second Chance Romance + Giveaway
Author Guest / November 11, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reading romance novels for over thirty years, and there are some things that I absolutely must have. They can make the difference between an okay and a great read. Here’s my list. 1. That first meeting. To me, this is THE moment. The chemistry has to be just right. The attraction has to strong enough to set the page (or Kindle) on fire. Remember, this is a second chance, so something comes between them. I want to see what made them fall in love the first time. 2. Glimpses of the past. I’m not a fan of chapters upon chapters of flashbacks as a reader. I’d much rather see what the characters are up to now, but second chance romances need to give up glimpses of the past. We need to see what made the relationship so strong, and why we believe in this couple so much that we want them to get back together. 3. The breakup. The reason for the breakup has to not only be good, but believable! I’m not a fan of breakups happening over a misunderstanding. Romance novels are all about finding your soulmate. This person is…

DiAnn Mills | Author-Reader Match: AIRBORNE + Giveaway!
Author Guest / September 8, 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 DiAnn Mills! WRITES: DiAnn Mills writes romantic suspense. Her latest title, Airborne, releases in print today, September 8, 2020. ABOUT: Romantic suspense writer seeking readers who want to ride the wings of a suspense-filled adventure with FBI Special Agent Heather Lawrence. She’s pregnant, her husband wants a divorce, and a deadly, mysterious illness appears onboard her transatlantic flight. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Expects every scene to vicariously export them into an adventure. Desires a suspenseful story seen through the eyes of a strong heroine or hero. Prefers a clean story that doesn’t hold back on the reality of crime and the world we live in. Craves an emotional experience through the heart and mind of point-of-view characters. Wonders how the FBI, CDC, and federal and local agencies work together to solve a horrendous crime. Questions how a virus could be unleashed to unsuspecting people. Wants a thrilling FBI story. Discovers how a heroine responds to betrayal and abandonment. Longs for a thread of romance…

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…

Fall Recipe Potluck | SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE by Reese Ryan
Author Guest / September 7, 2020

Welcome to the First Day of our Fall Recipe Potluck! We have an awesome lineup of authors telling about their new books coming out this fall and sharing delicious recipes–perfect for the cooler weather and cozy nights. Be sure to check back all week long for posts every morning. Also! Comment to enter to win a copy of the book featured each day. We hope you enjoy this potluck and find some new books and recipes to try. *** In my upcoming release, SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE, rising star reporter Dakota Jones is inadvertently caught up in an international scandal that derails her promising career. She returns to the small town of Holly Grove Island to lick her wounds and regroup after spending the better part of two decades in New York City. The island town no longer feels like home, or so she thinks. But Dakota quickly begins to discover all of the things she’s been missing during the five years that she’d been actively avoiding the island since the death of her mother. Dakota discovers a new appreciation for her family and friends; the beach; the townsfolk who will always consider her one of their own. And…

Daryl Wood Gerber | Top 5 Reasons to Read A SPRINKLING OF MURDER + Giveaway!
Author Guest / July 20, 2020

Top 5 Reasons to Read A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, the first Fairy Garden Mystery Have you heard of the Fairy Garden Mysteries? They’re new. The first, A Sprinkling of Murder, is just out. It’s set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, and features Courtney Kelly, a former landscaper who has taken a leap of faith and created her own fairy garden shop called Open Your Imagination. Courtney believes in inviting magic into one’s life, but when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . . There are a lot of reasons that readers are falling in love with the Fairy Garden Mysteries, but here are the top five. Fiona, the righteous fairy. Fiona is a fairy-in-training. She should be a full-fledged fairy by now, but imp that she is, she did one too many pranks in fairy school, so the queen fairy has booted her out and subjected her to probation, during which time Fiona must get serious. By helping a human solve problems–that’s what righteous fairies are good at–she could earn her way back into the ranks. Fiona is fun, whimsical, and earnest. A powerful combo. Courtney Kelly, fairy garden…

SUMMER BBQ RECIPE ROUNDUP | Fast Girls by Elise Hooper
Author Guest / June 17, 2020

Today, we are pleased to share a delectable side dish in today’s BBQ Recipe Roundup from historical fiction novelist Elise Hooper. Her fascinating new novel, FAST GIRLS, is based on the true story of three women who competed during the 1936 Olympics. Remember: the recipe roundup is all week, so come back tomorrow and catch up on the earlier posts, too: 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 Fast Girls is historical fiction inspired by three pioneering real-life women track champions of the 1930s. In the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Chicago’s Betty Robinson competes as a member of the first-ever women’s delegation in track and field. Destined for further glory, she returns home feted as America’s Golden Girl until a nearly-fatal airplane crash threatens to end everything. Outside of Boston, Louise Stokes, one of the few black girls in her town, sees competing as an opportunity to overcome the limitations placed on her. Eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a champion, she risks everything to join the Olympic team. From Missouri, Helen Stephens, awkward, tomboyish, and poor, is considered an outcast by her schoolmates, but…

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…

Dana Dratch | Present Imperfect + Giveaway!
Author Guest / June 8, 2020

When I sit down to write a book, part of the process involves thinking about the future. To make the stories pop, I like to imagine what will be going on in the world when a reader finally curls up with this book. Everything from the weather and the seasons to real-life events. Boy, did I get it wrong this time. And I’m guessing that pretty much none of my fellow cozy mystery writers had “global pandemic,” “social unrest,” “economic crisis,” and “political protests” on their backstory bingo cards. As a result, there’s a whole spate of mysteries coming out that bear little resemblance to the world we now see out the window. And maybe that’s a good thing. From the beginning, cozies and mysteries have served as an escape. So as we worry about a deadly virus with no vaccine and the racism that has no place in our world, books provide an off-ramp from reality. A chance to see the world the way we want it to be. An opportunity to drop our problems for a few moments. Imagine a world where you can eat, mask free, in a restaurant without a second thought. Or sit at a…

Louisa Leaman | My Top 5 Whispering Dresses
Author Guest / May 8, 2020

What is a whispering dress? Venture inside the bridal boutique of my heroine, Fran Delaney, and you’ll find out. Fran finds vintage wedding dresses, gets to know their histories, then matches them to modern-day brides, helping them to transform their lives. In that sense, her dresses ‘whisper’ their secrets and wisdoms to whoever wears them next. I was inspired to write The Second Chance Boutique while working for the Victoria & Albert Museum, researching their extraordinary collection of historic wedding dresses. It wasn’t just the dresses that fascinated me, but the personal stories behind them. From demure to ultimate glamour, from the courtesan’s sack-back gown to the ever-changing Victorian silhouette, the thirties to the sixties to the nineties, these dresses were as varied in character as the women who wore them – and it struck me that the spirit of these women seemed very much present, embodied in the fabric and stitches. The idea of these dresses stayed with me until, not long after my own wedding, I decided I simply had to write a romance based around them. So here are some of the ones that inspired me: The Scandalous One This dramatic Norman Hartnell gown was worn by…

Sarah Morgan | Exclusive Excerpt: FAMILY FOR BEGINNERS + Giveaway!
Author Guest / May 1, 2020

Flora was ten minutes early. Did that matter? Nerves were jumping around in the pit of her belly, but she always felt that way before seeing Jack. A man striding past gave her a wide berth and she realized it was because she was smiling at nothing in particular. Feeling positive, she walked up the steps and rang the bell. One day, she promised herself, she was going to have a proper front door of her own. Maybe flanked by olive trees, or pots filled with trailing plants. Jack opened the door. He was wearing jeans, and his shirt was open at the neck. His feet were bare and there was a hint of shadow on his jaw. Here in his own domain, he seemed younger and more relaxed. “You found us okay?” His gaze connected with hers and she felt a searing flash of chemistry that almost knocked her off her feet. Feeling a little disorientated, she stepped into the house. His fingers brushed lightly against hers, sending a shimmer of heat coursing through her. For a wild moment she thought he was going to simply kick the door shut and drag her against him, but instead he closed…