Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Xio Axelrod | 20 Questions: THE GIRL WITH STARS IN HER EYES
Author Guest / May 4, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE GIRL WITH STARS IN HER EYES 2–What is it about? It’s the story of a musician searching for her place in the world, the man who holds the key to her heart and her future, and the all-girl rock band that offers her the family she never had. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I grew up in and around the Philadelphia music scene, and in the music business in general. There are so many stories to tell. I love that I get to share both my passion and my city. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Toni is stronger than even I knew going into the manuscript. Despite her abandonment issues, and the cruel way life has tossed her about, she has a big heart, a level head, and a clear focus on what she wants for herself. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Seb is flawed by fiercely loyal. When they were both young, he made a rash decision that hurt both him and Toni. He’s never forgiven himself because hurting her, or anyone, is the last thing he’d ever want to do. He’s the…

Kate McMurray | Title Challenge: LIKE CATS AND DOGS
Author Guest / May 4, 2021

LIKE CATS AND DOGS is the first book in the Whitman Street series, which is set at a cat café in Brooklyn. This first book is about the café’s manager, Lauren, and the new veterinarian next door, Caleb. Caleb is grumpy and a little jaded; he is kind to his canine and feline patients but has little patience for humas. Lauren loves her job and doesn’t care how silly Caleb thinks it is. They don’t get along and rub each other the wrong way. But for the pesky problem of them being intensely attracted to each other, they might be able to ignore each other. L is for Lauren and Lindsay. Lauren manages the Cat Café, and her friend Lindsay provides snarky commentary about everything going on there. Lauren and her two friends Paige and Lindsay form the core of the series. (Paige falls in love in the second book, and Lindsay tangles with an ex in the third.) I is for Independent. I wanted to shine a light on the independent businesses that make a neighborhood feel special. Brooklyn and New York City are obviously huge, densely populated places where it’s easy to get lost in a crowd. But…

Sloane Steele | Author-Reader Match: IT TAKES A THIEF
Author Guest / April 30, 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 Sloane Steele! Writes: IT TAKES A THIEF: The Counterfeit Capers series are light romantic suspense books: art heists with HEAs. IT TAKES A THIEF sets up the premise of the series and builds the team. Cousins Mia, the mastermind, and Jared, the negotiator, plan to steal art from their fathers’ friends and sell it to pay the victims of their father’s Madoff-type scheme. To pull this off, they hire Audrey (Data), the hacker; Nikki, the thief; and London, the forger. As this group of individuals learns to work together as a team, Audrey and Jared start to fall for each other, which complicates everything. About: Diet Coke swilling, TV watching writer who bakes cookies when stressed by life or plot points. I have a snarky sense of humor and use curse words prolifically. I’m amused by my own teenagers and spend a lot of time laughing at/with them. I believe reading and writing romance should provide escape from the frustrations of life….

Kris Ripper | 20 Questions: THE HATE PROJECT
Author Guest / April 27, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE HATE PROJECT 2–What is it about? Two grumpy frenemies accidentally falling in love! 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love inventing new towns in my beloved East Bay in California! It’s the best of both worlds: it’s broadly a real-life location I know very, but specifically a setting I completely made up! 4–How did Oscar surprise you?  Oscar is both more funny and more emotional than I thought he’d be when I sat down to start this book. His voice came quite easily, but each time I turned a corner he surprised me, which is a great combination! 5–Why will readers love Jack?  Jack is that classic guy who acts like he doesn’t need anyone, but in fact totally does. I don’t know if that’s why readers will love him, but it’s definitely why I do! 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  This book was a pleasure to write because I enjoy the hell out of dialogue, and Oscar and Jack like talking to each other (even if they don’t want to admit it). The biggest challenge was…

Annabeth Albert | 20 Questions: UP IN SMOKE
Author Guest / April 26, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? UP IN SMOKE, Hotshots #4 2–What is it about? UP IN SMOKE is a stand-alone romance between a freewheeling smoke jumper and an aspiring country singer who are forced to work together for the best interest of a tiny baby. It’s a MM romance—think Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with lots of fun, feels, sexy times, and heart, and a big fluffy happy ending. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love central Oregon. I love all of my state, but central Oregon is very special to me. I love the mountains, the lakes, the iconic scenery, the quirky small towns, the neat little businesses and places to eat, and more. I loved setting the book in an area that I love so much. 4–How did Brandt surprise you?  I expected Brandt to really resist parenthood, but he surprised me by being way more ready to accept responsibility than I would have thought. And he fell in love with the baby—and Shane—far faster than I expected too! 5–Why will readers love Shane?  Who doesn’t love a good-looking man in jeans who can sing like a dream?…

Jesse Q. Sutanto | Exclusive Excerpt: DIAL A FOR AUNTIES
Author Guest / April 23, 2021

How can I describe the chaos that is a dim sum restaurant in the heart of San Gabriel Valley at 11 a.m.? The place is filled with close to a hundred round tables, each one occupied by a different family, many of them with three to four generations of people present—there are gray-haired, prune-faced Ah Mas holding chubby babies on their laps. Steaming carts are pushed by the waitresses, though if you called them “Waitress” they’d never stop for you. You must call them Ah Yi—Auntie—and wave frantically as they walk by to get them to stop. And once they do, customers descend like vultures and fight over the bamboo steamers inside the cart. People shout, asking if they’ve got siu mai, or har gow, or lo mai gai, and the Ah Yis locate the right dishes somewhere in the depths of their carts. My Mandarin is awful, and my Cantonese nonexistent. Ma and the aunts often try to help me improve by speaking to me in either Mandarin or Indonesian, but then give up and switch to English because I only get about 50 percent of what they’re saying. Their grasp of the English language is a bit wobbly,…

Anne Harper | Title Challenge: LIKE A BOSS
Author Guest / April 20, 2021

Hi, y’all! My name is Anne Harper and I’m here to dote on my newest book in the Accidentally Viral series, LIKE A BOSS, by doing the Title Challenge! This book is filled with shenanigans, opposites attracting, and the relatable oopsie daisies after realizing you’ve already kissed your new boss! Let’s get it! L is for Love. Which Antonella “Nell” Bennett is D-O-N-E with after not being someone else’s “the one.” I is for Incident. The same one that took Nell from just a normal, frustrated young woman to a viral sensation within a day. K is for Kiss. The one she shared with a handsome stranger who was just trying to save her from herself. E is for Embarrassed. The feeling Nell landed on when she realized that the stranger she shared an impulsive kiss with is none other than her new boss. * A is for Arbor Bay, Alabama. AKA the small town that is currently eating up the quiet newcomer, Nell’s new fame, and the gossip that both are generating. * B is for Boss. Something that Quinn Hannigan is trying to remind himself that he is every time he catches himself thinking about Nell in a…

Sariah Wilson | Exclusive Excerpt: THE SEAT FILLER
Author Guest / April 20, 2021

Chapter One Juliet, I think we should go over the rules one more time,” my best friend, Shelby, said to me while anxiously wringing her hands. I wanted to remind her that we were wearing gorgeous formal gowns and standing backstage in a massive theater filled with some of the most famous people in the world. This was the kind of moment we’d dreamed about having when she’d been sick. I wanted her to live in the moment with me. But I knew why she couldn’t, so instead I nodded. “Tell me again.” “When the cameras are on, make sure that you don’t do anything that will draw attention to yourself, or else you’ll get kicked out and then Allan’s mom will hate me forever.” I reached over to squeeze her hand. Even while Shelby had been going through the worst parts of fighting leukemia, she was always so serene and calm. A year after she was officially declared to be in remission, she’d met Allan Standish, and they’d both fallen quickly and hard. I hadn’t been the least bit surprised when he proposed to her two weeks ago, even though they’d only been dating for about three months. Apparently…

C. Chilove | 20 Questions: WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS
Author Guest / April 19, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS 2–What is it about? As Commander of the most Elite Black Ops forces in the world, Brenden avoids emotional entanglements until he meets Dr. Paige Jasper. Paige becomes the complication Brenden wasn’t trained to handle… and his secrets could be the death of her. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The setting is real and rooted in the Tampa Bay Area, which is where MacDill AFB is located. The university depicted in the story was also inspired by the University of Tampa. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  She’s an artist that creates by drawing and painting. This surprised me as my artistic medium is Dance, and I cannot draw anything but a stick figure and they are usually ugly, lol. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Brenden is strong, courageous, and chivalry does still exist with him despite the hard edge. The vulnerability he displays will keep readers cheering for him as he fights to claim their love. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  I did a ton of interviews with active and inactive military…

Jules Bennett | Exclusive Excerpt: TWIN GAMES IN MUSIC CITY
Author Guest / April 16, 2021

Damn it. She hadn’t meant to let that slip. How could she pretend to be her sister, even going so far as to dress like her and wear glasses, and yet not be able to simply hold her tongue? Hannah squared her shoulders and stared across the table. Will Sutherland was so damn sexy, that’s why. He had her so flustered she couldn’t think. All of this was his fault. How could she keep up her disguise when all she could think about was raking her fingers through that hair to see if she could mess it up? Those lips, which were now thinned with frustration, seemed soft. Was he a good kisser? She hadn’t felt much of an attraction toward any man in a long time. Why did this man, of all the ones in her world, have to grab her attention? She’d hoped that pretending to be Hallie would tamp down some of the heat she felt whenever he was near. No such luck and now she’d gone and blown her cover. As if she needed more problems. She’d known switching record labels would be difficult, no matter which one she chose. Mags ruled this town and she…