Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Sheila Roberts | When the Going Gets Tough…
Author Guest / April 16, 2019

The not-so-tough go to the beach, which is exactly where my main character Celeste Jones in The Summer Retreat goes after her latest true love turns out not to be so true. This is another story set in my new fictional town of Moonlight Harbor, which I based loosely on the charming beach town of Ocean Shores, Washington. Ocean Shores offers visitors an impressive system of canals for kayaking and a funky downtown that is a mix of both new and vintage buildings, many leftover from the sixties when the town first came into being. You’ll find any number of shops, including one with a storefront shaped like a giant shark. Shoppers enter through the shark’s mouth. You can enjoy an ice cream cone at the ice cream parlor, then ride bumper cars or go-carts, play miniature golf or enjoy a full-sized golf course. Tennis and pickleball courts abound as well, and locals who join the community club (almost anyone who buys property there can join the club) can choose between two outdoor pools or one indoor pool for swimming. Then, of course, you have the beach and those gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Beach fires, surfing, storm watching, beach combing,…

Irene Hannon | Top Five Reasons I Write Romance
Author Guest / April 11, 2019

First, a word about the romance genre. As those of us who write—and read—romance know, romance is often the underdog of fiction. Literary types in particular often look down on it. How sad for them. For romance has the power to sweep us away on a magical journey where heroes and heroines triumph against daunting odds. It uplifts, encourages and fills us with hope. It’s the stuff of inspiration. I’m proud to write it—for these reasons: 1. I love happy endings. Who doesn’t? That’s what our hearts and souls yearn for, and when it comes to the dating game, the romance genre—by definition—offers a guaranteed happily ever after. Romance novels are comfort food for the heart because we know that no matter how bad things get, the hero and heroine will end up together. Going along with them on their journey as they grapple with all the challenges that come their way makes for a compelling—and sometimes enlightening—ride. I read a cynical article once that denigrated the genre as nothing more than a fairy tale with no basis in reality, and you know what? I felt sorry for the woman who wrote it. Because once we stop believing in the…

Diane Alberts | Rule #1 When Bidding on a Bachelor…
Author Guest / April 10, 2019

Hello, I’m Diane Alberts (though I also write as Jen McLaughlin) and I’m here today because I had a new book come out this week called An Accidental Date with a Billionaire. It’s the first in a new series of standalone books, and in case you didn’t guess it by the title, the heroine accidentally bids on the wrong bachelor after promising her best friend that she will “save” her brother from being bought by a woman he doesn’t know. The problem is, Sam has never actually met her best friend’s brother, and instead of saving him she accidentally ends up with a very expensive date with Taylor (our hot, wealthy hero). One of the things I enjoy most about writing and reading romance is the moment when the hero or heroine knows—they just know—that there’s something about the hero/heroine that is…different. They might not fully understand what that is, or what that means, but instinctively they can sense that there is something about him/her that is going to threaten the chaos/organization/normalcy of their lives as they know it. Maybe it’s the first kiss, maybe it’s when their eyes first lock across the room, or maybe it’s after the first…

Kay Gordon | Author-Reader Match: TWO FOR HOLDING
Author Guest / April 9, 2019

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 Kay Gordon! What I Write About: I love to write contemporary romance that involves strong relationships between not only my main characters but the supporting cast as well. I can always be counted on for taking my characters on a journey- some that hit you right feels- but that just makes their happily ever after even better! About Me: Author is an over-enthusiastic woman looking for someone who can appreciate a good mix of meet-cutes and slow burns, with independent heroines and heroes who aren’t afraid to prove why they’re a good match. Author loves to write in awesome children, modeling after her own sweet kids (who sometimes make her want to pull her hair out!) What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: A reader who knows that sometimes the build-up makes the relationship sweeter. A reader who isn’t afraid of the twists and turns that get us to the HEA. A reader that enjoys imperfect heroines who fall for…

Cindi Madsen | Let’s Talk Enemies to Lovers
Author Guest / April 4, 2019

Two of my favorite tropes are friends to lovers and enemies lovers. I always find it funny because they’re pretty much on the opposite sides of the spectrum, but I think the dynamics of both are super fun. I figured today I’d talk about my top favorite parts of enemies to lovers books, along with the allure of opposites attract, since my new book, The Wedding Deal, has both. Here’s a short synopsis of the book: After a former quarterback inherits the NFL’s most losing team and fires the majority of the staff, he has to work with the feisty, rule-following HR manager to put a new coaching team together before draft day–all while attending his brother’s destination wedding. Charlotte, the human resources manager, is all about the rules. She likes her I’s dotted and her T’s crossed. So when her brash new boss fires half the staff without doing all the due diligence first, she’s furious. Especially since it means she now has to work tirelessly to help him build a new team. But angry sparks can turn into hot ones, which brings me to what’s so fun about that dynamic. The fights. Having characters start out as so-called…

Joanne Kennedy | Chasing Wild Dreams on the New Frontier
Author Guest / April 3, 2019

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” That’s my favorite Mae West quote. But while Ms. West’s independent spirit is an inspiration to all of us, she doesn’t tell us how to live right, nor does she tell us what to do if we feel like we’re living all wrong. For me, as for a lot of women, the answer was to run away from home and build a new and better life in the West. Packing only what matters most, we find our way to Montana, Wyoming, or maybe Texas, leaving our troubles and our timid old selves behind. I call us Red Boot Women because nothing hollers independence like a pair of red cowboy boots. We buy them first with our scraped-up savings because they help us find our swagger and stomp up some confidence. In Cowboy Trouble, Libby Brown doesn’t have time to buy those boots. She’s too busy ditching her cheating fiancé, quitting her job, and moving 1500 miles from home with only what fits in the bed of a cherry-red pickup. Acting on a long-held dream, she buys a tumbledown ranch with a big red barn, takes a job…

Veronica Forand | Writing on the Run
Author Guest / April 1, 2019

Writing had never been a linear process for me. My stories haunt me while writing them. Some of my favorite lines pop into my head at the worst possible times. If I ignore them, I have learned to my detriment, they will be lost to me forever. Therefore, I try as hard as possible to capture the words when they tap me on the shoulder. Here are some of the strangest places I write. I have a dictaphone for walks. I can dictate hundreds of words in a short amount of time while strolling down country roads with my dog Scout. I drive with lots of napkins in my car and if an idea comes to me, I pull over and write as much as I can fit onto the napkin. Sitting in the back of a homeowners association meeting, the notes on my laptop are more likely for my book than notes of the meeting. In spin class, I have a pen nearby and when I have an idea, I write it on my wrist until the class is over and I can get home to add it to the appropriate scene. The weirdest place a character ever spoke…

Kacy Cross | Why I Love Fake Marriages in Romance
Author Guest / March 22, 2019

Fake marriages are so fun to read (and write!). I love it when characters are caught off guard, and when they are forced to be in each other’s company on a continual basis, lots of unexpected things happen. Especially when they’re going places and doing things where they’re supposed to act like a couple. It’s easy for the lines to blur at that point. My characters always have huge barriers in place to ward off the opposite gender, but when it’s all fake, they can pretend without violating their own personal no-dating rules. Cue the fireworks. It’s even better when one of the characters has a secret crush on the other. So then they’re doubly pretending, desperately hoping the other doesn’t figure out that they’re not really faking it… Another aspect I love about fake marriages is the implied intimacy that goes along with being a permanent couple—and I don’t mean what happens in the bedroom! I’m talking about the real magic of being a couple. Sharing a sink while brushing your teeth. Making your spouse a cup of coffee in the morning. Wearing a ring that declares you married. All of these things having this underlying romance that can’t…

Rachel Van Dyken | Author-Reader Match
Author Guest / March 19, 2019

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 Rachel Van Dyken!  Writes:  I write contemporary romance and my new book is Risky Play, a sports romance out March 19th. About: I love writing, in fact I get anxiety when I don’t write! I write in multiple genres, have listed on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists. I’m addicted to Swedish fish, and I think that life would be more interesting if we all had our own soundtracks! What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: I love making readers cry, in fact, I collect their tears. I’m often found with my Kindle app open at three am with drool running down my face. I will lie and say I’m going to the bathroom, but be reading instead. If you don’t like the smell of real books, we can’t get together. I believe historical romance is the only way to truly cleanse your soul. Mafia romance is my drug of choice. IT SHOULD ALWAYS INVOLVE…

Allie York | Author-Reader Match
Author Guest / March 19, 2019

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 Allie York! Writes: I write sweet contemporary romance with a bit of steam. Each book comes as a standalone and with a happily ever after. About: Southern hopeless romantic seeking lovers of swoony romance staring sassy heroines and the tolerant men who love them. Ideal reader match: -Loves books set in the south (mostly) -Understands that every good love story has hills and valleys -Loves sassy heroines -Loves all kinds of heroes from the hopeless romantic to alpha males What to expect: -Swoony happily-ever-afters -couples so madly in love they can barely function *** About the 425 Madison Series Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read. The series features stories from some of your favorite romance authors: Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Allie York, Aubree Valentine, Kay Gordon, Lauren Helms, Sylvia Kane, Katy Ames, and C. Lesbirel. Join these authors as they come…