Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Laurel Kerr | Wild on My Mind
Author Guest / October 2, 2018

My debut contemporary romance, WILD ON MY MIND, combines three gifts that my grandparents gave me growing up:  their love and support, long family road trips, and an annual pass to Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.   Before their deaths this past year, my maternal grandparents were two of my biggest supporters.  My grandfather and I even worked at the same company where he could be found at his desk, three days a week until his death at age 94. I hope that their caring spirit and work ethic lives on in characters of mine.  In WILD ON MY MIND, Lou is partially based off of my grandfather.  The eighty-year-old veterinarian helps the hero, Bowie, run a local zoo.  But Lou is more than a coworker…he’s family. He’s the father that Bowie never had.  The elderly man gave Bowie a home when the formerly troubled boy was kicked out of foster care on his eighteenth birthday.  Together, the two of them are raising Bowie’s eleven-year-old daughter. Lou also serves as Bowie’s confidant through all of the ups-and-downs of his relationship with the heroine, Katie.  He has faith in his adopted son even after Bowie confesses that he’d engineered mean tricks back…

Shana Gray | Meet Me in San Francisco
Author Guest / September 28, 2018

Have you been to San Francisco? What about Napa Valley, or Muir Woods? If you haven’t, then I encourage you to pick up a copy of MEET ME IN SAN FRANCISCO. It’s the second book in my Girls Weekend Away. The first book came out in July WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS, THE NASHVILLE BET comes out in December and we have to wait until Valentine’s Day next year for A MATCH MADE IN MONACO. If you haven’t read the first book, don’t worry, because each book was written as a standalone with interconnecting characters. So you can read them in any order, although I would recommend reading the last book last. I went to San Francisco in 1998, with my mom. And I must say I think I left my heart there. I fell in love with San Francisco, or the City as they call it, and never San Fran I was told. Mom and I did some wonderful sightseeing, including Muir Woods. I loved it so much I simply had to put it in the book. I hope I captured the essence of the place. Even if it was only a little bit of what it was like to walk…

Jody Holford | Never Expected You
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

Thanks for having me on Fresh Fiction. My newest release in the Love Unexpected Series is NEVER EXPECTED YOU. This story features two veterinarians. Obviously, they love animals, but more than that, they both find comfort and strength in them. When Stella is hurting, curling up with her dogs soothes her. When Zach needed an outlet for his teenage frustration, helping Stella’s dad with the animals in his clinic brought him a sense of peace. I think that’s what animals can do for a lot of people. I will admit that I have not always been the biggest animal person. While I was growing up, we had a LOT of dogs. Actually, we had dogs, cats, fish, a ferret, gerbils, and hamsters. Sometimes all at the same time. When I got older, I wasn’t sure I wanted to have animals, but my now-husband really wanted dogs. In our twenty years together, we’ve had six dogs together. Each of them made an impact on us and our family. While I was finishing up the first draft of this story, last June, we lost one of our two dogs. Though we’d lost animals before, this one hit harder because she used to sit…

Katie Ruggle | Exclusive Excerpt: Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas; Book 1 in the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series Exclusive Excerpt Why did this keep happening to her? Camille flattened herself against the toilet paper display, resisting the urge to thump her head against the rolls. There was a reason she only came to the Borne Market early on Sunday mornings, and that was because she didn’t want to be forced into awkward conversations with any of her neighbors. It helped that sixteen-year-old Kacey Betts worked the checkout on Sunday, and her focus stayed glued on her cell phone the entire time. Camille could slip in, buy what she needed, and slip right back out without having to make polite chitchat with anyone. Today, however, she and Kacey weren’t alone. Steve-freaking-Springfield was there. The last time she’d seen him, he’d sweetly helped her escape her “rescue.” She still hadn’t forgiven Mrs. Lin for sending everyone and their brother on a search for her. The whole situation had been mortifying, and that was with Steve’s help. If he hadn’t been there, it could’ve been so much worse. Camille’s stomach churned and her cheeks flushed at the thought of all that attention—and the potential additional humiliation. Now, though, she was…

Donna Kauffman | Trilogy with a Twist
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

Rules? What rules? When I was first plotting UNLEASHED, I was living in the suburbs of our nation’s capital and dreaming of a life out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had just returned from a hiking jaunt in those ancient, rolling hills and thought, well, if I can’t live there, my characters certainly can! That’s one of the best things about this job; living vicariously through my characters. Occupations that interest me, locations I’ve dreamed of seeing, conflicts to get sorted out…I get to dabble in any and all of them. Pretty nifty! And so, the town of Hamilton, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, was born. This story would be included in the TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT anthology of Christmas themed stories and I was excited for the opportunity. As I began to fully plot the story, however, it became clear I wanted a whole lot more than a short novella’s worth of time in this town. A mystery idea kept prodding me, prodding me, but there was no way to give it the full treatment it would need in a short length story such as this.  I thought about pulling the story idea back…

Kari Lynn Dell | Difficult Pasts Lead to a Happy Ever After: Ambitions, Dreams, and Overcoming Adversity
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

For about the first ten years of my writing career, I collected rejection slips like normal people collect photos from their family vacations, souvenirs of an extended stay in an alternate reality. Most of those nopes had a distinct theme: love your writing, love the rodeo action, but your characters are just too nice. Or as one editor told my agent, “She needs to rough them up.” I am embarrassed to say that I resisted for a very long time. I wanted my heroes and heroines to be smart and sensible, someone I’d like for a friend. I didn’t want to let them make dumb mistakes and bad decisions. But finally I realized that even smart people do dumb things. Life inflicts damage on pretty much everyone, and none of us is as together as we’d like the world to think. As Grace McKenna tells Hank Brookman in Mistletoe in Texas when he complains that his brother-in-law is too perfect, “Wyatt is as much of a mess as all the rest of us. He just looks better doing it.” But why are we so drawn to flawed characters? The easy answer is that the harder the battle, the more satisfying…

Tara Sheets | Top 5 Flowers That Symbolize Love
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

While writing Don’t Touch My Petunia, book #2 in The Holloway Girls series, I learned a lot about plants and flowers because the main character Juliette Holloway has garden magic.  I was surprised to learn that there are so many types of flowers that symbolize different aspects of love! Here are some of my favorites: 1.Red Tulips:  These flowers represent undying love and the idea that love is limitless.   2. Blue Violets:  They are the symbol of trustworthiness, which I believe is a cornerstone for true love. 3. Jasmine: These richly scented white flowers symbolize sensuality, grace, and love.  I have these all along my garden fence and they smell divine! 4. Forget-Me-Nots: I like these because they represent true love and, of course, the hope that one’s love will not be forgotten. 5. Orchids: Of all flowers, these are my absolute favorite.  They come in so many different colors and they symbolize powerful romantic desire.  They are also the longest blooming flower in the world. Love! DON’T TOUCH MY PETUNIA by Tara Sheets The Holloway Girls #2 Pine Cove Island is the kind of enchanting place where anything is possible . . . The Holloway women each have…

Pippa Roscoe | A Ring to Take His Revenge
Author Guest / September 12, 2018

A RING TO TAKE HIS REVENGE started out as a very different story. One that didn’t quite work the first time round. But with my editor’s careful guidance I found my way towards the right story for Antonio and Emma. Of all the changes that I made, Emma was the one who took me by surprise the most. In her, I found a survivor. Someone who had battled to be where she is when she meets Antonio. After a double mastectomy at the age of 17, she is on the road to reaching her living list goals, but Antonio is about to make her realise that she isn’t done fighting yet, because now she must reach for what she wants for herself. Cancer is something that affects so many of us, whether personally or through family members, friends, or loved ones. And it’s different for every single person. I would not claim to have represented everyone’s struggle with it, nor do I believe that there is a right or wrong way to take that fight to where it needs to go. You do what you have to do. My mother was sixty when she was diagnosed and it rocked us….

Nicole Helm | The Long Good-bye or is it?
Author Guest / September 11, 2018

Back in early 2014 I first conceived the town of Blue Valley, Montana—the setting of both my Big Sky Cowboys series, and my current Navy SEAL Cowboys series. From the very beginning, it was a rough-and-tumble town inhabited by rough-and-tumble people. Most of the cowboys weren’t your traditional sort—a disgraced hockey player, the town screw up, and then a trio of Navy SEALs with physical and emotional scars. It’s that trio that makes up my Navy SEAL Cowboys series this year. It’s been a truly amazing experience to write about three injured SEALs coming to Blue Valley to build a ranch that will act as a foundation for wounded veterans such as themselves—those who need a place to feel useful again, to engage in some therapeutic horsemanship. And in the case of Revival Ranch’s three SEAL founders, fall in love. Coming to the end of a series is never easy. It’s a bit like moving away from home. For four years, I’ve spent a lot of time in Blue Valley, and for the past two I’ve been building Revival Ranch right along with my characters. I’ve spent hours there, imagining what it looks like, sounds like, and sometimes even smells…

June Faver – Do or Die Cowboy
Author Guest / September 4, 2018

Texas is a big state, and a great many of our male citizens wear cowboy boots and a Stetson or other brand cowboy hat. That doesn’t mean that man is a cowboy. Texas also hosts some huge and amazing rodeos, so especially during rodeo season, everyone togs up in western wear, as though they know which end of a horse is which. So, when I say REAL COWBOY, I’m talking about the men who actually work on a ranch, ride horses, shovel out stalls, plant crops, raise cattle and have a whole different way of looking at life than the city fellows. A real cowboy is generally down to earth, would do anything to help a neighbor, and they have a certain inner confidence that comes across. Gotta love a Real Cowboy. 1) Real cowboys know how to treat a woman. If you have ever loved and been loved by a real cowboy, you wouldn’t have to ask. <g> 2) Real cowboys do not wear baggy, saggy pants, and they do know how to fill out their Wranglers 3) When a Real Cowboy walks into a room all the women know there’s a man in the room…and so do the…