Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Dylann Crush | 5 Must-Have Snacks While Writing
Author Guest / July 23, 2019

This is a dangerous topic for me. Because if you’re going to make me name my must-have writing snacks then I’m going to have to think about them. And if I think about them, I’m going to want them. And if I start to want them and deny myself, I’m going to crave them. And if I crave them, I know I’ll end up going to the store to get them. And if I go to the store I’m probably going to peruse the book section. And if I peruse the book section I’m going to end up buying quite a few. And if I buy quite a few then I’m going to feel guilty for adding to my already overflowing TBR pile. And if I start to feel guilty then I’ll have to set aside time to read them. And if I set aside time to read them then I won’t be writing. And if I’m not writing then I won’t even need my snacks after all, right? My logic may be slightly flawed, but thanks for going along with my rambling journey. At the risk of never writing another word, here are my 5 must-have writing snacks. I’ve…

Joanne Kennedy | Top 5 Second-Chance Romances You NEED to Read!
Author Guest / June 25, 2019

I love second-chance romances. Couples who fall in love only to lose each other have lots of time to stoke the fire as they search for a relationship as intense as their first love. By the time they get back together, the sparks really fly! That’s the case with Jess and Cade in Cowboy Summer, and you’ll find the same heat and passion in these classic novels by some of my favorite authors. I had to put them in alphabetical order (by last name), because I couldn’t choose a favorite! Kari Lynn Dell: Tangled in Texas Kari Lynn Dell’s books are wildly authentic because she’s the real deal—a ranch-raised cowgirl and true-life rodeo competitor. She’s a compelling writer as well, creating characters who are vivid and alive. In this story, physical therapist Tori’s latest client is her ex, bronc rider Delon Sanchez, who’s suffered an injury that may end more than his rodeo career. The chemistry between these two ranges from fiery disputes to touching love scenes, and like all her books, it’s full of heat and action as well as humor and emotional insight. If you want to get a taste of the true cowboy life, you need to…

Emily March | Exclusive Excerpt: JACKSON
Author Guest / June 18, 2019

Caroline had faced many challenges in her life. She’d tackled some serious life-and-death trials. She’d persevered. She’d emerged if not victorious, then at least still standing. So why was she trembling in fear at this relatively minor task laid before her? It’s ridiculous. It made no sense whatsoever. “Are you ready?” Jackson asked. No! her inner self screamed. “Sure,” she said, lifting her chin. The music started. He emerged from behind the stage onto the empty dance floor at the Last Chance Hall. It is my last chance, Caroline thought. My last chance to bolt for the door. As a native Texan, it had been her biggest secret, her greatest shame. She didn’t know how to two-step. She’d never learned. She’d listened to pop music in high school and college. Robert introduced her to classical music, but he didn’t like to dance. So, she’d never learned. That, apparently, was about to change. Keen-eyed Jackson had noticed that she always made excuses not to dance at the Last Chance and called her on it. When she finally fessed up to her lack of skill, he’d declared himself her teacher. She wanted to learn. She did. So why was she so embarrassed…

Margaret Brownley | Five Reasons I Love Cowboy Books
Author Guest / May 29, 2019

1. Tough Manly Men! I love reading and writing cowboy books. Nothing defines America and its values like the Old West. That was when men were men and women were women, but a cowboy wasn’t a cowboy unless he was wild, woolly and full of fleas. Of course, the heroes we love to read about are more likely to be tall, dark and handsome.  He can also charm the bark off a tree and is able to cope with whatever comes his way. 2. Cowboy Lingo: Today’s language seems rather dull compared to the colorful lingo of yesteryear.  Can you think of more mouth-pleasing words than hornswoggle, caboodle or skedaddle?  Or what about fiddlefooted, ranktankerous, or splendiferous? A latte may be the haute cuisine of coffee, but give me an Arbuckle’s any day. The rebellious part of me delights that my characters can use such words as “ain’t” and “druther” without guilt.  My eighth grade English teacher would have had a fit. Of course, back in the 1800s, she’d be more likely to have a conniption (any way you call it, it serves her right for branding me with an F). When a cowboy said “hell on wheels” he wasn’t talking about no bikers…

Julia London | Exclusive Interview: THE CHARMER IN CHAPS
Author Guest / May 17, 2019

We’re chatting about high school, house renovations, and of course, new books with bestselling author Julia London and Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser! Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Julia! Please tell us about your brand-new series, the Princes of Texas, and book 1, The Charmer in Chaps. It’s about the Prince family, which is a happy cross between the Ewings of Dallas and maybe the Clampetts of Beverly Hillbillies (I think we need a reboot of that one). Anyway, the Prince family is legendary in Texas with an enormous ranch along the lines of the King Ranch. But they fall on hard times, no thanks to Dad’s horrible big-stakes gambling problem, and suddenly find themselves having to figure out life without all the trappings of wealth. In The Charmer in Chaps, Luca is the one they call a bunny hugger. He wants to preserve some of the land before they strip it of all the character it had. But he’s going to have to figure it out on his own, and without any help from his family. And he’s got some personal issues that are going to make figuring it out on his own especially difficult. It’s the sort of issue that…

Joan Johnston | Lions and Tigers and Bears… Oh, My!
Author Guest / May 17, 2019

I live in Colorado, so I’ve done a lot of hiking in the woods.  The only dangers I have to deal with are black bears and panthers, neither of which will bother you if you’re making plenty of noise and minding your own business.  Folks in Montana, where Sullivan’s Promise is set, are facing something far more frightening—grizzly bears. My heroine, Victoria Grayhawk, is committed to protecting endangered species, like the grizzly, while my hero, Ryan Sullivan, is a rancher who would just as soon not have the enormous bears making a meal of his newborn calves. You can imagine the conflict between them when Ryan’s brother is attacked and mauled by a grizzly, which has to been hunted down and killed. I learned a lot about grizzly attacks on humans while doing my research for this book, and I have to admit, I may have scared myself out of the woods, the way Jaws scared me out of the water.  Grizzly attacks are few and far between, but they’re pretty horrific when they happen, which is a lot more often as humans encroach on areas previously left to the bears in Montana.  So hike with bear spray, stay on…

Jennie Marts | Top 5 Cowboy Romances You Need To Read
Author Guest / May 3, 2019

I’m a Kansas farm girl at heart, and I love a great cowboy romance. Throw in a quirky small town and a dog, and I’m sold. That’s why I write small town stories filled with humor and heart. And I love when a western romance does something unexpected, like when Colorado cowboy heroes also play hockey. Oh wait, I know that series. And if you love the idea of cowboys who are as hot on horseback as they are on the ice, then you need to check out the Cowboys of Creedence. The third book in the series, It Started With a Cowboy, is just releasing now, and in this one, Colt, the youngest James brother, talks shy schoolteacher, Chloe Bishop, into helping him coach a youth hockey team of rowdy eight years olds. Being so close to the cowboy she’s crushing on is dangerous territory for Chloe. But when a real enemy threatens her, Colt will do anything to protect her. Even if it means risking himself—and his heart. Once you’ve devoured the James brothers and made Colt James your newest book boyfriend, here are five other great cowboy books to sink your spurs into. It was so hard to pick just five,…

Linda Broday | Top 5 Reasons You Should Read a Mail Order Brides Book
Author Guest / April 24, 2019

I’m having so much fun writing what will eventually be the 4-book Outlaw Mail Order Brides series. The only hope these outlaws have in making a town where once was their hideout was in getting wives and starting families. This series spilled over from my Men of Legend series when Luke Legend started his own private bride service for men and woman living in the shadows who can’t go the normal route. Luke hand carries letters back and forth between the couples and arranges transportation when they decide to marry. Here are five reasons you should read a mail order bride book:   The Great Unexpected Plots really set these books apart. Each one seems a little different somehow and there’s always the big question of whether they work as a couple that draws you in. Sometimes the groom dies before the bride arrives and she’s forced to change directions. Sometimes someone is playing a joke on the poor groom so it’s a surprise when his bride arrives. Then there are the many, many reasons a woman would choose to marry a man she’s never seen. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of variations to these stories. The Romance is a…

June Faver | Five Reasons I Love Cowboy Books
Author Guest / April 23, 2019

I love cowboys! I’m not talking about the guys who dress up in western garb during rodeo season, but the real men who put on their Wranglers and boots, live on a ranch and work hard every day. Growing up in the country, where everyone knows you and your family for several generations, gives you a different slant on life. The cowboys of the Dark Horse Cowboys series are based on these men. 1) I love cowboy books because their world is very familiar to me. The smell of rain on freshly turned soil. The sound of horses nickering. This is home. 2) Cowboys are generally nice guys. They love their mothers, are generally respectful, and are loyal to their friends. The woman who wins the cowboy’s heart will always be cherished. 3) I love when cowboys work hard all day and then spiff up to go into town on a Saturday night. Their Wranglers are pressed. Their boots are shined. And they’re ready to two-step. Cowboy up! 4) I’m an animal lover so I enjoy reading about the cowboy’s relationship with his own animals: his horse and he probably has at least one dog too. They are a team….

Carolyn Brown | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / January 15, 2019

Please welcome New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Carolyn Brown! Her latest book, THE MAGNOLIA INN, is in stores now.  1. While a lighthearted novel, The Magnolia Inn explores grief, loneliness, regret, and ultimately, redemption. What inspired these heavier themes throughout the novel? Carolyn: They say you should write about what you know. I lived with a father who was a weekend drunk and then with an alcoholic stepfather. They were both good men underneath all their problems, but the problem was there in both instances and it affected a lot of people around them. 2. Female friendship is such an important part of this book. I absolutely LOVED the characters of Aunt Sugar, Dottie, Lucy, and Flossie! They are four women who know what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it, but even more importantly, they are there to support each other and Jolene no matter what. How did you go about bringing such authentic women to life? Carolyn: I simply combined some of the strongest women I know into those characters. A short story here about a sweet lady who has long since passed away. Miz Marie told me once that she’d hired a man to…