Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Eve Calder | Exclusive Excerpt + Recipe Share: A TALE OF TWO COOKIES
Author Guest / April 26, 2021

Excerpt from Eve Calder’s latest Cookie House mystery, “A Tale of Two Cookies,” exclusively for Fresh Fiction! Pastry chef and recent Manhattan transplant Kate McGuire is loving her new life on the laid-back island of Coral Cay, Florida. Now a junior partner in the Cookie House bakery, she’s thrilled when old pal Desiree announces a visit — and an impromptu beach wedding. When the marine biologist groom disappears on the eve of the wedding — after spotting criminals in a protected cove — Kate resolves to help her friend find out what really happened. Was it a case of cold feet or something much more sinister? *** Kate wheeled up to the Cookie House just as Andy Levy’s yellow van was pulling up to the curb. He hopped out with two brown-paper carry-out bags. “Don’t tell me you’re making deliveries now?” Kate asked the pub owner. “Hey, from what Sam said on the phone, it was a spaghetti-and-meatball  emergency,”  the pub owner returned,  his face lighting up. “So two specials coming up. And you might recognize the garlic bread—we used Sam’s baguettes.” “That smells wonderful,” Kate said. “But I’d have been happy to pick it up.” “Nah, we need a…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Mysteries in Bloom
Author Guest , Cozy Corner / April 26, 2021

As I write this blog my flower beds are in bloom. My irises are gorgeous, my daisies are abundant, and my carnations are fragrant. It’s too bad something dark and sinister is creeping into the shadows. That’s right, a murderer is on the loose in my garden and an APB won’t do my beauties any good. Because tonight they will face one of the worst killers known to their kind—Jack Frost. Their death by his hand (or heroic saving by mine) might lead to some nail-biting moments on my part, but I have a feeling I’m the only one who’s truly invested or interested in their next chapter. I mean it’s not like the New York Times will write about their premature death or my valiant attempt to save their lives. But I have dug up some truly newsworthy mysteries Jack Frost can’t touch. The covers caught my eye like the blossoms in my yard, the plots are much better formed than my best buds and the characters charmed me with their style and wit. Yes, the mysteries are in bloom, and all we have to do to catch the culprits is keep turning the page. Wicked Honeymoon  An Ivy…

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,…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Break Away with a Mystery
Author Guest / March 29, 2021

Everyone needs a break, including authors. I’ve been on a personal hiatus for several months from everything but family, and I have to say it was nice. Like all good things, however, my recess had an end date. Now I’m back with fresh a perspective, and a whole bunch of books to talk about! (No reader actually takes a break from cracking open a new book, do they?) While away I found several new authors that made me wonder what rock I’ve been under the past few years. (No, it wasn’t Dwayne.) I mean seriously, these are good books, how did I miss them? One series in particular just rocked my world, the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series by Deanna Rayburn.  And this series has the added bonus of audiobooks performed brilliantly by Angele Masters. I was hooked with the first book A Curious Beginning and lucky for me, book six, An Unexpected Peril, was released March 10, 2021—Yay! So yes, since December I have listened to books 1-5 and have thoroughly loved the characters and the mysteries and I’m totally thrilled to have this latest release in cue for this weekend! An Unexpected Peril  A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Rayburn 3/10/2021 A…

Abby Collette | 20 Questions: A GAME OF CONES
Author Guest / March 1, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? A Game of Cones 2–What is it about? It’s about family, friends, community, and of course murder! A Game of Cones is a cozy mystery and second in my An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery series. In it, Bronwyn’s (Win for short) former colleague from New York, Rory Hunter, and her Aunt Jack, the former manager of Crewse Creamer both arrive just as Zeke Reynolds is found shot to death. Zeke, a visitor from a Texas company set on gentrifying Win’s beloved Chagrin Falls, puts the entire village in a head spin. But be sure, there is enough ice cream to go around. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The small town filled with “neighbors.”  4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  Win Crewse is a go-getter, well-educated and family-oriented twenty-something. She’s also single. So, I put a handsome, helpful, smart guy right at her reach but she just does not seem interested. HIs name is O. A law professor and invaluable with it comes to all things illegal, like murder. It isn’t that Win hasn’t noticed those things about him, she’s mentioned them a time or two and even…

Deborah Blake | FURBIDDEN FATALITY
Author Guest / February 26, 2021

You’ve probably heard the writing advice “write what you know.” When I sat down to create my new cozy mystery series, which kicked off with FURBIDDEN FATALITY this week, I tried to do just that. Not that I have ever run a pet rescue (although I have volunteered at one). Or won the lottery, alas. But I do know a little something about rescue animals because I am the proverbial crazy cat lady, and all four of my current feline overlords came from one kind of shelter or another. In fact, most of the cats I’ve had over my lifetime have been rescues. My beloved Magic the Cat, Queen of the universe (who inspired the little black kitten named Queenie in the series), came from a shelter. I went in for one kitten to keep my last remaining elderly cat company and came home with ten-week-old black Magic, her large gray brother Mystic, and their mother Minerva, who was so terrified and sickly, the shelter folks begged me to take her as a “bonus” cat, without paying any fees. It took two years for me to convince Minerva to sit on my lap, but after that, she never wanted to…

Victoria Hamilton | Reality TV and Singing Competitions
Author Guest / February 22, 2021

One of the most common questions writers are faced with is: where do you get your ideas? And we usually answer, from everywhere! That’s true, but a little too general. My ideas do come from everything I read, watch, think about and experience. But each different series I write calls for different kinds of ideas. Take, for example, the Merry Muffin Mysteries I write for Beyond the Page Publishing. It is a given that when you own a castle and need to make money for the upkeep, you are bound to think of ways to make a few bucks that include TV and movies. Merry Wynter (Merry Muffin Mysteries – Beyond the Page Publishing) has that dilemma and has solved it a few times with movie shoots of the exterior and interior of her American castle in Western New York State. She and her friend and business partner Pish Lincoln even hosted a ghost hunting show in one memorable instance! But an opera-singing reality TV show? When Opera DivaNation is tossed from the hotel where they are shooting, Pish – as a fundraiser for the Lexington Opera Company, a couple of members of which are judges and mentors on the…

Amy Pershing | Author-Reader Match: A SIDE OF MURDER
Author Guest / February 22, 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 Amy Pershing! Writes: I write the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries, which (obviously) revolve around food and Cape Cod. And murder.  And romance. Or, at least in the first book of the series, A SIDE OF MURDER, it was a romance. Now it’s, well, complicated. It all begins when Samantha Barnes — once an up-and-coming New York chef until an unfortunate YouTube video went viral — retreats home to Cape Cod.  There Sam finds herself dealing with a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy, and a job writing restaurant reviews. Oh, yeah, and a dead body. And the town’s new harbormaster, Jason Captiva.  Who, it turns out, was Sam’s high school crush. . . About: Like Sam, I am a total foodie.  I’ve edited cookbooks, reviewed restaurants, and pretty much eaten my way around the world. I’m also a total fool for love.  Especially first loves.  At 16, I thought my guy was the cutest, smartest, funniest, sexiest guy in the room.  I still do.  For more about me…

Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup: KILLER CONTENT by Oliva Blacke
Author Guest / February 10, 2021

Looking for a Galentine’s Day treat? Author Olivia Blacke has a vegan-friendly cake ball recipe that is sure to delight. KILLER CONTENT’s amateur sleuth, Odessa, works at a bookstore/cafe and has a great group of co-workers and friends to share this with during after-hours fun.  Of course, we’ll be back tomorrow with the next featured author during the week-long Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup—hope to see you again!  KILLER CONTENT’s (Feb 2, 2021, Berkley) Odessa Dean isn’t much of a cook. When she decides to leave her hometown of Piney Island, Louisiana for a summer in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, she’s overwhelmed by the unique and ever-evolving flavors of New York City. From food trucks to pop-up eateries to the eclectic menu at Untapped Books & Cafe where she works, there is always something new for her to taste. As much as she loves sampling unique dishes, she doesn’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen. Not that it would stop her from trying to make something fun and tasty for her friends when they decide to throw a Valentine’s Day party after hours at the cafe! While cake balls and cake pops might be blase in Brooklyn…

Vivien Chien | Exclusive Excerpt: FATAL FRIED RICE
Author Guest / February 8, 2021

from Chapter 7 Helen, Wendy, Pearl, and Opal, our beloved Mahjong Matrons, filed into the restaurant at nine o’clock sharp. The four widows didn’t bother to pause at the hostess station for a seating assignment. They had their own table they occupied every morning, always sitting in the same spots. When I’d first started working full time at the restaurant, I’d bring them menus as a formality. They really didn’t need them as they ordered the same thing without fail, day in and day out. After a while I gave up on bringing the menus and just headed straight for the kitchen to place their order with Peter and prep their tea. When I returned to the dining room and approached their table, the elderly women turned to greet me with pleasant smiles and twinkles in their eyes. “Good morning, Lana,” Helen sang in a cheerful voice. “Good morning, ladies,” I returned, giving them all a smile as I set the teakettle down in the center of the table. Helen, who often acted as mother hen, reached for the kettle, and as the women flipped over their teacups, she filled each one to the brim. “Have you heard the latest…