Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Cleo Coyle | Exclusive Interview: BREWED AWAKENING
Author Guest / December 2, 2019

By Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Teresa Cross *** First, I have to tell you how excited I am that I get to interview you. This is an amazing wish come true as you and Marc are my favorites of all authors. So, all questions can be answered by just one or both of you two! Your Coffeehouse Mysteries are my favorite cozy mysteries as I love coffee, I hang out at coffee shops and I have a daughter who is a barista. What inspired you to write this series with a coffee shop? Marc and I are honored to know how much you’ve enjoyed our work, Teresa, thank you! And please give your barista daughter a hug from us. One of the things we discovered while doing research for our Coffeehouse series was how passionate the people are who work in the coffee trade—from the farmers who grow it and the “coffee hunters” who source it, to the master roasters who create the blends and the baristas who serve it. They continually provide inspiration for our characters and storylines. As for the origin of our series, that reaches back to 1985, when I was working as a cub reporter for…

Rosemarie Ross | Exclusive Interview: COBBLERED TO DEATH
Author Guest / November 18, 2019

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Rosemarie! Please tell us about yourself and your latest novel, COBBLERED TO DEATH. I’ve been married for 37 years. We have one son, one daughter-in-law and two granddarlings. I’ve been writing since 1991. I focused on short stories early in my career then graduated to books when I became an empty nester. COBBLERED TO DEATH is a food-themed cozy and my first foray into the mystery genre. The main character, Courtney Archer, is a cooking show star asked to co-host The American Baking Battle which is supposed to be a genteel competition like The Great British Baking Show. Behind the scenes, egos and tempers flare. When a contestant is bludgeoned to death with Courtney’s cast-iron fry pan of cherry cobbler, Courtney becomes the main suspect in the murder. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney sifts through clues all while smiling for the camera. Your lead character, Courtney Archer, is the star of her own show Cooking with the Farmer’s Daughter, as well as co-host of The American Baking Battle, a new cooking competition show. She has a lot on her plate, so to speak! Where did your inspiration come for this new series,…

Lauren Elliott | Exclusive Interview: MURDER IN THE FIRST EDITION
Author Guest / November 6, 2019

Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Debbie Wiley Hi Lauren! Thank you for joining us today at Fresh Fiction! I love cozy mysteries, especially ones centered around a bookstore so MURDER IN THE FIRST EDITION is a real treat for me to read. Can you tell our readers a little something about the storyline and the inspiration behind it? Hi, thank you for inviting me. It’s a pleasure to be here. The inspiration behind my Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series came to me a number of years ago. I had a good friend who owned a small used bookshop and being the book lover I am. It became my second home.  Her shop was my vision of the perfect bookstore–old and rare books, a reading corner, charming knick-knacks, and a bay window display that she decorated to highlight the season and one that never failed to attract passersby.  When I had more time to devote to writing, my old reading friend, Agatha Christie emerged, and the first image that came to mind was my real-life friend Maggie and her bookshop. From there, Addie’s was born. Even though, Beyond the Page Books & Curios is an expanded version of my friends, it’s…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: In the Cold Winter’s Night…
Author Guest / October 28, 2019

A murder is brewing. It’s not merry angels gathering to sing carols on this silent deadly night. It’s Laura Bradford, Emily Brightwell, Vickie Delany, Kate Kingsbury and Anne Perry weaving mysterious murders into magical reads for the holiday season. In cozy mysteries, there’s a delicate balance between the dark reality of death and a festive holiday celebration, but these women do it magnificently. From London to New York, and the English countryside to the Pennsylvania plains this season’s best are entertaining delights to be read any time of year.  The relatability of their characters draws me in every time, and this season is no exception. Regardless of the era, readers can walk the halls, shop the shops and adore the decorations in the hotel lobby as they become ensconced in the investigation of a perfect cat and mouse race to the end. Join me in a little merriment, murder and mayhem wrapped up in a cozy package for the holidays. A KILLER CAROL by Laura Bradford Amish Mystery #7 Heavenly, PA has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland, and Claire is delighted to celebrate the season. . . but a fiendish killer has other plans in this all-new installment in the…

Victoria Laurie | Exclusive Excerpt: COACHED TO DEATH
Author Guest / October 28, 2019

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 2 The group parted to allow Heather to pass, and she walked toward me with the practiced bounce of a model. Opening her arms wide, she pushed a giant smile to her lips. I didn’t trust her for a second. “Catherine!” she said warmly. “Don’t you ‘Catherine’ me,” I growled, my hands finding my hips. No way was I going to allow any kind of friendly embrace. Heather stopped in front of me and allowed her arms to hang there awkwardly for a moment. The women she’d just left were watching us, and I could see the puzzled expressions on their faces too. “You set me up!” I hissed. Heather’s arms dropped dramatically. “Catherine, whatever are you talking about?” I waved a hand down my front. “This.” “It’s a lovely suit, dear, but why would you come wearing black and white to a jewel-tone themed luncheon?” The ladies behind Heather edged closer toward us, completely engrossed in what was obviously about to become a scene. “I’m wearing this because you told me this was a black and white themed affair.” I was aware that I was speaking through clenched teeth, likely giving me the appearance of snarling…

Debra Sennefelder | Creating My Amateur Sleuth
Author Guest / October 28, 2019

There are so many things I love about cozy mysteries, it’s hard picking just one, but if I had to, I would say it is the amateur sleuth. Most people would equate the amateur sleuth as to being a busybody, someone who sticks her nose into other people’s business, nosey about the lives of her neighbors. But when I created Hope Early, the protagonist in my Food Blogger mystery series, I had a different view of her role in the series. When I was fleshing Hope’s character out, I knew she would be a strong, independent woman. She had to be because she would risk friendships, family relationships, and possibly her life in search of the truth and for justice. Hope isn’t a character willing to stand by while someone is being accused or when the victim doesn’t seem worthy of justice being sought. After I wrote the first manuscript, I came to refer to Hope as a Boss Sleuth because she takes ownership of what she does, and she doesn’t give up until the truth is revealed. There are a few things Hope has learned since her first foray into sleuthing. She learned early on to doubt everyone’s alibi….

Julie Anne Lindsey | Exclusive Interview: APPLE CIDER SLAYING
Author Guest / October 28, 2019

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Julie Anne! Please tell us about your new Cider Shop cozy mystery series and the first book, APPLE CIDER SLAYING. Hi! Thank you SO crazy much for having me back!! I’m really amped up about this new release! APPLE CIDER SLAYING is near and dear to my heart, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern West Virginia, an area I know well. Winnie lives with her Granny Smythe on the family apple orchard and becomes entangled in a murder investigation when Granny’s arch-nemesis is found lodged in the apple press, and the new sheriff names Granny as his number one suspect. Winnie Montgomery is just trying to keep her family’s apple orchard in business, but when her beloved grandmother is accused of murder, Winnie is having a hard time keeping things in order and just wants to prove her grandmother’s innocence. What do you think made Winnie a good amateur detective? Winnie is the best. Her natural curiosity gives her the little push she needs to get started once the urge hits. Before that, her big heart gets her started. Anytime Winnie sees an injustice or an underdog, she’s nearly compelled to jump in…

Debbie Wiley | Spooky Halloween Reads
Author Guest / October 24, 2019

October is the month when it’s fun to be scared! Halloween movies play on the tv stations, while readers turn to Halloween, creepy or paranormal themed books to get into the mood for October 31. For me, October is always the time to pull out a Stephen King book as his stories set the perfect atmosphere for an eerie October night. I’ve also discovered a few other reads this October that are perfect for the season. Here are some of my recommendations for creepy October reads this Halloween season: DIABHAL by Kathleen Kaufman is a deliciously dark occult thriller focusing on a matriarchal cult called The Society. Things go awry when 10-year-old Ceit Robertson’s mother is attacked by restless spirits called Sluagh and she’s placed in a foster home called MacLaren Hall. While the story itself is fictional, MacLaren Hall isn’t and has a disturbing history that only serves to heighten the creepy atmosphere Kathleen Kaufman creates.  DIABHAL is the kind of book that you can’t put down even as you wonder what will happen next- it’s classic horror at its finest! A.J. Hackwith puts a whole new diabolical spin on libraries in THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN! Claire is…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: New and Tried and True
Author Guest / September 23, 2019

No matter the season, there’s alway a perfect hat, especially if it’s designed Sandra Bretting’s Missy DuBois. This super sleuth knows how to solve a mystery in style and her latest caper definitely takes a bite out of crime down South in Louisiana. This is Ms. Bretting’s fifth mystery in the series and it’s one of my favorites. (Although I’m not a fan of alligators–yikes!) ALL HATS ON DECK by Sandra Bretting A Missy DuBois Mystery #5 No Southern wedding is complete without a special veil designed by Louisiana hat maker Missy DuBois. But it’s hats off to Missy DuBois when she tries to save her town from a bayou killer . . .    When Ruby Oubre asks Missy to advise her grandson on a business idea, the successful owner of Crowning Glory is happy to oblige. After a quick jaunt down the river, Missy meets with eighteen-year-old Hollis about the viability of opening an alligator farm for tourists. But it isn’t an alligator Missy finds floating at the mossy bottom of the Atchafalaya River. It’s Ruby, and her death wasn’t caused by accidental drowning. It seems everyone from local tour boat operators to the chief of police and…

Nancy Coco | Exclusive Excerpt: FUDGE BITES
Author Guest / September 23, 2019

CHAPTER 1 “You look amazing, Allie,” Frances said to me. “Like the scariest of the walking dead.” I laughed. I could feel the makeup cracking, and so I tried really hard to get it together. “At least I don’t look like a real dead person. I’ve got skin flapping off my cheek.” I pushed on the latex flap that concealed the gory makeup underneath. “Thankfully, zombies aren’t real.” “I love the idea of the zombie walk,” Frances said. “The fact that the profits all go to the Red Dress Foundation is fantastic.” “I like the idea that all the bars and restaurants pitched in to supply food for the hungry masses,” I said. “Fudge isn’t exactly food,” she pointed out. “I bet there are a lot of people who would argue with you on that,” I teased. Frances was my hotel manager. She’d worked at the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop since before she retired from teaching. Thankfully, she had stayed as an employee after my papa Liam McMurphy died and I inherited the family business. At this very moment, I was putting the finishing touches on my zombie pinup girl costume. I didn’t usually participate in late night…