Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Summer Escapes
Author Guest / May 25, 2020

Ahhh, summer. Warmer temps—when? Sunny skies—where? And great reads—thank God, I got one right! It’s the perfect time of year to read and relax, something all of us need right now. To start the holiday off right, I thought I’d recommend a few mysteries to freshen up your library and clear out all of those stress induced cobwebs—the real ones, and the imaginary ones in our brains—shouldn’t we have cleaned all of those out by now? I hope you enjoy them all! (The books not the cobwebs—nasty buggers.) Short and Delightful! Botched Butterscotch An Amish Candy Shop Mystery 4/28/2020 Amanda Flower Mother’s Day is a sweet and busy time at the candy shop Bailey King runs with her Amish grandmother. This year is extra special, because Bailey’s parents are visiting Harvest, Ohio. Bailey’s father has rarely returned since leaving the Amish faith over thirty years ago, but Bailey is confident that the right treats can help sugarcoat any awkwardness. For Mother’s Day Tea at the local church, she’s whipping up her mom’s favorite: butterscotch pie. All’s going well, until a sticky-fingered thief makes off with the money raised for a local women’s support group. While Bailey tries to discover who…

Debbie Wiley | Cozy Mysteries are the Perfect Escapist Reads!
Author Guest / May 11, 2020

by Senior Reviewer Debbie Wiley With the long days of quarantine both behind and still in front of us, if you’re like me you’re tired of hearing nothing in the news but gloom and doom. Luckily for us as readers, we have a great selection of cozy mysteries to curl up with and take our minds off seeing only the people we’ve been quarantined with. So, sit back, pretend it’s a cold day inside by the fire where staying inside is fun, and let’s look at a couple great books to choose from! Amanda Flower is one of my go-to cozy mystery authors and what could be better than a novella including an appearance by Jethro, the support pig? In BOTCHED BUTTERSCOTCH, a Mother’s Day fundraiser goes awry and now Bailey King is determined to uncover a thief. Amanda Flower offers up just the kind of heartwarming mystery we need, as BOTCHED BUTTERSCOTCH showcases Abigail’s Farm, a program opening up in the Amish community to help women recovering from substance abuse. We have a lot of fun bantering the wedding that isn’t even an engagement yet and yes, we have a great Jethro scene!  SIX CLOVES UNDER by Gin Jones features…

Peggy Ehrhart | All the Comforts of Chocolate + Giveaway!
Author Guest / April 20, 2020

Stay safe! Stay inside! Limit trips to the grocery store! We’re all hearing advice like this as we wonder how long the coronavirus is going to be with us. Food writers suggest inventorying our pantries for overlooked supplies and creating meals out of what we have on hand–though my trips to the grocery store have revealed that many people are limiting their trips by buying a few months’ worth of food at once, including the woman I saw with two filled-to-capacity carts, pushing one and pulling the other. But I like the idea of discovering and putting to use supplies I had forgotten I had. With this in mind, I explored the contents of my freezer yesterday and found . . . half a package of brownie mix! It was hidden way in the back, between the box of raisins and the bag of walnut halves (I freeze almost everything I don’t use often). The brownie mix dated from last year when I was experimenting with a way to make easy cookies for my Knit & Nibble mystery #6, Knit of the Living Dead, coming out this August. As you can guess from the title, it has a Halloween theme,…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner Interview: Gayle Leeson
Author Guest / February 24, 2020

There’s something about a crime-fighting duo that draws me in. Batman and Robin, Holmes and Watson, Scully and Mulder—they just make the story that much richer as a team. The same can be said about a couple of witty authors who put their heads together to write a fabulous mystery. Double the criminal masterminds at work! I’ve interviewed Lorraine Bartlett here on Fresh Fiction, and now I have the honor of interviewing her new partner in crime, Gayle Leeson! What a rocking duo these two make! *** Kym:  Welcome to the Cozy Corner Gayle! Gayle:  Hi, Kym! Thank you for having me! You’ve started writing A Victoria Square Mystery series with Lorraine Bartlett, how did that come to be? Lorraine was swamped with her existing series and needed some help meeting deadlines. She liked my writing style and thought our voices would mesh well together, and now here we are.   I love when two authors collaborate for a great book and I’m always amazed at how many different methods authors use to write as a team. In this series, however, it’s even more complicated since you came in on book five of the series. Can you tell us how you and Lorraine wrote Yule…

G.P Gardner | Festival Favorites
Author Guest / January 17, 2020

First of all, let me thank Fresh Fiction for a great review and for inviting me to visit with you. And second, I want to thank READERS for making the first Cleo Mack Mystery a USA Today Best Seller! Murder at Harbor Village tells how Cleo moved to Fairhope and fell into a new job managing a retirement community. The second book, Murder at Royale Court, centers on a murder that occurs during an antique automobile show. And now, the third book in the series—Murder at the Arts & Crafts Festival—shows Cleo with a big circle of friends who help with the sleuthing when Twinkle Thaw, the famous portrait artist, crashes her sister’s dinner party, comes between an old sweetheart and his wife, takes over a local art gallery, and dies. The series is set in Fairhope, a quaint, bayside community in coastal Alabama. Unlike the murders, the arts & crafts festival actually occurs every spring. I love attending it for many reasons, some of which I’m listing below, along with a few photos from recent festivals. The main thing we expect to find at art festivals is art—paintings, drawings, photographs, and other things that hang on the wall. Art…

Debbie Wiley | Crafty Cozies as Self-Care
Author Guest / January 13, 2020

Mindfulness and self-care are hot button topics right now in our fast-paced, technology-driven world. Whether it’s gratitude journals, vision boards, yoga, self-help books, etc, everyone nowadays is looking for ways to refresh and re-energize themselves, particularly with 2020 launching a whole new decade. Reading is also a way to rest and rejuvenate, particularly if it’s books that spark your imagination and creativity. What better place to look than cozy mysteries with a crafty theme? I’ve seen hygge yarn in the stores, but it’s Sally Goldenbaum’s A MURDEROUS TANGLE that sent me to google to learn more about the hygge lifestyle. The Seaside Knitting Studio is hosting its first holiday hygge and all the members are looking forward to a quiet gathering knitting or crocheting before a warm fire in their comfortable clothes with hot spiced cider and homemade cookies. Unfortunately, a murder disrupts the town of Sea Harbor and now the Seaside Knitters are tracking down a murderer in their midst. Sally Goldenbaum’s warm and inviting characters make me want to pull out my loom and knit with soft music and the scent of lavender in the air. If you’re looking for a cleverly crafted mystery that also inspires you…

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…