Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

Diane Kelly | 20 Questions: MURDER WITH A VIEW
Author Guest / February 8, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? MURDER WITH A VIEW 2–What is it about? Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck have bought an old roadside motel at a tax auction, and they’re planning to turn the place into condominiums. But during demolition, Whitney’s cat Sawdust uncovers a body in one of the rooms. The murder victim is none other than Beckett Morgan, an up-and-coming country singing sensation whose song “Party in the Pasture” is a mega hit. Detective Collin Flynn–who Whitney has begun dating–is faced with a long list of suspects, ranging from female groupies, to jealous musicians, to the star’s manager and a record label exec, among others. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Not only is Nashville a beautiful city with its rolling hills and the Cumberland River running through it, but the mid-century motel is a fun, kitschy touch. As a child on family vacations, I stayed at motels just like the one featured in the book, with pink porcelain in the bathrooms and massaging beds that would vibrate for three minutes if you stuck a quarter in a bedside machine. I have many happy memories swimming in the pools…

Amber Royer | Eight People In My Protagonist’s Life
Author Guest / January 28, 2021

You know one thing I like about writing cozy mysteries?  They’re series, centering around the life of the protagonist.  Which means they need a large cast of friends, family, and business associates, all with the potential to get developed as the series progresses.  Of course, some of these people will be developed into murder suspects – and victims.  But the people closest to your protagonist are generally safe bets for readers to get attached to. Cozies also allow for elements of romance, as new people come into the character’s life as a result of the murder investigation.  Which gives a whole other layer of tension to the plot. I’ve taken advantage of all of that in GRAND OPENINGS CAN BE MURDER, the first book in my Bean to Bar Mysteries.  My protagonist, Felicity Koerber, moved home to Texas after her husband died.  She’s made some new friends, and her old friends – especially her best friend Autumn and her Aunt Naomi – have rallied around her, to help her through this time of grief.  And Naomi is a bit of a matchmaker, determined to get Felicity dating again, so there’s bound to be some cute guys dropping into her world,…

Kate Collins | A Behind the Scenes Peek: Your Questions Answered
Author Guest / January 15, 2021

Where did you come up with the idea for A BIG FAT GREEK MURDER? I was sitting in the chair at my hair salon watching in the mirror as my stylist wielded her long sharp scissors. I started thinking about scissors as a murder weapon, and since my main character Athena’s sister Selene is a hairstylist, it seemed like a great idea to use her in a plot. As I watched customers walk past my chair, I realized how easy it would be to snatch a pair of scissors off a tray at an unmanned station and stuff them into a purse. Because the other stylists are busy with their customers, talking, snipping, blow drying, etc., no one would even notice. Naturally, it would take advance planning. Timing would have to be right, so the perpetrator would have to know the stylist’s schedule. But as I plotted out the story, I realized that a determined murderer would be able to pull it off. Then it would be a matter of wiping the scissors clean and incriminating the stylist, leaving misleading evidence in places like a dumpster behind the salon. There’s more, of course, but you’ll have to read the book…

Fresh Fiction Reviewer Spotlight: Kym Roberts
Author Guest / December 28, 2020

Today we are joined by another one of our regular author columnists, Kym Roberts! She writes a monthly Cozy Corner column where she gives book recs and interviews mystery authors.  Your Name Kym Roberts How long have you been a Fresh Fiction reviewer?  Six years What are your favorite genres to read and review?  Mysteries and romantic suspense What are your TOP 3-5 Books of 2020? LOL, join me at the end of December at the Cozy Corner and I’ll share my favorite cozy mysteries for 2020! What do you like to do outside of reading? Write, swim, hike and take pictures of my little dog, Shiloh. (Mom stuff tends to dominate my time) What are some of your holiday traditions?  Peppermint milkshakes–it’s a holiday treat my hubby has mastered! Yum! What are your reading resolutions/intentions/goals for 2021?  Stay healthy and stick to my daily writing goals! What do you love about being a Fresh Fiction Book Reviewer?  I get an inside peek at mysteries by new and oldies-but-goodies authors. I love the different backgrounds and how they chose the genre. If you’re comfortable, please share a photo so our readers can see your faces! Where else can readers find…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: DEATH AT CAPE MISERY by Wendy Lyn Watson
Author Guest / November 23, 2020

One of the things I love most about mysteries is the setting, the town where the characters come to life. I’ve lived on both coasts and multiple states in the middle so the chances are pretty good that an author can take me home for a few hours to enjoy my old stomping ground. The Oregon coast however, is very near and dear to my heart and I was hooked when I heard about Wendy Lynn Watson’s new mystery series she’s writing with Melissa Bourbon. You seriously can’t go wrong with this duo!  *** Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Wendy! Wendy: Thank you:) You teach law and politics at the University of North Texas. How does that come into play with your writing? (I actually picture you in Viola Davis’s role in How to Get Away with Murder—only your crimes are on the page. I’m close, right?) Wendy: That’s a great question! I don’t usually draw directly from the subjects I teach in my writing.  However, the students themselves keep me abreast of all sorts of things happening in the world that I would never hear about from people at my own stage in life.  They keep my creativity…

Jennifer J. Chow | Exclusive Interview: MIMI LEE READS BETWEEN THE LINES
Author Guest / November 9, 2020

Hi, Jennifer! Welcome to Fresh Fiction! Can you tell us about yourself and your latest Sassy Cat Mystery novel, MIMI LEE READS BETWEEN THE LINES?   Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be on Fresh Fiction today! A little about me: I write multicultural mysteries, and I live in Los Angeles, where I’m constantly on the hunt for all things matcha. In Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines, pet groomer Mimi Lee takes her big sister role to the max by trying to get her young sister off the police’s radar. Mimi Lee owns a pet-grooming business and has a talking cat! Where did you get the idea for this delightful series?   I grew up reading Garfield comics and loved his snarky attitude. Also, I was always drawn to this idea of a pet-owner connection, so I figured a telepathic sassy cat would make a great sleuthing partner–and add to the humor. I love an amateur sleuth! What do you think makes Mimi a great detective? Does she find situations or do the situations find her?  Mimi is a bold sleuth who’s willing to take chances to get to the answer. She really perseveres, especially when loved ones…