Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Carol J. Perry | Exclusive Excerpt: LATE CHECKOUT
Author Guest / September 19, 2019

CHAPTER 1 It was a cool, pretty October Friday morning in my home town of Salem, Massachusetts. My beautiful Laguna blue 2014 Chevrolet Stingray Corvette convertible was in the shop because some inconsiderate dope had run a shopping cart down one side of it, leaving a significant gouge in the passenger door. My aunt Ibby was in Boston at a librarians’ convention, so her vintage but trustworthy Buick wasn’t available either. My hours as a field reporter at WICH-TV had just been cut nearly in half because the station manager’s wife’s nephew had just graduated from broadcasting school and “needs some experience.” I’m Lee Barrett, nee Maralee Kowalski, thirty-three, red-haired, Salem born, orphaned early, married once, and widowed young. My aunt Isobel Russell and I share the fine old family home on Winter Street, along with our big yellow-striped gentleman cat, O’Ryan. “Might as well walk to work,” I grumbled to the cat, who watched with apparent interest as I pulled on cordovan boots over faded jeans, then tossed my NASCAR jacket over a white turtleneck shirt. “With the new schedule I don’t have to get there until noon anyway.” O’Ryan gave a sympathetic “Mmrrow,” and followed me to my…

Ginger Bolton | My Top 6 Research Tips
Author Guest / September 2, 2019

Oops, did I say “tips?” I think I meant “trips.” Not the sort of trips that cause you to fall down (though I’m an expert at those.) I mean the kind of trips when you get into a car and go somewhere. It might be where you planned to go. Or it might not. Here are some of the research trips I’ve taken while researching my Deputy Donut Mysteries: Find Donuts. You have to learn more about donuts, and for that, I went to the experts, Cops & Doughnuts. When the Clare City Bakery in Clare, Michigan, which had been in constant operation since 1896, was going out of business, the local cops, all nine of them, bought it. They make the best donuts! I expected to feel safe there. I did escape, eventually. With donuts. 1 Learn from the pros. The Writers’ Police Academy was held in Wisconsin. Obviously, I had to attend that, and drive a real cop car. Can’t I pretend that we were supposed to knock down every single orange pylon and drive through all of the invisible pedestrians??? I mean, it wasn’t like I could see those pretend pedestrians, and although I could definitely see…

T.C. LoTempio | Author Reader Match: THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW + Giveaway!
Author Guest / August 8, 2019

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 T.C. LoTempio! Writes: Cozy mysteries that usually prominently feature cats.  My latest release, THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW, hits shelves August 8, 2019. About: Sixty-something cozy mystery author seeks readers for suspenseful mystery novel featuring a feisty heroine who’s determined to reinvent herself, along with her two cats, a Siamese and a one-eyed Persian named Purrday. Crishell “Shell” McMillan is a former actress now turned pet shop owner who seems to gravitate toward mystery and dead bodies.  Of course we also have the requisite love interest included! What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Loves cats! Likes mysteries with a “twist” Enjoys a fast-paced, suspenseful plot Likes a dash of romance included with their mystery Is a devotee of the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel! Likes to pick up on clues and solve the mystery right along with the sleuth! What to expect if we’re compatible: As many books as my agent can sell! Frequent giveaways via my newsletter and…

Eve Calder | And Then There Were Crumbs: Where on earth is Coral Cay?
Author Guest / August 5, 2019

With a cozy mystery, the setting is important. And if a writer is really lucky, that backdrop becomes a character in its own right. With Coral Cay, I created my Florida dream town.  A comfortable village that’s big enough to support a downtown populated with shops, a local grocer and a bookstore. And small enough that the denizens know each other on sight. It also has a bit of a glamorous reputation. The resort area on the far side of the island is a playground for the rich and famous. The beautiful beaches and quaint village attract a flood of tourists every year. And, rumor has it, the island was originally discovered by pirates. In Coral Cay, I wanted a place that was all the best parts of the state – the things I love. Deserted beaches. Afternoon cloudbursts that last all of fifteen minutes. Warm sand. Sunshine all year round. Cooling sea breezes smelling of salt. And brightly colored flowers everywhere. And hopefully, some interesting people, too. A few readers have commented on the eccentric characters who inhabit Coral Cay. But really, they’re just like the people who live in your own neighborhood. In a book, though, you get…

Catherine Bruns | A Meal Fit for a Cozy Mystery Fan
Author Guest / July 29, 2019

Tessa Esposito, the protagonist featured in Penne Dreadful (on sale July 30th), lives in the charming town of Harvest Park, located in Upstate New York. A talented chef, Tessa would feed the entire world if possible. As with most cozy mysteries, Harvest Park has a gossip grapevine the size of Italy and she soon finds herself in the center of it. Cooking helps Tessa to deal with the stress in her life, which is currently at an all-time high. Fortunately, her close-knit Italian family is supportive and always there to lend a hand. They are passionate about most things in life, with food at the top of the list. The beginning of the story finds Tessa dealing with a personal tragedy—specifically, her husband Dylan’s recent death. Her grief quickly turns to anger when she discovers it was no accident—finding he was murdered instead. Who would do such a thing? Was Dylan in some type of trouble? And why didn’t he tell Tessa about it? The questions pile up as she struggles to understand. Tessa uses the other love of her life—cooking—to uncover Dylan’s killer. Her quest leads her to accept a job working “undercover” at a local pizza parlor called…

Debbie Wiley | Crafty Cozy Mysteries
Author Guest / July 22, 2019

By Debbie Wiley, Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer  I have been fascinated with crafts since my great aunt gave me a wooden knitting board and a macramé kit many years ago. Admittedly, I’ve never considered myself exceptionally talented, but the mere process of loom knitting can be very soothing, almost as soothing as reading a good book. There are a lot of great cozy mysteries out there about various crafts, anything from a custom teddy bear shop such as in BEAR WITNESS TO MURDER by Meg Macy, to glassmaking (including glass beads!) in Cheryl Holland’s DOWN IN FLAMES. There’s a little something for everyone when it comes to crafty cozy mysteries, but the ones featuring the fiber arts like knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and quilting appeal to me the most. Here are a couple great series to get you started! KNOT ON HER LIFE, the latest in Mary Marks’ Quilting Mystery series, makes me wish I had a quilting circle near me with people as patient with newcomers as the characters in the book. Martha Rose jumps in to help a neighbor with her foster child and finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Mary Marks gives quilting tips in…

Holly Quinn | Exclusive Excerpt: A CRAFTER HOOKS A KILLER
Author Guest / June 24, 2019

Sammy’s heart sank. Could this day get any worse? She’d hoped to spend more time with her old neighbor, but she resigned herself to the fact that the timing apparently wasn’t meant to be. Maybe it never had. Sammy’s mind wandered to Mayor Allen, his wife, Connie, and Carter too. With Carter abroad at school, she hoped his parents’ sharing what she had uncovered about his sister’s death wouldn’t cause him to want to come home. What would that kind of news do to his psyche, especially while he was so far away from Heartsford? She wondered if she had made the right decision to get involved. Did ignorance really mean bliss? She didn’t think so. Knowing Kate’s death wasn’t an accident didn’t make it easier, though. Would bringing the murderer to trial bring Kate back? Certainly not. Or Jane Johnson? They deserved justice though and young Ethan deserved justice for his injuries too. The carnage! She needed a mind break. Sammy decided on a whim to try to return Bradley’s call. The phone went straight to voicemail: “Hey, Bradley, -um, -I mean…Brad. That feels weird on my tongue. Anyway, have a safe trip. Catch you on the flip side!…

Leslie Budewitz | Author Reader Match: CHAI ANOTHER DAY
Author Guest / June 13, 2019

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 Leslie Budewitz!  Writes: Cozy mystery. My latest release is CHAI ANOTHER DAY, 4th in the Spice Shop Mysteries set in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, coming June 11, 2018. The crimes are fiction; the food is real. About: Mystery author obsessed with food and the Northwest seeks readers for armchair travel to foodie heaven, the Pike Place Market in Seattle, with a savvy Spice Shop owner who doubles as the poster child for the cliche that life begins at forty. When she overhears an argument in an antique shop, she finds herself drawn into a murder that could implicate an old enemy, or ensnare a new friend. With her natural people-smarts and determination, she asks questions the detectives can’t, using her knowledge of the community to bring a killer to justice. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Knows that reading, and friends, are the spice of life Looks at their TBR pile and thinks they need another bookshelf—or three…

G.A. McKevett | Exclusive Interview: BITTER BREW
Author Guest / April 29, 2019

Today, Senior Reviewer Miranda Owen brings us a fascinating chat with G.A. McKevett! The latest book in her long-running Savannah Reid mystery series, BITTER BREW, is available now. About a million years ago, one of your Savannah Reid books caught my eye at my local library. Naturally, I raved about it to my grandmother (fellow cozy mystery junkie) and got her hooked on the series too. Why write a cozy mystery series? What do you like about writing (or reading) cozies? First, let me say, “Thank you,” for passing the addiction along to your grandma. Families that read together…keep us authors in business. 🙂 Why write cozy mysteries? I’ll be honest with you; that’s what my publisher asked for. I agreed a tad reluctantly. I don’t know if this was true 25 years ago, or if I was ignorant of the genre, but I held the opinion that cozy mysteries, back in the day, made light of the horror of murder. Like homicide was some sort of fun puzzle. Like I said, I could’ve just been ill-informed. I’m sure there were many cozies, even back then, that treated the subject with sensitivity. I just hadn’t read them. My children and I…

J.A. Hennrikus | Author-Reader Match: WITH A KISS I DIE
Author Guest / April 11, 2019

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 J.A. Hennrikus! Writes: Cozy and traditional mysteries, with my latest release, With A Kiss I Die, #2 in my Theater Cop series hitting the shelves on April 8, 2019. About: Mystery writer seeks readers who like a good mystery that is combined with a touch of romance against the backdrop of a theater company. What I’m Looking for in my ideal reader match: Readers who enjoy a good puzzle Who don’t like a lot of blood and gore, but do enjoy a good mystery Enjoy the behind the scenes of a theater company Like their sleuths to be middle aged with a complicated past Welcome a rich cast of characters Know Romeo and Juliet, and preferably have seen a bad production of it on stage Don’t mind staying up late to finish the book What to expect if we’re compatible. Updates from my newsletter; sign up here: www.JHAuthors.com An opportunity to join the Wicked Authors private Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewickeds/ Getting to know…