Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Danielle Dresser | Gratitude in 2020 + LSA Giveaway!
Author Guest / November 16, 2020

2020 has been a YEAR. I know I don’t have to go on and on about the trials and tribulations associated with it, but with the US Thanksgiving holiday next week, I decided to practice gratitude and think about the things I’m grateful for… some of these are silly, some are serious, and some are, of course, books. Keurig K-Cafe Coffee, Latte, and Cappuccino Maker  This was one of our early pandemic purchases and it has made my life so much better. I’m not saying I stopped going to Starbucks, but having the ability to make delicious lattes at home with just a few pushes of a button has changed my life–and probably the lives of the two people I live with, who know I must be caffeinated to be remotely pleasant. Harlequin Desire Category Romances 2020 will be the year of desire for me… Harlequin Desire, that is. Between the recent cover style revamp and the current crop of authors writing for this line, Harlequin Desire romance novels have saved my life this year. When things began in March, I was in a huge reading slump, and the comfort I found in reading about outrageously beautiful and unfathomably wealthy…

Alexa Martin | Exclusive Interview: SNAPPED
Author Guest / October 16, 2020

Hi, Alexa! Welcome to Fresh Fiction. Please tell us about yourself and your new book, SNAPPED.  Hi! Thank you so much for having me! I’m Alexa, I’m a mom of four adorable and wild children and I’m married to my high school sweetheart. He played in the NFL for 8 years which is what inspired my Playbook Series. SNAPPED is the fourth book in the series and focuses on Elliot and Quinton. Elliot does PR for the Mustangs and when Quinton takes a knee on the field and covers the league’s logo on his jersey, she’s sent in to help manage the media storm. They get off to a rocky start, but eventually, sparks fly as they both work through some pretty big issues they’re both facing. Some of our readers may not know this, but your husband is a retired NFL player. How much of your experiences did you incorporate into the Playbook series?   He is! He was drafted to the NFL my freshman year of college, so I was pretty much a baby when we moved in together. The women that I met during that time really molded me into the woman I am today. It’s why female friendships play…

Danielle Dresser | Spooky Reads
Author Guest / October 15, 2020

Confession time: I’m a big ol’ scaredy-cat. I’ve been to one haunted house in my life and never want to go again, and I’ve been known to sleep with the lights on after seeing a trailer for a scary movie.  But I love Halloween. Weird, right?  I have been known to dip my toe in what I’m calling “spooky” reads, though. They aren’t really scary per se, but they definitely have an atmosphere. My #romancelandia pal, BandHerBooks, and I like to say we’re “pastel goths,” which I think just means we like skulls and cozy sweaters and idolize Morticia Addams, but that’s a topic for another blog post.  I gravitate toward spooky reads around this year especially, but my supernatural-lite obsession lasts year-round–does my skull soap dispenser stay in the powder room even if it’s weeks past October 31st? Yep. Do I wear all black pretty much every day? You bet. Will this lovely typewriter with a “heartwarming” message have permanent residence in my office? MOST DEFINITELY!  Here are a few spooky reads for the rest of the pastel goths out there–enjoy them at Halloween or whenever you want to do your best Lydia Deetz impression. . . *** THE…

Danielle Dresser | Books and Reading as Self-Care
Author Guest / September 18, 2020

As we reach the six-month mark of the worldwide pandemic, a lot has been written on the necessity of practicing self-care, being kind to one’s self and each other, and finding new ways to make this situation somewhat tolerable. In my house, we’ve been tackling remote work, remote learning (dear readers, a teacher I am NOT), deciding when and with whom to expand our bubble, and trying to figure out what the heck to have for dinner every night. . . So when I think of how I practice self-care, I do think about my skincare routine and dream of the day when it will be truly safe for me to go get a pedicure, but I also think about BOOKS and READING. Books have always been my ever constant companion–I won’t go anywhere without something to read. Taking some time out of the day to read and enjoy what I’m reading has been integral to making it through this stressful time. COMFORT READS I’ve definitely gravitated toward old favorites–I’m looking at you, Reluctant Royals series by Alyssa Cole, Born In series by Nora Roberts, and volumes 1-9 of Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples–but I also have a…

Danielle Dresser | Most Anticipated New Releases: Fall-Winter 2020!
Author Guest / August 10, 2020

This has been a roller coaster of a year when it comes to books and reading. I don’t think a read a full book in the month of March, but I read over 10 books in July! With Fall quickly approaching, here are a bunch of wonderful and intriguing titles coming out this month through the end of the year, and I cannot wait for everyone to read them. AUGUST Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera – Two New Yorkers get together while they’re both working in Texas. There’s some workplace drama, instant attraction, and much more. Sexy, fun, and low angst. You Had Me at Holaby Alexis Daria – This felt like reading an entire season of Jane the Virgin. Clever, funny, and ultimately, uplifting. Out on the Ice by Kelly Farmer – So we can’t go to hockey games, but we CAN read about them. badass ladies to boot? Sign me up. Also look for: Marriage by Arrangement by Sophia Singh Sisson, Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles *** SEPTEMBER When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole – I am not a thriller reader. I repeat – I am NOT a thriller reader. but I stayed up…

T.I. Lowe | Exclusive Interview: SEA GLASS CASTLE
Author Guest / August 7, 2020

Hi, T. I.! Welcome back to Fresh Fiction. Please tell us about yourself and a little bit about your new book, SEA GLASS CASTLE. Thank you for inviting me again! I’m a storyteller and a daydreamer, and I have promised to never apologize for either. I’m from coastal South Carolina, so yes, I have a thick Southern twang and walk around barefoot more often than not. As you can imagine, Sea Glass Castle comes from my roots. Even though the Southern beach setting was easy enough, the characters weren’t so much. This story is the first one where I explore a divorcee and a widower. Sophia and Wes were a unique challenge, and it was so satisfying to give them a second chance at love. This is the final book in the Carolina Coast series. What has writing this series meant to you and what do you hope readers get out of it? This series explores romance, of course, but it also explores strong bonds of friendship. Readers will meet a young trio of women called the Sand Queens and also an older group called the Knitting Club. The two groups are quite different in dynamics, but the key elements of…

Danielle Dresser | In Which We Discuss the Bareknuckle Bastards
Author Guest / July 29, 2020

Would you love to chat with Sarah MacLean? Join us TOMORROW, Thursday, July 30, at 7pm CT for a Fresh Fiction Book Club chat. There’s an interview with Sarah first and then a chance to ask her questions directly, via a Zoom Chat. You can find out more details and register to attend here: Video Book Club with Sarah MacLean *** I was late to the Bareknuckle Bastards. Don’t ask me why–but it was always one of those sore spots in with my fellow citizens of Romancelandia… “You HAVEN’T?” and “Why NOT?” and “Oh, you MUST REMEDY THIS NOW OR WE WON’T BE FRIENDS.” That last one is slightly exaggerated, though not by much. I understood their astonishment that I, a Sarah MacLean fan, had not read each book as it came out over the last few years. I just didn’t. . . But then came the cover reveal for DARING AND THE DUKE, the final book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series and these books were back on my radar. I decided to read all three of them back-to-back-to-back, and readers, I’m so happy I did. The worldbuilding, the backstory, the characters. There’s so much to love in the part…

Abigail Owen | Exclusive Interview: BAIT ‘N’ WITCH
Author Guest / June 18, 2020

Hi, Abigail! Welcome back to Fresh Fiction. Please tell us about your latest book, BAIT N’ WITCH. Thank you so much for having me back. I always love to visit with Fresh Fiction! 🙂   Can you give our readers a “primer” of your paranormal world? Do you find creating supernatural settings difficult or easy? My paranormal world is set in the real world, but technically apart. They don’t interact with humans unless they have to, and humans don’t know of the existence of these supernatural creatures. While the dragon shifters are the focus of my Inferno Rising & Fire’s Edge series, in Brimstone Inc., we get to see other paranormal creatures in the same world and what’s going on with them. World building is one of my favorite parts of writing paranormal romance. Thinking of the powers and the world in which they would exist. Thinking of how they’d interact with others. Which would be dangerous, which benevolent, all the possibilities. It’s the best time!     What do you think people love about paranormal romance? What do you love about writing it? I can only say what I love personally. I love the escape. The real world sometimes is just a…

Chanel Cleeton | Exclusive Interview: THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST
Author Guest / June 17, 2020

Hi, Chanel! Welcome to Fresh Fiction! Please tell us about yourself and your new book, THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST. Thank you so much for having me! I write historical fiction that focuses on women’s stories throughout history. My first two historical fiction releases, Next Year in Havana and When We Left Cuba, were largely inspired by my Cuban heritage and my family’s love for their homeland. My new book, The Last Train to Key West, is set decades earlier in 1935 when the Labor Day Hurricane struck the Florida Keys. The Last Train to Key West follows three heroines as their paths cross in unexpected and dangerous ways, and readers of my earlier books will recognize a familiar last name as I follow Beatriz and Elisa’s aunt through history. I love the different formats you’ve used for setting the scene of the historical stories you’ve told so far. In Next Year in Havana there were dual timelines, When We Left Cuba was set entirely in the past from one point of view, and in THE LAST TRAIN TO KEY WEST there are three women’s stories set over Labor Day Weekend in Key West.  How do you decide to…

Danielle J. Dresser | Why I Started to DNF. . . And Not Feel Bad About It
Author Guest / May 14, 2020

To DNF: in which you Do Not Finish a book. Once upon a time, I was a diligent reader who started a book and then finished it dutifully, whether I liked it or not. There were times when I was the one of only a few people in my book club who slogged through a long tome or truly dismal narrative because I felt some sort of duty to the author who took the time to write a book. Ah, to be young and not as cynical. Now, I have a job that entails reading every single day (what a bore, right? Kidding, it’s a dream!), I’m a mother to a very precocious daughter (she’s a clearly a genius), I like to binge-watch TV (I will neither confirm nor deny that I finished the latest season of Nailed It! in one sitting), and I’m also trying to write my own book (it’s still a work in progress). Not to mention, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and concentration has suddenly become a concept I can’t seem to grasp. But one thing has saved my sanity, one thing has brought me sweet relief. I’ve started to DNF books. Sometimes…