Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Danielle Jackson Dresser | Reading Outside of My Comfort Zone
Author Guest / February 16, 2021

It’s still early enough in 2021 that I’m still mulling over my goals and intentions for the year. Drink more water. Write more. Move (with intent) for at least 30 minutes a day. Read more. This last one is always on my list. READ MORE. Is it truly possible? There are so many uncertainties right now, it’s hard to carve out dedicated time to really read. But one thing I do have control over is what I read and every year, I try to push myself to read things that I might not normally gravitate toward. I chose a few recent reads I’ve enjoyed that have been squarely outside of my comfort zone and that I really enjoyed. *** SCIENCE FICTION Look, I love Star Wars a whole bunch, but I’ve never been able to get into “Science Fiction” the “genre.” I stumble over worldbuilding that relies on a ton of explaining, but when it is done well and woven into the fabric of the narrative, I can relax and fully enmesh myself in the setting and the story. WINTER’S ORBIT by Everina Maxwell – What starts out as an arranged marriage to keep political alliances in line turns into…

Ann Marie Walker | Exclusive Interview: HAPPY SINGLES DAY
Author Guest / January 19, 2021

Hi, Ann Marie! Welcome to Fresh Fiction and congrats on the release of your new book, HAPPY SINGLES DAY. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.   Hi, and thanks for having me! As for a little bit about me, I live in Chicago, have four kids and a Morkie named Chewbacca. I love cocktails that, as my daughter said, taste like Sour Patch Kids and I would pretty much walk through fire for chocolate. Can you set up the Hashtag Holidays series for us? This is such a fun concept!  Basically, it’s a series of standalone novels that all center around those fun hashtag holidays we always see on social media. #SinglesDay, #LeapDay, and #BoyfriendDay are the ones I chose for the first three novels. I love that Paige and Lucas have such niche jobs—she’s a professional organizer and he owns a B&B. What inspired these occupation choices?   For Lucas, his occupation was dictated by the story. I needed a destination for Paige’s Singles Day vacation and what could be better than a beachfront B&B run by a Ryan Reynolds look-a-like? Except he’s become a bit of a slob since his wife passed away, which is how…

Danielle J. Dresser | New Beginnings
Author Guest / January 11, 2021

I have a love-hate relationship with the New Year. On the one hand, it’s a brand-new time—full of possibility, a fresh start, and a time to plan and think about all the things that could happen in the coming months. On the other, we live in a society where the New Year signifies a time of intense diet culture (which is really just body shaming and misogyny), insecurity, and whatever else deemed wrong and in need of change. And let’s not forget we’re still in the middle of a world-wide pandemic and political turmoil. Thanks, 2021! In spite of all of that, however, good things have been happening (more on that later), and by good things, I do very much mean GOOD BOOKS. Here are a few of my favorite opening lines from some of my fave books of 2020, as well as a few from the 2021 books I’m looking forward to coming out! The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (2020) My phone’s text tone chirps like a robin—which fails to prepare me for the clusterfuck on the screen. ANDREW: Everything you said last night made sense, M. Thanks to you, I can see the truth now. I…

Fresh Fiction Reviewer Spotlight: Danielle Dresser
Author Guest , Author Spotlight / December 30, 2020

2020 is almost at an end, but our Reviewer Spotlights will continue into January! We hope you’re enjoying getting to know our reviewers and columnists better. Cheers to 2021!!  Your Name  Danielle Dresser How long have you been a Fresh Fiction reviewer? 3 years as a reviewer and about a year and a half as Editorial Manager What are your favorite genres to read and review? I love contemporary romance, historical romance, graphic novels, women’s fiction, and historical fiction. What are your TOP 3-5 Books of 2020? The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole Confessions in B-Flat by Donna Hill What do you like to do outside of reading?  I’m currently writing my own contemporary romance series! I also love to bake, cross-stitch, and watch TV… and by watch TV, I definitely mean watching and re-watching the Great British Bake Off and Schitt’s Creek almost exclusively. What are some of your holiday traditions? Christmas lasts about a full week in our house. We make individual visits to my family and to my in-laws, and usually have at…

Danielle Dresser | Early 2021 Anticipated Releases
Author Guest / December 15, 2020

Here we are at the end of 2020 and I, for one, am ready to ring in 2021! That being said, 2020 was a F A B U L O U S year for books. I’m a few books away from my reading goal of 130 books and I am so excited to say that I read some amazing books by some of my favorite authors as well as a bunch of great debuts that make me so excited for what they have next. Part of my job as Editorial Manager for Fresh Fiction means I get to find out about—and read—books months before they are out in the world. There are so many intriguing and innovative titles for us to enjoy… here are a few that I am particularly excited about! — JANUARY 2021   SCANDAL IN THE VIP SUITE by Nadine Gonzalez When a decadent suite at an exclusive Miami hotel is double-booked, a movie star and author decide to share the suite for the next few days until another room opens. While they spend time together, they discover there’s more to the other person than they initially thought. Then, they decide to work on a passion project…

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…