Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Donna Kauffman | Celebrating the Holidays…in 100 Pages or Less
Author Guest / October 30, 2018

I’m a sucker for holiday stories. Movies, books, music…if it tells a story set around the holidays, I want to know more! Being a romance writer who celebrates hope and love with every book she writes, the happier the story the better. So I was thrilled when I was asked to write my first holiday novella back…oh, let’s just say a few years (okay, okay, fifteen years) ago. What could be more fun than getting to tell my very own holiday story? Well, it turns out that while it was a blast getting to dream up a fun little holiday adventure, writing a satisfying story when you only have one hundred pages to tell that holiday tale is a wee bit of a challenge! I’m used to having four times that many pages, and even then, there are always parts that I have to trim down or leave out altogether. How in the world was I going to pull this off?  Suddenly this Christmas present was starting to feel a bit more like a trick from the Grinch. With the help of a few brainstorming author pals and possibly munching my way through far more Christmas cookies than was wise…

Donna Kauffman | Trilogy with a Twist
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

Rules? What rules? When I was first plotting UNLEASHED, I was living in the suburbs of our nation’s capital and dreaming of a life out in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had just returned from a hiking jaunt in those ancient, rolling hills and thought, well, if I can’t live there, my characters certainly can! That’s one of the best things about this job; living vicariously through my characters. Occupations that interest me, locations I’ve dreamed of seeing, conflicts to get sorted out…I get to dabble in any and all of them. Pretty nifty! And so, the town of Hamilton, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, was born. This story would be included in the TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT anthology of Christmas themed stories and I was excited for the opportunity. As I began to fully plot the story, however, it became clear I wanted a whole lot more than a short novella’s worth of time in this town. A mystery idea kept prodding me, prodding me, but there was no way to give it the full treatment it would need in a short length story such as this.  I thought about pulling the story idea back…

Sandi Shilhanek | My Reading Resolutions for 2009
Sundays with Sandi / January 4, 2009

I want to start by wishing everyone happy healthy new year! I hope that 2009 is a great year for all. Every year there’s discussion in my yahoo groups about resolutions. Some people make more personal resolutions about things such being more fiscally responsible, getting healthier by exercising or watching their diets. Some are making resolutions about their TBRs and/or potential reading choices. Last year I attempted to do an alphabet challenge. This was to have had me reading at least one book by an author whose last name started with every letter of the alphabet. I was doing fairly well at this, and even had been told who to read for X and Z, but then I lost my list of what I had read and gave up. This year I’m going to attempt it again, and can use those authors from last year’s X and Z challenge, because I haven’t read those books yet. I knew procrastination was good for a reason! This year I’m also going to attempt to join in the challenge the same group is doing and read the selected word of the month. This means picking a title that has a certain word in…