Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Nina Croft | Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 23, 2020

My Dark Desires series takes place around a thousand years from now, in the year 3048, in a distant star system, and follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space cruiser, the Blood Hunter. It was my favorite series to write, so when my publisher asked if I would be interested in writing a Dark Desires Origins series, I jumped at the chance. The new series takes place five hundred years before the original Dark Desires books, when the fleet of ships carrying the last of humanity, first reach their new home. What most of the fleet don’t realize is that it’s not only humans who escaped the destruction of Earth. One of the ships carries a cargo of supernatural beings, captained by a thousand year old vampire. (Ricardo Sanchez, hero of Break Out, book 1 in my Dark Desires series.) Malfunction, book one in the new series tells the story of Katia, a werecat, and Logan, a human, as they fall in love while investigating a series of murders and trying to stay alive. Both series are a blend of science fiction and fantasy—which have been favorite genres of mine for many years. So I…

Maddison Michaels | THE SINFUL SCOT
Author Guest / January 22, 2020

Hi Everyone, my name is Maddison Michaels and I’m thrilled to be doing a blog post for Fresh Fiction! First off, just to tell you a little about myself, I write historical romances that incorporate sexy history with a dash of mystery. My debut novel THE DEVILISH DUKE won the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year in 2019 for best historical romance! It is book one in my ‘Saints and Scoundrels’ series, and book two is THE ELUSIVE EARL, with my current up and coming new release THE SINFUL SCOT being the third book in the series (they are all stand-alone, though the characters do make appearances in the other books). One of the things I love about writing historical romances is researching the era and the setting that the book is set in. And I had such fun researching the Scottish Highlands which is where THE SINFUL SCOT is set in. I’ve never travelled there myself (though it’s on my bucket list) so I immersed myself online as much as possible to get a feel for the country-side. During my research, I spent some fun times looking at all of the castles in the regions, and…

Diana Lloyd | Perfect People Are Boring
Author Guest / January 22, 2020

Perfect people are boring. Also, kind of annoying. I’ll admit to occasionally pretending perfection but the ruse never lasts long. I don’t enjoy reading about perfect characters and I don’t really enjoy writing them either. Real people are flawed, sometimes hopelessly so. Characters in books need to have flaws too. Human foibles bring book characters to life. Visible “flaws” are limited by the eye of the beholder. I found The Emotional Wound Thesaurus (Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi) to be an invaluable resource for writing flawed characters. Emotional wounds and internal flaws are the salt & pepper of romance authors. Sprinkle that stuff liberally or risk a bland story. In my historical romance series, What Happens in the Ballroom, I purposely gave my characters a little more emotional baggage than they could successfully bear. And then I poked them with a sharp stick before writing their happily-ever-after. For book 2 of the series, ABOUT AN EARL, Oliver Chalford, the new Earl of Winchcombe, has scars he can hide and one he cannot. Unable to erase his physical scar, he struggles with the scars within that threaten to destroy his chance at happiness.  The son of an abusive alcoholic, Oliver wishes…

Dawn Altieri | How to Raise a Reader… or Not
Author Guest / January 20, 2020

When I was pregnant with my daughter about fourteen (fourteen?!?) years ago, I read everything I could get my hands on about how to be the best parent and how to raise a loving, healthy child. One piece of advice I came across over and over again was this: if you read to your child every day–before they can read themselves before they can even tell you they’re enjoying the story before they’re even born–you will instill a love of reading in your child that will last a lifetime. Parents, I’m here to tell you, it’s all lies. As a toddler, sure, my daughter loved having me sit in her room reading story after story to her at bedtime. We’d snuggle as we made our way through three, four, ten books at a time. Winnie the Pooh, the Berenstain Bears, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. I would use different voices and she’d laugh along, scolding me if I used the wrong voice or slipped out of character. Finally, I would tell her, “That’s enough for tonight. It’s time to go to sleep.” And I would tuck her in, kiss her goodnight, and tiptoe out of her room with…

Abigail Owen | Exclusive Excerpt: THE ENFORCER
Author Guest / December 12, 2019

Drake and Cami have met before as an Enforcer for dragon shifters, it’s his job to put out and hide evidence of fires caused by dragons. In this role, he saved her life but had to wipe her memory of it. What brings them back together is the very thing that will keep them apart. Drake is dying. . . *** “How are you feeling?” she asked. That sultry voice, no longer scratchy with smoke, filled the room, caressing his skin. Drake battled with his body. It would not do to shock her with a raging erection that was sure to be evident given the flimsy sheet covering him. At least he was still in his utility pants and shirt. She doesn’t remember you anyway, asshole. When he didn’t answer she narrowed her eyes. “My name is Camilla Carrillo,” she tried again. “Do you remember anything?” When he didn’t answer again, she lifted a single unimpressed eyebrow, and he couldn’t help a stirring of curiosity. Women tended to run from him, not hold their ground and regard him with a mixture of blasé pseudo-concern. “You yelled at two of the other women who tried to take care of you,” she…

Ingrid Hahn | 20 Questions: THE VIKING’S CAPTIVE
Author Guest / December 11, 2019

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Viking’s Captive 2–What is it about?  A hot hunk-o-Viking gorgeousness steals a foreign princess for his jarl…only to fall in love with her himself. And when he finds out she betrayed him by failing to tell him that she’s not actually the princess. . . 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Brave 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  He’s a Viking, but a strong protector and–although he’d never have thought of himself in these terms–nothing less than the perfect gentleman where the heroine is concerned. He makes an unfortunate number of mistakes, building up to a pretty decent grovel when he has to come to terms with what he’s done to the woman he loves. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  The heroine and hero alike turn to the hero’s aunt, for different reasons. The hero cares about his aunt’s opinion and burns with shame when he knows he’s done wrong in her eyes. The heroine needs protection and his aunt becomes her unexpected ally. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Everything! I romanticized it heavily–it’s fiction–so I made the best possible…

Christi Barth | How Broadway Inspires Me
Author Guest / November 22, 2019

One of the most frequently asked questions of authors is where do you get your ideas? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but. . . there’s no such thing as a magic idea tree. However, every once in a while, we can backpedal to the moment that inspiration sparked. So today I get to tell you exactly how I got the idea for my Unexpectedly Royal series. I’m a huge musical theatre fan. After all, I performed in shows for more than a decade, from Guys & Dolls to Phantom. So for my birthday a couple of years ago, we did a theatre trip to NYC. We saw The Play That Goes Wrong – hilarious! – and Anastasia. Originally we had tickets for Bandstand, but sadly it closed two weeks before we went. (Don’t worry, I get to see it in March!) I frantically had to scrape up replacement tickets and landed on Anastasia. No, I wasn’t a crazed fan of the original Disney movie. But I am a sucker for the Anastasia Romanov legend, as well as all things royalty-related. And Disney has proven that they know how to throw money at a Broadway…

Juliette Cross | My New Love in Romancelandia: Podcasting
Author Guest / November 21, 2019

Last year, my niece Jessen Judice asked me to co-host her new venture–a review podcast for fangirls of romance who love to talk about the books they love. With positive vibes, our can-do attitudes, and Jessen at the helm, we started recording episodes for Smart Women Read Romance. As a writer of romance, I thought this would be fun, to step back into romancelandia as a reader. Besides joining the ranks of romance fans, it gave me an outlet to discuss what makes this genre so powerful for women and to celebrate it in a positive light. As our bio says for SWRR, “We started this podcast as a big middle finger to the stigma associated with reading and loving romance novels. We love to fangirl about our favorite books, authors, and characters and are challenging people to think of romance novels as more than just ‘mommy porn’–though there’s nothing wrong with a copious amount of sexy times.” Not only do we highlight the struggles of women in the modern world and cheer when they overcome adversity, but we also celebrate all aspects of womanhood–from career-climbing to parenting to falling in love. After a year of recording, 46 full episodes…

Angela Quarles | Historical Reenactors Can Be an Invaluable Research Resource
Author Guest / November 21, 2019

I’m time travel romance author Angela Quarles, and I’m excited to be here on Fresh Fiction. The first book in my new time travel series is out this week from Entangled Publishing–Some Like It Plaid–and the bulk of it is set in Roman-era Scotland. Writing a book set in the past is challenging for a number of obvious reasons, one of which is trying to bring a reader into that time period–a time period we’ve never seen ourselves. I bought scads of scholarly works and immersed myself in the era before and during the drafting process. But one of the main sources that proved extremely helpful came about quite by accident. I was in Scotland the summer before last, researching the setting by visiting museums that still housed Roman artifacts, as well as by tramping to whatever bits of the Antonine Wall and its buildings were still visible. It was while I was visiting the Auld Kirk Museum in Kirkintilloch to see its Roman exhibit that I came across a docent who, when I asked if there were other places I should see related to the Antonine Wall, told me of a historical reenactment happening during my stay. “Look for…

Cynthia Breeding | Scandinavia
Author Guest / November 12, 2019

Scandinavia. . . Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. . . are beautiful countries.  Most of the time, travelers choose cruise ships for these destinations since all the major cities can be accessed by ship as well as the spectacular fjords, but I always like to learn more about the people and the land than what a short day excursion while in port can provide. Denmark is, as they say, “flat as a pancake” and everyone (everyone!) owns a bicycle.  Part of the reason is that there is a 150% surcharge on personal cars, although the Danes can get a “business” plate.  Cycling also keeps them incredibly fit and healthy in spite of a penchant for ice cream and waffles.  Historically, the Danes were powerful, having control of both Norway and Sweden for centuries.  (Remember Hamlet?)  Odense is the home of Hans Christian Anderson and a museum there has beautiful editions of The Little Mermaid. Sweden is very pastoral, with forests and a huge lake (Lake Vattern) that nearly bisects the country.  Stockholm is actually a city of many islands crisscrossed with numerous bridges. Old Town (Camia stan) was settled nearly a thousand years ago and contains Marten Trotzigs Grand, a street…