Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

Heather McCollum | The Highland Outlaw
Author Guest / November 6, 2019

Thank you so much for having me here on Fresh Fiction today! I’m Heather McCollum, mother of three overly dramatic kids, wife of one Highland hero, ovarian cancer slayer, lover of chai lattes and dragonflies, and author of Scottish historical romances. My twenty-first book, THE HIGHLAND OUTLAW, was just released on October 21st (I love coincidences!). I’m often asked where I get my ideas. I feel like ideas are just floating around out in the world everywhere, and I have fun picking them out of the tangle of must-dos and everyday occurrences. It means that I’m sometimes hyperaware of my surroundings. The worlds around us are our own personal settings, just like settings for characters in books. Just like I need to recognize the sights, smells, and sounds in my books, I try to take those all in while living my life. Then I let my mind wander and expound upon those details. For example, I walk my dog each morning through my suburban neighborhood. Being the conscientious dog owner, I pick up her poop and drop the biodegradable baggie in the neighborhood dog waste cans set along the streets. Almost every time I lift that lid to toss it…

Tee O’Fallon | Behind the Scenes of Dark ’N’ Deadly, A Federal K-9 Novel
Author Guest / November 1, 2019

The Plot: It never fails that someone asks me where I come up with the story lines for my books, and I’m always happy to talk about it. Sometimes the plots are based loosely on something I investigated in my career. Other times, not so much. Sometimes I am simply inspired by something, or in this case–someone–I encountered on the job. While I was not completely aware of it at the time, the plot behind Dark ’N’ Deadly, the third of my Federal K-9 Series, started marinating in my head more than five years ago while I was assigned to my agency’s Denver office. The Colorado State Patrol Academy hosted a sovereign citizen seminar given by Chief Robert Paudert (ret.) of the West Memphis, Arkansas Police Department. Many Americans are unaware that the FBI considers sovereign citizens to be a growing domestic threat to law enforcement. Until relatively recently, law enforcement agencies were unfamiliar with this threat, and some paid the ultimate price. Chief Paudert’s son and another police officer were killed during an exchange of gunfire with members of a sovereign citizen extremist group. Since then, Chief Paudert has dedicated his life to educating law enforcement officers at all…

Liana De la Rosa | Writing about Horse Racing…When You Don’t Know Horses
Author Guest / October 31, 2019

My new historical romance, TO TAME A SCANDALOUS LADY, is set at a horse stud farm in the rolling hills of Suffolk. The heroine, Lady Flora Campbell, disguises herself as a young man to work as a horse trainer at the famed stables of the Marquess of Amstead. After a devastating fire killed his father and destroyed the paddocks at Amstead Gardens, along with the entire racing stock, Christian, the marquess, is determined to rebuild not only the stables but his family’s horse racing legacy. If the public discovered an unmarried lady is working in his stables, the scandal could alienate all the investors he has managed to court. But Flora is willing to sacrifice her reputation, and possibly even Christian’s, to see her dream of training racehorses become a reality. The majority of the action in the book revolves around Flora and Christian training the equine occupants of the stables at Amstead Gardens, but primarily Christian’s prize Egyptian-bred stallion, Asad. When I first came up with the idea for Flora and Christian’s story, I was painfully aware of one important truth: I don’t know much about horses. I could count on one hand the number of times I have…

Janet Elizabeth Henderson | “It’s a Die Hard starring Han Solo and Princess Leia…kind of…”
Author Guest / October 24, 2019

“Imagine what would happen if you took Die Hard and swapped out John McClane for Han Solo and Princess Leia?” This is what I asked my agent. Her answer? “I’m going to need more coffee for this.” And so Red Awakening was born. In Red Awakening, the hero, Mace Armstrong, is tough, cynical, doesn’t give a stuff about what’s going on around him, and hates to get involved. But, just like Han Solo, when he’s pulled into a situation he can’t avoid, he just can’t stop that honorable core of his from breaking free and making him do the right thing. Although, his actions do come with a heft side-serving of sarcasm. Meanwhile, our heroine, Keiko Sato, may be smaller in stature than Mace, but she’s fierce enough in personality to run rings round him. And even though she starts the book quite oblivious to the wrongs happening around her, when she does find out the truth about her employer – CommTECH – it ignites her own core of integrity and after that, there’s no stopping her. I adore how these two interact with each other. The initial attraction is hot and explosive, but the reality of how well-matched they…

Victoria James | Fall Reading and Pumpkin Everything
Author Guest / October 4, 2019

Thank you so much for having me back to Fresh Fiction! How much do I love Fall? I love it as much as my heroine, in The Boyfriend Contact, Emily Birmingham does. . . bring on pumpkin spice everything! I was married in the fall, both of my children were born in the fall (okay, we didn’t actually plan to have two kids in the fall, but still), and my current book release is in the fall. A few years ago my husband, kids, cat, and I moved from the city to a small town on the shores of Lake Erie, in Canada. It has been an adventure and a huge learning experience! Who knew driving only an hour and a half from the city would be like an entirely different world. Here are my top five favorite things to do in the fall now that we live in the country: 1) The County Fair-okay we get a real kick out of this every year. We must really look like city people as we walk through the various displays and barns filled with animals and pumpkins waiting to be judged and ooh and aah. 2) The foliage-it is truly as…

Sharon Cullen | Ch-Ch-Changes
Author Guest / October 2, 2019

There have been some changes occurring in the Cullen household over the past year or so. When you have children, you think they will never grow up and that they will never move out on their own. I believe most parents, like me, feel that parenthood just goes on and on in an endless loop. Recently, two of my three children have moved out. Moved on. They’re ADULTING. And I couldn’t be prouder of both of them. They’re actually doing it! Taking the examples my husband and I set, the tools we’ve taught them, and they’re actually, really, living on their own. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your little ones become functioning, productive members of society. But there is another side to all of this. They’re not home with me anymore. And I don’t quite know what to do with myself these days. I have one more at home but she’s rarely here and that leaves, well. . . me. And my husband. It’s weird. It’s like we’re dating again. A few weeks ago, we went kayaking. Just the two of us. There was no logistics involved. No babysitters to hire. No juggling of the calendar to make…

Lynn Winchester | Defeated by Imposter Syndrome?
Author Guest / September 27, 2019

Imposter Syndrome. Definition. “Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.” What does that mean? Well, it means that rather than feel like you’ve actually accomplished something great, you feel like your success is a product of luck and not actual skill. That any moment, you will be called out as a fraud, as someone who doesn’t deserve the praise or benefits of that success. Is that something you have? I know I do. And I struggle with it daily. Before I ever picked up a pen to write a book, I was a reader. I’ve read thousands of books over my 38 years, so you can imagine all the amazing authors I have to compare myself to. Kresley Cole, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Victoria Ashley, Tess Gerritsen, Sybil Bartel, Alison Aimes–the list goes on and on. I’ve read and enjoyed their work and because I am also a born writer, I internalize their artistic abilities, learning from them, get inspired by them and their talent. And when it comes time for me to sit down and actually write my own books. ….

Lori Ann Bailey | Picking the Perfect Weapon
Author Guest / September 25, 2019

I recently had a discussion with friends about pepper spray. . . One friend keeps a canister with her and even sent me the link to the one she likes. I haven’t ordered it yet, but it’s in my cart, ready to purchase next time I place an order. Two of us have daughters who are college-aged and both have been in situations that make me cringe when I think about them. As moms of older children, we can no longer dictate their actions or what places they frequent, but at the same time, we can arm them with something that might help them in a difficult situation. In uncomfortable conditions like dark parking lots, I normally walk with my keys fisted in my hands, one pointing outward in preparation for some kind of attack I’m optimistic will never really happen. I’m even happy to see that as time passes more places are installing the police call boxes that are an easy jog from every position. Also, I’ve read an amazing book about trusting your instincts and being aware of the danger around you. I highly recommend The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. I believe everyone should read…

Amalie Howard & Angie Morgan | A Fun Co-Author-y Q&A
Author Guest / August 28, 2019

AMALIE: Hey, Angie, should we tell the Fresh Fiction readers a little about this last book in the Tartans and Titans series? Our kilty little secret….heh. ANGIE: Yes, definitely! WHAT A SCOT WANTS is a hilarious, steamy enemies-to-lovers romance about a stoic Highlander laird who has been burned by love before and an independent heiress who is determined to remain a spinster and run her shelter house. AMALIE: Yes, and when their parents force them into a marriage of convenience, it’s a race against time to see who can make the other cry off first. There’s humor, wagers, antics, constant one-upping, and buckets of sizzling romantic tension. Seriously, buy it and love it (Jedi mind trick). *Hugs each other and does the co-author happy dance! ANGIE: Amalie, I know a lot about you but for those who aren’t as lucky as I am, can you describe yourself in five words or less? AMALIE: Only five words? That’s like torture. I would have to say I’m creative, fun-loving, humorous, passionate, free-spirited. What about you, Angie? ANGIE: I do love to challenge you from time to time! I’m relaxed, creative, inquisitive, cheerful, and active. Amalie, when you walk into a room, what…