Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Elsie Davis | Exclusive Excerpt: SMALL TOWN, BIG SECRETS
Author Guest / June 9, 2020

“I thought most women wanted happily ever after?” His gaze never left her face, the scrutiny making her uncomfortable. Becky pulled her hand away and turned to watch Byron. She didn’t like anyone looking too closely into what made her tick. “Maybe when they start out as little girls reading fairytales. But then real life happens, and they grow up. Some faster than others.” And it’s not that she didn’t want it. The plain and simple truth was that true love hadn’t come knocking at her door. “That’s a very cynical approach.” Better to let him believe she was cynical rather than a disappointed little girl who grew up but never let go of her fairy tale ending. “No different than your own.” She shrugged, looking back at him. “Well, okay, then. I’ve been thinking this through, and I believe it’s important for us to move fast but to make it look real. It’s a matter of finding the right balance, and that’s what we need to discuss to land on the same page.” Steve lowered his voice as a mother walked by pushing a baby stroller. “I’m listening.” Fast worked for her when it came to getting Byron healthcare…

Jennifer Hoopes | Title Challenge: BETTING ON LOVE
Author Guest / April 17, 2020

My newest release is Betting on Love, Book 2 in the Ellis Family Saga. Whitney Carroll is back home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee after divorcing her low-down, cheating husband. First thing on the to-do list: Get a job. Second thing: Just say no to men. Third thing: Don’t fall for the boss. One out of three’s not too bad, right? For Sam Ellis, his to-do list is always work, work, work, trying to keep his family’s legacy alive. Now, out of concern, his siblings bet he can’t keep a girl happy for thirty days, and if he loses, he’s out as CEO. No problem, he can fake a relationship. And he knows just who to ask…his new man-vegan assistant. Yet Whitney’s sexy boss—secret singer and Skee-Ball champion—is definitely NOT boring, and their connection is undeniable. But when a disaster strikes at work, Sam will have to decide if he’s willing to trade in his job for his heart. B is for Bet. But winning means Sam might lose everything. E is for Employment. Whitney needs it. T is for Time. Thirty days and it runs out. T is for Temptation. Their relationship might be fake but a real one tempts them…

Traci Douglass | 20 Questions: WORTH THE WAIT
Author Guest / March 13, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Worth the Wait 2–What is it about?  It’s about a flighty actress who returns to her hometown after her mother passes away and discovers she’s inherited half a house with the ex-stepbrother she hasn’t seen in ten years. They each have different goals for the house. She wants to sell it and use the money to move to Hollywood. He wants to keep it and renovate it to prove he’s still capable after a life-altering injury shattered the future he’d had planned for himself. There’s a definite opposites-attract vibe to the story, but it also deal with some complex issues like grief and mental illness and how sometimes the things you least expect are the ones that make all the difference. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Optimistic 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  He’s got that whole brooding, wounded-warrior alpha-male thing going on. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  For my heroine, it’s her half-sister, Gina. For my hero, it’s his siblings-Dave and Nicole, and also his two best friends-Mark and Jack. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Heavenly Falls, the fictional…

Sonya Weiss | 20 Questions: THE KISS LIST
Author Guest / February 15, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? The Kiss List 2–What is it about? All Haley Bowman has ever wanted was her One True Love. But now, with her cousin getting married and Haley back in her small town, the pressure is on. Good thing she’s got a foolproof Kiss List, full of potential OTLs. Her parents knew they were soul mates at their first kiss, so surely Haley will know the same. All she needs to do is…well, kiss each of these guys… Enter Max Gallagher: bane of Haley’s existence, her nemesis since childhood, and, unfortunately, as a local, her way in with all the guys on the Kiss List. Max wants nothing to do with love and certainly nothing to do with Haley, but he can clear the way for her to get to know the guys on the list. Of course, he wants something in return: to be made a partner in Haley’s family’s business. One kiss for relinquishing her hold-out vote on Max. But the more time Max and Haley spend together, the clearer it is that there’s a paper-thin line between love and hate. Max will have to decide between the job he’s always dreamed…

Jennifer Hoopes | Title Challenge: HIS REASON TO STAY
Author Guest / December 13, 2019

My new release is HIS REASON TO STAY, the first book in my Ellis Family Saga series. Award-winning wildlife photographer, Elijah Ellis, has come back home due to the tragic accident that killed members of both his and his best friend Tabitha Brodie’s family. Despite their grief, Eli hopes that he and Tabby can pick up their familiar friendship. He’s never forgotten the way Tabby makes him feel—full of hope and a sense of home—but she seems determined to keep him at arm’s length. Tabby has always loved Eli. He’s everything she wants in a man. But he left Gatlinburg to make a name for himself outside of his famous family.  Even though there’s no one better to help her through this time, she refuses to be an anchor to a life he never wanted. Not to mention Tabby’s hiding a secret that will change all of their lives. As Eli and Tabby spend more time together, he’s determined to show her they could be perfect together. Too bad she’s spent years building her walls against him… H is for History…Theirs is long and full of unrequited love, at least on her side. I is for Ideal…As in Eli is…

Viv Royce | I Heart Christmas: Four Super Seasonal Things to Escape Into!
Author Guest / October 25, 2019

You know how they say that preparing for something is almost more fun than actually doing it? All those hours spent to find the perfect holiday destination, crossing off the days until you’re leaving, the nerves in your stomach when the big day has arrived. . . It’s just like that with Christmas! No matter how many ornaments there are, neatly wrapped in tissue paper in the boxes in the attic, the cellar or the garage, it’s always a good idea to buy some more. Advent calendars are a fun way to count down to Christmas, and when certain smells invade the house – pine, cranberry, gingerbread – you know the time is coming near. . . I wanted to capture all that and more in my very first Christmas romance, A Family by Christmas, just released from Entangled Bliss. My heroine Emma is a bonbon maker whose agenda is over-full in the runup to Christmas. Her whole life seems to consist of work, really, as she’s an orphan with no siblings and not a lot of new friends yet in Wood Creek, the small New Hampshire town she moved to, to open up her very own chocolate-making business. But…

Karen Muir | Five TV Shows I Love!
Author Guest / September 13, 2019

There are so many things to watch on TV, it’s hard to choose between them. But some shows have take-aways that viewers can use in their personal lives. I like shows that have positive energy and people who face tough challenges and overcome them. It leaves me feeling good, and it’s something I try to put in my writing. One of my favorite shows is America’s Got Talent. The contestants and their talents are very diverse. Many have gone through hard times, and their particular talent is often the thing that got them through adversity. The judges and audiences usually take them to their hearts and cheer them on whether they advance or get sent home. Another favorite is Dancing with the Stars. The stars face physical and emotional challenges and many–including some athletes–say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done.  A strong camaraderie develops among the stars and their partners, and their dancing is often amazing. A third favorite is Survivor, which also tests players in many ways– their ingenuity and stamina, their survival and social skills to name a few. It’s definitely a game involving strategy and forming alliances, and players learn a lot about themselves. My fourth…

Jody Holford | Mixing Metaphors
Author Guest / September 10, 2019

I’ve truly enjoyed writing baseball romance. I love the combination of sports and love in any medium. This is likely why some of my favorite movies are of the sports variety. For Love of the Game, in case you hadn’t picked up on that yet, is the inspiration for my series name. As this is the third baseball romance I’ve written, I’ve spent some time researching and Googling the lingo. There are a surprising number of metaphors and idioms within baseball language that are a very recognizable part of our regular speech. For those of us who don’t actually watch baseball or pay close attention to it, it’s interesting how common some of these phrases are. Here’s a list of the top ten I feel like we use (as speakers, readers, and writers) frequently. I’ve put an asterisk next to the ones I think can be of specific use for romantic moments in a book. Grand slam* Sweet spot* Hit it out of the park Play ball Raincheck* Step up to the plate* Homerun* Play hardball First/Second/Third base* Grandstanding What do you think? Did I miss any others that are a regular part of conversations? Any you think make a…

Jody Holford | Top 5 Favorite Sports Romances and Movies
Author Guest / June 12, 2019

Thanks for having me on the Fresh Fiction blog! I thought, since my new release, COVERING ALL THE BASES, is a sports romance, I’d share my five favorite sports romance books and five favorite sports romance movies. Ready? The list is not in any particular order: Books (You might see a theme): See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson The Trouble with Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson For the Win by Sara Rider No Limits by Lori Foster Movies (they aren’t necessarily romantic but they’re all awesome): For Love of the Game Invisible Blind Side Remember the Titans Blue Crush Only one of these are related to baseball but the three sports romance I’ve written (CAUGHT LOOKING, COVERING ALL THE BASES, and CATCHING HER HEART) have ball playing, or former ball playing, heroes. When Isla tries to get to the deathbed of a grandfather she didn’t know she had, she finds comfort in the kindness of a stranger. But that stranger ends up being so much more. Liam Cruz has never felt such a strong and fast connection to anyone as he does the woman who comes into his bar. The two fall…

JoAnn Sky | Top Five Everyday Reasons Why My Husband Rocks Every Day
Author Guest / June 11, 2019

Hi Everyone! Thanks for allowing me to be here today.  When I was here last year, I wrote about my five favorite go-to romance movies last year.  So, I decided to write another “Top 5” list, and a few nights ago, I sat on the couch and started pondering ideas. Hubby came in with the glass of Sauvignon Blanc I’d started and accidentally left in the kitchen (I think he knows my best ideas start with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc), and sat down across from me. Me: I need to come up with a Top 5 list to write about. Something interesting. *takes a sip of wine* Hubby: How about Top 5 dog breeds? Background: I love dogs, especially older rescue dogs. We’ve had seven since we’ve been married and currently have 3, one of which just joined the family last month. Gizmo is a ten-year-old going-blind, going-deaf sweet-ball-of-fur shih tzu.  I also write children’s books about said rescue dogs. You can check them out at: www.dogsandbooks.com . Me: It needs to be romance-related. And fun. And unique. Hubby: How about five best sexual positions? Me:  *sigh* And clean. *takes another sip of wine* Hubby: How about the five…