Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

Kyra Jacobs | Let Them Grow
Author Guest / March 13, 2019

Parenting is tough. Understatement of the year, right? First, it’s the baby years of all-hours-of-the-day feedings and forever dodging spit up. Next, it’s the toddler years, when you’re convinced they’re going to trip and fall down any flight of stairs within a three-mile radius if you turn your head for one second. Then comes elementary school, where you’re trying to keep your sanity while trying to coach your kids through “new” math (which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever—why can’t five plus seven just be twelve without all these darned boxes and rounding and uuuuuuuugh). We’re now into the middle and high-school years at our home, and trust me, those each come with their own (frequent) moments of chaos and homework calamity. Add in two kids in sports that of course never meet at the same time or place, and yeah, insanity can quickly become magnified tenfold. So why do we let them do it? Because we love our kids (and we wouldn’t trade a moment of any of it for the world.) Band, choir, drama, sports—these are just a few of the extracurricular activities that threaten to gobble up those precious few minutes between work/school and bed. But they’re also…

Jennifer Shirk | My Top 3 Favorite Tropes
Author Guest / February 12, 2019

As I’m finishing up writing my now 13th book, I’ve realized something about my stories. I’m stuck in a trope rut. What is a trope? By definition, the word trope is a commonly recurring literary device or cliché in works of fiction. Once you recognize a trope in a book or movie, it’s like slipping into a pair of comfy slippers. You get a general idea of how the story will play out and don’t care that you know. You just want to see it again and again, especially if done in different ways. And it seems I happen to have a few favorite tropes that I automatically go to when I create a story. And not only do I love to write these specific tropes but naturally, I love to read them as well. They seem to hit a sweet spot with me and make me happy. What are they? I’m so glad you asked! 1) Enemies to Lovers   Apparently I wrote four books with this trope, and I know exactly why. For a sweet romance writer like myself, an enemies-to-lovers trope is where I can create the most chemistry without resorting to sex—just fun banter, witty one-liners, and…

Traci Hall | All About In the Dog House
Author Guest / February 11, 2019

I write, among other things, contemporary romance. Real people, in real situations, finding love in this crazy world. The fact that we do find one another, and that we manage to have meaningful relationships for however long the relationship lasts, is amazing. Do I believe in soul mates? Yes. I have witnessed two people coming together despite the odds and loving one another. It’s a beautiful thing. I’ve also seen heartbreak, I’ve felt heartbreak…but I’ve also felt love—the fit of your other half. That joy is what keeps me writing romance in all forms. It is a celebration of connection. Backstory for In the Dog House: Emma, orphaned as a young teen when her agoraphobic mother died, goes to live with her great aunt and finds Jackson, who lost both parents in a car accident. This creates the dynamic of two teenagers finding love in sorrow and healing through first romantic love. Jackson is bound by misguided duty and leaves Emma after graduation to fulfill a promise to his dead father, and previous generations of Hardy men. Emma is brokenhearted by Jackson choosing to leave her when he was the first to show her romantic love. I think that forgiving…

Traci Douglass | Top 10 Reasons Why Bad Boys Make the Best Book Boyfriends
Author Guest / January 10, 2019

10. Confidence: What’s sexier than a man who’s strong, powerful, knows what he wants in life and how to get it? Bad boys are bristling with testosterone and driven to achieve their goals, whether that’s conquering the board room or the bedroom. Plus, bad boys LOVE women who are a perfect match for them—meaning a gal who’s just as strong, feisty, and sexy as he is (whether she knows it or not). 9. Generosity: He’s a giver, a guy who loves to please and is super good at it too (wink). A Bad Boy understands his woman is unique and each time he’s with her it’s special. The sensual journey is a mystery, but it’s guaranteed to be amazing when both people mutually surrender to the magic between them. Bad boys understand and respect that gives and take and it only adds to their wicked powerful attraction. 8. Communication: Despite his flaws, any good Bad Boy knows how to communicate with women. He doesn’t hide what he’s thinking and feeling. And sure, sometimes it might not be what the heroine wants to hear, but he’s honest. 7. Instincts: Bad Boys know when the time is right and they’re not afraid…

Carrie Nichols | Matchmaking Is Hard Work When You’re Seven
Author Guest / November 5, 2018

My name is Evangeline Fontenot but everyone calls me Evie except my papá, he calls me ’tit ange. Little angel. I have people in my life who love me, but what I really want is a mother. I’m in the second grade and our class just got a new teacher. Her name is Miz Honeycutt and I decided she’d make a great mom. She’s real pretty, loves kids and she has a big orange cat named Henry. I know because she has a picture of Henry on her desk. I haven’t met Henry yet, but I’m sure he’s real nice too. I’ve been telling Papá about Henry and Miz Honeycutt every night at supper, but he still hasn’t gone to meet her. Bobby, a boy in my class, says he got a bad grade on his spelling test and his mom had to come to talk to Miz Honeycutt. It worked for him so I decided it might work for me. It did, but now I have to make sure Miz Honeycutt doesn’t decide she likes my uncle or anyone else better than my papá. Who knew getting a mom with a cat was this hard! Excerpt from The Sheriff’s…