Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Carmen Falcone | Reading Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Author Guest / January 21, 2020

So, it happened. 2020 is here! We all talk about resolutions, but this got me thinking. As a reader, what are your resolutions? Could it be to read more books? To ditch paperbacks and embrace e-readers? To try a new-to-you author every month? Or, perhaps… reading outside your comfort zone. That’s one of my reader resolutions. I tend to favor m/f contemporary, erotic romance and mystery. It’s not that other genres don’t matter to me, they do, but we all have those kinds of books we’re drawn to. So, this year I will enrich my Goodreads Reading Challenge with more LGBTQ books, and who knows, maybe an inspirational or two (I tend to stay away from romances with no sex or closed-door sex).  I’m excited to open my mind to new reads and authors. Another resolution is…to listen to more audiobooks. I’ve come to love listening to audiobooks in my car. Guys, the amount of time I spend in my minivan (yes, glamorous! I know…) is ridiculous. When I have the children with me, I can’t listen to racy reads, but after I drop them off at school it’s fair game. And my third resolution as a reader is to…

Sonya Weiss | Reader to Reader
Author Guest / November 29, 2019

I spend a lot of time writing because I always have ideas and characters whose story I can’t wait to tell. These ideas can be sparked by something I see in the news, or it stems from me playing the what-if game. Like what if that soccer mom is really a spy? Or what if that guy walking his dog just got left at the altar? Because I’m a pantser, meaning I don’t plot out the story first, I don’t always know how the story will play out. So it’s like I’m reading the story as I write it. But I also spend a lot of time reading and I love to recommend great books to others. I also love discovering new authors and reading books that I just can’t put down. I’ve read in every genre under the sun though I do have some favorites. I love romance novels. Contemporary, paranormal, historical. Someone mentioned Duchess Wars by Courtney Milan to me today and I just put that one on my to-be-read list. I also love to read sci-fi. I loved the original Roswell, The 100, and the X-Files. I’m a big fan of Star Trek. Someone gifted me a…

Melia Alexander | The Love-Lock Bridge
Author Guest / November 27, 2019

I’m such a sucker for happily-ever-afters. What romance author isn’t? So when I first laid eyes on the Hollhenzollern Lock Bridge in Cologne, Germany, I was as good as a fish on a line–completely hooked. It was a chilly but sunny clear spring day, and I stood at one end of the bridge and gawked at the thousands of locks that extended nearly to the other side, all in a rainbow of colors. So. Many. Locks. (photo from Atlas Obscura) Some locks were inscribed with a couple’s names and wedding date, others had names and dates inked on, and yet others had metal tags with messages written on them. They were messages of love that pledged eternal devotion. Sigh. So sweet, so romantic, so up my alley! Lock Bridge had made such an impact on me, I had to incorporate it in my new rom-com, SEDUCED BY THE SOLDIER. In it, Blake and Zandra travel through three European countries so that Zandra can complete a photography assignment for a popular e-zine. There are adventures and surprises along the way, of course, and by the time they get to Cologne the two are very much into each other but unwilling to…

Catherine Wiltcher | How Working in Movie Production Inspired My New Novel
Author Guest / November 26, 2019

How sixteen years of working in movie production inspired me to write my new novel. . .  My new erotic romance, Hot Nights in Morocco, sees the heroine, Charlie Winters, traveling to North Africa to begin her first job on Hollywood producer Jake Dalton’s new movie. It’s an exciting world I know a little something about because for sixteen years I lived and breathed movie production, (that’s until I hit thirty-four and chose to embark on a new adventure–raising a family and writing books!) During my time in the industry, I was lucky enough to work on some amazing shoots in some pretty far-flung places, many of which have given me the backdrop to my stories. Nevertheless, one thing people never warn you about is all the downtime on movie sets. If you’re not directly involved with the actual shooting of a scene, it can often feel like you’re sat watching your art director’s paint dry. . . As a production manager, my job was to oversee things like the budget, crew hospitality, kit hire, and cast management. Most of this takes place in a temporary office on the Unit Base so trips to the set necessitated a lot of…

Tara Kingston | Chemistry 101
Author Guest / July 24, 2019

Chemistry. I’m intrigued by observing chemistry in real life and in fiction. No, not the kind with protons, neutrons, and electrons. I left that kind of chemistry behind after my freshman year of college. As an author, I’m talking about that intangible quality between characters we’ve come to refer to as chemistry. When a hero and heroine experience mutual chemistry, they’re drawn together, despite external conflicts and obstacles—even if they think they’re all wrong for each other. When I’m not writing and reading, I love to watch movies. It’s evident to me when there is…or is not…chemistry between the characters. The hero and the heroine challenge each other, grow to respect each other, and find each other intriguing. And in the case of a romance, chemistry fuels their attraction. To me, chemistry is the difference between a movie I want to enjoy more than once, and a film that’s not nearly as memorable. I’m a huge fan of Robert Downey, Jr. and Rachel McAdams in Sherlock Holmes. As Holmes matches wits with alluring criminal Irene Adler, a woman who can hold her own with the brilliant detective, the sensual tension is magnetic. One can well imagine the passion that would…

N.J. Walters | Top 5 Romantic Suspense Series for your Summer Reading Pleasure
Author Guest / July 4, 2019

Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading. Relax on the patio with a cool drink and a book and let your problems drift away. Maybe you’re doing your reading at the beach or at a secluded cabin in the woods. The days are longer and most of us will take some time away from the job to recharge. And even if you decide to stay at home, a good book is the ideal way to unwind and enjoy a few summer hours. It’s also the perfect time to dig into a series. Read the first book and get hooked, and you have time to devour the rest of them. There are so many wonderful series out there to enjoy, but here are a few suggestions to get you started. These are my FIVE picks. All are great romantic suspense series that will leave your heart pumping and you needing a fan to cool down. The KGI series by Maya Banks. The KGI (Kelly Group International) series is centered around the six Kelly brothers, all of who served in different branches of the military. They now have their own elite, top secret business. This is romantic suspense…

Sharon Cullen | How Writing Led to a Healthier Me
Author Guest / March 29, 2019

It seems weird, I know, but being a writer has made me a healthier, fitter me. I started writing 18 years ago (That sounds like a long time even to me!). When I started writing I knew I needed to treat this as a career if I wanted to be successful. To treat it as a career I couldn’t allow excuses. I had to sit down and write every day and it had to become a PRIORITY. The plan worked. To this day I write every day (when I have a book due) and I treat it as a career because, well, by now it is a career. I have given up things like TV and reading for pleasure (while a book is due. When I don’t have a book due then bring on the TBR pile!). I have told my family no to doing so many things. I have put words before many other things. Over 18 years I have learned discipline. I have learned sacrifice. I have experienced the satisfaction and joy of a job well done. It’s all been worth it. About seven years ago I knew that I needed to get healthy. I needed to lose…

The Gods and Goddesses of ANALIESE RISING
Author Guest / January 7, 2019

Many gods and goddesses from the many mythologies around the world populate the pages of my newest release, Analiese Rising. I had a lot of fun researching and learning about them. Some I’ve heard of before, others I didn’t even know existed. The challenge was taking from their stories and creating a modern version of each—giving them unique personalities based on their legends. Today, I thought I’d introduce you to many of them from my book. I’ll start with Sid, aka Sidapa, and Bulan. Sidapa and Bulan are gods from Philippine mythology. Theirs is a love story between two male gods. Sidapa admired the seven moons’ beauty that he tried to romance them until one, Bulan, answered Sidapa’s attempts to romance the moons. He came down to Earth, and they lived together as lovers on Mt. Madjaas. This story intrigued me so much that I had to add the gods to Analiese Rising. In my story, Sid loves to wear makeup and seems like a player, but when the moon calls, he’s off to spend time with Bulan who only comes to earth on a full moon. Lugh, a Celtic sun god of many skills. He’s a trickster god and…

Natasha Moore | Love Can Happen at Any Age
Author Guest / November 21, 2018

Falling in love is not limited to twenty-somethings. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading about young love. I was there once. It can be passionate, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating. But emotions don’t dry up when a character reaches the age of thirty or thirty-five. People over that age are still vibrant and passionate—in real life, and on the page. Mature characters in romances might have lost a partner through death or divorce, or they may have never found the right person or the right time for a relationship. Usually, they are comfortable with themselves and the lives they’ve built so they may not be all that eager to throw another person into the mix, no matter how wildly attracted they are to them. I enjoy writing what some call seasoned romance, romances with characters no longer in their twenties. But traditionally, the romance industry has favored young romances, and the word going around was that readers didn’t want to read love stories with characters who weren’t in the bloom of youth. Things are changing slowly, but I’ve discovered that there is a growing readership who are looking for romances with older characters. Older characters have more life experiences to bring…

Julie Particka | Comedic Influences
Author Guest / November 16, 2018

I have to admit, I am always alternately excited and confused when my publisher decides one of my books falls under the romantic comedy heading. Excited because rom-coms are my favorite type of romance. Confused because I don’t really set out to write comedy. Why? Because comedy is hard. It’s not that I don’t think I’m funny. I mean, if I can still make my teenagers laugh, but not laugh at me, I must be doing something right in the live comedy department. But in my experience, written comedy is a whole other ball game. And kind of like a five-year-old who is trying to learn to tell jokes, when I try to write comedy, it comes off stilted and…not funny. So rather than try to write comedy, I aim to write people the way people around me actually talk. Yet, I tend to fall back on two of my comedic influences when writing anyway. The first (love him, hate him, or try to ignore the bad stuff about him) is Joss Whedon. I’m going to take a stab in the dark that, like me, he doesn’t really consider himself a comedy writer. However, most of his work has strong…