Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Lynette Eason | Exclusive Excerpt: COLLATERAL DAMAGE
Author Guest / January 13, 2020

Asher paced from one end of Heather’s living area to the other as he debated the events of this endless day. First Sharon’s death, then Mario Ricci had tried to kill him and Brooke. His friend from the hospital had called him ten minutes ago to let him know that Ricci’s prognosis had taken a nosedive. He was now in a medically induced coma, so getting answers wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. Which meant he and Brooke needed to find someone who knew what he was up to and why he’d been searching Brooke’s home. They needed to link him to . . . something recent. Someone current. They needed to know where he was living and who he was living with and if he was working with anyone. His phone buzzed and he pulled it from his pocket. Newell was finally calling him back. “Captain, thanks for returning my call.” “James, it’s been a good while. How are you doing?” “I’m hanging in there.” “Tough to transition back, isn’t it?” “Yes, sir.” “You’re always welcome to come back. It’s not the same without you and Black.” Asher shut his eyes. “Thank you, sir, I’ll keep that in mind.” Talking to…

Laura Frantz | Exclusive Excerpt: AN UNCOMMON WOMAN
Author Guest / January 8, 2020

The cloudless August day dawned with a sky so blue, the air so crisp, it bespoke the change of seasons. Tessa rose before first light, swinging the kettle on its crane over the ashes she’d banked carefully the night before. Breakfast was a blur of bowls and mugs and terse words as her brothers hurried to their tasks at field and ferry. Ma was never so missed as at peep of day. But she’d made peace with Ma’s going just as her brothers would make peace with her going in time. Six days had passed since she’d seen Clay. Would he ride in on the Sabbath like last week? Or would some fort matter keep him rooted? She filled a wash bucket with lye, scrubbed her brothers’ shirts clean, and set out her own Sabbath best. Draping the laundry across a near fence, she pondered what needed doing next. Taking the whetstone she’d gotten from the creek bed, she began sharpening knives, the sound rasping her nerves. Next she gathered the last of the greens from the garden, braiding the onions to hang from the rafters. For supper she’d make fried mush with maple sugar that Zadock had expressed a…

Liza Kendall | Exclusive Excerpt: WALK ME HOME
Author Guest / January 3, 2020

Charlie heard the noise of a vehicle approaching. A Dodge Durango, red. Oh, no. That wasn’t–surely not– Jake Braddock. Nooooooooo! Not again. Not here. Not now. Charlie realized the picture she must make at the moment: butt in the air, bootless, muddy socks, scraggly hair, filthy blackened hands and beet-red face because her head was hanging upside down. The Durango had pulled forward and stopped. A figure that looked an awful lot like Jake Braddock got out of it and shut the door. Tall, dark tousled hair, broad shoulders. T-shirt under a flannel shirt rolled to the elbows. Arms so cut with muscle that they were even defined under the plaid. Charlie straightened, turned at the waist and with effort, unstuck one foot and set it down in front of her. Then with determination, with what she thought of as sheer brio, she unstuck the other one, slid on the first, lost her balance and pitched forward onto her face. Mortification had never smelled so much like weeds, wet earth and—ugh–deer dung. This-is-not-happening-this-is-not-happening-this-is-not-happening! She sang to herself. Nope-not-never-not-not-not-nope! I am dignity itself, shimmering in the wind, the very spirit of grace. This is so not happening. I am visualizing this…

Sharon Sala | Exclusive Excerpt: THE WAY BACK TO YOU
Author Guest / December 27, 2019

Melissa was just getting out of the shower when her phone rang. She wrapped herself up in a bath towel and ran to answer. “Hello.” “Hey, it’s me. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed spending time with you today and to wish you a good night.” Melissa was grinning from ear to ear. “Thank you. I loved spending time with you, too. Did you find any new leads?” “No.” “I’m sorry,” Melissa said. “Just remember I’ll help you tomorrow if you want.” “Rest well, and I’ll check on you in the morning, if it’s okay with you.” Melissa laughed, and the sound rolled through him like silk against his skin. “Of course it’s okay,” she said. “Call anytime.” And then the connection ended, and Sully put his phone on the charger, got in bed, and turned out the lights. He pulled up the covers, and within minutes he was asleep. — The sound of a siren woke Sully up the next morning, and he was out of bed, his heart pounding with adrenaline, before he remembered he wasn’t at the station anymore. But hearing a siren before daylight had him wondering what was going on in…

Lauren Dane | Exclusive Excerpt: BLOOD AND BLADE
Author Guest / December 26, 2019

Genevieve showed up looking effortlessly pretty. Like flowers in a vase. Rowan braced herself for the hug and the dual cheek kiss, awash in the heady scent of roses and a bit of jasmine. “Hello, Rowan.” “Hey, Genevieve. Come through to the kitchen. Dinner is nearly ready.” “Give me a tour first.” That’d give Clive a little longer with his tea to calm and accept reality and it would give Rowan some extra time to gentle Genevieve toward him. David had come up to the main house for the meal and Rowan heard him speaking to Betchamp in the kitchen as she and Genevieve headed away. Some part of her relaxed, knowing everyone was in the house and safe. “I didn’t want to say this on the phone or over text,” Rowan said after the tour of everything but the kitchen and dining room. She and Genevieve remained in Rowan’s office. “I had a visit with Carl today. He told me a bunch of stuff and gave me a dog. Or maybe it’s more like she decided to come live with me and be my keeper. She’s magic. Something like that.” Genevieve’s gaze sharpened. “Carl? The sage who likes stuffed…

Colleen Hoover | Exclusive Excerpt: REGRETTING YOU
Author Guest / December 13, 2019

“Don’t look right now, but Miller just pulled up next to your car.” My eyes widen. “He did?” “Yes. And I need you to take me home, but I don’t want to make it awkward if he’s wanting to talk to you, so I’m going back inside the school. Text me when it’s safe to come out.” “Okay.” I’m nodding, my stomach full of nerves. “Also, you’re full of it. You are so into him. If you use the word inconsequential one more time in reference to him, I’ll slap you.” “Okay.” Lexie walks back toward the school, and I take a breath. I spin around and walk toward my car, pretending not to notice Miller’s truck until I’m at my driver’s-side door. His windows are up and his truck is running, but he’s just sitting in it, staring ahead with a sucker hanging from his mouth. He’s not even paying attention to me. He probably doesn’t even know he parked next to me, and here I am assuming it was deliberate. I feel stupid. I start to turn around and open my car door but stop short when he unlocks his passenger door. That’s when he lazily turns his…

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…

Yahrah St. John | Exclusive Excerpt: RED CARPET REDEMPTION
Author Guest / December 3, 2019

Dear Reader, Red Carpet Redemption is the third book in The Stewart Heirs series. My inspiration came from watching the Jennifer Lopez movie The Backup Plan. What if the heroine used a sperm donor to get pregnant and falls in love with him years later? That notion gets turned on its ear when the donor turns out be A-list actor and America’s Sexiest Man Alive Dane Stewart. The lovable hunk has no idea he’s a father or that his son Jayden is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Navigating fatherhood and falling for his son’s mother, Iris Turner, was never part of the plan, but their first meeting has Dane seeing stars. I hope you enjoy this feel-good love story. Dane’s story was to be the last book, but the series felt unfinished. Expect the fourth and final book in 2020. Visit my website for more details, www.yahrahstjohn.com, or write me: yahrah@yahrahstjohn.com. Best Wishes, Yahrah St. John *** Iris was on cloud nine. Earlier today, Dr. Lee had called and informed her there was a match for Jayden. For months, she’d thought it was a pipe dream. She’d gone on television and begged people to register to donate, but…

Emily Littlejohn | Exclusive Excerpt: SHATTER THE NIGHT
Author Guest / November 25, 2019

From Chapter One Halloween. Since becoming a cop six years prior, I’d grown to dread the thirty-first day of October. I could no longer believe the holiday was simply a night of innocent fun. I’d been witness to desecrated graves and smashed pumpkins; violent bar brawls and deadly DUIs. The night gave liberty to all sorts of spooks and ghouls, not only encouraging them to come out and play but practically daring them not to. I was also a parent, though, and slowly learning that Halloween was a night I needed to tolerate, if not someday even embrace. My daughter, Grace, was nearly a year old and already she was captivated by the glowing pumpkins and toddler-size spider webs that adorned front porches and yards all over town. Luckily, because Grace was so young, my fiancé, Brody Sutherland, and I still had full control over what she wore. He wanted to dress her as a witch, while I was leaning toward a cute bunny. After a heated discussion in the back aisle of a costume shop on Colfax in Denver, where the three of us had gone for a quick weekend getaway in late September, we split the difference and…

Cathy Gillen Thacker | Exclusive Excerpt: A TALE OF TWO CHRISTMAS LETTERS
Author Guest / November 22, 2019

Bess looked at the handsome physician still standing opposite her. “I assume by the way you just said that there’s an ulterior motive?” He lifted his hands. “I need you to talk them out of something.” Of course he did. His three little girls were known for both their stubbornness and their indefatigable ef­forts to always get their own way. Fortunately, Jack’s fifty-six-year-old housekeeper and nanny was pretty good at getting and keeping them on track. “Can’t Mrs. Deaver back you up?” Jack scrubbed a hand across his face. “She’d prefer not to get involved with this one.” Bess paused, aware that the mystery of whatever was going on in his estrogen-fueled household had already drawn her in. Even though she knew she had to be care­ful not to get too involved in the sexy widower’s prob­lems, given her current emotionally vulnerable state. “Which begs the question, then, Doc. Should I?” she retorted, enjoying the switch back to their usual play­ful banter. The corners of Jack’s eyes crinkled. “Just join us for pizza.” As she had many times in the past when he required an extra hand corralling his girls. She sighed. Why was he so damned hard to resist?…