Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Isabel Cooper | Exclusive Excerpt: THE NIGHTBORN
Author Guest / April 29, 2021

It seems you played a few cards right, a familiar mental voice said as the butler opened the door to Branwyn’s room. I can’t enjoy a room like this as I once did, but it’s a much finer view than the inn. Yathana was lying across the foot of Branwyn’s bed, three feet of straight, razor-edged steel in a scabbard covered with midnight-blue silk, with thin golden chains connecting small amethysts and garnets. Her hilt appeared gold too—a thin layer of gilt did wonders—and the eye-sized fire opal in the center of her guard was now flanked by two chunks of amber on the quillons and another on the pommel. Seventeen years of partnership had given Yathana’s normal form time to sink very deeply into Branwyn’s consciousness, and even after two months of practice, the additions stood out whenever she had occasion to examine the soulsword. Adapting to the shifts in balance had come more easily, praise the Four. “It looks wonderful,” she said to the butler, though she really hadn’t even noticed the room save for marking a window opposite the door—real glass, not shuttered, and framed by heavy rose-pink curtains. “Thank you.” “The maids will have put your…

Missy Jane | BORN OF THE FORBIDDEN
Author Guest / March 18, 2021

As both a reader and writer of romance, I have one major pet peeve: overbearing heroes. Sure, some “Alpha” males can’t seem to help themselves, but no means no, even if it’s something small like walking a lady home. I try not to write the kinds of heroes who don’t take no for an answer, especially when it’s something major. However, my gargoyles were created not only as full-grown men, but as protectors of an entire kingdom and all of the citizens within. So, it comes as no surprise to me when they have a hard time not protecting the person they’ve set their hearts on. In BORN OF THE FORBIDDEN, Adalstan has the misfortune of falling for a Kevan woman. Keva is a kingdom of female warriors akin to the Amazons. They certainly don’t need protection. In the following excerpt, both Adalstan and Brónach come to realize they have something to learn about each other. Excerpt: Adalstan landed well shy of the first houses marking the large border city of Angor. He set Brónach on her feet but didn’t move from her space. She gave him a wary glance before stepping back two paces away from him. They’d been…

Jeffe Kennedy | Cover Reveal: THE GOLDEN GRYPHON AND THE BEAR PRINCE
Author Guest / January 6, 2021

We are thrilled to share the cover for Jeffe Kennedy’s new book, THE GOLDEN GRYPHON AND THE BEAR PRINCE, available on January 25th. It’s a brand new fantasy romance, the start of her highly anticipated Heirs of Magic series, and sounds absolutely enthralling! *** Follows The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon in the UNDER A WINTER SKY fantasy holiday anthology. A Legacy of Honor Crown Prince Astar has only ever wanted to do the right thing: be a credit to his late-father’s legacy, live up to his duties as heir to the High Throne of the Thirteen Kingdoms, and cleave to the principles of honor and integrity that give his life structure—and that contain the ferocious grizzly bear inside. Nowhere in those guiding principles is there room for the fierce-hearted, wildly free-spirited, and dizzyingly beautiful shapeshifter, Zephyr. Still, even though they’ve been friends most of their lives, Astar is able to keep Zephyr safely at arm’s length. He’s already received a list of potential princess brides who will make a suitable queen, and Zephyr is not on it. A Longtime Obsession Zeph has wanted the gorgeous, charming, and too-good-for-his-own-good Astar for as long as she can remember. Not that her…

Nina Croft | Title Challenge: DECEPTION
Author Guest / November 23, 2020

Hi, I’m Nina Croft, writer of all sorts of romance. And I’m here to talk about my latest release, DECEPTION, book 2 in my Dark Desires Origins series, a mixture of science fiction, paranormal, and romance. The remnants of humanity have fled to the stars in search of a home. Now, after five hundred years, they’ve finally reached a system capable of supporting life. It’s time for a new start. * D – D is for Destiny, my heroine, the only person to be born on the journey from Earth and with a mysterious role to play in the survival of humanity. E – E is for Earth. Which is long gone and now the future of mankind lies in a galaxy far away. C – C is for Chosen Ones. The people who won the lottery and got a place on the fleet leaving the Earth. Except the lottery might have just been a little bit rigged. E – E is for Ever after. And that’s a long time if you’re a warlock, like Milo, my hero. P – P is for Prejudice. Milo has always dreamed of a world without prejudice, where the “monsters” no longer need to…

May Peterson | Title Challenge: THE IMMORTAL CITY
Author Guest / August 6, 2020

The Immortal City is the second standalone book in The Sacred Dark series from acclaimed author May Peterson. This lush fantasy romance features bird-shifters with supernatural powers, a beautiful amnesia love story, time magic, and love that beats the odds. Read on to see how author May Peterson uses the novel’s title to describe all the amazing elements you’ll find in Ari and Hei’s story. T is for time mending, a witchcraft for second chances. H is for Hei, a mysterious but charming wanderer who falls from the sky. E is for erotic chemistry, something Ari and Hei have a great deal of. * I is for immortality, the common gift of the moon-souls. M is for memory, a commodity as fine as gems in the streets of Serenity. M is for moon-souls, the dead resurrected by the power of noble beast spirits. O is for original life, that which Ari is trying to reconnect with. R is for resurrection, the miracle that brings about living-again. T is for Tamueji, a merchant of knowledge who can drink anyone under the table. A is for Ari, a sleepy dove-soul who doesn’t remember his mortal life. L is for living-again, those raised…

Miranda Owen | Visiting Alien Worlds
Author Guest / June 4, 2020

With COVID-19, nowadays “quarantine”, “social distancing”, and “isolate” are common parts of our everyday vocabulary. While isolating is necessary right now, it can lead to varying levels of depression and other unexpected emotions – even for an introvert like me. As I was sitting in the quiet of my apartment, with my cat keeping vigil next to me, I was longing for any type of travel and human interaction. Travel and human interaction are not normally things that are normally high up on my “must haves.” While dystopian films and novels might seem like a natural for readers to gravitate right now, a lot of my friends have avoided those types of entertainment because it seemed off-putting. It’s as I was sitting at home in isolation that I thought of some of my favorite romances that take place in far off worlds and unique characters and bizarre situations that seem like just the thing to perk up a reader longing for travel, adventure, fun, and excitement. You might not be able to go far right now, but books provide an entertaining alternative. Although I don’t normally read sci-fi, something about the Cat Star Chronicles books by Cheryl Brooks intrigued me….

Jeffe Kennedy | The Dreamthink
Author Guest / May 28, 2020

In my Forgotten Empires trilogy, the heroine—Queen Euthalia of Calanthe—uses the dreamthink. Because she’s magically sensitive, messages come to her in nightmares, when her mind is vulnerable. The world is a chaotic, broken, and wounded place—and it cries to her for help. When she wakes from these terrible dreams, she pretends to be asleep still, just to calm herself so she can face a day of politics. In some ways, she isn’t entirely faking it. She wakes, then goes into another stage of sleep: the dreamthink. Lia, who lives in a world that celebrates science and knowledge, but is not technologically advanced, has given this state it’s own name. It feels to her like a kind of light dreaming, where she can also guide where her mind goes. Those of you familiar with meditation or sleep stages, might recognize this as a trance state. Or it could be a Stage 1 sleep with theta waves (which are also present during meditation) or Stage 2 with sleep spindles in the brain activity. Magical or not, those are states of mind we all experience at some time or another. I know I do! I made up the term “dreamthink” for myself. (Even…

Emily McKay | Title Challenge: STOYRBOUND
Author Guest / May 7, 2020

My newest YA fantasy novel, Storybound, is about a girl, Edie Keller, who moves to the city where her favorite books are set (in this case Austin, TX) and when she walks through the doors of BookPeople, she walks into the world of those books. It’s all real. The good guys, the bad guys, the book boyfriend she’s been in love with forever. The book boyfriend who dies at the end of the last book. .  . Except he isn’t dead. Not yet anyway. And if she plays her cards right, she just might be able to save his life. Before I get to the actual Title Challenge, I have a funny story to share. I misunderstood the rules for this challenge when I read them. I thought I needed to describe my book using only anagrams of my book title. Which—I’ve gotta say—is a lot harder than the actual challenge. So first, I want to share my anagram solution: Broody book boy toy snubs nutsy nobody! Okay, okay. . . I had to add in an extra s in ‘snubs’ … still, I think I did pretty good! Though, my teenage daughter rolled her eyes and said, “Mom! Please….

M.A. Grant | Exclusive Interview: THE IRON CROWN
Author Guest / April 9, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, M.A.! Please introduce yourself and tell us more about your new novel, THE IRON CROWN. Thank you so much for having me! I always struggle to introduce myself. I guess the easiest way of explaining who I am is to say that I’m basically the village lady who lives on the edge of the woods and only comes in to town when absolutely necessary. I love my animals, spending my time gardening, crafting, and baking, as well as writing and reading. I enjoy living in the liminal space between the world we know and the world we can sense, but not always see. The entire DARKEST COURT series is a great reflection of who I am and all the nerdy things I love. It centers on the lives of three Unseelie princes at the moment a civil war breaks out in Faerie, threatening their world and the safety of their people. THE IRON CROWN features the last battles of the war and ties up all the plotlines that have run throughout the series. This is the third book in the Darkest Court series. Can you set the scene (without out too many major spoilers, LOL!) for…

Colleen Halverson | Daring to Lead: My Heroine’s Journey
Author Guest / February 27, 2020

The world needs more female leaders, that’s for sure. But bringing a strong female leader to life in my latest book Echoes from the Veil wasn’t always easy for me. In this book my half-Fae main character Elizabeth Tanner has to learn how to trust herself and her abilities to lead a Fae rebellion. I didn’t want to write a cliché “kickass female heroine,” though. I wanted readers to see her development, her struggles, and her insecurities. I’ve recently finished Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead and she says that one of the most defining factors of a good leader is being able to lean into vulnerability. It seems a bit counterintuitive in our hyper-competitive, “show no fear” kind of leadership culture, but for Brené Brown, true leadership comes from understanding one’s values, strengths, and weaknesses. It means coming to terms with fundamental truths about who we are, and in order to do that, we must make ourselves vulnerable. In Echoes from the Veil, I wanted readers to experience that journey with my heroine as she struggles to carry the heavy mantle of leader of a resistance movement in the Faerie realm. Because she doubts herself and her abilities, she…