Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Karen Hawkins | Five Types of Magic We All Need
Author Guest / August 7, 2019

Those of you who’ve read my work know I frequently write about magic (the Maclean Curse and Talisman Ring Series), and now I’m beginning an entirely new, contemporary magic realism series. THE BOOK CHARMER is my newest book and it’s about a woman who is one of seven sisters, each with their own magical ability. Sarah Dove’s magic is that she can talk to books … and they can talk back, too, which is super helpful as she’s a librarian and so knows which book belongs with which reader. If I could have a magical power, I’d want Sarah’s because I can imagine of no power so wonderful as seeing a reader’s face light up as they read a book they love. Which is why I put it first in my list of FIVE TYPES OF MAGIC WE ALL NEED: 1. The magic of the right book at the right time. You know how it happens — there you are, dealing with something personal and heavy, when you find yourself lost in a book that gives you a deep sense of comfort. Sometimes the book dwells on the same issue you’re struggling with and gives you fresh ideas of how to handle…

Frank Strausser | PLASTIC: A Novelist’s Double Vision
Author Guest / July 9, 2019

Although the drama in my novel PLASTIC centers around a disfigured pop star and the plastic surgeon who is brought in ostensibly to restore her looks, yet realizes he’s there to erase evidence of a crime, it’s easy to forget that PLASTIC is also about a marriage on the rocks. You say, what? My intention had always been to make my high-flying Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Harold Previn hit bottom after his wife Helen Burke, decides he isn’t the man she fell in love with and walks out on him. This to me was the ultimate sign of how “lost” Previn is as the novel begins. I wanted to pose the question, could he redeem himself in Helen’s eyes? That to me was the ultimate measure of the journey he was on. But many readers come to a Hollywood conspiracy story like mine expecting just that, a by the numbers crime drama. So how to amplify the marital crisis without losing the reader? That was the challenge. And while it might be argued that subplots reinforce the main plot, it’s always a delicate balance. The crime genre has its particular demands. I’m reminded about how in his day John…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: AMY MASON DOAN
Author Guest , Interviews , Jen's Jewels / June 14, 2019

Summer reads are my favorite kind of books. Being able to relax on the beach or sip sweet tea poolside with a new release in hand is what I look forward to all year. This month’s jewel, Amy Mason Doan, could not agree more. Her latest work, Summer Hours, is a novel about friendship, love, and ambition set in the mid ‘90s and 2008. Sometimes the path to achieving life’s dreams can be a little rocky as depicted in this thought-provoking book filled with hope and forgiveness. Go ahead, and grab a cold lemonade and get to know the superbly talented author behind the story, Amy Mason Doan.   What inspires you to write novels set in summertime? Summer seems like this lazy, golden season, but I think that’s deceptive. The summer months can be surprisingly intense. Summer is when we reinvent ourselves; I don’t think I’ve ever shaken off my shock over classmates who came back to school in September completely transformed. My mom has this long frame in her bedroom with a bunch of my pre-teen and teen yearbook photos in it. It’s held together with gold hinges, and I stare at it every time I visit her. I…

Dori Ann Dupre | Exclusive Excerpt: GOOD BUDDY
Author Guest / June 14, 2019

Christmas Eve Buddy was looking forward to this Christmas unlike any other Christmas in his entire life. Christmas growing up in Texas was exciting like it is for any kid. That is, until Kenny started to drink and beat his mother and just generally be an asshole to everyone…ruining their family. Then Christmas wasn’t so much fun anymore. It was just a short break from the loud, sad, horror show that seemed to hijack his interrupted childhood. Christmas, after arriving in North Carolina, seemed to be okay, but it took a while for Buddy and his mother to make their own new traditions for the holiday. They were living someone else’s life at that point, and so they were doing someone else’s traditions. They had no family to speak of, no one to go visit, no one to come visit them, no one to send Christmas cards to…not even to the nice ladies they met in New Mexico. There was no receiving a gift in the mail, such as a dress shirt that didn’t fit quite right, from Daniel Junior’s Uncle Frank and Aunt Nikki. It was a strange holiday now. Just – nothing, empty, voided – but with reds…

Melody Carlson | Growing Old… Graciously
Author Guest / March 15, 2019

I’m often asked where my book ideas come from and, quite honestly, they come from too many sources to list. I’m one of those people who can imagine almost any situation as a novel. And I really do believe that every person walking the planet has a unique and interesting story . . . if you dig deeply enough. Consequently, I doubt I’ll ever run out of material to write about. And since I plan to keep writing until I’m, say, a hundred, I should have sufficient inspiration to keep me going. Speaking of growing old, the story idea of Courting Mr. Emerson was inspired by the simple fact that we are all aging. It’s simply a fact of life. As a ‘baby-boomer,’ I’m constantly confronted with this news via obnoxious email ads for anti-aging products like hearing aids or granny-diapers. I also get unwanted letters from AARP and a multitude of other “gentle” reminders that seem determined to remind me that I’m “of a certain age.” Not to mention some aches and pains I didn’t have twenty years ago. So, okay, I get the hint already. As a result, I sometimes find myself observing other aging “baby-boomers.” I probably…

Fresh Fiction Favorite Women’s Fiction of 2018!
Author Guest / December 21, 2018

Every day from now through the end of the year, we’ll be sharing our reviewers’ favorite reads of 2018. A different genre will be featured every day! We’ll share why these books were some of our favorites and what made them so special. We hope you’ll share yours in the comments, too! Today, let’s chat about our favorite women’s fiction novels (that may or may not overlap into other categories… but what list is perfect, right? LOL) of this year. What do you think? BEYOND BEAUPORT by James Masciarelli Reviewer: Clare I love one woman’s journey for single life in a coastal town to adventure on the high seas as she seeks her pirate queen ancestor. Who wouldn’t want to ditch the humdrum life and explore? Suspense | Women’s Fiction Contemporary [Koehler Books, On Sale: July 24, 2018, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781633936553 / eISBN: 9781633936560] The lure of a pirate queen takes a lonely woman to sea Buy BEYOND BEAUPORT: Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Ripped Bodice | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR *** THE GREAT ALONE…

Dianne Emley | Ten Commandments of Fiction Writing
Uncategorized / March 13, 2009

Thank you, Fresh Fiction for inviting me to blog today! I’m Dianne Emley, author of the L.A. Times bestselling Detective Nan Vining “thrillogy”: THE FIRST CUT, CUT TO THE QUICK, and, just out, THE DEEPEST CUT. These three are a thrillogy because they have an overarching storyline in which Nan Vining obsessively pursues the man who attacked her and left her for dead, the creep who Vining and her teenage daughter call T.B. Mann—The Bad Man. The Nan Vining series continues! I’m working on the fourth which will be out in 2010. I’ve learned a lot about the art and business of writing since the first book hit the shelves. I’ve become not just smarter, but wiser. I’ve developed a few rules that I strive to follow when I’m writing and editing a book and some that govern my behavior when the book is out. I’d like to share these with you. Herewith: Dianne Emley’s Ten Commandments of Fiction Writing1. I shall heed good editorial advice, shun bad advice, and learn how to tell the difference. Click to read the rest of Dianne’s Commandments! Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Cindy Gerard | Writing as a Living
Uncategorized / October 6, 2008

It is GREAT to be here at Fresh Fiction. Frankly it’s just great being! I’m riding a major high because why, you might ask? Well, because I recently found out that SHOW NO MERCY, book 1 of my new Black Ops., Inc. series hit #15 on the New York Times. Yowser! I’m still in shock. And it got me to thinking … how did it come to this? I wasn’t always a writer. I was a lot of other things, all things, that at the time, represented who I was and what I was about. So, it made me wonder… Is the sum total of who we are determined by what we’ve done? While a lot of us are writers (and readers) most of us were, at one time, something else, right? Like I said – I’m a prime example. I was once a beautiful black wild stallion – but we’ll save that for another day. :o) Before taking on writing as a living, I worked in the county treasurer’s office computing and collecting taxes, I kept books in a lumber yard, did retail sales and alterations in a men’s clothing/sporting goods store, and sewed custom draperies – all of…

C. C. Harrison | Strong Women
Uncategorized / June 23, 2008

I admire strong women, don’t you? I’m not talking about famous women who have made important world changing contributions to science, literature, medicine or other areas of our culture. I’m talking about the young women of today who set goals, plan their lives, and make intelligent decisions for themselves. Women like Amanda, Tricia and Melissa, the three college students who were with me on the Navajo Indian Reservation as VISTA volunteers. They were smart and sharp, knew what they wanted, and deliberately set out to get it. But I’m also talking about fictional women. My favorite is Scarlett O’Hara. I read GONE WITH THE WIND scads of years ago, but I will never forget the feeling of empowerment that came over me when time after time, Scarlett stood firm and met seemingly impossible challenges while everyone around her was going to pieces. Remember when she stood in that weather-ravaged potato field swearing she would never go hungry again? It gives me a thrill even now. And I loved all the fictional heroines of those wonderful gothic novels of the seventies written by fabulous authors like Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Norah Lofts, and Phyllis Whitney. When the women in their stories…

Christina Meldrum | MADAPPLE: What is a “crossover” book?
Uncategorized / April 7, 2008

My first novel, MADAPPLE, is coming out this May from Alfred A. Knopf. The publisher sent out advance copies of MADAPPLE to book buyers and reviewers. A surprisingly large number of these readers have asked me: “Why is this a teen book?” “Did you write it for teens?” “Shouldn’t the book be categorized as adult fiction?” Truth be told, I didn’t write MADAPPLE for a specific audience. I just wrote the book I wanted to write. My editor sees MADAPPLE as a “crossover” book—that is, a book that spans the genres of adult literary fiction and young adult (“YA”). Yet, because of the way the publishing industry works, the book must be categorized as one genre or the other. Hence, it is being marketed as YA with the hope that it will reach adults as well. When I was a teenager, J.D. Salinger, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Hermann Hesse, Harper Lee and Sylvia Plath were among my favorite authors. I was captivated by the antics of Harper Lee’s Scout. I identified with Salinger’s Franny. Were these authors thought of as YA authors? No. Yet, today, I think some of their books certainly would be categorized as YA. The question: Does it matter?…