Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Leslie Cohen | 20 Questions: MY RIDE OR DIE
Author Guest / April 20, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? MY RIDE OR DIE 2–What is it about? It’s about two friends who decide to give up their search for the perfect man and make an arrangement with each other. They go on a “honeymoon” to Cabo, Mexico, fix up a dilapidated brownstone in Harlem, and soon, they have the emotional support that they need as well as a wide variety of male “crushes” on the side. They have men around, but they aren’t dependent on them. But when one of their crushes becomes something more, their whole arrangement comes into question.  3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It’s set in Hamilton Heights, which is a really pretty part of Harlem that not everyone knows about. It’s quiet and has rows of ivy-covered brownstones and cobblestone streets.  4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  My intention was to have Sophie be the tough one, and to make Amanda more vulnerable. But they each have moments of strength and vulnerability, depending on the situation. What makes their friendship great is that those moments don’t typically overlap.  5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  These characters are steadfastly searching for…

Tom Turner | Author-Reader Match: CHARLIE CRAWFORD – NEW YORK HOMICIDE
Author Guest / April 19, 2021

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present TOM TURNER! Writes: Crime fiction, mysteries and thrillers with a ton of action, characters you love, characters you hate, humor, and yes, dare I say it, some steamy stuff, too. My latest, CHARLIE CRAWFORD – NEW YORK HOMICIDE, is a prequel novella set in New York, a year before my protagonist heads down to the Sunshine State to fight crime, solve murders and hook up with a Florida hottie or two. About: I have no life. Writing, going to the gym, then knocking back a cocktail or two. Actually, that’s not entirely true, I love going to art galleries, museums, listening to live rock ‘n roll at my favorite gin mill, and playing my new favorite sport, pickleball (is there a lamer name for a sport?) What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Readers who like to devour murder mysteries with action and humor and try to figure out whodunit. Ones who appreciate a recurring cast of characters who…

Nan Rossiter | Exclusive Excerpt: PROMISES TO KEEP
Author Guest / April 19, 2021

Maeve felt her heart pound. In the time Ivy had been there, she’d already wandered off twice. The staff all knew she should have been placed in a home more suited to someone with Alzheimer’s, but Ivy’s son had begged the powers that be to let her stay at Willow Pond until a bed became available at the new memory care facility opening in Savannah, and everyone suspected that a little extra money had changed hands to make it happen. Now, Maeve turned to see if the old woman had moved to a different seat, but all she saw were seventeen crooked backs straightening up as seventeen pairs of eyes peered over the railing, and then all she heard were seventeen voices starting to whisper. Maeve hurried down the steps. “Ivy?” she called, scanning the wide front lawn and gardens. “Ivy!” she shouted, feeling the icy fingers of worry grip her heart. “She’s right there,” a deep voice behind her called. Maeve turned and saw Aristides Lincoln standing at his full height–six feet two instead of his hunched-over five feet ten–pointing. Maeve turned, and through the sun-dappled curtain of willow branches and wispy Spanish moss, she spied a tiny figure…

Cathy Bonidan | Exclusive Excerpt: THE LOST MANUSCRIPT
Author Guest / January 8, 2021

from Anne-Lise Briard RUE DES MORILLONS, PARIS, APRIL 25TH, 2016 Dear Madam or Sir, I am sending you this package very late, please forgive me. After discovering it in room 128, someone else would have immediately handed it over to the reception of the Beau Rivage Hotel; nevertheless, if you were to ask those who know me, they’d tell you just how lazy I can be in my daily life. So don’t take this postponement to mean that I don’t like your book. Not at all. I will even admit to you: I read it. I had just opened the nightstand to the right of the double bed, which as it happens was quite comfortable, when I was delighted to find the distraction you provided me. You see, I had forgotten to bring a novel to keep me company this weekend on the shore of the Iroise Sea . . . Since I can’t fall asleep without first reading a few pages, I become very annoying when I’m deprived of the pleasure. Thanks to you, my husband didn’t have to deal with my rotten mood. Anyway, it was on page 156 that I found—between two chapters—the address to where I’m…

Erin Bartels | Exclusive Excerpt: ALL THAT WE CARRIED
Author Guest / December 29, 2020

Melanie’s heart quickened when the first tower of the Mackinac Bridge came into view. This would be her seventh time over the bridge, a significant number. Seven days of the week. Seven notes in the diatonic scale. Seven letters in the Roman numeral system. The seven in the Tarot deck was the card of the chariot—the symbol of overcoming conflict and moving forward in a positive direction. Lucky number seven. She’d need luck on this trip if she hoped to move forward in a positive direction with Olivia. She hit her sister’s upper arm with the back of her hand. “There’s the bridge!” To her surprise, Olivia smiled. A good sign. Maybe it would all work out. It had to. Because they couldn’t go on as they had for the past ten years. Something had to change. Only time together would do it. Time with no distractions. Time in the forest. Time for Melanie to explain herself. She had seven days to make it work. Seven days was enough. Her seven-day spiritual detox program was her most popular offering on Meditations with Melanie. And nothing needed detoxing like her relationship with her sister. “I know a bailiff who refuses to…

Lori Nelson Spielman | 20 Questions: THE STAR-CROSSED SISTERS OF TUSCANY
Author Guest / November 17, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany 2–What is it about?  The book, set in Italy, chronicles a life-changing journey of three second-born daughters who, according to centuries-old family lore, are believed to be cursed, never to find lasting love. But eccentric Aunt Poppy never believed in the curse. She invites her great nieces–and fellow second-born daughters–to accompany her to their homeland of Italy, where Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her 80th birthday, and break the supposed curse once and for all. As the trio traverses the Italian countryside, hearts are lost, memories are found, and secrets are revealed. . . secrets that could threaten the Fontana family far more than a centuries-old curse.  3–What word best describes your heroine(s)?  Independent 4–What inspired you to write about this group of women? When I worked as a high school guidance counselor, it wasn’t unusual for my young female students to come to me, heartbroken over some doomed teenaged romance. I tried to assure them they were young and had decades ahead of them, that if I had a crystal ball, we’d see that one day…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE BOYS’ CLUB by Erica Katz
Author Guest / August 28, 2020

What inspired you to write The Boys’ Club? I started writing as a way to sort my thoughts and ease my anxieties about the world around me, not necessarily to publish a book. I felt that I was living through an inflection point in American history: Donald Trump had been elected president, Brett Kavanaugh had weathered his hearings and had been confirmed to the Supreme Court, and the #metoo movement had heated to a boiling point. I felt myself hoping that we came out on the right side of history, but I was dissatisfied with only hoping, I needed to get my thoughts out somehow. I’ve always loved to write and find my thoughts make more sense somehow when I write them down. The most fascinating thing to me was that for the first time in my life, my words came out in the form of fiction. I suppose, in retrospect, that makes sense as I was trying to understand thoughts and perspectives different from my own and in writing fiction, the writer really needs to understand all perspectives. My hope is that the book is fun enough for many people to read and, therefore provide fodder for very important…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: MUSICAL CHAIRS by Amy Poeppel
Author Guest / July 24, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write your new release, ​Musical Chairs​? Amy: The countryside, family, wine, and a little Mozart! I was excited to write a book about a family spending the summer together in a house that has seen better days. And I wanted to include adult children who move back home with their messy problems, dogs, and habits. Also, since my children are all musicians, I decided to place several of the characters in the world of professional music. I wrote a book trailer that makes it pretty clear that there are certain elements of my real life that worked their way into the novel. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IffxAo-QMh4 How would you describe Bridget and Will’s unique friendship? I remember watching Nora Ephron’s iconic movie When Harry Met Sally in 1989 and admiring the longtime friendship between the characters. In discussing male-female friendships, Harry says that “the sex part always gets in the way,” and I wondered. . .  Does it have to? I began writing MUSICAL CHAIRS in an effort to celebrate a male-female friendship, a solid, marriage-like bond between two characters, a bond that–one hopes–can withstand the test of time, conflict, old secrets, and…

Hazel Prior | A Heroine at Eighty-Six
Author Guest / June 16, 2020

I used to think that dreams were the domain of the young. I assumed that by the time you reached, say, thirty you had everything sorted, you settled down and life got dull. Then I reached thirty and changed my mind… maybe forty was the age? But when I reached forty, that didn’t seem to be the case. Now I’ve found myself on the wrong (or is it the right?) side of fifty… and I’m still looking forward rather than back. This may be because I was a late bloomer. I drifted and I dreamed. Then a nasty, long-term illness jolted me into the realization that life wouldn’t last forever. I was already in my forties by the time I was finally diagnosed and fixed by surgery. The amazing gift of being able to function again gave me the determination I needed to knuckle down. Yet it still took years of harp practice before I could call myself a musician. And my first novel, Ellie And The Harp Maker, was only published last year. Perhaps it is not surprising I chose an older woman for the heroine of my second book, How The Penguins Saved Veronica. So many novels have…

Sarah-Jane Stratford | 20 Questions: RED LETTER DAYS
Author Guest / February 26, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Red Letter Days 2–What is it about?  Two American women escape the Hollywood blacklist for England, where they are able to continue working and remain free, but find that they still aren’t as safe as they hope. It’s also very much about love, passion for work, resilience, friendship, and maintaining a sense of self and humour in the face of adversity. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Plucky. 4–What makes your story relatable?  To my vexation, it is getting more relatable by the day, what with accusations of “communist”, right-wing attacks on the arts, and attempts to purge anyone who doesn’t tow the party line from the government. Also attempts to sequester passports from citizens, deny citizenship – you get the idea. But what matters is that then, as now, more people are pushing back and standing up for what is right. The political parallels aside, the story will also speak to anyone who has had a passion and pursued it; or found themselves alone and reached out to find friends they might not have expected to become part of their lives. And anyone who has ever fallen in love and found…