Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Amber Royer | Eight People In My Protagonist’s Life
Author Guest / January 28, 2021

You know one thing I like about writing cozy mysteries?  They’re series, centering around the life of the protagonist.  Which means they need a large cast of friends, family, and business associates, all with the potential to get developed as the series progresses.  Of course, some of these people will be developed into murder suspects – and victims.  But the people closest to your protagonist are generally safe bets for readers to get attached to. Cozies also allow for elements of romance, as new people come into the character’s life as a result of the murder investigation.  Which gives a whole other layer of tension to the plot. I’ve taken advantage of all of that in GRAND OPENINGS CAN BE MURDER, the first book in my Bean to Bar Mysteries.  My protagonist, Felicity Koerber, moved home to Texas after her husband died.  She’s made some new friends, and her old friends – especially her best friend Autumn and her Aunt Naomi – have rallied around her, to help her through this time of grief.  And Naomi is a bit of a matchmaker, determined to get Felicity dating again, so there’s bound to be some cute guys dropping into her world,…

Kate Bateman | First Love
Author Guest / June 24, 2020

All right, let’s talk first loves. No, I don’t mean that sexy bad boy from school. I’m talking about the paper kind. Those first, unforgettable books that were your introduction–your gateway drug, if you will–into the wonderful world of Romance. Was it that illicit stash of Harlequins you discovered at your grandma’s house? The dog-eared bodice-ripper you reluctantly started because it was the only book in the vacation rental that wasn’t by Stephen King? Whatever it was, it changed your life for the better. I was, I admit, a latecomer to romance. I’d studied ‘Serious, Proper Literature’ at University–which generally meant books written by men. I’d read everything from Chaucer to James Joyce, Shakespeare to Kafka. And I’d noticed how few of the women in those ‘classics’ ever achieved success or received any pleasure. If they did, they were usually punished, or ended up dead. I clung, ever hopeful, to the sparsest of romantic threads, but ended up shouting at my paperbacks instead; “Forget the train station, Anna Karenina! Run off with Vronsky and bloody well live happily ever after.” “Step away from the poison, Madame Bovary, he’s not worth it!” Don’t even get me started on Tess of the…

Susan Furlong | Five Things I’ve Learned from Nancy Drew
Author Guest / February 27, 2017

Between third and sixth grade, I read every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on. I followed Nancy through haunted mansions and inside treacherous caves, I rode along in her cute-as-ever convertible and traveled to far-away lands on thrilling adventures. I admired her sleuthing abilities, how she ultimately saved the day and of course, how she seemed to always have the perfect dress for any occasion. Never mind that she was fictional and a bit unrealistic—whose parent would give them all the money they want and let them travel the world to take on hardened criminals? Not mine!—Still, Nancy was one of my favorite childhood heroes and I learned a lot from her. Here’s what Nancy taught me: Be inquisitive, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, and be tenacious Nancy never backed down from a good mystery, even when it put her in danger. She hung in there, pursuing truth and justice with dogged determination. She went after what she wanted, unapologetic and unabashed. Yes, Nancy was the ultimate get-it-done gal. Women can be both forceful and beautiful Who else but Nancy could slip into a cotton sheath, don pretty patent leather pumps and kick…