Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Teri Wilson | Exclusive Excerpt: THE TROUBLE WITH PICKET FENCES
Author Guest / April 2, 2021

Lovestruck Fire Department Captain Jason McBride lingered in the tool aisle of the mom-and-pop hardware store on Main Street, staring blankly ahead at the hammer display. Why had he come in here on the way back to the station from his doctor’s appointment, again? He pressed hard on his temples in an effort to force his careening thoughts back on track. There’d been a reason for this errand. He was certain of it. He just couldn’t remember what it was. Calm down. It wasn’t the worst news. You’re not dying or anything. Everything’s going to be fine. He squeezed his eyes closed and tried not to think about the look of concern on Dr. Martin’s face or the intimidating words printed at the top of the brochure the doctor had handed him. NIHL—Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Ac­companied by Tinnitus. It wasn’t a brain tumor, as he’d feared. That was the good news, and Jason was grateful for it. He truly was. But the bad news was indeed bad. NIHL was permanent, as was the tinnitus. How was he sup­posed to live—and, more importantly, do his job—with a constant roar in his ears? Just yes­terday, he’d missed an entire conversation over his…

Michelle Major | Exclusive Excerpt: HER TEXAS NEW YEAR’S WISH
Author Guest / December 22, 2020

“This doesn’t make any sense.” Callum dashed a hand through his hair as he paced the small waiting room in the Rambling Rose Medical Center emergency room. “In all my years of construction, I’ve never had something like that happen on one of our projects.” “We’ll figure out what caused it,” Wiley said from where he sat on a patterned chair situated against the far wall. “But first we need to make sure Grace is okay. She’s the priority right now.” Callum nodded. “You’re right. But what if it had been a hotel guest or one of the kids on that balcony when it collapsed? Can you imagine if there were people on the patio below?” Wiley understood his brother’s train of thought but felt oddly defensive at the subtle suggestion that the accident wasn’t as catastrophic because a mere employee had been injured. As if sensing his irritation, Callum held up a hand. He wore dark slacks and a button-down shirt that was covered with dust from the rubble of the mess that had been made when the balcony collapsed. “I’m not insinuating that Grace is disposable. I would never put her or any employee at risk. You know…

Marcella Bell | Exclusive Excerpt: STOLEN TO WEAR HIS CROWN
Author Guest / December 2, 2020

Catching Zayn’s arm in her bony talon as they passed, Roz hissed, “The unmasking will happen at the end of your dance! You’ll have to take the mask off for her—there’s a clasp in the back.” Then she let them go. Zayn led Mina to the dance floor, a pathway clear­ing before them. Other dancers left the floor as they approached the center, a warm spotlight finding them as they came to a stop, facing each other. He wasn’t sure whether it was due to the rush of success in dodging Roz, or simply the primal effect of Mina’s radiant glow in the spotlight, but although they were surrounded, the rest of the room slowly disap­peared as he looked at her. Reaching out his arms, he took her by the waist and pulled her body flush against his. As tall as she was in the heels and the mask, her head still came only to his shoulder, allowing him to rest his cheek on the smooth front of her mask, his own expression shielded by the emanating rays. Her dress was a warm second skin beneath his palm and her lush curves pressed against the hard planes of his own…

Kathy Douglass | Exclusive Excerpt: A SOLDIER UNDER HER TREE
Author Guest / November 30, 2020

“So what do we do now?” Hannah asked. When she’d reopened the boutique, customers flooded the store. Russell had offered to help her until things slowed down. One hour had turned into two and in the blink of an eye the entire day had passed. She’d appreciated the help, but when she’d told him she felt guilty for keeping him from see­ing his family, he’d waved away her concern like it was no big deal. She’d wondered if he was avoid­ing them, then dismissed the idea as ridiculous. Unlike her, he had a loving, supportive family. And for a man who’d never worked in retail and who hadn’t had a clue about women’s fashion, he’d done incredibly well. A woman who’d come into the boutique looking for the perfect blouse had left with three dresses, two pairs of pants and three pairs of earrings in addition to that blouse, all because Russell had said she’d looked nice in them. He’d also given thumbs down on two other dresses and the woman had left without them. More than providing her customers with a male’s perspective, Russell had served as the mus­cle she’d needed, carrying boxes for her. He’d also unpacked and…

Makenna Lee | 20 Questions: A SHERIFF’S STAR
Author Guest / October 27, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  A SHERIFF’S STAR is my new release from Harlequin Special Edition. It is the first book in the Home to Oak Hollow series. 2–What is it about?  A SHERIFF’S STAR is the story of a single mother of a little girl with Down syndrome. Mother and daughter travel to Oak Hollow where Tess Harper will curate the town’s museum before moving to Houston for Hannah’s heart surgery. Upon arrival in the quaint Texas town, her four-year-old slips away for an unannounced game of hide-and-seek. Tess finds her in the arms of the handsome chief of police. Although tempted, she’s not here for romance, and he’s exactly the danger-seeking type she avoids. Staying away from him becomes impossible when he turns out to be her landlord and next-door neighbor. Hannah adores him and his grandmother, making separation difficult. Anson Curry’s alluring tenant is jumpy and standoffish, but he helps her move into the house he’d planned to fill with children. He’s vowed not to start a relationship unless it can be a forever thing, so getting close to another woman who’ll leave town is a chance he shouldn’t take, but her daughter, Hannah, keeps…

Christine Rimmer | Exclusive Excerpt: HOME FOR THE BABY’S SAKE
Author Guest / October 2, 2020

On a balmy afternoon in early September, Roman Marek stood on the sidewalk at the corner of Car­mel Street and Pacific Lane in Valentine Bay, Or­egon. His hands in his pockets, he scowled at the excess of arches and scrollwork adorning the fa­cade of the building directly in front of him. The Valentine Bay Theatre was nothing short of a nightmare–at least, to Roman it was. He’d made his fortune in Las Vegas real estate and he had a definite preference for efficient, light-filled, modern spaces. The last thing he would ever in­vest in was a run-down, century-old theater in the Venetian Gothic style. But invest in it he had–in fact, he’d bought the damn thing outright. His mother had insisted. And Roman Marek would do just about anything for his mother. He loved her and he owed her. As for her ridiculous fondness for the old the­ater, when Roman was a kid, his mom used to bring him here to watch second-run movies and at­tend community events. She looked back on those days through rose-colored glasses. And that was why, a few weeks ago, when Sasha learned that the elderly owner had died and the heirs wanted to get…

Michelle Major | Author-Reader Match: THE LAST MAN SHE EXPECTED
Author Guest / September 4, 2020

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 Michelle Major! Writes: THE LAST MAN SHE EXPECTED: Falling for her arch-nemesis isn’t going to happen. Moving to Starlight was Mara Reed’s first step forward after her devastating divorce. But had she known she’d find Parker Johnson, her ex-husband’s ruthless divorce attorney, there, she might have gone in a different direction. Away from the big city, Mara is seeing Parker in a new light—but is it enough for her to set aside her anger? About:  Animal-loving, chocoholic, and outdoorsy author looking for readers who share a love of smart heroines, sexy heroes, and always a happily ever after. Laughter is a definite and please know that I love to share pics of my menagerie of dogs, cats, and a constant array of adorable foster kittens. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Must love second chances and starting over on the way to true love. Must appreciate the charm of small towns and all their quirky characters Must love…

Rochelle Alers | Title Challenge: A WINNING SEASON
Author Guest / August 28, 2020

A WINNING SEASON is the 10th and final title in the Wickham Falls Weddings series. I wanted to end the series with a heart-warming, emotional story about a recent high school graduate who puts her life on hold to raise her six and eight-year-old brothers after the death of their parents.  The knowledge that as a toddler her mother gave up full custody of Zoey to her ex-husband makes it even more distressing for her not to abandon her younger siblings to the foster care system. Ten years later her eldest brother has enlisted in the military.  However, it is sixteen-year-old Harper who is acting out and challenging the limits of Zoey’s rules, making it difficult for her because she can’t work and monitor his whereabouts.  She is ready to give up on him when her new next-door neighbor offers to mentor him. Sutton Reed left Wickham Falls to enter college on athletic and academic scholarships and returns two decades later as a retired major league baseball hometown hero.  Sutton has quit the game and looks forward to reuniting with friends and family away from the spotlights and the roar of crowds.  He rents the house next to Zoey Allen…

Shannon Stacey | Author-Reader Match: MORE THAN NEIGHBORS
Author Guest / June 16, 2020

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 Shannon Stacey! WRITES: More Than Neighbors is the first book in the Blackberry Bay series, about living, laughing, and falling in love in a small New England lake town. ABOUT: Writes fun and lighthearted romance novels, usually while wearing pajamas and drinking too much coffee. Loves going for long walks (but only through bookstores) and having long, meaningful conversations with her two dogs while the cat ignores her. Hobbies include watching too much television, decorating her planner with fun stickers, and pretending that tweeting about TV shows is actually part of her job. WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR IN MY IDEAL READER MATCH: Loves the sparks that fly when two opposites attract Believes you can go home again, and you might just find love when you do Loves children, adorable little dogs, and cranky cats who have no problem letting people know who’s in charge Enjoys meeting new people, especially if they have fresh, small-town gossip Loves to root for a widowed single…

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?…