Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Debbie Wiley | Mysteries & Mental Health
Author Guest / September 14, 2020

For more of Debbie Wiley’s articles and Fresh Fiction reviews, you can visit here. *** Everyone knows I love cozy mysteries, but I also love mysteries and thrillers with a mental health component. After all, my life’s work is devoted to working with children and families grappling with social and emotional needs and mental health is a major aspect of that. COVID-19 brought to the forefront the desperate need for both more mental health services as well as improved accessibility and availability to services in the United States. Hopefully, this need won’t be ignored once “normal” resumes as COVID-19 merely exacerbated a need that already existed. One trend I’ve been thrilled to see in the book publishing industry is increased attention to mental health issues and I’d like to highlight just a few books recently that have included mental health as part of the storyline in some capacity. The Helping Hands series by Annelise Ryan is quickly becoming one of my favorites as it features a social worker as the heroine. In NIGHT SHIFT, it’s only Hildy Schneider’s second official night on her new grant-funded side job riding alongside the local police officers with her canine therapy dog, Roscoe when trouble strikes….

Debbie Wiley | Military Heroes
Author Guest / November 9, 2018

Please welcome Fresh Fiction reviewer Debbie Wiley, who is discussing military heroes! Everyone loves a good hero with a happily-ever-after, but what happens to the heroes who experience debilitating injuries or disabilities while doing their heroic deeds? As a social worker for over twenty years, I love when authors tackle social issues in a rewarding way. I’d like to share a few books and authors I’ve discovered along the way who address heroes with disabilities in ways that showcases their strengths without discounting the challenges the characters have faced. J.R. Ward originally started me thinking about this theme as I was reading her new and powerfully intense romantic suspense novel, CONSUMED. Anne Ashburn is a firefighter, a woman who has dedicated her entire life to her career. All it takes is one fire and suddenly Anne can no longer do her job. One of the things I love most about CONSUMED is that we see a heroic woman in an unconventional job role facing her most difficult moments with honesty and strength. Anne struggles to adjust to her new reality as she deals with such a life-altering disability and J.R. Ward doesn’t flinch away from showing us just how potentially…

Heather Gudenkauf | What it Means to be a Mother
Author Guest / February 6, 2011

In my latest novel, I delve into what it means to be a mother and all its manifestations ~ good, bad, attentive, indifferent. These Things Hidden is the story of an infant who left at an Iowa Safe Haven site and the women who pass in and out his life. It is the story of four women’s undeniable love for one little boy who was abandoned at a fire station as an infant. The individual manner and at times questionable means the women display this love will cause the reader to reflect upon their own loved ones and to the lengths they would go to ensure their safety and happiness and begs the question –  What does it mean to be a good mother? I love reading novels about motherhood. Amy Tan’s THE JOY LUCK Club introduced me to a new and wondrous culture where past and present is intertwined to tell an age old story of wanting what’s best for our children and wanting to make our parents proud. Of course there is benevolent Marmee from LITTLE WOMEN and patient Caroline Ingalls from the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder who made us believe that…