Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Miranda Owen | 6 Bad Boy Boos for Halloween
Author Guest / October 31, 2018

A special Halloween treat! Fresh Fiction Reviewer Miranda Owen is letting us know her favorite paranormal romance heroes!  “I’m not the big bad wolf everyone makes me out to be.” – “Rocky Ride” by Vivian Arend In general, I prefer heroes who are more Clark Kent than your typical bad boy or antihero, but there are a few amazing exceptions. My main beef with bad boy heroes is when they take on “alphahole” qualities, say or do things to the heroine that are reprehensible and can’t be easily – if at all – taken back, and use their supposedly sexy bad boy status to get away with anything. I also feel cheated if the author has the bad boy hero experience a miraculous epiphany in the last few chapters or pages of a book and completely change his personality without any believable buildup to see how the character got to that momentous change. I much prefer when an author digs deep into the psyche of a bad boy, explains his thinking, and changes his perspective and how others view him, rather than a fundamental and all-encompassing change that seems hard to believe. One of my favorite examples of a bad…

Jennifer Ashley | Unusual Heroes: Who Do You Love?
Uncategorized / April 29, 2009

As most readers know by now, my May 2009 release, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, features an unusual hero. Ian Mackenzie has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is considered to be high-functioning autism. Traits include the inability to make eye contact, trouble with nonverbal cues and subtext, obsession with detail (but missing the “big picture”), and others. Not everyone who has AS exhibits the same traits, and the syndrome tends to present differently in men than women. I’ve been recently praised for the risk I took writing Lord Ian. Which surprises me a little (though I don’t mind the compliments!), because when I sat down to write the story, I never thought: “Hey, I’m gonna go out there and take a risk! I’m going to do something different.” Click here to read the rest of Jennifers blog, leave a comment and enter her blog contest. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Kimberly Lang | Hero Characteristic
Uncategorized / April 22, 2009

One year at the RWA National Conference, I had coffee with an editor (not my editor) who told me that if you read an author’s books closely, you’ll be able to see that all of her heroes will share some common characteristics. Maybe it’s a core value or just their sense of humor, but it’s often unique to that author’s heroes and it shows up over and over again. And, she says, if you get to meet the author’s husband, you’ll often see that same quality in him. It makes sense – after all, the author has to fall in love with her hero before the heroine or the reader can. The same qualities the author loves in her real-life hero are going to be what she wants her fictional heroes to have as well. When I told my husband this, he got a cute little worried look on his face. He quickly ran down a list of common characteristics my heroes have: insanely rich, powerful, successful, tall, muscular, athletic. He figured he could claim “tall.” Click here to read the rest of Kimberly’s blog and to comment. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Kim Lenox | Romance Heroes — and Real Heroes
Uncategorized / October 28, 2008

I’ve heard the allegations before, and I’m sure you have too. They (“They”) say that romance heroes (and heroines, for that matter) aren’t realistic portrayals. That they are such idealized fantasies that they can’t be taken seriously. I know my personal preference: while I want a hero to be ultimately heroic – even if it’s reluctantly so — the more flawed and complex he is, the better for me as a reader. Perfect and one-dimensional men just aren’t very interesting. What about the physical aspects of a hero? I had a number of inspirations for Archer, my hero in NIGHT FALLS DARKLY. One was Eric Bana. Hubba hubba! He’s just a personal favorite actor of mine. I’d also found a piece of fantasy artwork on the artists’ website Deviant Art. If you’re interested you can view it here. So confession … yes, I guess as far as appearance goes, my hero, at least in my mind, was terribly idealized. Maybe I should have written: “The role of Archer, Lord Black, will be played by Eric Bana” on the inside of the book. That wouldn’t work because … what’s attractive to my reader? What’s “hot” to thousands of different readers? I’ve…

Deborah Cooke aka Claire Delacroix | New Worlds from Familiar Names – and Familiar Faces with New Names!
Romance / September 18, 2008

One of the interesting things about the popular fiction market is the way that it changes. Tastes in fiction are fluid, and constantly on the move as people develop interests in new areas, or ideas come into fashion. I think that this dynamism, while it can be frustrating, is also fascinating. And it offers authors the chance to try new things. Many of you will be familiar with the medieval romances that I wrote in the 1990’s. I wrote a lot of them, because I had so much fun. What I liked about writing medievals was the world-building, that challenge of creating a slice of a lost time and place so tangible that readers might feel as if they were standing right there. I loved doing the research, and I really enjoyed weaving myths and legends into the fabric of my fictional worlds. I particularly loved my heroes. My guys were usually wounded or otherwise compromised, and they were always caught between a couple of apparently bad choices. So, when the historical market became less vibrant than once it was, it’s not really surprising that I focussed on the challenge of bringing a fictional world to life on the page,…

J. T. Ellison | Why Crime Fiction Matters To Me
Uncategorized / September 3, 2008

I know that sounds a bit like “What I Did On My Summer Vacation,” but bear with me. I have always loved crime stories – real or imagined. I don’t think I’m alone, either. Some of the most successful series on television now are crime oriented. My favorites are the original CSI, Criminal Minds and the gloriously creepy Dexter. I watch Forensic Files, all the true crime shows, eat up the drama and fear and terrible truths that exist in our world. So what is the fascination? Why am I drawn to murder and mayhem? In a word – heroes. But let me come back to that. I’ve tried to pinpoint the reason I decided to write crime fiction, and honestly can’t put my finger on a single impetus. Was it because of my childhood friend who was being abused and committed suicide when we were f ourteen? Was it the disappearance of a friend from college – Dail Dinwidde – who went missing in 1992, quite literally without a trace? Was it an influence from the books I gobbled up – Patterson, at the beginning, Tami Hoag, Patricia Cornwell? Or did I always have a mysterious bent? I’ve always…

Jenna Petersen | Accidentally Dark: Or I Didn’t Mean to Make Him Alpha
Romance / June 25, 2008

I am funny. Okay, I may not be stand-on-a-stage-do-The-Last-Comic-Standing funny, but I can tell a funny story and I have a quirky sense of humor. I really like to laugh and I am silly more often than I care to admit in a public forum. When people meet me and they find out what I do, they often assume that I write light-hearted romantic comedies with a sarcastic sense of humor that matches my life “voice”. They are wrong. No, I don’t write romps. I don’t do slapstick. I can’t tell funny to save my life. Instead, I write highly sensual, intensely emotional, dark historical romances set in the Regency period for Avon Books and Avon Red (erotic romances, those are written as Jess Michaels). People emailed me after my debut, Scandalous, came out in October 2005 and told me I made them cry. And I was happy about it! So how did this happen? How did I go from being a reasonably happy person with a high sense of the absurd and the amusing to writing super dark romance? I tell you what, I blame the men. That’s right, it’s not my fault, it’s my heroes. You see, I…

Kate Walker | Swamped by Spaniards
Uncategorized / May 28, 2008

As I write for Harlequin Presents, I often have to decide on the nationality of my hero. And part of the fantasy of Mills & Boon Modern/Harlequin Presents is the fact that the heroes are more often than not Mediterranean men – Italians, Spaniards, and those so very-very popular Greek Tycoons. The Greek Tycoon books just fly off the shelf but I can’t always be writing a Greek hero – that would bore me, and my readers – and besides sometimes it seems that everyone else in the world is writing Greek hero story. There are characteristics that fit some nationalities, and some that are more suited to others, and so I need to take these into consideration when I’m choosing my hero. And that’s what I’m doing at the moment – starting work on a brand new story. My latest titles (my 54th) has just been accepted and my editor is ringing me this week to discuss future plans so I have to have some ideas to talk over with her. So right now I have just the seed of an idea. My hero won’t be a Greek though. I wrote a Greek hero the books before last and…

Jennifer St. Giles | Who’s your man?
Uncategorized / April 11, 2008

As a reader, I love books with dark, sexy heroes who meet their match in strong, vibrant women. And as I writer, I strive create heroes and heroines just like that in both my historicals and my paranormal contemporaries–men that melt your senses meeting women that inspire your spirit and finding a love that fills your heart. Everyday I realize more and more that the most important thing in life is learning to love yourself and others. So today for a little fun and a lot of love I want to hear from all of you readers and writers out in Fresh Fiction land. Tell me about your favorite heroes. What are they like and why do you love them? He can be a real-life hero you know, or he can be one created by your favorite author. And if any of you have had the opportunity to read any of my books, then I would love to hear, which of my fictional heroes was your favorite and why? I’ll be off to the Romantic Times Convention come Monday and invite any of you to stop by and say hello. Happy ReadingJennifer St. Giles Visit to learn more about…