Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Heather McCollum | Exclusive Excerpt: THE HIGHLANDER’S PIRATE LASS
Author Guest / August 18, 2021

Beck watched the heavily gunned galleon sweep around the small isle, the wind filling its sails. After six months of patrolling the waters off the west coast of Scotland, Beck wouldn’t let this chance of capturing the most notorious French pirate slip past him. If the bastard outgunned them, he would use some intimidation to slow him down until Cullen could attack the Borreau from the other side. “Gavin,” he yelled, “are the men ready?” Gavin’s mouth dropped open, frozen, as he gazed past Beck. Beck pivoted on his boot in time to see… Eliza? The woman wore sailor’s clothing. No petticoats, but the breeches that she’d worn under her skirts. Tall boots hugged her shapely legs up past her knees. She wore a longish coat of wool and leather with an intricate braid trim, a white tunic, and a floppy hat over her hair. A crossbow swung by her side. She charged across the deck, Alice, who was also dressed in trousers, hurrying behind her with a lantern. “Holy Lord,” Rabbie said next to him. “Beck,” Drostan yelled, pointing at Eliza. As if he hadn’t seen her. Half his men had stopped to stare at the lass as she…

Kathryne Le Veque | 20 Questions: HIGHLAND LEGEND
Author Guest / July 28, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release?  HIGHLAND LEGEND 2–What is it about? An arrogant, skilled fighter finds love in the most unexpected way…   Magnus Stewart, aka “The Eagle” is the bastard son of a duke, and his royal blood has never been anything but a curse. Among the mystique and riches of the legendary fight club Ludus Caledonia, Magnus battles his way to the top. Lady Diantha de Mora in desperation seeks his help. When Magnus reluctantly comes to her aid, his fate is changed forever in one night. With enemies at every turn, it’ll take muscle and a miracle for them to make it to the Highlands alive. There Magnus can reclaim his destiny, as Diantha reclaims his heart. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  This entire series is set a little bit later, history-wise, than I’m used to writing, so researching Tudor Scotland was interesting. But what I like most is the heart of the series – an exclusive fight club known as the Ludus Caledonia. Think “Gladiator” (the movie). The bond between these warriors is so strong and it truly is a brotherhood. These men may fight each other on…

Cynthia Breeding | Title Challenge: HIGHLAND HERO
Author Guest / June 16, 2021

When her life is in danger, Juliana Caldwell must trust Rory MacGregor—the one man who annoys her to no end—to save her. H is for “haggle”…      which Juliana and Rory do continuously I  is for “ignite”…        easy since both of them are like dry kindling G is for “gale”…          the force with which they clash H is for  “hachet”…     neither of them can bury it L is for “launch”…      the barbs they throw at each other A is for “adventure”…one they were not anticipating N is for “navigate”…   finding their way through more than stormy weather D is for “daunting”…  a task much bigger than a single rescue * H is for “hazard”…     of which there are many E  is for “eddy”….      the love/hate relationship flows R  is for  “Rory:….     Rascal, Rogue, Rebel, Rake O is for “odyssey”…  what a journey it has been * When Juliana Caldwell is abducted by Neal Cameron—who intends to make her his bride, willing or not–Rory MacGregor is summoned to find her and bring her back unharmed.  He is the best tracker Clan MacGregor has, but he is also Juliana’s nemesis.  If one of them declares the sky blue, the other will argue that…

Eliza Knight | Eliza Knight’s Favorite Romance Tropes to Write and/or Read
Author Guest / May 26, 2021

I’m a sucker for all romances—because who doesn’t think falling in love is fun? When we read romance we get to experience the act of falling in love over and over again. We get an intimate view of the hero and heroine’s struggle on that emotional road until they reach the ultimate destination: happily ever after. And there are many ways in which I love to watch it all unfold. My list is long… And I’ve used all of them in various ways *rubs hands together and laughs maniacally*. Since I could go on forever about tropes, I decided to pick my top five, which I used in my Prince Charlie’s Angels series. Rebel heroine: I love a heroine who is feisty, can hold her own, is extremely independent and knows exactly how to save the day. I love it even more when she finds a hero who cherishes these characteristics and values them as her strengths. Instead of saying “Step aside and let me handle this,” he tosses her a sword and says, “Let’s do this!” Relationships are a partnership after all, and we should value each other’s strengths and nurture them. Also, bad*ss heroines are just awesome! Each…

Heather McCollum | Exclusive Excerpt: HIGHLAND WARRIOR
Author Guest / April 23, 2021

In this scene, Kára’s best friend, Brenna, is enduring a very difficult birth, and Joshua gets roped into helping. *** “You are the strongest here, and we need her up,” Hilda said. “The babe is coming finally, but it will be easier on them both that way.” She beckoned quickly to him, and he found himself walking over, inhaling fully to gain strength. But the heat and smells did not help him. ’Tis like birthing a foal, he told himself, which he had done many times before. He stepped up onto the bed, his boots planting behind the heavily burdened woman. “Do not let her slip,” Kára said, letting him grasp Brenna under her arms. He had no choice but to hold her under her ample bosom. Just like a mare in trouble. Like a horse. That is all. Done this dozens of times before. If Brenna could only neigh, he would have little problem with this. He opened his mouth to ask but decided against it. No woman he had ever met responded well to being asked to neigh. Joshua lifted and Brenna groaned, a sound torn from her straining body. Kára leaped up to loop her friend’s arms…

Allison B. Hanson | Exclusive Excerpt: HER RELUCTANT HIGHLANDER HUSBAND
Author Guest / November 25, 2020

When Bryce entered the hall in his best shirt and his hair combed, he found the small gathering waiting by the hearth. Other than two servants there were no other women with their group. For a moment his chest relaxed. Perhaps his bride had abandoned him. He’d be glad to be spared this duty. It would save them both a lot of misery. Lach might be able to force him to marry for an alliance, but the laird couldn’t force Bryce to live with her or get a bairn on her. It would be a marriage contract in name only. A binding to gain access to a seaport from the McCurdys and nothing more. Lach, Cam, and the priest were frowning when he arrived. “What’s the matter. Did the lass flee?” Bryce couldn’t help a slight smile. “Nay. She’s there with her maid.” Bryce glanced over at the woman young enough to be Dorie McCurdy. A tall stick of a girl who looked as if she hadn’t eaten a good meal in ages. Her midnight hair longed for a comb, and her blue eyes darted around as if ready for an attack. He’d noticed her as he’d approached, but thought…

Heather McCollum | 20 Questions: THE HIGHLANDER’S UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL
Author Guest / October 21, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Highlander’s Unexpected Proposal  2–What is it about?  Adam Macquarie needs a bride to re-establish his dying clan, and Lark Montgomerie needs an escape from her horrible life, but they are both hiding secrets that could ruin everything for them and Wolf Isle. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Determined 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  Sense of honor (not to mention his biceps!) 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Lark finds a friend in Lady Ava Maclean. Adam has four brothers, but the second oldest, Beck, is the one he turns to first. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The western isles of Scotland are rugged and beautiful with mountains, lush valleys, and stormy, dramatic seas. I love it all! 7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)? Definitely a pantser. I’m trying to plot more, but even when I do, my characters decide where we will be going each day when I sit down to write. 8–What is an ideal writing day for you?  Waking up early before everyone else. Sitting down…

Allison B. Hanson | The Secret Goals of Authors
Author Guest / September 30, 2020

If you ask an author what they want out of their writing career, you will most likely hear something about making a bestseller list, royalties, or five-star reviews. And, of course, we do want those. But there are a few other things we strive to accomplish that we don’t always talk about, because while they make our hearts flutter, they may sound a bit. . . sadistic. Evil Secret #1: We want to make people cry. Not in a bad way. But in that, you care so much for our characters you feel for them, kind of way. We want readers to gasp, laugh, and yes, cry with our characters. Tears of happiness at the end are preferred, but if there are a few misty eyes when our heroes face their darkest moments, we enjoy knowing that as well. And even if we apologize for making you weep, secretly we are delighting in the knowledge that you’ve lost yourself in our story to the point of tears. We triumph in success at your distress. Evil Secret #2: We want to leave you dazed and overwhelmed. Tell us how shaken you were by our storylines and scenes, and we’ll offer our…

Kerrigan Byrne | Exclusive Interview: ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED
Author Guest / September 23, 2020

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Kerrigan! Can you give us a little bit of background on the Devil You Know series and what you’re most excited about in book 2, ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED?   Hi! I have to say this is one of my favorite places in the world to virtually be! Here at Fresh Fiction with you guys. The Devil You Know Series follows three rebellious, red-headed girls who demand the same privileges, freedoms, and education as men. So, in finishing school they formed a society called “The Red Rogues” where they dressed in trousers, read banned books, drank like they weren’t supposed to, and promised never to marry. Of course, they meet the man who entices them to go back on their word! Now, what I love about All Scot and Bothered is that it might be the most fun I’ve ever had with enemies to lovers and opposites attract. Ramsay (the hero) is the opposite of the anti-heroes I’m used to in that he never bends the rules. He’s a perfectionist. He’s grumpy, critical, dangerous, and it was OH SO satisfying to watch as Cecelia unravels his entire world and makes him lose control. At a surface level, Cecelia…

Kathryn Le Veque | Exclusive Interview: HIGHLAND GLADIATOR
Author Guest / August 26, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Kathryne! Please tell us about yourself and a little bit about your new book, HIGHLAND GLADIATOR. Thank you so much for having me! I’m a 19-time USA Today Bestselling author in Medieval Historical Romance. Think knights in shining (or dented) armor, and that’s me. This book was both a blast and a challenge to write for a couple of reasons – first, this is Highlander and I normally write everything set in Medieval England. I swear I know Medieval England better than I know my home state of California, so working in Scotland was an interesting challenge. Second – this isn’t Medieval, but Tudor, so it was a little more advanced time-wise than my usual 13th century domain. During this period in time, there was still the usual Scotland vs. England stuff going on, but there were some external politics going on as well when it came to Scotland and how it dealt with England. It made for interesting reading. This is the start of a new Highlander series, called Scots and Swords, and has been described as “Gladiator meets Fight Club.” Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this new series? What do you love most…