Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Deanna Raybourn | Exclusive Interview: AN UNEXPECTED PERIL
Author Guest / March 3, 2021

Hi, Deanna! We are so happy to have you back on Fresh Fiction. Please introduce yourself to our readers.  I’m a 5 foot, 5 inch-tall Gemini, I like long walks on the beach and men who aren’t afraid to cry. (Okay, I’m a 52-year-old 6th-generation Texan married to my college sweetheart with one child and a starter pack of Australian Labradoodles. I am currently working on my 17th novel and I have a mild addiction to Twitter.) The Veronica Speedwell historical mystery series is such a fun premise and has been enthralling readers for the last few years. What do you love about the character of Veronica?   Veronica is one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve ever written because she is–like Molly Brown–unsinkable. Nothing ever seems to get her down for long. We know she’s been through volcanic eruptions, shipwrecks, kidnapping by brigands, yet she’s irrepressibly optimistic. She’s very secure in her own sense of purpose, and I love that she is so thoroughly grounded in who she is. I suspect she might be a little tiresome in real life–she’s an absolute bulldozer to poor Stoker sometimes–but on the page, she delights me.   One of my favorite aspects…

Bella Ellis | Exclusive Excerpt: THE DIABOLICAL BONES
Author Guest / February 10, 2021

From Chapter 6 of THE DIABOLICAL BONES Anne Anne felt no small amount of apprehension as she followed the rest of the party, led by Liston Bradshaw, into the oldest and, until recently, locked- away part of Top Withens Hall. It was the dense and sorrowful atmosphere that weighed the heaviest on her slender shoulders, for there were ghosts in every corner–of the spectral sort that Mr. Dickens liked to write about, but rather the remnants of memories that told of a distant, happier life. A group portrait of Clifton, his wife, and Liston, even from beneath the veil of cobwebs and dust shrouding it, showed a close family full of pride in and warmth for one another. On a windowsill a vase was placed, surrounded by scattered desiccated petals; a shawl was draped over the end of the bannister as if it had been left there only a few moments before, its owner expecting to return to gather it up at any moment. It seemed to Anne that the moment Mary had died thirteen years ago, Clifton Bradshaw had locked away every trace of the cordial family life that had lived there and buried it along with his wife….

Sarah Sundin | Exclusive Excerpt: WHEN TWILIGHT BREAKS
Author Guest / January 29, 2021

University of Munich Munich, Germany March 28, 1938 After the professor departed, Peter Lang checked his watch. The reporter would arrive in three minutes if she were the punctual sort. He closed his logbook and filed it away. His friend George Norwood, bureau chief for the American News Service in Berlin, had called to say he’d given Peter’s number to a firebrand female reporter who didn’t know her place. George was heaping on assignments to keep her out of trouble. “Good luck.” Peter closed his file drawer. By definition, troublemakers made trouble. “Entschuldigung?” A slender brunette knocked on his open door. Not a pretty woman, but . . . arresting. “Professor Peter Lang?” “Just Mr. Lang until I receive my doctorate,” Peter said in English, and he strode over. She had a firm handshake born of working in a man’s profession, no doubt. “You must be Miss Firebrand.” Medium-brown eyes looked up at him, lit by intelligence and humor. “My reputation precedes me.” What had he said? “Pardon?” “My name is Evelyn Brand, not Firebrand, despite what Mr. Norwood says.” For heaven’s sake. “My apologies, Miss Brand. I assure you, the mistake was mine, not George’s.” “No need to apologize.” The pleasure…

Tessa Arlen | Exclusive Excerpt: POPPY REDFERN AND THE FATAL FLYERS
Author Guest / November 30, 2020

Half a dozen women, standing by a makeshift bar in Didcote’s Air Transit Auxiliary’s mess turned appraising faces toward us. For one panicky moment I felt I was back at boarding school on the first day of term. “Good morning, Miss Redfern, I’m Vera Abercrombie, Didcote’s commanding officer.” A compact looking woman with a direct no nonsense gaze introduced herself. I suppose, like everyone else who first met her, I was surprised that the Didcote ATA commanding officer wasn’t the standard issue senior male RAF officer with a waxed moustache. Vera Abercrombie was probably in her mid-thirties, but her fair northern skin was deeply lined, either from years of flying, or put there by the burdensome responsibility of her war-time job. She carried a clip-board with a sheaf of papers pinned to it and her glance strayed to it often, as if she might have inadvertently overlooked some small but important detail. There are not many women who have shot to the heights of command that Vera Abercrombie had achieved, without being conscious of their seniority every hour of their long working day, but there was no arrogance in her greeting and no feeling that this was her ‘show,’ and…

Martin Edwards | 20 Questions: MORTMAIN HALL
Author Guest / September 21, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Mortmain Hall, published by Poisoned Pen Press 2–What is it about? It’s a history-mystery set in 1930, and like Gallows Court, it features Rachel Savernake and the journalist Jacob Flint. They investigate a series of bizarre murder cases apparently involving miscarriages of justice and their enquiries eventually take them to an old country house on the north Yorkshire coast – Mortmain Hall 3–What word best describes your main character(s)? Rachel Savernake is mysterious. Jacob Flint is impetuous. 4–What makes your story relatable? It’s a story set in 1930 and involves bizarre murder mysteries, but above all it’s about human nature, and how people behave at times of stress 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Jacob turns to Rachel. Rachel is supported by the Trueman family. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book? Mortmain Hall is set in a coastal area near where I used to go on holidays as a child. It’s a beautiful coast, but can be eerie.   7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)? Both; it depends on the story…

Author Q&A | Get to Know the Authors of THE DEADLY HOURS!
Author Guest / August 31, 2020

If you could spend a week with one character from THE DEADLY HOURS, who would it be and why? Susanna Kearsley: I think I’d probably choose Captain del Rio from my own story, who first walked into an earlier novel—A Desperate Fortune–and unexpectedly became one of my favorite side characters, determined to outwit and upstage everyone else in his scenes. I think spending a week with him would be tremendous fun, if not always good for my health. CS Harris: I’d probably say Jude Lowe, the World War II RAF fighter pilot from Siren’s Call. When I was growing up, we had several good family friends who used to tell us their experiences as German generals in WWII, fighting in Europe and North Africa (my dad was in Air Force intelligence). So it would be fascinated to hear Jude talk about fighting those same battles but from the other side. Anna Lee Huber: Susanna knows I’ve had a soft spot for Edmund ever since I read The Firebird, so probably him. I mean, I am named Anna (the same as his wife), so maybe it’s a given. Christine Trent: Ever since reading Anna’s The Anatomist’s Wife, I’ve always had a crush…

Jennifer Ashley | 20 Questions: MURDER IN THE EAST END
Author Guest / August 3, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Murder in the East End (Below Stairs Mysteries Book 4) 2–What is it about?  Kat Holloway, a cook in a Mount Street mansion in Victorian London is asked to look into the disappearance of a nurse from the Foundling Hospital. Distressed for the woman, and intrigued, because the request comes from the foster brother of Daniel McAdam, a man she’s falling for, Kat can’t refuse. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Tenacious 4–What makes your story relatable? The character of Kat. She’s an ordinary person, not an aristocrat or wealthy dilettante. She works very hard, is good at what she does, and knows exactly who she is. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Kat turns to Daniel McAdam, who is a man-of-all-work who sometimes masquerades as an upper-class gentleman in order to assist the police. She also relies on Lady Cynthia, who prefers men’s clothing to women’s more restrictive ones, and Mr. Thanos, a genius mathematician who is smitten with Cynthia. Kat’s kitchen assistant, Tess, and Daniel’s son, James, round out the irregulars. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The Victorian…

Maggie Robinson | Cover-up
Author Guest / July 29, 2020

Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk about my latest Lady Adelaide Mystery, Just Make Believe! This 1920s-set cozy-with-a-touch-of-paranormal features Addie, an aristocratic widow, the pesky ghost of her cheating husband Rupert, and Dev, a divine Scotland Yard detective. Not the usual love triangle for sure, LOL. Rupert is stuck in Limbo after a very rakish life, and unless he protects and assists Addie, he’ll never get to Heaven and redemption. The series has been the most fun for me in my over-twenty years’ book career, and I hope readers are equally amused! In Just make Believe, Addie’s been invited to a week-long house party, but how can she have fun when bodies are piling up everywhere? Rupert and Detective Inspector Devenand Hunter to the rescue! Here’s the blurb: A week-long house party in the country–why not? Lady Adelaide has nothing else to do, now that her year of mourning for her unfaithful husband is up and her plans to rekindle her romantic life have backfired. But when her hostess is found dead on the conservatory floor, Addie knows just who to call Detective Inspector Devenand Hunter of Scotland Yard. Dev may not want to kiss Addie again, but…

Deanna Raybourn | 20 Questions: A MURDEROUS RELATION
Author Guest / March 11, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  A MURDEROUS RELATION, the fifth Veronica Speedwell mystery. 2–What is it about?  My Victorian butterfly hunting sleuth, Veronica Speedwell, joins with her detecting partner, Stoker, to investigate a potential royal scandal during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror in London. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Intrepid. Veronica has a zero-tolerance policy for other people’s nonsense and she is never afraid to seize an opportunity or take on a foe. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  Stoker is a walking contradiction; he’s big and fit and dangerous, but he’s also the guy who needs a constant supply of candy and who reads French romance novels and cuddles stray dogs. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  My characters are always adding to their found family. They have a mentor–an elderly noblewoman who is the power behind the English throne–as well as a resourceful female reporter, a Black master pastry chef from Martinique, and a police detective who is just as likely to arrest them as take a bullet for them. But, always and above all, they turn to each other. 6–What do you love about the setting of…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Interview with Darcie Wilde
Author Guest / January 27, 2020

Kym: I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming back one of my favorite mystery writers. Darcie Wilde has written under several names and several genres, but her Rosalind Thorne Mysteries are as delightful as they are intriguing. Welcome back to the Cozy Corner, Darcie! Darcie: So nice to be back with you and your readers! I was thrilled to see your Rosalind Thorne Mysteries continue! Congratulations on your continued success with this lovely series. Has the experience of changing publishing houses effected Rosalind’s direction for the future?  Actually, there’s been very little change in direction.  Since I changed publishers, I am once again working with the series’s original editor, the fabulous Wendy McCurdy.  Wendy was the one who had the idea to create a mystery series for Rosalind rather than just a straight set of romances. Go Wendy! In your latest Rosalind Thorne Mystery, And Dangerous to Know, you open each chapter with a small clip of written correspondences that tell a large part of the story all by themselves. Did you write the clips first, last, or did they develop with each chapter? I keep a running list of possibilities as I research, and I’m generally researching and rewriting…