Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Rhys Bowen | Exclusive Interview: GOD REST YE, ROYAL GENTLEMEN
Author Guest / October 13, 2021

Danielle Jackson: Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Rhys! We are so happy to have you here to chat about your long-running series, Royal Spyness. What are some of your favorite things about writing about Lady Georgiana and all of the mysteries she gets involved in?   Rhys Bowen:  I have become so fond of these characters, it’s rather like going back to a high school reunion and reconnecting with old friends. And who wouldn’t want the chance to spend time with the royal family and eccentric aristocrats? The newest book, GOD REST YE, ROYAL GENTLEMEN, is a holiday mystery novel! Did you do anything fun to get in the mood while writing a Christmas novel? Were there any unforeseen challenges writing a mystery with some added holiday cheer?  I was actually writing this last October to December so it was a good time of year as the stores already had all their Christmas items. Also, I usually spend my winters in Arizona where it isn’t cold and Christmassy. Because of Covid, I stayed home in California so there were cold winds and occasional rain. It would have been harder to write it in July. The big challenge about writing a holiday mystery…

L.C. Sharp | Exclusive Excerpt: THE SIGN OF THE RAVEN
Author Guest / August 16, 2021

He’d called her sweetheart. Oh, she knew he’d done it to annoy her parents, to make them believe that her marriage to Ash was a true marriage in every way, but still…when he said it, she’d felt a deep, corresponding thump in the region of her heart, as if it had been an­swering him. Ash had been nothing but kind since their wedding, and before it, for that matter. At first, after her late husband’s abuse, she couldn’t bear to be touched, but now, nearly a year later, she was trying to get over that. She still flinched sometimes when someone touched her, especially when she wasn’t expecting it, but she would recover. She refused to allow that brute to con­trol her life even after he’d left it. Ash always stepped back from any situation, sepa­rated himself from it. He was a man of intellect, not of passion. He either asked for her permission before he touched her or drew back if she responded with a flinch. She felt safe with him. She did not want passion. The oars dipped in the water, the distant sound of life on either side of the wide expanse muted, occa­sionally echoing off the…

Nekesa Afia | 20 Questions: DEAD DEAD GIRLS
Author Guest / June 4, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? Dead Dead Girls 2–What is it about? Dead Dead Girls is a prohibition-era about a tiny, tired Black lesbian who is forced into solving crime. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love the vibrancy and how alive the 1920s were. Even when the world was reeling, postwar, there is a generation that still grew and thrived on their own terms. 4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  My main character, Louise Lloyd, surprised me by being so confident and determined. She is put into many different situations and still manages to come through as herself and stronger. 5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  I think readers will relate to my characters because they’re human. They get to make mistakes and have fun and be wrong and right. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  One of the biggest challenges while writing this book was getting the vibes exactly right. I was trying to get myself in the headspace of a woman who was born nearly a century before me, and has lived a completely different life. It’s impossible to…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Interview with Ashley Weaver
Author Guest / May 24, 2021

Not many authors develop their stories like a patchwork quilt. Most of the time you hear the debate between plotters and pantsters, the art of outlining vs the skill of letting the story flow from a writer’s fingertips. Quilters, however, are a rare breed in the writing world. To interview a writer who utilizes this technique not just here and there, but throughout an entire book is like discovering another piece to the puzzle of what makes a classically great author. Ashley Weaver is one of those author’s you won’t soon forget in the literary world. Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Ashley! Ashley: Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here!  First of all, congratulations on a fabulous new release with your Electra McDonnell novel, A Peculiar Combination, set in England during WWII. After covering the Golden Age with your Armory Ames Mysteries, what made you delve into such a dark period in history for this series? Thank you! Over the past few years, I’ve developed a fascination with World War II and have read a lot of nonfiction books on several different aspects of the topic. One of my favorite authors, Ben Macintyre, wrote a book called Agent Zigzag, which…

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…