Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Rhys Bowen | On LOVE AND DEATH AMONG THE CHEETAHS
Author Guest / August 9, 2019

Lady Georgie has certainly come a long way since I met her in that first book called HER ROYAL SPYNESS, ten years ago. Then she was a naïve, unsophisticated person, unsure of herself and her future. She was brave enough to make the decision to flee from the family castle and come alone to London where she had to learn the most basic of skills: from making tea to lighting a fire. For the first few books, she tried various ways of earning money, from cleaning houses, to running an escort service, to modeling clothes–all disastrous. But the one good thing that happened to her was that she met Darcy. And in spite of the fact that she was not the sort of sophisticated girl-about-town he normally associated with, he fell for her.  She certainly played hard to get, didn’t she?  It took twelve books before he got her into bed and then it was after they married. Now we come to the thirteenth book in the series, called LOVE AND DEATH AMONG THE CHEETAHS. You’ll guess from the title that it might take place in Africa. The book starts exactly where the last one left off, with Georgie and…

Susanna Calkins | Writing the Speakeasy Murders
Author Guest / June 3, 2019

How does a 17th-century British historian move from mead and murder ballads to cocktails and speakeasies? When I first announced my new series, The Speakeasy Murders set in 1929 Chicago, I was met with excitement and some questions. Why the big jump? After all, my first series was set in mid 17th century London. Some people, very sweetly, even asked if Gina Ricci (my new protagonist) was the great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Lucy Campion (my original 17th-century protagonist)! I get the questions. I mean, on the one hand, as someone who has taught world history from the beginning of recorded time to present day, I can assure you that 260 years is not very long timespan at all! But on the other hand, the Roaring Twenties probably seems a thousand years away from the 1660s, with its decimating plague, religious warfare, and the Great Fire (After all, I used to half-joke that contemporaries referred to 1666 as the “Devil’s year.”) Socially, culturally, politically—these are very distinct eras, and I approached researching my new series very differently. While I did seek to familiarize myself through scholarly books with the general trends of the 1920s, and Chicago more specifically, I also spent a lot…

Jennifer Ashley | Exclusive Interview: DEATH IN KEW GARDENS
Author Guest / June 3, 2019

We are so excited to share this interview with New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley and Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager, Danielle Dresser! Thanks for coming to Fresh Fiction! Can you tell us about your Kat Holloway Mystery series and the latest book, Death in Kew Gardens?  The Kat Holloway series revolves around a cook in Victorian England. Kat is young for a cook, but she’s the best, and she knows it (though she strives to be modest about this). She’s also a very curious person and gets involved in solving murders and ferreting out secrets. In Death in Kew Gardens, Kat becomes distressed when the police accuse a Chinese gentleman who has been kind to her of murdering her employer’s next-door neighbor. Convinced the man is innocent, Kat sets out to prove her new friend, Mr. Li, couldn’t possibly have done it.  One of my favorite things about accomplished cook/ amateur sleuth Kat Holloway is how steadfast and hardworking she is, but she still has moments of vulnerability and even some fun now and then. What are some of your favorite qualities about Kat, and how has she changed since book one, Death Below Stairs? Kat is a woman of her time…

Susan Spann | Celebrating the Flowers of Japan
Author Guest / May 15, 2019

Japan is famous for the ornamental cherry trees whose blossoms—known as sakura—transform the country’s mountains, parks, and rivers with spectacular pink and white blossoms every spring. The delicate sakura are an iconic symbol of Japan, and with good reason. For thousands of years, Japanese people from all walks of life have enjoyed and celebrated these lovely blooms Cherry blossoms typically bloom and die within just a few days, making them an enduring symbol of the transience and fragility of life. During the few short weeks of the sakura season, people flock to parks for hanami (flower viewing) parties beneath the trees. The sakura may be the most famous Japanese blossom, but it’s far from the only flower celebrated in Japan. In fact, flower festivals occur across Japan in every season of the year. December and January mark the blooming season for camellias (tsubaki, in Japanese), and many people visit the island of Oshima, which rises from the sea about 120-km south of Tokyo, in the Izu archipelago, to experience the hundreds of varieties of vibrant camellias growing there. In addition to their beauty, the camellia seeds produce an oil that’s used as a skin care aid as well as for…