Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Tina Gabrielle | Overcoming Writer’s Block
Author Guest / June 13, 2019

Hello! I’m Tina Gabrielle and I write adventurous historical romance featuring feisty ladies and bold heroes. I’m excited to be on Fresh Fiction to celebrate my new historical release, HOW TO BEST A MARQUESS, the second book in my Raven Club series. Writing a novel is not an easy task. I think of it as a rollercoaster ride of emotion. One day I can be struggling with the dreaded sagging middle, and the next day my fingers are flying over the keyboard. Writer’s block is also a dreaded phenomenon, and it can result in frustration and depression. I’ve experienced a form of it. Whether I’m staring at a blank screen or an empty piece of paper, it can be crippling. Thankfully, I’ve used helpful tips to overcome it. Exercising works best for me. I’m a lap swimmer, and I’ve found the quiet time away from the kids and work very helpful. I’m able to simply think. If this doesn’t work, I change my environment. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I go to my nearest Starbucks with my laptop and order a large iced tea. Something about being around people, without having to talk to anyone, helps me focus. I’ve…

Maya Rodale | Exclusive Excerpt: SOME LIKE IT SCANDALOUS
Author Guest / June 12, 2019

They were alone. They were away from prying eyes and the cutting comments about her, which she’d had enough of for one evening, thank you very much. They were alone and there was no need to maintain any ruse. “Daisy, I don’t know what to say, other than that I’m sorry.” “It’s not your fault. You didn’t say any of those things.” He remained silent, a confession of sorts, and she understood. “You didn’t say any of those things within earshot,” she corrected. “Tonight.” “I am so sorry. It is unkind for anyone to say such things in any circumstances. And with you, it’s also just plain wrong. For one thing, if you are old then so am I.” Daisy couldn’t care less about being considered old, not when she was counting the minutes until she was officially On the Shelf and an Unredeemable Spinster. But she wasn’t so hurt or stuck up that she couldn’t recognize his offering of peace. Funny that, coming from him. But she wasn’t so hardened that she didn’t appreciate the overture. Even if she didn’t know what to do with it. In fact, it left her speechless. They stood there in the dim light,…

Heather McCollum | 17th Century Dressing & THE WICKED VISCOUNT
Author Guest / June 5, 2019

Hi everybody! I’m Heather McCollum, author of Scottish romances. I’m excited to be here on Fresh Fiction to celebrate the release of my new novel, THE WICKED VISCOUNT, which takes place in 17th c London. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to wear the huge ensembles of silk and embroidery that the ladies in the English court used to don? My current Scottish historical romance series, The Campbells, takes place in 1684 and 1685. In THE WICKED VISCOUNT, the heroine, a feisty Scottish lass, must venture to the royal court in London. For the first time in her life, she wears the rich garments of the elite to fit in at Whitehall Palace. I wanted to experience what my heroine was feeling in the strictures of the costume, so I commissioned the talented Victoria Vane to create an ensemble for me. Even though my heroine grows up during the time when these dresses were worn, she is poor and has never worn the full costumes before. After two weeks of looking at fabrics with Victoria, we finally decided on a gorgeous magenta and lavender combination of silks. Imported from India, the fabrics are rich and beautifully embroidered with…

Author Guest / May 29, 2019

I love a lot of seasons but Spring is just plain fun for me to watch come in. Winter has its beauty, especially there at the end when I’m so sick of running my air-conditioning unit to make it through those late summer heat waves. I love getting my warm fuzzy slippers out and having the chance to use some of the quilts I’ve made. Still, spring is just plain magical. Now I’ll make a confession. I love birds. One of my favorite things to do in spring is to keep an eye on the Eagle Cam. There is a pair of Bald Eagles who next in Big Bear and there is a camera mounted so you can get a peek at them as they prepare their nest. It’s something I really enjoy, watching those bird as they tend their eggs and waiting…just hoping to see a chick or two. This year they have two little chicks. Wicked Highland Ways is the last book in my Highland Brides series. Some might look at it as the late summer piece in the collection but for me, it’s still springtime. Hey, Brenda has waited for five books to have her very own….

Margaret Brownley | Five Reasons I Love Cowboy Books
Author Guest / May 29, 2019

1. Tough Manly Men! I love reading and writing cowboy books. Nothing defines America and its values like the Old West. That was when men were men and women were women, but a cowboy wasn’t a cowboy unless he was wild, woolly and full of fleas. Of course, the heroes we love to read about are more likely to be tall, dark and handsome.  He can also charm the bark off a tree and is able to cope with whatever comes his way. 2. Cowboy Lingo: Today’s language seems rather dull compared to the colorful lingo of yesteryear.  Can you think of more mouth-pleasing words than hornswoggle, caboodle or skedaddle?  Or what about fiddlefooted, ranktankerous, or splendiferous? A latte may be the haute cuisine of coffee, but give me an Arbuckle’s any day. The rebellious part of me delights that my characters can use such words as “ain’t” and “druther” without guilt.  My eighth grade English teacher would have had a fit. Of course, back in the 1800s, she’d be more likely to have a conniption (any way you call it, it serves her right for branding me with an F). When a cowboy said “hell on wheels” he wasn’t talking about no bikers…

Wendy LaCapra | Historical Heroines who Rule
Author Guest / May 22, 2019

I don’t just write and read historical romance, I’m a passionate defender of the subgenre. Although trappings of the past can be fun (Candlelight! Carriages! Architectural grandeur! Bodices and bustles!), what intrigues me most about writing historcials is the very thing most often criticized—that the society was stuffy, restricted, and in dire need of change. For instance, in nineteenth-century England, married women, by law, were not separate entities from their husbands. Men controlled the money, the legal system, and access to education. In such a world, love itself—powerful, unpredictable, capable of smashing social and economic barriers, and, ultimately, bringing those ‘in command’ to their knees—was a radical threat to the social order. Women who chose to flout norms faced very real economic/social consequences, yet history sparkles with them. Armed with wit, intelligence, and creativity, they forged their own way. I’m inspired by the unconventional women who took charge of their destinies despite the forces stacked against them. Lady Clarissa Laithe, the heroine of my latest book, Heart’s Desire, undergoes a transformation and becomes such a lady. As the story begins, she is someone who has done what she was told and fulfilled the expectations around her, but a confrontation with…

May McGoldrick | Five Badass Women in History
Author Guest / May 15, 2019

By May McGoldrick (aka Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick) When we set out to write the Royal Highlander series (Highland Crown, Highland Jewel, Highland Sword), our goal was to weave the lives of three extraordinary women into the fabric of a revolutionary, but largely forgotten series of historical events called the Radical War of 1820. From that mindset, the characters of Isabella, a university-trained physician; Maisie, an early activist for suffrage; and Morrigan, a militant revolutionary, formed in our imagination. Our research directed us to real historical figures of the Georgian and Regency Era who served as models for our heroines. Women like Dorothea Erxleben, physician; Mary Fildes, political activist and an early suffragette; ‘William’ Brown (birth name unknown), an African woman serving in the Royal Navy); and María Antonia Santos Plata, a rebel guerrilla leader in South America. Since Highland Crown deals with a neglected chapter in Scotland’s struggle against the English Crown, we thought we’d cast a little light on five real-life kick-ass heroines from the past. These are rebellious and radical women who would never be talked about, if some people had their way.   Abigail Adams (1744-1818). Her husband might have been the second president of the United States,…

Christi Caldwell | Exclusive Interview: THE BLUESTOCKING
Author Guest / May 7, 2019

Many thanks to Christi Caldwell for joining us on the blog today! Welcome to the Fresh Fiction blog! Can you tell us a bit about the Wicked Wallflowers series, and your most recent release, THE BLUESTOCKING? Thank you so much for having me! The Wicked Wallflowers world is one that’s been so refreshing and rewarding for me as an author to write in. It’s set in the late Regency era, however, it explores life outside of the ton. Many times readers picture ballrooms and rides in Hyde Park when thinking of Regency romance, and though we have glimpses of that in my Wicked Wallflowers books, they really move so much deeper, looking at how people born outside the nobility lived…and struggled. In The Bluestocking, for example, I’ve paired Gertrude Killoran, the clever, partially blind, oldest sister of a gaming hell family with her family’s greatest rival…the Marquess of Maddock…known as the Mad Marquess. A man whose wife and unborn child were killed by Gertrude’s late father, and whose son was kidnapped and absorbed into the Killoran gang. It’s a very raw and real story that brings an HEA not only to Gertrude and Edwin as individuals but the pair of…

Lori Ann Bailey | Bringing the Past into the Present
Author Guest / May 2, 2019

Research has a way of pulling us historical authors down into a never-ending spiral of, oooh, I must know more. For some of us, it’s the most fascinating part of our job and for even more of us history geeks, it’s like catnip. We’ve always been infatuated with those who came before us. But that must be the reason we love the genre to begin with. Recently, I was listening to a YouTube video of the song, The Massacre at Glencoe, sung by John McDermott. I found this ballad on a previous trip down the research rabbit hole and I’m still occasionally haunted by it, so when the mood strikes, I pull it up and listen again. The song is about the true story that inspired the “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones. It’s the tale of the slaughter of innocent members of clan MacDonald by Campbells, who were under the MacDonald roof as guests and it has always touched me emotionally. This particular day, I started bawling. That’s when I decided to go on a quest. There must be something about me that makes this reach into my soul the way it does. I suddenly remembered the magazine I’d…

Christy Carlyle | Exclusive Interview: ANYTHING BUT A DUKE
Author Guest / May 1, 2019

Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser chats with bestselling author CHRISTY CARLYLE! Welcome back to the Fresh Fiction blog! For readers who aren’t familiar, can you tell us more about the Duke’s Den Series? The idea behind the series is that it’s a Victorian take on the reality TV show, Shark Tank, in which inventors present their ideas to venture capitalists. In this case, those with capital are dukes (except for the hero of this book) and they are investing in the wild plethora of inventions and innovations that were popping up with regularity during the Victorian era. I really loved that Diana Ashby was an independent woman, focused on her inventions and work. What inspired Diana’s tenacity and creativity? I know lots of women creators: writers, artists, and innovators, and I’m inspired by their tenacity. Diana wasn’t inspired by one single woman I know but by many who believe in themselves and their work and don’t let disappointments or even rejection stop them. Diana definitely embodies the kind of woman I’d like to be. Aidan Iverson had humble beginnings, but has become a successful and wealthy man. Nonetheless, he still strives to be accepted by high society. Why is this acceptance…