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Maddison Michaels | Exclusive Excerpt: THE BACHELOR BARGAIN
Author Guest / May 11, 2021

Exclusive chapter excerpt from THE BACHELOR BARGAIN by Maddison Michaels, for Fresh Fiction. Being hauled over the back of Sebastian’s shoulder like a sack of coal, with her derrière resting high near his head, was not how she imagined the evening ending. In fact, some would think it rather mortifying, even though Livie found it a tad thrilling. She’d never been carried by any man before, well, at least not since she’d been a child. Though it was slightly uncomfortable being jostled on his shoulder while he stalked down the street, presumably to where her carriage was waiting. Hearing some horses in the distance, Livie knew her assumption was correct. Just as quickly as he’d scooped her up, he swung her down, careful to keep one hand of his on her waist as she steadied herself while he placed her cane in her other hand. Her breath caught in her throat from the touch of his hand against her own; even through her gloves she could feel the heat radiating from his skin. His hand was so large and work-worn, so very different from the manicured and soft hands of the gentlemen she knew. It was a hand capable of…

L.C. Sharp | 20 Questions: THE WEDDING NIGHT AFFAIR
Author Guest / May 10, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? The Wedding Night Affair 2–What is it about? It’s a murder mystery with the promise of romance to come. Juliana wakes up next to the body of her dead husband. He’s been stabbed through the heart, but she is sure she didn’t do it. Enter Sir Edmund Asheton, lawyer and criminal investigator. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Back then, in the 1740s, London was the biggest city in the world, but it had no police force. You could be hanged for stealing a loaf of bread – if you were caught. Criminal masterminds played both sides of the law, keeping their minions in check by threatening to turn them in. Mobs ruled, and they were frequent and dangerous. One of the reviewers of the book commented that I treated the mob in the book like an everyday occurrence. Well, if you read the newspapers (known as journals) of the time, they were just that. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Despite her parents treating her like a valuable piece of art, an asset rather than a person, she had an inner resilience. The brutal treatment she received…

Amelia Grey | Exclusive Excerpt: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR EARL
Author Guest / April 28, 2021

Danielle: Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Amelia! Congrats on the release of the third book in your First Comes Love series, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR EARL. Amelia: Thank you for having me. I’m absolutely delighted to be here.  What do you think brings people back to historical romance?  For me and I assume for most, it’s the intrigue of living in a different era, learning about something that is old but new to us. Because I’m very settled and contented in the life I live in, it’s exciting and entertaining to read about a time when life was unlike what I’m used to. I especially love the pageantry, the clothing, and the manners of the Regency. Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, is a notorious rake and rogue. What did you love about writing him as a character?   Zane was very comfortable being the black sheep of the Blacknight family. When he became the earl and head of the family, he didn’t think he could do it and no one else in the family thought he could either. I loved writing about how he dealt with his meddling uncles and his younger cousin’s dangerous troubles. Most of all I loved how he was…

Linda Broday | 20 Questions: A COWBOY OF LEGEND
Author Guest / April 28, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? A COWBOY OF LEGEND 2–What is it about?  Saloon owner Deacon Brannock is fighting to save his business when Grace Legend with the Temperance Society and a bevy of marchers descend determined to shut the Three Deuces down. Grace has seen firsthand the devastating effects of alcohol and doesn’t want to bury another friend. Tempers flare as Grace and Deacon clash. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It’s set at the turn of the century when the world was changing so fast. The bigger cities had gaslighting on the street, there were trolley cars, reform was happening in many areas, and women were fighting for the right to vote and to have a say in how things were run. The unrest created the perfect storm for Grace Legend and Deacon Brannock. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Grace Legend is such a strong, determined woman but I expected her to be far more rigid however, she could bend a little when needed. She could also mount a good argument—not that she paid Deacon Brannock’s side a lot of mind. She was too busy saving the world. 5–Why will…

Susanna Allen | What’s in a Name?
Author Guest / April 28, 2021

More than meets the eye in A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing, Susanna Allen’s new Regency era Shapeshifter mash up. When I had the idea to combine the Regency Era and Shapeshifter genres, I was looking forward to playing with the clash between the two very different worlds: the manners and mores of the former and the sensuality and instinct of the latter. What I hadn’t bargained for was how much fun I would have coming up with names for my characters. Naming is important and it can be hard. It’s a big commitment and it informs the character’s whole fictional life. When writing contemporary romance, it’s a little easier as, say, the last name of a character would reflect their ethnic background—are they of Irish or Italian descent—and that in turn helped with deciding on the first name, and vice versa. I remember being totally stumped about what to call a secondary male in a work in progress and started scrolling through Nameberry for inspiration, which worked insofar as it planted a bunch of names in my subconscious and three days later my brain offered up the one that fit best.  Authors make great use of the baby-naming sites available…

Royaline Sing | Exclusive Excerpt: BETTING ON A DUKE’S HEART
Author Guest / April 21, 2021

She’d been searching for William and found the duke. And how she found him. A magnificent undressed chest hit her line of vision. No lady would keep looking, but she couldn’t close her eyes. Sweat beads from the tips of his black tresses, now wet and mussed, traversed his temples to his strong neck, chest, trickling to a muscled abdomen, and…dear Lord. She sucked in her breath. The warm buzzing in her ears heightened, as did the rush of blood in her head. This…this was…an onslaught on her senses. No amount of ancient texts she’d read or sensual paintings she’d studied or her time outside of England had prepared her for the sight of a real, vibrant, half-naked man. Liar. I have seen countless laborers and servants toiling undressed. She huffed. All right, this man then. She was breathless at the sight of Saxton. And whyever was he standing in their stables in such an indecent state? “You want something, miss?” William’s voice broke through her mindless state. Drat. She had frozen. They had stopped their work and had been looking at her for a while. Worse, she only stared at Aetius. And he knew it. She could tell by…

Annabelle Greene | Exclusive Excerpt: THE SOLDIER AND THE SPY
Author Guest / April 21, 2021

In this excerpt, Captain Benjamin Frakes is taking the flirtatious August Weatherby to a ball to act as his bodyguard. Much as he tries to ignore his irritatingly attractive carriage-mate, he doesn’t do a very good job of it… The carriage came to a shrieking halt. Benjamin peered out of the window at the lamp-lit street. At first he saw no one of importance. Crowds of chattering people, gentlemen and ladies enjoying the night…and then, slipping from the threshold of a doorway like a smiling shadow, was Weatherby. Benjamin swallowed, a lightning bolt of pure awareness travelling from head to foot. He was at risk. Of course he was. At risk of making a complete fool of himself over a man ten years younger than himself, and ten times more attractive than anyone he’d met in years. “Goodness.” Weatherby’s voice filled the carriage. “Surprisingly small in here.” A flash of silver disappeared into the coachman’s palm as Weatherby climbed into the carriage, all black curls and bright eyes and dark velvet. He waited until the door closed, then turned to Benjamin with that unmistakable smile. “How cosy we shall be.” Nodding warily, Benjamin moved closer to the window as the…

Ella Quinn | Regency Research
Author Guest / April 14, 2021

Hello everyone and thank you to Fresh Fiction for having me on their blog! I’m Ella Quinn and I write fun, smart, spicy Regencies. Normally, I’d talk about travel, but with the year we’ve had that would just be cruel. Here in Europe, even the vaccinated have to follow all the mask and social distancing mandates. So, let’s discuss research. As you can imagine, writing historical novels requires a great deal of research. Fortunately, I love it. Years and years ago, I’d get lost in the library stacks. I was majoring in Political Science, and I remember one time I found the letters of James Joyce to his wife just down the aisle from what I was researching at the time. My husband-to-be was in the Army and deployed, and for whatever reason Joyce influenced my letters (this was pre-email) to the man who has been my husband for thirty-seven years. But I digress, which in itself is part of doing research. For example, I write with the Oxford English Dictionary online open so that I can make sure that the words I use were used at that time and in the right context. Recently, I discovered that eyeglasses were…

Maddison Michaels | Top 5 Historical Romances
Author Guest / April 7, 2021

Ok so we’ve all binged watched BRIDGERTON on Netflix, which was a wonderful adaption of Julia Quinn’s novel The Duke and I, and now everyone is clamouring for more duke yumminess in the form of other historical romance novels… so here is a list of my all-time top 5 ones!! Number 1: The Bride by Julie Garwood This one is seriously such a classic in historical romance and one of my absolute all-time favs! It is funny, choc full of romantic tension, a fabulous storyline and wonderful characters you’ll adore (heads up you will fall in love with the hero Alec – and though he’s not a duke, he is a Laird and super yummy)… Basically, the story starts with an edict from the king, that the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. Alec’s choice is the heroine Jamie, who is the youngest daughter of Baron Jamison… and she’s a feisty, violet-eyed beauty (the best sort of heroine), who vows never to surrender to the highland barbarian. With such strong willed characters comes a clash of wills, and a wonderful story mixed with romance and intrigue, that will stay with you long after you read the…

Ella Stainton | Exclusive Excerpt: WHERE THERE’S A KILT, THERE’S A WAY
Author Guest / March 17, 2021

Joachim set about tidying up the plates and glasses for the housekeeper, who’d arrive the following morning, and encouraged the Graham siblings to get the last few dances out of their system in the salon. He carried an over-heavy armful of crockery backward through the swinging door to the kitchen and nearly dropped the entire load when he caught sight of an unfamiliar blonde man draped over the old oak kitchen table. The chap gave a rude hand-gesture. “För i helvete. Du lämnar.” “I beg your pardon,” said Joachim, bluff and friendly, pretending as though he hadn’t nearly had a heart attack. “I didn’t know any guests were still here.” He lowered the stack of dishes into the sink without incident and wiped his hands on a tea towel before turning back around. But there was no one there, nor was the door to the kitchen still swinging. Peculiar. There was no time to be concerned because a howl of indignation came from the living room came such that Joachim would have run to see what was the matter—if his ankle was willing to be run on. An old battlefield injury precluded that, but Joachim was still quicker than most—even…