Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Margaret Brownley | Exclusive Excerpt: THE OUTLAW’S DAUGHTER
Author Guest / May 26, 2020

The Feedbag Cafe was empty when Matt took a corner seat early that morning and perused the bill of fare. Breakfast was served at the hotel where he was staying, but the out-of-town guests had no personal knowledge of Neal Blackwell. Matt counted on the café to serve up a generous heap of local gossip along with his cackleberries and bacon. What he hadn’t counted on was coming face-to-face with Blackwell’s widow. No sooner had his eggs and bacon arrived than he spotted her storming into the restaurant. She paused for the briefest of moments at the doorway. Even from a distance, he could see the fire in her eyes. Whoever had earned her ire this time deserved his sympathy, that was for sure. At least she wasn’t packing iron. Picking up his fork, he was just about to dive into his breakfast when her gaze zeroed in on him. As a Ranger, he’d been the target of angry men and blazing guns, but he’d never been as tempted to hide as he was at that moment. Unfortunately, there was no time to follow through with his cowardly wish. For before he could move, she dashed toward him like a…

Eloisa James | Exclusive Interview: SAY YES TO THE DUKE
Author Guest / May 20, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Eloisa! We’re thrilled to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about your Wildes of Lindow Castle series and where SAY YES TO THE DUKE fits in?  The Wildes of Lindow Castle series follows a huge family living on the edge of a bog, and Say Yes is the story of an adopted Wilde, Viola. Her half-siblings are gorgeous, vivid, and dramatic—but Viola is a shy wallflower. As she describes it, she has no more in common with His Grace’s offspring than a donkey to a dragon.  SAY YES TO THE DUKE is pure escapist fun: the wallflower attracts the attention of a duke, but she doesn’t want him because she thinks she’s in love with a vicar. They end up married, and then he has to work hard to change her mind! Family is an important factor in SAY YES TO THE DUKE, as well as the other books in this series, and I enjoyed catching up with the Wildes from previous books. What do you love about creating a tight-knit family like the Wildes?  It’s wonderful to be able to deepen and grow characters over several books. I became so fond of the duke and duchess, for example, that I have a prequel of their romance coming…

Nicola Davidson | Exclusive Excerpt: SCANDALOUS PASSIONS
Author Guest / May 13, 2020

The king smiled. “Lady Marjorie, I bid you welcome. Forgive me for not seeing you sooner, but I had a great many matters of state to attend to.” His tone was affable, but as he moved toward her, she could hear a clinking sound, and her heart sank. The convent prioress’s cold warning had been true. James did wear an iron chain of penance under his doublet, in sorrow over his father’s death. Like the courtiers downstairs, he would never forget the high treason Lord Hepburn had been party to. “Your Grace,” she whispered, curtsying deeply. “It is an. . . an honor to be here.” “Your chamber is comfortable?” “It is lovely. The tapestries are beautiful.” “Good, good. There is someone I wish you to meet,” said the king, gesturing to his right. “Of course. . .” Marjorie’s voice trailed off as her mouth abruptly forgot how to form words. She was being introduced to Lady Janet Fraser? One of the most influential women in Scotland? That would be a mark of favor, surely. Confusion turned her mind to mud, but there was no mistaking the stunning beauty now standing in front of her. That blazing-red hair, not quite…

Sophie Jordan | Exclusive Excerpt: THE VIRGIN AND THE ROGUE
Author Guest / May 6, 2020

CHAPTER FOUR EXCERPT OF SOPHIE JORDAN’S THE VIRGIN AND THE ROGUE Something was not right. All throughout dinner the sensation, the aching discomfort, only grew. Following dinner, Charlotte excused herself and managed to make it to her bedchamber, where she hastily shed her clothes as though they burned her skin and climbed into bed. It was bad. Terrible. The queasiness was unlike any other time. The symptoms were different. More . . . pronounced. She curled into a ball and dragged the pillow between her legs, hugging it tightly. Usually she endured the twinges of pain until they passed. The slight cramping that was improved by hot water bottles and Nora’s tonic. She would keep to bed for twelve hours until it passed. This was not like that. This did not feel in any way endurable. She was vaguely aware of her bedchamber door opening and closing and footsteps approaching her bed. She inhaled and exhaled in slow, even drags of air, her fingers digging into the soft linen pillowcase. Her sisters’ voices carried to her ears. Even in her current condition, there was no mistaking the agitation in Marian’s voice floating above her. “What did you do, Nora? She…

Nadine Millard | What Inspired Me to Write Historical Romance
Author Guest / May 6, 2020

Living in Ireland, I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by history at almost every turn. Whether it’s the ruins of a keep or the bell towers of one of many, many churches (there are over 4,500 in the Republic of Ireland and we’re a very small island), there’s always something there. Right where I live, there’s a beautiful estate called Emo House & Parklands. It is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture built by the famous James Gandon in 1790, for the first Earl of Portarlington, although construction wasn’t finished until 1860 by the third Earl of Portarlington. Ireland has a rich and sometimes troubled history, and this house lived through it all, though it wasn’t lived in until it was bought by Major Cholmeley Harrison, who lived there until his death at aged 99 in July 2008. The Major gifted the house and its grounds to Ireland and it’s now run by the Office of Public Works and enjoyed by thousands of visitors. One of whom is usually me! Now, I read absolutely everything I could get my hands on from a very young age, but by the time I was in my late teens I had read my…

Heather McCollum | Title Challenge: HIGHLAND CONQUEST
Author Guest / May 1, 2020

Hello everyone! I am Heather McCollum, Scottish Historical Romance writer, and I’m thrilled to be here at Fresh Fiction today. When I’m not writing marvelous brawny, broody Highlanders, I am usually answering calls of “Mom.” I have three full-of-drama kids, one rescued golden retriever, and one Highland husband of my own. I am also a 9-year survivor of ovarian cancer, lover of hot chai tea lattes, and exuberant baker of all the goodies I should not be eating. My newest release is the first book in a new series, Sons of Sinclair, which is set in 16th-century Scotland, way up in the north. The four books in the series focus on four brothers who were raised by their warlord (some say insane) father as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Cain Sinclair takes over the chieftainship when his father is killed in battle and decides that to conquer his father’s greatest enemy, he will wed the new woman chieftain of the Sutherland clan. Unfortunately, Ella Sutherland is stubborn on top of being beautiful and brave, and she does not surrender to Cain’s strategically laid plans. Here are some words to give you a flavor of this jaunt through the Highlands….

Julia Bennet | 20 Questions: THE RUIN OF MISS EVANGELINE JONES
Author Guest / April 29, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? The Ruin of Evangeline Jones 2–What is it about? Alex is the new Duke of Harcastle but his true passion is uncovering charlatans and frauds. Evangeline (Evie) Jones is a fake spiritualist medium and he’s determined to expose her lies publicly. They strike a bargain: If he can uncover proof of her fraud in seven days, she’ll reveal the tricks of her trade in front of an audience. If he fails, he’ll leave her in peace. Naturally, their attraction foils these plans completely. 3–What word best describes your heroine, Evie? Fierce 4–What makes your hero, Alex, irresistible? Aside from the fact that he’s a hot duke, Alex is relentless, intense, and utterly focused on the woman he loves. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Alex has a half-sister (Helen Grey from The Madness of Miss Grey, book one in the series) and Evie has a roommate, an actress named Mags Carmichael. Alex and Evie are both lone wolf types (until they meet one another) and, in many ways, they’re both still learning about relationships. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book? I liked…

Amy Rose Bennett | Exclusive Interview: HOW TO CATCH AN ERRANT EARL
Author Guest / April 29, 2020

by Fresh Fiction Reviewer Jessica Grogan Welcome to Fresh Fiction! Please tell us about yourself and your new book! Hi and thanks so much for having me on the Fresh Fiction blog! A little about me–I’m an Aussie author who’s happily married to her very own romantic hero. My hubby and I have recently become empty-nesters; our two daughters are currently studying at university, so I have lots of writing time. Yay! Aside from penning historical romance novels, I love to cook. And given the current situation around the world, I’ve been doing a lot of baking, particularly bread making. I find the whole process quite therapeutic and comforting. My new book, How to Catch an Errant Earl, is the second title in my Disreputable Debutantes series with Berkley Romance. It follows the fortunes of my practical bluestocking Scots heroine with a tarnished reputation, Miss Arabella Jardine, and unrepentant rakehell, Gabriel Holmes-Fitzgerald, the Earl of Langdale. At the beginning of the story, the reader discovers that Arabella has been forced to accompany her family on a Grand Tour of the Continent when she’d much rather be in London making plans to raise money for an orphanage. Gabriel is also abroad….

Amelia Grey | The Pampered Miss and… well, Everybody Else
Author Guest / April 29, 2020

It’s almost impossible for the modern young woman to understand the lifestyle or the mindset of Polite Society’s Regency miss. And no wonder. She had a maid to help put on her unmentionables, comb her hair, and make her a cup of tea. She would never walk out the door without gloves covering her hands, a bonnet on top of her head, and a companion or chaperone by her side to protect her unblemished reputation from slanderous gossip. When going out for a stroll or to shop, most ladies had a dainty reticule swinging from their wrist, though said purse would have little more than a handkerchief, a hairpin, and threaded needle in it to make any hasty repairs. No essentials such as money, keys, or lip gloss. The pampered miss of yesteryear never made her own bed, laundered a piece of clothing, or stepped a foot inside a kitchen for any reason. My belief is that the typical woman of today would think being ridiculously pampered is getting a manicure, a pedicure, and a massage all in the same day. It’s safe to say most of us have washed a dish or two in our lifetime. Even the ladies…

Jane Ashford | Exclusive Interview: A DUKE TOO FAR
Author Guest / April 29, 2020

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Jane! Please tell us a little about yourself and the fourth book in The Way to the Lord’s Heart series, A DUKE TOO FAR. I’ve been writing Regencies for quite a while now. I love spending time in that world. The Way to A Lord’s Heart series is a sweeter saga than The Duke’s Sons, and A Duke Too Far focuses on the youngest couple in the group. The heroine hasn’t even made her bow to society as yet. Peter Rathbone, the impoverished Duke of Compton, has lost his beloved sister Delia and is at a loss as to what to do next. The crumbling family estate is in ruins, his finances are in disarray, and he didn’t have the usual upbringing expected of an aristocrat. How do these hardships and unique personality traits shape the man Peter has become?  I think they made him both more resourceful about practical matters (like carpentry) and more reticent in society. He knows he’s not the rich aristocrat people expect on hearing “duke.” When we meet Ada Grandison soon after the death of Delia, one of her closest friends, and she believes Delia may have left a clue…