Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Rosanne Bittner | Where Would I Live
Author Guest / March 20, 2019

A question I get asked from time to time is where (or when) would I live, if I could choose a place and time from one of my books. That’s a very hard question. After 36 years of writing and 69 published books, I have a really wide range of places and time periods to choose from. However, I write mostly the “Old West” and mid to late 1800’s. Since that is my favorite genre/location/time period, I would have to say that if I could pick one place, it would be Colorado – any place in the foothills of the Rockies. I love the American West and its history with a passion that shows in my books, and a great many of my westerns are set in Colorado and Wyoming. You can’t beat the breath-taking landscapes. You also can’t beat the excitement of the gold rushes, so I would likely pick the 1850’s – 1860’s, the time period most gold rushes occurred. Imagine whole towns of 1,000 or more people springing up (literally) overnight, and the wild excitement that entailed – people from all walks of life, all forms of businesses, criminals and honest people, wild saloons but churches at the end…

Sophie Jordan | Exclusive Interview: THIS SCOT OF MINE
Author Guest / March 13, 2019

Enjoy this fun interview between bestselling author SOPHIE JORDAN and Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager, Danielle Dresser! For readers who aren’t caught up, can you tell us a bit about the Rogue Files series, and your latest release, This Scot of Mine? Well, believe it or not, This Scot of Mine is the fourth book in the Rogue Files series. They’re all connected through characters often family members. By book four it’s a little challenging to relate how they are all connected. Book five, possibly the last in the series, is coming this October. Hmm. Maybe it’s time for a family tree!?   This Scot of Mine is a crazypants idea I came up with while on a writers retreat …. I pitched it to some of my other fabulous writer friends and we all brainstormed until I arrived at the final idea of a girl who PRETENDS to be ruined and pregnant (all lies for good reason) and gets paired up with the hero who needs to get married but has this curse hanging over his head.  I’ve read about secret babies before, but not so much about made-up pregnancies in historicals! Clara was such a fun heroine. What was your favorite part about writing her…

Valerie Fraser Luesse | Dodging the Dreaded Coin
Author Guest / March 8, 2019

Spoiler alert: I’m about to seriously date myself. When I was in college, all my girlfriends were crazy about the movie Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour and the late Christopher Reeve. In case that film was before your time, it’s about a modern-day playwright named Richard Collins, who travels back in time to meet, court, and win the heart of Elise McKenna, a turn-of-the-century actress whose image and mysterious story have captivated him. Just as it appears that love will win the day, Richard reaches into his pocket and pulls out a forgotten 1979 penny, which immediately yanks him out of the past, away from his soul mate, and literally “back to the future.” My own stories are set in my native South, and I feel as if I spend a big chunk of my writing time dodging The Dreaded Coin, working as hard as I can to skirt my way around anything and everything that might yank a reader out of the story. It doesn’t take much. One factual inaccuracy (like putting the Brazos River in Mississippi) or one line of dialogue that sounds nothing like authentic Southern speech (“I’m mad about you! Mad I say!”), and the…

Shana Galen | Top Five Reasons You Should Read a Book Set During the French Revolution
Author Guest / March 7, 2019

I’ve written over thirty romances set during the Regency period in England. I love the Regency, but lately, I’ve wanted to explore a different time period—the French Revolution. I get varied reactions to this announcement. Some of my readers are excited. Others are not interested in reading a book set during that time period. I hear, “Guillotines are not sexy” and “I like my British dukes, thank you very much.” You know the great thing about my books? As Marie Antoinette said, “You get your cake and can eat it too!” Okay, she didn’t say that, but she never said “Let them eat cake either.” But you will get everything you love in a Regency in one of my French Revolution-set books, especially To Tempt a Rebel, which releases March 12. 1. Page-turning Suspense The guillotine may not be sexy, but when my hero and heroine face the National Razor if they are caught out after curfew, it certainly makes those midnight rendezvous a little more tense and meaningful. With all the turmoil and unrest during the revolution, Alex and Tristan are always just one step ahead of the guards, and I promise you’ll keep turning pages to see if…

Liana LeFey | What Does Love Look Like?
Author Guest / March 4, 2019

I’ve explored many themes over the years while writing historical romance. In doing so, I discovered the potential obstacles to two people falling in love and being together were pretty much the same in the periods in which my stories are set as they are now—family issues, economic/class disparity, job demands, etc. I’ve written about all of those. Another, perhaps stickier challenge when writing period romance is tackling societal approval for a so-called “unconventional” love. Except…it’s not an issue restricted to period romance. It’s an issue for romance, period. Although humanity has (generally) made great social progress over the last three hundred years, there are still some big societal hurdles to be leaped—for some, hurdles that have existed for millennia. I address one of these in my new release A Wicked Reputation. A Wicked Reputation features not one, but two romances, one revealed in the back cover copy, the other more subtly implied. Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that while both couples encounter immense challenges to achieving their happy ever after, the danger for one of these is far greater. For this couple, because of societal intolerances of the period (which, unfortunately, haven’t yet been entirely eradicated),…

Suzanne Enoch | Exclusive Excerpt: IT’S GETTING SCOT IN HERE
Author Guest / February 27, 2019

Prologue Once upon a time—in May 1785, to be exact—Angus MacTaggert, Earl Aldriss, traveled from the middle of the Scottish Highlands to London in search of a wealthy bride to save his well-loved but crumbling estate. Aldriss Park had been in the MacTaggert family since the time of Henry VIII, when Domhnall MacTaggert, despite being Catholic and married, declared publicly that Henry should be able to wed as many lasses as he wanted until one of them got him a son. Aldriss Park was the newly minted earl’s reward for his support and understanding. For the next two hundred years Aldriss thrived, until the weight of poor harvests, the ever-intruding, rule-making Sassenach, and the MacTaggerts’ own fondness for drinking, gambling, and wild investments (including an early bicycle design wherein the driver sat between two wheels; sadly, it had no braking mechanism and after a series of accidents nearly began a war within the MacTaggerts’ clan Ross) began to sink it into disrepair. When Angus inherited the title in 1783, he realized the old castle needed far more than a fresh coat of paint to keep it from both physical collapse and bankruptcy. And so he determined to go down among…

Amy Sandas | My All-Time Favorite Re-Reads!
Author Guest / February 27, 2019

So many wonderful books to read and not nearly enough time! My TBR pile continues to grow exponentially. Amazing books are releasing every week. Some by long-time favorite authors and some by new-to-me authors I’ve been dying to check out. But every now and then, when I get an opportunity to grab a book to read, I veer away from the TBR and head toward my collection of old favorites. Consisting mostly of Old School Romance from the 90s, my favorites are currently residing in large Tupperware bins in my basement. My Johanna Lindsey’s fill one bin all on their own. There is just something about going back over and over to reread these stories that initiated my love of Romance and Historical Romance specifically. Over the years, these books have inspired me, thrilled me, comforted me, and even surprised me when on occasion, a reread will unexpectedly provide a whole new perspective on a story I thought I knew so well. Today, I’m going to share some of my all-time favorite rereads. Maybe some are your favorites, too! Since I already mentioned Johanna Lindsey, I’ll start there. Like so many other Historical Romance readers, I adore the Malory family…

Miranda Owen | Widows in Romance
Author Guest / February 20, 2019

Today we are joined by Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Miranda Owen: I am a widowed lady, well past the age of innocence. Why should I not kiss a handsome man in a drawing room? A little carnality won’t hurt me.  – THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE by Jennifer Ashley I find stories with a widowed heroine particularly compelling. For good or bad, marriage and living with somebody play a huge role in your life, and how you function every day. In a good marriage, your partner enhances your life – in small ways and big ways. If you have the misfortune to be in a bad marriage, it sours many aspects of your life. In different ways, stories about women who have loved and lost, as well as stories about women who have endured until being set free by a spouse’s death, are equally fascinating. In stories where there was some affection between the husband and wife, an author tries to convey the love that existed and how the wife is left to pick up the pieces. One of the first stories I read with a widowed heroine was THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE by Jennifer Ashley. In Jennifer…

Sarah Sundin | 10 Facts about the Red Cross in World War II
Author Guest / February 15, 2019

The women of World War II fascinate us and D-day is one of the most pivotal events in modern history, so I enjoyed exploring both in THE SKY ABOVE US, book 2 in the Sunrise at Normandy series. While my hero flies above the landing beaches in his P-51 Mustang, my heroine runs the American Red Cross Aeroclub at his airfield. Here are some interesting things I learned about the Red Cross in World War II. 1. At a time when the population of the United States was 132 million, 37 million adults and 20 million children and youth belonged to the Red Cross, with 7.5 million serving as volunteers. In addition, 40,000 men and women were paid workers with the Red Cross. 2. Of those overseas workers, twenty-nine women died, primarily in plane crashes, but also due to enemy shelling. 3. Women who worked with the American Red Cross overseas had to be at least twenty-five years old and have a college degree. They underwent an extensive interview process and had to complete training in Washington, DC. The women had the “equivalent status” of an officer, which granted them many officer privileges. 4. The American Red Cross operated hundreds…

Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup Day 3 | Historical Romance Authors
Author Guest / February 13, 2019

Welcome back to the Fresh Fiction Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup! Every day this week, some of our favorite authors will be on the blog chatting about their new books, their main characters, and a recipe for a meal or treat those characters would enjoy this festive week. Today we have the three historical romance authors of the novella anthology, LOVE BY THE LETTERS! Enjoy, and come back tomorrow for more fun! Missed our previous roundup posts? Check them out here! Mystery Authors Contemporary Romance Authors A is for Amorous by Grace Burrowes Ada Beauvais is a spinster in training and an amateur scientist. Her interests range from compost heaps to botany to corrective lenses. The last thing she would volunteer to do is swill tea while politely asking people to donate to a failing orphanage. Lord John Waverly, headmaster of that orphanage, is no better at soliciting funds than Ada is, and he’s too busy managing forty lively children to keep as close an eye on the ledgers as he ought. Lord John’s family despairs of him, and wonders why he can’t take up a country parsonage like all the normal younger sons do. They are a little bit of…