Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Alexa Aston | The History Behind the Lawmen of the West Series
Author Guest / September 22, 2021

As a former history teacher, I enjoy the research aspect when plotting and writing my Regency, Medieval, & Western historical romances. I have researched topics such as falconry, herbs, archery, the waltz, dime novels, food, and clothing of the various eras I write in. I can tell you the correct way to address a duke and the different positions men rode driving cattle to market. My recent Lawmen of the West series made for uncovering some fascinating facts, though! For Ballad Beauty, I visited the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame Museum in Waco, Texas (after a stop at Magnolia Bakery, of course). I viewed different kinds of weapons and uniforms on display and recorded the oath each potential Ranger took. I also researched Irish ballads for this romance, as the heroine was tracking a treasure her Irish father had hidden. He provided clues to its location using songs he sang to her as a child. Blind Faith had me studying bullet wounds and blindness, which my US marshal suffered during a mission to rescue a kidnapped senator and his son, while I delved into 19th-century painting since my heroine was a landscape artist. I like to think she was just…

Alyson McLayne | Title Challenge: HIGHLAND THIEF
Author Guest / September 8, 2021

Thanks to Fresh Fiction for having me today and for providing me with this interesting challenge: use the letters in my title to describe HIGHLAND THIEF, book five in The Sons of Gregor MacLeod series. Okay, here goes… H is for Hot Highlanders—five of them, to be exact! These strong Highland lairds and foster brothers are left reeling when they meet the sassy women who finally bring them to their knees! I is for Injustice. The lairds fight injustice to bring peace to the Highlands. G is for Gregor MacLeod. Twenty years ago, Gregor defeated his enemies and fostered their sons—Darach, Lachlan Callum, Gavin, and Kerr—bonding them to him and to each other, thereby honoring his wife’s dying wish: to bring peace to the Highlands. H is for History. Set in 1453, Highland Thief brings medieval Scotland to life. L is for Laird Kerr MacAlister. Kerr is the hero of Highland Thief, and he intends to marry Isobel MacKinnon…even if his bride-to-be doesn’t intend to marry him. A is for Annoyed, which is how Kerr makes Isobel feel most of the time. Of course, it doesn’t help that Kerr deliberately riles her…and she deliberately riles him right back. N is for Never…

Jane Ashford | 20 Questions: THE DUKE WHO LOVED ME
Author Guest / September 1, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? The Duke Who Loved Me 2–What is it about? Circumstances showing a pair who have known each other for years that they belong together, despite obstacles. Particularly the duke, in this case. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It includes the house of an aristocratic hoarder. The deceased previous duke was eccentric, to say the least. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  She was tempted by the idea of becoming a princess. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Besides being a drop-dead gorgeous duke, he learns a great deal about himself, the heroine, and the inequities of society and appreciates the chance to do so. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  Showing how two people who have known each other for a long time can realize they are in love. 7–Do you look forward to or do you dread the revision process?  I like it. I often learn interesting things about the characters and story in that stage. 8–What’s your favorite snack to have on hand while writing?  Tea and cookies! 9–Where would you go for an ideal writer’s retreat? …

Julie Anne Long | 20 Questions: I’M ONLY WICKED WITH YOU
Author Guest / August 27, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? I’M ONLY WICKED WITH YOU. It’s the third book in the Palace of Rogues series. 2–What is it about? Hugh Cassidy is the battle-hardened son of a bastard, raised in the wilds of New York. Lady Lillias Vaughn is the sheltered, blue-blooded darling of the London broadsheets, destined to marry a duke. Their worlds collide at The Grand Palace on the Thames, a boarding house near the docks—and the war between them ignites when Hugh catches her smoking a cheroot and tattles on her to the Earl of Vaughn, her father. While their mutual attraction is incendiary and unwelcome…they’re absolutely at its mercy. But little by little, spark by spark, they begin to learn truths and vulnerabilities in each other that no one else in the world has ever uncovered. When their inevitable soul-searing indiscretion threatens to destroy their futures, Hugh comes up with a plan to unravel their entanglement…and the brutal truth is the best way to love her might be to break his own heart. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book? Everything! I’m having the best time writing the stories set at The Grand Palace on…

Michelle McLean | 20 Questions: HITCHED TO THE GUNSLINGER
Author Guest / August 25, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? Hitched to the Gunslinger 2–What is it about? A notorious and grumpy gunslinger wants nothing more than to retire and live out his days napping somewhere quiet but instead stumbles into this hole-in-the-wall town and finds himself promptly fake engaged (and then real married) to a morbidly optimistic and determined woman who never gives him a moment’s peace. The rest of the zany townsfolk talk him into becoming the sheriff and he find a way to defeat a corrupt landowner who is terrorizing his new wife and the town while chasing after his own HEA. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It’s wild west but it’s also green and pretty. It’s still remote and untamed but not the tumbleweed dustbin I often think of when picturing a wild western town. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  She’s more patient with Gray’s antics than I pictured her being. I’d go into a scene picturing her irritated and it would end up really fun, with her playing off Gray’s surliness and egging him on almost rather than being offended by it. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  He is so…

Christi Caldwell | Exclusive Interview: ALONG CAME A LADY
Author Guest / August 25, 2021

Danielle: Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Christi, and congrats on the release of your new book, ALONG CAME A LADY! We’d love to hear more about it and the set up for this new series, All the Duke’s Sins.   Christi:  Danielle! I’m so excited to be back here chatting with you!! Thank you for both having me, and the warm congrats. Fun fact about me and Fresh Fiction…Fresh Fiction was one of the first blogs to ever host me, back when I began publishing. As such, it’s always special being here! And, I’m really excited to share more about my All the Duke’s Sins series. The series centers on the Audley family: three brothers and a sister who live and work in a mining village in Regency, England…and who also happen to be the illegitimate children of the Duke of Bentley!  Rafe is the eldest of the Audley family. Two things matter more to him than anything. First: his family. He is the protector of his younger siblings. The second being his role as foreman of the Cheadle mines. Rafe lives to thwart his father. He believes his father is a ne’er do well who abandoned his children…however, there…

Heather McCollum | Exclusive Excerpt: THE HIGHLANDER’S PIRATE LASS
Author Guest / August 18, 2021

Beck watched the heavily gunned galleon sweep around the small isle, the wind filling its sails. After six months of patrolling the waters off the west coast of Scotland, Beck wouldn’t let this chance of capturing the most notorious French pirate slip past him. If the bastard outgunned them, he would use some intimidation to slow him down until Cullen could attack the Borreau from the other side. “Gavin,” he yelled, “are the men ready?” Gavin’s mouth dropped open, frozen, as he gazed past Beck. Beck pivoted on his boot in time to see… Eliza? The woman wore sailor’s clothing. No petticoats, but the breeches that she’d worn under her skirts. Tall boots hugged her shapely legs up past her knees. She wore a longish coat of wool and leather with an intricate braid trim, a white tunic, and a floppy hat over her hair. A crossbow swung by her side. She charged across the deck, Alice, who was also dressed in trousers, hurrying behind her with a lantern. “Holy Lord,” Rabbie said next to him. “Beck,” Drostan yelled, pointing at Eliza. As if he hadn’t seen her. Half his men had stopped to stare at the lass as she…

L.C. Sharp | Exclusive Excerpt: THE SIGN OF THE RAVEN
Author Guest / August 16, 2021

He’d called her sweetheart. Oh, she knew he’d done it to annoy her parents, to make them believe that her marriage to Ash was a true marriage in every way, but still…when he said it, she’d felt a deep, corresponding thump in the region of her heart, as if it had been an­swering him. Ash had been nothing but kind since their wedding, and before it, for that matter. At first, after her late husband’s abuse, she couldn’t bear to be touched, but now, nearly a year later, she was trying to get over that. She still flinched sometimes when someone touched her, especially when she wasn’t expecting it, but she would recover. She refused to allow that brute to con­trol her life even after he’d left it. Ash always stepped back from any situation, sepa­rated himself from it. He was a man of intellect, not of passion. He either asked for her permission before he touched her or drew back if she responded with a flinch. She felt safe with him. She did not want passion. The oars dipped in the water, the distant sound of life on either side of the wide expanse muted, occa­sionally echoing off the…

Charlotte Anne Hamilton | 20 Questions: THE BREATH BETWEEN WAVES
Author Guest / August 11, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE BREATH BETWEEN WAVES 2–What is it about? It’s an historical sapphic romance set aboard the fateful maiden voyage of RMS Titanic, where the main character, Penelope Fletcher, is moving to America and is sharing a cabin with Ruby Cole, a free-willed Irish woman who Penelope is immediately drawn and attracted to. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book? That it’s just one place? But in all honesty, the Titanic was such an incredible ship for its time and the sheer luxury and glamour of it was fun to reproduce while writing—even if the characters are sailing in Second Class and so don’t really experience much of the more lavish amenities. 4–How did your heroine surprise you? The way she handles the sinking. All throughout we see that Penelope isn’t really sure of herself or where she stands in the world, or with the people in her life. But the sinking brings out another side of her that I really hadn’t expected as I was planning and drafting it. 5–Why will readers love her love interest? Because she’s spunky. And outgoing. She is one of those people who has…

Kathryne Le Veque | 20 Questions: HIGHLAND LEGEND
Author Guest / July 28, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release?  HIGHLAND LEGEND 2–What is it about? An arrogant, skilled fighter finds love in the most unexpected way…   Magnus Stewart, aka “The Eagle” is the bastard son of a duke, and his royal blood has never been anything but a curse. Among the mystique and riches of the legendary fight club Ludus Caledonia, Magnus battles his way to the top. Lady Diantha de Mora in desperation seeks his help. When Magnus reluctantly comes to her aid, his fate is changed forever in one night. With enemies at every turn, it’ll take muscle and a miracle for them to make it to the Highlands alive. There Magnus can reclaim his destiny, as Diantha reclaims his heart. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  This entire series is set a little bit later, history-wise, than I’m used to writing, so researching Tudor Scotland was interesting. But what I like most is the heart of the series – an exclusive fight club known as the Ludus Caledonia. Think “Gladiator” (the movie). The bond between these warriors is so strong and it truly is a brotherhood. These men may fight each other on…