Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Stacy Reid | Exclusive Excerpt: WHEN THE EARL MET HIS MATCH
Author Guest / September 16, 2020

He suspected it was this that his father worried about, that one day he might want this love that had the power to ruin him. Rubbish. What sort of fool would he be to allow an intangible idea to inflict havoc with his life? “Love has a way of creeping upon you when it is least expected,” the old earl said with a probing stare. “You must be on your guard at all times.” “Truly? Based on your ramblings, I believe it can strike with the ferocity of lightning and thunder, and I’ve wondered why you’ve bothered to caution me against something that will come at me without warning,” he rejoined. His father scowled. It was difficult to explain to the man before him that he did not hunger for any particular connection. He wasn’t seeking love. Nor was he running from it. He was just not. . . interested. “I’ve far more important things to occupy my mind than an attachment with a lady…even the one I intend to marry.” Such as your impending death and the dark hole it will leave. And situating my family for a life of happiness and prosperity. His father appeared contemplative for a…

Kathleen Ayers | Author-Reader Match: THE THEORY OF EARLS + Giveaway!
Author Guest / September 3, 2020

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present KATHLEEN AYERS! What I Write: Historical romance, primarily post-regency/early Victorian. My latest release is The Theory of Earls, the first in my new series. Wicked Again, book #7 in the Wickeds series will hit Amazon on October 29. About: Fifty-something romance author seeks readers for steamy, historical romance. Must be intrigued by handsome rakes who are prone to requesting young ladies play the piano for them in their underthings, especially when the gorgeous gentleman is assisting the young lady in her pursuit to marry one of his friends. .  .to avoid marriage to a pear-shaped son of an earl. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: -The perfect idea of a date would be sliding between the sheets with an e-reader or a paperback and sipping on a glass of wine. Ice cream might also be involved. -Fantasizes about what it would be like to be a duchess. Or a countess. Really, anyone with “Lady” before their name. -Likes history…

Jane Kirkpatrick | 20 Questions: SOMETHING WORTH DOING
Author Guest / September 2, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Something Worth Doing published by Revell. The title comes from a definition of hope by Vaclav Havel, a writer and first president of the Czech Republic.    2–What is it about?  On the surface, it’s about an early suffragist in the northwest named Abigail Scott Duniway and her passion for improving the lives of women in a time when women were to be seen and not heard (1850s-1890s). At another level, it’s about a woman wanting both a career as a novelist (she wrote 22!) and newspaper owner and to be a faithful wife and mother (they had six children!) while maintaining her reputation in a time of great cultural change and the challenges those two goals can have. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Resilient. 4–What makes your story relatable?  Many modern couples struggle with balancing family and callings, supporting each other while facing trials. Long-distance relationships are also prevalent now and Abigail often was away from her home for weeks at a time doing something worth doing. How that worked for them I think will be of interest to today’s readers. There’s also a bit of family tension as Abigail’s brother…

Kathryn Le Veque | Exclusive Interview: HIGHLAND GLADIATOR
Author Guest / August 26, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Kathryne! Please tell us about yourself and a little bit about your new book, HIGHLAND GLADIATOR. Thank you so much for having me! I’m a 19-time USA Today Bestselling author in Medieval Historical Romance. Think knights in shining (or dented) armor, and that’s me. This book was both a blast and a challenge to write for a couple of reasons – first, this is Highlander and I normally write everything set in Medieval England. I swear I know Medieval England better than I know my home state of California, so working in Scotland was an interesting challenge. Second – this isn’t Medieval, but Tudor, so it was a little more advanced time-wise than my usual 13th century domain. During this period in time, there was still the usual Scotland vs. England stuff going on, but there were some external politics going on as well when it came to Scotland and how it dealt with England. It made for interesting reading. This is the start of a new Highlander series, called Scots and Swords, and has been described as “Gladiator meets Fight Club.” Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this new series? What do you love most…

Blake Ferre | 20 Questions: THE REVOLUTIONARY AND THE ROGUE
Author Guest / August 19, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  THE REVOLUTIONARY AND THE ROGUE 2–What is it about?  Perrin de Vesey, an aristocrat who is grieving the unjust execution of his lover, is recruited by his friends to help save innocents from the guillotine. But handsome Committee officer, Henri Chevalier, is hot on his trail, eager to ensnare counterrevolutionary conspirators. Attraction simmers between the two, tearing down the barricades that stand between them. 3–What word best describes Perrin?  Compassionate 4–What makes Henri irresistible?  He dreams of freedom and equality for all people and believes in fair and just trials–even for his enemies. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Perrin has a strong support of friends from Crimson Rose–a club that welcomes men who prefer men. They stand together and shield one another from danger at all costs. Henri, on the other hand, finds himself unable to trust his fellow Committee officers. In a city where anyone might betray their neighbors, it isn’t easy to find good friends. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I have always been fascinated with the French Revolution. Their leaders fought for many good and noble causes:…

Rachel Fordham | 20 Questions: A LIFE ONCE DREAMED
Author Guest / August 5, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  A Life Once Dreamed 2–What is it about? A Life Once Dreamed is the story of Agnes Pratt, who ran from her upper-class life to the rustic town of Penance six years ago. She’s a teacher who loves her students, her town and friends, but still wonders what might have been had she not left everything behind. When the new doctor arrives she’s forced to confront the past she ran from and to once again ask herself what she wants in the future. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Stubborn, kind, resilient, loving and mysterious 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  He’s determined, has a heart that’s fully committed, is stubborn about the right things and is willing to make a fool of himself for the girl he loves. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  The people of Penance are loyal to each other. My main character’s closest friends are Minnie (a loud mouth with a good heart) and Hannah (a quiet gentle soul). 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The Black Hills are secluded and such a contrast from the world Agnes…

Kathleen Y’Barbo | Jack the Ripper’s Texas Connection: Behind the Writing of The Black Midnight
Author Guest / August 3, 2020

I am a tenth-generation Texan, but London has held a place in my heart for over ten years. You see, I have a son who has lived there for more than a decade. Thanks to him and his family of three–my granddaughter was born there on New Year’s Eve 2019–the city will always be special to me. There is absolutely nothing like walking those streets with a thousand years of history close enough to touch. It was on a walk with my son through this great city that the stories of nineteenth-century London came alive. With fog shrouding the rooftops of buildings that were hundreds of years old and our footsteps echoing on the cobblestones, I could imagine a time when lack of electricity and CCTV would make this place less than charming on a dark night. Less than safe. What reminded me of my favorite childhood movie, Mary Poppins, quickly became more reminiscent of Jack the Ripper. And then a story was born. Only I just had half the story. The other half came to me several years later when I stumbled across an article in Texas Monthly magazine about a serial killer who rampaged through Austin, Texas in…

Danielle Dresser | In Which We Discuss the Bareknuckle Bastards
Author Guest / July 29, 2020

Would you love to chat with Sarah MacLean? Join us TOMORROW, Thursday, July 30, at 7pm CT for a Fresh Fiction Book Club chat. There’s an interview with Sarah first and then a chance to ask her questions directly, via a Zoom Chat. You can find out more details and register to attend here: Video Book Club with Sarah MacLean *** I was late to the Bareknuckle Bastards. Don’t ask me why–but it was always one of those sore spots in with my fellow citizens of Romancelandia… “You HAVEN’T?” and “Why NOT?” and “Oh, you MUST REMEDY THIS NOW OR WE WON’T BE FRIENDS.” That last one is slightly exaggerated, though not by much. I understood their astonishment that I, a Sarah MacLean fan, had not read each book as it came out over the last few years. I just didn’t. . . But then came the cover reveal for DARING AND THE DUKE, the final book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series and these books were back on my radar. I decided to read all three of them back-to-back-to-back, and readers, I’m so happy I did. The worldbuilding, the backstory, the characters. There’s so much to love in the part…

Nadine Millard | The Series That Was Never Meant To Be. . .
Author Guest / July 22, 2020

REDEEMING A ROYAL is the third and last installment of my Royals of Aldonia series. And while that makes me so sad because I have truly fallen in love with this royal family, I feel it’s only fair, to be honest, and say that this series was never supposed to happen! Allow me to explain. . . When I write books from a series, I always write them as inter-connecting standalones. So, any of them can be read without having to read the ones that came before. And the reason I write them like that is because the Royals of Aldonia is the third series of mine that wasn’t supposed to exist. Reader – I have a problem! The Hidden Prince, which is book one and a novella, was supposed to be just that. A cosy, Christmas novella because nothing can be more swoon-worthy than a prince at Christmas. Right? Well, yes and no. Because while I was writing The Hidden Prince–Prince Alexander’s story–I wrote about his sister Princess Harriet who was very much a secondary character and who was supposed to trot off into the sunset with the rest of those characters. I should have known that she was…

Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Vive La France!
Author Guest / July 15, 2020

For the month of Bastille Day, I’m serving up a selection of historical fiction that captures the time just before, during, and after the Revolution. Caught in the merciless cogs of this seismic shift are four very different women, some who will thrive–and one who will pay the ultimate price for being on the wrong side of history. Beginning first with the one who loses the most, we have ABUNDANCE by Sena Jeter Naslund. Much like Sophia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, Naslund’s book looks at Marie’s life through her own eyes. Beginning as a giddy 14-year old thrilled to be going to France to marry the 15-year-old Dauphin, completely unprepared for the vicious cauldron of political intrigue that is Versailles, Marie is dazzled by the court, who seemed charmed by her. But although she works hard to build a relationship with her husband, his failure to consummate the marriage and give France the heir it needs sours her life at court. She buries her disappointment by retreating in opulent comfort, surrounding herself with a small coterie of women friends, the Austrian ambassador–the Swedish Count Von Fersen. By the time the long-awaited children arrive, France is in desperate circumstances, with bitter…