Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jody Hedlund | Author-Reader Match: COME BACK TO ME
Author Guest / June 4, 2021

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 Jody Hedlund! Writes: Come Back to Me: Research scientist Marian Creighton, thinks her father’s quest to find the ultimate cure is crazy, even if it stems from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. When her father finds and drinks a vial of ancient holy water and falls into a coma, Marian discovers clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. At first she thinks he’s insane, until she tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages smack dab in the middle of the bloody Peasant Revolt of 1381. William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to? About: Award-winning and best-selling author Jody…

Amanda Cabot | Five Reasons I Love Book Series
Author Guest / March 1, 2019

It seems everywhere you look, authors are writing books in series, and that includes me.  As both an author and an avid reader, I love series. Why? Here are my top five reasons: 1. More complex plots – When stories span more than one book, the author has the ability to have multiple levels of plots.  Typically, each book has its own storyline that’s begun and resolved within that book, but there’s an overarching question or plot line that’s not resolved until the end of the series.  Think about TV’s Castle.  While the immediate mystery was solved in each episode, viewers kept tuning in to discover who killed Kate’s mother.  In the case of my Cimarron Creek books, the overarching question is, “What happened to Aunt Bertha’s daughter?” Although there’ve been partial answers, the final one comes in A Tender Hope. 2. Familiar Location – Consider the difference between visiting a place the first time and returning to it.  While there’s adventure the first time, there’s also a bit of apprehension. Will I get lost?  Will I like this place? All of that’s gone the second time. Instead of being worried, you’re excited about returning to a place you’ve visited…

Laura Frantz | Lark’s Scottish Shortbread Recipe + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 18, 2019

Happy New Year, Fresh Fiction folks! Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today and for helping celebrate the release of my tenth historical novel, A Bound Heart, with a three-book giveaway! When I’m not writing and traveling, I’m at home in the kitchen baking. As an author, I enjoy reading about as well as including culinary details in my own historical novels. Doing so lends a richness and authenticity to the story. My characters are historical foodies, for sure! And so, I’m delighted to share this Scottish shortbread recipe from my heroine, Lark MacDougall’s, humble hearth on the Isle of Kerrera in Scotland. This shortbread pairs deliciously with a steaming cup of tea or even coffee. Sláinte! Classic Scottish Shortbread 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar or superfine sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup oats, traditional or quick 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan. 2. Grind the oats in a blender or food processor. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, use quick oats, rather than traditional. Combine the oats with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix…

K. A. Servian | When a One-Off Project Becomes an Obsession
Author Guest / September 6, 2018

When I was writing THE MORAL COMPASS, the first novel in the Shaking the Tree trilogy, I went in search of a suitable image for the cover. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any pictures of women in 1850s costume that even came close to what I wanted. So, using my knowledge of history of costume, pattern making and garment construction, I made a costume, found a model and photographed the image I had in my head. Most people would probably leave it there. However, I was writing a trilogy, so I had to make more costumes for the different periods in which my books were set. A bustle dress for the 1870s and a leg-O-mutton sleeve ensemble with a huge hat for the 1890s came next. This process has sparked an obsession. I love everything about making costumes; from the research, sourcing the fabric and trims, drafting the pattern, construction of the garment, making the accessories, and the hours of hand finishing these garments require. And the cherry on the cake is photographing the completed outfits so the images will make good book covers. So far, I’ve made garments representing the Regency period (c.1815), early Victorian (1840s), mid-Victorian (1850s), mid-late Victorian…

Freedom, Firecrackers And Fortitude
History / July 14, 2018

Fourth of July and Bastille Day celebrate the dynamic and unprecedented revolutions that spawned two new nations, one a former colony breaking away to control its own destiny, the other throwing off centuries of royal rule to create itself a republic—at least, for awhile. That Revolutionary France, and the dictatorship-turned-empire the followed, is explored by this column’s selection of historical fiction. Moving chronologically, we start with MADAME TUSSAUD: A NOVEL by best-selling author Michelle Moran. Trained by a Swiss doctor she calls her uncle, Marie Grosholtz becomes a skilled artist in the sculpting of wax and an astute businesswoman who helps run the family firm, Salon de Cire, which displays wax portraits and tableaux of the foremost personalities in France. Although her family’s home is a meeting place for budding revolutionaries like Desmoulins, Marat and Robespierre, when the royal family, impressed by her artistry, invites her to become a tutor to Princess Elizabeth, she cannot refuse. But as she gets to know her student, the king, and the queen better, she finds herself balancing a fine line between sympathy for her royal employers and the increasingly strident demands of the reformers. And when reform becomes the madness of the Reign…

Karin Tabke | Bouncing Off the Walls!
Romance / May 27, 2009

If someone doesn’t glue me down soon I’m going to hurt myself. Why all the extra energy? Lot’s of reasons. Despite this economic downturn and the lull in publishing, romance has not only survived, it’s thriving! Take that, literary snobs! Okay, that isn’t nice, but it’s how I feel. Would someone please tell me what is so bad about losing yourself in a passionate love story? One that ends with a Happily Ever After? Hot heroes to die for, heroines we’d like to befriend and that warm fuzzy feeling we get when we read The End. How can anyone have issues with that? Not me, and I don’t defend romance either. I blow off the snarky comments with a shrug of my shoulders and a suggestion to the naysayer that perhaps they might want professional help to deal with that cynical chip on their shoulder. Okay, maybe that is a wee bit defensive, but it’s true! Click here to read the rest of Karin’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Jennifer Ashley | Unusual Heroes: Who Do You Love?
Uncategorized / April 29, 2009

As most readers know by now, my May 2009 release, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, features an unusual hero. Ian Mackenzie has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is considered to be high-functioning autism. Traits include the inability to make eye contact, trouble with nonverbal cues and subtext, obsession with detail (but missing the “big picture”), and others. Not everyone who has AS exhibits the same traits, and the syndrome tends to present differently in men than women. I’ve been recently praised for the risk I took writing Lord Ian. Which surprises me a little (though I don’t mind the compliments!), because when I sat down to write the story, I never thought: “Hey, I’m gonna go out there and take a risk! I’m going to do something different.” Click here to read the rest of Jennifers blog, leave a comment and enter her blog contest. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Romance / April 16, 2009

What is it about the topic of sisters that causes so much controversy? My new Regency-set historical, Mastering The Marquess, is partly a story about a pair of sisters, and the life-threatening situation they confront together. Meredith, my heroine, will do anything to keep her little sister Annabel out of harm’s way—even if it means putting her own life at risk. And she does that without blaming Annabel for their predicament, or feeling resentful that she must potentially sacrifice her own chance for happiness. Meredith’s selflessness didn’t seem odd or out of character to me, likely because I have an older sister who has always been uber-protective of her siblings. She would take on a herd of charging elephants without a second thought if it meant keeping me or my brothers safe. But to my surprise, a few readers of Mastering The Marquess expressed discomfort with Meredith’s willingness to sacrifice herself for Annabel. They thought their relationship was too perfect—that real sisters fought more, and that Meredith should, at the very least, be resentful of Annabel. That took me aback since I can count the number of times I’ve fought with my sister on one hand, with a few fingers…

Leigh Greenwood | Series, Series, Series
Uncategorized / April 13, 2009

I didn’t set out to write series. I fell into it by accident. I was watching the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with my younger son about twenty years ago. We didn’t pay much attention. He was eight and preferred trying to wrestle his father to watching a musical even though it was his idea to watch the movie together. (Since he’s never watched a musical before or since, Providence’s hand must have been at work.) After it was over, I thought that seven brothers looking for wives would make a good idea for a series, never dreaming it would turn out to be an idea for me. Sometime later, I realized I had a group of brothers in my head. I didn’t know where they’d come from or why they were there, but they were remarkably well defined. A little bemused, I asked my agent what I should do about them. She suggested that I write a proposal, let her send it out, and see that happened. Thus was born the Seven Brides series. A John Wayne movie, The Cowboys, gave me the idea for my The Cowboys series. He recruited schoolboys to help with a cattle drive….

Elizabeth Hoyt | The Middle Child
Romance / March 23, 2009

So my May book is the third in a four book series set in Georgian England. The series is The Legend of the Four Soldiers and the book is To Beguile a Beast. The other three books are about soldiers coming home from war. But To Beguile a Beast doesn’t have a soldier hero. Sir Alistair Munroe is a civilian naturalist. The other three soldier heroes were in the British army when their regiment was decimated by the French and their Indian allies. They volunteered for the army or bought a commission, but in any case, they chose to be there. Sir Alistair just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. And while the other heroines in The Legend of the Four Soldiers series are aristocratic heroines, Helen Fitzwilliam, the heroine of To Beguile a Beast is no aristocrat. Nor is she a lady. Click to read the rest and to comment on Elizabeth’s blog. Visit to learn more about books and authors.