Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jan Drexler | Exclusive Excerpt: THE ROLL OF THE DRUMS
Author Guest / October 18, 2019

Footsteps on the porch reminded him that he was not alone. Ruby stepped to his side, her eyes searching his face. “What did the doctor say? Lovinia is going to recover, isn’t she?” Gideon shook his head, not trusting his voice. He swallowed. “He said her heart is weak.” Ruby pressed her fingers to her lips. “It can’t be. He could be wrong.” “I would like to believe that, but I know she is suffering–” His voice broke. She had been ill for years, and he hadn’t noticed. He had been too wrapped up in his own work, believing that her tiredness was a passing thing. “I don’t know how to tell the children.” “You should go to her, first.” Ruby said. “I’ll care for the children, but you need to be with her.” Ruby wiped away a tear that trickled down her cheek, pulling her bottom lip in between her teeth. The corners of her mouth quivered, but she gave him a smile. “Lovinia needs you now. She needs you to be strong. Let her know that you and the children will be all right after she’s gone. She worries about you.” Gideon glanced toward the upstairs window. The…

Fall Slow Cooker Recipe Potluck | A CHRISTMAS HOME by Marta Perry + Giveaway!
Author Guest , Potluck / October 11, 2019

It’s the final day of our Fall Slow Cooker Recipe Potluck! We’ve enjoyed following along with all of these great authors, their new books, and delicious slow cooker recipes. Comment below for a chance to win yet another book! And be sure to take a look back at all of the fun we’ve had all week:  Day 1 with Elizabeth Goddard  Day 2 with Soraya Lane Day 3 with Laura Lee Guhrke Day 4 with Jenn Burke  *** Autumn: Time for Comfort Food The mornings are crisp now in central Pennsylvania, and the mist hangs in the valleys for an hour or so after the sun makes its way over the mountain ridges. Leaves have begun to turn, orange pumpkins fill the roadside stands, and we bring in the last few tomatoes and winter squash from the garden. At a time like this, with winter not far off, my thoughts turn to comfort food. And for comfort food, what could be better than a slow cooker? Comfort food forms a large part of any collection of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes. The farmers, both Amish and English, who settled in these fertile valleys felt the need for plenty of carbohydrates to keep…

Suzanne Woods Fisher | How I Come Up With My Ideas
Author Guest / October 4, 2019

The question I get asked more than any other is: How do you come up with ideas? The answer is through interesting news stories that I’ve tucked away. After all, truth is always stranger—or more memorable–than fiction, right? Here’s an example: Years ago, I heard an amazing story about a pastor and a church in Texas. On a Sunday morning, Bishop Aaron Blake challenged his small congregation with a powerful question. “Brothers and sisters,” he said, “there are about 30,000 children in the foster care system in Texas and nearly a half a million in the U.S. Who will stand with me to defend, care, and support abused, abandon, and neglected children in our community?” After a brief moment of silence, one lady rose to her feet. “Pastor,” she said, “I will.” Then another family stood up, and another, and another. Twelve years later, their Texas county has more than enough foster families to meet the need. That story inspired the plot for my novel Stitches in Time. The new and improved Luke Schrock, now a deacon, poses the same question to the Amish church of Stoney Ridge. Schoolteacher Mollie Graber is the first to raise her hand. Weeks later,…

Tari Faris | 10 Reasons I Love to Write Small Town Romance
Author Guest / September 20, 2019

My debut novel, YOU BELONG WITH ME, is set in the small fictional town of Heritage, Michigan. Over and over, readers have asked why did I choose to place it in a small town? What can I say–I love small towns. And the only thing better than living in a small town is writing about one. Here are my top ten reasons why I love writing about small towns: 10. Community is everywhere. Where I live now, I can go to the store, a restaurant, or to the library and never see a person I know. But when I visit my hometown, I have to plan extra time to stop and talk. 9. The town gossip chain. It may not be fun to live through but it sure is fun to write about. Everyone is in everyone else’s business. All the ‘he said’ and ‘I heard’ moments create fun additions to any story. 8. Full of people who knew your character back when. . . Much like town gossip, older friends can provide insight and sweet memories of our characters before we had the opportunity to know them. 7. Neighbors. Many of the characters in my series live in a…

Rachel Fordham | Five Secrets About Authors
Author Guest / August 14, 2019

1)  Authors (at least this author) loves hearing from readers. The beautiful thing about writing a book is that not only do we get to share a story that’s been consuming us for so long, but we also get to connect with new people.  Shortly after writing my first novel, The Hope of Azure Springs, I received a message from a young woman telling me how the story helped to answer a question that had plagued her for years. I wanted to cry! All the work that had gone into my book felt worth it. 2)  We feel vulnerable sharing our stories with you. Even though we can’t wait for our stories to go out into the wild, we also feel afraid. We know our stories might be ripped apart, trampled on and forgotten and then all that work would equate to what? Even more than feeling vulnerable about sales we feel that a part of ourselves are on display. The fight scene, the kissing scene, the unsavory internal thoughts of our characters are all a product of our imagination and now our imaginations are in print and we worry what you’ll think about us and our writing. 3)  We…

Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup | EVER FAITHFUL by Karen Barnett
Author Guest / June 21, 2019

We’re ending our week-long recipe roundup with the MAIN (course) event: a mouthwatering recipe for Grilled Butter Trout from inspirational romance author, Karen Barnett! EVER FAITHFUL, a Vintage National Parks Novel, is the perfect book to finish our Summer BBQ-themed week of shared recipes – read on for more! Be sure to check out our other Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup posts all week! Thanks for joining us – look for another recipe roundup soon. Day 1: http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10089 Day 2: http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10090 Day 3: http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10091 Day 4: http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=10092 *** Nate Webber’s family is struggling to get by during the Great Depression, so he’ll try anything—even signing up for the president’s new Civilian Conservation Corps. But for this Brooklyn man, being shipped off to the wilds of Yellowstone National Park comes as a shock. The work is hard, but the combination of fresh air and good food is a pleasant change. What’s even better is having days off to enjoy the park and spend time with the pretty college girls who work as pillow punchers at the park hotels.   Growing up as a park ranger’s daughter, Elsie knows Yellowstone’s Fishing Bridge is the perfect place for catching enough trout to feed a…

Irene Hannon | Top Five Reasons I Write Romance
Author Guest / April 11, 2019

First, a word about the romance genre. As those of us who write—and read—romance know, romance is often the underdog of fiction. Literary types in particular often look down on it. How sad for them. For romance has the power to sweep us away on a magical journey where heroes and heroines triumph against daunting odds. It uplifts, encourages and fills us with hope. It’s the stuff of inspiration. I’m proud to write it—for these reasons: 1. I love happy endings. Who doesn’t? That’s what our hearts and souls yearn for, and when it comes to the dating game, the romance genre—by definition—offers a guaranteed happily ever after. Romance novels are comfort food for the heart because we know that no matter how bad things get, the hero and heroine will end up together. Going along with them on their journey as they grapple with all the challenges that come their way makes for a compelling—and sometimes enlightening—ride. I read a cynical article once that denigrated the genre as nothing more than a fairy tale with no basis in reality, and you know what? I felt sorry for the woman who wrote it. Because once we stop believing in the…

Jolina Petersheim | Author-Reader Match
Author Guest / March 8, 2019

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match,” where we introduce readers to authors you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Jolina Petersheim! Writes: My father was raised Mennonite in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; my mother Brethren, and I grew up as a caretaker’s daughter on a sprawling Civil War–era farm/camp in western Tennessee. This combination allowed me to see the intricacies—and complications—of community, so I love placing my characters inside morally twisting novels and then watching how they find their way out. (My newest novel, How the Light Gets In, might be the most morally twisting to date.) About: I am happily married to a “strong, quiet type” mountain man and mother to our three fluffy-haired little girls, ages six, four, and one. We’ve lived in five different homes in ten years of marriage (one a solar-powered farmhouse in Wisconsin, where How the Light Gets In is set). My husband—who also has a Mennonite/Amish background—is busy building our sixth house in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. We strive to live with the same simplistic, family-oriented mindset as our ancestors, but due to our…

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…

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…