Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Melody Carlson | Growing Old… Graciously
Author Guest / March 15, 2019

I’m often asked where my book ideas come from and, quite honestly, they come from too many sources to list. I’m one of those people who can imagine almost any situation as a novel. And I really do believe that every person walking the planet has a unique and interesting story . . . if you dig deeply enough. Consequently, I doubt I’ll ever run out of material to write about. And since I plan to keep writing until I’m, say, a hundred, I should have sufficient inspiration to keep me going. Speaking of growing old, the story idea of Courting Mr. Emerson was inspired by the simple fact that we are all aging. It’s simply a fact of life. As a ‘baby-boomer,’ I’m constantly confronted with this news via obnoxious email ads for anti-aging products like hearing aids or granny-diapers. I also get unwanted letters from AARP and a multitude of other “gentle” reminders that seem determined to remind me that I’m “of a certain age.” Not to mention some aches and pains I didn’t have twenty years ago. So, okay, I get the hint already. As a result, I sometimes find myself observing other aging “baby-boomers.” I probably…

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…

Lynette Eason | Code of Valor + a recipe!
Author Guest / January 11, 2019

Happy New Year to you all! I’m so excited about my new release, the third book in the Blue Justice series, CODE OF VALOR (available now!) and am so honored to be on the Fresh Fiction blog once again. Since we’re right around the holidays – or just coming off the sugar high related to them – I thought I’d share a favorite recipe that I can see the St. John family enjoying. It’s a recipe that I found somewhere and through a bit of experimentation, changed it up a bit to suit me. 🙂 Not a whole lot, but a little. It’s a Strawberries and Cream Cheese Pie with an Oreo crust. – 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips – 2½ tsp shortening – room temperature (I start with 2½,  you can add more if you find you need it.) – 1 Oreo pie crust – 1 8-oz block cream cheese, softened to room temperature – 1/2 cup sugar – 1/2 cup sour cream – set it out to room temp and it mixes better. – 1 tsp vanilla – 1 tub Cool Whip (8 oz) – I also let this sit out and warm up to room temp before…

Erin Bartels | Holding Onto Hope
Author Guest / January 4, 2019

Hope. It’s a concept that can feel out of reach during tumultuous times. When our eyes and ears are flooded with the reality of national disunity and violence, a difficult family situation, broken finances, career disappointment, or frustration with ourselves for a multitude of reasons, hope can feel…flimsy. Like it belongs to some other person in some other time. But hope is something that we can have and hold on to in any time and circumstance. And here are a few ways to help you do just that: Develop perspective. No matter what is happening in our own lives, it is likely that there are others going through even more difficult circumstances. This doesn’t mean that our pain doesn’t matter. It means that we are not alone. There are people out there who understand what we’re going through because they’ve been through it—and worse. The struggles others have experienced in the past and in other parts of the world—war, genocide, displacement, religious persecution, lack of medical care, and more—help our own troubles become smaller, less scary, less insurmountable. Reading the account of a Holocaust survivor or a quadriplegic athlete is sure to put things in perspective. Count small blessings. I…

Uncategorized / February 11, 2009

My first crack at the “plane Jane” heroine took me by surprise. Given my love for larger-than-life characters, I wasn’t sure my muse was up to the challenge. Then I remembered that one of the best matches for a small-town-practical girl would be a big-city-dynamo of a guy. One Sunday night I was sniffling my way through yet another episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition (come on…I dare you to watch that without crying at the end), thinking how any red-blooded American female would enjoy watching Ty Pennington rip up her hardwood flooring…and voila!—the idea for Bluegrass Courtship was born. Of course, I had to give this my own quirky twist, so I invented Missionnovation, the church-rehab version of home makeover a show. After all, how many church buildings could use a spruce-up to match the vitality of the congregations inside? Click here to read the rest of the blog. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Janet Dean | Orphanages
Uncategorized / November 13, 2008

Thanks to Fresh Fiction for inviting me to guest blog today. November isn’t usually the prettiest month here in the Midwest, but it’s still a favorite of mine. I’ve always loved the Thanksgiving holiday and our first child was born in November. Although our daughter’s original due date was November 13, as babies will, she came a little later. Even with little sleep and the extra pounds I could have done without, we put our firstborn at the top of our “thankful for” list that Thanksgiving. And there she’s remained, joined by her younger sister and down the road, their husbands and our four grandchildren. Family means a great deal to me. Perhaps that’s why I was fascinated the first time I heard about the orphan train and decided to use this slice of history in a book. Before writing my novel, I researched the orphan train phenomena. Between the years of 1853-1929, over 250,000 children were sent by train to new homes in the Midwest and beyond. The idea to place out orphans originated with Methodist minister Charles Loring Brace, founder of The Children’s Aid Society. At the time Brace came up with the plan, immigrants were pouring into…

Daniella Brodsky | Inspiration
Uncategorized / September 25, 2008

Whenever I give readings, the first question I am always asked is, “Where do you get your inspiration?” I think this is a wonderful question, and when I interview artists across all mediums, for the various magazine articles I write, I always ask them the very same thing. The truth is, at least to me, and to those many artists I’ve questioned, is that inspiration comes in so many ways—some very simple, some more complex and obtuse—and that what ‘does it’ for one, doesn’t necessarily ‘do it’ for all. Inspiration can come to us through travel, through a newspaper article, via a particularly intriguing conversation, or even through sitting in the yard, watching the sun go down. To me, the individual’s ability to uniquely filter these experiences, and filter them into something beautiful, rich, something only their imagination can run wild with, and turning that into a living, breathing work of fiction, a painting, or even a piece of furniture, is truly magic. So, here I reveal some of the inspirations behind my own books. I’d love to hear about what inspires you. I’d like to start in the most general sense, with music. I listen to music constantly, especially…

Lucy Monroe | Trying Something New
Romance / September 27, 2007

Why an eBook? I get that question a lot since I decided to publish Annabelle’s Courtship with Samhain Publishing. My first reaction is: Why not? 🙂 But seriously…Samhain Publishing is such an impressive entity to me that I really wanted to work on a project with them. It started with two Inspirationals I’d written before I discovered that my fit as a writer leaned much more heavily toward sexy romance. Samhain doesn’t have any of the limitations on publication for an Inspirational that the larger presses do and luckily for me, they were interested in publishing my books. Meagan’s Chance came out under the LC Monroe name in July and Miss Fixit will be out later this year with a co-author. I also had a historical I’d written early on that Berkley had not yet purchased and I saw this as a golden opportunity to do something with Samhain as Lucy Monroe. Berkley very generously allowed me an addendum to my contract to make this possible and voila…Annabelle’s Courtship was published! Not only has Annabelle’s Courtship come out as an original eBook, but it and Meagan’s Chance will be released in print (available in all major bookstores – and some…

Jill Marie Landis | Welcoming Westerns Back
Uncategorized / August 31, 2007

Aloha One and All: A big Mahalo (thank you!) to Fresh Fiction for inviting me to blog today. This is such a fabulous site, one that makes promotion painless for those authors like me who somehow look up from the monitor only to discover a year has gone by and I’ve yet to let readers know what’s been going on and when to expect my next novel. I’m pleased as punch to announce that next year my first single title novel for Steeple Hill will be published in July ’08. The title is now officially, HOMECOMING, and for those of you who have read my early Western Historical Romances and have been asking for more, this one is for you. Written as a Western Inspirational Romance, HOMECOMING is the kind of story I love to tell about characters who find the strength to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It’s a book that romance readers can pass along to their daughters and grandmothers as well. Whenever anyone asks how I was able to switch from secular romance novels that were on the sensual side to Inspirational Romance, I remind them that I’ve always tried to instill a sense of hope and triumph…

Debby Giusti | Pinch me, I must be dreaming!
Uncategorized / August 9, 2007

My second Love Inspired Suspense from Steeple Hill came out this week! Seeing SCARED TO DEATH on the shelf in my favorite bookstore is the continuation of a dream come true that started in April when my debut novel, NOWHERE TO HIDE, was first released. If you’ve ever worked to accomplish a goal that at times seemed almost unobtainable, I bet you can relate to the elation I feel having two books in print. The path to publication can be long and winding, filled with dead ends and detours. Constructive feedback is hard to come by, yet rejection abounds. Taking an idea and developing it into a full-length manuscript demands intense effort and self-discipline. Unfortunately, many would-be authors don’t persevere long enough to see their books in print. Because perseverance and determination are the key. Everything else can be learned. I made it because I kept trying. So can you. No matter what you’re hoping to achieve. Most dreams start with a tiny spark of an idea. For a writer, the process usually begins with a “what if!” What if a woman’s husband was murdered and the people who killed him are now after her son? If you read NOWHERE…