Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jen Gilroy | My favorite fireside reads for the holidays
Author Guest / December 12, 2017

For me, winter—and the holidays in particular—is the coziest time of year. During these cold months, I return to comfort reads—the books that no matter what else is going on in my life—or the wider world—give me escape, hope, inspiration, and encouragement. So, as the winter nights draw in, and I curl up by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate, my dog snuggled at my side, and fuzzy socks on my feet, here are my favorite seasonal reads, especially for Fresh Fiction. LITTLE WOMEN, Louisa May Alcott Alcott’s classic (first published in 1868) has been one of my favorite books since my early teens, and Little Women is still the story I return to each year at Christmas. I inherited my copy from my grandmother and knowing she treasured it makes the book even more special to me. From the first line of the first chapter, “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” this American Civil War era story about the four March sisters reminds me of the true meaning of the season, the blessing of family, and qualities—kindness, patience, courage and forgiveness—that are as important today as when Alcott was writing. WINTER GARDEN, Kristin Hannah I first…

Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss: September Books
Fresh Fiction Box Not To Miss / September 5, 2017

Check out all the books in September’s Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss. Every box included SOMETHING LIKE HAPPY by Eva Woods. Selection Something Like Happy by Eva Woods With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment. “It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be Read More »   Selection Fault Lines by Thomas Locke Security expert Charlie Hazard is rarely thrown off balance until he meets an experimental psychologist who convinces him to join her research team on a thrill ride that will test him to the limit–and leave him wondering if any of them will survive. As a security expert, Charlie Hazard Read More »   Selection Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out Read More » A Riveting, Intense, and Thought-provoking Murder Mystery   Selection…

Jen Gilroy: The top 5 challenges of writing small town romantic women’s fiction
Author Guest / August 17, 2017

I write in the area between romance and women’s fiction. I’ve been a romance reader since my teens, and most of my favorite stories are set in small communities or rural areas like those from where I draw my roots. When I hit my thirties, though, I also began reading uplifting women’s fiction—stories that focus on women’s life experiences and relationships that often include, but extend beyond, a central romance. Now as an author, I’ve found my happy place writing the kind of feel-good books I like to read—about women’s lives, loves and family and community relationships, all set in a heartwarming small-town world much like the one I call home. However, and as with any writing, there are challenges (and sometimes surprises) in writing this type of fiction. Here are my top five. A balancing act Between creating a believable small-town world, developing a central (and sometimes secondary) romance with related character growth, and then mixing in relationships with children, friends and extended family across generations, one of the biggest challenges in writing this type of fiction is keeping all the strands balanced and going in the right direction, at the right time. One strand can’t overwhelm the other…