Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Author Guest / April 30, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write Under the Southern Sky? Kristy: I was at a party and one of my friends pulled me aside. She was visibly upset because she had been to the doctor that day and he had told her that she and her husband needed to make decisions about their leftover frozen embryos. She said, “When we were freezing these embryos, all we could see is the babies we wanted. We never thought about what would happen next. We never thought about what we would do with the ones we didn’t have.” And then she said the magic words. “A lot of people are going to be going through this. You should write a book about it.” I remember where I was standing and how I got chill bumps all over, as a sure sign that she was, indeed, correct. I knew there was a story there. Only, I didn’t exactly know what that story was What happens in Amelia Buxton’s professional career that brings an old friend back into her life? Amelia is researching for a story about what people do with their unused, frozen embryos when she is sneaking around and accidentally finds out that…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE LAST NIGHT IN LONDON by Karen White
Author Guest / April 16, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write THE LAST NIGHT IN LONDON? Karen: Many things, but mostly my experience of living in a beautiful old building in London for 7 years when I was a teenager, and the frequent emails from readers wanting to know what happened to Maddie Warner from my two previous books, Falling Home and After the Rain.  I guess you can say I’ve been waiting for over a decade to find the perfect story to bring these two inspirations together. What brings Eva Harlow and Precious Dubose together in pre-WWII London? They are both beautiful young women with a passion for beautiful things, including clothes.  They are also poor and needing to earn a living, and they become models for a small couture house while sharing a small flat.  Working and living together brings them to become as close as sisters.  At least at first. When Graham St. John comes on the scene, how does their friendship change? Initially, it doesn’t.  Both women are both enjoying their newfound freedom and access to higher social classes, and the exciting social scene of pre-war London.  It’s only when Eva becomes romantically involved with Graham that she begins to see…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: LIFE’S TOO SHORT by ABBY JIMENEZ
Author Guest / April 2, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write Life’s Too Short? Abby: I wanted to write a true opposites attract love story! Opposites attract is such a challenging trope, because you really have to make the reader think they’re too different from each other for it to work—but then you have to show the reader how they do work and you need to make that believable. It’s a juggling act. Adrian is a straight-laced, workaholic attorney. He plans everything, he doesn’t do spontenaity, he thrives on routine, never has fun. Vanessa’s a free spirit in every sense of the word. Vanessa has a 50% chance of developing ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease that runs in her family, and she’s set on living her potentially short life to the fullest. She goes where the day takes her and she finds joy and excitement where she can. She never makes plans, she never saves anything for later because she doesn’t know if there will be a later. The way I write my heroes is I ask myself who the heroine is, then I write the man she needs. But in this case, they both got exactly who they needed. It was so fun to…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE TRUTH AND OTHER HIDDEN THINGS by LEA GELLER
Author Guest / March 26, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write The Truth and Other Hidden Things? Lea: Often my writing process happens by a combination of two story ideas or characters – and in this case, I had envisioned a woman in her 40’s with an accidental pregnancy (which I will admit is something of a fever dream for me) and also the idea of someone who is desperate to be noticed but who writes under the cover of anonymity. Once I had established who Bells Walker was, the plot grew from there. As it turns out, in the past year so many people have been moving from New York City to the Hudson Valley, and it’s been great fun to read real-life accounts of some of the thing Bells noticed about her new home – the tattooed, kombucha drinking hipsters and their love for reclaimed wood and mason jars!   Bells’s life takes a sudden turn when her husband moves the family from Manhattan to the Hudson Valley. How does she handle the big change? Not well! Bells, already socially anxious, uses her move and her pregnancy as an excuse to hole up and stay home. She’s convinced that any person she meets…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED by Farah Heron
Author Guest / March 12, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED? Farah: Reena came to me a few years ago. I’ve always loved food and wanted to write a food blogger character. When I wrote my debut, THE CHAI FACTOR, I used my food blogger character as the main character’s best friend, intending to go back to her for my next book. I loved the character so much and knew that the love interest that I paired her with had to be worthy of her, so I created the food-loving, equally adorable, and sexy Nadim for her. Reena’s parents have always been overbearing, so I knew an arranged marriage, or facilitated marriage trope would make sense, but I’ve always loved a fake relationship. The end result is an arranged marriage/fake relationship romance full of family, food, and lots and lots of love.   How does Reena feel about the art of baking? Like so many of us, baking is a stress reliever for Reena. She feels that she doesn’t have a lot of control in her life. She’s unsatisfied at work, her romantic life is a disaster, and her best friend has moved away. And her parents are well-meaning, but far too intrusive…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: FLOWERS OF DARKNESS BY TATIANA DE ROSNAY
Author Guest / February 26, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write FLOWERS OF DARKNESS? Tatiana: I wanted to explore the near future and how artificial intelligence and “smart homes” can wreak havoc with our intimacy. This book is a journey into a fragile woman’s paranoia. Clarissa has just discovered that her husband is being unfaithful and decides to leave him.  She moves into a highly sophisticated artistic residence, hoping to find a new start here. But little by little, her past and her traumas come back to haunt her.  She is a writer obsessed with places and the memories that are linked to homes and the past. She is convinced that the new “connected home” she now lives in is trying to pillage her creativity for the purpose of AI. Her daughter is worried she might be sinking into a depression, but her teenage granddaughter is convinced that her granny is right… I leave it up to the reader to decide! Why does Clarissa Katsef move to Paris? Clarissa is half French, half English. She was born in the UK but moved to Paris when she was in her twenties. She is perfectly bilingual, and my book discusses those “hybrid brains”, people who live, talk,…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: DO NO HARM BY CHRISTINA MCDONALD
Author Guest / February 12, 2021

What inspired you to write DO NO HARM? I’ve spent much of my adult life watching my brother’s addiction to opioids. Watching someone you love go to war with themselves is a special level of hell. The experience profoundly changed me and my view of addiction and opioids. So I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to write a thriller set against the backdrop of the opioid epidemic. Then one day I saw a news story about a podiatrist who’d been arrested for starting an opioid ring and it got me thinking: why do people start selling drugs? Is it money, power, status? What would drive someone to do that? The only thing I believed I could ever understand, given that I’d watched my brother’s descent into addiction, was love. My children. I would do anything for them. And that was the moment I first thought of the story for Do No Harm. When Emma’s son is diagnosed with a rare cancer, how does her life change? After a troubled and lonely past in which her parents were killed in a car accident and she was raised in foster care, Emma has finally found the happiness and belonging…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: HADLEY AND GRACE by Suzanne Redfearn
Author Guest / January 22, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write HADLEY AND GRACE?  Suzanne: The idea for HADLEY AND GRACE came from my enduring love for the movie Thelma and Louise. I wanted to write the same sort of exciting road-trip adventure that also had an underlying theme of self-discovery and empowerment. As it turned out, I couldn’t actually tell the story as it was originally conceived by the talented Callie Khouri. Fortunately for us, times have changed and we’ve come a long way from gawking truck drivers, bar-swine rapists, and patronizing do-gooder cops as typical male stereotypes. So while the plot is similar–two women on the run who become accidental outlaws–the story is very different.  What causes Hadley to flee from her home with her two kids?  Hadley is in an abusive marriage, and her husband is cunning and controlling. The opportunity she’s been waiting for comes along, and she seizes it. What is going on in Grace’s life that makes her yearn for a fresh start?  Grace’s husband has a gambling problem, and when he loses their rent money, Grace realizes the only hope she has for her and her infant son is to try and make a fresh start.  What draws…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: OUR DARKEST NIGHT by Jennifer Robson
Author Guest / January 8, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write OUR DARKEST NIGHT? Jennifer: After finishing work on THE GOWN, I jumped into work on a book set in…well, I don’t really want to say, since I may return to it some day! I spent months researching and plotting it, but when it was time to buckle down and write the thing, I just couldn’t do it. I was trying to figure out what to do next when my son came to me and asked if it was true that his great-grandparents, my husband’s maternal grandparents, helped to hide Jewish families from the Nazis during the war. And I had to admit that I wasn’t sure – but I told him I would try to find out. It didn’t take a lot of digging for me to discover that San Zenone degli Ezzelini, the small town in northern Italy where my mother-in-law grew up, was a focus of resistance against the Nazi occupation in World War Two, and specifically that the local priest had organized shelter for dozens of Italian Jews. Father Oddo Stocco was named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 2010, and while I wasn’t able to prove conclusively that…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE by Reese Ryan
Author Guest / December 11, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE? Reese: The idea for a series about a small town in the Outer Banks was prompted by my first visit to the Outer Banks and the town of Duck, North Carolina, which my husband and I fell in love with instantly. And while I can’t recall exactly how I came up with Dex and Dakota’s love story, I had initially intended to pitch it to a company that was going to publish choose your own adventure style romances. So, for instance, one of the first choices the reader would’ve made was whether Dakota returned to her small hometown or tried to stick things out in New York. Why does rising-star reporter Dakota Jones return to her hometown?  Dakota unwittingly gets caught up in a scandal that gets lots of press in New York City and in Italy and tanks her career as a reporter just as she was about to be named the weekend news anchor at her station. No other station in wants to get tangled up in the scandal, which leaves Dakota just one option: she must return home to regroup and figure out her next move…