Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Enterprising Women
History / June 21, 2017

For many historical fiction fans, one of the draws of the genre is watching woman of past confront challenges and restrictions to open up new opportunities for themselves.  In honor of the recent birthdays of some extraordinary women—my mother-in-law, my stepmother and my daughter—this month I showcase a group of enterprising women who dare to dream of doing something more than filling a woman’s conventional place in society. We begin chronologically with THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL by Kate Alcott.  Searching for independence and a better future, in 1832 farm girl Alice Barrow moves to Lowell to become one of the “mill girls.”  Though the hours are long and the work grueling, she finds a new best friend in outspoken, feisty Lovey Cornell, camaraderie with the other mill girls, and intellectual stimulation in attending lectures at the Lyceum and working on the mill’s literary magazine—where she catches the attention of mill owner’s son Samuel Fiske.  As working conditions become more dangerous and the workers protest, Samuel invites Alice to represent the other mill girls at a meeting with his family.  But when her friend Lovey is found strangled and she suspects the Fiske family of withholding information about the crime,…

Boo-k Spectacular Costume Party | Julia Justiss’s Treat of a Trickster
Author Guest / October 17, 2014

Welcome again to Fresh Fiction’s Halloween Boo-k Spectacular Costume Party! Some of your favorite authors are sending their characters to this virtual party in style. Enter and be charmed by Will Ransleigh, hero of Julia Justiss‘s THE RAKE TO REDEEM HER. *** What better costume party guest than a charming rogue who’s a master of disguises? Illegitimate son of an earl’s brother, Will Ransleigh spent his early years on the London streets before being reluctantly reclaimed by his aristocratic family. His unusual upbringing enables him to move at ease among peers or paupers. Will’s attending the party in one of his favorite guises–as a traveling peddler. (The better to winkle out information, making idle chat with customers distracted by his shiny wares.) He’ll be garbed as a Regency hero, casual-style, in an open-collared white shirt, tight pantaloons and tall black boots, with a red gypsy sash to add flare. You’ll find the ever-convivial Will on the dance floor, downing rum punch, playing a few hands of cards, or charming the ladies with clever conversation. When not dancing or conversing, he’ll delight the women, finding pearls behind their ears, and amuse the gentlemen, plucking gold coins from their cuffs. At a…

Julia Justiss | The Eternal Appeal Of The Rake
Author Guest / February 9, 2011

It doesn’t take much research to prove that the “bad boy” is one of the most popular hero types in romance fiction.  For the Regency, the operative term is “rake” or “rogue;” enter that word as a title name on Amazon, and you currently get 1816 books with “Rake” in the title, 9087 with “Rogue.” Whether he comes kitted out as an ancient Roman gladiator or medieval knight, an arrogant Regency rake or Victorian duke, a contemporary cop, private eye, billionaire businessman or a futuristic shape-changing warrior or vampire, it’s clear most romance readers love the the alpha male Bad Boy.  But what is it that we find so appealing? Maybe it’s the idea of all that hot, exciting, masculine energy, teasing and tantalizing you.  Maybe it’s the challenge of trying to tame him, or the heady thrill of believing you may be the only woman who can do so.  Maybe it’s the thought of all that barely-controlled sexual energy pulsing just under the surface, knowing it can sweep you to ecstasy at his whim, maybe at yours.  Maybe hooking up with someone who doesn’t play by the rules and gets away with it calls to the rebel in us…