Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Rosemarie Ross | Exclusive Interview: COBBLERED TO DEATH
Author Guest / November 18, 2019

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Rosemarie! Please tell us about yourself and your latest novel, COBBLERED TO DEATH. I’ve been married for 37 years. We have one son, one daughter-in-law and two granddarlings. I’ve been writing since 1991. I focused on short stories early in my career then graduated to books when I became an empty nester. COBBLERED TO DEATH is a food-themed cozy and my first foray into the mystery genre. The main character, Courtney Archer, is a cooking show star asked to co-host The American Baking Battle which is supposed to be a genteel competition like The Great British Baking Show. Behind the scenes, egos and tempers flare. When a contestant is bludgeoned to death with Courtney’s cast-iron fry pan of cherry cobbler, Courtney becomes the main suspect in the murder. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney sifts through clues all while smiling for the camera. Your lead character, Courtney Archer, is the star of her own show Cooking with the Farmer’s Daughter, as well as co-host of The American Baking Battle, a new cooking competition show. She has a lot on her plate, so to speak! Where did your inspiration come for this new series,…

Lauren Elliott | Exclusive Interview: MURDER IN THE FIRST EDITION
Author Guest / November 6, 2019

Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Debbie Wiley Hi Lauren! Thank you for joining us today at Fresh Fiction! I love cozy mysteries, especially ones centered around a bookstore so MURDER IN THE FIRST EDITION is a real treat for me to read. Can you tell our readers a little something about the storyline and the inspiration behind it? Hi, thank you for inviting me. It’s a pleasure to be here. The inspiration behind my Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series came to me a number of years ago. I had a good friend who owned a small used bookshop and being the book lover I am. It became my second home.  Her shop was my vision of the perfect bookstore–old and rare books, a reading corner, charming knick-knacks, and a bay window display that she decorated to highlight the season and one that never failed to attract passersby.  When I had more time to devote to writing, my old reading friend, Agatha Christie emerged, and the first image that came to mind was my real-life friend Maggie and her bookshop. From there, Addie’s was born. Even though, Beyond the Page Books & Curios is an expanded version of my friends, it’s…

Victoria Laurie | Exclusive Excerpt: COACHED TO DEATH
Author Guest / October 28, 2019

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 2 The group parted to allow Heather to pass, and she walked toward me with the practiced bounce of a model. Opening her arms wide, she pushed a giant smile to her lips. I didn’t trust her for a second. “Catherine!” she said warmly. “Don’t you ‘Catherine’ me,” I growled, my hands finding my hips. No way was I going to allow any kind of friendly embrace. Heather stopped in front of me and allowed her arms to hang there awkwardly for a moment. The women she’d just left were watching us, and I could see the puzzled expressions on their faces too. “You set me up!” I hissed. Heather’s arms dropped dramatically. “Catherine, whatever are you talking about?” I waved a hand down my front. “This.” “It’s a lovely suit, dear, but why would you come wearing black and white to a jewel-tone themed luncheon?” The ladies behind Heather edged closer toward us, completely engrossed in what was obviously about to become a scene. “I’m wearing this because you told me this was a black and white themed affair.” I was aware that I was speaking through clenched teeth, likely giving me the appearance of snarling…

Debra Sennefelder | Creating My Amateur Sleuth
Author Guest / October 28, 2019

There are so many things I love about cozy mysteries, it’s hard picking just one, but if I had to, I would say it is the amateur sleuth. Most people would equate the amateur sleuth as to being a busybody, someone who sticks her nose into other people’s business, nosey about the lives of her neighbors. But when I created Hope Early, the protagonist in my Food Blogger mystery series, I had a different view of her role in the series. When I was fleshing Hope’s character out, I knew she would be a strong, independent woman. She had to be because she would risk friendships, family relationships, and possibly her life in search of the truth and for justice. Hope isn’t a character willing to stand by while someone is being accused or when the victim doesn’t seem worthy of justice being sought. After I wrote the first manuscript, I came to refer to Hope as a Boss Sleuth because she takes ownership of what she does, and she doesn’t give up until the truth is revealed. There are a few things Hope has learned since her first foray into sleuthing. She learned early on to doubt everyone’s alibi….

Julie Anne Lindsey | Exclusive Interview: APPLE CIDER SLAYING
Author Guest / October 28, 2019

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Julie Anne! Please tell us about your new Cider Shop cozy mystery series and the first book, APPLE CIDER SLAYING. Hi! Thank you SO crazy much for having me back!! I’m really amped up about this new release! APPLE CIDER SLAYING is near and dear to my heart, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern West Virginia, an area I know well. Winnie lives with her Granny Smythe on the family apple orchard and becomes entangled in a murder investigation when Granny’s arch-nemesis is found lodged in the apple press, and the new sheriff names Granny as his number one suspect. Winnie Montgomery is just trying to keep her family’s apple orchard in business, but when her beloved grandmother is accused of murder, Winnie is having a hard time keeping things in order and just wants to prove her grandmother’s innocence. What do you think made Winnie a good amateur detective? Winnie is the best. Her natural curiosity gives her the little push she needs to get started once the urge hits. Before that, her big heart gets her started. Anytime Winnie sees an injustice or an underdog, she’s nearly compelled to jump in…

Nancy Coco | Exclusive Excerpt: FUDGE BITES
Author Guest / September 23, 2019

CHAPTER 1 “You look amazing, Allie,” Frances said to me. “Like the scariest of the walking dead.” I laughed. I could feel the makeup cracking, and so I tried really hard to get it together. “At least I don’t look like a real dead person. I’ve got skin flapping off my cheek.” I pushed on the latex flap that concealed the gory makeup underneath. “Thankfully, zombies aren’t real.” “I love the idea of the zombie walk,” Frances said. “The fact that the profits all go to the Red Dress Foundation is fantastic.” “I like the idea that all the bars and restaurants pitched in to supply food for the hungry masses,” I said. “Fudge isn’t exactly food,” she pointed out. “I bet there are a lot of people who would argue with you on that,” I teased. Frances was my hotel manager. She’d worked at the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop since before she retired from teaching. Thankfully, she had stayed as an employee after my papa Liam McMurphy died and I inherited the family business. At this very moment, I was putting the finishing touches on my zombie pinup girl costume. I didn’t usually participate in late night…

Ginger Bolton | My Top 6 Research Tips
Author Guest / September 2, 2019

Oops, did I say “tips?” I think I meant “trips.” Not the sort of trips that cause you to fall down (though I’m an expert at those.) I mean the kind of trips when you get into a car and go somewhere. It might be where you planned to go. Or it might not. Here are some of the research trips I’ve taken while researching my Deputy Donut Mysteries: Find Donuts. You have to learn more about donuts, and for that, I went to the experts, Cops & Doughnuts. When the Clare City Bakery in Clare, Michigan, which had been in constant operation since 1896, was going out of business, the local cops, all nine of them, bought it. They make the best donuts! I expected to feel safe there. I did escape, eventually. With donuts. 1 Learn from the pros. The Writers’ Police Academy was held in Wisconsin. Obviously, I had to attend that, and drive a real cop car. Can’t I pretend that we were supposed to knock down every single orange pylon and drive through all of the invisible pedestrians??? I mean, it wasn’t like I could see those pretend pedestrians, and although I could definitely see…

Tara Sheets | Top 5 Flowers That Symbolize Love
Author Guest / September 25, 2018

While writing Don’t Touch My Petunia, book #2 in The Holloway Girls series, I learned a lot about plants and flowers because the main character Juliette Holloway has garden magic.  I was surprised to learn that there are so many types of flowers that symbolize different aspects of love! Here are some of my favorites: 1.Red Tulips:  These flowers represent undying love and the idea that love is limitless.   2. Blue Violets:  They are the symbol of trustworthiness, which I believe is a cornerstone for true love. 3. Jasmine: These richly scented white flowers symbolize sensuality, grace, and love.  I have these all along my garden fence and they smell divine! 4. Forget-Me-Nots: I like these because they represent true love and, of course, the hope that one’s love will not be forgotten. 5. Orchids: Of all flowers, these are my absolute favorite.  They come in so many different colors and they symbolize powerful romantic desire.  They are also the longest blooming flower in the world. Love! DON’T TOUCH MY PETUNIA by Tara Sheets The Holloway Girls #2 Pine Cove Island is the kind of enchanting place where anything is possible . . . The Holloway women each have…

Libby Klein | Midnight Snacks are Murder
Author Guest / September 24, 2018

Fresh Fiction My first short story won a very prestigious award setting my entire writing career into motion. It was called “The Magic Rabbit” and I won second place in my elementary school short story contest at the brilliant age of seven. Just listen to this prose: Once in a very far away land there lived a boy named Charlie and he had a brother named David. David had a rabbit named Dayton. Oh, that. Is. Good. I also feel I should point out at this time that Charlie and David are never mentioned again. In a very Avant Garde George R. R. Martin style, I kill off the protagonist and his sidekick in the first paragraph. I think my teachers could see that I had a gift for writing even then. This is also when I established myself as a writer who shuns most forms of punctuation. My agent will attest that I have kept that style true to this day. Most of the story is about a rabbit and a mouse who go on a “grand adventchure” in search of snacks. When they finally find carrots and radishes they celebrate with “a snack of reward.” I will point…

Kimberly Killion | Curse it!
Romance / July 8, 2008

Let’s talk about Expletives. “God’s Hooks””’Ods toes”“Piss ‘n nettles”“Christ-all-bleeding-mighty!” Little curses and habitual ticks can bring a character to life. As an author writing in the Medieval time period, I chose the above expletives for my debut book, HER ONE DESIRE. Let’s start with the first one: GOD’S HOOKS: Derived from the hooks (or nails) used to fasten Christ to the cross. This particular expletive later evolved into “Gadzooks”. Many of these “God’s”expressions were reduced to ‘od’s or odds as in “‘ods toes”. Of course, part of the fun is making up expletives. I used ‘Piss ‘n nettles’ for one of the secondary characters in HER ONE DESIRE. I tossed words around for days trying to fit ‘John’ with the perfect expression. Not only does a character tend to use a favorite expression, but also favorite sayings, like: “Are ye wowf, man?” Simply from the way it’s written, the reader might be able to guess its meaning. ‘Wowf’ was Scottish slang used to describe someone who might be insane, crazy, mentally ill or deranged. Along with researching forms of speech, I often mull over a character’s nervous tick before I ever start a book. (Sometimes for days at a time)…