Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Mysteries in Bloom
Author Guest , Cozy Corner / April 26, 2021

As I write this blog my flower beds are in bloom. My irises are gorgeous, my daisies are abundant, and my carnations are fragrant. It’s too bad something dark and sinister is creeping into the shadows. That’s right, a murderer is on the loose in my garden and an APB won’t do my beauties any good. Because tonight they will face one of the worst killers known to their kind—Jack Frost. Their death by his hand (or heroic saving by mine) might lead to some nail-biting moments on my part, but I have a feeling I’m the only one who’s truly invested or interested in their next chapter. I mean it’s not like the New York Times will write about their premature death or my valiant attempt to save their lives. But I have dug up some truly newsworthy mysteries Jack Frost can’t touch. The covers caught my eye like the blossoms in my yard, the plots are much better formed than my best buds and the characters charmed me with their style and wit. Yes, the mysteries are in bloom, and all we have to do to catch the culprits is keep turning the page. Wicked Honeymoon  An Ivy…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Break Away with a Mystery
Author Guest / March 29, 2021

Everyone needs a break, including authors. I’ve been on a personal hiatus for several months from everything but family, and I have to say it was nice. Like all good things, however, my recess had an end date. Now I’m back with fresh a perspective, and a whole bunch of books to talk about! (No reader actually takes a break from cracking open a new book, do they?) While away I found several new authors that made me wonder what rock I’ve been under the past few years. (No, it wasn’t Dwayne.) I mean seriously, these are good books, how did I miss them? One series in particular just rocked my world, the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series by Deanna Rayburn.  And this series has the added bonus of audiobooks performed brilliantly by Angele Masters. I was hooked with the first book A Curious Beginning and lucky for me, book six, An Unexpected Peril, was released March 10, 2021—Yay! So yes, since December I have listened to books 1-5 and have thoroughly loved the characters and the mysteries and I’m totally thrilled to have this latest release in cue for this weekend! An Unexpected Peril  A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Rayburn 3/10/2021 A…

Fresh Fiction Reviewer Spotlight: Kym Roberts
Author Guest / December 28, 2020

Today we are joined by another one of our regular author columnists, Kym Roberts! She writes a monthly Cozy Corner column where she gives book recs and interviews mystery authors.  Your Name Kym Roberts How long have you been a Fresh Fiction reviewer?  Six years What are your favorite genres to read and review?  Mysteries and romantic suspense What are your TOP 3-5 Books of 2020? LOL, join me at the end of December at the Cozy Corner and I’ll share my favorite cozy mysteries for 2020! What do you like to do outside of reading? Write, swim, hike and take pictures of my little dog, Shiloh. (Mom stuff tends to dominate my time) What are some of your holiday traditions?  Peppermint milkshakes–it’s a holiday treat my hubby has mastered! Yum! What are your reading resolutions/intentions/goals for 2021?  Stay healthy and stick to my daily writing goals! What do you love about being a Fresh Fiction Book Reviewer?  I get an inside peek at mysteries by new and oldies-but-goodies authors. I love the different backgrounds and how they chose the genre. If you’re comfortable, please share a photo so our readers can see your faces! Where else can readers find…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: DEATH AT CAPE MISERY by Wendy Lyn Watson
Author Guest / November 23, 2020

One of the things I love most about mysteries is the setting, the town where the characters come to life. I’ve lived on both coasts and multiple states in the middle so the chances are pretty good that an author can take me home for a few hours to enjoy my old stomping ground. The Oregon coast however, is very near and dear to my heart and I was hooked when I heard about Wendy Lynn Watson’s new mystery series she’s writing with Melissa Bourbon. You seriously can’t go wrong with this duo!  *** Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Wendy! Wendy: Thank you:) You teach law and politics at the University of North Texas. How does that come into play with your writing? (I actually picture you in Viola Davis’s role in How to Get Away with Murder—only your crimes are on the page. I’m close, right?) Wendy: That’s a great question! I don’t usually draw directly from the subjects I teach in my writing.  However, the students themselves keep me abreast of all sorts of things happening in the world that I would never hear about from people at my own stage in life.  They keep my creativity…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: ON BORROWED CRIME by Kate Young
Author Guest / September 28, 2020

Everyone needs a little charm in their life. Whether it comes from grandma, the old man next door, or a best friend, it will never be turned away. It’s what makes the cozy genre welcome on any reading list. Today’s feature is full of delightful Southern charm wrapped in lovable characters, recipes and a few grisly crime scenes–the perfect go-to ingredients when a reader needs a break from the real world. And don’t worry, Kate Young just keeps on giving after the last page, because then it’ll be time to rush into the kitchen and whip up some of her fabulous goodies!  Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Kate! Kate: Thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here.  In May you released your second Marygene Brown Mystery, Southern Sass and a Crispy Corpse, which is set the adorable island community of Peach Cove Georgia. Is there a real Peach Cove that you’ve modeled your island after? Peach Cove is loosely based on and inspired by both Seaside, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia. I took the small community feel of Seaside and combined it with the old southern roots of Savannah.  I love that Marygene’s mother haunts her–don’t all parents leave…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: The Last Get Away of Summer
Author Guest / August 24, 2020

Summer has almost reached its end, school’s in session, and many of us are looking forward to the cooler temps of fall, but life is far from normal. An escape from the constant turmoil of our world is high on my list of must-dos. With travel being out of the question for many of us, however, the need to escape has never been greater and what better way than to delve into the world of mystery and intrigue between the pages? With that in mind, I chose to feature a few books that may not be on your radar this fall. From a debut series, to Kindle Unlimited titles, my list is rounded off with a few series that will grab your attention from across the pond; I found these novels a refreshing look into new worlds. Take a chance and travel that uncharted path, these books are well worth your time. For Whom the Book Tolls An Antique Bookshop Mystery Laura Gail Black 9/8/2020 In this cozy series debut from Laura Gail Black, Jenna Quinn finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore, and Jenna–his primary beneficiary–becomes the prime suspect. Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: THE LAST MRS. SUMMERS BY RHYS BOWEN
Author Guest / July 27, 2020

Saying a novel is a du Maurier-like mystery, immediately catches a reader’s attention and sets a pretty high bar for an author to attain. Rhys Bowen, however, is one of the few writers who achieved that goal with flare. In her latest installment of the Royal Spyness Mystery series, The Last Mrs. Summers, Ms. Bowen was not only inspired by the Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, but she also matched the novel with her own creative genius. After all, within this one series, Ms. Bowen has tackled the love of the romance genre, the intrigue of a classic murder mystery, the suspense of a spy thriller, the angst of a historical drama, the friendship found in women’s fiction, (I’m sure I’m leaving something out) and now the foreboding of a gothic novel. How an author does that in one cozy mystery series is beyond brilliant. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier not only fascinated readers because of its gothic style but also for its narrative format from the viewpoint of the second Mrs. de Winter. I love that Ms. Bowen named her character Mrs. Summers—the seasons may be opposite, but her characters are equally captivating. On page one du Maurier began: “Last night I dreamt…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner Interview: DIANE KELLY
Author Guest / June 22, 2020

Summer is here, and what better way to celebrate but with a new eye-catching series in a completely different format than what we in the cozy genre are used to. Is there romance? Of course. Is there mystery? Absolutely, and the combination in bestselling author Diane Kelly’s new series is as fresh as sipping ice tea by the pool. Diane has taken the cozy genre and added a bold new twist that I adore. Check out her brilliant new angle to a feel-good genre. *** Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Diane! Diane: Thanks so much for inviting me! It’s always fun to connect with other book people, and especially to talk about the mysteries we love. I love the premise for your new Busted series featuring female motorcycle cops in various small towns across the country. What inspired the transamerican format instead of one small town? Will we see any female Canadian Mounties or a British Bobbies from across the pond? When I wrote Busted, I envisioned it as a stand-alone. I considered it equal parts romance/women’s fiction and mystery, and hadn’t really thought about making it a series since most romances/women’s fiction are stand-alone books. But after publishing it and getting…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner: Summer Escapes
Author Guest / May 25, 2020

Ahhh, summer. Warmer temps—when? Sunny skies—where? And great reads—thank God, I got one right! It’s the perfect time of year to read and relax, something all of us need right now. To start the holiday off right, I thought I’d recommend a few mysteries to freshen up your library and clear out all of those stress induced cobwebs—the real ones, and the imaginary ones in our brains—shouldn’t we have cleaned all of those out by now? I hope you enjoy them all! (The books not the cobwebs—nasty buggers.) Short and Delightful! Botched Butterscotch An Amish Candy Shop Mystery 4/28/2020 Amanda Flower Mother’s Day is a sweet and busy time at the candy shop Bailey King runs with her Amish grandmother. This year is extra special, because Bailey’s parents are visiting Harvest, Ohio. Bailey’s father has rarely returned since leaving the Amish faith over thirty years ago, but Bailey is confident that the right treats can help sugarcoat any awkwardness. For Mother’s Day Tea at the local church, she’s whipping up her mom’s favorite: butterscotch pie. All’s going well, until a sticky-fingered thief makes off with the money raised for a local women’s support group. While Bailey tries to discover who…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner Interview: Callie Hutton
Author Guest / April 27, 2020

I’ve known bestselling author Callie Hutton for several years, but with the internet age, we actually just met face to face a few years back. She’s a wonderful writer, a fabulous person and an inspiration to anyone who’s wanting to mix things up a bit in their lives. She’s proof that you can take your career in a different direction and continue to produce a great product. Everyone could use a bit of inspiration from people like Callie right now! Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Callie! Callie: Thank you for having me, Kym. I’m excited to be here. You’re a bestselling historical romance writer, what made you decide to switch genres into historical cozy mysteries? Several of my historical romances had mysteries in them. I enjoy adding that to a romance. Then I wrote one that was true to the cozy mystery genre as well as romance that was part of one of my self published Victorian series. I sent it to my agent and she immediately asked me to give her a proposal for a cozy mystery series. I did that and Crooked Lane contracted the series.  What did you find to be the hardest part about switching to…