Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Debbie Wiley | Back to School with Books
Author Guest / August 12, 2021

A new school year is starting, and thoughts typically would be on the fun new school clothes, the location of one’s locker, the squeak of tennis shoes on the gym floor, or if a best friend or favorite teacher is in one’s classroom. Instead, we find ourselves stuck with another wave of Covid and so many uncertainties about what to do and how to stay safe. I work in the school system and the fear and uncertainty are real, especially for someone like me with an underlying health condition that already impacts my breathing. Rather than focusing on the negative, and all of the things that are out of my immediate control, I’ve instead indulged myself in reading and enjoying books centering around the school system. Any time favorite books featuring a school theme are mentioned, Denise Swanson is the first author who comes to my mind! Denise Swanson was a school psychologist before she became an author, and her wealth of knowledge and empathy for students and teachers shows in each one of her books (with the exception of that horrid social worker in MURDER OF A ROYAL PAIN lol). BODY OVER TROUBLED WATERS features school psychologist Skye Denison-Boyd…

Deb Wiley | Pets as Side Characters in Genre Fiction
Author Guest / February 18, 2019

Today we are joined by Senior Reviewer Deb Wiley, with an article all about charismatic pets as side characters in cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, and other fiction genres. Enjoy! Stories featuring pets are always a popular draw for me. Whether it involves a man borrowing someone’s dog to capture the interest of a woman, such as in Sarah Morgan’s NEW YORK, ACTUALLY, or a mysterious cat who keeps popping up at the most opportune times, such as in FINAL SHADOWS by Kay Hooper, dog and cat stories are almost guaranteed to be on my TBR shelf. But what about stories featuring some more unusual animals rather than the expected dog or cat? Here are a few of the more intriguing stories I’ve read with pets outside the norm. Kym Roberts is hands-down the winner for having the most unusual and most entertaining pet! Her Book Barn series features a bookstore owner, which already draws my attention. However, Charli Rae Warren’s pet pink armadillo, Princess, steals the show in almost every book. In KILLER CLASSICS, Princess gets a boyfriend.  I’m not going to spoil anything by saying more but if you love pets and other animals getting involved in the storylines,…