Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner Interview: THE KEEPER by Jessica Moor
Author Guest / March 23, 2020

Like every reader, there are some books that come along that I must read, and in turn, I must interview the author. The Keeper by debut author Jessica Moor was one of those books. Since my career in law enforcement began too many years ago for me to share, I’ve felt passionately about changing the way society views domestic violence and violence against women. I transferred into the Special Victims Unit on the police department to work for a specific sergeant, but when I got there, staying there to make a difference became my personal passion. When I was promoted, I spent time in patrol but went right back to the unit that had become my calling. Today, I still feel passionately about the subject, I am disheartened when we take steps backwards, and heartened when we smash that glass ceiling as The Keeper sets out to do. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner on Fresh Fiction, Jessica! Jessica: Thank you! I’m feeling distinctly cozy already! Congratulations on the release of your debut novel! In just a few sentences, tell us what THE KEEPER is about.  THE KEEPER is set in and around a shelter for women fleeing domestic…

Maxine Mei-Fung Chung | 20 Questions: THE EIGHTH GIRL
Author Guest / March 16, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Eighth Girl: A Novel 2–What is it about?  The Eighth Girl is about a young woman named Alexa Wu who is living with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) previously known as multiple personality disorder. Only three people know about her condition–her stepmother, Anna; her psychiatrist, Daniel and her best friend, Ella. When Ella starts work in a high-end gentleman’s club and catches the attention of its shark-like owner, Alexa finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover (with the help of Daniel) whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle. 3–What words best describes your main character(s)?  Alexa is a complicated heroine. While having survived trauma, she finds beauty in nature and small acts of human kindness which she records with her camera. She is also someone who others underestimate, and an advocate for the greater good. At the heart of Alexa is a longing for connection, a need to be understood. Daniel, who has also survived trauma at the hands of his alcoholic father…

Kathleen O’Neal Gear | 20 Questions: CRIES FROM THE LOST ISLAND
Author Guest / March 12, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?    CRIES FROM THE LOST ISLAND  2–What is it about?   It’s about a brokenhearted teenage boy who has just lost the love of his life, a young woman who believed she was the reincarnation of Cleopatra. The story is set against the magnificent ruins of ancient Egypt and brings to life the greatest love story of all time.   The leading character is Hal Stevens. He’s sixteen and a budding historical scholar from a small town in Colorado. Hal has only two friends, Roberto the Biker Witch and Cleopatra Mallawi. Cleo believes she’s being stalked by an ancient Egyptian demon, Ammut, the Devourer of the Dead. When Hal gets a desperate call from Cleo saying the demon has found her, he and Roberto rush to her house, but find her dying. Cleo’s last request sends Hal and Roberto on the journey of a lifetime with famed archaeologist Dr. James Moriarity. To save Cleo’s soul, they must find the lost grave of Cleopatra. . . and then discover a way to open the path to the legendary Island of the Two Flames.   But they are not alone in their search. They are being watched by others–and…

Michael McAuliffe | Exclusive Excerpt: NO TRUTH LEFT TO TELL
Author Guest / February 27, 2020

From Chapter 1 White Night February 1994 Lynwood, Louisiana The bald tires of Frank Daniels’s corroded pickup rolled over a shallow bed of popping gravel and stopped next to two men in pointy hoods. The men huddled together, shifting around an imaginary fire and stomping their feet now and again. Their hoods were for show, not warmth. The other conspirators waited inside the clapboard frame house. Daniels got out of his truck and acknowledged the security detail with a half salute, which was all the formality he could muster given the late hour. With a rocking gait and fixed grin, he waddled up to the house in oversized boots worn to accommodate his swollen feet. The sentinels followed, hoods now in their hands. He wasn’t yet much of a Klansman, not compared to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, but Daniels soon would fix that by leading his own white night. The residents of Lynwood wouldn’t know it right away, but the town’s coming racial reckoning would be the doing of the Klan’s new grand dragon. All revolutions started somewhere, and that Friday evening Lynwood would join Fort Sumter as a cradle of insurrection. He closed the door behind him and…

Tom Threadgill | Exclusive Excerpt: COLLISION OF LIES
Author Guest / February 3, 2020

Amara scanned the long list of agencies who participated in the crash investigation. It’d be easier to name who wasn’t involved. The National Transportation Safety Board had coordinated the inquiry, but the FBI and virtually every state and local resource had been active as well. With fewer than ten thousand people in Cotulla’s county, their limited resources meant they needed all the help they could get. Because the bus driver was a veteran, even the Department of Defense had stepped into the fray. When everybody’d had their say, the crash boiled down to one finding: suicide-murder. No charges were filed since the lone culprit was already dead. The Feds promised to do more for PTSD victims. The railroad put up crossing gates at every intersection in the county. The elementary school students planted seventeen trees in memory of their friends. The community grieved. And the Reyeses still mourned. All the families probably did. Amara dragged her finger across the screen and leaned closer. Who’d done the body IDs? She jerked when Sergeant Norwood popped his bubble gum. “Whatcha working today, Alvarez?” “Paperwork on the Leon Valley burglaries mostly.” She shrunk her internet window and grabbed a pen. “Then I’ve got…

Sophie Hannah | Exclusive Interview: PERFECT LITTLE CHILDREN
Author Guest / February 3, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Sophie! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and new book, PERFECT LITTLE CHILDREN?  I’ve been writing psychological thrillers since 2006. This includes my Culver Valley police series and several standalone thrillers – Perfect Little Children is one of those. It’s about an ordinary woman, Beth, whose life takes a sudden, sinister turn when she witnesses a totally baffling scene involving her one-time friend, Flora. It’s been 12 years since their friendship ended. Then one day, unexpectedly, Beth sees Flora with her children, Thomas and Emily, who were five and three years old when Beth last knew them. Inexplicably, the children appear not to have aged at all. They are no taller, no older, and they’re even wearing the exact same clothes that Beth last saw them wearing. Why haven’t they grown? Beth, fearing something dangerous and terrible is going on, sets out to investigate… Beth painfully parted ways with her best friend Flora twelve years ago, but when she’s in Flora’s neighborhood, she can’t help but drive by Flora’s house, which leads to a whole host of other strange things. What inspired this setup?  It was inspired by a real-life situation I found myself…

Alicia Anthony | Top 5 Reasons Why We Love Series + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 27, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I love a good book series. When I began writing my debut novel, Inherent Truth, I didn’t originally plan for it to become a series. However, as things progressed and the characters revealed themselves, it became clear–this book was meant to be the kick-starter for a far more complex story than could be told within the confines of one novel. And so, Blood Secrets was born. I’ve thought about that a lot as I’ve navigated this journey, and after talking with some friends I’ve come up with what I consider the top five reasons why we love book series so much. I can’t wait to see if you agree. Reason #1: Characters become friends. Come on, don’t act like you’ve never closed a book and felt like you suddenly lost your best friend. We’ve all been there, and series have a way of roping us in, wrapping us up in these fictional lives so that we begin to feel like family. Most series provide a diverse cast of characters so that almost any reader can find a favorite, providing enough common ground that each turn of the page feels like a chat with a…

Nicci French | 20 Questions: LOSING YOU
Author Guest / January 24, 2020

1) What’s the name of your latest release?  Losing You.   2) What is it about?  A teenage girl goes missing and her mother has one short and terrifying day to find her. 3) What word best describes your heroine?  Unstoppable. 4) What makes your hero irresistible?  There is no hero. The heroine has to save her daughter by herself. That’s what makes her irresistible: she is like a tigress. 5) Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Nina turns to the police but the police don’t believe her. One of the themes that repeats in our novels is that people have to save themselves… 6) What do you love about the setting of your book?  Sandling Island is inspired by an island near where we live in South East England. It’s swept by the wind off the north Sea, it’s linked to the mainland by a causeway that is covered by the tide once a day and it produces the best oysters in the world. 7) Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)? Every book is a bit different. But this book is…

Peter Riva | Exclusive Excerpt: KIDNAPPED ON SAFARI
Author Guest / January 20, 2020

CHAPTER 3 Mamba Kisiwa na Simu ya Dharura—Crocodile Island and an Emergency Call The day’s shooting went well, starting with a morning call at eight. Pero had hired a fishing boat with Honda outboards, and they embarked from the hotel dock and headed two hours up the lake to Crocodile Island. The water was calm in the early morning, crystal clear, birds dipping beaks on the wing to drink. As they approached Crocodile Island, looking down off to the side, Mary spotted a small herd of hippos. Heep filmed them, lowering the waterproof camera as the blue-black, corpulent giants danced along the shallow bottom near the shore of the island. The morning’s planned shoot was filming the crocodile sand nests, the enormous females waiting just offshore, slowly treading water with powerful tails. Mary donned her wet suit, powered up her video camera, and went snorkeling in four to ten feet of water. Heep and the crew remained in shallow water and used the main underwater camera, filming her filming the crocs. The crew soon found themselves standing in five feet of water, as close to fifteen-foot crocs as anyone sane would ever want to be. While Susanna had adjusted her…

Miranda Owen | Fresh Fiction Reviewer Top Reads of 2019
Author Guest / December 20, 2019

Our reviewer retrospective continues with Miranda Owen‘s favorite books of this year!  I love making lists. At the end of a year, friends and fellow readers will post about their top favorite five or ten books of the year. I’m not configured that way. Trying to pick only five or ten favorite books out of the hundred or so I’ve read over the course of a year is unfathomable to me. Instead, I’ve picked about five or so titles in four different categories. Many of these selections fit a few of different categories listed here. I mostly read and review romances, but cozy mysteries are my jam too. Christmas-themed Romance Picks THE MATCHMAKER’S MISTLETOE MISSION by Jaci Burton A COWBOY UNDER THE MISTLETOE by Jessica Clare ONE HOT HOLIDAY by Cynthia Eden MEET ME UNDER THE MISTLETOE by Stacey Kennedy ONE CHRISTMAS EVE by Shannon Stacey There was a ridiculous amount of amazing Christmas-themed romances that came out this year, many of which came out at the end of October. The ones I’m discussing were my absolute favorites, but there were a bunch more that put a smile on my face. THE MATCHMAKER’S MISTLETOE MISSION by Jaci Burton and A…