Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE ATTIC ON QUEEN STREET by Karen White
Author Guest / November 19, 2021

Jen: THE ATTIC ON QUEEN STREET is the seventh and final book in the Tradd Street series. How did you arrive at the premise? Karen: The best part of a series is that it’s basically one long book with multiple plot lines that get resolved throughout the series.  Since I knew THE ATTIC ON QUEEN STREET would be the last, I knew that for the first time that loose ends weren’t a possibility.  Every single unanswered question, mystery, plot, character arc had to come to a complete resolution.  And, of course, the conclusion of the major cliffhanger at the end of the previous book, THE CHRISTMAS SPIRITS ON TRADD STREET.  This gave me the main guide I needed for this book’s premise.  The second, but equally important guide, was the spin-off series that will follow the Tradd Street Series.  Nola Trenholm will be the main protagonist, as will a new character, Beau Ryan, who is introduced in The Attic on Queen Street.  Beau is from New Orleans which is where the new series will be set, and there is a lot of mystery surrounding him and his family.  This is why at the end of the book, Nola is headed…

Karen White | Exclusive Interview + Excerpt: THE ATTIC ON QUEEN STREET
Author Guest / November 2, 2021

Danielle: Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Karen! We are so excited to have you here. It’s a bittersweet day, because the last book in the Tradd Street series, THE ATTIC ON QUEEN STREET, has finally arrived. What has writing this series meant to you? How do you think you’ve changed during the course of writing about Tradd Street?   Karen:   The idea for the series began in 2005—sixteen years ago!  A lot can happen in sixteen years.  My children, then 13 and 11, have gone through high school, college, and grad school (lots of graduations!) and are now launched into adulthood with one wedding on the horizon.  We acquired two dogs, and lost one, remodeled our kitchen, bathrooms, and pretty much everything else, and bought a beach house.  We survived a pandemic and I inherited the care of my elderly parents.  All this while writing all seven books in the series plus nineteen other books and a chapter in an anthology.  I’m not sure I slept very much! I had never written a series before, and when the idea first hit me, I knew immediately it had to be set in a Southern city filled with lots of history, gorgeous architecture and, of course,…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner Interview: BODY AND SOUL FOOD by Abby Colette
Author Guest / October 25, 2021

There are those people in life who amaze you with how many hats they wear on any given day, and then they put another one on like it’s no big deal. Like an additional hat doesn’t put any pressure on their brain or weigh their head down and make it feel like it’s going to fall off their shoulders. On top of that, they do it with style and grace—ease—that makes you wish you could complete just one of their tasks and make it look that effortless.  Abby L. Vandiver, aka Abby Collette, is one of those people, and of course, she took on this interview while juggling two releases in November! Whew, I don’t know about you, but I find her energy exciting. (And exhausting if I think about it too much!) She’s also generous with her time and her expertise—how can you not fall in love with a talent like that! Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Abby! Abby: Thank you for inviting me. Happy to be here. I want to congratulate you on your new Ice Cream Parlor Mystery series! What made this series special for you as an author? Thank you! This series was special because it…

Stephanie Kane | OBJECT LESSONS + Giveaway!
Author Guest / October 15, 2021

OBJECT LESSONS was inspired by an eccentric Chicago heiress named Frances Glessner Lee. In the 1940’s, Lee designed 18 miniature models of crime scenes to train police investigators. Built to the scale of one inch to one foot, and complete with tiny victims, Lee’s dioramas are enigmas begging to be solved. Here are Lily Sparks’ favorites: 1: Three-Room Dwelling: Robert and Kate Judson, and their baby Linda Mae, are shot to death in their tidy little house. Their phone is off the hook, the table’s set for breakfast, the murder weapon—a rifle—is on the kitchen floor, and both doors are locked from inside. 2: Attic: Miss Jessie Comptom, a spinster, hangs from a rafter in her attic. Old letters and other relics of her past are scattered beneath her. One shoe dangles from her foot; its mate is on the stairs. 3: Dark Bathroom: Maggie Wilson lies face-up in a bathtub in a rooming house. Fully clothed, she appears to have fallen in backward. She had two male visitors that night, and there’s a liquor bottle on the floor. 4: Kitchen: Mrs. Robin Barnes lies on her kitchen floor. The stove’s gas jets are open, and her face has a rosy…

Debbie Wiley | Missing Persons
Author Guest / October 14, 2021

Missing persons stories appear in the news all too frequently, capturing the attention of the nation with a multitude of questions. Where did the person go? Is the person safe? What happened and why? Whether it’s the manhunt for Brian Laundrie amid the swirling questions of his fiancée’s death or the past well-publicized kidnappings of Patty Hearst and Elizabeth Smart, or the still-unsolved disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, cases involving missing persons have seemingly always captured the attention of the nation as we anxiously await and hope for positive news. Lately, my local news has dealt with the tragic endings for Gabby Petito and Mia Marcano, both young women who lost their lives all too soon. Readers are often drawn to the theme of missing persons, as evidenced by the abundance of books with a missing person as the core theme. GONE GIRL was recently one of the bestselling books of the decade, featuring the missing person theme. Let’s delve into a few other books featuring this same theme. LAST SEEN ALONE by Laura Griffin starts out with an abandoned car and a pool of blood. The car, registered to Vanessa Adams, offers little clues and Vanessa isn’t anywhere to be…

Kym Roberts | Cozy Corner Interview: DEATH IN CASTLE DARK by VERONICA BOND
Author Guest / September 27, 2021

New series are always a delight to find. When it’s written by a tried and true mystery author, it’s like finding unexpected money in the laundry. Not a one-dollar bill or even a five, but a twenty—crisp and clean—the perfect, unexpected treasure that you want to tell everyone about, yet keep it for yourself. After all, you never know what kind of castle doors that treasure could open;) Even better when it’s the gateway to Castle Dark:) I was lucky enough to chat about those wonderous doorways and the new Dinner and a Murder Mystery series with ever-talented, Julia Buckley writing under the pseudonymVeronica Bond. Kym: Hi Veronica, thank you for joining us at the Cozy Corner on Fresh Fiction! Veronica: Thank you for inviting me!  When I read the premise of your new series, Dinner and a Murder Mystery, I was hooked. I’ve only gone to one of our local murder mystery dinner theater, but thoroughly loved the experience. How were you inspired? Did you visit a local theater in Chicago, or go on a weekend trip to an enchanting Castle Dark? I used to go to a wonderful dinner theater called the Candlelight Dinner theater (alas, now closed), but…

Sarah Zachrich Jen | Exclusive Interview: THE OTHER ME
Author Guest / August 9, 2021

Danielle: Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Sarah, and congrats on your debut novel, THE OTHER ME! Can you tell us a little about your journey into publishing this book?   Sarah: Thanks for having me! The book that eventually became THE OTHER ME went through several rewrites on its way to publication. When I started writing, I had no idea that it would be a thriller—I was having more upmarket/literary thoughts, though still with the speculative element, and the original pacing and ending reflected that. I took a few years to get the book to where I thought it was ready to query, and then I entered the Pitch Wars mentoring program, which I’d read good things about online. I didn’t get in, but PW mentor Layne Fargo (who’s also an amazing author) loved my manuscript. She was kind enough to refer me to an agent she knew, who asked me to revise and resubmit. I signed with that agent, did one more revision, and settled in to wait for months while my agent shopped the book around to editors. My agent emailed the manuscript to one editor on a Friday to give her an advance look before we went on…

Charlotte Carter | Exclusive Interview: RHODE ISLAND RED
Author Guest / July 27, 2021

Danielle: Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Charlotte! We are excited to host you here today, and celebrate the re-release of RHODE ISLAND RED, the first book in your Nanette Hayes Mystery series. How does it feel to have Nanette back in print?   Charlotte:  I have to say, it feels pretty good.  This re-do was quite unexpected.  Nanette Hayes is a fierce, clever sleuth, who teaches French and plays the saxophone. Where did the idea for her start for you? How has she surprised you?   It’s true that not too many women play sax, but I actually did see a young woman playing on the street—this was some 20 years ago. I was just taking a walk with my husband, and we came upon her,, gave her a couple of dollars. He was the one who suggested creating a street musician character. From there, I won’t pretend it was easy, but Nan kind of presented herself. I got the chance to give her a lot of stuff that I myself lacked—grit, youth, “hotness,” forthrightness, romanticism, etc. And of course, I put a bit of myself in the mix—the travel bug, love and admiration for music, and the people who play/master it….

Shanora Williams | 20 Questions: THE PERFECT RUIN
Author Guest / July 26, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE PERFECT RUIN 2–What is it about? It’s about a woman named Ivy Hill who finds out the name of the woman who destroyed her childhood – Lola Maxwell. Lola is a wealthy, well-known woman who is loved by many and Ivy sets out on destroying/ruining Lola’s life as payback. It’s a very twisty and suspenseful read with a revenge plot and a domestic thriller vibe. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love that it’s set near a beach. It’s mostly set in Miami, Florida and I love that you sort of get a visual of the beach weather and the summer activities. And given that this is a summer release makes it all the more exciting! 4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  My main character Ivy was way more calculating and manipulative than I thought she would be. She knew how to truly fake it in order to make it and to get what she wanted. 5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  Well, one reason I loved writing this book is that it touches on the effects of trauma and how some people can…

Debbie Wiley | The Ultimate Lady of Mystery
Author Guest / July 12, 2021

I fell in love with mysteries at an early age. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and the Hardy Boys were my first foray into the genre. Then I discovered Phyllis Whitney’s young adult mysteries, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries changed my world. Hercule Poirot bragged about using “the little gray cells” while both he and Sherlock Holmes carefully observed the tiniest details and made brilliant observations around those details. Miss Marple, on the other hand, listened to town gossip and used her years of wisdom about human nature to deduce what others missed. All three of them shrewdly found the solutions to murders that stumped even the cleverest of inspectors. I devoured all sorts of mysteries and thrillers, trying to astutely deduce the murderer just as my fictional favorites of Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and Sherlock Holmes had done. Recently, while driving back and forth to South Carolina, I listened to several of Agatha Christie’s stories as produced by the BBC, including POIROT’S FINEST CASES and MORE FROM MISS MARPLE’S CASEBOOK. My love for all things Agatha Christie re-ignited, and what a joy for me to…