Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Stephen B. King | The Incongruity of Beauty
Author Guest / April 15, 2019

We use the word beauty in many different scenarios and situation, but could we ever use it to describe death? In Glimpse, the Beautiful Deaths, criminal psychologist Patricia Holmes, attached to the Major Crime Squad of the Western Australian Police Department does. That’s a beautiful dress, we might say, or what a beautiful day, those flowers are beautiful, that child has a beautiful personality, she has a beauty spot on her cheek……….You get the idea for how often we can use the adjective. I’ve even heard sports commentators say what a beautiful shot, he’s swimming beautifully and once, in a heavyweight boxing match, what a beautiful knock out punch. It seems to me to be over-used, and in some cases is completely opposite from what the word actually means. Patricia Holmes, asks us to consider beauty in its purest form. She describes a man who has an obsession to own and possesses beautiful things so badly it leads to six cases of murder. During a meeting with homicide detectives where she delivers the profile of the man they are hunting, she nicknames him Gordon. She urges the men to think of him that way; an ordinary man, not a master…

Isabella Maldonado | Author-Reader Match + Giveaway!
Author Guest , MatchMaker / April 8, 2019

Writes: An award-winning mystery/thriller police detective series set in Phoenix. The latest release, DEATH BLOW, book #3 in the Veranda Cruz series, hit the shelves in March 2019. About: Retired police captain turned award-winning author seeks readers who are adrenaline junkies looking for a high-octane thrill ride. DEATH BLOW features a strong—but flawed—female lead who must fight her inner demons as she’s pulled into a deadly trap. It’s the story of three families: Veranda Cruz’s large, loving, sometimes interfering ethnic family; her somewhat dysfunctional police family; and a notorious crime family that threatens everything she holds dear. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Enjoys police detective shows like “Law & Order” Has a thing for cops Is intrigued by an author with marksmanship medals and training in high-speed pursuit, defensive tactics, and interrogation techniques The sound of a siren gets your pulse racing—in a good way Secretly wants to be a detective Has a twisted sense of humor Is fine with a book that contains NO vampires, werewolves, witches, or cats Prefer your villains keep-you-up-at-night scary Isn’t squeamish about crime scene investigation Insists on multi-dimensional, complex characters (including the bad guys) Enjoys delving into a rich back…

Melinda Leigh | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / March 18, 2019

Today, Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser chats with bestselling author Melinda Leigh about the latest book in her popular Morgan Dane Series, SECRETS NEVER DIE! Your Morgan Dane mystery series is long-running. For new readers, tell us a little bit about the series, and what inspired the creation of Morgan. Morgan was originally a secondary character in my Scarlet Falls Series. By the time I had finished writing Seconds to Live, she wanted her own story. I had been wanting to write a continuing character series for a while, and Morgan seemed perfect. She was already a complex character. I’d given her a deep backstory that begged for further development. What are the pros and cons of writing about Defense Attorney Morgan and PI Lance Kruger now that they are in an established relationship? After writing a dozen traditional romantic suspense novels, I was ready for a fresh challenge with the Morgan Dane Series. I enjoyed writing a continuing character series much more than I expected. In a traditional romance novel, the couple must achieve their happily ever after by the end of the book. Slowing down the romance to a pace that felt more organic meant I never…

Frankie Y. Bailey | Dead Bodies and Romantic Tension
Author Guest / February 25, 2019

I didn’t set out to create a series with a sleuthing couple. But Lizzie Stuart, my crime historian protagonist, found John Quinn, Philadelphia homicide detective, intriguing when they met in Cornwall England in Death’s Favorite Child. In A Dead Man’s Honor, when Quinn astonishes her by applying for a position at the Virginia university where she is going to spend a year doing research, she is both dismayed and even more attracted. This relationship between my amateur sleuth and a police officer is common in mystery novels. There are even series – at least three or four — with a male amateur sleuth who is involved with a female cop. The reason for these pairings is often convenience. If the amateur sleuth has a relationship with a police investigator – whether romance or friendship – the sleuth can then: gain access to crime scenes gain access to autopsy and crime lab reports find out what witnesses and various suspects claim have a man (or woman) with a gun handy when one is needed The relationship also introduces on-going tension between two primary characters because the amateur sleuth – prone to getting into situations involving murder and other crimes – has…

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,…

Karen Rose | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / February 18, 2019

We are pleased to share this interview between bestselling author KAREN ROSE and Fresh Fiction reviewer Pat Pascale. Karen’s new book, SAY YOU’RE SORRY, is in stores now. If you’re in the Houston area, Karen Rose and Lisa Gardner will be at Murder by the Book this Wednesday, February 20, for a fun event. You can find out more here: https://www.murderbooks.com/event/lisa-gardner-karen-rose. Now, on with the interview! I’ve been a fan of the bestselling and award-winning author Karen Rose since she published DON’T TELL in 2004. SAY YOU’RE SORRY is among my best reads of the year so far. It’s over 600 pages of pure terror, excitement with a touch of sweet romance kept me glued until the end. The serial killer in this novel is a monster who must be stopped before he mutilates, assaults, and kills another victim. He has a strange “code of ethics” behind how he chooses victims. Please tell us more about him, and how this character formed in your mind while writing SAY YOU’RE SORRY. I wanted to write a killer whose fury might be understandable to readers, even when his actions were totally wrong. SAY YOU’RE SORRY’s killer tells himself he’s taking out this fury…

Victoria Scott | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / February 5, 2019

Welcome YA Author Victoria Scott! Her Young Adult mystery author, WE TOLD SIX LIES, is in stores today. What is We Told Six Lies about in your own words? It’s a story about eighteen-year-old Cobain Kelly, whose girlfriend goes missing. As Cobain searches for Molly, the police look at him as their primary suspect, and as more of Cobain’s friends and family members start accusing him of hurting her – and he replays the memories of their relationship – Cobain starts wondering if maybe he did do something to Molly. You’ve published eight other books. How difficult was this one to write comparatively? This was by far my most challenging book. It’s told in first, third, and second person. You read that right. A good 25 percent of this book is in second person. There are also time jumps between when Cobain is reliving his relationship with Molly, and the present when he is trying to find her. If that wasn’t enough, there are also location jumps. So yes, a challenging book to be sure. What are some fun facts about We Told Six Lies? Cobain gets his name from Kurt Cobain (name that band!), there are handwritten journal entries…

Taylor Adams | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / February 4, 2019

Your latest novel has a young college student, Darby, traveling home to see her dying mom. So you are already feeling for this character, then, a snowstorm, an uneasy rest stop, and no cell reception, leaving her already with a lot of obstacles. Where did you get your inspiration for NO EXIT? Why a rest area? TA: I’ve spent several years driving to and from college, from Seattle to Spokane. It’s not a particularly long or harrowing drive, but there are quite a few rest areas along the way, and some of them are fairly remote, and can be quite unsettling when it’s late at night and you’re alone (or at least, you hope you’re alone!). Most everyone seems to have a personal horror story about an iffy experience they’d had at a rest stop, so as a setting, it seemed like an untapped resource for a thriller. Reading this novel had me scared of just the local Sheetz at the rest stops nearby. This is one that really sticks with you. I personally thought of Stephen King when I was reading your novel. Are there any authors that you read over time that influenced you to write such psychological…

Andrew Grant | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / January 24, 2019

Today, we have a great interview between Fresh Fiction reviewer Teresa Cross and thriller author Andrew Grant, about his latest release, INVISIBLE! You can read Teresa’s review of INVISIBLE here. Enjoy! Teresa: Your latest book is about a character, Paul McGrath, an Army Intelligence who comes home to find his father had passed away which was a big surprise for him. Then he goes undercover as a janitor at the courthouse. Where did you get the idea or concept for the storyline for INVISIBLE? Andrew: It came about as the combination of two strands of thought: one new, and one old. Over the last couple of years, I’ve felt a change in the mood of the country, a growing sense of unease as inequality has grown more pronounced and injustice more rife, so it seemed like it was time for a different kind of hero: One who would stand up for the 99%. Added to that I’ve been fascinated since I was a little kid by characters like the Scarlet Pimpernel – heroes who are driven by what’s right, not by the desire for fame or reward, and consequently work in the shadows where their true identities are never revealed….

Lynette Eason | Code of Valor + a recipe!
Author Guest / January 11, 2019

Happy New Year to you all! I’m so excited about my new release, the third book in the Blue Justice series, CODE OF VALOR (available now!) and am so honored to be on the Fresh Fiction blog once again. Since we’re right around the holidays – or just coming off the sugar high related to them – I thought I’d share a favorite recipe that I can see the St. John family enjoying. It’s a recipe that I found somewhere and through a bit of experimentation, changed it up a bit to suit me. 🙂 Not a whole lot, but a little. It’s a Strawberries and Cream Cheese Pie with an Oreo crust. – 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips – 2½ tsp shortening – room temperature (I start with 2½,  you can add more if you find you need it.) – 1 Oreo pie crust – 1 8-oz block cream cheese, softened to room temperature – 1/2 cup sugar – 1/2 cup sour cream – set it out to room temp and it mixes better. – 1 tsp vanilla – 1 tub Cool Whip (8 oz) – I also let this sit out and warm up to room temp before…