Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

J.L. Crosswhite | Author-Reader Match: OVER HER HEAD
Author Guest / June 11, 2021

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match,” where we introduce you to authors you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present J.L.Crosswhite! Writes: Christian romantic suspense with her latest release, OUT OF RANGE, book 2 of the In the Shadow series. Book 3, OVER HER HEAD, will hit the shelves on June 21. Because when you grow up in the shadow of a hero as a sibling, can you find your own adventures as well? About: California-native author who’s spent significant time in the Midwest seeks readers for a page-turning novel about clothing designer and sister of the groom Kim Taylor, who is planning the girls’ adventure and spa weekend before the wedding to prove to her brother she’s not the flighty flake he thinks she is. But when the bride’s sister has other ideas, a forest fire burns out their adventure, and a stalker sets his eye on Kim, can she find strength and comfort in fun guy Matthew Ellis? He blew his first chance with her but he’s desperately trying to make things right. When her life is on the line, can he…

Nekesa Afia | 20 Questions: DEAD DEAD GIRLS
Author Guest / June 4, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? Dead Dead Girls 2–What is it about? Dead Dead Girls is a prohibition-era about a tiny, tired Black lesbian who is forced into solving crime. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love the vibrancy and how alive the 1920s were. Even when the world was reeling, postwar, there is a generation that still grew and thrived on their own terms. 4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  My main character, Louise Lloyd, surprised me by being so confident and determined. She is put into many different situations and still manages to come through as herself and stronger. 5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  I think readers will relate to my characters because they’re human. They get to make mistakes and have fun and be wrong and right. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  One of the biggest challenges while writing this book was getting the vibes exactly right. I was trying to get myself in the headspace of a woman who was born nearly a century before me, and has lived a completely different life. It’s impossible to…

Alma Katsu | Do Women Make Better Spies?
Author Guest / May 25, 2021

Alma Katsu is an award-winning novelist who happens to have spent 34 years in intelligence with CIA and NSA. Her first spy novel, Red Widow, the story of two women CIA officers pitted against one another in a race to find a deadly mole inside Langley, was named a NY Times Editors Choice and has been optioned for TV by FOX. In the world of espionage, it seems there’s finally a place for women—at least on television and, to a lesser extent, movies. Carrie Mathison (Homeland). Elizabeth Jennings (The Americans). Sydney Bristow (Alias). Maya (Zero Dark Thirty). If you look at lists of espionage novels, you’ll see that this is where things break down a little. Lists of the most popular spy novels tend to be dominated by male writers and male protagonists. If women write in the field, it tends to be historical fiction, standalone novels about women in the resistance during World War II or toiling away in the steno pool during the Cold War. And while these books are inspiring, as an intelligence professional it was a little disappointing to not see the work of my female peers being represented in literature. This was my main motivation…

Elle Cosimano | Author-Reader Match: FINLAY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT
Author Guest / May 17, 2021

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Elle Cosimano! Writes: I write fast-paced, genre-bending thrillers with a touch of romance and captivating whodunnits. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first book in my new, compulsively readable mystery series for adults, about the eponymous struggling author and single mom who, when overheard discussing the plot of her latest novel over lunch with her agent, inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband for money, in order to make ends meet. “Cosimano cuts dexterously between Finn’s adventures as a hitwoman, her deeply iffy romance . . . , and the domestic crises that keep on piling up as if nothing had ever happened to disturb them. Suspenseful, funny, and even a tad mysterious. More, please.” —Kirkus Reviews About: I enjoy cooking, reading, and traveling. (I do not enjoy excessive exercise, housework, or doing my own taxes.) I’m a homeschooling mom and an award-winning author of mysteries and thrillers for both the young and young at heart. I live in…

Melissa Koslin | NEVER MISS: What’s in a Name?
Author Guest / May 4, 2021

My husband and I have this long-standing disagreement. He likes names like John and Jane—literally the more boring the better. I, however, like something with some interest. While I have to work with him on naming our baby, I don’t have to give a hoot what he thinks about my character names! I am a collector of names. I have files in my phone for girl names, boy names, and surnames. Whenever I come across something interesting, I add it to the list and then pull my character names from there. Side characters usually have something I like but not one of my top favorites, except when I have a theme going. In NEVER MISS, which is a Christian romantic suspense book releasing from Revell on May 4, 2021, my female main character’s family all has names related to combat and fortification, which is fitting for a family of snipers. Their last name is Tolle simply because I’ve always liked that name. Bastion – her father Redan – her uncle, Bastion’s brother Caponier – her cousin Ravelin – her cousin The male character’s parents’ names are more personal. Lee Vaile is his father. Lee is my father’s middle name, and…

James R. Hannibal | Exclusive Excerpt: THE PARIS BETRAYAL
Author Guest / May 3, 2021

Home Paris Ben climbed the stairs from the metro station at Saint Germain and turned north on Rue Bonaparte under the late morning sun. Its rays did nothing to ease the winter cold, and he altered his route to his flat in the 16th arrondissement to take him past a favorite café. In the ten months of Ben’s posting there, Paris had stolen his heart. He loved his country, certainly, but his American roots had thinned. His parents had him late in life and passed while he was still muddling around in his six years at Rice University, deciding what he wanted to be when he grew up. He knew he didn’t want to be a cabinetmaker, so he’d sold the family business, the last tie binding him to his hometown, and moved on. No siblings. No connections. The Company sought out people like him. They’d recruited him—­rescued him—­during his first year as a commodities trader. Life at the schoolhouse ended nine months later with his death. Drug overdose. Tragic. His professors at Rice would have never guessed. The Company resurrected him in London as Ben Calix, and he’d never looked back. With a fresh cup of tea to warm…

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…

Jesse Q. Sutanto | Exclusive Excerpt: DIAL A FOR AUNTIES
Author Guest / April 23, 2021

How can I describe the chaos that is a dim sum restaurant in the heart of San Gabriel Valley at 11 a.m.? The place is filled with close to a hundred round tables, each one occupied by a different family, many of them with three to four generations of people present—there are gray-haired, prune-faced Ah Mas holding chubby babies on their laps. Steaming carts are pushed by the waitresses, though if you called them “Waitress” they’d never stop for you. You must call them Ah Yi—Auntie—and wave frantically as they walk by to get them to stop. And once they do, customers descend like vultures and fight over the bamboo steamers inside the cart. People shout, asking if they’ve got siu mai, or har gow, or lo mai gai, and the Ah Yis locate the right dishes somewhere in the depths of their carts. My Mandarin is awful, and my Cantonese nonexistent. Ma and the aunts often try to help me improve by speaking to me in either Mandarin or Indonesian, but then give up and switch to English because I only get about 50 percent of what they’re saying. Their grasp of the English language is a bit wobbly,…

Tom Turner | Author-Reader Match: CHARLIE CRAWFORD – NEW YORK HOMICIDE
Author Guest / April 19, 2021

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present TOM TURNER! Writes: Crime fiction, mysteries and thrillers with a ton of action, characters you love, characters you hate, humor, and yes, dare I say it, some steamy stuff, too. My latest, CHARLIE CRAWFORD – NEW YORK HOMICIDE, is a prequel novella set in New York, a year before my protagonist heads down to the Sunshine State to fight crime, solve murders and hook up with a Florida hottie or two. About: I have no life. Writing, going to the gym, then knocking back a cocktail or two. Actually, that’s not entirely true, I love going to art galleries, museums, listening to live rock ‘n roll at my favorite gin mill, and playing my new favorite sport, pickleball (is there a lamer name for a sport?) What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Readers who like to devour murder mysteries with action and humor and try to figure out whodunit. Ones who appreciate a recurring cast of characters who…