Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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…

Nalini Singh | Exclusive Interview: A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE
Author Guest / December 2, 2019

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Nalini! Can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel, A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE?  A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE is my debut thriller. Set in an isolated town on New Zealand’s rugged and stunningly beautiful West Coast, it’s about all the different faces people wear, all the secrets we keep, and how well we ever know one another. The New Zealand landscape is an integral character in the book, a place that’ll take your breath away…and a place so wild and empty that bodies could disappear without a trace. A MADNESS OF SUNSHINE marks a change of genre for you! What inspired this change to write a thriller? Did you find anything surprisingly different than writing paranormal romance? I’ve always enjoyed mysteries and thrillers, and many of my paranormal romances have a mystery element or subplot. So it wasn’t a huge shift to write a pure mystery – it was more a case of having the right story and the right setting. Anahera Rawiri left her small New Zealand hometown of Golden Cove eight years ago, but returns to find things similar, but with some frustrating differences. What does her return home mean to Anahera?…

Emily Littlejohn | Exclusive Excerpt: SHATTER THE NIGHT
Author Guest / November 25, 2019

From Chapter One Halloween. Since becoming a cop six years prior, I’d grown to dread the thirty-first day of October. I could no longer believe the holiday was simply a night of innocent fun. I’d been witness to desecrated graves and smashed pumpkins; violent bar brawls and deadly DUIs. The night gave liberty to all sorts of spooks and ghouls, not only encouraging them to come out and play but practically daring them not to. I was also a parent, though, and slowly learning that Halloween was a night I needed to tolerate, if not someday even embrace. My daughter, Grace, was nearly a year old and already she was captivated by the glowing pumpkins and toddler-size spider webs that adorned front porches and yards all over town. Luckily, because Grace was so young, my fiancé, Brody Sutherland, and I still had full control over what she wore. He wanted to dress her as a witch, while I was leaning toward a cute bunny. After a heated discussion in the back aisle of a costume shop on Colfax in Denver, where the three of us had gone for a quick weekend getaway in late September, we split the difference and…

Laurence MacNaughton | My Funny (and Totally True) Ghost Story
Author Guest / October 15, 2019

The funniest ghost story I’ve ever heard is actually a true story. I know, because it happened to me. First, a little context. Here in Colorado, we have our fair share of spooky history. First off, there’s the Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King to scare the pants off of generations of readers with The Shining. In real life, the hotel’s creaky halls are supposedly haunted by restless spirits. Four of them, in fact–named Lucy, Paul, Elizabeth, and Eddie, if you believe everything you read. Now, I don’t know how scared I can personally be of a ghost named after Frasier Crane’s dog, but there you go. Right in the heart of Denver, there’s Cheesman Park, a sunny and popular picnicking spot bordered by pricey real estate, and also built on an abandoned cemetery, where unsuspecting landscapers occasionally dig up Wild West-era skeletons. And you thought your Mondays were rough. And we’re not even going to talk about the Museum of Colorado Prisons, certainly the creepiest stone-walled structure for five hundred miles. I’m not sure why anyone visits this place. Maybe because one of the colorful inmates was a convicted cannibal? Because there is that. No, what fascinates me most…

Davis Bunn | Exclusive Interview: UNSCRIPTED
Author Guest / October 14, 2019

Welcome to Fresh Fiction! Please tell us a little about yourself and your latest novel, UNSCRIPTED. These past several years have been a time of transition for me.  After writing with Janette Oke for going on a decade, she retired.  I decided this was my last-best opportunity to do what I had always dreamed of ‘someday’ – writing for the screen as well as novels.  So I obtained a degree in screenwriting and got to work. UNSCRIPTED is the outcome of these first experiences within the film world. Both of the main characters are trying to prove something about themselves – Danny, that he wasn’t at fault for what landed him in jail and restart his career, and Megan, to show she can do things on her terms and still be successful. Talk a little bit about what their struggles tell readers about them as people.  There is a saying you often hear in the film world:  ‘Hollywood likes to bury their dead while they are still breathing.’  I think Clark Gable was the first to say this, but I’m not sure.  Anyway, what they mean by this is, many people are looking for an excuse to write you off.  To be…

James R. Hannibal | Double Feature Mashups
Author Guest / September 30, 2019

Ask any marriage counselor and they’ll tell you the top three reasons couples fight are money, mothers-in-law, and what to watch on movie night. Okay, I totally made that up, but those topics are up there, right? Let me spare you a few arguments with the infographic below. Even better, these are all double features. So, if you and your spouse are not into staying up super late, this list might be good for ten movie nights. Here’s a little context: I love spy movies, and I love heist movies. This came out in spades in my latest thriller, The Gryphon Heist. Review after review has called it a mashup of “Mission Impossible” and “Ocean’s Eleven,” and you don’t see me complaining. In fact, I decided to take the idea a step further. This infographic pairs ten of my personal favorites–five heist movies and five spy movies–into epic double features. As a bonus, each comes with a mashup–the movie we might have seen if the film canister contents got all jumbled up. Take a break from the movie argument, pop some corn, and enjoy. . . *** THE GRYPHON HEIST by James R. Hannibal Talia Inger is a rookie CIA…

Meg Tilly | Exclusive Excerpt: HIDDEN COVEN
Author Guest / September 30, 2019

HIDDEN COVE is the latest Solace Island novel by award-winning actress and novelist, Meg Tilly. Be sure to check out the Fresh Fiction Podcast for an exclusive interview with Meg, available TOMORROW! You can find the Fresh Fiction Podcast on Apple Podcasts or the podcatcher of your choice. Now, on with the excerpt!!  *** Gabe leaned against the boardwalk railing, tipped his head upward, and shut his eyes, enjoying the early-morning sunshine on his face. He could hear the seagulls behind him, wings flapping, and the occasional shrill caw. They were flying into the air with clams in their beaks, dropping them onto the rocks and then swooping down to eat the contents. Sometimes a wily seagull would lurk below and snatch the prize from the broken shell. Made him laugh. Reminded him of his dad. When they’d spoken this morning, his dad had sounded much improved, eager to pick Gabe’s brains about the place. “Take your time, boyo. No need to rush back. Enjoy all that the island has to offer. Beautiful women, hikes, biking, art galleries, artisan cheese makers, bakers, beautiful women . . .” His dad had repeated the last one with a laugh. “It’s all those damned yoga…