Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Vivien Chien | Exclusive Excerpt: FATAL FRIED RICE
Author Guest / February 8, 2021

from Chapter 7 Helen, Wendy, Pearl, and Opal, our beloved Mahjong Matrons, filed into the restaurant at nine o’clock sharp. The four widows didn’t bother to pause at the hostess station for a seating assignment. They had their own table they occupied every morning, always sitting in the same spots. When I’d first started working full time at the restaurant, I’d bring them menus as a formality. They really didn’t need them as they ordered the same thing without fail, day in and day out. After a while I gave up on bringing the menus and just headed straight for the kitchen to place their order with Peter and prep their tea. When I returned to the dining room and approached their table, the elderly women turned to greet me with pleasant smiles and twinkles in their eyes. “Good morning, Lana,” Helen sang in a cheerful voice. “Good morning, ladies,” I returned, giving them all a smile as I set the teakettle down in the center of the table. Helen, who often acted as mother hen, reached for the kettle, and as the women flipped over their teacups, she filled each one to the brim. “Have you heard the latest…

Debbie Wiley | Cozy Comfort Reads
Author Guest / November 9, 2020

Book recommendations from Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer, Debbie Wiley! You can read more of her reviews and columns here. Enjoy! — Comfort reads have always been an important part of my life. Some of my oldest (and favorite) books I own have been read and reread, particularly when life seems a bit tougher than normal. While many nowadays struggle to agree on just about anything and tensions and turmoil are heightened, comfort reads are a great escape and an excellent form of self-care. One of my all-time favorite comfort reads, THE RED CARNELIAN by Phyllis Whitney immediately pops to mind. However, I’m also finding comfort in new read, particularly cozy mysteries and I want to share a few of my recent enjoyable book escapes. Any book featuring a bookstore is almost guaranteed to be a hit with me and Lauren Elliott’s Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series is certainly that! In A PAGE MARKED FOR MURDER, Addison Greyborne has her hands full. Not only is she the owner of Beyond the Page, a book and curio shop, but her flakey cousin isn’t coming to work regularly leaving only Addison and her shop assistant, Paige Stringer, during the Fire and Ice Festival. Worse…

Vivien Chien | 20 Questions: KILLER KUNG PAO
Author Guest / August 17, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Killer Kung Pao. 2–What is it about?  Our beloved restaurant manager, Lana Lee, who just wants peace, quiet, and to get her hair re-dyed, is present during the suspicious death of sue-happy, Mahjong player, Mildred Mao. Unfortunately, there’s a possibility that one of the twins from Yi’s Tea and Bakery, June Yi, may be involved. Lana has no real desire to help clear June’s name and struggles with the decision to implicate herself. But knowing it’s the right thing to do in the end, she begins to dig into the particulars to find out who exactly killed the problematic Mahjong player and what secrets the potentially guilty parties are hiding from one another.  3–What word best describes your main character(s)?   Sassy 4–What makes your story relatable?  I think it’s the fact that Lana and the community of Asia Village are all just regular, everyday people. They’re daughters and sons, mothers and fathers, kooky aunts and uncles, best friends and boyfriends. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Her best friend and roommate, Megan Riley. And, of course, her boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau. (Though she usually leaves him…