Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Eileen Brady | 20 Questions: SADDLED WITH MURDER
Author Guest / October 26, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?    My latest book in the Dr. Kate Vet series is called SADDLED with MURDER. It will be available on October 27, 2020. The word saddle in the title has a duel meaning, one of which involves a wild mustang who has been adopted out and is having difficulty adjusting to his new home. 2–What is it about? It’s a mystery that reminds us to be careful what you wish for. The story begins at the Oak Falls Animal Hospital Christmas party, where Cindy, the receptionist, suggests playing a party game. Everyone is asked to share a secret selfish holiday wish. It’s been a long day for Dr. Kate Turner. She’s juggling a lot in her professional life and private life and when it is her turn, she stands up in front of the staff and says she’d like to make two problem clients disappear. Kate isn’t specific – but the audience yells out some names. “Abracadabra, poof, they’re gone,” she says. That night a video taken at the party is posted on social media, which makes Dr. Kate feel terrible. But she feels even worse when the first of those clients is found…

Michael Brandman | Exclusive Excerpt: MISSING PERSONS
Author Guest / September 28, 2020

Chapter One A scorching heat wave blanketed the West Coast, bringing with it record temperatures, rolling blackouts, and a general feeling of malaise that infected everyone. A fast-moving Mexican monsoon, however, was now gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico, steaming up the California coast accompanied by gale force winds and heavy rain. It would most likely reach the township of Freedom by late afternoon. I sat staring out the office window, elated that the storm would finally end the stultifying heat, but also apprehensive of the possible havoc it might wreak. I was locked in a debate with myself as to whether I would order a takeout meatball-and-onion pizza from Larry’s or the kung pao chicken from Tsai’s when I noticed a late-model green Toyota Camry pull up in front of the County Courthouse. I watched as a middle-aged woman emerged, looked around, then headed inside. After a few moments, I heard Sheriff ’s Deputy Johnny Kennerly talking with the woman. Then he appeared in my doorway and stood there, fanning himself with a legal-size yellow pad. “There’s a Rosalita Gonzalez here to see you.” I swiveled my chair around to face him. “What about?” “You mean what does…

Vivian Conroy | 20 Questions: FOR LETTER OR WORSE
Author Guest / September 28, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? For Letter or Worse, the second installment in my Stationery Shop series. Readers need not have read book 1, Last Pen Standing, to dive in! And fun fact: this is my 20th cozy mystery, releasing in 2020! So I’m extra pleased to be here on Fresh Fiction answering these 20 questions. 2–What is it about? For Letter or Worse follows Delta Douglas, co-owner of stationery shop WANTED in Tundish, Montana. Delta is excited to host a 3D cardmaking workshop for the birthday of former model Lena Laroy, but when Lena is threatened during the party and a dead body turns up, Delta must engage her Paper Posse crafting friends and wildlife guide Jonas with his former K9 Spud to weed through the clues and catch the killer. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)? Just one word?! Hmmm. . . Energetic! 4–What makes your story relatable? Delta recently moved to Tundish and has to settle in her new town, learn the ropes of running her own business, make new friends and figure out if her relationship with Jonas is taking a romantic turn. Her struggles and dilemmas, her setbacks and victories as she…

Denise Swason | Title Challenge: WINNER CAKE ALL
Author Guest / September 28, 2020

Hi! My name is Denise Swanson and I’m really excited to participate in this fun challenge!  My newest mystery, WINNER CAKE ALL, is the third book in my Chef-to-Go series.  This series is perfect for readers of culinary cozy mysteries and small-town cozy mysteries. Dani Sloan will have to solve the murder of a bride to clear her almost-boyfriend’s name. Once again, it looks like Dani will get a slice of the action. . . In the small town of Normalton, IL, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for business owner Dani Sloan to cater big-ticket events. But that’s about to change–a client named Yvette Joubert is marrying Franklin Whittaker, the richest guy around, and they want Dani to cater their engagement party! The swanky event is the perfect opportunity to put Dani on the map for wealthier clients. But when a storm hits the party after guests arrive, it becomes clear that more than the dinner is ruined: Yvette is found dead beneath the marquee. Is her death a tragic accident, or a perfectly orchestrated murder? Then the case gets even juicier–it turns out that Yvette’s ex-husband is Spencer Drake, Dani’s almost-boyfriend, and the police start circling. Now Dani…

Martin Edwards | 20 Questions: MORTMAIN HALL
Author Guest / September 21, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Mortmain Hall, published by Poisoned Pen Press 2–What is it about? It’s a history-mystery set in 1930, and like Gallows Court, it features Rachel Savernake and the journalist Jacob Flint. They investigate a series of bizarre murder cases apparently involving miscarriages of justice and their enquiries eventually take them to an old country house on the north Yorkshire coast – Mortmain Hall 3–What word best describes your main character(s)? Rachel Savernake is mysterious. Jacob Flint is impetuous. 4–What makes your story relatable? It’s a story set in 1930 and involves bizarre murder mysteries, but above all it’s about human nature, and how people behave at times of stress 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Jacob turns to Rachel. Rachel is supported by the Trueman family. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book? Mortmain Hall is set in a coastal area near where I used to go on holidays as a child. It’s a beautiful coast, but can be eerie.   7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)? Both; it depends on the story…

Sara E. Johnson | Exclusive Excerpt: THE BONES REMEMBER
Author Guest / September 7, 2020

Prologue Ocean Boy glided through the day in gradients of gray and green; occasional glittering light broke through the liquid world when his two-foot dorsal fin, notched and battle-scarred, cut the surface for a quarter hour, unaware he was a two-thousand pound apex predator marvel. At gloaming, he rode the liquid slopes to deeper, deepest depths, specialized blood vessels keeping Ocean Boy’s body temperature higher than the cold water pressing his organs. The hunt was on. Night vision was activated. His black eyes rolled back to fibrous muscle as his jaws snapped the meaty squid, clamped rows of sharp teeth, his torpedo body impervious to struggling arms and suckers, to spilled ink blacking the already black depths. Sated, he headed northwest. Forty-three miles a day he averaged, intent on a destination his brain had mapped at birth, a magnetic and magnificent tug toward innate hunger for fatty seal and sea lion, for adding weight, for adding years, for adding fear. At purple dawn, Ocean Boy’s dorsal fin broke the southern sea surface. The scent of blood increased his speed. *** Chapter One Safe from the tempest, Alexa Glock dripped across the cement floor to the ticket counter. She scanned the…

Caroline B. Cooney | Exclusive Excerpt: BEFORE SHE WAS HELEN
Author Guest / September 7, 2020

One Before she did anything else today, Clemmie had to check up on her next door neighbor, Dom. Why Dom had moved to Sun City was not clear. He had never joined anything, attended anything, nor shown interest in anything. He just sat in his villa watching TV, playing video games, and smoking cigarettes. He owned the tiniest of the three attached villas, the one in the middle with no side windows and little sun. Clemmie lived on the left, and a couple she hardly ever saw owned the right-hand villa, using it as a hotel when they visited grandchildren in the area. When they arrived, which was infrequently, they used their automatic garage door opener, drove in, closed the garage door behind them, and that was that. Nobody ever spotted them again. Clemmie wasn’t sure she’d even recognize them. It was agreed that Clemmie had the least rewarding neighbors in Sun City. Luckily, in her pod—the slightly creepy collective noun Sun City used instead of neighborhood–the little villas were tucked close together in heavily landscaped culs-de-sac, so Clemmie knew all her other neighbors–wonderful friendly people who hosted outdoor barbecues and took her bowling and carpooled when everybody went to…

Author Q&A | Get to Know the Authors of THE DEADLY HOURS!
Author Guest / August 31, 2020

If you could spend a week with one character from THE DEADLY HOURS, who would it be and why? Susanna Kearsley: I think I’d probably choose Captain del Rio from my own story, who first walked into an earlier novel—A Desperate Fortune–and unexpectedly became one of my favorite side characters, determined to outwit and upstage everyone else in his scenes. I think spending a week with him would be tremendous fun, if not always good for my health. CS Harris: I’d probably say Jude Lowe, the World War II RAF fighter pilot from Siren’s Call. When I was growing up, we had several good family friends who used to tell us their experiences as German generals in WWII, fighting in Europe and North Africa (my dad was in Air Force intelligence). So it would be fascinated to hear Jude talk about fighting those same battles but from the other side. Anna Lee Huber: Susanna knows I’ve had a soft spot for Edmund ever since I read The Firebird, so probably him. I mean, I am named Anna (the same as his wife), so maybe it’s a given. Christine Trent: Ever since reading Anna’s The Anatomist’s Wife, I’ve always had a crush…

Maggie Robinson | Cover-up
Author Guest / July 29, 2020

Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk about my latest Lady Adelaide Mystery, Just Make Believe! This 1920s-set cozy-with-a-touch-of-paranormal features Addie, an aristocratic widow, the pesky ghost of her cheating husband Rupert, and Dev, a divine Scotland Yard detective. Not the usual love triangle for sure, LOL. Rupert is stuck in Limbo after a very rakish life, and unless he protects and assists Addie, he’ll never get to Heaven and redemption. The series has been the most fun for me in my over-twenty years’ book career, and I hope readers are equally amused! In Just make Believe, Addie’s been invited to a week-long house party, but how can she have fun when bodies are piling up everywhere? Rupert and Detective Inspector Devenand Hunter to the rescue! Here’s the blurb: A week-long house party in the country–why not? Lady Adelaide has nothing else to do, now that her year of mourning for her unfaithful husband is up and her plans to rekindle her romantic life have backfired. But when her hostess is found dead on the conservatory floor, Addie knows just who to call Detective Inspector Devenand Hunter of Scotland Yard. Dev may not want to kiss Addie again, but…

Carrie Doyle | 20 Questions: DEATH ON WINDMILL WAY
Author Guest / June 29, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  DEATH ON WINDMILL WAY. It is the first book of The Hamptons Murder Mystery Series. 2–What is it about?  Antonia Bingham, a noted chef and the new owner of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn, moved across the country to escape a harrowing past. Unfortunately, danger has followed her and she is terrified to learn that all of the previous owners of the Windmill Inn have died under mysterious circumstances. Antonia has no choice but to investigate the past crimes—or she may end up the next victim! 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Resilient. Antonia Bingham had to leave her abusive ex-husband, dismantle her entire life and move 3000 miles away to start a new life as a restaurateur and an innkeeper. Despite the setbacks she remains upbeat, positive and a hard worker. 4–What makes your story relatable?  I think the troubles as a small business owner that Antonia Bingham confronts are relatable. There is no break when you run a restaurant and an inn—even when there is a murderer around. I also think we see Antonia develop relationships and friendships where she relies on people and asks for help. She is not superwoman,…