Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Shannon Stacey | ONE CHRISTMAS EVE + a Delicious Recipe!
Author Guest / November 12, 2019

I love the holidays so much. Christmas romance movies. Christmas romance novels. And the food. So much food and, for my family, a lot of food that we only have during the holidays because most of the dishes we eat to celebrate would pack on the pounds if they were a part of our regular diet. The sausage balls and crack potatoes I make for Christmas breakfast every year, for example. In One Christmas Eve, Zoe (the bookstore owning heroine who’s got the hots for the slightly uptight business owner next door) shows up for Thanksgiving dinner with a dish of baked macaroni and cheese, which is one of those special occasion dishes the Stacey family only gets for the holidays. I took the original core recipe from Julie James (though I can’t find it on her site and I think it was a Facebook post several years ago), and she said it came from Walt Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival. (Wine being another great holiday tradition!) The second time I made it, I tried adding some dried mustard to give it a little zing. Then I tried adding buffalo chicken and now that’s the only way we eat…

Catherine Bruns | A Meal Fit for a Cozy Mystery Fan
Author Guest / July 29, 2019

Tessa Esposito, the protagonist featured in Penne Dreadful (on sale July 30th), lives in the charming town of Harvest Park, located in Upstate New York. A talented chef, Tessa would feed the entire world if possible. As with most cozy mysteries, Harvest Park has a gossip grapevine the size of Italy and she soon finds herself in the center of it. Cooking helps Tessa to deal with the stress in her life, which is currently at an all-time high. Fortunately, her close-knit Italian family is supportive and always there to lend a hand. They are passionate about most things in life, with food at the top of the list. The beginning of the story finds Tessa dealing with a personal tragedy—specifically, her husband Dylan’s recent death. Her grief quickly turns to anger when she discovers it was no accident—finding he was murdered instead. Who would do such a thing? Was Dylan in some type of trouble? And why didn’t he tell Tessa about it? The questions pile up as she struggles to understand. Tessa uses the other love of her life—cooking—to uncover Dylan’s killer. Her quest leads her to accept a job working “undercover” at a local pizza parlor called…

Laura Frantz | Lark’s Scottish Shortbread Recipe + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 18, 2019

Happy New Year, Fresh Fiction folks! Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today and for helping celebrate the release of my tenth historical novel, A Bound Heart, with a three-book giveaway! When I’m not writing and traveling, I’m at home in the kitchen baking. As an author, I enjoy reading about as well as including culinary details in my own historical novels. Doing so lends a richness and authenticity to the story. My characters are historical foodies, for sure! And so, I’m delighted to share this Scottish shortbread recipe from my heroine, Lark MacDougall’s, humble hearth on the Isle of Kerrera in Scotland. This shortbread pairs deliciously with a steaming cup of tea or even coffee. Sláinte! Classic Scottish Shortbread 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar or superfine sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup oats, traditional or quick 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan. 2. Grind the oats in a blender or food processor. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, use quick oats, rather than traditional. Combine the oats with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix…

Libby Klein | Midnight Snacks are Murder
Author Guest / September 24, 2018

Fresh Fiction My first short story won a very prestigious award setting my entire writing career into motion. It was called “The Magic Rabbit” and I won second place in my elementary school short story contest at the brilliant age of seven. Just listen to this prose: Once in a very far away land there lived a boy named Charlie and he had a brother named David. David had a rabbit named Dayton. Oh, that. Is. Good. I also feel I should point out at this time that Charlie and David are never mentioned again. In a very Avant Garde George R. R. Martin style, I kill off the protagonist and his sidekick in the first paragraph. I think my teachers could see that I had a gift for writing even then. This is also when I established myself as a writer who shuns most forms of punctuation. My agent will attest that I have kept that style true to this day. Most of the story is about a rabbit and a mouse who go on a “grand adventchure” in search of snacks. When they finally find carrots and radishes they celebrate with “a snack of reward.” I will point…