Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Amanda Cabot | Exclusive Excerpt: DREAMS REKINDLED
Author Guest / February 26, 2021

She was being as silly as Laura. Dorothy frowned as she placed the hat on her head for what felt like the hundredth time, tilting it ever so slightly to the left. It wasn’t as if she were about to meet the president. All she was doing was going for a walk. There was no reason to fuss so much over her appearance. Today was the fourth day since Brandon Holloway had come to Mesquite Springs, and it seemed that both he and Laura had fallen into a routine. Each day Brandon came to Polly’s Place for his midday meal. Each day Laura kept peeking out the kitchen door, almost as if she didn’t trust Dorothy to tell her when he arrived. And when he did, she insisted on taking Brandon’s meal to him, returning to the kitchen with the same report: there was no question about it; he was the man she was meant to marry. Finally satisfied with the angle of the hat, Dorothy secured it with two of her prettiest hatpins, then descended the stairs. Once a quick look confirmed that nothing in the kitchen needed her attention, she opened the back door and stepped out into…

Jennifer Deibel | Author-Reader Match: A DANCE IN DONEGAL
Author Guest / February 3, 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 Jennifer Deibel! Writes: Stories that view home through the lens of culture, history, and faith—typically with a healthy dose of Irish flare and charm. Her debut, A DANCE IN DONEGAL, is set in Ireland in 1921 and releases February 2. About: My ideal day of fun includes wandering around my favorite stores with a couple of close friends; coffee in hand. There’s always coffee.  That comes second, of course, only to spending time with my family…and taking a really. good. nap. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Must love Ireland, and all things Irish Must love sweeping views, rugged seas, rolling green hills, and toe-tapping music Must love ruddy heroes with quick with and swoon-worthy singing voices Must love inspiring stories filled with danger, struggle, and hope What to expect if we’re compatible: A glimpse into the heart and soul of Ireland and her people Heart-fluttering romance Uplifting stories that speak the soul, filled with faith, friends, and lots of tea An author who adores interacting with…

Suzanne Woods Fisher | Title Challenge: THE MIDNIGHT SCHOOL
Author Guest / February 3, 2021

I’m Suzanne Woods Fisher, the author of The Moonlight School. This historical fiction will release on February 2, 2021, and is based on a true story featuring Cora Wilson Stewart, a Kentucky woman way ahead of her times. In 1911, Cora had a crazy idea—to open rural one-room schoolhouses in her county on moonlit nights to teach illiterate adults how to read and write. So what happened next? Well, it’s so astonishing that you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Instead, I hope you’ll read the book and find out for yourself. T – T is for Time. Cora Wilson Stewart knew the time had come to address the alarming adult illiteracy rate (25%) in her county. H – H is for Hero. And Handsome. Both describe Brother Wyatt, a Singing School Master who brings music to the mountain people. E – E is for Everything. Cora, as Kentucky’s first female Superintendent of Education for Rowan County, put everything on the line to create the first grassroot movement of Moonlight Schools. * M – M is for Moon. Cora chose a night with a full moon to open the rural schoolhouses to adults. O – O is for Overprotective. Cora convinced her overprotective cousin to allow his nineteen-year-old daughter, Lucy Wilson, to come work for…

Patricia Bradley | 20 Questions: OBSESSION
Author Guest / February 1, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? OBSESSION, Natchez Trace Park Rangers Book 2 2–What is it about? Natchez Trace Ranger and historian Emma Winters hoped never to see Sam Ryker again after she broke off her engagement to him. But when shots are fired at her at a historical landmark just off the Natchez Trace, she’s forced to work alongside Sam as the Natchez Trace law enforcement district ranger in the ensuing investigation. To complicate matters, Emma has acquired a delusional secret admirer who is determined to have her as his own. Sam is merely an obstruction, one which must be removed. Sam knows that he has failed Emma in the past and he doesn’t intend to let her down again. Especially since her life is on the line. As the threads of the investigation cross and tangle with their own personal history, Sam and Emma have a chance to discover the truth, not only about the victim but about what went wrong in their relationship 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I fell in love with Natchez and Mount Locust the first time I traveled to Natchez on the Natchez Trace. It is…

Tom Threadgill | Exclusive Excerpt: NETWORK OF DECEIT
Author Guest / February 1, 2021

Chapter Four Amara’s next stop was the one she most dreaded. Zachary Coleman’s parents. When she’d phoned the father, his raspy, monotone voice penetrated her heart and sent an ache through her chest. The man’s joy was gone. Back in Property Crimes, she dealt with her share of angry and frightened people, but that paled in comparison to this. The Colemans lost their son. How did a person deal with that? When Amara’s dad died, the pain had been deep and overwhelming. How much more at the loss of a child? The death of Benjamin Reyes, the five-year-old boy who triggered the investigation into Cotulla, at least had a silver lining. Nearly fifty other children saved because of his bravery. Had that eased the pain for his parents? Could it? And the Colemans had nothing like that to cling to. Their son died and nobody could tell them why. Natural causes or OD or bad luck or homicide. Would any of those reasons be better or worse than the others? Zachary was gone, and he wasn’t ever coming back. Dr. Pritchard had texted last night to let her know the boy’s body was being released to the parents. The funeral…

Sarah Sundin | Exclusive Excerpt: WHEN TWILIGHT BREAKS
Author Guest / January 29, 2021

University of Munich Munich, Germany March 28, 1938 After the professor departed, Peter Lang checked his watch. The reporter would arrive in three minutes if she were the punctual sort. He closed his logbook and filed it away. His friend George Norwood, bureau chief for the American News Service in Berlin, had called to say he’d given Peter’s number to a firebrand female reporter who didn’t know her place. George was heaping on assignments to keep her out of trouble. “Good luck.” Peter closed his file drawer. By definition, troublemakers made trouble. “Entschuldigung?” A slender brunette knocked on his open door. Not a pretty woman, but . . . arresting. “Professor Peter Lang?” “Just Mr. Lang until I receive my doctorate,” Peter said in English, and he strode over. She had a firm handshake born of working in a man’s profession, no doubt. “You must be Miss Firebrand.” Medium-brown eyes looked up at him, lit by intelligence and humor. “My reputation precedes me.” What had he said? “Pardon?” “My name is Evelyn Brand, not Firebrand, despite what Mr. Norwood says.” For heaven’s sake. “My apologies, Miss Brand. I assure you, the mistake was mine, not George’s.” “No need to apologize.” The pleasure…

Lynette Eason | 20 Questions: ACTIVE DEFENSE
Author Guest / January 8, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? ACTIVE DEFENSE 2–What is it about? As a former field surgeon in Afghanistan, Heather Fontaine is used to life-or-death situations. She just didn’t expect them to follow her home. When she returns from a party to find that someone has broken into her house–and threatened her friends–she assumes it is the stalker who has been following her and creeping her out. She hopes to find safety and peace of mind by leaving the city and hiding out in a small town. But trouble has followed her even there. Luckily, a stalker isn’t the only one watching Heather. Travis Walker has been secretly watching out for her for weeks. As owner of his own security agency, it’s what he does. Together, Travis and Heather must figure out who wants her dead–and why–before it’s too late. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love that it’s set in the city where I grew up–which is great because I know the “lay of the land” so to speak. 🙂  4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  Heather was a complete surprise, to be honest. When she appeared in the other two…

Laura Frantz | 20 Questions: TIDEWATER BRIDE
Author Guest / January 6, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? Tidewater Bride 2–What is it about? A young woman who is the head matchmaker for a 1634 Virginia colony yet lacks her own match. Selah Hopewell is tasked with bringing ‘Tobacco Brides’ to the male-dominated New World but she never realizes by doing so she is arranging her own nuptials.  3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Early Virginia is an explosion of all the things that make pages turn – a brave New World, handsome tobacco planters, treacherous politics, precious few women, ships, Indians, and the accompanying tumult that settling a new nation brings.  4–How did your main character(s) surprise you?  Sometimes they did things I wasn’t expecting, taking a scene in a direction I hadn’t thought of or anticipated. The mystery of creating! There’s even a bit of humor within.  5–Why will readers relate to your characters?  Their faults and foibles became very apparent to me. We all have them and characters should have them, too. Pride and false assumptions play a large part in this story, as troubling then as now.  6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  Keeping…

Erin Bartels | Exclusive Excerpt: ALL THAT WE CARRIED
Author Guest / December 29, 2020

Melanie’s heart quickened when the first tower of the Mackinac Bridge came into view. This would be her seventh time over the bridge, a significant number. Seven days of the week. Seven notes in the diatonic scale. Seven letters in the Roman numeral system. The seven in the Tarot deck was the card of the chariot—the symbol of overcoming conflict and moving forward in a positive direction. Lucky number seven. She’d need luck on this trip if she hoped to move forward in a positive direction with Olivia. She hit her sister’s upper arm with the back of her hand. “There’s the bridge!” To her surprise, Olivia smiled. A good sign. Maybe it would all work out. It had to. Because they couldn’t go on as they had for the past ten years. Something had to change. Only time together would do it. Time with no distractions. Time in the forest. Time for Melanie to explain herself. She had seven days to make it work. Seven days was enough. Her seven-day spiritual detox program was her most popular offering on Meditations with Melanie. And nothing needed detoxing like her relationship with her sister. “I know a bailiff who refuses to…

Melody Carlson | Exclusive Excerpt: THE CHRISTMAS SWAP
Author Guest / November 20, 2020

Hoping to escape the mother-­daughter conflict that was about to escalate to a new level, Emma hurried outside. Pausing on the snow-­covered path to the driveway, she allowed fat snowflakes to fall on her, even catching a couple with her tongue. Snow couldn’t hurt you. She looked all around, taking in the other large homes, beautifully blanketed in snow, and the mountains behind them. This place was truly magical! As she walked up the driveway, she spotted what looked like a caretaker’s cottage and slowly approached it. Hopefully the ol’ grump wasn’t as bad as Gillian had described. Holding her breath, she tentatively knocked on the door, expecting a gray, grisly old man to answer. To her surprise, a younger man opened the door. Dressed in jeans and a plaid flannel shirt, he stared at her with a puzzled expression. She suddenly wondered if she’d knocked on the wrong door. She smiled stiffly. “Sorry to bother you. I—I was looking for the caretaker, and I thought this was the right—” “Yeah, yeah.” He studied her with a furrowed brow. “This is, uh, the caretaker’s cottage.” She blinked. “Oh, so . . . are you the caretaker?” For some reason this guy didn’t…