Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Author Guest / August 3, 2020

Hi everyone! Yes, I’m back, posting for Fresh Fiction. So honored to be here and talk about Acceptable Risk. The new book was a tough one to write. But while it was hard, it was also fun. Eventually. And enlightening. Every book I write requires tons of research and I think that’s part of why I like writing so much. I get to learn about all kinds of occupations and meet some of the people who work in them. I’ve found that most people are eager to talk about their jobs–especially people in service work. Doctors, EMS workers, police, military, and so on. They’re happy–even passionate–about what they do and want writers to get it right in the books. They’re also a tight-knit community that comes together to support one another even when no one else does. In Acceptable Risk, my heroine, Sarah Denning , is a military journalist for the Army and is someone who often puts herself at risk to get the story. However, it only takes one thing to go wrong in Afghanistan and she finds herself in the hands of terrorists. Gavin Black is the hero in the story and he’s military through and through. He’s…

Elizabeth Goddard | Reunion Romance: The Imminent Danger of Falling in Love
Author Guest / July 3, 2020

Or  . . . falling in love while in imminent danger. See what I did there? I’ve been reading romantic suspense since I was in my early teens. Romance, really, but I found myself drawn to stories with suspense and mystery elements. Romance and suspense can show up in not only contemporary stories, but mystery, historical, fantasy and science fiction novels too. I love when danger and tension drives the two main characters together. The protective hero. The strong, determined heroine. Both of them together facing off with a worthy villain. Now decades later I have the most amazing job in the world because I get to write romantic suspense for a living. Admittedly, writing in this genre comes with challenges. For one, there’s the ticking time bomb issue. How does one fall in love when in imminent danger? Have you ever read a romance and felt uncomfortable with the pace? You felt that the romance moved much too quickly. Or you were stunned that the couple could possibly profess their love so soon or even get engaged or married after knowing each other for a short time? In real life, how much time is needed for couples to fall…

Ann H. Gabhart | 20 Questions: AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER
Author Guest / July 1, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  An Appalachian Summer. 2–What is it about?  In 1933, debutante Piper Danson, craving more from life than simply an advantageous marriage, jumps at the opportunity to volunteer with the Frontier Nursing Service in the Appalachian Mountains. Romance and adventure are in the Kentucky mountain air in this story of a woman caught between two worlds—each promising something different. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Spunky. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  How much he loves my heroine and that gorgeous smile. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  My heroine, Piper, could always depend on her aunt Truda to be on her side and understand her desire to do something different. My hero, Jamie, also had a champion in his uncle Wyatt who was a steadying influence when everything was going wrong for Jamie and his family.  6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love going to the mountains for a story. Even when times are hard as they were in the 1930’s flowers still bloom. Creeks still sparkle in the sun. People still have babies. So I enjoyed the mountain scenery, the mountain…

Susie Finkbeiner | Exclusive Interview: STORIES THAT BIND US
Author Guest / June 5, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Susie! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your new book, STORIES THAT BIND US. Thanks for having me! Oh, where to start. I live in West Michigan with my husband and our three super cool kids (not to mention the cat, Flannery). I am so excited for readers to get their hands on Stories That Bind Us! It’s a novel about Betty Sweet and her nephew Hugo and how story brings them together.  Set in the 1960s in the Midwest, STORIES THAT BIND US offers a unique perspective about a changing society. What made you want to explore this time period in American history? What do you think will surprise readers about this setting and time? I’ve always been fascinated by the 1960s. I think, in part, it’s because that was the decade in which my parents came of age. They’ve always shared stories of what it was like for them and, as I researched for this book and All Manner of Things (set in 1967) it was really great to connect with them even more about their teen years.   I think it might surprise readers to know that in the 1960s…

Valerie Fraser Luesse | Exclusive Excerpt: THE KEY TO EVERYTHING
Author Guest / June 5, 2020

The cottage appeared to be abandoned, but something about it took hold of Peyton. The tall flight of steps leading up into the trees was worn but solid, taking him onto a deep porch that encircled it, framed with gingerbread bannisters. Between the water and the edge of the yard, if you could call it that, was a stand of mangroves so thick and tall that they would likely block the water view eventually, but for now they just made the house feel protected. He could hear Finn advising him: If there ain’t no other shelter, why, head for the mangroves. They’ll hold back the tide. Walking the circumference of the cottage, Peyton could see that it was more porch than house. On the porch ceiling, he spotted two sturdy hooks about five feet apart. They likely had held a swing or a hammock at one time—long gone now. The whole structure from floor to ceiling was built of cypress. Its tall windows were all shuttered. Peyton unfastened the shutters covering one of them and peered inside. The place looked empty. He tried the front door, which immediately creaked open into a large room with a little kitchen built into…

Susan May Warren | 20 Questions: THE HEART OF THE HERO
Author Guest / June 5, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? The Heart of a Hero 2–What is it about?  What happens when the woman you love is caught in a hurricane—do you go after her?  And when you do…what if you, also get trapped? The Heart of a Hero is a story about two rescuers who are tasked with saving themselves—and others—when a Cat 5 hurricane hits Key West. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Aria Hathaway is a Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon who is focused, determined and buttoned up. Until, of course, she meets former Navy Seal and Jones, Inc team rescuer Jake Silver.  Aria is adventurous, brave and the kind of woman who would give everything to save a friend, or a patient. But she is in over her head when she meets Jake and realizes that he is the one her heart wants. Because Jake is everything her brain says she shouldn’t have—Jake has no problem putting his life on the line for others. And Aria can’t lose someone she loves again…it’s better to never love at all, than to lose someone you love. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  Jake masks his deep hurt with humor and charm, never letting anyone see…

Lynn Austin | The Upstairs Downstairs Syndrome
Author Guest / June 3, 2020

Inside the stately manor house on the TV series Downton Abbey, two different worlds exist. Life upstairs is elegant and refined. The gentry is considered superior to the working class and worthy of deference and respect because of the “blue blood” in their veins. They wear fabulous clothing that they can’t seem to put on by themselves, enjoy fine dining every evening, and have plenty of leisure time. Downstairs, servants wearing identical uniforms day after day bump elbows with each other as they work from dawn until long after dark to keep the household running in good order. The family upstairs enjoys the freedom to pursue new pastimes and careers while their downstairs servants seem destined to remain among the servant class. The divide between the classes is much wider than the door that separates them. That’s why, when the chauffeur and the upstairs daughter dare to fall in love, both servants and gentry at Downton Abbey are equally horrified. My latest novel, If I Were You, takes place in a similar setting—in a grand manor house called Wellingford Hall. Audrey Clarkson lives a life of wealth and privilege upstairs. Eve Dawson and her mother work downstairs as household servants….

Cindy K. Sproles | Author-Reader Match: What Momma Left Behind
Author Guest / June 3, 2020

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-ReaderMatch” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Cindy K. Sproles! Writes: Cindy writes Appalachian Historical (1800s era). Her stories are gritty, emotional, and full of action. What Momma Left Behind, tackles the difficult life of the orphaned children in the deep Smoky Mountains when “the fever” seemed to be taking more adults and leaving orphaned children by the droves to forge the mountains to survive. About: Author is a mountain gal who seeks friends who appreciate the sweet smell of fresh mountain air after a spring rain, and the stamina to hike to the summit. Raised in the mountains of East Tennessee, Cindy loves her mountain heritage and her desire is to keep the stories of the Appalachians in the forefront so they are not forgotten.  She wants readers to relate to the hardships but see the determination and faithfulness to others found in people “back in the hollers.” What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: *Readers must like fast hitting action. *Must be willing to plow through the hardship to see the depth of those who…

Beth White | Birthplace of the King
Author Guest / June 3, 2020

Writing is a creative enterprise for sure, but there’s also an element of pragmatism involved. While considering the setting for a new book series three or four years ago, I wanted to find a place that had some familiarity for me (theoretically cutting down on research time), but at the same time might spark curiosity in my audience. What could be more fun than reading about the beginnings of a little Southern town that spawned one of the greatest rock ’n roll legends of all time? It just so happened that Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, was incorporated in 1870—precisely in the middle of the Reconstruction Era, the tumultuous setting I’d chosen for the Daughtry House series. Giving myself leeway to create whatever I needed to for the story (for example, there were no real plantations left in the area by the end of the Civil War; Ithaca/Daughtry House is based on Waverley Plantation, which is actually in nearby West Point, Mississippi), I tried as much as possible to ground the little town of Tupelo in life as it would have been back then. Boarding houses, saloons, mercantiles, and other businesses set in a grid not too far…

Mike Nappa and Melissa Kosci | Exclusive Excerpt: A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM
Author Guest / June 2, 2020

“Let’s try this,” she said. “Tell me what you know about The Dream, and I’ll be on my way.” “If I knew something, I’d tell you. Why is this Dream person dangerous? What did he do?” She leaned closer. “He murdered two men in cold blood.” “I never have gotten that saying. In cold blood. What does that even mean?” Agent Uribe gritted her teeth. “It means he showed no remorse. He feels no empathy.” The waitress walked back over. “Do you want to ordah somethin’ to eat?” “No, tha—” “Absolutely. I’m famished.” Samuel smiled and picked up the menu. “Hmm . . . are the jalapeño poppers good?” “If you like hot.” Samuel pursed his lips. “Maybe the burger, beer, and fries. What’s a Narragansett? Wait, isn’t that the name of a town?” Uribe was glaring at him. “They make lagahs,” the waitress said. “Eh, maybe I shouldn’t have a beer. What about . . . kabobs? You serve kabobs? That’s interesting.” “Is that what you’d like?” The waitress sounded slightly annoyed. “No, I don’t think so. Just give me a cheeseburger and fries.” He folded the menu. The waitress wrote down the order and went back into the…