Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jane Kirkpatrick | Exclusive Interview: ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS
Author Guest / September 18, 2019

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction! Can you tell us about your latest release, ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS? It’s the story of a little-known wagon train trying to find religious freedom in Alta California and their remarkable survival in a terrible winter (in the same place in the Sierra Nevadas that the Donner party encountered two years later – with very different results). It’s incredible to know that ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS was inspired by a true story. Where did you find out about this piece of history and what brought about writing an entire book about it?  While researching another book I found a footnote that said, “Here’s the cabin wherein 1844-45 8 women, 17 children, and James Miller spent the winter in the Sierra Nevadas.”  Hmm, were they on a vacation? There’s a group of women in this novel who have to survive the unthinkable while taking care of children and keeping them all alive in harsh conditions. Their strength and resilience are inspiring. What sort of research did you do about survival tactics? Did you learn anything about the actual women who went through this journey?  Sheltering each other, collaborating and keeping a focus on what…

Rachel Fordham | Five Secrets About Authors
Author Guest / August 14, 2019

1)  Authors (at least this author) loves hearing from readers. The beautiful thing about writing a book is that not only do we get to share a story that’s been consuming us for so long, but we also get to connect with new people.  Shortly after writing my first novel, The Hope of Azure Springs, I received a message from a young woman telling me how the story helped to answer a question that had plagued her for years. I wanted to cry! All the work that had gone into my book felt worth it. 2)  We feel vulnerable sharing our stories with you. Even though we can’t wait for our stories to go out into the wild, we also feel afraid. We know our stories might be ripped apart, trampled on and forgotten and then all that work would equate to what? Even more than feeling vulnerable about sales we feel that a part of ourselves are on display. The fight scene, the kissing scene, the unsavory internal thoughts of our characters are all a product of our imagination and now our imaginations are in print and we worry what you’ll think about us and our writing. 3)  We…

Irene Hannon | Top Five Reasons I Write Romance
Author Guest / April 11, 2019

First, a word about the romance genre. As those of us who write—and read—romance know, romance is often the underdog of fiction. Literary types in particular often look down on it. How sad for them. For romance has the power to sweep us away on a magical journey where heroes and heroines triumph against daunting odds. It uplifts, encourages and fills us with hope. It’s the stuff of inspiration. I’m proud to write it—for these reasons: 1. I love happy endings. Who doesn’t? That’s what our hearts and souls yearn for, and when it comes to the dating game, the romance genre—by definition—offers a guaranteed happily ever after. Romance novels are comfort food for the heart because we know that no matter how bad things get, the hero and heroine will end up together. Going along with them on their journey as they grapple with all the challenges that come their way makes for a compelling—and sometimes enlightening—ride. I read a cynical article once that denigrated the genre as nothing more than a fairy tale with no basis in reality, and you know what? I felt sorry for the woman who wrote it. Because once we stop believing in the…

Patricia Bradley | Author – Reader Match
Author Guest / April 5, 2019

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 Patricia Bradley! Writes: When people ask what I do, I’ve been known to tell them I kill people…but I do it nicely. Then I’m quick to tell them that I write romantic suspense. I also write romance occasionally without the murders, but that’s not my favorite thing to do. It’s much easier to kill off characters than to get the hero and heroine together, but somehow I always manage. I think one reason it’s hard is because my heroines, while not perfect, are strong women who are accustomed to handling situations on their own. And that means, my heroes, while flawed, are comfortable in their own skin and not intimidated by a capable woman. About Author: I live in a small town in Northeast Mississippi, two hours from Oxford (in the South we measure distance by time) where William Faulkner, Willie Morris and John Grisham held court. I’m a sucker for rescue kitties, and one of them now helps me write…at least…

Melody Carlson | Growing Old… Graciously
Author Guest / March 15, 2019

I’m often asked where my book ideas come from and, quite honestly, they come from too many sources to list. I’m one of those people who can imagine almost any situation as a novel. And I really do believe that every person walking the planet has a unique and interesting story . . . if you dig deeply enough. Consequently, I doubt I’ll ever run out of material to write about. And since I plan to keep writing until I’m, say, a hundred, I should have sufficient inspiration to keep me going. Speaking of growing old, the story idea of Courting Mr. Emerson was inspired by the simple fact that we are all aging. It’s simply a fact of life. As a ‘baby-boomer,’ I’m constantly confronted with this news via obnoxious email ads for anti-aging products like hearing aids or granny-diapers. I also get unwanted letters from AARP and a multitude of other “gentle” reminders that seem determined to remind me that I’m “of a certain age.” Not to mention some aches and pains I didn’t have twenty years ago. So, okay, I get the hint already. As a result, I sometimes find myself observing other aging “baby-boomers.” I probably…

Valerie Fraser Luesse | Dodging the Dreaded Coin
Author Guest / March 8, 2019

Spoiler alert: I’m about to seriously date myself. When I was in college, all my girlfriends were crazy about the movie Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour and the late Christopher Reeve. In case that film was before your time, it’s about a modern-day playwright named Richard Collins, who travels back in time to meet, court, and win the heart of Elise McKenna, a turn-of-the-century actress whose image and mysterious story have captivated him. Just as it appears that love will win the day, Richard reaches into his pocket and pulls out a forgotten 1979 penny, which immediately yanks him out of the past, away from his soul mate, and literally “back to the future.” My own stories are set in my native South, and I feel as if I spend a big chunk of my writing time dodging The Dreaded Coin, working as hard as I can to skirt my way around anything and everything that might yank a reader out of the story. It doesn’t take much. One factual inaccuracy (like putting the Brazos River in Mississippi) or one line of dialogue that sounds nothing like authentic Southern speech (“I’m mad about you! Mad I say!”), and the…

Amanda Cabot | Five Reasons I Love Book Series
Author Guest / March 1, 2019

It seems everywhere you look, authors are writing books in series, and that includes me.  As both an author and an avid reader, I love series. Why? Here are my top five reasons: 1. More complex plots – When stories span more than one book, the author has the ability to have multiple levels of plots.  Typically, each book has its own storyline that’s begun and resolved within that book, but there’s an overarching question or plot line that’s not resolved until the end of the series.  Think about TV’s Castle.  While the immediate mystery was solved in each episode, viewers kept tuning in to discover who killed Kate’s mother.  In the case of my Cimarron Creek books, the overarching question is, “What happened to Aunt Bertha’s daughter?” Although there’ve been partial answers, the final one comes in A Tender Hope. 2. Familiar Location – Consider the difference between visiting a place the first time and returning to it.  While there’s adventure the first time, there’s also a bit of apprehension. Will I get lost?  Will I like this place? All of that’s gone the second time. Instead of being worried, you’re excited about returning to a place you’ve visited…

Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup Day 5 | Inspirational Authors
Author Guest / February 15, 2019

Welcome to the final day of the Fresh Fiction Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup! Every day this week, some of our favorite authors have been on our blog chatting about their new books, their main characters, and sharing recipes for a meal or treat those characters would enjoy while celebrating Valentine’s Day. Today we have inspirational authors from Revell! We’ve had so much fun this week, and hope you have, too! Missed our previous roundup posts? Check them out here! Mystery Authors Contemporary Romance Authors Historical Romance Authors   Paranormal Romance Authors Suzanne Woods Fisher, MENDING FENCES Have you met Luke Schrock? Picture a guy who is drop-dead gorgeous, appealing, endearing, exasperating, unreliable, undependable…and hard to stay mad at. He’s on a bumpy road to manhood. That’s our Luke.   He’s back in Stoney Ridge after a stint (or two) in rehab, and he’s looking for some quick fixes. Luke plans to buzz back into Stoney Ridge, make a few apologies, and then take off for greener pastures. Not so fast, Luke. You’ve got some work to do, first. And then he meets Izzy Miller. Like Luke, Izzy has had a bumpy road to adulthood. But she’s settling into the Stoney…

Sarah Sundin | 10 Facts about the Red Cross in World War II
Author Guest / February 15, 2019

The women of World War II fascinate us and D-day is one of the most pivotal events in modern history, so I enjoyed exploring both in THE SKY ABOVE US, book 2 in the Sunrise at Normandy series. While my hero flies above the landing beaches in his P-51 Mustang, my heroine runs the American Red Cross Aeroclub at his airfield. Here are some interesting things I learned about the Red Cross in World War II. 1. At a time when the population of the United States was 132 million, 37 million adults and 20 million children and youth belonged to the Red Cross, with 7.5 million serving as volunteers. In addition, 40,000 men and women were paid workers with the Red Cross. 2. Of those overseas workers, twenty-nine women died, primarily in plane crashes, but also due to enemy shelling. 3. Women who worked with the American Red Cross overseas had to be at least twenty-five years old and have a college degree. They underwent an extensive interview process and had to complete training in Washington, DC. The women had the “equivalent status” of an officer, which granted them many officer privileges. 4. The American Red Cross operated hundreds…

Lynette Eason | Code of Valor + a recipe!
Author Guest / January 11, 2019

Happy New Year to you all! I’m so excited about my new release, the third book in the Blue Justice series, CODE OF VALOR (available now!) and am so honored to be on the Fresh Fiction blog once again. Since we’re right around the holidays – or just coming off the sugar high related to them – I thought I’d share a favorite recipe that I can see the St. John family enjoying. It’s a recipe that I found somewhere and through a bit of experimentation, changed it up a bit to suit me. 🙂 Not a whole lot, but a little. It’s a Strawberries and Cream Cheese Pie with an Oreo crust. – 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips – 2½ tsp shortening – room temperature (I start with 2½,  you can add more if you find you need it.) – 1 Oreo pie crust – 1 8-oz block cream cheese, softened to room temperature – 1/2 cup sugar – 1/2 cup sour cream – set it out to room temp and it mixes better. – 1 tsp vanilla – 1 tub Cool Whip (8 oz) – I also let this sit out and warm up to room temp before…