Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Anna Schmidt | Trailblazer
Author Guest / January 2, 2019

Although I had certainly heard of Fred Harvey and his famous Harvey Girls, it had never occurred to me how much these young women changed the frontier forever. With their pristine uniforms and fresh faces, along with the strict code of conduct Mr. Harvey demanded of them, they were a new version of femininity to cowboys and other males on the frontier. They are widely credited with introducing a new level of civility to what had once been the wild West. *** TRAILBLAZER by Anna Schmidt Cowboys & Harvey Girls #1 MEET THE HARVEY GIRLS: These real-life pioneering women were symbols of elegance in the wild frontier: taming rough manners, falling in love, and changing the face of the West forever. Grace Rogers is ready for the adventure of a lifetime. With her family’s farm falling on hard times, she accepts a position with the prestigious Fred Harvey Company and heads for Juniper, New Mexico. There she meets a handsome cowboy who quickly turns her head. Too bad the Harvey Girls are forbidden to marry… Nick Hopkins has a plan: buy a little land, marry, and raise a family in that order. But after meeting Grace, he can’t keep away….

Netflix Announces Virgin River Series by Robyn Carr
News , TV / December 20, 2018

Exciting Romance industry news! Robyn Carr’s best-selling and long-running  Virgin River series will be a Netflix series! You can read the full, exclusive announcement over on Deadline. It’s being billed as a romance drama series, and the cast includes Alexandra Breckinridge (This Is Us, The Walking Dead) and Martin Henderson (Grey’s Anatomy, Miracles From Heaven). This beloved series has a robust cast of characters, and lucky for us, a cast list has been released! Check out the list below to see who will be portraying your favorite Virgin River inhabitants (Character and then Actor name – a complete list of character descriptions found HERE): Melinda Moore (lead character, new to small-town of Virgin River): Alexandra Breckenridge (This Is Us and The Walking Dead) Jack Sheridan (sharp-witted ex-Marine commander): Martin Henderson (Grey’s Anatomy and Miracles from Heaven) Doc Mullins: Tim Matheson (The Affair and The Good Fight) Hope McCrea (mayor of Virgin River): Annette O’Toole (Smallville and Marvel’s The Punisher) Joey Barnes (Melinda’s charming older sister): Jenny Cooper (Grey’s Anatomy) Calvin (leader of the largest and many illegal pot fields): David Cubitt (Siren) Paige Lassiter (local entrepreneur): Lexa Doig (Arrow) Mark (Melinda’s first love and accomplished surgeon): Daniel Gillies (The Originals)…

Mira Lyn Kelly | About My Writing Space…
Author Guest / December 11, 2018

Hey everyone! So one of the questions I get asked a lot, is what’s my writing space like. And the simplest answer is EVER-CHANGING! I’m most definitely a creature of habit… until I’m not lol. For instance, I might move from my office desk to my office couch to the comfy chair in the living room to my bedroom, getting huffy at every stop until I find that spot that clicks and I finally drop into THE ZONE. I know. This sounds ridiculous, but it’s just how it goes. And once I figure out the spot that works…  I’ll ride it into the ground lol. I’ll go back to writing in my bed or at my desk while sitting on a yoga ball every day for as long as it triggers that free flow of flirty, sexy storytelling that is so much fun! This week, I’m all about the desk and the rolling, spinny chair lol. One thing that doesn’t change? All the crap I tote along with me lol. Soundproof headphones (regardless of whether the house is silent or not) Two, yes two mugs of gorgeous assorted pens and highlighters My project specific spiral notebook (it needs to be…

Julie Particka | Comedic Influences
Author Guest / November 16, 2018

I have to admit, I am always alternately excited and confused when my publisher decides one of my books falls under the romantic comedy heading. Excited because rom-coms are my favorite type of romance. Confused because I don’t really set out to write comedy. Why? Because comedy is hard. It’s not that I don’t think I’m funny. I mean, if I can still make my teenagers laugh, but not laugh at me, I must be doing something right in the live comedy department. But in my experience, written comedy is a whole other ball game. And kind of like a five-year-old who is trying to learn to tell jokes, when I try to write comedy, it comes off stilted and…not funny. So rather than try to write comedy, I aim to write people the way people around me actually talk. Yet, I tend to fall back on two of my comedic influences when writing anyway. The first (love him, hate him, or try to ignore the bad stuff about him) is Joss Whedon. I’m going to take a stab in the dark that, like me, he doesn’t really consider himself a comedy writer. However, most of his work has strong…

Abbie Roads | Never Let Me Fall Exclusive Excerpt
Author Guest / November 8, 2018

In the vanity mirror of her old bathroom, Helena caught sight of her naked torso and wished she hadn’t. She’d known her body looked bad. But it was so much worse than she’d imagined. Water rained from the showerhead, ringing against the old claw-foot tub, a sound that should’ve comforted her for its familiarity, but it didn’t. Not now. Not staring at the disaster that was her body. Her skin bore witness to the brutality she’d suffered at the hands of the Sisters. Thick scars. Jagged scars. Smooth scars. Sunken-in hollows. Disfiguring and ghastly to look upon. The top of her left breast had a fat, puckered mark from one of the Sisters trying to bury a screwdriver in her heart. Dizziness came over her. The world distorted, fading out of focus until the only thing visible was the mess of her flesh. Every damaged piece of skin flamed to life, burning and itching in an I-won’t-ever-let-you-forget of epic proportions. She turned and looked over her shoulder at her back in the mirror. The ability to breathe stopped. Both sides bore dozens, maybe hundreds, of scars from the gang shanking she’d endured. The raised, angry skin looked like a grotesque…

Carrie Nichols | Matchmaking Is Hard Work When You’re Seven
Author Guest / November 5, 2018

My name is Evangeline Fontenot but everyone calls me Evie except my papá, he calls me ’tit ange. Little angel. I have people in my life who love me, but what I really want is a mother. I’m in the second grade and our class just got a new teacher. Her name is Miz Honeycutt and I decided she’d make a great mom. She’s real pretty, loves kids and she has a big orange cat named Henry. I know because she has a picture of Henry on her desk. I haven’t met Henry yet, but I’m sure he’s real nice too. I’ve been telling Papá about Henry and Miz Honeycutt every night at supper, but he still hasn’t gone to meet her. Bobby, a boy in my class, says he got a bad grade on his spelling test and his mom had to come to talk to Miz Honeycutt. It worked for him so I decided it might work for me. It did, but now I have to make sure Miz Honeycutt doesn’t decide she likes my uncle or anyone else better than my papá. Who knew getting a mom with a cat was this hard! Excerpt from The Sheriff’s…

Marnie Blue | Five Things You Can Do NOW to Avoid Christmas Craziness Later
Author Guest / November 2, 2018

(This article is dedicated to my sister-in-law, who for the past ten years single-handedly prepared the traditional Seven Fishes of Christmas Eve for her husband and his family, cleaned her house top to bottom, worked full-time and did all the Christmas shopping while being a super mom to her twins. This year, she is going out to eat. Buon Natale, Lisa!) Some people are just so organized. Bless their hearts! I found this out while I was trying to decide what to write about for Fresh Fiction. So many authors write about their books or writing—and that’s fine. But, I’m thinking—it’s close to the holidays! Who’s got time to think about books when there are meals to be prepared and houses to clean and most of all, guests coming to your home? Seriously. Even now, your family may be preparing to descend upon you and yours, like D-Day, only with in-laws and cousins.  The most wonderful time of the year? For who? Apparently, it can be that way for you. Do you know, not everyone is up until 2:00 am the night before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? (I know! It’s shocking.) There are some things which can be…

Donna Kauffman | Celebrating the Holidays…in 100 Pages or Less
Author Guest / October 30, 2018

I’m a sucker for holiday stories. Movies, books, music…if it tells a story set around the holidays, I want to know more! Being a romance writer who celebrates hope and love with every book she writes, the happier the story the better. So I was thrilled when I was asked to write my first holiday novella back…oh, let’s just say a few years (okay, okay, fifteen years) ago. What could be more fun than getting to tell my very own holiday story? Well, it turns out that while it was a blast getting to dream up a fun little holiday adventure, writing a satisfying story when you only have one hundred pages to tell that holiday tale is a wee bit of a challenge! I’m used to having four times that many pages, and even then, there are always parts that I have to trim down or leave out altogether. How in the world was I going to pull this off?  Suddenly this Christmas present was starting to feel a bit more like a trick from the Grinch. With the help of a few brainstorming author pals and possibly munching my way through far more Christmas cookies than was wise…

Jamie Beck | Exclusive Interview the Hero of The Memory of You
Author Guest / October 29, 2018

Exclusive Interview with Ryan Quinn, the Hero of The Memory of You 1) Greetings Ryan! Thanks for joining us today. We know you have a lot going on–you’re a single father and public defender and you just had a big move back to your hometown. Can you tell us a bit about your day-to-day life? Thanks for having me. At the moment, my day-to-day life is a bit chaotic now that I’ve temporarily moved in with my folks while my divorce is finalized. I’ve started a new job and am trying to get my young daughter to embrace a new school and make new friends. Meanwhile, my meddling mother went and hired my high school sweetheart, Steffi, to remodel her house, so now I have to see Steffi every day, too. Emmy, my daughter, is taking to her, which is a risk because Steffi can’t be trusted to keep her commitments anymore than Emmy’s mom can. But I do love being home on Long Island Sound, and I look forward to getting back out on my old sailboat. 2) Emmy sounds great, but it seems like your divorce has been really hard on her. What has been her reaction to all…

Michelle Dayton | Top 5 Reasons Why Fall Is the Perfect Season to Read a Romance
Author Guest / October 19, 2018

My new book, Quick Fall, is set solely in the timeframe between Labor Day weekend and mid-November.  I was settling in with some recently downloaded books on my Kindle last week and I kept scrolling past thrillers and deep dramas looking for something a bit lighter, something with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.  It made me realize just how much I love reading romance in the Fall season … here are five reasons I think you should too! 5. In the real world, Fall is a very serious season.  Escape – in the form of a romance book – is a healthy mental choice!  If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time reading the news and hearing about world events on social media.  It’s hard on your mental health to constantly absorb the problems and negativity that are everywhere.  But reading a romance can give you a few hours’ breather! You can enter a world where the main concern is that your characters find a true emotional connection … and possibly, some amazing sex!  🙂  4. The holidays!  I love it when romance books have Halloween trick-or-treating or Thanksgiving dinner scenes.  It makes me look forward to those events in…