Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Terri Reed | Creating Characters Led to Personal Growth + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 24, 2020

Thank you, Fresh Fiction, for hosting me on your blog. While coming up with a topic for this blog, I asked myself what is it about books that captivate me. The answer is Characters. So often when I think about books I’ve read and loved, I remember the characters. When I first started writing I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t understand craft, but I knew I had stories to tell. My mother-in-law encouraged me to ‘just’ start writing. I did, but my characters were flat. It took me many sets of revisions to the stories before I was really able to know and understand my characters. It was painstaking work, hence why it took me ten years to sell my first full-length novel to Harlequin. Now, nearly three decades since writing that first story, I finally feel like I have a grasp on characterization. But it required many classes and workshops, learning from authors whose work I admired and wanted to emulate. As authors, we want our characters to be likable, relatable, sympathetic and fictional people the reader can root for from page one to the end. I embarked all those years ago on a quest…

Dawn Altieri | How to Raise a Reader… or Not
Author Guest / January 20, 2020

When I was pregnant with my daughter about fourteen (fourteen?!?) years ago, I read everything I could get my hands on about how to be the best parent and how to raise a loving, healthy child. One piece of advice I came across over and over again was this: if you read to your child every day–before they can read themselves before they can even tell you they’re enjoying the story before they’re even born–you will instill a love of reading in your child that will last a lifetime. Parents, I’m here to tell you, it’s all lies. As a toddler, sure, my daughter loved having me sit in her room reading story after story to her at bedtime. We’d snuggle as we made our way through three, four, ten books at a time. Winnie the Pooh, the Berenstain Bears, If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. I would use different voices and she’d laugh along, scolding me if I used the wrong voice or slipped out of character. Finally, I would tell her, “That’s enough for tonight. It’s time to go to sleep.” And I would tuck her in, kiss her goodnight, and tiptoe out of her room with…

Debra Webb | 20 Questions: WITNESS PROTECTION WIDOW
Author Guest / January 20, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Witness Protection Widow 2–What is it about? Allison James witnessed a murder. The only way for her to stay alive and ensure the killer is brought to justice is to go into hiding with the Witness Protection Program until the trial. Ali didn’t expect the man sent to protect her to be the same one who once broke her heart. 3–What word best describes your heroine(s)? Brave. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  His determination not to let Ali down again. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Colt Tanner and Branch Holloway 6–What do you love about the setting of your book? My family and I lived near Winchester for fifteen years. We love the area and still have many friends there. 7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)? I typically create a loose, very vague outline but I allow the story to go where the characters take it as I’m writing. 8–What is an ideal writing day for you? Rise early. Drink lots of coffee. Work uninterrupted for several hours. 9–Do you listen to music while…

Susan May Warren | Author-Reader Match: THE WAY OF THE BRAVE
Author Guest / January 13, 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 Susan May Warren! Writes: Susan loves to get people in trouble, and then rescue them! With sexy, strong and honorable heroes (and brave, smart and beautiful heroines!). She writes in a sub-genre of Romantic Suspense she titles Epic Romantic Adventure, and her gig is Search and Rescue teams. Because we all secretly want to be rescued…(or maybe do the rescuing, right?) In The Way of the Brave, three amazing women decide to climb Denali, in Alaska. But when a gale force wind causes an avalanche, they find themselves blown into trouble—the kind of trouble that needs, ahem, rescuers. Enter the Global Search and Rescue team of Jones, Inc, three former military heroes who will do anything to bring the lost home… Even when they find themselves in trouble, too. So, really, who is rescuing whom? About: Susan May Warren is the kind of person that says, yes, let’s go jump out of a plane—wanna join me? It’ll be fun! A skier, a…

Lynette Eason | Exclusive Excerpt: COLLATERAL DAMAGE
Author Guest / January 13, 2020

Asher paced from one end of Heather’s living area to the other as he debated the events of this endless day. First Sharon’s death, then Mario Ricci had tried to kill him and Brooke. His friend from the hospital had called him ten minutes ago to let him know that Ricci’s prognosis had taken a nosedive. He was now in a medically induced coma, so getting answers wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. Which meant he and Brooke needed to find someone who knew what he was up to and why he’d been searching Brooke’s home. They needed to link him to . . . something recent. Someone current. They needed to know where he was living and who he was living with and if he was working with anyone. His phone buzzed and he pulled it from his pocket. Newell was finally calling him back. “Captain, thanks for returning my call.” “James, it’s been a good while. How are you doing?” “I’m hanging in there.” “Tough to transition back, isn’t it?” “Yes, sir.” “You’re always welcome to come back. It’s not the same without you and Black.” Asher shut his eyes. “Thank you, sir, I’ll keep that in mind.” Talking to…

Jayne Ann Krentz | Exclusive Excerpt: THE VANISHING
Author Guest / January 10, 2020

Catalina was halfway back to the office, walking fast, when her phone vibrated. She yanked it out of the pocket of her coat and glanced at the screen. Daniel. “Please tell me you’ve got a lead on Olivia,” she said. “Nothing yet, but you need to get back here now.” “Almost there. Why? What happened?” “There’s someone here to see you. Says it’s urgent. Says it’s about Olivia.” “Put him on the phone,” Catalina said. “Hang on,” Daniel said. The voice that came on the line was masculine, eerily calm, cool and controlled. It was, she concluded, the kind of voice that could lead you out of a burning building. It was also a voice that, under the right circumstances, could scare the living daylights out of you. “My name is Slater Arganbright,” he said. “Oh, shit,” Catalina whispered. “I realize you’ve got some history with my uncle. We can talk about that later. Right now we’ve got other priorities. I understand your business partner, Olivia LeClair, is missing.” Okay, so she had been on the verge of calling Victor Arganbright. It was one thing to put in a call for help. It was something else entirely to discover that…

Katie Ruggle | Exclusive Interview: RISK IT ALL + Giveaway!
Author Guest / December 30, 2019

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Katie! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest novel, RISK IT ALL? It’s great to be back–thank you for having me! I write romantic suspense with funny bits (at least I hope they’re funny) set in the Colorado Rockies. In my latest book, RISK IT ALL (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters #2), we’re back with the bounty hunting Pax sisters and their felonious mom. All Cara Pax wants is to be a kindergarten teacher, but she somehow finds herself chasing after bail jumper and accused killer Henry Kavenski. As she gets swept up in the danger that surrounds Henry, she realizes that things are even more complicated than first appears, and she begins to wonder–is he innocent, or is she just a sucker for a gorgeous, protective skip?       RISK IT ALL is the second book in your Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters series. What keeps you coming back to writing romantic suspense, and specifically set in this party of the country? The rugged, remote, and oftentimes dangerous mountains are the perfect setting for romantic suspense! While I lived there, I fell in love with the Colorado Rockies, as well as the interesting…

Susan Sleeman | 20 Questions: SECONDS TO LIVE
Author Guest / December 9, 2019

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  My latest release is Seconds to Live. This is book one in my new Homeland Heroes series. 2–What is it about?  When cybercriminals hack into the US Marshals’ Witness Protection database and auction off witnesses’ personal details to the highest bidders, the RED Team led by FBI Agent Sean Nichols begins a high-stakes chase to find the hacker. But before he can even get started, the first witness is targeted and barely escapes with her life. Sean believes Phantom, an obsessed hacker who previously outwitted the top minds in the field, is behind the attack, and Sean needs this witness’s help, as she’s the person who has come closest to discovering Phantom’s identity. Trouble is, she’s a witness under the care of US Marshal Taylor Mills, and Sean is reluctant to work with the captivating marshal who knows his deepest secrets. But Phantom claims he knows where the witness is hiding and will kill her, so to stop the hacker, Sean and Taylor must work through their personal pain and learn to trust each other. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Taylor is so many things, but if I had to choose just one…

Jane Godman | My Top 5 Romantic Christmas Movies
Author Guest / December 4, 2019

My current release, Colton 911: Family Under Fire, is a Christmas romantic suspense story. And who doesn’t enjoy a little romance in their lives at Christmas? With that in mind, wanted to share my top 5 romantic Christmas films with you. Bridget Jones’s Diary Bridget Jones is an average woman struggling against her age, her weight, her job, her lack of a man, and her many imperfections. As a New Year’s Resolution, Bridget decides to take control of her life, starting by keeping a diary in which she will always tell the complete truth. The fireworks begin when her charming though disreputable boss takes an interest in the quirky Miss Jones. Thrown into the mix are Bridget’s band of slightly eccentric friends and a rather disagreeable acquaintance who Bridget cannot seem to stop running into or help finding quietly attractive. Love, Actually Love, Actually is often named as one of the best Christmas movies and, as its name suggests, it’s also one of the most romantic. The movie is a series of vignettes about several different people that seemingly have no connection to one another, although by the end the connections are finally all present and accounted for. There’s a…

Loreth Anne White | These Are A Few of My Favorite (Scary) Things
Author Guest / December 2, 2019

I absolutely love mysteries and thrillers—books, movies, TV shows—I binge them all. I am also inspired by them. In fact, my newest novel, In The Dark, is an homage to author Agatha Christie and one of her most iconic stories And Then There Were None. In my novel, Christie’s story actually becomes a plot device, a psychological tool, that the villain uses to instill fear in the victims that are trapped. The victims know what transpired in And Then There Were None, which has them anticipating that the same will happen to them. Some of my other favorite mystery writers include Daphne DuMaurier and Patricia Highsmith. Also, at the moment I’m loving Lisa Jewell’s voice and her domestic suspense—I’ve been on a Lisa Jewell glom. In this vein, I love Louise Doughty’s Apple Tree Yard and enjoyed Helen Fitzgerald’s The Cry, and Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us. Liane Moriarty, too. Off the top of my head, my favorite thriller movies include The Bone Collector, The Thomas Crowne Affair (for the romantic tension), and The Debt (pure tension plus love triangle!) And finally, let’s not forget great TV shows in this genre. I think that the television series adaptation of The Cry is just fabulous. I am hooked on Big Little Lies. I’m also a…