Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jerusha Agen | Exclusive Excerpt: RISING DANGER
Author Guest / May 24, 2021

Even in Rem’s wildest dreams, he never would have thought a bomb would bring Bristol Bachmann back into his life. He had been pretty sure he’d never see her again, no matter how much he wished otherwise. He followed her fast descent down the stairs into the me­chanical room, her black Lab easily traversing the narrow, almost ladderlike stairs. How could she suddenly be here, at one of the dams in his charge? And did she have to be exactly the same as he remembered? She still told it like it was, no matter how much it hurt to hear. Her swinging ponytail revealed she still had the same long, wavy brown hair with hints of mahogany, though he couldn’t see the highlights of color in the murky belly of the dam. That adorable hint of a cleft still nestled in her chin, and her gray-blue eyes drew him in like a magnetic storm cloud. A cloud that had unloaded on him the last time he’d seen her. The memory of her fury rained on his mental walk down memory lane. He had deserved no less then, but right now he didn’t need her to remind him of his past…

Angelina M. Lopez | Exclusive Excerpt: SERVING SIN
Author Guest / May 21, 2021

Thirteen years ago, decorated former Army Ranger Roman Sheppard rescued Mexican heiress Cenobia “Cen” Trujillo from a shocking kidnapping that riveted the world. Now, this reluctant warrior prince–head of an elite security firm and the lost prince of a small Spanish kingdom–has come to Mexico to once again protect the heiress-turned-CEO as growing threats work to derail her launch of a car that will change the Mexican industrial landscape for the better.  Cenobia hopes his close proximity will allow her to finally figure out if what she feels for him is a teenager’s daydream or a grown woman’s reality. Roman, however, is doing everything he can to resist thinking of her as his sweet Cen. *** He was the sensation she knew he would be in the vast room with its spectacularly decorated high ceiling of stained glass, its giant chandeliers gleaming off marble floors, and large, gold framed mirrors that made the room boundary-less. National and international representatives of the auto, oil, and gas industries, many who were wealthy enough to buy small nations, weren’t immune to the presence of royalty, no matter how reluctant the royalty was. Roman shook the hands and said the words, but quickly demurred…

Sandra Owens | Exclusive Excerpt: KEEPING GUARD
Author Guest / May 17, 2021

There was only one other car parked on the dirt-packed lot at the entrance to the falls, a silver Mercedes with “Just Married” scrawled on the rear window. Shrugging off his curiosity, Noah locked the doors of his rental and headed for the trail, hoping Jack was right and a bit of peace awaited him at the bottom that would quiet the ants. Noah paused at the top of the trail going down, frowning at seeing the white heels, one upright and the other on its side. A pair of white stockings were draped over a nearby bush. He glanced back at the Mercedes. Was he going to stumble on a bride and groom, and what the devil were they doing here of all places? He almost turned around to leave, but curiosity got the better of him. If he discovered them getting it on—a distinct possibility considering the bride was shedding clothing—he’d discreetly disappear. Going down in stealth mode, he reached the bottom of the trail, stopping dead in his tracks when a feminine voice said, “Cheers to me.” He blinked and then blinked again. A woman wearing nothing but lacey white panties, a white corset, and a veil…

Jacqueline Corcoran | Art History and A SURREALIST AFFAIR
Author Guest / May 17, 2021

A SURREALIST AFFAIR took me years, off and on, to write, partly because it involved so much research to pull off. Most of the research involved the Surrealist art movement, but I also had to learn about art history more broadly, training of art historians, methods of art fraud, art thefts and recovery, the FBI Art Crime Team, the geography of Paris, and French phrasing. I had three years of high school French but met my language requirement for college because from the middle of junior year, I attended Dow High in Midland, Michigan (yes, Dow Chemical), which was more interested in STEM than languages. With only a rudimentary grasp of French, I needed a lot of help from Google, a critique partner who knew French, and a friend who had spent time studying in Paris, so he was also familiar with the geography of the city. Because my protagonist Elle Dakin was going through a Ph.D. art history program, that required its own research.  I am a professor in an academic department, so I know about impossible advisors and narcissistic professors, as well as the challenges of writing a dissertation. But my field is social work, not art history….

Julie Rowe | What Write What You Know Really Means (to me)
Author Guest / May 13, 2021

The write what you know writing advice is so well known and repeated it’s a cliche. It’s often dismissed as worn out and antiquated thanks to research being so much easier with our current level of technology (I grew up in the 80s and used a rotary phone. Wheee! Fun times). The thing is, write what you know doesn’t mean technical know-how to me. Anyone can research police procedure, medical facts, and rocket science, that stuff is easy. It’s the people stuff that’s hard to write if you’ve never lived it yourself. People stuff? Definition: People stuff – A mixture of psychology and life experience, including but not limited to: personality, traumas, successes, failures, deaths, injuries, odd relatives, first car, first love, betrayals, jobs, major life events (good and bad), etc… All of that and a lot more shapes our attitudes, understanding, and actions. It allows us to create a variety of characters who feel three-dimensional and alive. Every writer writes what they know, what they’ve lived through and have come to understand. Every writer has a personal theme that appears in every story they write. Mine is a combination of Protector and Healing. My stories are about characters who…

L.C. Sharp | 20 Questions: THE WEDDING NIGHT AFFAIR
Author Guest / May 10, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? The Wedding Night Affair 2–What is it about? It’s a murder mystery with the promise of romance to come. Juliana wakes up next to the body of her dead husband. He’s been stabbed through the heart, but she is sure she didn’t do it. Enter Sir Edmund Asheton, lawyer and criminal investigator. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Back then, in the 1740s, London was the biggest city in the world, but it had no police force. You could be hanged for stealing a loaf of bread – if you were caught. Criminal masterminds played both sides of the law, keeping their minions in check by threatening to turn them in. Mobs ruled, and they were frequent and dangerous. One of the reviewers of the book commented that I treated the mob in the book like an everyday occurrence. Well, if you read the newspapers (known as journals) of the time, they were just that. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Despite her parents treating her like a valuable piece of art, an asset rather than a person, she had an inner resilience. The brutal treatment she received…

Melissa Koslin | NEVER MISS: What’s in a Name?
Author Guest / May 4, 2021

My husband and I have this long-standing disagreement. He likes names like John and Jane—literally the more boring the better. I, however, like something with some interest. While I have to work with him on naming our baby, I don’t have to give a hoot what he thinks about my character names! I am a collector of names. I have files in my phone for girl names, boy names, and surnames. Whenever I come across something interesting, I add it to the list and then pull my character names from there. Side characters usually have something I like but not one of my top favorites, except when I have a theme going. In NEVER MISS, which is a Christian romantic suspense book releasing from Revell on May 4, 2021, my female main character’s family all has names related to combat and fortification, which is fitting for a family of snipers. Their last name is Tolle simply because I’ve always liked that name. Bastion – her father Redan – her uncle, Bastion’s brother Caponier – her cousin Ravelin – her cousin The male character’s parents’ names are more personal. Lee Vaile is his father. Lee is my father’s middle name, and…

Sloane Steele | Author-Reader Match: IT TAKES A THIEF
Author Guest / April 30, 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 Sloane Steele! Writes: IT TAKES A THIEF: The Counterfeit Capers series are light romantic suspense books: art heists with HEAs. IT TAKES A THIEF sets up the premise of the series and builds the team. Cousins Mia, the mastermind, and Jared, the negotiator, plan to steal art from their fathers’ friends and sell it to pay the victims of their father’s Madoff-type scheme. To pull this off, they hire Audrey (Data), the hacker; Nikki, the thief; and London, the forger. As this group of individuals learns to work together as a team, Audrey and Jared start to fall for each other, which complicates everything. About: Diet Coke swilling, TV watching writer who bakes cookies when stressed by life or plot points. I have a snarky sense of humor and use curse words prolifically. I’m amused by my own teenagers and spend a lot of time laughing at/with them. I believe reading and writing romance should provide escape from the frustrations of life….

Annabeth Albert | 20 Questions: UP IN SMOKE
Author Guest / April 26, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? UP IN SMOKE, Hotshots #4 2–What is it about? UP IN SMOKE is a stand-alone romance between a freewheeling smoke jumper and an aspiring country singer who are forced to work together for the best interest of a tiny baby. It’s a MM romance—think Three Men and a Baby meets Backdraft with lots of fun, feels, sexy times, and heart, and a big fluffy happy ending. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love central Oregon. I love all of my state, but central Oregon is very special to me. I love the mountains, the lakes, the iconic scenery, the quirky small towns, the neat little businesses and places to eat, and more. I loved setting the book in an area that I love so much. 4–How did Brandt surprise you?  I expected Brandt to really resist parenthood, but he surprised me by being way more ready to accept responsibility than I would have thought. And he fell in love with the baby—and Shane—far faster than I expected too! 5–Why will readers love Shane?  Who doesn’t love a good-looking man in jeans who can sing like a dream?…

C. Chilove | 20 Questions: WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS
Author Guest / April 19, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS 2–What is it about? As Commander of the most Elite Black Ops forces in the world, Brenden avoids emotional entanglements until he meets Dr. Paige Jasper. Paige becomes the complication Brenden wasn’t trained to handle… and his secrets could be the death of her. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The setting is real and rooted in the Tampa Bay Area, which is where MacDill AFB is located. The university depicted in the story was also inspired by the University of Tampa. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  She’s an artist that creates by drawing and painting. This surprised me as my artistic medium is Dance, and I cannot draw anything but a stick figure and they are usually ugly, lol. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Brenden is strong, courageous, and chivalry does still exist with him despite the hard edge. The vulnerability he displays will keep readers cheering for him as he fights to claim their love. 6–What was one of your biggest challenges while writing this book (spoiler-free, of course!)?  I did a ton of interviews with active and inactive military…