Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Alyson McLayne | Top 3 Places To Visit In Scotland
Author Guest / July 31, 2019

Scotland’s held a special place in my heart for a long time. My mom put me in Highland Dancing when I was little, and I can remember standing on a chair in our dining room for hours as she struggled to make my kilt–pinning and repining the pleats and making sure it sat perfectly on my hips. She also made me a fitted, velvet vest to wear over my lacey blouse. The final product was beautiful but heavy (all those deep pleats!), making the dances even harder to perform. Not surprisingly, when I grew out of my costume a few years later and needed a new one, she paid someone else to make it. We were both happier that she left it to the professionals! So years later, when I was on a University exchange in England for six months, the first trip I took during spring break was all the way north through Scotland to the Orkney Islands, off the northeast coast. To get there I stopped in Edinburgh, Inverness, and other places along the way. Scotland was a magical place to me with its history, castles, green valleys, craggy mountains, and wild seas. And brawny Scots in kilts,…

Tara Kingston | Chemistry 101
Author Guest / July 24, 2019

Chemistry. I’m intrigued by observing chemistry in real life and in fiction. No, not the kind with protons, neutrons, and electrons. I left that kind of chemistry behind after my freshman year of college. As an author, I’m talking about that intangible quality between characters we’ve come to refer to as chemistry. When a hero and heroine experience mutual chemistry, they’re drawn together, despite external conflicts and obstacles—even if they think they’re all wrong for each other. When I’m not writing and reading, I love to watch movies. It’s evident to me when there is…or is not…chemistry between the characters. The hero and the heroine challenge each other, grow to respect each other, and find each other intriguing. And in the case of a romance, chemistry fuels their attraction. To me, chemistry is the difference between a movie I want to enjoy more than once, and a film that’s not nearly as memorable. I’m a huge fan of Robert Downey, Jr. and Rachel McAdams in Sherlock Holmes. As Holmes matches wits with alluring criminal Irene Adler, a woman who can hold her own with the brilliant detective, the sensual tension is magnetic. One can well imagine the passion that would…

Heather McCollum | 17th Century Dressing & THE WICKED VISCOUNT
Author Guest / June 5, 2019

Hi everybody! I’m Heather McCollum, author of Scottish romances. I’m excited to be here on Fresh Fiction to celebrate the release of my new novel, THE WICKED VISCOUNT, which takes place in 17th c London. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to wear the huge ensembles of silk and embroidery that the ladies in the English court used to don? My current Scottish historical romance series, The Campbells, takes place in 1684 and 1685. In THE WICKED VISCOUNT, the heroine, a feisty Scottish lass, must venture to the royal court in London. For the first time in her life, she wears the rich garments of the elite to fit in at Whitehall Palace. I wanted to experience what my heroine was feeling in the strictures of the costume, so I commissioned the talented Victoria Vane to create an ensemble for me. Even though my heroine grows up during the time when these dresses were worn, she is poor and has never worn the full costumes before. After two weeks of looking at fabrics with Victoria, we finally decided on a gorgeous magenta and lavender combination of silks. Imported from India, the fabrics are rich and beautifully embroidered with…

Jennifer Trethewey | Here’s to the Rescuers
Author Guest / April 2, 2019

I like to read the dedications in novels. It feels like the author is sharing a tiny personal connection. I dedicated Saving the Scot to all the men, women, and animals who risk their lives to save others. I hope people will read it and remember all the unsung heroes and heroines who put on gear and walk in when others run away. I was delighted when one lovely reader made mention of the dedication in her review. So, I thought I’d talk a little bit about why I chose the dedication, pose some ways we can actively recognize their courage, and hopefully generate more ideas from you. Last October, Hurricane Michael caused death and destruction in the Florida Panhandle like the US has never seen. One of my writer friends, April Moran, had just released her second Regency novel when the hurricane destroyed her house and leveled all the trees in her yard. Nearly six months later, she and her husband are still living in a trailer while they rebuild. But rather than post about her new novel or her losses, she posted about the EMTs, the overworked powerline repair guys, the neighbors helping neighbors, the people rescuing animals,…