Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Deb Wiley | When Beloved Long-Running Series Come to an End
Reviewer Column / January 10, 2019

The new year is always a time to reflect on the past year while looking ahead to starting fresh. One of the things that stands out about to me from 2018 is the ending of some long-running and very beloved series. However, endings often signal new beginnings as well, so 2019 offers up some new series for me to love. How does one end a favorite series? Well, if you are Simon R. Green you take two beloved series and put all the characters at odds with each other and watch the mayhem that ensues. The hardest loss for me of 2018 was seeing the end of two series by Simon R. Green as he ended his Secret Histories and Nightside series in true Simon R. Green style. NIGHT FALL heralded the end of both long-running series as we saw the Drood family take on the Nightside, with all our favorite characters at risk of dying. Heck, Simon R. Green even throws in the Ghost Finders series, as we bit our fingernails and quickly turned the pages, hoping against hope that all would end well. I’m not going to lie- I cried a little over the ending of Secret Histories…

Jennie Bentley | When life imitates art and vice versa
Uncategorized / August 6, 2009

Last year around this time, I was getting ready to start promoting my debut, Fatal Fixer-Upper, first in the Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, featuring New York designer turned Maine renovator Avery Baker, and her boyfriend, hunky handyman Derek Ellis. The book came out in November 2008, and since then, my life has pretty much gone by at warp speed. Launching a first book was insane, and then came Thanksgiving and Christmas, before we sold one house and moved into another in January. Since then, we’ve been renovating what is our ninth house in nine years. All while we’re going about the dual businesses of real estate and writing, and while raising two boys under eleven and caring for the menagerie of pets they’ve accumulated between them. The latest house is a brick mid-century ranch, long and low-slung, with a big picture window in the front, situated on a large lot surrounded by tall trees. Chapter 1 of Spackled and Spooked has a description that matches that one in pretty much every particular. In Spackled and Spooked, Derek and Avery are renovating just such a house. It’s a local haunted house; I thought the idea of a…

Rita Herron | THE DEMONBORN: DARK HUNGER
Uncategorized / August 5, 2009

Myths and legends and the paranormal world When I first conceived of the idea for the Demonborn series and Dark Hunger, I knew I wanted to write about strong men, demons, crime fighters and the battle between good and evil. Next, I needed to build my paranormal world and make it different from all the other paranormals out there. What could make mine unique — fresh? The answer to that for me was to write about a world that intrigued me, a setting that I felt at home with, but one that naturally lended itself to a dark, eerie atmosphere that enhanced my story lines. I also thought having the paranormal creatures appear in the normal world was even more terrifying than to have a completely fantasy world. What if demons actually existed on Earth? Born a Southerner, spooky stories about ghosts, local legends, cemeteries, and odd things that go bump in the night filled my childhood. Since my series is a dark, gritty romantic suspense filled with evil demons and murder, my setting had to reflect that same creepy feeling. Click here to read the rest of Rita’s blog, leave a comment or enter her blog contest. Visit FreshFiction.com…

Krista Davis | Everyone Loves A Wedding
Uncategorized / July 23, 2009

Writing about domestic divas, Sophie Winston and her rival, Natasha, is always fun, but for my most recent book, I had the pleasure of planning an entire wedding without having to pay for it. Weddings used to be somewhat uniform. We expected the frou-frou bridesmaids’ dresses that would never be worn again, with dyed to match shoes, no less. The white cake was topped with a plastic bridal couple or flowers, and after a reception or dinner with dancing, the happy couple left for their honeymoon. Today, brides face a staggering variety of choices. Cakes are topped with rhinestone studded initials, if there is a cake. Cupcake tiers are all the rage as an alternative. And wedding festivities don’t necessarily end with dinner anymore. Some couples arrange for a lounge with dancing and go on to a brunch in their honor before taking off. I was shocked to learn that some brides buy two wedding dresses so they can change between the ceremony and the reception. Of course, a lounge and dancing necessitate a third dress. In the Domestic Diva Mysteries, Sophie and Natasha write competing lifestyle advice columns. Their tips are included in the books, along with recipes. Sophie…

Carolyn Haines | CHARACTERS OUT OF CONTROL
Uncategorized / July 7, 2009

This summer, the 9th Bones book, GREEDY BONES, will be released by St. Martin’s Minotaur. I’m hard at work on the 10th book. People often ask me if I grow weary of the characters in Zinnia. After all, I’ve been in relationship with them for ten years or better, which is longer than many marriages. I never get tired of the Zinnia gang. They’re old friends to me. Trusted friends who share wisdom, laughter, shenanigans, and a zest for life that I often find in my real life friends and in the letters of many readers who’ve written to me. Sarah Booth, Jitty, Tinkie, Cece and Millie bring out the best in me, I think. One of the most interesting things is how much these characters have grown and changed over the books, exactly as real people do. Click to read the rest of Carolyn’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Laurel Dewey | Feeling the Fear and Writing the Sequel Anyway
Uncategorized / June 26, 2009

It’s hard enough to write a solid first novel. There’s all that fear and concern that you won’t be able to navigate the territory correctly. But after you break through the angst, write the book and actually get an agent interested in it, you think you can sit back and take a break for a bit. Wrong! When I finally scored an agent for my first novel, Protector (the first book in the Jane Perry series), he asked me, “So? What’s next?” I remember stammering something about how I wanted to just take some time off since I’d put sixteen months into writing the book and a year prior to that researching it. “No, no, no,” he said, “I need to know where this story is going with Jane Perry.” Click to read the rest of Laurel’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Mary Balogh | Love As Opposed To Romance
Uncategorized / June 23, 2009

I always describe myself as a writer of love stories rather than as a romance writer. One of my reasons is an obvious one—romance is not highly thought of in the writing community beyond its own genre, and I firmly believe that my books are serious literature and not to be sneered at as trash. More important, though, I believe that love is far more powerful than romance and that we can sell ourselves short as writers if we are content to write romances at the expense of telling true love stories. A great deal, of course, depends upon how those two words are defined. Here are my definitions. Romance is that wonderful aura that surrounds a couple as they meet (even if they initially feel hostility to each other) and interact and fall in love and finally commit their lives to each other. It’s the growing sense of rightness about the relationship, and the sense of joy we get out of reading about the building attraction they feel for each other on their journey to the happy ending. It’s a powerful reason for reading any book, and when it’s well done it can pull us in and leave us…

K. M. Daughters | Real Men Should Read Romance
Uncategorized / June 16, 2009

At the 2008 Romance Writers of America conference, a talented and prolific author entertained and informed attendees as a luncheon keynote speaker. We delighted in her anecdote concerning her husband. Relating that he had never read a single one of her impressive body of published novels, she declared that she always made a point to kill somebody in each of her books with her husband’s first name. The moral of her story for us is: real men should read romance for their overall health, oh yes, and enjoyment. Our contention is not as tongue in cheek as it sounds. Men are, of course, half the equation in the yin and yang of traditional romance genres. Our heroes yearn for equal measures of romantic fulfillment and personal happily ever after conclusions as do our heroines. Sensuality, present in varying degrees in romance, isn’t as tantalizing and stimulating to the…imagination…for men? Our virile husbands are delighted (forced) to read our books. In fact one of our husbands brought our latest release on a men only long weekend in the deep woods. By day, he and his friends blazed trails on ATV’s, fished and threw their catches back in the lake, canoed, hiked,…

Carly Phillips | Feeling Lucky?
Uncategorized / June 2, 2009

Everybody fantasizes about going to Las Vegas and winning big. And certainly, we’ve all seen the “Whatever Happens …” TV commercials and secretly wished we were experiencing the spontaneity and frenzy of Sin City shown in these ads. Excitement and luck run rampant there. Everywhere you turn, someone or something is beckoning to you to try your LUCK! Mike Corwin, the second Corwin cousin heads to the gambling capital for just such an experience, but will the infamous Corwin Curse that has plagued the males in his family for generations follow him? Or will he end up on a lucky streak that lasts a lifetime? This is the premise of my newest novel and the second book in my “Lucky” series, LUCKY STREAK. And sometimes, thankfully, luck pays off for me! I definitely don’t like to presume good things will happen, I like to hope. I’m afraid of jinxing something. Can you really do that? I rarely tempt fate. But it’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? Luck? LUCK is fickle. And yet many of us believe. When I ask myself why, I realize it’s because of HOPE. It’s the possibility that Lady Luck will step in and pick us up…

Susan Mallery | What do our characters wish for?
Uncategorized / June 1, 2009

In the last hours before college graduation, I was saved from life as an accountant by a continuing education course titled “How to Write a Romance Novel.” Not that there’s anything wrong with being an accountant. It’s just that, for me, the infinite realm of numbers couldn’t possibly compare to the infinite realm of characters. Numbers can’t surprise you by making bad decisions. Numbers don’t have quirks that make you laugh. (Except for 43,770. For some reason, 43,770 cracks me up every time.) But “infinite” can feel overwhelming to a writer facing a blank page, and I’m always on the lookout for a new tool to get to know my characters better. I think I found one in Debbie Macomber’s wonderful book, Twenty Wishes. Anne Marie, a young widow, is stuck in a rut of grief and decides to make a list of twenty wishes, hoping this will give her something to look forward to and will restore her positive outlook on life. The bubble wrap popping scene is a hoot! I want to have a party like that. What would I learn, I wondered, if I did this exercise from the point of view of my characters? What new…