Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Bradley Harper | You Don’t Say?
Author Guest / September 18, 2019

Dialogue is an ancient Greek stage direction, meaning “action through words.” One of the first critiques I got from an agent, looking at my neatly printed manuscript was “There’s not enough white space,” meaning there was too much narrative description, and not enough dialogue. Dialogue opens up the tightknit block of words we are accustomed to in textbooks and allows your story to breathe through verbal exchanges between your characters. Frequent doses of white space make your work less intimidating and helps your reader speed along through your story. Dialogue is used to accomplish three things: Exposition, to reveal character, and to provoke an action. Let’s look at these in turn. Exposition. I write historical fiction, so putting my reader into an unknown universe and making them quickly comfortable there requires that I give them a sense of time and place, but without the dreaded “Info Dump.”  So how do I do that? I incorporate the information transfer into as graphic a manner as possible. In my first novel, A Knife in the Fog, my heroine, Margaret Harkness, is a female author from a proper middle-class British family temporarily living in Whitechapel to do research on her novels. As she…

Steven Cooper | ?#@*&%! – Why I Cuss in my Writing
Author Guest / September 17, 2019

Four words into my new novel, Valley of Shadows, I drop my first f-bomb. Nine words later I drop my second f-bomb. That’s two f-bombs in a hyper-short paragraph. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. Rip the bandage off, say it upfront, and get it out of the way. I realize that one f-bomb is enough to stop some readers; two f-bombs will prompt some people to return my book to the shelf. My books are not for those people. I respect those people. But I’m not writing for those people. When I create my stories, I try to develop characters who reflect the true human condition, whose lives–their loves, their losses, their joys, their strife, their conflicts, and their celebrations–are uncensored. The human condition is uncensored. Our lives are uncensored. And, thus, so are the words in the worlds I create. I write police procedural murder mysteries. I’m a former news reporter. I’ve done ride-alongs with cops. I’ve spent endless hours with them on crime scenes. I have yet to meet a cop who doesn’t curse. In fact, in researching Valley of Shadows, I did my typical fact-checking exercise by visiting the Homicide bureau at a local law enforcement…

Elka Ray | Top 5 Things About Moving Away From Your Hometown, Then Moving Back
Author Guest / August 20, 2019

In my next book, the romantic mystery Divorce is Murder, divorce lawyer Toby Wong is forced to move back to the small town she was happy to leave. I set the series in my own hometown – a place I love, yet left – on Canada’s gorgeous Vancouver Island. Writing about Toby got me thinking about why it’s good to leave – and come home.   1) You expand your worldview Every town and neighborhood has its own culture. By the time you hit adulthood, whether you fit in or not, you understand your hometown’s norms. Maybe you grew up somewhere super conservative, the kind of place where church is mandatory and couples marry young. Or maybe your parents’ friends were constantly organizing protest marches and writing letters to Amnesty International. Whatever your reality, to you, it was normal. Now move across the country – or better still around the world. You’ll soon see that your “normal” is someone else’s “certifiably crazy”. It’s mind-blowing how differently different people interpret things. Just yesterday, in Vietnam, where I live, I met a fisherman throwing styrofoam boxes and dirty diapers into the ocean. I told him off. He told me he was cleaning…

Jennifer Kincheloe | Author-Reader Match: THE BODY IN GRIFFITH PARK
Author Guest / July 16, 2019

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 JENNIFER KINCHELOE! About: Adventurous historical mystery author seeks readers for a humorous, romantic romp through 1900s Los Angeles. The series features a brilliant, naïve, disowned heiress who gets a job as a police matron with the LAPD, and the police chief’s blue-collar son, who traps criminals and plays a mean ragtime piano. Together they fight crime and each other in this I Love Lucy-meets-Agatha Christie adventure. I’m looking for in a Reader who: Is between the ages of 13 and 113 Likes their romance served up funny Wants to experience old Los Angeles Enjoys twists and turns and piecing together clues Is fascinated by opulent lifestyles Wants to learn about courtship around the turn of the 20th Likes learning about the challenges women faced in the 1900s Is interested in the beginnings of women in law enforcement Enjoys making fun of the patriarchy What to expect if we’re compatible: More books in the Anna Blanc Mystery series in paperback, ebook, and audiobook…

Leslie Budewitz | Author Reader Match: CHAI ANOTHER DAY
Author Guest / June 13, 2019

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 Leslie Budewitz!  Writes: Cozy mystery. My latest release is CHAI ANOTHER DAY, 4th in the Spice Shop Mysteries set in Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, coming June 11, 2018. The crimes are fiction; the food is real. About: Mystery author obsessed with food and the Northwest seeks readers for armchair travel to foodie heaven, the Pike Place Market in Seattle, with a savvy Spice Shop owner who doubles as the poster child for the cliche that life begins at forty. When she overhears an argument in an antique shop, she finds herself drawn into a murder that could implicate an old enemy, or ensnare a new friend. With her natural people-smarts and determination, she asks questions the detectives can’t, using her knowledge of the community to bring a killer to justice. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Knows that reading, and friends, are the spice of life Looks at their TBR pile and thinks they need another bookshelf—or three…