Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Xio Axelrod | 20 Questions: THE GIRL WITH STARS IN HER EYES
Author Guest / May 4, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE GIRL WITH STARS IN HER EYES 2–What is it about? It’s the story of a musician searching for her place in the world, the man who holds the key to her heart and her future, and the all-girl rock band that offers her the family she never had. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I grew up in and around the Philadelphia music scene, and in the music business in general. There are so many stories to tell. I love that I get to share both my passion and my city. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Toni is stronger than even I knew going into the manuscript. Despite her abandonment issues, and the cruel way life has tossed her about, she has a big heart, a level head, and a clear focus on what she wants for herself. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Seb is flawed by fiercely loyal. When they were both young, he made a rash decision that hurt both him and Toni. He’s never forgiven himself because hurting her, or anyone, is the last thing he’d ever want to do. He’s the…

Kate McMurray | Title Challenge: LIKE CATS AND DOGS
Author Guest / May 4, 2021

LIKE CATS AND DOGS is the first book in the Whitman Street series, which is set at a cat café in Brooklyn. This first book is about the café’s manager, Lauren, and the new veterinarian next door, Caleb. Caleb is grumpy and a little jaded; he is kind to his canine and feline patients but has little patience for humas. Lauren loves her job and doesn’t care how silly Caleb thinks it is. They don’t get along and rub each other the wrong way. But for the pesky problem of them being intensely attracted to each other, they might be able to ignore each other. L is for Lauren and Lindsay. Lauren manages the Cat Café, and her friend Lindsay provides snarky commentary about everything going on there. Lauren and her two friends Paige and Lindsay form the core of the series. (Paige falls in love in the second book, and Lindsay tangles with an ex in the third.) I is for Independent. I wanted to shine a light on the independent businesses that make a neighborhood feel special. Brooklyn and New York City are obviously huge, densely populated places where it’s easy to get lost in a crowd. But…

Isabel Cooper | Exclusive Excerpt: THE NIGHTBORN
Author Guest / April 29, 2021

It seems you played a few cards right, a familiar mental voice said as the butler opened the door to Branwyn’s room. I can’t enjoy a room like this as I once did, but it’s a much finer view than the inn. Yathana was lying across the foot of Branwyn’s bed, three feet of straight, razor-edged steel in a scabbard covered with midnight-blue silk, with thin golden chains connecting small amethysts and garnets. Her hilt appeared gold too—a thin layer of gilt did wonders—and the eye-sized fire opal in the center of her guard was now flanked by two chunks of amber on the quillons and another on the pommel. Seventeen years of partnership had given Yathana’s normal form time to sink very deeply into Branwyn’s consciousness, and even after two months of practice, the additions stood out whenever she had occasion to examine the soulsword. Adapting to the shifts in balance had come more easily, praise the Four. “It looks wonderful,” she said to the butler, though she really hadn’t even noticed the room save for marking a window opposite the door—real glass, not shuttered, and framed by heavy rose-pink curtains. “Thank you.” “The maids will have put your…

Terry Spear | 20 Questions: THE WOLF WORE PLAID
Author Guest / April 29, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? The Wolf Wore Plaid 2–What is it about? The Highland lass is a little too unpredictable for him, but maybe that’s what the Highland wolf needs in his life. Heather MacNeill has always had a crush on Enrick MacQuarrie, but no real hope to snag his interest as he’s too wrapped up in being the secondary pack leader in his Highland pack. Work always come first. Until, a movie is being filmed at Enrick’s castle. To Enrick’s consternation, he learns the American movie star who plays the lord of the castle is a man who could be his clone. Worse, the enemy clan they’ve battled it out with for centuries is bent on revenge because the film isn’t being shot at their own castle. What begins as a need to keep Heather MacNeill safe, and for her to do the same for him as the battle between the clans escalates, turns into something much deeper between the wolves who have known each other forever. Maybe her wildness is rubbing off on him, but is that a bad thing? 3–What do you love about the setting of your book? It’s in Scotland! I’ve…

Linda Broday | 20 Questions: A COWBOY OF LEGEND
Author Guest / April 28, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? A COWBOY OF LEGEND 2–What is it about?  Saloon owner Deacon Brannock is fighting to save his business when Grace Legend with the Temperance Society and a bevy of marchers descend determined to shut the Three Deuces down. Grace has seen firsthand the devastating effects of alcohol and doesn’t want to bury another friend. Tempers flare as Grace and Deacon clash. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  It’s set at the turn of the century when the world was changing so fast. The bigger cities had gaslighting on the street, there were trolley cars, reform was happening in many areas, and women were fighting for the right to vote and to have a say in how things were run. The unrest created the perfect storm for Grace Legend and Deacon Brannock. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Grace Legend is such a strong, determined woman but I expected her to be far more rigid however, she could bend a little when needed. She could also mount a good argument—not that she paid Deacon Brannock’s side a lot of mind. She was too busy saving the world. 5–Why will…

Susanna Allen | What’s in a Name?
Author Guest / April 28, 2021

More than meets the eye in A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing, Susanna Allen’s new Regency era Shapeshifter mash up. When I had the idea to combine the Regency Era and Shapeshifter genres, I was looking forward to playing with the clash between the two very different worlds: the manners and mores of the former and the sensuality and instinct of the latter. What I hadn’t bargained for was how much fun I would have coming up with names for my characters. Naming is important and it can be hard. It’s a big commitment and it informs the character’s whole fictional life. When writing contemporary romance, it’s a little easier as, say, the last name of a character would reflect their ethnic background—are they of Irish or Italian descent—and that in turn helped with deciding on the first name, and vice versa. I remember being totally stumped about what to call a secondary male in a work in progress and started scrolling through Nameberry for inspiration, which worked insofar as it planted a bunch of names in my subconscious and three days later my brain offered up the one that fit best.  Authors make great use of the baby-naming sites available…

Sandra Kitt | Exclusive Interview: WINNER TAKES ALL
Author Guest / April 6, 2021

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Sandra! We are so excited to have you here today. What inspired your new book, WINNER TAKES ALL?  First of all, thank you for reaching out to me and requesting the interview. I’m happy to answer any questions that will help readers understand me and my work! WINNER TAKES ALL is actually the first book of a trilogy I proposed to my publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca. The trilogy title is The Millionaires Club. There have been quite a number of books about million/billionaires who use their position and wealth as an aphrodisiac to lure women, or as a tool to seduce or buy their way into getting whatever they want. It’s said that money is only worth what you can do with it. I wanted to go bigger than just the spending ’til you drop thinking. So I came up with an idea that The Millionaires Club, which is founded in WINNER TAKES ALL, is a club where people who’ve come into incredible unearned wealth decide, after indulging their fantasy purchases or whatever, that they could also do a lot of social good with some of their money. The “theme” of using wealth for goodwill follow through…

Jackie Ashenden | Title Challenge: DEEP RIVER PROMISE
Author Guest / March 30, 2021

D  Donuts! The best kind, from April’s diner E   Extremely scenic E   Excessive amounts of sexual tension P  Pilot – who doesn’t love a bush pilot? * R Ridiculously charming hero I  Ice queen heroine V Very protective teenager AKA Astrid’s son Connor E Emotional R Reluctant falling in love * P  Promises Damon has to keep R   Romance! O  Oh no, Astrid tries very hard not to fall for him and fails M  Moms – Astrid is a single mom I   Intense – Damon is not quite as easy going as he seems S  Sexy times in the library E  Escape to Alaska DEEP RIVER PROMISE by Jackie Ashenden Welcome to Deep River, Alaska Damon Fitzgerald’s only desire is to get back to LA and out of the tiny Alaskan town he’s somehow inherited. But first he has to keep a promise he made to his old army buddy and look out for his friend’s son. That would be a whole lot easier if the kid’s mother wasn’t the mayor of Deep River… Astrid James didn’t ask to be mayor of Deep River but since she is, she intends to do right by the town…

Jennie Marts | 20 Questions: WHEN A COWBOY LOVES A WOMAN
Author Guest / March 29, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? WHEN A COWBOY LOVES A WOMAN, book 2 in the Creedence Horse Rescue series 2–What is it about? It’s a second chance love story for two people who both lost their spouses. It has an adorable ten-year-old girl, a feisty eighty-year-old, and a rescued horse who loves to be sung to. A kitchen fire forces Elle Brooks to move in with her friend, Bryn, and her motley collection of rescue animals. Spending time with the hunky veterinarian, Brody Tate, and his spunky young daughter as they rehabilitate rescued horses reminds her of all she lost in a car crash years ago. The hope of a future brings these two wounded souls together. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I love getting to go back to the town of Creedence and spend time on the Heaven Can Wait Horse Rescue Ranch. There is such a fun crew of animals there, from an ornery goat to a fashion-conscious pig to a mini-horse who loves jelly beans. And this new book will introduce you to some adorable new animals that readers won’t be able to help but fall in love with….

Babette de Jongh | Exclusive Excerpt: WARM NIGHTS IN MAGNOLIA BAY
Author Guest / March 26, 2021

He turned on the lamp, pulled up a footstool, and sat in front of her. Reluctantly, it seemed, he held out his injured hand. “Ow!” Abby commiserated. That bird had taken a chunk out of Quinn’s pointer finger, just below the middle knuckle. “You need stitches.” “I’ve fixed worse cuts than this with duct tape.” He dug through the kit and handed over a tube of Neosporin. “Just get on with it.” “How did he get you so bad?” As gently as she could, she smeared the antibiotic cream over the open gash. “Made the mistake of leaning my hand on the aviary wire when I poured the food into his bowl.” He handed over a fresh Band-Aid. “I won’t do that again.” “I’m sorry. I hate that you’re having to do all this for me.” She wrapped the Band-Aid around his finger and smoothed down the adhesive edges. “My fault, remember?” He replaced the bandages and Neosporin and snapped the lid shut. “Can you please stop apologizing?” “I’m sorry.” He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “How does your foot feel?” The throbbing pain from earlier this morning now burned with the heat of a thousand suns….