Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Anna Harrington | The Popularity of Regency Romance
Author Guest / February 24, 2021

So why are Regency romances as popular as ever? Romance readers of all stripes know that a happily-ever-after ending is coming by the last page of any romance they pick up. But historical romance readers want more – they also want the fantasy world that historical romances create. After all, we live in the same world as contemporary romances (international tycoons aside…for most of us, unfortunately). But historicals give us not just the swooning romance but also the fairytale fantasy of escaping the contemporary world. Okay, let’s be honest. For all that historical romance writers do our best to be historically accurate with the details, the overall world we portray in our pages is pure fantasy. The real Regency era was smelly, dirty, disease-ridden, filled with a large amount death and starvation, a dearth of good teeth, and very limited indoor plumbing. Very limited. Even Jane Austen, the original Queen of Regency Romance Novels, avoided this darker side of life, only tangentially including poverty and war into her books, although both were pervasive in real Regency England. What romance readers want, though, isn’t reality; they want the fairytale world of castles (or at least grand country estates), carriages, dashing princes…

Mara Wells | 20 Questions: PAWS FOR LOVE
Author Guest / February 23, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? PAWS FOR LOVE 2–What is it about? Danielle is dedicated to finding forever homes for retired greyhound racers and fancies herself something of a matchmaker when it comes to dogs and people. When her high school boyfriend comes back to town after fourteen years in the Marines, Danielle is determined to match him with a perfect dog, but it turns out it’s not the dog who’s his perfect match . . . 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  Living in Miami Beach for fourteen years gave me a real appreciation of Art Deco architecture and Mid-Century Modern design. I tried to infuse that love into the Fur Haven dog park series. I also love writing about what it’s like for a regular person like me to live in a place more known for its celebrities and excesses. There’s definitely the glamorous side to life on the Beach, but there are also days when people crowd the beach because there’s a major fish migration happening and if you stand in the water, the fish swim around you. And of course it’s understood that if you see a dolphin, you…

Sharon Sala | Exclusive Excerpt: SOMEBODY TO LOVE
Author Guest / February 19, 2021

Ava was still daydreaming about her lunch with Hunt and didn’t think to check the rearview mirror before heading home. It wasn’t until she was pulling up into her drive that she caught a glimpse of red and then a car pulling in behind her. When she realized it was Vince, her heart stopped. She had a moment of sheer panic, and then anger washed through her. The fact that he was an utter jerk was no longer in question. He was stalking her and it made her mad. She reached beneath the seat, grabbed the old baton her dad had given her years ago when she began working nights at the hospital in Savannah, and got out with it in her hand. Vince got out, holding up his hands in a joking I-give-up gesture when he saw what she was holding. “There are laws against stalking,” Ava said. Vince took a step toward her, grinning. “Aw, come on, Ava. I’m not stalking you. I just wanted to clear the air. I didn’t mean anything back at the grocery store. I was just surprised to see you and—” “You weren’t surprised. You were looking for me or you wouldn’t be…

MaryJanice Davidson | Exclusive Excerpt: A WOLF AFTER MY OWN HEART
Author Guest / February 18, 2021

There was a swinging door between the kitchen and living room, and Lila blessed it. Which was a switch from earlier, when she’d been carrying boxes and mistimed the swing (“Ow, dammit!”). But now the contrary thing concealed her for a crucial few seconds, and then the guy who kicked in her door came through, and she had the barrel up behind his ear before he was all the way in. “Jeez, you Domino’s guys are persistent,” she hissed. “I told you. I. Don’t. Want. Any. Pizza. Jackass.” “Please. If I was delivering pizza, it’d be Green Mill.” That startled a laugh out of her. She had to give it to him, he didn’t sound rattled in the slightest. And he was distractingly good-looking. Not every guy could pull off a Caesar haircut. Or had eyes the color of forest moss. Forest moss? Time to get laid. Not by this guy, though. Most likely. His looks made up for his clothes: He was wearing scruffy slacks, a shirt he hadn’t bothered buttoning up all the way (which revealed the shoulders and abs of a swimmer, which was even more irritating), he didn’t have a coat, and…was that blood on his…

Sasha Summers | My Top Five Favorite Country Music Artists
Author Guest / January 26, 2021

While I was writing SONG FOR A COWBOY (the whole Kings of Country series actually), I listened to a lot of country music. It helped get me in the mindset and set the ‘tone’ for each book. Of course, picking out certain songs turned into liking certain artists who then, sort of, ended up becoming character inspiration for the Kings family. How about we just dive right in, shall we? 1-Tim McGraw – “Don’t Take the Girl” and “Highway Don’t Care. I think he has a super sexy voice. Smooth and confident. He knows what he’s doing and he’s in his element. I sort of imagine Hank King, the patriarch of the family, as a mash-up between he and George Strait. Plus – the way he looks at his wife, Faith Hill, gives me the tingles. 2-Blake Shelton – “God Gave Me You” and “Mine Would Be You” Who doesn’t like Blake Shelton? He’s funny and handsome and down to earth and, of yeah, he can sing. I admit, I’m a fan of his ballads and I’ve listed to quite a few of them while writing Song for a Cowboy and the rest of the Kings of Country series. 3-Keith…

LaQuette | Exclusive Interview: JACKSON
Author Guest / January 26, 2021

Hi, LaQuette! We are thrilled to have you on Fresh Fiction today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.  Hello, thank you so much for having me.  I’m a Brooklynite, and I love writing emotionally gripping, sexy stories featuring multicultural characters living their best lives.     JACKSON is the first book in your new Restoration Ranch series. Will you set up the basic premise for this series and a little bit about JACKSON?  A woman, who is sponsoring two parolees as they work to rebuild her family’s ranch, is being threatened by an unknown person.  To find out who’s trying to bring her harm, the Texas Rangers show up to investigate.  Restoration Ranch is a place where everyone can find redemption, family, and love.  I loved the idea of people having a place to lay down their burdens to find help, support, and a safe space to rebuild so they could have a second chance at life. I love the opposites attract vibes between Jackson and Aja. How much fun did you have creating these two characters and their love story? What surprised you while writing this book?    Aja and Jackson were a hoot to write.  Although I…

Sarah Morgenthaler | 20 Questions: ENJOY THE VIEW
Author Guest / January 22, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? ENJOY THE VIEW, a Moose Springs, Alaska romcom. 2–What is it about? ENJOY THE VIEW is my mountain climbing romcom set near the fictional town of Moose Springs, Alaska. Former actress River Lane and mountaineer Easton Lockett team up to climb the local behemoth Mount Veil to make a documentary, and they end up finding more than just danger and adventure on the mountaintop. But when bad weather strikes, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get everyone down safely. . .and to convince River to stay in his arms for good. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I’m obsessed with mountains and I love Alaska, so this was such a fun setting to write a story in. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  I was surprised at how much enthusiasm River brought to the page. I knew going in that she was determined, but I was surprised when she ended up bringing so much sunshine and cheerfulness. 5–Why will readers love your hero?  Easton is such a sweet cinnamon roll of a hero behind the gruff mountain man exterior. He excels at protecting his clients as they…

Suleikha Snyder | Exclusive Excerpt: BIG BAD WOLF
Author Guest / January 21, 2021

She was a bleeding heart. She was going off the deep end. She was becoming a furry—not that there was anything wrong with that. She knew a few really nice furries. No, it was more like she was becoming one of those women who turned prison pen pal to guys like Bundy and Richard Ramirez. There were a dozen explanations going through Neha’s head when she left lockup and returned to the real world, but there was only one image. Joe Peluso, right before he kissed her. That brutish face, still a little bruised and cut. And his eyes. Looking too far. Seeing too much. She’d dealt with plenty of sexual overtures, but she’d never, ever had anyone look at her that way. Like she was the beginning, middle, and end. He wanted her. No, more than that, he craved her. She’d never been the subject of this kind of desire. The men she’d dated… She’d had to work them to arousal, convince them to do the same for her. Usually in exchange for a blow job. They’d never been turned on just by being near her. She’d never been out of her head just being around one of them….

Kathryn Le Veque | Exclusive Excerpt: HIGHLAND DEFENDER
Author Guest / January 20, 2021

He was handsome. Lucia had noticed that from the outset. It was difficult to tell beneath all of that grime and hair, but once she got a good look at his face, she could see just how handsome he was. And young; he wasn’t old at all. Well, relatively old. At ten or more years than her twenty and one. He was a man in his prime. But he was also living on the streets, and in addition to the smell of piss from the pot she’d slung at him, she thought she could smell ale. After the chaos of the sausages had died down and she realized he was injured, she still couldn’t explain what made her go back to see how badly he was hurt. Perhaps it was the fact that something in his eyes conveyed utter defeat. He was a man who had given up. Perhaps that was why she’d insisted he come back with her to Meadowbank. All she knew was that something in his eyes had pulled at her, something that captured her curiosity and natural empathy. Certainly, she’d seen her share of the destitute in Edinburgh. But what made this man different, she didn’t…

Ann Marie Walker | Exclusive Interview: HAPPY SINGLES DAY
Author Guest / January 19, 2021

Hi, Ann Marie! Welcome to Fresh Fiction and congrats on the release of your new book, HAPPY SINGLES DAY. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.   Hi, and thanks for having me! As for a little bit about me, I live in Chicago, have four kids and a Morkie named Chewbacca. I love cocktails that, as my daughter said, taste like Sour Patch Kids and I would pretty much walk through fire for chocolate. Can you set up the Hashtag Holidays series for us? This is such a fun concept!  Basically, it’s a series of standalone novels that all center around those fun hashtag holidays we always see on social media. #SinglesDay, #LeapDay, and #BoyfriendDay are the ones I chose for the first three novels. I love that Paige and Lucas have such niche jobs—she’s a professional organizer and he owns a B&B. What inspired these occupation choices?   For Lucas, his occupation was dictated by the story. I needed a destination for Paige’s Singles Day vacation and what could be better than a beachfront B&B run by a Ryan Reynolds look-a-like? Except he’s become a bit of a slob since his wife passed away, which is how…