Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jeffe Kennedy | 20 Questions: THE PROMISED QUEEN
Author Guest / May 27, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release? THE PROMISED QUEEN 2–What is it about? This is book three in the Forgotten Empires trilogy, which is about the marriage of state between two enemies – a rebel, ex-slave prince, and a queen trapped in her own diplomatic web. They learn to work together to face their common enemy, a tyrannical emperor who has terrorized them, their families, and their people. This book is the culmination of their unlikely love affair and their attempt to triumph in an unwinnable war. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  My queen, Lia, rules over the last good place left. It’s a tropical island called Calanthe where all pleasures are indulged, sanctuary is given to all, and no one judges anyone. I’ve heard some readers call it “Versailles in Hawaii.” It’s a beautiful place, full of flowers, gentle seas, birds, bees, wildlife, and peace. I love everything about it. 4–How did your heroine surprise you?  Lia has a lot of secrets – about who she really is, her magical gifts, who her mother was, and how she came to be born. All of that surprised me! 5–Why will readers love your…

Amelia Grey | Exclusive Excerpt: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR EARL
Author Guest / April 28, 2021

Danielle: Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Amelia! Congrats on the release of the third book in your First Comes Love series, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR EARL. Amelia: Thank you for having me. I’m absolutely delighted to be here.  What do you think brings people back to historical romance?  For me and I assume for most, it’s the intrigue of living in a different era, learning about something that is old but new to us. Because I’m very settled and contented in the life I live in, it’s exciting and entertaining to read about a time when life was unlike what I’m used to. I especially love the pageantry, the clothing, and the manners of the Regency. Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, is a notorious rake and rogue. What did you love about writing him as a character?   Zane was very comfortable being the black sheep of the Blacknight family. When he became the earl and head of the family, he didn’t think he could do it and no one else in the family thought he could either. I loved writing about how he dealt with his meddling uncles and his younger cousin’s dangerous troubles. Most of all I loved how he was…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: FLOWERS OF DARKNESS BY TATIANA DE ROSNAY
Author Guest / February 26, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write FLOWERS OF DARKNESS? Tatiana: I wanted to explore the near future and how artificial intelligence and “smart homes” can wreak havoc with our intimacy. This book is a journey into a fragile woman’s paranoia. Clarissa has just discovered that her husband is being unfaithful and decides to leave him.  She moves into a highly sophisticated artistic residence, hoping to find a new start here. But little by little, her past and her traumas come back to haunt her.  She is a writer obsessed with places and the memories that are linked to homes and the past. She is convinced that the new “connected home” she now lives in is trying to pillage her creativity for the purpose of AI. Her daughter is worried she might be sinking into a depression, but her teenage granddaughter is convinced that her granny is right… I leave it up to the reader to decide! Why does Clarissa Katsef move to Paris? Clarissa is half French, half English. She was born in the UK but moved to Paris when she was in her twenties. She is perfectly bilingual, and my book discusses those “hybrid brains”, people who live, talk,…

Vivien Chien | Exclusive Excerpt: FATAL FRIED RICE
Author Guest / February 8, 2021

from Chapter 7 Helen, Wendy, Pearl, and Opal, our beloved Mahjong Matrons, filed into the restaurant at nine o’clock sharp. The four widows didn’t bother to pause at the hostess station for a seating assignment. They had their own table they occupied every morning, always sitting in the same spots. When I’d first started working full time at the restaurant, I’d bring them menus as a formality. They really didn’t need them as they ordered the same thing without fail, day in and day out. After a while I gave up on bringing the menus and just headed straight for the kitchen to place their order with Peter and prep their tea. When I returned to the dining room and approached their table, the elderly women turned to greet me with pleasant smiles and twinkles in their eyes. “Good morning, Lana,” Helen sang in a cheerful voice. “Good morning, ladies,” I returned, giving them all a smile as I set the teakettle down in the center of the table. Helen, who often acted as mother hen, reached for the kettle, and as the women flipped over their teacups, she filled each one to the brim. “Have you heard the latest…

Cathy Bonidan | Exclusive Excerpt: THE LOST MANUSCRIPT
Author Guest / January 8, 2021

from Anne-Lise Briard RUE DES MORILLONS, PARIS, APRIL 25TH, 2016 Dear Madam or Sir, I am sending you this package very late, please forgive me. After discovering it in room 128, someone else would have immediately handed it over to the reception of the Beau Rivage Hotel; nevertheless, if you were to ask those who know me, they’d tell you just how lazy I can be in my daily life. So don’t take this postponement to mean that I don’t like your book. Not at all. I will even admit to you: I read it. I had just opened the nightstand to the right of the double bed, which as it happens was quite comfortable, when I was delighted to find the distraction you provided me. You see, I had forgotten to bring a novel to keep me company this weekend on the shore of the Iroise Sea . . . Since I can’t fall asleep without first reading a few pages, I become very annoying when I’m deprived of the pleasure. Thanks to you, my husband didn’t have to deal with my rotten mood. Anyway, it was on page 156 that I found—between two chapters—the address to where I’m…

Kate Bateman | Exclusive Excerpt: THE PRINCESS AND THE ROGUE
Author Guest / December 23, 2020

Chapter Two Anya quelled a spurt of incredulous anger. “I most certainly will not. My father denied your suit three years ago. As did my brother, when you persisted. You want my dowry, Vasili. You have no regard for me at all.” A cynical smile curved the corners of his mouth beneath his blond mustache. She’d always disliked men with mustaches. “I don’t deny it,” he said coolly. “Why should I apologize for being ambitious? We’ll make a good team, you and I. You’re intelligent, for a woman. You know how to run a household, order servants. You’ll make an excellent hostess.” His gaze swept her features and a greedy, lecherous look kindled in his expression which made her skin crawl. “You know full well you’re beautiful. Admit it, you loved having all the boys panting after you at court, didn’t you? And this ice princess facade? I’ll melt it. Bedding you will be no hardship at all.” Anya snatched her hand away from his. Her expression must have shown her disdain because he raised an amused brow. “What’s the matter? I’ll make you like it.” She sent a panicked glance at the door. Where was Elizaveta? Vasili was watching…

Donna VanLiere | Exclusive Excerpt: THE CHRISTMAS TABLE
Author Guest / October 9, 2020

From The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere Chapter Two Lauren Mabrey stands on the sidewalk at the entrance to Glory’s Place, welcoming children as they arrive for the after-school program. She finished her shift in the floral department at Clauson’s Supermarket an hour ago. Clauson’s has given her the morning shift so she can be at Glory’s Place each day by three to help. In November the twenty-three-year-old will mark two years of volunteering here and less than a year as a married woman. Just five months ago, in December, she stood in the gazebo in the heart of Grandon, surrounded by the townspeople who had adopted her as one of their own, and became Mrs. Travis Mabrey. She stumbled upon Grandon just a year and a half ago by accident, a literal crash. She was a witness to a car crash while driving through Grandon one day, was called back to town to identify the man involved in the hit-and-run, and never left. After years in foster families and with no family of her own to return to, she became a volunteer at Glory’s Place, fell in love with the children at Glory’s Place, with Grandon itself, and then…

Kerrigan Byrne | Exclusive Interview: ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED
Author Guest / September 23, 2020

Welcome back to Fresh Fiction, Kerrigan! Can you give us a little bit of background on the Devil You Know series and what you’re most excited about in book 2, ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED?   Hi! I have to say this is one of my favorite places in the world to virtually be! Here at Fresh Fiction with you guys. The Devil You Know Series follows three rebellious, red-headed girls who demand the same privileges, freedoms, and education as men. So, in finishing school they formed a society called “The Red Rogues” where they dressed in trousers, read banned books, drank like they weren’t supposed to, and promised never to marry. Of course, they meet the man who entices them to go back on their word! Now, what I love about All Scot and Bothered is that it might be the most fun I’ve ever had with enemies to lovers and opposites attract. Ramsay (the hero) is the opposite of the anti-heroes I’m used to in that he never bends the rules. He’s a perfectionist. He’s grumpy, critical, dangerous, and it was OH SO satisfying to watch as Cecelia unravels his entire world and makes him lose control. At a surface level, Cecelia…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: DON’T LOOK FOR ME by Wendy Walker
Author Guest / September 11, 2020

Jennifer Vido: What inspired you to write Don’t Look for Me? Wendy Walker: The book began with a personal experience, which has never happened before! I was driving back from my son’s soccer game four hours from home. The game had been hard to watch – rough play, bad ref calls, jeering from the other team’s classmates that was cruel. I felt terrible for my son and realized, perhaps for the first time, that I could not protect my children from many of the uglier things in life. I was also in a difficult stage of my own life so this was coming on top of an already heavy emotional load. I was halfway home and had to stop for gas. Standing at the pump, unable to stop my spinning thoughts, I saw this long road flanked by cornfields. Out of nowhere, I had this flash of a thought to just leave everything and walk down that road. Of course, I didn’t do that and the thought left immediately. But the rest of the way home, I wondered where it had come from and if, perhaps, there was a bigger story there which other people might relate to. It turns…

Vivien Chien | 20 Questions: KILLER KUNG PAO
Author Guest / August 17, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Killer Kung Pao. 2–What is it about?  Our beloved restaurant manager, Lana Lee, who just wants peace, quiet, and to get her hair re-dyed, is present during the suspicious death of sue-happy, Mahjong player, Mildred Mao. Unfortunately, there’s a possibility that one of the twins from Yi’s Tea and Bakery, June Yi, may be involved. Lana has no real desire to help clear June’s name and struggles with the decision to implicate herself. But knowing it’s the right thing to do in the end, she begins to dig into the particulars to find out who exactly killed the problematic Mahjong player and what secrets the potentially guilty parties are hiding from one another.  3–What word best describes your main character(s)?   Sassy 4–What makes your story relatable?  I think it’s the fact that Lana and the community of Asia Village are all just regular, everyday people. They’re daughters and sons, mothers and fathers, kooky aunts and uncles, best friends and boyfriends. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Her best friend and roommate, Megan Riley. And, of course, her boyfriend, Detective Adam Trudeau. (Though she usually leaves him…