Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: LIZ FENTON & LISA STEINKE
Author Guest , Interviews , Jen's Jewels / July 12, 2019

Every reader has favorite authors, even writing teams. Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke are a personal favorite of mine because, with each new release, their writing style evolves. Case in point … their latest book, The Two Lila Bennetts. The storyline is told in alternating viewpoints. The protagonist, Lila Bennett, is a multilayered character with a complicated life. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Well, so does Lila and the choices she makes ultimately defines her future. Thanks to Liz and Lisa for giving us a sneak peek at their upcoming release in the interview below. The Two Lila Bennetts will be available on July 23rd. Preorder your copy today wherever books are sold. It’s one of this summer’s hottest reads! And, don’t forget to check back for my next Jen’s Jewels interview next month, here on FreshFiction.com. *** The Two Lila Bennetts is a tale of regret and retribution. How did you arrive at the premise? We knew we wanted to write a book with a “Sliding Doors” premise. When we began exploring our storyline, we decided to focus the story around a complicated female protagonist who had made a lot of mistakes in her life. In the dual storylines, we…

Cate Holahan | Researching One Little Secret
Author Guest / July 8, 2019

The detective first took me to her Captain’s office.  A long-time veteran of the force, the man was older than my escort, his once dark hair bleached silver by some combination of years and stress. He considered the detective the way a grandfather might look at a particularly studious kid, his eyes betraying admiration with a touch of amusement. She was a hard-working investigator and she was being interviewed by an author. He’d known her as a beat cop. Detective Shonah Maldonado, for her part, regarded her boss with a mix of respect and gratitude. He’d believed in her when few on the force had thought the junior female officers would rise much further than patrol. Her appreciation, however, was about more than his giving her a shot. The man was smart. He’d correctly identified a need for more female detectives to handle the kinds of crimes that were all too frequently crossing his desk: domestic abuse, sexual assaults, and child endangerment. Some female victims—and perpetrators—only opened up to women. And Maldonado, with her empathetic smile and patient demeanor, was just the kind of cop who could get folks talking. That day, though, I was at the station to get…

Emilie Richards | Exclusive Interview: A FAMILY OF STRANGERS
Author Guest / June 28, 2019

Two sisters, Ryan and Wendy, are at the core of this novel, and even though they don’t always see eye to eye, Ryan is ready to help Wendy when she needs help. How does their relationship fuel the plot of this suspenseful novel? Ryan, who is much younger than Wendy, has always been in awe of Wendy. They’ve never lived in the same house, because Wendy was on her way to college when Ryan was born, and afterward she was married and traveling with her new husband. Wendy was the beautiful, seemingly perfect stranger who was so beyond Ryan in everything she did or could do, that there was no hope to compete or to truly win her sister’s affection. Then, suddenly, as the book begins, Ryan is given the chance for both. I really love the title of this book: A FAMILY OF STRANGERS. It’s very captivating! What does feeling like a stranger in one’s own family do to the characters in your book? I originally titled this book The Perfect Daughter, and we all loved it. But suddenly there were dozens of books scheduled everywhere with “perfect” in the title. So when I started looking for a new…

Susan Spann | Celebrating the Flowers of Japan
Author Guest / May 15, 2019

Japan is famous for the ornamental cherry trees whose blossoms—known as sakura—transform the country’s mountains, parks, and rivers with spectacular pink and white blossoms every spring. The delicate sakura are an iconic symbol of Japan, and with good reason. For thousands of years, Japanese people from all walks of life have enjoyed and celebrated these lovely blooms Cherry blossoms typically bloom and die within just a few days, making them an enduring symbol of the transience and fragility of life. During the few short weeks of the sakura season, people flock to parks for hanami (flower viewing) parties beneath the trees. The sakura may be the most famous Japanese blossom, but it’s far from the only flower celebrated in Japan. In fact, flower festivals occur across Japan in every season of the year. December and January mark the blooming season for camellias (tsubaki, in Japanese), and many people visit the island of Oshima, which rises from the sea about 120-km south of Tokyo, in the Izu archipelago, to experience the hundreds of varieties of vibrant camellias growing there. In addition to their beauty, the camellia seeds produce an oil that’s used as a skin care aid as well as for…

Clare O’Donohue | Author-Reader Match: BREAKING THE DANCE
Author Guest / May 8, 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 CLARE O’DONOHUE! Writes: Spy novels and mysteries, with my latest, BREAKING THE DANCE, the 2nd in my World of Spies series hitting the shelves May 8th, 2019. About: Mystery writer and avid traveler seeks readers for adventures in Ireland (BEYOND THE PALE) and South America. BREAKING THE DANCE is Nick & Nora meets James Bond when a husband & wife team of accidental spies try to help an art thief stay alive while on the trail of a notorious Argentinian killer. Laughs, thrills and a few tips on how to dance the tango all included. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader: A detective who follows the clues no matter where they go A traveler (real & armchair both welcome!) A lover of smart, strong characters living out real relationships amidst sometimes surreal circumstances An adventurer who doesn’t mind hanging out with art thieves, spies, and killers Someone who enjoys classics like Mrs. Polifax, and Lord Peter Whimsey & Harriet Vane…

Melinda Leigh | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / March 18, 2019

Today, Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser chats with bestselling author Melinda Leigh about the latest book in her popular Morgan Dane Series, SECRETS NEVER DIE! Your Morgan Dane mystery series is long-running. For new readers, tell us a little bit about the series, and what inspired the creation of Morgan. Morgan was originally a secondary character in my Scarlet Falls Series. By the time I had finished writing Seconds to Live, she wanted her own story. I had been wanting to write a continuing character series for a while, and Morgan seemed perfect. She was already a complex character. I’d given her a deep backstory that begged for further development. What are the pros and cons of writing about Defense Attorney Morgan and PI Lance Kruger now that they are in an established relationship? After writing a dozen traditional romantic suspense novels, I was ready for a fresh challenge with the Morgan Dane Series. I enjoyed writing a continuing character series much more than I expected. In a traditional romance novel, the couple must achieve their happily ever after by the end of the book. Slowing down the romance to a pace that felt more organic meant I never…

Frankie Y. Bailey | Dead Bodies and Romantic Tension
Author Guest / February 25, 2019

I didn’t set out to create a series with a sleuthing couple. But Lizzie Stuart, my crime historian protagonist, found John Quinn, Philadelphia homicide detective, intriguing when they met in Cornwall England in Death’s Favorite Child. In A Dead Man’s Honor, when Quinn astonishes her by applying for a position at the Virginia university where she is going to spend a year doing research, she is both dismayed and even more attracted. This relationship between my amateur sleuth and a police officer is common in mystery novels. There are even series – at least three or four — with a male amateur sleuth who is involved with a female cop. The reason for these pairings is often convenience. If the amateur sleuth has a relationship with a police investigator – whether romance or friendship – the sleuth can then: gain access to crime scenes gain access to autopsy and crime lab reports find out what witnesses and various suspects claim have a man (or woman) with a gun handy when one is needed The relationship also introduces on-going tension between two primary characters because the amateur sleuth – prone to getting into situations involving murder and other crimes – has…

Debbie Wiley | Military Heroes
Author Guest / November 9, 2018

Please welcome Fresh Fiction reviewer Debbie Wiley, who is discussing military heroes! Everyone loves a good hero with a happily-ever-after, but what happens to the heroes who experience debilitating injuries or disabilities while doing their heroic deeds? As a social worker for over twenty years, I love when authors tackle social issues in a rewarding way. I’d like to share a few books and authors I’ve discovered along the way who address heroes with disabilities in ways that showcases their strengths without discounting the challenges the characters have faced. J.R. Ward originally started me thinking about this theme as I was reading her new and powerfully intense romantic suspense novel, CONSUMED. Anne Ashburn is a firefighter, a woman who has dedicated her entire life to her career. All it takes is one fire and suddenly Anne can no longer do her job. One of the things I love most about CONSUMED is that we see a heroic woman in an unconventional job role facing her most difficult moments with honesty and strength. Anne struggles to adjust to her new reality as she deals with such a life-altering disability and J.R. Ward doesn’t flinch away from showing us just how potentially…

Hester Fox | Exclusive Excerpt: The Witch of Willow Hall
Author Guest / October 18, 2018

The town center proves to be that in name only. A run-down dry goods store with peeling letters advertises coffee, and a little white church sits at one end of the town green. That’s it. No theaters, no gardens and, worse yet, no bookshops. Yet there’s something charming about the simplicity of the square and the dirt roads that wind up and around it; there’s no stink of fish wafting off nearby docks, nor cobblestones caked with horse droppings. I take a deep breath and smile encouragingly to Emeline. Here’s our fresh start, not in the suffocating walls of Willow Hall with all its pretensions, but in the blue sky above it, the little town surrounding it. It doesn’t take long for our fresh start to lose its rosy glow. Two middle-aged women walk arm in arm, stopping to watch us unload from the carriage, Snip nipping at our dresses. They share a whispered word or two, and then creep a little closer to get a better look. The first woman lowers her voice and leans in toward her companion. “Those are the Montrose girls, you know. The family just came from Boston.” “Oh?” The other throws a glance back…

Exclusive Excerpt | What I’ve Done by Melinda Leigh
Excerpt / September 17, 2018

Buy WHAT I’VE DONE: Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Ripped Bodice | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR Plastic chairs and vending machines formed a small waiting area at the end of the hall in the emergency department. Lance leaned on a snack machine, assessing the pallor in Morgan’s face and the slight trembling of her fingers, which she was working hard to hide. “You should be resting.” “I know.” She sniffed, and her voice dropped to a whisper. “There’s nothing I’d like more than to go home and focus all my attention on an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But if I let go now, I’m not sure I could pull myself together again.” Her gaze broke away and traveled the hallway to where a deputy stood guard outside the room where Haley was being examined. The deputy had balked at being told to wait outside. The previous sheriff had been very old-school. There were no female deputies. The situation was unusual. Normally, the person being examined was the victim, not the accused. But seriously, where was Haley going to go? She was sick, and…