Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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: | Kindle | | 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…

SHELTER IN PLACE: An emotionally poignant, heart touching read.
Readers , Review / June 7, 2018

by Annetta Sweetko Nora Roberts’ SHELTER IN PLACE will pull out every emotion inside you and leave you speechless. That is precisely what happened to me. Very rarely does a book hold me in its spell like this one did and even fewer keep me reading until 3 a.m. SHELTER IN PLACE is divided into three parts with the first taking place 14 years prior with “Innocence Lost.” In this part we begin with three girlfriends at the mall going to the movies, though Simone Knox’s heart isn’t into it as her boyfriend of seven months had just dumped her. Simone had no idea what true devastation really meant until that night. Reed Quartermaine worked at the mall, but at the time was currently trying to get Angie to go on a date with him. He receives a maybe for the late movie, so he is happy and then it happens. Gunfire, people screaming, running. Simone in the bathroom hides and calls 911, Reed going back to work is in the midst of the chaos and finds himself inside of a kiosk with a lost little boy and calling 911 with Angie’s blood on his shoes. Life changes for so…

Laurel Dewey | Feeling the Fear and Writing the Sequel Anyway
Uncategorized / June 26, 2009

It’s hard enough to write a solid first novel. There’s all that fear and concern that you won’t be able to navigate the territory correctly. But after you break through the angst, write the book and actually get an agent interested in it, you think you can sit back and take a break for a bit. Wrong! When I finally scored an agent for my first novel, Protector (the first book in the Jane Perry series), he asked me, “So? What’s next?” I remember stammering something about how I wanted to just take some time off since I’d put sixteen months into writing the book and a year prior to that researching it. “No, no, no,” he said, “I need to know where this story is going with Jane Perry.” Click to read the rest of Laurel’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Karen Harper | A Novel Idea Takes Root
Uncategorized / June 10, 2009

Every writer needs a ‘hook for the book.’ By this I don’t mean only a grabber beginning, but something unique about the theme or setting. So for my June novel, Deep Down, I decided to hang the intrigue of the story not only on the romance between the hero and heroine or the murder mystery they must solve together, but on the rare, endangered and precious herb ginseng. That’s right—an herb, a root. The tag line on the front of Deep Down, screams “Evil takes root!” The herb ginseng is one of the most valuable but increasingly rare herbs in the world and has been for centuries. The Chinese emperors used to guard their imperial ginseng under pain of death. George Washington knew and traded the herb as did Daniel Boone. Some the best ‘sang’ in the world, as the Appalachians call ginseng, grows in the forests of Kentucky. Today, this cure-all is in demand by Chinese cartels, power drink companies, herbal conglomerates and the US Government, which has put it on the Endangered Species list. Tests are starting to prove that it delays (perhaps can help to cure?) certain endocrine-driven cancers. What an herb! What a hook for a…

Marcus Sakey | Good People
Uncategorized / August 14, 2008

Hey all! It’s an honor to be guest blogging here—thanks so much to Fresh Fiction for lending me the microphone. Suckers. My new novel, GOOD PEOPLE is about, well, good people, specifically a married couple that’s been trying to have a baby. They haven’t had any luck, and are being crushed by debt from fertility treatments, and that’s straining their marriage and their hope. Then one night, everything changes. Offered a chance at a future they’d almost lost hope in, they seize it. One simple choice. A fairy-tale ending. But as they soon learn, fairy tale endings don’t come cheap…. Of course, that’s the finished book. When I began thinking about it, I didn’t know all that stuff. See, for me, starting a book is a difficult time. I usually have some idea of what I want to explore, but I can’t get started until something clicks. Sometimes it’s a character, sometimes a scene. I never know until it hits. So I spend a lot of time freewriting, staring at the wall, cleaning the toilet, reading other books, cooking, browsing the web…. And it was that last that made this come together. I was just surfing, the way people don’t…

Sandra Brown | Jay Burgess is dead.
Uncategorized / August 12, 2008

Jay, who, you ask? Jay Burgess, one of the main characters in my new novel, SMOKE SCREEN, which, by the way, goes on sale today. I’m sure you’re wondering how and why a main character can be dead (and not a ghostly presence), but this is very much the case with Jay, and even though he’s deceased, I still had to make him as dynamic as every other character in the book. You see, everything in SMOKE SCREEN revolves around Jay, his childhood friend, Raley Gannon, our intrepid heroine, Britt Shelley and a fire. And much like the fire, a single event that fuels the back-story of nearly every character in the book, Jay Burgess is a man who impacted many lives. Besides Jay, Raley and Britt, there’s a host of other characters. Matter of fact, SMOKE SCREEN probably has more characters than any other book I’ve written. This is due in part to the villain not being revealed until so late in the book. Keeping that identity a secret necessitated creating four or five viable suspects and each of them needed motive, opportunity and most importantly, character traits that define them, make them seem not only real but unique…