Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Taylor Adams | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / February 4, 2019

Your latest novel has a young college student, Darby, traveling home to see her dying mom. So you are already feeling for this character, then, a snowstorm, an uneasy rest stop, and no cell reception, leaving her already with a lot of obstacles. Where did you get your inspiration for NO EXIT? Why a rest area? TA: I’ve spent several years driving to and from college, from Seattle to Spokane. It’s not a particularly long or harrowing drive, but there are quite a few rest areas along the way, and some of them are fairly remote, and can be quite unsettling when it’s late at night and you’re alone (or at least, you hope you’re alone!). Most everyone seems to have a personal horror story about an iffy experience they’d had at a rest stop, so as a setting, it seemed like an untapped resource for a thriller. Reading this novel had me scared of just the local Sheetz at the rest stops nearby. This is one that really sticks with you. I personally thought of Stephen King when I was reading your novel. Are there any authors that you read over time that influenced you to write such psychological…

Andrew Grant | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / January 24, 2019

Today, we have a great interview between Fresh Fiction reviewer Teresa Cross and thriller author Andrew Grant, about his latest release, INVISIBLE! You can read Teresa’s review of INVISIBLE here. Enjoy! Teresa: Your latest book is about a character, Paul McGrath, an Army Intelligence who comes home to find his father had passed away which was a big surprise for him. Then he goes undercover as a janitor at the courthouse. Where did you get the idea or concept for the storyline for INVISIBLE? Andrew: It came about as the combination of two strands of thought: one new, and one old. Over the last couple of years, I’ve felt a change in the mood of the country, a growing sense of unease as inequality has grown more pronounced and injustice more rife, so it seemed like it was time for a different kind of hero: One who would stand up for the 99%. Added to that I’ve been fascinated since I was a little kid by characters like the Scarlet Pimpernel – heroes who are driven by what’s right, not by the desire for fame or reward, and consequently work in the shadows where their true identities are never revealed….

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…

Mary Burton | Scene Stealers
Author Guest / October 8, 2018

In my latest release, CUT AND RUN, medical examiner Dr. Faith McIntyre is called to the hospital when unconscious and critically injured FBI Agent Macy Crow is brought to the emergency room after a vicious hit and run. The Quantico-based agent is Faith’s mirror image and her existence brings into question Faith’s adoption, which was always shrouded in secrets. Could Macy be the twin sister Faith never knew she had? And what was Macy doing in a dark Austin alley? More importantly, who and what are behind the clues Macy has left that lead Faith and Texas Ranger Mitchell Hayden to the graves of three women who disappeared thirty years before? Is it possible Macy found a connection between those graves and a pregnant girl who has been missing for months? CUT AND RUN is chocked full of emotion, beginning with the opening scene featuring Paige, a pregnant teen who has been locked in a windowless room for months and is days away from going into labor. She’s as terrified of giving birth alone as she is frightened of her brutal jailor. I’m hoping readers feel Paige’s desperation as strongly as I did when I wrote this scene. The relationship between Faith…

Cozy Corner | Getting Cozy with Every Wicked Man
Cozy Corner , Interviews / October 1, 2018

I hope you’ve enjoyed our wonderful summer of guest bloggers at the Cozy Corner! I can’t thank my fellow mystery authors enough for stopping by and sharing their great posts! Hugs to all of them for the time, tidbits, and talents they’ve shared with our readers! If you’ve been following the Cozy Corner for long, you know I’m prone to step away from the cozy world from time to time and delve into a thriller. But not just any chilling intrigue will do. My escape from the safe, loving small town communities must take me into the intrigue and darkness of a city like Gotham with real-life multi-faceted characters. (Not men in dark masks with capes, scratchy voices and gadget belts; although they are nice on the big screen:) That’s quite a tall order. Especially if I want to read an action-packed mystery layered with clues and hidden agendas all written in graphic, but clean language—a rarity in the genre. What I really liked about the book I chose this week, was that it’s actually a prequel to a series that’s new to me. (Who doesn’t love discovering a backlist just waiting to be devoured?!) I found exactly what I…

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…

David Rollins | I, prescient.
Uncategorized / March 17, 2009

Hi there, What can I tell you about my latest book, A Knife Edge, that you won’t get from reading it? When I was writing the book in 2004-05, the conflict in Afghanistan was well and truly on the back burner. The US military was heavily engaged in Iraq and the ‘gan had receded from the public consciousness. There were a few hot battles, like the one at Tora Bora, after which everyone seemed to pack up and go home. History told me the Taliban was too easily pacified and that, like a virus, they would come back stronger. A Knife Edge was written with this view in mind. If the West had to go back into that country again, I wondered, would the gloves come off? Would we launch cross-border attacks into Pakistan territory? And if the political situation in Islamabad went pear-shaped, what sort of government could take power there? Click to read the rest of David’s blog and to comment. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Sandra Ruttan | Imaginary Friends
Uncategorized / October 29, 2008

I was staring at the wall, my hands still. My partner assumed I was taking a break and started talking to me. “Be quiet! There are voices talking inside my head and I have to hear what they’re saying!” He muttered something like, “Okay crazy person,” and left me to talk to my imaginary friends. Writing a novel is an extremely personal venture. For months, these characters live inside your mind as you get to know them and try to reveal their character, intent and actions on the page. When you write a series it’s even more personal, because you develop a long-term relationship with your protagonists. In THE FRAILTY OF FLESH, book two of the Nolan, Hart and Tain series, the storylines are very personal. In book one, events from the past are alluded to but not exploited. In book two, Nolan is confronted by some of his darkest fears, Tain struggles with a deep personal wound that will never heal, and Hart suffers a devastating loss. Some of my friends have wondered how I could put these characters through hell. As a reader, and as someone who loves series books and gets very attached to characters, I can…

Michelle Gagnon | Thrillerfest 2008
Uncategorized / July 18, 2008

Sadly, I missed the inaugural Thrillerfest, which was held in Phoenix. I had recently given birth to my first child, and the thought of Arizona in July with a newborn was not terribly appealing. Which is a shame, because from what I understand it was one for the ages. I made up for it by attending the past few Thrillerfests in New York, and I’m happy to report that despite the fact that everyone always says, “You shoulda been at the first one,” I’ve had an amazing experience each time. My week kicked off with a joint reading at the Park Avenue Borders. Tim Maleeny, Laura Caldwell, J.T. Ellison, Mario Acevedo, Laura Benedict, Shane Gericke, Alexandra Sokoloff, and I participated in “Quick Thrills from Out-of-Towners.” Lee Child graciously served as our MC, and in completely disregarding our prepared bios introduced us with anecdotes a hundred times wittier than anything we could have come up with. Everyone read for five minutes to an incredibly receptive crowd. The store was quick to add rows of seats as the place filled, we auctioned off Borders gift certificates and stuffed snakes (which were more of a hit than the $100 certificates, go figure). A…

Brian Freeman | Are Crime Thrillers Moral?
Uncategorized / May 20, 2008

It’s an odd way to make a living when you think about it. We write about things that would terrify and dismay people if they were real. Murder. Serial killers. Violence. And we do all this to entertain people. I think about this issue whenever a news show covers an intimate tragedy like the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba or Madeleine McCann in Portugal. Cable news shows play on our love of mystery and drama to boost ratings. The difference is that, unlike a novel, the crime is real. Our news programs treat these dramas as whodunits, to an extent that we often cheapen or even forget the actual tragedy. The question is: Are those of us who write mysteries any different? We invent our stories, but we strive to make the fear, crime, and drama real for the reader. The best writers make us gasp and cry, afraid to turn the page, but unable to put the book down. My only explanation is that mysteries make us confront difficult moral choices and decide for ourselves. Mysteries also give us something that the real world often cannot. Order. Resolution. Truth. The frustration in watching the news is in not…