Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Miranda Owen | A Killer POV
Author Guest / July 8, 2019

You can read more about Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Miranda Owen and her reviews here! “But sometimes, the things you wanted most were the things that would destroy you.” Cynthia Eden, BOUND IN SIN In general, I’m a cozy mystery kind of a girl. I don’t usually go for movies or books that promise “high suspense.” That’s usually a turn-off for me. If a book has dog tags or a pistol on the cover the odds are that it’s probably not for me. Likewise, a film trailer or poster with some intense music or describing how the hero/heroine has a limited amount of time to defuse a bomb, rescue so-and-so, or recover the lost jewel of blah blah blah does nothing for me. I like scary movies, but usually with the violence that is cheesy and obviously fake rather than what I think of as “torture porn” – gratuitous torture scenes that don’t further the story or have us learn anything new about the baddies and generally just stick in my head like some toxic sludge that resurfaces even years later. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. I do read some mysteries and some romances with a few…

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…

Michele Pariza Wacek | 5 Reasons Why We Love Ghost Stories + Giveaway!
Author Guest , Giveaways / July 1, 2019

Who doesn’t love an old fashioned ghost story? Whether it’s something scary on Halloween or a frightening tale told late at night sitting around a campfire, ghost stories have been around for as long as humans have been telling stories. In fact, I’m such a fan of ghost stories I created a whole series “Secrets of Redemption” that combines the psychological thriller genre with a haunted house. (Because who doesn’t love a haunted house? Except … is the house even haunted? Hmmm.) And, to celebrate the launch of the 3rd book The Evil That Was Done in my award-winning “Secrets of Redemption” series, I thought I’d dive into the question of why ARE we so obsessed with ghosts. Below are five reasons to help explain our ghostly fascinations: 1. Overall, stories provide a safe container for us to feel our emotions. So many of us spend our lives trying to push our uncomfortable emotions away (such as sadness and worry and shame), or numb them or run away from them or whatever it takes to not feel them. The problem with that is if we aren’t feeling our difficult emotions, we also aren’t feeling our joyful, happy emotions. And, as…

Melynda Price | Thrills and Chills
Author Guest / May 27, 2019

Thank you for hosting me for a guest post on Fresh Fiction to celebrate my new release, Vow of Silence. I’ve been fortunate for the opportunity to write a few different genre’s, but hands-down my favorite and the most difficult to craft is romantic suspense. I akin writing romantic suspense to putting together a mental jig-saw puzzle. Every piece needs to fit just perfectly, or the picture won’t come out right. For a pantser like myself, this is an especially difficult task, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. When I wrote Vow of Silence, I didn’t even know who the killer was until I was 2/3 done with the book. Sometimes I’m just as surprised as my readers at how a story evolves itself. Most of all, I think my favorite part of writing romantic suspense is the thrills and chills. For me, a great book is one that gives the reader goosebumps—both the good kind and the bad. Vow of Silence delivers both. Readers who are familiar with my work would agree that I’m known for writing the thrills. Who doesn’t love a good, steamy sex scene? But today, I want to focus on the chills. My favorite part of…

Stephen B. King | The Incongruity of Beauty
Author Guest / April 15, 2019

We use the word beauty in many different scenarios and situation, but could we ever use it to describe death? In Glimpse, the Beautiful Deaths, criminal psychologist Patricia Holmes, attached to the Major Crime Squad of the Western Australian Police Department does. That’s a beautiful dress, we might say, or what a beautiful day, those flowers are beautiful, that child has a beautiful personality, she has a beauty spot on her cheek……….You get the idea for how often we can use the adjective. I’ve even heard sports commentators say what a beautiful shot, he’s swimming beautifully and once, in a heavyweight boxing match, what a beautiful knock out punch. It seems to me to be over-used, and in some cases is completely opposite from what the word actually means. Patricia Holmes, asks us to consider beauty in its purest form. She describes a man who has an obsession to own and possesses beautiful things so badly it leads to six cases of murder. During a meeting with homicide detectives where she delivers the profile of the man they are hunting, she nicknames him Gordon. She urges the men to think of him that way; an ordinary man, not a master…

Deb Wiley | Pets as Side Characters in Genre Fiction
Author Guest / February 18, 2019

Today we are joined by Senior Reviewer Deb Wiley, with an article all about charismatic pets as side characters in cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, and other fiction genres. Enjoy! Stories featuring pets are always a popular draw for me. Whether it involves a man borrowing someone’s dog to capture the interest of a woman, such as in Sarah Morgan’s NEW YORK, ACTUALLY, or a mysterious cat who keeps popping up at the most opportune times, such as in FINAL SHADOWS by Kay Hooper, dog and cat stories are almost guaranteed to be on my TBR shelf. But what about stories featuring some more unusual animals rather than the expected dog or cat? Here are a few of the more intriguing stories I’ve read with pets outside the norm. Kym Roberts is hands-down the winner for having the most unusual and most entertaining pet! Her Book Barn series features a bookstore owner, which already draws my attention. However, Charli Rae Warren’s pet pink armadillo, Princess, steals the show in almost every book. In KILLER CLASSICS, Princess gets a boyfriend.  I’m not going to spoil anything by saying more but if you love pets and other animals getting involved in the storylines,…

Karen Rose | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / February 18, 2019

We are pleased to share this interview between bestselling author KAREN ROSE and Fresh Fiction reviewer Pat Pascale. Karen’s new book, SAY YOU’RE SORRY, is in stores now. If you’re in the Houston area, Karen Rose and Lisa Gardner will be at Murder by the Book this Wednesday, February 20, for a fun event. You can find out more here: https://www.murderbooks.com/event/lisa-gardner-karen-rose. Now, on with the interview! I’ve been a fan of the bestselling and award-winning author Karen Rose since she published DON’T TELL in 2004. SAY YOU’RE SORRY is among my best reads of the year so far. It’s over 600 pages of pure terror, excitement with a touch of sweet romance kept me glued until the end. The serial killer in this novel is a monster who must be stopped before he mutilates, assaults, and kills another victim. He has a strange “code of ethics” behind how he chooses victims. Please tell us more about him, and how this character formed in your mind while writing SAY YOU’RE SORRY. I wanted to write a killer whose fury might be understandable to readers, even when his actions were totally wrong. SAY YOU’RE SORRY’s killer tells himself he’s taking out this fury…

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…