Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Chris Fabry | Exclusive Excerpt: A PIECE OF THE MOON
Author Guest / April 2, 2021

TD sat in a sound booth at the recording studio in Clarkston with walls treated with what looked like egg cartons. He snapped his fingers in front of the long silver microphone with the word Neumann on it. The sound in the room was deader than a doornail. And that microphone looked like it cost more than his tow truck. In front of him sat a clear acrylic stand holding ad copy and he read it through silently. Butch Williams had car dealerships in three states and ran spots on stations in all of those markets. They were looking for an “authentic” voice that stood out. This was TD’s chance. A bearded man in the control room pushed a talkback button and spoke into TD’s headphones. “It’s Titus, right?” “I go by TD.” “All right, TD. Whenever you’re ready. I’m rolling.” TD rubbed his hands on his jeans. His tongue felt thick, his mouth full of cotton. The door opened in the control room and someone stepped in and stood in the dark corner. “If you’re looking for a deal on a new or used car, come see Butch. We’ve got dependable, affordable used cars that won’t break your budget….

Melanie Dobson | Five Things I Discovered in Nuremberg + Giveaway
Author Guest / March 9, 2021

As I researched my latest time-slip novel, The Curator’s Daughter, I spent almost a week immersed in the culture and history of Nuremberg, Germany. While I learned an enormous amount during this trip, here are my top five takeaways from my time in this old Imperial City: 1) Hitler chose to launch his Third Reich in Nuremberg because this city was once central to the First Reich, also known as the Holy Roman Empire. After the immense Nazi Party rallies held in Nuremberg, Allied forces selected its courthouse for their postwar International Military Tribunal. The justice served there symbolized justice for everyone hurt by Nazism. 2) Below the medieval streets of Nuremberg is a network of tunnels used long ago as beer cellars. Because the city housed treasured artwork and crown jewels, locals created a secret art bunker in these tunnels during World War II. Even though 90 percent of the city was destroyed during the bombings, the artifacts from the German National Museum and the Imperial Castle were recovered safely from these tunnels. 3) Nuremberg is famous for its seasoned link sausages, but I’m a much bigger fan of the soft pretzel sandwiches! My new favorite is the bretzel…

Heidi Chiavaroli | Top Five Reasons Readers Love Strong Female Characters
Author Guest / February 10, 2021

As I sat down to write my new novel, THE ORCHARD HOUSE, I couldn’t help but think about the inspiration behind it—Louisa May Alcott and her timeless classic, Little Women. Louisa captivated readers around the world with her seemingly simple domestic tale filled with honesty, complexity, and ultimately, joy in the messiness. But something else has us captivated. Or rather, someone else. Namely Jo March. When I was a girl, I wanted to be Jo. She was feisty, bold, but also incredibly caring and tenderhearted. She stood up for what she believed in and she was determined to be a writer one day (as was I!). In short, she was a tremendous and gigantic female character that readers fell in love with. But why is it that we appreciate strong female protagonists such as Jo March? Here are five reasons I think a gutsy female lead is likely to win us over: 1–We can relate to them in their shortcomings. Strong female characters aren’t perfect. Think of Jo’s struggle to control her temper. Katniss Everdeen’s rashness. Scarlett O’Hara’s lack of empathy. Sometimes, though, these flaws can be avenues to actually help them—either in their physical world or in their internal…

Robin W. Pearson | Better Than Friends: Mother-Daughter Dynamics
Author Guest / February 2, 2021

You know how gum adheres to the bottom of your sneaker on a hot summer day? You can’t shake your foot free or peel it off, at least not that easily. What you don’t remove gets pressed in between the grooves, becoming so enmeshed over time, it blends with the sole. That’s how my mama’s words stick to me. I remember how quickly my folks declared, “Nothing good happens after midnight” when I asked about changes to my curfew. Mama drove this point home one Friday night at a school dance when I was partying too hard to realize the time. Suddenly the music stopped and the deejay announced, “Robin, your mom is here to pick you up.” Trust me, not even Cinderella in her pumpkin could’ve caught me scooting out of that high school dance. But I didn’t run far from Mama’s words of wisdom. Just ask my own little people. When she says something, you’d best believe it, hold on to it, and apply it. So when she told me, “Robin, I’m not your friend,” I took that pronouncement to heart, just like an arrow to its target. Her words hurt for a time, more than any sticks…