Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Beth K. Vogt | 4 Reasons Why Sister Relationships are So Complicated
Author Guest / May 15, 2020

“Sisters, as you know, also have a unique relationship. This is the person who has known you your entire life, who should love you and stand by you no matter what, and yet it’s your sister who knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt you the most.” Lisa See, author When I was younger, I was all about trying to fix what was wrong in my life. Smoothing out the rough edges. If I couldn’t fix my flaws, I’d figure out a way to hide ’em. As I’ve aged, I’ve accepted the messiness of life. Sometimes we fall, Humpty-Dumpty-style, and break, and the pieces don’t fit back together again. As an author, I love to delve into complicated relationships. Family relationships. Friendships. Does he-doesn’t she romantic entanglements. You want to try to unravel some problematic relationships? Try to understand the bonds between sisters. Some sisters are each other’s designated best friends, with their phone numbers on speed dial so they chat with each other multiple times a day. Some sisters are so hostile toward one another that they haven’t seen or spoken to one another in years. And some sisters are an oil and water mix of the…

T.I. Lowe | Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup: BEACH HAVEN + Giveaway!
Author Guest , Valentine / February 14, 2020

Thank you SO much for following along with our Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup all week! Our final post features a delightful new romance coming out this April by T.I. Lowe. *** Recipe for a Happily Ever After: Take one independent heroine and add one handsome alpha hero. Mix in conflict, a dash of an obstacle, and a good measure of attraction. Stir until you have one fine mess, then pour in a healthy serving of clarity to resolve any angst. Add the anticipated kiss, a sprinkling of tender caresses, two rapid heartbeats, and combine into an awe-inspiring conclusion. I’d like to introduce you to a couple who fits this recipe to a T: Lincoln Cole and Opal Gilbert. I asked them to describe each other to me, and they sure didn’t hold back. Here’s what they had to say: Opal: “Lincoln Cole is lousy at first impressions. A brooding giant, he reminded me of a puffer fish—prickly yet somehow cute. Sure, there were glimpses of more in the depths of those ridiculously attractive brown eyes, but that stinker wouldn’t let me near enough to get a good look. Eventually, I discovered underneath the thick layer of orneriness was a big…

Carla Laureano | Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup: The Solid Grounds Coffee Company + Giveaway!
Author Guest / February 14, 2020

Alas – it’s the last day of our Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup! We have two more great posts from awesome authors – read on for a caffeine fix! *** In my new book, The Solid Grounds Coffee Company, ex–rock climber Bryan Shaw opens a coffee-roasting business in Denver . . . and ropes his friend and longtime love interest, marketing expert Analyn Sanchez, into helping him. And while the characters in the story are more concerned with third-wave roasting methods and black coffee made by pour-over, I happen to know that no one can resist a Valentine’s Day latte. Filled with chocolate-covered cherry goodness, even a coffee purist won’t be able to resist this “dessert-in-a-mug” take on chocolate-covered cherries. DARK-CHOCOLATE CHERRY MOCHA Makes: 1 serving 4 ounces very strong coffee or espresso 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao or higher) 8 ounces whole milk, 2% milk, or almond milk 2 ounces sour cherry juice ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (or) 2 tablespoons unflavored simple syrup Whipped cream (optional) Chocolate shavings or sprinkles (optional) Combine half of the milk with the chocolate in a double boiler and whisk over low heat until melted. Whisk in…

Heidi Chiavaroli | Author-Reader Match: THE TEA CHEST
Author Guest / February 5, 2020

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-ReaderMatch” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Heidi Chiavaroli! Writes: Dual timeline women’s fiction. My latest release, The Tea Chest, hit stores yesterday, February 4! About: Thirty-something women’s fiction author seeks readers for entertaining and emotional novel with a brave but conflicted historical heroine who must choose between her Loyalist family’s wishes and her true love, a Patriot. After the Boston Tea Party, a mysterious chest becomes part of her legacy—a legacy that will change the future of a present-day woman who seeks to do what no woman has done before. What I’m Looking For In My Ideal Reader Match: Their idea of a perfect date is a trip to the local bookstore followed by dinner and a movie—maybe a compelling romantic drama. Loves history and loves imagining the people who actually lived in the past and formed our country. Likes reading both contemporary and historical stories and considers it a bonus when they are included in one novel with a satisfying connection. Loves heroes who are caring and passionate…

Melanie Dobson | Wanderings (or “The Wonder of Research”)
Author Guest / September 13, 2019

Damp air settled between the marlstone walls, its chill creeping into my bones as our group wandered reverently through the ancient mines. We stopped to read the old inscriptions, listen to the stories, and remember all that happened in these tunnels along the southern tip of The Netherlands. During World War II, these passages were used to hide artwork from the Dutch masters and as an escape route for Allied pilots and those escaping the Nazi occupiers. What would it have been like to be a Jewish woman down here, I wondered, trying to navigate the thousands of tunnels as she fled from a Nazi officer intent on finding her? What if, in order to save her life, she had to leave behind the boy she loved? My mind began to follow my feet in the wandering. Each of my novels builds block-upon-block on the foundation of an experience like this one. In those tunnels last year, I could feel the wetness of the marlstone walls on my hands and the coldness in my lungs. I could breathe the moist air and fight the weight of darkness as the walls pressed in. In the wandering of my mind, the breadth…

DiAnn Mills | 10 Ways to Deepen the Craft of Writing
Author Guest / September 6, 2019

Writers search for ways to add professionalism to their writing. They explore technique, study the how-to guides, and invest in quality software that helps them create dynamic fiction and nonfiction. The following 10 guidelines are proven methods to deepen the craft of writing. Develop three sentences describing the writing project. As difficult as this may sound, the clarity and conciseness not only help the writer focus on the writing project but also serve as a great pitch to share with others. Incorporate the five senses. Today’s readers yearn for an adventure. If the project is fiction, the reader must experience the story. If the project is nonfiction, the reader needs to be rooted in the material. Instill proper grammar. Nothing is more frustrating or throws a reader out of the experience more than poor grammar and punctuation. With textbooks and websites available to teach and correct our errors, there isn’t an excuse. My go-to editing tool is prowritingaid.com. I also value the word frequency counter at http://www.writewords.org.uk/word_count.asp. Paste a document into the site and it lists the number of times every word is used. Network with other writers. Most creative types see life with a bit of quirkiness. The truth…

Janice Cantore | On Writing and Recharging
Author Guest / June 28, 2019

I love to write fiction, and because of my law enforcement background, I write mystery/suspense and deal with cops, crimes, and criminals. Sometimes, when researching for a novel, the articles and websites tell tragic stories, emotionally draining. The darkness can be overwhelming. My upcoming release, Cold Aim, deals with human trafficking. Talk about dark. Modern-day slavery is far more prevalent than people want to believe. And it’s not only the crimes. Lately, a lot has been going on in law enforcement that is tragic and sad. It seems like every day an officer is shot—on the whole, the world is just going crazy. I’m not complaining, because with my fiction I control the outcome, so nothing goes unpunished as far as my novels are concerned. Often, however, I do need a little recharging, a reminder that God is in control and evil never wins. A few months ago, I moved to paradise. At least it’s paradise to me. I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, looking for a more temperate climate, something that would be easier on my back and my knees. So far, so good. Usually, the temp runs about eighty-five, but nice, gentle trade winds make it…

Jolina Petersheim | Author-Reader Match
Author Guest / March 8, 2019

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match,” where we introduce readers to authors you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Jolina Petersheim! Writes: My father was raised Mennonite in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; my mother Brethren, and I grew up as a caretaker’s daughter on a sprawling Civil War–era farm/camp in western Tennessee. This combination allowed me to see the intricacies—and complications—of community, so I love placing my characters inside morally twisting novels and then watching how they find their way out. (My newest novel, How the Light Gets In, might be the most morally twisting to date.) About: I am happily married to a “strong, quiet type” mountain man and mother to our three fluffy-haired little girls, ages six, four, and one. We’ve lived in five different homes in ten years of marriage (one a solar-powered farmhouse in Wisconsin, where How the Light Gets In is set). My husband—who also has a Mennonite/Amish background—is busy building our sixth house in the foothills of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. We strive to live with the same simplistic, family-oriented mindset as our ancestors, but due to our…