Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Cindy Woodsmall | Clearing a Little Space
Author Guest / October 1, 2019

Against the odds, the oak sapling took root in our backyard that was filled with scrub pine trees and overrun with bramble. Despite the strong growth of the underbrush, the oak sapling, with its tiny trunk and even tinier branches, pushed upward, reaching for sunlight from high above. It was a decent height, maybe five feet, but scraggly and skinny. A canopy of other trees and thicket kept the sapling in the shade and depleted its soil of nutrients. Vines of various kinds wrapped around it, using it to gain a height of its own. But it didn’t die. It also didn’t thrive. It reminded me of a vine of poison oak more than an oak tree. Its sickly trunk bent and twisted, always jetting out and then reaching up, clearly trying to find a way to reach life-sustaining sunlight. At the time our backyard had a blind fence enclosing a half-acre of mostly scrub pines and thicket. We’d left it that way for over ten years because our youngest son asked us to. He loved being outdoors as well as the feel of “deep woods.” It seems he spent half of his childhood in that space. As children do,…

Karen Barnett | Traveling for Research
Author Guest / June 28, 2019

I’ve always loved to travel, so I’m particularly drawn to novels set in interesting locations or featuring characters who take a journey of some sort. It’s my way of exploring the world even when I need to stay close to home. I’ve heard people refer to it as “armchair travel.” It’s the perfect escape from the daily demands—kids, job, friends, bills—you name it. Back when I was first dreaming of being an author, I remember reading a whole stack of Robin Jones Gunn’s delightful Sisterchicks books. As I closed the final cover, a thought jumped to mind. “This writer has it figured out. She must travel to all of these exotic locations to do book research—and it’s probably a business expense!” I realized the same was probably true of many of the other authors I made a habit of reading. Professional vacationers. Wouldn’t that be the life? Now that I’ve been on multiple book trips, I can tell you for sure: it is incredible. Traveling for novel research is a dream come true. It’s also a lot of work. My current series is set in some of our country’s most beautiful places, our national parks. When I first proposed the…

Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup | EVER FAITHFUL by Karen Barnett
Author Guest / June 21, 2019

We’re ending our week-long recipe roundup with the MAIN (course) event: a mouthwatering recipe for Grilled Butter Trout from inspirational romance author, Karen Barnett! EVER FAITHFUL, a Vintage National Parks Novel, is the perfect book to finish our Summer BBQ-themed week of shared recipes – read on for more! Be sure to check out our other Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup posts all week! Thanks for joining us – look for another recipe roundup soon. Day 1: Day 2: Day 3: Day 4: *** Nate Webber’s family is struggling to get by during the Great Depression, so he’ll try anything—even signing up for the president’s new Civilian Conservation Corps. But for this Brooklyn man, being shipped off to the wilds of Yellowstone National Park comes as a shock. The work is hard, but the combination of fresh air and good food is a pleasant change. What’s even better is having days off to enjoy the park and spend time with the pretty college girls who work as pillow punchers at the park hotels.   Growing up as a park ranger’s daughter, Elsie knows Yellowstone’s Fishing Bridge is the perfect place for catching enough trout to feed a…