Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Larger-Than-Life
Author Guest , Author Spotlight / December 16, 2020

What a year 2020 has been!  Most of us can’t wait to see the last of it, along with fervent prayers that 2021 will be a much better 365 days.  While we’re waiting to move on, what better to distract us than novels about famous, larger-than-life heroines? Elise Hooper’s FAST GIRLS: A NOVEL OF THE 1936 WOMEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM deals with women who aren’t as famous as the others we will feature—but ought to be.  Veteran of the first women’s delegation to compete in the 1928 Olympics, Betty Robinson overcomes a horrific accident to join two newcomers as part of the 1936 Women’s Olympic Track Team. Farm girl Helen Stephens wants to escape the hardships of rural life, while Louise Stokes sees excelling in competition as a way to overcome the restrictions placed on Black Americans. All three must fight against the prevailing view that women are too “delicate” for competitive sports and should confine their activities to the home.  Hooper sets the struggle for an increased role for women against the vivid backdrop of political intrigue that was the Olympics held in Hitler’s Germany. From talented but lesser-known to the center of international scandal, we have THE WOMAN BEFORE…

Wendy Holden | 20 Questions: THE ROYAL GOVERNESS
Author Guest / August 28, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Royal Governess 2–What is it about?  The childhood of Queen Elizabeth II. In particular Marion Crawford, the unknown young Scottish teacher who helped make her the monarch she is today. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Contradictory! Marion Crawford never intended to work for royalty. She wanted to work with children right at the other end of the social scale; in the slums of Edinburgh. She wanted to make a difference and help close the gap between the haves and have nots. Then a chance meeting with the Duchess of York, mother of Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen) changed her life forever. She was a royal governess for nearly twenty years, but her story ended very sadly. After a perceived betrayal, the royal family cut her off forever. 4–What makes your story relatable?  It shows the Queen as a vulnerable human being. She can come across as controlled and formal, but The Royal Governess reveals her as a loving and sensitive child. The warm and close relationship between her and Marion is the heart of the book. The two of them show a familiar period of British history from the entirely…

WENDY HOLDEN | Beautiful People…Hopefully I’ve Given You A Good Laugh
Author Guest / April 21, 2010

What makes you laugh? I find all sorts of things funny, although they are rarely jokes in the traditional sense. I can only remember one joke in fact – the one about the inflatable headmaster at the inflatable school telling the inflatable boy caught with a needle that not only has he has let the school down; worst of all he’s let himself down. But the best fun is when people are being amusing without knowing it. In my past as a glossy magazine journalist I worked with some staggering characters (sometimes literally if they’d been on the white wine and, as usual, hadn’t eaten). One editor asked me in all seriousness if I knew the difference between aristocratic legs and those of common people. Another had some good party tips: champagne made your breath smell, canapés were to be avoided because those that fell on the floor were put back on the trays and MTF men were to be avoided at all costs (MTF = Must Touch Flesh). Oh, and Desserts was Stressed in reverse. An assistant of mine once failed to show up to work because she was testing different shades of white paint on the wall of…