Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Michelle Adams | 20 Questions: LITTLE WISHES
Author Guest / November 20, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  My latest release is called Little Wishes. 2–What is it about?  Little Wishes is about a young couple in 1960’s England in a small coastal town in Cornwall who fall in love, but for whom life conspires to keep them apart. Fifty years later they reconnect. Little Wishes is about taking all of those lost chances from the years they weren’t together, and making them come true. It’s about a love that lasted fifty years, despite life getting in the way. Ultimately it’s about my characters reconnecting both with people they had lost, but also with parts of themselves that needed reawakening. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Tom is stubborn, loyal, but occasionally cowardly. Elizabeth is both brave, romantic, and sorry. 4–What makes your story relatable?  I think we all have moments in our histories when we can look back and think things could have gone either way. Choices about work, where we live, which relationships we will fight for, and which relationships we let go. Hopefully, for most of us, we take the right decision, follow the path that makes us happiest. But part of us perhaps will always wonder,…

Beth Harbison | Exclusive Excerpt + Recipe: THE COOKBOOK CLUB
Author Guest / October 16, 2020

We’re pleased to share an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming novel THE COOKBOOK CLUB by Beth Harbison, in stores on October 20th, along with a delicious recipe and note from the book and author. You can find out more about Beth Harbison and links to pre-order her book below. Many thanks to William Morrow for this fun post!  *** “Oh, Margo.” Something about the pity in Margo’s mother’s voice made Margo feel even sorrier for herself even though she was a grown woman who’d gotten dumped, not a child.  “Do you need me to come home?” It was like when Margo was little and would hurt herself.  Somehow she could bear up until she got to her mother’s loving arms and then she’d lose it. That she called Maryland home, even though they’d moved south ten years ago just made it even more poignant. “I’ll be okay. I just need to get through this.” “You need your family.” She went to the pantry and pulled out a twenty-eight-ounce can of Wegmans San Marzano tomatoes. “Honestly, I’m not up for it. I don’t want to waste a visit on shock and misery, I’d rather you come when we can both enjoy…

Donna VanLiere | Exclusive Excerpt: THE CHRISTMAS TABLE
Author Guest / October 9, 2020

From The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere Chapter Two Lauren Mabrey stands on the sidewalk at the entrance to Glory’s Place, welcoming children as they arrive for the after-school program. She finished her shift in the floral department at Clauson’s Supermarket an hour ago. Clauson’s has given her the morning shift so she can be at Glory’s Place each day by three to help. In November the twenty-three-year-old will mark two years of volunteering here and less than a year as a married woman. Just five months ago, in December, she stood in the gazebo in the heart of Grandon, surrounded by the townspeople who had adopted her as one of their own, and became Mrs. Travis Mabrey. She stumbled upon Grandon just a year and a half ago by accident, a literal crash. She was a witness to a car crash while driving through Grandon one day, was called back to town to identify the man involved in the hit-and-run, and never left. After years in foster families and with no family of her own to return to, she became a volunteer at Glory’s Place, fell in love with the children at Glory’s Place, with Grandon itself, and then…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: MILLICENT GLENN’S LAST WISH by Tori Whitaker
Author Guest / October 9, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish? Tori: When I was around five years old, I was at a big family reunion and overheard some older, distant cousins allude to the tragedy that I’ve fictionalized here. That mental vision of what happened stayed with me throughout my life. Years after the woman who was involved had already passed, I asked three people close to her if she’d ever spoken about it. They each said they’d had but one conversation in all the time they’d known he–—and they each had a different detail to share with me. I took those few details and built a whole story around them. The novel is set in two time periods. How much research was needed in order for the story to ring true with readers? I began with a sweeping search for information about the late-WWII years and early 1950s. Besides learning about fashion, media, foods and so forth, I discovered things like the need for prefabricated houses for growing families, and I wove that into my story. I read accounts written from women of the period, too–some of whom felt confined in their suburban homes and by a society that…

Robin Wells | Exclusive Excerpt: SHE GETS THAT FROM ME
Author Guest / September 25, 2020

I open the door. The guy is tall—probably six foot one or two—and fit, like a runner. He’s clean-shaven and good-looking. “Hello,” I say. “Hi. I’m Zack Bradley.” His eyes are like little pieces of sky, and a dimple winks in his jaw as he smiles. The smile transforms him from attractive to devastating. “Are you Brooke Adams?” Chill bumps chase up my arms, and it’s not cold outside. He looks familiar, but his name doesn’t ring any bells. “Uh, no. She’s not here right now.” For some reason, I can’t bring myself to say, She’s dead. His smile fades into disappointment. “Can you tell me when she’ll be back?” “Not, um, really. Is there something I can help you with?” I realize I sound like a clerk at a shoe store. I smile and stretch out my hand. “I’m her best friend, Quinn Langston.” “Nice to meet you.” He takes my hand, and my palm is encased in warmth. More goose bumps instantly prickle up my neck. It’s definitely a sign of something, but I don’t know what. “Her phone doesn’t seem to be working,” he says. Miss Margaret has Brooke’s cell phone. I’m not sure if she’s already…

Sara Richardson | 20 Questions: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Author Guest / September 18, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Home for the Holidays 2–What is it about?  Three sisters who have grown apart travel back to Juniper Springs, Colorado to spend Christmas with their beloved Aunt Sassy–who has been estranged from the family for years. Spending time together at the Juniper Springs Inn brings the memories of their childhood back to life, and the sisters reclaim the bond that once held them together. As they navigate the different life transitions they’re facing, including romances, heartbreaks, and dreams for their futures, the sisters end up discovering what it is they really want this Christmas.   3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Each sister definitely needs her own word! Dahlia: Organized Magnolia: Independent Rose: Creative 4–What makes your story relatable?  It’s definitely the characters who make the story relatable. Dally, Mags, and Rose are all facing different heartaches in their lives and for a long time they’ve carried those burdens alone, trying to be seen as strong, independent women. But, in coming together, they realize how much they need each other and how much stronger they are together.   5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  A…

Fall Recipe Potluck | THE SECRET FRENCH RECIPES OF SOPHIE VALROUX BY SAMANTHA VERANT
Author Guest / September 8, 2020

The Fall Recipe Potluck continues today with another delectable recipe and awesome new book to learn more about. Don’t forget to check the blog every day this week for more fun and opportunities to win books! You can see the previous post here: Day 1: SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE by Reese Ryan *** When I wrote THE SECRET FRENCH RECIPES OF SOPHIE VALROUX, I’d stay awake at night, envisioning recipes and tasting the flavors. In the morning, I’d wake up hungry and I’d run to the store to gather the ingredients and then test whatever I’d come up with, not knowing how it would turn out. Thankfully, this recipe for a roasted squash soup did. And it was delicious! You can get fancy like chef Sophie and add in the lobster and parmesan crisps, but this soup is also warm, hearty, and nourishing all on its own. Veloute de Potimarron* with Flambeed Lobster Tails and a Parmesan Crisp Serves 8 to 10 for an entree (small bowl) or 4 to 6 for a main course Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes Cook Time: 1.5 hours Equipment: parchment paper, baking sheet, large pot, cheese grater, kitchen scissors, food processor or…

Deborah Robinson | Exclusive Excerpt: LILY ROSE
Author Guest / August 24, 2020

Chapter 2 Two weekends before Christmas, McAlpin’s department store was bustling. In the fine china department where Jeff worked, sparkling crystal vases and gilt ornaments were flying off the shelves. Of course, it was just the time for her to get the stomach flu. She had thrown up that morning at home, and thought it was the chili dog and fries she’d eaten at the Paris Grille the night before, but whatever the cause, she knew it wasn’t going to be a good day. At lunch, since she didn’t feel hungry, she decided to call Eric. In the two months since he’d left, they’d talked at least once a week. Jeff would tell him about cheerleading practice and school parties, while Eric spoke about some fancy place called Brunswick Prep. Imagining him meeting up after school with pretty girls in expensive clothes, Jeff couldn’t help feeling jealous. Toward the end she would try to steer the conversation toward how they might see each other again, but Eric would become vague and say he had to get off the phone. It took all of Jeff ’s self control to resist telling Eric that she loved him. He must feel the same,…

K.C. Dyer | Exclusive Excerpt: EIGHTY DAYS TO ELSEWHERE
Author Guest / August 14, 2020

By the next morning, the snow has stopped, but many of the back streets are still sporting a sheen of black ice. Tommy’s picked up a cold somewhere, and so I wrap my head in a scarf to protect myself from the wind whipping between the buildings, and head out to Claire’s Patisserie for croissants. After taking a single step into the street, I dash back inside to grab my camera. The grey overcast hemming us in for weeks has blown away overnight, and the sun is rising through low fog like a ripe red dragon’s egg, way down the end of our street. I’ve been taking pictures as long as I can remember. My dad was a photographer before I was born, and there were always cameras around the house when I was small. He shot for AP overseas–Falkland Islands during the conflict, and Ireland too–but after I came along, he mostly freelanced. And when I made it into NYU, I majored in photography. I’ve always planned to take it further, but–well, you know. Life gets in the way. With this news about the bookshop, the chance of returning to film school is looking increasingly unlikely. These days I…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING by Allison Winn Scotch
Author Guest / August 14, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing? Allison: Well, I wanted to write something that reflected how it feels to be a woman in this particular moment in history and time. I tried a different approach with a different manuscript – I rewrote about 100 pages of that book several times, and it just wasn’t working. I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn’t quite sure how to get there. Then, as good ideas often do, the version of Cleo, the Senator, struck me one night, and from there, I looked for an interesting way to examine her life. Not as a politician, but as a human, and I settled on exploring her regrets, which wasn’t an approach I’d ever read. And thus, Cleo McDougal, unapologetic Senator, was born. What role does the word “power” play in relation to the story? Oh great question! For me, this book is not about politics at all. I worked hard to ensure that. Rather, it is about power in all of its iterations, which is something that I think so many women are considering now too. Who has it, who abuses it, who gives it generously, who takes…