Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Alison Hammer | Exclusive Excerpt: LITTLE PIECES OF ME
Author Guest / April 9, 2021

Now Hi, Mom! I delete the exclamation point. Hi, Mom. That doesn’t feel right, either. Hey, Mom. Did you cheat on Dad in college? Delete. Hey, Mom. So I just got an email from FamilyTree.com that says Dad isn’t my father. DID YOU CHEAT ON HIM??? Delete. I close my eyes and focus on breathing, trying to center myself, but there’s no use. I should feel validated for all the times I felt like an outsider in my family. My stomach churns at the thought of another family out there, another life where I might have grown up knowing how it feels to belong. My mother took that from me. One more deep breath, and then I crack my knuckles and start typing. Hi, Mom. I got an email from FamilyTree.com. They said a man named Andrew Abrams is my father. Paige. Not bad, I think, rereading the words. Direct, straightforward, and not accusatory. Before I lose my nerve, I hit send. It’s just after three, so she’s probably out having coffee with one of her girlfriends. I can picture her, glancing at her phone as the email comes in, her face growing pale, her jaw literally dropping. “Elizabeth, what’s…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE TRUTH AND OTHER HIDDEN THINGS by LEA GELLER
Author Guest / March 26, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write The Truth and Other Hidden Things? Lea: Often my writing process happens by a combination of two story ideas or characters – and in this case, I had envisioned a woman in her 40’s with an accidental pregnancy (which I will admit is something of a fever dream for me) and also the idea of someone who is desperate to be noticed but who writes under the cover of anonymity. Once I had established who Bells Walker was, the plot grew from there. As it turns out, in the past year so many people have been moving from New York City to the Hudson Valley, and it’s been great fun to read real-life accounts of some of the thing Bells noticed about her new home – the tattooed, kombucha drinking hipsters and their love for reclaimed wood and mason jars!   Bells’s life takes a sudden turn when her husband moves the family from Manhattan to the Hudson Valley. How does she handle the big change? Not well! Bells, already socially anxious, uses her move and her pregnancy as an excuse to hole up and stay home. She’s convinced that any person she meets…

Libby Hubscher | Title Challenge: MEET ME IN PARADISE
Author Spotlight / March 23, 2021

Hi all! My Name is Libby Hubscher and I’m excited to share a bit about my debut novel, MEET ME IN PARADISE, with you. The Cole sisters couldn’t be closer, or more different. After their mother died tragically when they were teenagers, they’ve only had each other. Sadie travels the world, while Marin waits at home, worrying and letting the world pass her by. Intent on showing Marin what she’s missing, Sadie tricks her into a solo vacation in paradise. What was supposed to be a sisters’ spa weekend turns into the trip of a lifetime when Marin is forced outside of her comfort zone, exploring the island of Saba with Lucas Tsai, a stranger who ended up in Sadie’s seat on the plane. Suddenly, Marin finds herself feeling more alive than ever, falling in love…and realizing that Sadie has been keeping a devastating secret from her—one that will change everything. M is for Meddling. It takes her zany, wonderful younger sister to hatch a scheme to get anxious homebody Marin Cole out of her comfort zone and onto an island in the middle of the Caribbean. E is for Enigmatic. Lucas Tsai isn’t who Marin expected to be sitting next to…

Marie Bostwick | Exclusive Interview: THE RESTORATION OF CELIA FAIRCHILD
Author Guest / March 2, 2021

Danielle: Hi, Marie! Welcome to Fresh Fiction. Please tell us about yourself and your new book, THE RESTORATION OF CELIA FAIRCHILD. Marie: Hi! I’m happy for the opportunity to talk with you today! I’m a lot of things – wife, mom, quilter, dog lover – but mostly I’m a writer. So far, I’ve written nineteen novels that run the gamut from historical to contemporary, set in just about every region of the country. But there’s a common thread in all my books; though my characters face the kinds of problems and challenges that resonate with women, my stories always end on an uplifting and hopeful note. That’s why I’m especially excited about introducing readers to Celia Fairchild and her story. Celia is the kind of friend we all wish we had, and her story of restoration and hope is something that I think we all need right now. Celia writes a popular advice column, called Dear Calpurnia. I loved this aspect of the novel! What sort of research did you do into advice columns and giving good advice? Do you have any favorite advice columnists?   I’ve been an advice column junkie for a long time so, in a way,…

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…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: HADLEY AND GRACE by Suzanne Redfearn
Author Guest / January 22, 2021

Jen: What inspired you to write HADLEY AND GRACE?  Suzanne: The idea for HADLEY AND GRACE came from my enduring love for the movie Thelma and Louise. I wanted to write the same sort of exciting road-trip adventure that also had an underlying theme of self-discovery and empowerment. As it turned out, I couldn’t actually tell the story as it was originally conceived by the talented Callie Khouri. Fortunately for us, times have changed and we’ve come a long way from gawking truck drivers, bar-swine rapists, and patronizing do-gooder cops as typical male stereotypes. So while the plot is similar–two women on the run who become accidental outlaws–the story is very different.  What causes Hadley to flee from her home with her two kids?  Hadley is in an abusive marriage, and her husband is cunning and controlling. The opportunity she’s been waiting for comes along, and she seizes it. What is going on in Grace’s life that makes her yearn for a fresh start?  Grace’s husband has a gambling problem, and when he loses their rent money, Grace realizes the only hope she has for her and her infant son is to try and make a fresh start.  What draws…

Christina Hovland | Exclusive Excerpt: RACHEL, OUT OF OFFICE
Author Guest / January 19, 2021

Chapter Two Excerpt: Rachel, Out of Office by Christina Hovland A romantic momedy! Single-mom Rachel needs a break from her family vacation. She struggles to keep up with work and balance the demands of family, all the while fending off pesky new feelings for her hunky former-brother-in-law. Which makes her wonder…is falling for him really that wrong? Or is anything possible when she’s out of office…? Rachel rummaged through her handbag to search for her sunglasses as they walked. Damn, she knew she’d dropped them in there before she left the house. “It’s not happening. If I need company, I’ll just adopt a puppy or something,” she continued. Coming up empty from the inside pocket, she turned her attention to the oversize beach bag, the one that had never seen a beach but was her own personal “bug out” bag where she kept all the things she might need for herself or her kids. “If you don’t want to be so obvious, just squeeze a couple of cantaloupes.” Her best friend Molly shrugged, clearly oblivious to Rachel’s search for eye protection and her extreme disinterest in the suggestion. “Are you equating cantaloupe to breasts, because men like breasts?” Rachel asked,…

Jennifer Probst | 20 Questions: OUR ITALIAN SUMMER
Author Guest / January 12, 2021

1–What is the title of your latest release?  OUR ITALIAN SUMMER 2–What is it about?  Three generations of women in the Ferrari family must heal the broken pieces of their lives on a trip of a lifetime through picturesque Italy. 3–What do you love about the setting of your book?  The book literally takes you through a tour of Italy, from Rome all the way to Tuscany. It’s full of amazing food, wine, and experiences that Italy is beloved for. 4–How did your heroine(s) surprise you?  There are actually three heroines in this book. Francesca is 49, Allegra is 18, and Sophia is 75! I love diving into the various points of view for each age. I think what surprised me the most about all of them is the inner strength each of them have to keep them pushing through challenges. 5–Why will readers love your hero(es)?  There are two main heroes in this book! Enzo is the Italian tour guide, and Ian is one of the tour members from Ireland. Enzo falls for Francesca, and Ian falls for Allegra. These love stories are both very different but extremely emotional and poignant. I know these two men will make my…

Erin Bartels | Exclusive Excerpt: ALL THAT WE CARRIED
Author Guest / December 29, 2020

Melanie’s heart quickened when the first tower of the Mackinac Bridge came into view. This would be her seventh time over the bridge, a significant number. Seven days of the week. Seven notes in the diatonic scale. Seven letters in the Roman numeral system. The seven in the Tarot deck was the card of the chariot—the symbol of overcoming conflict and moving forward in a positive direction. Lucky number seven. She’d need luck on this trip if she hoped to move forward in a positive direction with Olivia. She hit her sister’s upper arm with the back of her hand. “There’s the bridge!” To her surprise, Olivia smiled. A good sign. Maybe it would all work out. It had to. Because they couldn’t go on as they had for the past ten years. Something had to change. Only time together would do it. Time with no distractions. Time in the forest. Time for Melanie to explain herself. She had seven days to make it work. Seven days was enough. Her seven-day spiritual detox program was her most popular offering on Meditations with Melanie. And nothing needed detoxing like her relationship with her sister. “I know a bailiff who refuses to…

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,…