Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Viola Shipman | Exclusive Excerpt: THE SUMMER COTTAGE
Author Guest / April 26, 2019

As soon as I round the bend from Chicago to Michigan, I see a wall of clouds over Lake Michigan. Half of the sky is bright blue, the other half is steel gray, as if Mother Nature has hung a banner announcing, Nightmare Ahead! Lake-effect snow. My hands immediately tighten around the wheel. I see a Pure Michigan billboard, touting the beauty and landmarks of the state, and laugh. Lake-effect snow is Pure Michigan, I think, my former ad exec coming out, but I don’t see any billboards touting that. Without warning, the world goes from clear skies to total blizzard. I slow the car, tighten my grip even more and turn on my headlights. Lake-effect snow is not just snow, it’s as if the winter skies have opened up and are weeping centuries of frozen tears upon the earth. Within moments, the highway is covered and slick, and trucks and cars are moving at a snail’s pace. My heart is thumping like a jackhammer, and I immediately lament my life change. How could I have forgotten that winter lasts longer than summer, fall and spring in Michigan? Combined! What have I done? My earnings season will be shorter than…

Sheila Roberts | When the Going Gets Tough…
Author Guest / April 16, 2019

The not-so-tough go to the beach, which is exactly where my main character Celeste Jones in The Summer Retreat goes after her latest true love turns out not to be so true. This is another story set in my new fictional town of Moonlight Harbor, which I based loosely on the charming beach town of Ocean Shores, Washington. Ocean Shores offers visitors an impressive system of canals for kayaking and a funky downtown that is a mix of both new and vintage buildings, many leftover from the sixties when the town first came into being. You’ll find any number of shops, including one with a storefront shaped like a giant shark. Shoppers enter through the shark’s mouth. You can enjoy an ice cream cone at the ice cream parlor, then ride bumper cars or go-carts, play miniature golf or enjoy a full-sized golf course. Tennis and pickleball courts abound as well, and locals who join the community club (almost anyone who buys property there can join the club) can choose between two outdoor pools or one indoor pool for swimming. Then, of course, you have the beach and those gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Beach fires, surfing, storm watching, beach combing,…

Sarah Morgan | Exclusive Interview: ONE SUMMER IN PARIS
Author Guest / April 12, 2019

Enjoy this chat between bestselling author Sarah Morgan and Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser! The unlikely friendship between Grace and Audrey is my favorite part of this novel. How did these two characters come to life for you? I’m pleased you enjoyed that part of the book because it was my favorite part to write! I knew from the start of this book that I wanted to write an inter-generational friendship. I felt it would add a richness to this story that would be missing if Grace had, for example, befriended someone her age. Right from the start, I could see the potential for humor and emotion in the relationship between these two. They are different in personality and life experience, and yet they form a deep and lasting bond. Playing with their dialogue, and watching each character push the other out of her comfort zone, was great fun. Paris is a wonderful setting for this novel. What do you love most about the City of Lights? There’s the food of course, and the wine, but as well as that Paris is a pretty city, light and airy with beautiful buildings, wide open boulevards, and an energy that is…

Carolyn Brown | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / January 15, 2019

Please welcome New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Carolyn Brown! Her latest book, THE MAGNOLIA INN, is in stores now.  1. While a lighthearted novel, The Magnolia Inn explores grief, loneliness, regret, and ultimately, redemption. What inspired these heavier themes throughout the novel? Carolyn: They say you should write about what you know. I lived with a father who was a weekend drunk and then with an alcoholic stepfather. They were both good men underneath all their problems, but the problem was there in both instances and it affected a lot of people around them. 2. Female friendship is such an important part of this book. I absolutely LOVED the characters of Aunt Sugar, Dottie, Lucy, and Flossie! They are four women who know what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it, but even more importantly, they are there to support each other and Jolene no matter what. How did you go about bringing such authentic women to life? Carolyn: I simply combined some of the strongest women I know into those characters. A short story here about a sweet lady who has long since passed away. Miz Marie told me once that she’d hired a man to…

Erin Bartels | Holding Onto Hope
Author Guest / January 4, 2019

Hope. It’s a concept that can feel out of reach during tumultuous times. When our eyes and ears are flooded with the reality of national disunity and violence, a difficult family situation, broken finances, career disappointment, or frustration with ourselves for a multitude of reasons, hope can feel…flimsy. Like it belongs to some other person in some other time. But hope is something that we can have and hold on to in any time and circumstance. And here are a few ways to help you do just that: Develop perspective. No matter what is happening in our own lives, it is likely that there are others going through even more difficult circumstances. This doesn’t mean that our pain doesn’t matter. It means that we are not alone. There are people out there who understand what we’re going through because they’ve been through it—and worse. The struggles others have experienced in the past and in other parts of the world—war, genocide, displacement, religious persecution, lack of medical care, and more—help our own troubles become smaller, less scary, less insurmountable. Reading the account of a Holocaust survivor or a quadriplegic athlete is sure to put things in perspective. Count small blessings. I…

Fresh Fiction Favorite Women’s Fiction of 2018!
Author Guest / December 21, 2018

Every day from now through the end of the year, we’ll be sharing our reviewers’ favorite reads of 2018. A different genre will be featured every day! We’ll share why these books were some of our favorites and what made them so special. We hope you’ll share yours in the comments, too! Today, let’s chat about our favorite women’s fiction novels (that may or may not overlap into other categories… but what list is perfect, right? LOL) of this year. What do you think? BEYOND BEAUPORT by James Masciarelli Reviewer: Clare I love one woman’s journey for single life in a coastal town to adventure on the high seas as she seeks her pirate queen ancestor. Who wouldn’t want to ditch the humdrum life and explore? Suspense | Women’s Fiction Contemporary [Koehler Books, On Sale: July 24, 2018, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781633936553 / eISBN: 9781633936560] The lure of a pirate queen takes a lonely woman to sea Buy BEYOND BEAUPORT: Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Ripped Bodice | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR *** THE GREAT ALONE…

Jasmine Guillory | Excluisve Interview
Author Guest / November 2, 2018

We are so happy to feature an interview with USA Today bestselling author, Jasmine Guillory, author of THE PROPOSAL and THE WEDDING DATE!  1. I love how the setting is so important to your books – the neighborhoods, restaurants, cities, and homes all feel real. What made you choose LA as the setting for The Proposal? Are any of the places in the book based on real places?I knew THE PROPOSAL was about Carlos, and I knew Carlos grew up in LA and had a strong connection with the city and that his family was there, so the book had to be set there too! And probably about half of the places in the book are based on real places; I did some scouting trips to LA while I wrote the book, and I have a bunch of friends in LA who helped me a lot! The bookstore, in particular, is a great bookstore in LA: Skylight Books. 2. Family, both biological and found, are important support systems for your main characters, Nik and Carlos. How do their friends and family shape some of the decisions they make throughout the novel? Friends and family are very important to both Nik…

Author Reader Match | Mary Ellen Taylor
Author Guest / October 15, 2018

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Mary Ellen Taylor. Writes: Mary Ellen Taylor novels, including my latest, WINTER COTTAGE, are contemporary “women’s fiction” stories entwined with history that informs their present day plots and, to varying extent, the mysteries at their center. Regardless of the direction the story takes, at heart the books all explore life, love, friends and family and delve into the need we all have to belong and to find our way. About: A native of Virginia, my love for my home state is evident in my contemporary women’s fiction novels. My first four, beginning with THE UNION STREET BAKERY, are set in Alexandria and the town is, in some way, a silent character in each. In my latest, WINTER COTTAGE, Virginia’s Eastern Shore topography and weather are essential to the scenes and actions of that story. I still live in Virginia where I’ve raised my family, built my career and now enjoy an empty nest along with my husband and three miniature dachshunds….