Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Four Fabulous Women for February
Author Guest / February 19, 2020

For your Valentine gift this year, I’m offering up an in-depth fictional look at four fascinating women who defied the rules of their time to live life on their own terms, bringing them fame, notoriety, love, and heartbreak. Moving chronologically, we begin with THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN by Stephanie Barron.  When beautiful, willful, wealthy Jennie Jerome, who grew up in Gilded Age Newport and Second Empire Paris, agrees to marry the son of a duke she’s known for just three days, she’s thrust into the maelstrom of British politics and society. The husband of the new Lady Randolph Churchill is a member of the Marlborough House Set, well-born men seeking political rank and fortune.  As a charming but free-thinking American skeptical of British social rules, Jennie quickly wins both admirers—and enemies.  Mother of one of the twentieth century’s most important men, she works to further her husband’s Parliamentary career while remaining true to herself.  And when, as tragic illness loosens her husband’s grip on sanity, she falls in love with compelling diplomat Count Charles Kinsky, she must decide how much destruction she’s willing to risk to follow her heart. The Churchill story continues with LADY CLEMENTINE by Marie Benedict, which gives…

Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: Daring and Danger – A Tribute to WWII
Author Guest , History / July 17, 2019

Continuing with WWII fiction in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we’ll focus on stories that illumine some fascinating but lesser-known people and events in the war, most based in historical fact. We begin with THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM by Marie Benedict.  In pre-WWII Austria, beautiful—Jewish–actress Hedwig Keistler catches the eye of the wealthiest man in Austria, arms dealer Fritz Mandl.  Knowing that marriage to the powerful Mandl may keep her and her family safe from the rising tide of anti-Semitism, after a short courtship, Hedwig weds him.  Certain his glamorous wife doesn’t care about or understand the weapons he develops and sells, Mandl discusses them freely around her with his business partners.  But Hedwig is brilliant as well as beautiful, with a life-long interest in science nurtured by her father. When Mendl becomes ever more abusive and controlling, Hedwig flees from him, first to London and then to America—where she becomes film star Hedy Lamarr.  But she also carried with her the plans for the Nazi’s weapons systems—and an invention of her own that will pave the way for secure communications and cellphone technology. A look behind the glamorous façade, Benedict’s book reveals a woman as…

Danielle Dresser | What is it about Post-WWII Fiction?
Author Guest / March 6, 2019

Today, thoughts on historical fiction from Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser… Once upon a time, I was a publicist for a wonderful publisher (shout out to Sourcebooks!) and I spent a lot of time paying attention to publishing trends – what was working in the industry? What were editors acquiring? What was selling, aka what were people reading?  On top of my job, I was also a member of a book club and we went through a period of about a year or so where just about all we read was World War II fiction… was it because people really loved reading about this time period, or was it because that’s what the publishing industry decided to publish? To be fair, our book club instituted an unofficial rule to not read WWII fiction (until very recently, LOL!) and now that I’m back in the publishing industry, I’ve noticed something else… Post-World War II fiction. Set well after the war, usually in the 50s and 60s, these novels still have WWII looming over its narrative. Perhaps it’s a family member dealing with PTSD before there was a word for it, as a community dealing with tragedy grapples with in Judy Blume’s…

Sarah Sundin | 10 Facts about the Red Cross in World War II
Author Guest / February 15, 2019

The women of World War II fascinate us and D-day is one of the most pivotal events in modern history, so I enjoyed exploring both in THE SKY ABOVE US, book 2 in the Sunrise at Normandy series. While my hero flies above the landing beaches in his P-51 Mustang, my heroine runs the American Red Cross Aeroclub at his airfield. Here are some interesting things I learned about the Red Cross in World War II. 1. At a time when the population of the United States was 132 million, 37 million adults and 20 million children and youth belonged to the Red Cross, with 7.5 million serving as volunteers. In addition, 40,000 men and women were paid workers with the Red Cross. 2. Of those overseas workers, twenty-nine women died, primarily in plane crashes, but also due to enemy shelling. 3. Women who worked with the American Red Cross overseas had to be at least twenty-five years old and have a college degree. They underwent an extensive interview process and had to complete training in Washington, DC. The women had the “equivalent status” of an officer, which granted them many officer privileges. 4. The American Red Cross operated hundreds…

Jina Bacarr | When you can’t get a character out of your mind…
Uncategorized / April 23, 2009

When I received my author copies for my latest Spice release, Cleopatra’s Perfume, I re-read it all over again from beginning to end, reliving the heroine’s sexual obsessions and romantic interludes with the men in her life, the angst and horror of World War II when she becomes a spy for the British Foreign Service and the fascinating story behind the mysterious perfume in the title (and yes, I enjoyed the sex, too!). When I came to the end of the story, I realized I had unfinished business with the heroine in my book, Lady Eve Marlowe. Before she married a member of the British peerage, she was a cabaret dancer in Berlin during the wild days of the Weimar Republic during the erotic 1920s. What were those years like in pre-war Berlin? I wondered, intrigued. Eve came to Berlin with an all-girl revue in 1928 looking for love and adventure. Instead she found a city bathed in lust and sex. Click here to read the rest of Jina’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.