Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Danielle Dresser | Spooky Reads
Author Guest / October 15, 2020

Confession time: I’m a big ol’ scaredy-cat. I’ve been to one haunted house in my life and never want to go again, and I’ve been known to sleep with the lights on after seeing a trailer for a scary movie.  But I love Halloween. Weird, right?  I have been known to dip my toe in what I’m calling “spooky” reads, though. They aren’t really scary per se, but they definitely have an atmosphere. My #romancelandia pal, BandHerBooks, and I like to say we’re “pastel goths,” which I think just means we like skulls and cozy sweaters and idolize Morticia Addams, but that’s a topic for another blog post.  I gravitate toward spooky reads around this year especially, but my supernatural-lite obsession lasts year-round–does my skull soap dispenser stay in the powder room even if it’s weeks past October 31st? Yep. Do I wear all black pretty much every day? You bet. Will this lovely typewriter with a “heartwarming” message have permanent residence in my office? MOST DEFINITELY!  Here are a few spooky reads for the rest of the pastel goths out there–enjoy them at Halloween or whenever you want to do your best Lydia Deetz impression. . . *** THE…

Glen Zipper & Elaine Mongeon | Exclusive Excerpt: DEVASTATION CLASS
Author Guest / September 17, 2020

Tell us a little about your latest project, the upcoming YA science fiction novel, DEVASTATION CLASS.  EM: The book is set in the distant future, with seven military cadets and seventy civilian students aboard a starship on a mission of science and learning. When most of the adults are off-ship, the ship is attacked by the Kastazi, a vicious enemy alien race thought vanquished. Our protagonists–best friends and cadets JD and Viv–are forced to make an impossible choice that will change their lives forever: obey their superiors and die, or mutiny to save the ship and the lives of everyone aboard. But that’s just the beginning. What at first looks like an obvious re-invasion by a former enemy turns out to be something much darker and shocking, and a mystery eons in the making will have to be unraveled for them to have any hope of surviving. GZ: Devastation Class is a multi-POV story, so we get to spend time in the heads of more than one character. Viv and JD are trying to succeed under the weight and long shadows of their war hero parents. There’s Nicholas, a cypher whose intentions and motivations are shrouded in mystery, and who…

Janella Angeles | Exclusive Interview: WHEN DREAMS DESCEND
Author Guest / August 27, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Janella! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your debut novel, WHERE DREAMS DESCEND. Thank you so much for having me! I’m Janella and my debut, WHERE DREAMS DESCEND, is the first in a YA fantasy duology that is pitched as “Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge with a twist of The Night Circus”–and in it, we follow a powerful, ambitious showgirl named Kallia whose pursuit of fame, glory, and freedom leads her to a magician’s competition that becomes a risky game behind the scenes as contestants start disappearing, and all is not what it seems. It’s got a ruined city, a fierce circus, glam aesthetics, romance, magic, and dazzling performances–which in my opinion, make for a perfect escape. The world you’ve built feels so vivid and alive – it’s fresh and detailed, but still feels “lived in.” How did this magic world develop for you? What were some of your inspirations for it? Thank you, I’m so glad it feels that way! I’ve always been a fan of cities that come off as forbidden or shrouded in a bit of mystique, places that feel as if they were built more by stories and legends…

Pintip Dunn | Author-Reader Match: DATING MAKES PERFECT
Author Guest / August 21, 2020

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Pintip Dunn!  Writes: DATING MAKES PERFECT is an #ownvoices Thai YA rom-com that includes heartwarming family dynamics, fake dating, and an enemies-to-lovers romance. The Tech girls have never been allowed to date in high school. But when Winnie’s college-aged sisters declare that they won’t marry for 30 years –not until they’ve had lots of practice dating, their parents decide that their youngest daughter, Winnie, must date in high school in order to gain the necessary relationship skills. They’ll pick the boy and design the dates around classic rom-com movies. The only problem is… their first candidate is Winnie’s sworn enemy. About: First-generation Thai-American author seeks devoted reader who loves to laugh and swoon. From small-town Kansas to Harvard University and Yale Law School, I’ve lived in lots of places and have had many diverse experiences. Maybe that’s why I love writing within different genres of the YA category. I’m proud of my accomplishments (NYT bestselling author, two-time RITA® Award winner), but even prouder of my stories….

Hanna C. Howard | Author-Reader Match: IGNITE THE SUN
Author Guest / August 18, 2020

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Hanna C. Howard! Writes: Young Adult Fantasy: My debut novel, IGNITE THE SUN, is on sale everywhere on August 18! About: Thirty-something YA author seeks readers for her fairy-tale-esque fantasy novel which includes: a heroine morphing from insecure and afraid to bold and self-assured; an ensemble cast featuring a mage, an elf, a naiad, and a banshee; a cross-map journey; lots of elemental magic; a literal spin on the light and dark theme; a splash of romance; a witchy, heart-devouring bad gal. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Loves traditional fantasy (think Tolkien, Rowling, and C.S. Lewis) Is fond of curling up with a cup of tea and a book on dark, atmospheric days Falls for best friend/boy next-door type of heroes Wants to see personal growth in their heroine Likes a powerful, strong leading lady Has dealt with anxiety, depression, or SAD Likes being outdoors Goes for fast-paced action Enjoys a complex fantasy world with a unique magic…

Megan McCafferty | Title Challenge: THE MALL
Author Guest / July 28, 2020

T is for Throwback. This retro romp is for 90s-obsessed teens and nostalgic Gen Xers alike. H is for Hair. It’s New Jersey in 1991. Go big or go home for another can of Aqua Net. E is for Everything. The mall wasn’t just about shopping. It was the center of the universe for bored teens with limited spending money and unlimited time to waste. * M is for Mixtapes. The perfect songs in the perfect order reveals Cassie Worthy’s deepest, unspoken feelings for her summer crush “Sam Goody.” A is for Adventure. Drea Bellarosa lures Cassie into a Cabbage Patch Doll scavenger hunt. Do these ex best friends find the legendary hidden treasure…or something even more valuable? L is for Lycra. And spandex, shoulder pads, sequins and all the glitzy, over-the-top early-90s fashion trends sold at Bellarosa Boutique. L is for Letting Go. Cassie ditches The Plan she’s worked toward her whole life–and her inhibitions–and discovers the Riot Grrrl within. THE MALL by Megan McCafferty New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall. The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally…

Alice Reeds | How I Write
Author Guest / June 5, 2020

A question I get a lot, and I’m certain most authors and writers do, is ‘how do you manage to write novels?’. Growing up and getting into books relatively late compared to my peers, I used to ask myself that very same question. While I could imagine how people wrote movies, considering they are usually somewhere between ninety and a hundred and twenty minutes long, I couldn’t figure out how people wrote books. How did they fill hundreds of pages with words and somehow also make all of it interesting, especially to new readers, by which I don’t necessarily mean kids but rather anyone who picks up a book for the first time properly in general or after a long break? After working on my writing for a little over eight years I think I have an idea of what it takes to write a novel-length story and the four most important building blocks you’ll need. Of course, there is a lot of other smaller factors, but these are the basics. Inspiration + Creativity + Skill + Determination/Endurance Without some kind of inspiration, no skill or determination or even creativity will be quite able to help you fill out fifty…

Rebekah L. Purdy | Author-Reader Match: WHERE THERE BE HUMANS
Author Guest / June 4, 2020

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Author-Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Rebekah L. Purdy! Writes: Rebekah writes Young Adult books—everything from contemporary to fantasy and everything in between. Where There Be Humans is about Ivy Archer, a half goblin, who more than anything wants to figure out who or what her mother is/was. She lives in a world where humans are fairytales and sometimes the real monsters aren’t what you’d expect. But she’ll soon realize some questions are best left unanswered, and not all adventures are like what she reads in her black-market books. About: Rebekah is a video game playing, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings memorabilia collecting, nerd, who writes Young Adult books. She is a mother, and also the proud owner of lots furbabies. She seeks readers who want to unite against the forces of evil and let goodness reign. You must bring your own swords and lightsabers to the battle (armor optional but strongly encouraged). What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: Must love B.A. heroines who can wield swords Must love loyal…

Leslie Lutz | Exclusive Interview: FRACTURED TIDE
Author Guest / May 7, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Leslie and congrats on your debut! Please tell us about yourself and your new book, FRACTURED TIDE. Thanks for having me! FRACTURED TIDE is the story of an ill-fated scuba charter that lands the protagonist–master diver Sia–on a mysterious, time-bending island. The situation is complicated by one of the other survivors, her seven-year-old brother, a kid who needs a lot of hand-holding. Then there’s the hot guy who’s marooned there with her. . . and his ex-girlfriend. Yeah, it gets complicated. When they find a flooded sinkhole in the middle of the island, Sia realizes she has to go down into the darkness to help them discover the secrets of the island and find a way home. When I started this story, I was inspired by my diving trips, but I also dug into my experiences as a volunteer teacher at the Atlanta Women’s prison. On my first day in the classroom, I was holding onto a lot of stereotypes about prisoners (they’re pretty much all wrong). TV and movies paint the incarcerated parent as either totally evil or completely innocent. I wanted to tell a more realistic story, so I gave Sia a positive but…

Jessica Pennington | 20 Questions: MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT
Author Guest / April 10, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  Meet Me At Midnight 2–What is it about?  They have a love-hate relationship with summer. Sidney and Asher should have clicked. Two star swimmers forced to spend their summers on a lake together sounds like the perfect match. But it’s the same every year—in between cookouts and boat rides and family-imposed bonfires, Sidney and Asher spend the dog days of summer finding the ultimate ways to prank each other. And now, after their senior year, they’re determined to make it the most epic summer yet. But their plans are thrown in sudden jeopardy when their feud causes their families to be kicked out of their beloved lake houses. Once in their new accommodations, Sidney expects the prank war to continue as usual. But then she gets a note—Meet me at midnight. And Asher has a proposition for her: join forces for one last summer of epic pranks, against a shared enemy—the woman who kicked them out. Their truce should make things simpler, but six years of tormenting one another isn’t so easy to ignore. Kind of like the undeniable attraction growing between them. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Sidney is a lot of things,…