Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
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,…

Mary Cecilia Jackson | 20 Questions: SPARROW
Author Guest / March 20, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? Sparrow 2–What is it about?  Sparrow is the story of Savannah Darcy Rose (“Sparrow”), a gifted seventeen-year-old ballerina who suffers physical abuse at the hands of her boyfriend. It’s also about her friend and dance partner, Lucas, who serves as a second POV character. He’s been secretly in love with Sparrow for years and tries hard to be a strong ally for her, while facing a tragedy of his own. 3–What word best describes your protagonist?  Haunted 4–What is the most interesting thing you discovered about your protagonist while writing this book?  I knew that Sparrow would be filled with grief and despair after her boyfriend’s violent assault; what I also discovered was the depth and breadth of her rage. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? Sparrow’s lifelong creed has always been, “I am not the kind of girl who tells,” so she internalizes her fear and pain and refuses to admit to anyone that her boyfriend is hurting her, until it’s too late. Lucas confides in his mother and his friends, especially Delaney, who is Sparrow’s best friend. 6–What do you love about the setting…

Mayra Cuevas | Exclusive Excerpt: SALTY, BITTER, SWEET
Author Guest / February 28, 2020

Chapter 7 Of Love and Pies “So, Isa, dish out the details. What’s the deal with Diego?” Pippa asks. I shrug and bite into the best fraisier cake I’ve ever had. I chew slowly, hoping they’ll find something else to talk about—something that isn’t “the hot Spaniard.” It’s finally Friday. Week one in Chef Grattard’s kitchen has come and gone and all I have to show for it is a bandaged finger and spoon thirteen sitting at the bottom of the rack. Not exactly what I had in mind. To celebrate this grand accomplishment, Pippa invited us to Pâtisserie Lulu, her favorite spot in Lyon, where we’ve been sitting outside, watching people walk by on the street. The only good thing to came out of this week is my new uncanny ability to memorize Chef Troissant’s instructions. It turns out fear is a great motivator. Take yesterday, for example: she was teaching us about French cheeses and opened a wooden box containing a small wheel of Époisses de Bourgogne. It has a sticky orange rind and a smell reminiscent of sweaty gym socks and filthy barn animals that’s led to it being called the stinker of all cheeses. While everyone…

Laurie Boyle Crompton | Exclusive Excerpt: FREAKY IN FRESNO
Author Guest / February 7, 2020

from Chapter 5 of Freaky in Fresno: I crank the gearshift into park as the dust settles, and Lana and I simultaneously turn in our seats to face each other. Our eyes lock and the two of us embark on the most intense stare down of our lives. “Terrific car,” Jake says, reminding me he’s here. I just nod slowly in response without breaking eye contact with Lana. We stay focused on our no-blinking stare for so long that I can feel the lipstick on my cheek begin to melt and run liquid down my face. Eventually Jake mumbles some excuse about checking on Gwen and Brad and says, “A dark screen tomorrow night will mean everything we’ve worked for has been in vain.” I nod again, feeling like I’m already throwing everything away. But my deep anger toward Lana keeps me glued in place. Locked into our stare. Once Jake’s gone, I swear I hear a low growl emitting from my cousin’s throat. But I’m still the one in the driver’s seat. Cherishing the control I wield, I narrow my eyes at Lana and dance my fingers mockingly across the top of the steering wheel. I’m surprised to find…

Barb Han | 20 Questions: SELECTED
Author Guest / February 6, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release? SELECTED 2–What is it about? A teen who comes from nothing and finds herself at an amazing school with a golden ticket for the future. She quickly learns that nothing at the school is what is seems and falls for a guy who she isn’t sure she can trust. 3–What word best describes your heroine? Gifted. 4–What makes your hero irresistible? He’s superpopular but turns his back on his shallow friends to find something real in life, to find someone real. I love that quality in him. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? My main characters turn to their friends when they need help. They are also very self-reliant. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book? I loved playing around in the near future, like, twenty years ahead. I loved playing around with what society would look like if an overarching government broke down. And I loved setting a story in a make-believe prep school. There’s so much pressure on teens today that I think is captures at Easton Prep. 7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the…

Sara Wolf | Find Me Their Bones
Author Guest / November 8, 2019

Hey ya’ll! Sara Wolf here! I’m super psyched to write this for Fresh Fiction, mostly because they’re a. Awesome and b. It means FIND ME THEIR BONES is almost released to the world at large! Mostly, I wanted to talk about a super serious topic today. I think the question I get most – no matter where I go in the world – is ‘how do you write a book?’, followed quickly by ‘I could never write one’. It’s maybe the hardest question to answer, because I’m not entirely sure how I write a book, either. This might out me as a complete pantser (which isn’t bad!) but it also outs me as the sort of writer who doesn’t really think things through. I always tell people who ask this question ‘I write books because I have to’, and that’s true! When I was thirteen, I came to the horrible screeching revelation that magic wasn’t actually real. The sort of magic you see in books, that always sweeps some unsuspecting down-on-their-luck teenager away to another world. I realized that would never happen to me, and that I’d always been waiting for that to happen to me, and so I launched…