Kate St. James | "Good Vibrations" & The Power of Goals
Uncategorized / December 31, 2007

“Good Vibrations” in Red Sage Secrets Volume 21: Primal Heat is my first erotic romance novella. I had a blast writing it, and I’m thrilled to share the story with readers. My heroine, Lexi O’Brien, is funny and practical and dead-set on her goals. She’s about to give notice at her quirky aunt’s love shop where she works so she can enter a competitive MBA program. In the past, mixing her studies with dating has caused Lexi’s grades to suffer, so she’s decided to remain celibate for the next two looooooooong years. Then Gage Templeton, her favorite out-of-customer, shows up as she’s about to close shop for the night. Lexi realizes this might be her last chance to see him…and her last chance for some hot loving before she straps on her chastity belt. So she does what any bright girl in her position would do–she modifies her goals. Lexi’s new goal is to share one wild weekend with Gage and then go merrily on her way. However, Gage has other ideas. Unknown to Lexi, he was raised in her city and is moving home. He has no intention of settling for a short-term affair. So…Lexi’s plans are turned upside-down….

Lynsay Sands | Boxing Day
Uncategorized / December 28, 2007

Right about now you must all be breathing a heavy sigh of relief that Christmas is over and life for the most part–well other than New Years– will get back to normal. Truly, Christmas is a lovely holiday, giving us the chance to spend time with family and—at least for me—visit with cousins and relatives who I only see two or three times a year (and I have great family so I love that.) But boy! Three days of non-stop visiting and eating and unwrapping gifts is very exhausting, don’t you think? I do. I’m about ready to drop. And don’t even mention the Boxing day sales. Holy cow!! People get crazy grumpy out there on their hunts for bargains. It’s a very serious business that bargain shopping stuff. Do not get between another man or woman and their sale item. You could be placing your life at risk. And watch yourselves in the parking lots too! We saw an accident happen right in front of us. A fellow backed his pick up out of his parking spot and right into a car that had stopped to let another car get out of the way. I thought the drivers would…

Sherry Thomas | A very fine setting
Romance / December 27, 2007

After a voracious romance reader had read an advance copy of my debut historical romance, Private Arrangements, she emailed and told me that she loved the book, but being a devotee of the Regency era, she was surprised at how different and modern the turn-of-the-century setting felt. So when Fresh Fiction asked me to guest blog, I immediately thought of a whirlwind introduction to my favorite era for readers who might be unfamiliar with it.La Belle Époque, aka fin de siècle, aka the (more loosely defined) Edwardian era, refers to a time period that comprises the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the first fourteen years of the twentieth century, until the outbreak of World War I. Victoria still reigned in the 1890s, the decade in which both of my first two books are set. But oh what a different world she lived in from when she’d first ascended the throne. Early in the nineteenth century, travel was still slow and laborious. But by the end of the century, you could cross the Atlantic in less than a week. And then, make the trip from London to Edinburgh in eight-and-half hours on the Scotch Special Express (later renamed…

Louisa Burton | BOUND IN MOONLIGHT
Romance / December 26, 2007

It’s December 26, Boxing Day, one of my all-time favorite holidays. Not that I know what it’s about—I looked it up in Wikipedia and I still don’t get it—but because it marks the winding down of the annual Chrismahanukwanzakah Festivity Vortex. Much as I love the holidays, this time of year tends to make me just a little bit tense. It always seems like there’s a whole lot more stuff to do than I have time for in my already harried life, and I have to admit to a sigh of relief when it’s all over but for New Year’s—which, in our upstate New York household, means champagne and cigars with our closest pals as we huddle under afghans in the “smoking lounge” (our screened-in back deck) until the wee hours. My favorite night of the year. But back to Boxing Day. This year, there’s another reason to love it, and that’s because it’s the release date for Bound in Moonlight, the second book in my Hidden Grotto series. You can’t miss it in the bookstores—it’s the trade paperback with the bright, shiny gold cover and an oval inset of Bouguereau’s Evening Mood, a romantic Victorian masterpiece. I’ve posted this…

Busy Busy Busy… stop and read a book?
Guests / December 25, 2007

As usual, I never had as much time as I expected to prepare for the holidays so it doesn’t come as a HUGE surprise I’m still writing a holiday letter — or to be honest, I just gave up on it. Trust me, you would have found it boring. And 11pm on Christmas Eve is a bit late to be creative. I still have presents to wrap. But Faye said I had to blog on Christmas and so I’ll need to come up with something. I gave up on pithy and witty and I’m stuck with mundane. At book club this is the point we go around the room and talk about the best (or worst) book read this month. So I think I’ll just go with books I discovered in the past two months. One of the things I try to do is to read the books by an author who is either coming to town for a signing or is a book club guest. After all it’s really rude to not at least taste a hostess’s cooking. You don’t have to like it, but you better take a bite to be polite. Unfortunately for my book budget (laughing),…

P.S. I Love You…
Uncategorized / December 24, 2007

This weekend I went to see P.S. I Love You starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler based on the book by Cecelia Ahern. I prepared myself all week for a tearjerker, and that is definitely what I got. However, I never expected to spend the entire length of the film crying. And when I say crying, I mean, having to bite my lip to keep myself from sobbing uncontrollably in a theater full of people I did not know. Not that I like to cry in theaters full of people I do know, but that is beside the point. This movie was overwhelmingly sad; and however enjoyable, put me in a somber mood for the rest of the day. Now, I’m normally one for a good melodrama, because honestly there is nothing better than hugging a pillow and a box of Puffs while watching Lana Turner or Bette Davis crumple into balls of insecurity and heartbreak to make you feel better about your own life and romantic situation. But today, P.S. I Love You just tore out my soul. The film revolves around Holly Kennedy (Swank) as she receives letters from her husband (Butler) throughout the first year of his…

Claudia Pemberton | "LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND" – A CREED OF HONOR AND INSPIRATION
Romance / December 21, 2007

First of all, I wish a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone who happens upon my blog. I’d also like to thank the folks at Fresh Fiction for being so gracious and supportive of my debut novel, “Love Leaves No One Behind.”I spent several hours contemplating on what my topic of choice would be for this golden opportunity to speak to such a large gathering of readers, and after some heated debating with myself, I decided to do what I do best …and that is to simply just start talking, and see what my heart has to say. A few years ago I decided to try my hand at writing. I knew that my endeavor would challenge my intellect (and most certainly my patience) but I had no idea of the impact it would have on my heart and soul. My story began, believe it or not, as the result of a dream … yes, an actual dream. I remember upon awakening, thinking what a great plot said dream would make for a novel. Convincing myself that attempting to write a book was a grand idea, I set about the daunting task of creating my characters…

Anna Jeffrey | SWEET RETURN
Uncategorized / December 20, 2007

SWEET RETURN was fun to write. I enjoy creating tough guys who get their comeuppance when they meet a strong woman. I have found that many tough guys might appear to be tough and rough on the outside, but they have gentle hearts. That’s the character I tried to present in the SWEET RETURN hero. Dalton is a man who has made an occupation of witnessing the worst of humanity, but he still had a good heart.The heroine, Joanna, manages to make a living self-employed in a small, rural community, a challenge all its own. I wanted to create a woman who could equal Dalton in strength of character and independence. I figured he could never be happy with a wimpy woman, just as she had never been able to find a successful relationship with a man weaker than she. So there you have it. As one reader put it, a hard-headed man and a strong-willed woman. At the same time I was creating this conflict-driven relationship, I tried to keep a light tone to the story. It struck me as humorous that Joanna would be engaged in 3 businesses as diverse as owning a beauty salon, owning a wholesale…

Brenda K. Jernigan | Christmas and Other Stuff
Romance / December 19, 2007

OK – I do have a new book out – Southern Seduction by Alexandria Scott, so I probably should talk about the book first. It’s what I call an old time romance. Remember the ones you read that made you sigh once you had finished because it gave you such a good feeling? Well that is what Southern Seduction is and yes I felt just that way when I finished reading the galley. Here is a short intro into the book. Between desire and surrender lies a new beginning – and that is just what Brooke Hammond has to do – start over. They didn’t start out to be whores. But sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way one plans, so you do what you must in order to survive. As Brooke Hammond, Shannon McKinley and Jocelyn Rutland stand at the ship’s rail; they smile at the new life that awaits them. It’s their chance to put the past behind them and start a new life. However when Brooke arrives at Moss Grove plantation she discovers a devilishly charming, infernally arrogant obstacle named Travis Montgomery, co-owner of her estate. So begins a contest of wits and will and winning the…

Melissa Walker | Violet on the Runway
Uncategorized / December 18, 2007

I’ve always been stuck in my teen years—and I love it. I’ll admit it: I loved high school. Okay, I didn’t love getting up at 7am for Chorus class or the emotional drama of liking the same guy as my BFF, but I did love my friends—still do—and I have lots of good memories. Please don’t hold it against me. Fast-forward college writing classes, and I found that I was still focusing on high school love, the most intense emotion I’d ever felt. 22-year-old crushes seemed more practical, more attainable—and somehow not as searing or sweet. Teen magazines became a way for me to re-live those years, and as I worked as an editor at ELLEgirl, I interviewed teenage actors, musicians and real girls who were doing amazing things. I felt so close to 17 again that I couldn’t believe they actually paid me! That’s why getting into the head of Violet, the main character in Violet on the Runway, was pure fun. I wanted to write about a real girl from a small town, one who had real insecurities and flaws, one who would go into this crazy, dark, beautiful world of fashion unsure of herself and come out…