Tara Taylor Quinn | Black and White; Right or Wrong; You Tell Me
Uncategorized / June 30, 2008

My favorite colors are…non-colors. And that’s so me. So TTQ. I’ve never been a joiner. Hard to believe from someone who was president of a large writer’s organization, huh? You’d think a person had to be part of the ‘in’ crowd to get to such an elevated position. Except that the position wasn’t elevated, and when I entered the board room for my first term of service, I didn’t know anyone well. And only two people by name. I hadn’t run for office, and had no idea how the current president had ever heard of me or why she thought I was the one she wanted to appoint to a vacated position. After eight years of service, I came away knowing a lot more names, but only a handful of people personally. It’s not that I like being alone. Or that I don’t want friends. I’ve just always been alone. I grew up with my nose in a book. Literally. By the time I was fourteen, I was reading a Harlequin romance a day. Throughout high school I attended class, did my homework, worked in the nursery at a bowling alley and then at Wendy’s, and I lived for those…

Meri Weiss | CLOSER TO FINE
Uncategorized / June 27, 2008

June 24, 2008, the release date of my debut novel, CLOSER TO FINE, has now come and gone. The birthing process is over—the novel can now live its own life (hopefully a long one). I have seen my book—my words, my ideas, my characters—in bookstores, and never have I felt such satisfaction. I feel nervous and anxious as well—I want others to read my book, to love my characters the way I do—but mostly I am just proud of myself. Publishing a book is an arduous process—one’s ego must be displaced, and one’s self-confidence must remain steadfast, despite the incredible odds of actually seeing one’s book picked up by an agent, sold to a publisher, worked over by an editor and then successfully launched into the land of commercial fiction. I was fortunate to find a terrific agent and a fantastic editor, both of whom suggested minor changes that significantly improved my novel. I was, and am, lucky in general; the odds of publishing a book these days are slim. I also possess a cadre of friends who, along with my family, have supported my grass-roots efforts to publicize the book, which is, of course, the last and hardest part…

Yasmine Galenorn | Things That Go Bump In The Night & Other Delights
Guests / June 26, 2008

From the time I was a little girl, I was terrified of the house I grew up in because I knew it was haunted—by what I couldn’t say, but a malign energy tainted that house. It didn’t help matters that I’ve always been somewhat psychic. I could always sense whatever was there watching me. To this day, that house shows up in my nightmares and in my nightmares, it’s usually filled with tens of thousands of spiders (I’m arachophobic) and I wake up screaming. Granted, I had a lot of serious baggage to deal with in childhood, but the house stands out in my mind as the ‘haunted house on the hill’ even though it was smack in the middle of a lower-class suburb. Scared of the house or not, that didn’t detour me from falling in love in love with the paranormal, and from becoming a total fantasy/SF freak. When I was five years old, I stumbled over Dark Shadows and went nuts over it. I’m not certain why my mother let me watch a vampire soap opera but wouldn’t let me watch ‘the man with the funny ears’ (Spock, on Star Trek, which started the same year). I…

Jenna Petersen | Accidentally Dark: Or I Didn’t Mean to Make Him Alpha
Romance / June 25, 2008

I am funny. Okay, I may not be stand-on-a-stage-do-The-Last-Comic-Standing funny, but I can tell a funny story and I have a quirky sense of humor. I really like to laugh and I am silly more often than I care to admit in a public forum. When people meet me and they find out what I do, they often assume that I write light-hearted romantic comedies with a sarcastic sense of humor that matches my life “voice”. They are wrong. No, I don’t write romps. I don’t do slapstick. I can’t tell funny to save my life. Instead, I write highly sensual, intensely emotional, dark historical romances set in the Regency period for Avon Books and Avon Red (erotic romances, those are written as Jess Michaels). People emailed me after my debut, Scandalous, came out in October 2005 and told me I made them cry. And I was happy about it! So how did this happen? How did I go from being a reasonably happy person with a high sense of the absurd and the amusing to writing super dark romance? I tell you what, I blame the men. That’s right, it’s not my fault, it’s my heroes. You see, I…

Jill Marie Landis | Celebrate Every Day!
Uncategorized / June 24, 2008

Aloha to all of you readers out there in cyberspace. How exciting to be back on the Fresh Fiction Blog and in such good company. This month I have plenty to celebrate. HOMECOMING, my first book for Steeple Hill, will go on sale today. Set in the 1870’s, it’s the story of a young woman who is “rescued” from the Comanche clan that abducted her as a child. She has no memory of her past when she is taken in by Hattie Ellenberg, a woman who has suffered at the hands of the Comanche herself. Joe Ellenberg is Hattie’s son. He’s a man who has lost his faith and his hope for the future—until this lovely young woman searching to know “Who am I? Where do I belong?” comes into his life. It’s a book I truly enjoyed writing, even though I began with a little trepidation. I’ve never written an inspirational before and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to achieve the goal I was going for: a page-turner filled with emotion, tension and characters readers would remember long after the last page was read. So, when I finished, I gave the book to two friends and fellow writers…

C. C. Harrison | Strong Women
Uncategorized / June 23, 2008

I admire strong women, don’t you? I’m not talking about famous women who have made important world changing contributions to science, literature, medicine or other areas of our culture. I’m talking about the young women of today who set goals, plan their lives, and make intelligent decisions for themselves. Women like Amanda, Tricia and Melissa, the three college students who were with me on the Navajo Indian Reservation as VISTA volunteers. They were smart and sharp, knew what they wanted, and deliberately set out to get it. But I’m also talking about fictional women. My favorite is Scarlett O’Hara. I read GONE WITH THE WIND scads of years ago, but I will never forget the feeling of empowerment that came over me when time after time, Scarlett stood firm and met seemingly impossible challenges while everyone around her was going to pieces. Remember when she stood in that weather-ravaged potato field swearing she would never go hungry again? It gives me a thrill even now. And I loved all the fictional heroines of those wonderful gothic novels of the seventies written by fabulous authors like Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Norah Lofts, and Phyllis Whitney. When the women in their stories…

Janet Evanovich … the FEARLESS FOURTEEN Signing
Uncategorized / June 21, 2008

Janet Evanovich and SandiOriginally uploaded by freshfiction DFW Tea does group activities … such as dinner together and a signing excursion. Last night we did dinner at Macaroni Grill followed by the Fearless Fourteen signing in Plano at the Barnes and Noble. Early Friday I commissioned my husband to pick up enough tickets for eight books during his morning run as the Janet Evanovich signing was a ticketed event and gas is expensive — don’t you love the comment (NOT!!!). He wasn’t sure what to expect when he told me the bookstore people informed him to be there by 8pm to get in line! Standing in line for a book is not something he’s fond of doing and will only perform under duress. I’d say stress as well, but that is what I’ll suffer if I make him “do his part.” I reassured him it was for the book club and he was welcome to come along, it would be fun. He declined politely. Having a timed ticket meant we could enjoy a leisurely dinner at the Mac Grill next to the B&N as long as we started at 6pm. Which worked out perfectly. Enjoying dinner with dessert then off…

The Reader and the Book Club…
Uncategorized / June 20, 2008

Book clubs are HOT HOT HOT now and I know why! If you find a good one, it’s more than just a time to discuss books and find reading “soul mates.” It can be a time just for “me” when I can rattle on about a loved book, rant about the waste of paper for another, or marvel over the world created by a talented author’s imagination and skill. Being part of a “club” gives me companions to go to a book signing or just the reassurance a series will continue. The power of group thought outweighs all those other publishing business strategies. My favorite part about being a member of a book club is when we can all get together–over a great cocktail–and talk about what our favorite books of the past month have been. We do our book club a little bit differently than your usual Oprah book club. Instead of everyone being assigned a mandatory book, we each read what we like and “swap” books over tea or dinner. Doing it this way allows everyone to learn about a hot new author, or even rediscover an old friend. Either way, everyone always leaves our meetings with arms…

Tony Eldridge | The Great Equalizer
Uncategorized / June 19, 2008

I stumbled upon Fresh Fiction from the recommendation of a friend who loves the site. As I began surfing, I thought to myself, “Wow, we have come so far as authors and readers.” It hasn’t been too long since the only places you could find good books were in the bookstores and in the libraries. That meant that a lot of great books could never be found or read by readers. Why? Simply because of the limited resources needed to make the books available. Can you imagine walking into a bookstore and having to walk through a small sky scraper in order to browse every book available? Neither time nor money exist for something like that. Besides, there is something cozy about visiting a library or bookstore with a cup of coffee or tea in hand to browse through your favorite genre for a couple of hours. Can you imagine having to schedule your two-week vacation to do just that if every book ever written was available to you in a bookstore? But the internet has broken through the barriers to make that happen. It has become “The Great Equalizer”. As readers, we have access to books that would never…

Cindi Myers | Research and The Writer
Romance / June 18, 2008

I started my career writing historical romances for Berkley and Kensington, under the name Cynthia Sterling. I’m a history buff and I loved researching the backgrounds for my books — figuring out what kind of clothes everyone wore, what they ate and what they did for entertainment. Those kinds of details are why I love reading historical novels as well. Then I switched to writing contemporary romance. I thought this would require much less research, so I was shocked to find out I was wrong. Yes, I seldom have to look up specific historical detail, but if I send my hero and heroine to a restaurant for a meal, I end up browsing menus of real restaurants for ideas. Many of my books are set in real cities. For example, my current release, A Soldier Comes Home, from Harlequin Superromance, is set in Colorado Springs. Many times while writing that book, I pulled out a map to find the name of a street or location of a landmark so that I could describe it accurately. While you can get away with fudging minor details in a historical novel, it’s much tougher to fake it in a contemporary book. Too many…