Lisa Dale | What Inspires You?
Uncategorized / July 31, 2009

Many people ask me where I get my ideas for my books. Sometimes, there’s no other answer except that inspiration falls into my lap like a star falls from the sky. For example, on the night that I got “the call” from my agent that my first book, SIMPLE WISHES, would be published, I couldn’t fall asleep. I sat on the couch in my little apartment, and since there was nothing to do, I just turned on the television and vegged out until the wee hours. As I was watching the Discovery channel, a show came on about meteorite hunters—folks who collect and then sell meteorites. It was like I got struck by lightning. I knew then and there that the hero in my next book would be a hunter of meteorites. I’ve always had a thing for nerd guys. The end result was that in my new book, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, which comes out in late October, the hero is a sexy, science geek type. The book is about two sisters who own a wildflower farm in Vermont. Lana Biel longs to leave Vermont so she can travel and see the world. And her sister Karin wants nothing…

Laura Caldwell |A New Trilogy
Uncategorized / July 30, 2009

This summer, my publisher, MIRA, put out my new trilogy—Red Hot Lies, Red Blooded Murder, and Red, White & Dead—back to back to back. Meaning, the first one came out in June, the second in July and the third on August 1. It’s tricky enough to promote one book (in a market where book reviews and articles are declining), so we assumed it would be even trickier to try and promote three. Actually the opposite has been true. My publicist, Tom, is a former newspaper man with a southern drawl that drips over his always-kind words. When a magazine tells him, “Oh, sorry, we won’t be able to cover Red Hot Lies in our July magazine. We already put the issue to bed,” he says in that sweet voice, “Ah, don’t worry about it. We’ve got two more books in the series. I’ll send ‘em out to you.” Another amazing thing about a quick release trilogy is reader feedback. I get to hear what readers think about the love interests in the book. I get to find out whether they’re satisfied with the ending, what they’d like to see in the next book and the next. And I get to…

Daniel Silva signing THE DEFECTOR
Guests / July 29, 2009

Daniel Silva signing THE DEFECTOROriginally uploaded by freshfiction Photo collection from the Daniel Silva signing in Dallas. Check them out and watch for a special contest in August to win the copy of THE DEFECTOR Daniel signed to a “Fresh Fiction Fan!” Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Robyn DeHart | What’s in a love scene?
Uncategorized / July 29, 2009

In its various forms, love scenes are probably one of the most discussed topics at romance writers’ conferences. Love scenes are an integral part of romance writing yet for some writers the thought of writing one can strike the same amount of fear as the dreaded synopsis. I can’t tell you there is no reason to be afraid, sex, unlike synopses, can actually have fearful roots. But I can tell you that there was a time when I found writing love scenes to be rather uncomfortable, yet now they tend to be one of my favorite scenes to write. My journey through them isn’t important, and frankly I’m not sure why everything has changed, so I can’t offer you a step-by-step guide. I can tell you that the first one I wrote (many years ago now), I just typed as fast as I could to get through it as quickly as possible. When I re-read it, it was riddled with clichés and purple prose and had zero emotion. Needless to say it needed a lot of work. The first step to writing love scenes (okay, so I lied, apparently I am giving you a step-by-step guide) is to ignore those…

Hank Phillippi Ryan | A Mother-Daughter Love Story–EVENTUALLY.
Uncategorized / July 28, 2009

Do you get along with your mothers? Do you get along with your daughters? I know you’re speaking the same language—but how well do you understand each other? I know I’m all grown up—I’m a veteran TV reporter with 26 Emmys–but there’s still part of me that turns into a little girl when I’m around Mom. And I want to please her. But it’s not always easy. When she first started reading FACE TIME, the newest Charlotte McNally Mystery? She was not pleased. At all. She called me—I’m in Boston and she’s home in the Midwest. I could tell, instantly, it was not going to be a fun conversation. You have to imagine the "Mom" tone. Perhaps, you’ve heard it. Maybe you’ve used it a time or two yourself. Turns out, Mom was unhappy with FACE TIME. Very, very unhappy. To be sure: Mom is terrific. She’s just over 80, and is absolutely beautiful. An artist, a reader, a wonderful intellect. (She doesn’t have a computer, so she’s not reading this.) I’m her oldest daughter, and any psychologist will tell you that can cause some friction. So anyway. Why was Mom mad? She thinks I’ve “used her for art.” It’s…

Susan Crandall | For the Love of a Small Town   
Uncategorized / July 27, 2009

As some of you may already know, I live in the same small Indiana town in which I was born and grew up. Sound like a Mellencamp song? Well, he’s from Indiana, too. I even remember when he was Johnny Cougar. But I digress. It isn’t that I’ve never lived anywhere else. For several years I lived in the Chicago area. But my heart brought me back to Noblesville. This is where I wanted to raise my family. However, while I was away fighting the traffic and the crowds of the city, something happened to the town I left behind. It inched closer to being a suburb. There is still enough farmland in my county to produce a great county 4-H fair. It’s one of the few things that have remained constant throughout my life here. Unfortunately, I missed seeing the baby chicks and ducks and pigmy goats this year because I was out of town. I’ll have to wait an entire year before I can experience it again. I’ve mourned the loss of my small town, but tonight I caught a glimpse of how it used to be. Tonight there was a street dance on the square – a…

Sandi Shilhanek | I Wonder Whatever Happened to…
Sundays with Sandi / July 26, 2009

The other day I found myself thinking about people I’ve known in my life and haven’t seen for awhile. I got to wondering what they were doing now, and how their lives have changed, and whether or not we would still enjoy spending time together. Taking that thought and extending it to the books I’ve read over the years I’m wondering what might have happened to the Mackenzie family from Linda Howard, or the MacGregor Family from Nora Roberts. Both these families have older generations who if they were to be continued today would have to have died off. How would we as readers feel about losing a beloved character? Probably not very happy, which is why we don’t have updates, but like finding out a once dear friend has passed away wouldn’t we grieve and move on in order to find out what newer generations of these families are doing? I know I’ve mentioned two much loved families, but who are some characters that made an impression on you that you would like to see today and see if as your life has changed, and their lives have changed would you still love them? Until next week happy page…

Marsha Altman | The Plight of the Darcy Brothers
Uncategorized / July 24, 2009

My name is Marsha Altman, and I’ve written The Plight of the Darcy Brothers, a sequel to The Darcys and the Bingleys. If you have not read the first book, you can pick up the second, as what happened in the first book is pretty self-explanatory (after the second book, it becomes more difficult). I’ve been a romance writer for … well, okay, this is my second book that could loosely be categorized as romance, though I do say that loosely because there are no men with partially-exposed chests on the cover. It will probably hurt sales but it’s a good way to go in historical fiction. Jane Austen, even though she primarily wrote about romantic issues like marriage and … getting married …, wrote a lot about marriage is all I’m saying, and it was romantic, but it wasn’t romance. It was contemporary fiction. She was writing about the world she lived in, and now when we write about the world she lived in, we’re writing historical fiction, or historical romance.Categories in publishing are confusing and mostly about shelf placement. Let’s move on. The title may appear perplexing to some people upon closer inspection because, as anyone who has…

Krista Davis | Everyone Loves A Wedding
Uncategorized / July 23, 2009

Writing about domestic divas, Sophie Winston and her rival, Natasha, is always fun, but for my most recent book, I had the pleasure of planning an entire wedding without having to pay for it. Weddings used to be somewhat uniform. We expected the frou-frou bridesmaids’ dresses that would never be worn again, with dyed to match shoes, no less. The white cake was topped with a plastic bridal couple or flowers, and after a reception or dinner with dancing, the happy couple left for their honeymoon. Today, brides face a staggering variety of choices. Cakes are topped with rhinestone studded initials, if there is a cake. Cupcake tiers are all the rage as an alternative. And wedding festivities don’t necessarily end with dinner anymore. Some couples arrange for a lounge with dancing and go on to a brunch in their honor before taking off. I was shocked to learn that some brides buy two wedding dresses so they can change between the ceremony and the reception. Of course, a lounge and dancing necessitate a third dress. In the Domestic Diva Mysteries, Sophie and Natasha write competing lifestyle advice columns. Their tips are included in the books, along with recipes. Sophie…

Kylie Brant | Making a Living
Uncategorized / July 22, 2009

I love being a writer. At least, most of the time. But occasionally there are days like today, when the words won’t come and everything I do manage to get on the page sounds like it was produced by an illiterate nine-year-old. Today my love for writing seems very far away. I begin to dream of other occupations. More rewarding ones. I become convinced that there has to be an easier way to make a living. So that train of thought takes over and distracts me from the cursor blinking so accusingly on the nearly blank page. Mentally I run through a list of possible job prospects. Maybe I can be a grocery store clerk. Nothing to think about except ringing up bananas and milk. Then I consider the fact that they’re on their feet all day. I’m stretched out on my chaise lounge with my laptop on my lap and a Diet Coke within reach. Cross grocery store clerk off my list. It might be interesting to run a dress shop, I muse, trying to avoid looking at that cursor. Is it possible for it to look smug? I could work with pretty clothes all day, and those employee…