Lydia Dare | I’ll Take Two Happily Ever Afters Please?
Author Guest / March 31, 2010

Have you ever been to a bar and ordered a “sex on the beach”? (It’s a combination of schnapps, vodka and juices, if you’re not familiar with it.) Or a “between the sheets”? (Brandy, run and some other things that escape me at the moment.) Then there’s the famous “screaming orgasm.” (I just made myself blush, in case you’re curious.) Here’s my question for you – have you ever seen anyone smack the table, wink at you and ask for two “happy every afters?” Probably not. Mainly because a happy-every-after isn’t scandalous enough to make an innocent blush or a rake chuckle. It’s not fodder for the rumor mill nor is it something that will make you wake up sweating during the night. If it was on the menu, would you order it? Thank goodness it is, right in the pages of a book. I can find a happy-ever-after winking at me from the bookshelf any day of the week. There are other choices to suit my mood, of course. When I’m feeling anxious, I might want to go for a crime novel. When I’m feeling unsettled, I might like to read a book about a mom who takes a…

Fresh Pick | O, JULIET by Robin Maxwell
Fresh Pick / March 31, 2010

February 2010On Sale: February 2, 2010Featuring: Juliet Capelletti352 pages ISBN: 0451229150EAN: 9780451229151Trade Size$15.00 Historical Buy at Amazon.com O, Julietby Robin Maxwell “One of the queens of historical fiction” offers a new take on the mesmerizing young woman and poetess who inspired Shakespeare’s most famous female character. Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father’s business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that knows not the bounds of her great family’s stalwart keep. The latter path is hers for the taking when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars. The breathless intrigue that ensues is the stuff of beloved legend. But those familiar with Shakespeare’s muse know only half the story… Previous Picks Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Amelia Grey | One Liners That Stick With You
Author Guest / March 30, 2010

Good morning! I’m very happy to be with you at Fresh Fiction today. Thank you for having me here. Just a week or so ago I was reading over some old letters from my sister and one of them ended with, “May the force be with you.” I started laughing. I had not thought about that line from Star Wars in years. But it started me thinking about great one-liners I remembered from movies and books and I said, “Oh, I must blog about them!” Are any of you old enough to remember Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry Series and his famous, “Go ahead, make my day,” line? I think he is also the one who said, “Do you feel lucky?” I have to smile about that one! Do you remember Star Trek’s “Beam me up, Scottie.” Another favorite one-liner of mine is Love Story with Ali McGraw saying, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” A more recent quote that is often mangled and misquoted to the point of being humorous is Jack Nicholson’s line from A Few Good Men,”You can’t handle the truth!” I love them all. There are some great lines from books, too. Probably two of…

Fresh Pick | THE QUEEN’S LOVER by Vanora Bennett
Fresh Pick / March 30, 2010

March 2010On Sale: March 16, 2010Featuring: Catherine de Valois; Owain Tudor; Christine de Pizan592 pages ISBN: 0061689866EAN: 9780061689864Hardcover$25.99 Historical Buy at Amazon.com The Queen’s Loverby Vanora Bennett A sweeping tale of romance and political maneuvering in an age where women — especially queens – were only allowed peripheral roles. Before the Tudors could rise to power, Catherine de Valois became Queen of two countries by making her own rules Catherine de Valois, daughter of the French king Charles VI, is born into troubled times. Though she is brought up in a royal court, it is a stormy and unstable environment. Before she is out of her teens, Catherine is married off to England’s Henry V as part of a treaty honoring his victory over France. She is terrified at the idea of being married to a man who is a foreigner, an enemy, and a rough soldier, and is forced to leave her home for England. Within two years she is widowed, and mother to the future King of England and France—even though her brother has laid claim to the French crown for himself. Caught between warring factions of her own family and under threat by the powerful lords of…

Gwyn Cready | What Inspires My Time Travel Love
Uncategorized / March 29, 2010

Hi, everyone. Thanks for having me here to blog today. I’ve also been getting a lot of questions about what inspires me about time travel as well as the painter aspects of my new release, Flirting with Forever, so I thought I take some time to address both those things, and if you hang on until the end, I’ll have some news about a pretty nice contest. One hint ladies: shoes. First, time travel. My friend theorizes I am a time traveler, that I leave this world when I sleep to visit another time, which is why certain times (late 17th/early 18th centuries) appeal to me more than others. Could be true. My mind is open to such possibilities, but personally I think Jamie Fraser made such an impression on me I couldn’t let go : ) All I can tell you is I’ve always been fascinated with the interesting possibilities and conflict that time travel sets up in a story. Back to the Future is sort of like the basic textbook on that for me. I guess I watched it at an impressionable age, but there you have it. In fact, I was just at a lecture this week…

Fresh Pick | THE ROSE OF SEBASTOPOL by Katharine McMahon
Fresh Pick / March 29, 2010

February 2010On Sale: February 2, 2010Featuring: Rosa Barr416 pages ISBN: 0425232220EAN: 9780425232224Trade Size$15.00 Historical Buy at Amazon.com The Rose Of Sebastopolby Katharine McMahon The #1 international bestseller about love, war and betrayal from the author of The Alchemist’s Daughter In 1854, adventurous Rosa Barr travels to the Crimean battlefield with Florence Nightingale’s nursing corps. For Mariella Lingwood, Rosa’s cousin, the war is contained within the letters she receives from her fiancé, Henry, a celebrated surgeon who also has volunteered to work in the shadow of the guns. When Henry falls ill, Mariella impulsively takes an epic journey to the ravaged landscape of the Crimea and the tragic city of Sebastopol. What she finds there, as her world beings to crumble, is that she has much to learn about secrecy, faithfulness, and love… Excerpt Italy, 1855 We arrived in Narni late on a Sunday evening. Although the door to the Hotel Fina was locked the driver roused a servant who stumbled out with creased shirt tails, brought in our luggage and showed us to a bedroom that smelled of unwashed feet. Nora took away my cloak and bonnet, then I snuffed the candles and lay down. A man was shouting in…

Leverage CON-con Day Three — The Girls, The Guys, and the Stairwells.
Uncategorized / March 28, 2010

When I last left my blog post, I was on my way to the Saturday evening banquet of the first official Leverage CON-con convention in Portland, OR. It was in the same large ballroom at the Governor Hotel as the cocktail party had been. Lots of round tables with lots of chairs encircling them, white table cloths and even whiter cloth napkins. I found my Browncoat/Firefly Fan friends and we were joined by a couple from LA and a mother and her two teenage daughters. When signaled, your table could go to either side of the room and take your dinner from the buffet tables that had been set up. Salad, pasta, chicken, fish or beef – your choice. I have been to less than five hotel banquets in my life, so far, and can say that Jake’s Catering has by far the best food. Amazon.com Widgets Andy Lange and his band performed, as did Storm Large. I like Andy’s music and picked up his CD from the dealer’s room – his song “Not Sure Yet” is featured at the end of the Leverage Season 2 episode “The Beantown Bailout Job”. I think Storm has an incredible voice, but I’m…

Fresh Pick | THE STOLEN CROWN by Susan Higginbotham
Fresh Pick / March 28, 2010

March 2010On Sale: March 1, 2010Featuring: Katherine Woodville400 pages ISBN: 1402237669EAN: 9781402237669Paperback$14.99 Historical Buy at Amazon.com The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham The Secret Marriage That Forever Changed The Fate Of England On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything—for Kate and for England. Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth’s two young princes, but Richard’s own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties… Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly evil—or wholly good. Excerpt As I stood there, at a loss for words and sensing that I had somehow done a Bad Thing, the groom turned and stood, making me gasp. He was tall—well over six feet—and dazzlingly handsome, with hair of a rich brown. Small, sallow, and of middling appearance, I was none of those things, and I averted my eyes as if…

SANDI SHILHANEK | SURPRISE SURPRISE
Sundays with Sandi / March 28, 2010

It’s time to reveal another secret about me. I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice or any of the other works of Jane Austen. I feel somewhat embarrassed about this, as my younger son had to read it as a high school assignment when he was a junior. He would never admit it, but I think he liked it more than he wants people to believe. This makes me think I really need to move it up in my TBR pile for sure. Ok…so I’m obviously not much into classics, but what about new contemporary romances? I recently checked out the RITA finalists and discovered that out of 12 categories and approximately 100 titles I’ve read Dirty Sexy Knitting, Lakeshore Christmas, Fireside, and Promises in Death. Several titles such as Red’s Hot Honky Tonk Bar and The Lost Recipe for Happiness are in my TBR and will eventually get read, but when is a really good question. Is there a classic, a romance, a mystery or some other genre that has a specific title that people are surprised that you haven’t read? What is it? Do you have plans to read it or just let it remain forever unread? Until next…

Sara Reyes | Best Tea Etiquette in Three Easy Steps
Saturdays with Sara / March 27, 2010

One of the burdens of being a coordinator for a book club that meets for a high tea is doing the research. Yes, the research of trying out new tea rooms or houses or restaurants touting their tea service. It’s a glamorous life you’d think but unfortunately because you can spell “tea” it doesn’t mean you can serve a “tea” I’ve found. Plus there is a price point that must be met as well. Our DFW Tea members have been meeting since 1995 and they, as I, have become very particular. There is nothing wrong with our tastes or our requirement that a tea shop delivers a great solid high tea. After all, we have a tea every month, it’s sometimes the highlight of our week, we enjoy meeting fellow members and author guests and we have FUN! This week I tried out a new tea room by attending a class on tea etiquette. Even though I’ve gone to teas for a few decades it never hurts to learn the etiquette or see what I’m doing right (or wrong in case I stray from the rules). Our instructor Cindy was a true conessieur of tea drinking and gave us a…