Fresh Pick | CRYOBURN by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fresh Pick / February 28, 2011

Vorkosigan # November 2010 On Sale: November 2, 2010 Featuring: Miles Vorkosigan 400 pages ISBN: 1439133948 EAN: 9781439133941 Hardcover $25.00  Add to Wish List Science Fiction Buy at Amazon.com Going to moon and beyond, some human problems never change Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold Miles Vorkosigan is back! Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out. On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to re-write her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning Don’t mess with the secretary. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping—something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and…

Linda O. Johnston | Animals and Mystery Update
Author Guest / February 28, 2011

I last blogged at Fresh Fiction last September–about Animals, Novels and Me. I’m back. And I’m still at it–obsessing and writing about animals, that is. March 1 is the debut date for BEAGLEMANIA, the first in my new Pet Rescue Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. It’s a spinoff series from my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series. Yes, both series contain animals. So do my Harlequin Nocturnes about Alpha Force, a covert military unit of shapeshifters. The protagonist of my new Pet Rescue series is Lauren Vancouver. She was introduced in the eighth Kendra book, HOWL DEADLY, and she also appears in the ninth, FELINE FATALE. She is the head administrator of HotRescues, a no-kill private animal shelter in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. She doesn’t have to worry about funding, since HotRescues is under the auspices of Kendra’s new guy friend Dante DeFrancisco, who’s really rich. But she has plenty of other things to worry about. Worrying, and doing something about it, is at the heart of pet rescue. It’s also at the heart of being a protagonist in a cozy mystery series. When I tell you that, in the Pet Rescue Mysteries, “no-kill” means pets, not people… well, I’m…

Lois Winston | From Heroines To Reluctant Sleuths
Author Guest / February 27, 2011

Hi, everyone (sending a big cyber-wave!) I’m thrilled to be here and want to thank the Fresh Fiction gang for inviting me. Some of you might recognize me from the romance community. These days you’ll find my keyboard planted in the mystery world, thanks to a reluctant amateur sleuth named Anastasia Pollack. Anastasia took over my life and my writing and hasn’t let go, so I had no other choice but to write about her. ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, which debuted in January, is Anastasia’s story, but because there’s so much to tell, it’s also the first book in my new Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series. When I made the move from romance to mystery, I found I had to switch up my writing style. Romance readers and mystery readers have different expectations when it comes to their preferred genres. In a romance the story centers around the hero and heroine, but mysteries don’t have heroes and heroines. They have protagonists, whether amateur sleuths or law-enforcement professionals, and those protagonists may or may not have a love interest. If there is a love interest, the love story is subordinate to the mystery. Usually way subordinate, often only a…

Fresh Pick | THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES: THE FOUNDING OF FACEBOOK by Ben Mezrich
Fresh Pick / February 26, 2011

October 2010 On Sale: September 28, 2010 Featuring: Mark Zuckerberg; Eduardo Saverin 272 pages ISBN: 0307740986 EAN: 9780307740984 Paperback (reprint) $12.00 Add to Wish List Non-Fiction Biography, Fiction Media Tie-In Buy at Amazon.com 500 million friends has to mean something The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook by Ben Mezrich A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal “The Social Network, the much anticipated movie…adapted from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires.” —The New York Times Best friends Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg had spent many lonely nights looking for a way to stand out among Harvard University’s elite, comptetitive, and accomplished  student body. Then, in 2003, Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard’s computers, crashed  the campus network, almost got himself  expelled, and was inspired to create Facebook, the social networking site that has since revolutionized communication around the world. With Saverin’s funding their tiny start-up went from dorm room to Silicon Valley. But conflicting ideas about Facebook’s future transformed the friends into enemies. Soon, the undergraduate exuberance that marked their collaboration turned into out-and-out warfare as it fell prey to the adult world of venture capitalists, big money, lawyers. Excerpt Chapter 1 October 2003 It was probably the third cocktail that…

Lindsay McKenna | A Salute to Afghanistan, OPERATION FORBIDDEN
Author Guest / February 26, 2011

I have a great, personal love for the people of Afghanistan. Because I’m a GIA Colored Stones graduate, my hobby is creating beautiful gemstone necklaces, earrings and bracelets for my worldwide clientele. Every year I go to the Tucson Gem Show in Tucson, Arizona. It’s the world’s largest gem show! Nearly every country in the world flies in their lapidary items that are indigenous to their country to be sold to buyers like myself. There are thousands of buyers who flock to this stellar event. The Tucson Gem Show is so big that it’s not held in just one place. Rather, it is scattered all over Tucson at different venues, tents, motel/hotels. It’s the dim sum plate of the lapidary world. I love Lapis Lazuli, a dark blue stone that is indigenous to Afghanistan. Over the years, I have made friends with our dealers who come from that war torn country. These men are hospitable, kind and always offer to feed us when we come into their hotel room where they have their lapis on display. Afghans are some of the greatest ‘horse traders’ in the world, and I mean that as a compliment. This is a very poor country…

Fresh Pick | WINTER’S BONE by Daniel Woodrell
Fresh Pick / February 25, 2011

August 2006 On Sale: August 7, 2006 Featuring: Ree Dailey 208 pages ISBN: 031605755X EAN: 9780316057554 Hardcover $22.99 Add to Wish List Fiction Buy at Amazon.com Nominated for Best Picture OSCAR Academy Award-nominated for adapted screenplay Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell Meet Ree Dolly — not since Mattie Ross stormed her way through Arkansas in True Grit has a young girl so fiercely defended her loved ones. Sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly has grown up in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks and belongs to a large extended family. On a bitterly cold day, Ree, who takes care of her two younger brothers as well as her mother, learns that her father has skipped bail. If he fails to appear for his upcoming court date on charges of cooking crystal meth, his family will lose their house, the only security they have. Winter’s Bone is the story of Ree’s quest to bring her father back, alive or dead. Her goal had been to leave her messy world behind and join the army, where “everybody had to help keep things clean.” But her father’s disappearance forces her to first take on the outlaw world of the Dolly family. Ree’s plan is elemental and…

Susan Fox | It’s All About the Journey
Author Guest / February 25, 2011

I’m delighted to be at Fresh Fiction today and I look forward to chatting with readers. People who’ve read my books won’t be surprised to hear me say that, for me, it’s all about the characters. My plots only exist to send my characters on challenging emotional journeys where they confront deep insecurities and fears. If they’re to win love, they have to find the courage to do some growing. We writers call that “character arc.” Jenna, the heroine of my February release (chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the Top 10 Romances of Spring 2011!), is a woman I’ve known for a while. That’s because HIS, UNEXPECTEDLY is the third book in my sexy “planes, trains, automobiles, and a cruise ship” Wild Ride to Love series about the four Fallon sisters. I knew from the first book that Jenna, the third sister, is viewed by her family as a flaky eccentric, and that she sees herself as a free spirited butterfly who flits from place to place, job to job, and man to man as the mood strikes her. I knew that Jenna would need a very special kind of guy to make her consider commitment, and so…

Julia London | Q & A
Author Guest / February 24, 2011

Tell us a little bit about your newest novel, A LIGHT AT WINTER’S END. This is the third book set in Cedar Springs, following SUMMER OF TWO WISHES and ONE SEASON OF SUNSHINE. In this book, Hannah Drake has always done everything right: getting married, having a baby, caring for her mother in her final days, all the while performing impeccably in a high-level job. Her sister Holly Fisher is the college dropout, the one who works at a coffee shop and wants to be a songwriter. Then one day perfect Hannah suddenly—without explanation—leaves her baby with Holly and disappears. Holly takes little Mason to the empty family homestead, where she can stay while she figures out how to take care of a baby and what to do with this sudden change in her life. It is there she meets Wyatt Clark, a close-mouthed, handsome cowboy who is mysteriously good with babies. And then, just as Holly can no longer imagine her life without either Mason or Wyatt, Hannah returns for her son. Wyatt Clark was first introduced in SUMMER OF TWO WISHES, where his wife’s soldier husband literally came back from the dead, and she was forced to choose…

Fresh Pick | THE GHOST by Robert Harris
Fresh Pick / February 23, 2011

November 2007 On Sale: October 23, 2007 Featuring: Adam Lang 352 pages ISBN: 1416551816 EAN: 9781416551812 Hardcover $26.00 Add to Wish List Suspense, Fiction Buy at Amazon.com If you knew, would you tell? The Ghost by Robert Harris Adam Lang has been Britain’s longest serving and most controversial prime minister of the last half century. And now that he’s left office, he’s accepted one of history’s largest cash advances to compose a tell-all (or at least, tell-some) memoir of his life and years of power. As pressure mounts for Lang to complete this magnum opus, he hires a professional ghostwriter to finish the book. As he sets to work, the ghostwriter discovers many more secrets than Lang intends to reveal, secrets with the power to alter world politics, secrets with the power to kill. Excerpt ONE Of all the advantages that ghosting offers, one of the greatest must be the opportunity that you get to meet people of interest. Andrew Crofts, Ghostwriting THE MOMENT I HEARD how McAra died, I should have walked away. I can see that now. I should have said, “Rick, I’m sorry, this isn’t for me, I don’t like the sound of it,” finished my drink,…

Tiffany Ashley | Vampires, Werewolves and Fairies
Author Guest / February 23, 2011

I don’t know about the rest of you but I am tired of reading stories about vampires, werewolves and fairies. I realize the paranormal craze has reached new heights since the release of Meyer’s TWILIGHT series but I have to ask, how much is too much? Don’t get me wrong, I have purchased and enjoyed several new paranormal reads (Twilight being amongst them) but lately it seems I can’t walk into a bookstore or library without seeing an elaborate table display for books about vampires. It reminds me of when the Sex and the City HBO series first aired and everyone fell in love with Carrie’s fabulous lifestyle. Before you knew it, new TV shows were popping up on every major network about a single white female who lives in a thriving metropolis. When she is not on the search for true love, she manages to squeeze in enough time to write an article for the trendy magazine she freelances for. I’m sure you can think of a few shows that easily fit this criteria. My point is, when ‘the power that be’ see a formula that works, they will beat it into the ground. Thus … the flood of…