Fresh Pick | THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI by C.W. Gortner
Fresh Pick / July 31, 2011

June 2011 On Sale: May 24, 2011 Featuring: Henri; Catherine de Medici; Coligny 432 pages ISBN: 034550187X EAN: 9780345501875 Paperback $15.00  Add to Wish List Historical Buy at Amazon.com Best Historical Summer Reads The Confessions Of Catherine De Medici by C.W. Gortner The ambitious, gripping tale of one of history’s most notorious and misunderstood queens . . . The truth is, none of us are innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici in this brilliantly imagined novel about one of history’s most powerful and controversial women. To some she was the ruthless queen who led France into an era of savage violence. To others she was the passionate savior of the French monarchy. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner brings Catherine to life in her own voice, allowing us to enter into the intimate world of a woman whose determination to protect her family’s throne and realm plunged her into a lethal struggle for power. The last legitimate descendant of the illustrious Medici line, Catherine suffers the expulsion of her family from her native Florence and narrowly escapes death at the hands of an enraged mob. While still a teenager, she is betrothed to Henri, son…

Shea Berkley | They Aren’t Real
Author Guest / July 31, 2011

I was talking to my critique partner the other day, discussing my characters (I was having a crisis or more to the point, my character was), and when I paused, she said, “You know they aren’t real, right?” “Who aren’t?” I asked. “Your characters.” I hyperventilated. Was she kidding? No, she wasn’t. I live a very strange life. I interact with people who really don’t exist, not in our tangible world, but I have to believe they exist in order to create a believable story. Yeah, wrap your brain around that one. So yes, I know they don’t exist in flesh and blood, but they do exist, are real in my head. They have to be. Their worries and loves and troubles and triumphs have to matter to me. I have to want the best and the worst for them otherwise they’ll exist in a boring, staid story that I, let alone anyone else, won’t want to experience. That is the entertainer in me talking. It’s this little voice in the back of my brain that giggles when I come up with a sick idea that will cause my characters no end of torture. It sighs with pleasure every time…

Fresh Pick | SUPERNATURAL NOIR by Gregory Frost et al
Fresh Pick / July 30, 2011

June 2011 On Sale: June 22, 2011 336 pages ISBN: 1595825460 EAN: 9781595825469 Paperback $19.99  Add to Wish List Graphic Novel Buy at Amazon.com Noir, horror, suspense, mixed in a graphics treat! Supernatural Noir by Gregory Frost, Nick Mamatas, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Evenson A hit man who kills with coincidence . . . A detective caught in a war between two worlds . . . A man whose terrible appetites hide an even darker secret . . . Dark Horse once again teams up with Hugo and Bram Stoker award-winning editor Ellen Datlow (Lovecraft Unbound) to bring you this masterful marriage of the darkness without and the darkness within. Supernatural Noir is an anthology of original tales of the dark fantastic from twenty modern masters of suspense, including Brian Evenson, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Nick Mamatas, Gregory Frost, Jeffrey Ford, and many more. * For fans of horror, noir, fantasy, crime, and the short fiction format! Previous Picks

Nicola Cornick | Scandalous Women of the Regency!
Author Guest / July 29, 2011

Hi everyone and thank you to Fresh Fiction for inviting me to blog today. It’s lovely to be here! Ever since my Scandalous Women of the Ton Series launched last year I’ve been asked by readers just how authentic is the historical background to the series. We are accustomed to think that women’s lives in the late 18th and early 19th century were very circumscribed. Diaries and the novels and letters of authors such as Jane Austen suggest as much; Jane, for example, though a mature woman, could not travel if there was not a male family member available to accompany her. Such were the rules and regulations of society. But of course where there are rules there are always women willing to break them. It was these exceptions that I wanted to explore in my series. Each of the Scandalous Women of the Ton books features a heroine who has done something that outrages society in a different way. In WHISPER OF SCANDAL Lady Joanna Ware travels to Spitsbergen in Northern Norway. Foreign travel was considered quite beyond the pale in a woman and even unfeminine and indelicate. Yet Lady Joanna was based on a real life lady traveller,…

Stephanie Julian | Juggling Balls and Carpet Sweeping
Author Guest / July 28, 2011

When I first started writing towards publication, I had two sons under the age of three. During the day, I was working as a freelance feature writer for a local newspaper but at night, while my husband worked the nightshift at the same paper, I would write. My oldest would go to bed at 8 but my youngest wasn’t as predictable. I can remember nights sitting at my computer, rocking my youngest to sleep in his carrier with my foot while I typed as quietly as I could. As my sons got older and went school, my writing time expanded. But since I was still writing for the newspaper, I had to learn how to hit all my deadlines without going crazy. If you would see my desk, you’d know I’m not an organized person (my husband is laughing hysterically at my understatement).  But I’ve had to learn how to juggle multiple assignments, including book deadlines and newspaper deadlines. When my guys were younger and my husband still worked every night, I would lug my trusty battered IBM Thinkpad to soccer practice, baseball games, basketball practice, swim meets and karate lessons. I could write surrounded by screaming kids at the…

James Barney | How Long Can We Really Live?
Author Guest / July 27, 2011

Hello, and thanks for inviting me to be part of Fresh Fiction. Have you heard of the INDY gene?  It’s a gene that scientists discovered about ten years ago in fruit flies that can be manipulated to double or triple their life spans.  This is real science mind you, not fiction (I’ll get to the fiction in a moment).  “INDY” stands for “I’m Not Dead Yet,” a Monty Python reference.  Remember the “plague” scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “Bring out your dead!”  Who says scientists don’t have a sense of humor? The protagonist in THE GENESIS KEY is a biologist named Kathleen Sainsbury, who is diligently studying the INDY gene in fruit flies, hoping to find a similar gene in humans.  She is the founder and CEO of a small biotech company near Washington DC, which is seeking cures for various age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Kathleen’s motives are both scientific and personal.  Her grandfather—who raised her from age seven after her parents died at an archeological site in Iraq—is suffering from Stage Five Alzheimer’s. Let me stop there for a moment.  Many people have asked me how I came up with this particular plot. …

Michelle Marcos | Top 5 Scottish Hotties
Author Guest / July 26, 2011

There’s only one thing I like better than a man in a kilt: a man out of one.  The great thing about reading romance novels with Scottish heroes is that there are lots of Scottish actors that we can mentally cast in these roles.  I’m a serious Anglophile when it comes to those of the opposite sex, and men of the UK have always held a special place in my fantasies.  But no matter what nationality of man you prefer, few are more drool-worthy than the hunky Highlanders listed here. 5.  Ewan McGregor This Scot has a fine, braw shape to him.  I could swim in his gorgeous smirk and warm, blue eyes.  God help me if he decides to open his mouth up and sing—I would be putty in his hands.  This guy can be both tender and forceful, perfect material for those nocturnal daydreams, if you take my meaning.  And if you ever want to get a look at what he has under his kilt, check him out on Velvet Goldmine. Full frontal scenes reveal that this particular Scot is, shall we say, a remarkably healthy specimen of manhood. 4.  Sean Connery The King of Suave himself.  Whether…

Fresh Pick | MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs
Fresh Pick / July 25, 2011

Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Volume 1 March 2011 On Sale: March 8, 2011 128 pages ISBN: 1606902032 EAN: 9781606902035 Paperback $16.99  Add to Wish List Graphic Novel, Fantasy Urban Buy at Amazon.com From best selling series… Moon Called by Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson inhabits two worlds without truly belonging to either. To the human inhabitants of the Tri-Cities she’s an oddity, a female mechanic operating her own garage. To the town’s darker residents, werewolves, vampires, and fae, she’s a walker, a last-of-her-kind magical being with the power to become a coyote. Mercy warily straddles the fine line dividing our everyday world from that darker dimension… ’till a boy, mauled by vicious werewolves and forever changed by the attack and on the run from those who committed the crime, appears at her door. Now her two worlds are about to collide! Outnumbered and out-muscled, can Mercy possibly save the boy… or even herself? Previous Picks

Amelia Grey | Biggest Book Bloopers…
Author Guest / July 25, 2011

Good Morning! Thank you for having me at Fresh Fiction. I’m happy to be with you today to talk a little about my new book A GENTLEMAN NEVER TELLS and along the way I thought it might be fun to talk about some bloopers I’ve had in my books. You know when you are writing somewhere close to one hundred thousand words it’s easy to write the wrong thing and over look it. Some of the easiest mistakes to overlook is she for he, there for their, and than for then. But those aren’t the kind of mistakes I’m talking about today. I’m remembering the time I first wrote a scene with the hero and heroine and put it outside. I later moved it inside the parlor but I forgot to take the lovely, shade tree out of the scene.  Luckily my editor noticed that blooper right away. There were some other memorable ones from my earlier books that I would have been mortified to see in print. In one of my books the heroine needed to tend a wound on my hero so she pulled out a small leather drawstring bag that was filled with slaves. Yes, slaves rather…

Lucianne Rivers | Broken Hearts Will Be The Death of Us…
Author Guest / July 24, 2011

“Takotsubo cardiomyopathy…in which there is a sudden temporary weakening of the myocardium (the muscle of the heart). Because this weakening can be triggered by emotional stress, such as the death of a loved one, a break-up, or constant rejection, the condition is also known as broken heart syndrome… a well-recognized cause of acute heart failure.” – Wikipedia Yes, folks. You CAN die of a broken heart. I KNEW IT! You shout. That’s why I love romance. I’m addicted to the highs and willing to take the lows, because I BELIEVE IN TRUE LOVE, in a love so strong, I might just die if that person was to leave. Furthermore, I demand a happy ending! And that’s why I write and read romantic fiction. When I’m writing a love story I dredge up memories of what it is to be broken-hearted—that crappy, life-destroying, gut-wrenching, body-weakening level of misery. Then I go backwards. How did I first meet THE ONE? When did I first know how he felt? When did we first touch? I recall the dramatic beauty of that romance and the tragedy of it not working out. Then I add (fiction) a happy ending…and voila. A romance novella. Ah, if…