Lia Fairchild | My Fascination with Road Trips
Author Guest / March 31, 2012

When people say “road trip” do you conjure up visions of people chanting “Vegas baby” while crammed into a beat-up, two-door car? Or maybe it’s The Ricardos and The Mertzs singing “California Here We Come.” Whatever your vision of a road trip may be, it usually spells adventure in books and movies. Often it’s in the form of comedy, romance, disasters or even horror. Readers love to share the adventures of these characters as they travel from place to place, experiencing the unexpected. When I came up with the idea for IN SEARCH OF LUCY, I hadn’t planned on putting a road trip in the book. But as the story progressed and Lucy needed to reunite with her sister the idea of a physical journey was appealing given that my character was going through an internal journey as well. For years Lucy sacrificed her own needs to care for her half sister and alcoholic mother, only to be abandoned by both. But when her sister needs a kidney transplant, Lucy is the only one who can save her life. When she realizes she must travel to Houston where her sister is, she is reluctant to fly. She’d never been on…

Amanda Forester | Medieval Scotland – Warrior Woman
Author Guest / March 30, 2012

The heroine of my new release, TRUE HIGHLAND SPIRIT, has an unusual occupation for a laird’s daughter in medieval Scotland. Due to the poverty of her clan, and her natural prowess with a sword, she joined the group thieves led by her brother, who roam the countryside looking for unsuspecting travelers from whom they “request” a donation to the fund for wayward highwaymen. While this was admittedly unusual, there are several cases of females from this era donning armor and leading the troops, which have survived through history. I can only imagine that women fought beside men in more instances which were never documented. Morrigan is actually named after a mythological Celtic goddess of war, strife, and sovereignty. The fact that powerful woman warriors exist in myth show that this concept was one that existed. Several examples of women warriors also exist in history in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was not unusual for the wife of a lord to take command of a besieged garrison if the lord of the castle was away. However, Agnes Randolph, Countess of Dunbar and March, earned herself the nickname of Black Agnes by her brash antics in the siege of Dunbar. Black…

Ciji Ware | Is A Novel’s Setting Also A “Character?
Author Guest / March 30, 2012

When I was working as a television and radio host “in another life,” I once interviewed a very famous romance writer who responded rather curtly to my question about her techniques when researching the setting and background of her characters. “Listen honey,” she replied with an edge to her Texas twang, “nobody cares who’s king–or what kingdom he’s from!” I guess she meant that, in her view, the characters’ backgrounds and the world they inhabited were unimportant. What mattered in historical romance was the sex. And I suppose for some readers that tends to be true. But not necessarily for other lovers of historical fiction–which is probably why I’ve gravitated toward writing a strong love story in my books—but I have always felt it important to include the “who, what, where, when, & why” about a story to bring imagined people to life.  Given these precepts I learned as a journalist, for me, this meant grounding my stories with strong sense of place and the history underpinning it. I’ve always felt that what intensifies the bond between readers and the books they love (to say nothing of the bonds between a book’s characters as they fall in love) is revealing…

Fresh Pick | FURIES OF CALDERON by Jim Butcher
Fresh Pick / March 29, 2012

Codex Alera #1 July 2005 On Sale: June 28, 2005 Featuring: Tavi 512 pages ISBN: 044101268X EAN: 9780441012688 Kindle: B001DISRBC Paperback $10.99  Add to Wish List Fantasy Saga Buy at Amazon.com A saga not to be missed from creator of The Dresden Files Furies Of Calderon by Jim Butcher For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon. Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans\’ most savage enemy – the Marat – return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine. Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a…

Rosanne Bittner | Meet a Pair of Wildest Hearts
Author Guest / March 29, 2012

I’ve been asked by Fresh Fiction for comments about my February release, WILDEST DREAMS, published both in print and as an e-book by Sourcebooks. I am glad to oblige, and thanks for asking! WILDEST DREAMS is a western romance set in the wilds of an unsettled 1800’s Montana. It is a love story told through the eyes of Luke and Lettie Fontaine, beginning with when they meet on a wagon train and ending a lifetime later with the Fontaine name being prominent in Montana and representing the owners of one of the biggest cattle ranches in Big Sky country. The life Luke and Lettie share depicts what it was like to settle an untamed American West, including outlaws, Indians, the severe elements of hot summers and bitter winters, wild animals and the struggle of survival against it all. Throughout the story it’s the love these two people share that holds them together through danger and personal loss that could easily tear two people apart; as well as learning to face tragedy from the past that inevitably catches up with them. The American West and Native Americans is all I write about, and I’ve done it over the past 30 years…

DiAnn Mills | Castle Meets Cold Case
Author Guest / March 28, 2012

I’m an avid fan of TV’s Castle. Got to admit that Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett make a great team. Love the plots. Love the witty dialogue. Love the romance that Castle and Beckett attempt to keep to themselves. What is there not to love? When Cold Case aired, I often lost myself in Detective Lilly Rush’s investigations. I admired her spunky personality and her ability to solve tough cold cases. She gave closure to the victims’s families, something no one else could do. When I thought about the two shows, my thoughts raced ahead. What if . . . Castle met Cold Case? What if . . . I switched the characters’ genders and set a suspense series in my home town, Houston? Then I talked to a good friend, who happens to be the media coordinator for Houston’s FBI, and we brainstormed. What if . . . I wrote a series based on solved cold cases from the files of Houston’s FBI? THE CHASE, the first book in my Crime Scene: Houston series, was birthed over coffee as I talked to my friend, scribblings on napkins, and lots of research. My heroine would be Kariss Walker, a…

PM Terrell | The Case of the Celtic Character
Author Guest / March 27, 2012

They say if you want to find your soul mate, stop looking. But it never occurred to me that the same thing would happen with the characters in my book. Dylan Maguire was supposed to be a one-book man. Laurel Maguire’s nephew, he travels from Ireland to care for her after an incapacitating stroke and shortly before Vicki Boyd arrives. Vicki isn’t expecting the man with the lilting Irish brogue, the merry half-moon eyes and a near body-builder physique. And she’s not looking for a relationship. Vicki is a psychic spy for the CIA, a vocation based on a real government program. After a mission goes horribly awry, she leaves the agency to begin life anew in a small town. When she meets Dylan, she is reluctant and reserved. VICKI’S KEY is my 13th published book, but it’s the first time a character has leapt off the page at me. I never felt as though I invented him. Even his speech patterns were foreign to me (pardon the pun), his cadence different from any dialogue I’d ever written. And a funny thing happened. Vicki fell in love. And so have my readers. Their repartee is reminiscent of Hepburn and Tracy,…

Linda Conrad | TEXAS MEN! Win TEXAS BABY SANCTUARY and an Amazon Gift Card!
Author Guest / March 27, 2012

I’m thrilled about the start of my brand new series, beginning this spring for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, called Chance, Texas.  The series features rugged Texas men.  My all time favorite. The first book in the series is on shelves in print now (April 1 on Kindle and Nook!)  Called TEXAS BABY SANCTUARY, it features Sam Chance, the oldest brother in the large ranching family.  A strong, quiet man of the United States Secret Service, Sam’s job is to guard witnesses in the protection and security program.  The one witness that gets to him, running from his protection and changing his life, is Grace Brown.  Hiding from the Mexican drug king who kidnapped her, killed her parents and then made her his mistress, Grace wants to become self-sufficient enough to protect her baby son.  But she discovers she must also learn to trust Sam. Finding unique plots and interesting characters is always a challenge.  Yet I know those are the very things that make readers happiest.  I know because that’s what makes me happiest as a reader and a writer.  My favorite settings are in Texas.  The romance of the great American West stirs a passion in my soul.  I’ve told…

Fresh Pick | THE DREAD by Gail Z. Martin
Fresh Pick / March 27, 2012

Fallen Kings Cycle February 2012 On Sale: February 1, 2012 640 pages ISBN: 0316093610 EAN: 9780316093613 Mass Market Paperback $7.99 Add to Wish List Fantasy Buy at Amazon.com Winter has come and kings will fall The Dread by Gail Z. Martin War has come to the Winter Kingdoms. The Dread will rise. Kings will fall. Summoner-King Tris Drayke takes what remains of his army north to fight a war he is ill-prepared to fight, as reports from spies confirm Tris’s worst fear. A new threat rises across the sea: a dark summoner who intends to make the most of the Winter Kingdoms’s weakness. And in Isencroft, Kiara’s father is assassinated and she will now have no choice except to return and claim the crown. But she must leave behind her husband Tris and their infant son and face the dark power that threatens her rule. THE DREAD is the epic conclusion to the Fallen Kings Cycle. Previous Picks

Fresh Pick | THE HUNGER GAMES by Kate Egan
Fresh Pick / March 23, 2012

February 2012 On Sale: February 1, 2012 160 pages ISBN: 0545422906 EAN: 9780545422901 Paperback $18.99  Add to Wish List Childrens, Young Adult Buy at Amazon.com May the odds be ever in your favor The Hunger Games by Kate Egan Official Illustrated Movie Companion The New York Times bestseller by Suzanne Collins is now a major motion picture — and this is your guide to all of the movie\’s excitement, both in front of the camera and behind it. Go behind the scenes of the making of The Hunger Games with exclusive images and interviews. From the screenwriting process to the casting decisions to the elaborate sets and costumes to the actors\’ performances and directors\’ vision, this is the definitive companion to the breathtaking film. Previous Picks