Nancy Gideon | What Makes a Good Read?
Author Guest / May 30, 2012

I’ve always been a rabid reader. One of my fondest memories is the anticipation of every other Tuesday when our city’s Bookmobile would park up the street so I could pick out all the books I could carry. What did I read?  Everything. Usually things not age appropriate. I devoured anything with words: The good, the bad, and the sometimes really bad. When I opened to page one, I felt compelled to read all the way through to the end, even if it was a struggle. It was a book, after all, the story had to be in there someplace, and it was up to me to find it. It wasn’t until I started to BUY books, that I became a more discerning reader.  I remember picking up a highly hyped historical (back when they were 600 pages!) and slogging through it . . . waiting for it to get good. Just one more chapter.  Maybe the next one. I read the last page and set it down in amazement. It never got any better. I felt cheated, not just out of my money, but more importantly, out of my time.  I’d put real effort into that book with no…

Lacy Williams | Thoughts on Single Dads
Author Guest / May 29, 2012

I don’t know about you, but I love a good book with a single dad for the hero. What is it about single dads that we love so much? I’ve got a couple of theories I’d like to share. The clueless dad—this dad is often new to parenthood and has no idea what he’s doing. We think he’s cute because he means well but will try to feed a toddler baby formula, or can’t figure out how to handle his teenage daughter. True inspiration from my husband: when my daughter was an infant, he tried to put the jumper on the inside of her shirt. The good dad—this dad is pretty close to perfect. He monitors homework, cooks, even makes sure his kids have a family dog. We adore him because what’s not to like about a dad who puts his kid’s needs over his? One of my favorite memories of my dad (not a single dad) was when I was about 10. I was sick and my mom was gone and he could’ve left me indoors to watch tv, but instead, he stayed with me and played board games and THEN he stayed up into the middle of the…

Nalini Singh | The Continuing Cast
Author Guest / May 28, 2012

One of the best things about writing a long-running series is that, as the writer, I get to know my characters very, very well. I know exactly what Drew Kincaid, charmer extraordinaire, for example, will do to make up with his mate after a fight. Forget about flowers or chocolates. No, this is Drew. Strong, intelligent, witty…and just a little bit devious. Hence the gift Indigo receives from him in TANGLE OF NEED, and one that I think will melt even the hardest heart. I’d tell you what it was, but I’m taking my cue from Drew and being just a little bit devious and whetting your appetite for that scene – it’ll sneak up on you when you least expect it. I also know the personalities of each of the lieutenants. I know for example that Tomás likes to dice with his life by jerking the chain of the other lieutenants—and that he’d lay down that life and bleed for them without a thought. Just because he’s a smartass doesn’t mean he’s not also fiercely loyal. In many cases, characters reappear across a number of books. I think this does a great deal to create the sense of family…

Donna Alward | Art Imitating Life?
Author Guest / May 26, 2012

Sometimes when we write books, art imitates life. I know that was certainly the case when I sat down to write THE REBEL RANCHER (June 2012), the second book in my Cadence Creek Cowboys duet. In the first book, THE LAST REAL COWBOY (May 2012), I knew Sam had an adopted brother, Tyson. Tyson is actually Sam’s biological cousin, and the way I’d planned it was for Tyson to have always been a bit of a black sheep, always have that chip on his shoulder. I knew he’d rebelled after high school and left the ranch. It all worked to set it up so he could come back for the second book, and have to deal with all the reasons why he left. I also knew that he had somewhat of a reputation as a bad boy. To me, Ty was a champion bull-rider with an attitude and a way with the ladies. What I didn’t expect was the depth of emotion he’d end up having, or the love and respect he had for his uncle/father who had never truly given Ty the approval he sought. In THE LAST REAL COWBOY, Virgil is recovering from a stroke. When I sat…

Karen Kelley | A Demon and a Cowboy ~ Win WHERE THERE’S SMOKE
Author Guest / May 25, 2012

I’ve loved paranormal since the days Dark Shadows was on TV. We weren’t allowed to watch TV in the day time so my sister and I used to sneak into the living room and turn it down low. I would stand guard. I always stood guard since I was younger, but I caught enough that I was forever hooked on the genre. For my new series I  knew the heroes would be nephilim. The following is a short excerpt from WHERE THERE’S SMOKE so you’ll have a better idea about the nephilim: Chance skirted the very edges of what was legal—for an angel… Not actually an angel when he thought about it. A nephilim, to be exact. All their fathers were angels. Centuries before, they mated with mortal women. When the women bore children, a new race was created. Immortals with powers—demigods. The children didn’t live by the same rules as mortals, nor that of the typical robe-wearing, bright-light-surrounding-them angels. Hell, most of the time the nephilim were breaking the rules and making up new ones as they went. As long as they didn’t cross over to the dark side, everyone pretty much stayed out of their way. Then we…

Amelia Grey | Questions, Questions, Questions
Author Guest / May 25, 2012

Good morning everyone!  Thank you for having me at Fresh Fiction today. I always enjoy my visits to this fabulous site. You know, as a writer, I get asked the same questions over and over again so I was thinking it might be fun to share with you the top three questions I hear and what I think about them. Without a doubt the most asked question is, “Where do you get your ideas?”  I would love to be able to answer something exciting like “From Mars! Or, I make nightly trips to the moon in a space ship and pick them up from a little green man.” But, alas, that wouldn’t be the truth. The answer is that I sit down in front of the computer and start by saying, “What if?”  As in my book that just came out May 1 A GENTLEMAN SAYS “I DO”.  What if my heroine has to finish her father’s story so he will get paid and she will have enough money to keep the household going? What if the story sheds a slanderous light on the hero’s mother? What if when the hero comes looking for the poet, he find the lovely…

Paula Paul | What is a woman?
Author Guest / May 13, 2012

A remarkable woman. A woman you can’t forget. An interesting woman. There’s more to her than meets the eye. Chances are, a woman you’ve heard described by any of those terms was also the object of criticism. A woman who won’t stay in her place subjects herself to disparagement . Catherine The Great, Empress of Russia is no exception. She’s the subject of my historical novel, SIN OF THE EMPRESS.The first time I heard of her, I was in my early twenties and read a scholarly history book that I was called upon to review for a newspaper. Later, I heard all those salacious stories about her sexual appetite and the (false) story about her having sex with a horse. None of that was mentioned in the somewhat dry tome I’d read, I might add. Over time, I forgot about the book and dismissed the sensational gossip until years later when I was inspired by authors Phillipa Gregory and Allison Weir to try my hand at historical fiction. Catherine was there, lurking in the shadows of my mind. I found that old book I’d reviewed and reread it. I also found a copy of her memoir, written by her own…

Catherine Mann | Day of the Military Spouse
Author Guest / May 11, 2012

Wow, what are the odds I would have a military romance novel out and a blog to write on the one day a year reserved to honor military spouses?  Crazy coincidence!  And very cool!  For those of you who don’t know,  I am a military spouse.  My husband served in the USAF as an aviator for over twenty years – nine moves, multiple war deployments, and many, many TDY days away from home. Without question, the role of military spouse is demanding, requiring lots of independence (I’ve snaked more than my fair share of the kids’ Legos out of the toilet.)  But I’m incredibly proud of my husband’s service and hope I have supported him to the best of my ability.  While his accomplishments are his own, I do appreciate that the sacrifices made by spouses are recognized on this special day. In 1984, President Ronald Regan was the first to proclaim a Military Spouse’s Day on May 23.  The day was later standardized as the Friday before Mother’s Day.  I could list all that goes into being a military spouse, but the following summarizes the lifestyle far better than I ever could: “The Military Wife” author unknown The good…

Shona Husk | What’s with the wings?
Author Guest / May 11, 2012

I’ve been asked a few times why a Goblin prince would have wings (of course if you read the book you’ll find out:-). To clarify: No, Dai is not an angel, far from it. He’s been a Celtic prince, a Roman slave, a mage, a monk, a scholar, a soldier—never an angel or any other winged creature. Okay, but why does he have wings on the cover? Well, when writing the story they kind of appeared, and once they were there they couldn’t be shaken off and they developed a life of their own—by feeding off Dai and his hatred of Rome. So what are the wings? Excellent question! While Dai has plenty of magical tattoos and marking, the wings are more than ink or magic, they are worse, much, much worse. The wings are a ghostly manifestation of his hate and his refusal to forgive and move on as it feels wrong. He wanted vengeance and was denied. It takes an innocent child to point out the danger he is in and once he sees the wings he understands the full extent of the damage he’s holding onto, of course getting free is a whole other battle. ~~~ Brigit…

Carly Phillips | Balance in a Contemporary
Author Guest / May 8, 2012

It isn’t easy to write a contemporary novel with serious subject matter and still keep it light and moving quickly.  I had my work cut out for me with Liza McKnight and Dare Barron because the event that links them in the past is a party where a teenage boy died.  That night caused both of their lives to change and ultimately is what brings them together as adults.  Dare and Liza want to be good people.  They live their lives trying to do the best they can and think about others before themselves, while Liza’s brother, who lied in the past and caused the boy’s death, is wallowing in pain, guilt and alcohol.  So Liza enables him while Dare arrests him and tries not to be like him. Light moments? You’d think there aren’t any.  And yet I don’t think of KARMA as a dark story.  Liza and Dare – to me – are so perfectly matched. I find his caring for her charming.  I find her search for love, and allowing herself to be loved, disarming. So at heart, I think this story more than most, needed balance between light and dark.  And I hope, in bringing you…