Laurence MacNaughton | What Guy Authors Won’t Tell You About Relationships
Author Guest / October 31, 2012

Many years ago, when I worked in a bookstore, a guy came up to me looking like he was on the verge of committing homicide. “How come I can’t find any J.D. Robb books?” he demanded. “You don’t carry them?” “Sure we do. Right over there.” I pointed to the aisle labeled, in gi-normous letters, ROMANCE. A mixture of terror and indignation washed over his face. He turned to me with a steely glare. “J.D. Robb does not write romance. Those books are mysteries.” J.D. Robb, of course, is the pen name of bestselling romance writer Nora Roberts. Still, the customer is always right, so I pretended to look alarmed. “Sorry, sir. Must be a glitch in the shelving system. I’ll look into it.” “You do that,” he snapped. Then he marched into the pink aisle, snatched up the latest J.D. Robb book and stormed out. “They’re not romance,” he insisted, on his way out the door. It’s easy to look back and laugh, but his attitude shines a spotlight on something most guys will never admit. Believe it or not, guys need good relationships in a story. It might not seem like it, but every good story is a…

Tasha Alexander | What to Read Next ~ Comment To Win
Author Guest / October 30, 2012

In my mind, one of the best things about reading is the way books can take you around the world. As a little girl growing up in South Bend, Indiana—not the most exciting place on earth—I relied on this method to feel like I had experienced far more travel than I was likely to for a very long time if I had to rely on airplanes or even cars. It started with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books. How I loved them! I could picture the Wisconsin woods, wide prairies, Plum Creek gurgling in front of the dugout, and the deep snow of harsh Dakota winters. From there, I went south, as Margaret Mitchell tempted me to follow Scarlett through GONE WITH THE WIND and the red earth of Georgia. After that came England, first through Jane Austen and then Charles Dickens. As an adult, I started to travel more in “real” life, but I still haven’t seen Elizabeth Peter’s Egypt or Kafka’s Prague. I did, however, make a conscious decision to try to bring my readers the world the way so many authors have done so for me (although I would never, ever claim to have…

Duffy Brown | Cozy Crazy
Author Guest / October 28, 2012

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone reading a cozy mystery these days. What gives? Not all that long ago grandma’s and aging aunties were the only ones with their nose stuck in a cozy but not any more. I think the BBC’s new Sherlock Holmes had something to do with it. That Sherlock is young and sexy and Dr. Watson is to die for. Then again I have a crush on Sherlock so I give him credit for everything mystery. The cozy craze might be a backlash to the dark vampire blood-sucking reads. With titles like LAST WOOL AND TESTAMENT, BEEF STOLEN-OFF, DEAD AS A SCONE and DUE OR DIE, what’s not to like. No whack ‘em and hack ‘em stories with blood guts and gore everywhere but some fun. Remember that? When was the last time you laughed out loud over a book? And then there’s the cozy characters. The ones who solve the mystery are just like you and me. They’re tooting along and then something happens to a friend or family member and they’re sucked into the finding the killer…just like you and I would. Friends don’t leave friends hanging. In cozies the main…

Laura Kaye | 10 Reasons to Love Military Heroes
Author Guest / October 27, 2012

I’m thrilled to be back at Fresh Fiction again, this time to celebrate the brand-new release of my contemporary romance, ONE NIGHT WITH A HERO, the sequel to HER FORBIDDEN HERO. ONE NIGHT is about two people damaged by childhood experiences who, deep down, believe they’re not worthy of love, and manage to find everything they never let themselves imagine they could have. Brady Scott is the hero, and he’s active duty Army Special Forces, recently sent stateside for a tour at Army Staff Pentagon. I absolutely love reading about military heroes, and now I’m really enjoying writing them, too. Today, I thought I’d share ten reasons I particularly love reading and writing military heroes: 10. They’re heroes. This seems sorta obvious, but here’s what I mean: the fact that they’ve sacrificed to devote their lives to defense of country paints them in a heroic light before you know anything else about them. As a reader and a writer, that usually earns them my respect and sympathy pretty quickly. 9. They know how to commit. Special Forces soldiers sign on for four-to-eight-year terms of service, and many of them become career military. These are guys who know how to stick,…

Lisa Kessler | Using real history in a Paranormal World
Author Guest / October 25, 2012

Hi everyone – I’m excited to be back on the Fresh Fiction Blog! 🙂 Since NIGHT WALKER, the first book in my Night Series, was published, I have received many emails from readers asking if the historical flashbacks in the novel were accurate.  I’m always happy to answer that they are. As a writer, it’s challenging and fun to blend true history into my paranormal worlds.  It makes the characters and the conflict feel more real, like they could actually have happened. My latest addition to the Night Series, NIGHT THIEF, is a prequel and it takes place in 1840 in Paris. Here’s the blurb: After the fall of the Mayan civilization, Kane, an immortal Night Walker, has taken refuge in France for over 800 years. The modern world holds little interest for him until the night he meets the Golden Thief and is robbed of much more than his pocket watch. Marguerite Rousseau is living a double life. By day she is the assistant to an eccentric French artist, Antoine Berjon, and by night she dons elegant evening gowns to woo French dignitaries before lifting their wallets. Sparks ignite when Kane captures the thief, but Marguerite harbors a dark…

Fresh Pick | CONJURE by Lea Nolan
Fresh Pick / October 24, 2012

The Hoodoo Apprentice #1 October 2012 On Sale: October 16, 2012 Featuring: Emma Guthrie; Cooper Beaumont 315 pages ISBN: 1620610973 EAN: 9781620610978 Kindle: B009NY42GM Trade Size $9.99  Add to Wish List Young Adult Paranormal, Fantasy Buy at Amazon.com Not quite Halloween but a fun read nonetheless Conjure by Lea Nolan Be careful what you search for… Be careful what you search for… Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry—hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever–present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth–century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh–eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday. But when a strange girl bent on revenge appears, demon dogs become a threat, and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before the last days of summer—and her friends—are lost forever. Previous Picks

Robyn Grady | New Desire Series – The Hunter Pact
Author Guest / October 24, 2012

Many readers love to follow linked stories. I’m partial to connected books that explore various members of a family. So when I planned my first series for Harlequin Desire, I invented a powerful dynasty with three very different brothers – then I threw in a “baby” kick-ass sister for good measure. Enter Cole, Dex, Wynn and Teagan Hunter. Cole bears the weight of being firstborn. Not only has his father become the target of an assassin, corporate decisions made by brothers Dex in Los Angeles and Wynn in New York have put strains on Hunter Enterprises, the family’s world-wide media-based company. Then there’s the huge make-or-break football contract he needs to seal, like, yesterday. To top it off, his Dad has it in his head that Hunter Broadcasting in Australia should produce a television program that is bound to bite the ratings dust as soon as it airs. Should be easy to convince his father to get out of the crosshairs and take a vacation, leaving Cole to get on with business, including cancelling that new producer’s contract. But nothing’s never easy, particularly when instant physical attraction is involved. When producer Taryn Quinn promises to give Cole everything he wants…

J. Lynn | Why is the alpha male so addictive?
Author Guest / October 24, 2012

There’s a fine line between an alpha male and a complete, controlling jerk. With the alpha male, you pretty much want to jump his bones and with the jerk, you want to throw your book in his face. There is a difference between the two and nowadays you’d be hard pressed to find an adult book that didn’t feature an alpha male. Young adult is a bit different, but as one blogger coined, “baby alpha males” are started to make an appearance. So why are they so popular? An alpha male does tend to be controlling, but usually when it comes to keeping the heroine safe or when it involves the smexy stuff. They know what they like and aren’t afraid to be very descriptive about it. They tend to be dominant in the bedroom. In Tempting the Player, Chad Gamble is this kind of alpha male. He’s uber protective and likes to be in control when it gets down to the fun stuff, but that’s the extent of what he seeks to control. Otherwise, he’s playful. He’s not the brooding alpha male. He’s the ‘let’s have some fun’ alpha male. Alpha males tend to be territorial, which Chad shows…

Lynda Hilburn | New Book #2 in The Series That Keeps Rising From The Dead
Author Guest / October 23, 2012

I guess it’s not surprising that a vampire series would claw its way out of the grave. Lucky for me! This February, 2013, the new second book in the Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series, BLOOD THERAPY will be released in the USA. The UK print and e-book versions came out September 13, 2012. I’ve heard a rumor that the USA Kindle edition might be out in time for Halloween! The first book THE VAMPIRE SHRINK and a novel that will now be the rewritten/expanded book #3, CRIMSON PSYCHE were first released in 2007 and 2008 by a small publisher. After those two books came out, that company and I parted ways. I flailed around for a year, trying to figure out how to remove the stake from the heart of my series, and then in early 2010 I self-published the e-book versions myself [I had retained the digital rights] at Amazon and other digital outlets. Within a month, my two books were best sellers. Nobody was more surprised than me! That situation caused me to come to the attention of my current agent, who arranged for my bloodsuckers to be published all over the world. So, thanks to a union…

Karen Rose Smith | When Writing Began
Author Guest / October 23, 2012

I thought I’d blog today on a subject many writers think about and readers want to know about—What got me interested in writing? My interest in writing began when I was in high school. I had a superb English teacher who made poetry come alive. By reading it, I learned the poets expressed their feelings about any and all subjects, and I liked that. I was an only child from a traditional Italian Catholic family, and feelings weren’t communicated through words. Food maybe, but not words. So in high school I began expressing myself in poems. I submitted one to the high school literary magazine and it was published! That was my first taste of seeing my words in print. I also wrote for the school paper, but found I definitely liked writing essays much more than “who,” “what,” “where,” and “how” accounts. When I went to college, I began my first novel, loosely based on the Beatles (Paul as the hero was in my head). I took my first creative writing class and learned the technique of mastering the form of a short story. But, by far, my greatest adventure into writing started as a lark. My cousin and…