Anne Gracie | Do you like Book Groups?
Author Guest / January 31, 2013

There are two kinds of readers in the world — those who love analyzing a book, talking about themes and metaphors and some of the literary devices used and what the author was really getting at — and those  who hate analyzing, who just want to read and enjoy a book and who maybe want to have a bit of a fangirl gush and tell their friends if they love it, or move on to the next book if they don’t. The first type of reader will often belong to a book group; the second to a book club. But there’s more than one reason to belong to a book group. A book group — well, I call it a literary society, because that’s what they called them in the Regency era — plays an important role in my new novel, THE AUTUMN BRIDE. But it’s not to understand books better — it’s to meet men. Abby and her three impoverished “sisters” (in reality, one sister and two friends) have been taken under the wing of recovering invalid, Lady Beatrice Davenham, who has claimed them as her nieces. Lady Beatrice wants to help the girls to find husbands, but her…

Lorraine Heath | The Unexpected Heroes
Author Guest / January 30, 2013

It’s such a pleasure to be here with you at Fresh Fiction today. I always find blogging to be an enjoyable challenge. What can I say about my books that I haven’t said before? I am a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. While I have a general idea of where the story is going and who the main characters are, I seldom know the specifics and details of the story. I don’t always know who they might run into or who will have an influence on the character or the story. As I’m typing along, so many characters suddenly walk onto the page. As the author, I feel like I should at least know who the important ones are, but that’s not always the case. I didn’t know that the Rose sisters (The Rogues and Roses trilogy) had a brother until he slouched against a doorframe and introduced himself to the heroine in A DUKE OF HER OWN. I didn’t realize that the Duchess of Ainsley (London’s Greatest Lovers) would in fact have a wonderful lover herself, not until Leo made his appearance. I had always planned for her to be pining away for her first true love and that they would get…

Liz Lipperman | The Top Ten Reasons MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT Will Sell
Author Guest / January 27, 2013

I love Fresh Fiction-love the people who make it happen and love that it is based in my home state of Texas. When I was trying to figure out what to blog around this time around, I came up empty. So I went back to a blog I wrote several years ago and darn, if it isn’t still relevant. I’m changing it up a little so you can see how insecure I still am when it comes to my own writing. (Most writers are. I once heard a NY Times best seller say she pauses in the middle of every single book she writes and wonders if she should send back the advance because she doesn’t think she has another good book in her.) I have five books coming out this year and two next year. I couldn’t suck, right? Yet, insecure me sometimes looks over my shoulder to make sure someone isn’t chasing me to take it all away. More than two years ago LIVER LET DIE debuted and I put together this top ten list. At the time I whined about the fact that Berkley had bought three books from me after only reading three chapters and that…

Desiree Holt | How and why I ended up writing erotic romance
Author Guest / January 25, 2013

Lately I’ve been interviewed a lot by people who ask me why I write erotic fiction and how I’d describe it. And I discovered a vast population of people that had no idea what it really is. It’s a genre that has kind of snuck up on the reading public, graduating from behind closed doors and plain brown wrappers to now full out discussions on places like Goodreads. I didn’t start out to write in this genre. Actually I didn’t start out to write romance at all. Everyone who’s heard this next part, you have permission to take a break to get a cold drink. I actually intended to write mysteries. My mother and my sister devoured them and that was all I read growing up. I won’t even tell you how old I was before I read my first romance novel. So, okay, I sat down to write the mystery that I’d plotted so carefully, and in a week I had three chapters carefully written. The problem? Two months later I was still looking at the same three chapters. Not a good sign. Then I read my first romantic suspense and I was off to the races. Sort of….

Jeanette Murray | Can Friends Become Lovers?
Author Guest / January 24, 2013

When writing a friends-to-lovers story, there’s always a tricky element of hitting the right balance of believability and intensity. If there’s no conflict, why would people read the book? But then again, you know these people already like each other…they’re friends. So where’s the conflict there? Ah…the problem. In THE OFFICER BREAKS THE RULES, Madison O’Shay isn’t conflicted at all. She’s wanted Jeremy Phillips since she was sixteen years old. Okay, sure, she was too young for him at that point. But ten years later, she’s ready, and he should be too. What’s the hold up? Jeremy Phillips has more hold ups than you can shake a stick at. Battling against his father’s expectations, his respect for his best friend (and Madison’s big brother!) Tim, trying to figure out his own decisions as he comes to a crossroad in his career…it adds up. And now Madison is making moves he never expected, and the poor guy is thrown for a tailspin. Madison and Jeremy got their start ten years ago. But they’re ready to finish things now. THE OFFICER BREAKS THE RULES is book two of the Semper Fi series and is on bookshelves and available for e-readers now! To…

Cindi Madsen | Recipe for the perfect guy
Author Guest / January 23, 2013

Who doesn’t want to know the recipe for the perfect guy? Well, consider me your literary Julia Child. I’m going to show you how the right ingredients can build you the perfect fictional boyfriend. 1.A healthy helping of humor – this can be the trickiest ingredient, as humor changes from person to person, and a class clown doesn’t always mean a great love interest. It doesn’t mean he can’t be a great guy either. But if the guy can make you laugh, and put you at ease, it’s always a plus in my book. I’ve always liked funny guys in real life. Even in movies or TV shows, it seems other girls are dreaming about the super buff popular guy, and I’m won over by the funny guy, who often times is also a bit of a nerd. Sometimes these guys sort of morph and you get buff funny guy, a la, Ryan Reynolds—be still my beating heart. In FALLING FOR HER FIANCÉ, it was important for my hero, Wes, to have a good sense of humor. He can make his best friend Dani (the heroine in the book) laugh and definitely keeps things interesting with challenges like riding a…

Coleen Kwan | Real Men and Women ~ Comment to Win
Author Guest / January 23, 2013

The characters in my books can be inspired by many sources: movies, television, songs, books, or simply people walking by on the street. I live in an inner-city suburb of Sydney, Australia, a trendy, grungy locale, so I see plenty of interesting characters on the streets, from full on Goths to well-off urbanites to dirty tramps — all of them grist to the mill of my imagination. When I’m developing my characters I like to create their full back story. I think about their favorite subject at school, their hobbies and pet peeves, what they like to cook. All these details might be irrelevant to the story but they help me to see my characters as complete people and not just cardboard cut-outs. I like to think that Nate, the hero in my new release REAL MEN DON’T BREAK HEARTS, is a “real man”. He’s enjoyed his fast cars, his women, his wealthy bachelor lifestyle, but he’s man enough to realize this isn’t enough for him, that he needs something more fulfilling. And he’s man enough to make some drastic changes to his life, even though he has his doubts. He’s willing to take a risk to be a better…

Linda O. Johnston | Double the Fun!
Author Guest / January 22, 2013

The first month of 2013 is nearing its end–and I have two books being published in February! I’m not sure how that happened, but it’s keeping me extra busy, especially since I have some tight writing deadlines early this year, too. But I want to make sure people know about both of my new releases, so I’m also putting out the word via blogs and appearances and Facebook and–well, whatever. I’m especially delighted that Fresh Fiction invited me to do a guest blog. Thanks! I’m really happy to be here. Why can two different books come out in the same month? Because I wrote them for different publishers. Different genres. Different tones and characters and voices. There are some similarities, too, though. They both involve canines. Yes, I’m a dog lover and proud of it. Lots of my writing these days contains dogs… or wolves. Werewolves, that is. One of the books is UNDERCOVER WOLF. It’s the fourth in my Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne–a paranormal romance about a covert military unit of shapeshifters. The shifters are mostly wolves, which fits well with my love of canines, both real and fictional. In UNDERCOVER WOLF, Simon and Grace, the protagonists…

Roni Loren | Starting a New Series: Jump In or Go Back to the Beginning?
Author Guest / January 20, 2013

If you’re a regular romance reader, you know that most books tend to be part of a series. Some of those series are truly books that are sequels to each other, meaning you have to to start with the first and move forward or you’re kind of lost. The first one that comes to mind is the Sookie Stackhouse series. Yes, each story has a new plot arc, but you really miss out if you haven’t read them in order. And then others are what I’d call connected standalones, meaning the books have connected characters or a shared “world” but can each be read on their own with no issues for the reader. This is what I write. All of the characters in my Loving on the Edge series exist in the same place and know each other. And most of them are members of the fantasy BDSM resort, The Ranch, that plays a role in my books. But each book is a new story for that particular couple and can be read as a standalone. Of course, if you do read them in order, there is the added layer of getting to know secondary characters early on who eventually…