Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Asa Akira | An excerpt from ASAROTICA
Author Guest / November 21, 2017

Excerpt from: THE CENTER BY ASA AKIRA He woke up before her, as he always did on Tuesdays. Thirty-two cracks in the ceiling, same as last Tuesday, same as the Tuesday before that, and the Tuesday before that. In her bed, Hana moaned in her sleep and kicked her leg out from under the blanket. She would be awake soon. She looked so peaceful at this hour, her grey hair pinned up, head on her pillow, face smooth and expressionless. Not like the rest of the day, with that wrinkle in between her eyebrows, which grew even deeper with each year. Never would she say it out loud—not just to Matsu, but to anyone—but he sensed she couldn’t remember the last time she was truly happy. That wrinkle, though, she could not hide. It was an arranged marriage. Thirty-plus years ago, he wondered if she would have agreed to commit to him had she known what the future held in store for them. Probably not. He had grown to love her. Even before any of it had happened. When she bore his first child, how could he not? She gave him the gift of family. And when that child died…

Love Makes the (Otherwise Pretty Screwed Up) World Go Round
Author Guest / November 21, 2017

The world can seem like a pretty dark place some days. Sometimes just checking your Twitter feed can leave you wanting to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers. But before you do that, you find the remote and take it under there with you – and then, after your panic attack subsides, you peek out and turn on the TV. And there, in all its glory, on some random cable channel, The Holiday is being shown for the millionth time, and there you are, with Cameron Diaz, in that quaint English pub, looking up and seeing Jude Law, who smiles at you like you are the only other person in the entire crowded room. You watch the rest of the movie—Will Cameron finally get in touch with her emotions and cry? Will Iris find the strength to finally leave the Jerk? YES! Of course, all these things will happen! Then, when the credits roll, you take a deep breath, and emerge, ready to face the day. Romance novels do the exact same thing, don’t they? Except they’re portable and available whenever you need them. If you think about it, they’re like little paperback (or electronic) weapons against…

Top 5 Ways To Romance a Heroine While In Hiding by Liz Maverick
Author Guest / November 21, 2017

The Hudson Kings is a new series featuring a team of superhot mercenaries who live and work in an armory in Manhattan. The books are as much about the relationships between the guys and their individual journeys as they find their way to the love of a great heroine as they are about the suspense plot. So, romantic suspense, yes, but with lots of emphasis on the characters, plus a lot of laugh-out-loud banter. In THE FINANCIER, billionaire mercenary Nick Dawes hires sexy-as-hell but down-on-her-luck Jane MacGregor to babysit his penthouse and his fish while he’s lying low after losing $20 million in a freelance heist gone wrong. A Russian crime boss wants the money and Nick’s head. As it turns out, Jane’s no shrinking violet; her unflappable approach to the unusual and dangerous occurrences in Nick’s world is just one of the reasons he falls for her so hard. It’s not easy wooing your ideal girl whilst dodging bad guys who want you to die. It can really cramp your style. But Nick manages. Here are the top five ways Nick Dawes is able to romance Jane even while on the move. Drunken Poetry. Loose lips plus words written…

Thanksgiving Escape
Cozy Corner / November 20, 2017

You know it’s going to happen. You’re going to need to escape. Because on Thursday afternoon, Uncle Bill will be deep in the eggnog—except he won’t be drinking the same eggnog everyone else will be enjoying. Uncle Bill’s special blend will come from the flask in his pocket, and the more he drinks, the louder his political jokes will get. If he was the only one you had to worry about this Thanksgiving, you’d survive. Except he isn’t. Your cousin Lori will be flirting with your brother-in-law, and your sister will be close to murder if he even acknowledges Lori’s presence. Which will exclude your right hand helper from any of the meal preparations—the last thing you need is your sister in vicinity of a kitchen full of knives. Don’t forget the football games. There are three to contend with this year, so unless you’re having a Thanksgiving Day brunch, you better be prepared for your mother-in-law to be very unhappy when you time the meal to coincide with her team’s kick-off. Not that she has a ‘team’ who she loyally keeps up with. She only watches football on the holidays you’ve drawn the unlucky straw to host the holiday…

Gail Ingis | A Daring Red Dress and a Dancing Queen
Author Guest / November 17, 2017

I love to get dressed up and go out on the town. Even, now at my age (I just turned 82 years young!) I love to go out with my husband Tom. Just last weekend we went to a party at the ballroom dance studio where we practice our  fox-trot, waltz, salsa and so many more. Our talented instructors, Monika and Henry just celebrated their fourth-year anniversary of Dance Fairfield. Part of the Fred Astaire Dance Franchise. History has shown us that women have always loved to get dressed up. And yes, even be a little daring in their fashion choices. Being daring is different depending on the woman. For some women it means wearing a stunning gown with a deep décolletage or décolleté. Décolletage is the area of the neck, shoulders, back and upper chest exposed by the neckline of a woman’s clothing, low-cut necklines of ball gowns, evening gowns, leotards, lingerie and swimsuits, among other fashions. Even today, décolletage is seen as an expression of femininity, and in some parts of the world any décolletage is considered provocative and shocking. During the Victorian period, social attitudes required women to cover their bosom in public. For day dresses, high…

Meet R.C. Boldt
MatchMaker / November 16, 2017

AUTHOR READER MATCH WRITES: contemporary romance, including romantic comedy and military romance ABOUT AUTHOR: RC Boldt lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you’re in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can’t recall the lyrics to a particular 80’s song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she’s your girl. WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR IN MY IDEAL READER MATCH: A reader who loves sexy yet sweet butterflies-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach stories where love conquers all, with a touch of humor thrown in for good measure. WHAT TO EXPECT IF COMPATIBLE: Expect to be immersed into a multitude of stories which will have you swooning, sometimes have your heart aching, Follow RC: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon | BookBub | Instagram HE LOVES ME … KNOT by R.C. Boldt Sometimes love needs a second chance… I never looked back after skipping out on my own wedding, even if it did leave me estranged from most of my family. Eight years later, I have the life I’ve always wanted. As an advertising account executive,…

Vivien Jackson | A Primer on Autumn Celebration … in Texas
Author Guest / November 16, 2017

When I was a kid, my mother was paranoid. I mean, she’s still paranoid—she’s an expert in everyday items that will definitely kill me soon—but her hovering and persistent worry provided the clearest shape to my sense of How One Properly Celebrates Fall. Apparently once there was a dude who either poisoned Halloween candies or slipped razor blades into caramel apples or…I dunno what the real story was, but by the time Mom got done with it, pretty much every kid on the planet who dared go trick-or-treating was begging for a gruesome death. No way was I getting out of the house in my bed-sheet-and-eyeliner Cleopatra costume. So, since blackmailing my neighbors for candy was out and I was personally unchurched (read: the only heathen in a very Catholic neighborhood), my options for seasonal festivities were kind of limited. I could always have gone deer hunting with my dad and brother, but Bambi was still far too raw and relevant in my psyche (still is). Which left really only one thing. Football. In the late 70s and early 80s, football in Houston meant the Oilers. All the walls in my house were painted Columbia blue. Pictures exist of pre-gradeschool-me…

Favorite Character to write in To Marry a Texas Outlaw? Why?
Author Guest / November 15, 2017

I really love all the characters in this conclusion of my Men of Legend series but I have to say my favorite is Josie Morgan. She’s had a rough life but it’s given her the toughness she needs to survive. Josie grew up above her mother’s saloon so she’s seen the best and worst of humanity. Because of the various types of men who frequent the saloon, Josie’s mother taught her to shoot and she’s developed quite an aptitude for it. That comes in handy. I just love her ability to take what’s thrown at her and make the best of things. As the story opens, she has amnesia. Everything has been stripped from her. I often think of how scary it would be to wake up and not know who I was or where I lived. People in that state have no starting point or nothing to relate anything to. I can’t imagine. But Josie somehow keeps her sense of humor and stays optimistic for the most part. She trusts the outlaw Luke Legend and feels safe with him. As pieces of her life slowly start to emerge, she falls deeper in love with Luke. It’s at that point…

Heather Van Fleet | Characters: The biggest ache in a writer’s side.
Author Guest / November 15, 2017

You can’t control them. You can’t guide them. They simply birth their way onto the pages, pulling you in so many directions that you wind up going grey and gaining fifteen pounds by the time you’re done writing the book. (TRUE STORY, by the way.) BUT, every once in a while, these characters do something so freaking fantastic, so swoony, soooo hilarious, that you remember exactly why you wanted to write about them in the first place. This, to me, was my relationship with Maxwell Martinez—the hero in The Right Kind of Reckless. Let me start by saying that in Reckless Hearts, book one, Max was labeled (AND WORE THAT LABEL WELL) as a certifiable douchebag. He was a little chauvinistic, a whole lot degrading, and kind of annoying and immature, if I do say so myself. He’s flawed, bottom line. And I have no regrets writing him the way I did in that book. To me, though, Max is more than just those things I mentioned above. He’s a guy with a broken past. A guy with a whole lot of love to give for a woman he’s wanted for years, but can’t have. He’s goofy and playful and…

Gail Ingis | Fancy A Cup Of Tea?
Author Guest / November 15, 2017

Many blue moons ago I had the great pleasure of having High Tea at the Helmsley Palace in New York City. Or so I thought! Much to my surprise, I was mistaken in my assumption that it was called High Tea. In fact, the proper name is: Afternoon Tea. Fascinated with the ritual of “tea time”, I explored the history and found that Afternoon Tea, aka High Tea, originated among the wealthy social classes in England in the 1840s. By the end of the nineteenth century, Afternoon Tea developed into its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes. Teatime for the working population was always much later in the day, usually after 6 pm, and accompanied by a pot of good, strong stimulating tea. At the Helmsley Palace, Afternoon Tea consisted of delicate savory cucumber or egg and cress sandwiches, bread and butter, scones with clotted cream and jam, and occasionally cakes and pastries along with a bracing pot of tea. Sandwiches always had the crusts removed, and were cut into small segments, either as triangles or fingers, aka tea sandwiches. The waiters dressed in formal attire, starched collars, black vests and black pressed trousers….