Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Gayle Leeson | Eccentricities
Author Guest / December 5, 2017

Eccentricities. We all have them. And as long as we aren’t too eccentric, we and the people around us think we’re “normal” or “okay.” If you’ve read my books, then you know that I love writing eccentric characters. The Down South Café series has an abundance of them. Aunt Bess is an octogenarian who has discovered the Internet. She has Pinterest boards such as People I’ve Outlived and Lord, Have Mercy. Aunt Bess has also been known to use dating sites during their free trial periods. Still mentally sharp as a whip, Aunt Bess has an opinion on everything. Dilly Boyd, an older woman who comes to the Down South Café for breakfast every morning, feeds a raccoon a biscuit every evening. I have to admit that I didn’t come up with that scenario on my own. A few years ago, my family stopped at a house near my mother-in-law’s home to see some puppies. As we talked with the dogs’ owner, she mentioned that a raccoon came out of the woods and down to her back porch every evening at dusk. She said, “I give him a biscuit, and he goes on his way.” “You have to give him…

Amanda Ashby | Top 5 Ways to Cure a Heartbreak
Author Guest / December 5, 2017

In my new book, THE HEARTBREAK CURE, sixteen year old Cat Turner finds herself dumped and humiliated a week before starting her junior year at high school. She also finds herself the recipient of some heartbreak brownies. For years, Birdie, the old woman who once lived next door has been handing out these chocolate sugary delights to anyone who needs them.In the past Cat’s always scoffed at the idea, but when her own brownies get delivered by Birdie’s gorgeous ,but bad boy grandson, Alex Locke, Cat starts to discover that brownies can work in mysterious ways! And while the true healing takes a bit more than biting into a brownie, I loved the idea that in a strange way it was the gift that helped Cat find a way back to a new normal. So, I thought it would be fun to look at some other ways to get over heartbreak. The healing power of comfort food. Okay, so this might not be scientifically backed up, but there’s something so delicious about indulging in something we really love, and I like to think of it as an act of self-care. It’s allowing ourselves to feel the trauma and hurt of…

Mari Carr’s Top Five Favorite Movies
Author Guest / December 4, 2017

Mari Carr is the author of over 80 erotic, contemporary and romantic suspense stories. Her latest release with co-author, Jayne Rylon, INTO THE FIRE, released today! Mari Carr’s Top Five Favorite Movies Star Wars series. Not all of them because I’m sorry—Episodes 1-3 suck, but anything from the original franchise (yes, I saw all of them IN the theater) and the newest ones—episode 7 and Rogue One. Hidden Figures. It’s new to my faves list, but damn, man, that movie is powerful and beautiful and wonderful. You’ve Got Mail. Spent Thanksgiving weekend doing a “T. Hanks Giving” marathon and while I realize there’s always a lot of hype around Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail is WAY better. I mean…Tom and Meg actually TALK prior to the last five minutes of the movie in this one! Harry Potter series. All of them. Know every single line. Honest! Also—I never watch one without a wand in my hand. Overboard. Greatest movie ever! Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, a yacht and mini-golf. Hollywood magic. INTO THE FIRE by Jayne Rylon, Mari Carr Compass Boys #2 James Compton is a man of two worlds. For half the year, he’s Seth’s oldest boy, working with…

Maryann Jordan | Top 5 Favorite Novels
Author Guest / November 30, 2017

I have written and published 30 novels (with 2 more written and waiting to be published). Readers often ask authors to choose which is their favorite book (that they have written). When I am asked this question, it is so hard…like being asked to choose your favorite child! For authors, our characters are so personal to us. We created them, know them, understand them. When they act in ways that perhaps they shouldn’t, we know why. When they are heroic, we know their challenges. But, for those of you who do not know my books, I have forced myself to choose my top five and why. Perhaps, you will find something that strikes a chord with you as well. Gabe (Alvarez Security Series) This was what I consider to be my breakout book, being the 8th book I wrote. The cover was certainly a hit with a hot guy on the front. It was my first attempt at writing “beyond” detectives and wrote about an elite security business. The men had been former squad members with the Army’s Special Forces. Each story begins with a scene from when they were in the military and as the story progresses, you see…

5 things I discovered while writing Keeping Up With the Cavendishes
Author Guest / November 29, 2017

Writing any book—let alone a series—is always adventure. Even for a die-hard plotter like myself, there are twists, turns and surprises in every story. My Keeping Up With The Cavendishes series is no exception. Here’s a few things I learned while writing the four books in this series, including the newest (and final) one, IT’S HARD OUT HERE FOR A DUKE: Writing sibling banter is my favorite thing The Cavendish series is about an American family who unexpectedly inherits a dukedom in Regency England. As one does. The duke and his three sisters travel to London to…be ducal or something. As they attempt to navigate London high society, they lean on each other and tease each other, which made for some very fun scenes to write. Writing four novels that take place at the same time is…hard It’s true: the events of each of the four books in the series take place approximately at the same time as the others, so a reader might “attend” the same event in different books and experience it from multiple points of view. The hard part was making four different love stories intersect and connect…without spoiling it for any readers! That was the fun…

Top 5 Christmas Traditions from Believe in My Heart
Author Guest / November 28, 2017

NEW RELEASE GIVEAWAY! Growing up in an Italian household meant lots of baking, shopping, gift wrapping, eating, and visiting of relatives the month of December. The week after Christmas was spent returning/exchanging gifts, making up cookie trays, and visiting relatives. And I’m not even talking about visiting different relatives. Sometimes we’d go to my grandparents’ house in South Philadelphia one night and then to my second Uncle’s house down the street the next night. And many of the same people would be there both nights! While the way I celebrate the Christmas season is a bit different from twenty plus years ago, there are still some core traditions I’ve kept and have hopefully instilled in my children. BELIEVE IN MY HEART, the fourth book in my award-winning Tangled Hearts series and newest release, is a holiday novella that takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The hero, Vinnie DiFrancesco, is a traditional guy. He’s a bit of a homebody and is looking for a lifelong partner who will share his dream of raising a family and running his family’s trattoria. Doesn’t sound that hard, right? Wrong. Vinnie’s had a rough time with relationships and all but given up finding the right…

Katee Robert | Top 5 Fictional Families I Love
Author Guest / November 28, 2017

It’s that time of year again—when families come together for various holiday celebrations and fill houses with laughter, bickering, and generally good times. Our holidays will be really low-key this year, which has me craving that loving chaos in any way I can get it—this year that means fictionally! I’ve put together five of my favorite family-based series that I love reading around this time of year (in no particular order): The SaDiablo family (The Black Jewels series, Anne Bishop). Revisiting Daemon, Lucivar, and Saetan every year in December is one of my favorite things to do. Their story is not an easy one, but it’s so rewarding and I’ve reread the books so many times, it’s like visiting old friends. The books are also great holiday reads because Winsol, their winter celebration, features heavily into many of the books. The Grey Family (Greys of Montana stories, Megan Crane). I first read Come Home for Christmas, Cowboy several years ago, and I was captivated by the Grey family. They’re so full of life and their history in Montanan is nothing short of spectacular. The entire series is a joy. The Sevenwaters family (The Sevenwaters Series, Juliet Marillier). The Sevenwaters is…

Danielle Ellison | Five Reasons You Will Love Culler, SC
Author Guest / November 28, 2017

As a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, I always found myself wishing my life had a little bit of Stars Hollow in it. When I got the idea for THE SWEETHEART SHAM, my main character Georgie, made me immediately aware that her town had a similar charm to that one – but set in the south. (Which meant more quirk, more community, and more sweet tea.) I did a lot of research on charming small towns. I used to sit with my friend, Jenny, and take notes of her stories about the things that happened in her hometown. I think there’s a certain kind of quirkiness you can find in small towns—and especially in Culler, SC—so here are five reasons you will want to visit this town again and again. You can walk everywhere. With only one stoplight, the whole area of Culler is walkable. Finally, teenagers can have some freedom. You don’t need a car to get anywhere, but you can have one if you want some privacy. Just remember that everyone is watching where you go, so don’t get caught parking at Hickam Bridge or your momma will find out, and then bless your heart. Everything you need…

The setting is a
Author Guest / November 28, 2017

I use St. Petersburg, Florida, as the setting of the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries. I’ve lived here for more than forty years now and am considered to be ‘nearly native.’ Some readers have mentioned that the setting comes across as a character – exactly what I strive to accomplish. However, just like an individual, the city is undergoing change and growth as our city embraces it’s Florida quirky. For example, about ten years ago, the city exploded in two distinctive areas: craft beer brewing and vibrant outdoor murals. The city has struggled at times with accommodating these emerging cultural changes. At last count, there were more than 30 breweries in the county that create beers suited to the climate and culture. The St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail (aka the “Gulp Coast”) runs from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg, which is an hour’s drive, end to end. The area’s signature craft beer is named Florida Weisse, a Berliner Weisse-style beer (tart, low-alcohol, highly carbonated) given a unique spin by local brewers during the fermentation process through the addition of fresh fruits like key lime, raspberry, mango, dragon fruit, pineapple and passion fruit. My favorite local brews are the Beach Blonde Ale…

Molly E. Lee | Top Five Friends-to-Lovers Couples in Movies
Author Guest / November 25, 2017

Who are the top five couples in movies that started off as friends? This legit is one of my FAVORITE questions 🙂 If you’ve done any light stalking on me, you’ll likely know that my husband and I were friends for years before we woke up and realized we were soulmates 😉 So, naturally, one of my favorite tropes in books or movies is friends to lovers. Picking a top five was hard, but I seriously loved revisiting my favorite friendly couples! Below are my top five and the reasons why they make me swoon! Hermione and Ron from HARRY POTTER This is my number one friends-to-lovers couple because, well, I’m a total Harry Potter nerd! *Ravenclaw in the house!*There was something so beautiful about watching the progression of Ron and Hermione’s relationship throughout the books and movies. Their friendship was rocky at first and then grew into this solid foundation on which they shaped their lives. Then, once that spark was lit between them, and they gave into the chemistry between them it was like…BOOM! Now they have that great friendship dynamic plus the amazing connection when taking it a step further. It really sets them up for a…