Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Meet Shawn Smucker, author of THE DAY THE ANGELS FELL
Interviews / August 21, 2017

About Shawn Smucker Shawn lives in Lancaster, PA, along with his wife and their six children. He is the author of Building a Life Out of Words and How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp. THE DAY THE ANGELS FELL is his first novel. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOOGLEPLUS Tell us a little about THE DAY THE ANGELS FELL. Where did you get your inspiration to write this story? I was cowriting a memoir with a man in Istanbul, Turkey, who was dying of cancer. The goal was to finish the first draft before he passed away, so it was an intense three weeks, and we spent a lot of time together. For the first time in my life, I was face-to-face with mortality—he was forty-nine years old, a husband, a father of two children—and I wondered how I would feel if that was me, preparing to die. When I got home from the trip I started talking to my children about what kind of story they would like, and together we came up with the basic structure for THE DAY THE ANGELS FELL. As I began to write the book, I realized that doing so was my…

An Instrumental Interview with Alexia Gordon
Cozy Corner / August 14, 2017

It’s time to travel across the pond with author Alexia Gordon to the land of shamrocks and leprechauns. Actually, we won’t be visiting any leprechauns, but ghosts and symphonies are another story. Alexia’s fictional world may not be magical, but her research and writing will happily engage cozy mystery readers from beginning to end in her Gethsemane Brown Mystery series. About Alexia Gordon A writer since childhood, Alexia Gordon continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Her medical career established, she returned to writing fiction. She won a Lefty Award, was nominated for an Agatha Award, and was chosen one of Suspense Magazine‘s best debuts of 2016. Raised in the southeast and schooled in the northeast, Gordon migrated to the southwest after a three-year stint in Alaska reminded her how much she needed sunlight and warm weather. After a time in the desert, she missed deciduous trees so she headed northeast to the Chicago area. She completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. If pushed, she will admit Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. Gordon enjoys classical music, fine whiskey, art, travel,…

Getting Cozy in the Heat
Cozy Corner / August 7, 2017

The best way to deal with the heat of summer is to find a place in the shade, or the air conditioning;), and read an incredible mystery. Mysteries full of spunky characters who act as spies, and everyday Janes who aren’t about to let the wrong person be accused of murder. Read about a woman who loves her fiancee beyond any claim to the thrown, and a woman who will do what it takes to restore the historical clock tower in the center of town. Get lost in a heroine’s traveling nightmares on her trip to Italy for her queen, and another’s determination to keep love in the air despite the danger lurking in town. Enjoy these mysteries—they’re sure to keep you intrigued! ON HER MAJESTY’S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE by Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness Mystery #11 In the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Crowned and Dangerous, Lady Georgiana Rannoch juggles secret missions from the Queen, Darcy, and her mother. But it’s all in a day’s work when you’re thirty-fifth in line to the British Crown. When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how to travel to…

Sherrilyn Kenyon chats ‘Dragonsworn’
Interviews / August 3, 2017

Miranda Owen: In DRAGONSWORN, Falcyn and Medea are both warriors and have both known bone-deep grief. Do you prefer writing a hero and heroine who have a lot in common, or who are opposites that are thrown together? Sherrilyn Kenyon: Both 🙂 They each have their own challenges and are fun to write, for different reasons. Miranda Owen: Betrayal and trust are hand-in-hand themes in many of your books. What draws to these themes? Sherrilyn Kenyon: Both are part of life. Sadly, almost everyone goes through betrayal at some point, and it’s learning to trust again that’s so hard and yet so important. I had an extremely traumatic childhood that left me with severe trust issues, so I know exactly how hard it is to let down your guard for anyone. To make yourself vulnerable again after you’ve been hurt. But we’re not islands and people need people. That’s something my characters usually have to learn and explore for themselves. That learning to open up and trust again, even when they’re scared to. Miranda Owen: Because Urian and Stryker are both characters in DRAGONSWORN, I can’t help but think to earlier books with those characters. Since DARK SIDE OF THE…

Women’s History in Mystery
Cozy Corner / August 3, 2017

For Women’s History Month, I felt it was only fitting to pay homage to the female authors of the past who continue to captivate mystery readers across generations. With their boundary-breaking literature, these women have influenced and motivated a multitude of incredible female authors who continue to expand upon their foremother’s legacy. To celebrate their achievements, I asked a few women currently making history in the mystery genre about the female inspirations behind their writing. From a few eloquent words, to heartfelt memories, I hope you enjoy the history of mystery through the eyes of a few women I admire and respect. Susan Wittig Albert , author of THE LAST CHANCE OLIVE RANCH “My father loved to read British mysteries, and from him I learned an early love of Agatha Christie (of course), but also of Ngaio Marsh, Patricia Wentworth, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy Sayers. They taught me a great respect for the classical mystery plot: for the way stories hang together (or don’t) from the beginning, through a confusing middle, all the way to the inevitable end. They also taught me that plot absolutely develops from character, and not the other way around.” Winnie Archer, author of KNEADED TO…

Interview with Kate Baxter, author of ‘The Lost Vampire’
Interviews / August 3, 2017

Miranda Owen: What is it about vampires that capture your imagination? Kate Baxter: I’ve always been a fan of vampires! I read Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE when I was 17, and after that, I was hooked. I love the aura of darkness that surrounds them, the intensity of their emotions, and the potential for so much self-inflicted torture. I love to write internal conflict and with vampires, there is so much opportunity to explore their angst. It’s fun to shed a little light on characters who are condemned to live in darkness! Miranda Owen: The mercenary and morally ambiguous character Christian pops up in THE LOST VAMPIRE. After writing about him, and including him in the past books, is he a character you really enjoy writing for – perhaps more so than when he first appeared? Kate Baxter: I absolutely LOVE Christian. Along with Siobhan, he’s one of my favorite characters to write. I definitely consider him a bit of an antihero and with each book, I fall a little more in love with him! He’s flawed and self-destructive and a little selfish. His character has room to grow and at the same time, his character traits have…

Q&A with Bestselling Author Jeaniene Frost on her latest title THE SWEETEST BURN
Author Guest , Interviews / July 27, 2017

Miranda Owen: What had you doing a series about demons, angels, and other biblical themes? Jeaniene Frost : I’ve loved all things paranormal since I was a child. Seriously, a story long told by my parents was that on my first day of Sunday school, I told the pastor that I thought the cross on the wall was to keep the vampires away. Not surprisingly, the first books I wrote featured vampires, but even then, I soon branched out to include other creatures like ghosts, ghouls, witches, revenants, wraiths, sorcerers, necromancers, and even a few demons. However, I first got the idea for the Broken Destiny series the same way I first got the idea for my Night Huntress series: from a dream. I have very vivid dreams, and they’ve ended up being plot fodder for more than a few books. In this particular dream, a young woman woke up trapped in a demon realm after spending the night in a bed and breakfast. Over the next few years, while I was writing my other novels, that story kept growing in my mind. Ironically, the young woman didn’t turn out to be my novel’s heroine. Instead, she was my heroine’s…

Getting Cozy in the Shade
Cozy Corner / July 24, 2017

Is it hotter than Hades everywhere? Sweltering heat that makes the pools feel like bathwater, and the lakes a petrie dish for bacteria? We’ve had blistering heat that won’t relent, so this week I decided to step into the shade and enjoy what the shadows bring. I wanted to test the darkest corners and see what little monsters I could find—embrace every deadly kiss the shadow man delivered. And boy did he deliver! For a taste that will chill the blood flowing through your veins, check out these four mysteries this summer. THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas There are secrets around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about what happened there that last summer. She and her childhood best friend Callie never talked about what they saw. Not before the trial. And certainly not after. But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth. Only the…

Summer Mysteries
Cozy Corner / June 26, 2017

Whether you like to sit on the porch with a hardback book in your hands, or with your Kindle or Nook on your lap, this week I’ve chosen four mystery must-reads to enjoy during your summer nights. Pour a glass of iced tea and join these great heroines and their quirky sidekicks in a cozy corner—each one is a treat not to be missed! ONLY SKEIN DEEP by Maggie Sefton Knitting Mystery In the latest novel from The New York Times bestselling author of Knit to Be Tied, Kelly Flynn and The Lambspun Knitters are eagerly awaiting a bundle of joy but find themselves heaped with trouble instead… Kelly Flynn and her boyfriend, Steve, couldn’t be happier as they await the birth of their bouncing baby boy. Kelly’s got a built-in group of fiber arts specialists, the Lambspun Knitters, who are working away on blankets and booties. As they sit around the table crafting their keepsakes, the story of Giselle Callahan is a popular topic of conversation. Giselle is the young wife of Henry Callahan, a Fort Connor banking scion, who traded in his previous wife of forty years for a newer model. Giselle’s prowess as a skilled country club…

Cozy Corner | Summer Treats
Cozy Corner / June 12, 2017

The summer months are full of new treats from fresh fruit at the local market to new flavors of ice cream, all of them mouth-wateringly delicious. But I’m here to address the treats for your mind. The mysteries that catch you with the cozy warmth of small town love thy neighbor attitudes and humor to make you smile. Enjoy my four new picks this week! BEARLY DEPARTED by Meg Macy Teddy Bear The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . . As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . . But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect…