The Fresh Fiction Podcast

Conversations about what you’re reading, what you’re watching, and what you’re listening to

Swoonworthy Second Chance Romance + Diana Biller

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

Vibe Check

D had a busy week dealing with her daughter’s cold, but she was able to see her new, grown-up friends! G’s mom is visiting her in WA and she got to show off some of her favorite places in her new home.

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SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE DISCUSSION

A great place to hear more about second chance romance is our interview with Reese Ryan, who wrote three second chance romances in 2020: Second Chance on Cypress Lane, Secret Heir Seduction, and A Reunion of Rivals

Gwen’s Recs:

Movies - Always Be My Maybe, The Philadelphia Story, heartbreaking version of Wuthering Heights from 2011

TV - Ross and Rachel, Lorelei and Christopher, Eleanor and Chidi from The Good Place

Books – Persuasion (The OG Second Chance Romance, in our opinion)

Pop Culture – Ben and Jen 3.0!

Danielle’s Recs:

Movies – Sweet Home Alabama, Love and Basketball, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, High Fidelity

TV – Mer-Der on Grey’s Anatomy (and most of the other major romance storylines on the show... is it nostalgia?), Jess and Nick on New Girl, but also, CeCe and Schmidt’s love story is possibly even more akin to a romance novel!

Books - Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole, Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev, A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria, One Week to Claim it All by Adriana Herrera (her new book, JUST FOR THE HOLIDAYS will be out in October)

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Recs from DIANA BILLER

THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN PARIS hits stores on October 12. Pre-order now!

You can also read her debut, THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE, and a holiday novella, A CHRISTMAS SPARK.

Hot take! Diana doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she loves writing about them. Also, we all think we will make excellent ghosts one day.

Neuroscience as we know it was really coming into its own during this time (though it wasn’t called neuroscience just yet). Diana showed us her copy of Origins of Neuroscience, which looks fascinating... and very dense.

Discovering BTS has brought Diana so much joy (Same, girl!).

Also, she has the best pets! Shout out to Valentino and Giselle!!

We got the scoop on Diana’s future release, The Hotel of Secrets, set in Vienna, with a beautiful hotel owner and a reluctant spy. Look for it in early 2023. Please be aware that dates can change (such is publishing!), so sign up for Diana’s newsletter to get the latest info.

https://www.dianabiller.com/

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Twitter

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle is still scrolling at night, but she is also reading more! Reading a print book with short chapters and very lyrical writing, like the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante, has been a huge help. This week, she is VERY determined to finsih the copyedits on THE ACCIDENTAL PINUP. Her new Rothy’s Driver Loafers are making her immensely happy.

Gwen has been reconnecting with friends by sending them lovely little gifts and she will continue to work on this because it has been really satisfying. She now wants to focus on making stock because it’s soup season! Gwen has started using a Breville milk frother and is making her own lattes at him, which is very comforting.

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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Write the thing! Writing in Pop-Culture + Author Naima Simone

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

It’s Gwen’s Birthday week!!!!!!!!! She also put together one of the new desks in her home and it’s making things feel complete.

Danielle participated in #20Kin5Days! It’s hosted by author Tasha L. Harrison and her Wordmakers community. It only opens to new members every few months, so sign up for her newsletter if you’re interested in future challenges or are looking for a place to connect with other writers. In addition to writing 20K on a new WIP, Danielle also published her author website: https://daniellejacksonbooks.com/

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WRITING AT LARGE IN POP CULTURE

Gwen’s Recs: Can You Ever Forgive Me? (screenwriting), Girls (Millennials writing), Ruby Sparks (writer’s creation coming to life, see also Stranger Than Fiction), Almost Famous (music writing), Young Adult (YA author), HappyThankYouMorePlease (for a shade of ridiculous publishing portrayal), Quills (Marquis de Sade), Anonymous (Shakespeare), Poetic Justice (poetry), How to Make an American Quilt (thesis writing), Sex and the City (can’t forget our girl Carrie)

Danielle’s Recs: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (magazine features), Never Been Kissed (newspaper scoop, also, super problematic in retrospect), The Devil Wears Prada (Vogue), 13 Going on 30 (magazine features), The Proposal (editors), You’ve Got Mail (bookstores), Trainwreck (magazine features). Don’t forget about Romancing the Stone (romance writer!!!); stay tuned for The Lost City of D with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. TV: The Bold Type (magazines), Younger (publishing), 30 Rock (TV writer’s room)

Danielle also asked on Twitter for books featuring writers, because she could only think of the recent release, SEVEN DAYS IN JUNE by Tia Williams. Shout out to Leigh Kramer, Theresa Romain, Jon Keogh, and @ThanksForDaVenom for their recs. See the full list here: https://twitter.com/DJacksonBooks/status/1431022653821886472

 

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Recs from NAIMA SIMONE

Naima finds that doing writing challenges with a partner and writing out plots/outlines by hand help keep her on track for her word count goals!

She’s a big crime show and reality TV fan!

She credits Nalini Singh with writing diverse characters before “diversity” was a big initiative in publishing and wants her diverse casts to be the norm across the board.

Things bringing her joy: her new dog, Dr. Death on Peacock, and Slasher Season 4

All of Naima’s book coming soon:

August 24: Secrets of a One Night Stand

September 1: A Kiss to Remember

October 26: Christmas in Rose Bend

December 28: The Perfect Fake Date

Naima’s Website: http://naimasimone.com/

Twitter

Facebook

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Newsletter

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Gwen did complete her goal last week and put together one of the two new desks (the second is on it’s way)! This week, she wants to reconnect with friends by sending some fun local Seattle products and cards/letters. She also took a trip to Penzey’s and bought a million spices which is bring her much joy.

Danielle, in no way shape or form, even tried to clean out her guest room closet (she has decided she’s over it). This week, she wants to be better about reading before bed and not just scrolling on her phone. Danielle is obsessed with her Out of Print x S’Well composition notebook water bottle that she got on SUPER sale, and that makes her happy.

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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“Ah, I love trailers” Anticipated Fall and Winter Books, Movies, and TV + Guest Susan Kamyab

Posted by freshfiction in Movies, TV, Books

Vibe Check

Danielle has seen a book cover! And it’s great!

Gwen cleaned out her freezer!

Our guest, Susan, wrote two reviews of upcoming movies for her website, http://thischixflix.com/

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Our Fall 2021 Entertainment Recs

September

Susan/Film: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Candyman, Dear Evan Hansen, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Gwen/TV: I Know What You Did Last Summer, Doogie, The Wonder Years, Le Brea, Big Sky, ACS: Impeachment, Scenes from a Marriage, The Morning Show

 

Danielle Books: A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria, You Got Anything Stronger? By Gabrielle Union

 

October

Susan/Film: No Time to Die, The Last Duel, Halloween Kills

Gwen/TV: Succession, Insecure, Queens, Dopesick, The Many Saints of New York

 

Danielle Books: The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller (future podcast guest!), All the Feels by Olivia Dade, Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

November

Susan/Film: Eternals, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Top Gun: Maverick, House of Gucci,  

Gwen/TV: The Great season 2, Dexter: New Blood

Danielle Books: Terciel & Elinor by Garth Nix, Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau, Miss Moriarty I Presume by Sherry Thomas

December

Susan/Film: Spider-Man: No Way Home, The King’s Man, The Matrix 4

Gwen/TV: Netflix Christmas movies and finding time to watch all the shows we didn’t watch the rest of the year!

Danielle Books: The Love Con by Seressia Glass

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Susan would like to drink more water and have a consistent bedtime routine! She’s finding immense comfort in Taco Bell (as we all do) and watching Never Have I Ever on Netflix. You can find Susan’s reviews on http://thischixflix.com/. Follow her on Twitter!

Gwen needs to build two desks for her apartment. The weather is cooling off in the PNW, so she’s enjoying wearing funny sweaters, and is considering a western-style sweatshirt from Costco!

Danielle must go through her guest room closet. Her quiet house is bringing her so much joy!

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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Gwen Reyes

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Danielle Jackson

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Celebrity Culture & Entertainment + Jennet Alexander

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, Books

Gwen had a harrowing adventure this week, but has a new mattress to show for it! Danielle planned two birthday parties and is the mother of a 7 yr. old! They think these are huge accomplishments!

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Celebrities!

Celebs Danielle Follows in Social Media: (mostly on Instagram) Mindy Kaling, Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon, Retta, Gabrielle Union, Nicole Byer. Also! Don’t sleep on celebrity stylists: Elizabeth Stuart, Law Roach, and Karla Welch

Celebs Gwen likes to follow: Many of the same that Danielle follows, but also fashion designers, makeup artists, Issa Rae (HER WEDDING!!!!), Beyonce, musicians and bands like Taking Back Sunday and Foo Fighters

Gwen’s Recs: The old standards: Celebitchy, Lainey Gossip, Page Six, RealityTea for reality show gossip, CrazyDaysandNights and Deux Moi for blind items, and books by Anne Helen Peterson and Karina Longworth for the business side of celebrity; Behind the Music (Paramount), Tabloid, NOBODY SPEAKS (Netflix), AMY, FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS. Very old show DIRT starring Courteney Cox

Danielle’s Recs: Bohemian Rhapsody, Judy, My Week with Marilyn, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (and Lady Sings the Blues), The Aviator; Beyond the Lights, any version of A Star is Born, Birdman, The Artist; American Crime Story (Gianna Versace and OJ Simpson), Entourage, The Crown, “thinly veiled” shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, One Mississippi; You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (also Take the Lead), Reel by Kennedy Ryan, While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory

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Recs from JENNET ALEXANDER

Jennet spent part of her release day with us, and we were very chuffed about it! You can follow her on Twitter, @JennetAlexander, and find out more info on her website, http://www.jennetalexander.com/.

Horror film/show recs: Dog Soldiers, Haunting of Hill House, Haunting of Bly Manor

Romance rec: Anne of Manhattan by Brina Starler

Gossip/Celeb culture sites: Celebitchy, The Mary Sue (mostly does reviews, but sometimes covers bigger, “tabloid” stories)

Pop Culture she’s been enjoying: the newer Godzilla movies (most recently, Godzilla vs. Kong) that have a lot of throwbacks to the original Gojira, MCU and looking forward to Phase 4 (specifically Hawkeye with Hailee Steinfeld)

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle has been writing something every day! Now, she wants to figure out a work routine for the upcoming school year.

Gwen’s inbox is much more organized and as the week goes on and she completes more tasks, it will be all clear again. An evergreen goal (for everyone – even you!), Gwen would like to drink more water.

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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Gwen Reyes

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Danielle Jackson

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Let’s Get Out of Here! Escapist Entertainment + Melonie Johnson Interview

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

Gwen has been going to bed at 10:30 consistently this week, and we want to know the secret to this sorcery.

Danielle’s debut novel is about to head to copyediting and proofreading, she finished the first draft of her WIP, and she planned TWO parties for her daughter’s upcoming 7th birthday!

ESCAPISM

Is escapism more about a feeling? Maybe a sense of place? Or is it just watching rich people do a bunch of wild things? We’re not sure, but we do have opinions.

Danielle’s Escapist Recs:

TV: Bridgerton, Grey’s Anatomy (in particular, the infamous bomb episode)

MOVIES: Wes Anderson Movies - The Royal Tenenbaums,The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom. Shout out to the The French Dispatch, which finally premiered at Cannes this year!  

BOOKS: THE EX TALK by Rachel Lynn Solomon, PUMPKINHEADS by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES by Denny S. Bryce, Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series

Gwen’s Escapist Recs:

Opulence: Anything that revolves around insanely rich people, because it is sooo different from my life. I also love watching the pettiness and insecurity money brings to people -- again, not in real life. THE WHITE LOTUS, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF POTOMAC, DR. DEATH, and FBOY ISLAND

Travel/”City as a character”: NYC/LA/Paris as the backdrop for a person discovering themselves. BITTERSWEET, SWEET FILTHY BOY, and food travel shows like David Chang’s BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER

Podcasts – WHO?Weekly and EVEN THE RICH

 

 

Recs from Melonie Johnson

Does anyone know why there are so many paintball scenes in rom-coms? (PS There’s one in Melonie’s book, too!!)

Our favorrite rom-com movie and book recs! Melonie: When Harry Met Sally, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Gwen: You’ve Got Mail (but also His Girl Friday and Bringing Up Baby), Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. Danielle: Clueless, The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa.

Some things Melonie did early on in her publishing journey to learn about the business: NaNoWriMo, read the Smart Bitches Trashy Books website and listened to the podcast, attended the Chicago-North RWA Spring Fling Conference.

Melonie is thrilled about the warm weather and being outside, and listening to audiobooks: GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN by Talia Hibbert and WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES by Denny S. Bryce.

Look for TOO WRONG TO BE RIGHT, Kat’s book, coming soon!

Go to Melonie’s website for more info, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Reader Group, Instagram, and sign up for her newsletter.

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle chose a baking project (puff pastry), but will wait to start until it’s not so hot out. She would like to get back into a regular writing routine this week. And she’s been making sun tea on her deck!

Gwen has procured her air fryer, but has not found a fried chicken recipe... YET. She wants to keep her work email inbox clean and organized! And spying on her neighbors and seeing/hearing their exploits has brought her much joy this week.

Find us on the Socials!

Gwen Reyes

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Danielle Jackson

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We Hope You’re Hungry (Food in Pop Culture + Guest Sonali Dev)

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

This week, Gwen got to see friends who came to visit and she started composting! Danielle survived her family vacation to Michigan and changed her social media handles to @DJacksonBooks to start changing into her author persona!

Food in Pop Culture

Do we ever stop talking about food? NOPE! Do we have a TON of recommendations? YES!

Gwen’s Chef Shows: Celeb chefs like Ina, Martha, Tabitha Brown, plus Giada and Bobby Flay’s forbidden love. 

Gwen’s Food Competition Shows: Top Chef is the OG! 

Gwen’s TV/Movies: Chocolat, Hook, Kitchen Confidential, A Matter of Taste; Controversy over Roadrunner

Gwen’s Books: Louisa Edwards’ “Recipe for Love” series featuring chefs and restaurant owners. And I back Danielle’s choice of Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev. 

Danielle’s Chef Shows: Nadiya Bakes, Chef Show, and I’ve been known to just turn on the Food Network and watch whatever comes on

Danielle’s Food Competitions Shows: Top Chef, Chopped, Great British Baking Show, Nailed It!

Danielle’s TV/Movies: Chef, Ratatouille, Dinner Rush

Danielle’s Books: Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev, Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera, A Match Made for Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau, The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory, Accidentally Engaged by Farrah Heron

Recs from Sonali Dev

The first Austen novel that Sonali read was Pride and Prejudice.

There was a very 80s, very awesome P&P retelling called Trishna that she watched when she was younger.

The Raje Series: Pride Prejudice and Other Flavors, Recipe for Persuasion, and Incense and Sensibility Coming soon: the 4th book in the Raje series, based on Emma.

Head to https://sonalidev.com/ for more information. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, join her Facebook Reader group, Dev Nation, and sign up for her newsletter!

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Gwen did not find a GP or a vet, but she did go to the dentist! This week, Gwen would like to find a “fried” chicken recipe for her new air fryer! Gwen has found immense comfort in oat milk lattes.

Danielle survived family vacation, and wants to find a new baking recipe to perfect (she is leaning toward puff pastry). Danielle LOVES this Crushed Oreo and White Chocolate Chip cookie recipe!

Find us on the Socials!

Gwen Reyes

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Danielle Jackson

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Danielle and Gwen’s Summer Check-in (Guests Roseann and Marissa from Love’s Sweet Arrow)

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

On today's episode...

Danielle traveled and hung out with a bunch of kids!

Gwen survived the Seattle heatwave and didn’t murder her husband in the process!

Host Check-in!

Gwen has had an eventful 2021 so far, including moving across the country, bringing back the FF podcast, finding her perfect Costco in her new city, and starting a new event planning job.

Danielle has a pub date for her debut novel (but she can’t share it just yet). Get ready for Summer 2022!

What we’ve been READING

Danielle: Bombshell by Sarah MacLean (August 24), The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon (August 17); Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson (August 3), The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood (September 14), and slowly reading Emma by Jane Austen and will follow it up with Northanger Abbey. (PS: Danielle is moderating a virtual panel on Friday August 6 with Alexis Daria, Melonie Johnson, Sarah MacLean, Scarlett Peckham, and Farrah Rochon, all about BFFs in Romance)

Gwen: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, The Checklist by Addie Woolridge, and I just started To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne (You’ve Got Mail reimagining!)

What we’ve been WATCHING

Gwen: Below Deck Med and Real Housewives of Potomac (Bravo) are back, baby! Kevin Can F Himself (AMC+), This is Pop (Netflix), Top Chef Portland season finale (Bravo), The Hustler (ABC), Starstruck (HBO Max), Hacks (HBO), Woolfgang (Disney+)

Danielle: The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), Much Ado About Nothing (Amazon Prime), Shadow and Bone (per Gwen’s rec! On Netflix), In the Heights (HBO Max), We are Lady Parts (Peacock TV)

PS: Look at all the pretty people in Much Ado About Nothing!

What else we’ve been CONSUMING

Danielle: Podcast: Unladylike. All the Trader Joe’s snacks, specifically the Giant Peruvian Inca Corn Snacks and Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns.

Gwen: Podcast: I Am All In with Scott Patterson. Carrie Underwood’s Calia brand athleisure. Millionaire Cheesecakes and Lemon curd Cheesecakes from Costco. Ellenos Yogurt (Whole Foods and other specialty shops nationwide)

 

More Summer Fun!

Gwen wants to see more friends and has some upcomiong visitors that will be very exciting! She and her husband are also trying to explore Western Washington more, and went to Mt. Rainier recently. She really wants to go to Forks, WA, and Danielle wholeheartedly supports this, even though neither of them got into Twilight AT ALL.

Danielle is taking a family trip to a smalltown in Michigan to live that lake life. Also, she had brunch with friends recently and now wants to do that more (safely and within reason).

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Recs from Marissa and Roseann

Check out LSA’s surprise boxes and their YouTube channel!

Roseann loved the virtual event they hosted with Beverly Jenkins and Marissa has enjoyed the Boozy Book Broads, including Rosie Danan, Diana Biller, and Jackie Lau

All the recs from our rapid fire section! Comfort Reads: Anything Beverly Jenkins, Anything Barbara Delinksey, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, Born in Fire by Nora Roberts. Books we think should be adapted for TV/Film: The Worst Best Man  by Mia Sosa, Modern Love Series by Alisha Rai, Jemima J by Jane Green, You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria. Dream Author Guests for store events or the podcast: Beverly Jenkins (in person!), Alyssa Cole, Suzanne Brockmann, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts

Marissa is loving the warmer weather, Frappucinos, Skinny Pop Popcorn, and her dogs.

Roseann is finding joy in warmer weather and getting outside more.

Follow LSA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, shop their online store, sign up for their newsletter, and check out their Patreon! Also, head to their website for the latest info on events, store hours, and everything else: https://lovessweetarrow.com/

**After this interview was recorded in the springtime, Love’s Sweet Arrow and the Boozy Book Broads have put together a NEW Summer Sultry Box with handpicked items by the BBBs, LSA, and a special Novelly Yours Candle called Boozy Books on the Beach!**

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Gwen did not start un-crossing her legs while working, but it’s a work in progress. Gwen’s new goal is to find GP/doctors for her and her husband in WA and a vet/groomer for their dog. This week, she has found joy in having her brother and his partner visit soon!

Danielle successfully traveled across the country and didn’t spiral (too much). Danielle’s new goal is to survive family vacation! And this week, she wants to give a special shout out to Novelly Yours Candles. Some of her faves: Book Club, Tarot Reading, Rose All Day, Thriller, and The Muse.

 

Follow Up: The Worst Best Man [DD1]

Trope Madness! (Romance Tropes + Reese Ryan)

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books, Music

Vibe Check

The Type-A Queen of our hearts: Gwen has created a spreadsheet for her new local dining options!

Actual human interaction!?! Danielle hosted an in-person event to celebrate Love’s Sweet Arrow’s 2nd anniversary! Our pal, @TheLindaShow, took some fun photos!!

Romance Tropes

If you are interested in more in-depth coverage of Romance Tropes and what they mean and why romance readers love them, check out these great podcasts: Fated Mates, Learning the Tropes, Whoa!mance, and Shelf Love.

Our Faves and Recs!

Danielle's favorite tropes and recs:

Second chance romance: Reese Ryans's A Reunion of Rivals and Second Chance on Cypress Lane, Naima Simone's The Road to Rose Bend

Enemies to lovers: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, The Ex-Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon, The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Grumpy/Sunshine: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert, Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur, Managed by Kristin Callihan

Gwen's favorite tropes and recs:

Second chance romance: the Netflix movie, Always Be My Maybe (come for feelings, but stay for KEANU!)

One-night-stand who ends up being the boss/co-worker/neighbor: Mer-Der on Grey's Anatomy (this EXACT moment, LOL)

Love triangle: Vampire Diaries (Danielle snuck in a rec for One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London!)

Recs from REESE RYAN

Reese has all the books out: WAKING UP MARRIED, SECOND CHANCE ON CYPRESS LANE, SOMETHING ABOUT YOU.

She’s been using Sarra Cannon’s HB90 organization bootcamp plan to stay focused.

Authors she enjoys reading: Rochelle Alers, Maisey Yates, Kathy Douglass

Check out her YouTube chat show, The Story Behind the Story (and so you can see her cute nose ring).Some of her favorite chats have been with Beverley Jenkins and Brenda Jackson and she’s excited to talk to Talia Hibbert and Donna Hill

Look for a new continuity series by Reese, Karen Booth, and Joss Wood about foster brothers this fall: HOMECOMING HEARTBREAKER by Joss Wood (July), BEST LAID WEDDING PLANS by Karen Booth (August), and JUST A LITTLE MARRIED by Reese Ryan (September)

Visit https://www.reeseryan.com/ for more information and to sign up for Reese’s newsletter. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Reader Group, and Instagram.

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle’s (almost) no-coffee experiment continues, and now she wants to travel safely to see her family. She’s also obsessed with the Etsy shop, Fugly Barbie! Some of her faves: Cute Spooky Vibes sweatshirt, Romance Noves are My Therapy sticker, Support Your Local Coven tee, and Hot and Steamy mug.

Gwen did not unpack, but she does have to do it... eventually. She’d like to stop crossing her legs under her while she works at her desk, and has enjoyed watching In The Heights and Hacks, both of which are on HBO Max.

Find us on the Socials!

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Danielle @dj_dresser

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Go Ahead and INDULGE! (With Angelina M. Lopez)

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, TV, Books

Vibe Check

This week, Gwen is feeling good about moving around more throughout the day and getting settled in her new city!

Danielle has been reading a TON lately. She’s working her way through the Y: The Last Man graphic novel series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, and she read a magical Ethiopian Jane Eyre retelling (yes, you read that right) called Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood (Sorry, it doesn’t come out until November, but you should totally preorder it!).

INDULGENCES

When D thinks of indulgences in pop culture she thinks of shows in the early Aughts, like Gossip Girl and Revenge. Also, the Harlequin Desire line of category romances, which are described as being about the “American elite.” Back in the Texan’s Bed by Naima Simione and Waking Up Married by Reese Ryan (future podcast guest!) are two recent releases she enjoyed. Of course, watching any of the Real Housewives franchises or even the Kardashians—but it’s interesting when the people on these shows are “messy” like everyone else, and watching them mess up is very entertaining.

Gwen really loved the English translation and Netflix adaptation of 365 Days by Blanka Lipinska! Also, she enjoys aspirational life-style reality TV like Million Dollar Listing, Selling Sunset, and The Big Day. Also, remember how sumptuous and vibrant old technicolor moves were? Like Sunset Boulevard and Imitation of Life.

What do our indulgences say about us? You tell us!

Gwen: Taking a long shower, putting on lotion, and getting in fresh sheets, Midnight Cookie runs, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Seattle donuts, and Omakase sushi menus

Danielle: Ipsy subscription, ordering lunch at least once a week, Starbucks at least once a week (under normal circumstances, it’s definitely more than that), ALL the streaming services, and buying books! Recent buys: Why She Wrote by the Bonnets at Dawn hosts, Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce, and a Kindle Oasis

Recs from Angelina!

Looking for great sex scenes in romance? Look to early Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Theresa Medeiros, Laura Kinsale, Sierra Simone

Angelina, Danielle, and Melonie Johnson host the Boozy Book Broads chat every 3rd Friday of the Month on Love’s Sweet Arrow’s YouTube channel. Some of her favorite chats have been with Rosie Danan, Diana Biller, and Naima Simone.

Coming soon: a new series by Angelina with Carina Press about 3 Mexican American sisters set in a small-town Kansas bar.

Check out http://www.angelinamlopez.com/ for her blog, short stories, and much more! You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and sign up for her newsletter.

You can read her books: LUSH MONEY, HATE CRUSH, and SERVING SIN (our pals at Love’s Sweet Arrow have SIGNED copies of all of Angelina’s books right now!!)

 

Goals/Comfort & Joy

 Gwen has been unpacking like crazy and is so close to getting everything done in her new place that she is going to carry this one over for another couple of weeks!

Danielle has been working on her patience and that has been helped by some much-needed distance—plus she is planning on taking a trip to see family soon! This week, Danielle wants to stop drinking coffee and see what happens. Wish her luck!

Gwen’s new couch, the Lovesac Sactional, is bringing her immense joy!

Danielle has simplified her skincare routine and loves the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

Let’s Talk About Comfort Zones (Author Guest Alyssa Cole)

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

When was the last time you read a magazine? Gwen recently read print issues of Food Network, Food & Wine, and Bon Appetit!

Danielle finished her first draft of book 3 but knows there’s a lot to work on during the revision process.

Our Entertainment Comfort Zones

Gwen loves a family/found family-focused show, like Modern Family, Blackish, Friends, and How I Met Your Mother. She also loves dysfunctional family shows like Succession and The Righteous Gemstones

Danielle goes for creative-driven reality TV competition shows, like Top Chef, Project Runway, and The Great British Baking Show. She also hasn’t met a medical drama she won't give a try (and she will watch Grey’s Anatomy until the bitter end).

Media that Danielle has consumed that is outside of her usual comfort zone – SciFi/High Fantasy: The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix, Persephone Station by Stina Leicht, Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell, The Unleashing and The Undoing by Shelley Laurenston, The Thorne Chronicles by K. Eason; all the Marvel movies; the local news!

Media that Gwen has consumed that is outside of her usual comfort zone – Shadow and Bone on Netflix; Male-narrated podcasts like Dana Carvey’s Fantastic, Ron Funches’ Getting Better; Big Sky on ABC (a twist on the serialized police procedural); Foreign language shows like Call Your Agent and Sexify

Recs from ALYSSA COLE

We were obsessed with Alyssa’s Zoom background, which was the Nightwalker from Princess Mononoke.

Alyssa’s new book, HOW TO FIND A PRINCESS, will be in stores on May 25!

We discussed aspects of all of the books in the Reluctant Royal series, as well as the spinoff series, Runaway Royals.

Mr. Rogers, possibly a bisexual icon?

Alyssa has been reading SPY x FAMILY!

Coming soon: partnering with Oneill Jones on the REJECT SQUAD ULTRA graphic novel (which started out as a part of her novella, CAN’T ESCAPE LOVE, and is now real!!); Book 2 in the Hive series after THE AI WHO LOVED ME, which will be another Audible original.

Go to https://alyssacole.com/, sign up for the Girls With Glasses Newsletter, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle has decided to just read whatever Austen book she wants on her Summer of Austen re-read (she’s starting with EMMA). She has found comfort in listening to Regina Spektor’s Begin to Hope, which came out 15 years ago. Danielle is also going to work on her patience... with everything!

Gwen has moved for 30 minutes every day—between walking her dog and moving across the country, she has this one covered! She has found comfort in cozy blankets, and recommends the Sherpa blanket from Costco.

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