The Fresh Fiction Podcast

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

IT’S ALWAYS THE MOTHER (AUTHOR GUEST ASHLEY AUDRAIN)

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

Vibe Check

Welcome to our very special MOM episode!

Gwen works with her mom and admires her ambition, as well as her eye-opening carpool tactics.

Danielle learned to make time for herself from her mom, who has two masters and her PhD, all of which she earned AFTER she had kids.

Our moms are the very best!   

Pop Culture MOMS!

Gwen chose two Iconic TV moms: Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls and Lucille Bluth (RIP Jessica Walters) from Arrested Development – both of whom could be considered terrible mothers...

Danielle: Clair Huxtable really had it all. Molly Weasley from the HP series, especially when she takes out Bellatrix. Rainbow Johnson from Black-ish because she’s quirky and always there for her kids. Morticia Addams wasn’t afraid to show affection to Gomez. Marmee from Little Women is perhaps the quintessential mother. (Also, terrible moms: Lily Vander Woodsen from Gossip Girl, Ellis Grey on Grey’s Anatomy, also ALL the parents on Riverdale—loved this PopBuzz article dissecting why!)

Recs from ASHLEY AUDRAIN

Ashley’s debut novel, THE PUSH, is now available!

Ashley has two books to recommend (which coincidentally look at motherhood!): THE NINE LIVES OF ROSE NAPOLITANO by Donna Freitas and THE SPECTACULAR by Zoe Whittall (out in September)

Like so many of us, Ashley loved THE UNDOING on HBO.

Wearing comfy sweats has brought Ashley immense joy! She especially loves the sweats from Province of Canada.

 Ashley’s next book, THE WHISPERS, will be out in 2022!

You can find out more info at https://ashleyaudrain.com/, follow her on Instagram (where she is the most active) and Twitter.

What we’re watching/reading/listening to

Reading (BOOKS!)

Danielle: WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES by Denny S. Bryce, THE ROAD TO ROSE BEND by Naima Simone, LOVE IN COLOR by Bolu Babalola, NEON GODS by Katee Robert

Gwen – BROKEN (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY) by Jenny Lawson

Watching (TV!)

Gwen – REAL WORLD: HOMECOMING, GOOD GIRLS, and exploring Peacock Premium

Danielle: NAILED IT!, NADIYA BAKES, the new season of TOP CHEF, the final season of THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, and RIVERDALE

Listening (PODCASTS!)

Danielle: Gee Thanks, Just Bought It, Dear Romance Writer, Boobies and Noobies

Gwen – Spectacle, Sweet Stories in the Dell (the podcast of Sweet Briar College, Gwen’s alma mater!)

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Fancy Dresses and Learning Stuff: Pop Culture Historicals (Interview with Vanessa Riley)

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

 

Checking In!

Is Gwen a scammer now? She learned how to use OfferUp!

Danielle is sleepy because of rainy weather.

Deep Dive: Pop Culture Historicals

Gwen and Danielle are OBSESSED with costume dramas and historical fiction and romance. We’re not sorry about it at all, nor are we sorry about how much fun you’re going to have when you watch these shows and movies or read these books.

Danielle mentioned a monthly romance blogger twitter chat, hosted by @readRchat. Historicals and Fairy Tales come up a lot!

Gwen’s Gateway Historicals: Anne of Green Gables, Road to Avonlea, Little Women, Pride & Prejudice

Gwen’s Sexy Historicals: North and South, The Serpent’s Kiss, Dangerous Liaisons, Washington Square, The Favorite, The Great

Gwen’s Modern/More Recent Historicals: Velvet Goldmine, Never Let Me Go (sorta), Lovecraft Country, Watchmen (THEM is a new show on Amazon), The Crown

Gwen’s Biopics: Chaplin, Rocketman, What’s Love Got to Do with It, Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (we also digressed a bit about the recent Chadwick Boseman episode of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour for their thought-provoking commentary on why biopic performances work so well but the movies don’t always pan out).

Danielle hasn’t met an Austen and Little Women adaptation she doesn’t love: Emma 2020, Mansfield Park 1999, P&P 2005; LW 1994 and 2019. Special shout out to Clueless (which is sort of a historical film now, LOL to mask our tears)—the best adaptation of Emma to date.

Danielle is trash for anything related to the War of the Roses and Tudor England: The White Queen, The White Princess, The Tudors, and Game of Thrones

Danielle is here for PRETTY historicals: Downton Abbey (and most Masterpiece historical dramas), Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, Harlots

Danielle recommends “literary” shows, too: Dickinson (VERY anachronistic), Lovecraft Country/HBO, Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Julie and The Great Gatsby (even Moulin Rouge!, too), Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina

Danielle has a TON of historical romance recommendations!

Beverly Jenkin’s does such a phenomenal job with American history and Black history, portraying the hard things people went through but also showing how joyful their lives could be—she spoke about this on NPR with Karen Grigbsy Bates. TEMPEST is among D’s favorites, but you can’t go wrong with any of Ms. Bev’s books.

Alyssa Cole’s Loyal League series is about Black spies for the Union army.

For regency romances, Danielle turns to authors like Tessa Dare, Olivia Drake, Sarah MacLean, and Vanessa Riley!

In terms of historical fiction, Danielle still gravitates to stories with romantic elements. Chanel Cleeton’s Perez Family Saga set during the rise of Castro and the Cuban Revolution. Her book NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick. It’s also based on her family’s history!

Gwen loves a true classic of the historical romance genre: Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. For historical fiction, she enjoys Phillipa Gregory!

 

Recs from Vanessa:

Here’s a photo from Vanessa’s Instagram that shows her amazing IKEA Bookshelves (something similar to Vanessa’s shelves can be found here)

You don’t have to read Book 1, A DUKE, THE LADY, AND A BABY, to follow along with AN EARL, THE GIRL, AND A TODDLER, but Vanessa recommends it for better insight with some of the references in Book2.

Vanessa’s website is a treasure trove of information about her historical research!

Learn more about Dorothy “Doll” Kirwan Thomas ahead of the release of ISLAND QUEEN this July.

Look for *major announcements* coming soon! Vanessa also shared that she has a new historical fiction novel, SISTER MOTHER WARRIOR, about the women who shaped the Haitian Revolution.

For more about Vanessa, go to https://vanessariley.com/, sign up for her newsletter, and follow her on the socials: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

 

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle’s wants to re-read all of Jane Austen this summer! This goal is inspired by the Jane Austen & Co. Race and the Regency webinars. Ibi Zoboi discussed remixing the regency and her YA P&P retelling PRIDE; Dr. Tricia Matthew (who wrote a very detailed review for Bridgerton in the LA Review of Books) talked about abolition and racism tied to Wedgewood china, and so many others. Recordings are available on the Jane Austen Co’s website: https://www.janeaustenandco.org/recorded-events

Gwen is going to move for to move for 30+ minutes a day, perhaps while listening to the Newcomers podcast with Lauren Lapkiss and Nicole Byer which is tackling Tyler Perry’s oeuvre this season; also lighting a candle every day helps her set a routine and signal to her brain to start working!  

 

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We Are Family… (Author Guest Talia Hibbert)

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

Pop Culture Siblings

Gwen talked about actual celebrity siblings: The Hemsworths (we had to google Luke), Miley and Noa Cyrus, William and Harry (we digressed quite a bit about the public persona of the Royals and what that meant to us growing up), The Jonas Brothers, Hanson, and other family bands.

Danielle looked at sibling trilogies or series in books: Talia Hibbert's Brown Series, of course, but also Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay series (which has some found family elements! More on that later), Alexis Daria’s new series has three cousins. In historicals, you have Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons and Grace Burrowes’s Windhams, which span generations. There’s also an interesting element with found families, like in The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, the Sometimes in Love series by Melonie Johnson, and Annabeth Albert’s #gaymers series.

We also quickly talked about a few TV shows with great/interesting sibling relationships that are important to the storylines: Schitt’s Creek, Black-ish, and This Is Us (though Danielle needs a break from the emotional manipulation of TIU!)

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Recs from TALIA HIBBERT

ACT YOUR AGE, EVE BROWN, the third book in the Brown Sisters series, is now available!

Authors Talia loves: Nalini Singh, Beverly Jenkins, Vanessa Riley, KJ Charles, Danielle Allen, Kennedy Ryan, Therese Beharrie

Talia loves Recipe TikTok and Gwen told us about Sleepwalker TikTok

Talia found this lovely blush by British indie beauty brand, Eloise Beauty

Coming soon from Talia: her first YA romance! Also, a spin-off series of the Brown Sisters, Skybriar, where all of the books are Austen inspired.

Check out https://www.taliahibbert.com/ to sign up for her newsletter, and find her on the socials: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Reader Group

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle loves the Target Cozy Nights candle (it’s her home’s signature scent), and Gwen also recommends the Go Smudge Yourself candle by Malicious Women Candle Co.

Gwen says get outside more!!!

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Gwen

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Danielle

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Reading Slumps and Hot Rabbis (Author Guest Rosie Danan)

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, TV, Books

VIBE CHECK – We're feeling weird about being 1 year into the pandemic. But Danielle and her family watched The Lion King (1994, of course) and Gwen watched Coming 2 America and made Molly Yeh’s Spiced Tomato ABCs (which is basically Spaghetti-Os)!

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READING SLUMPS – Like so many other readers, we’ve gone through a reading slump during the pandemic, and we may still be in one... but we have some ideas about why and what to do about it.

Gwen suggests scheduling time to read and sticking to it and be ready to work up to reading for longer and longer periods of time. She also suggests reading books of TV/Movies that have been adapted that you’ve already watched (GENIUS!). For example, she is thinking about rereading the Bridgerton book series... Danielle is already doing this! Also, they still make movie tie-in books!!

Danielle suggests reading Harlequin Desire Category Romances, including (but not limited to) the Blackout Billionaires series by Naima Simone, the Bourbon Brothers series by Reese Ryan, as well as Karen Booth and Jules Bennett.  

Don’t sleep in graphic novels: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Also, give rereading a try: The Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole, The Brown Sisters by Talia Hibbert, Sometimes in Love series by Melonie Johnson, The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley, Wicked by Gregory McGuire

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THE INTIMACY EXPERIMENT by Rosie Danan is in stores on April 6th, 2021!

Rosie recommended books! Dalliance and Devotion by Felicia Grossman, Recommended for You by Laura Silverman, and The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

What’s bringing Rosie joy? Watching competitive reality TV! Survivor, The Challenge, and Are You the One.

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GOALS/WHAT’S BRINGING US COMFORT – Gwen started using the Morning Pages App and this has helped her meet her writing goals.

The podcast Natch Beaut is a lot of fun! After listening to a recent episode, Gwen was inspired to start a daily gratitude practice.

Gwen is looking forward to Spring TV, including the new season of Top Chef and Marriage or Mortgage.

Danielle attempted to clean her desk, but it’s really just organized chaos at this point. She also binged WandaVision last weekend and received her first book rec from her daughter: a My Little Pony Graphic Novel!

Working from home with Lauren Willig

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview

You better work... from home! Gwen and Danielle talk about work-from-home fashion, rules for working at home, and have an amazing chat with bestselling historical fiction author, Lauren Willig. Then we check in on goals, set new ones, and talk about what’s bringing us joy!

Work from Home Fashion and Rules

Danielle

Sweatshirts – Daily Ritual V-Neck

Jeans – Old Navy Rockstars and Madewell Skinny Jeans

Tee-shirts - Target Universal Thread V-Neck and Universal Standard Tee Rex

Leggings: Cupocupa High Waisted Leggings (with pockets)

Gwen

Vionic Slippers

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Interview with Lauren Willig!

BAND OF SISTERS – now available! The accompanying book club guide is fascinating.

Nespresso makes the world go round.

A video about Lauren’s research into the Smith College Relief Unit

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery takes place during this time in history as well!

Lauren’s Recommendations:

The Miss Silver Series by Patricia Wentworth

The mysteries of Mary Roberts Rinehart, aka the “American Agatha Christie”

British chick lit by Trisha Ashley

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Jane Austen... with DRAGONS: Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

Follow Lauren!  Website, Facebook Author Page, Instagram, Twitter

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Our Comforts...

Danielle

Tea! A true classic: Twining’s English Breakfast Tea and a delicious herbal option: Trader Joe’s Ginger Tumeric Tea (only available in stores)

Gwen

My mom getting her first vaccine!

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Danielle

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Getting to know you…

Posted by freshfiction in DefaultTag

Gwen and Danielle have known each other for a while but wanted to interview each other for the first podcast for listeners to get some insight into their personalities, likes/dislikes, and a bunch of random tangents. Our normal-ish format will start next time (we just want to keep you on your toes for now)! 

From our interviews...  

Gwen 

Fresh Fiction Book Club, currently meeting virtually – join us weekly!!  

RIP Walden Books 

Sad teens in love... by Lurlene McDaniel! 

FreshFiction.TV - our tv/movie review site 

Blown Away on Netflix 

Shows with Snark: Succession (HBO), Your Honor (Showtime), The Flight Attendant (HBO) 

Comfort TV: The Office, Little Women (1994, specifically), A League of Their Own, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Law & Order SVU 

  • Danielle: Also Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Tangled; every medical drama and This is Us (but network TV stresses her out with COVID storylines) 

Reading: The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon, Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev 

Danielle  

Re-reads: Born in Fire by Nora Roberts, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 

All the Little Women screen adaptations 

Podcast Recs (these can all be found on your favorite podcast app) 

  • Bookish/Romance: Fated Mates, Learning the Tropes, Whoamance, Black Romance Podcast 
  • Pop Culture/Current Events: NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour, Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me!, Code Switch, Forever 35 
  • Gwen’s recs: Who Weekly, Keep It, Why Won’t You Date Me, Best Friends with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata, Watch What Crappens, The Daily, Bad Batch 

Woo-hoo! Danielle’s Book Deal!!! 

Danielle’s Fave Fresh Fiction Author Interviews: Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Talia Hibbert, Sylvia Day 

Our Goals... 

Gwen: writing every day 

Danielle: more reading and writing/less scrolling; also, a new creative outlet 

Our comforts this week...  

Danielle: The Bridgerton Soundtrack (instrumental pop songs) on Spotify, Keurig K-Café, Harlequin Desire novels (Scandal in the VIP Suite by Nadine Gonzalez, Back in the Texan’s Bed by Naima Simone) 

Gwen: Call My Agent! on Netflix, Enchilada Bake from Costco 

Find us on the Socials! 

Gwen 

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Danielle 

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Special TV Episode: Talking ‘The Fix’ with Kayla Cobb

Posted by freshfiction in TV

Welcome back to the Fresh Fiction Podcast. Today's very special episode is a throw back from my February trip to Pasadena, CA for the winter leg of the Television Critics Association press tour. My guest, Kayla Cobb, is a TV critic for decider.com and she chatted with me about the new Marcia Clarke-created ABC drama THE FIX, Theranos/Elizabeth Holmes drama, and what you should check out on Netflix this weekend.

 

Follow Kayla on Twitter.

 

If you love what you hear there are a few ways you can help us during season two. First, don’t forget to subscribe to the Fresh Fiction Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher – or any of your favorite podcast apps. Rating, reviewing, and sharing the podcast with your friends helps us out more than you know. Sharing is caring, as they say.

 

You can find me on Twitter and instagram as @reelvixen.

 

You can Fresh Fiction on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.

Ronie Kendig ends ‘TOX Files’ series with ‘Thirst of Steel’

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Books

The Fresh Fiction Podcast is brought to you by REVELL BOOKS and BETHANY HOUSE, publishers of THIRST OF STEEL by RONIE KENDIG.

 

Welcome back to the Fresh Fiction Podcast. Today I'm joined by THIRST OF STEEL author Ronie Kendig. This book finishes out her TOX series, which takes works like Dan Brown's novels and adds a military suspense edge. She also recommended a few excellent books to add to your TBR.

 

If you love what you hear there are a few ways you can help us during season two. First, don’t forget to subscribe to the Fresh Fiction Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher – or any of your favorite podcast apps. Rating, reviewing, and sharing the podcast with your friends helps us out more than you know. Sharing is caring, as they say.

 

You can find me on Twitter and instagram as @reelvixen.

 

You can Fresh Fiction on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.

 

THIRST OF STEEL by Ronie Kendig

 

TOX Files #3

Thirst of Steel

Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies' blood. Cole "Tox" Russell only wants to begin his life with Haven Cortes, but he must first complete a final mission: retrieve that sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order.

 

The AFO, however, is determined to claim the sword. Wielding their father's life over Tzivia and Ram Khalon, they threaten to expose Ram's long-held and dangerous secret while demanding Tzivia locate the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things only worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the sword is tied to both Ram's secret and a string of unsolved serial murders.

 

Tox, Ram, and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to focus only on the enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must stop or take the enemy down with them.

 

Thriller Crime | Inspirational Mystery | Suspense [Bethany House Publishers, On Sale: July 31, 2018, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780764217678 / eISBN: 9781493414758]

review.jpgEveryone has a secret!

Roseanna M. White Discusses ‘An Hour Unspent’

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Books

The Fresh Fiction Podcast is brought to you by REVELL BOOKS and BETHANY HOUSE, publishers of AN HOUR UNSPENT by ROSEANNA M. WHITE.

 

Welcome back to the Fresh Fiction Podcast. Today I’m thrilled to chat with Roseanna M. White about her new book. AN HOUR UNSPENT plunges readers into England in 1915 as former thief Barclay Pearce tries to redeem himself to society while falling for the woman who he saved from a mugging. 

 

If you love what you hear there are a few ways you can help us during season two. First, don’t forget to subscribe to the Fresh Fiction Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher – or any of your favorite podcast apps. Rating, reviewing, and sharing the podcast with your friends helps us out more than you know. Sharing is caring, as they say.

 

You can find me on Twitter and instagram as @reelvixen.

 

You can Fresh Fiction on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.

 

AN HOUR UNSPENT by Roseanna M. White

 

Shadows Over England #3

An Hour Unspent

Once London's top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker's daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

 

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can't help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

 

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge--and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina's father soon finds his whole family in danger--and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.

 

Inspirational Historical | Mystery Historical [Bethany House, On Sale: September 4, 2018, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780764219283 / eISBN: 9781493412440]

 

review.jpgWartime: when the clock ticks but no bell tolls...

Finding balance and suspense with Lisa Harris

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Books

The Fresh Fiction Podcast is brought to you by REVELL BOOKS and BETHANY HOUSE, publishers of A SECRET TO DIE FOR by LISA HARRIS.

 

If you love what you hear there are a few ways you can help us during season two. First, don’t forget to subscribe to the Fresh Fiction Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher – or any of your favorite podcast apps. Rating, reviewing, and sharing the podcast with your friends helps us out more than you know. Sharing is caring, as they say.

 

 

You can find me on Twitter and instagram as @reelvixen.

 

You can Fresh Fiction on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.

 

A SECRET TO DIE FOR by Lisa Harris

 

A Secret to Die For

Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret--one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn't simply suffering from paranoia.

 

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan--and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

 

With her signature pulse-pounding suspense, Lisa Harris takes readers deep into the heart of fear in this race against the clock.

 

Inspirational Mystery | Romance Suspense [Revell, On Sale: September 18, 2018, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780800729158 / eISBN: 9781493415144]

 

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