The End of the Road with Tina Radcliffe

Thank you to the Petticoat & Pistols Fillies for welcoming me to their home on the range.

Let’s talk about series books today. Do you prefer your favorite cowboy books to be part of a series? As you start the book, do you begin to imagine the secondary characters having stories of their own? Have you ever written to an author to ask for a secondary character to have their own book?

I admit my answer is YES to all of the above.

What types of series do you prefer?

A standalone series linked by location or family or an incident? These series books usually include secondary character continuity in each book. The association between books in these types of series can be very loose or tightly connected. However, this series can be read out of order.

Or, do you prefer a series that keeps you guessing and reading each book in the series, in order, until an overall series question or mystery is revealed at the very end?

How many books do you like to see in a series–three, five or many, many more? And what are your thoughts on prologues, epilogues, and novellas connected to the original series?

I like as many books in a series as I can get my hands on as long as it’s easy to keep track of the characters.

My newest release is the last in a four-book series. Though each is a stand-alone, meaning you don’t have to read the earlier books to follow along, they all take place on Big Heart Ranch.

Each book deals with a cowboy or cowgirl who must deal with the pain of a broken childhood.  The series, set in Timber, Oklahoma, is based on a children’s ranch for orphaned, abused and neglected children owned and operated by the orphaned Maxwell siblings: Lucy, Travis & Emma.

FYI, Big Heart Ranch is modeled after a real ranch in Alabama. “BIG OAK RANCH – A Christian Home for Children Needing a Chance.” You can find out more about Big Oak Ranch here.

The final book is horse whisperer, Tripp Walker’s, story and probably the most emotional and tender of all the books in the series because it deals with a deeper level of pain and ultimate healing.

I have to admit that I’m sad that this is the last book, though I am enjoying reading the book myself as a reader instead of a writer. But I am suffering symptoms of a book hangover!

Have you ever had a book hangover as you come to the end of a special cowboy read?

A book hangover is a condition in which attachment to a book or series that has ended causes the reader traumatic emotional distress. It usually lasts for one to two weeks, or until a new book of higher-than-average quality enters the reader’s life.– Epic Reads

The inability to start a new book because you are still living in the old book’s world.– Urban Dictionary

The Last Cowboy Song

(Ed Bruce with Willie Nelson)

This the last cowboy song.

The end of a hundred year waltz.

The voices sound sad as they’re singin’ along.

Another piece of America’s lost.

 

He rides the feed lots, clerks in the markets,

On weekends sellin’ tobacco and beer.

And his dream’s of tomorrow, surrounded by fences,

But he’ll dream tonight of when fences weren’t here.

In honor of the last book in this series, I’ve picked up

 

To deal with book hangover, and celebrate the release of Her Last Chance Cowboy, I’ve got a few very therapeutic giveaways today for the readers of Petticoats & Pistols. Just leave a comment to my questions above to be entered.

  1. Two readers will receive a copy of Her Last Chance Cowboy and a canister of Romance Recovery Tea from Riddles Book &Tea Company. (US only)
  2. One reader will receive the entire Big Heart Ranch series and a canister of Romance Recovery Tea. (US Only)
  3. One reader will receive an ecopy of Her Last Chance Cowboy (US or international)

 

Her Last Chance Cowboy

She came seeking family…

Will she find love at Big Heart Ranch?

When pregnant single mother Hannah Vincent shows up professing to be the half sister of the Maxwells of Big Heart Ranch, horse trainer Tripp Walker is wary. Wounded before, he doesn’t trust easily. If only Hannah and her feisty five-year-old daughter weren’t so impossible to resist. Now, despite his doubts, joining this little family is quickly becoming the cautious cowboy’s greatest wish.

 

BUY on Amazon!

 

 

A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, a three-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, and a 2018 ACFW Mentor of the Year recipient. Her 11th book for Harlequin Love Inspired, Her Last Chance Cowboy, released in February 2019.  In addition to novel-length fiction, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A former library cataloger, Tina is a frequent presenter on writing topics and an online instructor. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.  Sign up for her author newsletter and her market newsletter at https://www.tinaradcliffe.com/

Guest Blogger

90 Comments

  1. I love a series, I don’t usually have a hangover, per se, but I’ve been sad to series end while looking forward to a new series.

    1. I definitely get a book hangover, Denise. I am waiting on the next book of a series from a favorite author now and I just want to email her and say WRITE FASTER. LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I love series of all types. The easiest to read as a complete series are those that are 3 or 4 books long. Those with a mystery thread that is concluded in the final books are nice, but…. I have picked up a few older books that were part of this type of series and been unable to find the final book. Frustrating. Longer series, like Robin Carr’s Virgin River series or Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series are enjoyable. They are connected but you can drop in at any point and enjoy the visit. Going back to catch the earlier stories isn’t a problem for continuity. Linda Broday’s 3 book series work very nicely. They work best if read in order, but do not need to be to still enjoy them. It is also nice to have other books not in a series that overlap with characters you already know from other series. Series give you an opportunity to get to know a place and the characters there better. It is nice to see how characters are doing after their story has finished and to wonder whose story will be next.

  3. OH MY, PATRICIA! I never even thought about what happens with older books and not being able to find the last book. AHHHHH!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Good morning Tina- wow what a question and what a terrific giveaway.
    I love serie books that you have to read in order, and I love it when it’s cebtered around a Ranch &/or town. Depending on the genre, I usually love it about a family. But if it is a mystery sometime if it’s about an incident then the characters don’t have to be from the same family. To make it even more intense is if the killer isn’t revealed until the end of the last book.
    I think a 3-5 book series is a great # of books in a series.
    Again what a great question. And I love Ed Bruce’s Song, every time I hear it I nearly cry.

  5. I know! I love that song! Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Tonya!

  6. Avatar

    Loved this blog! I love series books I often get book hangover or possibly book depression when I finish a book and there isn’t a continuation to the story. I love series that pick up secondary characters and tell their stories and the reader gets little tidbits on what’s going on with the other characters. I have to admit that I do prefer to read series books that have been around so I can get all the books and read them one after the other. Of course with my favorite authors that isn’t possible. I love all kinds of series though so I also love a series based on a family or one based on different people in one town. I’ve never read one of your books and I love the opportunity. A giveaway is a great way to find a new author to add to my go-to authors list. Happy March!

    1. Hi Stephanie! I know there are in order readers out there and now I found one, lol. I prefer to read in order too, but I will do whatever is necessary to get the job done. 🙂

  7. I love series books. All genres. And yes, I have had book hangovers with some books. There are times that the series was just so good that I’d put the book down and think I’ve no interest to read another book because what could be better then the series I’d just read. :). One series that is on it’s 48th book and is still fresh with every book is JR Robb’s (Nora Roberts)In Death series. It’s a great post and giveaway chance. Thank you Tina.

    1. Carol! I had no idea that Nora was on book 48. That sure beats Sue Grafton. WOW!

  8. No books hangovers here just a little sad when a series ends.

    1. LOL, Kim. Do you ever reread?? I am a rereader too.

      1. Yup I love rereading series and I still get sad when they end.

  9. I honestly can’t say I have had a book hangover. I do get attached to some characters and miss them when the book is over, but I read so much that I know there are always great characters just waiting to be discovered in what ever I pick up next.

    1. Hi Janine! I am with you and sometimes I think of those characters later and wonder how they are doing. I’ve had readers email me and ask how they are doing. 🙂

  10. No hangover for me!

    1. LOL. Well thanks for your honesty Melanie.

  11. I definitely love books in a series, the only problem I have is my impatience on waiting for the next book. Also I’m having a hard time starting a new book right now after the last one. It was just too good and shouldn’t have ended.

    1. Me, too, Joy! We are both impatient readers!

  12. I don’t typically get a book hangover but if the series is really good, the stories stay with me for a while and I wish I could visit the town they take place in.

    1. And THAT, Sue is sort of a book hangover. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. I enjoy binge reading a series when it’s complete! Yes, I’ve experienced a book hangover.

    1. Caryl!!! Hi there. YES! Binging is my favorite. Boy have I lost some sleep (but happily) on some series binges.

  14. Hi Tina, nice to see you in a different venue.
    I prefer series as long as they’re done right. I don’t like it when it’s “manufactured.” It has to grow organically, usually from a secondary character in an earlier book. But I like to invest my time in a world and not just drop it when a book is done.
    I like both kinds of series, the ones where the story wraps up for the main characters in each book, and the kind that continue (“Frodo was alive but taken by the enemy”).
    What I LOATHE is when the author wastes valuable real estate space explaining the issues in the first book, or giving thumbnail sketches of who everyone is, even if they don’t have an active role in the second, third or fourth book. Been guilty of that myself in the past, but a couple of good crit partners brought me to heel.
    Don’t enter me in the drawing, I have the books.

    1. Kathy Bailey! I emailed you. Check your spam box.

      I am with you on the too much backstory rehash opinion.

      THANK YOU for having the books!

  15. Wow will have to check out this series! Thanks for the chance!

    1. And thank you, for taking the time to comment, Teresa! Happy Reading.

  16. I love series, but I love all great books. It can be tough to patiently wait for the next book in the series. I definitely experience book hangovers, and I’m grateful books can be wonderful enough to cause them!

    1. Lynette! I like your attitude. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. I enjoy series but I love the books to stand alone so if I have to I can read the out of order. Yes I have had book hangovers before also and just can’t get into another book for a while. I guess we have all had those from time to time.

    1. YOU GET IT! Thank you for that and for stopping by. Happy Reading and quilting, Quilt Lady.

  18. I have greatly enjoyed reading your books, Tina! I like a series of three to five books and I love having the same characters in each. It makes their story just a bit longer and feels like coming home to old friends. Thanks for the give away!!

    1. That’s how I feel, Kathy. Like coming home to old friends. Well said. Good to see you here, btw.

  19. I love continuity series! The longer, the better. Short ones I like to read in order. The long ones are fun to collect and read in any order!!! I enjoy your mini stories in Women’s World. Thanx for the giveaway!

    1. Jennifer, thanks so much! I do like writing those short short short ones.

  20. I like series and stand alones. I have no preference. I rarely write to an author. My experience has not been positive.

    1. Well Debra, you can write to me. Gosh, I am sorry that it has not been positive!!! Egads. I love readers!

  21. I enjoy series connected by location, and the number of books doesn’t matter to me as long as they’re all good! I try to read series in order, but I definitely prefer when each book can be read as a stand-alone. (I hate cliff-hangers!) And I’m a big fan of novellas that tie into a series.

    1. Hi Marcie! Good to see you here in P & P land. I like the novella tie ins too. Yeah, not a fan of cliffhangers. AT ALL!

  22. I love a series that focuses on each individual character enough that they could be stand alone. I think a series of 4-5 books is plenty. I just hate it when I buy a book that’s part of a series and I never find the rest of the series. I don’t think I get book hangovers, I’m just on to the next great read.

    1. Good attitude, Perrianne (whose name I love-what is the history on your name?)

  23. Aw, I can only imagine how sad it is to end a series you have been writing. I love to read series that include family members. I can’t pick between series or standalone because it all depends on my mood at the time. Book hangovers are a real thing!!! I have had a book sit on my table after reading it just so I can keep looking at it and reminisce about the story.

    1. Aw, I like that, Susan. Yes. I actually was really sad about ending this series. It took me a few months to get over it -I turned the last book in last spring.

  24. I love books in a series, but not too long. Most authors I read usually do an average of three. I like following a family so you can continue to find out what is happening in the first couple’s life when their book finishes. I am sad when a series is over, but always have my next one waiting.

    1. You are a dedicated reader, Linda. Thanks for commenting.

  25. Tina, I LOVE romance series! I’d like each to continue on forever. (I still miss Paradise, Colorado!)

    As I’m reading, I definitely imagine the stories behind the secondary characters. Since I enjoy small towns, setting is where I like to see the connection between books. I do like each to be a stand alone, but with details about the previous characters sprinkled in…..and especially a beautiful epilogue to give specific information about the wedding and a glimpse at life continuing the happily ever after.

    Big Heart Ranch is a beautiful place with its offering of second chances for both adults and children. Thank you for your amazing stories!

    1. Awwww, thank you.

      Epilogue.

      Yes. I am working on Iris Banner’s story now for a Christmas epilogue book to be indie published.

  26. I love the fact that Big Heart Ranch is fashioned after a real one! We have one here close to me and I’m friends with a lot of the missionaries who live and work on it. Loved your writing!

    1. Dalyn! So nice to see you here. I love both Big Heart Ranch and Big Oak Ranch. When I researched it I realized there were a lot of these types of wonderful Christian homes out there. I had no idea. What a blessing.

  27. I’ve had several book hangovers! I have wished several times that they would go on and on because I don’t want them to end! I’m the type of person that thinks characters and towns are REAL!!! I actually dream about these characters and towns and want to visit them 🙂

    1. I am right here with you, Valri. I feel the same. They are real. Hey, and good to see you again!

  28. It depends on the genre of the series, but I usually like three in a series. I think that’s a nice round figure. And I absolutely love prologues, epilogues, and novellas! I also like when a series has a common thread as in the Big Heart Ranch series. I always enjoy reading how different characters deal with the same or similar problems.

  29. Sharon, hi! I have to have a minimum of three. And I prefer six, believe it not. Thanks for sharing your observations.

  30. Hi, Tina! I love series, and I especially love what I’ve read of the Big Heart Ranch so far. Can’t wait to get to Tripp’s story! Sad to see this series end, but can’t wait to see what’s next!

    1. Thanks so much, Laura. And I do have a secret about the next thing coming!! You might be able to bribe it out of me. Speaking of series, I am patiently waiting for AHEM..your next book in the series. What’s going on there? Bugging the author. hahahaha

  31. I love books whether standalones or series books… enjoy seeing all different characters get to share their stories!

    1. Hi Colleen! I agree. There is an author I used to read YEARS ago and I loved guessing which secondary character would get his own book. She never let me down.

  32. yes, but I do wish publishers would mark each series as # in the series, though.

  33. I love series, and even if the books can be read standalone I try to start at the beginning so I know all I can about all the characters. And, oh yes, I definitely have book hangovers. Sometimes (often?) even for books that aren’t part of a series. I just don’t want to leave that wonderful world the author has created.

    Thanks for a great post and wonderful giveaway (and great books!).

    1. Sally! LIKE MINDS!!! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  34. I love seeing stories connect to each as other characters have the own story but seen them in others as well. One of my all time favorite one like that is Dee Henderson the O’Mallet series

    1. OOOOOH! I love that series, Charity!

  35. Avatar

    Hi Tina, congratulations on another release day! I never really considered myself as having a book hangover before but I am sad to see this series end. I have been with the Big Heart Ranch crew since the beginning and I enjoyed meeting and watching the Maxwell clan and their staff grow and increase! The fact that there really is a ranch devoted to helping abused and neglected children made it even more special. I’m looking forward to what you have in store for us in the future.
    God bless you!

    1. Thank you, so much, Connie. Your words made my day. XO

  36. I am sad when a series ends and sometime I think of it when I am in bed. I wonder about the characters who have caught my interest.

    1. LOLOL. Okay, I am not silly then. I do this too!!!

  37. When I read a book which is captivating and memorable I am lost. When it ends I am heartbroken and have to continue with another one just as unforgettable. I do get hangovers and there is no cure.

    1. Thank you, Ruth. I rest my case.

  38. A series gives me such enjoyment since I follow the individuals and see them deal with life, trials and tribulations and triumph over all. It is meaningful and I do get caught up within their lives to such a degree that I experience withdrawal.

    1. I so agree, Anne! Like minds!??

  39. I like a series where there are only 4 books. I like the characters to have something in common as to why they have their own story.

    1. Four books! You are singing my song!!!!!

  40. Tina! I received notice today that my ebook copy is ready for download. Hurray! I am so looking forward to another Big Heart Ranch book. In this series, I like the way you slide characters from previous books into the other books. As I’m reading, coming across one of them is like saying “hi” to an old friend. And the fun thing is that because I already know them I have a pretty good idea of how they’ll behave — and that ‘knowing’ makes the reading all the more enjoyable. So eager to read Tripp’s story!

    I enjoy series that take place in the same locale but with different characters, rather than a series about the same character. I also enjoy series about families, but with each book being about a different person. Most of all, I just enjoy a good read 🙂

    Congratulations on Tripp’s story. Now, if you’ll excuse me … I have some reading to do, thanks to you!

    Nancy

    1. Nancy!!! LOVE YOU!!! Thanks so much. Tripp says hi!

  41. Yes, I have had a book hangover with Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s rodeo series.

    1. I love her series. Did you know she and I have a reissue together coming out in May called Rocky Mountain Sweethearts?

  42. Hello! I’m sorry to see the Big Heart Ranch series go! I definitely tend to miss my favorite characters from a series when it’s done. I’ve always had a soft spot for Tripp so I’m looking forward to his story!

    1. DONNA!!! Missing you, my friend. Thanks so much for the kind words and for taking time to stop by.

  43. The only problem I have with the series is that they END 🙁
    I fell in love with Maxwells and Big Heart Ranch. I will miss them so much!
    Tina, I’m waiting for next series…hurry up LOL

    1. LOLOLOL. I’m peddling as fast as I can!!!!

  44. Avatar

    I love a series because of the family gets to be continued in another book. I love stand alones for a quick read.

    1. Well that’s all very true, Charlene. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  45. Yes, I get book hangover, and have a few authors that I am impatiently waiting for the next book in the series.
    Another author has a book coming out in the next couple months that will wrap up a series about a family she has been writing about for years. I am sad, but excited to see what she produces next for us readers.

  46. Veda! You and me patiently and impatiently waiting!

  47. I love the stand alone series. I usually find a book in the series by accident and it is not until I am finish that I realize it was in a series. There have been many times when I have read the series backwards but still enjoyed it because they were the stand alone. I do not care how many books are in the series as long as I can find all of them nothing is worse than starting a series and not being able to find the next book (the internet has helped decrease that problem).

    1. LOLOL Vicki! Guilty of reading series backward too!!

  48. Hi Tina, I love reading series. No preference on the length, just don’t write about a family and leave one sibling out. Then I’m always wondering. ?

    And the closer together the books release the better. I hate reading book one and then having to wait a year for book two.

    I’ve loved this series!

  49. Hi Tina, I love reading series. No preference on the length, just don’t write about a family and leave one sibling out. Then I’m always wondering. ?

    And the closer together the books release the better. I hate reading book one and then having to wait a year for book two.

    I’ve loved this series!

  50. Hi Terri x 2 🙂 The more the merrier. I hate waiting a year too so I can often be found waiting to read and then binging.

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