Keeping It In The Family

Stacey KayneThis has been a crazy week for me; wrapping up the end of the 7th and 8th grade school year with my boys–this week we’ve had band concerts, major science projects, history reports and last-minute book reports…not to mention my oldest is graduating from Junior High this year.  Top that off with my youngest fainting at school during a gory science movie garnering a nasty concussion and me in a mad dash to wrap up a book deadline…oh, and the house remodeling starting this week…and I’m thinking I have some good novel fodder 😉  By this afternoon I felt like I had a dozen spinning plates balanced on more sticks than I could handle, and then something arrived on my doorstep that turned all those spinning plates to butterflies…JUNIPER!!

My box of GUNSLINGER books are here 😀   And I can’t wait to give one away! I will be drawing a name at the end of the day to win the first book!! Isn’t that just like life…just when you think it’s all gonna come crashing down, a rainbow appears outta nowhere. My worries forgotten (and my boys likely breathing a sigh of relieve that mom was temporarily distracted from report-central), I sat down with my family and ripped open the box like an eight-year-old on Christmas morning. My family ooh’ed and ahh’ed…and being guys they had to tease about the hunky cover 😉 Taking that bit of time to step back from the craziness of life reminded me that it’s moments like those amid all the craziness of life that draws me to write series books.

Many of you know THE GUNSLNGER’S UNTAMED BRIDE is the second book in my BRIDE series.  I absolutely love writing a series, having the chance to visit with old friends while introducing new ones—to watch the whole family grow. As a reader series books are my favorite, though I never seem to read them in order, tending to stumble into a series on the last or middle book. I discovered Elizabeth Lowell’s western ONLY series with the last of four books, and then found the second, and somehow ended up with the third next…and finally, the first book in the series! It was the same for Dorothy Garlock’s western series. Lucky for me, each book is a wonderfully woven story all its own. The bonus of revisiting previous characters adds to the delight and gives a nice incentive to search out those other stories for readers new to the series. I followed the same approach with my BRIDE and WILD series. You don’t necessarily have to read in order, but the familiar faces add to the fun.

A little book teaser:  Juniper Barns first appeared as a young gunfighter in BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON. At the tender age of fourteen he’s a damaged, disillusioned, and determined young man. Though he had only a few scenes in BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON, his will to do good and protect the one woman who’d shown him kindness stole my heart. Twelve years later Juniper’s all grown up and haunted by his past and the lives he’d taken. When he’s faced with Lily Carrington, a woman whose father fell to his guns, Juniper doesn’t shrug responsibility—he accepts her hatred, expecting nothing less. Now a sheriff of a lumber camp under siege by outlaws and faced with the difficult task of getting Lily safely off the mountain. Lily isn’t looking for love…she’s out to put a hole in the heart of the man who killed her father and destroyed her life. My first review for this book gave a description of Lily that I just love: “Sharp, direct and with courage to spare, Lily’s not cowed by the reputation of this man—only by the unexpected gentleness she glimpses in unguarded moments.” It’s in those moments her misconceptions crumble and she’s forced to see his life, as well as her own, in a startling new light. During Lily and Juniper’s adventures readers also see glimpses of the family from BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON who took Juniper in as a youth and helped to redirect his life, giving him the stability he’ll need when his past comes full circle and smacks him in the heart 😉  And for the new adventure aspect, readers are also introduced to the hero of my next BRIDE book. 

So has anyone here ever picked up a book and midway through realized it was connected to another you’d already read?  Are you in the midst of reading a series, have a favorite series? I love little cameo appearances from characters in previous books.  I remember reading THE GAMBLE by LaVeryle Spencer and toward the end of the book a couple arrives at the guest house…none other than Jesse DeFrayne and Miss Abigail from HUMMINGBIRD–a fun surprise 🙂  

One comment poster will win an advance copy of THE GUNSLINGER’S UNTAMED BRIDE!

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66 thoughts on “Keeping It In The Family”

  1. Yay Stacey! I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of this one! I might have to go back and reread Bride of Shadow Canyon. It was the first of your books I got after a long period of not reading or writing. I loved it. It didn’t take long after I finished it to find Mustang Wild and loved it too. Been a fan ever since. I’m in the middle of reading Maverick Wild at the moment, when I get free time.

    I love series too. I suppose my love of series authors started with V.C. Andrews, but has continued to carry over into my romance reading as well. There’s nothing like feeling as if you’ve come back home to visit with old friends and meet new ones.

    A couple other favorite series right now are Yasmine Galenorn’s Sisters of the Moon series and Michelle Willingham’s MacEgan Brothers series. I have a bunch of TBR books that are series, just a matter of finding time to read them all! LOL

  2. Well, well, well….here I am once again! LOL…I got so excited to see that box of books Stacey!!!!
    Ok, on to your questions….I love, love series books! They are some of my most favorite reads ever!
    I have to say that Elizabeth Lowell’s “Only” series is one of my faves! I remember blushing a little bit with the first one I read .. 😉
    I have just stumbled on to Ana Leigh’s “The Frasers”…wow, those are great books!
    Geralyn’s McBride series is awesome and of course now “The Good Luck Grooms” series has started..WOOHOO!!!
    I love Julia Quinn’s “Bridgerton” goes through the whole family as well (a very large family)
    I love Geralyn’s contemp series about the Callahan family…very sexy heroes there!
    I love Lisa Kleypas…her series books are awesome too and Im waiting for a new book from her later this year!
    ummmm…you know I could seriously go on all day about this subject..

    I do hate to pick a random book up, read it and THEN discover that it was part of a series! That drives me NUTS…I prefer to read start to finish in a series! I also think it’s neat just to see character “book hop” too..not necessarily part of a series..but just to see them mentioned, like you said about Jesse and Abigail, that’s cool!

    alright..I guess Im done rambling now! 🙂

  3. you know what..I forgot to mention that my love of series/family books also started with VC Andrews! Love her!

  4. Hi Stacey,

    My posts keep getting cut off. But I wanted to say that I love connecting books. Linda Lael Miller does them so well. I’ve read all of hers.

    Isn’t it a great feeling to open a box of YOUR books and see your hard work come to fruition? Especially when you get a great cover!

  5. Not westerns, but I read Elizabeth Lowell’s Midnight at Ruby Bayou first, book FOUR in her series about the Donovons.

    I also have this book I’ve loved for YEARS called No Greater Love by Katherine Kingston. It’s funny and sweet and told in this droll Regency voice.

    This post reminded me that just recently, after having this book for YEARS, I found out it’s part of a series.
    No Greater Love
    No Sweeter Heaven
    No Brighter Dream (had to go to Amazon and check)

    I think I first got No Greater Love so long ago hunting around on the internet for series wasn’t an option. So I skipped out of here and went to Amazon to order the sequels.

    They’re all out of print and I bought used. The book No Greater Love came out on 1992 published by Onyx. That’s not a familiar company. Anyone know them? Then the next two books are published by Topaz? Does this make sense to anyone?

    No Greater Love is as fun as anything I’ve ever read so I have to try the sequels. The butler in No Greater Love is worth the whole book. So proper, so put upon, so able to handle ANYTHING.

  6. I love series reading. I find that when I get emotionally invested in a couple, I always want to know MORE. So it is great to see them again in a sequel even if they are just in the new book for a little bit. I like glimpses of a couple in their “happily ever after.” I also enjoy families and seeing their continuing interactions in series books. Two of my favorite series have been Linda Lael Miller’s McKettricks and Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons.

    Congrats on the new book! I hope I win it! 🙂

  7. I have done that several times and rushed to order the other books in a series. I have been collecting Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series to read one after the other.
    I am a huge fan of series.

  8. Hey Ladies,
    We’re all having a little trouble with the site today. Just wanted you to know Stacey isn’t able to get in right now to comment. But she’s here, reading your posts and will comment as soon as she can.

    Keep those comments coming!!

  9. Hi Stacey,
    Congratulations on such a great review! I’ve read others as well and they are all so positive. I can’t wait to read Juniper’s story.

    I do like series books. Linda Lael Miller’s I read in order but I recently discovered Kate Bridge’s Klondike books and I am going back trying to find some of her earlier ones. Fortunately, like yours they do stand alone but it’s nice to see some familiar characters in each one.

    Hope it settles down for your family-summer vacation is not just for the kids anymore, is it?

    Have a relaxing weekend.

  10. Yes, I have read a book and then noticed it was connected to another… I love when authors continue the stories of secondary characters and bring them to the front!!! 😀
    More grand stories to read!!! 😀
    Enjoy Memorial Weekend everyone!!!

  11. Stacey, I love the cover on The Gunslinger. Now this is a guy looking for trouble.

    Or maybe he’s just looking for his shirt, it’s hard to say.

    I have had bad experiences with several really great series by reading a book out of the middle first.

    I read E is for Evidence by Sue Grafton. It took me a couple of years and I don’t remember what motivation to go back and start at the beginning.

    Then I loved it.

    I read Hot Six by Janet Evanovich first and only much, much later…mainly based on my experience with E is for Evidence, decided to start from the beginning and give Evanovich another chance. I love the whole series now, including Hot Six, which I reread when it’s turn came.

    I have this theory that in books this closely tied to each other, the author makes you fall in love with her characters in the first book or two and then she just expects you to love them and doesn’t try anymore.

    Grandma Mazur drove me crazy in Hot Six.
    But after I saw what Stephanie Plum dragged her through in the first book, I figured Grandma was a trooper and I loved the maddening woman after that.

    So I believe in reading series like that in order.
    But a lot of books are series, but with different main characters, so though they’re connected, they’re not really dependent on each other. Reading them out of order doesn’t bother me nearly as much.

  12. Stacey I have spent all morning trying to post my comment i even ask Charlene to send me a link. Thanks Charlene!
    Stacey I hope your baby is doing better after that consushion! It’s always scary when things happen to our babies, that must’ve been some kinda movie!
    I love surprises like that when you see a char. pop up in a story that you already know. Bad surprises are when you get 1/2 way threw and realize you’ve already read it just a different cover. I love all your covers on your books! Hope it goes threw this time.

  13. Oh Stacey! I know how excited you are to open up your box of books. There’s no feeling like it in the world. It’s seeing the culmination of all your hard work. Very rewarding.

    There was a series by Johanna Lindsay that I read out of order because I didn’t know it was a series. Can’t even remember the name of them. I think I read the third one first, then happened on the second. After that I searched for the first and then read them all in sequence. Sure did make a difference. It was a great series.

    I also love, love Linda Lael Miller’s McKettrick series. She is such a wonderful storyteller and brings each member of the family to life in a huge way. I just adore her writing style and voice.

    I’m sure anxious to get my hands on GUNSLINGER! I know it’s gonna be a great story. Wishing you lots of luck with book sales. With that cover it’ll practically sell itself!! 🙂 Oh man!

  14. I’m definitely taking a picture when my next book comes. What a great idea.

    It’s getting close. Calico Canyon is coming in July. It seems like it’s taken forever and now it’s like a runaway train as I try to do last minute things.

  15. I got hooked on series many, many years ago witth Elswyth Thanes’s Williamsburg series. I wrote a number of three-book series, and I loved doing it.

  16. I so love the cover of your new book and the excerpt was a fine read, indeed.
    I love series and one I thoroughly enjoyed was Sandra Brown’s ‘Texas Trilogy’ with Texas Chase, Texas Sage and Texas Lucky.
    With series you get to become friends over time with the characters.

  17. Sorry I’m late!! Like Lori, I tried time and again to post but the site wouldn’t let me comment 🙁

    Thank you, Charlene, for giving a head’s up. The site is being ornery today 😉

  18. Hi Taryn! V.C. Andrews was the first series I’d ever ready 😀 I was in the 7th or 8th grade and that must have started my out-of-order jinx. The first book I read of hers was IF THERE BE THORNS, and then went to find FLOWERS IN THE ATTICK and SEEDS OF YESTERAY. Not quite romance novels 😉

    I have Michelle W’s books in my TBR pile–looking forward to reading a series in order for a change 🙂 Thanks for sharing your favorites!!

  19. Hey, another VC Andrews off shoot 😀 Hi Melissa!! Wow, what a great list of series–most of which I’ve not read. I’ll be taking notes 😉 I like to read book in order, but I’m not usually patient enough to wait if I get a follow up first 🙂

  20. My favorite books in series are:
    Sons and Daughters in which the lovely and talented Lorraine Heath has a book called The Ladies’ Man.
    Also the Black Lion/Velvet series by Jude Devereaux.

  21. I love reading series books almost as much as I love writing them! 😀

    I’ll set aside a book that I know is in a series – that way I can read them all together so that the characters are fresh in my mind. (Poor memory)

    But one time, I was reading a Har American book that had the hero as one of 3 adopted ‘brothers’. One brother was Native American and the other 2 called him … awk…I can’t remember… but instead of eagle something, they had a funny nickname for him. I enjoyed the book and set it aside. A few weeks later, I was perusing a used book store (looking for missing series books) and found another HAR wherethe hero was a Native American with a funny nickname! I realized it was the 2nd book in a series of 3 and I’d already read the 3rd book. So, the hunt was on to find book 1 and I finally did. It was a great series.

    Have I told you that I love series books? 🙂

  22. What a week you’ve had – but such a sweet ending! I started a love affair with series books back in the 40s & 50s with the Bobsey Twins and Nancy Drew.

  23. Hi Charlene 🙂 I’ve really enjoyed Linda Lael Miller’s series too.

    Getting to hold a new book for the first time is such fun–getting to hold it and hug it. I’m always anxious to check out what kind of teaser they put together on that first page—which always cracks me up. It is a huge thrill to see all the words so compact in a book I can quickly flip through, rather than the ten-pound manuscript *ggg* INCREDIBLE 😀

  24. Hi Mary! I LOVED that Lowell series!! Amber Beach was my favorite…something about Jake, the loner, rebel bad-boy brought down by his sassy heroine…::sigh::

    My mother-in-law loves the Katherine Kingsley series and keeps telling me I have to read it 🙂 I’m gonna have to take her up on that 😉

  25. Favorite series? Probably the Dragon books by Anne McCaffrey. And it’s no trouble going forward or backward in time with each new book, (hmm no wonder I like Lost so much 🙂 )

    I like series, but when they’re in a consecutive time frame I like to read them that way. And I read a lot of series…I get so involved in characters and worlds–whether real or ‘fantasy’–that I hate to leave them.

    Same with writing–I just can’t leave my worlds or my characters. LOL

  26. Thank you, Cheryl! I love glimpses of the happily ever after too 🙂 An outside view of family growing, love deepening…::sigh::: I have yet to write a stand alone book—I grow them in groups of three or more *lol* I don’t like to let go 😉

  27. Oh Stacey, how wonderful to get your box of books after such a week!

    You asked if we ever picked up a book and realized it was connected to one I already had? No, not exactly but I’ve picked up a book and realized it was one OF a series which I turned around and bought the others….

    This happened with Nora Roberts’ ‘Born In’ trilogy which I LOVE and am in the process of re-reading for the upteeth time!

    This and her ‘Key’ trilogy are keepers on my shelf.

    Congrats on your new release 🙂

  28. I tend to be aware of books being connected or in a series before I begin reading said book. And I love seeing characters I got to know in another book pop up for a bit in the book I am reading. The Elizabeth Lowell gem books were great that way.

  29. Me too, Crystal 🙂

    Thank you, Za! We are taking a trip to Yellow Stone in mid July–I can’t wait!!! Other than that summer is a full schedule of summer classes, water polor and band camps 😉 Luckily I won’t be deadling an any end-of-deadline madnesss 😀 Thanks for the relaxing wishes!!

    Hi Colleen! Thanks for sharing! Happy Memorial Day wishes to you as well 😀

  30. ROFL!!! I bet he’s looking for his shirt, Mary…something tells me the heroine might have stashed it somewhere 😀 I’m thinking that stance to make those bad guys think twice about ‘causing troulbe 😉 Interesting theory! I think that “You had to be there” rule applies to some aspects of a series. A drop of a name or event will spark memories in the reader from past books, and can be completely missed my someone who’s not up on the series 😉 So staing in line does give an added bonus 🙂

    Love Grandma Mazur 😀

  31. I like reading connecting books and series books. I think they are fun to read and entertaining and it keeps you in suspense. 🙂

    Happy Memorial Day everyone!

  32. Yep, I have got a hold of books like that. There is a lot of good series out there. I am still waiting on one to come out to Shari Antons last series, it is a really good one.

  33. I do like series but when there is months between books I tend to forget the characters names. There have been times when I have had to go back to reread the previous book in the series just because it bugs me that I can’t remember that story.

  34. Hi Lori! Same here 🙁 It’s been hit and miss all day–I’ve started copying my post before I hit send 😉 Thanks for coming back!!

    My baby is doing good–staying home resting his bruised noggin 🙂 School just called about his brother–seesm he hurt his foot…my hubby was headed out the door grumbling about the school needing to buy padded suits *g* I know what you mean about the covers–I hate that 😉

  35. Hi Stacey, I don’t have time to write much right now, I’m headed out the door to see the new Indiana Jones movie with my hubby. 😀 But I just wanted to pop in and say how much I’m looking forward to THE GUNSLNGER’S UNTAMED BRIDE coming out!

    It must be so exciting to open a box full of books that you wrote!

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  36. Hey, Little Lost Lamb, I know what you mean about minor characters popping up other places. The un-written about Donovan brothers, Justin and Law seem to haunt the Rarities Unlimited series. It’s like Elizabeth KNOWS we want those last two Donovans to have their own story but she either can’t think of another jewel or she’s just TEASING US.

    Faye Kellerman’s Peter Decker/Rena Lazerus series is another great one.

  37. THANKS Linda! Yep–there’s nothing quite like holding your new book for the firs time 🙂

    I still need to search out some sequels to some old Johanna westerns 😉

  38. Early on, I did get caught up in the midst of a
    series and found my self having to backtrack to
    the first book of the series. By the time I found
    Book 1, read it and Book 2, Book 3 was out. Since that time, I always check to see that the books I
    pick up are not part of a series.

    One series that I have read almost all of is The
    Cynster series by Stephanie Laurens. I haven’t read the last couple of books in the series.

    P. S. I love the donation you made to Brenda Novak’s auction!!

    Pat Cochran

  39. Hi Pat! I love your books 🙂

    THANK YOU, Robyn! Yes–the TEXAS! series was awesome. Having Chance lose his wife in the second book, a woman you’d come to care about through those first too books, was such a shock. I really enjoyed that series 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Cheryl 🙂 I just read my first Loraine Heath book while devouring a ton of anthologies–MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS was amazing–I’ll be seeking out her series books!

    Me too, Anita!! I don’t have the willpower to wait…but I often read them again and again 😉

  40. Hi Karen! I hung out at the library a lot during my early teens and read a bunch of Nancy drew 😉

    Great series, Lizzie! Have you read CL Wilson’s Tairen Soul seires? I’m anxiously awaiting the next two!! I read series book with my boys. We did the Harry Potter, Aregon and the Bartemeous series about genies. Right now they are into a Scholastic civil war series, which we’ve all been enjoying 🙂

    Hi Pam! Thanks!! I was impressed by Nora’s western offshoot from a contemporary romance with RECKLESS 🙂

  41. Hi Little Lamb Lost 🙂 Lowell’s gem series is my all-time favorite contemporary series.

    Hi Amelia! Thanks–and Happy Memorial Wishes to you too 😀

    Hi Virginai! Thanks for sharing 😀

    I know what you mean Maureen! I have two alternating series right now and it’s been tough as a writer to keep going back and forth. I’m looking foward to digging into a new series later this year with consecutive, and hopefully closer, release dates 🙂

  42. I love reading series. I’m currently reading Colleen Gleason’s Gardella Vampire Chronicles. I also just finished reading book one of Allison Brennan’s Prison Break trilogy. Book two was released this week.

  43. Hi Missy! So glad you could stop in 🙂 Have fun at the movies–hope it’s great!!! We want to see Indiana Jones this weekend 😉

    Hi Pat 🙂 Thank you!! It’s so great to see the massive amount of support generated for Brenda’s Auction. HUGE thanks to everyone who’s taken part–and BIG HUGS to those who’ve bid on our donations 😉

    Hi Jane! I read Allison Brennan’s first trilogy, and started her second set, but haven’t been able to keep up. I also enjoyed Roxanne St. Claire’s Bullet Chaser series 🙂

  44. Stacey- I don’t know if you’ve read Karen Hawkins “her Master and Commander” then the follow up “her Officer and Gentleman” these both were excellent books it’s one of the first one’s I read when i first got started I love the captions at the begining of each chapter taken out of -A compleat guide for being a proper butler,- I thought this was neat. Loved the char. in both books!

  45. OH how funny, Lori ~ I have read Her Master and Commander (though I had to get over that title–I was like, “Her WHAT?!” *g*, but I love Karen’s books)–anyhow, I had no idea there was a follow up! I’ll have to hunt down the second book—at least I’m reading this one in order *g*

    I’m thinking we need that insurance *g* Either that or bubble-wrap the kids 😉

  46. I absolutely love the cover! The series that that I’ve read allof them are The Dark-Hunter books by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’m looking forward to Ash’s story coming soon.

  47. I too think it’s a fantastic cover!

    The Earth Children series by Jean Auel is my favorite. I really prefer reading in order and try to be careful when the book is in a series so I start with book one. Although sometimes I do buy out of order which then makes me put it aside untile I can find the first one. I want to start the Outland series next.

  48. I have read so many Series. My favorites are Linda Lael Miller’s McKettrick series.

    I also have read a few of Elaine Barbieri, Johnna Lindsey (The Mallory Series is Great), Jodi Thomas, Samantha James.

    I have learnt that if I pick up a new author to research to make sure that I haven’t fallen into a series.

  49. Hi, Stacey!! Late to the party today! Congrats on getting that box–how exciting it must be! (It’s still exciting now, isn’t it, even though this isn’t your first box ever? ;))

    I have definitely picked up books only to discover that there are ones that precede or follow… I get a bit obsessive about searching those out, and I really prefer to have them all if at all possible before I start, so sometimes it can take a while… (Judy Christenberry’s Randalls comes to mind, or Marilyn Pappano’s Bethelem series… and Suz Brockmann’s TDD and Troubleshooters… and Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons and Kleypas’s Wallflowers and… I could just go on!)

  50. Love Karen Hawkins books have you all read the One wore blue, one wore grey and one rode west series it is great.

  51. Hi Fedora! Every book has been a thrill 🙂 The first one a little more heart-pounding, perhaps, but not much more. Although the day my first books arrived my hubby got teary eyed and my mom showed up at my door with roses, champaigne and chocolate cake—now it’s just another box of books to them *lol*. But it’s MY BABY—I say every new arrival should be greeted with champaigne and chocolate cake 😉

  52. Absolutely! Cake and champagne all around! Congrats again, Stacey! Thanks for sharing the thrill with us! 🙂

  53. I usually read a series at one time if I can get all of the books in that series. I loved reading LaVeryl Spencer’s books and have enjoyed your other book.

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