This 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.” ~LoveWesternRomances.com. 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!