My Blackstone Ranch Series – It’s all about the details! by Pam Crooks

Many readers inhale series romance for the obvious reasons.  Done well, characters that have endeared the reader in one book live on in subsequent books.  We get to see their lives, their happiness, the town or ranch where they live, sometimes even the villain or his gang that continue to be a thorn in the characters’ sides.

I’ve done numerous series over the years, and I love writing them as much as the reader loves reading them.  I’m excited that the release of Book #2 and #3 of my first contemporary western romance series with Tule Publishing is drawing closer and closer.

To write a series, an author must keep track of the details.  This is crucial and shows professionalism.  To make mistakes in one’s own books is sloppy, and you can bet the readers will pick up on carelessness.

For me, my saving grace is Microsoft’s One Note. Oh my goodness, I can’t survive without these ‘notebooks’ that keep the gazillion notes, research, images, and yep, details right at my fingertips.

A COWBOY AND A PROMISE is available now.  As Book #1, I had to set up the three ex-military brothers who live on Blackstone Ranch.  I also had to set up the town named after their great-grandfather.  And of course, there are businesses in that town, and people to run them, and the list goes on and on.

I was very careful to weave many details throughout all three books to keep them connected and real, and I’m happy to share a few now:

In Book #1, A COWBOY AND A PROMISE, Beau Paxton is a twin who has served in Afghanistan with his two brothers.  All three come back to heal, run the ranch, and help their mother care for their crippled father. 

All are respected and well-liked in Paxton Springs and enjoy fond memories growing up, like fresh popcorn in Mary’s Mercantile.  That same popcorn comes back in Book #3 and the mercantile’s owners play a nice part for Shandi, the heroine.

In Book #2, HER TEXAS COWBOY, Brock Paxton is scruffy-cheeked and suffers from being excluded by his twin once Beau finds Ava, his true love.  It’s that loneliness that sets him up for Lucienne in his book.

Jace Paxton is the oldest, also womanless, but always searching and having fun along the way.  His skill is working cattle, which plays a huge part in his Book #3, MY KIND OF COWBOY.

You can bet they drive the same color of Ford F-150 pickups, wear the same color Stetsons, and ride the same breed of horses throughout the series that I set-up in Book #1.

Their favorite watering hole in town is the Greasy Bull, which plays a huge part of Book #3. Their friend, Nash, is the local deputy and a former classmate whom the Paxton brothers depend on to help solve the troubles they encounter in their own books.

In Book #1, Ava arrives from New York.  Her favorite color is pink, which I show numerous times and then remind the reader in a nightgown she lends to Shandi in Book #3.  Her skill is in construction, and she’s crucial in building the vacation resort which is a basis for the entire series.

In Book #2, Lucienne is rich and hugely into fashion, much to Ava’s frugalness and chagrin.  I intro her in stilettos, skinny jeans, and a leopard-print blouse. She’s also a nurse practitioner who is never without her medical kit which she keeps in her expensive suede bag, and yep, that medical kit comes in handy in Book #3 when Shandi needs some tending.

In Book #3, Shandi has her own book, but she’s introduced in Book #1 as one of the first people Ava meets when she arrives in town.  She’s popular, sweet as pie, and always wears jeans, tank top, and a ponytail.  Thanks to Tule’s awesome cover artist, my female cover model has a pony tail, and she’s a perfect fit for my Shandi!

There are many more details, of course, that you’ll learn if you read the series.  I don’t want to give everything away, do I?

To buy or Preorder on Amazon, just click the cover image!

Please follow me on Bookbub!  Click HERE.

 

I’d love to gift a winner an ebook copy of A COWBOY AND A PROMISE, Book #1, just by chatting with me today!

Some readers love series.  Others love standalones.  What do you feel are the pros AND the cons of series?

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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at www.pamcrooks.com

34 thoughts on “My Blackstone Ranch Series – It’s all about the details! by Pam Crooks”

    • Oh, gosh, Janine, me, too. Does anyone do cliffhangers anymore? It’s a huge risk, in my opinion. Readers could get so frustrated when they’re not left satisfied and not come back for the next book.

      • Yea, it’s very frustrating. I think most authors realize readers don’t like cliff hangers and are wrapping the stories up at the end. But there are still some out there that still do it. If I like a book, I always plan to read the next in a series, but I usually forget what happened in the previous book by the time the next comes out. I don’t always have time to go back to read the previous one again.

    • Oh, Debra – bored is not good! The writer hasn’t done enough to make her story different than the last, the stakes aren’t high enough, and the characters not unique enough.

      Good point!!

  1. I like both but the pros to a series is you get to stay with the same characters longer so you get to know them better. The cons you have to wait on the next book to come out and sometimes it takes awhile an you forget what the other book is about.

    • You are exactly right about length of time between books, quiltlady. Unfortunately, I’ve run into that with Book #1, A COWBOY AND A PROMISE, which came out so long ago. It is what it is, but I’m sure we’ll do some kind of promotion to bring Book #1 more visible again.

      Fortunately, my publisher, Tule Publishing, understands the importance of bringing series books out close together. It just about killed me to write them so close and fast, but it’ll pay off in the end!

  2. I love books that come in a series!! I love how I can get to know the characters and town so well!

  3. I love series. The pros of course are reoccurring characters, town-folks, and family.
    The con’s are if they author just mentions previous characters, but do not have them intertwined in the story.
    I get so excited when authors let previous characters have huge parts in the other books, it truly makes the reader feel they are with family.
    Congrats on all your new books.

  4. You are right on, Tonya! I’ve seen mentions, too, which feel obligatory and half-hearted, as if the author doesn’t care enough about her own characters.

    Giving previous characters a bigger part of the stage is much more realistic – the way it is in real life when we live our lives with family and friends.

    Thanks for the congrats!!

  5. Congratulators on your new releases. These sound like fun books. I love a series where we get to grow along with the town/people. And I have read one where we also got to see a dog have pups and where some of the pups when and read how they grew into their new homes. That was a fun one. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  6. Congratulations on your new releases, your books sound like very good reads and the book covers are Stunning. I love reding book series. I love to continue knowing what happens or what became of the book characters. Have a Great rest of the week and stay safe. Thank you very much for sharing about your books.

    • An excellent point, jcp. It really does flow better to read the series in order, but for books that come out fast, readers can’t keep up. I’m with you.

  7. I love series!! I do think that they can get too long, sometimes. However, since I have 43 books of a set of 46, I don’t have much room to talk!! Lol!! However, this series was a multi-author series. I’ve read other series that really should have stopped long before they did!! It just became too tedious, and I got burned out big time. I like books that I want to go back and reread, and have done that. This one series I’m thinking of, I couldn’t finish when I went back and reread. I’d thought that I’d really like it the second time, but I couldn’t stand it. At least I still love series, though!!!

    • Oh, my goodness. That is too long, indeed. For a series THAT long, the authors would have to be compatible, wouldn’t they? If one author couldn’t engage the reader as well as the author before her, the reader will quit the series, and that’s very hard to do.

      The authors would have to work together to make sure each book is unique in its own right. Otherwise, they will all start to sound the same.

      Thanks for your perspective!

  8. I enjoy a series if they are with different couples in each book and don’t stretch on for many many books… I do not tend to get them all.

    • I suspect the majority of series do feature different couples, but I agree with you – many, many books is too long. And it’s too hard for readers to keep up.

      Thanks, Colleen!

  9. Pam, this sounds like a fun series. I enjoy reading series because you can follow on the original hero and heroine and see how they’re doing, also the ones in Book 2, and you don’t really have to say goodbye. I also enjoy getting used to a small town as if it were my home. Details matter.
    I’ve never messed up someone’s eye color, but my critique partners have found other inconsistencies and called me on them.
    The one thing that drives me nuts is when the author of a series feels she or he has to reintroduce EVERY CHARACTER who’s ever been in the series, even if they have no part in Book 3, 4 or 5. It slows the action considerably, but you’d be surprised who does it.
    Kathy Bailey

    • Oh, my goodness. Why would they re-introduce a character that has no part in the book? Makes no sense to me, and you are so right – it drags down the action.

      My only thinking is that the author is trying to make her book standalone for a reader who comes into the series late and won’t know previous characters. But to give the characters valuable stage time when they have no real purpose to the book isn’t engaging or efficient.

      Thanks for sharing, Kathy!

  10. Hey Pam, Your series sounds like a must read! I enjoy both stand alones and those in a series.

    Belssings!

  11. I do enjoy series, especially those that are 3 to 4 books long.
    Pros : With each book you get to visit friends you met in previous books. You get to know the town/setting and those who live there. You get to watch characters grow, develop, and mature through the successive books. In some there is an over arching plot line that is explored and developed through the series and solved in the last book.

    Cons: If the series goes over 5 books, it is best that there is not thread that needs to be solved to complete the arc. Series that are 10, 12, and more books long need to have the books more like standalones. Yes, the book will be good on its own, and you will enjoy it more if you have read the earlier books, but it isn’t necessary to fully enjoy the book. The main problem I have with series is the time between books. I understand that you can’t just pop them out in a few short weeks, but when the gap gets too long, interest tends to lag and you lose track of the threads. That is why I usually wait until I have all the books in a series before I read it. That way the characters and the story and plot thread stays fresh and interesting. It makes for a more enjoyable reading experience.

    Thanks for a look into your writing process and how you keep it all straight.
    Stay safe and healthy.

    • As always, a well-thought out response, Pat. I’m glad Books #2 and #3 are coming out close together. Of course, I’m hoping folks will read Book #1 first, which sets up the whole series.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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