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!

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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?

Do You Read Series?

Readers tend to love series. But you may not know that there are more than one kind. Here are the basic types:

Dynamic Series – follows the same character or group through the series as they try to accomplish a large goal. The story arc is too big for one book and is fleshed out over multiple books.  Think: The Hobbit, or Harry Potter.

Static Series – each book is more an individual event or installment in the characters’ lives than a series of related events. Think: Sherlock Holmes, Murder She Wrote, or Babysitters Club. You know, Cozy mysteries.

Anthology Series – tied together by a world, a setting, or character relationships. The series can be made up of dynamic and/or static series. Think: Marvel or Hogwarts.

That ends the education part of the post, promise.

I only write the last type – mostly because I’m not smart enough for the first two! I’ve written three small town series – they’re popular and especially well adapted for Westerns.

But my very first series is different – because I didn’t mean to write a series! The first book I ever sold was The Sweet Spot,  a reunion story about a divorced couple with a ranch that supplied bucking bulls to the bull riding circuit. In the divorce, he got the bulls, she got their valuable semen. It won the Romance Writers of America RITA award for best first book that year (I’m still squeeing!).

But it sold in a 3-book series. I freaked out. I’d never written a series. I didn’t even know about the types of series above. So I followed the old adage, ‘Write what you know’. If you’ve been reading my blogs here, you know that what I know is bull riding.

So I wrote a series set in the world of professional bull riding. 

The second book, Nothing Sweeter, was about a woman on the run from her past, who ends up taking a job as groom on a remote, failing cattle ranch. She talks them into raising bucking bulls as a way to turn the bottom line to black. Oh, and falls in love with the curmudgeon owner. 

The last book, Sweet on You, is a road trip story. A combat medic veteran can’t stand witnessing soldiers’ pain any longer. She returns stateside, and takes a job as a member of the medical team that cares for injured bull riders at the PBR events – figuring she could do the job, since she had no respect of spoiled athletes. You guessed it, she falls for one.

I’m proud of their overall average star ratings of 4.6-4.8 on Amazon, but I have another reason for bringing them up today:

They’re on SALE!!

The Sweet Spot is $0.99, the other two are $1.99! Not sure how long the sale will last, so check them out soon!

What is your favorite type of series? Your favorite one?