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Monday, October 8, 2012

Brothers, Sisters or Friends


I just love trilogies and series.  One of the earliest I remember reading were Catherine Coulter’s Bride series. And then there is Stephanie Laurens Cynsterns and Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons,  and finally, Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series.  These are probably my top series favorites.  I couldn’t wait for the next book in the series to come out, wondering which character was going to have their story told, and wondering if someone new will appear that I will want to know more about.  I’ve gotten sucked into these and at one point felt like I knew these characters as well as I knew my own family. 

And, because I love the series/trilogy format so well, whenever I come up with a single story I wonder how it can work in to at least a trilogy.  I find that it is easier than usually anticipated because there are always extra characters hanging out.  I mean, a strong hero and heroine are great, but sometimes it is those friends or siblings who make them better, or add that little something extra, even if it isn’t their own story.  Sometimes I don't even intend to give someone a story, but a character will become so real to me or figure more prominently then I intended that I know they will one day have their own book.  We've all read those books where that one character steals the scene, as if to say they are tired of the bit role and want a chance at the lead.

I was lucky enough last year to be a part of an amazing group of authors when we put together the Summons anthology of twelve short stories all involving cousins, and grandchildren of the might Duke of Danby.  It was a fun ride writing the story, reading everyone else’s and then putting them all together.  Since, the Duke of Danby has been part of my life.  I have written him in, even if only by reference, in a series (The Tenacious Trents) that branched off of my short, Compromised at Christmas, which was in A Summons from His Grace

But what is better than the duke, is that I have had the opportunity to join Ava Stone, Jerrica Knight-Catania and Catherine Gayle once again on yet another short story anthology, A Season to Remember, which was recently released. And yes, the Duke of Danby makes an appearance.  

In Jane Charles’s Devil in My Dreams...
Devlin Bartlett was never meant to be Viscount Marston, yet he has inherited not only the title but three younger sisters, all of marriageable ages. He soon learns that thwarting the French was much easier than playing guardian to three young ladies, and decides the simplest solution is to marry them off. * Louisa Whitton needs to find a husband of her own choosing before Christmas. At her sister’s house party, she meets the perfect gentleman—thus foiling her grandfather’s plans. However, Marston refuses to even think about courting her until his sisters are wed, and he has the audacity to ask her to wait. Louisa’s grandfather will never agree, so she sets out to find the perfect substitute for Marston, forcing him to choose between his sisters’ future and his own.

~ * ~
In Catherine Gayle’s To Enchant an Icy Earl...
As the Earl of Fordingham, Tristan Cavendish has lived by the code his father beat into him for so long he’s driven everyone in his life away, including his brother. Now he is alone. Loneliness dictates he must change, so he sets out to make amends with his only sibling. Alas, his brother seems none too inclined to hear him out, and a woman who must be a vision from Fordingham’s dreams walks into his path. Now, more than ever before, he knows he must change his ways or risk driving her away as well…but how? * Calista Bartlett is on the hunt for a husband—but one who is nothing at all like the betrayer who was her former beau. When she sees the Earl of Fordingham across the room at a soiree, she knows she’s found the very man who is everything her one-time beau was not. Fordingham presents an icy façade to the world, but Calista discovers a passionate man who kisses her feverishly and warms her through to the bones. Can she ever convince him to let down his guard permanently?
~ * ~
In Ava Stone’s My Lord Hercules...
Miss Miranda Bartlett is on a mission to locate her missing friend. Determined hoyden that she is, she’ll do whatever it takes to get the answers she seeks too, even if that means dressing like a dandy, sneaking into a gaming hell, and surrounding herself with London’s worst reprobates. However, she didn’t plan on bumping into a Herculean gentleman along the way. The handsome and honorable Lord Harrison Casemore immediately thwarts her plans and seems determined to save her at every turn, making it more than difficult to accomplish her task. * Ever since Harry Casemore spotted the exotic temptress trying to pass herself off as a fop, he’s been drawn to her. He hasn’t figured out what she’s after, but he’s fairly certain he’d sell his soul if she’d just let him help her with whatever it is.
~*~
In Jerrica Knight-Catania’s A Penny For Your Thoughts... Penelope Bartlett has had a rough year, to say the least. She lost her eldest brother and her father in one fell swoop, and to make matters worse she had to miss out on her very first London Season. Now she's in the thick of the Little Season and all she wants to do is run away. It's torture to watch her siblings fall in love and she's simply not in the mood to make merry with all of them. Especially when they treat her as if she's still a little girl in leading strings.
* Enter Drake Lockwell, Viscount Flitwick. He, too, is typically eager to escape crowded ballrooms and matchmaking mamas in favor of his own company in a deserted garden or library. But a chance meeting in his brother’s garden one night changes everything. Miss Bartlett is young and impetuous, yet he can't help but fall prey to her charms. Perhaps she will be the one to finally mend the hole in his heart...

Or will his secrets be more than Penelope is able to handle?

A Season to Remember picks up where some of our characters left off in our The Betting Season anthology, which was the yet another opportunity for Ava, Jerrica, Catherine and myself to work together. And the process was so fun we decided to do it again. 

What is your favorite romance trilogy or series?  And, do you have a preference as to how they are linked – family or friends?  Does it even matter?

22 comments:

  1. Jane,
    Congratulations on the new release. :)

    I love series linked by family and friends. These are the most important people in my life, so I gravitate toward these type of stories. But I also like series that have the same characters over a span of time. They begin to feel like family or good friends.

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    1. Samantha,

      I am not sure I've read a romance series with the same charactes over a span of time. But one of my favorite series that does do this is the Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy. You are right, the chracters do begin to feel like family and friends.

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  2. The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn definitely sucked me in. But Mary Balogh wrote another series of siblings that really got me, in a different way. The Bedwyn siblings were all a little Byronesque, if you will--mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

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    1. Catherine,

      I haven't read the Bedwyn siblings. I will have to check the series out because they sound like fun characters.

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  3. I love the Cynster books by Stephanie Laurens and the books by Grace Burrowes about the Windham Family.

    I love books where the connection between the hero's are being brothers or cousins and they all get involved in each others books

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    1. Jayne,

      I haven't read the Windhan series either. Need to add that one to my TBR pile.

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  4. It doesn't matter to me, how the stories are connected. I just like to see old characters return for a cameo, to stir up trouble, or help out the current hero/heroie. :)

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    1. I agree, Ava. I don't really care how they are connected. I just enjoy seeing old characters make an appearance.

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  5. I have so many fav series but the most is malory series by johanna lindsey and hataways series by lisa kleypas :)

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    1. Eli,

      I can't believe I didn't include the Malory series. I think it may have been one of the first series I fell in love with. Oh, and I also can't believe I forgot to add my latest favorite series - Hellions of Halstead Hall by Sabrina Jeffries. I can't wait for the next book.

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  6. Two of my favorite series are Mary Balogh's "The Huxtables" and Lisa Kleypas' "Hathaways".

    I must say that I enjoy a book series as it’s nice to meet and follow characters from one book to another. I don't mind how the characters are linked to each other, as long as I get my "Happy Ever After".

    I love the cover and color of "A Season to Remember"

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    1. Thank you, Diane.

      I haven't read The Huxtables or the Hathaways. How is that possible. I think I just need to kick back and catch up on my reading.

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    2. If you ever get the opportunity to read either series, then you simply must. They're both amazing.

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    3. Ooh Jane the Huxtables are great. I love Stephen and watch him grow into a wonderful man in the series.

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  7. I love Lisa Kleypas' Wallflowers, Rachel Gibson's loosely connected hockey series and Gena Showalter's Lord of the Underworld series.

    And the cover for A Season to Remember is GORGEOUS!!! :) Congrats, it's on my TBR pile. :)

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  8. Thanks, Marquita.

    I did enjoy the Wallflowers by Kelypas'. I had forgotten that series too. My, but I am getting foregetful.

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  9. Hey Jane, I actually love the Pink Carnation Series and I Love Ava's books. I think it's a lot of fun to see stories connect. I really love how Duke of Danby just shows up in A Season to Remember. I'm super excited to re-read the summons this Christmas season. I think Danby is absolutely Fabulous. He cracks me up with his mischievous twinkle in his eye.

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    1. Awe, Melody! You're so sweet to me. :)

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    2. Melody,

      I think the Duke of Danby is one of my favorite characters ever.

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    3. I think we all had a lot of fun with Danby. :)

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  10. Doesn't everybody love a good series!? So many fabulous ones out there. Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series is one of my faves, too. I also love when an author's books are all loosely connected in the same world. Liz Carlyle is fabulous at this. I try to do this with mine too. You never know who might show up!

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  11. And yay--I just saw the book is out on Nook now! Off to order!

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