Series or Standalones

That was the question posed by a member of The Story Empire earlier last week. You can read his full thoughts here– well worth your time.

I’ve read many great standalone books, (Cinderella anyone?) but have to admit I enjoy stories set in a series much more. There’s a deeper connection to a) the characters, and b) location- though either of those can, and often do, change throughout the course of a series.

From NY Book Editors:

Writing a book series can be incredibly challenging (that’s the bad news), but it’s also one of the best ways to develop a loyal fan base (that’s the good news).

NY BOOK EDITORS-2016

The books can follow one or two main characters through a variety of adventures- such as J.D. Robb’s In Death series or the Harry Potter franchise.

They can also be set around a location and the citizens within- Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold series or J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Some follow a progression of events and are best read in order, while others are self-contained stories within the series and can easily be read out of order.

Whichever style you prefer, series seem to be growing in popularity, some are even twenty books long and counting!, and readers can’t get enough.

I’m currently working on the third story in my Gambling Hearts series, My Girl. The series follows the lives, and loves, of three siblings born and raised on a Texas hill country ranch.

This is Aaron’s story:

Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make

Trish Sylvester knows her family and when they accept a week long stay at a rustic dude ranch, she is concerned- especially since it’s at her ex’s home.

Aaron is overjoyed at the opening of his family’s guest ranch, until he learns their first guest is his ex-girlfriend, her parents–and a fiancé.

And that isn’t the only surprise.

Excerpt

“I met your fiancé,” he said, his voice ripe with challenge. The outdoors clung to her skin, sun and flowers combining to intoxicate him more than the whiskey.

She lifted her chin, eyes narrowing. “What did you say to him, Aaron? I’d hoped we could all act like adults while we’re here.”

Aaron laughed, his hands doing the job his heart urged him to do, forcing her to come up against his chest with a soft oomph. “Darlin’, I’m definitely a man, make no mistake.” He leaned down and brushed her lips, setting up a warning through his chest. He was playing with fire, and if he wasn’t careful, there was little doubt who was going to get burned. Again.

“Aaron, stop this,” she murmured, though her lips parted on a sigh. “We can’t…”

He lifted his head and stared at her upturned face. “Can’t what, Trish? You invited yourself onto my territory and brought reinforcements. I want to know why.”

She moved out of his arms. He pretended not to feel the loss.

“We needed a break from the city,” she said. “Surely, you can understand that? Your sister sent an email to me highlighting the new business venture—congrats, by the way—and I thought it would be fun to come and check it out. End of story.”

He eyed her nervously tucking her hair behind her ear and knew she was bluffing. The question remained; why?


Box Set News

We have a new box set releasing August 30th!

Sweet and Sassy Baby Love 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KHEMW5

Add to your TBR list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47873355-sweet-and-sassy-baby-love

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/sweet-and-sassy-baby-love-by-suzanne-jenkins-and-jen-talty

Nine NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors offer stories of men and women who go to great lengths for the children they love.

A scent of innocence, that touch of softness, an angelic nap, and deep belly laughs. Babies and toddlers bring great joy, love, humor, and even conflict into our lives. But first, we need a passionate encounter, a romance that transcends time.

How do you feel about series or standalone stories? Let’s talk about it.

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18 thoughts on “Series or Standalones- Does it Matter? #amwriting #Romance

  1. As you have said Jacquie series let you know the character on a deeper level but I don”t like long series as I need a closure. 20 books??? Not for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You do incredibly well with series fiction, Jacquie! My favorite types are those that bring closure at the end of each book but have a continuing character who faces new challenges in the novels that follow. I think those are the types of series that can carry 20 books (Pendergast is currently at 19 with 20 releasing in March and I am still a rabid fan).

    I’m also a huge fan of standalone novels. I think a lot has to do with genre. I read a ton of psychological suspense and domestic thrillers and the overwhelming majority of those are standalone books. I don’t think I’ve ever come across one that was part of a series.

    But hook me with a good series and I’m in. There are several I’ve followed (still follow) and really enjoy.

    Congrats on the upcoming box set as well. August 30th is right around the corner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean, Louise Penny is a classic example. Her Inspector Gamache series is 15 books in (one released today and is already a bestseller!) and is still going strong.
      It takes a multi-layered character and interesting plotlines to carry that off and still grow your fanbase.
      I suppose with thrillers the difference is that it’s often one of the main characters behind the deaths/ or the lead character has been through such a traumatizing experience it’s difficult to build on their character- though Rachel Caine managed it with her Stillhouse Lake series.
      Standalones have to lead me through a life-changing moment in order to leave me satisfied. I want to feel he, or she, will be okay after I close the book, I guess 🙂
      I appreciate your encouragement on my series, Mae. Half the time I feel like I’m floundering in muddy waters, lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Louse Penny’s series is a great example. I haven’t read any of those yet, but I keep meaning to. When you can release and shoot straight up to #1 like she has, you know you’ve got a great character and series.

        And floundering? You?!?!? Nah! I’d say you’re kicking butt, girlfriend! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great excerpt, Jacquie:) I like series if it isn’t just one long book cut up, but solves stories each book and the main one at end. I’m also a big fan of single stories, too. Depends on my mood I guess….lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point, Denise. I’m not a fan of serials either- it feels like I’m being led by the nose to spend more money in order to find out the ending!
      I also agree about single stories. If well written, a standalone novel is deeply satisfying- such as Life and Other Inconveniences, which I finished recently and is still with me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love what you shared here, Jacquie. As to the question… When I am really enjoying a “world” I like to go back again and again. Although with some very long series, it becomes repetitious to me, and I stop. Yet I also like stand alone novels. Sometimes I don’t want to invest years in waiting for volume after volume. I am delighted that we have so many options. 😀 Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh… I must be the world’s worst. It took me so many years between the two Atonement books… That was pitiful.Now, I’m spending nearly a year since I wanted to release the next 1920s book… (eye roll). Still hope to do the cover reveal for that one soon. Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I like them both. I am a big fan of trilogies. I get to really know the characters, but three books means I am still enjoying the books. I have read some series that got dull and even though I had enjoyed previous books, I gave up on it. I also really enjoy a well-written standalone, so bring them on.

    Liked by 1 person

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