Seriously Obsessed with Series

I wanted to start with a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Femmes Joanna and Michele for their recent contest finals in NJRW’s PYHIAB contest and The Catherines. Check out our ‘Recent News’ page for details. Best wishes, ladies, in the final round. We’re rooting for both of you to win!!

Has a series ever entranced you so much you’ve become obsessed with the characters, the town? In some cases, you get so attached to the story the characters feel like real people—or people you’d like to know. My kids suck me into this scenario all the time. They’ll go on and on about a bunch of people and all of a sudden I’ll ask “are these people you know or from a TV show?” and I’ll get “they’re from XYZ show”. It drives me crazy. But, imagine living in Jill Shalvis’s town of Lucky Harbor with its abundance of hunky men. For me, from a fictional world perspective, it doesn’t get much better than that. Sun, beach, small town, eye candy, all wrapped up with great characters. I don’t recall a lighthouse, but if there was one, I’d buy me a one-way plane ticket.

One of the more recent series I’ve fell in love with (pun intended) is Marie Force’s McCarthys of Gansett Island. The first book, Maid for Love, is a great buy on bn.com. I’m only two books through the series and am itching to read the rest. If you’re getting a sense that I have a thing about beach settings, you’re spot on.

When I started writing, I hadn’t thought my beyond my first story. But as that story evolved, I found myself thinking of the supporting characters and ways to insert teasers of subplots that would eventually amount to their own story. I figure as much fun as it is to read many stories about a town and its various characters, it’d be just as much fun to write about them. As a reader, when the questions raised in those tiny subplots aren’t answered, I want—no need— to know what happens. That’s the kind of interest, as a writer, you want to spark in your readers. A passion to want to know more…to need to read your next story. It’s what builds your readership.

Here are some other series/sequels I’m obsessed about:

  • Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books – Joe Morelli—need I say any more? This series was about twelve books in when I discovered them. I spent months going to the library and reading them in order. It was a sad day when I caught up and had to wait for the next one to be released.
  • Jill Shalvis’s Animal Magnetism
  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips – I recently finished The Great Escape and although it’s not part of a typical series, it has characters from several of her other books. I loved the way she tied up the loose ends from Call Me Irresistible.
  • Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Chicago Stars
  • Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold
  • Rachel Gibson’s Chinooks Hockey Team – I’m not a huge sports fan. But I AM after reading these books.
  • Rachel Gibson’s Writer Friends – I recently picked up a book on the unread shelf of my bookcase (I’m In No Mood For Love) and realized it was Book #2 in this series. Unknowing that it was part of a series, I’d already read the last book, Not Another Bad Date. So, of course, I had to reach the other two books.
  • Tina Gabrielle’s Barrister Series – I just picked up In The Barrister’s Bed at this month’s NJRW meeting. What a fabulous cover. I loved the first book in the series and can’t wait to read this one.
  • Robyn Carr’s Virgin River
  • J.D. Robb’s In Death series and Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters – I’m slowly going through these because I’m listening to them when I drive to work. Now, I’m SO hooked in the character’s voices, I HAVE to listen to them vs read them.

How about you? What series are you obsessed with? What is your writing style? Do you plot a few books in your head or write completely separate stories?

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Maria

Author Tina Gabrielle shares the romance novel that changed her life

The Femmes are pleased to welcome author Tina Gabrielle to our blog today. Tina is a member of Romance Writers of America, NJ Romance Writers, and Liberty State Fiction Writers. Today, she’ll share the author and book that influenced her early love of romance reading and writing.

Tina Gabrielle, an award-winning author, is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. After multi-publishing for a prestigious Law Journal, she fulfilled her dream of writing fiction. She is the author of In The Barrister’s Bed, In The Barrister’s Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Kensington Books. To enter her monthly contests for free giveaways visit her website at www.tinagabrielle.com

For a chance to win a signed copy of IN THE BARRISTER’S CHAMBERS and a NJ Romance Writer’s tote bag, leave a comment during this week. Good luck! Tina will be commenting on the blog through Tuesday and then is off to RWA Nationals in Anaheim. Don’t forget, anyone commenting the month of July will also be entered in The Femmes monthly contest.

And now…Welcome Tina!

First let me thank the Violet Femmes for inviting me to blog. It’s wonderful to be here!

I’m Tina Gabrielle, and I write rich Regency historical romances full of passion and emotion for Kensington Books. My current Regency Barrister series is about four sexy barristers and the women who wreak havoc in their chambers and steal their hearts.

I started reading romance at an early age—too early now that I’m a mother myself! I remember a fateful family vacation in the Poconos. Both of my older sisters found summer romances, one sister with another vacationing boy and the other sister with a waiter at the hotel. I was much younger, in an awkward phase of braces and a bad complexion, and left behind. So I picked up my oldest sister’s romance and read in secret.

Ah! I was hooked!

It was Julie Garwood’s The Bride. I dreamed about her Scottish hero Alec Kincaid for a year thereafter and fell in love with brawny Highlanders and historical romance novels. I recently repurchased the book, and it still enthralled me and kept me up reading all night.

How did it change my life? I read all types of fiction, but I write historical romance, and I credit Julie Garwood’s book for inspiring me. I’ve since attended engineering school and law school and my love of reading for pleasure helped me through years of academia. I often picked up a romance and let my fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry me away. So I owe part of my success—academic or as a romance author—to fiction and romance in particular.

My fourth historical romance, In the Barrister’s Bed, was released by Kensington Books in July 2012. It’s the second book in my award-winning Regency Barrister Series. Here’s a sneak peek at both Barrister Books:

IN THE BARRISTER’S BED (July 2012) 

A Hotly Contested Claim

A bastard by birth, James Devlin lives on his own terms—until a twist of fate reveals that he is the true Duke of Blackwood. Though the brooding bachelor swears to hold on to his freedom, he does intend to take back his childhood home. But once at Wyndmoor Manor, he discovers an arresting adversary in Bella Sinclair. Her hot-blooded claim to his home is amusing…and arousing. Which is why he isn’t leaving until he takes possession of everything—starting with the bewitching Bella…

A Sensual Surrender

Bella is furious when the Duke barges into her home, declaring it rightfully his! The willful widow is not about to give up her haven without a fight, no matter how determined the Duke is—or how sensual the battlefield. But once she’s sharing a house with the beguiling barrister, she is in danger of losing everything—one deep, slow kiss at a time…

IN THE BARRISTER’S CHAMBERS (September 2011) 

Courting Danger

Lady Evelyn Darlington’s first love was the law. But since a woman scholar meets nothing but ridicule from men, she has given up and chosen a future husband. Randolph seems adequate for the task: to provide intelligent conversation and not annoy her too much. Of course, before they can be engaged, she’ll have to do something about the murder charge hanging over his head. If only London’s top barrister wasn’t Jack Harding, object of all her unattainable girlhood fantasies…

And Seducing Scandal…

Jack Harding remembers Evelyn well—but the idea that the gorgeous woman standing before him is little Evie, the professor’s daughter, is incredible. He knows better than to enter a business relationship when he wants to pursue pleasure. Yet however desirable she is now, Evie is still Evie—stubborn, smart, and never willing to take no for an answer. Even though proving her fiancé’s innocence might just cost her her own…

So tell me: Who is your favorite type of historical hero? A kilted Highlander, a Regency rogue, or a cowboy? Comment for a chance to win!

If you want to keep in touch with Tina, you can find her at:

Tina Gabrielle – www.tinagabrielle.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tinagabrielle

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TinaGabrielle

Thanks, Tina, for visiting and have a great time in Anaheim!

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