Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Series On My Mind...


I've been thinking a lot about connected stories lately--those series of books that share characters, storyline, setting, and so on. Seems I can't get away from those deeper, more complex stories that are so rich, they must be revealed over the course of several books. And I don't want to! While I treasure the completeness of each story, my imagination is percolating away, wondering when and where I'll see these characters again, and relishing the journey!

Last night I saw THE HUNGER GAMES movie (and thought it did a pretty good job following Suzanne Collins's book) and really enjoyed it. I hope the other two in the trilogy of Katniss and have's and have-not's, courage and loyalty, and how anyone can make a difference if s/he just determines that s/he WILL make a difference live up to the impact of the books. I think some young stars are born, too!








Personally, (when I can find the time--and it's so frustrating when I can't!) I've been reading the Iron Fey series of YA books by Julie Kagawa. I love how she mixes our real world with the world of fairies and their different strengths. It's a really clever concept, I think. On the surface, it's an appealing adventure with a bit of romance--but there's a lot more story there for deep thinkers, too. The supporting characters are intriguing, and the young heroine and heroes finding their way through life--figuring out how to get along in the real world and the magic world, facing real challenges that any young person faces as well as dealing with more fantastical problems--has really captured my imagination.

And, of course, in my writing, I'm launching a brand new series May 1st (available now on www.eHarlequin.com), called The Precinct: Task Force. These six books feature the men and women of the KCPD task force put together to help solve the case of a serial rapist that has gone unsolved for far too long. The Rose Red Rapist may be terrorizing the women of Kansas City, but these brave men and women (detectives, criminologists, uniformed officers, a police psychologist and driminal profiler and other support staff) are taking a stand to protect their city and the people they love. There's something more at work, too, than the threat of a single attacker, but I'll leave that mystery to the readers for now ;). The Precinct: Task Force features supporting characters from other books whose stories readers have asked for, such as desk sergeant Maggie Wheeler and firefighter John Murdock--or cool, calm and collected detective Spencer Montgomery and heiress Bailey Austin--Spencer's streetwise partner, Nick Fensom, is there, too. Plus, I'll introduce you to some brand new characters who live and work in Kansas City's fictional Fourth Precinct: CSI Annie Hermann, police psychologist Dr. Kate Kilpatrick, second-generation Taylor Clan member Edison "Pike" Taylor (all grown up and working as a K-9 officer), and much, much more.


So, what is your favorite connected series of books (or movies)? Or tell us what series you're anxious to dive into. Just share the titles, or go on to tell us why the stories are so special to you. I'll give away a copy of THE MARINE NEXT DOOR to one lucky poster today.

Julie Miller

35 comments:

  1. Hi Julie,

    It's a tie between your Precinct series and B.J.'s Whitehorse, Montana series. I love them both. Tell Maggie my kitties said Hi!

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    1. Maggie might chase your kitties, Tammy ;), but I'll tell her you said hi! Thanks for the Precinct shout-out. And I'm a Whitehorse fan, too. I have to admit, a lot of what I know about cowboys I learned from BJ's books!

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  2. Julie I really enjoy all your series I also enjoy the Colby series by Debra Webb and the Cooper by Paula Graves heck there are so many series i like to keep up with it isnt funny and i think they would all make great tv series to watch

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    1. I'm glad you said that, Misty! I agree--there are so many Harlequin series that I think would make a great television series. I've been a fan of my buddy Deb Webb's Colby books since book 1--and I think they'd play really well on television.

      And I remember judging Paula's first book in a contest before she was published--I knew she was a talented writer! I loved her "Forbidden" Intrigues.

      And thanks for including my books on your list!

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  3. Someone's going to have to say it, so why not me - I love Eve and Roarke from JD Robb's In Death series. What's weird is I can't read Nora as Nora, but only as JD Robb. See, told ya it was weird.

    I also like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, but they are starting to get 'old' if that makes sense.

    I am looking forward to The Precinct:Task Force for a couple reasons - 1) I haven't read you before but I know someone who loves your other Precinct stories, and 2) I won a copy so I don't have to remind myself to buy it next trip at the store (or trip to eHarl)!

    MarcieR

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  4. I love connected books. There are so many to name - Your Precinct/Taylor books, Paula Grave's Cooper books, BJ Daniel's Whitehorse books, Cindy Gerard's Black Ops books, Robyn Carr's Virgin River books, Lori Foster's series, etc., etc., etc. I love being able to revisit old characters and find out what they are up to.

    Denise

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  5. Not weird at all, Marcie. No one throw stones, but I'm not a big Nora fan. However, I do like her In Death series. I need to find time to read more! (well, I suppose I could be weird, too (vbg))

    I hope you enjoy THE MARINE NEXT DOOR and my Precinct books! I like getting the perspective from new readers as well as long-time fans. You'll have to let me know what you think.

    And tell your friend who recommended me thanks!

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  6. Thought maybe I'd share some of my favorite series books:

    The Chronicles of Narnia (I still re-read them from time to time)
    The Lord of the Rings trilogy
    Nancy Drew (okay, I don't read them anymore, but I once loved them dearly--always liked a good mystery!)
    Rachel Lee's Conard County series
    Deb Webb's Colby Agency series
    Harry Potter
    Rebecca York's 43 Light Street series
    The Hunger Games trilogy
    Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series
    (back when they were Intimate Moments)A Year of Living Dangerously multi-author series

    and on and on...

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  7. Can't wait for this new series, Julie !
    And yes, I love connected character stories. Love 'em.

    ~Angi

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    1. Me, too, Angi! I love reading them, and that's what motivates me to write them. Thanks!

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  8. Julie, I loved Hunger Games, too. I'm just catching up on the Game of Thrones books. Missed them when they first came out. And I LOVE your new cover. Might be my favorite of yours yet. Wow!

    Dana

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    1. My son plowed through Game of Thrones, Dana, and loved it! He said I would, too, but I haven't had a chance to read them yet. He says I'd love watching the HBO? Showtime? series, too, because I'm a big Sean Bean fan.

      And thanks on the cover kudos! I'm so pleased that they made my Marine look like a Marine--haircut and all. And it's hard to go wrong with a tight black T-shirt ;).

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  9. OMG - how could I forget Nancy Drew!! I really wished I asked my parents to keep them instead of giving them away when we a)moved and b)grew too old to read them.

    I also love watching reruns of Murder,She Wrote. I sometimes wonder if JB and Seth Hazlett (the doc and ME) became more than friends....

    MarcieR

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    1. I was a huge Murder, She Wrote fan, too, Marcie. Watched it first-run, and many more times in reruns and on DVD. I love the idea of Seth and JB getting together.

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  10. Thrilled to see Maggie, and Edison are in the new series. Too many series to list, but Nancy Drew, The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia are some of my favorites. I also had the early Star Trek novelizations, and I feel a little sick that I didn't keep them.

    I've always wanted a Taylor Clan box set, which probably stems from many the early series being package that way.

    (Do you have a family tree for your characters, so that new to you readers can locate them in earlier books?)

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  11. I have just started reading the new Julie Miller The Marine Next Door, I love series, authors, Kat Martin, Robyn Carr, Paula Graves,The Lawman's Legacy(Fitzgerald By,) Love Inspired Suspense(Harlequin), done by 6 different authors, Shirlee McCoy, Valerie Hansen, Rachelle McCalla, Stephanie Newton, Lynette Eason,and the month of May Terri Reed does the last one in the series. plus I like Fern Michaels, Sisterhood series, I could go on and on, but I won't.

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    1. Thank you, Judy! I hope you enjoy the first book and the rest of the Precinct: Task Force miniseries!

      Sounds like you're a real series fan, and very knowledgeable. I haven't heard of the Lawman's Legacy, but I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks!

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  12. Julie, Your book are my all time favorites. Funny that you mention Nancy Drew. I was going through some books at school that are going to the Salvation Army and found an old Nancy Drew. Sat and read it in one sitting. Very nostalgic and so simple but favorites when I was young. Looking forward to your new series.

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    1. Thanks, Connie! I hope you'll enjoy them.

      I came to Nancy Drew a little later than my friends--I read a lot of biographies and fairy tales (I know, odd combination ;)) until about 6th grade. Then I discovered Nancy Drew and read all that I could get my hands on. I've always loved a good mystery.

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  13. Happy to see Maggie, and Edison "Pike" Taylor will be in the upcoming books. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and the Bobbsey Twins are some the series that I loved. I keep looking for the Taylor Clan box set . . .

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    1. Hey, Gayle! I'm excited that my editor was as interested in developing stories about some reader favorite (and mine!) characters as I was. I'm looking forward to writing Pike's book--it will contain so many things I love...Plain Jane heroine, dogs, and a big tough guy with a core of marshmallow (once the right woman finds it, of course!)

      These characters will all make appearances (I think! I still have 3 more books to write in the series) in each of the books. So readers can get reacquainted with familiar faces, or be introduced to new ones, from the get-go.

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    2. You know, I've never read the Bobsey Twins. My hubby has a few left over from his childhood. I should try one just to see what they're like.

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  14. Trixie Belden! I loved Trixie Belden books when I was a kid.

    I loved Gayle Wilson's Phoenix Brotherhood books. I hope she can talk her editor into letting her do some more!

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    1. Oh, I would LOVE it if we could get some more Gayle Wilson Intrigues! I know she really likes writing historicals, too, but I'm a true romantic suspense fan.

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  15. I am fan of quite a few series... Rebecca York's 43 Light Street series, Nora Roberts/ JD Robb's In Death series, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters , & Laurie London's SweetBlood series are just a few...

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    1. Sounds like some good recommendations, Colleen! I haven't read the SweetBlood series. Vampires, I'm assuming? I'm just not a fan of vampires. Yet I love paranormals. I'm often looking for a riveting, sexy paranormal book that doesn't have vampires or werewolves in it.

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  16. Nice post. I like the Immortals After Dark series.

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    1. Thanks, bn100, for stopping by. I've heard several readers talk about the After Dark series. Are they vampires?

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  17. Maggie Wheeler's story was such a moving one, I loved how the hero showed his strong and tender side. I am glad to see the other characters will get their own story. My favorite series are the Taylor Clan, all the Precinct books, Carol Ericson's Brothers in arms and Debra Webb's Colby series. please don't enter me in this drawing as I already have this book.

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    1. Thank you, AviJ. You read that fast! I knew one day I'd get to write Maggie and John's story. They both have so much emotional baggage to overcome--it would take someone with a deep understanding of tragedy to get the other to fall in love. ;)

      I'm a fan of Carol Ericson's books, too! I haven't started her new series yet--all with single word titles. OBSESSION is the first one, I believe. Carol, are you around to share the other titles?

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  18. I love the Game of Thrones TV series and right now I'm just starting the books. I was debating whether to read the books after the TV series has ended because then I wouldn't nitpick on how the show is not faithful to the source material.

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  19. I have that debate a lot, too, Jane. But sometimes I bite the bullet and just start watching because I can usually do that faster than get through all the reading. But if I have the time to read, I try to do that first.

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  20. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceApril 18, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Okay favorite series. This could take a while LOL! Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, BJ Daniels Whitehorse, Debra Webb Colby Agency, of course the Taylor clan & Precinct series that you did Julie. Funny story I just noticed that the license plate for the guy working next store starts RLK it's not RGK like the Rich Girl Killer but it always reminds me of it. Ok back to series I haven't read or seen the Hunger Games but its on my list. I always enjoy the continuites that get put out for the Harlequin Intrigue line as well as the Love Inspired lines. I am looking forward to The Fizgerald Bay continuity by Love Inspired Suspense and there is a Love Inspired Historical 3 book continuity comming out called The Irish Brides. Also if you have little kids I recommend the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. I remember my brother reading them when he was in the second grade. I told my aunt about them and my cousin who is in kindergarden loves them. Basic overview Jack and Annie who are brother and sister discover a Magic Tree House in the woods behind their house that takes them to different times and places in history.

    Say Hi to Maggie for me!!

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  21. Hey, Laura--how spooky that would have been if the license plate WAS "RGK". But very observant and Intrigue heroine-ish of you. ;)

    Thanks for the series ideas! You listed a couple I'm not familiar with.

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  22. And the winner is... Jane!

    My mom is visiting from Missouri, and I asked her to draw the name from the pile this time (Maggie watched--she and Grandma are fast friends--lots of petting and treat-sneaking involved!), and she picked Jane's name.

    Send me an email with your snail mail addy, and I'll get a copy of THE MARINE NEXT DOOR in the mail to you ASAP.

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by and sharing some of your favorite series stories!

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