Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Brook Cottages is thrilled to welcome A.B Michaels to the blog for the first time with a great guest post!
Why I Love Series Romance 

by A.B. Michaels

            Like most romance readers, I enjoy losing myself in a story that I don’t have to “worry” about.  It’s satisfying to know that no matter what trials the hero and heroine face, they’re going to be okay, and together, in the end (I think it’s part of the control I want to exert over the universe!). I’ve invested valuable time getting to know those characters, and I like to think of them as inhabiting a cool parallel universe once I close the book (weird, I know). 
            Similarly, as I get to know the secondary characters in a story, I want to know what happens to them, too.  That’s why I’ve always loved series romance instead of stand-alone novels. Forget the ones that extend the main love story over several books (I’m too impatient for that!).  I’m talking about a series that’s connected by place, or professional group, or family members, or even generations— any way that expands and further develops the fictional community I’ve gotten to know and enjoy.
Now that I’m a romance author, I’m having a blast writing the kinds of connected stories I adore.  My new series, “Sinner’s Grove,” meets all my criteria.  For starters, it centers on a location both beautiful and intriguing—a world-famous, historic artists’ retreat on the coast of northern California, just north of San Francisco.  While the retreat is fictional, the area I’ve set it in is real: it’s gorgeous country, full of rolling hills, redwood groves, and spectacular bay and ocean views.  I created a little bayside village called Little Eden, and the artists’ retreat, called The Grove, sits on a large plateau above the town.  Honestly, I would really love to visit these places!
Maybe I’m odd, but when I start reading a series, even when the books are stand-alone, I much prefer starting at the beginning. I don’t like thinking I may have missed out on something.  That’s why my first book is actually a prequel to the main series.  It’s called The Art of Love, and it tells the story of the founders of the original retreat back in 1904. August Wolff is a self-made millionaire, and Amelia Starling is an up-and-coming portrait artist.  Both of them have baggage you wouldn’t believe, and when they come together, it’s electric!  The novel ends just before The Grove begins construction.

Flash forward about 110 years and you have the setting for Sinner’s Grove, which is a contemporary romantic suspense novel.  It’s the cornerstone of the series and chronicles the  struggles several descendants have in reopening The Grove after a seventy-year hiatus.  Besides the hero and heroine, I’ve introduced several other important characters who make up the world of Little Eden and The Grove.  Many of those characters will go on to have their own stories, some of which develop locally, and others which take them to other locales, including countries outside the U.S., like Italy and Ireland.  “Sinner’s Grove” is thus connected by location, family, friendships and community. I am so excited to bring this fictional world to life!
Do you enjoy series romance as much as I do?  If so, why?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  We “happily ever after” types have got to stick together!

P.S. Today only, you can download The Art of Love for free, and Sinner’s Grove for only 99 cents/ 77 pence on Amazon.  I hope you get a chance to read them!

About A.B Michaels

Born and raised in northern California, A.B. Michaels holds master's degrees in history and broadcasting, and worked for many years in the public relations and marketing fields. An avid quilter and bocce player, she currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and two furry "sons" who don't seem to realize they're just dogs.
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