Michaeline: Four Questions for Harper Cross

Author Harper Cross, also known as Eight Lady Nancy Hunter, aka Nancy Yeager, author of the five-story series, Harrow’s Finest Five (Starting with novella “Too Clever by Half” and followed by four full-length Victorian historical romance novels) answered a few questions for me regarding her new book, Baby One Last Time, the first book in her series, The Agents of HEAT (published April 29, 2021).

The lighthearted romantic suspense book is a second-chance romance. Cynthia has been expelled from the secret spy agency, HEAT, and her only chance to redeem herself is by working with her “tall, dark and diabolical” ex, Derek Wilder. Harper calls it “a shot of action & adventure, a dash of snark, and a twist of fun.”

She’s got a lot of fun things to say about the process in her interview, too!

Hot guy in black v-neck t-shirt with bracelet and looking over squarish sunglasses at viewer. Tropical palms, fire/scorched earth imagery.
Baby One Last Time is the latest book from Nancy, writing as Harper Cross. and is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers from the Agents of HEAT series. Image from Harper Cross.
Continue reading

Nancy: Series Q&A With Mindy Klasky

Over the last several weeks, we’ve talked about reading and deconstructing series. We’ve looked at several examples, including Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache, Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons, and Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad. This week, I talked to Mindy Klasky about the trials and triumphs of writing multiple series of her own. Her books range from light paranormal romance to traditional fantasy to category romance. To check out Mindy’s books for yourself, be sure to visit her website!

Jane4

NH: You’ve written multiple series, including the Glasswrights, Jane Madison (witch), As You Wish (genie), and Diamond Brides books. Did all of these ideas start as series? Were any intended as stand-alone books, and if so, why did they then become series?

MK: The Glasswrights Series began as a stand-alone fantasy novel, The Glasswrights’ Apprentice. I wrote it, shopped it around to an agent, then started working on another book in a completely different fantasy world (so I wouldn’t have two dead books if the first one failed to sell to a publisher.) When the editor called to make my agent an offer, she said they wanted a sequel, and he told them I had two. (That was a lie; we’d never discussed sequels!) Continue reading

Nancy: Serious About Series Part 3: Dublin Murder Squad

Into the Woods is Book 1 of the Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series.

Into the Woods is Book 1 of the Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series.

In Part 1 of this series on series, we discussed Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series. Set in Quebec, these books follow the cases of homicide detective Gamache and return each time to the eclectic, artistically-inclined, anything-but-sleepy small town of Three Pines. With each book we get closer to Gamache, learn more about residents of the small village, and, for the first several books, watch watch the plot arc of police corruption grow until it explodes in book 9.

In Part 2, we took a look at Julia Quinn’s The Bridgertons.  This series follows the love lives of the eight Bridgerton siblings as they each meet their mates, fall in love, and find their HEA. While the main characters change, we get to meet and learn about the whole clan, watch secondary characters step up for their own story, and revisit old friends and recurring ‘inside jokes’.

This week, we’re looking at a series that takes a different approach to introducing and developing main characters – Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. These books take place in another homicide division, this time set in Ireland. But there is no set main character. There’s no big-picture story threaded through each book. And there’s no guarantee in each new book that we’ll see our previous protagonists return as secondary characters, and even when we do, we might not recognize them. Continue reading

Nancy: Serious About Series: Prologue

The original 1980 paperback cover of Roberta Gellis's The English Heiress.

The original 1980 paperback cover of Roberta Gellis’s The English Heiress.

That’s right. I used an 8LW banned word (or it would be, if we kept a banned words list). Prologue. In our McDaniel classes, Jenny instructed, encouraged, and pleaded with us to eschew prologues, because the story should start when the Thing That Changes Everything happens. But since this isn’t a story, I figure I can get away with it as an introduction to my series of posts on series.

The first series I remember reading in childhood was The Little House on the Prairie. The first romance book I read was book 1 of Roberta Gellis’s Heiress series. As soon as I finished it, I was thrilled to find out books 2 and 3 were available, and devoured them. To this day, I’m thrilled when I find a new series to love and often find myself googling impatiently when I’ve gone too long without an installment of one of favorites.

That love doesn’t stop at reading. It extends Continue reading