Returning to Familiar Ground
One thread dominates all the romance subgenres and books of other sorts on my shelves. Most of them are parts of series. As I read romances that have intriguing secondary characters, some corner of my brain hopes those characters will star in their own books. I love seeing them have their chance to shine, and getting to see the first book’s hero and heroine after their own happy ending is a bonus.
Jessica Andersen’s Nightkeepers series kicked off with a group of Mayan mages, descendants of royalty, who were destined to fight off the 2012 apocalypse. As Strike, the Nightkeepers’ king, and Leah, human cop he loved, battled evil and struggled toward happily ever after, they sucked me into their world. I not only cheered for them but longed to see their comrades find true love, too.
I had the same reaction to Kylie Griffin’s Light Blade series. Her gifted warriors, the Na’Chi seek to escape the demon Na’Reish who would destroy them. In the first book, Na’Reish halfbreed Annika helps Na’Chi warrior Kalan escape her father’s dungeon in exchange for sanctuary in his land. As I dropped into their fight to survive, I came to care about their friends and families, too.
You may have noticed that the heroes and heroines in these series face potentially lethal threats. That’s also a thread that runs through my favorite series, especially in paranormal romance. The threat may be one that changes from book to book, one that arcs through a number of books, or a combination of both.
Maybe reading comic books like The Justice League of America, The Legion of Super-Heroes, and X-Men gave me a taste for gifted individuals standing between the rest of us and evil forces. Those comic books featured regular casts of characters in worlds I came to know. Earth in the 30th century, the home base for the spacefaring Legion, became as familiar to me as my own street. So maybe it just makes sense that I’d gravitate toward romance and other series that returned to familiar characters in settings the authors had already made familiar.
This fondness for the series with recurring characters and settings also influences me as a writer. My contemporary mage romances are all set in southern Georgia, in the imaginary small town of Wayfarer, and the first book, Renegade, introduces the heroes of the second and third books and the heroine of the fourth. The heroine of my forthcoming novella, Sentinel, is a minor character in Renegade.
What about you? Do you like romance series with recurring characters and settings, or do you prefer to visit a new world every time?
One commenter will receive either an Amazon (US) download or a paper copy of Renegade.
Author Bio:Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy and YA romance. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes she loves in The Protectors, her new contemporary mage series from Grand Central Forever Yours.
Her debut novel, Renegade, received a starred review from Library Journal. The reviewer called it “genre writing at its best.” Nancy is a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist and has won the Maggie, the Molly, the Emerald City Opener, and Put Your Heart in a Book.
Married since 1987, Nancy and her husband have one son, a bossy dog, and a house full of books.
Here’s the blurb for Renegade:
SHE ENFORCES THE RULES
As the mage council's sheriff for the southeastern United States, Valeria Banning doesn't just take her job seriously, she takes it personally. So when a notorious fugitive and supposed traitor risks his life to save hers, she has to wonder why. To find the answer, she’ll have to put everything on the line, starting with her heart.
HE BREAKS EVERY ONE OF THEM
As a mage, Griffin Dare is sworn to protect innocents from dark magic, which is how he finds himself fighting side by side with the beautiful Valeria Banning. But when the council finds out the two have been working together, the pair must run for their lives--from the law, the threat of a ghoul takeover, and a possible council mole.NOW THEY ARE EACH OTHER’S ONLY HOPE