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Please welcome Shelley Munro!

Spin Off Characters


Thanks so much for having me to visit today. My name is Shelley Munro, and I write both contemporary and paranormal romance for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing.

Series have become very common in the world of romance, and readers are always clamoring for the latest book. I know this because I’m one of those readers. You know—the ones who secretly implore their favorite authors to write faster. Actually sometimes it’s loud demands. Ilona Andrews, can you hear me?

I love reading series. I like returning to worlds I’ve enjoyed. I like learning the fates of interesting secondary characters. A series allows me to wallow in the world the author has created, learn more about it, and rejoice in the hero and heroine’s journey to a happy ending. With the each successive book in a series, I can do it over all again—the wallowing.

When my erotic romance Summer in the City of Sails came out, readers started contacting me almost straight away. Did I intend to write about Summer’s two brothers? Was I going to write about Nikolai’s two NZSAS (New Zealand Special Air Services) friends?

Summer in the City of Sails was one of the first books I wrote for Ellora’s Cave. I have to admit that I intended it as a one-off. Although I loved my secondary characters and could see the potential, the right story eluded me. Then, last year I watched a documentary about New Zealand soldiers who were enticed into private security work in places like Iraq. The seeds were sown for Soldier of Fortune.

Joanna “Mac” McGregor is a soldier. Her father was a soldier, so she fell into the job and found she was good at it. During her time off, she’s Joanna, the sexy siren who just wants to have fun, but when she’s at work, she’s Mac, the tough, capable soldier. When her father becomes sick, Mac doesn’t have many options. She needs money—big money—and going into private security is the only way to obtain it.

Joanna “Mac” McGregor loves her father, and she’ll do anything to keep him safe after Alzheimer’s starts to steal his mind. That takes money, and Mac uses her only skills—those of soldiering—when she takes up a security contract in Iraq. She doesn’t have time for men, her last vacation fling in Fiji relegated as one perfect moment to hold close during the grim reality of war.

Soldier Louie Lithgow is tired of fighting, the constant danger, and has decided this is his last contract. He wants to retire, sink his savings into a place on the beach, and find the sexy Joanna, his holiday lover.

Mac’s arrival in Iraq causes consternation. They’ve both been economical with the truth, but the attraction sizzling between them flares hot and bright. They embark on a clandestine affair—professional and confident during their high-danger day, passionate with the release of emotional stress during their torrid nights. One thing is clear—they have different goals and the future is both murky and dangerous. If they survive their contracts.

Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-7810-127-soldier-of-fortune.aspx

Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-6126-127-summer-in-the-city-of-sails.aspx

Website: http://www.shelleymunro.com
Blog: http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog

Do you enjoy series, and if so, why? Do you have any favorite series?

***Leave a comment answering Shelley’s question for a chance to win a download of her e-book Summer in the City of Sails, an erotic romance, or Playing to Win, a sensual romance. Reader’s choice!


27 Responses

  1. I’m a huge sucker for series stuff! Kresley Cole and J.R. Ward being favorites!

  2. Hey, ladies. Just me, Shelley, dropping in to let you know I posted about this at Win a Book.

  3. Hi Shelley
    I loved Summer In the City of Sails & I’m glad you are continuing the story. I love series. I usually love books so much & hate for them to end. I especially love series when they mention the characters from the previous book like life goes on.

  4. I have always liked series books. You meet characters that you like and then when their story is over they are gone. With series books you get to revisit them and usually secondary characters that showed up in the first story. I think my favorite series right now is J.D Robb’s In Death books. I love keeping up with what Eve and Roarke are doing.

  5. Hi Shelley!
    I love series books because many times you find a secondary character that you just adore and want to hear more of their story as well!! Plus you get the joy of seeing past main characters over again and see how their lives have progressed over time… They become like old friends that you get to visit and catch up with… I have way too many favorite series to even start naming them, as the Hastings in my area and my bank account can attest to!

  6. I love series books. For me, I like seeing all the characters get a HEA. I love your Middlemarch Mates series.

  7. For the most part I only like series if they don’t follow one person only or one couple. I love Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark hunter series and Christine Feehan’s Drake sister, Carpathian and Ghostwalker series they all talk about the same people in each one but doesn’t just follow that one person.

  8. I’m addicted to series! Both ones where the main characters are the same each book, and ones where the main characters in one book aren’t the same in another. The whole reason I enjoy series is because I’ve fallen in love with the characters and the world, and with a series, I get to see the characters again and again, even if they’re not in the spotlight again. Some series I love are Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, Katie MacAlister’s Dragon and Dark One series, Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, and Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau series.

  9. Yes, I absolutely love series! I love seeing characters evolve over a number of books. It makes me feel like a member of the family. And my favorites are: Ward’s BDB, Cole’s IAD, and Kenyon’s DH series.

  10. Hi Jaime – I’ve never read Kresley Cole. I keep meaning to, but other books keep getting in my way!

    Susan – thanks for stopping by and promoting my post. You’re a star. 🙂

  11. tennismom – thanks! Hopefully I won’t have so much time between this book and the next one. 🙂

    Linda – I really enjoy the JD Robb series. It’s one of the few series I read with the same characters continuing in each book. I’m waiting for Eve to get pregnant,. It would be interesting to read her reactions, although that might end the series!

  12. Maxi – that’s what I love about series. The feeling of comfort that comes with returning to a familiar world of friends. Luckily, I don’t have a bookshop too near me.

    Connie – thanks so much. I’m working on book nine in my Middlemarch Mates series at the moment. This one is Ambar’s story.

  13. Sherry – I tend to like the stories of secondary characters too. Sometimes if I pick up a series out of order (I’m always doing this despite my best planning!) I get confused when the author starts playing the name game by introducing lots of characters from previous books. I did enjoy the final Seven sisters book.

  14. Morning Glow – it’s the sense of meeting old friends that I really enjoy. It sounds as if you’re a paranormal fan. Have you read Larissa Iones’ Demonica series. I really like that series, and I’m waiting eagerly for the next one.

  15. Hi Joder – another paranormal fan. 🙂 There are certainly some great series in that field. I have quite a few on my to-read pile.

  16. Hi, Shelley!! I LOVE a good series! I definitely prefer those that focus on a different couple in each story, but give me little updates on characters I’ve already met (like your Middlemarch Mates, for instance). I love getting to know an author’s “universe” and then subsequent books are a bit like visiting a favorite place and catching up with friends. Some favorites–Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons, Lisa Kleypas’s Wallflowers, Stacey Kayne’s Wild trilogy, Beth Ciotta’s Friends & Lovers, Monica McCarty’s Highlanders… That’s just the tip of the iceberg 😉

  17. Sometimes I’m in the mood for series, sometimes for stand-alones. My favorite series is Fever by Karen Marie Moning!

  18. I love series. It’s like visiting with old friends in each book.
    I don’t have a favorite series.

  19. Hi Shelley! Thanks for guest blogging today and for the great contest! And a really big thank you for letting me review Soldier Of Fortune!

    As for series, I have two bookcases overflowing with books and most are series. Everything from paranormal, like Kenyon and Feehan, to suspense like Stella Cameron,and to historicals like Julie Garwood. I even have some older Harlequin series like Morgan’s Mercenaries by Lindsey McKenna. And I won’t even try to guess at the digital series I have. I’m sure it hit over 400 by now. I’m a series junkie 😀

  20. Now if only we can cure you of your fascination with Triple H Maxi!:P

    Loves series like Deborah Cooke, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nalini Singh, Lora Leigh etc etc…

  21. Yep, I love series. I like that feeling that I’ve already met some of the characters and seeing how things are progressing with previous main characters. In particular, I love the MacKenzie family by Linda Howard and all the people of the Virgin River books by Robyn Carr. Of course, I have the Kresley Cole books and the Christine Warren series, as well.

  22. Hi Fedora – I think there are lots of readers like us who enjoy reading series, otherwise writers would write more standalones.

    Maija – I haven’t read this series. I read KMM Highlander series and loved that.

  23. Estella – no favorite? LOL – I find it hard not to play favorites.

    Lillie – thanks for having me! I’m a bit of a series junkie too. I don’t think it’s a bad way to go. 🙂

  24. Barna – Lora Leigh is a favorite of mine. So is fellow New Zealander, Nalini.

    Nikki – Robyn Carr is one of my favorites too. Yes, I definitely read too many series!

  25. Yes, I love series but not if they are about the same hero and heroine throughout the series. I prefer to have a different hero and heroine for each of the book. Kresley Cole, Nina Bangs, Lora Leigh are some of my favourites. But I also like stand alones – sometimes it is just better leave a good book as it is rather than expand it into a series.

  26. Tamsyn – I think it takes a skilled writer to show character growth in a series that features the same characters book after book. It’s definitely not easy to do!

  27. You are right, Shelley, I never think about it that way. I love series where the characters are interconnected but the spotlight is on a different hero and heroine each time. It is like seeing old friends when previous characters are mentioned in each book. I suppose I should try a series where the main characters are the same. Any recommendations for a first-timer?

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