Monday, March 9, 2015

The Small Town Connection by Cheryl Harper

Book 1 in Tall Pines
To me, the best part about reading and writing stories in a series is having the chance to meet old friends in new pages. I’m happy to see one book’s hero and heroine in the next because I’ve already spent so much time with them, falling in love with them, rooting for them. Seeing that the relationship they worked to build growing is fun and a reminder that we believe in a love that lasts beyond the last sentence on the last page.

Book 2 in Tall Pines
In A Minute on the Lips, Andi and Mark had to come to terms with small-town life. For them, that meant learning to live inside all the attention and to love the sense of family. In this second book, The Bluebird Bet, Elaine, my serious doctor, tries a new hobby: knitting. That immediately tangles her up with Andi, Edna, and all the Shady Ladies. And Dean, a war weary photojournalist, definitely appreciates the understanding newspaper editor Mark can give. Elaine and Dean make a bet: whoever comes up with the best renovation plan for the rundown Bluebird Bed and Breakfast will get the chance to buy it and remake the place. The judges who determine the winner are all familiar faces around town: Ray, the sheriff; Jackie, the chili champ; and Edna of all the opinions. Carrying secondary characters through books, and not just as props but with their own small stories, is a challenge. They sometimes run away with the story! But once I’ve dreamed up somebody fun, funny, or special, it’s even harder to say goodbye.

Writing The Bluebird Bet was as much fun as taking a slow turn around the Tall Pines town square to see all the shoppers on the sidewalks before heading out for a day at the lake. Catching up with friends, old and new, is always a pleasure. Do you love series with connected characters? What are some of your favorites?

Want to know more about the books? Click here!

27 comments:

  1. I'm anxious to go back to Tall Pines!

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    1. Yay! I had such a good time going back for a visit. I never want to say goodbye.

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  2. I actually didn't know I liked series with connected characters until I read one and thought to myself .....hey, that's so-and-so from...... It was like catching up with old friends and I really enjoyed that. It's only recently that I've begun reading series books. Heartwarming started it. : )
    I thought I was more of a fan of stand alones, but I'm changing that opinion now. I guess I felt it was hard to keep up with series books since I like to read many different authors' books, but since I find it's nice getting re-acquainted with old characters I'm doing it a lot more these days. Thank you so much for The Bluebird Bet. I'm looking forward to reading it. ( :

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    1. You are very welcome. I hope you enjoy. I think as long as the book can stand alone, like The Bluebird Bet, I'm happy, even if I haven't read the first books. But if I have and loved those stories, getting a dash of catching up in the new story makes me even happier.

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  3. Super congrats on your release, Cheryl! The Bluebird Bet has such a romantic cover...setting, colors and all :).

    Ditto what Laurie said about loving series and the reasons why. I love recognizing past characters and I think it adds depth to the 'world' created. And I love that our type of series are connected, yet also stand alone as individual stories. The best of everything lol! Best wishes, Cheryl!! I can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Rula! The cover makes me think of summertime, a real bonus lately! And i agree with you on the series draw, too.

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  4. Thank you!! I was floundering in my story a little until I read this and you gave me the perfect answer.
    I love your cover and the story sounds great. Can't wait to read it...

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    1. Hey, I love to help! And if I can luck into it, I'm calling that a good day!

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  5. Revisiting old characters is so much fun. A point of interest – I have one of your tiny pads from the last RWA national at my desk in work. Use it quite often.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that, Marion! I have the hardest time coming up with good promo ideas. Something useful is my favorite!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your talents!

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  7. Love my March release sisters and all our connected books!

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  8. Cheryl, love both these covers! And The Bluebird Bet's is especially romantic. Who wouldn't love dinner by that lake with a great guy? So true, that secondary characters want to run away with the story. I struggle with that every time.

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    1. I have to fight sometimes, mainly because you can have so much fun with secondary characters. They can be and do almost anything!

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  9. Interesting point. Laurie made a good point about hard to keep up... I love series when it comes to mysteries. I love them with romance, too, but sometimes I miss a book in a romance series. Not sure if its because it's not labeled or if I'm trying to keep track of too many.

    I finally started going to romance authors personal webpages so I could find the order. Then, I noticed Amazon will put something like "Scorpion Ridge book 4" which is a huge help.

    It was easy to keep track of Stephanie Plum because of the titles. That being said, I'm hopelessly behind on Robin Carr's because the titles do sound alike.

    Anyone else have thoughts?

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    1. I know what you mean. Long-running series can be hard to keep up with. As long as the story can stand alone, I'm pretty happy even if I miss something in the series, but I like the little extra warmth of catching up on previous characters.

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  10. Congratulations on the release of The Bluebird Bet, Cheryl! I love revisiting characters in a book series!

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    1. Thank you! I have such a hard time saying goodbye to them that it's nice to have a chance to catch up!

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  11. I love series book, too. Cozy places, fun characters make you impatient for the next book. And, as writers, isn't that just what we want? It used to be that secondary characters were so much fun because you could just go wild with them - you don't have as much invested in them as in the main characters and their lives didn't necessarily have to work out. But now that readers love series, we have to set them up peripheral characters more carefully and think ahead as they could be the next book!

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    1. And preferably in English.- that's supposed to be, 'set up peripheral characters more carefully.' Sorry. We're almost late for physical therapy!

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  12. Love, Love, LOVE inter-conntected stories that take place in the same town (both reading and writing them). Best types of books ever. Can't wait to dive into Bluebird, Cheryl. Congrats in the new release! <3

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  13. Cheryl, Congratulations!! I adored A Minute on the Lips, so I've already got Bluebird queued up on my kindle. I love the premise already and you lucky dog--what a gorgeous cover!! Also a fan of series and connected books. But like Pamela mentioned above, I get annoyed when I can't figure out which book goes where!

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  14. Cheryl, love, love the cover. I look forward to reading this book. Nice premise and I love connected stories, too.

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  15. I am voting with everyone here. I love series and the more the better. For so long, I'd fall in love with my author's characters and then have to say goodbye. Only when there was a "sequel", usually with the hero and heroine getting older and their child was now the heroine...did you get a chance to re-visit. There are so many pros to our Heartwarming series. As Rula said, our stories can be stand alone, or series. A reader can re-visit or not. It's just a wonderful way to publish. Honestly, I'm waiting to see if we don't start seeing this strategy from a lot of other publishers. It will be interesting. For the author, it's fabulous, because we all have characters dancing around in our heads. After a couple or four dozen books, that's a lot of folks keeping us company night and day---and keeping us awake! Your cover, Cheryl, is to die for!!! Who wouldn't want to buy this book?????

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  16. I love the idea of a series as well. There are things about it that make it easier to write and things that can make it a little harder (like there's no going back once you've written something in book 1!) But I love revisiting characters and getting to see where they're at after their story ends. Love your cover, btw!! Happy March book birthday :)

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