Hello everyone and welcome to Spectacular Series Week here at Joyfully Jay! This week we will be celebrating the series, one of the staples of the romance genre.  Personally, I love books in series. I  get so engrossed in the the world of the story I am often sad to see a book end.  I miss the characters and I want to know what happens to them in the future. Or I am so caught up in the world the author has created, I am not ready to leave it. Or maybe I found a side character fascinating and I want to know more about him.  And with a great series, you have an opportunity to visit a world and its characters over and over.

One thing I particularly enjoy is the wide range of styles for a book series.  At one end, there are series that take the same characters and build a world around them in book after book.  We get to see them grow from the start of the series, their relationship develop, and soon they are like old friends we look forward to seeing time and again.  I recently finished J.P. Barnaby’s wonderful Little Boy Lost series, where we follow the main characters Jamie and Brian through young love, pain, heartache, and back to love and happiness once again. After reading the series I felt like I had been on a journey with them and formed such an emotional attachment to these guys.  The mystery sub-genre works particularly well for series with recurring characters as each book can have its own new plot, while at the same time bringing us the familiarity of characters we know and love.  Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCops series is a great example of this.  In each story, Victor and Jacob must deal with a new case, while at the same time growing individually and as a couple over the course of the series.  And along with that, we get an overarching plot that ties the books together.  Later this week, Ava March will be here to talk to us more about writing a series with recurring characters and the process of creating a world and characters that can carry over more than one book.

On the other end of the spectrum, some series are linked merely by the world they create.  Each book can stand alone, and characters may or may not appear in each other’s books.  Sometimes these stories follow one another chronologically, and we get to see our old friends show back up to visit with new characters.  And other times these books can stand alone, linked only by the shared world the characters inhabit.  Personally I am big fan of seeing characters I love appear in additional books, even if it just a guest appearance. I love checking in, seeing how they are doing, and getting the reminder of how much I loved the previous book.  One of my favorite scenes in K.A. Mitchell’s wonderful No Souvenirs is when the main couple hangs out with Aaron and Joey from Collision Course.  It is so much fun to see my favorite guys all interact together.  I think this type of series works particular well in paranormals, like J.L. Langely’s wonderful With or Without series, as it gives us a chance to learn the “rules” of the world and to return to a place we have grown to love.  Over the week we will have both Katey Hawthorne and Daisy Harris here to chat about different aspects of writing a linked series that takes place in a shared world, but with new characters in each story.

I will say my biggest problem with series books is that I have total series OCD.  When I start a series, I must read ALL of them.  Every one.  I can not start in the middle. I can’t stop halfway. I have to read them all. Honestly, I can only think of two books EVER that I have read in the middle of a series without reading the others.   It is a problem, I know.  Especially when I catch on to a series that has already started, I feel like I must start from the beginning and that can be daunting.  I will admit I haven’t started the incredibly well loved Cut & Run series because I am overwhelmed with all the catching up I have to do.  I know! Don’t throw things at me! I need to read this series.  But it is hard for me to get started so late in the game. But I will, I promise.

So series are a special part of the romance world and I am really excited to be celebrating them this week.  Later on today I will have a list of some of our favorite series here at Joyfully Jay and I will look forward to hearing yours too.  We also have four great guest posts, three fabulous giveaways, and lots of Series Spotlights to share with you this week.  I hope you enjoy!