Thursday, May 3, 2012

To sequel or not to sequel…

I know that as a reader, I’m ambivalent about sequels. I like to know the hero and heroine (or whatever combination of main characters) are still living happily ever after. But too often, in books something nasty happens to one or another of them down the track, in a long series. Or even to an important secondary character, like JK Rowling’s Dumbledore.
But sometimes, even though the hero and heroine are satisfactorily together, the story just isn’t finished. Other characters are screaming for their turn in the limelight, the villain escapes from captivity, or something else just appears.
This has happened to me several times now, so in each case I’ve written a stand-alone sequel where the main characters remain HEA, but other characters pick up the storyline.
Awesome erotic romance author Anny Cook blogged about her feelings on this topic, recently.
What do you think? Do you mind if a former hero or heroine gets killed off in book five? Does it bother you if the end of the story is left hanging?

“Aquamarine: Courage and Comfort” blurb:
Edmund’s sister Mavis was tragically widowed by a hit-and-run driver, when he was rushing to the hospital for the birth of their son. Now Mavis can’t cope with the loss of her husband and a new fatherless baby to care for.
Mavis’ friend, AJ, tells Edmund that he and his partner, Utah, must go and retrieve an aquamarine. The stone will bring courage and comfort to Mavis. It will hold the spirit of her dead husband and she will be able to rear their son and have a fulfilling life.
Only lovers can find the stone. Edmund and Utah are a little skeptical, but very willing to try.

“Emerald: Protecting You”: Blurb
AJ has psychic abilities and knows that Drew is her soul mate. But bisexual Drew flits from partner to partner. At the moment he’s with Kristien, and Kristien is very much in love with Drew. AJ can’t bear the thought that the only way for her to achieve happiness is to break Kristien’s heart.
She invites them both to join her and her friends at the beach for a few days, hoping to get closer to Drew. A rocky wall calls to her, and when she climbs up she explores a cave and is led to three stones: an onyx, symbolizing herself, an emerald, the stone she considers to represent Drew, and amber, which is Kristien’s stone. What does it all mean?

“Dragons’ Bond”: Blurb
Mallory is fascinated by three life-size stone dragon statues. Then one night they come to life and she learns they’re shape-shifters. One of the museum’s directors, Teivel, plans to use the shape-shifting dragons as art thieves by placing them in exhibitions in other museums, and Mallory, Angus, William, and Mark now have to find out which statues are shape-shifters and how they can prevent Teivel from implementing his plan. That makes their days very busy, but the nights are for their own pleasure.
Can they outwit Teivel? What will happen if Mallory loses her job or the statues have to leave their home in the museum? And can a relationship built on a crisis and unbridled lust develop into lasting love and enduring passion?

“Dragons Redeemed”: Blurb
Trudy is a locksmith and security expert who Mallory asked to quote to improve the security at The Magic Dragon Museum. When Trudy arrives at the museum, it’s full of naked people, and four of the men say she belongs to them! The dragons need to reclaim their human lives while stopping Teivel’s plan to steal the artworks—if they can get out of bed long enough to concentrate.
Meanwhile Trudy has a job to do and a business to run. Crevan, Daegan, Graegor, and Penllyn are determined to protect her while watching Teivel. The dragon shape-shifters have their hands full with an independent, determined woman and a bad guy planning to cause trouble. Plus Mallory wants to come back to the museum, and her men are set on protecting her from Teivel, too.
Between lust and danger, sparks are flying everywhere.

Berengaria Brown
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Kayelle Allen said...

I created a trilogy in which the two heroes get together in book 1, have issues in book 2, and break up in book 3. One gets a HEA with a different person in book 3, and the other in the next standalone book. It was all planned, and the trilogy was intended to go that direction. Readers who loved the two guys together were surprised, but considering one was immortal and the other not, it was bound to happen.

As a reader, when a good guy dies in a later book in a series, it bothers me. I want a happy ending. If a character gets his/her HEA in a later book, I'm thrilled. So, to answer your question -- if they are killed off, I'm not okay with it, but if it's a break up where both end up with a new love, then it's all good. ^_^

Berengaria Brown said...

Thank you, Kayelle, that all makes good sense. I do like everyone to be Happy!

Jess Schira said...

I'm really not all that upset when a major character gets killed off.

On the other hand, there's very little I dislike more than when the author doesn't finish each book in the series. I have very little tolerance for cliffhangers. It's gotten to the point where if I suspect that a book's meant to be a part of a series, I wait until the entire series.

LKF said...

I love a good series. I enjoy getting wrapped up with a group of characters and follow them from one HEA to another. I don't like it when a major character gets killed but I have read some books where it worked. So I guess if it's written well, then I can deal with it. Just don't get me hooked for a HEA then have him die leaving the widow standing over the grave.
Great post

Bethanne said...

I'm late to this discussion, but it caught my eye! I like a connected series as well. Each book with its own MCs. You ever read Brockmann's Navy SEAL series? So long there are a few ups and downs for previous HEAs. It hurts a little. LOL :D

BUT! She's only killed off secondary, lovable characters. Never primary. And the widower got his own book later so it was a good ending for his story.
Anyway, your post made me think of that. Have a great week.