Guest post: The Challenges of Writing a Series by Candis Terry + Giveaway

Filed in Candis Terry , featured , Giveaways , Guest Post , The Latin Lover Posted on July 17, 2012 @ 7:00 am 32 comments

Today it is our great pleasure to welcome to Book Lovers Inc. Candis Terry, author of one of my favourite contemporary small town romance series the Sugar Shack series! If you like Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series and want more sexy and funny light romances you should definitely give a chance to the Sugar Shack series, I’m sure you’ll love it! Candis stops by today on her tour celebrating the release of the 3rd novel in the series, please give her a warm BLI welcome and answer her question to win a copy of Somebody Like You!


I’ve never done things the easy way. Just ask my mother. I guess that’s one of the reasons it took me 22 years to become a published author. I started out writing a regency romance that took several years—only to discover I didn’t exactly have a historical romance voice. I tried writing for category romance—only to discover I had a heck of a hard time writing shorter books that had to fit inside a mold. Finally I came up with this wacky idea of writing a series based in a Podunk town in Montana that included a bakery, a ghost, and three siblings with highly successful careers who had to come back home . . . and stay.

Easy cheesy, right?

Did I mention I happen to do things the hard way?

What I set myself up for was a roller coaster ride without a seatbelt. I had no idea the work involved in maintaining details because they would inevitably be carried over into book two or three. I had no idea that some secondary characters in book one would become important in book three. On top of that I’m an only child. I had no clue what it would be like to have opinionated siblings.

I had no idea what I was getting into.

Thank god for ignorance!

Throughout the Sugar Shack novels I explored restoring relationships—even after someone had died–, the challenges of keeping a completely open mind, the loss of trust, and the complete obliteration of high-paying careers. Most of all I learned how people deal with and overcome guilt.

In my newest release for Avon Impulse–SOMEBODY LIKE YOU–the heroine, prosecuting attorney Kelly Silverthorne, loses the biggest case of her career and a murderer walks free.

Here’s a quick excerpt when Kelly explains what happened to the hero–reformed bad boy and now a deputy sheriff, James Harley.

He turned to his side and propped his gorgeous head up with his hand. “So what made you want to be a prosecutor?” he asked, obviously ready to redirect the conversation.

“I’m sure you’ve heard my nickname. Sister Serious?” She shrugged. Smoothed her fingers over a wrinkle in the blanket. “I think somewhere along the way I stopped fighting the image. Since I can’t carry a tune to save my life, I knew I’d never be the next Madonna. Waiting tables at the Grizzle Claw Tavern didn’t seem like a good career choice. So I started looking at other possibilities. I got hooked on Law and Order. And when I realized that practicing law was for serious people I got the fever pretty bad. So I studied hard. I gave up a lot of play time. And as soon as I earned my degree I began to intern for the state attorney’s office. It took me a while to figure it all out, but I became very good at it. They hired me, and since the day they gave me an office, I’ve only lost one case.”

“That’s quite commendable.”

“Is it?” She took a drink, and suddenly the wine didn’t taste as sweet.

“Hell yes. How many criminals have you put behind bars? You can’t let one take all that away. You should be proud of yourself.”

“It was a murder trial. The Colson case.”

“I read about that.”

“I let everyone involved down.” Her heart gave a hard thump against her ribs.

“How do you figure?”

“I pushed for the prosecution. The state attorney was sure we would never get a conviction, but I’ve never been one to back down when in my heart I knew it was right. This time I was wrong, and the loss devastated me.”

“That’s understandable.”

She sipped the wine then shook her head. “I don’t know how I could have been so wrong. My instincts have never let me down before, not even in high-profile cases. My intentions all along have been to help people. To stand up for someone who may not be able to stand up for themselves.”

“So basically we’re in the same business.” He reached across the blanket and covered her hand with his. “Helping people.”

“Yes. We have that in common.”

He smiled. “Good to know.”

“Only I think you have way more fun at it than I do,” she said.

“I will admit …” His gaze searched her face. “There are some pretty cool tools of the trade. Handcuffs for instance.”


Amazing how quickly he could move her thoughts away from being Sister Serious.

When I came up with the idea for the Sugar Shack novels, I didn’t know how much I would fall in love with the characters, or the conflicts, or the town. While I’m sad this episode in my writing has come to a close, I have to admit that I left the Sugar Shack door open for a return someday. I just couldn’t completely say goodbye.

And that is the biggest challenge of writing a series!

I’m currently working on a new series about Sweet, Texas, a town I introduced in the FOR LOVE AND HONOR anthology with bestselling romance author Cathy Maxwell.

Do you prefer reading stand-alone books? Or do you choose to get invested in a series?


Strait-laced . . .

Chicago prosecutor Kelly Silverthorne has a perfect record in the courtroom and a big fat zero in the bedroom. When she loses her first case ever, she returns home to Deer Lick, Montana, to regain her confidence and shake off the “Sister Serious” moniker she’s been strapped with since childhood. Only a few hours into her repentance karma thrusts her face-to-face with yet another of her major fiascos—a one night stand with the hottest cop in the county.

Rebel with a Cause . . .

Deputy James Harley has always played with fire. When smart and sexy Kelly pops back into his life, he doesn’t mind going for a full burn. And that might be exactly what happens when his past threatens to catch up with his future.

A Match Made in . . .

Heaven only knows what Kelly’s dearly departed mom has planned from the other side. But even heaven knows that when love comes knocking there’s no stopping the good things to come.

Buy at AmazonB&N – Book Depository

Candis Terry is the author of the Sugar Shack novels—a trio of small town romances rich with memorable love stories, quirky characters, and tons of fun. Born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California, Candis now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained constant: Candis’ passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after. Candis loves to chat with readers at her website, Facebook or follow her on Twitter.


Candis has an e-ARC copy of Somebody Like You by Candis Terry for a lucky commenter!

All you have to do is answer Candis’ question: Do you prefer reading stand-alone books? Or do you choose to get invested in a series?

(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).

This giveaway is open to all!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, 28 July 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • Gaby July 17, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Lately I’m preferring stand alone books, mostly because I have so many series to finish! But I like series, I like to know every character and see them getting their own happy ending hehe

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Hi Gaby!
      Thanks for stopping by. I have to admit when I began to write the first Sugar Shack novel I had no idea a secondary character would become a primary character in book 3. I love surprises!

  • aurian July 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I prefer reading series, as I love to revisit the previous characters, and find out what happens to the secondary characters in the first, will they also get a HEA. But I have lately read some old stand alone novels, and it is nice as well, to be able to close a book without a future commitment to read more books. So, both are fine with me.

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Good morning aurian!
      I love love love revisiting characters. For me this is one of the most fun things about series. Two of my favorites are Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars books and Rachel Gibson’s Seattle Chinooks books. Yeah and I love the football hockey thing with those books too! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Good morning! I’m super excited to be here! Stella, they didn’t tell me this was you! Hi and hugs!

    I have always been a readaholic. Often I’ve got several books going at once depending on my mood. I love series because I get so invested in the characters. But then I find that I can’t wait until the next installment comes out and it drives me crazy. Which is one reason my publisher and I have tried to put books in the series out very quickly. I may be exhausted but I don’t like to leave my readers hanging. 🙂 Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

    • Stella July 18, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Hey CAndis! Yep, it’s me, your slightly stalkerish but enthusiastic fan! 😉 lol So happy to feature you on Book LOvers Inc as well!

      And I’m like you: I prefer series, because usually if I enjoy an author’s writing and become invested in the characters’ lives, I don’t want it to end, I want more! 😀 *hugs*

  • Melody May July 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I like both equally. However, I do like books that are in the series that can be a stand alone, because I habit to get books in the middle of a series.

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Hi Melody!
      You hit on one of the things I really try to accomplish in my series–make each one a stand alone. It drives me crazy when I pick up a book about midway through a series and I can’t figure out what’s going on or who’s who. So while Letty–the ghost mom in the Sugar Shack series–may be in each book, she has a different relationship and challenge with each of her children.

  • erinf1 July 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! Congrats on the newest release!

    I’m not completely “sold” on either. I love series b/c it’s a continuation of a world w/ characters that I’ve come to enjoy. I also love standalones b/c I can read it w/out committing to more books. So… 6 of one, half dozen of another 🙂


    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Hi erinf1! Nice to see you here!

      I consider myself a mood reader–sometimes I want to invest the time into a series, sometimes I want to read about a major alpha male, sometimes I’m looking for a historical with all the proprieties and fancy dresses. I guess I’m just always looking for a good story to match whatever craziness is going on in my head at the moment. Right night I’m deep in a dragon series. LOL! Who knew?

  • JenM July 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I love series because I love revisiting old characters, but at the same time, series do intimidate me because I’m never sure if it’s okay to start in the middle, so I hesitate to jump in if I haven’t read the first books.

  • kim Cornwell July 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I really love a series, but towards the end I feel like im losing something. I tend to slow down to make it last longer. I still love stand spokes for a quick read.

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      LOL! Kim, I always want to rush to the end to see how a book works out (even though I know I’m getting an HEA) but then I get mad at myself because I should have savored it!

  • LSUReader July 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I read both stand-alones and series books. I like the familiarity of characters and settings in series books. Sometimes a series book leaves me hanging anxiously for the next addition. And that’s okay if the next one comes out in a few months. But if it’s longer than that, it gets uncomfortable.

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Hi LSUReader!
      So everytime I see your name and the tiger picture I’m thinking football. Yes?

      • LSUReader July 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

        Oh yes. GEAUX Tigers.

  • Estella July 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I love series books. Each one is like visiting with family and friends.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Exactly Estella! Which is why it was sooooo hard to let the Sugar Shack series go. And also why I had to give myself an open door to revisit again.

  • Diane July 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I love series: you get to see the characters grow and evolve, the stories get more intense so they’re great!!!

    dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

  • Barbara Elness July 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I like both. Sometimes it’s nice to read a book, enjoy it and be done with it, so I can move on to something new. It’s also nice to be able to follow those characters I learned to love in a story and see them again in a series of books, especially the quirky secondary characters. 😀

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Ahhh Barbara, I adore secondary characters! Sometimes they’re even more fun to write than the primary characters because they can get away with more! 🙂

  • kim Cornwell July 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Forgot my email sorry.

  • shells.bells74 July 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I do love a good trilogy or series. The story feels more complete and you have more time with the characters you enjoy.

    • Candis Terry July 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Hi shells.bells74!
      You know what drives me really crazy? When I totally fall in love with a series and it ends. Doesn’t even matter if everything is all wrapped up with a neat little bow, I always want more. Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Victoria Zumbrum July 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I like both. I think a series though you get a lot more details on the characters.

  • juliana July 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Actually I prefer the series because I still want to know what will happen to the other characters. But, I also like stand alone book because I don’t have to keep on waiting for the next installment. I’m not a patient person especially if the first book is good then I want to read the next. I’m very curious.

  • bn100 July 19, 2012 at 3:08 am

    I like both, but prefer standalone books in a series.

  • Tamsyn July 21, 2012 at 2:37 am

    I prefer standalone to series but read both. For series, I prefer standalone in a series because I enjoy revisiting the world/characters but with a different hero/heroine.


  • Maria pronounced Mariah July 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I usually prefer series and insist on reading them in order and reading all that are available in a row before starting any other book. But every once in a while when I have a long free weekend I like to pick up stand alones and read them…my daughters tease me and like to keep count of how many I read on those weekends.

    My oldest daughter prefers stand alones…I think it is the age difference.

    Thanks so much!

  • Laura July 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I like both. It’s nice to start a book and already know all the players – you can delve right into the “good stuff.” But, I don’t like it when you have a book in a series that isn’t on its own a complete novel. Cliffhangers are good, but not when you don’t have any resolution in the book to offset them.

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