This month we’re talking about what we’re currently working on. I’m working on the first of a three book series. I’ve written one other series, but each book in that series (my ‘Left at the Altar’ series) is a free-standing story with some continuing characters. This new series will be continuing, in that the entire story isn’t over until the end of book three.
So what’s it about? Here’s a quick synopsis: Upon entering Heaven, a man must earn his place by giving three mortals a second chance at love. By granting others a second chance, he uncovers the mistakes he made in his own mortal love life. But are the lessons he learns too little, too late? In each book, the story of the person given the second chance comes to a conclusion, while the angel’s story continues.
It’s a romance, of course. It’s my favorite thing to write. But it also has elements of fantasy and paranormal with the whole angel thing. It also contains historical elements. In the first book, tentatively called “Twice in a Lifetime”, my character Nathaniel (Nate) must take an old man back to 1944, to Plymouth, England in the weeks before the Normandy invasion. With all the stories of bravery, sacrifice and love, World War Two is one of my favorite time periods to write about. Nate takes Frank Brennan back in time to 1944, the year he found, and lost, the love of his life. Frank can’t change any of the events of the past; he can only change his reactions to them.
Here’s a short excerpt from “Twice in a Lifetime”:
He was incapable of love.
“I don’t believe that’s true,” Nate said. “I know you can love.”
Frank stared at him, astonished. “Don’t tell me you can read my thoughts.”
“Of course I can,” Nate said, with a cocky grin. “I know you’re capable of love because you once loved a woman very much. Remember?”
He squeezed his eyes shut, as if that could block out the memories. A sweet fragrance suddenly filled his small room. Even after so many years, the scent of roses could bring Claire back to life.
God, how he hated roses.
“Open your eyes, Frank.”
He opened his eyes to a picture of Claire in her rose garden, a more beautiful English rose than any nature had ever created. She was exactly how he remembered her, with her shining dark hair and porcelain skin. He hated that she’d turned him into a cold, unfeeling person who couldn’t love anyone else. And he hated that she’d betrayed him with another man.
Frank closed his eyes again, unable to look any more, the pain unbearable.
“Please stop. I’m an old man. Why are you torturing me like this?”
“You’re not unfeeling,” Nate said gently, his arrogant expression softening. “On the contrary, I think you feel too much.”
While I haven’t started writing the other two books in the series, I’ve plotted them out, at least roughly. In the second book, Nate will take a woman back to the 1970s, a decade I’m very familiar with. Back in the ‘70s, Jenny was engaged to be married, until a car accident leaves her a paraplegic. Not wanting to burden her fiancé, she breaks off with him. But while she eventually learns to accept her decision not to marry, her ex-fiancé never does.
For the third story, the trip back in time is a short one, about ten years. Nate’s assignment is to give a second chance at love to a young man who broke off his engagement in order to pursue a career as a foreign correspondent. This time, Nate discovers the second chance he’s giving hits very close to home.
Like I said, I’ve done some of the plotting for these stories so I know where I want to go, more or less. But I still have a ton of work left to do. My goal is to have a first draft of the first book completed by the end of September. Wish me luck!
How do you feel about series books that don’t completely conclude until the last book in the series? Does it annoy you, or make you anxious to read the next book?