Seriously, the serial is back. I can’t say this enough and, trust me—I say it with a bit of emphasis. I’m not dissing it, but I’m not a completely happy camper. So when I am introduced to the next best thing to sliced bread—the serial book—I have a tendency to snarl. For those of us new to serial format, it’s where readers can get a small taste every week until the book is done. But being teased weekly isn’t something to make me smile. First, I better explain before everyone thinks I’m just a crank.
I read fast, not as fast as I did when I was younger, but faster than most people. So, a 300-page novel is about two hours of my time, and I usually block that out before I go to sleep at night. My one-book-a-day habit has been around for a long time. I pick up a book at 11 after I’ve gotten ready for bed and then finish sometime around 1am. I’m usually able to fall asleep ready to ponder it all. In fact, going without reading a book makes the next day downright depressing. I like the feeling of resolution—another reason I don’t read very many literary novels. My genre reads all provide a very decisive conclusion; if they don’t, I’m not very happy. I like to know that the couple ends up marrying (or at least cohabitating), that the murderer is punished or found, the enemy defeated, the quest complete. And I like it all in one uninterrupted sitting.
The need for an uninterrupted sitting is probably the ultimate characteristic making me a poor test for serial novels and television shows. And I’ve figured out the solution to my television woe: DVR! Yes, I wait until the season is over and watch it all at once. Sure, I might hear spoilers along the way, but I’m happier viewing it all at one time versus being teased week by week. So, you can probably guess by now my reaction to two serial novels that have managed to snare me. Yes, snarling was involved.
Not Until You Dare (InterMix; June 11, 2013) kicked off an eight-week adventure with a new section—approximately 40 pages—releasing each Tuesday on all e-book platforms. The installment titles cover the range of emotions of a relationship: Dare, Risk, Crave, Trust, Beg, Surrender, Believe and finally Love. Roni Loren is a new, hot erotic romance author to watch and has been on my buy list for the past six months. Loren isn’t as well-known as Sylvia Day or J. Kenner, so serializing the story was probably a good way to go. It’s nice to get books so frequently; my Tuesdays in June and July were filled with anticipation. Although, at $1.99 per installment, this put the whole book at trade size pricing without having a paper copy. I’m not sure if the entire book will eventually be released as a single paperback, but I hope so. The last installment, Not Until You Love (InterMix; July 23, 2013) was released on on July 23rd; now you can download all of them at once instead of reading them weekly. If you’re interested in reading the development of a BDSM relationship from the beginning, Foster and Cela’s relationship will manage to capture your interest. Loren writes hot, sexy characters with emotional depth.
The second book to capture my attention, Warrior’s Revenge by Coreene Callahan (Montlake Romance; June 25, 2013), is being published as a Kindle serial for $1.99, which limits the e-book delivery to Amazon devices. Since I like to read e-books on my computer or tablet as well, this was a drawback. I’m not happy with just an e-reade; I prefer to carry around a tablet so I can do other work as well. But I will admit the price of $1.99 for ALL 10 episodes is much more enticing than $1.99 per installment. It’s also a medieval romance, and I’ve been crying to read one for a long time.
Side note: Authors, please write more medieval romances—good ones are hard to find!
So, I was intrigued by Warrior’s Revenge and I knew I could find a way around the Kindle-only problem. And sure enough, all you have to do is install the Kindle reader app on your device of choice.
Fast-paced Warrior’s Revenge is a race for a young woman to escape her evil (and Callahan does evil so well) relatives. Aurora takes a chance on escape and finds herself in all sorts of death defying adventures. The story lives up to its premise: “sometimes the only way to love and redemption is to make a deal with the devil.” We’re only on installment five as I write this, but I urge you to sign up for the whole enchilada.
So, dear reader, what do you think about the serial? Something you’ll try? Wait until it’s done? Go for the weekly ride?
Sara Reyes is the founder and partner at FreshFiction.com, a popular fiction website for today's reader with new titles, contests, over 50,000 genre fiction author profiles with backlists, and permanently archived reviews, plus all the industry buzz. Fresh Fiction has a biweekly segment (Buy the Book) on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas to talk about new books not to miss. Believing face-to-face interaction is as important as virtual communities, Fresh Fiction sponsors an annual author reader tea in June, a readers conference in November, monthly literary events, and book clubs. Follow Sara at @FreshFiction on Twitter or Facebook.com/FreshFiction.