Book Series: Beginnings, Endings and a Question

Book Series

During my thirty year writing career my novels have leaped from bookstore shelf to bookstore shelf.

And yes! Wow. It’s been thirty years this month since my first novels arrived at your local bookstore. Both were romances. My first book was a “sweet” romance, and while I am epubbing some of my early romances now, you won’t find Brendan’s Song among them. It was my practice book. It deserves to lie quietly unread after a long, happy life.

The Unmasking came out the same month, and that one has been reedited and republished as an ebook. Why two in the same month? Both publishers were trying to be first. It was a heady experience to be wanted that badly.

When I say my novels have leapt from shelf to shelf, I’m actually talking about genre and bookstore placement. I began in what we call series romance, each book part of a series of  books with similar parameters faithfully issued each month. Brendan’s Song was a Silhouette Romance, and The Unmasking was a Harlequin Superromance. The first was shorter with no sex but lots of sexual tension. The second was longer, sex allowed and a more involved story required.

Through my first years I wrote for both lines, adding two more lines, as well. The point of series novels of this type? To quickly help each reader find the books she wanted to read without having to thumb through every novel in the romance section. Series romances are still being published and you’ll find them everywhere.

To complicate the meaning of series, within series romance I wrote my own “series,” novels that linked together, like my Tales of the Pacific series which are now available as ebooks.

In later years I also wrote a cozy mystery series. The Ministry is Murder mysteries were published by Berkley, and consisted of five books. Possibly more in the future.

When I stopped writing romance novels  I began writing Women’s Fiction. Novels classified this way are broader stories about the lives of women, their relationships, issues, and place in the world.

Within that genre I’ve written interconnected novels or “series” about families or groups of women who walk through each others stories:

The Shenandoah Album novels and the Goddesses Anonymous novels are not complete. At least not in my head. But when the time came to write another in each my publisher wanted something different.

So now, in my thirtieth year of publication I’m working on a single title, and there won’t be a sequel. My next book will also be a single.


With the dawn of independent publishing, I can now write books my readers want but my publisher may not.

And here’s where the QUESTION from my blog title comes in, and it’s a big one for me, so please help.

When the time comes for me to write the novel you most want to read and publish it myself, which series do you most want to see revived or finished?

  • The Shenandoah Album series
  • The Goddesses Anonymous series
  • The Ministry is Murder mysteries.

I really would appreciate your help. Would you go to Amazon or another online bookseller and buy the next book in one of these series if it were available? If you would be interested in more than one, please list in order if you can.

You can email your answer, or you can comment on this blog.  It’s that simple.

I’ll let you know what I learn.  Thank you in advance.


  1. Marie Jones on June 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Ministry is Murder. I loved those books. Devoured every one!

  2. Debbie Sheffler on June 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I really enjoyed the Shenandoah Series. I wspecially liked the 1st one trying clean up mom’s clutter. I never could get into your mysteries. They never got to me and I tried a couple of them. My all time favorite tho, and the 1 that got me reading all your books was Whiskey Island. I really don’t care what you write I will buy it.

  3. Jane dougherty on June 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    The ministry is murder series was my very favorite. I have two close friends who are minister’s wives and the interaction between the main character and the church ladies was hysterical. I love all your books, but the ministry is murder and the Shenandoah album series are my favorites.

  4. Marsha McKinney on June 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    The only books I will keep are your Shenandoah Album series. The best books I have ever read. Would love to have two or three more to add to this collection.

  5. Melissa Boling on June 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    The Ministry is Murder mysteries.

  6. Caroline on June 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    1. Ministry is Murder Series
    2, Shenandoah Album series
    3. Goddesses Anonymous series

    I would buy the next book in each as soon as it appeared.

    • Linda P in IL on June 3, 2015 at 12:28 am

      I agree with your list!!

  7. Patti on June 2, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I buy all my ebooks from Amazon. I have pre-ordered The Color of Light so it will magically show up on my Kindle on July 28. I love that! I love the Goddesses and also Aggie Sloan. I would love to know what the Happiness Key ladies are up to now.

  8. Pamela Feinberg on June 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Would love to see more of the Shenandoah Series. I really miss that. I have all of those in my collection as well as the pattern books that go along with them.
    I also would love to see another of the Happiness Key novels. I enjoyed those so much.
    And of course we cannot forget the Goddesses Series.
    Although I started reading your books with the Shenandoah Series, I am gradually collecting all the ones that I’ve missed.
    You are a pleasure to read and my goal is to have all of your books.
    Thank you so much for what you have given us!

  9. Marilyn Maher on June 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I have more than enjoyed your books, all of them. My only concern is that books may be only available for the hand held devices. I like to have the book in my hand. I have read many of your books more than once as I usually purchase them rather than go to the library. Thus I have lots of full bookshelves. Thanks for sharing your talent. Many Blessings, Marilyn

  10. josephine Howe on June 2, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Love Shenandoah and Happiness Key plus Godesses series. Love ALL your books. Just keep writing anything and I’ll keep reading.

  11. Connie on June 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Especially love the Ministry is Murder series

  12. Kathy in FL on June 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    In order, I’d like to see one or more books in each of the Shenandoah Album series, the Happiness Key series (although you didn’t list it as one of the series you’d like to write another book for), and the Goddesses Anonymous series.

  13. Sandra Logar on June 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I have always enjoyed The Ministry is Murder series. These stories would make a wonderful Hallmark movie series. I would purchase all the new books in this series if you planned on writing more.

  14. Diane G Lueske on June 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I was introduced to your books with the Shenandoah Album series. So it is my favorite. I also love the Goddess
    Series (and have preordered the color of light). I have all your books and love them all, but those listed above are
    my all time favorites.

  15. Betty S on June 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    The Shenandoah series is the best ever. Would love more of them. Thank you.

  16. wendy on June 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I commented on FB, but in a nutshell, the Shenendoah series and Happiness Key (as mentioned that is not one of the three). Love them all! It was hard to make a choice.

  17. Kelly Grace on June 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Shenendoah Series!!!!

  18. Kathy on June 2, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Definitely the Shenandoah series is first on my wish list, then the Goddesses. I enjoyed the Ministry is Murder series too and would like to have more at some point but I seldom read mysteries twice as I have with all the Shenandoah books. I will buy all your printed ones (no ereader at this time). Ministry is Murder series would be perfect for the Hallmark Mystery channel!

  19. sandra pipitone on June 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Shenandoah , goddress OH heck WE need to read more please just writ them WE’LL buy

  20. Janet Blackmun on June 2, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I enjoyed the Shenandoah series and the mysteries. While I read the Goddesses series these weren’t my favorite, but I certainly would read anything you write.

  21. Marie Andersen on June 2, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Shenandoah Album is my favorite of these.

  22. Lynn Ross on June 2, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    You know I will read all your books, but just the way you have the series listed are how I would like “another in the series” to appear:
    *The Shenandoah Album series
    *The Goddesses Anonymous series
    *The Ministry is Murder mysteries (I just re-read A Truth for a Truth! I would love to see Lucy find true love with one of the two “Emerald City’s Finest.”)

  23. Marjorie Roberts on June 2, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I would keep to your schedule for the Goddesses series, so you can also continue Shenandoah. Now that I’ve seen the comments for the Ministry is Murder seies, I will get them! As for timing, just keep on writing whatever you want, when you want. I love them all!

  24. Nancy Badertscher on June 3, 2015 at 12:29 am

    Shenandoah Album is my favorite series; Ministry is Murder is 2nd. I have to agree with others who said they would like to see more Happiness Key, even though you didn’t mention it as a possibility.

  25. Colleen Archer on June 3, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Loved the Shenandoah series best; would like more of them. Also the Ministry is Murder series and the Happiness Key books were fun. I haven’t gotten into the Goddesses Anonymous series yet…

    • Patricia Middelmann on June 3, 2015 at 6:15 am

      You will adore the Goddess Anonymous series Colleen. Perfect reading for the summer!

  26. Pat Dunnell on June 3, 2015 at 1:47 am

    The Ministry is Murder series! I’ve read all of them and will definitely buy the next one as soon as it is published.

  27. Nadine on June 3, 2015 at 2:53 am

    By far, the Shenandoah series!

  28. Patricia Middelmann on June 3, 2015 at 6:14 am

    I would like yo see the following:
    1. Shenandoah Album series
    2. Happiness Key
    The women of Happiness Key are my favorite. I would LOVE to live there and hang out with them! Write on Emilie. I’ll definitely buy them!

  29. Janet on June 3, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Shenandoah series

  30. Deborah Haupt on June 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Wow Emilie, look at all these responses. I guess you can safely say you have made quite a statement, but one that I have seen so many times lately by more established authors than you can imagine and I guess we’ll keep seeing this as long as the status quo publishing industry refuses to change with the times. I have one author friend who is right now going through this exact situation where her editor/publisher want one thing but her heart’s leading her in another direction. I even have one author who totally left brick and mortar publishing and now exclusively self publishes, she says it’s really hard work but she loves it.

    Now off my soap box and to answer your question. I would follow you to whichever source you went to to buy a book from you. I have enjoyed all of the series you mentioned and would love to see another novel in each of them. But I also think that you know in your heart what it’s time to write and that will be the novel we’ll all be happy with, you and your fans. Good Luck my friend. I had the pleasure of just finishing reviewing your upcoming August release. I can’t say anything but I hope you’ll like the review.

    It looks like you have some soul searching to do, it’s a good thing you know just who to go to for that sympathetic ear you need, he’ll tell you what you need to know.

    Love you bunches
    email me if you want some references, maybe someone who knows what you’re going through.


  31. Gabi Eagon on June 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    i love all three series. I need more and would buy any the series. Please write,!been waiting.

  32. Janet on June 3, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    The Shenandoah Album is my favorite, but I buy anything you write and I have enjoyed them all!

  33. Helen on June 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I have all the Shenandoah books and would really like a new book. I enjoyed them so much.

    I recently had new carpeting in my house. I downsized a number of things, including books and one bookcase.
    The books went to Hospice and one bookcase went to my daughter Teresa with the books she picked out.

    I have room for more now.

  34. Emilie Richards on June 9, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Thanks to those of you who took the time to comment. Your response was a genuine help and I feel lucky to have readers who are so willing to respond. I recapped the results of this informal poll today in my blog. Pop over when you have time to see what the responses were. You’re the best.

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