Monday, August 15, 2011


by Carolyn Brown

This month saw the last of the Angels and Outlaws trilogy published. A Trick of the Light with its gorgeous cover hit the book shelves two weeks ago. So it’s the end of the trilogy and already my historical readers are whining. I tell them that The Ladies Room and a contemporary trilogy is on the way but it doesn’t work for those die hard historical readers who want more.

That set me to thinking about a writer’s emotions as they finally finish a trilogy or a series. I’d always wanted to write a series taking place right after the Alamo fell. Texas history is close to my heart since I was born in that state. When I visited the Alamo I could feel the ghosts of all those brave men haunting the place. I wondered how many of them leaned against the old love oak tree in the yard. How many of them left behind wives and children.

When I came home I continued to think about those men and their families. My character, Captain Lavalle, had taken on life and had become one of the gallant men who fought in that battle and he had three daughters who’d joined him in the wild Texas frontier. But now the battle was on the way and he wished they were home safely on his plantation in Louisiana.
There was a way to get them through Santa Ana’s forces but it required a lot of trust. The three men in the jail for fighting didn’t seem so much like outlaws as desperate men who’d do about anything to get back home. When the good Captain approached them with the idea of taking three sisters back to Louisiana in exchange for their freedom, the outlaws thought he meant three sisters of the cloth and agreed.

Only they weren’t sisters in the religious sense but by blood. When Tyrell and his cousins, Micah and Isaac found out about that little ruse, they weren’t any too happy but they’d given their word and in those days a man was only as good as his word. And the journey of a trilogy began.

From Wine to Water covers their travels through rough territory to western Louisiana. After the sisters come out of their habits and the men find out that they’ve got three tough women on their hands Tyrell says that the wine had been changed to water. That they started out with holy women and now all they have is headstrong, stubborn and determined women who are bound upon out-shooting and out-riding all of the outlaws.
During that trip Delia, the oldest sister and Tyrell, the oldest cousin, fight their feelings so hard that it begins to look like they’ll never admit the way they feel.

Walkin’ on Clouds is Fairlee and Isaac’s tale. Fairlee is determined to marry a gold digger who is after her dowry and Delia, who is now living in Mississippi, sends Isaac back to Louisiana with a letter begging her to reconsider and come to Mississippi. Fairlee should have never said no because the next thing she knows she’s waking up in the bottom of a boat and Isaac has kidnapped her. She’s going to Mississippi whether she wants to go or not. She swears she’s in love with Matthew and Isaac tells her that when a person is walkin’ on clouds that everyone looks like an angel but looks are deceiving and the man is a rogue.

And now we’re up to the final installment: A Trick of the Light. Tempest Lavalle has always lived up to her name. Her temper is hot and her light blue eyes shoot daggers when anyone crosses her. She’s living with her sisters in Mississippi and life is good as long as that rotten Micah stays on his side of the plantation. Then his fiancĂ©e delivers a death bed confession that she was the one who murdered his father. And Micah is so bewildered that he tells Tempest. Now that they have such a secret between them, will it draw them together or will it tear them further apart? Is that crazy aura over her curly hair really a halo or is it just a trick of the light?
The series was so much fun to write. All three of the pseudo angels and outlaws were so real that we had amazing conversations and plotted our stories even in my dreams. And now that the end is here I’m wondering right along with my whining historical readers, why didn’t I create six outlaws and six sisters?

Tell me, do you hate to see a series or a trilogy come to an end? Or do you feel like there is a limit to just how much a person can draw out of a haunted feeling and an old live oak tree in San Antonio, Texas? As a reader, do you put down the book with a sigh and maybe even look at the very back page to see if there’s another one mentioned…just maybe…still coming in the next few months? As a writer, do you ever weave them into another book just so they stay alive?


Sandy Cody said...

It was interesting to hear how the idea for the Angels and Outlaws trilogy came to you, Carolyn. Thanks for sharing. I know everyone is sorry for it to end, but it will be fun to see what you have in store for us in The Ladies Room.

Shirley Marks said...

The haunted feelings never end.

I expect a place like that will always spark imaginations and continue to inspire stories.

It may be the end to the Angels and Outlaw series, Carolyn, I have no doubt other characters will line up, down the street, around the corner, to have you tell their tales.

Carolyn Brown said...

Hello Sandy! I was sad to see the historical series come to an end. Those ladies were so much fun to write about. But I'm super excited about The Ladies Room, too! I'll be here all day if anyone has questions or comments!

Carolyn Brown said...

AMEN!! It's crazy how characters manage to sneak inside an author's head and carry on until their stories get told.

Helen Seely said...

I love all of your books so i hate to see series come to an end.I agree with ending them in most cases but i love the stories so much i want the series to keep going..... I do think some people go to far to keep a series alive.

Carolyn Brown said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. My historical fans are the ones who are whining about the end because I haven't promised them that I'll write another historical series for a while!

Beate Boeker said...

I like to read series, but I find it hard to write them - so many details to remember. On the other hand, it's fun to develop the characters and to show them at a later point in life.

Carolyn Brown said...

Beate, thanks for stopping by! Writing series isn't as hard as it looks. The characters make appearances in later books but basically, you build a new world each time.

Georgie Lee said...

Sometimes I hate when a series ends. Sometimes, I don't finish a series. It depend on how well the author continues the stories and the characters. Judging from the response to the end of your series, you've done an excellent job. Good luck with the book and with The Ladies Room series!

Carolyn Brown said...

Thank you Georgie! The Ladies Room is a single title romance and will come out in October. For some reason, Amazon has it listed as a Three Magic Words book but it's not. Three Magic Words is a trilogy which will debut with A Forever Thing in December followed by In Shining Whatever in April and finally with Life After Wife, in August (tentatively pub. dates). I'm hoping the contemporary single title and the new trilogy is as well received as the historicals have been!

Carolyn Hughey said...

Carolyn, I love the way you've developed the women in your series to advance in growth with the changing of times.

I imagine it's tough to say goodbye. I haven't experienced it yet, but I know it's coming one of these days. What I like about continuing is the way these characters feel just like they're family and hope my fans feel the same way. Does this last book of the series bring them all together again at the end so we know what happens to them?

As far as another trilogy, we already know you'll find another family or group of friends to tell their story because you're creative like that. :-)

Sarita said...

I've got to admit it. I'm sad when I see a series end. I get used to the characters and places, and if I read beyond the first book it's a good bet I'm enjoying the series.

But, on the other hand, I enjoy seeing what a favorite author will embark upon next. So, there's two sides to the ending...because it's also, hopefully, a beginning.