Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jolyse Barnett: Do You Love Series?

When I read romance, I often fall in love with the characters and the world in which they live. Series are especially exciting to many of us because we get to revisit our favorite characters and learn their story after the happily-ever-after. Do you ever read more slowly so you can savor those last few chapters? Do you count on an epilogue to ease your transition back to reality? I do! Knowing there’s the promise of another escape into that world in a future book helps me deal with the separation anxiety that hits at The End.

I’m sad about leaving my story when I write, too. I become so attached to my characters I don’t want them to leave my head. They are, quite frankly, real to me. Last Spring, when I had the opportunity to be part of a contemporary series about four life-long girlfriends each finding love, I jumped at it.
I dove into the setting as well, choosing the Adirondacks region in upstate New York. I was born and raised there, but moved away when I married. The area holds a special nostalgia for me. I named my fictional small town Starling and nestled it in the mountains about twenty minutes southwest of Lake Placid—the real-life town that hosted the Winter Olympics.

In Christmas Light, the heroine Jade Engel returns to her hometown of Starling for the month of December after eight, long years away. She discovers her former neighbor and best friend, Ben Stephens—once a geek but now a successful documentary film producer—is all grown up. The chemical attraction between them is off-the-charts, but they soon realize they must face their complicated past before they can move forward as a couple. The rural setting and the season adds a magical quality to their journey, with various members of the close-knit community all doing their part to either encourage or thwart Jade and Ben’s budding relationship.

Christmas Light can be read as a stand-alone novella, although if you love series like I do, I’d highly recommend reading the entire series. The four girls appear in each other’s stories—which occur on the same timeline—without giving away the details of their individual romances.

Book 1:  This Christmas by Jeannie Moon
Book 2:  All I Want for Christmas by Jennifer Gracen
Book 3:  Christmas Light by Jolyse Barnett
Book 4:  A Match Made at Christmas by Patty Blount

His Kiss, my second book with Tule Publishing, picks up where Christmas Light left off, beginning with Jade and Ben’s wedding eighteen months later at the beautiful, real-life Sagamore resort (see photo at left) in Lake George, a popular tourist town located a few hours southeast of Starling. In this novel, Jade’s younger brother, reclusive author Jeremy Engel, discovers his soulmate. A number of characters from Christmas Light appear in his story, especially members of the Engel family, and includes scenes on Long Island where the four families gather for an annual clambake. In addition, Jeremy’s love interest, Elizabeth Desmond, is introduced in His Kiss, along with her extended family whose roots reach back to the beginning of Starling. I’m excited about the prospect of returning to Starling one day with Elizabeth’s siblings’ stories and to delve further into the complex connections between the Desmond family and the tiny Adirondack town of Starling.

Like Christmas Light, His Kiss is part of a connected series, where many of the characters from CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK and SUMMER IN NEW YORK appear in each other’s stories, although the connections are looser as we move further out on the branches of the characters’ family trees. Readers can enjoy these longer stories as stand-alone books or read in any order. I’ve read them all and truly enjoy the worlds in which these characters find love.

Book 1: His Touch by Patty Blount
Book 2: His Kiss by Jolyse Barnett
Book 3:  His Love by Jennifer Gracen

Here’s a blurb for His Kiss:

After a motorcycle accident and subsequent alcohol abuse, Jeremy Engel has managed to claw his way back from the dark depths of personal hell. He's now a successful comic book author and working on his second book, and when the woman he met while on a rare getaway—the one he hasn’t been able to forget—opens a shop in his neck of the woods, he thinks he's even learned to trust and hope again.

Elizabeth Desmond may have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she's determined to make a success of her shop in the Adirondack tourist town of Lake Placid. And just when she thinks it can’t get any better, the mysterious stranger she kissed on a moonlit resort beach walks back into her life.
But when Jeremy's old demons return, it’s up to Elizabeth to show him they’re not so different after all...

Do you have a favorite series or setting that you love to get lost in? If so, tell us about it. If not, what setting would you like to see in a romance?

I’m giving away an ebook copy of Christmas Light or His Kiss to one lucky commenter, winner’s choice of title and in preferred digital format as available. (Winner must be 18 or older and provide a valid email address within seven days of announcement.) The winner will be announced August 5th, 2015, at

A country girl at heart, Jolyse Barnett is living her own happily-ever-after in suburban Long Island with her real-life hero, two wonderful children, and very furry cat. She can’t cook to save her life but enjoys writing delicious tales for her readers. Connect with Jolyse at, which includes all of Jolyse’s social media links. To learn about new releases and be entered automatically into special, member-only giveaways, sign up for Jolyse’s spam-free newsletter.

***Jolyse's winner is Eileen A-W!  Eileen, please contact Jolyse via her website with your mailing details!***


dstoutholcomb said...

I love the mountains. And the beach.


Bonnie said...

I love all the Marietta Montana books, I think it would be nice to live there.
Also His Kiss was so good, but I had to worry they would never see each other again after that kiss, not knowing each other's names.

Jolyse Barnett said...


I love the mountains and beach, too, especially when that beach is in a tropical setting. :)

Jolyse Barnett said...

Hi Bonnie!

Yes, the Marrietta books are awesome! I never tire of reading them. I'm sorry you fretted after Jeremy and Elizabeth parted on the beach in HIS KISS, but I hope the resulting romance more than made up for your angst. oxo

Diana Tidlund said...

love the mountains and wildlife and you writing

Jolyse Barnett said...

Hi Diana!

Whenever I visit my childhood home in the Adirondacks it's always fun to see the deer in the fields. Sometimes we'll get lucky and spy a little red fox. Thanks for the compliment. I'm so happy you enjoyed reading my small town story. :)

Janine said...

I enjoyed both of these books and can't wait to read what you write next. I'm not entering the giveaway since I already have the books.

Jolyse Barnett said...

Hi Janine!

Ah, thanks so much for sharing your feedback about my Adirondack books. So happy you enjoyed them. I have another book coming out in late September/early October for another series that's romantic suspense with a dash of magic. (You can go to my website to keep up on all the release news.) I definitely want to return to Starling...thinking about Tory's journey to love next.

I'd be happy to still enter your name since you can choose an alternate ebook of equal value. It's all about the happy reading! oxo

Shari said...

I am a beach girl at heart, who lives in the Midwest. I love series, it's like visiting old friends.

Emma said...

both books are wonderful . I am looking forward to reading more of your books.

Unknown said...

Hi Shari,

I hope you live in an area where there are lake beaches, yes? I couldn't agree more with your reason for enjoying series. There's comfort in familiar places and faces.

Happy reading!

Jolyse Barnett said...

Just so you know, Shari, UNKNOWN was me! I forgot to sign in correctly. Oops! :)

Jolyse Barnett said...

Hi Emma,

You're so sweet! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I'm always writing and/or brainstorming ideas for the next story. :)

Nova said...

i love all different kinds of setting... i especially enjoy the Marietta setting because of the beautiful descriptions that you & the other writers work into the stories. makes it feel like we are there!

Jolyse Barnett said...

Hi Nova!

I love the Marietta Montana setting too, and those authors do a beautiful job weaving in the setting with each story, making that place so real to us readers. I agree that rural, mountainous Montana shares similarities to the Adirondacks of upstate New York that I write about in my Starling books. In fact, one of my friends who happens to live in Missoula, Montana, recently commented on one of my personal photos of upstate New York and she said "it could almost be Montana."

Who knew?

Thanks so much for sharing and happy reading! :)

Eileen A-W said...

I love the beach because water heals me. I also love the mountains. Reading stories with mountains in the scenes warms my heart and makes me want to travel to see them. They are so majestic!! I loved Jade's story in Christmas Lights (I hope I have the right title) and am looking forward to the other books you mentioned.

Jolyse Barnett said...

Hi Eileen!

What a wonderful reason to be drawn to reading romances with water. Mountains are awe-inspiring too. Thanks for your feedback about Christmas Light (Yes, that's the correct title! It was originally released as A Light in the Window.). Jade certainly wasn't perfect, but I adored how Ben brought out the best in her and together they became the perfect couple. I hope you enjoy Jeremy's story. It's nice because you'll get a chance to revisit Jade and Ben, who are significant secondary characters in this book.

Happy reading! :)