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the origin of a series

the origin of a series

Once upon a time, in 2016 to be exact, I read a thriller that blew me away. It had everything I wanted in a book, including great sexual tension, an indestructible hero, twists and turns and amazing action. I thought for a couple of years about how I could do the same thing in romantic suspense.

Obviously, a romance requires a different focus, less military verisimilitude… or so in the case of what I wanted to write. I played with concepts, wrote words on three different stories as I tried to get to know these guys: Who were they? Where had they come from? How had they ended up working together off the grid to right wrongs no matter what it took, or how many laws they broke?

Enter Kris Hack of Temys Designs.

I was on Facebook one day and she had posted a premade cover. I did not need another premade cover, yet I returned again and again and finally bought it. Then I thought about Bishop Riggs, one of the dudes I’d been writing about, and this cover was one-hundred percent him.

I continued to write, going back and forth, uncertain, so I asked Kris about making this a series. She did two more covers and they were great but I sat on them for a long time. I wasn’t sure what I was doing.

I needed a series name and went through three or four before settling on the Avenging VIII. But the VIII needed to mean something. As did the titles… all of which will be explained within the series itself.

Over the next year, I worked on other things but kept coming back to this idea and the covers. I had a few story nuggets but needed more: Who was behind the team? What was their mission and their end goal? How was I going to live up to my original idea inspired by the book I’d read? I probably wrote eight books worth of brainstorming notes to pull this together.

It also required eight covers (though there are actually nine books because I went back and added Abbot as a prequel short story; and Kris doesn’t know it yet but there will be a tenth, too!) 

I finally decided what was off with the two additional covers, discussed it with Kris, then left her to design. Each cover that arrived in Messenger got me more excited. I’ve honestly not had this much fun writing anything in ages. And that one premade cover was the glue that made it all work!

Check out the Avenging VIII here. ABBOT and ELDER are available now for preorder.


Use the menu bar up above to explore the books in all my series as well as those novels that stand on their own! And no matter how old a book is, authors love for readers to leave reviews! The digital world means every book is out there waiting to be discovered, and word of mouth is invaluable! Thank you!

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A native Texan, Alison sold one of the first of her over fifty published works live on the “Isn’t It Romantic?” episode of CBS 48 Hours. The resulting book, CALL ME, was an RT Book Reviews finalist for Best First Series Book. Her book, A LONG, HARD RIDE, part of Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary celebration, was nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Harlequin Blaze of 2009. STRIPTEASE, a 2003 release from Harlequin Blaze and part of her popular GIRL GEAR series, was also an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award nominee.

Her 2005 Kensington Brava release, THE BEACH ALIBI, was a nominee for the national Quill Awards, sponsored by Reed Business Information. She is also the author of THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO WRITING EROTIC ROMANCE, and her 2009 novel, NO LIMITS, was a Cosmopolitan Magazine Red Hot Read. THE SECOND CHANCE CAFE, the first in her Hope Springs series from Amazon Montlake, was a 2014 Romance Writers of America RITA finalist in contemporary romance. And the third of her Dalton Gang books from Berkley Heat, UNFORGETTABLE, won the 2014 Bookseller’s Best Award for erotic romance.

If there’s a better career than writing, she doesn’t want to know as she’s quite happy putting pen to paper in the backyard of her Texas home. That’s where she lives with her pack of rescue dogs and a colony of not-quite-feral cats, battling the heat each year to raise a bumper crop of tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. Daily swims with her flat-coated retriever, Duke, make the summers bearable.

Under her own name, she writes gritty procedural thrillers, some set in the fictional world of the Union Park PD, as well as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure series, The Clearsky Chronicles, the latter co-authored with her late husband, Walt. Click here for more information!!


Loved this book. Love, murder, deceit, trauma, family, cops, and priest. This one has it all.

  • Cindelu, Amazon & Goodreads reviewer


Breakneck pace, an intricately & tightly woven story line set in an exciting new world.

  • Roger F, Amazon & Goodreads reviewer


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