Deadlines! First Novella in a New Pecan Springs Trilogy

The second Pecan Springs novella trilogy is coming out this week! Available right now on Kindle, it will shortly be available on Nook and iBooks. Here’s the scoop, via my author’s note at the beginning of the book. If you’re looking for an entertaining (and, I hope, thought-provoking) read, this might suit you. Enjoy, with a tall cool one and plenty of cookies!

Dear Reader: DeadLINES is the first novella in a trilogy that focuses on Jessica Nelson, the crime reporter for the Pecan Springs Enterprise. You may remember Jessica as a central character in Mourning Gloria (Book 19 of the China Bayles series) and in Out of Body (the third novella in the Crystal Cave series). I became so interested in her as a person and her work as a crime reporter and true-crime author that I wanted to learn more about her and share what I’ve learned with you. I hope you will enjoy getting deeply acquainted with Jessica—her backstory, her professional challenges, her friendships and love life—as much as I have.

As a writer, I’ve also enjoyed telling Jessica’s stories as novellas, which are about half the length of a novel. I think of the novella as an opportunity to work out a full-size story in just half the space, requiring me to “write tight” (as one of my writing teachers always advised) and strip the narrative down to its basic necessities. At the same time, the trilogy form (three linked novellas) gives us time to get to know the central character deeply, as she deals with three very different kinds of challenges, each one revealing a little bit more of what-makes-her-tick. The novella trilogy is the best of both worlds, seems to me: the shorter, tighter form embedded in the longer linked format. If you like Deadlines, there will be more. (Sheila Dawson is already wondering if it’s her turn next.)

For you print readers, the entire trilogy will be available in print on August 18. I’ll let you know when preorders open.

Reading note: Are you aware that rushing toward a goal is a sublimated death wish? It’s no coincidence we call them deadlines.Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

28 comments on “Deadlines! First Novella in a New Pecan Springs Trilogy

  1. Will this trilogy be recorded as an audiobook? I loved your other trilogy on audio -frankly, I love them all on audio, and re-listen to them often.

    • Amen,I prefer audiobooks now too….although I have found that it depends on the voice of the narrator as it can also ruin a story for me….then I pick up the book ;D

  2. i am enjoying the Robin Paige Victorian novels again and find that I remember little of the events, just the main characters It’s been quite a few years since I read them the first time so that balloon chase was a surprise! I surely am looking forward to the book form of the latest ones.

  3. Just purchased, read & reviewed! I’m going to need to read the Crystal Caves series. I missed those! Thanks for continuing to write during this coronavirus pandemic.
    Stay safe & healthy.

  4. Thanks Susan! I love the Kindle versions with my visual handicap so that I can adjust the text size And lighting as my poor eyes need. (Of course I am extremely grateful to be able to see after the 5 surgeries!) So looking forward to learning more about this great character. Much love and gratitude! Stay safe <3

    • Chery, that’s exactly why I love my eReader. I can change the text size (depending on where I’m reading) and the brightness (dimmer as the evening goes on, counter-intuitively). Also, I use the text-to-speech feature very often, so I can listen while I do needlework. And of course, it’s so easy and quick to download the book I want. Hope you and yours are sheltered and well and surviving this early-July heat.

      • Thanks! Doing well sheltering in especially in this heat, and healing well, slowly but surely, from the side effects from the COVID-19 virus (CHF), that I unfortunately acquired from the last quick hospitalization to handle a BP crisis – I was extremely lucky though, as I was never hospitalized for it, and am healing well, slowly but surely.
        What an excellent idea to also use the text to speech option. I will definitely try that!

        • Oh, dear, I missed that news! So glad you managed to stay out of the hospital, Chery. Hope you continue to recover well. This is such a scary time, complicated by misgovernment.

  5. Oh Susan….can’t wait for the novellas in print!!!! Let us know if there is a pre-order on it!! Thanks!!!

  6. Susan, I am so thrilled. Just bought it. Especially grateful to have another story from you these days. Yeah, I’ve had 60 years of print books, but am happy to alter my habits. Things change, and I’m delighted you have found ways to get your work to your readers in any way possible.

  7. Love your China Bayles series and the first trilogy! I’ve been waiting impatiently for this trilogy.
    So glad it’s finally here!

  8. I’m excited about your new writing. PLEASE tell your publishers we need it in PRINT!!! PLEASE!!!! Warm regards Ruth

    • Ruth, publishers can’t print novellas–they’re economically infeasible. Look for the (upcoming) omnibus edition, with all 3 novellas in one print book. It’ll be available next month.

  9. I really like the idea of novellas. Looking forward to visiting old friends. (Story characters)

  10. Hi Susan,

    Yes…I’m a tactile person so I’m going to (impatiently) wait for the printed version. Is pre-order available?

  11. I truly enjoy your writing and I have for years. My feelings about novellas are that I feel the story doesn’t last long enough. The idea that you have to “write tight” is interesting. I will have to try reading novellas again with that in mind.

    • I wonder if that feeling is a matter of habit, Memryrose. We’re used to holding a physical book of 280-320 pages, because that’s what the publishing industry has found economical to publish for the past couple of centuries. Publishers don’t like short books or long books because both cost too much to print and distribute. Digital novellas, OTOH, can be published economically. Maybe we’ll get into the habit of reading them. In the meantime, these linked novellas offer both a shorter story (in one book) and a longer one (in all three).

      • I am sure that part of it is habit and comfort in what I am used to. I also know that trying e-reading was not successful for me. I love the feel, weight and all things printed on paper. I do read novellas they just are not my favorite format. Thinking about that I am also not a short story fan. What I am is a 71 year old woman very comfortable in the way I read. Thank you for continuing to write your great stories. I need to check on your Crystal Cave novellas. I forgot to look for them in print.

        • Yay! Ordering now. I love to read about Pecan Springs and especially about China and Ruby together! Waiting impatiently for that new China Bayles book. Please, please write a few of them before you go to other series! Thank you, Susan, for your wonderful books and for these newsletters. It’s always good to hear from you.

I love hearing from readers, so let me hear from YOU!