Introducing: The Last Chance Series

Blog Post 74 Last Chance IntroI’ve always wanted to write a series of books where the books had more in common than just the characters. I thought about it for years. No group of characters came together in my mind, and I didn’t have enough experience at that time in my writing to know how to handle having a series with eight different characters.

Then along came the Last Chance series. Finally, I’d hit the right combination of characters, plots, and themes.

Characters. As with most of my novels, I created the characters first. I set it up so that they come together to form a dark ops team called Shadow Box. Each one of them has a specialty that serves the team well. Victor Chavez is the team commander. Butch Addison, his deputy, is a mechanic, an ordnance man, and an escape-and-evasion specialist. Fiona Mercedes serves as their pilot. Each one of them has a past and sees this team as a last chance at life. As you begin reading Operation Shadow Box, you’ll discover how Victor struggles as he mourns the death of the woman he loves and of a career he thought he’d have until he retired. The second book will focus on another character, the third on another, and so on.

Plots. One of the things I love about a well-written series is how, while each book has its own plot, an over-arching plot covers the entire series. The Last Chance series will follow that pattern. In Operation Shadow Box, you’ll read about how the team comes together on their first mission as an untested unit. You’ll also read how Victor discovers new hope. Then, as the series goes on, various minor characters will show up in some of the books. Victor will grow as a person, especially as his life changes in ways he never expected. While those over-arching plots happen, each book will have its own plot as the focus character changes and grows as well.

Themes. Normally, I don’t write with a theme in mind, but for this series, a Beatitude in the Bible will serve as a framework for each book. If you want to check them out, you can find the Beatitudes listed in Matthew 5:3-10. They look at being “blessed” (Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are those who are peacemakers). I hope that as you finish reading the books in the Last Chance series, you’ll learn more about the meaning of the Beatitudes.

The brand. As you read Operation Shadow Box, you’ll discover that Victor bases his team on the family ranch in the mountains of northern Arizona. As with many ranches, it has ironwork over the gate that signifies the ranch’s brand. A series can have a brand as well. I worked with my cover designer ( to come up with a brand that would identify each book as belonging to the Last Chance series. However, I wanted to make sure that the brand wouldn’t make it seem like the books were Spaghetti Westerns. The logo you see on this post is the Last Chance series logo, very modern yet much like a ranch brand in the way that it contains an L and C. Plus, can you see the upside down L?

I hope that as you read the novels in the Last Chance series, that you will first of all get great enjoyment from them. I like to tell stories, and I always love hearing, “I’m tired because I stayed up too late reading your book.” To me, that’s the biggest compliment. More than that, I hope that you will get invested in the characters to the point where you can laugh with them, cry with them, and cheer as they grow. Enjoy, and drop me a line as you get into the series.

I have not received any compensation for writing this post. The work mentioned in this post is of my own writing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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