I’m the kind of reader who, when I find an author I like, goes back and reads everything they’ve ever written. Then I get grumpy because I’ve consumed their entire professional output in the last two weeks – why haven’t they written six other books in that period? Is it just me or do other people do that too? Tell me it isn’t just me.

But what do you do when you first find out about an author when book 8 or 12 of a series comes out? It might sound good but is it worth going back and reading the rest? How do you find out if you have to or if it is even worth it to put in the time?

I’ve been on some major author binges lately so I’ve been thinking about this. It’s hard to talk about series that I’m deep into because you need to know so much to even have a review make sense and have it not be spoilery for the beginning of the series. I’ve decided to make that the theme of the April challenge Blogging from A to Z.

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Each day I’ll be talking about an author or series and discussing where to start with their backlist, how to approach it, does it hold up, etc. It’ll be a chance to revisit some favorites and push them on new people who absolutely have to read them if they haven’t already.

The series that got me thinking about this was K. F. Breene’s Leveling Up series.

This story starts with Jessie going through a divorce as her son heads off to college. She has to move in with her parents but that isn’t going well. She gets an offer from a life long friend to be a caretaker at a family home. She had visited there as a child on vacation with her friend’s family and really liked it. What she doesn’t know is that Ivy House is magical. Her friend’s family are the descendants of the previous heirs but none have been judged worthy to take over by the house. Ivy House remembers Jessie from her visit and liked her. Jessie doesn’t know that there is magic in the world. She just wants out of her parents’ house. Moving into a weird house with a strange butler and odd neighbors seems a small price to pay.

As the series progresses, Jessie finds her place in the magical world and the town of shifters surrounding Ivy House. The cast of characters is super quirky. I love them so much. Book 10 of this series just came out as I was catching up. I want more! This series is for people who like:

  • Heroines in their 40s
  • Emotionally supportive, romantic, grown up relationships
  • Found family made up of very strange magical characters
  • Sentient, magical houses with their own agendas

This is a series that you have to start from the beginning to know what is going on. There is a continuous story. It is worth it even though there are 10 books as of this writing. It is such a fun series.

This author has a few other series. I started her Demon Days and Vampire Nights series. I’ve read the first two books. They are good but the quirkiness that I loved from the other series is missing. It also features vampires instead of shifters and that is obviously not as good.

That is what April is going to be like around here. Quick (and probably some not so quick) overviews of my favorite backlist and current prolific authors and where to start with them. It will probably focus a lot on fantasy because that’s where I tend to find sprawling series but some other genres may be featured too.