Hi KaTs! Rachel here to share some news. First, from today’s Publisher’s Marketplace:
That’s right, 4 more Evidence books are coming out in Audio in September! I’m very excited about the audio release of BODY OF EVIDENCE, WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE, INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE, and COVERT EVIDENCE and utterly thrilled to be working with Audible.
The first book in the series, CONCRETE EVIDENCE, is already available in audiobook format. You can listen to a sample and find buy links here. While you are visiting my website, you can sign up for my mailing list, and I’ll let you know when the other books are available for purchase in audio.
Starting Friday, April 22nd, I’m hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate COLD EVIDENCE’s first 50 reviews on Amazon. As of now there are 52 reviews and a 4.8 star rating! I think that’s worth celebrating with some fun swag. Entry information and photos of the prizes (a Hobuck Resort hoodie and COLD EVIDENCE shopping bag) can be found on my Facebook fan page. But don’t worry, if you aren’t on Facebook you can still enter!
Enter the giveaway here.
This is what USA Today had to say about COLD EVIDENCE:
“Cold Evidence is exciting, intelligent, angst-y and sexy, with a depth of conflict and plot I found mesmerizing. Grant achieves an ideal balance between romance and suspense while keeping the adrenaline surging, and just when you think the danger is done … she sets you straight with yet another twist.”
Finally, INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE is on sale for $0.99/£0.99 through May 1st!
INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE is an enemies-to-lovers story, and many readers tell me Alec is their favorite hero. Here’s a glimpse at why:
Smexy Books gave INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE a B+ and said:
This book really has a fun and engaging premise. I love black-ops/special-ops/military action and throw it into the woods of Alaska with a great heroine and some really bad guys – and I’m all set.
I really liked both of them – they are tough and they don’t let the other get away with anything. They have really good chemistry.
I also feel like the detail with the military training and weapons and the Alaskan landscape in general are really presented well. A lot of detail that makes everything very realistic – something you don’t always get in romantic suspense books.
As you read this, I’m in Hawaii at an AMAZING author conference organized by the incomparable Violet Duke. If you haven’t read one of Violet’s steamy contemporary romances, you’re missing out!
Bragging about my trip isn’t the only reason I’m on the blog today. But as long as I’m here, take a look at the beach here in Waikiki.
COLD EVIDENCE, the 6th book in my Evidence Series, released a week ago, and the book also has scenes set on the Pacific Ocean. It’s a little colder there, in the northwest corner of Washington State, but, in my view, no less pretty. I took this picture when I was last there in November.
The only thing Navy underwater archaeologist Undine Gray fears more than facing former SEAL Luke Sevick is never scuba diving again. But when a dive on a Cold War-era US Navy submarine ends with an accidental explosion, she’s terrified of going into the deep, forcing her to beg the most experienced diver she knows to take her back to the bottom of the cold Salish Sea.
Luke wants nothing to do with the woman who destroyed his career a dozen years ago but finds it impossible to turn his back on her plea. Caught off guard by an attraction he doesn’t want to feel, he’s eager to be done with this mission of mercy. But when they dive on the wreck, he only gets sucked in deeper. Someone has been digging on the Navy sub…and it appears the explosion that almost killed Undine was no accident.
To find the truth, Undine must navigate murky waters and the unexpectedly hot undercurrents swirling between her and Luke. Worse, divers are searching for something lost in US waters during the Cold War, and they’ll do anything to keep Luke and Undine from finding it first.
To celebrate the release of COLD EVIDENCE, I’m offering two giveaways. The first is a Rafflecopter giveaway in which one winner will receive a green shawl with Coast Salish Hummingbird design by Doug Horne – the same shawl Luke buys for Undine in COLD EVIDENCE! Winner will also receive a signed book from my backlist – winner’s choice – and a pocket-sized Northwest Spirit notepad. Enter the giveaway here. Giveaway closes Feb 15th. International entries welcome.
The second is run by Amazon, in which you can win a print copy of COLD EVIDENCE to enter all you have to do is watch the book trailer and you’ll find out immediately if you’ve won. Giveaway closes on Feb 10th or once all prizes have been awarded. Enter here. Contest is open to US residents only and prize will be shipped directly by Amazon (book will not be signed).
Finally, if you haven’t tried the Evidence Series yet, now is your chance! The Evidence Series Box Set Vol. I: Books 1-3 is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time! Get CONCRETE EVIDENCE, BODY OF EVIDENCE, and WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE while they’re on sale.
Dangerous Connections: 6 Romantic Suspense Series Starters + Bonus HEA Chapters!
***99¢ for a limited time only!***
Grab these six steamy-hot and thrilling romantic suspense series starters, all written by New York Times and USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning & nominated authors.
STOLEN FURY – the double RITA-nominated book by Elisabeth Naughton
AGAINST THE DARK – by RITA Award winning author Carolyn Crane
MORGAN’S HUNTER – by Cate Beauman
A COLD DARK PLACE – by RITA nominated author Toni Anderson
CONCRETE EVIDENCE – by Rachel Grant
WILD – by RITA nominated author Jill Sorenson
If you’ve read the rest of my Evidence Series and wanted to see a little more happily ever after for Erica and Lee, I have a treat for you!
The dangerous connections between each of these series are revealed in never-before-seen bonus HEA chapters at the end of each full-length novel. You’ll get a little more Erica and Lee…and find out how my series connects to the others in the set!
For added fun my 12-year-old son made a book trailer. I could spend a lot of time writing a post describing DANGEROUS CONNECTIONS, but I think the video says it all…
*** 99¢ for a limited time only! ***
Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks | Nook
What characteristics do you prefer in romantic suspense?
a) Sexy Heroes
b) Smart Heroines
c) Killer Romance
d) All of the above
If you answered all of the above, I have a treat for you. (And if you didn’t, what is wrong with you???)
Today I have not one, not two, but three sexy heroes for our Kiss and Thrill audience to drool over, three smart heroines for you to root for, in three killer romances that I hope will keep you reading late into the night.
3 Sexy Heroes
First up, Hugo Martinez. I think the cover tells you everything you need to know, but for the sight-impaired I can say this might be the most alpha hero I’ve ever read. He’s hot, dark, and all hard edges. Brawny, overbearing, and hot. Did I mention he’s hot? Look again at the cover. I’ll wait.
Next, we have Lincoln Frazer. I’ve been looking forward to Lincoln’s book ever since reading A Cold Dark Place. Lincoln wields his brain as much as his brawn in his hunt for a vicious killer. He’s polished and professional on the surface, but underneath he has a burning intensity that is so very appealing.
If you are having trouble picturing Lincoln, this should help. You’re welcome.
Finally, we have Ian Boyd. Ian is dedicated to his job, which he’s very, very good at. His job is lying. Ian hides his dark, deceptive side behind the charming persona John Baker, but Ian’s true self slips out in raw moments, like when a thug with a knife threatens the woman he’s trying very hard not to develop feelings for.
This is the cover model from Covert Evidence, and he’s an excellent fit for Ian. Let’s pause for a moment and enjoy.
3 Smart Heroines
Zelda. A forensic botanist and former CIA covert case officer, she’s got brains, strength, and fierce courage.
Dr. Isadora Campbell. An ER doctor and former Army captain, she knows how to use her intellect to get out of trouble and protect those she cares about.
Cressida Porter. A PhD student studying underwater archaeology, it’s academic research that brings her to Turkey, and her knowledge of Byzantine sites might just save her life.
3 Killer Romances
Named a Desert Isle Keeper at All About Romance, Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane is dark, sexy, and intense. I can’t wait to go back and read the first three books in the series.
With edge of the seat action and suspense, Cold Fear by Toni Anderson is another fabulous addition to the Cold Justice Series. I am a devoted Toni Anderson fan.
Because it would be weird to praise my own book, I’ll let another author chime in: “With a believable plot, an exotic setting, a smart heroine and a sexy hero – Rachel Grant’s Covert Evidence is the definition of fabulous Romantic Suspense.” – New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Toni Anderson
All three books are available now!
Today from 4:00-10:30 Eastern / 1:00-7:30 Pacific, Carolyn, Toni, and I are hosting a Facebook party to celebrate our new releases. We have fabulous guest authors lined up and lots of fun games, excerpts, and prizes. Everyone is welcome. Stop by and comment for a chance to win ebooks and other prizes!
There is an ailment that afflicts some authors, popularly known as “Second Book Syndrome” in which an author struggles to write the next book after publication of their first novel (sometimes it strikes after a novel is viewed as a critical and/or financial success). I didn’t face this syndrome in the typical manner—it hit me as I began writing my 4th novel. At the time, none of my books were published, so there was no measure of success to trigger it, just my own neuroses.
For me, the syndrome surfaced because I’d just completed Body of Evidence and whenever I sat down to write, the vicious little voice in my head would say, “How do you top a book that starts with a North Korean firing squad?” And I couldn’t let go of the idea that I had to top it. In my head, the 3rd Evidence Series novel had to be more dynamic than the last.
But still, in spite of these doubts, I wrote. I finished the first draft, and I liked it. There were parts I even loved. But I knew it needed work, so I set it aside and started another book, which I planned to make the 4th book in the series. But still, that fear lingered even as I finished the first draft of the next book.
Then I had an idea for a novella that would tie the first 2 Evidence books to the 2 unpublished manuscripts, creating a stronger link across the series. That novella (which ended up being a short novel) is the 3rd book in the Evidence Series, Withholding Evidence.
Writing Withholding is what finally cured me of Second Book Syndrome, because I approached the work differently. Instead of trying to top a firing squad, I aimed for a funny and sexy opening to set the tone for that particular book. While some books require firing squads, others require a cocky half-naked SEAL confronting a curious historian, or a heroine on a quest for justice finding an injured former Army Ranger deep in the Alaskan wilderness.
With this clarity, I finally returned to that book I’d drafted while struggling with the Syndrome. I went to Alaska to research the setting, and started from scratch with the story, so the doubts that hampered me wouldn’t find their way into the new draft. In an instant, the vision of Isabel hiking through woods and finding Alec came to me, and I knew I had my opening. Does it top the firing squad? I have no idea, but that no longer matters to me. What matters is I was eager to find out what happens next, which is all we can ask from any first scene.
Incriminating Evidence released today, and after reading about my struggle with the Syndrome, you can probably imagine my joy when one of the first reviews opened with: “I absolutely loved this book. It is the fourth book in this series, and in my opinion, it is the best.”
You can read on for an excerpt of Incriminating, or visit an online vendor to download a longer sample.
This evening (Tues, March 24th) from 7 – 10 p.m. EDT, my critique partner, Darcy Burke, and I are having a party to celebrate the release of Incriminating Evidence and Darcy’s fabulous book, Yours to Hold, on Facebook. Stop by to chat with our great lineup of guest authors and enter giveaways to win lots of fun prizes (including several items that play a role in Incriminating Evidence)!
Incriminating Evidence Excerpt:
There was only one solution. Well, two. Either give him her blanket, or share it with him. The smart thing would be to share it. They’d both be warm. They’d both get the rest they needed to face the hike to her truck tomorrow.
But sharing a blanket, getting up close and personal with Alec Ravissant, definitely didn’t feel like the right thing. The right thing would be to give him the blanket and get the hell out of the cabin, head back to her truck alone. When she arrived home, she could call Raptor and tell them where they could find their boss.
“If you’re trying to decide if you should give me your blanket,” Alec said softly, “forget it. I won’t take it from you. I can handle a little chill.”
Crap. He was awake, meaning the right thing wasn’t an option. If she tried to leave, he’d follow, and he was in no condition to traipse six miles through the woods. “No, I was debating sharing it with you.”
His mouth curved in a slow smile. “You wanna get close to my body, Jenna?”
Isabel rolled her eyes at his tone even as she stiffened at the fake name. He was going to be so pissed when he found out who she really was. “No, but I don’t want you to die after I worked so hard to save your ungrateful life.” She grabbed the Mylar tent. “It’s not a regular emergency blanket, it’s the tent kind—a long tube. We’ll have to shimmy into it.” Read the rest of this entry
This month I have two books out, Midnight Sun (a re-release after being published in the Twelve Shades of Midnight anthology, which is no longer available) released on March 1st, and Incriminating Evidence (Evidence Series #4), which will release on March 24th. By sheer coincidence, both books are set in Alaska. It may sound strange to say it’s a coincidence, but it is. I’ve had versions of Incriminating Evidence in my head and on on my computer since 2010 – and it was always set in Alaska. It was the perfect setting for Alec and Isabel’s story. The inspiration behind Midnight Sun was completely different.
A little over a year ago, the fabulous Robin Perini approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in a paranormal romance anthology with her and ten other authors. Because the story would be paranormal, it couldn’t be connected to my existing books, and I began considering what my contribution to the anthology would be. My first inspiration was a story set in Hawaii, about an archaeologist who comes face-to-face with Night Marchers. The story excited me and I was ready to move forward with it, as we as a group were discussing via email potential titles and themes for the anthology. We settled on the name Twelve Shades of Midnight relatively quickly, and all agreed that something important in each of our stories had to happen at midnight. My Night Marchers story was perfect. I lived in Hawaii for three years — I know the setting well, and my husband worked as an archaeologist there, so the research would be a snap, and the story would be fun to write.
Then one morning, I woke up with the kernel of the plot for Midnight Sun in my mind. Maybe I was inspired by the word “midnight” — I really don’t know — but in the space of five minutes I went from planning to write a novella set in Hawaii to one set in Alaska. Once the idea grabbed me, I couldn’t let it go. I’d only ever visited and conducted archaeological survey in Sitka, Alaska, but fortunately, my husband had worked in Barrow, and he knew other archaeologists who’d worked for a length of time in the Arctic Circle who were willing to answer even the most ridiculous questions (yes, I do need to know what the airport terminal in Kotzebue looks like, and if the vegetation is primarily muskeg…). And so Midnight Sun the story of Sienna and Rhys and an ancient Iñupiat mask, was born. The Hawaii story will be the second in the series, featuring Sienna’s sister, Larkspur (look for it in late 2015).
As I mentioned above, I’ve had the story for Incriminating Evidence in the works since 2010. It was supposed to be the 3rd book in the Evidence Series (and I finished a draft of it in 2012, long before I wrote Withholding Evidence), but one problem I had with the execution of the story was the setting. It was clear to me that I needed to visit central Alaska if I wanted to get it right, so last summer, before tackling a major rewrite, my family and I visited Alaska and explored the area where the story is set.
One of the things I wanted to see while I was there was the forest at night–I knew in the summer it wouldn’t really get dark, but I wanted to see the phenomenon first hand. This photo was taken at midnight in mid-July in Fairbanks – without a flash.
We were in Alaska for eight days and drove from Anchorage to Fairbanks in a loop, exploring Denali National Park on the drive north (we saw lots of animals including bears, caribou, moose, and a wolf!), and went east for the drive south, where we passed through the setting for Incriminating Evidence.
En route, we saw salmon spawning, went whitewater rafting–necessary because a glacial silt-laden river plays an important role in the story–panned for gold, and hiked on a glacier.
I came home from the trip buzzing with ideas. There is no way to see something as magnificent as Alaska in just a week, but we tried.
The final story of Incriminating Evidence is very different from that first idea I plotted in 2010, but it is so much richer, so much better, for having visited the setting which plays a central role in the story. Also, even though there wasn’t supposed to be a connection between my paranormal romance and my 4th Evidence Series book, because they were both set in Alaska (even though hundreds of miles apart) I couldn’t resist slipping one thing in. I can’t wait to hear from readers who catch the connection…
A woman on the edge…
Museum collections specialist Sienna Aubrey is desperate. A prehistoric Iñupiat mask in her client’s collection is haunted, and it wants her to return it to Alaska…now. Tormented to her breaking point, she steals it. But when she arrives in the remote Alaskan village, the tribal representative refuses to take the troublesome mask off her hands. Even worse, the manipulative artifact pulls the infuriating man into her dream, during which she indulges in her most secret fantasies with him.
A man in search of the truth…
Assistant US Attorney Rhys Vaughan came to the Arctic Circle to prove someone tried to murder his cousin. When Sienna shows up at his cousin’s office with the local tribe’s most sacred artifact, she becomes his prime suspect. Then the mask delivers him into Sienna’s hot, fantasy-laden dream, and his desire to investigate her takes an entirely different turn.
An artifact seeking justice…
But the mask has an agenda, and it’s not to play matchmaker. If Sienna doesn’t do what the artifact wants, she may pay the ultimate price, and only Rhys can save her.
From enemies to allies…
When archaeologist Isabel Dawson stumbles upon an unconscious man deep in the Alaskan wilderness, her survival skills are put to the test. She tends his wounds and drags him to shelter, only to discover she’s saved the life of Raptor CEO Alec Ravissant—the man who may have covered up her brother’s murder to save his senatorial campaign.
With no memory of the assault that landed him five miles deep in the forest, Alec doesn’t know what to believe when he wakes in the clutches of the beautiful redhead who blames him for her brother’s death, but he quickly realizes he needs her help to uncover the truth about his lost hours.
Isabel never imagined she’d find herself allied with Alec, and he’s the last man she ever expected to find attractive. But the former Army Ranger-turned-politician proves seductively charming, and he’s determined to win much more than her vote. When their quest for answers puts Isabel in the crosshairs, Alec must risk everything—his company, his campaign, and his life—to protect her.
WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE, the third book in my series of romantic thrillers that explores the intersection of archaeology, politics, and war, released late last week. I had a blast writing this short novel. I loved finding Trina’s voice and Keith’s… well, I pretty much love everything about Keith.
Like all books in this series, this story can stand alone, but the characters from the previous books are present in WE, and I really enjoyed writing the friendship between Trina, Mara, and Erica, as they all work together at Naval History and Heritage Command. Years ago my husband worked for NHHC’s underwater archaeology branch making writing about the organization especially fun.
Today I’m excited to share with our Kiss and Thrill readers the first scene of Withholding Evidence.
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Trina Sorensen stiffened her spine and rang the town house doorbell. She couldn’t hear a chime, so after a moment of hesitation, she followed up with a knock. Seconds ticked by without any sound of movement on the other side. She rang the bell again, and then repeated the knock for good measure. The front door was on the ground floor, next to the garage. Glancing upward, she checked out the windows of the two upper floors. No lights on, but at nine in the morning on a hot August day in Falls Church, that didn’t tell her anything. If the man she hoped to meet was home, he’d have to descend at least one flight of stairs, possibly two.
She was about to ring the bell again when the door whipped open, startling her. She stepped back, then remembered she needed to project poise and straightened to meet her target’s gaze.
Keith Hatcher was even more handsome in person than in his official navy photo, but she couldn’t let that fluster her. It just meant he’d been blessed with good genes, a rather superficial measure of a person, really.
She took a deep breath and held out her hand. “Mr. Hatcher, Trina Sorensen, historian with Naval History and Heritage Command. I’d like to ask you a few questions about Somalia.” She cringed as she said the last part. Too perky. Too eager. That was not how to approach a former navy SEAL when asking about a mission.
Sporting tousled dark hair that suggested he may have just gotten out of bed, and wearing low-rise jeans and nothing else, the man leaned an impressive bare bicep against the doorframe and raised a quizzical thick eyebrow. “Trina? Cute name.” He smiled. “It fits.” He reached out and touched the top of her head. “But I think you should go back to the day care center you escaped from and leave me alone.” He stepped back, and the door slammed shut.
She jolted back a step. He did not just pat her on the head and slam the door in her face.
Except that was exactly what Senior Chief Petty Officer Keith Hatcher had done.
She was aware she looked young, but dammit, she was thirty-one freaking years old—the same age as Hatcher. She squared her shoulders and rang the bell again. Seconds ticked by. Then minutes. She pounded with the side of her fist.
Finally the door opened. “Yes?” He leaned against the doorjamb again, this time stretching out an arm to touch the hinged side of the opening. His body language conveyed amusement mixed with annoyance.
“Senior Chief, I’m Dr. Trina Sorensen”—she never referred to herself with the pretentious title of doctor, but figured his crack about day care warranted it—“and I’m researching your SEAL team’s work in Somalia five years ago for Naval History and Heritage Command and the Pentagon. You must answer my questions.”
“Dollface, it’s Sunday morning. The only thing I must do today is jack off.”
She crossed her arms. “Fine. I can wait. It’ll be what, one, maybe two minutes?”
The man tilted his head back and laughed. She saw her opportunity and ducked under his arm, entering, as she’d suspected, an enclosed staircase. The door to the left could only go to the garage. She went straight for the stairs, heading up to his home. Her heart beat rapidly at her own audacity, but she was never going to get the information she needed to do her job from the SEAL without taking risks.
“What the hell?” he sputtered, then added, “Who do you think you are, barging into my home?”
“I told you. I’m Dr. Trina Sorensen from NHHC,” she answered as she reached the landing that ended in the most spotless mudroom she’d ever seen. She crossed the room and stepped into his kitchen. She leaned against a counter as he paused in his own kitchen doorway. His mouth twitched, but his jaw was firm, making her think he couldn’t decide if he was annoyed or amused.
“I’ll wait here while you masturbate. We can start the interview when you’re done.”
Amusement won, and a corner of his mouth kicked up. He took a step toward her. “It’ll go faster if you help me.”
Her heart thumped in a slow, heavy beat. Barging into his home might’ve been a mistake. She frowned. Of course it was a mistake. “I’m good to go. Already took care of business this morning in the shower. You go ahead without me.”
He barked a sharp laugh, then shook his head. “What do you want, Dr. Sorensen?”
“As I said already, I’m here to ask you questions about Somalia.” She pulled her digital recorder from her satchel. “Do you mind if I record our conversation?”
His brown eyes narrowed. “Hell, yes, I mind. More importantly, we aren’t having a conversation. You are leaving. Now. Before I call the police.”
“Please don’t be difficult. I’m just doing my job.”
“SEAL ops are classified.” All hint of amusement left his voice, leaving only hard edges.
She sighed in frustration. Hadn’t he bothered to read any of her e-mails? “I sent you what you need to verify my security clearance in my e-mail. And my orders came directly from the Pentagon.”
“I don’t give a crap if the pope sent you on orders from the president. I’m not telling you shit about a place I’ve never been.”
He expected her to accept that and walk away? She’d never have gotten anywhere as a military historian if she allowed the men in her field to brush her off. “Oh, you’ve been to Somalia all right. You were there on a reconnaissance mission, gathering data about a rising al Qaeda leader who was taking advantage of a power vacuum created by ongoing interclan violence.”
He crossed his arms and spoke softly. “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
The man had a solid poker face; no hint that she’d surprised him with the paltry facts she knew. So he was handsome and big and had the most gorgeous sculpted pecs and abs she’d ever seen, and he was sharp to boot. “I’m researching various SEAL actions in Somalia over the last two decades, starting with Operation Gothic Serpent and ending with yours.”
“The work I did when I was in the navy is classified. Not only do I not have to tell you about an op I was never on in a country I’ve never visited, but I could also get in serious trouble if I did tell you a damn thing about the places I have been.”
She handed him her card. “But you do have to answer me. The Pentagon wants this report. Your input is necessary.” This project was her big break. Future naval operations could depend on her findings, and the biggest of the brass were eager for this account. She was already having visions of moving out of the cubicle next to cantankerous Walt. She could have walls. And a door.
“But, you see there, dollface, that’s the problem. I’m not in the navy anymore. I don’t take orders from the Pentagon. I don’t have to follow commands from anyone, least of all a five-foot-nothing librarian who invaded my kitchen without my permission.”
She straightened her spine and threw back her shoulders, determined to reach her full height. “I’m five foot three. And I’m an historian.” Her glasses slipped, and she nudged them back to the bridge of her nose.
He chuckled, and she flushed. She’d have been better off if she hadn’t corrected him on the librarian label as she adjusted her glasses.
“Whatever, doll. Listen, you have one minute to get out of my house, or I’m going to assume you’ve decided to watch me jerk off after all.”
She couldn’t look away from the brown eyes that held hers in a tense gaze. Just her luck that he was so frigging gorgeous. Attractive men made her self-conscious. Especially ripped, half-naked ones. “I’m not playing games, Senior Chief. I’m just here to do my job.”
He smiled slowly and reached for his fly.
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Today I’m giving away a signed print copy of WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE. To enter the drawing, tell me: are you are willing to read books in a series out of order, or do you always start with book one?