Looking Ahead to 2018

 

WARNING – SPOILER ALERT

If you follow a specific series and you are behind in that series and don’t want to know the status of the characters involved, either skip this blog all together or skip over the series you don’t want spoiled. 

As we enter 2018 I wanted to give those of you who want a peek into the future of Kathi Daley Books an idea of where I am going with each of my 8 series. If you don’t want to know what is coming up you may want to skip this. My approach to this blog is gritty and honest. I will try to share with you the entire thought process I enter into as I make these decisions. 

 

ZOE DONOVAN 

As those of you who are caught up know, Zak and Zoe welcomed baby Catherine in Reindeer Roundup. I received quite a few emails from concerned fans of the series asking if Reindeer Roundup was the series finale. The answer is no. Zak, Zoe, and baby Catherine will have many adventures ahead of them in the upcoming years including at least 3 new stories in 2018. If you are wondering where I will go with the series next, to a point I really don’t know. I like to let the characters tell the story so until I write whatever is next I really don’t know the exact direction the storyline will take. What I do know is that I don’t want Zoe to be the sort of mom who is always putting her daughter in danger, so Zoe will have to figure out a way to be a good mother and continue to sleuth. I also suspect that Alex will begin to take on a more predominant role in Zoe’s sleuthing activities. The girl is a genius and I think it is a normal progression for Zoe to continue to ask her to help out with hacking activities when Zak is unavailable. The next book in the series will publish in late March or early April. It will be set at Easter and is tentatively titled Hippity Hoppity Homicide.

 

WHALES AND TAILS

As those of you who are caught up know, Cait and Cody are engaged, Siobhan and Finn are expecting a baby, Mrs. Hart is seriously dating a widower named Gabe, and Coffee Cat Books has a new employee, a pregnant woman named Willow. In 2018 we will see at least 3 new stories in which both Willow’s and Siobhan’s baby’s will be born. I’m still not sure if Cait and Cody will tie the knot in 2018. I guess we will both have to wait and see. I do suspect that Willow will hook up with Alex and both Willow and Alex will become semi regular characters. I plan to publish the next Whales and Tails in March. I was going to do The Cat of New Orleans but I don’t think I want to do a book on location when so much is going on back home on Madrona Island so I am going to push it back (again) and the next book will be titled Farewell to Felines. The story will deal with a strange phenomenon going on in the hollow (From the Legend of Tabby Hollow) which is causing all the cats to leave.

 

TESS AND TILLY

I am so happy to say that book 1 in the new Tess and Tilly series was a huge success. I am pretty sure this will end up being my third bestselling series and have plans to do at least 3 more in 2018. Next up in the series is The Valentine Mystery, which publishes on February 12 and is already available for presale. The series is too new for me to know exactly where the characters will end up but I will say that I am having a blast with the homey small town of White Eagle and the eclectic group of folks who live there. In book 2 we will see Tess coming into her own as a sleuth with the help of Bree, Tony, and of course Tilly.

 

WRITER’S RETREAT

I am so delighted that the Writer’s Retreat series has been so well received. I have a lot of ideas for this series and plan to do 4 in 2018. The next book in the series publishes January 25th and is already available for presale. It is titled Fifth Night and features the gang attempting to prove that a man who supposedly committed suicide was really murdered. The gang all join in to help the widow of the man who died as she attempts to raise her sisters four children with one of her own on the way. Blackbeard isn’t in this story as much as some of the others but you can be sure he will continue to jump in and help from time to time. This book also gives us a glimpse as to what is going on with Nicole.

 

RESCUE ALASKA

It is a bit early to really tell how this series will do. It was received well enough for me to continue so I plan to do two to 3 new stories in 2018. The characters in this series feel the least known to me and I really have no idea how it will all work out. My favorite part about Finding Justice was the appearance of Shredder and I may bring him back in upcoming books. The next book in this series will publish in April and is titled Finding Answers.

 

Tj JENSEN PARADISE LAKE

As most of you know I signed a contract with Henery Press for this series. Books 9 and 10 in the series will publish in 2018. Beaches in Paradise will publish in June and Turkey’s in Paradise will publish in November. Turkey’s in Paradise is the last book under my current contract. I am undecided at this point if I will continue.  As you may have figured out I am presenting the series in order of sales status, and the Tj series doesn’t really stack up as well as some of the others. What I will say is that I know I have some diehard Tj fans out there and I will think very carefully about this decision whichever way I go. In the very least you have two new books to look forward to in 2018.

 

SAND AND SEA

The Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mystery series never really got a foothold for some reason. I really tried to find new readers for the series since there are those of you who love spending time with Luke and Lani but the sales numbers have been ho-hum. At this point I do not have any specific plans to write any more books in this series. If I do decide to give it another try I am going to change it up a bit. At the end of the last book we see that Lani and her father are going to open a detective agency. If I do write new books I am going to rebrand it as Pope and Daughter Investigations. The titles and covers will change to a slightly different theme as well. This is still in the maybe pile so I will let you know if I decide to move forward.

 

SEACLIFF HIGH 

Seacliff High is one of my personal favorites and I have many VERY committed fans but the sales numbers simply do not justify continuing. By the time I pay for editing and a cover I don’t even break even with this series. I think the problem was never the stories themselves, but the fact that I suspect that a lot of readers thought the books would only appeal to teens so they never really gave them a try. I do have an idea to rebrand this as an adult paranormal series. If you have followed the series I would like your feedback on how well you think this would work.

Here is the concept: We rejoin Alyson, Mac, and Trevor seven or eight years after the last book in the Seacliff High series took place. Since that time Alyson and her mom have moved back to New York where her mom returned to her old life and Alyson went to college. We also find that Mac graduated college with a degree in computer science and currently works for some big name tech firm in California making a boat load of money, and Trevor has remained behind in Cutter’s Cove and now owns Pirate’s Pizza. The first book in the new series opens with Alyson finding out that Booker has been murdered. A period of time has passed and the murder has not been solved so Alyson feels that she owes it to the man who did so much to help them out while they were in high school to go home and find his killer. Alyson’s mom still owns the big house on the bluff overlooking the sea, so Alyson returns there. It has been vacant for seven years but it is still livable. After Mac hears that Alyson is back in Cutter’s Cove she takes a leave from her job and returns as well. She moves in with Alyson for the time being. Alyson not only realizes that she had been missing her old life more than she ever realized, but she also realizes that while she could no longer see ghosts while in New York, as soon as she returned to Cutters’ Cove her old gift came back. In fact it is ghost Booker who helps her solve his own murder. At the end of the book Alyson decides to stay in Cutter’s Cove. Mac had been wanting to start her own software firm so she stays as well and moves in with Alyson. Alyson, Mac, and Trevor are back to mystery solving in Cutter’s Cove with the help of ghost Booker only this time as adults. Booker’s home has been donated to the historical society and he continues to live there (as a ghost) – the caretaker is Booker’s niece Monica.

The series title would be: A Haunting by the Sea Mystery – possible titles include: Homecoming by the Sea, Murder by the Sea, Secrets by the Sea, etc.

Thoughts?

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Looking Ahead to 2018

  1. I love your book’s Kathi. I have read all but the Seacliff High. Going to start that series when I get done with my Christmas books!! So glad to hear Zoe and Zak and Catherine will continue. Excited to see how Zoe continues sluthing with baby Catherine.

  2. I love the Seacliff High series, and the idea of rebranding it to make it more adult friendly sounds great! Also looking forward to new stories for so many of the other series as well.

  3. JoAn V says:

    I always enjoyed the Seacliff High series and I am NOT a teen. I would love to see Allyson, Mac and Trevor again as young adults. Whales & Tails is another favorite of mine and I’m so glad to know that there is more to look forward to in this series. The Writers’ Retreat, Tess & Tilly, and Rescue Alaska are on my TBR pile to enjoy as the cold weather sets in for the next few months.

  4. Joanie Hinton says:

    I have not read any of the Seacliff High series but after reading your blog I am going to and love the way you describe how you would change it up and continue the series I love all your other series’ so I need to get on this one as well (fyi I’m not a teen either!)

  5. Linda Berwaldt says:

    I absolutely love your two new series-Tess and Tilly & Rescue Alaska. Having Shredder show up in Alaska was a pleasant surprise. I’ve only recently started reading the TJ Jensen series but love those books as well. Hope you find a way to continue this series. My favorite of your series until the two newest, was Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries. I hope you find a way to continue this series. My least favorite was actually the Zoe Donovan series. The stories were good but I found Zoe to be somewhat annoying with her insistence on doing the exact opposite of whatever anybody else wanted or suggested, especially since she always had to be rescued because of her actions. All that being said, I’m looking forward to really good stories from you in 2018.

  6. servedogmom says:

    Hi Kathi, My thoughts presented from the readers perspective. The Zoe Donovan series has staying power. You have found the perfect cozy mystery balance that keeps readers engaged and wanting more. Tess and Tillie has a very similar “feel”, which strikes the balance keeping readers engaged and wanting more. My gut feeling is if you relocate Whales and Tales you risk losing readers as the heart of the series encompasses the peripheral characters. The Legend of Tabby Hollow is probably my favorite book from that series to date. The Writers Retreat and Rescue Alaska are novel in the world of cozy mystery. you have succeeded in maintaining the clean elements that a majority of your readers cherish, yet have significantly increased the level of suspense and mystery. that takes real skill and pulls in readers who desire a more complex read. Search and rescue books fill a niche that has very little representation but is gaining in popularity. The challenge is finding the balance between mystery and paranormal. A number of readers like some paranormal in cozy mystery, but not to the extent that paranormal takes over the story. Tj Jensen series has a different feel which is difficult to explain. I suspect the reviews from the earlier books in the series may have really hurt the series. The quality of the stories has developed and grown as your skill has grown, but initial readers may not have tried the series again after initially being disappointed. Sand and Sea may do better rebranded with Lani not being compared to her brothers or trying to compete for a police department position. She has proved to be a good sleuth but her “not good enough” perception may be hurting the series. She is good enough in her own way. Sea Mystery could do well if you skillfully make and present the transition or don’t transition and essentially start over with less reference to past history and develop a strong marketing strategy. to entice your adult readers. Hope this is helpful.

  7. peggy clayton says:

    Wow I love all of the series that I have read and so glad that they have been keeping you busy and they are all proving that you will continue with these. I am looking forward to the new one coming out and any other books that you have the ideas for i am sure they will make for good books for us that follow you it is keeping up with you that is proving to be difficult. I may be a few books behind but love every book i read and love to figure out who did it. I also enjoy the wed newsletter that comes out in the email and when you have time i love your friday writing about whatever you want as we love it ! You and Ken have a wonderful New Years Eve and a wonderful busy 2018!

  8. Sharon Frank says:

    I’ve loved the Whales and Tails from the first book, and still do, but new favorites are Tess and Tilly and the Writer’s Retreat series as well. I thought the Alaska series would top them all, but I was so skeeved out about Harmony and her brother-in-law in bed together, (innocently but still completely skeevy to me), that I will not read any more of those. As for Zoe and Zak, I’ve read them all and still wonder how in the world Zoe is still alive, what with doing all of the super-human tasks she does, plus all of her close calls while sleuthing. I truly hope she is a good mother and stays in more to care for Catherine. Perhaps Zak should go ahead and hire a body guard for Zoe, since she never listens when others are concerned for her safety. The new Seacliff High concept sounds intriguing and I will continue to read those. Looking forward to the next Tess and the next Jill and Jack! 🙂 Thanks for all of this great information, Kathi and Happy New Year to you and yours.

  9. I am a die-hard TJ fan and can’t understand why she isn’t as popular as Zoe and Zak. Please don’t give upon her. In Whales and Tails I want more Bella and Tansy! I like the idea of rebranding to Pope and Daughter Investigations as long as we still have her brothers input (I like the meddling little sister aspect and Blue Bloods feel) and Luke. I like the bumps in their relationships and her older friends who like to “help.” Tess and Tilly has a lot of potential. Seacliff High is a great series for adults if we can get them to give it a try, but it is also a wonderful way to get younger readers introduced to your writing. I was so relieved they did not have to move again so soon.

    I am just worried that you must never get to sleep.

  10. Ruth Nixon says:

    Oh boy, lots to think about. I was slow to like Zoe but loved Zak right off the bat. The series has grown so and I love everybody in it. I’ve loved Whales and Tales since book 1and love it more with every new book. The last page in the Sea and sand book just made want more, please think hard over this. Writers Retreat series surprised me I LOVE IT! I think you will break my heart if Tj’s series ever ends.So glad for at least 2 more books. So now you know my favorites . I’ve got Rescue Alaska and Tess and Tilly on my paperwhite and will read before New Years, feel I’ll like Tess and Tilly. Now Sea Cliff High, read them and enjoyed them but wasn’t sad when there was no more but think that the new direction your are thinking about would be good. I’ve every book you’ve written and 5 I really would miss and I think it will be 6 when I read Tess and Tilly.I know you well enough to know you write when the characters speak to you so guess you are the best person to know what you feel about the series. I know I have to feel in a certain mood to read a book. So looking forward to the books you spoke about. Kathi you are the most generous author I read and hope people appreciate you . Hoping the New Year will bring some answers and keep us posted. Happy New Year to you and Mr Shipping . and hope the trip to our beautiful coast refreshes you.

  11. sally says:

    Thank you for the update. I also did not read teen books either. I’m not sure what is keeping me away. I plan to read the first book and see if it’s as good as your other series. I know your writting is good but the storyline and teen characters are what I’m unsure of. I do think perhaps putting an adult spin on it will help??? I look forward to more books in 2018!

  12. Joyce Day says:

    Sounds like a great year of reading is in store. I love all your series but I can understand why some might have to go. I will miss them but do understand. Your idea for Seacliff High series sounds great.

  13. Jeanette Mulroy says:

    Hi Kathi I have read and enjoyed all your series and can’t understand why Sand and Sea hasn’t taken off as the stories are very good, but hey ho you can’t please everybody. I’m also a great fan of Seaclff High and initially I wasn’t going to read this series as I also though it was for teens, but desperate for something good to read and already familiar with your other books, I started reading it and boy am I glad that I did! What a great series and personally I would love to see this series continue with Alyson, Mac and Trevor as adults and I think your new concept is exciting and would work very well indeed and also attract new readers! Looking forward to all your new releases in 2018 🙂

  14. Shawn McNeely says:

    I love pretty much everything you write! You have a way with adding mystery, suspense, and danger without taking away the fun warm feel to the story.
    I’m a big Sea Cliff fan and love the fact that there is a series out there to draw in younger crowds but I see your point about sales. I would definitely want to read an updated adult version of these characters! I like the idea that time has pasted and they are coming back together. This will make the connection for those that have read the previous stories while introducing the new books to older readers who haven’t. I really don’t want to see these characters fade away. I love Booker’s character in the previous books and will love his more active roll as a ghost in the new ones. Please, do give this updated version a try! There is something really special about the Sea Cliff High setting and characters!

  15. I think everything sounds great. I’ll miss the TJ series, but I think your idea to revamp the Sea Cliff High books is perfect. I will also miss the Sea and Sand books if you decide to stop them, but I definitely get the sales thing. 🙂
    Jane Firebaugh

  16. I have always loved the Seacliff High Books & would gladly read the new incarnation. As mature as they were for their age, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to adjust to them as adults I love true idea as Booker as a ghost & recurring character!
    I’ve fallen in love with TJ Jenson Series & cant understand any negative reviews. The audios are amazing & I love having one of your series in that option as I’m an avid fan of both for cozies.
    I have most of your other series bought but honestly haven’t started on them for the simple fact of having so many series to read. I know I’ll enoy most if not all of them.

  17. Sandra Hemsher says:

    I enjoy all your series for different reasons.. This is good because I don’t feel like they are all alike. I really like your idea of rebranding and picking up at different times in a story line. It allows a good cast of characters to further develop and appeal to a wider audience. Thank you for bringing me back to reading!!!

  18. I love the idea for a new Haunting by the Sea series. I know I would read it. I know it took me a while to try the Seacliff High series, but once you explained it to me a bit, I started reading the series and fell in love with it.

    I also truly love the Sand and Sea series. I understand that you can’t keep writing books that don’t make money. I love all your books, and the characters have become my friends. That being said, I stand behind you in whatever you decide.

  19. Shaye Lushchwitz says:

    I love all your books and especially the Seacliff ones as they are the first series that introduced me to your books. So in saying that i would love for it to be reworked. Also i love your sand and sea series but if you discontinue them, maybe you could have them show up in other series like when they were in Zoe?

  20. I love all of your series, but Tj and the Sea Cliff High are among my favorites. I love your idea of continuing the series 7 or 8 years in the future. I think it would be exciting if one of Lani’s cases leads her to Texas . . . and Luke’s family. I really enjoy the crossovers, too. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading!

  21. gheruska44 says:

    Kathi, I love all your series. I started with Zoe ‘s series and have been reading her from the very beginning 2012=2013? I’m certainly glad you’re going to continue with her especially since this series is a winner.
    Whales and Tails: It sounds as if you’re approaching the end of this series judging by your title Farewell Felines. I hope I’m wrong because I have enjoyed this series. So, I would hope they will continue if they’re still a good seller. I hope to read the Cat in New Orleans sometime in the future. If not this year maybe next around Feb. Mardi G.
    I excited that Tess and Tilly has been such a success and looking forward to read more of that series. It’s nice that you’re starting off with it being a holiday series. I like that idea very much.
    For some reason Writers Reatreat doesn’t have me excited about the next book. It just doesn’t click with me for some reason. I enjoy reading the books but they don’t “stick” with me. I’m glad the series is doing well and will see how it goes with me in 2018.
    I really enjoyed Rescue Alaska and sincerely hope that the series will be well received so that you can continue with it. I give Finding Justice 5 stars. Am looking forward to Finding Answers.
    I love the TJ Jensen series and I’m sorry you’re thinking about not continuing this series after the next 2 books. But I can understand why you might not continue them It seems this series revolved around holidays and I guess you really don’t need 2 series that do that. But I will the Paradise Lake series. I’m one of those BIG Fans
    The Sand and Seas Hawian Mysteries didn’t really catch on with me either. I enjoyed reading the books but Luke and Lani didn’t “grab” me like Zoe and Zak did. If you do continue it by renamimg the series s Pope ans Daughter Investigations it may have more of a draw. I think that it would for me.
    Last but not least Seacliff High. I actually loved this series, and I’m certainly not a teen. I think you’re rightabout thinking it is books for teenagers and that very well could be why it didn’t catch on very well. I really hope that you do give it another try moving forward 8 years so they will be young adults. I would love to see them back in Cutter’s Cove where Alyson could still see ghosts. I tink that would get the adult audience to be eager to read this series. s I said I loved it from the very beginning and if this new twist would help sales, I’m all for it. I do hope you continue this seriers with the new twist.
    Kathi, to end my thoughts I have to say once again that I really love all your books. I have my favorites of course but they ALL are so well written. I do understand why you might have to end some series because that’s a lot of books to write in a year even though you do it so well.
    Looking forward to a very Happy New Year with all your books, and a Very Happy New Year to you and Ken.
    Oh, one more thing that i love is that you’re going to do a mystery game each month.

  22. Michelle F. says:

    I just read the Seacliff High series. I hope it continues in some form; your plan for it sounds good. I love paranormal cozies (ghosts and witches). I don’t remember Booker so I’ll have to read another one sometime to find out who he is. I have some of your other books, including free Kindle books. Can’t afford to buy any since I’m not working.

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