Monday, July 17, 2017

Old Friends in New Books

Do you like reading a new book and discovering an old friend in the pages?

I sure do. I think many people enjoy it, and that's one reason why series are popular. We grow emotional attachments to characters and love following along with them on new adventures.

Nancy Drew. Harry Potter. Percy Jackson. Star Wars. Marvel heroes. The list goes on and on.
Image result for nancy drew
Nancy, George, Bess and Ned! Love you guys!
I haven't yet been blessed to write a contracted series, but that doesn't mean I haven't been able to offer sneak peeks at characters who appeared in a different book of mine.

This month I'm celebrating the release of my newest novella, The Right Pitch from Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection, nine stories set during the Gilded Age.

My heroine, Winnie Myles, lives next door to a little girl named Penny...who grew up and had her own story in The American Heiress Brides Collection. (Yes, I went back in time. I started with Penny's story, and then wrote a story set almost twenty years earlier with The Right Pitch. And no, I didn't know about Winnie when I wrote In for a Penny, so there are no peeks into her future there. But I assure you she and her Mr. Right are very happy!)

It was satisfying to write about Penny's childhood, because even when she's an adult, she struggles with her parents. I was glad for the opportunity to plant a few of those seeds, even though they're quite minor in The Right Pitch.

Bringing back characters is satisfying!

My January 2017 release, A Mother For His Family, contains some old friends, too: Tavin and Gemma from The Reluctant Guardian. (Cover isn't yet available. I'm on tenterhooks!)
I love this cover so much. I can say that, right?
What are they up to now? If you read the book, you might remember Gemma's nephews, Petey and Eddie. What happened to them? Do they still live with Gemma, or did they have to go back to their disinterested parents?

It was fun answering those questions.

It's hard to say goodbye to characters. I always hoped to write a story about Gemma's friend Frances Fennelwick, a so-called "bluestocking" (one reviewer lovingly called her a nerd). Since Love Inspired Historical is folding, I won't have a chance to submit a proposal about Frances, but that doesn't mean I don't think about her and what happens to her...or the very special man who falls head over heels for her.

Maybe one day I'll jot it down and put it out for my newsletter subscribers. I'm not sure about copyright issues. Just thinking out loud.

But in the meantime, I'm hard at work on a story that'll be out in April's First Loves Forever Romance Collection from Barbour. Here's the beautiful cover:
OOOOHHHHH! Coming in April!
The heroine of my story, First Things First? Georgia Bridge, who first appeared in my novella For a Song from The Cowboy's Bride Collection as a precocious four-year-old.

Still available!
If you want to know what happened to her, Bridge Ranch, her pa Jackson and the woman she wanted to be her new ma, Lily Kimball, be sure to check out First Loves Forever in the spring!


Do you like seeing old friends in new books?


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today she's the author of over a dozen inspirational romances. Visit her and find her books at


  1. Susie, I hadn't realized you were "sharing" characters in your books. Yes, I love seeing familiar characters in new books, which is why I love our Austen in Austin series so much.

    Congratulations on the First Love Forever Romance Collection. You write romance with an easy grace that makes me sigh. So glad the publishers see it too. And don't worry, I have faith you'll get a contracted series soon.

    1. Hi Anita! Thank you for such kind words! I appreciate your support!

      I love Austen in Austin, too! <3

  2. Oooh, I love, love, LOVE seeing old "friends" in books. I love seeing the before or after with someone I'm attached to.

    And I'm sure you'll have a series eventually, Susie. You're good. Keep it up. :)

    1. Thanks, DeAnna! I appreciate your encouragement!

      And I agree, it's always fun to see old "friends" in new settings and stories. :)


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