One question I am asked the most is, “Which book should I read first??” I wrote Rumors with the intention that it be read after Lingering Echoes as “bonus material”. But after asking my readers, most seem to say its best to read Rumors first to better understand Allie’s character. Besides, now it’s FREE!
I’ve decided they are probably right.
Now and then, I receive feedback that many aren’t big fans of Allie’s character in the beginning of Lingering Echoes. One reviewer made me laugh by declaring, “I wanted to punch the main character because I thought she was kind of a spoiled brat… but then I realized that it was all a defense mechanism, and I grew to empathize with her.” This reviewer is not alone! Indeed, Allie puts on a tough outer shell and is abrasive towards her dad and her step-brother. It takes time to understand why Allie behaves the way she does, and sets up a wide opportunity of development for her character. As the plot and past unravels, readers grow to care for Allie or at least sympathize and perhaps relate with her situation.
How true to life this is! Everyone has a story when you meet them. The positive and negative experiences from the past determine the choices a person will make and the attitudes they have. But if we don’t know them, it’s easy to judge or misunderstand their character, especially those who are having a hard time. That’s my favorite part of creating characters–trying to figure out the “how’s and why’s” behind who they are!
This is where Rumors comes in. This prequel offers details of events that occur one year before Lingering Echoes begins. It’s a window into Allie’s past that gives you pieces of her broken heart to hold, to examine–to prepare you for the person she appears to be at the beginning of Lingering Echoes.
Regardless of whether you read Lingering Echoes or Rumors first, be patient with Allie. She, like so many people you will meet in life, hides her greatest strengths behind her pain. Give her time. Let her be upset, irrational, and defensive. Listen to her. Cry with her. Walk with her as she discovers her best self, and remembers how to laugh and fall in love with some pretty awesome people along the way.
So then there’s Vanishing Act! I would most definitely read this one last. It’s not a sequel exactly, and can be read easily on its own. However, it is patterned after Lingering Echoes and does follow a couple of characters from it, so you will appreciate Vanishing Act so much more afterwards! I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll leave it at that.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy this contemporary romance series that goes beyond simply falling in love. Each book pulls you into emotional and, at times, suspenseful situations that you won’t want to turn away from.