Mae Clair Presents: Proving Ground by Stanalei Fletcher #Intrigue #Romance #Adventure

Hello, friends. I love today’s post for so many reasons, it’s hard to know where to start!

My guest blogger, Stanalei Fletcher, is one of the very first friends I made online when I waded into the world of publishing back in 2012. It was great to connect with someone else who was just starting out, too.

Stanalei now has a number of titles to her credit, including her latest, PROVING GROUND, an adventure/romance/intrigue novel. I LOVED this book for soooo many reasons! Please check out my five-star review on Amazon.

And if that isn’t enough, Stanalei is sharing her thoughts on a topic that resonates strongly with me−−series novels. Her comments are spot on! Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed PROVING GROUND so much, and look forward to the next entries in this fantastic series! 🙂

Please welcome, Stanalei Fletcher . . .


Author, Stanalei Fletcher in a casual poseThank You, Mae, for sharing your blog and your audience today. I’m excited to be here to post a bit about my new Northstar Security Series and the first book in the series, Proving Ground.  

Why Write A Series? 

Who doesn’t love a good television series or a sequel to a favorite movie…as long as the sequel is as good or better than the first movie?

I love a good series. But I’m picky about the type of series I watch. For instance, I also love closure. I’m not a fan of cliffhangers. I feel incomplete and frustrated at the end of a season finale cliffhanger, or part I of II of a movie sequel. Of course, I’m anxious to see the next installment, and I’m likely to pay good money for a seat. But what if I lose the opportunity to see or read the end of the story? I already have an uneasy feeling about the last episode, why would I put myself through that emotional rollercoaster again?

That said, I get the reasoning behind cliffhangers, or a continuity thread that waits to wrap up in book 3. Readers love to know there is more to come with their favorite character or storyline. Marketing loves a hook. “Leave ‘em wanting more” has been a tried and true marketing message for decades.

So if this is how I feel about a series, why did I write one? And what are my stories like?

For starters, that ol’ marketing adage, “leave ‘em wanting more”, makes sense. But my Northstar Security books are not cliffhangers. I want readers to close that last page with a satisfied feeling of a complete story. I hope they’ll come back and look at the next book in the series, but if they choose not to, then I don’t want to leave them frustrated.

Each of my Northstar Security books features a couple who experience challenges and conflict in their circumstances. But in the end, the two are destined to win the day, and find happiness with each other. Readers can enjoy just one book and not feel like there’s unfinished business at the story’s end. Or readers can look forward to the next book in the Northstar Security series to see what other characters are up to and if they, too, will find their own satisfying conclusion.

I hope that the first book in my Northstar Security series, Proving Ground, offers such a read.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your valuable time with me today. For more information about the upcoming stories in my Northstar Security series, you can check out the book’s website page here. Or sign up for my newsletter here.

I have a Goodreads Giveaway going on now until June 30th for Proving Ground. Please feel free to pop on over to Goodreads and enter for a chance to win an autographed copy. Here’s a link 

A little bit about Proving Ground: 

“A wonderful new voice in romantic suspense. Caitlin Malone is a true heroine: tough and intelligent.” ~Dana Marton, New York Times Bestselling Author~

“PROVING GROUND is an intriguing story filled with tension. A strong debut.” ~Laura Griffin, New York Times Bestselling Author~

Book cover for Proving Ground by Stanalei Fletcher, book 1 of the Northstar Security seriesBLURB:
Screw-ups don’t get second chances. That’s what Caitlin Malone believes when she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment. When she inadvertently stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens from the bio-lab near her hometown, she sees a chance at redemption.

USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, doesn’t want to babysit the motorcycle club holding their annual rally in his national forest. To make matters worse, Caitlin is attending the rally with Mac’s estranged uncle. Having her home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.

It’s early September. Any spark will send the dry timber into a raging fire. The terrorists are counting on that distraction to work in their favor. When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget. Before they can share their feelings, Mac and Caitlin must first escape the burning forest and stop the terrorists from releasing the deadly pathogens.

Proving Ground is available from all of these bookstores:
The Wild Rose Press – Trade Paperback 

The Wild Rose Press –ebook 
Barnes and Noble 
Google Play 
Kobo Books 
All Romance

About the Author:
Stanalei Fletcher’s love of writing romance stems from reading favorites such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland, and Alistair MacLean. She has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her hero, who is also her best friend and husband. Together they enjoy the open road astride a Harley, visiting museums and exploring ghost towns.


Thank you for stopping by Mae’s blog to visit with me. I’d love to hear from you. You can find me at any of the following locations:

Twitter –  @StanaleiFletch 
Join Newsletter  

47 thoughts on “Mae Clair Presents: Proving Ground by Stanalei Fletcher #Intrigue #Romance #Adventure

  1. This sounds good! I haven’t read any of your books, but that’s about to change 🙂
    I agree about your comments on series. I enjoy books set around a cast of characters we get to know and love from book to book, but I want them to have their HEA too. The best series books for me are those that can be read as a standalone.
    Great post,
    Jacquie Biggar


  2. Congratulations for the release, Stanalei!
    I totally agree with your statement that’s so frustrating either with movies or books when they end in a cliffhanger. I like it in chapters, but not at the end.
    I visited your page and the series looks great. Best of luck with it!


    • It’s great to have you here, Stanalie. I’m happy to share Proving Ground.with my readers. I really great attached to your characters and their journey to an HEA! 🙂


  3. People like series, even with cliffhangers, because they get to stay in a comfort zone with characters and a world they already know. I’m sure they’ll be hooked with Proving Ground just like me. As a romance reader, I’m happy to find an author I can have a long term relationship with. Not a fan of one book stands.


    • Thanks for sharing you take on cliffhangers, Lesli. I’m one of those people who like to stay in my comfort zone so I can appreciate your take on the subject. In fact, you have a very popular series going right now. Best of luck with your story!


    • Delighted to have you swing by, Lesli. What a wonderful point about comfort zones. I love reconnecting with familiar characters. Having read Proving Ground, I’m hooked like you! 🙂


  4. While we’re on this subject, I will admit a a guilty pleasure I have on one TV cliffhanger series. Granite Flats, which is currently airing all three seasons on Netflix, has drawn me right from the first episode and refused to let go. It has some of the most amazing episode cliffhangers I’ve ever seen. And it’s fun story telling to boot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Flossie. As a fan of Mae’s blog, I’m sure you love the way she pulls family dynamics into her wonderful stories. If you think about it, feel free to stop by my blog in a couple of weeks and see all about Mae’s newest book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww, thanks for that Stanalei. I do love putting a spin on all those family relationships. 🙂

        Looking forward to being your blog guest in a few weeks!


    • Stanalei did a fantastic job with the various family conflicts in Proving Ground. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. I love that extra layering of plot threads in my romantic reads. Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting, Flossie.


  5. Series stories are my favorite. I love that I have already found a connection with the author and the characters. Now they are my only books I read.


    • Hi, Melissa. So lovely to have you drop by and check out Stanalei’s post. I enjoy a wonderful series, but I like stand-alones, too. I think that’s why I enjoyed PROVING GROUND so much….it’s part of a series I look forward to continuing reading, but it’s also a fully satisfying stand alone novel/


  6. I know this sounds old fashioned, but I like a good stand alone book. I don’t have a lot of time to read, so I don’t want to commit to an entire series. As far as serials go, if I get a book that ends with a cliff hanger, I never read that author again. To me, cliff hangers are like being held hostage. I will read a sequel, trilogy, or short, 4-5 book, series if it’s an author I like.


    • Hi, Sandra. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog to read Stanalei’s post. You sound much like me. I don’t favor serials, but I’m fine with short series with authors I like. And I love stand-alones. There is also 1 series of books I follow (non-romance) that concludes a main plot thread with every novel, but the main character and a few others continue throughout the series. I think that series is (The Aloysius Pendergast series of novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is now up to book 14), so I guess you could say in some ways I’m all over the board, LOL!


  7. Great thoughts, Stanlei! I love series. In fact, I think I read more series than standalone books. Currently I’m in the middle of JD Robb’s In Death Series. I’m always behind everyone else as I like to power read or watch a series.


    • The best way to do a series, Tiffinie. I’m currently trying to catch up with the Harry Dresden series and have been reading it in batches. Thank you for visiting! Stanalei’s post is an excellent topic for discussion!


  8. I enjoy series, but do want each book to wrap up the story of the main characters. I don’t like waiting for the next installment, so I’ll often wait to read all the books in the series at once. Sometimes delayed gratification is the best. :>)


    • I’m doing that right now with the bulk of the Harry Dresden books, Ashantay. And I did the same thing with many of the Aloysius Pendergast books, too. It was wonderful to be able to read most of them at once rather than having to wait for the next in the sequence. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts!


  9. Pingback: Friday Favorites | Stanalei Fletcher

  10. I’m leaning towards series with books that don’t end on cliffhangers. I’m re-reading the Sookie Stackhouse series at the moment and each book (so far) is a standalone. Even though the story in each novelis resolved by the last page, I’m still eager to read the next one, so cliffhangers aren’t always necessary to ensure readers come back.
    I like the sound of Mac and Caitlin. Best of luck with Proving Ground, Stanalei.


    • Great point, Emma, that cliffhangers aren’t always needed to prompt readers to read the next book in a series. All of the series that I follow faithfully have books that conclude with each novel and I love them that way. Thanks for visiting, sharing your thoughts, and wishing Stanalei well.


  11. Hi Stanalei

    Thanks for a most interesting post. I was particularly interested as I’ve just been contracted for the third book in my own romantic SF series with the Wild Rose Press. None of the three end on a cliff hanger, partly because, like you, I like my characters to have closure at the end of the book, and for the readers to fee satisfied, and partly because it was never intended to be a series! It started with a book I wrote because it was the cliche ‘book of my heart’, then one of the characters demanded her own happy ending, and then I knew I had to do the same for one of the male characters from the first book. I think the series is now comlete – but who knows, characters can be delightfully demanding sometimes! Your series sounds very intriguing, and I have to admit while I have read books ending with a cliffhanger, and enjoyed them enough to purchase the next one, I think you’re right, and a book should be a ‘read alone’ and get the reader involved enough to want to read more about that location and/or characters in future books.


    • Thanks for stopping by Mae’s blog, Hywela. Congratulations on your series with The Wild Rose Press. I think you’re exactly right about how series begins – just that one character that needs their own story…then there’s another character… and so one. My series has five books planned. I’m not sure, but I suspect there could be more. But I’m pretty sure each will be their own stand alone story too.


    • Congrats on your series with the Wild Rose Press, Hywela. I love that your characters spoke up and demanded their own books 🙂 What a great way for a series to be born!


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