#GuestPost by Chris Karlsen, author of “A Venomous Love”

A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen Banneron Tour April 1-30, 2020


by Chris Karlsen

Writing a series

I was recently asked my thoughts on writing a series. I like reading a series and writing a story with the idea that the main characters will come back. Depending on the type of series, they may or may not be the protagonist again but return in a supporting role.

Multiple stories with the same characters give me the opportunity to continue to develop their personalities. In A Venomous Love, the latest book in my Bloodstone series, I have my running protagonist, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone. He and his partner are investigating multiple murder-robbery cases where the suspect uses a poisonous snake as the weapon. Over the course of the series I’ve been able to show the men he works with and the differences in them. Rudyard has various occasions to respond to each in his own way. In creating a more detailed professional world I’m able to add interest and color to him as a character and the setting.

Over time with each story I’ve added more to his personal life. In Snifter of Death, book two, I introduced a romantic interest for him and I introduced his brother. Both have become popular with readers. Including the addition of his brother to the series was especially fun as the brothers are close, similar yet different. I knew when writing Will Bloodstone, Rudyard’s brother, that I’d give him more page time in a later book, which I have in A Venomous Love. If he remains as popular with readers in this new book as he was in the past, and as much as he is with my critique partners, I’ll seriously consider giving him a story where he’s the protagonist.

I’ve also brought back many of the regular friends and characters of Rudyard’s outside of the police world. How those characters view him and the people he chooses as friends tells the reader a lot about him. That is another luxury a series allows. Rudyard is a war veteran who fought in a horrendous battle and received the Victoria Cross for his actions. His good friend, Morris, is a veteran who now owns a pub that caters to non-commissioned military men. Both men have little respect for high ranking officers.

His romantic interest, Honeysuckle Flowers, has been a delight to create. She’s a music hall star in London and having been raised by theatre people has a propensity to spurn much of society’s views on women and how they should behave. She is as candid as a woman can be given the Victorian age restrictions. That candor lets me add a lot of humor into her dialogue and a lot of honest observations.

Unlike Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, I don’t use the same villains. Professor Moriarty is a brilliant foil for Holmes and makes for a wonderful series bad guy. I choose to write different villains as I prefer to give them a variety of weapons and motives.

In my historical romance series, Knights in Time, all the English knights were friends who fought in the Battle of Poitiers. I didn’t start the series with the idea in mind of giving each knight his own book. I’d just proceed to write a story with a chosen hero and let the characters reveal their personalities as I went along. As I wrote each story and the individual knights came on the scene, one of the friends would begin to stand out. I knew in the process of drawing out the scene, I had the protagonist/hero for the next book. That is another advantage to series writing.

I am currently working on a novella that will be book two in a World War Two romance series. Instead of connecting the stories through characters, I wanted to use setting and timeframe. In the first story, Moonlight Serenade, an American Marine is on leave for three days in Melbourne, Australia and falls in love with a big band singer. My work-in-progress is set in England during the blitz and is centered on a young woman who is part of a team that operates anti-aircraft systems and an RAF pilot. It is called The Ack-Ack Girl. I hope to have it released in December.

For me, for all the reasons in this article, I prefer writing and reading series stories. Some of my favorites are: The Saxon Tales by Bernard Cornwell, The Pennyroyal Green series by Julie Anne Long, and Hollywood Station by Joe Wambaugh.



A Venomous Love by Chris KarlsenThe killer whispered-“A pretty damsel…worth a pretty risk.”

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Suspense

Published by: Books to Go Now

Publication Date: February 28, 2020

Number of Pages: TBD

ISBN: 979-8600864139

Series: Bloodstone Series, #3

Purchase Links:


Read an excerpt:

Puzzled, Ruddy asked, “You say the body is still in the chapel? Couldn’t the nurse bring an exam table to put him on and start treatment?” “She did. Young and I attempted to help but he suffered violent convulsions. Because the hospital is for children, they don’t have restraints. The head nurse instructed us to leave him back on the floor. She was afraid he’d fall off the table.” “Makes sense.” The timeframe of Underhill’s death didn’t make sense. At minimum it usually took an hour and more often, hours for the venom to kill. A horrible thought occurred to Ruddy. What if it was a different suspect with a different lethal snake? “But he died while you were still here?” “Yes. He convulsed brutally hard a few more times and an excessive amount of drool came out his mouth. Then he lost consciousness. A nurse put a blanket over him and a pillow under his head. He died as she was making him comfortable.” “Strange. This is abnormally fast even for cobra venom.” Flanders stepped up on Ruddy’s right. “What is it, constable?” “Shall I leave you to start my search?” Flanders asked. “Yes. Collect anything, and I mean anything, you find that looks out of the ordinary,” Archie told him. “This case is so unusual we can’t be sure what is important and what isn’t.” The nurse led them to the curtained-off bed. Honoria Underhill lay on her side softly sobbing. Her legs were curled up so she fit on the short bed meant for a child. The nurses had covered her with a blanket. When she saw Ruddy and Archie, she sat up and swung her legs down to the side of the bed. “Yes. We know this is traumatic for you but we need to ask you to repeat what happened with as much detail as you can recall,” Ruddy told her. “I understand.” Her shoulders trembled. She buried her fists in her skirt and kept her head down as she fought to control her emotions. Ruddy brought the conversation back to the crime. “Did the suspect say anything when he attacked?” “’A pretty little damsel, worth a pretty risk,’ he said as he rushed toward us. Then he leapt at me with the snake in hand inches from my face. Father pushed me out of the man’s reach and stepped between us. My father tried to knock the man’s hand away and swatted at the animal.” She dabbed at her nose again and then offered the handkerchief back to Archie who waved off the return. “It happened so fast,” Honoria continued. “In the time it took me to blink, the snake’s throat blew outward, like a fan opening.” She demonstrated the action with her hands. “A second later it lunged and struck.” *** Excerpt from A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen. Copyright 2020 by Chris Karlsen. Reproduced with permission from Chris Karlsen. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Chris Karlsen I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books. My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series, which is historical suspense with romantic elements. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and four wild and crazy rescue dogs.

Catch Up With Chris Karlsen On: ChrisKarlsen.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!


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5 thoughts on “#GuestPost by Chris Karlsen, author of “A Venomous Love”

  1. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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