Emily Beale is a major problem, literally!
Major Emily Beale has launched some wonderful series. The problem with the major was…she wouldn’t stop. So, how to make sense of what I call, for lack of a better name, The Emily Beale Universe?
Tip #1: All of my characters age in real time.
This means that if a book appears 18 months after an earlier book, then approximately 18 months will have passed in the various characters’ worlds as well. This doesn’t always hold true, but it’s close. That means that there is:
The Definitive Reading Order
This can be found in my complete bibliography. Ah…if only it was so simple. Because while I was writing in the Emily Beale Universe, I was also writing contemporary romances, thrillers, and even a little science fiction. So, while noting the order of the titles I’ve written, it won’t necessarily create a definitive order for this popular character…and her many series.
Not only did she create several series, but she also occasionally departed (mostly) from some of those series. Perhaps the most useful way to follow these stories and the stories of the many wonderful characters she drew into her circle, would be to follow her life.
The Emily Beale “Main” Life Line
- The first four books of the original Night Stalkers, beginning with The Night Is Mine, follow Emily’s career of flying with the Night Stalkers. After book #4, Take Over at Midnight, she departed the Night Stalkers. She still returned as an advisor from time to time though, so you’ll want to finish that 7-book series. I call these the “Main Flight.”
- At the same time, she definitely had a role in the first three of the 6-book Night Stalkers White House holiday romances. (By the last three, she’d retired to become a wildfire firefighter, though fan favorites, Peter, Frank, and Beat were there throughout.)
- After Take Over at Midnight, Emily Beale and Mark Henderson took over the Mount Hood Aviation wildfire firefighting outfit and launched the Firehawks. She only appears in the main novels, and a tiny bit in the Wildfire Smokejumpers Trilogy. She dodged all three short story series.
- From there, Emily and Mark retired to Henderson’s Ranch. Now they had already visited there multiple times while still firefighters, but moved there permanently after the Firehawks final volume Wild Fire, arriving in Nathan’s Big Sky.
- That would be enough for any one woman…except Emily Beale. From her Montana redoubt, she plays an almost invisible role (but not quite hidden to real fans) in the White House Protection Force, occasionally showing her hand during the short stories.
The Emily Beale “Short” Life Line
As if that weren’t enough, she and Mark appear in numerous short stories including:
- Beale’s Hawk Down (Emily’s backstory)
- In Just Shy of a Dream, Emily is rescued in my CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) series
- Oh, and Emily would never miss one of the Night Stalkers Wedding stories.
- She was mentioned in The Night Stalkers and the Navy as well as the Night Stalkers 5E, but plays no role that I recall in either series.
- I think that covers her. Though, if you like science fiction, her spirit definitely lives on in The Future Night Stalkers.
- Oh, and when a film shoot goes to Henderson’s Ranch, then we see them again in At the Quietest Word.
There are two more characters of particular note. Well, three really.
- Major Mark Henderson’s sphere of influence is only felt twice outside of stories with his wife Emily. Mark wanders through Delta Mission: Operation Rudolph, and also has a big role in the backstory Heart of the Storm (where he originally meets our second “friend”).
- Delta Force Colonel Michael Gibson. His main plays are in the Night Stalkers Main Flight noted above and in the Delta Force novels. Then, after going quiet for a while as Michael is prone to do, he becomes instrumental in both forming the Henderson’s Ranch team and, like Emily, participating in the White House Protection Force, again mostly visible in the short stories.
- Dilya. Ah, Dilya. She joined us in the second novel of the Night Stalkers Main Flight, I Own the Dawn. And then she simply decided not to leave. She continued flying with the Night Stalkers until she began coming into her own during The Night Stalkers White House holiday romances. And now, she is a powerhouse lurking at the center of the White House Protection Force and I can’t wait to see what she and the First Dog think up next. She also plays a major role in the Night Stalkers Wedding stories Kee’s Wedding and Connie’s Wedding, of course.
So, the master reading list might look something like this:
- The Night is Mine
- Emily’s Wedding (written 5 years later)
- I Own the Dawn
- Kee’s Wedding (written 5 years later)
- Ghost of Willow’s Past (story that ties into I Own the Dawn)
- Daniel’s Christmas
- Wait Until Dark
- Just Shy of a Dream (written 5 years later, but fits right here)
- Connie’s Wedding (written 5 years later)
- Frank’s Independence Day
- Peter’s Christmas
- Take Over at Midnight
- Heart of the Storm (Mark and Michael’s buddy origin story – though this occurs several years before The Night Is Mine, this story and the next one should be read here)
- Beale’s Hawk Down (Emily and Mark origin story)
- Pure Heat
- Light Up the Night
- Full Blaze
- Bring On the Dusk
- Hot Point
- Christmas at Henderson’s Ranch (short story)
- Target Engaged and the rest of the Delta Force quartet for Michael Gibson’s continuing story
- Flash of Fire
- Brief mentions in: Zachary’s Christmas, Roy’s Independence Day, Damien’s Christmas
- By Break of Day (only mentioned)
- Wild Fire
- Nathan’s Big Sky
- Welcome at Henderson’s Ranch (ss)
- Big Sky, Loyal Heart
- Delta Mission: Operation Rudolph (ss with Mark-unnamed, overlaps Big Sky, Loyal Heart)
- Finding Henderson’s Ranch (just Mark)
- Off the Leash, On Your Mark, In the Weeds (Dilya novels, with Emily’s hand behind the scenes)
- Emily’s Christmas Gift (ss)
- Dilya’s Christmas Challenge (ss – pairs with story above)
- Big Sky Dog Whisperer
- First Day, Every Day (sequel to Ghost of Willow’s Past)
- Between Shadow and Soul (a key Michael story…w/ Dilya along)
- At the Quietest Word
Honestly, this wasn’t intentional. I blame it all on Emily’s refusal to let a good story go.
And now I’m getting worried about my newest action-adventure heroine Miranda Chase doing something similar. Though Miranda Chase is a very focused gal, so maybe not.