The grave stops here

Last Friday night, I finished writing Up From The Grave, Night Huntress book seven. Usually typing “The End” brings me nothing but joy because it’s the literary equivalent of crossing the finish line in a marathon, but this time, my joy was tinged with a little sadness. Why?

Up From The Grave will be the last Cat and Bones novel.

Short reason why: I’m mostly an organic writer, as I detailed here, so several years ago when I plotted the skeletal outline for the series, I estimated that it would take a total of nine books to finish Cat and Bones’s story arc. Turns out, I finished it sooner.

For those of you who want the long reason, keep reading.

I started writing Cat and Bones’s story with no specific number of books in mind because I was unpublished and thus writing them only for me. The idea for one book turned into two, then two books turned into three, and then boom! In 2006, my dream came true by landing a publishing contract. At that time, my publisher only committed to two books, but I didn’t care. I had more stories to tell, so I kept writing them. Later, reader support meant my publisher kept buying them, but still, I didn’t have a specific number of books planned. I only had a story in my head that wasn’t finished yet.

Publishing is a business, so that sort of vagueness didn’t work :). Contracts required written outlines and readers very reasonably wanted to know how long of a series they were getting into. Back in early 2010, based on remaining plot points that I’d written down, I estimated that it would take a total of nine Cat and Bones books to tell their complete story. This is what I announced to readers.

Then, later in 2010, my publisher invited me to do an extended Cat and Bones novella for an anthology with Lynsay Sands. I’m a big fan of Sands, so I said yes. Once I’d finished writing Home For The Holidays, however, I realized because it was so long (nearly half a book!) and it contained a major series revelation, I would no longer need to write a ninth Cat and Bones book. The novella took care of that part of my story arc, and so when it came out in late 2011, I told readers that Cat and Bones’s story would now end at book eight.

Honestly, if I had to do it all over again, I would have written a different story instead of using a plot line from my overall series arc. Many of my readers skipped the anthology because, as they told me later, they preferred full-length novels to novellas. Because of that, I expect a lot of “Huh?!” responses to that plot-point recap in Up From The Grave. It was my mistake to include a significant reveal for the Night Huntress series in a novella, and I am sorry for that.  If it’s any consolation, Home For The Holidays will be available this November as a single title for $1.99, so interested readers will soon be able to get it at a very low rate.

Let’s fast forward to 2013, when it was time to get back to Cat and Bones after spinning off two books in the Night Prince series. About halfway through writing Up From The Grave, I was stunned to realize that I was already done with all the plot points in book seven’s outline. At that moment, I had a decision to make: write “filler” plot to finish book seven without dipping into book eight’s story line, or continue on into the planned ending of the Night Huntress series.

I called my editor and told her that I was continuing on, which probably meant that Cat and Bones’s story was ending in Up From The Grave. She gave her blessing because, like me, she agreed that it was better to end their series early with the story I always wanted to tell, than to stretch it out into another book by writing insincere filler. Just to be sure that I did fit in everything, we agreed not to announce this to readers until I was done writing the book.

And here we are.

At this point, some of you may be thinking “Good, I never want to read a story that represents a halfhearted effort by the author.” Or some may be thinking  “Good, I was getting sick of Cat and Bones anyway.” In case any of you are thinking “Wait a minute, you promised more Cat and Bones books, so you need to live up to your word!” please know that I’m trying to do best by you, and all my readers, by ending their story here.

It’s difficult emotionally for me to say goodbye to Cat and Bones. They’ve lived in my head for over a decade, and closing the chapter on them feels like bidding farewell to very old, very good friends. In addition to the emotional angle, there’s a financial one. Each new book in the Night Huntress series has a built-in fan base that nets me damn good money, and I like money. A lot. But not enough to milk my readers over a story I don’t believe in. As an author, I have no control over whether readers love my books, like them, feel ambivalent, or hate them, but I do have control over choosing to only write stories that I love.  To me, that’s a far more important promise to keep.

I apologize for previously overestimating the total number of books in the Night Huntress series. It wasn’t my intention to mislead or disappoint readers. It was truly an honest mistake.

Does this mean you’ll never see Cat and Bones again after Up From The Grave? Well, not in a full novel with them as the main characters. They may show up as side characters in spin-off novels, as they did in First Drop of Crimson, Eternal Kiss of Darkness, Once Burned and Twice Tempted. I’m also not completely ruling out a future short story with them, but that’s a big maybe. It’s nothing I’m planning on at this time.

If you have other questions, feel free to ask them below. If you want to rant at me over my decision, you can, but it won’t change my mind. Also, emailing me story ideas won’t result in another Cat and Bones novel. This isn’t a case of writer’s block or me being out of ideas: I’m done with the story I set out to tell, which means Cat and Bones are at the place I always intended them to be. Any sadness I feel over that is overshadowed by my happiness at getting to take them there.

I hope readers enjoy the final leg of their journey, but whether you continue on to the end or you got off years ago, let me give a huge, heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined Cat and Bones along the way. I know for me, it’s been an amazing ride, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to share it with you :).

Comments

  1. Crystal says

    I’m actually really upset that this series is ending. I have been an die hard book reader all my life. About two a week. A while back my life took a pretty low turn and I just quit reading, well really quit everything. I was playing on my phone not to long back and downloaded my local library app. Your book was the first thing to pop up. Frist drop of Crimson. I was hooked. I looked you up found the whole series and started from the beginning. I had read all your books in less than a year. At that point the only one not out yet was Twice Tempted. I read some and listened to Tavia Gilbert and she really made the characters come alive. It was enough to pull me out and get me back not only into reading but into life. So thank you and I do understand your decision. I look forward to your new books. ( Oh and I didn’t just rent them, I did go buy them all) :)

  2. Rain says

    I’m not going to bitch at you in this comment, don’t worry. I just wanted to ask if you could please,maybe occasionally just send out updates in their lives. I know i’m fucking crazy but I spent ages 12-18 reading their stories and yeah I know that was probably too young to start reading it but, whatever, those characters had an impact on me during these past years and i am way too sentimental for my own good (seriously, biggest hoarder ever). I’m not asking for regular short stories or anything maybe just an emailed newsletter once in a while for a couple of years saying stuff like “Katie had a date and Tate and Bones spent ages arguing about killing the date whilst Cat had to work out how to dress up without looking slutty and concealing weapons in a sundress” I’ll probably make up my own in my head to comfort my crazy ass self but it would be nice for some info from head of the original creator. I’ll understand if my stupid request isn’t granted and i’ll be surprised if this is even read let a lone considered, i’ll say cheers anyway along with a thanks and a bye. Cheers.Thanks.Bye

  3. NORIAN DEAN says

    I enjoyed all your books. MY favorite characters are Cat and Bones and Vlad and Leila. I will miss Cat and Bones. Hope you will continue to write about them or about Vlad and Leila. I looking forward to reading your future books.

  4. Brittany V. says

    I just want to thank you J.Frost. I know it may sound silly, but I always relied on your books. I started reading them when my life was literally in a tragic downfall, and the only thing that kept me happy and my spirits high was reading your books. They gave me hope. Despite it being about supernatural creatures, the love story, and the struggles all the characters go through and came out of gave me such a hope that I can be just as strong and live through my own problems and come out stronger than ever. Plus as a bonus when I was going through a really bad breakup the love story kept me upbeat. It gave me hope that it doesn’t matter why my relationship ended, it just means I haven’t found my “bones” yet and that at the end of the day I am this beautiful woman who can do anything. Now I’m babbling. I just want to say once again thank you so much J.Frost, not only for you giving me entertainment, and distraction for when I needed it most, but for opening my eyes, and giving me hope that my life will get better no matter the up’s and down’s.

      • Konnie says

        I just finished reading Up From The Grave about fifteen minutes ago, and immediately jumped online for news of the next book’s arrival. …Tears are still streaming down my face as I write this message now…As an avid reader for the majority of my 41 years, I can honestly say that NO BOOKS have affected me the way the Night Huntress characters (especially Cat and Bones) have!! Having just discovered these wonderful creations of yours, I read all of them, including Once Burned, Twice Tempted, Eternal Kiss Of Darkness, and First Drop Of Crimson in about a month’s time! Mrs. Frost, you are an AMAZING storyteller. I am crying because I now feel an emptiness inside knowing that I have to say goodbye to characters that I have come to love. This has NEVER happened to me. …You truly brought Cat, Bones, and the gang to life. Their love is something I hope to have myself some day. Would love to see movies created from this series. God Bless You Jeaniene, and again, thank you.
        #itssohardtosaygoodbye…

        • Jeaniene says

          Thanks for the kind words, Konnie! If it helps, I’m not closing the door on the “world” of these books. There will still be more that feature side characters in the Night Huntress universe getting their own novels. Plus, Cat and Bones will probably show up as side characters in those books from time to time.

  5. Cheyenne says

    I started reading cat and bones at destined to an early grave and fell in love so I bought the other books and read like crazy. After I got done readibg each new book I was already wait fot the new book the next, but I knew it takes time to write books out. It is very saddening to know that cat and bones will be gone, I wish their will be another book about them with cats daughter Katie. Late last night I finished the book and read the epilogue to where they said their goodbyes. I dont want them to end or any other characters from the like Ian (will he ever find love?), spade or denise, or mencheres and kira or vlad and Leila? They are like a big family to me now and to see them go is heart breaking. One thing I wish to see your book turn into movies and see your lovin characters come to life :)

  6. Brittany says

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing your books. I am sad that Up From the Grave is the last Cat and Bones book but honestly i rather of it been the last then you used fillers like you said. I hope to see them in future books as side characters those like you did with the Night Prince series. Again thanks for writing the books and I cant wait tell the next one comes out.

  7. D says

    I have to admit that I was a little sad see this series come to an end. It is the only series that have I read over and over again. As I read this last novel, I couldn’t help but think a spinoff series about Katie wound be awesome. You can’t keep her hidden forever right? And Ian, we all want to see what kind of woman he would fall in love with. I can’t wait to see what kind of stories you cook up. Anyways, I know we’ll probably see bits of them in the other novels so It’s not completely depressing. Don’t ever stop writing. I love reading about these worlds you have created. It’s like a home away from home. Truly beautiful.

  8. Shanette says

    Words cant describe what Bones and Cat mean to me and their many adventures. I’m so incredibly sad that Up From The Grave will be the last book. I have read and bought all the books, audiobooks, and even the spin off’s (which in my opinion are just as great as the main books). As wonderful as it is for me to hold a book and make the characters come alive in my head its amazing to hear the characters come alive in the audiobooks! Tavia Gilbert was a great choice to read such a wonderful series. Please please please just, if you can, add little updates on their lives in any books you write in the future. Their story will be much more precious to me if I know they’re still at it. I personally would enjoy any filler stories you decided to make on them. As crazy as it sounds I will be looking for them. It feels like my friends are gone now that I know there wont be any more books. So sad. I have to say i just bought the last book and am reluctant to finish it for fear of the end.
    I commend you for doing what you feel was in the best interest of your readers and I will continue to be a fan J. Frost. I’ll also continue to introduce any book lovers (such as myself) to the story of Cat and Bones. This series is truely a masterpiece, and has touched my life in more ways than one!!

  9. Simon says

    Thanks for an enjoyable storyline. I was wondering if there would be any more books about Mencheres before Enternal Kiss of Darkness and after. I personally would love to hear more of his backstory and what happened after his book?

    • Jeaniene says

      So glad you enjoyed Mencheres’s story. However, no plans at this time to write another novel centered around him. Sometimes, I just have to force myself not to start a new series :). Thanks!

      • Chrissy says

        Loved Mencheres & understand why there is no need for a sequel it would have been nice if the story ended with Mencheres & Kira’s wedding!

    • Jeaniene says

      The timeline ran concurrently with what was going on in Twice Tempted (which is why you see Vlad’s wedding from Cat’s point of view in Up From The Grave) so Vlad was too busy dealing with the climax of HIS book to bid Cat farewell at the end of hers.

  10. maga says

    Hi! I must be honest with you, im just as sad as you are but im really happy the day i found the first book in the supermarket (can you believe it?) I was almost done with my shop and i saw this book, read the plot and said “why not? Didnt heard of her or this book. Give it a try” and then it happened something amazing i fell in love of the book, characters and the narrative.
    I finish the first one and i had to read the next one but they are all in english and my mother lenguage is spanish!! So i bought them in english and with the diccionary and google i read them one by one.
    So now you know how much some of your fans love what you do.
    Doesnt matter in which lenguage it is im always gonna love and treasure cat and bones.

    Ps. Sorry of any misspelling!!

    • Jeaniene says

      I’m amazed that you took the time to read the book while having to translate it line by line! That’s flattering and also very humbling. Thank you so much for your note. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  11. ChaseCar says

    Ahhh! I can’t believe Night Huntress ended where it did…..I was thinking about all the new stories now that they have a daughter, Katie, that would be great to read. Only to find that it’s done! I’m bummed, though thoroughly enjoyed this series – Thanks.

  12. Angel says

    I’m unconditionally falling in love with all of your Novel’s character (even though I love Mencheres and Vlad more :D)… I had read all of your novel less than 3 months (include hunting for your newest book). it’s sad to hear that we have to say goodbye to Bones and Cat.. They seems to be my “real friends”.. But I guess I understood your decision to end their story. U still can put them in another spin off novel. And I hope (like another people’s hopes) U will continue Mencheres’s story. Because when I re-read the Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I’m still thinking that their story aren’t end (yet).. Just like Vlad & Leila’s story.. :D
    But anyway, congratulations Jeaniene.. U are succeed to stole our heart with your novel.. :D
    Can’t hardly wait for another books from U..

  13. Jess says

    I am kind of sad that there isn’t going to be anymore books on Cat and Bones , they are my favorite of all the books. I like how she ended it though. I wish that there would be more book of them and I am glad that she didn’t kill them off too. I look forward to another book on Twice burned and I hope there will be more Vlad and Leila books.

  14. Jessica says

    Now Cat and Bone have the best romance on all the books and each story is just amazing I got some friends hooked of them and I hope that one day someone would make a movie out of the books. Now if they did that it would probably make millions.

  15. Jessica says

    Something is up with my computer that is why there is double of everything. Trying to fix it but nothing is working. All well

  16. Jessica says

    Messed up computer I think this thing is still doubling everything or I hit something twice all well.

  17. gamze says

    I just want to say that I’m so sad, that the cat and bones story has to end here. I enjoyed reading about them so much and it feels like saying goodbye to very old and good friends.. so I hope to meet them in some sidestorys very soon. I also want to say thank you very very much for your wonderful work, love the way you write, love your charcters, can’t wait for your next book about Vlad an Leila;)

  18. sherri says

    Hi I just wanted to say I loved the Night Huntress series! I hate that Cat and Bones story has come to an end and I feel I’ve lost my friends. I would have loved to read more about their raising Kate (that book would also work great written from Tate’s point of view as he finds love while helping to raise Kate!!!). I really hope Kate gets her own series some day too. I did have one question, why didn’t Tate know that wasn’t Katie. I assumed she was switched after he left with her so why didn’t he know that was Denise and not Kate?

    • Jeaniene says

      Thank you! To answer your question, Kate got separated from Tate and ran into Mencheres, Denise and Gorgon on her own. By the time they were all dragged in front of the Guardians, in the panic of the moment, Tate didn’t notice that Katie’s clothes were different. That’s the only indicator that a switch had been made since Denise would’ve transformed to look exactly like her.

  19. Sarah says

    To Jeaniene:

    I have started reading the Night Huntress since I was 13 years old (I’m 17 now. Yes, I know that’s too young (like another comment that was posted below). That’s 4 years of falling in love with your books all over again and again and again and again and again. I cannot remember how many times I stayed up reading your books from night to dawn. I just read this post right now and IT CAME OFF AS A BIG FREAKING SHOCK. I just finished reading Up From the Grave a few weeks ago (school kept me very busy that I had no extra time to read novels) and I was kind of thinking already that the end for Cat and Bones is near when I read the last part but I didn’t know that it was the last book. It saddens me, truthfully speaking. Its like a silver knife being twisted in my heart (ha ha) to know that I won’t be reading another book about them. If I could be a vampire, I would fly to USA and green-eye you to write more books about them (seriously) but alas I am not. I’m going to miss Cat’s witty remarks :’( But all good things must come to an end and I’ll try to cope with the fact that the Night Huntress series is over. What I’m going to say instead is that THANK YOU SO MUCH JEANIENE FROST. I may be just another boring fan rambling on and on to you but I sincerely love your books, that’s the truth. You inspired me to use my imagination and write whatever I want, no matter how far-fetched they are. I had low points in my life that I don’t want o relive but the thought that if I give up on life at that time, I’ll never read another book of yours. This is getting really long so I’m just going to stop. Again, my deepest DEEEPEST gratitude to you JF for letting us become a part of Cat and Bone’s world.

    P.S. Please write a spin-off about IAN after the last Vlad and Leila novel comes out. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. You can’t let that perverted bastard go off the hook without having him grovel for a woman’s love. PLEASE PLEASE. I think he deserves that much.

  20. Sarah B. says

    To Jeaniene:

    I have started reading the Night Huntress since I was 13 years old (I’m 17 now. Yes, I know that’s too young (like another comment that was posted below). That’s 4 years of falling in love with your books all over again and again and again and again and again. I cannot remember how many times I stayed up reading your books from night to dawn. I just read this post right now and IT CAME OFF AS A BIG FREAKING SHOCK. I just finished reading Up From the Grave a few weeks ago (school kept me very busy that I had no extra time to read novels) and I was kind of thinking already that the end for Cat and Bones is near when I read the last part but I didn’t know that it was the last book. It saddens me, truthfully speaking. Its like a silver knife being twisted in my heart (ha ha) to know that I won’t be reading another book about them. If I could be a vampire, I would fly to USA and green-eye you to write more books about them (seriously) but alas I am not. I’m going to miss Cat’s witty remarks :’( But all good things must come to an end and I’ll try to cope with the fact that the Night Huntress series is over. What I’m going to say instead is that THANK YOU SO MUCH JEANIENE FROST. I may be just another boring fan rambling on and on to you but I sincerely love your books, that’s the truth. You inspired me to use my imagination and write whatever I want, no matter how far-fetched they are. I had low points in my life that I don’t want o relive but the thought that if I give up on life at that time, I’ll never read another book of yours. This is getting really long so I’m just going to stop. Again, my deepest DEEEPEST gratitude to you JF for letting us become a part of Cat and Bone’s world.

    P.S. Please write a spin-off about IAN after the last Vlad and Leila novel comes out. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. You can’t let that perverted bastard go off the hook without having him grovel for a woman’s love. PLEASE PLEASE. I think he deserves that much.

    • Jeaniene says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Sorry you’re disappointed that Cat and Bones’s story has come to an end, but you will see them again as side characters in spin-off novels. As for Ian, he will probably get a book one day. We’ll see :).

      Thanks again, best of luck with your own writing, and take care!

  21. charlotte huffman says

    just read that the book coming up in jan 2014 wlllbe the last book on cat n bones i well hate that i really love there story

  22. tosha malone says

    I just read that that up from the grave is the last cat and bones book I am shocked I love cat and bones they are my favorite couple out of all the books I read and I read a lot.But I guess that is ok I was wondering if she was going to write a book about ian’s love story I really want to read that book

  23. Yui says

    Wow. I hate to admit I was really pissed when I first read this news. not a J.Frost but at myself for bing so out of touch with the world that I thought the reason this sucker-punched me. then being angry is useless so i just got really sad. I’ve learned to rely on Cat & Bones books over the years. whenever I get so down with books i can’t quit get into. Night huntress is really one of those series that doesnt have to end for me. any filler story will be read with as much enthusiasm as everything else but I appreciate this announcement and though sad I am also thankful that you won’t be forcing your self to write something just to ‘milk’ the series for all it’s worth and without your 100%. And now instead of passively waiting for the next book, it’s suddenly very exciting and dramatic and more anticipating as it will alsobe the last one. In a single announcement blog you gave me what i’ve been sorely missing thepast couple of months while desperately seeking other books that will pumped up my blood.
    As others have pointed out, Cat &Bones won’t be gone forever. you won’t be ending it in a final way that we can’t imagine them living their lives somewhere I am sure and there are still all the previous books to re-read and revisit for us sorry readers with so much time in our hands.(^-^) The new series sounds exciting too. Thank you Jeaniene for years of uncomplicated fun.

  24. Sara Theunis says

    Firstly, I’m sad to hear that this next book will be a final book for Cat and Bones. I came into their story late in the game but instantly fell in love with them and all their family and friends. I’ve laughed at them (sometimes with them ;), cried with them and had my heart broken then mended with them. So I know it’s been a good ride. However, I am also grateful to you for not writing simple filler books/stories about these characters who’ve we have joined the worlds of. It keeps them special and their stories so much more enthralling.

    Additionally, I am glad to know Vlad and Lelia will get one more book. I fell in love with Vlad the first time he antagonized Bones and the addition of Lelia has only made him more lovable. Thank you and I look forward to these endings with bitter sweet excitement.

  25. CatScott says

    I felt the same way! How could I have missed this information?!! Now I have to make some readjustments. I thought I had more time before there would be no more Cat & Bones books. :(

    I would rather this than filler books, though. I hate when publishers push authors to write more when the story is done. Kudos to Jeaniene for telling their story and giving them a HEA. :)

  26. Renee Wines says

    I love Cat and Bones and hate to see them end. Hopefully they will make appearances in other books from time to time. I will reread the series from time to time because it was such a great story. Please keep writing! I await the next great book from you:)

  27. nisha says

    I can’t believe you are ending the series like this I love cat and bones love. I love how they will do anything for each other. I feel like you just told me there is no Santa Claus

Trackbacks

  1. […] Next up is Jeaniene Frost, author Night Huntress series, acknowledging potential fan upset at the announcement Cat&Bones take their final bow in 2014. I’m guessing most of us SVMers are familiar with this series and dread losing it. I recommend reading the full article because Jeaniene Frost will give you back everything Harris stole—like trust and faith in authors as artists.  Full article: http://jeanienefrost.com/2013/08/the-grave-stops-here/ […]

  2. […] Once I’d finished writing Home For The Holidays, however, I realized because it was so long (nearly half a book!) and it contained a major series revelation, I would no longer need to write a ninth Cat and Bones book. The novella took care of that part of my story arc, and so when it came out in late 2011, I told readers that Cat and Bones’s story would now end at book eight. (http://jeanienefrost.com/2013/08/the-grave-stops-here/) […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>