Behind the scenes: Pearls of Desire series

Inspiration for the series

First, a note. Aloha Shifters: Pearls of Desire is a series inspired by the Aloha Shifters: Jewels of the Heart series. Every book is a standalone story, but it is fun to read both series in order (with “Jewels” first). That way, you’ll recognize rich background details and the full genesis of each work.

So how exactly did Pearls of Desire grow out of Jewels of the Heart? In many ways, Pearls of Desire is a natural outgrowth of the original series. I adore the family of shifters at Koa Point, and I wasn’t ready to let them go, let alone leave them unguarded at a time when their love stories truly blossom and babies are coming along. I wanted to let the shifters of Koa Point live their happily ever afters while letting a whole new corps of deserving heroes discover of the magic of Maui.

The pearl idea stems all the way back to the time when I was initially sketching out my Aloha Shifters series. I love a hint of fantasy in my PNR, so the idea of pearls with magic powers definitely appealed. That, and the Indiana Jones fan in me loves the idea of a long-lost collection of - well, anything! I love the treasure hunt aspect, the hint of a chase. So once I wrapped up my initial round of stories, I could move on to an exciting new series. Readers enjoy that, and authors need it, too - that breath of fresh wind and the excitement of getting to know a cadre of great new characters.

The characters

I love bringing shifters of different species together, and this time, I decided on making most of the main characters brothers. Connor, the dragon, Timber, the bear, and Chase, the wolf, are all sons of a myriad shifter who could change into any form. That idea actually originated back when I wrote the bonus scene to Lure of the Bear, in which Officer Dawn Meli discovers she can turn into a bear or an owl. (If you didn’t get that bonus scene, make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get it and many other bonus scenes free). So I brought that concept into this series.

A good series needs a certain amount of friction between characters, and part of that comes from the different species having different habits and quirks. That’s also where the character of Cynthia comes in - the bossy, mysterious dragon shifter who only shows her softer side around her young son, Joey. Cynthia developed bit by bit, and I can’t wait to bring you her love story, (Rebel Alpha, Book 5)! She can get on the nerves of the men at times, but that makes them all grow up - even Dell, the happy-go-lucky lion shifter of the gang. One by one, you’ll get to see each of these complex characters mature, fall in love, and overcome the challenges of their lives. I guarantee it will be a great ride!

The villains

If you’ve read my Jewels of the Heart series, you’ll recall that the overarching villain was Drax and his partner, Moira. Those two emerged slowly over the course of the series. In the end, Drax was vanquished, but Moira was still on the loose. And yes, the pearls of this new series will catch her attention before long. The question is, how will Moira act and who is her ultimate target for revenge? Sorry - I won’t give it away now, but you’ll find out a little more with each new book in the series. It will be worth the wait, I promise!

The setting

Going back to Maui was an easy choice, because who doesn’t love a tropical paradise with so many amazing different locations for crucial scenes? This series is set around a long-abandoned plantation next door to Koa Point, where this new shifter clan can carve out homes of their own. In many ways, the plantation is like the bar of the Blue Moon Saloon series in that the place is like a character in itself. Restoring the run-down place to its former glory provides a challenge for the heroes and heroines - not to mention a chance to leave their own mark on a special place. I have a soft spot for historic homes in need of a lot of TLC - can’t you tell?