Behind the scenes of Desert Destiny

Curious to learn how Desert Destiny, the seventh book in the Twin Moon series, came about years after the previous books in the series? Read on to find out that and much more!

The story

Boy, has this story been a long time in the making – five years, in fact! That’s how long it’s been since the release of Desert Roots, the previous book in the Twin Moon series series. Why? Well, Roy was merely hinted at back then (go back and re-read Desert Yule or Salvation to find those hints!), and I got too caught up in writing the Blue Moon Saloon books to stop and figure out the details of this one. But the story of Roy, the lone wolf who turned his back civilization and headed out into the wild stuck with me, and I’ve been waiting for a chance to write it ever since!

The characters

I can’t really explain where the inspiration for Roy came from, but I think we can all relate to him in a way – we’ve all dreamed of running away from the complications of life sometimes, haven’t we? I know I have. But complex problems don’t have simple solutions, as Roy comes to learn, and so he returns, drawn in by one special person – his destined mate, who makes the risk worthwhile.

Andie, the heroine, should be familiar to you from Desert Fate. Re-read it if it was a while ago, and don’t miss the bonus scene to that story which hints at the sentimental side of this tough police officer. (Subscribers to my newsletter get that bonus scene along with dozens of others and several free books and audiobooks – check them all out here).

Andie is my favorite kind of heroine – tough on the outside but soft on the inside, although she refuses to admit it. Andie is like so many of us – the little girl who grew up loving animals and fascinating new places far away from home. In lots of ways, Andie has attained much of what she wished for, but she finds herself longing for a special someone to share it all with. And if that special someone is part wolf, well, all the better! I suppose that’s another part of my personal fantasy – the one that combines the unwavering, loyal companionship of a canine with the very human company of a good man.

My favorite scene

I have three favorites! One is the night in which Andie, in full police officer mode, catches Roy with his pants down – literally. It’s fun and a little racy, what with Yvette ogling poor Roy and Andie doing her best to act like it’s any other arrest.

Another favorite scene is near the end in which the wolves of Twin Moon Ranch give Roy a warm welcome, contrary to his expectations. I think this is true of many things in life – we expect the worst and are overly conscious of the errors of our past, only to find that we are more loved and appreciated by our communities than we imagined.

Finally, I love the scene where Roy befriends Mick in the bar. Roy slips into the role so naturally that it’s almost unremarkable – and yet, it wouldn’t be for most folks. Too many folks feel uncomfortable around people like Roy – a kind of “how do I act?” feeling, when the point is not to act at all. I love the instant understanding and acceptance of this little bro-romance. Don’t you?

Biggest change from early drafts to final edition

This story was always based around the threat of a skinwalker, the perfect bad guy to work into a PNR story set in the desert Southwest. However, I originally envisioned working more Navajo lore into the story, as well as directly involving the Navajo coyote shifters who neighbor Twin Moon Ranch. However, I eventually changed tacks because those are not my legends to tell. I’m happy with the outcome because it still retains the mystery and danger of a skinwalker while maintaining a respectful distance to a different culture.

Cross-links with other series

The funny thing about this story is that it takes place after the previous books in the Twin Moon series and after the books in the following series, Blue Moon Saloon. That’s because Blue Moon series grew out of the Twin Moon series, and Roy’s character emerged slowly throughout both. (As mentioned before, you’ll find the most obvious hints in Desert Yule and Salvation.) So, the timeline is a little unusual in that way, but you can rest assured that Desert Destiny doesn’t contain any spoilers for the Blue Moon Saloon series. You can just enjoy it for itself and as another chance to visit this close-knit wolf pack in a beautiful part of the world.

I hope you enjoyed Roy and Andie’s love story as well as the rest of the Twin Moon and Blue Moon Saloon stories!