Why did I decide to set my new series in a whole new part of the world? Well, I love reading, writing, and travel, so it makes sense that setting plays a key role in all my stories. That’s true of my series set in the Desert Southwest (Twin Moon, Blue Moon Saloon, and Shifters in Vegas, all inspired from the time I spent living and working on an Arizona ranch) as well as my two Aloha Shifters series (inspired by Magnum, PI and months of exploring the Hawaiian islands). As I was thinking ahead to what to write next, I thought about where I’d like to go - for real and in my imagination. It was time for something different, so off to Europe I go with my new series, Fire Maidens: Billionaires and Bodyguards!
I’ve lived in Europe for over twenty years, and one thing I love is visiting different countries as easily as I could visit different states when I was living in the Northeastern US. All that history, the different cultures, food, royalty, and iconic sights make Europe’s grand cities the perfect setting for the kind of suspenseful paranormal romances I enjoy writing. It was a no-brainer to set Book 1, Fire Maidens: Paris in France’s capital, because no other city really compares. All the things I love about the City of Lights feature in Tristan and Natalie’s love story: long walks on cobblestoned side streets, the Eiffel Tower by night (the perfect place for a dragon skirmish, don’t you think?), riverside promenades, crêpe stands, amazing parks like the Luxembourg Gardens, and the spooky Catacombs. All that plus some great characters (including a finicky cat named Bijou) made Fire Maidens: Paris a pleasure to write!
This new series centers on the conflict between a ruthless dragon clan determined to seize power in Europe’s oldest, grandest cities, and the Guardians - shifter groups tasked with protecting each city. It also taps into current events, with its connection between shifter conflicts and the rise of right-wing populist groups, fear-mongers, and isolationists among humans. Like many people, I’ve watched these trends with concern, and I’m happy to be able to combat them - at least through my fiction!
I hope you’ll agree that Fire Maidens: Paris kicks off this series in high gear. Naturally, the action, emotion, and romance continues with a new hero and heroine in London in Book 2, followed by Rome and Lisbon in Books 3 and 4. I don’t want to give too much away, except this: every book is a standalone story packed with suspense, and love will always find a way, no matter how forbidden or impossible it may seem.
Did I get to travel to research this series? Yes! I’d already been to most of these places, but I had a blast visiting again with dragons, lion shifters, and wolves in mind. Half the fun was finding the perfect shifter species to match the spirit of each city. Dragons, vampires, and gargoyles feature heavily in Fire Maidens: Paris, while lions and dragons rule London. Wolves are a natural fit for Rome, and the skies of Portugal are filled with dragons. Even though each book focuses on a particular city, the characters also venture outside to other, stunning locations in the same country. So, the hero and heroine of Paris get a bonus epilogue set in a vineyard in the south of France, and a significant part of Fire Maidens: London takes place in a remote country castle. And those are just for starters. :)