Anna Lowe on Paranormal Romance
Why do I write paranormal romance? For the same reasons I read the genre. Reading can be an escape, a way to slip into a fantasy life that's much more thrilling than our everyday lives. Another thing that draws me to the paranormal is the fantasy element. Just imagine being able to slip into another body the way we slip into a different pair of shoes! Think running shoes versus high heels: each give you a different feel, a different persona. That's why I enjoy writing (and reading) about shapeshifters with their dual natures. Who wouldn't want to change into a dragon and swoop over the Eiffel Tower with an eternally loyal mate? That dual nature also makes it fun to contrast different shifter species: bears are earnest and cautious, while lions are easygoing, fun-loving guys. Tigers are touchy, and dragons are super intense. Throw them into tricky situations together and you get great conflict, depth of character, and some hearty laughs. The opening few chapters of Lure of the Dragon is a great example of this - that’s Book 1 in my Aloha Shifters:Jewels of the Heart series.
I also love the concept of destined mates, which fits perfectly into the shapeshifter world. That feeling of absolute certainty, of love at first sight. Not that my heroes and heroines have it easy! There are always many obstacles to overcome -- not just to be together but to survive attacks from ruthless enemies. But once they seal the deal, it’s happily ever after all the way. A happy end is that much more satisfying when the couple has worked hard for it, don’t you think?
So, what about character? I love a heroine who can stand on her own two feet – one who's doing just fine on her own. But give the heroine a good man (not to mention a chance to overcome her own inhibitions) and she’ll never turn down the chance for adventure, nor shy away from danger. And, hey - if the guy she’s destined to love just happens to be sweet, muscled, and gorgeous - well, that’s just the icing on the cake!
To me, characters are most important, but location comes a close second. I love setting my stories in exotic, edgy locations that ignite passionate romance. That’s why my Aloha Shifters series is set on gorgeous Maui, with its waterfalls, beaches, and volcanic peaks. Similarly, my Twin Moon series takes place in the desert Southwest, and my upcoming Fire Maidens stories are set in the great capitals of Europe - Paris, London, Rome, and more. After all, a good romance should be a journey in every sense of the word. Don’t you agree?
So, enough theory. Here’s how all that comes to life in my Aloha Shifter series!
LURE OF THE DRAGON by Anna Lowe (Aloha Shifters: Jewels of the Heart, Book 1)
Good dragons? Bad dragons? Twenty-four hours ago, private chef Tessa Byrne didn’t know about the terrifying world of shifters. Now she knows too much, like the fact that a ruthless dragon lord is determined to claim her — forever. Tessa flees to Maui, where sunny skies, swaying palms, and a handsome stranger conspire to play tricks with her heart. Can she truly trust Kai Llewellyn and his band of battle-hardened shapeshifters to save her from a gruesome fate?
Don’t trust a human, and never, ever fall in love with one. Those are lessons Kai learned the hard way. But Tessa is different. Her emerald eyes mirror the mysterious pendant she wears, and her flaming red hair makes his heart race. Is his inner dragon just greedy for a new kind of treasure, or is Tessa his destined mate?
EXCERPT - Chapter 1
Tessa took two shaky steps toward the ornate gate of the private driveway and stopped. Was she really going to do this?
You can trust them, Ella had said. Ella, the neighbor who’d come along at exactly the right moment and saved her life.
Tessa bit her lip. The fabric at the shoulder of her shirt was ripped, and her throat ached from the attack. Her fingers were still shaking, and her mind was haunted by visions of a terrifying beast. How could she trust anyone after what had happened less than twenty-four hours before?
You have to trust them. No one else can protect you from that monster.
Crickets chirped from the lush foliage, and a bat flew overhead, a splotch of black against the dark night. Tessa shivered in spite of the balmy night, unwilling to trust her own senses. Sure, the sea was whispering over the shore in a reassuring way. And yes, the moon’s rippling reflection over the Pacific should be soothing, like the sweet scent of hibiscus. But even the island paradise of Maui could try to deceive her. Nightmares could break the deepest peace — real-life nightmares she couldn’t block out of her memory no matter how hard she tried. She could still see the glowing eyes of the creature that had attacked her.
Mine. You will be mine, his voice boomed in her mind.
She drew a deep breath and looked over her shoulder, wishing she hadn’t sent the taxi away. She was alone at night in a remote corner of Maui, far off the beaten track, about to knock on the door of a complete stranger for help.
A very rich stranger, she decided, inspecting the gate. There was an elaborate design in the middle, but she couldn’t quite make it out. Something swirly. Toothy. Wait — was that a tail? Shit, was it a dragon, or was she seeing things?
She shook the thought away and told herself to think. A gate that massive must protect a hell of an estate — a seaside estate in Maui that had made the taxi driver whistle when she gave the address back at the airport.
“Koa Point Estate,” he’d said. “You’ve got the right friends, miss.”
Tessa gnawed on her lip. These weren’t friends. They were complete strangers. And anyway, the man who’d attacked her in Phoenix was rich, too. Rich didn’t mean trustworthy — or even human.
She shook her head and turned back for the road. Who knew what secrets lay behind that gate? It would be safer to head back to Lahaina and find a hotel for the night. After a good night’s sleep, she could—
The beams of twin headlights blinded her, and a powerful engine purred into the driveway. Tessa froze as a vintage Jaguar approached then stopped. The driver’s door opened, and a tall man climbed out. His dark hair and bright blue eyes contrasted with the pure white of his dress shirt, open at the neck. Sharp, angled features cast their own sub-shadows over his face. Tall and imposing, he seemed perfectly at home in the night. Despite the fine cut of his clothes, this man exuded an untamed, animal feel, like a lion or a wolf. A predator just as capable of ripping an enemy limb from limb as he was of protecting the one he loved.
A little shiver went down her spine.
“Have you decided yet?” His deep voice boomed, making her jump.
“Decided what?” she asked, taking another step back.
“Whether you’re coming or going.”
Coming, part of her brain said. The part that couldn’t help noticing the ripple of muscles under the thin fabric of his shirt.
Going, the terrified part of her soul screeched. Go, quick.
Lure of the Dragon is Book 1 in a six-book series. * No cliff hangers. *
Each story is a standalone paranormal romance with adult content.
Get 3 free books here.
ALOHA SHIFTERS: JEWELS of the HEART - Nothing is forbidden to this elite corps of shifter bodyguards and private investigators…except falling in love. Volume 1 / Volume 2.
ALOHA SHIFTERS: PEARLS of DESIRE - The epic saga continues - handsome dragon, wolf, bear, and lion heroes with heart, depth, and soul. Volume 1 / Volume 2.
TWIN MOON RANCH - Home to a pack of shapeshifting wolves willing to battle for life and love. Volume 1 / Volume 2 and more here.
BLUE MOON SALOON - Behind the doors of the Blue Moon Saloon, alpha shifters confront their darkest fears and their deepest desires. Volume 1 / Volume 2.
SHIFTERS in VEGAS - Zany paranormal romances set in Sin City! Check them out here.