In case you’ve been craving more info on my Masters of Maria paranormal romances, here’s a bit of a brain dump.
MoM is different from the previous series set in its story world (Desert Guards) in that there’s no series arc. There’s no external force compelling the characters to group up and solve a problem. I could have made something up, but I wanted to give myself a bit more flexibility in how many stories I could tell without keeping readers on the hook, waiting for me to resolve some plot point I introduced three books ago.
Instead, I decided to link the stories in other ways. There’s obviously a chronology. The MoM books take place one after another and may all reference previous events. -But- your understanding of any particular book won’t hinge on having read previous stories. They’re all tidy stand-alones that each introduce a bit of new-to-series mythology.
For instance, in The Demigod’s Legacy, I gave you a taste of Tito’s pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture and explained a bit where his mother—my imagined goddess, Lola—would have fit into it. (Lola’s something of an amalgamation of various Chichimec deities. If I seem coy about stating her true name, it’s because it doesn’t really matter. She’s no one anyone would or should recognize.)
The Angel’s Hunger features, obviously, an [Abrahamic] angel who Fell in East Asia and also a…”mature” Irish elf. The fae of much Irish lore aren’t necessarily sweet, helpful creatures, and I wanted Noelle to reflect that. She’s calculating and ruthless, and may seem self-serving at times, but she takes care of the people who she thinks are deserving of her affection.
The Coyote’s Chance has a shapeshifter from Las Vegas who’s a foil for one of Maria’s unassuming demigoddesses. It might be a minor spoiler to say that Willa was born in Spain to a Moorish mother. She survived the inquisition, “grew up” during the Renaissance in Britain, and then got the hell out out of Europe. (Her father will remain a mystery a bit longer.)
And so on and so forth.
I couldn’t thread a series plot through these and the books I still have in planning, and still incorporate all the historical aspects and character development in the word count I had to work with.
Instead, I connect some of the characters to each other with “favors.” If you read The Demigod’s Legacy closely, you noticed that Tito owes two people favors—Tamatsu and Tarik. Tamatsu (The Angel’s Hunger) cashes in the favor in his book. And in his story, his significant other, Noelle, finds herself wheeling and dealing. She’ll eventually have to pay up, and so will Willa, who asks Noelle to do her a huge boon in TAH.
Chances are good that if someone in Masters of Maria asks for a favor or offers to do one, it’s important and you’ll see those characters again.
The Demigod’s Legacy is out now. You can preorder The Angel’s Hunger for June 5th. The Coyote’s Chance will be out in the winter. I haven’t decided what comes after that yet. Just depends. You’ll know as soon as I know.