Architecture student Harmony Parker is called home from college after another mysterious family drowning. Back in her New England town, she trespasses inside an abandoned hotel and stumbles across an artifact. This relic miraculously transports her to another realm. In this changed world, she uncovers the secret to return home, but she can’t do it alone.
Famed underwater treasure hunter Kodiak Night is solicited by a unique beauty. What she asks puts both their lives in danger. He’s willing to risk it—for a price. Journeying into unknown territory, threats arise, but none escalate as high as his conflicting feelings for a human. How can he let his greatest treasure go?
Harmony will be tested—facing deep-rooted fears and heartache, all while undergoing a transformation. How can she leave after all she’s been though? And could the dreaded water god follow her home?
Targeted Age Group:: 16 – 99
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A huge inspiration for The Rare Pearl, and the rest of the Broken Water series novels, was the hotel Wentworth located in New Castle, New Hampshire. When I was a kid it closed and fell into disrepair for decades until it reopened in 2003. For years, stories about this place floated around in my head! Each of the Broken Water stories novels can be read as stand-alones, but they are best read in order.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
With Harmony Parker I wanted to create an ordinary character that has something extraordinary happen to her. It was fun giving her fears that she’d have to overcome—especially in the other realm. For Harmony’s love interest, I wanted Kodiak Night to be slightly arrogant and off-putting at first, giving this an opposites-attract kind of spin.
Thick fog came out of nowhere consuming daylight. It extinguished the shimmer that gleamed off the ocean’s surface and pressed the waves flat as glass. The thirty-five-foot, cruising vessel cradled in silence.
Margret Parker slid sunglasses down her nose bewildered at the unexpected change in weather, asking her oldest and dearest friends, “It’s supposed to be a nice sunny day. Where on earth is this fog coming from?”
Harry stepped onto the pilot house and tried the radio, but it crackled and fuzzed. “I dunno. I’ve lost the radio.”
Compressed, moist mist continued to enclose the boat. Margaret could barely see Harry’s wife sitting next to her.
“Curse this New England weather! Harry, maybe we should cut our pleasure cruise short. It’s not so pleasurable if you can’t see anything,” Harry’s wife complained before she moved to the helm to switch on the cabin’s interior lamp. Lighting the fixture didn’t help; the glare made the fog opaque.
Margaret stood just as something solid bumped the port side.
Wobbling, the ladies squealed.
“What is that? Another boat!” Harry’s wife cried.
Harry grumbled at his wife’s frantic voice. “No, it isn’t a boat. I don’t hear any motor. I dunno.”
“Maybe it’s a shark?” his wife whispered to Margaret.
Nothing could be seen around the boat’s perimeter; only a splash revealed something big was out there.
The boaters strained their ears, listening.
Before anyone could propose further theories, the water began to boil like a lobster pot. Something was rising to the surface.
No shark makes this commotion or that glugging noise, Margaret thought.
“Maybe it’s a whale?” Margaret said, knowing the whale-watching tour boats passed through these waters. Something large was surfacing. That’s no whale! Her gut twisted, and the hairs on her arms stood on end. With rising panic, Margaret recalled the stories her grandmother told her about the ancient water god and how he would send his sirens and sea monsters to collect the souls of his victims. Heart ramming against her ribcage, she placed a sun-spotted hand over it. In an attempt to control her fear, she murmured a silent prayer to the ancient water god. “Give us safe passage. Give us safe passage.”
“What the hell is that? Sounds like a submarine broaching!” said Harry, a World War II navy veteran. The sound, like steel banging against steel, rang in their ears. Harry opened a storage compartment and yanked out orange vests. “Ladies! Put these on!” He locked eyes with this wife of forty-four years, the flotation device between them. She stared back with confusion.
A turbulent blanket of water made the boat dip and spin. Something thrust upward with tremendous force. From far above they were showered in sea spray, as if from a surrogate rain cloud. The boat rocked dangerously. Margaret, Harry, and his wife each grabbed on to something solid, trying to maintain their footing. The spray hissed around them. Another unearthly sound was unleashed, like the blast of a fog horn. The passengers fell to their knees, hands pressed to their ears.
Margaret squinted at the orange vest on the deck by her knee. With a trembling hand she snatched for it, but the rolling vessel sent her crashing into the bench seat. Slumped to the deck, she could just see her dear friends clinging together. Her eyes searched up into the fog. The blast rolled out over the open sea like a fading echo until she heard only fear pounding in her ears.
Through the impenetrable fog, they never saw what capsized the boat and sent them to their watery graves. The water god looked on. His sea serpent collected one very important soul that day.
A waning moon winked behind fast-moving clouds above the tiny island town of New Castle, New Hampshire. Harmony Parker slowed her bike and eyed the enormous silhouette of the old Wentworth-by-the-Sea hotel. The vacant, decaying building had been in a state of hibernation for almost seven years, no company willing to take on the investment to repair and reopen her. This fact weighed heavy on Harmony’s heart.
How could anyone want to tear down this place? One hundred years of history would be gone.
The main portico, three iconic towers and Victorian section gave the hotel a hulking dominance over the hillside. New Castle encompassed about five hundred acres, and the hotel and grounds occupied three hundred of those acres. This snip of land tucked into the protective cove was connected to the mainland by two squat bridges, one just below the hotel and the other off the tip of its cape. Harmony lived on the other side of the island, but something about this vacant shell haunted and beckoned her. Perhaps her family’s historic connection to this place lodged her fascination.
The Wentworth-by-the-Sea hotel sat on the hilltop, the ocean at its face and a bay at its back. The swift Piscataqua River hugged the far side of the island. On a clear day visitors could see the peak of Mt. Washington and three states—New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts—from their guestroom windows.
Harmony stashed her bicycle behind an overgrown bush, her Reeboks crunching over the sparse grass. No Trespassing signs were posted, but she circled around the property and slipped through a crudely cut opening in the chain-link fence. She snuck in numerous times as a teenager, but nobody bothered her roaming the halls in wonder of bygone days. Something compelled her to visit here tonight, even though she was mature and too old to be breaking and entering.
Entering her usual way, she snapped on a flashlight. Everything was gone. At the four-day auction held in 1982, hundreds swarmed to claim a piece of the Wentworth’s history. The investment company sold off all the furniture, linens, kitchen equipment, and silverware—everything, down to the last muffin tin. Later, they salvaged the architectural details, the interior doors and light fixtures. This shell was all that remained of a handful of surviving Gilded Age grand hotels along New England’s coast.
Crossing to a window on the second floor, she beheld the tranquil waters of the Atlantic Ocean. She was out there somewhere, her grandmother, Margaret Parker. Lost at sea, her body never found. Harmony remembered the day last fall when she’d been informed about the drowning.
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