We're so pleased to welcome multi-published author Cheryl Brooks to the round pen today to talk to us about her new and exciting Soul Survivors series. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse who resides in rural Indiana with her husband, two sons, two horses, three cats, and one dog. She is the author of the ten book Cat Star Chronicles series, the Cowboy Heaven series (two books and one novella), the Soul Survivors trilogy, the four-book Unlikely Lovers series, and several stand-alone books and novellas. Look for her new Cat Star Legacy series from Sourcebooks beginning in 2018. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, singing, and guitar playing. Cheryl is a member of RWA and IRWA. You can visit her online at www.cherylbrooksonline.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take it away, Cheryl!
I should have titled my new series, The Earth Strikes Back. Funny how these epiphanies often come when it’s too late to utilize them.
But I digress. My latest release, Echoes From the Deep, is the first book in a series called Soul Survivors, which came about in an interesting manner. You see, there’s a reason book two is called Dreams From the Deep. It’s because the idea for this paranormal romantic suspense trilogy came to me in a dream.
Several years ago, I dreamed I was on an airplane that was diving straight down into the sea. As the plane submerged, the woman sitting beside me said, “Unbuckle your seatbelt, Cheryl. You’re going to make it.” When I looked at her, I realized she had spoken to me after she died. In that moment, my consciousness expanded and drew in the souls, spirits, or consciousness (whichever you prefer) of the people seated nearby. I could hear their voices in my head telling me what I had to do to survive.
Needless to say, after that, I woke up.
But unlike many dreams that fade before you can fully grasp their significance, this one stayed with me. And, like a dutiful little writer, I wrote it down.
That idea has been bouncing around in my head ever since. After brainstorming with some of my writer friends, I finally came up for a way to turn it into a book. Or rather, a trilogy. I’d already written an opening scene about the time I spent in Ireland, and after deciding that this plane crash occurred off the west coast of Ireland, incorporating those experiences into the second book, along with another of my weird dreams, was the next logical step.
With all these strange dreams echoing through my mind, I had to come up with a darn good reason for someone to absorb the souls of the dead. As I was writing the first book, I realized that my concern for Earth’s environment was going to be the driving factor. In this story, Mother Earth is not only a conscious entity, she’s angry because of the way humankind has exploited her. She’s giving us one last chance to redeem ourselves, and she has chosen three young women to lead the battle against the greed, corruption, and violence that are destroying our world.
This series represents a departure from my previous writing style. The explicit sex scenes my readers have come to expect just didn’t fit the subject matter, so I’ve turned down the heat a bit. However, there’s still plenty of romance and a touch of humor to go along with the paranormal and suspense elements.
As so often happens with a story like this, it grows and develops as I write, and stumbling blocks eventually give way to the “Aha” moments that make writing such a joy—those times when I’ve written myself into a corner with no way to move forward. Until, suddenly, the light dawns and I’m able to forge ahead.
Fortunately, unlike the one I mentioned at the beginning of this post, most of those moments occurred before I published the first book. ;-)
What about you? Are there any moments of clarity you’d like to share?
Echoes From the Deep
Jilted less than a week before her wedding, assistant bank manager Jillian Dulaine elects to go on her honeymoon to England alone. When the plane nose-dives into the sea off the coast of Ireland, she is one of only three survivors and is charged with delivering a message to the son of the woman seated beside her.
When his mother’s dying words send Jillian to him, London Times reporter Ranjiv Tenali suspects her of matchmaking even after her death. His attraction to the lovely American woman cannot be denied, but he is shaken by the suspicion that she carries his mother’s spirit.
The souls she acquired in the midst of the crash provide Jillian with talents and knowledge vital to her survival. But when she visits Stonehenge, her role as the one chosen to connect with Earth’s spirit is revealed, setting her on a path toward romance, conspiracy, and murder.
Dreams From the Deep (Release date April 28, 2017)
Marketing assistant Cleona Mahoney survives a horrific plane crash only to discover that the buzzing sound she hears is not a concussion but the voices of people who died in the crash.
When she meets Kevan MacFinnin, their mutual attraction is swift and powerful, despite the disfiguring scars he sustained in the terrorist bombing that killed his parents. In recent months, several of Kevan’s sheep have been sliced open and left on the hillside, the only clue being a mysterious symbol painted on the fleece.
After her communion with Earth’s spirit reveals Cleona to be the Carrier of Life’s Preservation, she and Kevan decode the revolutionary formula given to her by a solar scientist who perished in the crash.
The discovery of another marked sheep puts Kevan and Cleona on the trail of a dangerous killer, and together they must strive to prevent a political assassination.
Preorder from Amazon
Preorder from Kobo