Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please Welcome the Cat Master, Cheryl Brooks

I'm very excited to welcome my good friend Cheryl Brooks to the blog today. Cheryl is the author of the Cat Star Chronicles, and the fifth installment, Fugitive, is out now! Cheryl's books combine science fiction, romance and fantasy for a steamy, erotic read. When she's not penning her latest novel, she works the overnight shift as an ICU nurse and lives in Indiana with her real-life hero Bud and their two sons. Welcome Cheryl!

Marie: The thing I love best about your books is the amazing world building. Tell me, where in the WORLD do you come up with these interplanetary settings?

Cheryl: Hmmm, world building, huh? To tell you the truth, I have no idea where these settings come from. It's like they're just there in my head. I can see them as clearly as if I were watching a movie. Like the road through the jungle in Slave or the snowy woods in Warrior, I see things, people, places—all of it in my mind. The hard part is describing it so someone else can see it as clearly as I can. It's sort of like a mental story board. I decide what kind of climate and terrain I want for the story and can visualize it immediately. For Outcast I wanted a setting like central Africa, but though I did some research, it didn't alter the mental image I already had of it. Fugitive was set in a house by a lake surrounded by jungle, but there again, I can see it. I know distances and terrain, and I even know which way is north!

Marie: Do you feel like you have an exceptionally vivid imagination? You must have some sort of special gift to come up with a more fabulous feline hero in every book. What inspires the men in your stories? They are quite. . . um. . . . something!

Cheryl: I never considered my imagination to be all that vivid until I shared those imaginings with other people--some who claim to have no imagination at all. But I think anyone could do it if they made the attempt. For my heroes, it just takes answering the question: If you could create the man of your dreams, what would he be like? Would he be tall or short, thin or muscular, alpha or beta... the list goes on. I gave them feline characteristics because the thought of having a man who could purr appealed to me more than a man who could growl.

What makes my heroes different from one another is their background. When you explore a character's history, their personality naturally evolves. Cat, the hero of Slave, was based on a real person in some respects, but most of him came from my own little brain—his sensual nature, his sense of humor, and his determination to stay with Jacinth whether she was willing to recognize the attraction between them or not. Leo (Warrior) was a slave who had been passed from one owner to another and had learned to enjoy the pleasures that came his way without question. Manx (Fugitive) has been on the run for most of his life, but he's managed to survive on his own wit and talents. Tychar (Rogue) was the slave of a queen and became a favorite with the court by being a sweet-talking charmer. Lynx (Outcast) had been a harem slave and knew more about pleasing women than any man alive, but being used by them made him bitter.

Their sexual abilities came about as I let my imagination run wild to create the ultimate lover. I'd explain that in greater detail, but since this is a "family show," perhaps I'd better leave it at that!

Marie: Okay, I'll bite. Finish that thought about the ultimate lover. . . (running to hide in my bunker).

Cheryl: Okay, Ultimate Lover Description
#1 He smells good.
#2 He tastes good.
#4 He's got a nice-sized yummydoodle with a ruffle on it. Not too long, not too short, not too thin, not too thick. Just right.
#5 He can move said yummydoodle in any direction.
#6 He has only to catch a whiff of your desire to get it up and can keep it up for as long as you like.
#7 He can purr.
#8 He's a real sweetie and puts out lots of deliciously orgasmic body fluids.
#9 He likes to give as good as he gets.
#10 He can make me forget that I'm overweight, over fifty, over worked, and underpaid.

Marie: You forgot number 3. Is that not allowed on a family blog?

Cheryl: #3 He doesn't have a beard, therefore will never leave any painful scuff marks anywhere on your body.

Marie: Okay, phew. I was a little scared there for a minute. I’ve gotten out the fan and I’m waving furiously. Things have never been quite so hawt on my little old blog. I admire your ability to really “put it out there” in your books and on your blog, but I happen to know, as your cyber-pal, that you are really quite shy in real life. How do you explain these two sides of Cheryl?

Cheryl: Actually, with people I know well, I'm not shy at all. I will answer any question very frankly, so be careful what you ask me. I can write a book on my computer, but I don't particularly like to talk—email is much easier for me than the telephone. I have a tendency to say very little at parties or in a group of strangers unless someone asks me a question. I'm not very good at small talk, and having to chat with total strangers is very difficult for me. However, when I'm writing, shyness doesn't enter into it since I'm essentially talking to myself: I can tell myself anything, therefore I am not shy. It was a problem at first when my friends were reading what I had written, but when you write such things, a funny thing happens: you start hearing other people's stories—most of them true—which are even more intimate than any love scene I could possibly write.

Marie: You mentioned how people love to tell you personal details since you became the Cat Master. Got any good stories about things you wish you didn't know about the people in your life?

Cheryl: They really aren't things I wish I didn't know, and one of them was very useful when I wrote Outcast. I was in the process of looking for a motivation for Bonnie's character when I heard a friend say she would give her right arm for a decent, moral man. I took that and ran with it. That's the sort of thing I hear the most; not the good steamy stories of how great the sex is, but the sad stories of how bad it is—or the lack thereof. The wild rumors that men are insatiable sexual beasts is just that: a rumor. I hear more tales of woe from women who aren't getting any—but would love to—than I hear from women who are pestered to death by their partners. Other times I hear about sexual encounters that were long anticipated, but fell short of the fantasy. Men rarely live up to our fantasies about them, and I'll have to assume that women don't live up to men's ideals, either. I think if our culture encouraged us to be more frank about our expectations, that might change.

Marie: I think you're absolutely right about that! Let's talk about Fugitive, book 5 in the Cat Star series. Tell us all about it!

Cheryl: LOL! If I tell you EVERYTHING, there would be no reason to buy the book! Let's just say that if you've ever had a fantasy about finding a hunky naked alien man in the jungle while visiting a strange new world, this is the book for you. As with all of my books, there's a bit of action/adventure, a healthy dose of humor, some fun supporting characters, a strong heroine with an otherwise satisfying life that is a bit lacking in the romance department, and, of course, some highly erotic love scenes. Manx is as hot a hero as anyone could wish for, and not only that, he can purr!

Marie: And after Fugitive comes Hero, right? What can you tell us about book 6?

Cheryl: Yes, Hero is next and is the story of Trag, the "other brother" in Rogue, and Micayla, a female Zetithian who was orphaned at a young age and was raised on Earth, ignorant of her heritage. She learns what she is and where she comes from just prior to encountering the the man ultimately responsible for the destruction of Zetith and its people. The trouble is, he knows that she knows and is out to get her. After a wild chase through Orleon Space Station, she and her computer geek friend, Windura, land on the ship that Trag is piloting. The remaining Zetithians and their mates band together to go after the bad guy, but exposing a wealthy political figure will not be an easy task, and the mission doesn't go according to plan—and neither does the love affair between Trag and Micayla!

Marie Looking forward to seeing all six on the shelves together! What has been the most rewarding part of being a published author?

Cheryl: The interaction with my readers and other writers. I have friends all across the country now, and most of them I've never even met! That is one thing I definitely couldn't have said before being published. My books have been read by people around the world, too, which is so incredible, and it makes me realize that the world really is getting smaller. Now if we could just stop trying to blow each other up, we might actually get somewhere as a species.

Marie: It's pretty darned cool, isn't it? I had a reader in Australia tell me my website wasn't working when I got hacked recently. Before I had the "oh my God I got hacked" thought, I had the "oh my God, I have readers in Australia" thought. LOL! This has been really fun! Do you have any parting words?

Cheryl: Yes, the Australia thing surprised me, too, particularly when Rosemary of Rosemary's Romance Books (who won the bookseller award at RWA) asked me to send her some signed labels to stick in my books at her store. I'm like, Wow, they're reading my books in Australia! The first live chat I ever did, I offered a free book to the first one to email me with their address, and I wound up sending that book to Singapore! Freaked me out a bit, but it actually didn't cost all that much to mail it.

Do I have any parting words? Hmm, let me see now. . . . This could actually be turned into a subject for an entire blog post, but I never dreamed that my writing would affect people's lives the way it has. I have readers who visit my blog just to chime in with the others and have fun. The network of friends that has developed because of it amazes me. They care about each other, and that is just too cool. I never thought of writing as being anything like nursing, but maybe it is. You can help people in ways that aren't as obvious as giving them their antibiotics or pain meds. I give my readers a chance to escape from their troubles in the real world—or a chance to talk about them—which is something we all need now and then, just as we all need a little romance.

Thanks so much for your time and for sharing your insights with my readers, Cheryl. If you want to read more about Cheryl and her Cats, visit her blog. It's so hot it comes with a warning!

Cheryl and I want to know what qualities make your ultimate lover list. She'll give away a copy of Fugitive to the most "inspired" comment. Let em rip!

Buy Fugitive here.


Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Marie!
Thanks for having me here on your blog. It was the most painless interview I've ever done--and one of the most fun!

Ana said...

Every time you speak of Slave I always go back in my memory. I started reading Cheryl's books when Warrior was out so I got to read two books without having to wait. I passed her books on to other people and they all said a similar thing, "Oh if only these guys actually existed".

And what's nice is that, even though the females in the books, have something special about them each, you can really relate to them anyway. Great interview Cheryl!

And I definitely agree. It's nice to make friends who can talk about the same thing.

We definitely have a ton of fun at Cheryl's blog :D

Pelehini aka Lisa said...

Another great interview Cheryl! I know gearing up for your blog tour took/is taking a lot out of you, but these posts have been so much fun and I've enjoyed each one! I was thinking that it would have been so great to build up some anticipation by reading all these fun posts before actually reading the book, but, lets be serious, that's never going to happen. I will never be able to wait to read one of your books. If it's in the store, it's gonna be in my greedy hands ASAP.

diva donna said...

This is the best Post so far.
I'm not kidding.
And here's my list. 1. Nice Eyes,
2. Nice Smile with great teeth. 3. Nice Shiny Dark Hair. 4. Very nice Tight Butt with a dimple. 5. He has a nice Butt he should have a nice Walk too. A swagger of confidence. 6. Nice Natural Manly Smell fresh from a shower. Nice aftershave. 7. Very gentle, but passionate, lover with a fine yummydoodle that wears a ancient warriors crown. HE KNOWS HOW TO PLEASE AND LOVES TO RECEIVE PLEASURE IN RETURN. 8. He's a mans man with a sexy attitude. 9. He really takes the time to understand and he gets me. 10. He's my best friend as well as only lover.
IOf you're giving away a copy of your book. I promised my Sister-in-law I try to get her a copy. She lives up in the Frozen waste lands. And doesn't drive. I love her, but I'm not giving her my copy of Fugitive. I've purchased the rest of the series for her. And she loves it too. My copy goes on the shelf with my other Treasured books. And the second shelf has Line of Scrimmage and Love at first flight.(which was not damaged when I tossed it in the trash) while screaming. So you two have fun today. And stay ot of trouble. I know Marie has a Wild women hidden under that Innocent Sweet Cheeky Mommy Look. LOL!!!

Sharon Lathan said...

I'm impressed, Cheryl. You managed to skate around the yummier aspects of your novels quite adroitly! :)

Great interview with our Marie. I think she may be onto a new career path. I hear the Tonight Show spot may be up for grabs. Ha!

I'm loving this whole idea. And a I keep saying, I am way behind in my reading of Brooks' novels. Best of luck, my friend!

Oh, and everyone HAS to check out Cheryl's block. It is extremely uplifting. ;-)

Marie Force said...

Hey gals,
I feel like I'm late to my own party!!

WELCOME dear friend! SO glad to have you and it was fun to air one of our chats out in public!

I know you wild women have SO much fun on Cheryl's blog. I'm a daily lurker, which she teases me about! That's the peril of writing under your REAL name--you have to behave. Boo!

LOVE that list! Your perfect man is a dream. Does he actually exist? And, you must tell the folks that you DID take L@FF out of the trash (when I made you mad) and finished it. LOL! That trash thing isn't good for business. LOL! And, I'll never tell what lurks beneath the surface of my sweet Mommy face....

Marie Force said...

Hi Sharon,
Welcome and thanks for the kind words about our interview. I used to be a reporter and interviewed people all day. It's much more fun to interview my romance writer pals than it was to talk sewers with town officials. :-)

diva donna said...

Let me clear up any confusion. Marie is a great Writer. And she likes to throw in some triangles. Well, She did throw one into LAFF and I knew it was coming. But I wasn't prepared for it to be such a BONER. So I jumped up and screamed. The book took flight and landed in the trash. I immediately removed it and she redeemed herself quite nicely. It had a good HEA. And don't let her fool you. She can write a spicy love scene too. I don't think any of The Cat men have Tossed their women on the kitchen table yet. So that must be on Marie's list of Fantasy lovers. To be Breakfast, Lunch and dinner. LOL!!!

Marie Force said...

LMAO Donna!! Top that, Cheryl! Breakfast, lunch AND dinner! (That was Ryan's move in Line of Scrimmage. I blame him. I had nothing to do with it....) That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Good Afternoon, ladies!
*yawning* Just got up and I'm still trying to get the sleep out of my eyes.

Thanks for all the sales you've made of my books, Ana. If I had someone like you in every bookstore, I'd be a bestselling author in no time!

LOL! I'm happy to know that the blogging would have paid off with you, Lisa, but it's great to have you ladies out there pimping my books for me when I'm visiting the various sites. You're the best!

Love your list, Donna! And yes, that cheeky sweet mom look of Marie's is VERY deceptive!!!!

Sharon, you naughty little lurker! I can't blame you for being behind. I'm only halfway through your second book, myself. They're HUGE!!!!

Heh, heh, heh.... Kitchen table,huh? All I'm gonna say about that is, just wait until you read Hero....

flchen1 said...

Hi, Cheryl and Marie! Must give this some more thought (about to rush off to pick up the kids)--hmm... maybe these don't make the ultimate lover list, but it'd sure be handy to have a funny, smart man who can make me laugh *and* who's willing to pick up the kids! ;) Hope to be back later!

Nancy Bristow said...

Qualities that make my ultimate lover list...That I'm the center of his Universe (as he is mine) and he loves me for exactly who I am and makes no bones about it (well, not exactly "no bones";)

Marie...If you're a lurker at Cheryl's blog, then you know I'm a happy participant there *grin*.

Nutty Mother said...

I am here because Marie is making me do it! LOL!

My ideal lover will have biteable shoulders, rough hands, beautiful eyes, a great butt, smells fantastic and has crows feet when he smiles!

He will listen to directions, make sure that I get as good as he gets - if not better, has no problem giving when he doesn't get and understands that sometimes making out is just hotter than getting some :)

He also will pay no attention to my stretch marks, fat rolls, unwaxed eyebrows and morning breath ;)

Now I have left some details out b/c lucky enough for me...I am married to the guy I described above!

Is that enough Marie? LOL!


Marie Force said...

Hi Nancy,
Thanks for skipping over from Cheryl's blog to mine. I know she has better, um, "attractions" on hers, but I'm glad to have you (and the other ladies from Cheryl's blog). I love what you said about your ideal man loving you exactly the way you are. That's perfect.

LMAO, I love how you buckled under pressure and aired it out for us. I love your list and agree with everything on your list. Good for you for marrying the perfect guy! I'll bet he's pretty lucky, too. Thanks for coming out to play!

Mary G said...

Hi Marie & Cheryl
I have to confess. I've never read any of Cheryl's books but i visit her blog every day. It's not just the scenery either LOL. Cheryl is fun. Her pets are cute & the commenters are fun too. It's just a nice place to visit AND I want to live there LOL.

Marie Force said...

You have to read Cheryl's books! They are so fun. Start with Slave and you won't be disappointed, I promise.

Thanks for coming by to see us today!

Mary G said...

Well since I love your writing, I'm going to trust you on this
one Marie.

Razlover's Book Blog said...

Hi Marie,

Thanks for having Cheryl on your blog today!

I've been wanting to read this series since I've seen them previewed and heard great things about them.

Great interview and love the cover!

My List:

1. Nice smile
2. Well mannered
3. Tall
4. Dark hair
5. Handsome
6. Great body

SiNn said...

hum qualities

he has to appeal to me physically the whole asspect where hes in charge seriously hot i love a man who takes charge but knows to gieva nd take so we both r satisfied by the end of the night day what ever comes first
he has to be imaginative and willing to try newthings and not treat me like im a peice of fine china
sensitivity is a must he hasto be smart and fun to be aorund in general so it isnt one of those awkward morning or days afterthings

sexy eyes and a nice chest helps but if hes skilled and doenst come off as all for him self im good to go

Marie Force said...

Forgot to say AMEN sister to a man who picks up the kids!

Mary, that is so sweet! I'm so glad you love my writing and trust me on Cheryl. You will be amazed by her imagination! And the Cats... Whew! Smoking hot!

Razlover, I agree with everything on your list.

SiNn, your list is also inspiring. You ladies all know what you love in your men!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Had one helluva night in the ICU last night. Just getting home--two hours later than usual. Does that tell you anything?

But I needn't have worried because it looks like Marie has this place under control! She cracks the whip and you all make a list and check it twice! Thanks for pimping my books, Marie. You're a real pal!

Great lists, ladies! There are some things there that I hadn't thought about, too!

Marie Force said...

While Cheryl sleeps off the crazy night in the ICU, we are thrilled to announce TWO winners!!!

Razlover wins Fugitive AND because she is such a huge support of mine and Cheryl's, we're giving Mary G a copy of Slave to get her started on Cheryl's fun series!

Thanks again to everyone who came by (even those I dragged kicking and screaming from Facebook!) Cheryl and I enjoyed hearing what makes your list of qualities in your ideal man!

Marie Force said...

WOOPS--forgot to say to our winners: Contact Cheryl at to arrange delivery of your books!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Congrats to our winners Razlover and Mary G! I'll be looking for your emails!

Mary G said...

Thanks so much Marie & Cheryl. What a nice surprise. I should love cat stories since I'm a Leo.

Marie Force said...

Yay, Mary, you are so welcome! Cheryl and I decided it was a no-brainer. Mary needed a copy of Slave! Enjoy!

Armenia said...

Hi Cheryl and Marie,

I enjoyed that great interview.

Hmm...qualities of a great lover?
1. nice sexy eyes
2. firm butt
3. gentle and loving
4. sensual
5. very impressive yummydoodle
6. great sense of humor
7. beautiful muscles
8. smells good
9. tastes good
10. wants to take care of me and very protective

Cheryl Brooks said...

Great list, Armenia! He sounds purrfect!

Marie Force said...

Ohhhh, I have to agree with Cheryl, Armenia. Yummm!