Writing Quirks with Cheryl Brooks – Guest Blog and Giveaway

3_31 cheryl brooks Must Love Cowboys graphic

Writing Quirks with Cheryl Brooks

Almost every writer I know works from a laptop while sitting on a couch, and some of them do it with the television on and their family running in and out. I can’t do it that way. My desk is in a bedroom at the back of the house away from most distractions. Unfortunately, that desk is also right next to my bed, which is great when I’ve been writing for so long that all I want to do is dive into bed. Other times, the bed is a distraction in itself.

I tend to write love scenes with my eyes closed. Makes for a lot of typos, but it helps me put myself into the character’s head better.

I can’t listen to music or have the television on while I’m writing. I do best with nothing but the ticking of the clock and the snoring of the cat—who is usually under the bed or on it. My son’s room is adjacent to mine, and he watches a fair amount of TV in there, which doesn’t bother me unless he gets really loud.

As I write this, I’m suffering from severe back pain and have a heating pad strapped to my back with an ace bandage, so I’m at least warm. My desk chair sits right next to a window, and I get pretty cold sometimes. I have a little heater fan nearby in case my fleece jacket and Irish cottage socks don’t do the trick.

I don’t see the need for the conflict between my protagonists to be that they don’t like each other, so I rarely write stories that start off that way. I prefer to have an external force that keeps them apart rather than the clash of their personalities.

One of the reasons I began writing was because the kind of book I wanted to read simply wasn’t out there—or if it was, I hadn’t found it yet—and believe me, I read a ton of books trying to find what I was looking for. Therefore, my audience is not mainstream. I write in niche genres, which appeal to some readers, but will never get me on a bestseller list.

I began writing as a creative outlet rather than a means of earning a living. Somewhere along the line, though, it became a job. I’ve made a little money doing it, but that amount has seen a steady decline over the past two years or so. For that reason, I’ve had to readjust my attitude toward writing as a career and take a step back to where I was in the beginning. Writing with the intent of earning a living at it is guaranteed to cause heartbreak because you can’t make people buy your books. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that not everyone will buy my books and those that do will not always like them. I enjoy them, of course, but that’s a reflection of my own personal taste, and as we all know, not everyone likes the same things. From time to time, I have to remind myself that I don’t enjoy every book I read, every song I hear, or every movie I see.

The pain in my back is easing up a little, and I’m getting sleepy. The bed is starting to look really good. Maybe I can stop writing just long enough for a short nap. 🙂

3_31 cheryl brooks Must Love Cowboys coverSO MANY COWBOYS…

Shy computer specialist, dog lover, and amateur chef Tina Hayes has a thing for firefighters, but when she travels to the Circle Bar K ranch on family business, the ranch’s cowboys have no trouble persuading her to stay on as their cook. Especially not when she learns that brooding Wyatt McCabe—a man who makes her heart gallop like no one else can—is also a former firefighter.


Wyatt’s sizzling embraces leave Tina breathless. But being surrounded by a passel of smokin’ hot ranch hands can be complicated. With so many cowboys courting Tina all at once, Wyatt must prove to Tina that she belongs with him.

About the Author: 3_31 Cheryl Brooks photo

Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and Rebel. She is a member of RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.

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Cowboy Delight by Cheryl Brooks – Spotlight and Giveaway

2_13 cheryl CowboyDelightTeaser

Cowboy Delight, an erotic western novella by Cheryl Brooks, was released February 3. Read our review, then enter the Rafflcopter drawing at the end of the post and win a $25 gift card giveaway as well as an ARC copy of the upcoming full length novel Cowboy Heaven.

2_13 cheryl CowboyDelightGetting stranded has never felt so good…

Lauren Allen is on her way to meet her future in-laws when her car breaks down on a scorching, dusty Texas highway. There’s no shortage of handsome cowboys turning up to save the day, but she puts her trust in local rancher Steve Williams. From the moment she shakes his hand, his warm, calloused grip makes her hotter than she knows what to do with…

Enjoy an excerpt:

In the next instant, a bolt of lightning struck mere inches from the passenger side door, immediately followed by a clap of thunder that shook not only my brains but the entire truck. With a yelp, I braced my feet on my suitcase and pivoted away from the door, an action that landed me squarely in Steve’s embrace with his sharp exhale enticingly warm on the back of my neck.

Fear quickly gave way to embarrassment. Muttering an apology, I tried to scoot away, but the tightening of his arms stopped me. He wasn’t exactly preventing me from getting off his lap, but I got the distinct impression he didn’t want me to.

“Lauren,” he whispered. “Sit still for a minute. Please.”

His voice was husky and his breath tickled my ear, sending a rush of tingles all the way to my toes. I tucked my legs up under the blanket and leaned against him. Although rain continued to pound the roof, the hail was already diminishing in size. Another flash of lightning lit up the sky, followed by thunder and a loud, cracking noise that, thankfully, seemed farther away this time.

“Warmer now?”

In the wake of nearly being struck by lightning, I hadn’t given much thought to the cold, but I was no longer the least bit chilly. With the blanket covering most of my body and Steve wrapped around the rest, I felt downright cozy.

“I’m fine, thanks.”

I turned slightly, intending only to glance up at him with a smile, but what I saw in his eyes held me like a chain. The heat within the circle of his arms escalated as his embrace went from protective to intimate in a heartbeat. Shifting his hold on me, he leaned closer, caressing my cheek with his fingertips. With that gentle touch, fire surged through every erogenous zone I possessed. My lips parted seemingly of their own accord, and as he closed the distance, my eyelids fluttered shut.

As his lips touched mine, my body melted into a pool of liquid desire. I couldn’t even raise my arms. Never before had a kiss left me so powerless and yielding yet keenly aware of my surroundings—the softness of his lips, his hands on my skin, his hot tongue delving deeply into the recesses of my mouth. I was even aware that the rain was letting up. In the relative silence, I could hear my own sighs as well as his quiet groan as he slid a hand under my knees and tucked my legs behind him. Laying me down across the seat, he tossed his hat aside and a moment later I had about a hundred and eighty pounds of cowboy, boots and all, stretched out on top of me, kissing me like I’d never been kissed before.

My arms regained enough strength to curl them around his neck. No doubt seeing that move as encouragement, he parted my thighs with a nudge of his knee and pressed himself between them. Any resistance I might’ve felt fled as I wrapped my legs around him and pulled him against my aching pussy. He was as hard as I was wet, his erection grinding into my flesh in a way that left no doubt as to where this was headed—or at least, where he wanted it to go. On the fringe of my awareness came the roar of an approaching semi. The storm had passed on, leaving the highway free for the flow of traffic to resume. Not that it mattered…

Steve froze in mid-kiss and popped up off me so fast the sudden decompression of my chest left me gasping for air.

“Holy shit!” he exclaimed.

About the Author:2_13 Cheryl BrooksCheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and Rebel. Look for her Cowboy Heaven series, beginning this February. She is a member of the RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.

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Character Interview with Onca and Kim from REBEL by Cheryl Brooks – guest blog and giveaway

A special welcome to Cheryl Brooks, author of the popular Cat Star Chronicle series. Her latest release is Rebel, and she brings us a character interview with Onca and Kim from that book. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a print copy of the book.

Marla Elkhorn: Good afternoon, everyone! Or evening or morning, or whatever time it is on whatever planet you happen to be on at the moment.

Onca: (chuckles) It’s ten in the morning in this sector of Rhylos, if that helps.

Marla: (smiles indulgently and clears throat) Well, yes…as I was saying… I’m here today with Onca and Kim, the hero and heroine of Rebel, the latest installment in The Cat Star Chronicles by Cheryl Brooks. Let’s start with you, Kim. Without giving away too many spoilers, tell us a little bit about your adventures. You’d been living on the streets of Damenk since the age of, what?

Kim: Ten. Everyone else in my family was killed by Nedwut bounty hunters. I’d been on the run for twelve years when I met Onca.

Marla: Just as an aside for those of you who don’t know the story of Zetith, Onca, can you give us a brief rundown of the history?

Onca: Not to put too fine a point on it, our planet, Zetith, was destroyed by Nedwuts working for Rutger Grekkor, a very rich man whose wife, Amelyana, took a Zetithian lover. After Grekkor killed the lover, Amelyana went back to Zetith to find another man. Grekkor then hired mercenaries to destroy our entire species along with our planet. Needless to say, he was kinda nutso on top of being the jealous type.

Marla: Another thing our viewers may not know is why Amelyana would take such a risk. Can you tell us—

Kim: It’s because Zetithian men are irresistible—particularly to Terran women. (giggles) They have to be because we Zetithian women aren’t what you’d call easy.

Onca: Earth girls are very easy for a Zetithian guy. Trust me. I know.

Marla: (bats eyelashes) And you made quite a lot of money finding that out, didn’t you?

Onca: A fortune, actually. I was the last star attraction of the Zetithian Palace brothel. My two partners, Tarq and Jerden, each found love, and since Zetithians mate for life, once you’ve chosen a mate and become imprinted with their scent, your days as a hooker are over.

Marla: I see. And you and Kim are mates now?

Kim: I believe that’s a given, considering the genre of our story.

Marla: And just how would you describe that genre?

Kim: (runs a hand through her mop of brown curls) I’m not sure, really. Romantic erotic action/adventure humorous suspense?

Onca: Don’t forget the futuristic sci-fi aspect. And the mystery of why your friends disappeared.

Marla: (frowns) Doesn’t the romance get lost with all of that going on?

Onca: (laughing) It was the other way around, actually. The romance tended to get in the way of the action. Damned inconvenient sometimes.

Kim: (gives Onca a playful slap on his muscular arm) Can I help it if you’re my type? Those sexy green eyes and that long auburn hair—not to mention the pointed ears, fangs, and cat-like eyes. And he purrs. *sighs* He makes me purr, too. I never much cared for men until he came along.

Onca: (shrugs) That’s the way Zetithian girls are. They gotta have a guy who can purr—among other things.

Marla: That’s, um, nice… Oh, my… You’re purring now, aren’t you?

Kim: Cool, huh? But don’t get your hopes up. He’s mine, and I’m keeping him. He thought he was too old for me, but I proved him wrong. If you want a Zetithian of your own, you’ll have to go to Terra Minor to find one. That’s where most of us live now.

Marla: (fans self) I may have to do that.

Kim: Of course, you’ll have a lot of competition. The female population there has doubled since it was designated as the new Zetithian homeworld. You might even have trouble getting your immigration application approved.

Onca: (taps chin) My friends Cat and Jack have three sons who are about nineteen now. Last I heard they were still unmated, but since they live on Jack’s starship, you might have a hard time tracking them down. (turns toward Kim) You know, what with Jack considering an unmated male Zetithian to be such an abomination, I’m surprised she hasn’t found mates for them yet. She’s been hounding me to quit the brothel and settle down for years.

Kim: Maybe she’s waiting until they turn twenty.

Onca: Maybe. Either that or she’s advising them to hold out for rich wives.

Kim: (leaps to her feet, her hands fisted on her hips) Jack isn’t like that, and you know it!

Onca: Yeah yeah… You’re right. And if the woman’s scent isn’t right, the show’s over, no matter how rich she is. Case in point, Trag and Tychar. They never could do it with that Darconian queen who owned them. I needed a fluffer to do the Darconians who came to the brothel. (shakes head) Still can’t believe it worked.

Kim: Seeing as how Darconians are reptilian, I’m not surprised. Although Ganyn was really put out when you and I got together.

Onca:(still purring) She’ll get over it. Someday. You, on the other hand, never will…

Kim: Do you hear me complaining?

Marla: Have I lost control of this interview?

Kim: Probably. When he starts purring, well… Let’s just say we need to find someplace more, um, private to finish the discussion.

Marla: (jaw drops in astonishment) Discussion? You mean you want me to come with you?

Onca: (takes Kim’s hand and kisses it before nipping her thumb with his fangs) Nope. She’s telling you we need to get lost for a while. Or maybe you’re the one who needs to get lost.

Marla: Yes, well, that’s all for now, everyone. This is Marla Elkhorn signing off from possibly my final interview. (switches off her comlink and turns to Onca) Now… tell me again. How can I get to Terra Minor?

About the Author:  7_8 Cheryl Brooks Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and the current release, Rebel. She is a member of the RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.

Author Website: http://www.cherylbrooksonline.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherylbrooksauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherylCatMaster @CherylCatMaster

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cbcatmaster/

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7_8 rebelHe’s Had a Galaxy of Women

A refugee of the annihilated planet Zetith, Onca has no family and no surname—only the fortune accrued by selling his prime services in a high-class brothel. When he comes to the rescue of a homeless Zetithian woman, passion flares, but he dares not touch someone who seems so young and innocent…

But None Has Touched His Heart

Kimcasha has lived by her wits on the streets since the age of ten. When her friends start to go missing, Kim uses herself as bait to find them, but her plans goes awry when Onca intervenes. As they are led into a dangerous underworld, Onca offers to join her crusade to liberate her friends, and Kim cannot refuse…

9 LIVES BOOK BLOGGER HOP and Giveaway: STUD by Cheryl Brooks

Stud_CVR.inddHello! My name is Cheryl Brooks, and I’m here at LASR for the 9 Lives Book Blogger Hop celebrating the release of Wildcat, book nine of the Cat Star Chronicles. Each post highlights a different book in the series. Today the focus is on book eight, Stud.

Together with a band of outcasts, Lucy and Tarq have been making their way through the Eradic Mountains on Talus Five, a place of such fierce storms and dangerous creatures that any attempts at settling the region have long since been abandoned. They’ve taken shelter in a shallow cave for the night, but are about to discover that even a cave won’t protect them from every threat.

To shield Lucy from the sexual advances of other men in the group, Lucy and Tarq have been pretending to be mates. This scene is one of my favorites because it demonstrates not only their unspoken love for one another, but also their courage.

Tarq woke Lucy with a hand on her shoulder. “Vrelnots,” he whispered. “Get your bow.”

Lucy sat up. She had no idea what time of night it was; for all she knew, Tarq could’ve been asleep by her side for hours. Moonlight streamed in through gaps in the leaves to reveal the others; all awake and silently preparing for attack. Even Rufus kept still, which seemed strange until she remembered that Vertigan had probably given him telepathic instructions. She picked up her bow and quiver and took her place in the line of archers.

Peering out from behind the thin shield of brush they’d used to supplement the hanging vines, Lucy could see them in the moonlight; four huge vrelnots circling above the mountainside. She could hear movement below and saw that the herd of qualskins had returned and were grazing near their shelter, apparently unaware that other creatures were sleeping there. Lucy decided they must’ve been really stupid because they didn’t seem to notice the vrelnots, either.

Until one of the huge birds swooped down and plucked a young qualskin right out of the herd. Then they scattered. Unfortunately, several of the wooly goats headed straight for their campsite; apparently accustomed to taking refuge there themselves.

Tarq shot the first one that came close and the others went galloping off in different directions. A second vrelnot flew in behind the first, not seeming to mind that someone had saved it the trouble of making the kill. However, instead of flying off with its prey, this one landed just outside the little cave. Lucy slowly backed away from the curtain of leaves and watched as the beast began to feed, hoping it would be satisfied with one qualskin and not go looking for anything else. Then she remembered what Tarq had said about the vrelnot he’d killed leaving a dranik to come after him and felt like throwing up—a feeling that probably had nothing to do with her pregnancy.

She glanced over her shoulder at Tarq. He’d moved further back and traded his bow for the atlatl, holding the dart at the ready. She knew the atlatl was a highly effective weapon—she’d once seen him launch a dart with enough force that it passed right through the body of a dranik and came out the other side—but its use required an overhand throwing motion. Even crouched down as he was, the low overhang didn’t allow much room for that.

Everyone was frozen in place, bows drawn while they waited for the vrelnot to finish its meal and leave. It was nearly finished when Lucy’s own dinner of fresh qualskin finally got the best of her. She tried to stifle her belch, but only succeeded in turning it into a hiccup.

The vrelnot cocked its ugly head, peering directly at her. Then it began to advance. Slowly. Menacingly.

Holy shit.

Lucy was too petrified to move as arrows sang out from bows all around her. The vrelnot screeched in agony as a few of them found their mark. None were fatal, but instead of fleeing, the beast seemed determined to destroy its attacker and came straight for her—the source of the only sound it had heard—its beak open wide, hissing its rage as it tossed aside the boughs that separated them.

Certain death was less than a meter away when Lucy finally regained control of her muscles. Drawing her bow, she aimed for the eye and fired point blank, just as Tarq’s dart flew over her head and drove straight down the vrelnot’s throat. She’d barely registered the hit when Tarq yanked her back out of the way. Snatching up a rock, he leaped forward; hammering in her arrow as far as it would go. The writhing vrelnot fell dead, the tip of its beak a hairsbreadth from where Lucy had been crouched mere moments before.

Nobody moved, and for a long moment, the silence was so complete, Lucy could hear her own blood rushing through her ears. In the next instant, she was in Tarq’s arms, his hot kisses raining down on her face.

Lucy was stunned. He was kissing her as though her death would’ve destroyed him. She was about to return those kisses with equal ardor when she realized that he was only doing what a supposed mate would do in such a situation. It didn’t mean what she thought it meant. For one split second she hesitated, but emotion overcame her and she threw her arms around his neck, returning his kisses with passionate fervor, spearing her fingers through his hair.

And now for Wildcat. Here’s a brief synopsis to bring you up to speed:

2_25 WildcatJerden Morokovitz has been marketing his sexual prowess in a brothel on Rhylos. When his employee is killed by an insane woman who wants her job, Jerden is no longer able to function in his chosen profession. Wanting nothing more to do with women, he returns to Terra Minor and lives in a remote region with a black leopard as his only companion.

Horse breeder Sara Shield has a similar attitude toward men, but when her prized stallion winds up on Jerden’s land, their paths cross and the healing process begins. Unfortunately, there are others involved who are determined to keep them apart—at any cost.

In this excerpt, Jerden and Sara have already met, but all she wants from him is the return of her missing stallion. Unfortunately, Jerden doesn’t want to give him up…

The sky was still dark when a loud neigh woke Jerden from his nightmare. The horse had been doing that more and more, almost as though he sensed Jerden’s disturbing dream and refused to allow it to continue. Jerden had fallen asleep in his chair. Again. He had a perfectly good bed, but without Audrey’s soft, warm body to share it with him, it wasn’t a haven of respite or slumber, but a place to be reminded of what he’d done and what he’d lost.

Rising from his chair, he went out on the porch, Cria’s soft tread following close behind. The horse stood near the steps, his ebony coat gleaming in the moonlight. “I was having another bad dream.” He ran a hand down the animal’s elegant, yet powerful neck. “But you knew that, didn’t you?”

The horse snorted, nudging Jerden’s chest with his nose.

“You should’ve gone with her. You belong to her, and she needs you—for different reasons than mine, perhaps—but she does need you.”

The stallion tossed his head, seeming to disagree. With a soft nicker, he turned sideways, inviting Jerden to mount, just as he always did.

One last ride.

Grasping the thick, flowing mane, he swung onto the stallion’s back. The horse pivoted on his hindquarters and launched into a gentle, rocking canter—a gait that lengthened into a thundering gallop as they left the house and its stand of pines behind. Jerden’s night vision was excellent, but he trusted the horse to find a clear path and let him run, knowing that the rush of wind in his hair would dispel the dregs of sleep as well as the lingering shadows of the dream.

The dream was always the same; one moment Audrey was walking beside him, the next, she lay crumpled and lifeless in the middle of the street while a crowd gathered. The murderer was quickly apprehended, her blue Davordian eyes wild with insane excitement. She didn’t seem to understand that committing murder was a crime that made her ineligible for Audrey’s job or any other. In her twisted mind, she had only to eliminate Audrey and the job was hers.

But as the powerful horse carried him onward and the moonlit landscape rushed past, those visions were thrust aside. His mind focused only on what his body needed to do to remain astride the stallion. The rest was pure sensory input—the scent of the horse’s sweat, the echo of his pounding hooves, the flow of the night air over his bare skin, the surge of speed when the terrain allowed it. A quick, downward glance revealed Cria keeping pace alongside, never slacking, running effortlessly through the night.

Before moving to Terra Minor, Jerden had never been alone like this, with only the land and the animals surrounding him. On board the refugee ship, he had been crowded together with other boys, and later, when he worked with Onca and Tarq, he seldom spent nights alone; only sleeping when his work was done.

If it could be called work. Later, when they’d hired Audrey, she’d often shared his bed, eventually sleeping with him exclusively. Jerden hadn’t realized what was happening then. It was simply the progression of events that occurred over time.

And now, he couldn’t have carried on with his work even if he’d wanted to. No, this seclusion was best. Nature might heal him eventually, but until then, solitude was the cure—no matter what others might think. He’d been urged to turn his land into a working ranch—to raise livestock, hire hands to help with the chores, build quarters for them, hire a cook—but Jerden wasn’t ready for that. For now, he enjoyed the peace that came with not having to discuss anything with anyone, often going for days without hearing another voice or having to answer a question.

He’d been rude to Sara Shield, but he’d only been able to see her as an intruder who would take from him his greatest source of solace. He harbored no illusions that she might not return. She would be back with whatever and whomever she needed to capture the horse and take him home. Jerden knew he should have offered to deliver him to her ranch—and in his other life, he would have done that and more; anything to make her smile. After all, pleasing women was what he did—what he’d always done—and he’d done it very well. But not anymore.

The horse slowed to a walk as they reached the foothills. The mountain range was public land, but Jerden had never seen anyone there, and he could enjoy his solitude on those rocky slopes as well as in his own home, perhaps even better. There he found freedom, fresh air to breathe, and space to roam—things he hadn’t had since his early childhood on Zetith. With the war already raging all around him, there wasn’t much of that even then.

There had been plenty of freedom on Rhylos, though of a different kind. A man could walk the streets of Damenk wearing nothing but a smile, but Terra Minor was a more family-oriented world. There were no brothels or casinos here. No laws against them; they simply didn’t exist. It was out of character for that world, if a world could be said to have a character. His nudity may have embarrassed Sara Shield, but he’d spent the last several years of his life wearing clothing only on rare occasions. He liked being naked. It was comfortable and natural for him.

Living in his own house on his own land with no outsiders was also comfortable and natural. The walk out onto his porch in the middle of the night to step over sleeping dogs and cats didn’t draw the censure of anyone. Not even the dogs and cats, none of which Jerden had purchased or adopted. They’d simply arrived on his doorstep, seeming to expect very little other than a place to sleep. Jerden had discovered a certain solace in brushing them, and they would take turns lying on the porch while he tended to them, removing parasites and treating them for fleas with herbs that Bonnie had given him. Feeding them wasn’t a problem; in fact, they ate most of the food Lynx supplied. These days, Jerden ate only to sustain himself, sometimes forgetting to eat at all.

Cria reminded him, though. If the horse renewed his spirit, Cria improved his health, growling at him if he didn’t clean his plate and lulling him to sleep with her purring. Like the others in his growing menagerie, the leopard had simply arrived one day. Following a particularly desperate run, he’d returned to the house, his legs cramping with fatigue, and had collapsed in a chair on the porch. Later that evening, he’d awakened to find her head resting on his thigh. She hadn’t left his side since, and he’d named her Cria because of the sound she made when she yawned.

He hadn’t named the horse, though. Perhaps because he’d known their relationship would be short-lived. Still, whether he had a name or not, all Jerden had to do was think about where he wanted to go, and the horse took him there. Having never ridden before, he didn’t know for certain, but suspected that wasn’t always the case. Ultimately, however, it made no difference. Dawn would break and this interlude would end.

Unless he could make a deal with Sara Shield.

I hope you all enjoyed the excerpts! We’re giving away two copies of The Cat Star Chronicles: Stud today. Post a comment for your chance to win!

Follow Along the 9 Lives Book Blogger Hop!
2_25 Cheryl-Brooks-Blog-BadgeEach blog will feature a different book in the Cat Star Chronicles series, culminating on Cheryl’s blog with a giveaway extravaganza!

2/1 Night Owl Reviews: SLAVE

2/4 Star-Crossed Romance: WARRIOR

2/7 My Book Addiction and More: ROGUE

2/12 Romance at Random: OUTCAST

2/13 Fresh Fiction: FUGITIVE

2/19 Author Sound Relations: HERO

2/21 Sizzling Hot Book Reviews: VIRGIN

2/25 Long and Short Reviews: STUD

2/27 Love Romance Passion: WILDCAT

2/28 Cheryl Brooks Erotic Blogspot: Grand Prize Giveaway!

Friendly Warning-Cheryl’s blog is NOT for the faint of heart—she didn’t call it erotic for nothing! 


Only One Woman Can Tame Him…

When horse breeder Sara Shield encounters Jerden Morokovitz riding naked and bareback, she’s stunned by the magnificence of both man and stallion. But Sara came to Terra Minor hoping to get away from all the men.

If She Can Give Up Her Fear…

The murder of Jerden’s lover by a deranged woman has left this former star attraction of the Zetithian Palace brothel shattered in mind and body. Jerden is sure that Sara can heal his anguish—but not unless he can find the key to her heart.

Praise for Wildcat:
“Scorching hot… a book that keeps you turning pages…” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Brooks gives Jerden and Sara over two hundred pages to become real, believable, and important to the reader before their relationship evolves into a highly erotic sexual one.” —Booklist
   About the Author: 2_25 Cheryl Brooks PhotoCheryl Brooks is the award-winning romance writer of the very sexy sci-fi     romance series, The Cat Star Chronicles. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and lives with her husband, two sons, five cats, five horses and one dog in Indiana. The tenth book in the Cat Star Chronicles, Rascal, will be in stores in 2014! For more information, please visit http://cherylbrooksonline.com/ or follower her on Twitter: @CherylCatMaster.


Hello, my name is Cheryl Brooks, the author of The Cat Star Chronicles: Stud. I’d like to thank you all for allowing me to visit with you here at Long and Short Erotic Romance!

If I had to choose the very best part about being a published author, it would be interacting with readers. No contest. After all, readers are the people I write for. Penning a novel and then letting it sit in your files or under your bed may be cathartic—and I’m sure some of my earlier efforts belong under the bed—but until someone else reads what you’ve written, the process is incomplete.

I’ve kept every bit of mail I’ve ever received from my readers. If you’ve written to me, your email is still in my files. When asked to write this guest blog about my favorite reader memories, I went back and reread some of those early letters. It was amazing to realize that many of those people are now Facebook friends and friends that I actually see and interact with on a regular basis.

My favorite letter of all time, however, is this one that I received in regard to my first book, Slave.

I do not usually read romance novels—EVER!!. My 78 year old mother is the same. But we grabbed this book up for her, thinking it was just a small book for her to read. WOW we’re we wrong!! She called me and said, You got me a nasty book. I said what do you mean “nasty”? She said she’s talking about penis’. Well then I cracked up. We did not know it was a romance book. She told me to come get it because she was finished and I just HAD to read it. She said that it was nothing like what she’s ever read and wants the next in the series. I would have to agree on that one also. I am in the middle right now and can’t put it down.

Just wanted to say very nicely done Cheryl.

I’m a Laurell K. Hamilton fan and never thought that I would like romance books. Thanks a million, we can’t wait for the next book.


I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve quoted from that letter and it still makes me smile anytime I read it.

I also received a letter from another Indiana author, Judie Aitken, after she read Slave when it was in the goody bag at the RWA national conference in San Francisco. Judie told me how much she enjoyed the book and invited me to join the Indiana chapter of RWA. She has since become a good friend and I have learned so much from her and the other members of the chapter.

Some of my experiences have turned out to be very sad. Gina Scalera was the “romance person” at the Joseph-Beth Booksellers store in Lexington, Kentucky when Slave was first published. She wrote and told me about how much she enjoyed the book and was sharing it with her book club. She even made up a cookie recipe for the occasion. She asked me if I had any advance copies, and I arranged for our Sourcebooks publicist to send them to her as the subsequent books came out. I actually went to her store once when I was visiting my sister in Lexington, but she’d already gone home for the day. I heard from her several times after that, and she told me how thrilled she was to receive an ARC of Rogue and that she enjoyed it very much. The last email I have from her was in December of 2008. I figured I’d hear from her again when Outcast was released, but never did. I thought she might even have lost her job due to the economic downturn we were experiencing at the time.

Then last summer, while attending the Lori Foster Author/Reader Get Together, I met a girl from Kentucky who had a whole handful of advance copies she wanted me to sign. I spoke with her and the group she was with several times, and I wondered how she’d wound up with so many ARCs, but never asked (I was sick as a horse that weekend and my brain wasn’t exactly clicking).

Later, at the book signing another lady asked me if I remembered corresponding with Gina. I told her that, yes, I did, but that I hadn’t heard from her in some time. She then told me that Gina had died.
Needless to say, I was very saddened to hear this, but it wasn’t until the next day at breakfast that I realized that all of these ladies were members of Gina’s book club, and that the new romance department manager at the store had given them the ARCs that had been intended for Gina. They had even put together a memorial gift basket in her honor for the charity raffle. Gina had clearly touched the lives of these ladies and many other readers, and I was deeply honored to have been a part of that.

But along with the sadness, there is the crazy, silly, fun stuff. I actually have a hunky stripper in Wisconsin who wants me to autograph his buns. There are several dear friends whom I have never actually met who visit my blog every day and have become friends with each other in the process. I’ve had couples write and tell me how much they enjoy reading my books together.

Then there are what I like to call my “rock star moments.” When I attended the RWA conference in Orlando, the lady at the registration desk said “Ooh, Cheryl Brooks!” when I picked up my goody bag and touched my hand like I was someone really special. Then she did it again!

At the RT Booklover’s Convention in Columbus, I was talking with another writer who is much better known than I am, and a young woman got all excited when she realized who I was. She’d read all of my books and even asked me a few questions about them.

I have yet to be recognized on the street, and I probably never will be, but that’s okay. These are the moments I cherish. Hopefully the release of the latest book, Stud, I’ll have a few more reader memories to add to the list.


They’re galaxies apart…

Even for a Zetithian, Tarq Zulveidinoe’s sexual prowess is legendary. Believing it’s all he’s good for, Tarq sets out to perpetuate his threatened species by offering his services to women across the galaxy…

But one force can bring them together…
Lucinda Force is the sensitive dark horse in a self-absorbed family, repeatedly told that no man will ever want such a plain woman. Lucy longs for romance, but is resigned to her loveless lot in life—until Tarq walks through the door of her father’s restaurant on Talus Five…


Cheryl Brooks is a critical care nurse by night and a romance writer by day. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America. She is the author of The Cat Star Chronicles series and lives with her husband, two sons, five cats, five horses and one dog in Indiana. For more information, please visit http://cherylbrooksonline.com/ or follower her on Twitter: @CherylCatMaster.

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of two copies of Stud, US and Canada residents only please.

Friday Spotlight: Cheryl Brooks

Cheryl’s Favorite Recipe

White Chicken Chili

4 cups water
4 tsp instant chicken broth
2 cans Great Northern Beans
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped sweet pepper
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 large onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1 cup uncooked pasta shells or macaroni
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

In a large soup pot, saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients except for sour cream, pasta, and cheese. Put chicken breasts in whole. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to simmer for about an hour until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and shred it using two forks. Return chicken to pot and add pasta. Cook for another fifteen minutes. Add one cup of cheese and stir until it melts. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and more grated cheese. Sprinkle with chives to make it look pretty and enjoy!

Thursday Spotlight: Cheryl Brooks

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to raise horses. I’ve done a little of that, but it didn’t turn out quite like I’d envisioned. I never really set out to be a writer, I just started writing. Does that make sense?

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought? My God, she looks old!

What is your favorite animal? Horses. Got four of them in the barn to prove it. Cats are second, dogs third.

What do you want to know about the future? Whether or not we will survive as a species long enough to straighten ourselves out and keep from killing each other all the time.

Have you ever cried during a movie? What??? Of course I have! I sometimes cry when I’m writing my books, too. I don’t think you could be a romance writer and not be emotional enough to cry at the end of An Affair to Remember.

Have you ever made a crank phone call? When I was a kid, maybe. The kind where you ask: “Is Mr or Mrs Walls there?” and then when they say no, you say, “Are any of the Walls there?” and when they say no, you say, “You’d better get out of there because the ceiling is about to fall on you.” Yeah, I know. Pretty dumb, and it shows my age. I’m sure there are better ones, now.

What is your favorite pizza? Hand-tossed crust with pepperoni, black olives, extra cheese and mushrooms.

What is one thing scientists should invent? A way to keep us from killing ourselves with toxic waste.

Wednesday Spotlight: Cheryl Brooks

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I think everyone does. My solution is to just keep writing—doesn’t matter what. Eventually, I’ll hit on something that works.

Who is your favorite author and why? I’ve always been a big Mary Stewart fan, and now, of course, JK Rowling.

What comes first: the plot or the characters? For me, I have an idea of where I want the story to go and who I want the characters to be, but then the characters sometimes change my mind for me. They sometimes say or do things I don’t expect.

What inspired you to write your first book? Just some guy I had a crush on…

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? Yes, I do. Most of them tell me that they enjoy the books and want more. I’m doing my best to accommodate them!

Tuesday Spotlight: Cheryl Brooks

What got you interested in writing? I started writing because I wanted to read something different than what I was finding on the shelves. I loved science fiction and romance, so I combined the two.

How long have you been writing? Off and on since the late 70’s.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? Don’t kid yourself that your first book is publishable, but don’t let it stop you from writing more of them. I did that early on, and I’d probably be much further with my writing career if I hadn’t let those early rejections stop me.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? Ha! I still don’t, even though Rogue is my third published work. Not sure when I’ll be convinced. Maybe by the sixth…

Do you really, really want a dog? My dog died this past September. He was so perfect, I don’t think I’ll be getting another one like him anytime soon.

Do you hate how you look in pictures? YES!!!

Monday Spotlight: Cheryl Brooks

Cheryl Brooks has been a critical care nurse for the past thirty-two years, graduating from the Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in 1976, and earning a BSN from Indiana University in 1986. Cheryl is an avid reader of romance novels and has been a fan of science fiction since seeing that first episode of Star Trek. Always in need of a creative outlet, she has written numerous novels, The Cat Star Chronicles: Slave being her first published work, followed by Warrior and Rogue, which are also in the series. She lives on a farm near Bloomfield, Indiana with her husband, two sons, four horses, and five cats.

Cheryl’s newest book Rogue is currently out. She says, “Rogue is the story of a piano teacher who travels to a distant world to teach the Queen’s daughter how to play. She’s not looking for love, but finds it in the form of two of the hottest brothers she’s ever seen. The trouble is, they’re slaves who belong to the Queen!”

Book three of The Cat Star Chronicles, Rogue is the tale of two Zetithian brothers, Trag and Tychar, alien warriors who were captured and sold into slavery near the end of the war that resulted in the near extinction of their kind. They have been the pampered pets of a Darconian queen for the past twenty years, and though their lives haven’t been hard, being the lone humanoid males on a planet populated by lizards hasn’t allowed them much in the way of sexual gratification. However, the progressive Queen Scalia has hired a human female, Kyra Aramis, to give piano lessons to her daughter.

Alone on a world filled with intelligent, but fearsome dinosaurs, Kyra is understandably nervous, and the discovery that she is not the only humanoid on the planet offers only a brief comfort.

Tychar is assigned to be Kyra’s personal attendant, and though he and Trag are both irresistible, there are two of them, and worst of all, they are slaves to the Queen. What’s a girl to do?

Just when things get interesting, rumors of unrest begin flying, and the peaceful planet of Darconia undergoes a major political upheaval, with the offworlders caught in the middle.