AUTHOR: Charlene A. Wilson
BOOK TITLE: Cornerstone Deep, Cornerstone Deep Echoes
PUBLISHER: Class Act Books
BUY LINK: Class Act Books: http://bit.ly/cabWilson
Smashwords (CD) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/227151
Smashwords (CD Echoes) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/227209
Smashwords (Cornerstones) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/206740 (free sampler)
Tell me a little about your book.
Chronicles of Shilo Manor
It's their nature - long lives and rebirth. They're from another dimension, one gifted with advance abilities, but they serve in Cornerstone Deep. They're the Wizards of Shilo Manor.
"We are of another plane. Only by ancient covenant do few know our true natures. We walk this world among you, beside you, loving you."
Cornerstone Deep blurb
They outlive the mortals of this realm by thousands of years, and when it comes to love the cruel fact is reinforced. Reincarnation doesn't exist on this plane. They lose their wives to death with no hope of reuniting. Yet they continue to accept others for whatever time they have together. Save for Cole. His love for his last wife still burns in his soul four centuries after her death.
When the service they render to the noblemen of Cornerstone Deep brings him face to face with Anna, something unexpected happens. In a realm of silent souls, hers calls to him. He responds with a kiss—one that joined with the spell of servitude she inhaled, binds her soul.
Breaking ancient covenants, angering the lords, and bringing the gods' wrath upon him, Cole tries desperately to undo his wrong and free his love—despite the determination of the nobleman to keep her.
~ * ~
“My life is a mirage of endless time. But you in this moment engulf me, rivet my mind, encompass my soul.”
Cornerstone Deep Echoes blurb
Mianna’s return heals Cole’s soul and he promises to follow her for the rest of his existence. But the past isn’t what he believes. The fight for her has only begun.
Lord Dressen’s obsession grows as unexpected knowledge is revealed. His search for Mianna has spanned six life times and he won’t give up now. The courts stand behind him. Power pulses through his veins. Determination peaks and not even Cole Shilo can stop him. He will win his prize.
Struggling to stay ahead, Cole’s anger explodes. Nothing is sacred when it comes to keeping his love—not even covenants made with gods. But, through all his efforts, lofty or damned, the truth remains. Will echoes of another life cause him to fail?
~ * ~
“Every breath you take is a song to my soul.”
What gave you the idea for this particular story?
First, I want to thank you, Penny, for having me here at One Writer’s Journey. You have a lovely blog and I’m thrilled to be with you.
The Chronicles of Shilo Manor fanned from a single dream. Chapter three of book one, Cornerstone Deep, holds the core of the dream, and several scenes throughout are taken from it as well.
Several of my books got their start from vivid dreams. The characters came on so strong I had to give them their own worlds, bring them to life. The Chronicles of Shilo Manor series and Aumelan series are prime examples of that.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I write full-time, my other full-time job being a mother to my teen daughters and caregiver to my mother. I work on the promotion side of my author duties during the day when I often get interrupted. It’s at night that I’m able to focus on the writing. All is quiet, and the energies are right at that time.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed creating new worlds and characters. I was labeled a writer when I shared my short stories back in my teens. So, I guess it was inevitable I’d end up an author. I lean toward the fantasy and paranormal—some call it the weird stuff. Lol. Aumelan happens to have evolved from one of those vivid dreams I had as a child.
Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write Paranormal, Sci-fi, and Fantasy Romances. I think what draws me in is that anything can happen. You have as far as your imagination can reach to create worlds and what happens in them. I love the thought of magic and have given my hero, Cole Shilo, a nature that allows him to move things with a wave of his hand, disperse into a dark mist and fly, and read emotions. His brothers, James and Vincent, also have these abilities, though Vincent seems to excel in producing bolts of energy that charge from his fists…which blow things up when he’s angry. Thank goodness for James’s skill with multitasking in fine detail. He usually cleans up after his outbursts. Lol.
With the freedom to imagine these genres give me, I can make it possible for the Shilo brothers to find their soul mates again when they lose them to death. They live such long lives—much longer than the Terrans they serve among—so they’ve experienced their share of loss. But, once reborn, a soul’s call is recognized by a soul mate. At an appropriate age, they can reunite. Cole has waited four hundred years to find his again, bless him.
What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
For me, the toughest part is staying out of my story. Sounds weird, huh? If I wrote in narrative, I wouldn’t worry, but write in third person. Keeping that narrative voice at bay and letting my characters experience things as we go so that the reader experiences it right along with them is sometimes a chore. Lol.
How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Cole is led by his heart and makes some pretty stupid decisions when it’s best to just use logic. So that gets him into some trouble. I’ve definitely been there. Lol. He also has the ability to manipulate the elements and read emotions. Two things I’ll never experience.
What research or world building have you done for this book?
There was quite a bit of world building involved with setting up the Chronicles of Shilo Manor. Though, I didn’t go too far out of the box with the plane they’re in right now, Cornerstone Deep. It’s a dimension similar to ours. In fact, it mirrors us in humanity’s progression and aggression. They do have their own hierarchy and laws, and of course, their own set of gods and beliefs.
But, there are five dimensions in the Arched Spectrum of Realms, each holding a position in the arch. The Shilos come from Meridian, the original plane and most ancient. The inhabitants have progressed to the point of manipulating the elements and conversing with the Gods, or Creators. There are also the Midway realms. They’re the youngest and home to souls with innocent, humble natures. Then, as I mentioned, there are the Cornerstone realms. The mirror dimensions, Midway and Cornerstone (of which there are two, of course), are differentiated by which side of the arch they are on, the right being called Summit, the left, Deep. We get to visit each as the series progresses.
What about your book makes it special?
The Chronicles of Shilo Manor takes you to other dimensions where soul mates reunite in the next life and continue their souls’ progression together. Cornerstone Deep introduces it all with three brothers who serve in a foreign realm as Sentinels. Though it’s a known fact in their home plane, Meridian, they didn’t believe it was possible in Cornerstone Deep. They learn how wrong they were. The Gods make it clear rebirth is a gift to all souls, and they use Cole’s soul mate to prove it. The reassurance that a true love is eternal fills them and it can us…Earth is one of the dimensions we will visit later as the series continues. *wink*
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My author site can be found at CharleneAWilson.com. I also have a Facebook Fan Page where I post updates and contests along with my blog, CharleneBlogs. But the best place to catch up on all things Cornerstone Deep is at the series’ web site, ShiloManor.com. I have a small blog there, share excerpts, free reads, extras like images I used for inspiration, fan art… I hope you enjoy browsing around and checking it out. *smile*
And if you’d like to connect around the web, I’m all over the place and would love to meet you.
· Author site: http://CharleneAWilson.com
· Blog: http://bit.ly/CharBlogs
· Facebook: http://bit.ly/CharleneAWilsonFan
· Twitter: http://twitter.com/AuthorCAWilson
· Goodreads: http://bit.ly/CharleneAWilsonGR
· LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/CharleneAWilsonLI
· Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleneawilson/
Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
I suppose my answer to this really goes for new writers of any genre. Believe in yourself. Learn everything you can. Be open to improving your craft but stay true to yourself. You don’t have to be like everybody else. Originality is a good thing, especially in the writing world.
What’s in the future for you?
Book three of the Chronicles, Cornerstone Deep Destiny, is underway. But, I’m also working on revising my Aumelan series. Three books are written of the planned four. Chad is my hero in book one, Aumelan, and he’s anxious to get it out for everyone to enjoy. He goes through a lot as he crosses the boarders from his home in the World Beneath the Rock to the World of the Sun to find answers to his people’s limitation. He hates that he must take energy from another to survive, and he hates that that other is his server Dee. She’s the only one who has ever felt like home to his heart, and he dreams of the day he can stand before her with no placement, no laws, no limitation separating them—only the air between them. Would she stay? Would she accept him? Love him, too?
I’m hoping to have Aumelan ready for submission by the end of the year.
EXCERPT ~ CORNERSTONE DEEP
Cole moved as smoke, his elements converted into a dark mass.
The southern hillside that separated his manor from Shilo City passed quickly as he flew into town. The sweet aroma of apricots from the orchard gave way to the pungent odor of the east side sewage facility. Though his speed of flight made the encounter brief, his senses noted the unpleasant change. Distaste filled him. How this dimension has changed over the last two thousand years. He scoffed at the thought. Things had changed, but then so had he.
Pedestrians rushed along the walkways, dodging the homeless on Beggars Row East. Neon-lit storefronts teased the impoverished with promises of treats. Exhaust from the aged transport washed along his essence in waves of nauseating fumes. Bypassing the evening crowd, he jetted through an alley for a more congenial atmosphere and emerged to a compacted neighborhood. Town houses displayed humble frontages. Children scrambled along the roadside, giving no heed to the chill that reddened their cheerful cheeks.
Cole paused, an undulating vapor, beside a copse of honeysuckle. In a billow, he reclaimed his elements to solid form and plucked a few of the blossomed twigs. Turning his attention to the directions on Charlotte’s note, he stepped from the seclusion.
He couldn’t hold back the grimace as he scanned the area. Weathered thresholds lined the motel’s cul-de-sac and bore dark smudges where someone scrubbed at obscene vandalism in an attempt to remove the disgrace. Chunks of siding were broken or missing, leaving a snaggle-toothed appearance along the eaves. The cement walkway lining the structure crumbled at the curbs, worn down to join with the gravel lot. A sign flickered in a feeble attempt to advertise. Hightower Nights.
He double-checked the address. Correct destination. His heavy sigh misted in the spring air. Courting isn’t what it used to be. He should be escorting his lady to a grand social in a silver-clad carriage.
Cole draped his overcoat on his arm and reminded himself this woman’s company was worth the inferior accommodations. He’d told her to spare no expense yet this was her choice of location. No wonder the invoice was so low.
He smoothed his long hair and crossed the parking lot to the sidewalk. The tarnished room numbers led his way. Thirty-three, thirty-two…
A door slammed and a dark head of curls hit his chest. The young woman stumbled back and then pranced on her toes as she caught her balance.
He looked down at her, alarmed. “Forgive me. I should have been watching my steps.”
She shook her head as she caught her breath and smiled up at him with dark brown eyes. “Oh, my fault, really. I’m running late and…” her lips teetered. “Um,” she scanned him from head to foot.
Cole glanced down at his tailored black vest and trousers. No doubt, he was a conspicuous sight, given their surroundings. His snowy white sleeves alone declared he didn’t belong among the stained, faded, and scuffed wear that was common there. He caught her attention with his dark gaze as she lifted from her observation.
Her caramel complexion flushed. “Wow. Even your shoes are polished like glass. You’ve got be Tom.”
“Excuse me?” Few knew this alias. “Have we met?”
“I’m Amy.” She giggled and motioned down the way. “Charlotte’s my mother. She told me all about you. I thought she was exaggerating but,” she bit her lip, and her gaze flew over him again. “It’s so nice to meet you. I think it’s great Mother’s dating again. Oh, and I think it’s so romantic you have a special way of saying her name.”
Cole furled his brow.
She nodded. “Yeah, she told me all about it. ‘Sh’létte.’ She says it makes her melt.” She squinched her face, and he thought she was going to giggle again. “You make my mother melt.”
He blinked to the side.
Her gaze flitted to the honeysuckle he held. “Oh, you gathered her flowers, too. You know she loves honeysuckle. You are so sweet.”
Her hand flew to his arm, and he started at the serious expression she suddenly displayed. “And don’t worry about the age difference thing. She said you were more my age but you act like a true gentleman.” She nodded enthusiastically, and her curls bounced around her head. “Yeah, she told me everything. She’s worried it worries you. The age thing that is. She’s afraid you might think she’s too old to, you know, have any more children. Since you don’t have any of your own.” She rolled her eyes and blushed. “But she’s not. And I’d love to have a little brother or sister. I’d baby-sit anytime you two wanted to—well, you know—have private time.”
Cole cleared his throat.
She leaned close. “She really, really likes you, Tom. She finally admitted it to me. But I’ve known for months. She even bought a new dress to wear tonight.” She held a hand level. “Well, I bought her the dress. I just got paid. She’s worried the style is too young for her but I insisted ivory eyelets just aren’t what women my age wear. It’s beautiful on her, really.” She winked. “So you might mention it. Of course, as gentlemanly as you are, you’d probably mention it anyway.” This time she giggled, and Cole smiled.
“I’ll be sure to notice.”
She shrugged her shoulders and squealed. “Mother is so lucky. The way you two look tonight you should be in a horse-drawn carriage going to a ball.” She sighed. “Well, I’d love to stay and chat but I only took a break to run and get her some champagne. She wants tonight to be special.” She waved a hyper hand. “I have to get back to work.”
Turning to leave, she called to a woman across the lot. “Oh, Megan, grab that bus! Hey, you’ll never guess who the new mail clerk is.”
EXCERPT ~ CORNERSTONE DEEP ECHOES
Exhaustion racked Cole’s body. He squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath to cleanse his lungs. The harm he’d caused Anna pulsed through his fatigued mind in fits of memory—distorted flashes that reminded him of the deceit, broken covenants, and ethereal anger. Pressing his palms onto his brow, his head sank deeper into the pillow. Did his actions really cost her soul six life times?
He dragged a hand down his face and blew air through his pursed lips. He’d bound her soul and even with his formidable skill with spells, he was unable to undo his wrong. Whatever cost Arylin saw fit to impose, he was grateful for the intervention. Only the Goddess of Love, with her boundless benevolence, would have found a way for them to continue their souls’ progression.
The God of Life’s fury rang in his ears as scenes of the night before haunted him. “You have defiled that which is sacred. No Meridian shall cause my child’s death without promise of rebirth. Griffin, I demand justice!”
His gaze returned to his love at his side and he listened to the sweet sound of her steady breathing. Strands of sleep-messed hair fluttered along the pillow each time she exhaled. Griffin, as God of Conformance, had every right to end him when Taravaughn called for justice. Surely, that was the desired punishment. To sentence him to serve her for the rest of her natural life only echoed Cole’s heart’s intent from the start.
As the morning sun’s light inched up the comforter’s patchwork pattern, he hitched his knee around her legs, forming his body to hers. For Arylin to return Anna’s soul to a previous life blessed them both beyond his dreams. It freed the binding and... He buried his face in her long waves and the scent of roses filled him. He had Mianna back.
“Mianna.” His whisper warmed his lips as it pooled against her neck.
She stirred and he pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “Cole.” Her sleepy eyes fluttered open but closed as if her lids were too heavy. “Have you been awake long?”
He smiled as the sound of her voice dispelled his mind’s troubles. “A while. How are you feeling?”
Her hand lifted and she brushed his long hair with her fingers before resting it at her side. “So tired. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired.” Her soft voice turned to a mumble. “You couldn’t have given me a better wedding gift but,” she drew a deep breath, “what did it do to me? What does Unsigh mean?”
Cole blinked to the side. She doesn’t know what Unsigh means? He lifted his head to peer at her cherubic face. Did she say wedding gift? Realization flushed his senses. Arylin returned her memory to our wedding night. We truly are starting our life together over.
He pulled the comforter up to her chin and wrapped his arm around her waist. “Unsigh means one heart, my love. It joins our passion when you create the symbol and utter the spell. It’s an enchantment only you can call on.”
“Oh,” she breathed. “It’s amazing…really. It’s just…I’m so…” As she drifted back into sleep, Cole’s brow furrowed. Mianna’s spell had never caused her fatigue, not even when her soul called upon it in Anna’s lifetime.
A spray of sun’s rays pitched across his face as they hit the wide dresser mirror. With a scowl, he squinted at the glare and twitched his hand at the window. The crepe sheers whipped closed followed by a thick swish from the burgundy drapes. The room plunged into darkness. As his eyes adjusted, dim light from the vanity area competed with the beams’ peek through the gaps around the window coverings. He sighed and sat up, resting his arm on his knee.
Perhaps it was everything she’d been through and she just needed rest. She’d experienced more trauma in the last week than he had in the last twenty-five hundred years. Her life as Anna had hardly been easy—abandonment, loss, and then manipulated by a man whose attention she’d refused. He raked a hand over his scalp. Then to nearly lose her life while they tried to unbind her soul, only to be saved by grace at the price of six life times’ progression…
Cole gazed over at the petite form beside him. He shook his head and brushed the dark hair from her face. How could Anna’s features be so similar to Mianna’s? The gentle slope of her nose, the curve of her bowtie lips. He tilted his head and gently stroked her cheek with his finger. Or was it the love he held in his heart that colored his view? A smile blossomed from his lips and he leaned to her, touching his brow to hers. His black hair fell to the pillow like a sheet of satin, deepening the shadows. No matter the reason. He had her back. And he vowed to never lose her again.
~ * ~
A satisfied grin tugged at Lord Dressen’s lips as he looked out over the gathered noblemen. Low voices filled the stately hall. Marble bracing columns led way to the arched beams in the domed ceiling. Sunbeams poured through the twelve-foot windows, filling the space with a yellow haze. The gold that framed the life-sized portraits along the walls appeared to glow, accenting their subjects.
The turn-out was as hoped. He had the majority of the Grand Marshals’ court in attendance and every member seemed dedicated to support him. His heavy brow furrowed and he lifted his chin. Cole Shilo, you’ll pay for taking Anna from me.
The dull rumble of conversation subsided as he stepped to Officiator’s stand and took his chair at the center of the table. He nodded to the two uniformed gentlemen who stood guard at the entrance and they stepped out, closing the doors behind them.
Lord Carrington tugged at his vest as he strode up the center aisle. A more trusted friend he’d never had. The tall man moved with trained temperance. An admirable trait; grace under pressure. Taking his place at Dressen’s side, he leaned to him with a hushed voice. “Ninety-nine are in attendance. Lord Standish’s men are the only ones not to sign in.”
“We can do without them. What are twenty-two votes against ninety-nine?”