Today, I am pleased to welcome author Cheryl Colwell to I & R. Cheryl loves to travel and being home with family and friends. She loves authentic conversations, the gifts of faith and writing, and people who are passionate about life. She invites her readers to stunning locations where they meet mysterious strangers and encounter unexpected danger. Her suspense stories are inspired by history and museum finds from the places she visits. You’ll be kept guessing what is fact and what is fiction. And whodunnit.
Today, Cheryl is going to talk about her latest book Astoria Rumors and she is giving away a copy!
Welcome to I & R Cheryl!
I love this cover! How many books have you written?
Astoria Rumors is my fifth full-length novel. They tend to be around 300 pages because I enjoy puzzles and weaving themes together to create a rich experience for my readers.
Do you travel to the places you write about?
I have! The Proof was inspired when in Tuscany and I viewed the authentic ‘sword in the stone,’ no kidding. The story took over and became a religious/political intrigue that hit #1 on Amazon in its category. I’ve made many trips to Astoria, Oregon for research while writing Astoria Rumors. My goal is to transport my readers to stunning locations where they will meet mysterious strangers and run into unexpected danger. Writing this is so much fun.
Which do you enjoy more, the research part for a book, or the writing?
I love both. I even love editing. It’s as though the Lord created me with all the giftings that fit being a writer.
What is the central theme of your book?
The central theme for Astoria Rumors is betrayal and resilience. It’s about a middle-aged woman who thinks she’ll live forever in a blissful marriage in the home of her dreams. Though she wouldn’t have chosen it, she rediscovers her confidence and personal strength, becoming a hero and example to many of us in the same situation.
What inspired you to write this book?
While in Astoria the first time, I photographed a dilapidated mansion owned by one of the first families. They were childless and I thought, what if somewhere in past generations, there was an heir born out of wedlock who makes a claim? Of course, I changed the family to a fictional one and relocated the mansion, but kept a few details that I’m sure the locals will recognize just for fun.
Which character do you like the most?
The main character is Eaven Alexander. I drafted book three years ago then had it edited in 2019. My editor was wonderfully brutal. She said the character had no agency; that there was no indication at the beginning of each scene what Eaven wanted, so it was impossible to know if she got it; that Eaven would start toward something but allow herself to be pushed in another direction. I’d written myself on the page. I had to become a stronger person to write my leading lady. I’ve dedicated the book to my editor for the invaluable gift she gave me on the page and in real life.
Do you have any other books in the works?
Yes. Astoria Rumors is book one in the Get Eaven Series. Eaven uses her expertise in historical architecture and antiques to help families determine the provenance of their heirlooms. In each story, that opens dark family secrets that when exposed, right generations of wrongs and help the victims ‘get even’. Of course, the villains would love to ‘get Eaven.”
What is your favourite Scripture verse, and why?
“Seek to live a quiet life, to work with my hands, to mind my own business” (1 Thes. 4:11). Because of early wounds, I spent my life trying to get attention, to run myself ragged making myself useful so I would be wanted. About a decade ago, the Lord began to heal me, gave me that scripture, assured me I was wanted without any striving on my side. Then He gave me writing!
When is your next book due out, and can you tell us about it?
Book two is Charleston Tides. I spent ten days in Charleston on research and have about eight chapters drafted. It is incredibly exciting to me and ideas are screaming to get on the page.
Finally, what authors have inspired you?
I love Kristen Heitzmann’s work. Though she writes pure romantic suspense and I write suspense with a little romance, I think our styles are similar and we both love creating unique characters.
Thank you Cheryl for these insights into your work and your book!
And now Dear Readers, if you would like to win a copy of Astoria Rumors simply fill out the form below! (A print copy is available to win for one lucky person in the U.S.A or Canada. This giveaway will run until October 27. The winner will be announced here and on our Facebook Page. Failure to claim your prize within three will result in another winner being chosen.)
Congratulations to Lori Smanski! You are the winner of Astoria Rumors. Watch for our email!
She's desperate, alone and unprotected. But she will survive.
Homeless, broke, and broken, Eaven Alexander resurrects her career, but with an innovative twist. Her degrees in historical architecture and antiques attract a lucrative but questionable job offer to locate an important document for the mysterious Greg Sault.
The hunt takes her inside a decaying mansion and into conflict with Clayton Mercer, a town heavyweight and Greg’s enemy. Too late, she realizes that something insidious is lurking beneath Astoria’s idyllic façade. And that no one is who they claim to be.