We had the pleasure of interviewing an author with more than thirty books spanning two series. Please give a warm welcome to author Calle J. Brookes. Check out all those her amazing paranormal romances in her Dardanos series, and her romantic suspense stories in her PAVAD series.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself.
First of all, I want to thank you for having me here for this interview. I’ve been writing since the age of 9. I started publishing my work in the spring of 2011. I live in beautiful southern Indiana with my author-assistant/business partner/husband and our 4 year old daughter. And our two Border collies and four garden snails.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment in writing?
My best accomplishment would be having both of my series continuing for as long as they have been. I am currently releasing the 10th book in the PAVAD series and the 13th book in the Dardanos,Co. series will be releasing in August of this year.
Have you always wanted to write? How old were you when you wrote your first romance?
I have wanted to write since the age of 9 when I realized that people really did write. I was around 11 years old when I wrote my first romance story.
Who, or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Sandra Canfield’s Voices on the Wind was the first romance novel that I read. Her writing style influenced me greatly and I didn’t even realize it until recently, when I found the book on ebay. It was so interesting to reread that book and see where my own romantic suspense are similar.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
For the romantic suspense series the books tend to follow a certain structure with the crime and solving it, mixed with the romance and solving that. For the paranormal series I let the characters tell me where to take them. The characters range from human to goddess, from demon to werewolf, and vampire to … No, I don’t use any specific formula for my work.
Is there a certain type of scene that is harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Anything that involves logic. Lol No, seriously…I am constantly asking myself is this a logical action for this character/world. I don’t know that I feel unsure in this area, or I just want to make sure that the book—ghosts and demons or whatever—still remains realistic. My husband says I struggle with logic in my daily life too. Lol (But I don’t think I do at all…Yes, the television remote does go nicely next to the cheese on the top shelf of the refrigerator!)
Is there a subject you would never write about? Why?
There aren’t really any subjects that I would not write about. I tend not to go into detail on more violent subjects, as I don’t think it’s really that necessary for a good story. I’m a bit squeamish with blood and guts! As for subject matter within the books, life is messy and I try to handle bad things in the books as realistically, yet as sensitively, as I can.
What happens to your deleted scenes? Do you squirrel them away for future use, or are they gone forever?
Honestly, in the 30 titles that I have I only scrapped have two or three deleted scenes. I do have them squirreled away, though. (My husband says I am a hoarder!) One of the scenes recently showed up in a spin off romantic suspense series.
What new and exciting thing is coming from Calle J Brookes in the next little while?
By the end of the year I hope to have released my first title in my paranormal romantic suspense series. Think Criminal Minds meets Grimm meets a little bit of Charmed. The series will be centered around demons and humans for the first few releases, after that I have no clue who—or what—will find its way onto the pages. The 14th release in the Dardanos,Co. series, Balance of the Worlds, will be available in August. It is tied in closely with two other books in the series, The Wolf God & His Mate, and my most recent release The Witch.
She’d always known her path would be one that touched on darkness.
Each and every time she had been reborn with the knowledge that in one of her lives she would be called on to bring forth evil. For if evil was not reborn, then it could not be defeated.
Right now, and for the last five thousand years, the evil had been merely waiting. Holding itself together until lives were born that would unleash it.
But that defeat was not written in stone, either. And that was what Loren Nellano was counting on.
Somehow, people had been born who could fight that evil.
But first she needed to find them.
The town was destroyed, no one looking at it would think any differently. The main hall, what had once been the resort and home of the ruling family, had been burned until little remained of it but ruins. She’d visited it—once—when her closest friend had married into the ruling family.
Now she did not know where Jade had ended up, and worry for her friend was utmost in her mind. But there was nothing she could do—if she did not follow the path that had been outlined for her so many millennia ago then a lot more lives would be lost than just one.
And when she’d awakened that morning, in the bedroom she’d grown up in, she’d known exactly what it was she was supposed to do.
Her mother had wept. But she had understood—her mother had known from Loren’s birth that something waited for her daughter. And she’d taught Loren to understand what sacrifice would be. What it would look like someday.
Her mother walked beside her in this city of ruins. Loren didn’t know why she was so surprise that her mother had chosen to leave the safety of the life she had known in Denver, but her mother had. She had to be terrified—her mother was not Druid. And had been born human. She knew so little of what Loren was. But her mother had the gift of foresight, something that rare humans did. Her mother had known and acted accordingly.
But how was Loren to keep the person she loved more than anything safe in a world unlike any they had ever known? If Loren was even able to open the walls that separated the Gaian—or human—world from that of the demons.
That was her ultimate destination. The people she was searching for waited for her there.
The dark sorcerer waited as well.
Did anyone else realize that? Weren’t their prognosticators among the demons?
Loren would be the first to admit the demon world was one she knew very little about. She had been only to one other world Levia, and that three week stay was not one she wanted to repeat.
He had been a high Druid, one of the priests of the goddess. Loren had known so very little about him and his work, about the goddess he followed. He had died when Loren was seven, and no one knew what had happened to him completely. Loren had always wondered…
Her mother was so alone.
Loren worried for her.
But now she had to push that worry aside. There was far too much for her to do now.
Jushua’s sword clashed against his brother’s. Dekimos smirked at him. “You have learned little, Jushie. I can still defeat you.”
Jushua thrust again. Once, when they were young the taunting name would have maddened him. But Dekimos had been lost to him for more than five thousand years, along with most of their other siblings. Only Jushua’s twin had survived the dark sorcerer’s attack.
Dekimos had been felled, but because of his great healing gifts his soul had managed to forge itself together again within months of the attack.
It was only in the last four months that Dekimos had been returned to him. Jushua took his brother’s return as the gift it was.
That did not mean he—as the youngest male of the original Dardaptos line—wanted his older brother to defeat him in sword play.
It was a matter of honor.
He forced himself to concentrate—to show Deki—the brother more at home healing than killing—how much sword technique he had developed in four thousand years. And it somehow seemed wrong to him that the greatest healer his Kind had ever known should pick up a sword. That it was their brother Estacles’ sword only served as a reminder of what they had lost.
Dekimos had long practiced passivism. But that had changed the day Deki was murdered by the sorcerer.
Jushua would die to protect the man he fought now. Never again would his brother face that dark threat.
Never again would Jushua be forced to leave the fallen body of one of his siblings behind. Not like he had before. He had been at his brother Kilan’s side when his brother had charged the dark sorcerer. When Kilan had fallen protecting his Rajna, his brother’s mate. Jushua had tried to protect Kilan, but his brother had known he was dying. Kilan had looked at him over the body of the already gone Rajna and made Jushua vow to protect the rest of the family.
And their mother.
He had found her clutching his youngest sister against her chest. Nelciana’s sister was dead next to his mother. She had been but sixteen, with the promise of great beauty ahead of her. But his sister had been but three years, and no piece of her soul remained. The Dark Sorcerer had devoured her.
His mother was burned and scarred and desolate. And the dark sorcerer’s fire was coming toward them. He had lifted his mother in his arms, still clutching the dead child, and he had carried her into another world.
He had buried his sister beneath a butterfly tree, knowing the little girl would have loved the bright pinks and purples of the flowers that resembled Gaian butterflies.
He had taken his mother to a place where she could be safe, where the burns upon her body could heal. He had stayed with her for three days, until he’d found help for her. Then he had returned to the world of his birth.
To Evalanedea, land of his father’s fathers. His family and the Nellanas, of which Rajna had been a daughter, had settled the world of Evalanedea.
But the dark sorcerer had wanted it. And had taken it.
Jushua had found a band of survivors numbering less than four hundred.
His siblings and the entire Nellana family were not among them.
And his mother had lived with fear in her soul ever since.
Jushua swung his blade. Deki parried.
“Come on, little brother, you can do far better than that.”
The taunt came from behind Jushua. But he did not turn around. The voice belonged to the male that had been reborn with Kilan’s soul. Nalik Black even possessed a scar that echoed the blow the dark sorcerer had given Kilan that felled the eldest Dardaptoan brother.
Nalik was a mere seven hundred years, but thanks to his ascension to Laquazzeana in recent years, he was far older in strength and power.
Jushua wasn’t entirely certain he—even with Dekimos at his side—could defeat the Gaian Dardaptoan.
There were too many damned Laquazzeana in this world for his own comfort.
His mother was one. Nalik and his Nalik’s mate Cassandra. The prince of this world had a Laquazzeana mate who scared the shit out of Jushua, and there was the healer girl Bronwen whose male had found Dekimos.
And he suspected his brother Deki was one as well. But he had not asked, nor would he.
Laquazzeana were more powerful than any deity of any world Jushua had ever visited. They were strong, powerful, and some said bordering on insane.
Some said the power that filled them was enough to eat at their souls. That was one reason many spent time in total isolation. Deki had been alone for thousands of years before he had been found.
“The upstart waits. Think you we can take him?” Deki asked.
“You cannot even take me on alone, dear brother. Let alone ol’batboy.” Nalik had the unique ability to shift into multiple animals, and frequently chose the Gaian bat—a small, winged rodent—as his preferred animal. Nalik had smirked and said Jushua wouldn’t get it when Jushua had first asked about the small creature.
He could have at least chosen a hawk or other raptor. Something a bit more masculine than a cuddly mouse with wings.
“Jushua, there are things I know about that your small warrior brain will never be able to understand. I can bring you to your knees without thought.”
Deki dropped the sword then moved quicker than a spirit-blur. Jushua found his weapon yanked from his hands and imbedded in the hard stone of the castle yard—inches from Nalik’s feet.
Jushua himself ended up face down on the ground, his older brother sitting upon him. “Yield, little Jushie?”
“If the two of you are finished playing, we have business to take care of.”
Jushua looked up at Nalik and was disconcerted for just a moment at how much the reborned one looked like the original soul possessor. Did he have Kilan’s thoughts and memories? Did he remember Kilan giving Jushua his first sword? Training him in the wheat fields that had surrounded the castle that they had called home? Or was it just the physical visage the male possessed, and just a fraction of Kilan’s soul?
He did not know how it had been managed. How had his twin Kennera, goddess of the Gaian Dardaptoans, managed to rebirth their siblings’ souls?
They had found two more reborn siblings among the Gaian Dardaptoans who had been relocated to the demon world months ago—Havalana the Healer, and the Laquazzeana healer girl Bronwen.
Jushua did not know how it was he was supposed to feel about the females.
They were not the sisters he had once known and loved—but they were.
Dardaptoans believed in the notion of recycled souls. It was something Jushua and his own father had discussed eons ago. But that someone of their Kind had managed to somehow force particular souls to be reborn because of the love that someone held for the rebirthed spirit—that had never been done before the dark sorcerer’s attack. And as far as he knew, save for Kennera and Nelciana Nellana, the Gaian Druid Goddess that Jushua had once been betrothed to, it had not been done since.
His mother had embraced the reborn souls with all the fervor that only a mother with a lost child could. Havalana? Possessed the very spirit of the sister Jushua had buried beneath the butterfly tree. How was he supposed to think of that?
“What business have we?” Deki was more aware than Jushua apparently. Why was his head so clouded? He looked at Deki and saw the smirk. “What, Jushie? Think you I would not use all the weapons I possess in battle? Forgot you what father and Kilan had taught us?”
His brother held out a hand and Jushua took it, the gesture a sign of respect and trust. The fog on his mind immediately cleared.
Dekimos had learned a lot in his five plus thousand years hidden in another world. Jushua did not know exactly where his brother had been all those years, and had yet to ask.
Dekimos had made it very clear that he was not ready to divulge all of his secrets.
And Jushua had to respect that.
“What business?” He looked at Nalik again. Two other males walked at his side, which Jushua vaguely recognized. Barlaam, the Dardaptoan Healer, and a Lupoiux alpha named Taniss. They spent most of their time at the castle of the High King.
It was taking Jushua a bit of time getting used to the idea that demons—beings he had once battled ferociously in his previous land—ruled the land he now occupied. Where he’d brought the tribe of four hundred that had grown to number over two hundred thousand.
Demons were now allies. Friends.
It would take him time to get used to that.
“A return trip to the Gaian world. There are rumored to be some of our Kinds left behind. A few tribes. We return to Dardanos to retrieve some things for Kennera, as well,” Nalik said. “Some souls that she wishes to make reborn.”
The other males’ unease with such a task was clear on their faces. Jushua leaned against the handle of his sword, and studied them. For the first time in a while he felt a small stirring of intrigue.
He had never been to the Gaian world. The land of humans had a reputation amongst the worlds he had traveled.
And it wasn’t a good one.
Filth, rot, misuse—he’d heard all sort of such allegations. And some of the younger Dardaptoans who had been born in the last century in that human world had not impressed him overly much. “When do we go?”
Nalik looked at him, his eyes hooded. “I knew you would want to go. But it is Dekimos Kennera states can bring back the souls.”
Jushua smirked. “Then I shall go along and protect my brother. It is my solemn duty.”
“Flying rat’s ass, it is.” Nalik had his measure, and Jushua knew it. “You just don’t want to stay here.”
Jushua would not deny it. Not with the reborned brother and the…well…the reformed one. They could both read him far too well, even in the short time since they had bene reunited. “There is too much cooing. Babes and females and the like.”
“And that settles upon you, like it does me as well,” Dekimos said. “We all know how fleeting it can be. Know what we have lost.”
“Yes, we do.” Nalik said no more. Jushua knew some of his history. It was common gossip amongst the people that Nalik led.
Nalik ruled the city of Thrun with a fair way. Jushua had taken a week from his own new home of Galaosis to speak with Nalik and some others of things.
Things they all knew were to come.
And…to handle mundane things like adequate water systems and food stores for two sister cities that totaled nearly six hundred thousand Dardaptoans now.
Six hundred thousand who looked to Jushua and Nalik to lead them in the dark days that were coming.
Dekimos spent most of his days in a different world, preparing the Healing city led by young Bronwen to receive the wounded they all knew were to come.
But Jushua knew that his reborned sister Bronwen was destined to fail. There would be so little wounded sent to her.
Most would simply be dead. Burned to ash beneath that dark bastard’s fire from the Three Hells.
Jushua would never wish that fate on anyone—except the Dark Sorcerer himself.
In five thousand years, he had never learned the bastard’s name. He had searched for some clue of the monster’s origins but had found nothing. And he could not return to his birthland Evalanedea mercenaries hired by some unseen enemy would seek him out.
Because those mercenaries had been cursed by the Dark Sorcerer five thousand years ago to seek out any and all Dardaptos blood and annihilate it completely. Some had followed them to Easchu, but Jushua and his troops had dispatched them quickly.
Jushua would never get the answers he sought.
“To the human world, then.”