Shannon here: Rebecca Carey Lyles shares insight into her characters’ romance from her Prisoners of Hope trilogy. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy of Shattered Dream. Winner’s choice of print of e-book. Deadline: March 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Rebecca:
“Shattered Dream” is the first book in the PRISONERS OF HOPE trilogy, a continued account of Cassie True, a young woman struggling to survive a controlling religious cult. Because the story arc encompasses all three books, the below interview questions and answers address issues from the entire series.
- Cassie, are you open to romance?
Absolutely not. Several years ago, I was married for a short time to a wonderful man named Eric. After cancer took him from me, I swore I’d never marry again. Eric and I were soulmates who connected at a deep level. We were inseparable almost from the night we met. No other man can fill the void my husband’s death created in my life.
- If you did happen to meet someone as wonderful as Eric, would you consider marriage?
Well, maybe… But I can’t imagine that ever happening.
- (After Cassie meets Corban) What simple gesture does Corban do that melts you every time?
He winks at me from across the church (single men and single women sit on opposite sides of the sanctuary). I know it’s silly, but his winks make my heart do cartwheels. They lift my spirits, despite this dark, oppressive place I’m in right now.
- Who is most romantic, you or Corban?
Corban, for sure. I have a hard time picturing a future with anyone other than Eric. I like Corban, might even love him. Yet, I feel I should be faithful to my husband. And maybe, just maybe, I’m afraid to love again. Corban doesn’t pressure me, which is good, or I’d be avoiding him like I avoid the cult leaders.
- What is the most caring thing Corban has done for you?
After one of the worst experiences of my life, he held me and let me cry on his shoulder, even though we hadn’t yet confessed interest in each other and we didn’t have the leader’s permission to date or be alone together.
- Do you and Corban have a favorite restaurant?
Because we’re not allowed to date, we don’t have a favorite restaurant, but Corban is anxious to take me to his favorite Mexican restaurant when we’re finally free from cult constraints. My three main life goals are to graduate from the rehab program, return to my music career and escape the cult. A fajita dinner with Corban would be the cherry on the top of reaching those objectives.
- Do you and Corban have a favorite song?
When we had a surprise opportunity to be alone together, Corban sang a forbidden Beatles tune to me – I Want to Hold Your Hand. I’ll always remember the twinkle in his blue eyes, his beautiful voice—and the fact he was actually holding my hand at the time, a daring act on his part. If a cult member had seen us, they would have reported us to the leader, and we would have suffered severe consequences. The worst consequence would have been to never see each other again.
Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, the setting for her Kate Neilson novels. She currently lives in Idaho, where she serves as an editor and as a mentor for aspiring authors. She’s also written two Colorado-based nonfiction books, “It’s a God Thing!” and “On a Wing and a Prayer,” and compiled a short-story collection with other Idaho authors titled “Passageways.” Her latest fiction series, “Prisoners of Hope,” features a heroine in the clutches of a controlling religious cult. She and her husband, Steve, host a podcast called “Let Me Tell You a Story” (beckylyles.com/podcast). Learn more about Becky and her books at beckylyles.com.
About the book – Shattered Dream:
Cassie True dreams of the day she can resume her music career. Only one thing stands in her way—a court-ordered rehab program sponsored by a religious cult determined to steal her soul.
Singer/songwriter Cassie True enters a rehab program that promises to change her life. And it does…in ways she never expected. Caught in a religious cult’s ever-constricting web, she fights not only for her sanity but for the freedom to form real friendships. She longs to put alcoholism behind her, finish the program and return to her career. But when her friend is forcibly separated from her husband by the cult leader and a young boy is abused at the cult’s elementary school, she can’t stand by and do nothing.
Bucking the system is dangerous and could result in dismissal from the program—and a return to jail. Can Cassie and her coworker, Corban Dahlstrom, “toe the party line” on the surface yet work together behind the scenes to help others escape the cult’s grip? Will they be able to withstand the fiery backlash that’s sure to come? Does their budding romance have a chance in a world where an iron-fisted leader controls all relationships?
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers: How have you or someone you know been impacted by a religious cult?