As a contemporary YA romance author, I never imagined I would write a dystopian trilogy or anything sci-fi/fantasy related…and then Lily Carmichael came to me and wouldn’t leave me alone until I told her story. Such is the weird life of a writer, and the consequence of living in the hills and hanging out with “Preppers”. After many discussions with my neighbor friends about “end of world” preparedness, the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael rushed into my brain in trilogy form. I could clearly see the beginning and end of three separate books being needed to tell the whole story. In hindsight, I wish I’d made it a series. There was much more to the story as it unfolded, and could have easily gone on for another book or two.
WANING MOON sets the scene and shows what the world might be like in forty-five years—after a major pandemic has wiped out three quarters of the population, and a polar shift has the planet on the precipice of destruction. The question is, can Lily’s genetically enhanced healing ability save the world? It hardly seems likely when she can’t even save her uncle. Because of their blood ties, her abilities are ineffective in curing his cancer, and she’s forced to journey into the trading city to find the medicine he needs.
This first book in the trilogy chronicles that dangerous mission, partnering Lily with a mysterious drifter, 17 year-old Will Callahan, who is on a mission of his own, and whose secrets threaten to expose Lily to the Industry, an evil subsidiary of the government that would like nothing more than to exploit Lily, her brother, and their powers. Book one introduces a lively cast of characters, including Lily’s brother Zeph, a 13 year-old boy with the power to take life with a touch, and who Lily is sworn to protect. (You can read Zeph’s story, SOUL REDEMPTION, a short story free to download from Smashwords.) I loved creating the quirky characters who rounded out the story. Lily’s BFF, Garnet Perkins, the creepy town bully, Josh Johnson, and the loveable McKinley sisters, Maggie and Nora, the latter of whom Lily’s Uncle Sam is smitten with. I had a blast writing the wolves, Bo and Pappy, who the ladies raised from pups and who have a special kinship with Lily and Zeph.
|Waning Moon by PJ|
After WANING MOON, which RT Book Reviews called, “An action-packed read with a strong female lead,” I wrote book two, WESTERN DESERT. The second part of Lily’s story takes her and Will across a sun-ravaged and decimated U.S. on a dangerous rescue mission. I won’t tell you who they’re rescuing because of spoilers and all that, but many of the characters I grew to love (and hate) in book one, play essential roles in book two, as Lily and Will’s relationship evolves and the plight of the world reaches a tipping point toward annihilation. I did leave a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of book two, but so far, readers seem happy with where I left off.
Book three in the trilogy, HEALING WATERS, picks up at the end of book two with a wild ride of an escape scene that quickly moves the story through twists and turns before reaching the climactic battle for the planet’s salvation. In this final installment, I wanted to make sure that Lily evolved fully, and that she was able to be true to herself in the end, even if her true nature reveals that, despite her special gifts, she’s only human.