The Calling Dream
Second novel in the Soul Encounters series
At the age of ten, in 1945, Ronald Dennison, the son of a backwoods Arkansas preacher begins having profound and religiously laden dreams about a strange redheaded woman. Throughout his life, she seduces him, calls him to preach, to become a televangelist, while she berates him for his sins of lust. Yet she holds a secret so dark that he dares never admit it, even to himself. The more famous and wealthier he becomes, the more he struggles with himself about his lust, his adultery, his fetish and his shame until, one day, his life reaches a breaking point and his torment can no longer be contained.
Note from Karlyle:
Available March 17, 2023
2021 FIREBIRD AWARD WINNER FOR CROSS GENRE AND GENERAL FICTION!
Karlyle Tomms writes the way Dostoevsky. Would have written, if that bearded Russian were raised in The Ozarks. By that I mean Karlyle writes with a sensitivity few writers are able to achieve. It is this empathetic awareness that allows him to get descriptive with the scenery and the characters. Karlyle provides insights into life that can only be achieved through subtly observing tiny nuances in human behavior. Through his flowery detail, Karlyle is able to bring 2D characters into the fully round world of your mind as your read his story. Vivid and lucid are two words I’d use to describe Karlyle’s writing style, and together they form joyous literature. Just a random sample shows what I mean: "Her appearance was always perfect with permed hair and classic women’s business attire. Her one vice, I suppose, was her glasses. You never knew what style she might wear, and she had to spend a considerable amount of her income collecting multiple different frames. Each day, she would wear a different pair plopped over her tiny pointed nose and must have owned fifteen or twenty pairs, at least. I suppose, if her prescription changed, she just had the lenses changed on her existing frames. On that particular day, she wore a pair of lime-green cat eyes with a faux-pearl embedded in the outer tip on either side. She had an eyeglass chain made of tiny white faux pearls. That’s the other thing. She probably had a larger variety of eyeglass chains than she had glasses.” Lime-green cat eyes? Now THAT is my kind of character! The reader doesn’t need as many glasses as Clara Smith to see that Karlyle is a writer on top of his craft, and if you enjoy colorful characters and settings, you’ll really appreciate this book.
The characters, the dialogue, etc. ring true and clear, and portray the flavor of life and the people who live in the back country in Arkansas vividly.
Karlyle Tomms understands survivors of childhood trauma. The characters are authentic and the situations real. He doesn’t hold back.
His description of racism/discrimination took on a point of view I’d never considered before.