Novelist and Children's Author

Featured book: Rush of Heaven

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Faith | 6 comments

From the back cover:

grunge image of a field 

“Ema, give me your hand.” These were the words Jesus spoke to Ema on Christmas Eve–the night He straightened her crooked foot, hand, neck, and spine, and restored her mobility.

Easter weekend, eighteen years earlier, an ordinary workday turned into a nightmare when Ema McKinley passed out and was left hanging upside down in the storage room.

Rather than improving, Ema’s body became progressively bent and disfigured. Doctors diagnosed Ema with reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), an extremely painful trauma-induced disease which led to Ema’s hand and foot deformities, painful sores, insomnia, gastrological distress, curvature of the neck and spine, heart and lung failure, and permanent confinement to a wheelchair.

Once an athletic, powerhouse woman with multiple jobs and volunteer positions, Ema became a modern-day Job who lost everything except her faith and desire to trust God more fully. Ema wrestled with pain, anger, and unforgiveness, but now takes the reader on a healing miracle encounter of Biblical proportions.

Rush of Heaven will ignite readers’ passion for Jesus and help them walk hand-in-hand with Him through life’s darkness. It will open hearts to embrace the impossible.

“Jesus gave me this miracle for you too!” — Ema McKinley


An interview with author Cheryl Ricker:

Ema McKinley and Cheryl Ricker


Finish this sentence. Collaborative writing is . . .


…a partnership of mutual trust and respect. The writer asks questions, questions, and more questions, then writes the book.


What’s your favorite scene in Rush of Heaven?


That’s a tough one because I love all the scenes, I really do. But I’ll tell you my husband’s favorite scene. I think I like it best because it made him cry the most. (And I love making my husband cry.) 🙂


We both love when Ema surprises her sons and grandsons after her miracle healing on Christmas Eve.


Since she had been crooked and confined to a wheelchair before she had grandchildren, they’d never seen her any other way. Then, all of sudden, they’re shocked out of their minds to see her standing in front of them upright. She then wrapped them in one of those full-fledged frontal grandma hugs for the very first time. Definitely a grab-your-tissues moment. Yes, I thrive on turning people into emotional wrecks. 🙂



Are you anything like Ema McKinley? Was it difficult to get inside her head and write her story?


Ema and I have quite a few similarities. We both like to write poetry, we’re both passionate about Jesus and hearing the voice of God, we both volunteered and/or worked at the March of Dimes and Salvation Army, we’ve both worked with handicapped people, and we both love ice cream.


Ema is the same age as my mother, and her two kids are the same age as my brother and I. I’m the oldest, and Ema’s oldest son has two sons that are the same age as my two sons.


So yeah, we have some pretty cool similarities. Even so, Ema and I are very different in the way we think, act, and speak.


I wouldn’t say it was “difficult” to get in her mind. I just needed to “learn” her mind—like the way an actor learns her character. You study your character so you can step inside. You dive deep and drive her out. It’s wild! It’s art!


It got to the point where I could switch into my Ema character whenever I sat down to write. I’ve always liked acting; and to me, writing is like acting on paper. By the time I finished, Ema said, “It’s like we’re one voice.” As she read my words, she couldn’t even tell us apart. Mission accomplished.



What do you want your readers to take away from this book?


Everything the Holy Spirit wants to speak to them.


Ok, I want readers to learn that God is right there in the midst of their problems. He wants them to take hold of his hand and trust him with every single thing that concerns them.


I want readers to know that you can’t put God in a box. He can do anything, and of course, he still heals today. He never changes.


Do you have another book in the works? Tell us about it.


Yes, I’m pleased to say I do. It’s another true miracle story. This time it’s about an amazing little boy who gets caught up into heaven multiple times and teaches us multiple mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, God-loving things about life.


For fun, what do you like to snack on while you write?


Cheese, turkey burgers, and chocolate, but not all at once. 🙂



About author Cheryl Ricker:


You can learn more about Cheryl and her books at:



Thank you, Cheryl, for stopping by.


Cheryl is offering a copy of Rush of Heaven to one of you. Please answer the following question in the comment box along with your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you’re the winner. You can purchase the book here.


Cheryl asks: What’s your narrative non-fiction book? Your favorite true story?



Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Laura Bennet

    Hi! Great interview Sherry and Cheryl. I felt like we were having a chat together 🙂

    Maybe this seems like a shameless plug, but my favorite narrative is my own story The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater. Brendan and I live it out daily and continue to thank God for the miracles He did for us.

    I would also have to say that Mary DeMuth’s Thin Places had a huge impact on me both in everyday life and as a writer.

    • Sherry Kyle

      Hi Laura,

      I enjoyed The Miracle of Us and can understand why it would be your favorite. Your love story is definitely miraculous! I haven’t read Thin Places, but I know Mary DeMuth’s writing is beautiful.

  2. Sherry Kyle

    There needs to be 10 comments in order to have the book give away! Tell your friends.

  3. Caryl Kane

    Wonderful interview with Cheryl. I just finished reading “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge. My favorite true story is “Heaven is For Real”. Thank you for the chance to win “Rush of Heaven”. 🙂


  4. Cheryl Ricker

    Thanks for inviting me to share, Sherry!!