Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cheryl Wyatt - READY-MADE FAMILY - Free Book

Bio: Cheryl Wyatt’s closest friends would never dream the mayhem she plots during announcements at church. An RN-turned-SAHM, joyful chaos rules her home, and she delights in the stealth moments God gives her to write. She’s convinced that having been born on a Naval base on Valentine’s Day destined her to write military romance. She stays active in her church and in her laundry room. Her debut novels (Books 1 and 2-Wings of Refuge Series-Steeple Hill) received Romantic Times Top Picks. In addition, her debut books received the honor of coming in at #1 and #4 on eHarlequins's Top Ten Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists which included several NYT Bestselling authors. Cheryl is currently serving as Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers. http://www.acfw.com/

To receive her quarterly newsletter for updates on new releases and contests with GREAT prizes (think: free books, CDs, iPods, and a Kindle!), visit her Web site at http://www.cherylwyatt.com/ and sign up in the space provided. Cheryl respects your privacy and will not share your e-mail address with a third party.

Welcome back to the blog, Cheryl. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Aww! Thank you. I would really love to be able to sell my action-romance novels. They’re more single title length. But I LOVE writing for Steeple Hill and never want to stop, even if I sell a single title. It’s hard in a category length book to keep a lot of action scenes because the focus needs to remain on the romance. But that’s what I’m naturally inclined to write. So I hope to branch out into single title length books in the future. I would still want to write for Steeple Hill though. They are my first love. :-) Harlequin is a great company to write for. I love it and feel so blessed every time a contract comes through.

Tell us a little about your family.

My family is by far the greatest blessing that God has given me outside of my relationship with Jesus and salvation. I learn so much from my children. I have three girls all close in age, which means they’ll all be teenagers at the same time. So my husband has built a PMS Shelter for Men and I’m sure he plans to check himself into it pretty soon. LOL! Well, he SAYS the room is a nice sunroom where I can go to write in peace…but I know it’s a shelter for the poor thing when he gets overrun by female hormones. Hey...at least the dog is male. LOL! Actually my husband is one of the funniest (and funnest!) people I know. He is an absolute riot and keeps us all in stitches. Much of the funny/witty dialogue in my books comes from stuff he says right out of the blue. My extended family lives close to me too, which is wonderful.

We had only duaghters, and they were teenagers at the same time. I told James that God has a special place in heaven for men who have to live with a houseful of women. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

I read a TON more now. And I tend to be a more critical reader now than before. Not so much critical in the sense of picking out all the craft mistakes as much as dissecting GREAT novels to see how the author engaged me to the plot and made me love the characters so much. Of course I find errors but ultimately story still trumps. I do know that I will never again blame an author for typos or missing quotation marks at the end of a stint of dialogue. I’ve seen the strange things that a typesetter can to do a novel and it end up in print. LOL! That kind of stuff doesn’t bother me anymore.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m finishing up a contracted novel (A Soldier’s Devotion) which will release in January 2010 from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. It’s Pararescue Jumper Vince’s story. It’s been the most fun book to write, yet challenging too because he’s not a Christian for a lot of the book.

I can hardly wait. What outside interests do you have?

NASCAR! Crafts of any kind. I am a tomboy kind of girl. I like motorcycles and guns and wicked looking swords. You’ll never see me in a dress…well because then my tattoo would show! LOL! I love to worship God. I love to reach out to orphans and elderly shut-ins. I have a huge heart for things like that. I love studying the Bible and I love hanging out with my girls and my nieces. Spending time with family. I’m very competitive so I love board games and playing basketball and all that jazz. Love going to concerts with my hubby…especially since he runs sound at many concerts and festivals.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I try to take the reader on a $4.00 vacation that feels like a $3K vacation in the story. I like to pick places I’ve been or lived because if the season of the books gets changed on revisions, then I don’t have to go through as much research to figure out what flowers grow in that area during certain times of the year, etc. I like to pick unique, interesting places. Right now I picked an area in southern Illinois that is a wildlife refuge. I created a fictional town there, even named it Refuge. And I planted an imaginary unmapped military base called Eagle Point. I love creating an entire town for a series, which is what I’m doing for the Wings of Refuge books (7 so far are contracted) from Steeple Hill.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Jesus. For sure. Then Elvis because I want to know how he does that lip twitch thing. LOL! No seriously, it would probably be someone, a woman, who made maximum impact on this earth. Someone like Mother Theresa or Corrie Ten Boom. I love a bumper sticker I read once that said, “Most well-behaved women never made history.” That is SO true.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

I wish I’d known about groups like ACFW http://www.acfw.com/. The networking from the eloop and the conference has benefited me greatly in the advancement of my career.

Mine, too. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

Well, right now He’s teaching me to give back. I love mentoring and have wanted to be at a point where I can truly help newer authors. But in some ways I still feel so new. We never stop learning. He’s teaching me to pull back a bit for a couple of years. I can easily do 5 books per year or more but I’m holding back in order to spend more time with my family and to serve ACFW as Vice President. So I’ll probably average more like 3 books a year rather than 5 or more for a couple of years.

Spiritually, He’s teaching me so much about Himself and His ability to sustain us during times of sickness and trauma. I had a bad wreck last year and am just recovered. One thing that time taught me was how oblivious we can be to the suffering of those around us. I was shut in for most of my recovery because I was unable to drive. The wreck shattered my foot and broke my ankle. I had multiple surgeries to repair all that. And I learned the importance of reaching out to those who can’t drive themselves to church. I am SO thankful for podcasts and technology that enables people to hear the message if they can’t be in the physical church building. But I pray that God will help me to know those around me who are shut in. I have a heart for that now whereas I never did before. So to that end, he caused good things to come out of a bad wreck. And at least no one was killed. He’s teaching me to be thankful every day.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

1. Write as worship.
2. Be willing to hear hard things about your writing yet don’t let anyone discourage you.
3. Matthew 6:33 it and watch God blow open Eph 3:20 doors you never imagined. Meaning apply the principle of putting God and His stuff first, even above your writing. And watch how His spirit spills over into the work to touch readers in ways you could not even begin to imagine. And fiction authors have OUTSTANDING imaginations! LOL!

Tell us about the featured book?

Ready-Made Family is obviously a romance. But it’s also a cross-cultural/interracial romance. I felt strongly God wanted me to write one to show His love for diversity and ethnicity. I don’t write agenda-driven fiction and I don’t like to read it. But if we are in Christ—abiding in relationship—certain themes that He has placed in our makeup will naturally come through the book, I think. This story is about a heroine who was shunned by a toxic church when she became pregnant out of wedlock. It’s also about a hero who is a strong, Alpha military male, but he’s multilayered in that he’s also a worship leader in church who writes his own music and lyrics. So he and the townspeople of Refuge reach out to this girl and her little daughter. Lots of things are restored in this book but I don’t want to give too much away.

Please give us the first page of the book.

First page excerpt: Ready-Made Family, by Cheryl Wyatt

"Mister! Mommy needs help!"
The child's cry spun U.S.A.F. Pararescue Jumper Ben-li Dillinger on his toes to face its source. Purchases clunked beside his car, Ben's feet propelled him toward the youngster.Tears falling from two teddy-bear-big eyes brought Ben, heart and body, to his knees. Speaking of bears, she clutched a tattered brown one."What's wrong, princess?"
Ben scanned Refuge Mall's parking lot for the mother. Maybe she had car trouble. But it wouldn't make sense for a parent to send a child this young for help. No vehicle with its hood propped, either. In fact, his was only one of the few remaining since closing time minutes ago. Not only that, the child's duress surpassed a stranded-car scenario.
A tiny hand tugged him up. "C'mon! Mommy's over here. Something bad happened!"

You hooked me. How can readers find you on the Internet?

My Web site is http://www.cherylwyatt.com/
I’m running a Kindle Contest now that is only available to newsletter subscribers. Folks can sign up for my newsletter by visiting my Web site and signing up in the newsletter space provided.



Shoot me a friends request if you participate in the social network sites.



I also hang out regularly on the forums at ACFW and Steeple Hill.
Thank you, Cheryl, for spending this time with us. I always enjoy hosting you.
Readers, if you don't live near a store that carries these books, heres a link where you can order it:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.


Mindy Obenhaus said...

Hey, Cheryl! (waving) I can't wait to read RMF.

Carly Kendall said...

This really sounds like a good book. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thank you.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I had to go to your website and see if I was signed up for your newsletter. I really would like a chance to win the Kindle. My Summerside Press book will come out in Kindle format.

mez said...

Loved the interview! The little "snippet" from the book has me wanting more, please include me in the drawing for Ready Made Family. Thanks.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Mindy! Thank you for supporting my writing with your readership. You are a blessing!

And I can't WAIT to return the favor. :-)


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Carly, thanks for dropping by.



Cheryl Wyatt said...

Lena, I don't yet have a Kindle and am drooling over my prize myself. And just to clarify, I'm giving away the NEW Kindle 2...even better!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Mez, thank you for coming by! If you happen to win or don't but purchase the book, I hope you enjoy the rest of the book as well as you did the opening of Ready-Made Family.



rebornbutterfly said...

I have read two of your books cheryl, and loved them both!

Abi said...

I love Love Inspired books. This one sounds wonderful. Thanks for the interview.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thank you, Rebornbutterfly! I really appreciate that.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Abi, havn't I seen you on the Seekers blog? Maybe? You look familiar.

Anyway, thank you for dropping by!


Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Deb, thanks for coming by!


Renee said...

I absolutely love Love Inspired books! They are great weekend or lunch hour reads, plus I love to pass them on to friends and family! Please enter me to win Cheryl's latest book!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Renee, I love reading them too. Thanks so much for coming by today!

windycindy said...

I am with her. If I could spend time with or go back in time, Jesus is the one I would spend time with. Please enter me in your book drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thanks for coming by!

I love that we can spend time with Jesus in prayer and relationship and talk to him anytime we want. But there'd be something really great to be face to face, eye to eye, hand in hand with him walking the streets of his home town and the towns he traveled in in real time.

Of course they probably would envy us and the days we live in, thanks to God leaving His spirit with us who is just as much God as Jesus is. And just as much a "person" as Jesus was. Only He (Holy Spirit) happens to be invisible. LOL!


Sheila Deeth said...

Nice to meet you Cheryl, and I've just signed up on your website. I've only just discovered Steeple Hill. Neat to meet a Steeple Hill author as well.

Stacey said...

sounds great. I love Cheryl's work. please toss my name in.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi Sheila and Stacy! Thank you for coming by!

Sheila, thank you for visiting my Web site. I encourage you to visit www.steeplehill.com or www.loveinspiredauthors.blogspot.com or www.loveinspiredauthors.com to check out the other Love Inspired authors. Also, if you enjoy the Steeple Hill books, I'll bet you'd also enjoy Barbour's Heartsong books too.

The romances I most commonly read and enjoy are (of course! :-))the Steeple Hill LIs, LISs and LI Historicals. I also enjoy Barbour and Summerside ones.

Stacy, your readership is a blessing. Thank you for your support of my writing!


Maureen said...

That was a wonderful interview and I glad that Cheryl is recovered from her accident.

Edna said...

I would love to win a copy of :Ready Made Family" please enter me into the contest

May God Bless

Carolynn W. said...

Sounds like a wonderful story, I would love to read it!
Thanks for the chance to win!

Marla said...

I love Cheryl's idea of taking the reader on a $4 vacation. Reading to me is like a vacation,although I never thought of it like that before. This sounds like a good book. Thanks!


Cheryl Wyatt said...

Hi, Maureen! Thanks for coming by. I appreciate your good thoughts!

Edna, thanks for your interest in the book.

Carolyn, I enjoyed writing Ben's story and hope you enjoy reading it when you have a chance.

Marla, thank you for your kind words! I do love to entertain readers and take them to marvelous places in a story.

Thank everyone for taking time to visit our interview! This really means a lot fo authors.

Hugs all!


hippmom said...

Sounds great. Thanks for entering my name in the drawing!

Katie said...

Hello please enter me n your drawing this book looks soo good :)