5 March 2008

Blog tour, interview and giveaway with Cheryl Wyatt

A Soldier's Family
Cheryl Wyatt
Publisher: Steeple Hill
Ordering Link: Order now!


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. Both of her debut novels (Books 1 and 2 in her Wings of Refuge Series from Steeple Hill) have received Romantic Times Top Picks.
Visit Cheryl Wyatt on the Web


On A Crash Course With Love

She was the woman of pararescue jumper Manny Péna's dreams. But he'd stuck his foot in his mouth the last time he met Celia Munez. Now, grounded after a parachuting accident, he was desperate to make amends with the beautiful widow. But Celia wasn't having it. The last thing she needed was another man with a dangerous job—even if he had given his life to God. Yet Manny's growing commitment to her and her troubled son began to convince her that perhaps she should take her own leap of faith.

Interview with Cheryl Wyatt.

Firstly thanks for agreeing to this interview

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have been married to Billy for ten years. I have three great children. We love to laugh and play together. My husband is heavy into the Christian music scene and runs sound for just about every major Christian band out there as well as many festivals and he's venturing into the NASCAR scene with some of it. So we spend a lot of time at concerts. I am also an RN but I left my 15+ year career temporarily to stay home with my children. I have written all my life but started pursuing fiction seriously about seven years ago. I took courses through Institute of Children's Literature as well as through Jerry Jenkins' Christian Writer's Guild. Both of those programs grew my writing to publishable levels and gave me a wonderful foundation for my fiction writing today. I am currently writing for my dream publisher which is Steeple Hill. I will eventually start submitting my Inspirational action romance stories, but for now I'm focusing on Inspirational romance. Let's see...what else can I say. I'm involved with a fabulous church with relevant teaching and contemporary worship. My relationship with God and people are strengthened by the week there. I have a heart for orphans and have been on short term missionary journey's to India and other places. I have three guinea pigs who think they rule the roost. I love to laugh and make others laugh, and my biggest spiritual gift is praying for others. In addition I love reading my Bible and worshipping God. Also, I'm sort of tomboyish in my interests. Other than doing crafts, I am fond of guns and swords and motercycles and anything military or action-adventure. I love life and am blessed with a fabulous family and faithful friends who love me despite my faults. One weird thing is I have an addiction to Pecan Spinwheels and a phobia of Popsicle sticks. I think that about covers it. LOL!

2. How did you know you wanted to be a writer, have you always had the desire or did it come later?

I've written as long as I can remember. I've always dreamed of writing fiction and of someone turning my poems into worship songs. I've always dreamed of being a fiction author...and am so thankful that dream has come to pass. I'd still love to be able to write worship songs but, unlike my very musically inclined husband, I'm NOT at all musically inclined. I can play a few chords on an acoustic...but I wouldn't want anyone except for God to hear me. LOL! When I started getting reader letters from my fiction..I realized for certain writing is one thing I was put on this earth to do. And my readership gives me more people to pray for! A win-win situation.

3. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

I can't conceive what else I'd like to be....a songstress...writing worship songs. Whoops. I guess that's writing. I'd want to own a well-staffed orphanage. Really, I can't imagine not writing and my brain can't come up with anything I'd rather be doing. Writing is a passion..I do it as worship to the living God who has done so much for me. It's my way of giving back to Him.

4. What was you motivation for writing A Soldier's Promise and A Soldier's Family?

I love to craft characters who have really unique careers. And I love action-adventure and anything on the edge. Military stuff, and special ops/special forces stuff absolutely fascinates me. I was surprised at the number of people who have never ever heard of PJs (USAF Pararescue Jumpers) so I planned a series of stories that features one man from a fictional pararescue team and ran with it. I've written lots of other types of military (and other) characters as well..but the PJ stories are what sold first. I also often give stories a medical slant since I've been a nurse for twenty years. PJs are actually highly trained skydiving paramedics who are also search and rescue combat special operators for the air force. They're the ones who usually go after downed US pilots, and rescue the space shuttle occupants during a water landing, etc. They do dangerous rescues in some of the most remote areas on earth. They do glacier rescues, hurricane rescue and recovery...just about anything that warrants parachute insertion. Their creed reminds me of scripture...in that they risk their lives so others may live. So I wanted to feature them in my stories.

5. How do you come up with the characters for your books and are they modeled on people you know?

I absolutely try my best to stray away from fashioning characters after people I know. They're totally made up. That said, I'm sure that at least part of my characters have snippets of conglomerations of all kinds of people I've known or met. Because I can't see how what I've known of people and experienced as far as their personalities and mannerisms don't sneak in there sometimes. I really try not to put myself in my characters because I'm not that interesting...but everyone who's read my books say they've seen parts of me in my heroines particularly. So, yeah....like Amber..I'm klutzy and computer-illiterate. And like Celia...my mouth gets ahead of me sometimes.

6. How many books will there be in the wings of Refuge series? (Congratulations on book 3 being accepted)

Thank you for the congrats! There are currently seven men on the Pararescue team which makes up the Wings of Refuge series. I've turned in four stories...but one will need to be revised and I'm still not sure that one (Chance's story) will make it to print. But I'm hoping the others sell well so Steeple Hill gives me a chance to rewrite his story. I have proposals prepared for the other three stories and hope they sell too. My editor keeps asking for the PJ stories...so I'm hopeful I'll sell the other four in the series.

7. You have mentions going to India on a humanitarian and media misson after the Tsunami did this influence your writing at all?

Absolutely. I did heavy research while I was there and feel many books will come out of my experience. I have a huge heart for orphans and usually incorporate them into my stories somehow.

8. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?

I plan to finish out this PJ series then start turning in books from my Navy SEAL series. I have stories from each branch as well as SWAT stories and a series I'm calling The Heart of Refuge which features police officers, firemen and other townspeople in Refuge...the setting for my PJ series.

Ben's story (third book in Wings of Refuge) will release early 2009 unless it gets moved up in the que. It is tentatively titled A Soldier's Sonnet. But not sure if that title will be the final one.

Do you have any final thoughts for us?

For aspiring writers:
I think persistence is more important than talent in this industry. Writing CAN be learned and in fact, I think I will always be learning something new and trying to improve my craft with each book. Is it hard to be published? Very hard. But not impossible, and most people who refuse to give up, will probably end up realizing their dream.

For readers:
Thank you so much for your support and readership. You are the reason we're devoting our time to this and as an author, satisfying my faithful readers is the true blessing. Just wanted to remind you of your value in an author's eyes. The best thing you can do for your favorite author (even if it's not me..LOL!) is spread the word about an author's books, encourage your friends and family to buy the books and support the author's writing addiction. LOL!

Finally if you ever come to Australia in the summer I would love to take you to a cricket match. I loved seeing it mentioned in book one it made this fanatics day.

THIS WOULD BE SOOOO FUN! I definitely hope to take you up on that! I've always wanted to come to Australia..and in fact had pen pals from Australia when I was in elementary school. We'd have so much fun! And for sure...a book would have to come out of that!

(Jenny here. Thanks Cheryl and I would love to be with you at a game of cricket I can just see us now and the book would be great to see. Thanks again for your time)

My review of A Soldier's Family.

I really enjoyed this book, its the story of Manny and Celia. At the beginning of the Manny has an accident which grounds him, he wants to make amends to Celia for his last encounter. I love the way this story pans out. I enjoyed seeing how Manny befriend Celia's son and helped him. Celia and Manny have alot of emotional baggage which we see them work through. I loved seeing Celia's son and the issues he deals with and the way he deals with them both good and bad.

This book really moved me in many ways and hopefully you will find the same when you read the book. I would love to tell you more but I don't want to spoil the story for you, but I am sure you will understand when you read this great story.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the 3rd book when it comes out.

For a chance to win A Soldier's Family by Cheryl Wyatt just comment on this post and leave a way for me to contact the winner. This is open to international readers. You have til midnight March 12 to enter.


Hannah said...

great interview! i'd love to win a copy of this book! i loved her first book! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com
thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful book & since I too am a Navy wife, definitely can relate.


Stacey said...

I really enjoyed the first book. Please put me in the drawing for this one. Thanks.


PennyPonders said...

I'd love to read this book. Great interview Jenny. Cheryl sounds like my 'kind of people'.

Karin said...

Sounds like a good one!

stampedwithgrace said...

sounds like a great book, please enter me, thanks!

Julie Lessman said...

Jenny and Cheryl -- thanks for the in-depth interview! But I, for one, want a few more details on the popsicle stick phobia ...

Put my name in the hat, please, for Cheryl's 2nd Romantic Times Pick novel!!


Mary Connealy said...

Nice interview. A Soldier's Family should be on the bookshelves right now, shouldn't it? It's a March release, right?
I may get to the city today so I'll have my eyes peeled. (that sound painful, huh? My eyes peeled?")

Cherie J said...

I have the first book of the series and would love to get the second book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!


CherryBlossomMJ said...

I'd love to read this book. It makes me think of my navywife sister.


ladystorm said...

Hi Jenny,

This sounds like a great series, I haven't had a chance to read the first book, but would love to win this one! Please put my name in the drawing.

ladystorm28 2001 @yahoo dot com

Nora St. Laurent said...

Good interview. This book sounds good. Please put my name in for the drawing.

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thank you for your interest in my book everyone! Also..huge thanks for dropping by this blog and commenting.

More on Popsicle sticks...what can I say? They make me cringe like someone is scraping their finger and toe nails on a chalkboard. It give me the heebie-jeebies and if I had to touch a Popsicle stick to my teeth, I really think I'd go ballistic. Ewe. The thought REALLY makes my teeth HURT. Psychosomatic I guess...but I don't like them, and I even have a hard time with wooden toothpicks. Do you know how hard it is to pick your teeth without touching them? EWE again. LOL!

Again...thanks for your wonderful comments.

Thanks, Jenny for featuring me! I hope I'm fortunate enough to join you for an aussie cricket game some time in my life.



Doreen said...

Sounds great!! I haven't read the other one but hopefully I will get it soon.

Sarah said...

Hi Jenny. Sounds like a great book and as a ex-US Sailor in the Navy it would be exciting to read.

Sarah (hannahmom23)
seekinghim@gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hi jenny, I love you page, you have done well.....I enjoyed the interview and it sounds like a good read..How many unread books do you have on your shelf now? lol.
Anyway, you know my email :)
Hugs, Jenny B

Ausjenny said...

Cheryl Thanks for the info on the popsicle sticks. You are the first person I have met with a phobia.

Sarah I didn't know you were in the Navy thats interesting.

Mary Yes peeling your eyes does sound painful.

Penny I think you and Cheryl would hit it off really well (didn't ask her how many pets she has)

Jenny I know you and Naomi are fighting for my books when I go but I would say still around 200.
I even gave one away for my friends birthday.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by. Its great to see so many here.
Good luck all.

Jewelz said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I have the first one of this series, and I absolutely loved it!! Please please please enter me!!!
itsmyemail (at) bigpond.com

Alexis said...

Awesome interview Jenny. It looks like an awesome book. sign me up. HUGSSSSS

Cheryl Wyatt said...

WOW! Do you guys know how to make a newbie author feel grand!

Thank you SO much for your interest in the books...and Jenny..what can I say? I'm so thankful for you helping to get the word out about my books...and hey...you owe me a Cricket game. LOL!

I AM gonna take you up on that one of these years.



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