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Friday, March 14, 2008

Spotlight on Cheryl Wyatt and A Soldier's Family

Here is Cheryl again, with her second book in her Wings of Refuge series. She's a great friend and I've loved sharing the 'debut author' wind with her. :)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheryl Wyatt's closest friends would never dream the mayhem she plots during announcements at church. An RN-turned-SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), 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.

A SOLDIER'S FAMILY
by Cheryl Wyatt
Published by Steeple Hill / Love Inspired

Buy Your Copy Today!

ABOUT THE BOOK

On A Crash Course With Love

She was the woman of pararescue jumper Manny Pena's dreams. But he'd stuck his foot in his mouth the last time he met Celia Munoz. 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.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

First off, thanks so much for having me, Tiff! Congratulations on the release of your debut books too!

1. This is your second full novel and one that's garnering some great endorsements. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I had a serious injury which required extensive reconstruction of my hip bone, socket, head of my femur and part of my pelvis. From injury to progression from wheelchair to walker to cane to full weight-bearing and release from PT (Pain and Torture...errrr I meant Physical Therapy) was about three years. Very tough time as I was in constant excruciating pain. So I took my pain and PT woes out on poor Manny. LOL! This book was birthed out of that hard season for me. Only I'm sorta jealous because he got to injure himself in a skydiving accident. At least he did it having FUN! LOL!

2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Celia and Manny? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Definitely I struggle with controlling my tongue as does Celia. That's something I battle with, though not as much. My husband and I have worked with youth, as does Manny. But other than that, everything is completely made up. LOL!

3. What themes exist in A Soldier's Family that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

I don't ever really set out to put themes in my books. In fact, most of the time, others (editors or critters) end up pointing out the theme or takeaway value of my own books to me. LOL! So definitely the themes of not letting fear lead us around by a leash, as well as not letting guilt or past mistakes paralyze us into thinking we've been disqualified from God using us, definitely are prevalent. Though I didn't consciously set out to do that, it just sort of happened.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

Most difficult part to write was the part about Manny's nightmares, because it was a stretch to write something that is one of my deepest fears...losing a child to drowning. I know people who have and that scene was torture for me. I didn't want to mentally and emotionally put myself in that place to have to imagine it, but for impact, I did. Very hard and I don't like to revisit it. But the contrast of the Hope of Heaven and healing God can bring, I hope will touch people who've lost a child to any type of accident.

The next hardest part was painting Celia's father and previous church to be spiritually and physically abusive. I've been blessed with a very functional family, and parents who are decent and loving. Never having been where Celia was with her parents, made that part hard to write. I also have a wonderful church family who I have fashioned Refuge Community Church after. So the parts where Celia endured spiritual abuse at the hands of her father, being one way at church and a different man at home, was difficult. I've had reader letters from people who have endured what Celia did, and to know God is using the book to bring some amount of hope and inner healing, humbles me. Makes me glad that theme came through when I didn't set out to have it be so.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book is titled Ready-Made-Family and will release April 1 of 2009...a year away. It is book three in Wings of Refuge but each book can stand alone. Since there is a gap between books two and three, I will be keeping readers up on happenings in fictional Refuge and the first two books' characters. I'll do this by having the cat who skitters through the series (Psychoticat) be a questblogger once a week. I'd love folks to drop by and support him as he laments things like being forced to lounge around on fancy aztec tile and stare and people's hair ankles all day. And also, he's sure to mention Celia forgetting his tuna AGAIN. These blogs will bridge the gap between the second and third book. My blog address is http://scrollsquirrel.blogspot.com

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Thank you, Cheryl, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of A Soldier's Family.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net) or that it's available for viewing in your blogger profile. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:" when you leave a comment and type the email address where you'd like them sent. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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8 comments:

PamelaTracy said...

What a great interview. Cheryl, you have a lovely way with words :) I'm looking forward to book three!

Donna Moore said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Cheryl is a wonderful writer. I enjoyed her debut novel and look forward to all that follow.

runninmama at sbcglobal dot net

Hannah said...

great interview! i loved cheryl's first book! i'd love to win a copy! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com thanks!

Stacey said...

Please enter me in the drawing. I can't wait to read this book. I really enjoyed the first one.

stacey_dale[at]yahoo[dot]com

tetewa said...

Please include me for this one! tWarner419@aol.com

Cheryl Wyatt said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words! Sorry I didn't pop in sooner...I had jury duty and they restricted our being online.

Thanks for dropping by! Your readership is a blessing.

Tiff..thanks for hosting me and CONGRATS for your book (and mine!) being chosen as ACFWs May selections for the book club!

Hugs,

Cheryl

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

We have a winner for this book, and that is:

DONNA

Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing address, so be sure to reply and we'll get your book out to you.

5 other winners announced for the month of March. Take a look in the March archives to see if you're one of them.

Thanks for your continued support.

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

Because Donna already has Cheryl's book, we have a second winner selected. That is:

Stacey

Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing address so Cheryl can send out your book. Please check your email and reply.

Everyone else, thanks for your continued support.