Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wanda Fittro at Writers' Wednesday

Welcome. Today, I’m happy to feature Wanda Fittro, a fellow member of Ozarks Romance Authors.

So glad you stopped by today, Wanda. Your manuscript BEYOND THE HORIZON is a contemporary romance/suspense set in present day, small town Kansas….Would you please tell us a little about it?

Thanks for having me Barb. Here's the blurb:

Katie Sullivan is running for her life. She doesn’t know where but, it has to be better than the abusive relationship she is in. Car trouble leaves her stranded in the middle of Kansas where she is rescued by an elderly farm couple. There she meets Josh Warner, a widower who lives and works on the farm. He juggles his farm responsibilities with raising his young son and his passion for the rodeo. Katie and Josh can’t fight their growing feelings for each other, but both their pasts could come crashing down on them and destroy their future together.

That's quite an interesting story line, Wanda. I can imagine Katie's original guy isn't going to take here defection calmly. What drew you to this this particular genre and theme?

I enjoy reading contemporary romances so I was naturally drawn to write one. I developed this idea because my daughter has struggled with abusive relationships her entire adult life. I wanted to explore the feelings a woman has in that situation. I think I needed to write this story as a way to try and understand my daughter’s life choices. My heroine takes control of her life and destiny and maybe someday my daughter will too.

I hope she is able to, also, Wanda. Your book may help her and others like her to gain strength for their effforts. Ironically, my guest last week has one section of her weekly blog devoted to stories of people who have survived abusive situations.

How long have you been writing?

I started seriously pursuing writing in the late 90’s. I’ve published a poem in GRIT, an article in SPRINGFIELD MAGAZINE and this year won the Missouri Literacy Festival Reader’s Choice Award for a short story about the Civil War. I’ve had several detours along the way but, I am determined to succeed and get a book published.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I can’t really say I have a favorite place. I do most of my writing during my lunch hour at work. I’ve also written quite a bit at our local brewery. In fact everyone there teases me that when I make it big they’re going to put a plaque where I sat and wrote – just like Hemingway.

Sounds like a great and supportive place to create. I'll be looking for that plaque soon. What is your next project?

I’m currently trying to finish my very first NaNo project. It’s also a contemporary romance about a young woman who goes back to her home town to bury her mother. Along the way she re-discovers her past. It’s been slow going though, as this year I am secretary for Ozarks Romance Authors and president for another writing group, Sleuth’s Ink. But belonging to both these groups helps to keep me motivated.

Great groups, both. Good luck with your responsibilities. In closing, what one tip would you offer writers?

Don’t stop writing. Even if it’s just a little bit here and a little bit there, it’s more than you started with.

Great advice. The daily habit of writing, even just a few words, keeps us focused--and producing. Thanks, again, for being here, Wanda. Where can we find you online?

You can follow me on twitter @wandafittro or my blog at http://awritercalledwanda.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Writers' Wednesday Welcomes Cherie Marks

Today, I’m happy to welcome Cherie Marks, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at RWA Nationals in Orlando in 2010. This last year has been a successful one for Cherie:Wild Rose Press released her first story. Congratulations, Cherie.

INTO THE FIRE touches on an increasingly popular topic, TV reality cooking shows. What draws you to this particular topic?

You can tell by my little too-round waistline, that I enjoy food a bunch, and I have to admit those reality cooking shows draw me in and keep me fascinated. I guess it’s the fast pace and the natural drama of the kitchen. I mean, there are very few places you play with heat and fire to make something great other than the kitchen. Add a pinch of romance, and you have the perfect genre to me.

The subject matter sounds very appealing to me, as you can tell by looking. Tell us a little about the work, please.

Two professional chefs with a romantic past compete head-to-head on a televised cooking competition and try to resist a mutual attraction.

Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, competing head-to-head on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each arrives with a motive: Luke intends to win back Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up.

Luke knows culinary masterpieces require a delicate touch, but that knowledge is tossed out with the leftovers as he works to show Shyann he’s not such a bad guy. Now he pushes his skills to the limit to win the competition and satisfy a bet.

Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?


His hands burned with awareness of where they rested. His pulse raced, and her lips were mere inches from his. As if time stopped completely, they stared at each other, and for the life of him, Luke couldn’t seem to remember why he’d come in here.

Shyann shook off the haze first. “Let me go. I can get this without you."

Against his need and with exaggerated motion, he pulled his hands away. She stumbled and eyed him suspiciously but went back to jumping for a high box.

Although he appreciated the bounce of her breasts each time she leaped upward, he forced himself not to stare, gathering some of his ingredients instead. But after watching for a few more seconds, with an irritated grunt, he reached around her, grabbed her target, and handed it to her.

“I said I didn’t need your help.”

“Fine, I’ll put it back.”

His hand touched the box, and she pulled it behind her. The motion caused their bodies to collide again. Her liquid brown eyes blazed up at him, and even as a small voice in the back of his brain screamed he didn’t have time for this, he couldn’t seem to pull away. She looked so damn soft and vulnerable, and all he wanted to do was step out of the way of her win, give it all to her because she deserved it. But first, he wanted to kiss her, a long, hot, turn-their-knees-to-jelly kiss.

Sounds great, Cherie. Hope you continue to have great luck with it. After this success, what’s your next project?

Currently, I’m working on a story inspired by some unfinished ideas I have about the world of reality television cooking competitions like the one in INTO THE FIRE. After I finished my short story, I started getting curious about the baking reality shows like Cake Boss and Cupcake Wars. I’m working on that story right now.

What one tip would you offer other writers?

Pay attention to the industry. Then, take what you learn and apply it to your interests and what you do as a writer. Make it work for you.

And, above all, make connections. This can be a lonely pursuit, but it helps tremendously to have others with the same passion. Those writer friends can make all the difference in your motivation to keep going, and the constant connection keeps you growing as a writer.

Wonderful advice, Cherie. I’m looking forward to seeing your next work. Be sure to drop by again when it’s ready to go.
Visit Cherie at the sites listed below.
Blog— http://www.cheriemarks.blogspot.com/
Into the Fire Amazon BuyLink: http://tinyurl.com/3f7vfnp
Into the Fire TWRP BuyLink: http://tinyurl.com/3mfn3zj
Facebook– http://on.fb.me/qRl1lD
Twitter— http://twitter.com/cheriemarks

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writers' Wednesday: New Blog Shares Stories of Strength

Welcome to Wednesday. This week's guest is a familiar friend with a slightly different story to share.

Contemporary romance author and poet Kellie Kamryn has introduced a segment on her blog that's devoted to stories of people who have survived and escaped situations of abuse.

Please tell us about the feature, Kellie.

I've been fortunate to meet individuals who wish to share their stories of emotional and physical abuse to inspire other individuals to reach out and get help to make positive change in their lives. It is a collection of essays, each one different each week.

These brave individuals share their stories of how they left, or in some cases, escaped abusive situations. Each story is different, but the main thing is that these people are fighters. Even though they were faced with difficult times, each one of them chose to believe they had the power to change their situation. We hope to inspire others to realize how much power they have over their lives, and that they too can make a change. If you wish to leave a comment, please remember that these stories are to remain anonymous. If you think this sounds like someone you know, please don't use names. We wish to protect the innocent.

That's a wonderful idea, Kellie, and I wish you the very best. THE STORY section of the blog appears on Mondays.

Come back and see us when your next book is released.

Thanks Barb.

Visit Kellie at: www.kelliekamryn.blogspot.com

And I'll see you all next Wednesday. Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Writers' Wednesday-Kaye Calkins Shares Book Cover

Welcome. After a holiday sabbatical, Writers' Wednesday is back and I'm thrilled to feature the cover for an upcoming release from Kaye Calkins, a terrific CP and fellow movie enthusiast. Kaye's sweet Regency, Deverell's Dilemma, is scheduled for release in February from Avalon.

Kaye, what did you think when you opened that attachment from your editor and saw that photo?

Seeing the cover of my book for the first time was a heady and thrilling moment. My name in print took my breath away. I love the iconic landmark of Big Ben which tells you immediately you are in London. The tones of brown bring to mind romantic old photos. Best of all, they used my title and put it in a beautiful font reminiscent of the Regency period.

Thanks for sharing it with us. So glad you stopped by. Be sure to let us know when the book is released.

Thank you for inviting me, Barb. Everyone, come by my blog and read the inside of the cover.

Take a look at this wonderful picture of London. Doesn't it just make you want to book a flight immediately?