Please welcome Cheryl Yeko to the blog today!
What name(s) do you write under? If you write under a pseudonym, what helped you choose that name?
I spent a lot of time wondering if I should have a pen name, and everyone seemed to think all authors had a pen name. And I didn’t know if using my last name, ‘yeko’ was pretty enough for a pen name. Then I thought...what the hell, I’m proud of my book so, yeah, I’m going to use it. I’m glad I did...it looks nice in print, don’t you think? LOL
Where are you from?
I live in Wisconsin, between Milwaukee and Madison...a little closer to Milwaukee.
What is the name of your most recent or upcoming release? Can you give us an idea of what the story is about? What genre is it? Where can we find it?
I write romantic suspense and my newest release is a The Notary. Here’s the blurb...
Adrianna Morgan’s life takes a dangerous turn when she’s given an incorrect address for a notary assignment, ending up in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
Attempting to take down a local drug ring, Lucas Hunter’s cover is blown when he goes to the aid of a beautiful woman during an undercover operation.
But the bad guys better watch out, because this sexy cop will do anything to protect the woman he loves, no matter how high the body count.
The Notary was fun to write and had been percolating in the back of my mind since I wrote my first novel, Protecting Rose. I worked as a Mobile Notary for over ten years, conducting real estate closings for title companies in people’s homes and business, coffee shops, and other totally off the wall places. Wherever the borrower needed me.
The Notary's premise, where the heroine is given an incorrect address for a closing appointment and shows up at the wrong home, actually happened to me. Of course, I didn't walk into the middle of an undercover operation with a sexy cop to save me. But it could have happened!
I created the book trailer for The Notary. I love how it turned out. It helps that I had such an awesome book cover! Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/7_l2bR969LU
Here’s the Amazon Buy Link: The Notary
I’d also like to share an excerpt with you:
Lucas watched as Adrianna gave her head another vigorous shake, glaring at the paramedic. He instinctively moved toward her to see what was wrong. She’d been through enough and he didn’t want this guy making her more upset.
What am I doing? She’s not my responsibility. That thought didn’t slow him down for an instant. He came to a stop in front of the paramedic, narrowing his eyes on the man. “Is there a problem here?”
The paramedic scowled, not appearing intimidated by Lucas’ surly attitude in the slightest. Pretty damn brave of him, Lucas admitted with grudging respect, given that the guy was no taller than Adrianna, and almost as skinny.
“She refuses to go to the hospital to get checked for a concussion,” the paramedic complained. “Maybe you can talk some sense into her.”
Lucas frowned at Adrianna and her stubborn chin jutted forward, a kiss-worthy pout pursing her mouth. Did the woman have no sense whatsoever? First, she shows up at a strange house late at night, then stuck around when she should have been hauling her fine ass out of there. Although there was a good chance he’d be dead if she hadn’t, which ticked him off further. It was his fault she’d been injured, and dammit, she was going to the hospital to get checked out if he had to carry her there.
“I’ll take her.”
She gave him a look of exasperation. “I’m not going.”
“Yes . . . you are,” he returned, his annoyance rising. What the hell was wrong with this woman? Stubborn didn’t even come close to her attitude.
She crossed her arms and tapped her slender bare foot, irritation marring her pretty features. Her alluring eyes flashed a deep shade of green. “No. I’m not.”
She shifted her gaze to the paramedic in a look of reproach, then spun around and headed for a blue Ford Focus parked in front of the house.
“She can’t drive,” the paramedic snapped.
“Right,” Lucas agreed, sprinting after her. “I’ve got this.”
He came up behind her just as she neared the Focus, her steps slowed, then came to a complete stop by the driver’s side door. But she didn’t open it. Instead, her shoulders drooped and her head fell forward as she tugged the blanket more tightly around her. When a tremor shook her shoulders, the need to comfort her nearly undid him. She was due for a meltdown after what she’d been through.
His annoyance fell away at the sight of her distress. “You okay?”
“My car’s broken,” she said, her voice no more than a whisper. A chill nipped the air as a slight misting rain fell on them.
He reached for her and slowly turned her around, placing a finger under her chin and tilting her face up. Her eyes were glassy with tears. “What?” he asked softly.
She blinked moisture from her lashes and squinted up at him. “I had an accident”—sniffle—“on the way here and now it won’t start.” Her bottom lip trembled.
His gaze fell to her mouth and an urge to press her back against her car and taste those full pouty lips coiled inside him. He swallowed hard and forced the image out of his mind, but it was harder to force the desire from his body. “You weren’t hurt?”
She hadn’t appeared injured when he’d seen her peering inside the dirty window. His eyes dropped back over her body, accessing her injuries. His body tightened, noting the way her conservative outfit, still damp, clung to her soft curves.
His mouth pressed tight. Since Susan’s death, he’d taken less than a handful of women to bed to scratch his itch. All one-nighters who knew the score. This woman had ‘long-term’ written all over her. Lucas didn’t do long term.
Adrianna continued. “I just need my purse.” Her voice shook and two fat tears leaked from her eyes. “And I—I lost my glasses when that man hit me,” she ended on a wail.
The thought of Ellis touching her, hurting her, made Lucas want to do some damage to the guy. His nostrils flared and his spine stiffened. Too bad the bastard was already dead. The anguish he heard in her voice bothered him. On pure instinct, Lucas found himself leaning in to comfort her. Inhaling her sweet floral scent reminded him of everything good in the world and the reason men like him fought to protect innocence.
Two more tears rolled down her face, one dripping off the end of her cute nose. An emotion that could only be described as tenderness flickered to life inside him. An emotion he’d sworn never to feel again. An emotion he sure as hell didn’t want. One he did his best to tamp back down, as the need to claim and protect her smoldered, like a low burning fire. Then she sniffled again, the sound soft and feminine, as two more tears fell.
Like throwing gasoline onto a flame, the emotion exploded, raging out of control.
When did you start writing, and when did it turn professional?
My entry into the world of writing was exciting and swift. My husband gifted me a Kindle for Christmas one year, and I rediscovered my love of all things romance. After a couple years of reading romance novels, I decided to try to write one. So, I checked out some books from the library, signed up for some online classes, and began my manuscript for, Protecting Rose. It took a year to write and edit, Protecting Rose. I sent it out to three publishers and received two offers. I signed with Soul Mate Publishing, and Protecting Rose went on to win the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. How fun is that!!
What is your writing process? Do you use an outline, fly by the "seat of your pants" or some other method?
I’m a total pantser. I have a brief idea of a story, then sit down and write it. Sometimes, I’ll go weeks between writing, suffering from writer’s block. I’ve learned I can’t force it, and I can’t work on more than a couple manuscripts at a time. Once I start a story, I’ll spend all my time on it, until I’ve completed a scene...leaving me drained. I then move on to the other story, and go through the same process...then back to the first story. And of course, between all of that, I work on my Soul Mate Publishing stuff, editing, newsletter, and such...
Who are your greatest literary influences?
Oh gosh, the list goes on and on... but if I had to choose, I’d say Lori Foster and Karen Rose. Lori Foster is a lighter read than Karen Rose, so depending on the mood, either one of these ladies does it for me. There are many others who are on my to-buy list, including Cynthia Eden, Lisa Marie Rice, Julie Ann Walker, just to name a few...
My second love is paranormal, and I’m actually trying to write a paranormal, just to see if I can. A few of the authors in that genre that I love are J.R. Ward, who writes awesome vampires, and Larrisa Ione who does the best demons. I loved, loved Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series and was sorry to see it end. And of course nobody does sexy shape shifters better than Jennifer Ashley, or hot, hot new species like Laurann Dohner.
A couple other fun ones that come to mind are Lara Adrian and Alexandra Ivey.
Sigh...I love books!!
Did you hire or use an editor prior to publishing?
The novels published through Soul Mate Publishing go through their editing process. But my self-published novels go through a professional editor. Even though I’m an editor myself with Soul Mate, I’m terrible at editing my own works. Fortunately, one of my BFF’s is an editor/writer, and I create book trailers for her novels, in exchange for editing my self-published works. It works out great!!
Did you use a graphic artist to create your cover art? If so, what helped you decide on the cover(s) of your books?
Soul Mate creates the covers for my contracted books. I purchased the cover for my first self-published novel, Mountain Hero, which was a finalist in the 2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award. But after that I taught myself how to create my own. I have a new self-published novella completed for my Hero Series that I plan to publish in early January, Eyes of a Hero. I created the book cover myself. I would love to share it with you.
What do you think?
What have you learned on your journey from writing to publishing that you think should be passed along to those interested?
It’s never too late! If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you might have accomplished. I signed my first contract at age 52, for Protecting Rose, and became an award-winning author and acquiring editor with Soul Mate Publishing at 53. Just when I was preparing to head gracefully into old age, settling down with grandkids and quiet times...my life exploded with excitement and new possibilities. I love writing...but I love being an editor just as much. I so enjoy working with authors to help them reach their dream of publication. My first year as an editor, three of my authors were finalists in an RWA contest. How cool is that? Many of my authors give me very nice kudos in their dedications, and each and every one of them touches my heart. So rewarding...
I know some authors set writing goals, such as so many words per day. Do you set any goals for your stories?
I try to write every day, but if the muse isn’t there, the muse isn’t there...
Do you have a favorite character of your own and what makes him/her your favorite?
I love all my hero’s...lol. Though I have to be careful not to make them all dark-haired and blue-eyed, like my awesome, amazingly wonderful husband.
LOL...okay, he used to be dark-haired.
I love his gray hair just as much!
Do you have any projects you’re working on now?
Yes, thank you for asking! Besides my self-published novella that I have completed (Eyes of a Hero) I’m putting together a Valentine’s Day anthology for Soul Mate Publishing with five other amazing authors, titled My Sexy Valentine. Look for it in February, 2015. I have a short story of my own to add to this collection of fun stories, Valentine’s Day Breakup.
I also have a co-author’d novella in progress, The Rodeo King, with my Power of Three BFF’s. We are publishing a new chapter each month in our Power of Three Newsletter.
Char Chaffin, my Power of Three BFF, created the website... and you can find it, here: http://www.thepowerof3cs.com/ ... just click the large red Newsletter button at the bottom and sign up to enjoy a new chapter each month. You won’t regret it!! Once this novella is completed, we plan to self-publish it and then start another... Fun! We will be announcing our new website to our readers in next month’s newsletter, so you are the first ones to see it.
Here is a link to our September newsletter, (my copy) where we rolled out the first chapter for The Rodeo King: http://tinyurl.com/ovlkr3s
Callie Hutton is our other Power of Three gal, and she just made USA Today. Yeah! We are very proud and excited about that! Be sure to check out their awesome novels while you’re at the website.
With the help of my Power of Three gals, I created the cover for The Rodeo King—like it?
Lastly, I have two WIPs, a paranormal, and a serial killer novel I’m working on. I hope to have at least one of these completed early next year.
How do you juggle time between all your responsibilities?
Not very well...LOL. I work 24/7. When I’m not writing, I’m editing. I also do book trailers—and you can find my playlist here: http://tinyurl.com/o6pz7vb
And I create Soul Mate Publishing’s monthly newsletter, and would love you to check it out. http://tinyurl.com/p3df9ts
If you enjoy it, you can sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/laa6dzc to keep up with all our new releases.
How do you feel about publishing in a digital age?
I love it! It’s the wild, wild west, and very exciting.
More About The Author
I’m multi-published in romantic suspense, and my novels continue to place in RWA chapter contests. Top on my bucket list is to win the RITA, either as an author or recognition as an editor...either one would be way cool. Wish me luck!!
I live in Wisconsin with my husband Patrick. I love to read, play piano, and spend time with family and friends. I enjoy novels with fast-paced action and steamy romance, protective alpha men and strong heroines. I belong to several writing groups, including Wisconsin Writers Association and Romance Writers of America (RWA), as well as the Wisconsin Chapter.
I’m an Acquisitions Editor for Soul Mate Publishing. As an Editor, I welcome Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, and Erotica.
Submission guidelines can be found at Soul Mate’s website, here: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/pages/Submission-Guidelines.html - .
My email is Cheryl@SoulMatePublishing.com
Where Love Always Wins: http://www.cherylyeko.com/
Soul Mate Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/lav53p3
The Power of Three Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/threeBFFs
About Me: http://about.me/cheryl.yeko
My Book Trailer Playlist
My novels can also be found at Audible.com.
My Sample Playlist