Thursday, February 24, 2011

Careless Whisper-no, not George Michael-Wendi Zwaduck!

As promised, the winner of the gift card of your choice (Amazon, B & N, ARe) has been chosen using RANDOM.ORG. The winner was commenter #8-Harlie Reader (Marika Weber) Congrats, Marika! I hope you will come back for our next author event on March 11, but for now, Congrats again to Harlie Reader!!!!

First, I want to Welcome Wendi Zwaduk to My Odd Little World. Thank you for sharing some time here with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself, please, before you jump into my questions?

Thanks Nancy for letting me stop by. I’m having a blast. But you asked for a little bit about me...I’m little. Hee hee. No really, I’m short. I look people in the throat and chest. Sometimes that’s good (if he’s a hunk and built it’s really good). Sometimes, well, I wish I was taller. I talk too much and have been known to shout things out that are completely true, just not the right thing to say at the time. I love to read and have my ereader packed. I’ve got a wall of books that’s only half the collection. I can’t turn down animals and the menagerie seems to grow by the year. I have a youngling and a DH. I love them both and am grateful they both back my writing now (for a while it was touchy). DH is the best research partner and he’s given himself over to exploration more than once for the sake of art. Hee hee. My mom knows what I write and yes, it makes her blush. But then again, if it doesn’t make you blush, then what’s the use?

The Writer

1) What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
WZ) The best thing about being a writer is getting the thoughts in my head, the chattering of the characters down on paper and having others enjoy what’s there. Fan mail is awesome because I know I’ve touched someone with the work.

The worst? There’s lots of not fun things. Rejection letters and negative reviews. I totally realize that what one person thinks about a work can be the complete opposite of what someone else thinks is fantastic—and actually, that’s great. If we all loved the same things, life would be boring. But it smarts a little when someone doesn’t like what I’ve written. It gets my brain going to figure out what went wrong and fix it in the next story which is a good incentive to write more.

2) What is your method of breaking through writer’s block?

WZ) Dh would say it’s personal research with him. That does work, but not all the time. Sometimes I read in the genre I’m stuck in. I feel immersed in what I want to write and it can kick-start the characters to talking—like, hey, why are you reading that when I want to tell you this? That works well for me. I’ll listen to music, whatever sparked the story in the first place and lots of times I’ll watch a movie. The Goodbye Girl is a favorite because there’s lots of snarky comments, fantastic characters, and a HEA.

3) Do you bring your own life experiences to your writing? Your own personality? If so how?

WZ) My heroines tend to have similar personalities to mine. They’re strong but sometimes timid, they want the hero but don’t always feel like they deserve him, and they are usually not real tall or skinny. My life experiences absolutely come into the story. DH is a pilot, so I know my way around a plane. I love racing, so all the dirt racing stories and moments are things I’ve done. I’ve waitressed at a Mexican restaurant, so I know my way around a restaurant and I’ve got a BA in art ed, so I know what I’m talking about when it comes to art. I won’t say I know everything—I don’t—and I’m not at all fast on my feet when it comes to comebacks, but hey, we can’t all be perfect. J

4) What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

WZ) I write for the same reason I create art—I just have to. It’s deeply engrained in me to create. I started writing because I read a HQN NASCAR book. I thought, gee, I’ve got stories like that in my head, too. So I started writing. It’s funny. There are moments when I think, gee, I’m just done. This usually comes after a tough review or rough set of edits. And then the characters start talking to me again and I have to tell the story. I have a great example. I love that Brad Paisley song, “And We Danced”. I’ve had it in my head for a week or so but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. The characters let me know. I’ve got a scene for them and personalities, but I have no idea what the full story will be. So, I can’t not write it. And I’m sure when I get that one done, that’s about the time another character will tell me what they want written.

5) Can you tell us a bit about what book(s) you have coming out next and what you’re working on now?

WZ) At this exact moment, I am working on a contemporary called “Please Remember Me”. It’s a follow up to Right Where I Need to Be and gives one of the antagonists from Right a chance to redeem herself. This book actually came out of a real situation. I had a dear friend who had a cat. Now, she talked about her cat like he was her kid. It was sweet to listen to her talk about him. Unfortunately, she passed away. Her cat had nowhere to go. I couldn’t take him in because I already had two cats who weren’t real thrilled to have another cat show up. Yes, they are brats. Anyway, her brother ended up taking him, but it got me thinking, what does happen to the pets of older people when the owner passes? The heroine was thinking the same thing, so I let her run with it. I love the story because Jade gets to redeem herself and because there’s a basset hound in the story.

Another story I’ve got on the docket right now is a high school reunion story called “What Might Have Been”. Macy came back to Mason high school to show them she wasn’t a wallflower any longer. Tanner’s back to show Macy he’s never forgotten her. This one contains some healthy domination, a little toy play, and lots of steamy sex.

I tell you, my characters are all hornballs.

The Person

6) When you get a chance to read, what books do you love to read?

WZ) I’m in a MM kick right now. I love the works of KA Mitchell. She just seems to write characters that wrap around my heart and don’t let go. Another of my favorites is J. Hali Steele. Her shepherd shifters are so hot. Makes me want to get a German Shepherd. Kresley Cole, Lora Leigh, and Anne Rainey are autobuys for me.

7) What bores you as a reader?

WZ) Head hopping and misspelled words. I can be plugging along just fine, but if the book has a lot of goofed up words and head hopping, then I quit. Sad but true.

8) What is your favorite feature on a person? Man?

WZ) Arms. I love strong arms on a guy. Female? Um...we’d better laugh. I love to laugh and have a good time.

9) Do you have a secret talent?

WZ) I can play the clarinet. In high school, I used to play in the marching band and the joke was I could project the sound into the stands. Maybe that’s not something to be proud of, but hey, I could do a great Benny Goodman imitation back in the day.

10) What is your favorite time of day?

WZ)Night. I’m the only night owl in my household and it works just fine for me. I can write and jam to my itunes playlist while working and not bother anyone. Oh, yeah, I use my earbuds otherwise the house would be bopping to whatever’s playing.

11) What do you think is romantic? What does the word Romance mean to you?

WZ) This will sound so silly, but it’s very romantic to me. A ceiling full of Christmas lights, a blanket on the floor and a bucket of KFC. Oh, and add a bottle of sparkling something—grape juice, wine, doesn’t matter.

What Romance means to’s something from the heart. It’s that moment you finally surrender and succumb to the feeling that you care about someone. It’s those little things DH does just because he wants to, not because I ask him to. Romance is those little touches that come because he’s walking past and just can’t help but run his fingers through my hair or a hug for no reason.

12) What type of music gets you dancing?

WZ) Gary Allan gets me dancing. He’s the favorite of my muse. Another one that makes me dance would be anything heavier...metal, rock...dunno. It depends on my mood and the mood of my muses.

Random Thoughts

13) Aliens have landed on the planet. What are the three things you would tell them that are great about this planet?

WZ) We have cats. They rule the world, so don’t bother trying to take it over. We have chocolate and will kill to keep it safe. And if you think you’re going to probe...well...not around here you won’t.

14) If you could create your own drink what would go in it and what would you call it?

WZ) You know, I don’t drink very often—like less than once every 6 months—so I have no idea. I’m more of a crushed ice and soda kinda girl. (And yes, I call that fizzy stuff made by Pepsi and Coca Cola soda not pop.)

If I had to come up with a mixed drink, it would be Mt. Dew, vodka, and OJ and I’d call it the Big ZwaDick. Why? Cuz it sounds funny.

15) You have been locked in a mall and told you can get anything you want and when they open in the morning you won’t have to pay a single cent. What stores would you hit? Better question how would you haul away all your loot?

WZ) I’ve never been a mall girl (and I’m part of the mall rat generation) but I’d totally hit the bookstore and the shoe store. I’m a sucker for a fabulous pair of knee high leather boots. So I’d nab all the size seven boots that struck my fancy and then head to the bookstore. I’m a picky book buyer. Ebooks, I’ll just grab and go. Print, I’m a little more conservative, but I am a cover snob. If it’s a new to me author, I’m more likely to look at the cover. If it grabs me, I’ll read the blurb. If the combo of blurb and cover catch me, then I’ll consider. I’d probably goof around too long and get caught in the morning. If I didn’t, I’d have my trust dusty canvas bags to haul out my booty...I mean loot. :P

16) If you could share one major writing tip, to help other writers in their quest for publication, what would it be?

WZ)This is actually a two fold tip. One, read. Why? Because you won’t know anything about your genre and what’s out there if you don’t read. Two, don’t rely just on spell check. There are a lot of words out there that are spelled right, but used wrong. There’s nothing an editor will hate more than a great story with all these spelled right but misused words. It makes the author look bad and can really stunt your growth as an author.

17) If you could write in any other genre what would it be, and why?

WZ)I’d love to write a historical, set in ancient Greece. I took a course in college that revolved around Greek art and I loved it. I loved the idea of all the gods and goddesses. But, for all the research I’ve done, I just can’t make the leap to actually finishing the story. There’s lots of little things I know I’ve forgotten or done wrong and I’m stuck. Sad but true.

18) Where can we find out more about you and your work?

WZ) Seems like, when I’m trying to update pages, I’m everywhere. J

You can find out more about me on my website:

I’ve got an author page on both Manic Readers and Goodreads, as well as a Forum on Coffee Time Romance. You can find me on twitter and facebook.

And finally, have you got a sneak peek excerpt from your current work in progress you can share with my readers and me?

Sure! Here’s a glimpse into the NASCAR novella I’ve been working on.

Megan nodded and bit down hard on the inside of her cheek to suppress a smile. “Stop back when the race concludes. It should be worth your while.”

“I’ll be here with bells on.” His lips parted and his eyes widened. “I want to tell you, I—I wish I could take back what happened.” He toyed with the knobs on the radio. “I made mistakes, lots of them, but losing you is right at the top.”

He regretted his actions? A shred of the anger she’d held for the past ten years dissipated. “We all have things we’re not proud of.”

“I want to start over and show you I can love you the way you deserve.”

The earnestness in his voice chipped away at the fortifications around her heart. “You love racing and race cars, not women.”

“There’s one woman in particular who is very near and dear to my heart. Tell me what you want me to do to make things up to you,” he murmured. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Megan glanced over Tucker’s shoulder. Her assistant Janine remained a few feet away but crooked her brow and crossed her arms. Thank God for friends with attitudes. Another moment and she’d cave to Tucker’s sweet apologies. “How about you just show up?”

“You got it.” Tucker tipped his hat and jaunted off.

Drawing a long breath and letting it out, Megan leaned against the hauler wall. She couldn’t take back the invitation. She followed the slight sway of his ass as he blurred into the crowd. Why did the cute ones have to leave the deepest emotional wounds?

“At least he’s got a nice butt.” Janine dug her elbow into Megan’s side. “Just right for whacking with a paddle until it’s pretty and pink.”

Megan buried her face in both hands to cover her gawking and her embarrassment at Janine’s frank language. Hell, part of her wanted to stick around and rekindle the lost romance with Tucker. The rest of her wanted to paddle him and push him far, far away. Nah, the only paddling involved meant him in control and her squealing on his lap.

Janine’s voice broke through Megan’s thoughts. “What exactly are you going to do? He’s the man who broke your heart.”

“Good question.” Megan dropped her hands and sighed. “Mathew needs a mentor and Tucker needs payment. In some ways, I’m in a bind. In others, I’m not.”

“You’re devious when you’ve been hurt. Something’s percolating. What are you thinking?”

Megan turned away from the track and toyed with the ring on her right hand. “We do need the help.” She nodded as the plan formed in her mind. A little harmless fun never hurt anyone as long as she kept her heart safe behind the concrete walls. “He had cheap and easy and I’m not free.”

Thank you for visiting, Wendi, and here’s to much success with your new book.

He’s her kinkiest desire, if she’s willing to open her heart and believe in him.

The dead don’t always rest in peace. Some stick around to make the lives of the living hell on Earth. Ryan Black knows the frustration of dealing with the dead. He’s a Ghost Explorer. He’s conquered houses filled with apparitions, abandoned school buildings that house angry vermin, and managed to woo the female population of Snake Falls, Ohio. But he’s about to face his toughest challenge, convincing sceptical Samara Jacobs she not only shares his gift, but holds his heart.

Women fall at Ryan Black’s feet and Samara’s determined not to be one of the many—that is until she’s forced to work with him. He’s certain ghosts exist and willing to prove it. The more she gets to know the man behind the television persona, she decides the handsome klutz who chases things that go bump in the night isn’t so silly after all. But is he worthy of her love?

This book contains anal sex and a little harmless domination.

Available February 21, 2011 FROM TOTAL-E-BOUND!

Remember to leave a comment, with your email address so I can contact my winner. Winner will be chosen using RANDOM.ORG.


  1. Hi Nancy! I'm so glad to be here. I've spent some time in good ole Missouri. Got to see the Clydesdales, the brewery, and the Arch. Oh and a ton of traffic. :) I'm open to any more questions, but man, have you got some toughys. :)

  2. I'm the first commenter Nancy!!!

    I love your blurb, will have to pick up your book.

    Personally I would also tell the aliens that to pay tribute to our Cat lords, they would have to change the litter boxes

  3. Great interview! Love the blurb to Careless Whisper.....and I see that Nancy and Wendy share a love of cats...I'm more of a dog
    Going to have to look up Right Where I Need To Be so that I can read Please Remember Me...both sound like fantastic reads.


  4. Hi Angie! Thanks! When Nancy asked me that question, the first thing that popped into my mind was we have cats and they rule. Yes, I want someone else to change the litter box. Not my favorite chore. :)

  5. Maria - Hope you like all three titles. I don't have a release date for Please Remember Me as of yet. I love cats, yes, but I have two dogs and I can't imagine the house without both. The dogs (the girls) love the cats (the boys) and the cats...well, they prefer the girls to leave them be. Right now, I am the only one awake in the house. All the critters are crapped out.

  6. This was so fun, Wendi, I loved Nancy's questions. You are quick and funny, and I love how you write your dialogue. My Immortal was the first book of yours that I've read, and I can't wait to work my way through your booklist.

    Do you have a newsletter, Wendi? Would love to get updates.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  7. Hey, Wendi, thanks again for stopping by-I was reading Careless Whisper on my lunch break, and I'm dying to get to the end-ran out of time (I even snuck an extra ten minutes in) but I have to say I love the way this is going so far. Great angle to it. thanks for brightening my lunch break.

  8. great interview . I have no animal as I tell the kids there are only so many cages at the zoo and we're fill up right now. Loved the blurb:) Ps I'm a soda drinker too lol

  9. Cathy - I hope you like My Immortal. Storm--like all my heroes--is near and dear to me. He's a pill, too because he would talk about some things and go mute about others. Thanks for the compliments. Made me smile a lot. :D I guess I should make up a newsletter. I'll get right on that.

  10. Nancy - I have been looking forward to coming here all week. You have the best questions. Hard ones. Did Chele help you? :D I do hope you like CW. Hope you love the ending. Happy lunch break. You rock!

  11. Jennifer - When people ask me how many pets I have, I sometimes say four four-footed ones and two bipedal. Yes, they look at me strangely. I keep telling DS he belongs in the zoo in the monkey or spectacle bear cage. He doesn't thing it's funny. He wants to play in the wolf cage or (Nancy will love this) the dragon cage.

    I am so bad about drinking soda...oh well. Everyone's got a vice. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you like CW!

  12. Cathy - another suggestion, follow my blog. I put all my updates on there, too. :)

  13. Nancy, thanks for interviewing all the authors - I especially love the comment Wendi made about what she finds romantic...Christmas lights and KFC! My mate started laughing when I read this to him and said, "I wish I would have known this when we first met...would have saved money on the expensive dinners, movies and plays." What a snot...but, nothing is truly as magical as Christmas lights and what's not to love about some extra crispy KFC drumsticks.

    Wendi, your story sounds great and I love klutz, handsome know, down to earth guys! in Springfield, IL where it is pouring rain and three long haired shepherds are lounging on the sofa and recliners while listening to One Republic.

  14. Hi Gina! DH and I met in college so we had a whole lot of no cash. And yeah, I love the soft glimmer of Christmas lights.

    I'm on oHIo where it's getting ready to rain, snow, or fog depending on how the system goes, with a black cat clawing my leg in his sleep, two dogs crapped out on the loveseat, and sitting with DS watching...gasp...Land of the Lost (the original TV one)

  15. Hi, Nancy and Wendi! Terrific interview! I like the sounds of your stories, Wendi, and hey, I like your idea of romantic! Nothing says love like fried chicken ;)

    Congrats on all your releases--will be adding to my TBR :)

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  16. flchen1 - Glad you stopped by. When you haven't a ton of money, but you want to make a statement, KFC is the way to go. :D

    Thanks for the congrats. Hope you like Careless Whisper. I had a blast doing this interview with Nancy.

  17. Actually, Wendi, I read a lot of autor interviews, and stole the questions I liked from various authors-the best came from Selena Illyria. I do need to go and grab some of 'Chele's more 'exotic' questions-we don't call her the question queen for nothing!! Glad you're enjoying the visit.

  18. Nancy, I am having a blast. Thanks for having me.

  19. Wendi-I just finished Careless Whisper-and I loved the HEA-and you left it open for more in this world. I can honestly say this is a terrific book, and I recommend it highly. The bus driver wondered why I was smiling and I had to tell her I just read this terrific book. She made me write down the title and authoer so she can get it.

  20. Nancy, I gotta tell you...I've been smilin' all day. I've had so many nice comments here. They've all been fantastic. I'm am SOOOO glad you liked CW. Snoopy Dancing!! Glad you shared the title with the driver. I love being able to share the titles of books i just read with others and say, yeah this was an awesome book.

  21. Chrissey RutkowskiThu Feb 24, 09:18:00 PM CST

    Hi Wendy,
    How do you come up with the names for your characters? And how do you feel about "soda-pop"? lol
    I can't wait to read Careless Whispers, it sounds fantastic.

  22. Chrissey - the character names really are their own inventions. Samara's character was "She" for a long time and then I happened to be talking with a dear friend of mine. She was telling me about her daughter, Samara. The character literally jumped up and down in my head, shouting, "that's me!". Ryan simply said, "look, my name is Ryan."

    As for soda-pop, I've been known to call it that, especially to irritate those who insist I call it pop.

    Hope you enjoy Careless Whisper! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  23. I've never done this before all I got to say is that the interview got me interest in a whole new light of books and that I can't wait to start reading Careless Whispers. Thanks a lot

  24. Great interview Nancy and Wendi! I love NASCAR and aren't the HQN NASCAR books great! Thanks for the excerpt and I can't wait to see your NASCAR novella.

  25. Hi Lidia - Glad we got you into a new subgenre of romance. There's so many cool subgenres within the romance genre. You can get lost in it and that's the best part. Glad you liked the interview. I worked hard to answer Nancy's tough questions. :D Thanks for stopping by and enjoy Careless Whisper!

  26. Harlie Reader - Nascar is certainly a favorite of mine. I've met a handful of drivers and even got to sit in the pits for a race. What a rush! I'm working hard on the story, so I hope to have it subbed soon. :D The HQN Nascar books set me on my path to writing so, yup, I give them lots of credit.

    Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the interview!

  27. Hello Wendi,
    Loved the interview! Questions were great and enjoyed your answers. Comepletely agree with your ideas about romance. I'm looking forward to reading Careless Whisper. Love reading new authors. Thanks.

  28. Thanks Jane. Glad you stopped by. Hope you do enjoy Careless Whisper. I had a blast writing it. It's cool to meet new readers, as well. Thanks!

  29. I'm adding this to my must have list; it sounds great.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  30. Thanks Tracey! Glad you liked it. I'm also glad you could come along for the tour. Hope you enjoy Careless Whisper!