I want to welcome Wendi back once again to My Odd Little World. I love when she visits, because she always has something fun to say, and she is always ready to answer any question I throw at her. Maybe next time, I'll get out the crazy questions and see what happens. This time, however, she is here to talk about something near and dear to her heart-NASCAR and how it made its way into so many of her stories. She is also bringing us a look at here new book, Somewhere I Belong, with hot farm hand included at no extra charge to us. And she is offering one commenter on the tour a $10 GC to Liquid Silver books. So let's welcome Wendi back for another visit-seems like she was just here-oh, wait, she was! For new visitors, here is a brief bio and Wendi's links.
I always dreamed of writing the stories in my head. Tall, dark, and handsome heroes are my favorites, as long as he has an independent woman keeping him in line. I tend to write books with titles taken from songs because music is one of my many muses.
I earned a BA in education at Kent State university and as well as a Masters in Education from Nova Southeastern University. I've tried my hand at teaching, waitressing, and retail sales, but writing holds my heart.
I love NASCAR, romance, books in general, Ohio farmland, dirt racing, and my menagerie of animals. I have more stories than my brain can handle percolating. I can't wait to share them with you!
Now for Wendi's explanation about here NASCAR addiction, if I may call it that!
I love getting to stop by at Nancy’s blog. Why? I get to visit with close friends. It’s always a fun time. Now for my stop today, Nancy asked me a hard question. What question was that, you ask?
Racing plays a recurring role in many of your books, how did you get interested in this pastime?
Gee. Nothing tough or anything. Actually, it’s not a tough question. I do love racing. So how did fast cars make their way into my writing?
About twelve years ago, I was asked by my husband and my brother in law to select a NASCAR driver. Yes, it was sprung on me pretty much in such a blunt manner. I more or less had no idea anything about racing other than Jeff Gordon WAS a racer and he either won the year I graduated or the next year. (Why did I know that much? It was in my high school year book.) Yeah, I knew nothing. So they pounced and wanted to know who I wanted as my driver.
You’d think I might have done my homework. Really looked at all the drivers and thought about who I wanted to champion. You’d be wrong. I used the most unscientific, uneducated means by which to choose. BIL had a standup of Rusty Wallace in the corner of his rec room. The car was blue – my favorite color—and had a two on it. Real tough to remember, the number two. I nibbled the inside of my cheek. BIL had already taken Tony Stewart as his horse and the unspoken rule was no doubles.
I pointed to the standup and said, I’ll take him. Absolutely scientific. So the choice was made. I took some serious ribbing on it. The first race I watched in its entirety was the 2001 Daytona 500. If you’re at all familiar with NASCAR, you know why that one was so significant. In the immortal words of Mike Helton, “we lost Dale Earnhardt” that day.
Talk about an eye-opener. The ending was the stuff of legend and the legend passed right before our eyes. But, to run with the big dogs meant I had to learn a little bit more about racing than the number two is blue and Earnhardt drives the three. I read up on the sport, watched as many past races as possible and paid attention to the lingo. It’s funny. We went to Charlotte a few years back and this fellow behind us mentioned he’d been to the very first Daytona 500. He bet we didn’t know who won. BIL and DH were stupefied. I smiled and said, the gentleman who got the trophy at the end of the race wasn’t really the winner. The winner ended up being Lee Petty because he protested and asked for a photograph to show without dispute, he’d won the race. The guy grinned. “Yes, hon, you’re right.”
Did I mention DH and BIL were stupefied? They were. That’s when I realized my paying attention and hard work was worth it. I could run with the big dogs.
How did racing manage to get into my writing? Racing is one of those sports where the person is either a devout fan or could care less. For those who are devout, the sport manages to get into every aspect of their lives. For those who don’t care, it doesn’t pass on their collective radar. Being one of those folks who is devout, well, I can answer the age old question, how bad have I got it? I’ve named some of my pets NASCAR names. Kenny Wallace, Rusty Wallace, Darlington. I have it bad.
Apparently my characters do, too. Not all of them. Some of them are completely unknowing about racing. The ones who love it, are the ones who make sure the others learn about it. For example, in Somewhere I Belong, Marley is a NASCAR fan. She never actually says who she follows, but she’s a fan. Sully doesn’t really know who races in the sport, but he knows about it. She shows him the thrill of the sport and he succumbs to it. Or is it to him? Maybe it’s both.
Yes, watching cars go around in a circle can be boring. Yes, when I’m watching NASCAR, I usually have my laptop open and am writing. But when cars start hitting the walls, start pushing and shoving for position and when drivers get so impassioned they want to beat the snot out of each other, I’m paying full attention.
I don’t know if that really answers the question, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. What are your favorite sports? Pastimes? I’d love to know about them. Do you watch NASCAR? Favorite driver? Least favorite? And because this is just opinion, your answer, no matter who it is, is valid. Come on. Let me know! Grin. I’m waiting.
Thanks Wendi, for another fun post. And I do know who the Wallace brothers are-I've met them and a couple other Missouri racing boys too, and I used to hang out at the old dirt track out in St. Charles, Missouri every weekend. That is where Ken Schrader got his start, and I saw him racing sprint cars way back when.
Now, lets take a peek at Somewhere I Belong, and meet your hot farm hand.
He never knew what he was missing until he came home to find his place to belong—with her.
Sullavan Tanner walked away from Jarvis, Ohio, afraid to give his heart to the woman he loved. He lived the rock and roll lifestyle, but never quite made it to the big time. Fifteen years later, he’s back and ready to claim what’s his—if she’ll accept his help.
Marley Lockwood’s done asking for help. The family farm is more than she can handle, but if she can survive a cancer scare, the loss of her parents, the abandonment by her first love, and a messy divorce, she can handle anything.
Until Sully shows up.
Although she’s not interested in rekindling the love affair, she’s not above accepting Sully’s hands on the farm. What’s the worst that could happen? They get the farm out of the red and into the black? That’s her plan. They actually fall in love? The past says it won’t work, so she’s not hedging her bets.
Too bad Sully’s not giving up this time.
Now for a quick excerpt-I like this one!
“Dancing isn’t my thing.” Why did Sully make her so nervous? Because Sully made her inner thighs heat and her heart thunder. Of all the men she knew, Sully remained elusive and out of reach. And yet, he’d come back when she needed him the most...like a white knight. God, she had to get the childish, fanciful thoughts from her head and regain her footing in the real world.
Sighing, he eased down next to her. “I don’t buy that for a moment, but I’m not gonna push.” He bumped her shoulder with his, sending a frisson of lust snaking through her body. “I missed our late-night conversations.” A chuckle erupted from his throat. “You know, I never found someone to understand me like you do.”
She balled her fists to keep from touching him and stared at the crisp yellow flames. Sully smelled like sin and pine. “Conversationalist is my middle name.”
Sully cupped her chin, redirecting her gaze. “And all this time I thought it was Elaine.”
Despite wanting to stay, Marley stood. “I never could fool you.”
She shook her head. “I have a question.”
“You left after we had sex. Like right after. Was it that bad or was it just a notch for your belt?”
His smile faded. “Marley, that’s not fair.”
“Thanks for your answer.” She brushed imaginary debris from her lap. “You and I work together. There will be no dancing, no kissing, and no love. Got me?”
“Who said kissing?” He stood and grabbed her hand. Sully tugged her away from the fire and the rumble of conversation to the privacy of the back porch. “There’s a lot of stuff you don’t know about, and I don’t know how to tell you, but I absolutely want to kiss you."
Does she or doesn't she? This is one very good book, and I thank Wendi for coming by to visit. Don't forget to leave a comment, and if you have a question for Wendi, I promise she will come back and answer all of the questions.
Today is Friday the 13th, but I think it may be a lucky day. My guest today is Megan Slayer, alter ego to one of my favorite authors, and let me tell you, her books are just as hot as her 'other side'. Before we get into what made her decide to add a second name to her repertoire, let's take a quick peek at her 'bio'. And remember, Megan is offering a $10 Changeling GC to one lucky commenter on her tour. Now, let's meet Megan Slayer.
When she's not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don't seem to mind.
When she's not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school.
She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best.
Currently hanging out every Wednesday and Friday at the Menagerie Authors site, hunting Hotties for the Saturday posts, and working on the next great story brewing in her head!
Now that we know a bit more about Megan, I want to see what she has for us today. I asked Megan and her alter ego why she felt the need to be someone else and she gave me an interesting insight into her dual identity.
You’re Not the Same!
I wanted to first and foremost thank Nancy for having me. This stop is always a favorite and I love the readers who come out to chatter with me. Nancy, you’re a peach, but you ask hard questions and come up with great topics.
So what was my topic? Why I needed to take a second name.
Once I got back up off the floor – I never thought about it being a big deal, having another name – I really thought about the topic. Why have a second name? If someone finds my Wendi work, they may or may not find my Megan work and vice-versa. Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?
It came down ultimately to this: Mom had a fit. Really.
My mom is actually pretty cool with what I write. She keeps asking me to write something she can talk about at church, but with characters like mine, there’s no behaving. (And why would they want to?) But the moment I told her I’d had talks with a couple of my characters that were both men, she pretty much fainted dead away. When she came to, I got “you can’t do that. Your grandparents will disown you.”
Do I think I’d be disowned? Not really. Would they be upset? Probably. I can see my biological grandmother, one of the people I responsible for my slightly off-kilter sense of humor, cackling wildly and shouting “you go girl!” Mom’s not quite so cool with it, but oh well.
But I had a discussion with a couple of other writers and I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to write a MM story, it wouldn’t be all that bad to have a separate name to write it under. There are those souls who won’t read MM. I get it and respect them for it. I don’t particularly care. There are subgenres within the romance heading that I can’t fathom or stand – but that’s another post. I didn’t want those who read the more mainstream stories to be turned off by a MM story. I also didn’t want MM readers turned off by the idea that I wrote mainstream, too. I’m not trying to make people happy , but I realize what one likes does shape what they will read.
So why Megan Slayer? There’s a funny story behind that. Megan is my middle name, so it was rather easy to pick that. I’ve been called Meg as long as I can remember, so answering to it isn’t a hardship. But why Slayer? It’s like this: I finally got a laptop. I’d done my early writing on a PC and drove DH crazy. He broke down and gave me the green light for a laptop. It took me about six months to crash it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only time I managed to crash it. I was teased that I managed to slay the demon computer. I don’t know if I slayed it or if I managed to destroy the thing, but the goofy name, a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, stuck. I was asked to join the Menagerie Authors blog. Well naturally, I needed a name. Wendi Zwaduk would work, but I had my own blog. So, after many talks with my BFF/CP, I came to the conclusion Megan Slayer was the name for my MM. It stuck and I’m glad. I just hope that now the readers will like my work and encourage me to write more.
Thoughts? Questions? Bad jokes? I know it’s not the most exciting story and reasoning, but I try. I’d love to hear what you think. Let me know!
I want to thank Megan/Wendi for this visit, and if anyone wants to ask questions, just pop on in. this could get really fun, and if you like Wendi's sense of humor, guess what? She will be back next Friday with more 'pearls of wisdom' a la Zwaduk.
Now for a peek at Permanent, Megan's M/M with two sexy and sometimes vulnerable heroes, River and Tory.
Sometimes love just ain’t enough...
River Cortland trusted the person he loved. His faith couldn’t protect him from the bitter sting of a cold-hearted Domme. If he’s going to learn to trust again, he’s got to deal with his past. His roommate and best friend, Tory, has seen the physical damage and hasn’t walked away. Can he deal with the emotional scars as well?
Tory McClellan wanted the carefree life...until one night with River changed everything. There’s more to the shy art teacher and Tory wants to know everything-how he tastes, the scent of his skin, the feel of his body as they make love. What terror lies behind River’s brown eyes? Better yet, how can Tory make the sadness go away and be in River’s life, permanently?
I had a tough time picking just one excerpt, but I decided on this one, for a quick trip into River and Tory's lives.
"Are you watching that? Or you just rubbin' one off?"
River opened his eyes. Trust Tory to think he'd been jacking off to a damn chick flick. Sure, the guy on screen was hot, but not approachable hot. River wanted the one man he couldn’t have. Maybe it was finally time to make his desires known.
“You could pick better scenery. He’s too hairy and walks like he’s got a stick up his ass. I’ll bet Snow doesn’t even like him.”
River blanched and rolled his eyes to cover his surprise. Duh, Tory knew River occasionally played for both teams. But he’d never told him the kind of man he considered his ‘type’. River would have to admit he wanted something other than friendship. He’d have to confess he was more than a little infatuated with Tory McClellan. Sounded good to him.
"So what's the verdict?"
Damn. What a loaded question. “No verdict to render, man. I’m here and she’s wherever she is.”
Tory plopped down next to Snowflake. “Hi little girl.” He handed River a fresh beer. "You’ve pouted for almost three months now. It’s time to move on. Plus I can hear you clack that piercing against your teeth clear in the other room.” Tory took a long pull from his bottle and tapped the amber glass against River’s bottle. “To hell with women?”
The cat hissed and swatted at Tory.
“I meant, with the exception of you, your highness.” Tory gently scratched Snowflake behind the ears. “She wouldn’t be so grumpy if you hadn’t given her such a ridiculous name.”
“She was the prettiest snowflake in the snow drift.”
“Fair enough.” Tory clinked his bear bottle with River’s. “You up for a piece of ass?”
Frowning, River shifted his gaze for a split second and wriggled his brows. “Are you offering?”
“If you’re in, I’m in. Women aren’t worth the hassle." He grinned and rested his hand on River’s thigh. “You seem overall happier. I like it.”
I want to say a big thanks to Megan/Wendi for once again bringing her skewed sense of humor to my place. Feel free to pop in with questions, and stop back to get the answers. Remember, there is a $10 Changeling Press GC out there waiting for someone-it could be you!! And I may throw in a surprise or two as well.
First, my ex is a trucker, and I have no affinity for the folks who spend their time on the road. I do appreciate what they do, but please...
Next, have you read the profiles of these outcasts? They seriously kick butt, and take names later, if at all.
I have this secret passion for demons, even half bloods!
So declare yourself and join the winning team-Team Outcast!!
Zel: With a mother strong-willed enough to escape a demon’s clutches and a step-father capable enough to hold together an outcast enclave, Zel was raised to leadership. It’s too bad his demon nature is more suited to savagery than statesmanship. He’ll lead his people because it’s his duty, but he’d rather be punching someone in the face. Repeatedly.
Hailey: Hailey’s mother could summon demons. Her father was demon-spawn. She’s one of the first generation of hybrids, humans with strong demon and summoner blood mixing in their veins to create magical ability. Or, in her case, psychic ability. Hailey knows if you’ve been bad or good, and will make you regret it if you try to lie to her.
Lorenzo: Some halfblood demons are fighters. Some are lovers. Then there’s Lorenzo. Technically he’s only half-incubus, but that hasn’t stopped him from being 100% irresistible to women and men alike. He’s also the iron fist that will crush any halfblood caught using magic to cross the line between seduction and coercion.
Trip: Being mostly human doesn’t make you powerless–not when you’re a world class hacker in a network-dependent world. Whether it’s security, communication or entertainment, he’s the final word on computing in virtual reality among the outcasts. If you’re really nice to him, he might share his stash of pre-apocalypse music and movies, too.
Jai: Most halfblood outcasts were born to human women who escaped demons. Jai’s halfblood mother worshiped them as gods. There are probably more comfortable places to grow up than a demon hunting camp–Sparta and Hell being among them–but Jai has done his best to adjust to a life with human rules, even if he’s more demon than man.