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.