Sunday, January 20, 2013

Liza interviews Cheryl Yeko - A Man to Trust

Today, I am interviewing award-winning author, Cheryl Yeko.  

Liza: Cheryl, let's first discuss your drinking problem.

Cheryl: My what? I don't have a drinking problem.

Liza: Then why, every time I see you, are you tilted at an angle. If we could see the chair you are seated upon, it would be teetering on two legs right now.

Cheryl: I'm not drunk and falling. I just tilted the picture angle so it's a little more interesting.

Liza: Well, I am interested in knowing what your drink of choice might be. Mine is vanilla vodka.

Cheryl: Can we get on with this interview?

Liza: Sure. If you don't like talking about your drinking problem, then what's your favorite part of writing?  

Cheryl: I guess it would be the sex scenes.  I have an absolute total blast writing them. They are just so much fun! I also find them a great tool to move the story along.

Liza: Right. "When in doubt roust about!" I think that's supposed to be good axiom for marriages too.

Cheryl: Are you married?

Liza: *shakes head* Not since my husband tried to kill me...three times.

Cheryl:  I can never tell when you are being serious.

Liza: Me either. Is there anything you don’t like about being a writer? 

Cheryl: I guess that would be the marketing. 

Liza: *covers her tea cup* Are you nuts! Don't say that in front of Marketing Maniac Kitten. She'll come to your rescue and believe me, your husband wouldn't appreciate the constant visits from the FBI and wildlife protesters gathering in your front lawn.

*carries cup to dishwasher and puts it inside, quickly closing the door* 
That should hold her for a bit. Now why don't you like marketing?

Cheryl:  It is very time consuming, and I’m really not very good at it.  

Liza: That's true...I mean the time consumption point. For every hour of blissful writing, you should spend two hours marketing.

That means if you spend 5 hours writing, your should do ten hours marketing, leaving yourself 2 hours to eat, clean house, wash clothes, remember to let the kitten out of the dishwasher, etc and then 7 hours to sleep.

Cheryl: * sighs heavily* Trying to get your book noticed is extremely frustrating and time consuming.

Liza: You just need to embrace the marketing, to pet and nurture it. To remember to let it out of the dishwasher...

Cheryl:  Not everyone has a marketing kitty to help them.  I thought when PROTECTING ROSE won the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in Romantic Suspense, my sales would skyrocket.  Silly me.  (yes, that was a whine). What are you doing?

Liza: Petting you. It seems marketing makes your hair stand on end. So let's talk about something else. How does your family feel about your writing and you being an author? 

Cheryl: *smiles* They’re all very proud of me.  Funny story. When I first told my husband I was going to write a book, he was like, ho-hum. He did everything but pat me on the head and say ‘that’s nice dear.” 

Liza: *pats Cheryl on head* That's a good Cheryl.

Cheryl: *removes Liza's hand*  My point is he didn’t take me seriously.  Then I disappeared in my room over the winter and came out six months later with my novel, PROTECTING ROSE. I submitted it to three publishers and got two offers. 

Liza: Hold on. Your family had to fend for themselves for 6 months? I bet they were desperate to have you back.

Cheryl: My husband seemed pretty impressed when I got published, but, I still don’t think he quite got it. The moment he saw the book cover is when I saw the light finally go off in his eyes.  

Liza: That may have been because he was hadn't fed him for 6 months.

Cheryl: *ignores Liza entirely* Then, when I won the award, I saw myself moving up onto a whole new pedestal in his eyes.  It was awesome! LOL.  

Liza: That new sparkle could have also been because you finally cooked him dinner.

Cheryl: *continues to ignore Liza* Now, that I have three signed contracts, heading into my fourth book, and working as an acquisition editor with Soul Mate Publishing, he brags to his friends about his author, wife. I love that!

Liza: What part of your book took you most out of your comfort zone? 

Cheryl: In A MAN TO TRUST, there is a scene where the heroine is telling the hero about her abusive past. Coming with real knowledge of an abusive relationship (way in my past, happily married now for over 20 years to my hero), I wanted to handle it very carefully. Spousal abuse is so horrible, that I felt a little guilty about using it as a plot point for personal gain in any way. But, since I have personal knowledge, and it is part of what makes me who I am, I felt it was okay. But I did my best to not dramatize it for shock value, instead bringing it out in a easy to digest way…or, at least that was my aim.  

Liza: I think you did that very well in your book. 
How'd you/your muse come up with this story?

Cheryl:  A MAN TO TRUST is the second in a series of three…PROTECTING ROSE being the first.  I’m currently working on the third book for this series.  I had another book sneak in between this series, which I just contracted with Soul Mate Publishing, entitled ABDUCTING CASEY…

Liza: HOLD ON!

Cheryl: LOL, not in any way connected with your book, SAVING CASEY--

Lize: Yeah, that's what's Tell Ado the plagerist kitten keeps saying too.

Cheryl: No, the naming is purely coincidental. ABDUCTING CASEY started out as a 20,000 word novella I’d written for a Sensual Novella class I was taking. When I submitted it to Soul Mate, my publisher liked it so much she asked me to take it to a full novel. So, I did. It now sits at a little over 67,000 words.

Okay, now back to A MAN TO TRUST. I sat as a juror on a double murder trial a few years back, shortly before PROTECTING ROSE was contracted.  I took the details of what I’d learned over the two-week trial, and created my story for A MAN TO TRUST. 

Liza: You must be the first person in jurydom who didn't find jury duty a colossal waste of time. So how'd you turn reality into something interesting?

Cheryl: I built a romance between the lead detective on the case, and the widow of one of the murdered drug dealers. In this book, a character from PROTECTING ROSE, J.D., was supposed to be the lead. But J.D. is also my son’s name. Well, when I came to the first sex scene my muse ran screaming from the room. LOL. So, I invented a new lead, Jake, J.D.’s brother. Now, Jake gets all the hot sex in this book. But, don’t feel bad for J.D., he still finds his love … but you will only get a G-rated version of their romance. I paired him with Stacey, who is J.D.’s wife’s name in real life. Because, I’m the author…and I can!)

Liza: I discovered you have a trailer about this novel.

Liza: Great trailer! So who's your favorite character in the book & why? 

Cheryl: I love Angela. She’s strong enough to overcome the abuse of her past relationship to love again. But, she’s determined to not put up with any disrespect from a man ever again. When Jake messes up, he almost loses her. 

Liza: What happens?

Cheryl: You’ll have to read the book to find out how he overcomes her resistance to giving him a second chance.

Liza:What's your favorite line in the story? 

Cheryl: Well, if I have to choose just one line, then I guess it would be this one:
“I want you, Angel. But when I make love to you, it won’t be because you’ve had too much to drink.”

This line shows that Jake, actually is, A MAN TO TRUST.

Liza: I liked that. Darn! We're coming to the end, and this interview has been so good, I failed to throw in any Fox Newslike Breaking news.

Cheryl: Oh gosh, that's really a shame.

Liza: If you feel cheated, I'm sure I can make something up.

Cheryl: No, the claim I was drunk was sufficient misinformation.

Liza: Oh yeah. I forgot about that.

Cheryl: Hopefully, the readers will as well.

Liza: Oh don't worry. My followers have very short memories.  


The battered survivor of an abusive marriage, Angela doesn’t mourn her husband’s death in a drug deal gone bad. But she’s not sure she can survive losing her heart to the handsome detective who believes she’s a criminal, too.

Tasked with Angela’s safety after she’s targeted by an unknown enemy, Jake discovers the beautiful widow is not what she seems. He soon realizes that trusting her goes hand-in-hand with desiring her, and passion and duty collide.

Now it’s up to Jake to keep Angela—and their chance at happiness—alive.


“Can I help?” Jake’s husky voice drifted over her sensitive nerves as he came up behind her and heat radiated from him as he positioned himself at her back.
She pushed hair from her face and reached for the rolling pin, not looking at him. She felt like a gazelle being stalked by a lion.
“No, I’ve got it, thanks.” She rolled the dough into a rectangle, before folding the short ends over the middle to make three layers. Turning the dough a quarter turn she rolled it away from her into another large rectangle.
“That looks complicated.” Jake placed an arm at each side of her, then gripped the counter and peered over her shoulder. Effectively caging her in, his warm, minty, breath feathered across her face. “Explain to me what you’re doing. I might like to make it for my son sometime.”
Her hands trembled when she folded the short ends over the middle again to make another three layers. Normally, she’d place the dough back in the refrigerator at this point for another twenty minutes, but if she worked fast enough she could skip that step. And she wanted to get this done as soon as possible and put some space between her and Jake. Afraid she would throw herself back into his arms.
She glanced over her shoulder and met his heated gaze. His eyes smoldered with banked lust. “Seriously?”
He nodded, watching her with a predatory gleam in his eyes.
She took another shaky breath and glanced back down. “Okay. It—it’s a simple recipe really. I’m making dough for Pear-Hazelnut Tarts. I’ll write it down for you.”
“That’d be great.” His body pressed up against her.
Angela gulped. “Well—well, first you prepare the dough, then you need to wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about half an hour.”
“Uh huh.” He leaned in and nuzzled her ear. “Refrigerate the dough. Got it.”
Her mind went into lockdown. Nothing but silence and sexual tension filled the room.
“I’m listening,” Jake brushed his thumb across her cheek. “Flour,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck.
“Oh.” Her body was wound tight and desire pooled in her belly, and her breasts felt heavy and aching with the need to be touched. A tremor ran through her.
She gave the dough another turn and again folded the ends over. “After you remove the dough from the refrigerator, you need to roll it flat, and shape it into a large rectangle, then fold the short ends over the middle so that it makes three layers.” She demonstrated it for him, although she didn’t really think he was paying attention.
“Right. Three layers,” he repeated. One hand slid to her stomach, tugging her closer.
Angela’s pulse raced. “Umm. Repeat this four times,” she managed to say. “The dough needs to remain firm, if not . . . if not, put it back in the refrigerator for another fifteen minutes before continuing.”
“Mmm, sounds like a lot of work.”
She gave her shoulders a little shrug to loosen his arms from around her. “Some space here, please,” she said, breathlessly.
Jake chuckled and the pressure of his body against her eased up a little, but he didn’t move away. His hand still rested possessively across her belly.

Liza: Yeah, that dough is much too much work. I'd abandon it for Jake.

I did further investigating into Cheryl's life, including going through her phone and purse. Here's what else I learned about her:

Cheryl Yeko is an award winning author, and lives in Wisconsin with her husband Patrick. She loves to read, play piano, and spend time with family and friends. She enjoys novels with fast-paced action and steamy romance, protective alpha men and strong heroines.

Cheryl belongs to several writing groups, and is a member of RWA, as well as Pro-Liaison for the Wisconsin Chapter. Cheryl is also an Acquisitions Editor for Soul Mate Publishing. As an Editor, she welcomes Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, and Erotica.

Cheryl is thrilled to be able to add author/editor to her resume and would love to hear comments from readers.

Where Love Always Wins:

Trailer: A Man To Trust:
Buy Links:
Soul Mate Publishing:

Well you heard her peeps. Get to commenting!
And follow me! I'm stuck on 48. I want a new #!


  1. I cracked up laughing. That was a great interview!! Wonderful job. I tweeted.

    1. Thank you Ella. You will now live 5.7 seconds longer than before.
      Laughter is good for your soul and lengthens your life.

    2. Hi, Ella. Thanks for stopping by. I would have popped in yesterday, but for some reason just couldn't seem to get out of bed. I think it was the flu.(that's my story and I'm sticking to it)

      Glad you enjoyed the interview. It's always fun at Liza's place.


    3. AHA! You do have a drinking problem!

  2. Hysterical - love the blurb and excerpt- heck I just loved the whole thing - great job ladies.

    1. Cheryl and I make a good team. Thanks for stopping by. You will now live 5.7 seconds longer.

    2. Thank you for visiting me at Liza's. So happy you enjoyed the interview and book blurb.


  3. As usual, another great interview, Liza. Thanks for introducing me to a new author; Cheryl, glad to see you've survived the interview. 7 hours of sleep? I can't remember the last time I got that much sleep!!

    1. Thanks. Always glad to make introductions. 7 hours of sleep, yeah I'm hoping to get that tonight.

    2. Thank you for stopping, Nancy. It's always a great thing to reach new you can tell, marketing is NOT my favorite part of being published.

      Of course, Liza manages to make blogging fun!


  4. Awesome interview. I love Cheryl's writing. Protecting Rose kept me on the edge of my seat and cost me a couple of hours of sleep, but it was well worth it.

    1. Thanks, scmitchell...I'm happy you enjoyed, Protecting Rose. I'm rather partial to it myself. :>)


  5. Terrific interview, ladies, and a lot of fun.
    I loved Protecting Rose and A Man to Trust. I can hardly wait to read your book.

    1. Thank you Janna. I'm glad you stopped by and had fun. I can't wait for Cheryl's next book either. Then she's gets to come back.

  6. Thank you, Janna for stopping by.

    And a really BIG thank you for reading and enjoying my books!


  7. Great interview! It's sometimes hard to get humor across like this, but you both had no problem! Cheryl, I happen to be a social media manager who specializes in writers. If you have an interest in having that nasty bit taken off your plate so you can focus on writing, I'd love to hear from you (my rates are low, promise!).

    You can find me here:

    Anyway, I'm off now to look up your books on Amazon, they sound very interesting!

    1. Thanks Diane. Yes, my humor is often misunderstood. Especially by airport security. I'm just trying to liven up their day. But their idea of a good time (arresting Liza) and mine (laughing) seem incompatible, so I avoid flying now.

      Thankfully, Cheryl was here to keep me in line. And her book is so good, who needs bad behavior.

  8. Thanks for stopping, Diane. I liked your page and will keep you in mind ... but, with marketing kitty only a keystroke away...we'll see! :>)

    Happy writing.


  9. Fantastic interview, ladies!! Loved it!! :D

  10. Thanks for stopping by, Karen. Glad you enjoyed it.



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