Monday, August 18, 2014

Conversation with Author and Editor, Cheryl Yeko

Posted by Susan B James on 3:30:00 AM with 11 comments

Cheryl Yeko is a multi-published, award-winning author. She belongs to several writing groups, and is a member of Wisconsin Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America (RWA), as well as its 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 acquired Time and Forever from me in 2013 and I will be forever grateful. Not only for the acquisition, but for her editing skills which made my book infinitely better. 

Her sixth book, The Notary came out this summer.
I took the opportunity to ask her for an interview.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Wisconsin with my husband Patrick.I love to read, play piano, and spend time with family and friends. 

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale.

I remember it well...what a rush. The thrill was beyond description. I’d never written so much as a short story before, but after receiving a Kindle for Christmas from my wonderful husband I began reading romance novels and fell in love with them. After a few years I decided to try writing one myself. I disappeared into my room over a long Wisconsin winter and wrote Protecting Rose. I sent my baby out to three publishing houses, expecting rejection, and within three weeks I received an offer from Soul Mate Publishing, which I quickly accepted. I was on cloud nine. Then two days later I received and offer from a second publishing house. I think I was in shock at this point ... lol. Then Protecting Rose went on to win the 2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the romantic suspense category. Well, I was hooked and quit my full time job as a legal assistant to write full time. You should have seen my husband’s face ... priceless!!
But he’s been very supportive, and I now have six romantic suspense novels released, and I’m an acquiring editor for Soul Mate Publishing. I'm just as thrilled as the author when I send out a contract letter, the joy of being contracted still fresh in my mind and something I’ll probably never forget.

If it isn’t too nosy . . . (well of course it is!) How about the first time you kissed your true love?

Gosh, we’ve been together for so long, I don’t really remember But he’s a great kisser so I’m sure he rocked my world! J

In all your spare time, what books do you like to read?
I enjoys novel with fast-paced action and steamy romance, protective alpha men and strong heroines. 

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?

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 little 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 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!!
Cheryl, you have some of the best ideas for plots ever. Do they sneak up on you in your dreams or do you have to wrestle for them?
 I'm a total pantser and my plots come to me as I go No plotting (or very little) involved. Although as a mobile notary myself, I've had this idea swirling in my head for a few years and finally got around to writing it. It's my favorite so far...Smile

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
That had to be when I won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for my debut novel, Protecting Rose. Wow! Knock me over with a feather. My novels continue to place in contests, but I’ve yet to get another win ... although I’m not giving up. J Besides winning contests, I’d have to say it’s when I get my new book cover. Each time is as exciting as the time before...

And then of course, there was the day Debby Gilbert asked me to come on board as an Editor for Soul Mate Publishing. From no writing experience to award winning author and acquiring editor for a publishing house within a span of two years was quite a wild ride...and it’s not over!! I’m going to ride this fun-train as far as it’ll take me. J

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?

Hanging out with my husband...the love of my life. Just being around him makes my day better.

What’s your snack of choice while writing?


Got a recipe you want to share?

Sorry, I don’t I’ve always told my husband if he wants a good meal, he can take me out to dinner.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?

Join a critique group, and write, write, write.

Tell us about your latest release.

THE NOTARY. I love this story and it was so much fun to write. I drew from my background as a Mobile Notary, where I conducted real estate closings for title companies in people’s homes and business, coffee shops, and other totally off the wall places. The craziest one I remember was when I showed up for an appointment and the home was overflowing with folks dressed up in formal attire. I found out there was a Wake going on for the borrower’s sister. I told her we could reschedule, but she insisted I come in and close the loan. Which I did!

I conducted other types of projects besides real estate closings, although that was the majority of my business. On occasion, I’d perform fingerprinting for people who were moving to other states for a job that required them, or even close a loan at a car dealership when they’d receive new inventory. I worked as a mobile notary for over ten years, and still, to this day, take an occasional assignment. It’s been very

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...LOL
I’d like to share the Blurb for The Notary with you.

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.

I created the book trailer for The Notary myself. I love how it turned out. It helps that I had such an awesome book cover! 
Cheryl did a great job; Check out the  Book Trailer: 

Here is an excerpt:

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.
Ah, hell!

What’s your current WIP?

As mentioned above, I love Karen Rose, she writes the darkest stories with killer villains (literally). So, I’m trying my hand at a serial killer story. It’s a bit darker than my other novels ... at least that is the intent. So, we’ll see. I hope to have it completed by the end of the year.
I’m also still chugging away at my paranormal story, which keeps getting pushed aside for a new romantic suspense novel. My intent is to have my paranormal completed by the end of next year...which would put it almost three years into the making. So, I’ll be stretching my writing skills over the next year. Wish me luck!

I do! Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Thank you, Cheryl.I loved Protecting Rose and I bought The Notary the day it came out. Great read. 
These are Cheryl's links. 
Cheryl is thrilled to be able to add author/editor to her resume and would love to hear comments from readers.

Cheryl is offering a giveaway of her novella, Mountain Hero either as an eBook or and Audible Book - Reader's Choice. Please leave a comment and, If you are feeling sprightly, click on The Power of Three, Cheryl's shared Facebook author page. You'll be liking three lovely authors for the price of one click.
  Cheryl will choose a winner.  

You can find Cheryl at these links: Where Love Always Wins
Soul Mate Publishing:


  1. It was a delight to learn more about Cheryl.

  2. Thank you, Eris. Susan has a really nice blog. I'm glad you stopped in.


  3. Excellent interview...loved the photos!

  4. Thanks, Joanne....where does the time go? lol


  5. Cheryl, you're new to me - your stuff sounds terrific! I'm definitely adding you to my TBR pile. Cheers and congrats!

    1. Cheryl, Can I get an email address for you? You won Mountain Hero.

  6. Thank you, Christine. It's always so much fun picking up a new reader. Thank you for stopping in. :)

    Happy reading! Stop by my website when you get a chance, we're always having giveaways with my Power of Three teammates, Char Chaffin and Callie Hutton.


  7. It's always fun learning more about my fellow soul mate authors, and of course editors too. Love the pics. Wow, winning an award for your first novel; that's special.

  8. Hi, Elizabeth. Yes, it was very exciting. :)

    Thanks for stopping by.


  9. Always great meeting new authors! (And I was 2 years behind you in the same category of the GWAofE! Glad I wasn't against you. LOL.) Keep up the good work!

  10. Hi, Dee. I take it you won?...congrats! Fun. What was your book?



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