by Wendi Zwaduk
I want to first thank Reading Romances for letting me guest today. I love the blog and was so excited when the offer came to guest. You ladies rock!
Now reading this far, you might be wondering about the title. Isn’t that line… yeah, it’s she and then he. But in the case of my newest release, Somewhere I Belong, the title is apropos.
I grew up not on a farm, but darned close. My grandparents farmed and my dad spent all his time when he wasn’t working the EDJ, at the farm. So I spent more than my share of time out there. I can’t drive a tractor, but I can work a riding mower pretty well. I’ve done time on the hay wagon. Forgotten to wear long pants when working said wagon. Yes, hay stalks and straw does hurt when you’re trying to stack it. I saw cattle being born. Helped take care of the critters that didn’t make it and just plain ran around on the farm.
A couple years ago my dad lost his job. He’d worked there for more than 15 years and was a dedicated employee. Unfortunately when the bubble burst, he was out. As a kid, I’d dealt with him being laid off and it wasn’t fun. I couldn’t imagine being over 50 and having to start all over again.
Sadly, his job predicament jumpstarted my idea for what became Somewhere I Belong. I wanted to write a story about a farmer. Now, that said, I can’t just say, well, I’d like to write a story about a farmer. The character, if there’s one in there, has to show up and start talking. Thankfully Sully showed up and did he talk? Holy cow. It helped quite a bit that I knew a thing or two about farming, so the setting was easier to deal with than it could’ve been.
Before I knew it, I had quite a story going. The only thing was I was the only one who thought it was quite a story. The Crit Partner thankfully saved me from some embarrassing writing. Honestly, there’s very few first drafts of stories that are fantastic. Really. Even if you’re the type who writes and sends it in, you’ll probably twiddle with the story. I’m glad I had the CP to tell me I needed to do more twiddling.
Marley was another challenge. I had the story pretty well written, but it didn’t feel right. She was too one dimensional. But being overly excited about the story, I sent if off rather than listen to her. I wish I’d listened to her. There was so much more to this girl on the tractor than just working on a farm. She had a life and dreams. She wanted things from life and had to deal with what life handed her. Some pretty deep stuff and I should’ve listened earlier. I’m glad I did finally let her really tell her story.
It seemed like it took forever to get to the steamy scenes. I wrote the entire story and then let the sex happen where it was natural. There’s nothing that’s more irritating than sex that feels like it’s in the book just to be there, not to emotionally engage the characters. When I got to the sex, part of it just wouldn’t gel so I had to let it sit a while. Not that there’s anything wrong with letting a sex scene simmer that long. And when the characters were left in the middle of sex, they didn’t complain much. I think they rather liked it.
But in time the story came together, the rough edges were worked out and what I ended up with I’m really proud of. And what does my dad think? I told him and he’s interested in reading it. I don’t know if he’ll approve. Most of my hot writing just embarrasses him in the ‘I can’t believe my daughter wrote that!?!?!’ sort of fashion.
Now I don’t know about you, but I love seeing a farm hand, especially one with six pack abs, all sweaty in the summer sun, taking a moment to get a drink. Especially if he’s got his shirt off. Hopefully, reading Somewhere I Belong is kinda like that for you. Tender but hot and great for a chilly evening.
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.
Here’s a little bit about me:
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 books under contract with Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books, and the Wild Rose Press. But then again, I’ve got more stories percolating than my brain can handle. I can’t wait to share them with you!