December 17, 2013

Please Give a Warm Welcome to Author, Deanne Wilsted

Welcome to Cheryl’s place! I’m thrilled to have you here.

And I am thrilled to be here! It’s a particularly poignant time to talk about my book, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, since it deals with overcoming grief, particularly that of a child for a parent.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Well, although I’ve always loved writing, growing up I saw myself as a dolphin trainer or carrying a briefcase. Mostly I saw myself making money… so that eliminated both writing and dolphin training. I did the business thing (marketing and strategy). And while this was interesting, I never got over my true love- writing, that is, not dolphin training.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?

I am a fan of all things Italy – so most days you can find me trying out new Italian recipes or surfing the internet looking for villa rentals or Italian houses for sale.

I am also on a campaign to learn how to kick a field goal like the hero in my book, UNTANGLING THE KNOT. I’m attempting to link this goal with a fundraiser for Comfort Zone Camp… a grief camp for kids who have lost a parent or sibling. I’m even in contact with Stephen Gostkowski, the kicker for the Patriots. I’m hoping he’ll help promote the fundraiser. My video blog about learning to kick is pretty darn funny… you can find it at:

When did you first get the writing bug?

My mom was an English teacher and had us creating stories and writing poetry for as long as I can remember. I guess you could say I must have been born with the bug.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?

 Keep your goal simple. Don’t think about how you are writing a book to get it published; just think about a goal like finishing a full manuscript. It doesn’t even have to make sense or be polished or even be legible (if you happen to be writing in the car while waiting for carpool pick-ups.) This is why I love NaNoWriMo so much (a challenge of 50,000 words during the month of November!)

What genre or genres do you write?

I writer Comedic, Contemporary Women’s Fiction with Strong Romantic Elements. It is very close to Romance, but the hero and/or heroine’s journeys are primarily about their own growth first, rather than being only about the growth of the relationship between them.

Tell us about your latest release(s)

As I mentioned, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, is a story where the journey is about learning to manage grief. There are also a lot of hilarious scenes as the heroine makes mistakes which potential mess up the wedding she is planning.
Here’s a blurb about it:

“I did what?”

Twenty-eight-year-old Gabriella Bessu is St. Therese’s meticulous wedding ceremony coordinator. So the fact that she has mistakenly registered her newest couple for an annulment, rather than a wedding, sends her Catholic guilt into overdrive.

But who can blame her? The groom is gorgeous and his two kids tug at Gabriella’s heart in a way that overcomes all her best intentions. Before long, she’s in over her head, fixing her mixed-up plans and helping the children and dad come to terms with their haunting grief for the mother and wife they lost years earlier.

Can Gabriella untangle her own fears and accept the messy life that God has handed them?

It was such fun to write because one minute it had me in tears and the next I was laughing out loud at something crazy Gabriella is doing. I think this is why the reviews for the book have been so amazing. Here are two of the many I great ones the book has received.

“A fun romance with endearing characters and a message about love and life lightly intertwined. Captures you and makes you want to read it in one sitting.”

“If you like romance that is centered around characters that are full of heart and soul this might just be for you. A great book from a talented author. I would keep Deanne Wilsted on your list of authors to watch.”

I especially loved this second review as it came from one of Amazon’s official top 500 reviewers.

Please share an excerpt of your book! I’d love to. How about a funny one? In this scene Gabriella has just learned of a new mistake she has made while organizing the church part of the wedding for the hero, Ryan. Peter, Ryan’s 6 year old son, is trying to figure out what is going on.

Ryan strode back to Gabriella, trying hard not to laugh. He dragged her to the car with force and held on as if she might run when he opened the passenger side door for her.

“Where to?” he asked when she was safely belted into her seat.

“The nearest mental hospital?” she answered.

“Ha, ha,” he said sarcastically. “Nice try. I refuse to let you fake a nervous breakdown to get out of the wedding planning.”

“Not for me,” she countered, really starting to lose it. “For you. Are you insane? You’re acting as if this is no big deal. Mandy’s probably in hysterics right now. And, incidentally, I would be too if it weren’t for you and the kids being here to witness it.”

Gabriella stopped talking and started breathing fast. Too fast.

“Don’t hyperventilate,” Ryan warned her calmly.

“And you, you,” she raved, “you just want to go to . . . lunch. Like this is all perfectly normal. Like I send people to the wrong retreat every day of the week.”

Ryan noticed Peter watching Gabriella with concern.

“Don’t worry, sport,” he said quietly. “Girls do this sometimes. It’s called venting. The best thing you can do is stay quiet and let them get it all out.”

“Pull over,” Gabriella ordered suddenly. “PULL OVER,” she shouted. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

What’s your current WIP?

I actually have two right now. I am polishing a new Contemporary Women’s Fiction with Romance called MOLTO MAYHEM. It is set entirely in Italy which made it lots of fun to write! I am also writing on a new creative work set in Mexico.

This is why my tagline is Journeys Inspired by Love – sending my heroines off to foreign places gives me lots of fodder for fun adversities which help them grow.

Do you prefer your men in boxers, briefs, or commando?

I’m more a boxer girl… especially ones with dolphins on them. (Yep, I’m still a huge dolphin fan.)

And finally, where can we stalk you?

Oh yes… please do! I write a twice weekly blog at:

You can also sign up for my quarterly newsletter at my website homepage:

While there check out my hilarious video blog about learning to kick a field goal and find some favorite recipes from my third book, Molto Mayhem.

Follow me on:

Goodreads -

If you would like to have your hero and heroine visit as well, please answer the following for the hero and the heroine.

     Tell us about the first time you saw theh/h.
  Hero: Ryan- Don’t tell Gabriella, but I thought she was a kid. She was coming down the hall at the church rectory and it wasn’t until she got up close that I realized she was close to my age. As a professional athlete I don’t normally have fanciful thought… but she reminded me of a fairy from one of the picture books I used to read to Chloe, my daughter. Heroine: Gabriella- Ryan doesn’t really remember meeting me at the funeral for his first wife. I’m sure it was all a blur to him. But I remember him very well… the way he sat, stoically with his children, the way the unshed tears made his bright blue eyes shine like sapphires.

       What drew you to him/her? Hero: Ultimately it was her humor and depth, though I never did quite let go of that magical impression I had from our first real meeting. Heroine: I hate to say it, it seems so superficial, but Ryan is just plain gorgeous. I’m happy to say, though, that when we went through the couples survey to get married I learned I also love him for his family values and his strength. But did I mention his amazing blue eyes?

       What is your favorite thing about him/her: Hero: I love that Gabriella can eat anything she wants and still stays skinny. It’s a lot of fun to go out to eat with her and see how much she enjoys her food. Heroine: He’s caring and kind… like how he always adopts stray animals.

Care to share future plans? 
Hero: I’ve accepted a coaching job out west… so no more of the hard physical trials of    training and playing. We’re all going to Italy for three months though, before we move.

Heroine: Peter has already been bugging for a baby brother, so maybe that will happen someday. But for now I just really want to enjoy my time with Ryan, Chloe and Peter

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  1. Thanks so much for having me Cheryl. I love talking about Untangling the Knot, especially during the holiday season when readers are looking for heartwarming stories.

    My other book, BETTING JESSICA, is more of a summer story, light and fun and vacationy. I'm glad to say it is coming out in print soon... so readers of Untangling the Knot will be able to move into it as the season changes:>)

    Thanks again for allowing me to share my Journey. I love the chance to meet new readers.