Passion on the Plains by Sherita Smedley - Author Spotlight

Sherita Smedley has a Master's of Arts in Creative Writing from National University and her freelance articles for www.blackprint.cc, include "Feminism vs. Womanism", "Post Pregnancy: The Misshapen Body", and "Army Wives, Army Lies". She has also done "how to" articles for demandstudios.com. Her short story "The Hour", a fictional account of a runaway slave's escape to freedom has been published in National University's GNU.

In her spare time she loves to read, crochet, knit, volunteer in the children ministry at Destiny World Outreach Center, and to spend time with her family. She resides with her husband and two children in Texas. Sherita Smedley's current work is an inspirational historical romance novel titled, "Passion on the Plains."


Summary of the book:

Kara Mae Malone never wanted to ask for outside help, especially not from a man. At the request of her mother she hired Jake Henry, a new ranch hand, to help her run the farm. Kara decided to run him off, but adversely fell for him. However, to her surprise she did not realize that Jake had been hired by the rich Mr. Hillmond to ruin her and take her farm. Jake was on board until he became intoxicated with her and decided he would do anything to protect her. Through a terrible storm, a devastating battle, and a horrific court case their love continued to blossom until they were married and became pregnant. However, with all this love Mr. Hillmond was determined to make Jake pay for betraying him.

What made you write the book?

I loved reading historical romance novels as a teenager, but was discouraged when I could not find any with African-American characters. I wanted to be able to see my characters on the cover, instead of having to imagine them in my mind. When my husband went on his first deployment, I figured it was time to explore my love for writing more and begin this journey. The reason it is a historical is because I wanted to not only show love, but to take my readers to a time when love was daring and history was being made in the west.

What was your process of writing:

Before I start any writing project, I begin with an outline of my chapters or possible scenes for the manuscript. It was easier to change sections around when it was in outline form versus having to move around whole chapters. Having an outline really helped me when it came to the editing process and adding additional subplots. I also kept a detailed character sheet in case I needed to refer to the characteristics or background history of any character. I would designate time in my little corner office to write or go to the local bookstore for some hot coffee and several hours of quiet writing time. I found it beneficial to not write at home because of distractions.

How long did it take you?

The original manuscript took me eight weeks to write, but a year later I went back and added more chapters and subchapters until it was at 70,000 plus words.

Why the setting?

The story begins in 1886 out west in a freedman’s colony called Lincolnton. This part of Kansas had many African-Americans and minorities moving there to escape prejudice from the South.

Tell us about the characters:

My heroine Kara Mae Malone is half African-American/Cherokee Indian. She has had to become strong at a young age with the death of her father and only her left behind to help her mother take care of the family farm. She does not want to hire and outsider for fear they may come and take her farm, since they are running low on money. Kara has turned down every suitor and feels she does not have the time for love.

My hero, Jake Henry, is Lumbee Indian. He has decided to move west with his mother and sister to escape prejudice in North Carolina. Although he had promised his father years ago that he would settle down and let go of his wild past, Jake had no intention of getting married.
Although they are both stubborn and strong willed; they each share a love for family. I love having diverse characters, which makes the story more complex and appeals to more readers.

What is your advice to other writers?

One piece of advice I would give to all writers is to keep going, no matter how many “no’s” come in the mail. Once I made up in my mind that I was not going to stop until my story was out, I then left it in the Lord’s hands. Also keep a note pad or word document with any ideas or dreams, which could be possible stories for the future.


Full Book Blurb

Kara Mae Malone never thought of herself as the damsel in distress. She and her mother narrowly survived the brutal Indian attack that killed her father, and years later, Kara’s heart is hardened and reluctant to love. With her widow mother getting older though, she has to take care of the family farm alone. The local rich bachelor and ladies’ man, Mr. Hillmond, often comes calling, and her refusals just make his advances stronger.
At the stern advice of her mother, Kara reluctantly hires Jake Henry, the fetching new stranger in town, to help on the farm. But she dare not trust him with her heart. However, true love cannot be hidden, and the two are eventually drawn together. Kara can no longer deny her feelings, and she soon discovers what real love is. Chance brings them together, but it is the love of God that heals their wounds and gives them the desires of their heart.

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