Author’s Bio: Cheryl Barton lives in Maryland and in
her spare time she loves to read espionage, crime and romance novels, cook,
watch Sci-fi movies, spend time with family and friends and enjoy Maryland
steamed crabs. Cheryl is celebrating over 30 years as a government employee and
loves writing romance novels when in her spare time.

Cheryl is the author of over forty romance novels, four inspirational novels, and is proud of her six book compilation projects with several other incredible women.

Cheryl was a 2019 Finalist for the Emma Award given by Romance Slam Jam and a 2018 Finalist for the Literary Trailblazer of the Year award by the Indie Author Legacy Award. Cheryl is a member of the Contemporary Romance Writers where she currently serves on the board as the secretary. 

Deliah Lawrence: What inspired you to write your book?

Cheryl Barton: My inspiration for writing The Sweetest Revenge was the
idea that you can break free from what is expected of you and go for what you
want. I know some will see the title and think it’s about getting revenge on
someone else when in fact, it’s about a woman getting revenge against the woman
she has always been in order to break out and be the woman she wants to be.
That includes loving and getting the kind of loving she wants, needs and


I was inspired after having conversations with friends who talk
about how they’ve held back on going for what they want when it comes to
intimacy. Instead, they have often settled for love that has been unfulfilling.
They’ve stayed with someone out of obligation and comfort. I wanted to write
about an older woman who broke through the brick walls that were holding her
back in love. I wanted to show her deciding to just go for what she wanted
without letting even the age of a younger man get in the way. The revenge in
this book is what set her loose to never look back with any kind of regret.


DL: How do you handle writer’s block?

CB: When
I come across writer’s block, I have a few remedies that work for me. First of
all, I don’t fret about stepping away from writing for as long as it takes to
find that inspiration again. I feel when I force my way beyond that block, I
don’t like the words that flow from my heart. I know that I should listen to
the signs that I need a break. I am easily distracted when I don’t really know
what I want to write about. I will sit in front of my computer for hours and
not type a single word. I feel like I should be writing since I chose this
path. I never give up; I give myself the break I need at any time.

Another thing that works
for me is to put down the pen and pick up a book. Instead of writing, I spend
time catching up on my reading. That’s usually a huge inspiration for me. I
have also found that taking a quick trip often inspires me. I get out of my
office and away from the computer to take in the sights. My eyes will catch
something that inspires me to write a new story. I never let writer’s block
stop me from getting back to what I love. It’s okay to take a detour.

DL: What is your writing

CB: My
writing process isn’t complicated at all. I simply write when I’m motivated and
focused. I work full-time, so having the time to write can be tricky. After a
day of working, my brain is often too tired to think through and type out a
storyline. Days and weeks will go by without writing a single sentence of a
work in progress. My process is simply to write when the mood strikes. 

When I
start a new project, I do an outline using a template I created some time ago
where I can list out my characters, who they are, what they do and what their
role will be in the story. I lay out the location by researching the area and
what the town is like. I track what my characters like to do for fun, what they
love to eat as well as anything they don’t find appealing. It all matters when
writing a story. 

I like to think early about the conflict that will eventually
be overcome in order to make sure the story ends with a happy ever after
impact. Once I have that, I put my writing of that project to the side. Over
several days, I imagine how the story will flow and make little notes on
post-its, compiling them until I get back to my project. When I’m ready to
write, usually a Saturday when I have the freest time and I can start fresh in
the morning, I go in my writing den and write until I need a break. 

I let my
writing fit into my life where I can get it in. One day after Retirement, I
hope to give more time during the week to my writing. For now, a few hours here
and there, works for me.


DL: What were some of the challenges when writing this book?

CB: My
greatest challenge in writing The Sweetest Revenge was staying on track
with my creativity.  I actually started
this novel well over a year ago. I was excited about the idea and the three
follow-up novels, the first two starting with the word, sweetest, while
the third and fourth starting with the word, loveliest, while still
ending in revenge and temptation. The next book in this series is called, The
Sweetest Temptation
. The third book is, The Loveliest Revenge and
the fourth, The Loveliest Temptation. Over time, I struggled with how I
wanted the first book to go.


At one point, I was so frustrated with how the story was going
that after about ten thousand words in, I scrapped it all and started over. I
changed the story about five times, unhappy with all earlier ideas. Out of
frustration, I put the four books aside for months. Then one weekend, I decided
to have a relaxing time at home. That’s when the storylines for each novel came
to fruition in my head. I finally drafted a much better outline for The
Sweetest Revenge


When I realized what I had finally come up with was what I wanted
all along, I dived in and finished the book in about a week. My brain was on
overdrive that week; it was a good stretch. I set it aside again for about a
month. Once I got back to it, I was happy with how it turned out. The challenge
to stick with an original idea is always my biggest struggle. In the end, I
give myself a break knowing nothing is perfect. I just remember that I want the
storyline to be good; something my readers will love. I put a lot in this story
and I love all of it.


DL: If you were hosting a dinner party which three authors would
be your dream guests and why?

CB: If I were hosting a dinner party,
three authors that I would love to have as dream guests would be Brenda
Jackson. It was her Madaris Family series that got me hooked on romance.
Before reading one of her books, I was all about mystery, crime and science fiction
novels. Next would be Stephen King. He happens to be my favorite author. His
novel, Needful Things changed my outlook on what good writing looks
like. I have every one of his books, even when he wrote as Richard Bachman. He
is a dynamic writer and I get engrossed in his stories like I’m in every scene.
Last would be Iris Johansen. I would love to have a sit down with her and get
advice on writing crime novels. I would love to write in that genre but not
sure I’m ready yet.

DL: What’s your favorite
line from a book?

CB: That
would have to be, “Love, the simplest, strongest, and most unforgiving of
all emotions.”
That’s a quote from one of my favorite books of all time, Needful
by Stephen King. I love that because it describes the rollercoaster
ride that is a romance novel. I feel like that when I’m writing my books. I
start out writing about love in what I believe is its simplest form, just tell the
story of how it’s going and how it will last forever. Then I dive deeper into a
plot and realize love isn’t simple, but it is complicated, varying and yes,
strong. It’s that strength of love that gets my characters to their happy place.

When I think of love being
unforgiving, I picture the lows in love and how the expectation is never to hit
that low point in a relationship. Anyone who falls in love does not do it with
the thought in mind that it could fail. When it does, the idea of love failing
isn’t a happy one. That’s why every single romance novel I write always ends on
a happy note. I don’t ever want to tarnish love with sadness. It’s never what I
want anyone to remember about my stories. If someone is looking for all good
things never ending, they will find it in my novels.


DL: What are three fun facts about yourself?             

CB: Here you go:

I’m not writing or working my full-time job, I love making wreaths and other
home décor. I’m working on starting a crafting business because I’ve received a
lot of great feedback on the ones I’ve already done. People are starting to
request them, so it’s time for a new hobby. I’ve bought so many craft items
that I’ve had to create a dedicated room in my home just for crafting. I’m
ready for this new side of being creative. I’m finding out so much about myself
that I never knew I could do.

I’m a
Marylander to the bone. I love me some Maryland steamed crabs. I eat them about
once a week, sometimes more than that. In fact, I am all things seafood. If I
had to pick a food group and make that all I had to live off of, it would be
all things seafood.

love to line dance and sing karaoke. There is something exciting about learning
the dances and then getting to show what I’ve got when it comes to moves.
Dancing has always been a big part of me and so has music. I think I can rock
singing a song like the best in the business. When I’m singing a Whitney
Houston or Mary J. Blige song, I think I’m actually them. It’s all about
confidence. I love to sing! Putting them together in synchronized dance is fun
along with a great way to exercise. Both are therapeutic for me when I need to de-stress.


DL: Would you like to
share an excerpt from The Sweetest Revenge?

CB: Here
is a short excerpt from the book:

“Delaney, you deserve to be happy and not fall
back into something that would make you look over your shoulder, check his
wallet and go over his shirts for lipstick stains. You know I love my cousin,
but Davis was shady. You deserve more. You deserve to be happy. That man took
you through hell! The best revenge would be for you to live your life and show
him what he’s missing out on. If that means having a little fun with Nash this
weekend, then do that. He’s younger, so what. Who cares? You shouldn’t. No one
says you have to fall in love. Just fall in bed with him if that’s what you
want to do. You are single and free to do whatever you want. If you’re worried
about his age, don’t be. Girl, that age comes with a whole lot of tall and sexy
chocolate. If you’re worried about what the kids would say, don’t tell them.
It’s a weekend. You’re here until Monday. Go ahead and get your Stella on! I’m
not mad at you for getting your sexy back. Don’t you dare let thoughts of Davis
possibly changing or Nash’s age be a deterrent. It’s time you lived for you and
no one else.”

DL: What new projects are
you currently working on?

CB: I am currently working on a new
exciting book series called, The Divas of High Hill. It’s a family drama
series that will have humor, mystery, romance, crime – actually just a little
bit of everything. Most of all, there will be a lot of drama amongst six women
who find out that they are sisters, most born out of affairs their father had
with several women. Upon his death, the skeletons in his closet start to

These sisters will hate and love each other at the same time while
trying to run the billion-dollar entertainment conglomerate that their father
left behind. It was in his will that they keep the company running and they
must do it together. The stories that come out will be fire! I’m excited about
getting the first book in the series, Secrets out for readers to get
their hands on.

I’m also finishing up two
series, The Sullivans of Montana, which has one last book coming out in
a few months. The other, The Brothers of Chi-Town series is coming to an
end soon with the last two books coming out at the same time in one sexy novel.
I’m always writing and doing books in a series is my favorite. Readers should
be on the lookout for all that I have coming up for them. 2023 is going to be a
year of love, love and more love!


DL: Where can readers learn
more about you and purchase your book(s)?

CB: Readers can get more information

DL: Thanks so much for being here
with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

CB: Thanks
so much again for the opportunity!

Originally Published on

Deliah Lawrence Attorney, Author, Blogger, Workshop Facilitator

Deliah Lawrence is a Maryland-based attorney and award-winning author of two romantic suspense novels (Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back) set in Baltimore. She’s also a blogger and workshop facilitator who writes poetry and short stories.

When Deliah isn’t writing, you can find her reading a book, indulging in her addiction to investigation discovery shows; or painting her yet-to-be exhibited oil artworks of landscapes, portraits or whatever else comes to her creative mind. Constantly on the go, she is also a member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland and Sisters in Crime.