Showing posts with label Romance Novels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romance Novels. Show all posts

Friday, March 23, 2012

Get Ready for the Book Blog Tour for The Marriage Contract by Lisa Mondello #IRInk

I'm excited to start my Book Blog Tour tomorrow for THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT!  This is a book that I wrote over 12 years ago and is now finding a new readership with e-readers since it was released September 2011 for ebooks in all formats!  Over the next week I will be visiting the websites listed below.  Some posts will be interviews, some reviews and some guest blog posts where I will be giving away a copy of THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT to a lucky commenter.  So make sure you visit these websites to learn a little bit more about me and for a chance to win!  


By Lisa Mondello


"Hilariously funny!" "Delightful!" 4 STARS Romantic Times Magazine (Book 2 of the Fate with a Helping Hand Series)

What would you do to get a second chance at love? Sometimes fate needs a little helping hand...

When Ruthie Carvalho finds an old birthday card with a marriage proposal scribbled on the back, she figures she's hit pay dirt and is destined to get her 35 year old daughter married.

The trouble is, Ruthie can't stand Cara's boyfriend and Cara is just stubborn enough to push in the opposite direction of what her mother wants.

When Devin Michaels gets a phone call from his old friend's mom, he knows Ruthie is up to something. But he's at a crossroad. It's been 17 years since he's seen Cara and memories of their soulful talks and walks on the beach make him long to reconnect.

Going back to the seaside town of Westport Massachusetts to reconnect with Cara seems like just the thing to do. One look at Cara and the years seem to melt away. With a little help and “creative” planning from Ruthie, can these old friends become lovers and have a second chance at happiness?

Barnes and Noble 

March 24 Promo
Mila Ramos Blog

March 26 guest blog
AJ's Reading Nook

March 26 Guest Blog on The Dark Phantom

March 27 Guest blog and Giveaway

March 28 Guest blog and promo

March 28 Guilty Pleasure guest blog
Another Look Book Reviews

March 28 review

March 30 review
The Autumn Review

March 30 Guest blog and review
Reading Between the Wines

March 31 Promo
Cocktails and Books

April 1 Promo and review
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!

April 1 Guest blog and review
Storm Goddess Book Reviews & more-

April 2 interview and review
The Readers Roundtable by Candlelight

April 2 review and interview
Cindy's Love of Books

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Excerpt of HIS HEART FOR THE TRUSTING - Book 2 of Texas Hearts

Book 2 of my Texas Hearts series, HIS HEART FOR THE TRUSTING, is finally released!!  Yes, after a few rocky starts, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords have it listed for sale.  (Many thanks to Judy for smoothing out the rough spots!)

HIS HEART FOR THE TRUSTING is a special story for me because I wrote it at a time when my life had changed drastically.  On April 2, 2001 I went from being the mother of two children to being the mother of 4 children overnight when my husband and I became legal guardians of my niece and nephew.  I explored a lot of very raw feelings about alcoholism and abuse, and how it leaves scars we can't see, while writing this book and thank goodness I had an editor who pulled back some of the really dark stuff.  Let's face it, this is a romance and we all live for that happily ever after in a romance novel.  One reader has already told me she was brought through a full range of emotions reading it, from laughter, to tears and anger before the payoff at the end.  I hope all you enjoy the excerpt and enjoy Book 2 of my Texas Hearts series.

HIS HEART FOR THE TRUSTING is available on ebook in all formats at Smashwords, and at Amazon for Kindle and Barnes and Noble for ePub.  Check the links below to see where you can get a copy! In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt.


Ever since Mitch Broader set foot in Texas, he dreamed of owning his own ranch. Now that he’s bought a share in the Double T Ranch, he’s one step closer to the dream. Then his past greets him in the form of a baby basket, complete with infant and birth certificate naming him as the father. He can’t change diapers and work toward his dream at the same time.

When Sara Lightfoot, “Miss Hollywood” in Mitch’s eyes, rescues him with her particular knack for handling his precocious son, he hires her on the spot as a temporary nanny. No matter how much Sara’s dark eyes and warm heart make this bachelor think of making their arrangement permanent, she’s made it perfectly clear she has other plans that don’t include him or his dreams.

Sara Lightfoot never thought she’d return to her home on the reservation. Now she plans to reclaim the life she left by going back to the reservation as a Native American storyteller, teaching the Apache children stories of their culture. She didn’t expect Mitch Broader’s sexy smile or job offer as a live-in nanny to derail those plans. After all she’s been through to come home, can she open up her heart once again to love?


Still dancing in circles, Midnight eyed Mitch, seemingly aware of his every move. Mitch turned his back to the mare and played with the bridle, as if ignoring the horse. Finally, Midnight stopped running and with cautious steps, she moved forward, stopping every so often and taking a side step, bobbing her head or giving a neigh, as if calling Mitch to pay attention. Eventually, she stepped up alongside him and gave him a quick nudge with her nose. Then another until she was settled alongside Mitch.

Ever so softly, Mitch stroked her head and neck and front legs with long, easy strokes. He smiled his pleasure and crooned softly.

Without even realizing how he'd done it, the bit was in Midnight's mouth and the bridle was around the mare’s head. Mitch let the reins fall and allowed Midnight to get use to the bit.

Such trust.

“That's amazing,” Sara said quietly.

“Not really,” Mitch said, glancing up at her as he kept his attention on the mare.

She turned to him. Mitch was looking at her, his eyes filled with the same questions she’d seen in the kitchen.

Then he said, “She still could bolt at any time.”

Sara gripped the splintered rail. “But she hasn't. She came to you when she could have easily just kept running in circles.”

“Trust isn't an easy thing for her. She still doesn't know what to think.”

“She let you put the bridle on her. You didn't have to chase her. She came to you.”

“I have to win her trust. And when I have it, I can't abuse it or she'll never give it up again.”

Mitch carefully took the bridle off Midnight and took a few steps away. Midnight followed like a stray dog.

“Does she trust you now? Enough to ride her?”

Mitch shook his head. “We still need a little time together before she'll allow me put a saddle on her. Right now, she's letting me know her boundaries.”

“She let you put a bridle on her as if she didn't even know you were doing it.”

His face was bright with a smile. “Oh, she knew. But she's still making up her mind. She wants to trust me. I can tell. And maybe one day she will.”


He looked up at her again from across the corral. He was incredibly handsome. His dark hair was the color of mica in the fading light, and his eyes had turned from blue to a smoky gray. He stood tall, his weight shifted to one hip as he held the reins of the bridle.

Such strength.

Sara remembered all too well how it had felt earlier to be in Mitch's arms. Her heart still raced with the memory.

“What if she's never ready to trust you?”

Mitch's expression grew serious, pulling her into his gaze. He took a few steps closer, his boots kicking up dust from the ground as he walked. He stopped a good ten feet from where she was standing and said, “I can wait as long as it takes, Sara.”

Available at:


Barnes and Noble

SMASHWORDS for Kindle in Mobi and Nook in ePub


Lisa Mondello

Monday, November 7, 2011

EXCERPT MONDAY - Nothing But Trouble

You gotta love a cowboy!  I sure do.  I love writing about cowboys and rodeo and Nothing But Trouble has a sexy bull rider I just couldn't resist writing about.  It also features a spunky heroine who is not going to allow her medical condition to keep her from living the life she wants to lead.  Throw in the beautiful Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and you have a recipe from romance...and disaster!  Well, maybe. You decide.

Most excerpts you see are ones that are taken from the beginning of a book.  I wanted to get you right into the juicy part of the story.  So the excerpt from Nothing But Trouble is from later in the book.  I hope you enjoy it and want to read all about how Stoney Buxton and Melanie Summers make their way through the wildness as they fall in love.

I'm giving away a copy of Nothing But Trouble to one lucky commenter.  So don't be shy.  Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  Lisa~


Melanie Summers, a feisty zoologist with big dreams, has just made a deal with her father. She has to spend a full month in the Wyoming wilderness and show her father she can handle being in a remote area while managing her Type 1 diabetes before he’ll agree to fund an expedition for her to go to Africa. She knows he’s convinced she’ll fail.

But she’s not about to let any man underestimate what she can do. Especially not the sexy rodeo cowboy she’s hired to help get her through the month in the wilderness.

Stoney Buxton needs to raise cash fast to save the family ranch after a barn fire injuried his father and left the family finances in ruin. Re-entering the rodeo circuit seems like the best way to get the money he needs. That is until Melanie Summers shows up at his ranch flashing easy money. To everyone else, her offer seems like the answer to all his prayers. But one look at her long legs and pouting lips and Stoney know this high society gal is going to be nothing but trouble for his cowboy heart.



Melanie couldn’t help but think of how her hands felt so small in Stoney's larger, more powerful hands. It was if nothing could hurt her if she was with him. She hadn’t expected to feel the way she did. Over the past few days, it had been easy to forget the reason they were here at all. She recalled Stoney’s warning after he’d kissed her the other night. Let’s not forget the reason we’re here.

She had forgotten. She’d fallen in love with the big Wyoming Sky and the Wind River Mountains. Out here, she wasn’t different or special. She could just be herself.

But that wasn’t all, she realized. She’d fallen in love with Stoney. Somehow he’d crept into her heart when she wasn’t looking and claimed it for his own. When she was with him, she felt whole. It was something she’d never known before.

“Let's get some sleep,” he finally said.

The burden of tears weighed heavy behind her eyelids and she bit her bottom lip to keep it from trembling. She held his hand tight. It was now or never. She couldn’t keep this secret from him any longer.

“Tell me what is wrong,” he said, looking at her for the first time with concern.

Melanie drew in a deep breath and worried her bottom lip.

“You’re not having second thoughts about last night, are you?”

She snapped her gaze up to his face. “No, no. I don’t. Do you?”

He shook his head, but his worried look remained. Bending his head, he kissed her forehead. “Never.” He finally gave her a half grin. “Now that we've settled that, why don't we crawl into those sleeping bags and generate a little heat.”

He tossed her a deep-dimpled grin. It was that sexy happy-go-lucky grin that drove her crazy so often.

“I need to tell you something.” She felt the weight of her predicament on her shoulders. She took a deep breath and stared at him, trying to push the words past her fear. “I’m in trouble, Stoney.”

He searched her expression. She saw a thousand emotions pass through his features before she finally saw bewilderment.

She continued. “We have to go back. Right now.”

He stood up straight, his eyebrows knitting together. “No, you’re doing great. Look at the way you crossed that river without any help from me. Before we started, I thought you couldn’t hack it, but I have to admit you’re doing better than I thought a pretty little city gal would do out here. Give yourself some credit.”

Her heart ached with his compliment, however left-handed. She’d deceived him, and now that deception was coming back to haunt her. He assumed she was having doubts about her ability to make it the whole month. After all they’d been through these past couple of days, he believed in her.

She should have told him about her diabetes. She knew that now. He had a right to know. But hindsight was a luxury she hadn’t put faith in.

“I’m sick, Stoney. I’m really sick.”


Order NOTHING BUT TROULBE from these online retailers...




For more books by Lisa Mondello, click on the carousel of books at the top of the page.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Interview with Margery Scott

Hi everyone! I'm so pleased to introduce you to Indie author Margery Scott as my guest blogger!

Here is a little background on Margery Scott straight from the author:

"For me, writing in only one genre is like eating only one kind of candy. Boring. A late bloomer, I didn't start writing until I found herself with an empty nest, some free time, and an old standard typewriter my father found somewhere I'd rather not think about. I still have the empty nest (except for my husband) although now it's on a lake far away from the city, the typewriter has been replaced by a computer, and free time is a thing of the past. I write all across the genre board as the muse and the mood hit me, but these days I tend to stick to either historical romance or romantic suspense. When I'm not writing or traveling in search of the perfect setting for my next novel, you can usually find me wielding a pair of knitting needles or a pool cue.

I love to hear from my readers. Contact me through my website at or directly at

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter."

Thank you so much for being here today Margery! Readers, Margery is offering a free copy of one of her books to someone who comments on the blog today. So don't be shy! We want to hear from you.

I asked Margery a few questions and here is what she had to say...

Lisa: Tell us how you got started writing.

Margery: I wish I could say I'm one of those writers who can't not write, whose brain is filled with ideas, plot points and dialogue, and who knew she'd be a writer almost as soon as she could hold a pencil. Not so. I didn't realize what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was in my forties, which only goes to show it's never too late to go after your dreams.

As a kid, I lived on television - westerns and cop shows. In high school, I detested English literature and history. So, doesn't it make perfect sense that I'd write historical romances and romantic suspense?

Lisa: You write in many different genres. Don't you find it difficult to switch time periods and voices?

Margery: I'd find it much more difficult to only write in one genre. I get bored easily, both in my life and in my writing. I thrive on change. I'm interested in so many historical periods and settings that restricting myself to one setting would really stifle my creativity. I trust my muse, and tend to write whatever genre she's in the mood for .

The first two books I self-published, EMMA'S WISH and WILD WYOMING WIND, are western historical romances. The third, WINTERLUDE, is a contemporary romance set in a Vermont ski lodge. My latest book, DEVIL'S HARVEST, is a romantic suspense with a medical theme. For now, I'll be sticking with romantic suspense, but I do have an idea for a time travel to medieval Scotland niggling at my brain.

Lisa: What inspired you to write Devil's Harvest?

Margery: Beginner writers are often told to "write what you know." Even though I'd been writing for quite some time, it's still much easier write an occupation or a setting you're intimately familiar with. For me, it's hospitals and medicine. All my adult life, I've worked around medical students, interns and residents. I'm well aware of the stress, the fatigue, the pressure to be the best. Taryn is such a resident, dedicated and driven to be the best she can be, no matter what. I can't really say more than that without giving the plot away

Lisa: What was your favorite part about writing Devil's Harvest?

Margery: I loved watching the relationship betweenTaryn and Luke change and grow. Opposites attract, remember? Taryn is a woman who believes only in facts, while Luke trusts his gut instincts. When she meets Luke, he challenges her firmly-held beliefs and through him, she learns to trust again, to believe in something other than an ECG tracing or a laboratory result.

Lisa: Did you identify with any of the characters on a personal level? Or are they completely fictitious?

Margery: In a sense, I can relate to Taryn's drive to be the best. I've been told once or twice that I need to deal with my perfectionist issues

Lisa: What is your next project?

Margery: My next book is a entitled OUT OF TIME, and should be available within the next couple of months. The blurb reads: A sympathy card. A mutilated rag doll. Cryptic messages on an answering machine. Amanda Beckett has no idea why someone is terrorizing her and her daughter, and she has no choice but to ask for help from her ex-husband, Josh, a detective in the Boston police department. As the threats increase, they find themselves running OUT OF TIME to save their daughter's life - and their marriage.

Lisa: Can you tell us a little about your writing process? Do you plot out your stories or fly by the seat of your pants as you write?

Margery: I think of myself as a plotser. The anal-retentive side of me loves charts, graphs, lists. So I start there. I like to write a fairly detailed outline so I don't feel as if I don't know where I'm going. I need to know I have a safety net if I get lost, but if the story is going well, somewhere in the process the outline is forgotten and my muse takes over, often leading me in the opposite direction of where I planned to go.

Lisa: What's a typical writing day for you?

Margery: I could say I'm super-disciplined and treat writing like a day job, but I'd be lying. I am an early riser so I do get a head start on email and posting on Facebook and Twitter. I try to write until about 9 am, then have breakfast with hubby, then head back to the computer for a couple of hours. The rest of the day is filled with errands and home repair (we're gutting and renovating a house on a lake). I have discovered sprinting with friends, and it is an amazing tool. We meet in a chat room, write in 20-minute segments, chat/brainstorm for 10 minutes. Repeat.

Lisa: How has your experience with self-publishing been?

Margery: I'll be completely honest. I'm not getting rich but I love having complete control over my stories, from the cover design to the type font to whether or not I add an excerpt from another book as a teaser. And the best part is that readers are finding - and hopefully, enjoying - my stories.

Lisa: Do you take ideas from real life to write your stories?

Margery: All my ideas come from real life in some form or another, whether it's a newspaper clipping, something on Discovery Channel, or even a snippet of conversation I overhear in the supermarket. Ideas are everywhere. The hard part is learning to pay attention. I still struggle with that.

Lisa: Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out?

Margery: Write. Find a critique group, not your mother or your sister who will stroke your ego. Find people you trust to tell you the truth. Write more. Enter contests. Write more. Submit.

Lisa: Do you have any advice for authors who are interested in taking the plunge into self-publishing?

Margery: Write a quality book!!! Publishing a book yourself doesn't mean you can skimp on quality. A fabulous cover is important, so if you can't do it yourself, find the best cover artist you can afford. Make sure the book is well edited and proofread. Nothing will turn off readers faster than a book riddled with grammar/spelling errors. And most of all, enjoy the ride!

Lisa: Thank you so much, Margery! Devil's Harvest sounds like a great book. Where can readers get it?

Margery: Devil's Harvest can be found at Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks

*****Congratulations to Chris Andersen who one a copy of a Margery Scott book. Please contact Margery Scott at to claim your prize.   
Lisa Mondello

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Petit Fours and Hot Tamales!

Hey, all!

I'm blogging over at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales today, talking about writing what you know. Stop by for a chance to win the entire Fate with a Helping Hand series!

See you there!
Lisa Mondello

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Story Behind the Story: Guest Blogger Sandra McGregor

I'm so excited to introduce you to Sandra Elzie who writes fiction under the pen name Sandra McGregor.

Author Bio:
Sandra Elzie was challenged by her husband in 2001 to not wait until retirement in 2005 to start writing the book he had been hearing about almost since they had been married. Picking up the gantlet he had thrown down, she spent the next 8 years honing her craft and finishing 21 manuscripts—two of which have been published by Avalon Books under that name.

Writing under the name of Sandra McGregor, she has published several e-pub books and more will be added to Kindle & Nook in the very near future.

She now lives in South Georgia with her husband and cat and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Sandra is going to tell us a little about the story behind her books in the Duty Free series. So good to have you Sandra! Take it away!


By: Sandra Elzie
(e-books published under Sandra McGregor)

Good morning and a big “Hey Y’all!” from down here in the beautiful state of Georgia. Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today and I hope to “meet” some of you and get acquainted.

My writing journey started at an early age when I wrote five-page stories and thought how cool it would be to sell my stories for five dollars. Boy did I have delusions of grandeur!

But, life happened and I got married, became a mother, had a career and eventually, started looking forward to retirement. For the last seven years or so of our careers, hubby and I dreamed about retiring in 2005 and spending six months touring the U.S. before we moved from the West Coast to the East Coast. Big plans. (BTW, we did the six-month tour AND the move)

In 2001, on the way to work, once again I started talking about the book I would write once I’d retired, but on this particular day, he threw down a gauntlet and challenged me to take half the time I spent reading and watching television, and start writing. He said I didn’t have to be retired. Thus began my journey to publication. To date, I’ve sold two books to Avalon, The Diplomatic Tutor and In Daddy’s Shoes and I recently self-published four (soon to be six) books, under the pen name of Sandra McGregor, through Smashwords and they are now for sale on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Pennies On The Dollar, Wrangler For Hire, Into My Dreams and The Duty Series, Book One: Duty Calls and Book Two: Duty Bound. The third book in the series, Duty Free, will be available by the end of September.

I’ve been asked if there’s any part of me in my stories. The answer is always, “yes.” I write what I know…romance…but I’m a very strong personality, so my heroines are also strong. Since my husband is a loving, considerate and dependable man, so are my heroes. But, hold on, because that’s just part of the story.

There is almost always a story behind my stories--tiny bits of my personality, experiences, observations, etc show up in my books. My daughter-in-law is adopted, so you’ll find adoption in a couple of my books. In Daddy’s Shoes, it’s loosely based on my daughter’s best friend who had a small son and her husband committed suicide. The book covers some of the issues the young boy faced when he felt he needed to be the man of the house at ten-years old and take care of his mother and then her challenges in allowing another man into her life and around her son.

Also, my son-in-law is an accomplished Ironman tri-athlete—as is my daughter—so you’ll see some of my heroes and heroines being athletic and participating in marathons or triathlons.

I just self-published the first in a three-part e-book series about three Air Force men (Duty Calls, Duty Bound and Duty Free) and the hero in the first book is loosely based on my son-in-law, who is an Air Force pilot, and it includes his participation in marathons and his goal to do an Ironman race. (He has since done several Ironman races since I originally wrote that book in 2002, including one this past month that he and my daughter participated in)

I don’t think it’s unusual for authors to put a bit of themselves in their novels, and I’d venture to say that some authors, (myself included), put a LOT of themselves in their books. But, you know what? The closer the subject is to the heart of the author, the more interesting it is to write that book, and, hopefully, that makes it more interesting to read.

Thanks again for letting me visit with you today and I’d love for all of you to join me for a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks, but since that’s not possible, I guess I’ll have to settle for sending one of you a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. All you have to do is leave a comment to be eligible. ALSO: If you have an e-reader (or have downloaded the Kindle program to your computer) I’d love to send you a copy of one of my e-books…your choice.

You can learn more about Sandra Elzie at her website:

Or on her Amazon Author Page:


Thank you so much Sandra. Oh, man, I'll join you in a Starbucks coffee! I'm always up for that. Please leave a comment so can get a chance to win a Starbucks gift certificate!



Update: The Winner from yesterday's drawing is Carol Burnside AKA Annie Rayburn. Congratulations!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Release...New Series...

I'm very excited to tell you that I've just rereleased my first book All I Want for Christmas is You on eBook for Kindle and Nook for only 99 cents! All I Want for Christmas is You is the first book in my new Fate with a Helping Hand series that includes All I Want for Christmas is You, The Marriage Contract and a brand new book called The Knight and Maggie's Baby.
All I Want for Christmas is You...

Sometimes fate needs a little hand...
Santa is going to have a rough season... Lauren Alexander is raising her daughter alone. Abandoned by her family for her decision to keep her daughter, Kristen, she has done a pretty good job alone for the last six years. Or she thought she had. That's why she is crushed when little Kristen gives up her wish for a toy or goodie and instead asks Santa for a present for her mother. She wants Santa to bring a Daddy. Delivering Daddies isn't Santa's bag.
But this Santa has a plan...
Kyle Preston knows what it is like to be abandoned too. Luckily he found the support of loving adoptive parents and has turned himself into one of the most successful real estate developers in town.
Building a house is easy. Building someones trust is a whole other story. But with a little helping hand, a little Christmas magic can make all the difference in the world.
All I Want for Christmas is You is available on Kindle and Nook for only 99 cents!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New book released TODAY on Kindle

I'm very excited to announce that I have a brand new book that was just released today on Kindle. THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE'S BABY is part of a new series called Fate with a Helping Hand. Over the next few days you'll see the other 2 books in the series released on Kindle. My goal is to have this entire series released in all eBook formats (Nook, Kobo, ePub, Mobi, iTunes) by the end of September 2011.


Sometimes fate needs a little help...

Jonah Wallace knows what it's like to grow up without love. Despite having more money than the Queen of England, his childhood was cold and stale as he grew up in boarding schools. He's dedicated his life to helping homeless and displaced children find the love and support they need by creating the Haven House Foundation, work that resulted in him being Knighted by the Queen.

Now that he's living in America, his work is going along just fine...until his grandfather gives fate a little nudge by insisting he take a wife before he can inherit!

Coffee shop owner, Maggie Bonelli, is pregnant and the baby's dad has gone AWOL. She knows too well the pain of growing up without a daddy. So when Jonah Wallace comes into her shop proposing marriage for a year, she takes him up on his offer. Live in a mansion and give her baby a name and a daddy to call his/her own. But can they keep their perfect arraignment strictly business...or with fate's helping hand bring them love at last?

THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE'S BABY is available now at


Monday, July 25, 2011

Writing the Crap Draft...

I'm in the middle of multiple projects. This is not unusual for me. Unless I'm on a firm deadline with a project I bounce from one idea to the next. While it would probably drive a linear writer crazy, I find that working on different projects fits just perfect with my puzzle writer mind.

As a puzzle writer, I don't see everything about a story in nice, neat order. I'm all over the place, filling in holes, patching up empty spots in the story until I have about 80% of the entire story written. During this phase I can juggle multiple ideas. These scenes just come to me and I write. But this is the only phase I can do this type of insane writing.

During the crap draft phase (more affectionately known as the puke-it-out-and-clean-it-up-later phase) I don't have to worry about all the problems of the manuscript. If I've done a sufficient amount of plotting (Not like you heavy plotters out there. *gasp* I only do a road map.) then I can just write and allow ideas to come to me and build on them. As I get new gems of ideas to add to the story, I simply jot them down and incorporate them later. And if I'm really in the zone (love those moments) I can just write.

But even with my puzzle process, I have to allow scenes to grow in my mind. I can't just plow through the crap draft unless I jump around. So instead of stopping, I work on multiple projects, allow my creative brain to take a break from one story so I can think about my next step.

(Do you linear writers need some oxygen? I'll wait until you revive yourselves...)

Today I worked on 3 different stories. I got a fair amount accomplished on all 3 so it was a good writing day for me. I can do this because all 3 stories are in the crap draft stage. I can ONLY do this in crapt draft.

When I'm working on revisions, and deep in deadline mode, that's another story. I need to concentrate only on one story at a time so I can pay attention to pacing and flow of the story. Scheduling is very important for me. But I'm a back-against-the-wall writer and I think my creative brain works best in over-drive. So it's not uncommon for me to have one deadline after another. It would drive some people nuts. I know this. But it works for me.

What's your process? Do you do a crap draft?

All the best, Lisa

Listening to: Florence and the Machine - Dog Days are Over!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3D Movies and Magic Eye

I have a confession to make. Are you ready? Sure?

I can't magic eye. I've tried many times to see that picture that is somehow supposed to emerge from a bunch of gobble on the screen if I stare at it long enough. But alas, I've never seen it. It never appears. And up until a few years ago my eyesight was really good, so I can't even blame it on that.

With all the 3D movies that are being released these days I've been wondering if I'm going to miss out on something wonderful there as well. The 3D experience definitely adds some excitement or depth to a movie, or so I'm told. To date I haven't seen one. I'm sort of afraid simply because I hate disappointment and don't want to get all worked up about this new experience only to be crushed when everyone else is seeing objects fly at them at lightning speed except for me. I'm afraid I'll be the one who is spending the entire movie checking my glasses to see if there is a defect.

Okay, so anyone else out there ME challenged like me? Can you see 3D movies? Let me know.


Listening to...Middle of the Road - The Pretenders (Don't you just love Chrissie?)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Revisions: Cleaning out the Closet of your Manuscript

Since I'm deep in the middle of revising my December 2009 book, Yuletide Protector, my mind is overloaded with images of cleaning. When revising, the type of writer you are will determine the amount of revisions you'll need in your book.

I'm a self proclaimed puzzle writer. I write in pieces. As I've mentioned in many blogs and workshops, I see scenes in my head and write them down as the come to me. Some are very vivid and some are bare bones. They're almost always out of order. My hard drive is full of story ideas that have beginnings and endings written and nothing in between. In creating my books, I piece my scenes together like a puzzle, adding scenes as they come to me and later figuring out where there are holes in the landscape of my story that need to be filled in.

I liken revising this way to cleaning my closet. You know, sometimes you have things in your closet you forgot you put in there. A purse, a pair of boots from college you forgot about and old pair of jeans that are a few sizes too small but you can't part with, and all the other items you use on a daily basis. If your closet is like mine, there are definitely things that don't belong in there along with things that are good, maybe even real good, but need a little updating to make them fabulous! My manuscripts are the same.

My first step is what I call "checking the hangers." I go through each scene and I check to see if there is enough information there to A. warrant having the scene B. to make the scene enjoyable while propelling the story forward and C. see if there is TOO much information that will bog down the flow of the story. (Kind of like having too many pairs of slacks on one hanger.)The next step is "counting the hangers and getting them in the right order." Those of us who are puzzle writers will almost always have holes and have scenes that are in the wrong order. Rearranging the "closet" is part of manuscript cleanup.

Once the hangers are in order, I fill in the holes. You know, you have a great outfit but you don't have a pair of heels to go with it? (I'm learning that I need to go see Lenora because she's the gal with the shoes!) Same for the manuscript. For me it's usually a transition scene that needs to be added.The toughest part for me is tossing things out. You know you have things in your closet that don't belong there, but you just can't part with them. I tend to fall in love with scenes and it may take me a while to figure out why something isn't working. In the end, after hemming and hawing, the problem is usually that I have to cut a scene in the story because it's just not fitting right. So I toss it.

Once the tossing, counting, and rearranging is done, I step back and assess my work by reading through the whole book start to finish. I usually set aside a block of time when the kids and my husband aren't around so I can read straight through the manuscript and get a real feel for the flow. I tweak as needed, add a word here and there and then I print. I've learned that if I don't print right then, and send it off, I'll find something else to work on in the story and I'll never let it go. It's kind of like never inviting anyone over because you're never quite sure if your house is clean enough for company. So I avoid that. I like company.

Make sure you check out my blog on Friday at the Craftie Ladies of Suspense website and check out my interview this week at Tracy Madison's blog!

Many blessings, Lisa Mondello

Good Reads Review

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