LISA LICKEL is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and fifty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes mysteries with Wisconsin flavor, and contemporary romantic fiction set in the Midwest. She is married to a high school science teacher. They have two grown sons and daughters in law. Lisa enjoys travel, feeding the birds, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Love can heal even the deepest scars …
After seven years with no clue as to the whereabouts of Ann Ballard’s missing husband, nearly everyone presumes him dead. Now forty-something, Ann is ready for her stagnant life to flow again. Then one day, a dark-haired younger man from her past shows up on her doorstep offering a river of hope in place of tears.
Former neighbor Mark Roth has secretly loved Ann for years. A respected attorney, he’s returned home to help Ann face down disapproving family members and the legal maneuvering of her likely deceased husband’s family—while quietly winning her heart.
When the hidden truth of Ann’s situation turns their lives on end and another tragedy strikes, the two must come to terms with family, faith and the depths to which true love can run.
If you'd like to get your hands on this book, click on the book cover and it'll take you directly to Amazon.com where you can buy it. But if you'd like to WIN a copy of Lisa's book, stick around and leave a comment with your email address typed out like this: sandirog at gmail dot com. If you'd like to be entered into the drawing a second time, then become a follower! Good luck to those who enter!
When a non-romance reader (that's me) calls a romance novel extraordinary, you know the novel must be worth taking a look at. Yes, MEANDER SCAR is that kind of book -- worth taking a look at and then definitely worth reading. Sure, MEANDER SCAR is a romance, but it's not an everyday, formulaic, quick-read one. While the romance plot element is strong, very strong, so too are the elements of theme, suspense, characterization, and writing style. For example, the title is just one of many beautiful stylistic uses of metaphor in the novel (curious? read the novel). And characterization -- wow, reading about a younger man (Mark) who's loved an older woman (Ann) since he was a teenager, and then watching him become her suitor years later is for sure not your typical love story (curious? read the novel). Then there's the suspense of what's happened to Ann's probably deceased husband and the implications for Ann and Mark's romance (curious? read the novel). One theme in the novel I really liked was Mark's strong faith in God, and Ann's not so strong faith -- both were realistically portrayed, and both were realistically threatened (curious? read the novel). Once you've read MEANDER SCAR, you'll want to read author Lisa Lickel's other fascinating novels and recommend them -- just like I am with this review. Plus you'll also join me in hoping Lisa plans some sequels to her characters who've become our good friends.
Now, if that doesn't make you want to read Lisa's book, I don't know what would. If you'd like more, check out Lisa's book trailer HERE on YouTube!
Lisa, welcome to my blog. Thanks so much for stopping by! So, how long have you been writing? How did you get your start?
Although I’ve always enjoyed writing articles and the like, I didn’t start writing for hire until 2003, after I was part-way through the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice Course. In 2006 I signed with an agent and contracted my first two novels. What made you decide to write fiction?
Fiction is often just twisting, adding, or subtracting bits of reality—it has to be, in order for us to understand and relate to it; even sci-fi and fantasy have to have some basis in a reality we can comprehend. Therefore, when I tell you that my stories come from a glorified “what if” added to a newspaper account, added to an interview or a scene from some other form of media, you understand that I made it up—yes—but the tale wells up from an incident you can identify with, even if you haven’t experienced it.
What made you choose this particular genre?
In all honesty I’m still settling into genre. My first novel published was a cozy mystery, but I prefer to write mainstream stories that will all have some romantic moments and a little bit of mystery.
How did things change once you became a published author? Did you lose friends? Make friends? How did it affect your family?
I’m having a lot of fun and angst with this business. Yes, a business. This poor girl who grew up in a family of farmers and teachers and married and birthed teachers had no clue that writing a book was essentially asking people to give you money for a product they may or may not like, certainly don’t Need, and it’s up to you to convince them they really want it. Horrifying! I didn’t really lose friends because of my publishing, and I gained so many writing acquaintances that make me happy. When I got my third contract offer I quit my day job and went to work at a temp agency. Then the economy tanked. I had two years where my business lost money, so it affected my family in that my goal of earning a part-time job income isn’t going to be a reality for a while. But we eat just fine since I’m not spending money on gas and clothes and odd food.
Where do you spend your time writing? Do you have a favorite place? A favorite time of day?
I plot on paper when I’m first starting out, and that can be anywhere, any time. I sat at a picnic table in Yosemite to plot out Meander Scar, and held my hubby and his little brother, the psychology professor, hostage in the car while we chatted about what makes a family. When I get to the nitty gritty of story-telling, it’s in the living room at the computer desk, a great hulking thing that I purchased at a local auction for $5, formerly owned by a local oil company. I have access to the Internet, encyclopedias, the telephone, hubby’s science books and the dictionary. When I’m really zoned on putting new words on clean paper, I don’t have a schedule, I’m just manic.
How did you come up with the story for Meander Scar?
Again, here’s where those little bits of media interviews came back to haunt me: older men marry young women all the time; why aren’t there more stories about younger men and older women in a relationship? There are plenty of such couples all around. In fact, when I was starting to interview folks for background to Meander Scar, I learned a lot. Well, why not? Nothing lewd or morally wrong, is there? Couple that with growing faith, ‘what happens to all those people who go missing every year, anyway’, dysfunctional families, and grown-up decisions about whether or not to tell the truth, and you have a story about what happens when the flow of life, like a river, hits a hard place and meanders off course. In the story, Mark is a wonderful, faithful man, a lawyer, who comes back to the one place in his life where he felt happy and supported. Ann’s husband went missing on a business trip years earlier. Mark offers to help put Ann’s husband’s case to rest while quietly convincing her that it’s all right to love again. Just when they’re ready to move on together, Ann discovers what happened to her husband. But I’m an equal-opportunity story-teller: Mark has to come to some hard conclusions about his life, too, in this story. Ann’s not the only one who has decisions to make.
What are you working on now?
While I’m writing this interview, I’m in wait mode as I just submitted a couple of manuscripts and other items for consideration. I plan to finish up the sequel to the mystery series this summer, since I can’t stand leaving anything undone.
Meander Scar sounds intriguing! I can't wait to get my hands on it. What do you see in your future as an author? Do you have concrete ideas for more books you'd like to write on down the line, or do you plan out a book only after you've decided to write one?
They’ll have to pry the pencil from my cold, dead hand. I spent last year thinking and started on the third and fourth in the mystery series, but was interrupted by a little surgery. Then in the first quarter of 2010 I did some editing, wrote a screen play and a couple of radio theater episodes for a local group I enjoy, ventured back into the world of short stories and took a good, hard look at whether my blog was doing what I needed it to do. I do a lot of book reviews and author interviews. I submitted the previously edited work and will go back to the mysteries. Meanwhile, I have two or three or ten other ideas floating around in various stages of plotting. But to be fair, I do the most plotting and synopsizing once I’ve settled into a decision about where to go next. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’ve contracted more than one book at a time, even though most of my stories can be serialized.
Hmm…my future? I suppose I’ll join the speaking/teaching bandwagon at some point, and keep on going the best I know how with a lot of help from above and my friends. I love to mentor new writers and work with book clubs.
Thank you so much for having me here, Sandi. Meander Scar is up for a vote for the ACFW Book club choice in the coming months. It has a lot of juicy issues to discuss, so I hope you’ll consider it for your vote when the time comes. Reader’s Guide questions are available both on my website and at Goodreads. I love to visit with any book clubs.
Thank you so much for joining us, Lisa. We're so glad you could come.
Meander Scar is available from your local book store, as well as online at the usual retail sites, also in Kindle and pdf. format from the publisher.
You can find it at Amazon. Like I said, just click on the book above. But if you'd like to try it out on your knew Nook, Kindle or Sony Reader, check it out HERE.
Oh, and guess what I just found out! For those of you who are members at B&N, if you order online from them, you can get FREE SHIPPING! HERE is where you can find Meander Scar at B&N's online store.
For those who would like to try their luck at a FREE SIGNED COPY, let us know by leaving us a comment, and don't forget to leave your email address like this: sandirog at gmail dot com. And if you'd like to have your name entered a second time, sign up to follow my blog.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! I'm sure you'll enjoy this story!