Sunday, November 26, 2017

Excerpt from SEALED WITH A SECRET

Don't forget, SEALED WITH A SECRET is out in paperback this Tuesday!

Chapter 9

"I love England in the spring, with its pink camellias and yellow daffodils. And as I looked around while we strolled back toward the Tube station, I remembered one spring a number of years back when our family went to Green Park for a picnic on a pretty, sunny day. Green Park is one of the most famous parks for daffodils, and we managed to go on a day when everything was in full bloom. It was gorgeous. Alice had said, 'Let's pretend we're fairies and we live here surrounded by daffodils.'
     'What do fairies eat?' I asked.
     'I think they must eat anything that's sweet,' Alice replied. 'Maybe they make little tiny cakes made out of dandelions and daisies.'
     'Oooh, I want a dandelion cake!' I exclaimed. 'With lemon frosting.'
     And so, after we ate the lunch Mum had packed in a picnic basket, we made pretend dandelion cakes and played silly fairy games. Except at the time, they weren't silly at all, they were wonderful.
     Sometimes I wonder if Alice ever remembers those times when we played and laughed and enjoyed each other's company. Maybe I should leave one of the family photo albums on her pillow, so she might flip through and be reminded that she didn't always find me as wonderful as a nest of wasps."



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday if you're celebrating tomorrow.

A few things I'm thankful for:
my health
my family and friends
books
book stores
libraries
story tellers
artists
people who love art
people who love books
a ten-year career that has allowed me to publish over twenty books
pie



Enjoy your day!
Lisa

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Autumn!

Three to four days a week, I take the dog for her 30 minute walk and then I go out on my own. I'm doing the couch to 5K program, so it's part running, part walking. Money's tight these days so I got rid of the gym membership and am trying to do different things on my own. But this morning, it was hard to run. Every corner I turned, Mother Nature whispered, "Slow down. I have some gifts for you to enjoy." The bright blue sky. The way the breeze made the yellow, red and orange leaves flutter to the ground. The way the sunlight made the leaves almost glow. I definitely had to stop and watch what I'm 99% sure was an Eagle glide through the gorgeous sky, sunlight sparkling on the tips of its wings. I didn't want any of it to end. The way your soul sighs and says, "This is what happiness feels like." Maybe the moment can't last forever. But I can carry it with me for a day or two. Maybe longer. And maybe tell myself to slow down when the gifts aren't quite so obvious. Because you know they're always there, if we just look for them.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

SEE YOU ON A STARRY NIGHT cover!!

Coming June, 2018!


It's a book about friendship.
About the ups and downs of family, and what it means to open your heart and your home to give someone a place that feels like home when they really need it.
About finding beauty in everyday things and being thankful for them.
About Vincent van Gogh and art, and how art can bring people together.

I'm really proud of this book and am excited for you to read it next year!

***

Here's the official publisher's description:

Juliet has just moved to a beachside town with her newly separated mother and her moody older sister. When she meets their new neighbor, Emma, the girls form an instant bond. Emma's big family takes Juliet in, and the girls have fun together -- starting with the night they throw bottles with secret messages into the sea.

Then someone writes back to Juliet's message. An email arrives, inviting her to join the Starry Beach Club. All she has to do is make someone else's wish come true.

So Juliet and Emma set off to help as many other people as they can. It's fun! But as Juliet spends more and more time away from home, enjoying her new town and Emma's family more than her own mom and sister, she starts feeling lost. It's been easy to find others to help. But maybe her star would shine a little brighter if she brought it closer to home.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Finished!

I just now turned in the final edits for my 2017 MG novel SEE YOU ON A STARRY NIGHT. This book took a long time in the beginning to get the premise just right. I tried one thing and my editor said, "That's not going to work and here's why." Tried another thing and this time it still wasn't quite right. I rewrote the first fifty pages or so three or four times over the course of like six months. (I was hoping to sell on the synopsis plus some pages).
Were there times I wanted to give up? Yes. Were there times I wondered if I didn't have it in me to figure it out? Yes. But now, on the other side of all of that, I'm so glad I didn't give up. So glad I didn't believe the negative voices that told me I couldn't do it instead of believing in what I've learned during all of these years doing this - that sometimes things simply take time. It's okay to be frustrated. To walk around for days with a notebook jotting every little possible idea down and to trust that the right one will eventually come. In today's world where everything feels instantaneous, creativity doesn't work that way. It needs room to breathe. To expand. I am reminded today of how important it is to do that. Because with time and space, the right thing did eventually find its way into the story. And I couldn't be prouder of how it turned out. Yay - a new book in 2018!!!! I'll have more to share with you in the coming months about this book. 
In the meantime, if you haven't checked out KEY TO THE CITY, please do. It could use all of the help it can get.

As for the new book, hopefully I'll have a cover to share soon!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summertime is my favorite

Because there's pie:


Please don't ask me why I have so many salt shakers on my counter because I have no idea. I don't even salt things that much. I think they all just need to go in the cupboard, which I will do as soon as I finish this blog post.

And because there are trips to the beautiful Oregon coast:






And because there is more time for home projects. We painted a couple of walls in our bedroom gray, bought a new mattress and bedding, moved things around, painted furniture and frames black, and sold our 25+ year dresser for $400 and bought this one on craigslist for $250. I cannot even tell you how happy I am with how it turned out. I don't think I realized how much I hated the old bedroom until I fell in love with the new one. Whenever I think of taking on a project like this, it's always kind of overwhelming, but when it's done, I'm like, why didn't we do this sooner?


And now, I have an hour or so to write, so I better get to it. Happy summer!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

2018 Book Announced

Hey look at this -- a new book! This is what I've been working on for the past year. This book took a loooong time to figure out. I tried like three different times to get a premise my publisher loved while still holding on to the story of divorce that I wanted to tell. This announcement speaks to the hook of the novel, but like all of my other MG novels, it's very much a story of family and friendship, and the ups and downs that come along when you're that age.




I've just sent revisions off to my editor, I'm guessing copyedits will come in a month or so, and that we'll see a cover fairly soon. Can't wait! My agent told me this novel feels a bit like coming home to It's Raining Cupcakes and is her favorite middle-grade novel I've written so far. That was exciting to hear!!

So now, I work on something fun that no one knows about while also thinking about the second book coming out in 2019. Maybe I can finish something else the next few months before I get to work on that one. Here's hoping!