I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Author Interview: MBT Ponderer Lisa Jordan

There's been a lot of "happy danging" going on in MBT Ponderer-land. Our very own Lisa Jordan, the heart of this writers community, is soon-to-be published!! Her book, Lakeside Reunion, will be published by Love Inspired this November. I had fun interviewing Lisa, aka LJ, about her book and why she didn't become a brain surgeon.

Tell us about your book, LJ!
Well, it has a spine, cover, pages, words ... not what you meant?
Lakeside Reunion is a contemporary Christian romance about getting a second chance at love. All Lindsey Porter longs for is to share breakfast with someone special. Problem is, the man who captured her heart broke it by marrying someone else. After her father's tragic death and her broken engagement, Lindsey swept the Shelby Lake dust off her feet and vowed never to return to the lake-front community. Locking away her broken heart, she stopped trusting God--He tuned her out when she needed Him the most. When family obligation calls her home, can she stay without compromising her heart?
Stephen Chase knows firsthand how past mistakes create a ripple effect in the lives of those he loved. Forced to choose between love and honor, Stephen chose honor and married the mother of his child. Now widowed, he juggles his responsibilities as a single dad, police officer and dutiful son without messing up too badly. Haunted by past mistakes, Stephen works hard to prove to God that he is honorable. With Lindsey back, maybe he could fix what he had broken in the past. Next time she left town, it wouldn't be because of him. Or, God willing, he'd make sure she never wanted to leave again.

Why write--when you could do something easy like be an astronaut or a brain surgeon?
Well, I considered being an astronaut when friends called me a "space cadet" in junior high, but then I realized what they really meant. As for being a brain surgeon, I'm a little squeamish about poking around inside someone's noggin.
So, at the ripe old age of 16, I had finished reading Danielle Steel's The Promise and decided I wanted to give other readers that heart-satisfying feeling. Thus, my desire to be a writer was born.

If you could write a novel with a fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Hmmm, that's a little tough. I'm hanging my head in shame to say I don't read much classic literature or literary novels. I love romance novels. I could easily see myself hanging out with contemporary characters such as PJ Sugar (Susan May Warren), or Caroline, Elle and Joy (Rachel Hauck.)

Where do you ponder your stories? Are you a morning writer or an evening writer--or an anytime you can writer?
I ponder my stories in bed after the day is done or first thing in the morning before my feet hit the floor. I ponder in the bathtub. I ponder while doing the dishes. My day is often filled with noise that I need to escape to give my muse time to ponder in silence. I do the majority of my writing in the evenings.

List three must-haves that you need to write.
My MacBook with internet connection, beverage of choice--water or tea--and my My Book Therapy (MBT) Book Buddy.

Your agent scores a screen deal for your novel: Who do you want to play the lead roles? Who would you take the the premiere?
This is how I picture Stephen.
When Love Inspired asked for photos of my characters, I used actress Cherlize Theron and Australian model Ian Lawless. They're how I picture my characters.
This is how I pictured Lindsey.
For the premiere, do I have a number limit? I'd take my hubby, of course. He's my real-life hero. I'd also take our two boys, my mom, my agent, my editor, my mentors, and the Tough Cookies who helped me edit this novel.

What's the worse thing you've ever done to a character?
When I started this story over a decade ago, Stephen was too perfect. I had to give him a flaw, so I got him drunk. He was a Marine, and in the USMC, when a buddy is promoted to the next rank, his friends throw a "wetdown." Basically, it's a drinking party and they wet down the promoted Marine by pouring beer over him. Well, Stephen wasn't much of a drinker, but that night he had too much to drink. In his inebriated state, he slept with a girl who turned out to be his commanding officer's daughter. He ending up losing his "96"--his weekend pass to attend his sister's wedding. As if that wasn't enough, Stephen worked hard to be a man of honor once he left the USMC. He fell in love with Lindsey Porter, but the week before his wedding, his former one-night stand showed up with their son--a child he didn't know existed. He had to choose between love and honor, and Stephen chose honor.

What's one thing you wish you'd known earlier in your writing career?
I wish I had known about the story spine. Having a weak plot and surface backstory for your characters creates a story without depth. Lakeside Reunion straightened out when Susie and Rachel brainstormed with me the MBT way and constantly asked why. Their questions helped cement the story structure.

What's the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
The best thing? Being able to write in pajamas with bedhead in order to create fictional characters, their lives, and giving them a promise of hope and happily ever after. It's my way of ministering God's truth to those who may be searching for personal hope and happily ever after. God gives us both and uses me to deliver his message.
The worst? The waiting. Everyone in this industry waits--writers, agents, editors. But it's so hard for me to wait when I want something so badly. God uses this time for me to keep my focus on Him. After all, it's all in His timing, right?

Lisa is giving away a free copy of Lakeside Reunion when it becomes available in the fall. But there's a catch! Breakfast is a key component in Lakeside Reunion. Share your favorite breakfast food with Lisa in the comments section and your name will be added to a drawing for a free copy of Lakeside Reunion. Everyone is invited to participate, but due to postage costs, the book is available for U.S. residents only.


  1. Congratulations Lisa! I would love to win, but I'm in the UK and I don't eat much breakfast, so I don't have a favorite to share with you. However, I'm going to Belgium this month and I plan on trying their famous waffles...so that may change! I look forward to reading your book!

  2. Congratulations again, Lisa! I can't wait to read this!

    My dad made a big breakfast on holidays. He started with waffles making the batter himself, not the powder from a box. He then made eggs, bacon, sausage, and sometimes scrapple (but that was for him). That's my favorite breakfast because of the memories.

  3. Great interview, Lisa! I'm so happy for you and your book sounds incredible--your characters aren't too shabby either. ;) My favorite breakfast is eggs over medium, bacon, wheat toast (offset those bacon calories ha!) and a side of hashbrowns. Okay, I'm hungry now.

  4. YAY Lisa!!! I'm so excited for you, and for me because I will finally get to find out what happens to Lindsey and Stephen!!

    My favorite breakfast is the scratch buttermilk hotcakes my Granddad used to make. He never measured anything, and he certainly never wrote down a recipe. My dad sort of remembered WHAT was in them, but not how much. So about ten years ago, I began experimenting. After many, MANY failures, I finally got it right! Like Christine's, my favorite is my favorite because of the memories. My grandma had those jewel-toned anodized aluminum cups that were delivered by the milkman full of cottage cheese. They smelled of metal and dish soap but they kept my milk icy cold which was perfect with hot, syrupy pancakes. So, to complete the memory, I have a set of those retro tumblers and we always use them when we have have my granddad's buttermilk hotcakes.

    So I guess now I will be needing to run to the store for buttermilk...

  5. Tonya, I love Belgium waffles with homemade maple syrup. Hope you have a wonderful trip...and love my book when it comes out. :-)

  6. Christine, memory-invoking breakfasts are the best kind!! I can close my eyes and hear the real butter sizzling in my grandma's cast iron skillet before she added her own farm fresh eggs. Food creates memories for us. Thanks for sharing yours!

  7. Jess, now I'm very hungry!! My poor family gets excited when they have real bacon because I've been buying turkey bacon. It's like having a knock-off handbag, I guess. :-) Thanks for sharing your favorite breakfast.

  8. Heidi, my grandma had those tumblers too!! I had forgotten until now. I LOVE that you use yours when you eat your hotcakes. What a great tradition! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Favorite breakfast memory? Does breakfast at night count? Once a month my dad made us biscuits and ham and eggs and red-eye gravy on Saturday night.
    Great post, Beth and LJ! Congratulations LJ...really love your characters.

  10. Lisa, I'm so excited for you! Even your summary sounds great.

    And listen, I'm with you on the waiting. Now it's only two weeks before my book hits stores, and the waiting is even harder! :-)

  11. Congratulations to Rosslyn too!
    Favorite breakfast food?
    I love a yummy omelet--and my husband makes the best!!
    LJ, I promise when your book hits the stores in the Springs, I am buying all the copies!!

  12. Loved this interview, Beth and LJ. Maannn, I'm so hungry now. One of these days, I'm going to give up oatmeal and eat a REAL breakfast. I'm with Beth - an omelet, mmm. Oh, I also loooove French Toast. And waffles. And fresh fruit. And hazelnut coffee.

    Something I've just realized right now as I'm typing - I've given the heroes in both my books a talent in the kitchen. I wonder if there's some sort of subconscious thing going on there...

    Okay, rambling. Back to the matter at hand: Lisa, I am so excited for you! And so excited to know you! And so excited for the day I get to read your book! Just, in general, excited! ;)

  13. Every time I think about your First Sale, I smile. I'm thrilled for you, Lisa.

    The waiting is tough, but this time you're waiting for a wonderful event: your release. I hope the anticipation serves to make the big day even sweeter.

    I'm not big on breakfast, but Taco Bell addict me would go for a breakfast burrito.

  14. Oh Lisa, I'm sooo thrilled for you. We'll have to have an official happy danging dance when it comes out!!!

    Breakfast, I'm simple, but I always have it. Oatmeal or Cheerio. I know b-o-r-i-n-g!

  15. So excited for you Lisa! I can't wait to read your book! You are an amazing writer.

    As to my favorite breakfast food...I would have to say hot chocolate. And the rest changes by day. Today I am in the mood for pancakes. So hungry now.

  16. Lisa, you KNOW how thrilled I am for you! Xo!

  17. Lisa, I'm soooo happy for you! Your book sounds wonderful and like a delightful read. :) I can't wait to read it. I guess I'll have to beat Beth the bookstores to buy my copy of it. :)

    BReakfast...my favorite meal of the day! When I was a girl, my made us soudough chocolate chip pancakes every Saturday, with maple syrup of course. We girls were on a sugar high for the rest of the day, I'm sure!
    Nowadays, my favorite breakfast is a three egg omelet with spinach, sausage and cheddar cheese. Not very healthy but delicious!
    Congratulations again, Lisa!

  18. Pat, what is red-eye gravy?? I love the memory you associate with your family. And, yes, breakfast at night so counts!

  19. Rosslyn, I can't wait to read your book, especially after interviewing you for the My First Sale column and learning more about it. Thanks for the encouragement. :-)

  20. Beth, my hubby is a terrific omelet maker too! He worked at a family-style restaurant as a cook when he was a teen. Those skills never left...if anything they got better!

    My future royalty statements love friends like you! :D

  21. Melissa, oatmeal is so good for you, but waffles with fresh fruit...yum!! I love that the men in your books can cook. I'm sure your heroines will love those talents too.

  22. Keli, you are a constant source of encouragement! I love your Taco Bell quirk and may borrow it for a character someday. :)

    So excited for your first sale too, friend!!

  23. Jennie, nothing boring about Cheerios--I love all the flavors, well, except for the Banana Burst Cheerios. :)

  24. Michelle, hot chocolate isn't just for breakfast anymore. I love all of these breakfast suggestions.

  25. Rachel, definitely feeling the love, friend!! You and Susie are the reasons this book left the dusty shelf forever! So grateful! XOXO

  26. Jeanne, I've never had spinach in an omelet. I prefer ham over sausage. We have "brinner"--breakfast for dinner on nights when I don't feel like cooking.

    If Beth gets all the Springs copies, let me know. I'm sure we can find one for you. ;)

  27. Pamela Dowd4/1/11, 1:29 PM

    Lisa, your book sounds divine. I want a copy! Autographed, of course.

    My favorite breakfast: whole grain banana pancakes topped with homemade blueberry, blackberry, raspberry or peach sauce made with hand-picked berries and/or peaches. Sometimes I combine all the fruits into one warm topping and even throw strawberries into the pot for fun. It's a family favorite. Yum!

    Humm . . . might need to go fire up the iron skillet. ;0)

  28. Great interview, Lisa! So excited to read your book! Your hero is a HUNK!

    My favorite breakfast food is pancakes and bacon!!

  29. Oh, Pam, your breakfast sounds scrumptious! I love fruit. I'd love your recipe.

  30. Katie, I adore my hero...and he's easy on the eyes too. ;) Stephen is loosely based on my Hubby, so it's easy for me to fine the sexy there. :D

    Thanks to all the bacon lovers who have posted, I did a poll on Twitter--turkey bacon or the real deal.

  31. Congrats, Lisa! Your book sounds wonderful.

    My favorite breakfast treat is chocolate chip pancakes with real whipped cream. :-)

  32. Angela, my boys used to order those when we went out to eat. Every now and then I'll make them on the weekends. :)

  33. Breakfast around here is usually a breakfast pocket. Brinner however consists of bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy. Yum.

    This book looks wonderful!! I'm in for the drawing! And if I don't win, it'll be on my Amazon list =D.

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  34. Sounds awesome!
    I'm excited to find this book and read it!

  35. Oh, here's the email:


  36. Congratulations, Lisa! So very happy for you!
    The experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For me it's catch as catch can...meaning I grab whatever is handy - a banana, a dish of Special K Berry cereal, yogurt (I've recently discovered Greek yogurt - Mmmm!), or a handful of almonds as I dash out the door.

  37. Very nice post, Lisa, and so glad for the occasion. I do look forward to reading the book.
    My favorite breakfast food (though seldom available) is fresh home-made rhubarb upside-down cake that I learned to make as a kid because my dad loved it--that cake evokes good memories of some childhood happy family times.

  38. lisa...congratulations. i'm looking forward to reading your novel. my favourite breakfast food is an egg-white vegetable omlette w/ pepperjack cheese :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  39. I can't wait to read it, Lisa! And nice choices on the character models. :-)