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

Monday, August 6, 2012

Celebrate with Us as Author Lisa Jordan Releases Lakeside Family


Hi, Roxanne Sherwood here, and I'm excited to bring you one of my favorite writers and fellow Ponderer Lisa Jordan, author of the newly released Lakeside Family.
In the space of a minute, Nick Brennan learns he has a nine-year-old daughter--and that she desperately needs his help. All this time, his high school sweetheart, single mother Josie Peretti, thought he knew about their child. And that he just didn't care. About the ill little girl--or Josie, the woman he's never forgotten. But Nick made a long ago promise never to forsake his family the way his father did. A promise he vows to make good now . . . if only Josie will bless him with a second chance.
Roxanne: What was your inspiration for Lakeside Family
Lisa: When I wrote Lakeside Reunion, I wanted a fun name for a coffee shop. The phrase “cup of Joe” is common, so I took that and gave it a little twist to create Cuppa Josie’s. So I created the character Josie as owner and operator of her shop. Then I decided she’d be Max’s daughter. Our Ponderer Ginger mentioned she’d like to know Josie’s story, so I pondered why was she a single mother? What happened to Hannah’s father? Then I needed a reason why Josie would have to contact him. Most mothers would do anything for their children, including looking up heartbreakers from their pasts. Pieces fell into place and Lakeside Family came about.
Roxanne: It's interesting to hear how you brainstormed this story. I think every mother can relate to Josie’s dedication to her daughter, Hannah. But thankfully most of us don’t have critically ill children. But one of your readers has experienced Josie’s journey with her own critically ill child and said you’d captured her feelings. How did you manage to get so many details right?
Lisa: I’m so blessed to have two healthy boys. While I don’t know anyone directly with a child who has leukemia, my niece has special needs and physical challenges that have affected my sister. I kind of pulled on some of the heart-wrenching pain she experienced as she worked full-time to provide medical benefits, raced my niece to the ER when she experiences major health issues, constantly staying on top of everything…it’s very tough for parents and their children. Also, as I was writing the end of the novel, we learned my mom needed triple bypass heart surgery. After I saw her in recovery, the enormity of the situation hit me and I had an emotional meltdown in the waiting room. I drew on that pain and channeled it into Josie, especially when we almost lost my mom.
Roxanne: Wow. That's a lot to go through. I'm glad your mom is doing well now. You’ve raised two grown sons and you’re an early childhood educator of preschoolers, yet Hannah’s character, a nine-year-old girl, is so realistic and well-developed. Who inspired her? 
 Lisa: I have a degree in early childhood education so I have a little bit of a background in child development. Hannah’s sweetness comes from my niece who is the sweetest person I know. I watched young girls at church to see how they’d talk and act. Children are pretty resilient, but they still struggle with their own insecurities. I wanted Hannah to be a well-behaved child to show Josie’s parenting, but still have a bit of a tween attitude. Hannah struggles with her own issues, but she also acts as a small voice of truth for her parents.

Roxanne: Why did you choose Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit," as the key scripture for this story?
Lisa: Faith is easy to have when things are going well. But God allows tough circumstances to draw us closer to Him. Josie was a Christian, but she needed hope in knowing God would watch over Hannah and meet her needs. Josie needed to believe God was in control. Josie needed to trust in God. The verse was a perfect theme for my story of hope.
Roxanne: Yes, Josie must learn to trust and to put her hope in God. Authors usually learn lessons of their own when writing their novels. What did God teach you while you developed this story?
Lisa: Shortly before I began writing this book, my husband lost his job due to economic downsizing. We lost his primary pay, his health benefits and the financial security that goes with it. I admit to having shaky faith. A friend sent me a card of a fountain spraying water with Romans 15:13 on it. The card is pinned to my bulletin board by my desk. I needed to trust God to provide for us. Suddenly I became the primary breadwinner. And God provided, in spite of my shaky faith.
Roxanne: Hannah’s life depends on a bone marrow transplant. Should readers get involved in the National Marrow Donor Program?
Lisa: YES! YES! YES! So many aspects of this story were God-ordained. As I began plotting this story, our Ponderer Amy took a job with the National Marrow Donor Program. Then I learned a local friend had just returned home after being a bone marrow donor for a man in France who had leukemia. The more research I did, the more I realized how important it is to step out of our comfort zones and be willing to make a sacrifice for others.
Please please please consider registering to be a bone marrow donor. Visit Be the Match at www.bethematch.org for more information.
Roxanne : What do you hope readers will learn from reading Josie and Nick’s story?
Lisa: I hope readers will understand families are unique. None of them are perfect. Second chances can change lives. Parenting a child with a life-threatening illness or caring for a family member with special needs demands a lot of time, patience and strength. If you know such a parent or person, encourage him or her. Offer to fix a meal. Offer to run errands. Offer to help in some way.
Roxanne: As someone who's been in need, I can second that. Your help will bless that person so much. I loved Agnes, Josie’s feisty best friend, and I bet other readers will too. Will Agnes have a story of her own? If so, can you share any details?
Lisa: Agnes is one of the best secondary characters I’ve written. She’s larger than life and kind of took on a personality of her own. I loved writing her so much that I decided she and Ian James, Josie’s claims adjuster, needed their own story. Ian and Agnes have been childhood friends, and Ian has been sweet on her since the first time the transplanted Texan moved next door. Agnes and Ian’s story will be about restoration and falling in love with your best friend.
Lisa is celebrating Lakeside Family with a month-long party of giveaways, including a Coffee Lovers and Tea Lovers baskets. For more details and to enter the gift basket giveaways, leave a comment here
Thanks for joining us today, Lisa!

Readers, if you have a question for Lisa about her plotting process or would like to know more about her Shelby Lake series, please leave a comment at the end of the post. Lisa is also giving away a signed copy of Lakeside Family to one commentor. 
 Bio: Married 23 years to her real life hero, Lisa Jordan knows a thing or two about romance. She and her husband have two college-aged sons and will be facing an empty nest soon. By day, Lisa is an early childhood educator, and by night, she is a contemporary romance novelist with Love Inspired. Lakeside Reunion, her debut novel, is a 2012 Carol Award Finalist. Lakeside Family, her second novel, released in August 2012. She is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Agency. In her free time (ha!), Lisa enjoys good books, chick flicks, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. To learn more about Lisa, visit her website at www.lisajordanbooks.com.

14 comments:

  1. What a great plot! I have known Lisa since her boys were little, and she certainly has had her faith challenged - and hung in there with the Lord. I think most of us have shaky faith at times, and that makes her books real. I lost touch with her until her first book, and I am so pleased at how she has grown spiritually and is using her talents in her book writing. Rosie

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    1. Rosie, thank you for stopping in and commenting! I'm so thankful we reconnected recently. You made a huge impact on my life, and for that, I'm forever grateful!

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  2. I love everything Lisa writes, but even more, I love her approach to life -- and her strong faith in God.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. I could say the same thing about you. Being friends with you has helped me become a better writer and a better person.

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    1. Roxanne, thank you for interviewing me and being one of my loudest cheerleaders from the time we met. I'm so appreciative of our friendship!

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  4. Loved this interview, Roxanne and Lisa! It's fun getting to know you a little better. I can hardly wait to get my hands on your newest book. You have such an amazing writing style, Lisa.

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    1. Jeanne, thank you for your sweet words. I hope you enjoy Lakeside Family!

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  5. This makes me want to jump in my car and head for the closest bookstore! Congratulations!

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    1. Teri, you are so encouraging! I'm excited for the day when I can buy *your* book!!

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  6. Lakeside Family still brings tears to my eyes even a week after finishing it! And not many books do that. I love this story. Can't wait for Ian and Agnes' story to come out!

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    1. Pat, I'm so glad you enjoyed Lakeside Family. I'm working on Agnes's story right now. She's a fun character. This book will be a little more lighthearted than my first two...I think.

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  7. Wow, Lisa, now I'm really keen to get started on this story. It sounds amazing. Tonight!!! I'm sorry to hear about your husband's job loss. Praying new doors will open quickly for you both!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra!

      Hubby started a new job last week--one that was three years in the praying. God said no several times to prepare him for this job, which is great!

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