My Books!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Welcome Lisa Lickel

Hello, Lisa. Welcome to the blog. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thanks for having me here, Elaine. I’m a Wisconsinite, born and bred. My science teacher husband and I live in a 150-year-old Great Lakes ship captain’s house. He puts up with my dragon collection, dear man. We also own a farm in western Wisconsin where we hope to retire in a few years. We have two grown sons and wonderful daughter-in-laws. I have a bachelor of science in history and Russian studies, and have been writing professionally since 2004.

History and Russian studies! Two of my favorite topics. What genre do you write in? What drew you to it?

I’m still settling on genre. Of my three novels published so far, the first was a cozy mystery for a book club; the second a romantic intrigue with paranormal subtexts, and my latest is a love story with some twists, but marketed as a romance. I’m trying not to get labeled as a purely romance writer, but I do like to include some sweet love scenes and something historical in everything I write.

What do you think makes a book a page turner?

Ah, page turners are those stories that don’t have tidy chapter endings. They make you want to find out what happens after the cliff hanger you’ve left dangling. It’s a fine line, though, between exhausting your reader and letting him or her come up for air. I love to have my readers say something like “I couldn’t put it down,” but I also want them to say “I had to go back and read that again and I tell my friends about it.”

Those are words of praise indeed to an author. How many WIP do you have going?

I had a few prolific years there during the time I got into the top ten in my first novel contest in 2004, signed my first contract in 2006 and saw my first books come out in 2009. I had to slow down last fall due to some health issues, and now I’m going back to re-work some of my earlier pieces. I’m actively working on editing two of my other manuscripts and writing the third of the mystery series that came out in February 2009.

LOL. Sounds similiar to my own situation. What other authors if any have influenced your writing?

My very eclectic list includes Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, Garrison Keillor, Zane Grey and Taylor Caldwell.

Would you share your links with us?

Sure, thanks for asking.

My website:

Wisconsin Author Review:

I’m on Facebook:

Goodreads: She Writes:, and a host of other social networking places and blogging teams. I haven’t twittered, yet, though – I have only so much time and a dial-up connection.

We’d love to read an excerpt. Don’t forget to give us a buy link.

Thanks! Here’s an excerpt from Meander Scar, my latest release. Meander Scar is a story about a woman whose husband went missing several years earlier. She decides to live again when a younger man from her past, now a lawyer, comes home and offers to help put her husband’s estate to rest. In a freak turn of events she discovers what happened to her husband and has to decide whether to tell the truth.

This is from Chapter One:

The doorbell rang. Ann walked down the hall, grinning at the thought of Donna, her mother-in-law who hadn’t liked being a grandmother, becoming a great-grandmother. She fingered the colored square of paper in her hand while she pushed aside the filmy panel covering the sidelights to check out her visitor.

Bonus. A beautiful, dark-haired man stood on her step. Almost any company would be a welcome interruption. Ann opened the door to a gust of chilled wet breeze. Goose bumps rose at the sudden drop of temperature the coming storm brought. A scurrying rustle of dried leaves swirled on the unswept deck of her pillared front porch. Rain slashed at his little car on the brick drive.

Did she recognize him? Something about the nose…the photograph! Ann resisted the urge to compare her picture with her guest.

The man’s lips tilted into a practiced smile as he held out a hand. “Mrs. Ballard…Ann? Do you remember me? Mark? I’m Mark Roth. Trey’s brother? We lived next door.”

Yes…yes. That was it. He squatted at the edge of the frame in her photograph of Ritchie and Trey in fifth grade with a catch of bluegills. How could she have forgotten Mark’s eyes? Even when he had been a high-schooler, those eyes had been the talk of the neighborhood ladies. Arresting blue, the iridescent color of bluebird feathers, Patricia from across the way used to say. Patricia always had been a bit of a nature freak.

Ann put a hand to her mouth and held up the picture with the other. “Well, this is amazing. I was just cleaning Ritchie’s closet and thinking about the boys and their fishing and found this photograph.” What on earth made her say such a ridiculous thing? “Oh, you don’t care about that. Please, come in.”

Ann pulled the door wide and gestured. He had filled out from the wiry athlete who took the basketball team to a regional championship. How many years had passed since she last saw him? Ritchie’s high school graduation. Mark had gone east to college and stayed except for an occasional visit. After Trey’s accident a few years later, the Roths moved away from Wisconsin.

When Mark’s broad back was turned, Ann smoothed her hair and tugged her blouse straight, took a deep breath and prayed her deodorant was still working.

Mark preceded her into the living room and, with sweet attentiveness in enchanting smile and raised brows, waited until she had taken her own seat before he settled into a place of his own. Wow—no one had manners like that anymore. She perched on the edge of one of the oxblood club chairs on either side of the formal brocade sofa. “Well, how are you? It’s been a long time. Are you visiting friends?”

“I’m fine, thank you. I’ve moved back to town. Just a week ago, as a matter of fact.”
“You moved from Virginia? So, you quit your job? I’m afraid your parents and I haven’t kept up much, just a note once in a while, since their…retirement.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Ann saw the rumpled stack of newspapers she had left on the end table and a cobweb hanging from the lampshade. Unexpected company rarely happened. Shame! How could have let the place go? She looked back at her guest before he answered. “I’ve accepted a position with Jung and Royce.”

A tingle of surprise made her raise her eyebrows at the name of the well-known private law firm here in Clayton. Unfortunately, she and Gene had required their services more than once to yank Ritchie out of some scrape. That, besides their general legal business. “Todd Royce was a golfing partner of my husband Gene’s. I hope it works out for you. They must think highly of your abilities.”

Mark turned his head toward the cold gas fireplace. He shrugged and faced her again. “I’ve had a few successes. I hoped to catch up on news from the old neighborhood. I heard Ritchie and Colleen are expecting a baby. And I wondered how you were doing.”

The book is available from your local book seller, as well as Amazon, print and Kindle , and Barnes and Noble and will soon be available in Nook. It’s also coming out in large print this fall.

The trailer is here, on Youtube:
Thank you again, Elaine. I enjoyed the visit!

Come back anytime, Lisa.


Emma Lai said...

Great interview, ladies. Lisa, your book sounds very intriguing!

Lisa Lickel said...

Thank you, Emma.

Elaine, I appreciate you!

Debra St. John said...

Hi Ladies,

Oh Lisa, I am so enamoured of your 150 year old sea captain's house. How utterly cozy.

Elaine Cantrell said...

I'm envious of that house too, Debra.

Lisa Lickel said...

It's one of those cool places you can just feel the history. I was fortunate enough to receive a photo of the second family who lived here - in 1890. But, of course, every time you turn around to "fix" something...yikes.

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar said...

Hi, Lisa -- I enjoyed reading your interview and you know how much I loved Meander Scar! I can't wait to read your next novel (even if it's not a romance). :)