Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Lisa Lickel

What’s the last thing you wrote?

Just before New Year’s I put The End on a project I’d been working on with Tamera Kraft about a post World-War-II-era widow who returns to her home in rural Appalachia to start a business. She accidentally stumbles onto a communist sleeper-cell plot to wreak terror on America and doesn’t know who to trust.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

I like to be able to surprise readers with outside-the-box twists, so although I have written cozy mysteries and by-the-book romances, I prefer to stay out of genre when I write. But we have to call our books something, don’t we? Maybe half a dozen “literary” works get discovered fairly big-time each year. It’s a tough shelf to fill; but I’ll reach for those stories at the bookstore or library to read. Or fantasy. J

Who is the most fun character you ever created?

I admit to having the most fun with Ardyth Edwards from the Buried Treasure series. She’s in her seventies, wears plaid, and helps everyone, whether they need it or not.

Who is the most annoying character you ever created?

I think a lot of readers will agree that Hudson in The Last Detail takes the cake. We all know someone like him – a lot of bluster and bark, but no bite. He tells you your ideas are great while somehow making them his, he invites you out to a fancy party then drops you for work, he proposes while making you think it’s your fault you’ve made him wait. He can take over and comfort a grieving family but he can’t change a band aid. You can’t really hate him, but you do want to tell him to grow up.

What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?

So far, I think it’s in an unpublished manuscript about a woman who gets caught up in an unethical stem cell treatment for cancer. I had to kill her first.

Do you type or write by hand? Computer? Typewriter? Legal pad?

I tend to do some of each while I’m working. I like to sit down with a sheet of blank paper on my lap and do some scribbling when I’m first exploring an idea. Who’s involved in the story? What’s happening? What are the people like, and the setting? How will they accomplish their goals, what roadblocks will they hit? Why do they need to succeed? What will happen if they don’t? I jot bits of conversation, ideas for scenes and research. Then I hit the computer and outline.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

Sure. I plan this year to go back and finish some work I had done a couple of years ago with some other writers on anthology projects that didn’t get used. Since novellas are really hot, I think some of those stories that I started but dropped should be finished. There are also a lot of things I have ideas for, but not the time when I think of them, so I have to put them off.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

My next book will be the third in the First Children of Farmington series, The Saxon Boy, for which I already won a Jade Ring from the Wisconsin Writers Association. The series is a planned group of six early readers about ethnic families who settled in my community in the mid-1850s. Each child faces a struggle like accepting a new father, similar to today’s issues.

Back Cover

 Hope, love, and loss meld two polar opposite personalities. How long can they keep passion for their ministry and each other after the wedding?
Medical missionary and avowed bachelor Merit Campbell is wounded during a skirmish at his Mideast clinic and sent home to recover. Restlessness propels him to explore the happier moments of his childhood in Illinois where he meets Amalia Kennedy, owner of The Last Detail, who enjoys helping people prepare for their final years. Merit ushers in new life; Amalia ushers it out. Love? Obviously. Marriage? Check. Dealing with the family closet? Step back…
Amalia enjoys her predictable life in a quiet little Illinois town—until long-time intended, Hudson, finally proposes in a way that shows her boring and old are coming way too fast. When a mutual friend introduces Merit and Amalia, the spark of attraction makes Merit reconsider his bachelorhood. When he can’t return to the mission, he accepts a call as pastor to Amalia’s church. As the two grow closer they weather constant interruptions from ministry, business, and family, even at their wedding and beyond. When tragedy strikes, they must learn to rely on each other in ways they couldn’t have prepared for.

To buy Lisa's book:
Barnes & Noble
All Romance ebooks

About Lisa:
Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin historian and writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Her novels include the Buried Treasure mystery series (The Last Bequest, The Map Quilt and The Newspaper Code), Meow Mayhem, the award-winning romance, Meander Scar, A Summer in Oakville co-authored with best-selling author Shellie Neumeier, Healing Grace, The Last Detail, a radio play “Gangster’s Ghostcapade” in the Wisconsin Writers Association Press A Wisconsin Harvest Vol. II, and a novella “Three Rings for Alice” in the historical anthology Brave New Century. She has written dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, a series of early reader historicals, First Children of Farmington, and magazine articles. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin magazine and loves to encourage new authors. Lickel, who holds a BS in history from the University of Wisconsin, is also an avid book reviewer and blogger, a freelance editor, a writing mentor, and writing workshop leader. She is married to a high school biology teacher, and they have two sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren and a grand-kitty. Find more at

Lisa Lickel is giving away a copy of The Last Detail. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Patricia Bradley said...

Lisa is such an interesting person! Would love to win The Last Detail. pat at ptbradley dot com

Patricia Bradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cjajsmommy said...

The line from the back cover caught me: " . . . even at their wedding and beyond. . ." Finally, a book that doesn't end with the wedding but rather continues on with life after the idyllic "I do" has been said. This is refreshing! I hope to read this book. Please enter myname in the giveaway. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

Gail Pallotta said...

I've read The Last Detail. It's a great read.

Jackie McNutt said...

I have never read any of Lisa's books. Enjoyed the interview. Would like to read The Last Detail.
Thank you

Boos Mum said...

This sounds like a good one. Please sign me up. Thanks.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

PriviesAndPrims said...

This one sounds like a true love story, intermixed with the trials of family life.

priviesandprims at [yahoo] [dot] com

squiresj said...

Never read any of your work. Would love to win this and read it, review it and share it with someone.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

squiresj said...

Never read any of your work. Would love to win this and read it, review it and share it with someone.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read Amalia and Merit's story. It sounds interesting and perfect for winter reading.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Rick Estep said...

Looks like a great book to add to our church library.

Librarybooks at religious dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read lisa's book :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Susan Johnson said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. I would love to win a copy.
susanmsj at msn dot com

Lisa Lickel said...

Thank you all for stopping in - I'm sorry I went AWOL this weekend - my first grandchild was born early Sat morning! The super-cutest big boy in the world, Micah, at 8 lb 5 oz; The Last Detail is dedicated to his mom and dad!

I'm happy to "meet" you all and appreciate the comments. Yes--it would make a great library addition. It also has a discussion guide for book clubs.

Anonymous said...

OH looks so good! :)

Anonymous said...

Thought had entered but guess not. Enjoyed the interview and would love to win Lisa's book. Thanks for a chance. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

sam said...

The Last Detail sounds good. I'm a nurse and like most books with something to do with medical stuff. I'm also an MK and mom was a missionary nurse at a bush clinic. wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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