Thursday, November 21, 2013

"All I Want for Christmas is You" by Lisa Mondello

FREE Kindle Edition
All I Want for Christmas is You
by Lisa Mondello

All I Want for Christmas is You is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. It is also currently FREE, so make sure you grab your copy. Author Lisa Mondello stops by today for an interview and talks about Her Dakota Man, the first book in her new Dakota Hearts series. Make sure you also visit all the other tour stops.

All I Want for Christmas is You is the first book in the Fate with a Helping Hand series. Also available in this series: The Marriage Contract, The Knight and Maggie's Baby, and Tempting Fate (Fate with a Helping Hand Box Set).

Sometimes fate needs a little hand...
Santa Claus is going to have a rough season... Lauren Alexander is raising her daughter alone. Abandoned by her family for her decision to keep her daughter Kristen, she has done a pretty good job for the last six years. Or she thought she had. That's why she is crushed when little Kristen gives up her wish for a toy or goodie and instead asks Santa for a present for her mother. She wants Santa to bring a Daddy. Delivering Daddies isn't Santa's bag.
But this Santa has a plan ...
Kyle Preston knows what it is like to be abandoned too. Luckily he found the support of loving adoptive parents and has turned himself into one of the most successful Real Estate developers in town.
Building a house is easy. Building someone's trust is a whole other story. But with a little helping hand, a little Christmas magic can make all the difference in the world.

"You don't have to be afraid. This will explain it all. I promise you." He smiled warmly and Lauren wanted to trust him if only to believe in simple kindness.
With shaking hands, she took the piece of paper, warm from being in the pocket close to Kyle's body. She held it up straight so that she could see Kyle while reading the words on the paper.
"Dear Santa..." she read out loud, then read the next part silently. "Oh, no," she groaned.
"I know. That's just how I felt."
Lauren shot him a skeptical glance. "How did you get this?"
"Kristen gave it to me."
"That's impossible. Mrs. Hopkins just helped her with it this afternoon and-"
"And she gave it to me in the Mall," Kyle finished for her.
She looked at him quizzically, still trying to comprehend the course of events leading up to his seizure of her daughter's precious note.
"It's not that hard to figure out, Lauren," Kyle said warmly.
His dark eyes gleamed with the light from the lamppost. He wore no hat to protect his head from the falling snow. Now his hair was filled with powdered flakes, matting it down.
His grin was bright and wide as he informed her, "I'm Santa Claus."

All I Want for Christmas is You is a gem of a book. Kristen wants a daddy for Christmas and she's picked Kyle. While Kyle struggles to convince Lauren that he is the answer to her heart's dreams, he must also come to terms with ghosts of his own. Lauren can't give in to anything less than true love, it wouldn't be fair to her daughter or her heart. Can Kristen's Santa Claus come through with the daddy she wants, the man her mother wants and the family Kyle wants? From the moment Kristen sits on Santa's lap until she gets her Christmas wish, this book is one page after another of emotion, love, and good clean fun. Lisa Mondello has made her debut a sparkling one. All I Want For Christmas is You is not to be missed, no matter what time of year it is.

Interview With the Author
Hi Lisa, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Her Dakota Man and for giving readers a chance to pick up your book All I Want for Christmas is You for FREE!
Which writers have influenced you the most? There are too many to list and I’d get myself in trouble if I tried.
What age group do you recommend your book for?My books are adult, so 18 to 108 will enjoy them.
What sparked the idea for this book? I love small towns. I’ve lived in small towns my whole life. My series Texas Heart, while in Texas, has that same small town flavor because that’s what I know so well. My small town in Massachusetts was hit with a tornado two years ago. Massachusetts is ranked #47 on the list of states likely to have a tornado, so it was quite a shock for us. It’s taken a lot of time to rebuild and there have been struggles for a lot of people. So I wanted to write a series about a community that goes through that same struggle, but I didn’t want it to be Massachusetts because my Fate With a Helping Hand series is all set in Massachusetts. I’d read about devastating weather in South Dakota and decided to set the story there and write the story about a family, their struggles in life and their struggle to rebuild their town devastated by the harsh weather that hit that community that year. Wonderful human kindness comes out of tragedies. We see the devastation on the news, but we don’t always see the humanity that helps heal it.
Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel? Usually an opening scene or a conflict. I’m a puzzle writer, which means I write my stories completely out of order and piece them together like puzzles. So strong conflicts or emotional upheaval will come to me first and that becomes the basis of how I write the story.
Very interesting, Lisa. What was the hardest part to write in this book? Juggling time. It’s always that way with me because my house is Grand Central Station with activity most of the time.
How do you hope this book affects its readers? I don’t write Shakespeare. I write pure entertainment books so I hope that readers will read this story, maybe be touched by something in them, but be entertained. It’s hard to know how a piece of work will be viewed by different people. I’m always surprised when a reader emails me about something in a book that I didn’t think was a big deal, but it was to them or it touched them deeply. I created the story and wrote it, but it’s an ongoing discovery in how people interpret that story.
How long did it take you to write this book? The drafts of Dakota Hearts were all written first and then I revised each of them. The revisions have taken me anywhere from 6-8 weeks per book. I wrote them this way because I knew from the get-go that it was going to be a series and I wanted to make sure that things that I added in book 4 would be introduced in book 1 and so on.
What is your writing routine? I don’t have one. I have always worked at home and have a large family so I have to be flexible. When the kids were young, I used to write mainly at night. Now that they’re older and driving, I worry more. LOL I write during the day, but then when the family is around (which is at odd times during the day) I stop what I’m doing so I can have time when them. I don’t ever want to be so involved that I forget about my world around me. But there are times I do become a hermit when I’m on deadline.
How did you get your book published? Her Dakota Man was published via the self-publishing platforms at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and iTunes. I had been traditionally published with Avalon Books and Harlequin Books, but decided to start self-publishing some books two years ago and the response was amazing. The follow-up book, Badland Bride, is now available for pre-order at Amazon.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Write, write, write. Then finish what you write. Too many people have the desire and start, but they don’t finish. You can’t publish unless you finish something.
Too true. What do you like to do when you're not writing? Spend time with my family. Watch Project Runway and Long Island Medium. Love both of those shows. I love going to the movies. I’m a huge movie fan. I’d rather watch a movie than watch a television show.
What does your family think of your writing? I’m blessed with having a very supportive family. They think it’s pretty cool.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood. Did you enjoy school? Not really. I wanted to be doing anything but school.
Did you like reading when you were a child? Not as much as I should have. I loved writing, which I was always doing, and playing my guitar.
What was your favorite book as a child? Hmm, how old are we talking? There were favorites at different times in my life. But one of my earlier romance books that really stayed with me was the book Always by Trevor Meldal-Johnsen. It’s a fabulous reincarnation romantic suspense!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I just wrote. I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision for me.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing? I don’t know. I’m a romantic though, and not in the champagne and roses way. I have always loved great romance stories. So it was natural for me to write romance.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I love hearing from readers. Sometimes they just like to tell me they enjoyed one of my books, which never gets old. Sometimes they give me a little glimpse into their life and I always enjoy that. Sometimes they tell me that they can relate to something they read in the story because of a difficult time in their life, or that reading my book helped them while dealing with a serious illness they had or getting through a serious illness with their loved ones. I especially like those and knowing that my story helped them forget about their worries for a short time. If I can make someone smile or laugh or just entertain them, I’ve done my job!
That's great, Lisa! What can we look forward to from you in the future? I’m finishing up my Dakota Hearts series and plan to have the first four books in the series available to readers by the end of January. Book 5, Her Dakota Bride, will follow in February or March. In between, I will be releasing book 5 of my Texas Hearts series. It’s called Leaving Liberty. I plan on continuing both of those series through 2014 and adding another story to my Fate with a Helping Hand series. Too many stories in my head. So little time!
Well, thanks for taking the time out of your busy life to stop by today, Lisa. Good luck getting all those stories out!

About the Author
Lisa Mondello (L. A. Mondello) has held many jobs in her life but being a published author is the last job she'll ever have. She's not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she'd still be penning stories with paper and pen.  Her first book, All I Want for Christmas is You, was the winner of the Golden Quill contest for Best First Book and to date has had over 750,000 downloads worldwide.
She is currently the author of fifteen novels under the names Lisa Mondello and L. A. Mondello.