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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Interview & #Giveaway: Safe Haven by Lisa Mondello @LisaMondello.Author

SAFE HAVEN is book 2 of the Heroes of Providence series which began with Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012 MATERIAL WITNESS.

Holly: Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Lisa Mondello: The first thing about me is I hate talking about myself.  I love talking about books though.  Even so, I’ll play.  I have been a published author for nearly 20 years now.  Wow, I just wrote that for the first time! 20 years!  My kids (I have 4) grew up knowing their mom was a writer because I have always written. In my pre-mom days, I managed a Boston rock band.  I spent a lot of time in the recording studio and going to gigs.  My book Gypsy Hearts is sort of an ode to those music days.  I’ve published over 40 novels in different series and sub-genres of romance.

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Lisa Mondello: I love hearing from readers!  If you read one of my books, please email me at  I love getting reader mail and I always answer.

Holly: What do you do when you are not writing?

Lisa Mondello: I am a nonnie, i.e. grandmother.  So I enjoy playing with my nearly 3 year old grandson.  I also love listening to music and watching movies.  I don’t like to watch series on TV.  I’d much rather watch a movie.

Holly: Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?

Lisa Mondello: No outline at he beginning because I don’t know what to write.  I’m a puzzle writer, so I usually start piecing together what looks like an outline when I’m about 1/3 of the way through a story.  I post sticky notes on a board to help me keep track of what I’m doing.

Holly: Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult?

Lisa Mondello: There would be way too many authors to name.  I just loved reading.  And I always loved that emotionally gripping or suspenseful read that made me have to carry the book around with me to read while making dinner and keep me up until the wee hours of the morning.

Holly: How do you market your book(s)?

Lisa Mondello: I have a newsletter and I like to keep readers up to date on what’s on sale and what is coming out.  I also do BookBub ads when I have a book on sale.  So a good way to keep up to date on what’s happening in my writing world is to follow me on Bookbub and sign up for my newsletter.

Holly: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Lisa Mondello: Like all authors, I had a lot of rejection letters.  My style didn’t quite fit into what publishers were publishing at the time.  And that’s sometimes a hard thing for an author.  It’s difficult to keep your voice fresh and marry that with what publishers are looking for.  Still, I did publish 9 books with traditional publishers before going Indie and publishing my books directly online.  Now I don’t have to fuss about how to fit into the publishers mold and I like that freedom a lot.

Holly: I know authors get asked this a lot but do you have any advice that you would give to aspiring writers?

Lisa Mondello: Keep writing and known your goals.  Also, don’t give up.  It’s simple stuff really, but it’s true.  I’ve seen a lot of great writers give up after a few rejection letters.  You can’t.  You have to be persistent and not take things personally.  I think working in music and sending demo tapes to record companies helped give me a thick skin to tackle publishing rejections.  You have to have a tough skin.

Holly: When did you realize that you would like to write and publish a book?

Lisa Mondello: I always wrote and I always wrote long before I thought of publishing.  I wrote my first novel as an adult with the intention of just showing it to my sisters and my mother who love to read.  After that was finished, I started thinking that maybe I could go further and actually publish a book.  That’s when I joined RWA and started submitting my books to publishers.

Holly: Can you tell us, in your own words not the book description, a little about your book?

Lisa Mondello: SAFE HAVEN is book 2 of the Heroes of Providence series.  It flowed naturally from book 1, Material Witness, because I loved the secondary character I’d created for the hero of that book, Kevin Gordon.  Kevin is Jake Santos’s partner.  By the time I finished writing Material Witness (currently free at all retailers) I had the seed of an idea for a story for Kevin where he works undercover trying to catch a man who is hiring a hitman to kill his ex-wife, Daria. But he messes up and now Daria’s life is in danger.  But instead of leaving to protect herself, as Kevin urges, she digs in and wants to stay in the only home she’s ever known. That means Kevin needs to be her protector 24/7.  I loved writing the story and piecing everything together.

Holly: Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?

Lisa Mondello: Characters first always.  I may see a scene in my head at first, but I can’t go anywhere until I know what’s important to the characters.  The uniqueness of the characters really shapes the story.

Holly: What was the inspiration for this novel?

Lisa Mondello: Kevin Gordon. LOL  He just seemed so HOT to me while I was writing Material Witness.  I loved the idea of a the hero and heroine at odds and I ended up really loving Daria in that she’s not a stereotype.  By day she wears high heels and business clothes, but she drives a beat up truck and is renovating an old house at night.

Holly: Where can we purchase this book?

Lisa Mondello: SAFE HAVEN is available at all retailers online and is only 99 cents during the week of the blog tour.  After June 13 the price will go up to $4.99.  So definitely get it while you can at the reduced price.

Holly: Can we expect more novels from you in 2017?

Lisa Mondello: Definitely.  I’m always writing.  Always plotting.  June 20 I will be releasing Sweet Montana Sky which is part of the Rodeo Knights collection of stories.  Ten new Rodeo Knights stories by different authors will be released on that day.  In July I will be releasing the final book in the Heroes of Providence series.  It’s called COLD HARBOR.

Holly: How much of you or people you know do you think make it into the characters in your novel(s)?

Lisa Mondello: I see my husband in a lot of books.  In fact, Under a Texas Star is about a military hero named Tom and Tom is my husband’s name.  Some of the stories I used in the book were stories I got directly from my husband and some of the stories  about the hero’s family came directly from stories from my husband’s family.  But my characters have a life of their own.  They reveal themselves to me slowly.

Holly: Do you think you will have a follow up book to this novel or is it just a stand-alone novel?

Lisa Mondello: SAFE HAVEN is part of the Heroes of Providence series which includes MATERIAL WITNESS, SAFE HAVEN, RECKLESS HOURS, DESPERATE HOURS, FINAL HOURS and COLD HARBOR.

Random Quickies!

Holly: Pepsi or coke? 

Lisa Mondello: Coke Zero

Holly: Favorite kind of chocolate? 

Lisa Mondello: Hershey (The ONLY kind!)

Holly: Cats or dogs? 

Lisa Mondello: Both

Holly: Do you read more than you write? 

Lisa Mondello: No.  I wish I had more time to read for pleasure.  But my work schedule won’t allow.

Holly: Favorite movie?  

Lisa Mondello: The Sound of Music  (Oh, man, you really only want one? Seriously, I may have about 20!)

Holly: Hardback/Paperback or eReader?  

Lisa Mondello: eReader

Holly: Why do you like eReaders more? 

Lisa Mondello: I can bump up the font.

Safe Haven
Heroes of Providence
Book 2
Lisa Mondello

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Lisa Mondello
Date of Publication: August 30, 2016
Number of pages: 230

Book Description:

When someone you once loved wants you dead, is there any SAFE HAVEN?

Finding out her ex-husband hired a hitman to kill her didn't leave Daria Carlisle all warm and fuzzy. But Detective Kevin Gordon's suggestion she flee the only home that had ever truly been hers was downright crazy. Forget that the sexy police officer made her heart pound and her blood stir. She'd worked too hard to get what little she had. She wasn't leaving.

Kevin Gordon didn't make mistakes, but he'd made a big one in letting Daria's ex slip through his fingers. Although he tried to make it very clear to Daria that the fixer upper home she considered a palace was no safe haven, she just dug in deeper and insisted on staying, leaving him no choice but to be her protector. Left on her own, she surely faced murder at an assassin's hand. But can Kevin spend every waking hour sleeping on her doorstep just to keep this stubborn woman alive without risking his heart to love?

Amazon      BN      Google Play     Kobo     iTunes


"Your husband hired me to kill you."
The last words Daria Carlisle expected to hear in her kitchen on a bright and sunny Sunday morning were those. She stared at the man who'd just uttered the frightening words. Words spoken with such ease and comfort it made her blood run cold.
She stood statue still, almost glued to the aged linoleum floor that was too frail to be salvaged. Her gaze swept from his face to the decrepit floor as she dragged in a breath of air. Earlier that day she'd been obsessing over how she was going to afford replacing the linoleum. Hearing these words from a man she'd just invited into her home willingly put a slightly different spin on her priorities.

Your husband hired me to kill you. The words just hung there in the air between them like some bright red cartoon balloon, mocking her.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa 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 book The Knight and Maggie's Baby is a New York Times Bestseller. Her popular series includes TEXAS HEARTS, DAKOTA HEARTS, Fate with a Helping Hand and the new SUMMER HOUSE series. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence series made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List and was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012.

You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at and sign up for her newsletter to receive new release information at

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