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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Guest Post with Author Lisa Mondello and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome to the blog author Lisa Mondello. Lisa is currently on tour promoting her book The Marriage Contract and has stopped by today to chat. Before I give the floor to Lisa, let's get to know her a bit shall we.

Lisa Mondello is the best selling author of 13 published books. Her first published book, the award winning ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU, was recently reissued as an ebook and has had over 226,000 downloads worldwide. In addition to publishing her Fate with a Helping Hand series, which includes THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT and THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE'S BABY, she is releasing her popular Texas Hearts Romance series as ebooks in early 2012. She currently writes for Harlequin Love Inspired Romance and is collaborating with a film producer/screenwriter on a screenplay.
Places to find Lisa:

I’d like to thank Ramblings From This Chick for having me here today! To thank you for stopping by I’m giving away a copy of THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE’S BABY to one commenter. So don’t be shy. Leave a comment for a chance to WIN!

Balancing Time by Lisa Mondello

You don’t have to be a writer to know how hard it is to balance yourself between work and family. But as a writer who works from home, it’s particularly hard. The whole concept of “work from home” gets lost because when people hear that, the only word they truly hear is “home”.

This has been true for me for nearly 20 years. Since my children were born, I’ve had the pleasure of “mostly” being able to work from home and be accessible to the family while earning income. This kind of thing isn’t for everyone. I know busy moms who would rather have a mouth full of root canals than try to balance work and family from a home office. (And there are days I would put myself in that category!)

The problem with working from home is that your home and your never off the clock all at the same time. Friends and family just assume they can stop over for coffee at any time. Neighbors feel free to leave your name with the UPS driver to drop off packages. And kids and spouses, no matter how supportive, physically see you at home…so you’re home. Whatever crisis is happening at home is yours to deal with. That can be pretty rough when you’re on deadline.

But life happens and it doesn’t stop just because you have a deadline. So trying to balance work/writing and life is important. It’s also an ongoing struggle I haven’t yet mastered. But I’m getting there. Here are some tips.

1. Take your laptop and get out of the house occasionally. It doesn’t have to be every day. But a few hours at the local coffee shop (in the next town so you don’t run the risk of accidentally meeting chatty friends who don’t get why you’re out in public) can do wonders to help you focus and get work done without distraction. I have been able to get a lot done in a crowded Starbucks simply because the noise around me wasn’t my noise. I could tune it out and focus. At home, all noise is my noise and I have to deal with fighting kids, a barking dog and a cat screeching to be fed or get affection.

2. Don’t fight the clock. Yes, you’re on deadline and the clock is ticking. But dinner still needs to be made. Kids still need to get to work or school. The housework…well, that’s another post. Get the kids and hubby taken care of and leave the rest.

3. Don’t answer the phone when you’re working. This one was VERY hard for me because I can’t stand a ringing phone and I always worry someone is trying to get in touch with me for an emergency. So I have given my cell phone to family and have told them to ONLY call for something important while I’m working.

Being a back-to-the-wall writer helps me when I’m on deadline. I can write when in a frenzy. But not everyone can and sometimes I do get frazzled when I think I’m not going to make a deadline. These balancing tips help to keep me from stressing so I can get things done.

What would you do to get a second chance at love? Sometimes fate needs a little helping hand...

When Ruthie Carvalho finds an old birthday card with a marriage proposal scribbled on the back, she figures she's hit pay dirt and is destined to get her 35 year old daughter married.

The trouble is, Ruthie can't stand Cara's boyfriend and Cara is just stubborn enough to push in the opposite direction of what her mother wants.

When Devin Michaels gets a phone call from his old friend's mom, he knows Ruthie is up to something. But he's at a crossroad. It's been 17 years since he's seen Cara and memories of their soulful talks and walks on the beach make him long to reconnect.

Going back to the seaside town of Westport Massachusetts to reconnect with Cara seems like just the thing to do. One look at Cara and the years seem to melt away. With a little help and “creative” planning from Ruthie, can these old friends become lovers and have a second chance at happiness?

Places to Purchase:


“Oh, but...what about the wedding?” Ruthie gasped.

“Who's wedding?”

“Why...yours and Cara's, of course. You did read the card, didn't you?”

“Yes, but...” Puzzled by her query, Devin picked up the card again and turned it over in case he’d missed some important piece of information. The search proved futile.

“Cara will be thirty-five next week.”

“Yes, I know.”

“Well, then you know what that means, don’t you?”

He was silent.

“Do you or don't you intend to honor that contract, young man.”

A grin tugged at his lips. Although Ruthie's voice held a hint of amusement, he sensed her taking this line of offense immensely serious.

Knowing in advance how Ruthie Cavarlho operated, he proceeded with caution. “Ruthie, it’s not really a contract.”

“It’s in black and white.”

“Yes, but…it’s bogus. There was no serious intention of marriage by either of us, no meeting of the minds. No-”

“Devin, dear, don’t talk to me in legal mumbo jumbo. I don’t understand a word of it.”

“It was a joke. It’s not legal.”

“Not legal,” Ruthie grunted.

There was silence on the other end of the line for a few seconds. Devin picked up the ball point pen he'd strangled earlier and started tapping in his desk to fill in the void.

“Would Cara know this?” Ruthie finally asked.

“Well, I-”

“I'll bet she doesn't,” she proclaimed, an undertone of hope resonating in her words. He could almost hear the wheels in her head spinning triumphantly when she declared, “What she doesn't know won't hurt her.”

A grin tugged at his lips. “Ruthie, what are you up to?”


As Lisa stated, she will be giving away an eBook copy of The Knight and Maggie's Baby to 1 lucky person. So make sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win a copy. 

Good Luck =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Reading a book or taking a walk

  2. Cleaning, reorganizing, reading, watching comedies, and shopping are some ways for me to de-stress.

  3. reading a book in a comfy chair/location with a cup of hot chocolate

    get a massage!

  4. To de-stress I will read a book, sit in a nice lawn chair in the sun. If that does not work I will take a walk, listen to music, go sit out in my front yard, or go into bathroom and lock the door(only room with a lock that will keep the kids out)lol. Thanks for the giveaway. Would love to win and read this book. I want to know if it works out for them.

  5. Lisa gets more done in an hour than I do in a day. Great tips--thanks!


  6. Thank you all for stopping by. Those are great ways to destress. I want a massage. It doesn't have to be the whole body. I'll be happy just having my feet rubbed! And a book always has a way of taking me out of stress and calming me down. Thank God for stories!

    Jane, LOL, my problem is I always add more stuff I need to do!

  7. I talk a walk, read, drive to the ocean and just chill, have a drink, listen to music.or even soak in the bath.

    Joanne B

  8. my tip for destressing is a nice long relaxing hot bubble bath

  9. My best tip for de-stressing is to sit down and read a good book. Being engrossed in a great story makes me forget all about whatever is stressing me out.

  10. I de-stress with music. Sometimes I need classical music and other times I need metal rock or something with a lot of bass just to get out some frustration. If it's a pretty day, sometimes I will take a little drive with the sunroof open and of course, the music.

  11. thank you for the chance at such a great giveaway. i love the cover and the excerpt was wonderful.
    when i want to lower my stress i ususally go into another room and it is ususally the garage. i take my little Papillion puppy with me and just spend some time playing with him and petting him. nothing will make you feel better than the unconditional love of an animal.

    tammy ramey

  12. I have an all-male household so I find that the best way to lower the stress level is to ignore them as much as possible! I've managed to get away with this with my husband of 42 years by using the excuse that any free time I have is needed to bake goodies for him. Trust me - it works!

    My sons are all grown now but as you know they always manage to show up at probably the most hectic time of your day. There again - think cookies! They eat, they leave, the stress goes away!

    The advantage of baking is you need to stick close by to keep an eye on the oven. You'll see this will give you time to quietly sit at the kitchen table and read with no one interferring as well. Good Luck! Reduce your stress by baking and at the same time have "quiet time" for yourself!

  13. Well...I read of course! With a cup of coffee. :) I also like to take a nice hot shower or spend a little time on the beach!