Monday, April 2, 2012

Texas Hearts Romance Author, Lisa Mondello, Shares Her Writing Insights and an Excerpt

Lisa is giving away 1 ebook copy of her Sweet Romance,
HER HEART FOR THE ASKING,  to one commenter.

Please remember to leave your email address when you comment.

Now, Lisa shares some thoughts on the writing process, plus an excerpt from her other Sweet Romance, HIS HEART FOR THE TAKING.

Baby Steps in Writing by Lisa Mondello

I was reminded this week, as I often am, about the different processes of writing for each author. Too many times we seek perfection the first time out, wanting each and every word we put on the page to be magic.

In reality, it's rarely like that. There are moments when the words flow freely and a scene that I've written seems to write itself all on its own. I love those moments of being in the zone. But "the zone" is not something you can snap your fingers and instantly call up on demand, although I'm sure most writers wish it to be that way.

Although many readers can read a story in a few hours, a story is not created overnight.  Far from it.  The final project doesn't miraculously come out of the creative mind and onto the page of a book (or in the case of an eBook, the eReader) in perfect form. Most writers must take baby steps through their stories and each baby step leads to the final product.  Step one, idea.  Step two, plotting and fleshing out the story.  Step three, researching.  Step four, writing.  Step five, revising.  Depending on the kind of writer you are, those steps may be jumbled up a bit. 

Just like a baby, writers stumble and fall and need to pick themselves up when the words don't come out just right, they get stuck in research that moves the story in the wrong direction, or they just don’t know how to write themselves out of a situation.  There are plenty of do overs that happen before a bookcover is wrapped around our words or the final digital file is made. But in the end, all successful writers show the same determination as a baby learning to walk for the first time. You get up and you keep going toward that goal. The end result and reward is the satisfaction of having a reader tell you they loved the story.

About Lisa:

Lisa Mondello is the bestselling 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 350,000 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, which include HER HEART FOR THE ASKING, HIS HEART FOR THE TRUSTING and THE MORE I SEE. She currently writes for Harlequin Books and is collaborating with a film producer/screenwriter on a screenplay.

She loves to hear from readers. You can email her at, find her on her blog talking about writing, movies and music at or chat on Twitter at @LisaMondello.

Book 2 Texas Hearts

Ever since Mitch Broader set foot in Texas, he dreamed of owning his own ranch. Now that he’s bought a share in the Double T Ranch, he’s one step closer to the dream. Then his past greets him in the form of a baby basket, complete with infant and birth certificate naming him as the father. He can’t change diapers and work toward his dream at the same time.

When Sara Lightfoot, “Miss Hollywood” in Mitch’s eyes, rescues him with her particular knack for handling his precocious son, he hires her on the spot as a temporary nanny. No matter how much Sara’s dark eyes and warm heart make this bachelor think of making their arrangement permanent, she’s made it perfectly clear she has other plans that don’t include him or his dreams.

Sara Lightfoot never thought she’d return to her home on the reservation. Now she plans to reclaim the life she left by going back to the reservation as a Native American storyteller, teaching the Apache children stories of their culture. She didn’t expect Mitch Broader’s sexy smile or job offer as a live-in nanny to derail those plans. After all she’s been through to come home, can she open up her heart once again to love?

EXCERPT: Still dancing in circles, Midnight eyed Mitch, seemingly aware of his every move. Mitch turned his back to the mare and played with the bridle, as if ignoring the horse. Finally, Midnight stopped running and with cautious steps, she moved forward, stopping every so often and taking a side step, bobbing her head or giving a neigh, as if calling Mitch to pay attention. Eventually, she stepped up alongside him and gave him a quick nudge with her nose. Then another until she was settled alongside Mitch.

Ever so softly, Mitch stroked her head and neck and front legs with long, easy strokes. He smiled his pleasure and crooned softly.

Without even realizing how he'd done it, the bit was in Midnight's mouth and the bridle was around the mare’s head. Mitch let the reins fall and allowed Midnight to get use to the bit.

Such trust.

“That's amazing,” Sara said quietly.

“Not really,” Mitch said, glancing up at her as he kept his attention on the mare.

She turned to him. Mitch was looking at her, his eyes filled with the same questions she’d seen in the kitchen.
Then he said, “She still could bolt at any time.”

Sara gripped the splintered rail. “But she hasn't. She came to you when she could have easily just kept running in circles.”

“Trust isn't an easy thing for her. She still doesn't know what to think.”

“She let you put the bridle on her. You didn't have to chase her. She came to you.”

“I have to win her trust. And when I have it, I can't abuse it or she'll never give it up again.”

Mitch carefully took the bridle off Midnight and took a few steps away. Midnight followed like a stray dog.

“Does she trust you now? Enough to ride her?”

Mitch shook his head. “We still need a little time together before she'll allow me put a saddle on her. Right now, she's letting me know her boundaries.”

“She let you put a bridle on her as if she didn't even know you were doing it.”

His face was bright with a smile. “Oh, she knew. But she's still making up her mind. She wants to trust me. I can tell. And maybe one day she will.”


He looked up at her again from across the corral. He was incredibly handsome. His dark hair was the color of mica in the fading light, and his eyes had turned from blue to a smoky gray. He stood tall, his weight shifted to one hip as he held the reins of the bridle.

Such strength.

Sara remembered all too well how it had felt earlier to be in Mitch's arms. Her heart still raced with the memory.

“What if she's never ready to trust you?”

Mitch's expression grew serious, pulling her into his gaze. He took a few steps closer, his boots kicking up dust from the ground as he walked. He stopped a good ten feet from where she was standing and said, “I can wait as long as it takes, Sara.”

Available at:


Barnes and Noble

SMASHWORDS for Kindle in Mobi and Nook in ePub

Please welcome Lisa Mondella by leaving a comment, including your email address.
Maybe you'll be the one to get HER HEART FOR THE ASKING!


  1. Welcome to Sweet Not Spicy, Lisa. Love those cowboys!

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Yes! Love cowboys! Thank you for having me here today!

  3. Great post. All those baby steps end up with good results--most of the time. :) I love cowboy stories.

    Best of luck.


  4. You're so right - sometimes even writers forget that writing isn't all about being "in the zone." Sometimes - most of the time even! - it's hard work. But the end result is worth it!

  5. Lisa, your advice about baby steps is good to keep in mind, especially when just beginning a book. Thinking about the entire project can be daunting. Much better to focus on one step at a time.

  6. Thanks for the great post, Lisa! So true that the creation of a book is an arduous process!

  7. So true! "Just like a baby, writers stumble and fall" And it never gets easier!