Monday, March 9, 2020

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Finding Lisa by Sigrid Macdonald - Book Tour + Giveaway


Finding Lisa
by Sigrid Macdonald  



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GENRE:   Mystery/women's fiction

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BLURB:
Finding Lisa is a character driven story about a quirky Canadian woman named Tara who is about to turn 40. She dreads the thought. Everything is going wrong in her life from her stale marriage to her boring job to her hopeless crush on a 24-year-old guy. The only thing right in Tara's life is her best friend Lisa who has just confided that she is pregnant and the baby does not belong to her partner Ryan, who has a history of domestic violence. Then Lisa disappears and the search is on to find her.



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EXCERPT
All the carts were taken at the supermarket on Tuesday. I found one off to the side of the vegetable aisle. It had a defective wheel, which resulted in me almost overturning a display of cantaloupes. The cart was also enormous. No doubt this was a deliberate ploy on the part of the supermarket to encourage excess shopping.  

"I feel as though I'm driving a school bus," I announced to the frail, pale orange-haired woman to my left, who was squeezing the small, unappetizing looking cantaloupes.  

She smiled faintly and nodded. I wondered how she had the strength to push the heavy cart through the long aisles of the grocery store at her age. 

"Mum, I'll go with you to one of those Women against Rape meetings if you want?"  Devon said to my astonishment, his voice rising at the end of his sentence. "There’s only one condition. You have to watch 8 Mile with me."

"8 Mile? Isn’t that the movie based on the book by Stephen King?"

"Nah, you’re thinking about The Green Mile," Devon replied. "8 Mile is the story of a rapper in Detroit. It's based on the life of Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers. Eminem even stars in it," he said with increasing enthusiasm. 

"I think it’ll give you a better idea of where he's coming from. You know, you're always talking about these girls who've been, like, abused and what horrible lives they've had. You even feel bad about boys who were taken advantage of by priests or their hockey coaches. So why don't you have any sympathy for Marshall? His mother was abusive. She was mean to him, and she did drugs! Also, she, like, gave him something called Munchkins syndrome," Devon added uncertainly.

"Munchausen syndrome?” I asked, trying to picture the tough guy with the tattoos and bad attitude as a small child with a manipulative and controlling mother.

"Yeah, that sounds right. She made him feel sick when he was totally healthy. And, Mum, I know you would respect the way Em felt about his little brother, Nathan. He, like, didn't wanna leave him alone in the house with his mother when he finally split from Detroit. He's also really keen about his daughter, Hailie Jade. He talks about her all the time in his songs and on TV."

I pushed the buttons on the radio. The Steve Miller band was singing, "Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future." I had a sense of motion. The car was moving forward, and with every traffic light I passed, I was moving farther away from Lisa and our routine evenings at the ByTowne Theatre. The rest of us were going ahead, and Lisa had been left behind. I wanted to go back, not just to last Thursday night, but to my university days, so I could live my life all over again. 

I wanted to be sixteen or twenty-six again, making decisions based on what I knew now. So many lost opportunities. How had I managed to completely screw up my life? I'd done everything wrong except that I hadn't become a street prostitute or a serial murderer. Too late for the former—who would want me? But there was still time for the latter.  



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Author Interview
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
I think that my kryptonite is my Type A personality. I like to have everything just so, which means that I write and rewrite and rewrite my books endlessly, and I have trouble giving birth. It's hard to let go. Even when I return to a piece that I have written years later, I am always rewriting it in my head.
2. If you could tell your younger writing self, anything, and what would it be?

That's a great question. I would tell myself to relax. Don't worry about getting everything perfect in the beginning. Nobody does. Get the story down, and then revise, revise, revise. Also get some beta readers. After a while, we don't have any objectivity about our own writing. Find somebody I trust to provide constructive criticism – it has to be constructive though. Lots of people are willing to be critical, but that's not helpful. We want feedback that will be useful, and sometimes it's hard to hear somebody else's critique of our work. I have to work on being open to hearing what others say and then to ask myself if it resonates with me. Does it sound right? Is it something I should implement, or is a suggestion that I should discard? I am much better at that now that I'm older and a seasoned writer.

3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?

I have always felt that the Fifty Shades of Grey series was vastly overrated. I only got through one and ½ books, and I really tried to finish the series because everybody was talking about it. On the other hand, I read all seven Harry Potter books without stopping to breathe. They were so engaging. I loved Harry and his magical adventures, but I felt that Fifty Shades was poorly written and imminently predictable.
4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?

When I was in grade 4, I went to the school library to take out fiction books for fun. I remember reading a book called The Trouble with Jenny's Ear. The trouble was that Jenny could hear people's thoughts. I loved this. It was my first introduction to fantasy, and I was so thrilled with the notion that I wrote to the author, and believe it or not, he wrote back to me, eight years old, within several months. I was delirious.
5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?

Although I am not a libertarian, I'm a huge fan of Ayn Rand's, and I have read all her fiction and most of her nonfiction. In fact, I have reread Atlas Shrugged three times, and that book is about 1100 pages long! So, if I could dine with any literary figure, it would be Dagny Taggart. I always admired her for her feisty, strong, independent nature back in the days when girls were not considered the equals of boys intellectually or in terms of running businesses. But Dagny kicked butt! She knocked her brother right out of the ring because he was lazy, ignorant, and unambitious. Now, as I said, I'm not a libertarian, and I do think some of Dagny's ideas, which were Rand's ideas, were callous, so that's what I would ask her about – all about collective responsibility in society and how much businesses owes the people. I'm pretty civilized. I can disagree without fighting or being rude, especially if we kill a good bottle of Bordeaux together.
6. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?

It's interesting that right off the bat, I can think of a dozen or more dystopian worlds that I would not want to live in such as Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies, or Handmaid's Tale. It seems that we tend to write more about what could go wrong in the future rather than what could go right. Having said that, I would like to live in the "West Wing" TV show land during the fictitious administration of President Josiah Bartlett. What I like best about Bartlett was that he was a man of great moral character. He really tried to do the right thing, but he was human. He didn't always make the right call, and he also had to deal with multiple sclerosis. Contrasting the show "West Wing" with "House of Cards," we see that the latter is a cutthroat, diabolical world where people no longer believe in public service but rather aspire to higher office only to serve themselves and their narcissism. I would be truly contented to live in the West Wing world.
7. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?

Initially, I wanted to be a doctor. My dad was an MD, and I wanted to be like Daddy. Then I thought I might be a pharmaceutical representative or a journalist. Eventually, I majored in psychology and did graduate studies in social work, but my penchant for writing started young. I had stories published when I was in high school. Then I got active politically, and I used to write Letters to the Editor, which were frequently published, and often I had angry people responding to my opinions!
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Originally from New Jersey, Sigrid Macdonald lived for almost thirty years in Ottawa, Ontario, and currently resides in Weston, Florida. She has been a freelance writer for years. Her works have appeared in The Globe and Mail newspaper; the Women's Freedom Network Newsletter; the American magazine Justice Denied; The Toastmaster; and the Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario Newsletter. Her first book, Getting Hip: Recovery from a Total Hip Replacement, was published in 2004. Her second book, Be Your Own Editor, followed in 2010. Although Finding Lisa is written in first person, Macdonald only resembles her character in the sense that she once had a neurotic fixation on her hair, and she has always been called by the wrong name; instead of being called Sigrid, people have called her Susan, Sharon, Astrid, Ingrid and, her personal favorite, Siri. Macdonald is a social activist who has spent decades working on the seemingly disparate issues of women's rights and wrongful convictions; she has worked at the Women's Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey and Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and was a member of AIDWYC, The Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted. She owns an editing company called Book Magic. Sigrid is a public speaker and a member of Mothers against Drunk Driving, Ottawa Independent Writers, the American Association of University Women, and the Editors' Association of Canada.
Visit her website at http://bookmagic.ca/ or friend her on Facebook:





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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Sigrid Macdonald will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly
drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



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