Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Finding Lily by Lisa D. Ellis (Giveaway, Guest Post)

I would like to welcome Lisa D. Ellis. She has written a guest post for our enjoyment and is giving away a copy of her book 'Finding Lily'. 

Finding LilyWhen her newborn baby Lily dies suddenly, Claire Edwards runs away to live in a lighthouse she had fallen in love with as a young child. The lighthouse is reputed by some to have magical powers, but Claire isn't looking for a miracle. She just wants an escape from her husband Jim's colder way of grieving, and from their apartment filled with the tiny clothes and stuffed animals they had collected over the past few months. But once Claire is situated in the lighthouse, it begins to illuminate things for her in a new way and she's suddenly forced to rethink her views on life, death, and her marriage.

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing  (January 22, 2013)
Category: Women's Fiction, Relationships, a Dash of Supernatural
Tour Dates: Mid May, 2013
Available in: eBook, 180 pages

Image of Lisa D. EllisLisa Ellis is a writer whose short fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals and magazines. FINDING LILY is her first novel. She has a master's degree in journalism from Boston University and provides health content regularly for hospitals and websites in New England and the tri-state area.


Q: What drew you to this storyline?

Exploring Life Through Art in FINDING LILY
Lisa D. Ellis

I’ve always loved to read. As a child, I quickly discovered that books were my ticket to different cultures, different periods of time, and even different families. I loved how I could step in and out of these experiences with just a flick of my wrist, opening and closing my favorite books whenever I chose, then returning to the safety of my own world with its familiar pink walls and my chenille bedspread.  Yet even while I slept, images from the storylines still danced in my head.

Over time, reading also fueled my own desire to write. I began crafting short vignettes and quickly progressed to short stories, loving the brevity and neatness of the short form. I liked how I had enough space to explore ideas and situations that interested me, but always with an eye on the inevitable resolution. I enjoyed tying everything up neatly by the time I reached that last, always satisfying, sentence.

It wasn’t until I was a young adult and attended a summer writing program at Columbia University that I felt an urge to stretch myself further by writing my own novel. I attended a seminar with my fellow writing students that featured representatives from some of NYC’s top publishers and literary agents and listened raptly as one of the speakers talked about how every writer has to find his or her own “novel idea.” This concept intrigued me. Even with all of the reading I did, I had never thought about a novel idea, or what mine might look like, or how it would progress. Once the idea settled inside me, though, I couldn’t shake it. The seeds began to grow and I started to view the world differently, now looking for hints or signs of what I should write about in the longer novel form, and why, and what I might learn in the process.

Around this same time period, I frequently visited Nantucket Island. It was only a two-hour ferry ride from my Boston apartment and offered a tranquil alternative to the dusty summer in the city and the slow, humid air that was hard to shake. It was so easy to leave this behind and embrace Nantucket’s cool, crisp air, the water so blue it was almost navy, and the sweet scent of roses and hydrangea that lingered everywhere.

I had also fallen in love with a charming little lighthouse, called the Brant Point Lighthouse, which perched right on the edge of the tiny Brant Point Beach. From the deck of the ferry, I loved to watch the lighthouse grow and expand into sight as we neared the island; then two or three days later I would watch it recede as the ferry pulled away from the wharf, taking me back to my city life. I daydreamed about what the inside of the lighthouse would look like, and who might live there, and why. In true writer’s form, I wasn’t concerned with the reality that the dimensions of the miniscule lighthouse were actually way too small for anyone to live in, or that the lighthouse was automated. Using my creative powers, I expanded the size of the lighthouse in my mind and added a house attached to the light tower, then set about figuring out who would live there and why. This was the birth of FINDING LILY—my novel idea—and of Claire, whom I like to think of as my other, less practical half who spends more time floating in her mind than anchored in her body.

As I began to explore Claire’s character and motivation, I found myself drawn to her relationship with her husband Jim. I was casually dating someone at this time and was constantly challenged by our different emotional styles and the way we approached the world—he with his head and me with my heart—and I wanted to better understand these differences and what they would mean in the course of a marriage and how they would stand up in the real world. While my real relationship ultimately didn’t progress any further, with the characters of Claire and Jim, I had the luxury of taking things to the next step. I also had the chance to see how these emotional differences, which are what drew Claire and Jim together initially, also threatened to tear them apart as they tried to carve out a life together. Claire and Jim’s relationship also inevitably led to the creation of Lily. Of course without her, and without the significant role she plays as the main catalyst for everything else, the rest of the book couldn’t have happened.

Once all of the pieces came together, I began to write and write and write.… The words just flowed and the storyline gracefully unfolded on its own accord. In true Claire fashion, I like to think that perhaps Lily was guiding me to the final resolution. Along the way, I discovered that novels don’t end quite as neatly as my short stories once had, but I also found that the journey of writing a novel, as well as of reading one, can also be much more satisfying. And like Claire, I discovered that Lily might just be everywhere.

* * *

If you would like to win a copy of 'Finding Lily', leave a comment with your name and email. Event open until May 30th. 

Finding Lily can be purchased on Amazon:

Disclaimer/Disclosure. I received a complimentary copy of this book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation – monetary or in kind – has been obtained for this post. Cover art, book description, and any excerpts are courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of My Life. One Story at a Time.
My Life. One Story at a Time. is an advertising affiliate with Amazon, a small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above links.

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  1. Thanks again for taking part in the tour and hosting Lisa!

  2. Thanks for sharing about the book

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  3. Thanks so much for giving me a chance to share my experiences with your readers!
    Lisa Ellis

    1. I loved the book Lisa. Thanks for stopping by!


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