Book 7: Books That Make You Go OOOOO

material witness final with tagline“Mondello’s latest, a pulse-pounding, pitch-perfect addition to the romantic-suspense genre…the real hook is the nimble tone that shifts from breezy to thrilling and back again with masterful precision. Terrific escapist entertainment, as good as anything in Janet Evanovich’s oeuvre.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012!
A Contemporary Romantic Suspense Novel: 72,000 words

Who does she trust when she’s living the real life horror of one of her crime novels…

Bestselling crime novelist, Cassie Alvarez, aka Cassie Lang, had murder on her mind when she walked into Rory’s Bar under dressed and under cover to research her latest crime novel. Researching the cool, blue-eyed and dashingly handsome man at the end of the bar stirred her senses more than she wanted to admit. But was this man of leather armor all he appeared to be?

Playing White Knight to an innocent wasn’t how Detective Jake Santos planned to spend his time under cover. But there was no way “CJ” was what she claimed to be and that nagging tightness in Jake’s chest told him he’d better take her home to safety and leave it at that. Then the barroom exploded with gunfire, leaving a trail of dead that includes a notorious Providence crime boss and an undercover FBI agent. When Cassie’s name is leaked to the media as the only witness to the grisly murders, Cassie insists she only trusts Jake to protect her.

The FBI wants their star witness happy and will do anything to make sure Cassie testifies. But it is clear to Jake that the shooter isn’t the only person who wants Cassie dead. Not knowing who to trust, he vows to protect Cassie at all cost despite the fact that guarding the beautiful novelist is a serious distraction.

lisa web pic 3 smallerLisa Mondello has held many jobs in her life but being a published authors 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 first book, All I Want for Christmas is You won Best First Book in the Golden Quill. Her books have finaled in the HOLT Medallion, and the Colorado Award of Excellence contests. In 2011 she re-released her award winning book All I Want for Christmas is You along with a re-issue of her romantic comedy, The Marriage Contract, with a new contemporary romance called The Knight and Maggie’s Baby. In 2012 she reissued the first 3 books of her popular Western Romance Series TEXAS HEARTS including Her Heart for the Asking, His Heart for the Trusting and The More I See. In 2013, two more Texas Hearts books will be released. Her 2012 Romantic Suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, written as LA Mondello, was given a starred review from KIRKUS REVIEWS and was named one of their Best Books of 2012.   You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at

Get to know L. A.:


1.  What is the single most important thing you’ve learned about managing your career?

Make sure it’s your career and not one that someone else wants to make for you.  You can emulate what other authors have done.  But your path is your own.  I’ve seen too many instances where an agent or editor has pushed an author to write a particular book.  But it wasn’t what the author wanted to write or the direction the author wanted to go.  It can be difficult to change tracks once you become known writing one particular thing.  So you need to stay true to yourself while making career decisions.

2.   How do you promote your work to readers? 

I have a blog called Conversations where I sometimes post, but mostly promote other authors and their work. As an author, I know I need to promote my work.  But as a reader, I love hearing about books.  So I try to balance both of them on my blog.

 3.   If you weren’t writing as a career…what would you be doing?

Hard to imagine me not writing because I’ve been doing it all my life.  But if I wasn’t writing, I would be teaching.  I worked for several years in special education and loved working with the kids.  It was one of those jobs where at the end of the week you get your paycheck and you’re like, “Wow, they actually pay me for this!”

 4.   They say you make your luck…what have you done in your career that has resulted in what other people might think of as being lucky?

I don’t give up.  I’m pretty tenacious when I get my mind set on something.  Many times this business can beat you down.  Rejections are hard.  Getting rejections where two different editors at two different well-respected publishing houses give you opposite feedback can leave you scratching your head.  You have to pay attention to market, but you also have to pay attention to what makes your story unique.  And you have to keep sending your stories out.  I had a 24 hour rule.  When I got a rejections on a manuscript, I’d give myself 24 hours to feel bad about it and then it was out in the mail the next day.  No wallowing.

 5.   Everyone always wants to know about a writer’s writing space. What’s yours like?

Since the house is still under construction, my office space is in my bedroom.  One day I’ll have a dream office.  But right now it’s not possible and not necessary since I can pretty much write anywhere.  I have a laptop and Alphasmart so my office is mobile.  I have written at the library, the hair dresser, the dentist office, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and even the car when I was waiting for one of the kids to be finished at work or at school.

 6.   Do you write every day? Every week? Odd times?

I’ve been a full time writer for a while so I work every day, but not always new writing.  Sometimes I’m doing promo.  Sometimes I’m plotting a new story.  I’m not someone who gets writer’s block because I’m always working on multiple projects at the same time.  When one story hits a crossroads, I work on another and then go back to the first.  When I’m getting near the end of a book I go full force though. I like that hard push to the finish line.

 7.   What was the most exciting thing that has happened in your career so far? Don’t limit it to a big sale.

Actually, having MATERIAL WITNESS get a starred review from KIRKUS REVIEWS was very cool.  Learning later on that it was also picked as one of KIRKUS REVIEWS Best Books of 2012 was a thrill, too.


Find L.A.:

Twitter: @LisaMondello

[email protected]





Barnes and Noble



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