Friday, July 30, 2010

Meander Scar, Lisa Lickel

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its ardor unyielding at the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Song of Songs 8:6-7

You can go home again. But facing the consequences may leave a forever scar.

Ann Ballard’s husband, Gene, has to be dead. After seven years of no word, no clues, she is more than ready to get her stagnant life flowing again in a positive direction. When former neighbor Mark Roth, now a respected attorney, shows up and wants to help with the legal aspects, she wonders if she can accept his attractive offer.

Mark has loved Ann forever. She was the only one who supported him when his own family was unavailable. Through gentle wooing, Mark convinces Ann that his dream of happiness for them can come true. Together they face disapproving family members and the legal maneuverings of Gene’s elite family. In a bizarre twist of fate, Ann learns what happened to her husband. How can she tell the truth when it may ruin more lives--hers included?

Just when Ann and Mark overcome the last hurdle, their lives hit the hardest rock of all. Now it's Mark's turn to be truthful to Ann, himself, and the faith he professes.

Ann turned forty years old in the spring, all alone.
Had she loved her former life? Or merely lived as an extension of Gene and the influential circle he drew around her? Since he’d been gone, she was nobody, nothing, just a placeholder who waited for Gene to come back. Definitely time to crawl from under her load of self-pity. After the get-together with Ritchie and Colleen, she’d schedule a time to meet with Mark and discuss strategy for another court date. Maybe for lunch. Then, maybe he could help her find a good roofer. And a new car. While she considered possible dates for him.

She shook her head and went to turn her computer on. Maeve had left a message for her.
“Anything happen while I’ve been gone? What’s nu with u?”
What’s new with me? Ann felt as if she rode an out of control Tilt-a-Whirl. What could she tell her impressionable twenty-year old niece, just starting her junior year at the university? Maeve had been the little girl she could borrow from her sister whenever she needed a daughter fix. She let Maeve shamelessly manipulate her into buying barrettes and makeup and pretty undies her mother refused to purchase. Ann could safely say “nothing much” to the “what’s new” and not expect a third degree like her sister Rachel would give her for being a boring old recluse. But this time … dare she?

“You know nothing new ever happens to me. Except for Mark Roth coming back to Mad Town. He’s a lawyer.”

Maeve had replied. “A lawyer? Who is that again? Is he hot?”

Ann typed back. “No flames I could see.”

“Don’t play coy. Is he cute, or what? I don’t remember him. Is he related to Trey Roth? Did I meet him?”

“Edward Roth’s son with his first wife. Trey’s half-brother.”

“So, how did you hook up?”

“We did not hook up.” Ann decided to change the subject. “What color is your hair this weekend?”

“Silver spikes.”

And so on for another few minutes until Maeve signed off to go
to bed.

Still not sleepy, Ann clicked open her computer diary and typed more of a poem she’d started a week ago. Fall people realign the year. In spring, the riot of life goes so out of control. In fall, the
achievements and mistakes of spring and summer burn in a blaze of glory like changing maple leaves. In winter, they curl and die before the tranquil dormancy of winter. Fall people can start new.

She added an entry to her diary: Mark Roth is back. He makes me remember what it’s like to be alive.

Love can heal even the deepest scars …

My take:

I read a lot of romance novels. Sometimes I can predict where the story is going before the first chapter is over. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy the trip ~ it just means it's not always very surprising where I go. This book is nothing like that.

It is a rare book that includes older characters. Then you have the whole issue of their age difference (11 years) and whether they will be able to overcome everything that comes with that themselves - and how their families, friends, churches, and co-workers will respond. Mark proves his love in large and small ways ~ all of which help make this one of the most romantic books I've read in a while. Most of what he does shows respect for her as a person; caring for her needs above his own wants and desires. That shows love more clearly than anything else I know.

There is also passion here. I like a romance that builds and shows how two people in this fallen world need to... fight their desire. Although the author doesn't spend lengthy passages on scenes, you know that these two are attracted and have chemistry. It isn't one-sided either - both of them feel the attraction.

The characters are wonderful. From her getting nervous and forgetting how many scoops of coffee she put in, being insecure and doubting if Mark's feelings will go away or are really more a substitute for a mother's love, plus her guilt and wonder if her husband is still alive, Ann is a complex character that never seems to feel quite comfortable in her own skin.

Mark shows up on her doorstep after years away and a failed engagement all because he couldn't forget his feelings for her that bloomed as a nineteen year old. Now he's a successful lawyer with a faith in God and he's determined to try for the one thing missing in his life ~ the woman he's loved since he was that young man.

This was a fantastic love story with a bit of mystery to it. I really enjoyed it and I think you all will as well
. --

Lisa Lickel’s Meander Scar challenges us to rethink our ideas of love–to venture past the superficial so that we can focus on the heart, regardless of its packaging. This novel has a little bit of everything: conspiracy, a glimpse of high-society, romance, hatred, passion, mercy–practically the entire gamut of human emotions all wrapped up in about two hundred and thirty pages.

When we first meet Ann Ballard, the heroine, we are instantly drawn to her shy, insecure, yet gentle heart. Tied to a man no one has seen or heard from in five years, the upkeep is unbearable. Being connected to the lucrative Ballard trust, through marriage, does her little good because her spiteful mother-in-law does everything in her power to keep Ann from the money that is rightfully hers. And any hopes Ann has of breaking free are quickly shattered. But when a handsome man from the past shows up on her doorstep, promising Ann the love she’s always longed for but never had, her desire to be free increases to the point of desperation. It isn’t long before she takes matters into her own hands, eliciting the help of her handsome new lawyer friend. But when the web of lies that have become her life unravel, will she, and her only remaining son, be able to bear the truth or will it tear what’s left of their lives to shreds?

Although it took about forty pages or so for me to really get into this book, once I understood all the dynamics, I was hooked. Lisa Lickel turns our ideas of “Romeo and Juliet Romances” on their ears in a story that will keep you turning the pages long into the night
. -- Jen Slattery,

Why Lisa Wrote this Book:
Meander was a story that eddied in my mind long before I started writing seriously. I suppose all those backward romances in the Hollywood scene started me wondering why on earth no one cares, or it’s a joke, when much younger women are involved with older men, but not vice versa. Some of the disparately-aged couples I followed were Mary Tyler Moore, Susan Sarandon (who broke up recently), Karen Grassle (Little House), and of course, Demi Moore. I wanted to touch on that angle in the story and show that there’s nothing wrong with the picture. And then, there are all those people who go missing every year. What happened to them? To those they left behind? The two ideas gelled.


Author Bio:
A graduate of the Christian Writer’s Guild’s Apprentice Course, Lisa Lickel was a top ten finisher in the first Operation: First Novel contest. She has written and produced for radio theater and performed live. Her works have been released on FreeQuincy.podcast. She freelances for local newspapers and writes magazine articles, appearing in her national church magazine, Writer’s Digest, and You Can Write for Children, as well as devotionals. She also edits for local historical societies, and holds a bachelors of science in history and RECES.

Lickel’s novels include The Gold Standard, Healing Grace, and Meander Scar.

She enjoys membership in local book clubs and writing groups, as well as American Christian Fiction Writers, and Wisconsin Regional Writers. She lives in a hundred and fifty-year old house and is active in local historical societies. Married to a high school biology teacher, she enjoys travel, books and collecting dragons.
Please leave a comment and be entered to win this ebook, Meander Scar by Lisa Lickel, and the other features during the week, First Impressions by Michelle Sutton and Woman of Honor by Nicole Zoltack. (I've read all three and they're all GOOD!)
Happy Reading!
God bless.


  1. This is one wonderful book to cover the issue of an older woman being interested in a younger man, in the midst of a missing husband. I loved it from day one to the very end.

  2. Carmen, I loved this book. It was original. I appreciated the coplexity of the storyline and the depth of the characters.

  3. Aw, you two are fabulous - just what the Master Author ordered for me to hear today. Bless you both,

  4. This is good! Love the plot, the characters and Lisa's writing style. Lisa probably doesn't remember me, but she's one of my friends at "ShoutLife.

    (Waving) Hi, Lisa! Put my name in the pot. (Sure hope this post takes.)

  5. Meander Scar sounds like a wonderfully different romance, I'd love a chance to win it!

  6. I love the fact that Meander Scar sounds so different than the typical romance. Here's hoping I win! (Of course, I'll probably just have to go and buy a copy eventually anyway! But I'm sure that's fine with Lisa!)

  7. Of course I remember you, Laurean. You won a self-pub book by one of my interviewees. I hope things are going well for you. Thanks for stopping by. Nice to meet you, Merry - thanks for your encouraging word. And Tracy I look forward to your summer edgy blog tour post.

  8. I love this book already. Not often is the heroine over 35 so this really caught my eye and I can't wait to read. The story line is fresh and what the outcome will be is in the ending of this story.

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com