Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Guest Post: Lisa Dale, author of Simple Wishes + Giveaway

(I'm so excited to welcome Lisa Dale! I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I did!)
Simple Wishes: Romance with a Twist

Hi everyone. I'm Lisa Dale, a new novelist with Grand Central. My first book came out in January so you may not know me yet. Thanks so much to Amy for giving me the chance to introduce myself!

I love surprise endings. Always have. As a kid my gram used to read me a Sesame Street book called The Monster At The End of This Book and I remember being so scared for poor old Grover who pleaded with me not to turn the pages because there was a monster waiting for him at the end. (Of course, it turned out the monster was him!)

It?s no surprise that my first novel has a surprise ending. Here's the scoop on the Simple Wishes story: the heroine, Adele, makes a mistake forces her to leave her NYC apartment and return to the mountain cottage she inherited from her estranged mother. There, the complex relationships she develops with a troubled teenager, an elderly Korean grandmother, and the sexy carpenter-next-door cause her to rethink her life and her desires. Just when true love is within reach, dark secrets from her mother's past threaten to send her running away again.

Simple Wishes is about getting back to the simple things in life, but it's not simple to do that! My hero and heroine have a rocky road before they can find their happily ever after. But find it they do. And so far the twist at the end has fooled everyone I know who read the book.

So, in accordance with my infatuation with surprise endings, I thought I'd put together this little list of my most memorable stories that have a twist. I won't give away any endings though!

Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper. I had to stay up quite late to finish this book, and the ending took my breath away. Totally upside down.

Star Wars; Episode Five. Five words. Luke, I am your father. Has any surprise ending ever been so iconic as that?

O. Henry's short story: The Gift of the Magi. That's the one where the impoverished young couple wants to buy each other Christmas gifts. He buys her combs and she buys him a watch chain?and the end?which should be a big bummer?is instead gloriously romantic and warm.

The Usual Suspects. My boyfriend made me watch this movie even though I wasn?t totally excited about it, and it turned out to be pretty fun. I didn?t see the ending coming. Should have, though.

Teresa Medieros's Yours Until Dawn. This is a risky plotline with lots of important information that?s concealed from page one. It sticks out in my mind as a fascinating read because it takes risks.

Do you have a favorite book, movie, or story that ends with a twist? Leave a post and tell me about it. One winner will get a free copy of Simple Wishes!

To learn more about Simple Wishes (to see an excerpt or read reviews), visit my website I have contests all the time, so I hope you'll join me!


lilly said...

Thank you for the post. I love surprise endings as well. And 'My Sister's Keeper' is a shocker, I liked it too.

Lisa Dale said...

Lilly, Yep. Cried my eyeballs out with that one, LOL! Loved it.

Julie P. said...

I also loved THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THE BOOK and I still read it to my son! I'd have to pick ME AND EMMA for a real shocker ending!

Kara said...

My kids love THE MONSTERS AT THE END OF THE BOOK!! Surprise endings are great - the ones where you think you know what's going to happen (yeah I got this all figured out) - then it turns out something totally different happens!! The Thirteenth Tale was a little like that for me.

The book sounds wonderful - I added it to my TBR list - I am definitely reading this one!! Congrats on your debut.

caite said...

Let me second...or third the wonderful ending of My Sister's Keeper! Wow, that was a shocker.

Melanie said...

Simple Wishes sounds like a great book. I've read a couple of things recently that got me at the end - The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

Donna said...

I loved a monster at the end of this book. My son and daughter love that one. As for adult books I think Elvis Takes a Back Seat was a bit twisted at the end. Oh another one is Potter Springs by Britta Coleman.

Erika Lynn said...

great post, I just finished Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols last night and it has a few pretty great twists. it was really amazing!

Lisa Dale said...

Julie, Kara, Donna: How funny is it that I thought "No one will know what that Grover book is?" I LOVE that you ladies know that book too. It's really one that sticks out from my childhood and I'm so glad people are still reading it! I should really get my hands on a copy one of these days.

Caite, Jodi Picoult is one of my faves. I want to be her when I grow up. :)

Melanie, Erika Lynn, Kara: Thanks for the info! So much to read, so little time.

Kristi said...

I loved Simple Wishes (see my review here: You don't need to enter me in the contest - just wanted to add my two cents about what a great story this was!

Lisa Dale said...

Kristi, Thank you so much for the wonderful review. As a newbie, I really appreciate your taking the time to review Simple Wishes and chiming in about it here. I think you'll like my new book, too. It's about two sisters who own a wildflower farm in Vermont. The hero is a meteorite hunter. :) It's called IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and it comes out in November.

Jenn M. said...

I think everyone has listed all the ooks I can think of with a twist. For movies, there is The Sixth Sense (was that a book first, I honestly don't know) I ruined it for everyone in the room at the very beginning by saying, "hey, I bet..." They all groaned at me and vowed never to watch movies with me again.

I would love to be entered to win I copy of your book. Your second book sounds like it has an interesting premise as well.

Good luck in the authoring world! I love hearing from fresh new authors!

bermudaonion said...

I love surprise endings too, but can't think of any right now. I did love My Sister's Keeper, but wasn't crazy about the ending, even though it was a surprise. milou2ster(at)

Gypsy Rose Creations said...

Wow! I love hearing about new authors. Am definitely up for giving them my support. Ive probably read alot of books and seen a lot of movies with a surprise ending (including 'theres a monster at the end of this book!) The most recent one would probably be the classic 'The scarlet pimpernel'. Lots of twists and turns. I could usually pick them, but my fiance would be unconvinced until the end.

Cheri2628 said...

I like surprise endings as long as they are happy ones! There have been some movies and books that had sad endings that I wasn't expecting. I am one of those people who must have a HEA ending. If a book or movie ends sadly, it is ruined for me. So, I always want to know ahead of time if there is a bad surprise that I should avoid. Yes, I am a chicken!

Lisa Dale said...

Jenn M, LOL! That's funny that you "saw" the "I see dead people" line before it happened. I knew the twist too, but only because I had friends who gave it away.

Bermudaonion, It was a shock. But I think it's one of those books that just stays with you. At least, with me it did.

Gypsy Rose Creations, thanks so much for the good cheer! I worked in publishing for a little while and worked with new authors--but I wasn't at all prepared for actually being one! It's a crazy life. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Oh--and The Scarlet Pimpernel is classic. Nice.

Cheri2628, You're in good company. I prefer comedy to tragedy, most of the time. If I know someone dies or it ends badly, I feel all reluctant about watching a sad movie. Books, I can handle a little more. But I'm sensitive too and so I look for the HEA.

Rebecca said...


I loved the twist at the end of My Sister's Keeper, too! Wasn't that great? I thought A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini had a lot of twists, including a surprise near the end that made my jaw drop! One of my favorite books, The Virgin's Knot by Holly Payne, also has a twist at the end. I like surprises. The unexpected twists can make what seems to be an ordinary story turn into a can't-put-down read!

violetcrush said...

oh yes, my sisters keeper had a very different ending than I imagined. But i still remember it becuase it wasn't what I expected. But I love Jodi Picoult, so I am okay with anything she writes :)

I loved the ending of 'A thousand splendid suns' as well. It wasn't exactly a twist, but I couldn't imagine where the story would go from all the destruction.

Please enter me if international.

Lisa Dale said...

Thanks so much again, Amy, for having me and to everyone who commented. It's been really interesting hearing everyone's thoughts. Picking a winner is always hard and a little random.

Congrats to Erika Lynn for winning a copy of Simple Wishes. You have the same exact name as my little sister--how's that for a scientific way of picking the winner? Please send me your mailing address when you can:

It's been a lot of fun! Thank you!

Lisa Dale said...

Rebecca and violetcrush, Thanks for sharing! I didn't read A Thousand...Suns. Read his first. Maybe I should look at the second as well. Thanks for the tips! It's been great "meeting" all of you!

Tempest52 said...

I was totally blind-sided by the twist at the end of Pig Island by Mo Hayder. A book I highly recommend, by the way.

dlcwin AT gmail DOT com

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