I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ten Things with Lisa Belcastro...and a Giveaway!

Image of Lisa Belcastro

Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on island of Martha’s Vineyard. She writes inspirational romances set on the Island and the surrounding waters.  She loves chocolate, reading, writing, running, working in her gardens, including weeding, and almost all outdoor activities -- as long as the temperature is above sixty degrees! Being on or near the water is pure joy for her, and she is so happy the warmer weather has arrived.

When she’s not at her desk working on her next novel or writing the cuisine column for Vineyard Style Magazine, Lisa is volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, gardening, training for her first 50-mile road race, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.

Thanks for inviting me to stop by on the release day of Shenandoah Dreams. I’m thrilled to be here! Now let me see if I can think of ten “interesting” things to share with you and your readers.

  1. I keep my books, CDs, and DVDs in alphabetical order.  There, I’ve said it. I’m a bit of neat freak.  BUT, I do not impose this on anyone else. My family has yet to appreciate this wonderful trait, and I merely look the other way when walking by their rooms.  J
  2. In my humble opinion, no movie is complete without popcorn. If I’m going to the movies in the afternoon, I skip lunch and eat popcorn for lunch. If we’re going at night, I skip dinner and then order a large popcorn lightly buttered and a bottle of water. One of my favorite treats. Please don’t ask me to share my bucket of popcorn, unless we order the extra large.
  3. I love walking the beach looking for sea glass. This is not a causal endeavor, though it is more relaxing than anything else I do. I walk slowly, often bent over to see the smaller pieces better. I have jars, bottles and dishes filled with sea glass. Each piece reminds me how God takes the broken and jagged pieces of my life and refines them into something smooth and beautiful.
  4. I love chocolate! Who doesn’t, right? But my big confession is that I eat chocolate every day. Life is too short to skimp on the good stuff, and I do run every morning and burn a fair bit, if not all, of those chocolate calories. This year I gave up chocolate for Lent. Forty-plus days without one taste of nirvana. I will not lie and tell you it got easier as time went on. It didn’t! I was counting the days until I could pop a Cadbury Mini Egg into my mouth. J
  5.  Who else watches their favorite movies multiple times? I have watched Something’s Gotta Give, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and Ever After well over two hundred times.  Admittedly, there have been nights when I’ve plunked the DVD into the player and watched only ten to fifteen minutes of a favorite scene to fill my heart and mind with happily ever after before heading up to bed. I’m a hopeful romantic who loves setting the stage for sweet dreams. 
  6. Is there anyone out there who enjoys waiting in lines? Long lines, say three people or more, used to drive me crazy. I would plan my shopping and errands around the slower times of the day. About fifteen years ago I realized I was too busy and too worried about getting everything done. And, it was too complicated trying to coordinate the least busy time at the post office with the least busy time at the grocery store with the flow of traffic on the roads. I had to change my outlook. I needed something distracting but enjoyable to do while I waited. So, I began playing the “life story” game as I stood in lines. I would pick one person or a couple or a family, and write a chapter in their lives. Waiting became entertaining, and I often find myself chuckling or sighing at the novellas I am writing in my mind while I wait in the check out line.
  7. One day, if I win Lotto, I’d love to own a classic Shelby Mustang. 
  8. I am a member of TEAM 413, a group of athletes who spread the love of Christ while competing in the sport of his or her choice. Fortunately, this does not require me to preach to anyone, especially while I’m running a road race. All TEAM 413 members wear TEAM 413 tech shirts that have Philippians 4:13 on the back – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” As we’re running or competing, fellow competitors often comment on the shirt. Some people say a quick hello and keep going, but many run along side for a while and want to chat. The message on the shirt, and hopefully our smiling faces, invites others to share whatever burdens are on their hearts or ask questions about God and Jesus. I run a couple dozen races a year, and I haven’t run one yet where at least one person hadn’t wanted to talk for a bit. Such a blessing.
  9. Now for a quirky confession, or perhaps a wimpy one: I live on a beautiful island off the coast of Massachusetts. The water is cold . . . all the time according to my body temperature. And, there are fish and other slimy things in the water. I love being near the water. I love being on the water. I love the sound of the water washing over the shore. But I do not go in the water above my knees. Total wimp, I know, but I okay with that!
  10. The one habit I have that all the girls hate is my love of weeding. I thoroughly enjoy any time I spend in my gardens, and weeding is no exception. Though time consuming, pulling out the unwanted plants gives me plenty of thinking time. For years, weeding was on the chore list and everyone was required to help at some point during the week. I won’t bore you with the many complaints I’ve heard. Last summer I got smart. I removed the task from their list of chores and now we all enjoy my time in the garden.
If you won the lottery, what would you buy or do?

One commenter will win a copy of Shenandoah Dreams. Be sure to leave your comment by Thursday, July 3, 11:59 PDT. The winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, July 4!


Thanks for sharing with us on your release day, Lisa! Congratulations!

Here's a link to buy Shenandoah Dreams.


Lisa Belcastro said...

Thanks so much for having me visit on release day, Susie!

Ted Goodwin said...


kiki gillespie said...

Love # 8 ! ( I would get a Sprinter van for TEAM 413 !)

kiki gillespie said...

Also, I'm right there with you on weeding. Love pulling those little boogers out!

Susanne Dietze said...

Lisa, thanks so much for being here on your release day! Congratulations and best wishes.

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Ted! Nice to see more #TEAM413 folks!

Susanne Dietze said...

Kiki, there is something so satisfying about pulling weeds. I like it too, lol.

Lisa Belcastro said...

A sprinter van would be awesome!! :-)

Brandi McPeak said...

If I won the lottery...I would travel the world taking photos and writing ;)

Becky Lewis said...

I would pay off our mortgage, donate some to a couple of Christian schools close to our hearts, and travel with my husband.

Amy C said...

If I won, I would pay off our mortgage and car. Maybe get my hubby a much needed new vehicle. Donate to the local horse rescue and to the church. If any is left after that, I would put some back or take a trip to meet my cousins and aunts in the British Isles.

campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Lisa Belcastro said...

I would love to travel the world too! So many places I'd like to visit. Probably not enough time for me to see it all. :-)

Lisa Belcastro said...

Becky, you have a generous soul. Lord knows there are good schools in need of money to keep them going strong.

Susanne Dietze said...

Ooh, Brandi, traveling and writing sounds absolutely wonderful to me right now.

Lisa Belcastro said...

I agree with you on paying off the mortgage! And I love that you'd give to the local horse rescue as well as the church. I adopted a rescue mare years ago. Broke my heart how long it took her to learn to trust. Now we have rescue kitties, and they are wonderful.

Susanne Dietze said...

Becky, I love your generous idea to help Christian schools.

Susanne Dietze said...

Amy, I'd want to visit Britain too. I've never been but the list of things I'd like to do and see there is quite long!

kbiss said...

Love #8! I keep discovering more and more things we have in common!! Thank you for sharing - this was awesome!

Susanne Dietze said...

kbiss, thanks for visiting! I'm glad you enjoyed reading Lisa's list.

Susanne Dietze said...

Thanks for being here, Lisa! I appreciated getting to know you better!

A winner for Lisa's book was chosen by a random generator...Amy C! Congratulations!