Today I am so pleased to welcome Lissa Reed to Joyfully Jay. Lissa has come to talk to us about her latest release, Certainly, Possibly, You. She has also brought along an excerpt and a  tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

Certainly, Possibly, You Book Release Tour


Lissa is here to share some questions and answers about herself, her background, and her current book.


Hello! My name is Lissa – short for Elisabeth – and I’m a writer, hobby baker, book hoarder, and by day, a software wrangler. Certainly is my second book, but my first involving queer females in the driver’s seat. As a queer female myself, I’m excited to put more ladies who love ladies out into the book world!

Sarita is a character from my first book, Definitely, Maybe, Yours. She’s Sucre Coeur’s head decorator and this is her love story.


Do you have any strange writing habits?

Hm. I don’t know that I do anything particularly strange. I do know that on several occasions when I’ve gotten stuck on writing a scene, I cleaned my kitchen – I mean the whole nine, from dismantling my dishwasher to clean out the drain to emptying the aging condiments out of the fridge door. Mopping the floors, washing out the sink, lemoning up the disposal, never at any time does my kitchen sparkle the way it does when I’m stuck.

It never lasts very long, though, because my other tendency, when I meet a writing goal, is to go bake a lot of cookies or cook up a large batch of soup, and bye bye, shiny clean kitchen.


What books have inspired you?

So many! I’ll limit myself to two.

My favorite book in the world is The World According to Garp by John Irving. It gave me a real appreciation for finding the humor in dark situations. That kind of perspective has come in handy more times than I like to admit. And it’s really left me with the tendency to insert subtle threads of absurdity into my work, which I have a lot of fun doing.

The book itself has a lot of truly problematic elements I can’t ignore, but those are valuable too in that sort of cautionary tale kind of way.

And then for sheer beauty there’s Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. It was one of the first books I ever picked up that was a specifically lesbian book, and my God, what a revelation! When I stumbled across it, I was a queer woman who had not really seen any books that had lesbian or bisexual women as lead characters, as the heroes in their own stories. They had always been sidekicks and plot devices. Nan’s story isn’t an easy one or always a happy one, in fact it’s quite difficult a lot of the time. But she’s a lovely, complex character and the book itself is so beautifully written, it left an indelible impression on me


What do you consider to be your best accomplishment (writing or life)?

My driving in goal in life was to write an entire book and have it published, and I did it! And I am about to do it again, so right at this point in my life, that’s the big one and I love it. I am proud of me for having done that and for continuing to do it.


Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I’m probably still writing books, living with at least two cats and ten bookcases that are mostly filled with books I keep intending to read. I kind of hope I’ve managed to move to Seattle or Portland or some other Pacific Northwest city by then. I’ve always wanted to move to that area.


If you had a super power, what would it be?

I’m pretty sure I already have one, and it’s my ability to paint my nails really, really neatly. I’m not kidding, I’m very good at not getting polish everywhere and I always have been. I didn’t think it was too remarkable, but I am told that it’s witchcraft.

On the flip side, I’ve been wearing makeup since 1989 and I still get lipstick all over the dang place so, you can’t win them all.


“Did you really ignore your mom trying to get a hold of you?” Sarita cracks an eye open to see that Maritza has gathered the blankets up from the floor and is clutching them to her chest as she stares incredulously. “Seriously? Are you insane?”

Sarita twists the lock in the doorknob and pushes herself off of the door, stalking over to her closet to drag out some clothing. “Oh, come on! Like you’ve never put off answering your mother?”

“No! Because I don’t have a death wish!” Sliding out of the bed, Maritza tosses the blankets aside, shaking her head. “Why the hell would you ignore your mom?”

“Because I know her, I know she’s going to have something planned to make me talk to Anjali, and I don’t want to and I didn’t know how else to get out of it besides ignoring her and hoping it would go away.” She shimmies into a fresh pair of underwear, then yanks a pair of jeans down off of a hanger. “So, yeah, there’s my big grown-up plan.”

“I see that’s working out really well for you.” Maritza peers around the room. “My bag’s out in the living room.”

Sarita wriggles into a Sucre Coeur sweatshirt. “Put your pajama pants back on.”

“You want me to meet your mom in my pajamas?” Maritza’s jaw drops.

“I want you to meet my mom wearing pants, and you won’t fit into any of mine! Wait.” Sarita digs around on a shelf. “Okay, here, yoga pants, those should fit. At least they’re not covered in ballet-dancing penguins. Will these work?”

“I don’t have a bra in here,” Maritza points out, tugging the pants on.

“Can’t help you there. I’m an A-cup, and you are…. blessed.” Sarita pulls her hair up into a ponytail and throws a hair elastic over at Maritza. “We have to make do. I’m sorry.”

She’s surprised when Maritza steps over to her for a kiss, sweet and simple. “I forgive you for making me walk of shame in front of your mother,” she says, winking as she grins. “And for making me ride the bus in pajamas, and for the total breakfast fail.”

Sarita drops her head into her hand. “Oh, God, that’s a lot to forgive, ugh.”

“Yeah, well, waking me up the way you did goes a long way.” Another kiss. “Okay, let’s go meet Mom like the adults we are, and then the next bus should be here soon.”

“I’m sure she’d be willing to drop you off somewhere, maybe at the Java Stop or the studio,” Sarita offers as they head for the door.

“I’d have to be willing to sit in a car with more tension than a room full of bungee cords. Hello, Mrs. Sengupta!” Maritza’s got the bedroom door open and she sails out into the living room, head high, silly pajama pants tucked under one arm, the other extended for a handshake. “I’m so glad to meet you. Sarita’s told me so much about her family, I feel like I know you already.”


Certainly, Possibly, YouSarita Sengupta is in her last semester of grad school and has finally realized she doesn’t have a career plan, a girlfriend, or a clear outlook on life. She works as a pastry shop’s head decorator, but is otherwise drifting without direction until a friend’s birthday party ends with her waking up in surprise next to Maritza Quiñones, a pretty ballroom dancer whose cheerful charm and laser focus sets Sarita on a path to making all of the choices she’s been avoiding.

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Lissa ReedA nearly lifelong writer, Lissa Reed has dabbled in sports writing, blogging, poetry, and the creation of really dirty covers of popular Renaissance tunes (best we don’t speak of what she did to Greensleeves). Being a Navy Brat left her with pervasive wanderlust, but it also introduced her to a wide variety of people and places, fueling her imagination and helping to populate fictional worlds that kept her occupied during cross-country drives.

The only reason she has stopped moving around is because she now owns too many books and stock pots for that to be a reasonable option.

Lissa lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with her two cats and her ailing balcony garden, where her pastimes include baking many, many cookies and knitting very, very slowly. She is hard at work on the final book in the Sucre Coeur Series, <em>Absolutely, Almost, Perfect</em>.


Lissa has brought a tour wide giveaway: 1 Grand Prize of $25 IP Web Store Gift Card and Certainly, Possibly, You eBook; 5 runners up receive Certainly, Possibly, You eBook. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.

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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Interview
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