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Friday, March 2, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with R.L. Prendergast, author of Dinner with Lisa

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in R.L. (Rod) Prendergast's Dinner with Lisa Virtual Book Publicity Tour hosted by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours. 

About Rod:

R. L. (Rod) Prendergast was the entrepreneurial kid you saw on your neighbourhood street selling lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Recognizing young Rod’s preoccupation with money, his mother bribed him to read with an offer of 25 cents per book—and instilled in him a lifelong love of reading. Although he continued down the path of industry—he started and sold his first business before completing his Bachelor of Commerce—he continued to read voraciously. After a number of years working in sales, marketing and management for several companies he spent a year’s sabbatical surfing and reading in New Zealand and, free of business pressures, he began to write. Those first words became the backbone of The Impact of a Single Event—which was long listed for the Independent Publishers Book Award for literary fiction, and which became a national bestseller in Canada. Spurred on by the success of his first novel, he took another sabbatical and wrote Dinner with Lisa. He is currently working on his next book.

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Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Rod!

Rod has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him.

Have you ever wished you’d written down the stories told you by your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great aunts and uncles? I know I do. For years I listened to my relatives recounting their childhoods, and talking of the unusual characters they’d known. People who did crazy things, and had nicknames like Hateful Dan, The Black Prince and Dumb Dora.

One story that my grandmother used to tell that always made me laugh took place in the 1930’s. It was about the town drunk who beat the side of his brother’s ramshackle house with a 2 x 4 because the brother refused to give him $2 for liquor. The brother finally gave in when his wife yelled, “For God’s sake, give ‘im da money, or he’ll tear our house down.” Who beats a house with a 2 x 4 these days?

As a child, I enjoyed these anecdotes immensely, but didn’t think about them after they’d been told. However, as I got older, and the various relatives, including my grandparents, passed away, I wished someone had recorded their stories. Not long ago, I began asking my mother and father about some of the tales my grandparents used to tell.

They remembered some details, but many of the stories had been forgotten – lost forever. After completing my first novel, The Impact of a Single Event, which became a national bestseller in Canada, I did not intend writing another. I had said what I wanted to say. I enjoyed every minute of writing, editing, marketing and selling the novel, but the effort involved in giving birth to a book is enormous, and I didn’t want to go through the gestation and labor again.

But I began to write down the recollections of my parents and their older siblings, all now in their seventies and eighties. As the cache of tales grew – a great uncle’s experience in WW1, my mother’s memories of the neighborhood corner store, my father’s memories of life on a dairy farm – I saw a connecting thread. Before long, I was researching the time periods in which the stories took place – and was inspired to write another novel – Dinner with Lisa.

Dinner with Lisa was a lot of fun to write. Not only did I get to include some interesting family history, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research. I spent months pouring over old newspapers from the 1930’s in an effort to understand the time period I was writing about. If you ever think your life is difficult, you should read a newspaper from the Great Depression. Stories about children eating on alternate days so their siblings would have a chance to eat too or people deciding not to eat for weeks at a time so they could pay that month’s rent.

However, it wasn’t just about hardship. There were wonderful stories from the newspapers of communities coming together to help those with less. My own grandmother spoke of homeless men coming to the door for a meal nearly every night. “We never turned them away, no matter how little we had ourselves,” she said. Above all, there was humor. A great aunt once told me there were two options. Laugh or cry. Those who chose laughter faired much better. I guess things haven’t changed all that much. When things get bad we can either wallow in self-pity or laugh at this wonderful journey we’re all taking together.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Rod!  

One lucky winner will win a copy of Dinner with Lisa.  A winner from Canada/US will receive a choice of paperback or e-book. An international winner will receive an e-book.


In the disastrous economic times of the 1930s, Joseph Gaston, a young widower with four children, arrives in the small town of Philibuster seeking security for his family. Instead, he faces barriers everywhere. He does his best despite great adversity, but the strain of feeding and protecting his family whittles away his strength. Finally, destitution forces him to consider giving up his children in order to save them. Enraged by his situation, he attempts one last desperate act—on the night he learns about the mysterious Lisa.

Heart wrenching, humorous and historically authentic, Dinner with Lisa incorporates the crucial issues of the depression: poverty, unemployment, drought and racism. In the midst of love and loyalty, trickery and despair, the ultimate message of the novel is one of hope and the courage to survive even the worst odds.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide until 12:01 AM EST on March 9, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

So Many Precious Books Feb. 28 Giveaway
Mrs. Q Book Addict Mar. 1 Review
Darlene’s Book Nook
Mar. 2 Guest Post & Giveaway
Ink Spots and Roses Mar. 6 Review
Ink Spots and Roses Mar. 7 Interview & Giveaway
Much Madness
Mar. 7  Review
WV Stitcher
  Mar. 8 Review
WV Stitcher
Mar. 9 Guest Post
Lit and Life
Mar. 9 Review
Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf
Mar. 12 Review
Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf
Mar. 13 Guest Post
Book Spark
Mar. 13 Review & Giveaway
A Casual Reader’s Blog
Mar. 14 Review
A Casual Reader’s Blog
Mar. 15 Guest Post & Giveaway
My Devotional Thoughts
Mar. 15  Review
So Many Precious Books
Mar. 16   Review
Reflections of a Book Addict
Mar. 19
A Bookish Affair
Mar. 20 Review
A Bookish Affair
Mar. 21 Interview & Giveaway
All I Ever Read
Mar. 21 Review
This Miss Loves to Read
Mar. 22 Review
Peeking Between the Pages
Mar.23 Review & Giveaway
Let Them Read Books
Mar. 25 Review
The Wormhole
Mar. 26  Review & Giveaway
Library of Clean Reads
Mar. 27  Review & Giveaway
Hardcover Feedback
Mar. 29 Review
Hardcover Feedback
Mar. 30 Interview & Giveaway
Col Reads
Mar. 30 Review


  1. Thanks again for taking part in the tour!

  2. Great post. I love listening to my parents talk about the 'old days'. I have written some down and really should do more. Thanks for the push in that direction.

  3. I love the cover, I am also curious to see how heart wrenching can be mixed with humor. I wonder who this Lisa person is...


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