Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Dream for Love – Relating to Characters

With: Lisa Belcastro

Congratulations to "Caryl K.", the winner in Lisa's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I love writing characters that readers identify with. In A Dream for Love, Laurel Simmons is a single mom with a secret that may be life threatening, but is absolutely laced with shame. As much as Laurel would love for her daughter Gracie to have a dad, she can’t risk another bad relationship and the chance that Gracie would be hurt this time. 

Many women have written to me in the last few weeks since A Dream for Love released. They’ve shared how Laurel’s story resembled their own -- Laurel’s fears, her pain, and her inability to see a positive outcome in a new relationship yet the deepest desire to be in one. My heart broke for each woman, and then rejoiced when I read their positive affirmations of new life and new chances. 

I’ve been there too. Years ago I married a man who left after four months. He claimed to be a Christian, yet had no problems spreading lies about me.  Fortunately I didn’t experience the danger that Laurel does, but for too long I buried the shame and rejection, and I believed I shouldn’t, or wouldn’t, experience love again. 

Just as Laurel’s sister Tammy supported her and bossed her, I’m blessed with a wonderful family and friends who encouraged (or pushed) me to dare to dream of love once again.  

In the excerpt below, Tammy has arrived for dinner and is surprised to see movie star Ryan Crandall playing with her niece while her sister fumes:

Tammy’s eyes softened. Laurel had seen that look before—a mix of compassion and pity with a mild dose of concern thrown in. “Alex is gone, over and done. He was a loser, a con artist, and he’s your past. It’s okay to take a chance again. There are good men out there.”

“Like Ryan? Photographed with a different woman every night, getting drunk-driving tickets from the Boston Police, and forced off his job for bad behavior? Is he the model of a good man? Have we sunk that low?” Laurel hated the bitterness in her tone. And that stone in her heart was the very reason she avoided men and relationships. They weren’t trustworthy and she had too much to lose. Gracie was all that mattered.

Tammy sat on Laurel’s bed and tapped the space beside her. “You know as well as I do that there is more to everyone’s story than what a newspaper might print. Ryan can’t be all bad if he’s downstairs playing with Gracie, who adores him, by the way.” 

“That’s exactly my point!” A wave of anxiety hurled toward Laurel as she marched a square pattern in the oversized bedroom, clenching and unclenching her fists. “Don’t you get it? She’s totally falling for him, and I can’t protect Gracie if I let Ryan eat dinner with us, go to the beach with us, watch movies with us, buy her games, and say goodnight prayers with her. Gracie will think he’s wonderful, believe he might be a prince, and then he’ll waltz in here with some floozy on his arm and break her little heart.” 

Tammy rose and walked into the center of the space Laurel paced. “I’m not saying he’s perfect or that I want you running off and getting married tomorrow, but you don’t know what could happen. You’re living the stuff that dreams—and movies—are made of. How many women have fantasized of dating Ryan Crandall? And here you are. Can’t you be slightly open to the idea that there’s more to him than what the Hollywood news tidbits make him out to be?”

Crossing her arms, Laurel snarled, “No.”

A Dream for Love 

A single mother with a secret past. A Hollywood star who's life is anything but hidden. Will the past deprive them of a future? Or will they dare to dream a dream for love? 


When the gavel hit the wooden block at the Possible Dreams Auction, Laurel Simmons sat in stunned silence. Her sister had lost her mind, purchasing a week’s vacation stay for two at actor Ryan Crandall’s beach house on Martha’s Vineyard. And then Tammy announced that she was giving the “dream” to Laurel as an early birthday present. 

A month later, Laurel and her four-year-old daughter Gracie arrive at the luxurious house on Squibnocket Beach ready to swim, play, picnic and enjoy the peace and solitude together. 

Laurel’s dream vacation quickly turns into a nightmare when Hollywood bad boy Ryan Crandall shows up to escape his latest tabloid headlines. Ryan wants the woman and her child gone. Laurel wants him gone. Fate will bring them together for reasons neither one of them expected, but fate will also drive them apart. 

Laurel has a past she needs to keep hidden. Her life and Gracie’s depend on it. Ryan has a past, and present, that’s been food for public consumption for over a decade. Will the past deprive them of a future? Or will they dare to dream a dream for love? 

Praise for Lisa Belcastro

Truly the best book I've read in months.” – Amazon Reviewer

If a book had all the perfect elements in it, then this book does.” 
--Goodreads Reviewer

Lisa Belcastro does a wonderful job making the story come alive . . .”
-- Author Elaine Stock

Ms. Belcastro didn't disappoint me at all.” Author Collette Cameron


Lisa will be giving away a copy of A DREAM FOR LOVE, either Kindle or paperback - reader's choice, to one commenter. 

Author Bio:
Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard.  She loves running, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, chocolate, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat, Ben, who keeps her company while she creates fictional lives for the numerous characters living inside her head. 

Lisa runs as an ambassador for TEAM 413 (, and has completed a marathon (26.2 miles) in all fifty states. 

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, training to run the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge in January 2016, walking the beach looking for sea glass, or enjoying a great meal while she pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style Magazine.

Visit with Lisa at:

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 19th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. There may be delays in announcing the winner of this giveaway.


  1. I was fortunate enough to read this book. It was definitely a fun book that engaged you emotionally. Highly recommended!

    1. Hi Diana,
      Thanks so much for your recommendation! I'm so glad you enjoyed A Dream for Love. :-)

  2. I dated a man for three years, he professed to be a Christian the entire time. We went to church, he quoted scripture's etc. then one day he just abruptly dumped me not really giving me much of a reason and I never saw him again.

    1. Hi Laurie,
      I'm so sorry for your pain. I hope you are healing and finding new life. Hugs

  3. I have read and really enjoyed this book. I read it in e-book form and would love to win a print copy for my library.

    1. Hi Ann,
      Thanks for stopping by the blog! Good luck in the contest. :-)

  4. My friend is just starting to date after two years. While she would love to find someone to share her life with, she has two children to consider.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Taurus,
      I'm sending your friend prayers for a healthy relationship.

  5. I loved the excerpt! I enjoy books that bring hope to those that are wounded. I would love a print copy of A Dream For Love.


    1. Hi Caryl,
      I love books that bring hope too. My favorite kind!!

    2. Hi Caryl,
      Congratulations on winning the copy of A Dream for Love. I'll be mailing your book tomorrow.

  6. Linda Mattingly BullockAugust 19, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    I adored this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a great romance. It's doubly good because it's Christian. And like I said in my review on Amazon, it's truly the best book I've read in months :) Would love to win a print copy to give to my mom, she loves to read - and she's 91! :)

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for A Dream for Love! I hope your mom gets a copy!! :-)

  7. sounds interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. I've read Lisa's Shenandoah series and can hardly wait to soak my heart and mind in A Dream of Love. She is one very gifted author. SandraAllenLovelace at gmail dot com.

    1. Hi Sandra,

      You are so kind. Thank you for your support! I hope you enjoy A Dream for Love. I loved writing it!!

  9. Debbie Underwood says this sounds like a great read and something I can really relate to.


Sign up for the JCR newsletter!