Friday, May 19, 2017

VBT + #Giveaway: Jersey Diner by Lisa Diane Kastner @lisadkastner @GoddessFish

Jersey Diner
by Lisa Diane Kastner
GENRE:   commercial romance


Lauren has a dead end job as a waitress at the Oaklyn Diner. She becomes ecstatic when the diner is chosen to be the focal point of an upcoming movie, *Jersey Diner,* starring Jonathan Pearce. When filming ends she moves to California to start a new life with him. Lauren quickly discovers that all that she thought was real and true are in question. 


“Before me the television hummed. The remote felt heavy and big in my hands. With the next channel came my favorite interview show. The host, Lawrence Corran, spoke with Jonathan. I couldn’t believe it. They played a rerun of my favorite episode.

The two men were on a stage with a black backdrop. On a table next to them stood glasses filled with water. Lawrence, a small man with a receding hairline, thick horn-rimmed glasses, a goatee, and a rounded jaw, sat across from Jonathan. Jonathan lounged in his high backed chair. If someone else sat in the chair, it would have been overpowering, but he looked confident, relaxed. Mama used to call him a young Sean Connery. His thin black sweater provided a hint of the muscles underneath it. A grey suit jacket hung from his shoulders. The creases in his black suit pants followed the bend of his knees. I wanted to reach in and touch those creases. He glowed with each move and every word. He crossed his legs and formed a pyramid with his fingers.
“Wasn’t that screen test for the next day?”
Jonathan looked embarrassed by the question. “Yes. They said they could use someone with my looks and then sent me home.”
I moved closer to the screen.
“How long after that test did you get your first part?”
“Six months.”
“Now. See students? Don’t get discouraged if they don’t call you back immediately. Even Jonathan Pearce waited to get his first part.” Lawrence flipped to the next note card.
“I was an extra in a military movie called, The Edge of Life.”
My lips moved in time with his.
“I had one line. I said, ‘Sir, yes sir.’” His eyes crinkled with a touch of a smile. I had heard this story a dozen times.

“Again, students. Not only did he have to wait six months but he also had a very small role.”
“After that my next role wasn’t for another year. I took night classes and got a job as a construction worker.”
“That’s how you stayed trim.”
“I wanted to spend my money on classes so I needed a job that would maintain my physique.” Jonathan turned, looked at me and leaned in. “Lauren. Lauren? How are you doing?”
I looked around the living room. I felt self-conscious in my clothes. I tied the knot in my robe tighter and pointed to myself as if another Lauren sat next to me.
“Yes. I wondered if you needed anything?” he said.
I hesitated for a moment. My throat dried up as I tried to respond. “I-I-I’m fine.”
Jonathan rested back in his chair, tension eased from his shoulders. “Good. I’m glad to hear it. I’ll be in town soon. We can get together for coffee.”
Did Jonathan Pearce ask me out on a date? “I’m sorry? I mean. Sure. That. Would. Be. Great.

” I reached my hand out to touch the screen. To see if I could be there with him and test if this was real. My fingertips reached the screen’s edge. The static electrified them, covered them in a fuzzy haze that spread up my wrist and traveled down my arm. It prepared me to become one with the images before me. Ready me to become one with Jonathan.

I prepared to break through the barrier of static, glass, and electricity, when Jonathan said, “Lauren, you better get to bed.”

He nudged my shoulder. “I gotta go now. Don’t forget. Coffee.” He winked. “Lauren. Lauren?”
His voice changed to emulate my father’s tone. Now that’s a gross thought. Someone shook my shoulder a little more. A fog broke free from my mind. It forced me to wake up. The television shone before me, my father clicking off the static filled screen.

“You should head to bed now.”

Interview with Lisa Diane Kastner

1. What inspired you to write JERSEY DINER?

When I was a teenager, I was on a syndicated television show called, Dance Party USA on the USA network. I had a few fans who went to great lengths to discover my phone number and address. Some even visited me. Luckily, I was a bit na├»ve at the time and didn’t really understand this was abnormal behavior.  So I started to wonder what would encourage someone to go to those lengths. What would be the impetus? And then I started thinking about my own crushes and how I responded to those. The combination of the two and a ton of research is what brought us JERSEY DINER.

2. Can you tell us a little bit what you have planned for the future?

Although JERSEY DINER isn’t part of a series, the characters pop up in other books like LUSCIOUS which will come out in 2018/2019 which starts on the morning that Lee Therese needs to hand in her dissertation, she is literally run over by Xander. The first words out of his mouth are, “Sorry, Luscious.” Immediately smitten, Lee forces herself to recompose and drive forward with her day and her purpose – to get the dissertation approved, graduate, and start a new life with a teaching job in Hawaii. The catch? Xander keeps showing up at the most unexpected times. What Lee doesn’t know is that Alex has his own dark reasons for moving to Philly.

In addition, I’m currently working on a few things. I’m the executive editor of Running Wild Press and I’m working on a novella anthology and on the first book of a new fantasy series called MAGIC FORGOTTEN by Jack Hillman. In addition, I’m working on a new novel series called, NEWLY MINTED WINGS AND SALTY FRENCH FRIES, which will start off with a novella by one of the main characters, Morgan Cruise.  Morgan, is a former teen and twenties star who is finding much less glory in her older years.  In search of a renewal, she reaches out to a trendy plastic surgeon. Anticipating that he’ll recommend a face lift, instead he tells her to get functioning wings.  That’s right, those babies work! Morgan finds herself in flight over the Hollywood Hills and inadvertently runs into a rather long line at the local In and Out Burger starting a chain of events that will keep you enthralled.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in JERSEY DINER?

Sure, the main character, Lauren is a twenty year old who works at a diner. She’s had a tough life and has come to realize that she really wants a change.  In walks Jonathan Pearce, one of her favorite movie stars and everything seems to align. At least that’s what we think.

4. You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

Eep. One? Hm… I can’t really name one. I’ll name one of them – Junot Diaz.  The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was sheer genius. I savored each and every page.  I loved the side comments as footnotes. They really brought the story to life.

5. If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular time period?

I am truly enjoying the “now”.  That said, I guess I’d go back to the day I met my husband. I still remember when I first saw him and I thought, “OH MY GOD THAT MAN IS GORGEOUS. Okay, act cool. No worries. We’re just friends. Just friends. Don’t panic … oh my GOD he just smiled and he’s even hotter. What the frig? Is this possible?” By the end of the day, only so I wouldn’t completely dork out, I convinced myself that he’d never want to date me anyway so I reveled in our friendship. After a few weeks he said he liked me more than a friend and I was like, “SCORE!”  Of course, I didn’t tell him that at the time.

6. Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

We have two kittens named The Master and Margarita after Bulgakov’s classic novel.  I wanted to name them the devil’s minions but my husband didn’t go for that.  They are Tuxedo cats who are huggable, lovable, and smart as anything. They know how to open drawers and doors.  Once I caught them trying to turn a door knob with one on top of the other’s back. Good thing they don’t have opposable thumbs or I’d have been screwed! I used to take them out with me like to the hairdresser and they adored being loved and hugged by everyone in the place. We have cat harnesses so we can take them out for walks but haven’t done so yet. Next thing I’ll probably find them riding motorcycles around the neighborhood.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today.

Thank you so much for having me. This was truly a pleasure.


Lisa is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery.
She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. ( She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award.
Lisa presented at a TEDx in Seattle on The Power of Connecting. And presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) on the “You Sent Us What?” panel.
Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey The Redness migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously encourage and engage in little sparks of anarchy.

Buy Link:
The book is on sale for $0.99.


$50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Victoria Alexander said...

Great post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend :)

Anonymous said...

Another fun interview!


Bernie Wallace said...

What books would you like to see turned into a movie? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Mary Preston said...

An interesting inspiration. Great interview thank you.

Nikolina said...

I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

James Robert said...

Hope your Saturday is loaded with fun and many memories. Thanks for all you do and for this giveaway.

steph y said...

Sounds like an interesting story.

James Robert said...

Happy Sunday! Hope it's going great for you. Thanks for the chance at winning!

diannekc said...

I love the cover! It really makes me want to read the book. Story sounds amazing.

James Robert said...

Back again to say thanks again for the chance at winning. I appreciate it!

James Robert said...

Have a great day and thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to win.

Bea LaRocca said...

Happy Friday! Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. I hope that you've had a fun and successful book tour and I wish you the best of luck with all of your future endeavors!