Monday, April 13, 2020

VBT, Interview and Giveaway: Finding Lisa by Sigrid Macdonald

Finding Lisa

by Sigrid Macdonald  


GENRE:   Mystery/women's fiction



Finding Lisa is a character driven story about a quirky Canadian woman named Tara who is about to turn 40. She dreads the thought. Everything is going wrong in her life from her stale marriage to her boring job to her hopeless crush on a 24-year-old guy. The only thing right in Tara's life is her best friend Lisa who has just confided that she is pregnant and the baby does not belong to her partner Ryan, who has a history of domestic violence. Then Lisa disappears and the search is on to find her.



All the carts were taken at the supermarket on Tuesday. I found one off to the side of the vegetable aisle. It had a defective wheel, which resulted in me almost overturning a display of cantaloupes. The cart was also enormous. No doubt this was a deliberate ploy on the part of the supermarket to encourage excess shopping. 

"I feel as though I'm driving a school bus," I announced to the frail, pale orange-haired woman to my left, who was squeezing the small, unappetizing looking cantaloupes. 

She smiled faintly and nodded. I wondered how she had the strength to push the heavy cart through the long aisles of the grocery store at her age.

"Mum, I'll go with you to one of those Women against Rape meetings if you want?"  Devon said to my astonishment, his voice rising at the end of his sentence. "There’s only one condition. You have to watch 8 Mile with me."

"8 Mile? Isn’t that the movie based on the book by Stephen King?"

"Nah, you’re thinking about The Green Mile," Devon replied. "8 Mile is the story of a rapper in Detroit. It's based on the life of Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers. Eminem even stars in it," he said with increasing enthusiasm.

"I think it’ll give you a better idea of where he's coming from. You know, you're always talking about these girls who've been, like, abused and what horrible lives they've had. You even feel bad about boys who were taken advantage of by priests or their hockey coaches. So why don't you have any sympathy for Marshall? His mother was abusive. She was mean to him, and she did drugs! Also, she, like, gave him something called Munchkins syndrome," Devon added uncertainly.

"Munchausen syndrome?” I asked, trying to picture the tough guy with the tattoos and bad attitude as a small child with a manipulative and controlling mother.

"Yeah, that sounds right. She made him feel sick when he was totally healthy. And, Mum, I know you would respect the way Em felt about his little brother, Nathan. He, like, didn't wanna leave him alone in the house with his mother when he finally split from Detroit. He's also really keen about his daughter, Hailie Jade. He talks about her all the time in his songs and on TV."

I pushed the buttons on the radio. The Steve Miller band was singing, "Time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future." I had a sense of motion. The car was moving forward, and with every traffic light I passed, I was moving farther away from Lisa and our routine evenings at the ByTowne Theatre. The rest of us were going ahead, and Lisa had been left behind. I wanted to go back, not just to last Thursday night, but to my university days, so I could live my life all over again.

I wanted to be sixteen or twenty-six again, making decisions based on what I knew now. So many lost opportunities. How had I managed to completely screw up my life? I'd done everything wrong except that I hadn't become a street prostitute or a serial murderer. Too late for the former—who would want me? But there was still time for the latter. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Originally from New Jersey, Sigrid Macdonald lived for almost thirty years in Ottawa, Ontario, and currently resides in Weston, Florida. She has been a freelance writer for years. Her works have appeared in The Globe and Mail newspaper; the Women's Freedom Network Newsletter; the American magazine Justice Denied; The Toastmaster; and the Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario Newsletter. Her first book, Getting Hip: Recovery from a Total Hip Replacement, was published in 2004. Her second book, Be Your Own Editor, followed in 2010. Although Finding Lisa is written in first person, Macdonald only resembles her character in the sense that she once had a neurotic fixation on her hair, and she has always been called by the wrong name; instead of being called Sigrid, people have called her Susan, Sharon, Astrid, Ingrid and, her personal favorite, Siri.

Macdonald is a social activist who has spent decades working on the seemingly disparate issues of women's rights and wrongful convictions; she has worked at the Women's Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey and Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and was a member of AIDWYC, The Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted. She owns an editing company called Book Magic. Sigrid is a public speaker and a member of Mothers against Drunk Driving, Ottawa Independent Writers, the American Association of University Women, and the Editors' Association of Canada. Visit her website at or friend her on Facebook:


Barnes and Noble:



1. What inspired you to write this book?
Finding Lisa was inspired by the true-life disappearance of an acquaintance of mine in Ottawa, Ontario. I was involved in the search party that went looking for her, and her disappearance haunted me for years, so I created a highly fictionalized version in my head: what would have happened if this woman and I had been best friends instead of just acquaintances? If she had been pregnant at the time of her disappearance and thought that the baby might not belong to her partner, who had a history of violence?
If anyone wants to know what happened to the real-life woman that I knew, they can Google Louise Ellis 1996 in Ottawa, Ontario AFTER they finish reading my book. Don't look before then or it will spoil the ending!

2. If this book was on-screen, who would you want to play the main character?
I could picture Amy Schumer playing my main character, Tara, not so much because Amy Schumer is funny but because she tends to play roles where the women have not yet discovered how awesome they are. Yet she is bold, brassy, and has her own opinions, which I love about Amy.

3. Why did you decide to become an author?
When I was young, my first profession of choice was medicine. I wanted to be a doctor like my daddy, but I got older, I realized I hated the sight of blood and the feel of needles. What I did like was reading endless books, and I so admired authors at that time — still do. I started writing in senior year of high school and got more serious about it when I got involved in politics in my 20s

4. What was the title of your first book?
My first book was called Getting Hip. I wanted to call it Totally Hip, but that name was already taken by a website. This is a nonfiction book about how to recover from total hip replacement surgery. I wrote it because when I was 28, I was hit in a head-on collision by a drunk driver and nearly killed. I spent two years altogether in the hospital and a year and a half relearning to walk. Then in my 40s, my hip, which had been fractured and dislocated in the accident, among many other injuries, gave out on me, and I needed a joint replacement. My nephew suggested that I blog about the experience to share my tips with other people, and that blog morphed into my book.


Sigrid Macdonald will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


January 13: Mythical Books
January 20: Fabulous and Brunette
January 27: So Many Books
February 3: fundinmental
February 10: Shelleen's Musings - review only
February 17: All the Ups and Downs
February 24: Sandra's Book Club - review only
March 2: Ascroft, eh?
March 9: Rogue's Angels
March 30: Book-Lover Bookblog- promo
March 30: It's Raining Books
April 6: Our Town Book Reviews - review only

Follow me on BloglovinFacebookPinterestTwitter, GFC or Email


  1. Hello! Thanks so much for sharing your book with us. Always fun reading about another book to enjoy.

  2. Did you know that you wanted to be a writer as a child?

  3. Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Have you read any good books while in quarantine?