Christine Young

I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time

Christine Presents ~ Jersey Diner by Lisa Diane Kastner

Please welcome Lisa Diane Kastner author of Jersey Diner.

Lisa Diane Kastner will be awarding a $50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winners (three winners) via rafflecopter during the tour.



by Lisa Diane Kastner


GENRE:   commercial romance



  1. What or who inspired you to start writing?

When I was a kid, I read a lot so writing was a natural progression. My step mother gave me my first journal (white with gold lettering) and encouraged me to write whatever I wanted. I found that I stunk at writing a diary. Most of my entries were, “I’m bored today. I don’t like Brussel sprouts.” Or “I don’t know why people like writing diaries. There’s nothing to say. I’m only a kid.” So my journal was more so filled with song lyrics, ad-hoc poetry and musings.

2. How did you come up with ideas for your books?

I wrote Jersey Diner because I was interested in why someone obsesses over another and what would prompt that obsession. When I was a teenager I was on USA Network’s Dance Party USA and had several fans. Some of which tracked down my address and phone number and decided to call me on a regular basis. Luckily none of them were truly obsessive and it made me wonder what if someone was more determined? Also, I had crushes when I was in junior high and high school but wasn’t very good at socializing so I wanted to explore what if someone took that crush to an extreme and that’s how I came up with Lauren.

For my other books, I have a similar process. I typically become enthralled or curious about a time or an instance or an event then research it until a story evolves. Then I start writing.


What expertise did you bring to your writing?

I have written several articles, essays, and short stories that have been published. I’m also a regular speaker at conferences and workshops.


In terms of subject matter, I had persons who were more than curious about me as a television presence and of course, I had crushes of my own.


  1. What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?

I love peanut butter. Seriously. It’s an addiction.

I also am a huge fan of prosecco and when I get it I ask for either a maraschino cherry or a strawberry in it (try it, you’ll like it).

I love running and yoga but find that I need to shove it into my busy schedule.

I’m a sporadic writer. It’s like my brain needs to get full of ideas and then spew it forth over the course of hours or days.

My dream as a kid was to be a rockstar. I wanted to go on Star Search but I was so afraid of singing in public solo that my voice would crack whenever I tried. I’m a killer lip-sync-er though.

I read everything. Literature, mysteries, fiction, nonfiction, commercial romance, Sci Fi, fantasy, the back of the jar of chili (Warning – may not be the smartest move when you’re hungry).

One of the most fun days I had recently was visiting the science museum in San Francisco. That place is rockin!


  1. As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?

I have a novella coming out later this year. It’s one in a series of novellas that will then form a multiple point of view novel. I’m also in the midst of editing the first book in a series of fantasy books called MAGIC FORGOTTEN. You NEED to read this book. It’s freaking awesome!

  1. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

Oy. Really? You asked that? Hm … I would be a cross between Morgan Cruise from the upcoming novella, MORGAN CRUISE TAKES FLIGHT and Craig’s List Nikki from the same novella series. So, Morgan Cruise, a former teen and twenties star decides she needs to change her life so she goes to a plastic surgeon for a little pick me up. Instead he suggests she gets functioning wings. She decides to go for it. I love Morgan’s ballsiness and sarcasm. I think she’s smart, funny, and willing to take risks that others wouldn’t even consider. I love Nikki because she takes a bad situation (she comes from new California money and her parents cut her off and allow her to rent a small cottage in a less than desirable area. They then challenge her to make her own way and if she does then they will “consider” giving her inheritance back.) and Nikki basically says F-U, I’m not going to play your game, I’m going to make my own rules.

  1. If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles?

For JERSEY DINER, I’d have Selena Gomez play Lauren and I’d have Dev Patel or Diego Luna play Jonathan. Selena has this innocence about her which would play well for Lauren and Diego and Dev have a kindness to them but an undercurrent of intensity. That’s how I see Jonathan and that’s what attracts Lauren to him.


  1. Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?

I used to run a writers community and was a member of several critique groups. Now I have a few trusted readers I ask to read nearly everything I write… at least the stuff worth reading. I have found that part of the growth process of a writer is figuring out your own voice and find readers who understand what you’re doing in a piece and provide complimentary feedback to help you grow as a writer. Then once you’ve found those amazing readers, build a relationship with them to ensure that both you and the reader are getting something out of it.


  1. When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?

I was a journalist first. More so out of necessity because I needed a job that was flexible while I was in college. For whatever reason, I was intimidated to submit creative works until I graduated from my MBA. At that juncture, I started writing fiction much more voraciously and needed to understand if I sucked. So, I looked up local conferences that took pieces to be critiqued by the instructors. My first ever writers conference was the Philadelphia Writers Conference. I still remember the instructor pulling me aside and telling me he needed to talk to me. I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. I thought he was going to kick me out of the building and demand that I rip up every single thing I had ever written.

Instead he said that I was a natural storyteller and needed to write. I nearly cried. He was so encouraging and kind. After that I decided not to let self-doubt be my guide and instead attempt those things that seem unimaginable to me. It’s crazy how much seems unattainable and yet the only reason we don’t get it is because we don’t try.


  1. What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

Worst – I met with a very famous agent who had read one of my manuscripts and he told me to stop writing commercial cross genre fiction and write Chic Lit because I was cute and I’d be good in television interviews. Yeah, I’m not kidding. It was a bizarre exchange. I guess that’s not really bad advice, it’s just odd.

Best – every time I feel like giving up and my husband or a dear friend reminds me that I will never accomplish something if I give up. No truer words.

  1. Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I do both. I tend to write the initial five to ten pages and then go back and outline. Then as I’m writing, I update the outline to reflect what I’ve written in the story (the storyline tends to evolve as I’m writing). Recently I started using screenplay writer techniques which I’m finding really cool in terms of identifying multiple points of view and alternative storylines. (Apologies, just nerded out.)


  1. Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you’ve gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?

Wow, another great question. I love yoga, Zumba, running (ok, technically it’s fast walking/jogging but for me it’s running), reading, museums, traveling, and I’m a foodie. I’m also a music nerd. So, the traveling, foodie and music nerd parts all definitely come out in the novels. I have a book, LUSCIOUS, which will come out sometime in 2018/2019 and much of the book explores different eateries and bars in the Philadelphia area while following the main character in her “exploits”. 😉




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.”






AUTHOR Bio and Links:


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.



Twitter: @lisadkastner

Instagram: 60shadesofred




The book is on sale for $0.99.






Lisa Diane Kastner will be awarding a $50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winners (three winners) via rafflecopter during the tour. 



23 comments on “Christine Presents ~ Jersey Diner by Lisa Diane Kastner

  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Lisa Brown
    May 1, 2017

    Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  3. achristay
    May 1, 2017

    Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

  4. lisadkastner
    May 1, 2017

    Thank you for having me. Please feel free to ask me anything. I’m happy to answer.

  5. Rita Wray
    May 1, 2017

    I liked the interview and excerpt, thank you.

  6. bernieblogtest
    May 1, 2017

    Congrats on the tour. What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    • lisadkastner
      May 1, 2017

      I have a ton on my bookshelf. A few are: Magic Forgotten by Jack Hillman, Jamie Ford’s Love and Other Consolation Prizes, Girl with the Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace, The Mapmaker’s War by Roslyn Dominque, Clown Girl by Monica Drake, Licking Flames: Tales of a Half-assed Hussy by Diana Kirk, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, The Magician King by Lev Grossman, Crazy Is My Superpower by AJ Mendez Brooks, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley and Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti. Those are just a few.

  7. Dale
    May 1, 2017

    I liked the interview and the excerpt thank you.

  8. Lisa Kastner
    May 1, 2017

    Thank you so much for having me. It’s been truly a pleasure.

  9. Victoria
    May 1, 2017

    This sounds like a great book and I loved the excerpt. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Lisa Kastner
      May 1, 2017

      Thank you, Victoria. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the book.

  10. Trix
    May 1, 2017

    Fun interview! Did you go to the Exploratorium or the Academy of Sciences?

    • Lisa Kastner
      May 1, 2017

      Hi Trix,
      We went to the Exporatorium. Super fun. Made me wish I had majored in science.

  11. Ally Swanson
    May 3, 2017

    Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  12. Bea LaRocca
    May 6, 2017

    Congrats on the book and the tour. My daughter has been a waitress on and off for twenty years now, so the book blurb immediately struck a chord with me. I’m looking forward to reading your story!

    • Lisa Kastner
      May 6, 2017

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the rest of the book

  13. Ally Swanson
    May 7, 2017

    Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!!

  14. Bea LaRocca
    May 10, 2017

    Happy Hump Day! I hope that you’re enjoying your book tour so far!

  15. Bea LaRocca
    May 10, 2017

    Quick question…I can’t find the e-book format on Amazon. Will it be available there at some point?

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