Friday
Nov092012

Friday Food for Thought ~ Cupcakes!

I've been thinking a lot about cupcakes lately so you might not be surprised to learn that for my husband's birthday, I opted for cupcakes instead of a whole cake.

They were every bit as delicious as they look...and no, I did not bake them.

My daughter and I each had a cherry chocolate Ooo La La cupcake, and the Moustachio Pistachio cupcake was for the man of the hour. An added bonus: during the month of November, the cupcakery is donating of a portion of all sales of Moustachio Pistachios to prostate cancer research.

Cupcakes are also a theme in my next Harlequin American Romance, The Daddy Project, which goes on sale November 27th. Kristi, the heroine of this book, loves to bake them ~ as you can see from the new bookmark I have for this book.

If you'd like to receive a bookmark, feel free to send me a note along with your snail mail address and I'll be happy to send you one!

Happy reading!

Until next time,
Lee

Thursday
Nov012012

This is fun!

The Daddy Project, which will be released later this month on November 27th, has been given another wonderful review, this time by Fresh Fiction.

Reviewer Cheryl Beal says, "Nate hired Kristi to stage his house, but she ends up redesigning his heart....."

And then she wraps up with, "THE DADDY PROJECT is a sweet romance with a great family dynamic and steamy, erotic tension. Lee McKenzie had me laughing out loud while reading this book with her descriptions of the twins and Jenna. Ms. McKenzie has a knack for writing about family dynamics and it made this a very enjoyable read."

I'm thrilled, of course, but also very gratified to know readers enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

But as if that wasn't enough, I discovered this morning that this review was mentioned on a site called Celebrity Balla. Celebrity? Moi? How cool is that?

Happy reading!

Until next time,
Lee

Tuesday
Oct302012

Tuesday News

Happy Hallowe’en! I’m finding it hard to believe it’s the end of October.

Last week I finished revisions to Daddy, Unexpectedly, my May 2013 release. Now I’m awaiting the copy edits, working on the Dear Reader letter that will appear at the front of this book, and putting the finishing touches on a proposal for three new books.

I’m also getting ramped up for the release of The Daddy Project on November 27th. Less than a month away! I’m thrilled with the 4-star review from RT Book Reviews: “McKenzie’s characters are clever, with a captivating warmth readers will love.”

Earlier this month I launched my new newsletter, Life in the Slow Lane, and I was thrilled with the response! To everyone who wrote to tell me how much they enjoyed it and/or entered my contest, thank you so much! If you aren't a subscriber but would like to be, please click here!

I’ll be updating the website over the next few days, so I hope you’ll come back soon!

Until next time,
Lee

Friday
Oct192012

Authors Against Bullying

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and I am honored to be part of Authors Against Bullying, a multi-author blog blitz promoting anti-bullying and honoring the memory of Amanda Todd, the 15-year-old Canadian girl who took her life last week after enduring years of stalking, cyber-bullying and physical assault.

Many authors have embraced social media as a way to connect with readers and promote their books, but we also use it to connect with family, friends and fellow writers. With so many positive aspects, it saddens me to know it’s also become a vehicle for bullying.

There were bullies when I was a child, of course there were, but that was in the days before computers. Back then everyone knew who the bullies were because they couldn’t hide behind avatars and screen names, and that made them easier to avoid. Times have changed, and so have the bullies, and the true identities of some new-age bullies take many by surprise.

I wish I had a solution or even some insight into solving this problem that appears to be on the rise, but all I have is an opinion. Anti-bullying begins at home and it’s up to families…parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins…to lead by example.

As a parent, I didn’t set out to teach anti-bullying. I wanted my kids to know it’s possible to be confident without being overbearing, caring without being selfless. I wanted them take ownership of the decisions they made, and when they made a mistake…we all do, after all…to apologize and try to make it right. Basically I wanted them to be good people. I took for granted that my kids wouldn’t be schoolyard bullies, and the truth is that good people don’t become bullies.

One of my proudest moments as a parent happened several years after my daughter graduated from high school. I ran into her grade five teacher, who made a point of telling me how much she enjoyed having my girl in her class all those years ago. One child in the class had a lot of challenges and was at times bullied by her classmates.

I didn’t know this at the time, but the teacher said my daughter always rushed to that child's defence. The teacher didn’t tolerate the bullying, but she also believed that having a peer set an example was more effective than having the teacher try to enforce one.

So although I don’t have any answers, I still believe anti-bullying begins at home. Parents today have a harder job than I did because many of their children’s social interactions take place on the internet rather than face to face at school or in the playground. But in the end, it all comes down to the same thing…the desire to raise good people. Yes, parents need to step up, but I’m not sure it’s possible for them to do it alone. The rest of us need to be right there with them…every step of the way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on bullying and anti-bullying…past, present and future.  I would also love to send a copy of my latest book, The Daddy Project, to one of you. It’s a story about two single parents struggling to raise good people, so I think it’s quite fitting.

And I invite you to visit the other authors taking part in Authors Against Bullying. Here are the links to their blogs.

I want to believe that together we can make a difference, and I'll hope you'll join us.

Until next time,
Lee

Thursday
Aug302012

The Daddy Project ~ I have a cover!

And I absolutely love it!

They captured Molly and Martha (the twins) and Hercules (the Yorkshire terrier) perfectly!

And here's what's on the back cover:

Her Problem

As a busy single mom to her teenage daughter, Kristi Callahan doesn't have time for a man. But it sure would be nice if her mother believed that, too. She keeps setting Kristi up on disastrous blind dates, determined to find her "the one."

His Problem
After Nate McTavish's wife died, he was faced with raising his twin little girls alone. Making it up as he goes along and sometimes questioning his daddy skills, he also has to fend off women his well-meaning family keep throwing at him.

Their Solution
When Nate hires Kristi to stage his house before selling it, they instantly realize they've found the perfect answer to their problem: be fake dates for each other! It's a great plan-until they start to wonder if the real thing might not be even better....

The Daddy Project will be released on November 27, 2012, just in time for Christmas!

Until next time,
Lee

Sunday
Apr292012

Sunday Fun ~ Tea Time!

How could I resist a polka dot tea pot?

And mugs to match?

I love them so much, I'm going back to the store to get a set of the complimentary green mugs as well.

Join me for tea?

Until next time,
Lee

Sunday
Apr222012

Sunday Fun ~ a(nother) new handbag

To celebrate finishing and submitting my sixth Harlequin American Romance, I rewarded myself with a new handbag. Here it is, cozied up with my new laptop.

They were made for each other, don't you think?

Until next time,
Lee

Sunday
Mar252012

Sunday Fun ~ Springtime DIY

I'm blogging today with the Harlequin American Romance Authors about a DIY project I have planned. Drop by if you have a chance, and remember that everyone who posts a comment is entered in our monthly draw for free books!

Until next time,
Lee