Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aloha to Mackenzie Lucas and ESSENCE

Essence Cover - FINAL

Over the weekend, I began my preparation for the RT Booklovers Convention (link) and SOS Military Tribute (link), reminding me of RT/Houston in 2007.   I had fractured my wrist and wore a cast to the convention.   Many of the male models signed it ... but it came in handy on my return flight home.   As I checked out of the hotel, the RT staff found two pallets of books. Of course I grabbed as many as possible.  I scooted off to the airport with four carry on bags.   I used the cast, plus my military ID, to talk my way through TSA - I played upon their sympathies.   As I walked down the aircraft aisle, I spotted two readers and joined them in the row. We chatted about books on our flight home ... and one of the readers was Mackenzie Lucas. She is my guest today to celebrate the release of her new contemporary romance, ESSENCE.

Dublin Castle
Image released to Public Domain (link)

Kim:  We love international travel here at SOS Aloha. Tell us about living in Dublin, Ireland! How does it compare to your current home in the DC area?

Mackenzie:  I loved living in Dublin. Actually, I lived in a suburb ... Blackrock, with a family while I was there. The O'Neills. I fit right in with their two red-headed daughters, as long as I kept my mouth shut. My life today isn't much different. I now live in a suburb of D.C. And, like Washington, D.C., Dublin is a beautiful city. What was most different was that I was a college student and I used public transportation all the time or I walked. Everything felt much closer. I can't tell you how much more I walked when I was in Ireland than I do now. It was lovely. I traveled most of the country while I was there taking classes. My favorite class was a creative writing class with Irish poet Eavan Boland. The country of Ireland really is as green as the pictures you see--partially because they get so much rain--and it is gorgeous. If you get a chance to travel there, I'd highly recommend that you go. You'll fall in love with both the country and the people.

Kim:  Your bio states you are an author as well as a writing coach. What do you (the coach) tell yourself (the author)?

Mackenzie:  LOL! That's a good one. The coach is that left-brain, more analytical me. When I write ... at least in the initial creating phase, I tell the coach to shut it. It's during the revisions that I let the coach out to play, trying to employ all the tricks of the trade that I encourage my students to use. We all have our weaknesses when we write. Learning to identify them honestly, early on, will help you develop your craft and move beyond those challenges if you push yourself to keep learning.

File:Flagler College 2005-Sept fl 104.JPEG
Flagler College in St. Augustine
Released to Public Domain (link)

Kim:  I am curious about your new romance, ESSENCE. What inspired you to set it in St. Augustine, Florida?  Florida is my home state and St. Augustine is one of its jewels.

Mackenzie:  I love St. Augustine. We've traveled there many times as a family with my boys over the years--most recently last year. I find the historic area enchanting. We love history. There's something captivating about the architecture of Old Town. And while there are beaches, I don't find we focus entirely on the beach when we travel to St. Augustine like we do, say when we go to Captiva/Sanibel, Florida. I find St. Augustine sweetly haunting, if that makes any sense. I think it has everything to do with the history of the area and the landscape. I'm drawn to the area.

Kim:  ESSENCE is a luxary spa in St. Augustine.  What's your favorite part of going to the spa?

Mackenzie:  I adore massage. I believe everyone should schedule a regular massage as often as their wallet allows for overall health and well-being. As women, I think we are often focused on taking care of others and forget to take care of our most important asset--ourselves: mind, body, and spirit. Going to a spa, or just taking time out to focus on yourself--for even a day (or a few hours) here and there--is important for your overall health. It will make you a better person and your loved ones will thank you. ;0)

Kim:  What's next for Mackenzie Lucas?

Mackenzie:  I have another book, Courting Cinderella, coming out with Soul Mate Publishing this summer. I've published several Indie contemporary paranormal romance titles, so I'll continue to add to those. And I completed my next single title contemporary romance recently. I'm editing that one. Right now, I'm planning out my projects for 2014. I left Essence and the book I just finished writing wide open for a sequel or series. So I think I'll write each of those books next. Plus, I love to write shorter stories (novellas). I'm sure I'll write a few of those this year, too. Hopefully, one of those will be a Christmas/holiday novella or novel that I can sell and get on the selves before next year. So all that to say, I'll write, write, write. And, I'll attend conferences to network with authors and industry professionals, and to meet readers. So if you see me out and about, please stop by and say hello!

Essence Cover - FINAL

Mahalo, Mackenzie, for joining me today!  I am currently reading ESSENCE - it is a sexy escape to the spa!  I am giving away an ecopy of ESSENCE to one randomly selected commenter. 

All Haven Jameson ever wanted was to own a little piece of paradise. Now, she does, having established a successful luxury spa in St. Augustine, Florida. But when the property next door is sold to a mega developer and his pro-golf celebrity brother, who design trendy, bustling playgrounds for the rich and famous, she fears her dream could slip away.

Confronted by her late husband’s infidelity, Haven learns everything she believed about her marriage was a lie; so she finally sets aside her grief and opens her heart to loving the widowed pro-golfer who is her biggest professional competition. However, by the time Haven discovers that living a safe, loveless life is far worse than embracing passion and taking a chance on a man who’s vowed never to love again, will she find it’s too late to hold on to the paradise she seeks?

Available now from Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing

To enter the giveaway,

1.  Have you been to a spa?

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, January 18, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, January 19.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

To learn more about Mackenzie and her books, check out her website at

Perfect place for a massage ....


  1. I've never been to a spa before, but I am going to one for the first time on January 28th. I am ging to have a 60 minute massage, pedicure, hair done, and maybe jaquzzi.

  2. I have never been to a spa. Sounds like something I should try.

  3. Kim ~ Thanks so much for the interview. As always, it's always delightful to chat books with you--as I first learned way back in 2007 coming home from RT. For those of you who have not had a chance to try out a spa, a spa day is great too. Whole health, as we all know, is important. Of course, reading Essence, allows you to get away to a virtual spa filled with fun and sun ... which is most welcome right now, especially as cold as it is in Maryland right now! Enjoy. And thanks for stopping by to chat. ;0)

  4. I have never been to a spa but it sounds like it would be fun.

  5. No, I've never been to a spa. My sister used to go to one in England, and she loved it. Maybe one day, I will get to one.

  6. I've never been to a day spa but I would love it! LOL... bucket list item! So is going to Ireland :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. I've never been to a spa and I actually dislike massages. LOL

    Marcy Shuler

  8. Yes, I've been to a day spa a few times. I enjoyed it. Very relaxing.

  9. I have on a cruise and before my wedding. It was ok but too $$$ and not worth the money.

  10. No, I've never been to a spa. Would love to go and be pampered!

  11. This book sounds intriguing. :)
    I don't think that I've been to a spa, but have gone to a massage parlor. I think I would enjoy a spa.

  12. A woman whose body aches for love. A woman who's had some heartbreak, has been hurt, has maybe even done some hurting. A

    woman who knows she soulmate