Wednesday, June 13, 2012

That Dating Thing

So today, my dear Rancourtesans, I have the sincere pleasure of welcoming Mackenzie Crowne to the blog. She's got a brand new release, That Dating Thing, which is a charming romance, and I say that as something of an expert, since I was the lucky winner of a copy last week and read it over the weekend. It's really good, you guys, and you should totally check it out.
Okay, let's get down to's the interview...(don't you just wish you were sitting next to Mac under a shady umbrella with a beer in your hand? I DO!)

LR: What’s the most compelling thing about your most recent project, the thing that’s kept your butt in the chair through hours of writing and revising? 
MC: I’d have to say humor. I love a read that makes me laugh, and writing something with the idea of sharing humor with others motivates the hell out of me. That process is easier in some cases than in others, but with ThatDating Thing, the characters were so much fun, I basically went along for the ride - like a chuckling stenographer.

LR: If you had to recommend one writing resource, either a class or a book or a workshop, what would that be?
MC: I can’t really say one particular resource is my holy grail. I’m a hands on learner, and pick up bits and pieces of knowledge everywhere. Though I’ve attended workshops and read the books, I tend to grow more by doing.  I guess you could say I’m a true pantser by any definition of the word. For example, I took a great plotting course with Rose’s Colored Glasses a couple of years ago. They gave me some tools I was poorly lacking, (character development, tagline and blurb writing, etc) but the focus of the course, plotting, went in one ear and out the other. I still suck at plotting, and don’t care. My system of flying by the seat of my pants works for me, and trying to rein that in only frustrates my muse.  

LR: Fantasy or reality? Most people lean one way or the other in their work. Do you have a preference, or do you swing both ways? 
MC: Obviously I swing both ways, since my first release, Gift of the Realm, was a  fantasy, and my second, That Dating Thing, is a strait out contemporary, but I’m most comfortable with reality. Give me a good contemporary story and I’m twitching to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

LR: Clutter or quiet? Describe your perfect writing situation. 
MC: I jokingly refer to my house as the Testosterone Ranch. Ranch hands are everywhere! For years, I’ve complained that I have never been able to walk around my house naked because I never know who will walk in. Consequently, I’ve learned to block out the chaos, or I’d never get anything done. But, my ideal writing situation is early in the morning, when all is quiet and the day is still new.  I start out on my patio with a couple of cups of coffee, working until reality sets in and the crowds begin to stir.

LR: How to you juggle all your hats (spouse, parent, worker-bee, housekeeper, writer)? 
MC: What a good question. As with everything in life, different hats are prominent at different times. I’m lucky enough to only work outside the home sporadically. Late spring and summer are usually free of work commitments. These days, I mostly wear the writer’s hat, and I’m thrilled to say my family is very understanding and supportive. (Hubby has dreams of ‘the writer wife’ supporting him in his retirement. LOL He’s bound to experience some disappointment, but I’ll let him have his delusions for now) Up to this week, (Yay, I’m officially done) I was still in treatment for breast cancer and he and my grown boys learned to chip in with the day to day chores while I was recovering from my latest toxic cocktail. With two releases in two months, and another in the works, I’m hoping to continue that practice for a while. 

LR: What’s your favorite non-writing activity? Like, are you a closet marathon runner? Could you crochet a house-cozy if you had to? Maybe you’re an aficionado of free-form jazz? 
MC: My girlfriends have several names for me, including Princess Mac, because I don’t like to do things that make me sweat or get dirt under my nails, but believe it or not, I love off-roading. I drive a Jeep Wrangler and think nothing of whipping off onto a dirt road, just to see where it leads, and living at the Testosterone Ranch, dirt bikes are a big part of my reality. I have a Honda 400EX quad, and have been know to fly over the sand dunes in Glamis California with my hair on fire.

LR: Football, basketball, baseball or soccer? Which one gets your blood moving the fastest – or is there another sport you prefer? 
MC: I grew up in Boston during the Larry Bird era, and ours was a basketball family. I played varsity ball all four years during high school, but these days, football does it for me. I’m a huge Patriots fan and who can blame me? What woman doesn’t get a kick out of watching fine male specimens in those shiny football uniforms?

LR: What’s next on your horizon? Describe your current WIP(s) or other upcoming project. 
MC: I’ll be jumping into edits for The Billionaire’s Con soon, a humorous contemporary just signed with Still Moments Publishing.  And I’m currently working on a follow up to That Dating Thing. Brian Hurley is the best friend of Rylee Pierce, the heroine of That Dating Thing. He captured my heart and needs his own happy ending.

OH! Brian gets a HEA?! That totally makes my day. I kinda fell for him, too. Anywhoodle, thanks so much, Mac, for sharing your work and your life. And thanks, everybody, for reading along. You can connect with Mac on her website, Twitter, or Face Book. And keep going for a sneak peek at That Dating Thing...

That Dating Thing
The daughter of Wall Street’s most notorious stock swindler, dog trainer, Rylee Pierce, has perfected the art of flying beneath society’s radar.  Prosecutor, Cooper Reed is a threat to her carefully hidden truths, but how is a woman supposed to resist a man capable of handling a psychotic Great Dane, while charming her out of her panties before she has the chance to blink?

“So, this is The Canine Academy?” He eyed the cages. “Where are your other students?”
A soft release of pent up breath reached his ears and he smiled. Yes, off balance was just how he wanted her.
“Gone for the day.”
“Why is Pippin still here?”
“Pippin required a more intense program. He’s our only boarder at the moment.”
“Have dinner with me,” he said, without turning around. She didn’t answer and he waited several beats before glancing over his shoulder. Her eyes shuttered, she fell back on sarcasm.
“We just finished dinner. What do you have, a tapeworm?”
He faced her. “I’d like to take you to dinner, Rylee.”
Her hand went to Belle’s head beside her and she jutted her chin up a notch. “That wouldn’t be a good idea, Coop.”
“Why? I’m attracted to you, and a man can tell when the attraction is mutual.”
She said nothing, returning his gaze while she scratched the fur between Belle’s ears.
“It’s just a meal.” He crossed his arms. “I’m not suggesting we jet off to Vegas.”
She snorted softly. “That’s a relief. Casinos give me a headache.”
The dry sarcasm made him smile. She hadn’t said no.
“Look, you’re a great-looking guy.”
He flashed a grin, pleased when her lips twitched in response.
“And I admit you have a certain amount of charm.”
“But, your father is married to my aunt.”
“Your mother’s cousin,” he corrected. He dropped his arms to his sides and stepped toward her. “And Dad and Silvia can get their own dinner.”
Her lips formed a genuine smile, but she shook her head. “People rarely come out of this kind of thing on friendly terms.”
“This kind of thing?” He continued to advance.
“We’re connected through Sil and Elliott. I don’t want to see them caught in the middle when this…dating thing, or whatever it is you’re after, ends.”
“This dating thing?”
“Or whatever it is you’re after,” she repeated. As he closed the distance, she stepped back and bumped up against the shark cage. She slapped her spread fingers against his chest to prevent him from coming any closer. “I’m not in the market for a relationship right now.”
“Then we don’t have a problem, because neither am I.” He brushed a fingertip over the perfect skin of her cheekbone. “So, here’s what I suggest.”
Her eyelids fluttered, pupils dilating, and reluctant temptation replaced the wariness in her dark orbs. Still, she kept a defensive hand on his chest.
“If you insist on negotiating when I’ve already explained my concerns,” she said, holding his gaze, “I’d rather you didn’t touch me.”
He checked the urge to kiss her at the artless admission of finding his touch disturbing. Instead, he moved his hand to the cage beside her head. He wrapped his fingers around the metal bar and dipped his head, bringing his face closer to hers. She blinked but held her ground, boldly meeting his gaze.
“I propose we get to know one another,” he pressed. “A few dinners. Maybe a show, or a ball game or two if you like. We find out what makes each other tick.”
“Hmmm.” Her mouth moved into a smirk. “Five seconds ago you were talking a meal. Now it’s a few dinners and a ball game or two. At this rate we’ll be jetting off to Vegas by the end of the week.”
She didn’t try to stop him when he took the final step that brought their bodies within inches of each other. “Has anyone ever accused you of being a wiseass?”
Head cocked as though considering the question, her mouth quivered on a smile. “Nope.”
“How about a liar?”
She lost the battle with the smile and her low laugh sent a lash of desire whipping across his midsection. He did what he’d wanted to do since arriving at his father’s condo days ago. Leaning in, he took...


  1. I love humor! All this talk about testosterone and ranch hands makes me wonder why there isn't more erotica talk here! LOL. Sorry, just left Tawna Fenske's page.

    Good luck on your work - both of you. I totally get the chaos. Summer means school is out and it's harder for me to write.

  2. Thanks so much for having me, Liv. I loved writing That Dating Thing and like a kid with a really cool toy, I'm stoked to talk about it with anyone who'll listen. ;-)

  3. Hiya Kim,

    Yeah, Testosterone Ranch does sound like an erotica title now that you mention it. *grins* But you know what they say, you can't just a book by it's cover.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. That Dating Thing sounds great! My husband is also convinced that I'm going to hit the big time and make him a "kept man," as he puts it.

  5. LOL Jordan. Guys! The day I signed my first contract mine was digging through the drawer with my dusty manuscripts with dollar signs in his eyes. ;-)

    Thanks for stopping in.

  6. Ohhh! You do know how to leave us hangin'! Now I'll have to move your book to the top of my must read pile. It sounds great. Congrats!

  7. LOL Dixie. I've achieved my evil goal. Muahahaha!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Thanks so much for opening up your web home to me, Liv. It was a lovely visit.

  9. You've been an awesome guest, Mac. Come back anytime!