Monday, February 10, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway ~ ESSENCE by Mackenzie Lucas


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. In the end, 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. And that, sometimes, no matter how high the risk, the best paradise of all can be found inside our own hearts.


“I will not let some greedy land developer ruin everything I’ve worked so hard to build.” Haven Jameson slapped the palm of her hand flat onto her desk with a loud thwack. “Owww.”

She rubbed her stinging hand.

Failure wasn’t an option. Sure, it was always a present danger as she forged her way to the top, struggling to establish Essence here in St. Augustine. She’d had plenty of sleepless nights while trying to make a success of her upscale boutique spa chain.

A month ago, the St. Augustine location opened to a raging success and received accolades from the highest society clients who’d she’d given complimentary stays during opening week.

“Unfortunately, Haven, I don’t think you’ll have much say over who buys the land,” Sally, Haven’s business partner and best friend, said, sitting across the desk from her. “Imogen Carmichael will have the last word. She usually does. She sold you this plot of land. And for some reason, I sure as heck can’t figure out, she held on to the adjacent tract. She could have sold you the whole parcel at the same time, but she didn’t. I don’t know what goes on in that woman’s mind. She seems a little off-kilter to me.”

“Don’t be mean, Sally. She’s a little eccentric for a woman in her late fifties, but not crazy.”

“Me? Mean? Never. I’m not the one who waits for a successful, luxury, full-service spa to open next door before I announce I’m offering a prime piece of real estate adjoining it for sale. She could ruin us. We’ve sunk so much time and money into this location. What happens if she sells to a developer who wants to put in a boardwalk and a Ferris wheel? Or she decides the offer from Joe’s Wacky Used Car World is right?”


Background of the Book

The setting for Essence is St. Augustine, Florida. My family and I have visited St. Augustine several times and we adore the area. So when I began to think about a setting for this story, I wanted somewhere exotic, yet unusual that hadn’t been over-used in romance novels. As I worked through themes for Essence--rejuvenation and healing--The Fountain of Youth popped into my mind, and voilá, the setting for a story based at a contemporary spa was born and solidified in my mind.

The actual spot for the spa, located on the beach, is fictional. I made it up to fit the story I wanted to tell. And the spa itself does not exist. It’s purely a figment of my imagination. Sigh. The winery I use is based on a real location there in St. Augustine. However, all characters are one-hundred percent fictitious.

As far as the hero and the heroine go, I again asked, what haven’t I seen done? I haven’t seen too many pro-golf heroes. Susan Elizabeth Phillips did one several years back (which I loved). However, I hadn’t seen a romance recently with a pro-golfer as a protagonist. And then I had to figure out what kind of conflict would put them at odds. That’s when I came up with the idea that the heroine owned a spa and the hero was bent on buying the land adjacent to her spa. The underlying fear being that someone would build something next door that would destroy the serenity the heroine had worked so hard to develop for her clients. And for her, the success of the spa means everything.

Then I had to figure out a reason why the hero and the heroine wouldn’t get together right away, even beyond this external problem of the land they’re fighting over. That’s when I happened upon the hero’s wound. And it’s a pretty big one. You’ll have to read the book to find out what it is and what happens and the journey they take to overcome or work around that wound.

So there you see the bird’s eye view of the background for Essence and how it and the characters came into existence.

Essence can be purchased from Amazon


Mackenzie Lucas is a lover of story in any form. She’s an avid reader of genre fiction, she writes contemporary and paranormal romance, and she listens to an eclectic mix of music that spans from pop/rock to country to gospel. She loves a good story whether it’s an erotic short, a full-length romance novel, or the narrative slice-of-life found in country music. In any story, emotional integrity and authenticity are most important to her as well as a big dose of romping hot sexual tension. She enjoys smart-mouthed, sexy heroines, hunky alpha heroes who know how to take care of their women, and plot twists that surprise her, but most of all, she just wants to experience a satisfying emotional arc of a character falling in love and finding what he or she needs most in life.

Mac is a small-town country girl with a world-traveler’s soul. She grew up in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and she’s lived in Dublin, Ireland, within spitting distance of New York City in Long Island, and now in the Washington, D.C. area. She obtained her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Dickinson College and received her M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She’s currently an author, writing coach, a mother, and a wife.

With Mackenzie Lucas--whether you’re reading her light paranormal romance, her small-town-based contemporary romance, or her steamin’ hawt erotica--you’ll always get a story about connectedness, community, and emotional authenticity, and, at its core, love. No, and it doesn’t hurt that all her heroes are panty-melting gorgeous alphas and all their sexy, sensually aware heroines know how to stand up to them, give no quarter, and love them just as they are.


Places to find Mackenzie Lucas:


You can follow the Essence blog tour here.


One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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20 comments:

  1. Thanks for another great excerpt. Looks like sparks are gonna fly!

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    1. Hi Elise-Maria,

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by and check out the excerpt. I'm glad you enjoy it

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  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome ladies. Thank you for allowing me to be on the tour.

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  3. Thanks for hosting me today! I look forward to getting to know your readers a little better today. I'll check back a couple of times throughout the day to see if anyone had questions or comments. ;0)

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    1. You're welcome. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting on everyone's responses.

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  4. Elise-Marie ~ You are so right ... on so many levels. Hope you get a chance to pick up a copy of Essence! Thanks for stopping by today to comment and good luck on the giveaway!

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    1. Hi Rita,

      Isn't the guest post cool?!! I love finding out how authors come up with their ideas and the heroes and heroines. And Mac is totally right. I've never seen a pro-golfer hero before. In fact, until this book, I've never heard of one.

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  6. Rita ~ Glad you enjoyed the post. It's always fun to hear about the back ground and choice of setting of a book. And, if you've never been, St. Augustine is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. IMO. ;0)

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    1. Thank you so much for the guest post. I really enjoyed it too.

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  7. A pro-golfer hero would be interesting!

    vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

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  8. vitajex ~ yes, a pro-golfer was fun to write. Especially, a hunky, hot pro-golfer in his prime, who is slightly tormented. ;0)

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  9. Thanks again for hosting me today! I appreciate the time in front of your readers. I'll check back a time or two during the rest of my tour to see if anyone else commented. Have a great week!

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  10. I actually just visited St. Augustine at the end of December and I love the city. I've been several times, and I still want to go back, it was such an enjoyable experience.

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    1. You guys are making me want to visit this place.

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  11. I like checking out the new books on this blog

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  12. This is a new blog for me to follow!! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Thank you for checking out my blog. Good luck in the giveaway.

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