Thursday, November 29, 2007

Guest Blogger—Max

Hi. My name’s Max. Not short for anything like Maxwell or Maximilian. Just Max.

My owner’s name is Brent. He’s a laid-back dude and all-round nice guy. He buys my favorite dog chow, lets me sit on the furniture, and doesn’t freak when I come in the house with muddy paws. As owners go, they don’t come any cooler.

Life wasn’t so good before I moved in here, but me and Brent, we don’t talk about that. We met at this place called the SPCA. If you’re a dog, you don’t want to end up there. If you’re a human like Brent, it’s a very excellent place to go and get yourself a dog. Like me, for example.

I’m an Old English Sheepdog, by the way. Not old as in old, but old as in not a New English Sheepdog.

Most of the time I think Brent’s glad to have me around. Especially when we go to the park to play frisbee. Not to brag or anything, but I do have a way with the ladies. Seriously. You can even ask Brent. A lot, and I mean A LOT of women stop to admire me. Then they end up talking to him, and sometimes he even gets their number. All thanks to me.

And just between you ‘n’ me, the guy needs all the help he can get. Once in a while a woman comes to visit but it never seems to work out. I, on the other hand, am not so picky.

He says we have a nice little house but I hafta tell you, it’s not that little. There’s plenty of room for more. Like a pretty little girl sheepdog for me and a fine-looking woman for Brent, if you catch my drift. And since Brent goes to work everyday and leaves me here on my own, I’d kind of appreciate the company.

Today is one of those days. I’m pretty sure it’s the weekend but Brent still got up early, put on his work clothes and left the house. There’s a serious rainstorm going on, so he put me in the porch at the back of the house. What can I say? The rain makes a mess of my fur, especially when I lie on my back and roll around in the muck. If you knew how good it felt to roll around on your back in the rain, you’d understand why I do it.

Wait. Was that a truck door? I know that sound! It’s the middle of the day and Brent’s home. Maybe he didn’t go to work after all.

And now here he is, letting me into the house. “Hey boy, glad to see me? Come on. Yeah, good boy. Come on. Somebody wants to meet you.”

Cool. Visitors mean LOTS of attention for yours truly.

Want to find out who Brent brought home? Be sure to pick up a copy of With This Ring (Harlequin American Romance) by Lee McKenzie. It’ll be in stores on Tuesday, December 4.

I’ll be blogging again next Thursday, and I’ll have a thing or two to say about plumbing. And about Brent’s visitor.



Lee's Note:
To celebrate the release of With This Ring next week, Max and I will be running a contest. For details, please check back on Tuesday!

Photo by Ray Salmon of Sheepie Hollow. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday News, on Wednesday

Ever have one of those days that flies by and when it’s over, you realize you didn’t accomplish everything on your ToDo list? Yesterday was one of those days for me.

Every once in a while I send out a newsletter, which is aptly named "Lee McKenzie’s Very Occasional Newsletter." If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, please send an email to lee at lee mckenzie dot com. In an effort to dodge the spammers, I ask that you close the spaces and replace at and dot with the appropriate symbols :)

And just a reminder that Max, the Old English Sheepdog in With This Ring, will be guest blogging tomorrow. Hope to see you then.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's a Dog's Life

Today is my blog day with the Harlequin American Romance Authors so I hope you’ll pop over, read my “dog blog,” meet Molly (isn't she adorable?) and post a comment!

As an added bonus, all commenters on the Harlequin American Romance Authors' blog are eligible to win stuff at the end of the month!

Happy Saturday.

Back tomorrow,

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Warmest wishes to all readers and writers who are celebrating Thanksgiving today. I hope this special day is filled with family, friends, happines and love.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

TV—On again, Off again

Programming is on again, off again, and so is my TV. I don’t watch a huge amount of television, but I always watch my favorite shows. Some are already off the air, though, and production of others has been shut down, which means the end is in sight.

I’m thrilled that Men in Trees will continue through the winter, but I’m already missing The Office. Thursday nights won’t be the same without it.

But in the midst of this, a bit of good news. The second season of October Road starts tomorrow night! Happy Thanksgiving! I don’t know if this was planned or if it’s a coincidence, but I hadn’t expected to see the new season until sometime in 2008. It will be on tomorrow night after Grey’s Anatomy, then move to what will be its regular timeslot on Monday nights at 10 pm.

I loved the first season of this show because it has all the story elements I love—family, friends, community, romance, and wonderful characters. If you missed the first season you can catch it this Saturday on SOAPNET because they’re having an October Road season one marathon! Six back-to-back episodes! Hope you have a chance to tune in.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday News—RT’s Review of With This Ring

Waiting for reviews is beyond nerve-wracking, but the Romantic Times 4-star review of With This Ring (Harlequin American Romance, December 2007) is fabulous! Here it is:

With This Ring (4), by Lee McKenzie, puts a new spin on the holiday romance—it takes place in the middle of the summer! Brent has been not-so-secretly in love with Leslie since high school. But.his mother hates her, he comes from the wrong side of the tracks and Leslie has never believed his attentions are genuine. Nonetheless, Brent gets his chance to shine when Leslie is caught in a surprise rainstorm as she's running away from her society wedding. Brent and Leslie's story is a treat for anyone who has ever loved someone so much that they won't accept halfway for an answer.” ~ Whitney Kate Sullivan

Am I right? Fabulous!

The official release date is December 4th—two weeks from today! To celebrate I’m planning lots of fun stuff here on the blog, including a couple of contests with some fun giveaways, and a surprise guest blogger every Thursday starting November 29. I hope you’ll visit often!

Back tomorrow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Fun—Basking in the Sun

We’re not basking here in the Pacific Northwest. November weather is typically the wettest and most unpredictable all year. I guess that’s why many like to escape to a warmer climate for a week or two.

My daughter's among them. She just returned from Mexico and her photos included this intriguing little gecko. He looks two-dimensional, and at first I thought she had photographed a decorated tile, but he’s real. Check out those bright eyes, and all those adhesive toes. Adorable.

My daughter’s vacation photographs also include lots of pictures of the resort, the pool and the sun-soaked beaches. Unlike geckos and most people, I’m not a sun worshipper, but I do love a beautiful sunset. It’s perfect, isn’t it?

For the rest of the weekend I’ll be here at the computer, working on my next book while the North Pacific sends more winter weather my way. In my imagination, I’ll be enjoying that tropical sunset.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

More Men in Trees . . .

. . . and it just keeps getting better!

Fans of Men in Trees were up in arms last spring because the show’s season was cut short by five episodes. For a while we wondered if we’d ever see them, but then came the announcement that the show was being picked up for a second season and the fall run would begin with those five leftover episodes. But as season and series premieres began in September, we learned that the launch of Men in Trees would happen until early October, even though production of season two was well underway.

Be patient, we were telling ourselves. Our day will come.

And it has. I won’t say fans of Men in Trees can now have the last laugh—that would just be mean—but I will say without gloating that we can smile away the winter with nine more new episodes! Don’t you love it when things work out this way?

I adored last night’s episode, “Nice Day for a Dry Wedding,” and all its delightfully funny and poignant over-the-top-ness.

Thank you, Cash, for rescuing our darling Marin from the big, bad wolves.

Goodbye, Jack. Please come home soon.

I didn’t count all the break-ups and make-ups, but there were plenty of them! Starting with Celia and Dick's slapstick joined-at-the-wrist performance.

Jane and Sam made up, broke up and made up again.

Patrick and Annie . . . making it all the way to the altar and still not quite managing to tie the knot. LOL! Whose fault was that, anyway?

Eric and Sara. Broke up and made up.

Marin and Jack. Made up. Broke up, but in a nice way.

Annie’s parents. Broke up. For good.

Mary Alice and Jerome. Hooked up? I love Annie Potts, so I hope we see lots more of her.

Cash. Still a loner. Why did he come back? And what was he doing at the hospital?

And Jerome. Ah, Jerome. Would it be wrong for me to say that I’m . . . um . . . just the teensiest bit in love with him?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Men in Trees Just Keeps Getting Better

Last Friday’s episode was so much fun!

Poor Annie. Trying to arrange a wedding and everything is going wrong. She's lost an eyebrow, the cat ran away, the minister quit, the Chieftan is shut down, and the roof of the inn has caved in. And then there's every bride's dream - three wacky, meddling mothers in T-shirts.

Yet in spite of MoMai’s prediction, we all know Annie and Patrick are meant for each other and the wedding simply has to go ahead.

After all, the cat has already come back, Cash is back (surely that's a good sign) and I read somewhere that in the next episode Jane is flying in from NYC for the wedding. Surely we'll see some Jane and Plow Guy action. Did I mention Cash is back?

I couldn’t believe the ending. Poor Marin and Domino Dan. Can they save themselves? Or will they be rescued by Jack? Or Cash? Or both? Both would work :)

Looking forward to this Friday and to what I understand would have been the season one finale. It sounds as though they have already taped quite a few new episodes, too, so while some shows are already on hiatus or soon will be, we still have lots of Men in Trees to cosy up with on wintery Friday nights.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday News—Trish Milburn, American Title IV Finalist

Congratulations to Trish Milburn, finalist in the American Title IV Contest!

Back on October 15 I told you all about the contest and Trish’s manuscript, OUT OF SIGHT, being a finalist. Now I’m thrilled to announce that she’s moved on to the next round of judging—best hero and heroine. You can read all about them, as well as all the wonderfully positive things the judges had to say, on the Romantic Times website.

So please vote and ask all your friends to vote, too. It’s easy. Simply send a blank email to with OUT OF SIGHT in the subject header.

The results of this round of voting will be posted on the RT website on December 17. Good luck, Trish!

More later,

Friday, November 9, 2007

Grey’s Anatomy—“Physical Attraction, Chemical Reaction”

The episode also could have been titled, “What Were We Thinking?”

The ick factor that was George/Izzy, the one that’s been irritating so many of us, was finally played out last night.


Of course the real problem with the whole scenario was that fans of the show knew the two didn’t belong together. Still, as resolutions go, last night was unfortunate, and when it ended I was left with the feeling that the show’s creators and writers thought George and Izzy discovering they had no chemistry created a humorous situation.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, people, but that was not comedy. It was just icky. There were no laughs. No smiles. When it was over, I felt relieved, but also confused about why we’d been subjected to it at all.

Also felt the Chief’s demands on McDreamy, and McDreamy’s reaction to them, came out of left field and were way too over the top for the Grey’s we know and love. Give me a break. That was so not funny.

I will say, though, that I’m loving the new friendship between McDreamy and McSteamy. The scene a couple of weeks ago, when the new cardio surgeon Dr. Hahn asked them if they were a couple . . .

LOL! Well played and very funny, because it was completely unexpected. And that, I think, is an element of good comedy. Throw something unexpected at the viewer, or reader, and take them by surprise. That's why George and Izzy's revelation wasn't funny. They might have been surprised, but we sure weren't.

The conflict between Meredith and Lexie is extremely well done, and every week we get a new layer. Also, Lexie and Alex together . . . I’m liking that. A lot. I’m hoping they (the writers) give them, and us, some time together before they shoe horn Izzy into that relationship.

All things considered, a fairly good episode, especially given that we’ve finally seen the end of Gizzy.

Men in Trees is on tonight! Yay!

Back tomorrow,

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Gossip Girl—“Victor, Victrola”

This episode aired in Canada last night but not in the US till tonight. Hence, no spoilers.

In "Victor, Victrola," S & B both learn that an intimate relationship with someone you care about is a lot more complicated than with someone you don’t. The father/son interaction between Dan, Nate and Chuck and their respective fathers is great. It's interesting how many different ways a father can deliver a “lecture” on responsibility, and that theme was woven into tonight's story with skill and subtlety.

I’m enjoying everything about this show—writing, acting, music, photography, which tonight was particularly good and tied in beautifully with the title of the episode, and especially Kristin Bell’s voiceover as Gossip Girl.

I think I’ve already mentioned that I didn’t expect to like Gossip Girl. Now it’s one of my favorite shows this season. I love being pleasantly surprised by the unexpected!

Back soon,

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Office’s Dwight Schrute—Hero or Villain?

I love this character! Or at least I love what the writers have done with him. Dwight has always had a villainous side, and it came to the forefront when he killed Angela’s cat at the beginning of this season. After Angela broke up with him, the writers have clearly had some fun playing with Dwight’s evil side.

If you visit Tami Cowden’s website, you’ll find links to brief descriptions of the hero and heroine archetypes outlined in The Complete Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders. You can also learn about villains—heroes/heroines gone bad.

As a hero, Dwight is a Professor. Here’s the blurb from Tami’s website: coolly analytical, he knows every answer. He’s logical, introverted, and inflexible, but genuine about his feelings. At work, he likes cold, hard facts, thank you very much, but he's also honest and faithful, and won’t let you down.

What do we get when the professor lets us see his dark side? An Evil Genius.

Again, from Tami’s website, a description of the Evil Genius: the malevolent mastermind, he loves to show off his superior intelligence. Intellectual inferiors are contemptible to him and that includes just about everyone. Elaborate puzzles and experiments are his trademark. Don’t let him pull your strings—the game is always rigged in his favor.

In last week’s episode, “Branch Wars,” Dwight kept saying he wants to do something to someone’s eyes, and Jim’s genuine concern helps us buy into Dwight’s craziness. He wants to use real bombs on the office in Utica because “it’ll be so bad ass” and “we will burn Utica to the ground.”

Oh, Dwight.

His unwavering devotion to the company and the boss and his contempt for anyone who tries to malign them have been blended to create a wonderfully complex comic character.

In this episode I also loved the subtle way the writers introduced conflict into Jim and Pam’s relationship in this episode. Jim is shut out of The Finer Things Club because he monopolizes the conversation by trying to be funny. His reluctance to confront Karen in Utica made it obvious that while he’s in love with Pam, he’s still attracted to Karen. But he did the right thing by ‘fessing up to Pam, who already knew anyway, and she took pity on him by letting him join TFTC. And we saw how well that went :) Pam’s last line of the episode was a silent, apologetic “sorry” to Toby.

I understand that lots of finer things clubs have sprung up on Facebook. I don’t do Facebook but if I did, I’d be tempted to check them out!

Back soon,