Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Mackenzie Crowne

Hi Everyone. Help me welcome the energetic Mackenzie Crowne, another talented Wild Rose Press author. Mac, please tell us all about your genre, your book, and--well--all about yourself.

 For me, kooky inspiration rocks. Literally! What is it about a pile a boulders that can so stir the human imagination? I mean, they’re just rocks for heaven’s sake. Other than water, stone is the most commonly found material on the planet. Even living smack dab in the middle of one of America’s cities, you can’t walk more than a block or two without seeing rock of some kind. Pebbles in the gutter, a stone formation in a park, the random rock garden, or mountains in the distance. Like nature’s discarded litter, rocks are everywhere. And yet, they appear in our music (Rock of Ages & The Rolling Stones) and show up in our literature and movies (ahem, Brokeback Mountain) and people all over the world spend millions of dollars each year, making pilgrimages to sites with nothing more to offer than towering granite and a view.

I’ve been known to join the throng of fascinated pilgrims on more than one occasion, and living in the southwest, I have a number of sites to choose from. If you’ve never been here, wow. You’re missing some of God’s most spectacular gifts. There is the incomprehensible enormity of the Grand Canyon, the spectacular stone maze of Lake Powel, and talk about the wow factor? Zion National Park is simply draw dropping.

Of course, sometimes these rock piles bring out the kooky in humans. Stonehenge has inspired a vicious, centuries long battle of theories, and the mesmerizing red rock of Sedona has spurred an almost cult like industry of crystals and mysticism. But, hey, who am I to judge? For all I know, I’m the kook. After all, big, beautiful boulders do it for me. I don’t know about you, but I can’t witness one of these natural litter dumps without contemplating my own tiny insignificant existence in the universe. And yet, without tiny little me, without tiny little us, to appreciate their magnificence, what are these stunning rock formations but random piles of natural rubble?

Perhaps that is the answer to my question. Throughout time and culture, mankind has expressed its mystical importance in the relationship between nature and humanity through stone. I’m not talking sheer, cliff-rock climbing here - those people really are kooks - I’m talking man’s manipulation of nature’s litter to his own design. Whether it be the Pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, or Mount Rushmore, humankind has left its handprint, as if to say, 'I was here, I witnessed. I conquered.'

For its part, nature returns the favor in the inspiration it provides, stirring the human imagination to contemplate its purpose while attempting to match nature’s grandeur. In the process, that mystical connection leads us to create and entertain.

Without this synchronicity, the world would be a much more bland place. From the rubble nature provides we build our grand structures, but more than that, nature inspires artists to put chisel to marble, and paintbrush to canvas, adding depth and beauty to the human experience. And for writers like me, nature provides the scenery, adding color, vision, and emotion to the stories we tell.

From the beginning of time, mankind has pondered the reason behind our inescapable fascination with nature’s magnificent litter, and will no doubt continue to do so until the last human breath is drawn. But to me, the reason isn’t important. As with the mystical ring of stones in my debut fantasy romance, GIFT OF THE REALM, it’s enough that the fascination exists and inspires.

So, what about you? Are you a kook like me? What’s the oddest thing that’s inspired you?

Bio: I live in Phoenix with my husband of nearly thirty years - would you believe I married when I was nine? - along with a blind cat, and a manic Pomeranian who I swear sees dead people. Two grown sons, a gorgeous DIL, and two adorable grandkids keep me hopping. I’m one of eight kids, and truly like as well as love all my siblings. I’m a four year survivor. (I love saying that. Take that breast cancer!) And living in the southwest feeds my soul.

My friends call me Mac. I hope you will too.
Gift of the Realm Blurb

Beneath the fairie mound of Dunhaven's Door, two dreamers meet their destiny…

After a decade of trying to outrun her debilitating dreams, Keely returns to Ireland to face the ancient ring of stones and the man haunting them. Within the stones, she embraces her fairie heritage and her mystical gifts. But can she trust the handsome Halfling who shares her dreams and holds her heart?

When Keely reappears in his life, Colin’s fairie blood threatens to gain the upper hand. Compelled to assist the lovely Halfling, he agrees to help her break the three-hundred-year-old curse on their families, but he'll do it on his terms—as a black wolf.

Together, two Halflings can stand against any power, but only love can break the bonds of bitterness. Will Colin’s arrogant plan to outwit the King of the Fairies doom Keely for eternity? Or is their love enough to break the curse?

Excerpt: She tossed a thick stalk onto the small pile at her feet and set the claw at another. Her continued silence said she was done with him, and expected him to go.

He disabused her of that expectation by taking a seat at the small table beside the garden. He sat with his legs spread, elbows propped on his knees. Donovan lifted his head to stare at him, his dark brows puckered above darker eyes that seemed to plead with him to bring peace to the garden once more.

“I am your friend, Keely,” Colin told her, “and I’d like to help if I can.”

She paused at her chore, tilting her head to eye him suspiciously from beneath the brow of the hat. “Why would you want to do that?”

He rubbed a hand over his jaw. “Well, now, there’s a question. It turns out I’m not the sort of man who can ignore a mystery.”

“That’s not the impression you gave yesterday.”

“Yesterday I was near to being speechless.” A slow smile spread across his face as he decided how to break through her pique. “A man can be excused for being a bit rattled when sitting across from a lovely woman who’s just admitted to dreaming of him for the better part of a decade.”

She fell back on her heels, her eyes widening. “I didn’t admit to dreaming of you, Quinn.” She jabbed the claw in his direction. “I said you joined me in the dreams.”

“You’d consider that a distinction, and yet you admit you’ve been dreaming of me. I prefer my own interpretation.” Confusion knit her brow, and he could see she wasn’t sure if she wanted to blast him for being an arrogant ass, or smile. He pressed the advantage. “I’ve a clearer head this morning, darlin’. I’m here to offer my help.”

She didn’t react to his use of the endearment, but he didn’t miss the flash of interest in her eyes at his offer of help. “Just how, exactly, do you propose to do that?”

“These dreams we share.” He paused, pleased to see a faint blush spreading color on her cheeks. “They always take place at The Door?”

She nodded.

“The way I see it, you’ve made Dunhaven your home, but you’ve spent little time here. I, on the other hand, have lived the whole of my life in Dunhaven — except for the time I spent at university, and you’ll not be holding that against me.”

“I won’t, huh?”

He grinned. “No, darlin’, you won’t.”

“Hmmm.” She glanced away, fiddling with the tool clutched in her lap. He winked at Donovan, and gained a dog grin. Now they were getting somewhere.

That sounds great, Mac. I can't wait to read it. Best of luck with the release.

Thanks so much for being here.
Visit Mac at Mac's Mad Mania http://mackenziecrowne.com/wp,

Buy Links: The Wild Rose Press http://www.thewildrosepress.com%20or/


  1. Hi Mackenzie,

    So glad you're here today. I love your pictures of inspirational "rocks." Stonehenge is my screensaver, BTW. I'd love to see it in person--that and the pyramids.

    Good luck with your book.

  2. Hi Barb,
    Thanks so much for having me. Stonehenge is on my bucket list, as are the pyramids. I saw a show on tourism and the pyramids just last night. Visits are way down at the moment but the locals are hopeful that will change once things are settled over there. I hope so too.

  3. Gorgeous pictures! Thanks for stopping by on Barb's blog! Awesome excerpt and I look forward to reading your book!!!


  4. Thanks, Cecily.
    Don't you just love rock piles? LOL I'm glad you liked the excerpt, Gift of the Realm was a blast to write. I hope you enjoy it.

    1. Hi Cecily. Aren't Mac's pictures great? That one of Sedona is just breathtaking. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs,

  5. I have a huge fascination for those huge red buttes in the southwest. I want to see some in real life so much. I, too, want to experience the wow factor of their stately beauty.

    I enjoyed how you incorporated the rock ring into your story. But them, I loved everything about GIFT OF THE REALM.

  6. You are such a sweetie, Vonnie. I am still bowled over when I visit Sedona, despite having visited at least a half dozen times, and I actually saw Zion by accident. I routed us from Lake Powell to Vegas on one of our family reunions without knowing where the road would take us. My brother in law was bitching about having to pay a fee to cross through the park until we came around a corner to 30 miles of jaw dropping beauty. He apologized, of course. ;-)

    Thanks so much for stopping by.

  7. Hi Vonnie, so glad you dropped by. I can't wait to read GIFT OF THE REALM and see how those rocks are used in the story. Mac, your brother-in-law sounds like a hoot--but at least he can apologize.LOL.

  8. LOL Barb, he is a hoot. His love language is sarcastic bitching. So is mine. We have a blast together.

  9. Thanks so much for having me, Barb. Your web home is a lovely place. ;-)