Friday, February 5, 2016

Meet J.C. McKenzie

For the rest of the week, Wild Women Authors is pleased to have fellow Candy Hearts author J.C. McKenzie visiting. With her is Brenna Jones, one of the leads from Be My Love. As usual, Brenna is up first.
Where are you from? British Columbia, Canada
Tell us a bit about Be My Love: Single and bitter, I planned to spend Valentine’s Day at my parents’ log cabin, munching candy while readings books in front of a real fire place. Old Blue, my dad’s decrepit pick-up truck, had other ideas, though, and hit a patch of ice. I survived the crash, barely. My fate didn’t look good—stranded in the middle of nowhere as a blizzard set in. Eric Buchanan, this guy I knew from high school, came to my aid on his snowmobile. That might sound great, but I hated Eric. He broke my heart.
Don't stop there, Bren. What did you think the first time you saw Eric again? Hatred. And maybe death by frost-bit might not be so bad.
Works for us. What was your second thought? If I’m going to be honest, those piercing green eyes sent some tingles straight down to my lady parts. So yes, I had some dirty thoughts, and quickly hated myself for having them. Trapped in a blizzard has a way of making you really look at things though—not just Eric, but myself as well. I soon realized my judgement on him was too harsh, and that maybe, just maybe, he was exactly what I needed.
Aww. Did you feel it was love at first sight? Definitely not.
What do you like most about him? His compassion and ability to put me at ease.
Nice one. How would you describe him? Sandy brown hair, a narrow straight now, piercing green eyes, a square jaw with a couple days’ worth of stubble, and full kissable lips… The last decade had been very kind to Eric. Instead of the youthful pretty-boy looks he’d flaunted in high school, his face had transformed with harder edges, turning him into a devastatingly, handsome man.
Another jewel of a response. How would he describe you? I thought he’d say mousy and geeky, but apparently not! He loves my curves and apparently adores my dark eyes.
What made you choose cardiology technologist for a career? It pays the bills and because I’m helping people, I feel good about my job at the end of the day.
What is your biggest fear? Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere in a blizzard.
Hah! Good one. How do you relax? Eating candy or chocolate while reading a book. Eric’s helped me discover some new ways to relax as well…
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Too many to choose from!
This has been great, Brenna. We're glad you could be with us. Now it's time to chat with J.C.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Answering this question is the emotional equivalent of stabbing myself with a fork! How could I possibly choose? There’s so many great authors and books, and they’ve all impacted me in some ways. I could pick one that cemented my love for reading in grade seven (Nancy Drew!) Or the authors and books that opened my mind to the unknown (O.R. Melling – The Chronicles of Faerie), new worlds (Robert Jordan) or dark elements (Anne Rice – the Witching Hour). Or I could regale you with my all-time Urban Fantasy loves like Patrica Briggs (Mercy Thompson Series) and Kim Harrison (The Hollows Series). Everything I read, or see, or do impacts my creative process in some way.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? We recently moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, for my husband’s work. I’m originally from the West Coast, where “harsh winters” isn’t in anyone’s vocabulary. After experiencing the cheek-cutting winds and bone-numbing cold of Saskatchewan’s winter, I was able to bring some of those experiences to this story. It takes place during a blizzard in the Rockies, after all.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I submitted to the few big publishing houses that allow unsolicited, un-agented work and received form rejection letters (boo) from each one. I started submitting to small publishers and had a lot of interest. In the end, I decided to go with The Wild Rose Press, because they offer very competitive royalty rates and I just love them. No joke. They’re super nice and supportive. My editor actually rejected Shift Happens when I first submitted the manuscript to her, but she told me specifically what I needed to fix and asked me to resubmit. It all worked out in the end, and I believe, for the better.
I am personally hesitant to self-publish, just because I still feel so new to the publishing experience. There’s a lot of up-front costs with self-publishing that I wasn’t willing to make. 1) I couldn’t afford it (teacher-by-day, here); and 2) there’s a possibility of making huge, costly mistakes. I tip my hat to indie-authors because they are a lot braver than I am!
What project[s] are you working on now? Currently, I’m working very hard to finish the 5th and last installment of my Urban Fantasy Series (The Carus Series).
What's up next for you? Shift Work, book 4 of the Carus Series, releases on February 22, 2016. I’m very excited about this release and can’t wait to get it into the hands of readers.

This has been super. We enjoy supporting other Candy Hearts authors and their work and are pleased J.C. could join us today
To learn more about our guest, go to:
The Wild Rose Press:

OR you can copy and paste the embedded information below:


  1. Thank you for having me (and Brenna) today! I'm thrilled you enjoyed Be My Love. :-)

    1. Wow! Love in a blizzard--sounds exciting and romantic with a real need to stay warm. Good luck with all your writing projects.

    2. Thanks Susan! A blizzard set the perfect scene for this couple :-)

  2. I love stories where people are forced to reevaluate their opinion about someone. Sounds like a winner! Best wishes for BE MY LOVE!

    1. Thanks MJ! It was a fun story to write :-)

  3. I really loved the setting of a blizzard and snow. Way to go! Good luck with sales.

    1. So did I Judy! I love staying inside with hot chocolate during a storm. It's probably my favourite setting to date. :-)

  4. Congrats on the new release J.C.! It's a great story and I'm looking forward to reading it again! Best wishes for many sales!

    1. Thanks Karilyn! Hopefully you like the changes I made. Thanks again for the beta read. You're advice is invaluable. :-)

  5. We send sincere apologies for what appears to be a lack of response at this end. Truth is we were invited to be guest speaker at an out of town writers' retreat. We had a great time, enjoyed meeting new people whom we now consider friends and had a lot of laughs.
    Thanks JC for holding down the fort!

    1. You're welcome! I hope the guest speaking went well :-)