Monday, January 24, 2011


Authors are often asked where they get their ideas and inspirations, and every time I’m asked that question, I have to say there’s a different answer for every book. Jess Bennett, the heroine in The Wedding Bargain, appeared in Firefighter Daddy as Rory Borland’s best friend. As soon as I met her, I knew she needed a book of her own.

Jess barely ekes out a living at The Whiskey Sour, the bar she owns in San Francisco’s South of Market neighbourhood, so it didn’t seem likely that she would own a car. So I gave her a little red Vespa instead.

Jess had a bit of a rough upbringing, so she needed a hero who would sweep her off her feet and give her the fairy tale ending she truly deserved. Enter Michael Morgan, CEO of Morgan Estate Winery. I fell in love with him the moment he strolled onto the page. It took Jess a little longer. While on a winery tour of Napa Valley (gotta love research!) I fell in love with the Andretti Winery, and it became my inspiration for Michael’s family home.

And since every fairy tale ending could very well include a fairy tale wedding, Jess would have to have the perfect gown. It had to be timeless, elegant, and not too fussy. If she was going to get married, this was the dress.

I hope you have as much fun reading Jess and Michael's story as I had writing it! Happy reading!

Until next time,


Rachel said...

"I fell in love with him the moment he strolled onto the page. It took Jess a little longer."

LOL, Lee.

I'm glad it works out for Jess and Michael. It does work out, right?

Seriously, I loved hearing how a character just walked on the page and you knew…and how you draw on the real world, as well, as you did with the winery.

Aurelene said...

I love the beautiful book covers. I am looking forward to reading these new books.

Estella said...

Sounds good!

Winter said...

I've taken a bit of a break from reading, except for the 2 review books I had to do, cause I'm in the midst of a hard case of editing/rewriting on a past book my agent wants to resubmit. But I must go snatch up this book and read it. I enjoyed Jess in Firefighter Daddy.

I love that dress!

Victoria Chancellor said...

Love the Vespa and the winery! What a nice juxtaposition of characters. Reminds me a little of the Susan Elizabeth Phillips book I just finished, CALL ME IRRESTIBLE. (Hers is more exaggerated, of course!) But I love the Cinderella/transformational stories. Best wishes!

Lee McKenzie said...

Rachel asked:
It does work out, right?

Romance = HEA

Lee McKenzie said...

Aurelene, thanks for dropping by! American's always have beautiful covers. This is my fourth, and I have loved every one of them!

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Estella!

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Winter, and best of luck with your edit/rewrite!

Lee McKenzie said...

Victoria, I adore SEP's books, so "sounds like" is the best compliment ever!

And thanks for the reminder that her next book is out! I've been looking forward to this one.

linda s said...

I loved the Whiskey Sour, Vespa and all... Thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Lee McKenzie said...

Thank you soooo much, Linda! You've made my day!