Jenn McKinlay's News #41
March 17, 2021
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've always loved this day - not just for the green beer (seriously!) but because growing up in CT, it frequently meant spring was coming if we could just hang on a little longer!
Giveaway: This month's newsletter giveaway is a signed copy of Paris is Always a Good Idea, a tin of Paris tea, a cupcake potholder, and an Oscar Wilde keychain that says "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken!" It was supposed to be a Paris is Always a Good Idea pendant but the shipper sent the wrong thing, and I decided the sassy Oscar Wilde quote was a perfect addition. One randomly chosen subscriber will win all the loot, so check your email! Notifications will go out on Friday, March 19th!
There are also monthly giveaways on my Instagram @mckinlayjenn and an independent FB page called Fans of Jenn McKinlay (super social and fun) and my assistant Christie always has loads of promotional giveaways on the FB page McKinlay's Mavens. Don't miss it! Join up TODAY!
Events: For the writers in the house, I am doing live chats on Instagram every Wednesday night in March, called Let's Write a Book, where I try to give a look behind the curtain at the process.
Book News: PRE-ORDERS!!! I have three books available for pre-order right now. FOR BATTER OR WORSE, the 13th Cupcake Bakery Mystery, which comes out on 05-04-21, WAIT FOR IT, my second women's fiction romcom available on 08-10-21, and KILLER RESEARCH, the 12th Library Lover's Mystery dropping on 11-02-21!!!
I know times are tough but pre-orders are literally what keep authors in business. Publishers will keep series alive when the pre-orders are significant. Even if you just ask your local library to pick it up for you, that's a huge help!
If you are a pre-orderer, Christie has crafted an insanely awesome giveaway for this summer's romcom release, Wait For It! Just send your proof of pre-order for Wait For It to firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll pop the exclusive desert wishes bracelet into the mail to you!
What's On My Mind? EXCERPT!!! To celebrate the upcoming release of For Batter or Worse, here is an exclusive excerpt:
"Shut the front door!" A shout sounded from the front of the bakery and Mel snapped her head at the swinging doors, expecting to see her octogenarian counter help, Marty Zelaznik, appear. He did not.
Angie was seated at a stool across the steel work table from her. They were decorating a batch of specialty gender reveal cupcakes so the frosting was half pink and half blue. Inside the cupcakes was a pink center of raspberry cream, because the baby was going to be a girl. They had not done the same thing for Angie because, much to everyone's chagrin, she and Tate had decided not to find out if Baby Harper was a boy or a girl.
"What do you suppose that was about?" Angie asked.
The swinging doors slammed open and Marty appeared. His bald head was pink and shiny and his navy blue Fairy Tale Cupcakes apron was askew and had a smear of buttercream on the bib.
"Turn on the TV, channel nine," he cried.
"What?" Mel asked.
"Why? Is there a fire?" Angie asked.
She was already in motion and pushed off her stool and crossed the kitchen as swiftly as her pregnant belly would allow. She grabbed the remote and switched on the television they kept in the kitchen. It was mounted on the wall as Mel liked to watch old movies when she pulled an all-nighter on a special order.
Angie flicked through the channels, pausing on channel nine. In seconds, the beaming smile of Oscar Ruiz, former employee of Fairy Tale Cupcakes, was smiling out at them as he demonstrated the proper technique when piping icing out of a pastry bag.
Mel felt her mouth drop open. "Oz? That's our Oz!"
"I know! Look at him!" Marty clapped a hand onto his bald head. "He looks like a movie star."
"But he said…" Angie paused and bit her lip. She looked at Mel and asked, "He did say he wasn't interested, right? My pregnant brain didn't make me hallucinate that, did it?"
"No, that's what he said," Mel agreed.
"Hush, he's talking," Marty said.
"Then you want to hold the bag at an angle and pipe the frosting in a thick swirl, working from the outside to the center," Oz instructed.
"My, you do have a wonderful technique," Stella, the morning show host, purred as she leaned up against Oz.
Angie made a low rumble in her throat. "I didn't know Stella was so handsy."
They watched as Oz handed Stella a pastry bag and helped her decorate a cupcake. He was handsome and charming and the camera loved him. When he flashed a smile, two dimples appeared in his cheeks that clearly charmed the socks off Stella.
"Hoo boy, look at him," Marty said. "He's like the Henry Cavill of cupcake baking."
The segment ended with Stella biting into one of Oz's cupcakes and fake swooning. Oz deftly caught her in his arms and then smiled at the camera. Marty was right. He was one hundred percent movie star Foodie Channel material.
"How?" Mel turned to Angie.
Angie shrugged and switched off the television as it segued to the weather. "Search me. He sounded like he'd rather be dipped in honey and tied to the top of a hill of fire ants when the owner of the resort suggested it."
"So, he must have changed his mind," Mel said. "But why and when?"
Marty pulled out his phone and rapid fired a text. "I don't know but we're going to find out."
"Hey, is anyone working here?" A man in black leather pants with a blue silk shirt unbuttoned down to his chest hair, allowing the thick gold chain around his neck to be seen, poked his head around the door.
"Yeah, yeah, keep your shirt on," Marty said. Then he squinted at Ray, one of Angie's brothers, and added, "In your case, please, keep your shirt on. No one needs to see that much hair when trying to eat a cupcake."
"What? Chest hair is a sign of manliness." He extended his arms wide as if shocked by any insinuation otherwise.
"Right," Marty said. "Very GQ that shag carpeting you're sporting."
He strode toward the door, glancing back at Mel as he went. "If you hear from Oz first, you tell me what he says."
"Same." Mel said.
"Yo, Ange, how's my little namesake doing today?" Ray asked. He crossed the room and leaned down to kiss Angie's cheek.
"I am not naming the baby after you, Ray," Angie said. "We've been over this."
"You'll change your mind," he said. He seemed very confident. "After all, how else can you show your affection for your favorite brother?"
"I don't have a favorite," Angie said. "I hate you all equally most of the time."
Ray laughed. He looked at Mel and said, "Just a couple of weeks until the big day, eh, Sis?"
His eyes twinkled at her and while Ray might not be Angie's favorite brother, he was Mel's. Mostly because they had a bit of a checkered history of escaping from gunmen together. It was the in-laws that run from bad guys together bond, plus, Ray made her laugh.
"Yeah, it feels like it came up really fast," she said.
"You're not getting cold feet, are you?" he asked. One hairy eyebrow shot up higher than the other.
"Nope," she said. "I've never been more sure of anything in my life."
"Excellent," he said. "Melanie DeLaura, it's got a nice ring to it."
Mel and Angie exchanged a look but neither of them said anything. No need to make Ray fret over Mel's indecision about her surname.
What was Oz doing on TV? What will Angie name the baby? Is it a boy or a girl? Will Mel take Joe's surname? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! All will be revealed on 05-04-21!!! Order your copy today!
Happy Spring and Happy Reading!
Wishing you all good things!