Blog Stop: Lillian MacKenzie Rhine, author of ‘Winter’s Island’!

FINALCOVER1kLillian MacKenzie Rhine has just released her new vampire romance, Winter’s Island. Below is a blurb about the gorgeously lethal paranormal romance.


Cay Winters is an impressionable free spirit from Los Angeles, California. Losing her mother at a very youthful age has given her a drive to live life a certain way. Her aunt Lulu and cousin Malcolm welcome her into their hearts, taking care of all of the things needed by a motherless child. Being an artist has taken her to a lot of interesting places; but when the chance to live in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands appears, she is eager to take it.

Once there, she is overwhelmed by the beauty and the mystique of the Virgin Islands. The food, the beaches, the attractions are amazing, but William Gatling is the best part. He takes on the task of teaching Cay how to love the right way. The only problem is the secret that he holds from her. A revelation that could rip her from his heart; or, worse yet, end her life.

The two lovers spend so much effort trying to fight their inner demons that they cannot see the true devils that are sitting in front of their faces. Once Cay fights her battles within, she can finally win the war outside. Once William accepts the truth, he can see the light.


Today this talented author will be discussing the insights for choosing the interesting location of Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands for her setting for Winter’s Island.


The novel Winter’s Island was heavily inspired from a personal friend of mine that happened to originally reside on the beautiful island of Saint Thomas. With making this 32 square foot mecca of wildlife and beautiful beaches the location for my story, I embarked on the task of keeping the spirit of the island present at all times.

There was not a day that I did not research not only Saint Thomas itself but the Caribbean and West Indians as well. Never having the luxury of visiting such glorious environments, I had to heavily rely on personal friends who had roots in the Caribbean plus others who had visited themselves.  I was very naive to the fact that each island, even the three of Virgin Islands, all operated differently with a range of traditions and customs. YouTube became my best bet when it came to internet research. The drawbacks from researching on the internet is the abundance of information for tourists which was against what I was trying to achieve.

Given that run-of-the-mill maps of Saint Thomas did cover a good portion of the island small rural areas unseen on most maps had an importance to me as. With an abundance of beaches and locations, it was vital that I knew where all attractions were in comparison to my main characters’ residences.

Another thing that proved to be interesting is capturing the local culinary styles and soul foods. I found myself going through a history lesson of sorts just to answer the question why the foods of Saint Thomas have a Indian fusion with curries and Indian inspired dishes versus what I thought to be island specific foods like fish and fruits. Of course, no one can survive only on fish and mangos…well they could…but that would not make for a good book.

So outside of knowing the different types of foods, describing them was a different story. How to describe something you have never sampled? In the exact way a reader would experience it; through careful descriptive and wild imaginations. Being a great cook with a sensitive palate does not hurt either. Some of the dishes that I showcased were callaloo, roti, as well as rice and peas.

Lastly, the climate and building style made up for the remainder of vital island information. This also called for a brief…well extensive…history lesson as well. From the historical African slave market that presently held the produce market to Tillett Gardens, the island proved to have a lot of history within those 32 square feet. The mixture of building structures, ornate iron workings, and hillside residences made up for a lot of the overall look. The climate was perfect for the most part so I put a lot of focus into the description of daytime versus the night life. The piercing sun and rich liquid darkness of night that comes alive with lights and people.


Overall, I am confident that I was not only able to capture the essence of Saint Thomas from remote towns to succulent dishes and enchanting environments, but I was able to make the island itself a major character amongst Cay, William, Jeremiah, and Ivy.


Saint Thomas as a fifth character in the story sounds like a great read to me. To order your copy of Winter’s Island, click on the amazon links found below and be sure to leave a review on amazon and goodreads. Find book trailers, character bios, and more on Lillian MacKenzie Rhine’s blog found below.

Thank you for tuning in today.

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Blog Stop: Lillian MacKenzie Rhine, author of ‘Memoirs of a Succubus’

Memoirs of a Succubus cover

Every author, I believe, remembers what and when they first wrote something just for the pleasure of it, because the writing of it made them feel good, or because they had a story inside them that yearned to be told. And the second most cherished memory that authors have, could very well be the first time they shared what they wrote, and the reactions that produced.

And I truly believe  most writers experience that joy and excitement all over again when watching other authors go through that process of first stepping out and letting others experience their work. Given that, I am happy to host my friend Lillian MacKenzie Rhine, whose very first published work, Memoirs of a Succubus is currently available on Amazon.

What was the very first thing you ever wrote, and how old were you?

This might sound funny but the very first thing I have ever wrote creatively outside of dispute letters for work was Memoirs of a Succubus and I am 32.  Unlike a lot of authors, I did not come up with a pen and a pad in hand.  I was more of a calculator, chemical, and calendars-type child.

What motivated you to share your writing with the world?

Others that had previously heard my stories from my past motivated me to share my writing with the world.  Memoirs of a Succubus was a piece based on my prior trysts with lovers and there were a lot of messages and morals contained within the piece that I learned from my experiences.

Memoirs of a Succubus is your first published book, but if you had to think of one core message, a common strand that you want to run through your work, what would that be?

My common strand would be that everyday struggles in every aspect make you real to the world and when you come off as authentic then your readers can relate to you.  There are struggles and fights found in everyone’s aspect of life; and, when it comes to books and genres, you can portray that theme in many ways.

You write erotic fiction. What appeals to you about this genre, and what are you trying to tell your readers?

Yes, Memoirs of a Succubus is an erotic piece due to the subject nature of a succubus and her past lovers.  What I am trying to get across to my readers is that sex is not always dysfunctional (yes, sometimes it can be) but things happen in life for a reason (even dysfunctional things). Do not look at a one-night-stand as something horrible, but a tantalizing experience of carnality without thought.

When you write, do you think of plot first, or characters first? Tell us about your process for “building” your stories.

My story builds itself for the most part.  The story itself forms its own foundation then I can plan out what follows.  For instance, Memoirs of a Succubus is considered a paranormal/urban fantasy piece; that was not my intention.  I had originally set out to tell my past story of lovers gone but when I created the title, it changed my flow into something of a paranormal nature. My current work in progress, William’s Winter a vampire romance, was inspired by looking at someone’s teeth (sounds crazy but it happens).

What are the best conditions for you to write in—quiet and alone, or in the middle of the action?

The conditions that have to be met for me to flow is several pencils, a large notebook, and the biggest eraser that I can find.  I have noticed that I usually start out stretched out on my stomach across my king-sized bed then I move into other positions as the writing continues. I actually had the chance to write in another location (another bed to be exact) but I got completely blocked (which was very funny).

In Memoirs of a Succubus, there is a specific paranormal reason for Natalya’s overly-sexualized behavior, but what are your thoughts on heroines who are highly-sexual? What are your thoughts on Natalya?

I do not see anything wrong with Natalya’s overly-sexualized behavior; it’s awesome actually. She controls her sex, having orgasms when she is ready, and she can care less about the man releasing.  All women should live this way in my opinion. Take control so you will not fall prey is something that I lived by in the past.  When you gain that lover that you can trust with everything in your heart, body, and spirit then you can relinquish the control but until then a woman has the most power in and out of the bedroom.  We as women are not fueled by sex, we fuel sex.  There is a wonderful, thought-provoking film out there titled Anatomy of Hell that showcases this very point; I implore you to take a look and listen to the message provided.

What other genre are you interested in writing as a new writer?

I have an open approach to genre writing.  So far I have had my hands in paranormal, urban fantasy, historical fiction, adult humor and now my works in progress boast GLBT romance, vampire romance, prison romance.

What are you working on now and when might we expect another Lillian MacKenzie Rhine book?

I am working on a lot of things right now along side of marketing and promoting Memoirs of a Succubus. My current big project is William’s Winter where I am almost to the midway point; this novel will release end of August 2013. You can check out an excerpt on my blog July 4th. After that I will finish Memoirs of a Succubus: Ungulavia which is full fantasy slated to release December 2013. I will be starting a project with an established writer within the next few weeks that will be something of the supernatural nature. My GLBT romance will be submitted to a publishing house for their consideration within the next month or so. So I have a lot of things going on so check out my blog for weekly updates.

What’s the best advice you ever got from someone about the writing life?

The best advice that I have gotten from someone about the writing life is something that I have taken and run with. That would be to think outside the box.  This falls into play in every aspect of writing. I will say one secret that I have created of my own just to share with the readers of this interview, when it comes to marketing there are a lot of groups out there (outside of Facebook and other social media platforms) that specifically relate to your piece. Seek these groups out, join them, tell your story, and build the relationships that are needed to be successful in this uphill battle of selling material. Do not get stuck in the fame of the game, sitting high on the loyalty of fans because all it takes is someone new to think outside of the box and the game will be forever changed.

Thanks for stopping by, Lillian! We’re going to be looking out for more of your work!

It’s a holiday tomorrow, everyone, so if you’re trying to think of something new and exciting to read, drop by Amazon to 

check her out!


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