Thursday, October 31, 2019

Not Guilty & Much More (+ Giveaway)

I’m delighted to welcome you to Thoughts in Progress as it is a fun-filled, jammed-packed day for me.

First, I’m thrilled to welcome Author C. Lee McKenzie here as part of her MC Book Tour for her latest release, NOT GUILTY. She is also offering a tour-wide giveaway. Much more on that fascinating story shortly.

Second, Happy Halloween to those celebrating far and wide. It’s a fun-filled day for kids of all ages. It’s a great time to dress up as your favorite character ad collect lots and lots of tasty treats (I’m talking about the kids of course). Today at work a group of us are dressing up as the case of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I’m playing the Evil Queen.

Now let’s find out more about Lee’s new book.

* Not Guilty
* by C. Lee McKenzie
* Publication Date: October 25, 2019
* Genre: Young Adult

          A blood-smeared knife. One young man’s word against another. A lifetime dream crushed.
          The evidence points to Devon Carlyle. He was there when it happened. Everyone knows he had it in for Renzo Costa. And Costa says Devon was the one. In the judge’s rap of a gavel, Devon’s found guilty of assault. The star of the Oceanside High’s basketball team loses his shot at the one thing he’s worked so hard for—the championship game where college scouts could see how good he is.
          Now he makes his great shots in Juvenile Hall with kids far different from those that have always been in his life.
          Angry? Hell, yes.
          He’s bent on finding who did the crime. He’s bent on making them pay because he’s Not Guilty.
          But can he prove it?

Now an excerpt from the book to tempt you even more.

Chapter Three
It took less than fifteen minutes for his parents to arrive. And it wasn’t an arrival so much as an invasion. His mom barged into the sheriff’s office slightly ahead of his dad, her face as flushed as Mr. Miller’s.
Dad grasped Devon by the shoulders. “Is this about the ticket? Was there more to it than speeding?”
Devon managed to shake his head, but he couldn’t speak. A deafening audio loop kept repeating, “Somebody stabbed Renzo Costa. They think I did it.”
Underneath that loop, Adam Miller’s voiced droned while he explained what was going on, the attack, and how Devon’s presence at the beach and his earlier fight with Costa had triggered the questioning.
His dad stood his arms crossed, his back straight, and his lips one thin line. Devon couldn’t look at his mom, but her sudden intake of breath was loud.
“The next step is to have Devon released into your custody. I don’t think they have enough evidence to charge him and keep him in juvenile detention.”
Devon rested his arms on his thighs, his head down. Charge me? Keep me? Give me detention? Each of those sent his heart into his throat.
He looked up when the door opened and the sheriff stepped inside. “Devon, wait out there with my deputy.” The sheriff held the door open until Devon left.
In the outer office, he leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. This could not be happening. He could not be facing possible arrest for a crime he had no part in. He could not be waiting to find out if he was going home with his mom and dad or if he was going to be taken to Juvenile Hall. But that was exactly what was going on. That and the end of his basketball scholarship. He pushed away from the wall and shoved his hands in his pockets. No. That couldn’t happen to him. They’ll find out I didn’t do anything more than shove Renzo around, and I had a damned good reason.
Closing his eyes, he imagined Kristen. Her voice when she heard about him being hauled into the sheriff’s office. “I know you’re not guilty, Dev.”
The door opened and his mom followed Mr. Miller out. Her face was even more flushed and pinched with worry than before. Dad walked behind her with his hand at her back.
The sheriff waved his deputy inside his office, leaving the four of them facing each other.
“You’re to go home with your parents, Devon,” Miller said. “The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing, so we’ll have to wait until all the evidence is in before we’ll know the next step.”
“What evidence?” Devon asked.
“The victim’s statement, for one. And the fingerprint comparisons aren’t back from the lab.” He tucked papers into his briefcase. “Also, it seems their search of your room turned up nothing. Excellent news.” The lawyer shook hands with Dad but only nodded at Mom. She didn’t respond. Her eyes had a vacancy Devon had never seen before.
After the lawyer left, Dad guided Devon and his mom out the front door and into their SUV. The trip home was dense with silence. What had happened that morning scared Devon more with each mile they drove. It was like the time he was eight and he’d lost his footing on the steep edge of a trail. The moment he almost fell was terrifying, but it became worse afterward when he had time to think about it. The sheer drop of hundreds of feet. The rocks below. For months, he had nightmares.
Once they were in the living room, Dad faced Devon. “You couldn’t have done this. Your mother and I know that.”
“Sit down,” his mom said. “We need to hear everything from your side.”
He went back over that Wednesday, starting with Susan and ending with how he’d put the shoe on the picnic table.
“I’m assuming this is the same Susan you just broke up with,” Mom said.
Dad paced. “You know the boy who was attacked. That’s what the sheriff said.”
“I’ve seen him around, but I only met him once—that night at a party when I caught him with my girlfriend.”
“And this Costa.” Mom sat next to Devon, facing him. “Did you get into a fight over Susan?”
“I slammed him against the wall. A couple of times. He came back at me but changed his mind, and I walked out. She wasn’t worth a fight.”

Author C. Lee McKenzie
For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. She has published five young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, and Sudden Secrets. Not Guilty is her most recent one.

          Sometimes she likes to jump into the world of the fantastic and when she does, she writes for the middle-grade reader. Some Very Messy Medieval Magick is the third book in the time-travel adventures of Pete and Weasel, with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster being the first two. Sign of the Green Dragon, a stand-alone, takes the reader into ancient Chinese dragon myths and a quest for treasure.

          When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot of questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and at her Website

NOT GUILTY can be found Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

The author’s other young adult books include: Sliding on the Edge, Princess of Las PulgasDouble NegativeSudden Secrets


With Halloween celebrated this week, Lee’s giving away five digital copies of NOT GUILTY and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. This tour-wide giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 5th.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

Last, but not least, today is my 10th Blogiversary. Thank you, thank you for all your support throughout all these years, especially the last year when my posting hasn’t been on a regular schedule.

When I scheduled that first post 10 years ago, I never imaged it would continue for this long. It has been an amazing ride so far allowing me to (virtually) meet so many wonderful new friends. I have learned so much about authors and all the hard work they go through so that we readers can escape to magical places time and time again. I am in awe of how sharing and caring bloggers are. Bloggers (including those who are authors) are supportive and encouraging.

I’ve mentioned this before but must say it again. I started this blog due to the help and encouragement of Authors Elizabeth Spann Craig and Cleo Coyle. They were and continue to be extremely helpful in so many ways. By the same token, so many of you were super helpful in my project recently helping me to accomplish an adventure I never dreamed I would – writing a book (IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE).

I can’t thank you all enough for your help, support and friendship. Thank you for stopping by today. Are you dressing up for the holiday? Have you checked out Lee’s latest book? Be sure to enter the giveaway below. Don’t you just love a character that grows as the story unfolds?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Happy Blogoversary - here's to many more. And a big hooray to Lee. I thoroughly enjoyed Not Guilty.

  2. Congratulations Mason - ten years is no mean feat ... here's to more - while your thoughts about the blogging world I can only concur with.

    Lee's book sounds a great read and I love the excerpts I'm coming across ... a good purchase for Christmas ... enjoy your day as the 'Evil Queen' ... cheers Hilary

  3. Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by today. Without you, this blog would not be here. Y'all are awesome.

    Lee, congratulations on the release of an awesome book.

    Happy Halloween all!!

  4. Happy Halloween! And Happy Blogoversary, Mason! Your blog is one of my absolute must-visits, and it's wonderful that you're celebrating it.

  5. Congrats on 10 years and congrats to Lee. I started in 2005 and encouragement from other bloggers kept me going.

    Wish I could see you as the evil queen.

  6. Happy Blogoversary Mason! Many more wonderful days of blogging. Congratulations!

  7. Wow! Ten years. That's wonderful. Happy Blogoversary and thanks for helping me get the word out about Not Guilty!

  8. I've been blogging about that long, too. Love Lee and her books. I read Not Guilt and could not put it down! Congrats on the success!

  9. Happy anniversary Mason. Mine is ten years, too, last July.


  10. Congrats on your long running blog.



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.