Friday, May 17, 2013

Welcome Zanna Mackenzie!

I'm so happy to have the lovely Zanna Mackenzie here! We met through The Chick Lit Goddesses, the best writing support group an author can have, and I was instantly drawn to the gorgeous cover of her novel How Do You Spell Love? 

Stunning! Published by Crooked Cat Publishing, How Do You Spell Love? is a chick lit/romantic comedy with a magical theme. I'm sold!

Zanna is here to talk about attraction and the influence of the zodiac, and I have to say, I love this post. Take it away, Zanna!

Attraction – It’s Written In The Stars

How many times have you thought you know what - or who - you want in your life but something has taken you down a completely different path, which actually ended being what you really wanted after all but you just didn’t realise it?

In my recently released novel How Do You Spell Love? Kat and Summer think they know what they want in their lives and the men they want to spend their lives with, but fate has other ideas.

Kat is trying to get over the end of her relationship with Nathan, even though part of her still believes they were meant to be together. Summer is trying to find ways to keep her relationship with Rob on track. Then Kat meets Alex, and Summer meets Tom, and for a whole tangle of reasons Kat shouldn’t be with Alex, and Summer shouldn’t be with Tom, but the attraction and chemistry is instant and causes everyone involved to start questioning their lives and their behaviour.

Which set me thinking, what is attraction? OK, there’s the obvious stuff – the physical side of things, a smile, a look. But what about that magical chemistry? Where does that come from? What makes the air sizzle between two people but not two others?

In the course of creating characters for my novels I’ve researched zodiac/star signs, their personality traits, what they look for in a partner and which zodiac signs they are attracted to. I have a document on my computer and when I see an actor/actress in a film/TV programme that I feel ‘drawn to’ and think would be good visual inspiration for a character in one of my books I add their details to the folder so I have info all ready for when I need to create a new character. I went to this document and researched all of the actor/actresses star signs and grouped them into categories. I was stunned to find a definite pattern emerge amongst the ones on my list. Then, purely in the interest of research (!), I looked at which of the male actors I quite liked the look of (OK, I admit, fancied them!) and was amazed to find they were mostly the same star sign.  According to zodiac sign compatibility, star signs within their own ‘group’  are attracted to each other and, taking it further, within each group there are some signs which are even more drawn to each other than the others.

Now, I’m a cancerian which is a water sign and the other 2 water signs are pisces and scorpio. According to zodiac ‘laws’ I should be most attracted to/drawn to scorpios within my ‘group of water signs’. Guess what? I’m married to a scorpio guy, and the star sign that most of the actors on my list where from? You’ve guessed it – they were all scorpios too! 

When I first met my husband -to-be we were introduced to each other at a small new years’ party by my best friend who was dating a colleague’s of my hubbie and they thought we’d ‘be good together’. They were right. There was an instant attraction and chemistry between us and we’ve been together for almost 19 years now, married for 16 of those years.

So, maybe attraction is actually written in the stars…

Book blurb:

Make A Wish…

Kat can’t help wishing there was more to life than this. What happened to her dream job? What happened with Nathan?

Summer is wondering where her life is going too… battling the developers of a controversial housing estate and working out why boyfriend Rob is increasingly distant.
When the developers win the battle and move into town everyone’s life is turned upside down.

Kat meets building site project manager Alex. She enjoys his company far too much, even though he’s on the town’s most hated list.

Summer meets Tom who has plenty of relationship troubles of his own, so things could get really complicated.

Soon everyone is keeping secrets, lives change and hearts are broken. Is everything falling apart, or does life just work in mysterious ways…

Buy How Do You Spell Love?

Book extract:

How Do You Spell Love?

Kat pushed the last of the cottage cheese and shrimp sandwiches into the cool box and slammed the van door shut. As if her life wasn’t enough of a disaster zone as it was – no money, lousy job, losing Nathan, having to move back home to live with her parents – now this had to go and happen. Plus, of course, it didn’t help that today she was feeling shattered after spending half the night chanting some ridiculous protection spell in the middle of the allotments with Summer.

Cringing as a van full of builders stopped at the nearby traffic lights, Kat braced herself for the inevitable. After the standard-issue wolf whistles had drifted across from their van, next came the leered, “Wouldn’t argue with that, love!” as one of them nodded towards her sparkling clean van, parked neatly at the curb. 

The words “A Bit of Crumpet on the Road” emblazoned down the side in deep purple, glittery lettering. Not for the first time Kat cursed her boss Janice for calling her bakery-cum-deli that name.

Kat sighed, well it certainly drew comments from the public and from their customers, not always welcome ones, but as Janice was always keen to point out, any kind of publicity and attention was, in her eyes, good publicity and attention.

Pulling her navy and white striped apron more tightly around her T-shirt and shorts, Kat ignored the builders and climbed into her van to begin that morning’s deliveries. As she indicated to pull out into the busy street in Luisborough, she mulled over the bad news – that she was to add the controversial Netherton Meadows housing development to her daily sandwich round.

Netherton Meadows. Yippee. If Summer found out, she’d surely be ostracised for fraternising with the environmental enemy. This was a development that pretty much everyone in Luisborough had fought against for getting on towards a year. It had been the focus of STW campaigns. It went against everything that Kat believed in environmental-wise. Everyone hated the Netherton Meadows developers. Except, it seemed, Janice, who was perfectly happy to, in her words, ‘supply yummy builders with yummy sandwiches.’
Lost in thought, Kat just managed to spot the approaching traffic lights had turned to red and hastily slammed a foot on the brake. The van lurched to a halt and several boxes of crisps and one of the cool boxes in the back tipped over. Damn. It was shaping up to be one of those days.

Two hours later Kat had visited all her usual drops, was extremely hot and bothered, and could put off going to Netherton Meadows no longer.

Driving through the assorted vans, machinery and portacabins Kat parked next to a building marked as being the Site Office and hit the button on the dashboard. Tinkling chimes filled the air as Kat climbed from the driver’s seat and made to open the back doors of the vehicle. It was embarrassing enough that the van had the company name in large lettering along its side but, just to make sure that it received maximum exposure – and achieved maximum embarrassment – Janice had had some irritating chimes fitted to the vehicle too. Kat was under strict instructions to sound the chimes when she called at all of the sites where people came out to the van; such as they were about to at Netherton Meadows.

A man came down the steps of the office with a grin on his face and walked towards her. “Hi, you must be Kat.” He wedged a clipboard under his left arm and offered a hand to shake. “I’m Alex. Project manager for the site.”

“Hi,” mumbled Kat, spotting a group of hard-hat-clad builders advancing towards her with hungry expressions on their faces.

“Right, lads,” Alex turned towards the men. “This is Kat and she’s very kindly agreed to venture onto this site to bring you all your lunch. Don’t give her any hassle, OK?”

The men laughed and then nodded. “Sure, Alex. You’re the boss.”

Fifteen minutes later it seemed that all of the team at the development had made their sandwich, crisp and drink selections and sloped off to devour them in the sunshine. Only one of the builders, a portly man who must have been twenty years Kat’s senior, had pushed the boundaries a little, despite Alex’s earlier warning. As he’d selected a smoked salmon and cream cheese roll – a choice that had surprised Kat somewhat, having pegged him as a ham and cheese kind of guy – he’d asked Kat if she’d fancy joining him for a drink sometime. She’d politely declined his offer, saying that she had a boyfriend. No need to tell him that, technically, she and Nathan were no longer an item. No need to tell him why either.

Author bio:

Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.

Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

Formerly a travel agent and therapist (she has qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, crystal healing, naturopathic nutrition and herbalism) she loves walking the dogs and gardening – that’s when she’s not writing or reading!

Zanna has written two novels, The Love Programme (Astraea Press) and How Do You Spell Love? (Crooked Cat Publishing) and both were published in early 2013.

Connect with Zanna!

Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie


  1. Thanks so much for letting me visit your blog today Sam - it is much appreciated!

  2. Great post, ladies. Had to look up if the hubs and I are a match, according to the stars - I'm an aries (a fire sign) and he's gemini (air). According to the site I looked at fires do well with air. Interesting!