Guest Blogger – Zanna Mackenzie, author of How Do You Spell Love?

I’m very excited to invite the lovely Zanna Mackenzie, author of the newly published chick lit novel, How Do You Spell Love?, to my blog.  Take it away Zanna!

Today we’re interviewing the character of Summer from Zanna Mackenzie’s novel How Do You Spell Love? (HDYSL)

Tell us a bit about yourself Summer

I’m a bit of a modern eco warrier I suppose. I manage the local Save The World charity shop in the town where I live in Yorkshire, I grow all my own fruit and veg on my allotment in town and I’m a practising white witch.

Wow! A witch eh? I don’t think I’ve ever met a white witch before, what does that mean exactly?

It means I cast ‘spells’  but only good ones, not ill intentioned or evil ones. I do spells to help others, asking for things like protection or fertility or, the most popular, for love.  I inherited this ‘gift’ from my gran and I abide by the old code of never accepting money for any spells I do and never wishing anyone any harm. Another code is not to cast spells asking for something for yourself. I usually abide by this one but, as you’ll see if you read the book, I end up bending the rules a bit on this point.

So what do these spells involve?

Usually the chanting of a rhyme and the use of things like herbs, essential oils, plants and crystals. I perform most of my spells in a shed on my allotment / vegetable plot.

So you mentioned bending the rules to perform a spell asking for help for yourself, can we ask what that was about?

I don’t know if I should say too much but, well, it involves Rob, my boyfriend, we’re having problems at the moment and I thought a lunar love spell might get our relationship back on track.

And did it?

Unfortunately, it just seemed to make things even more complicated!

In the book blurb for HDYSL it mentions that you meet a guy called Tom, can you tell us more?

My friend and co-worker Kat invites me to a party her family are having and that’s where I meet Tom. He’s her cousin and we get talking about this and that.  He mentions he grew up on his gran’s allotment/veg plot and how much fun it was, when I mention about having an allotment myself. Then, a few days after the party, he turns up at my veg plot and asks if he can help out from time to time but we both know he’s asking for much more than that! Anyway, I agree, ok, I admit, I do like him, but for a whole variety of reasons we really can’t be together so I’m soon left wondering why on earth I agreed to him being around and what on earth  is going on between us.

Thanks Summer!

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FACTS ABOUT HOW DO YOU SPELL LOVE?

Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing Published on: March 1st 2013 Genre: Chicklit/rom com with magical theme

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 THE BOOK HERE:

*Crooked Cat Publishing – http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/

*Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Do-You-Spell-Love/dp/1908910771/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361800360&sr=8-2

*Amazon USA – http://www.amazon.com/How-Do-You-Spell-Love/dp/1908910771/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361800417&sr=1-3&keywords=zanna+mackenzie

CHECK OUT THE FABULOUS EXCERPT HERE:

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.

ABOUT ZANNA MACKENZIE:

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.

FOLLOW ZANNA HERE:

www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk

www.zannamackenzie.co.uk

Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zanna. mackenzie

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10703273-zanna-mackenzie

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zanna-Mackenzie/e/B00BKY1A18/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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Q & A and giveaway with author Sophie Meyer

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED! WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND WILL BE NOTIFIED SHORTLY BY AUTHOR.  THANKS FOR PLAYING 🙂

I am very excited to welcome Sophie Meyer to my blog today. Sophie is the author of the enchanting new chick lit novel called Where’s the Groom.  Sophie was kind enough to answer some questions about herself and her writing so read below for the answers and leave a comment for a chance to win one of five ecopies of Where’s the Groom!!  

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Me: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Sophie: I’ve been writing since I was about ten, and knew it right away. It’s who I am, natural to me.  Once I started I never wanted to stop.

Me:  What inspired you to write Where’s The Groom?

Sophie: I’ve been around so many women searching for love for so long – and am also very familiar with self-improvement workshops. It often occurred to me that it would great fun to do a novel about both of them…to see how these techniques really worked, take it to the limit. Can we really attract the man of our dreams by changing our consciousness? That was the question that spurred this book.

Me:  Are you working on another novel?  If so, can you give us a sneak peak of what it’s about?

Sophie: I am actually in the process of planning another novel, about star crossed lovers, who are always in the wrong place at the wrong time, until something dramatic happens that changes both of their destinies. It’s about soul mates and what is needed for them to be together at last.

Me: What are some of your favorite books and authors?

Sophie: I love Gone with the Wind and the novels of Jane Austen

Me: What are your biggest fears as a writer?

Sophie: My biggest fear as a writer is that people won’t enjoy what I write, that it won’t connect with others.

Me:  Who would you cast as Ashley in the movie version of Where’s the Groom?

Sophie:  I think Jennifer Anniston or Kate Hudson would be perfect as Ashley.

Me: What would the story of your life be entitled?

Sophie: The story of my life would be entitled The Incredible Circle of Life

Me:  What aspect of writing is easiest/most difficult for you?

Sophie: The easiest part of writing for me is the enjoyment I receive from watching the characters develop as the book goes along. The most difficult part is marketing it – making sure it gets out there and is read.

Me: Any advice for new writers?

Sophie: I’d tell new writers to just sit down and write. Don’t edit, don’t hesitate. Let it all pour out. There’s a wonderful saying I heard about this, “You don’t know what you think until you see what you say”. Say it. Discover surprises. Then you can edit and shape it into what you like.

Me: Biggest celebrity crush?

Sophie: Hugh Grant

Me: Favorite television show?

Sophie: Love The Bachelor

Me: Me too! I love to hate it too 🙂 Favorite romantic comedy movies?

Sophie: Sleepless in Seattle, Moonstruck and Pretty Woman

Me: Guilty pleasure?

Sophie: chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate please?

Me: So… can I take it you like chocolate?  If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you want to be?

Sophie: If I couldn’t be a writer, I’d be a singer (if I had a good voice.)

Me: Do you believe in the power of positive thinking as encouraged by Vince, Ray and eventually Ashley in Where’s the Groom?

Sophie: I do believe in the power of positive thinking. I see how what we believe, hold in mind, and wish for ourselves goes out into the world and attracts all kinds of events and situations.

Thank you, Sophie! 

Check out the blurb for Where’s the Groom here:

Ashley, just turning thirty, is struck with a string of bad dates that keep getting worse. The last of her group of friends to be single, she’s quickly becoming hopeless about finding The One. When a friend convinces her to attend a new-age workshop on making your dreams come true, she gets onto a roller coaster she can’t get off of. The poignant and hilarious comedy of errors begins. The workshop sweeps through her life like a tornado and turns her reality upside down. She is told: visualize it, and he will come. Ashley takes it seriously, and before she knows it, she’s planning a wedding she can’t get out of. There’s only one problem: there’s no groom. Things quickly spiral out of control as one misunderstanding after another occurs, and Ashley’s friends and family become more and more involved and want to know who the groom is? Backed into a corner, Ashley finds herself having to make up one story after another as her wedding plans become more and more of a reality. Everything intensifies as Ashley chooses her bridesmaids and is caught in a whirlwind of looking for dresses, choosing a venue, finding a band, and a thousand other arrangements. Soon a date is set, invitations are sent out, and there is no backing out! As all this goes on, Ashley is desperately dating, hoping for The One to show up in time! The book explores love, dating, fantasies and a thousand crazy detours on the way. In a shocking ending with a twist, Ashley draws true love into her life in the most unexpected way.

 

And my review here:  http://www.amazon.com/Wheres-Groom-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B00BAO5KZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363401870&sr=8-1&keywords=where%27s+the+groom

 

And purchase the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Wheres-Groom-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B00BAO5KZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363371027&sr=8-1&keywords=Where%27s+The+Groom%3F

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wheres-the-groom-sophie-meyer/1114296283?ean=2940016392486

 

Sophie’s bio here:

Sophie Meyer has been writing for years, and has always been in love with love. With a background in psychology, philosophy and theater, she’s helped many find love, avoid detours and climb out of  inevitable pitfalls. The essence of her life and work are exploring the wonderful, spontaneous and unpredictable surprises life loves to provide. She also offers talks and workshops on finding and living a life of love.

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF FIVE ECOPIES OF WHERE’S THE GROOM UP FOR GRABS, SIMPLY LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW!