Jera’s Jamboree : Location, Location, Location ~ Zanna Mackenzie

I’m delighted to welcome Zanna Makenzie today.

ZannaM scale

Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border 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!

If You Only Knew is Zanna’s third novel; her previous books The Love Programme, and How Do You Spell Love? were both published in 2013.

Author Links



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Location, location, location…

Do you have a favourite setting for books you read? Do you like your book heroines to pound the streets of New York or London in a sharp suit and high heels? Do you prefer the characters in the books you read to live in a country cottage and feed the chickens in jeans and boots each morning?

The setting for a book is to me, as a reader and a writer, all important. I used to be a travel agent and loved helping people to find and book their dream holidays. The smiles on their faces when they called into the office to collect their travel tickets (this was a long time ago, before emails, online booking and printing off your own tickets!!)  was always wonderful to see. I loved flicking through brochures during quiet moments at work and dreaming of holidays I might one day get to book for myself.  Later on in my career I found myself researching and writing tourism brochures for the UK holiday market and was fascinated by learning all about towns, villages, beaches and attractions.

I have nothing to do with the travel industry anymore but I still love to learn about places via TV, film and books.  My own novels so far have all been set in my favourite locations around the UK – from the Highlands of Scotland, through to the coast and moors of North Yorkshire and Derbyshire’s Peak District.

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I’m a country girl so my books tend towards country settings. In The Love Programme it was a luxurious private country estate, complete with castle, in the Scottish Highlands. In How Do You Spell Love? it was a pretty market town close to the moors and coast of North Yorkshire. In my latest novel, If You Only Knew, it’s a village in the outdoor sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District, complete with coffee shop and extreme sports centre.

For me, the chance to ‘escape’ to the place in a book where the story is unfolding is an amazing thing.  I have a few books I’m in the process of writing at the moment and I’m continuing in my theme of choosing locations for books based on some of my favourite places to visit. Where are these places do I hear you ask? The beautiful Lake District, the stunning Norfolk coastline and, venturing a little further afield, the western coast of Canada and the impressive city of Vancouver with its equally impressive coast and countryside right on its doorstep.

I love writing and I love travel and I feel incredibly lucky I get to combine the two in creating  a book – even if, in some cases, it’s just armchair travel!

It’s a lot easier to travel from your armchair now 🙂

If You Only Knew is touring with Fiction Addiction Book Tours.



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If You Only KnewCrooked Cat Publishing

February 7th 2014

Faith owns The Coffee Pot in the outdoor adventure sports mecca of Derbyshire’s Peak District. She hasn’t had a man in her life for a while, as she’s been too busy serving cakes to weary rock climbers and mountain bikers to find time for the complications of a relationship with the male of the species.

At least, that’s what she tells herself. The truth is that since she got her heart broken she’s had problems trusting men.

When she meets Zane, one of the new owners at the Carrdale Extreme Sports Centre, Faith finds herself enjoying his company even though part of her can’t help wondering why he’s so reluctant to talk about himself.

Then the past comes back to haunt her in the shape of Zane’s business partner Matt, who just happens to be the guy who broke Faith’s heart all those years ago.

With Matt out to cause trouble and Zane keeping secrets Faith’s life is about to get very complicated indeed…

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This couldn’t be happening.

Zane had said his business partner was called Matt. She was sure of it. Yes, he’d definitely just introduced him as Matt. But the man standing before her wasn’t Matt.

It was Aaron.

Faith wiped her hands on a tea–towel. She wanted to speak, but couldn’t get her brain into gear enough to make her mouth form the words.

She’d thought Aaron was gone from her life.

It looked as though she was wrong.

She took a step back, wrapping her arms around herself. Suddenly she felt cold and shaky. Aaron was back? This was impossible.

Yet here he was, standing in her kitchen. She felt dizzy and light-headed.

How should she react? Should she admit they knew each other? Why had Aaron changed his name to Matt anyway? Would he prefer it if the fact they knew each other was kept quiet?

But she knew she couldn’t keep something like that from Zane.

As she debated what to say and do next, the room remained awkwardly silent. Zane was looking at her questioningly.

What should she say?

Come on, think, woman. Think.

Too late. Aaron spoke first.

“Faith, it’s amazing to see you again after all these years.”

OK. So he didn’t want to keep it a secret that they already knew each other.

“Aaron,” she managed to say. “This is a bit of a shock.”

“That’s an understatement,” Matt said, stepping forward to pull her into a hug.

“Hang on a second,” Zane said, pushing into the room. “Aaron? That’s your proper name isn’t it?” He raised enquiring eyebrows at Matt. “What’s going on? You two already know each other?”

6 thoughts on “Jera’s Jamboree : Location, Location, Location ~ Zanna Mackenzie

  1. Pingback: Chick Lit Round-up (March 2014): Interesting Articles | Jennifer Gilby Roberts

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