May I introduce: Zanna Mackenzie "The Love Programme"

 

The Love Programme
by Zanna Mackenzie



Reading through the blurb, reminds me of how much I loved my time in Scotland, so this book is definitely a "must read" for me ... and I'm sure as soon as you've read through this post, it'll be on your TBR list as well. :-)
 
1 – What gave you the idea for “The Love Programme”

Many years ago there was a comedy drama series on TV in the UK called Monarch of the Glen. It was about a reluctant laird who had to take on the running of a Scottish country estate complete with castle, lochs and thousands of acres of land. The estate had financial problems so he was forced to come up with all these different ways to generate money to try to save it from bankruptcy. There were lots of twists and turns as well as plenty of romance during the seven series the programme ran for. I loved the series and my husband and I even visited all the filming locations in and around the Highlands of Scotland for our holiday one year. All of which inspired the setting for The Love Programme.
In the book the fictitious country estate I created is home to a reality TV series which is being filmed in the castle. Lucy, desperately in need of some advice when it comes to her disastrous love life, finds herself becoming a last minute replacement on the series which, thankfully, even has its own relationship psychologist!
Unfortunately things end up getting more, not less, confusing for Lucy – as if having her childhood sweetheart (now ex-boyfriend) pursuing her across the country and the TV series ‘love interest’ Isaac taking her on tailor made dates isn’t enough to contend with! When, strolling by the loch, she meets the estate’s owner, the laird, Paul, she finds herself drawn to spending time with him - even though the TV people have made it clear he’s firmly ‘off limits’ to the reality show contestants.
As I wrote the book I got to conjure up all those amazing Scottish landscapes in my head and I got to enjoy the holiday photos again too – all in the name of book research!


2 – You say you love the great outdoors - especially Scotland, the Lake District and Derbyshire's Peak district. What is it that draws you to those places?
Oh, so many things. I love the scenery of the great outdoors especially dramatic mountain landscapes. I adore going on long walks outdoors where you can just soak up the nature, the weather, the views and all of that wonderful peace and quiet all around you. I feel at home when I’m outdoors – whether that’s in wellington boots digging up and redesigning the garden at home, walking our four Labrador dogs with my husband every day or hiking up hills with a rucksack and waterproofs on!
3 – Tell us a little bit about your current project.
I’m soon to launch a series of romantic comedy mysteries. Book 1 is written and out with beta readers for feedback and book 2 is half written. I have plot outlines in place for books three and four in the series. I’ve found I really enjoy writing romantic comedy (often called ‘cozy’) murder mysteries though I have to admit the plotting aspect is a huge challenge! It’s simple enough coming up with a setting, a murder and a ‘how’ but the piecing together of the various clues and red herrings on the way to Charlie and Amber solving the crime has been known to give me brain ache!
 


Blurb:
What do you do when your childhood sweetheart and now ex-boyfriend won’t accept it’s over?
Lucy’s life is a mess. With her ex pursuing her across the country, she flees to Scotland and finds herself part of a reality TV show about love… will she find some answers or end up even more confused in matters of the heart?
 

Author:

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!
Zanna has written three novels, The Love Programme, How Do You Spell Love? and If You Only Knew.
 





http://www.pinterest.com/zannamac/ 

 

Purchase Links:
Amazon USA ebook link:

Amazon UK ebook link:

 
 
Excerpt:
 “Just sit on this suitcase, will you, Fi? I can’t get the stupid thing shut!”
Fiona, obligingly perching her bottom on the bulging case so Lucy could tug the zipper to close it up, said, “I can’t believe you’ve agreed to do this. You’re going to be on a TV show about love! Won’t you be embarrassed having everyone know all your business?”
Her face red from doing battle with the suitcase and, thankfully, managing to win, Lucy shook her head. “No. Where else could I get a few extra weeks off work and live the life of luxury whilst a man tries to impress me with extravagant dates? Plus, I’ll be getting relationship coaching from a top expert.”
Lucy checked around the room to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything. “Do you think I’ve packed the right clothes?”
Fiona lay back on the bed, stretching and spreading her arms out around her as though she was making the duvet version of a snow angel. “How should I know?”
“Mel said the programme is being recorded at the home of some Scottish laird. It’s a real mansion with a spa and acres and acres of land.”
Fiona pushed herself into an upright position, suddenly all attentive. “A laird, eh? Sounds interesting. What else do you know about him?”
“He’s not going to be one of the dates so don’t get all excited. He’s just rented his home out to the TV production company. Apparently he’ll be away on business most of the time we’re there, so we probably won’t even get to meet him.”
Fiona shook her head. “Shame, how exciting would it have been? Meeting a real life laird would be amazing.”
“He’s probably about sixty, balding, as round as he is tall and arrogant to boot.”
Fiona slapped Lucy on the arm. “Don’t spoil it for me. I was just picturing him as about our age, the classic tall, dark and handsome type. Big brown eyes…” She sighed happily. “Is it just me or do you find all those green wellies and Barbour jackets the country gents wear incredibly sexy?”
“No, it’s definitely just you!” Lucy shook her head despairingly.
As Fiona stared into space, no doubt continuing her little country gent fantasy, Lucy flopped down onto the bed. “Do you think I’m doing the right thing?”
“Of course you are. This could be a life-changing opportunity.”
“I’d like to be able to go on dates without feeling guilty about Marcus all the time.” Sighing, Lucy added, “I want to be free to have relationships like everyone else does.”
“I know you do. So, how can you doubt if you’re doing the right thing? You have to go to Scotland. You know you do.”
“I suppose so but will you be okay? I hate leaving you with your wedding just weeks away. There’s still some preparations to do and I am chief bridesmaid. Maybe I shouldn’t go. This is all crazy, I won’t go. I must be mad even contemplating it.”
“You’re going! End of story! The wedding is being perfectly managed by my mum and by Luke’s mum, so no worries there.” Fiona hauled Lucy to her feet. “What time’s your train?”
“I’m getting the overnight sleeper up to Inverness and then Craig, the TV guy, is going to meet me at the station and drive me to the country estate.”
“I’m so envious.” Fiona sulked, folding and unfolding the corner of the duvet around her fingers.
“I thought you were happy with your Mr-Not-So-Perfect?”
“I am.” Fiona sighed. “But a girl can dream, can’t she?”
 

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for letting me visit your blog Iris! Great to be here!

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    1. Pleasure to have you here .... at your next visit you will need to bring some photos :-)

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