#FlashbackFriday – In The Stars (Amber Reed Mystery) by Zanna Mackenzie – 20 Quick Questions / #Review – Free Book – Great Escapes Tour

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I was so excited when Zanna contacted me about a book tour for this series. This book was already waiting for my on my Kindle.


In The Stars: A Humorous Romantic Mystery (Amber Reed Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – United Kingdom
Self Published
Publication Date: December 11, 2014
Print Length: 364 pages

One desperate phone call is all it takes to turn Amber’s previously dull day into one speeding scarily out of control!

Amber Reed’s at work making up the horoscopes for the local newspaper and wishing for some excitement in her life, when she gets a phone call offering her just that.

Plunged into the middle of a celebrity murder investigation she’s desperately trying to convince the scarily handsome special agent assigned to solve the case that she can help him catch the killer.

Amber’s soon battling something far more dangerous than she could ever have imagined – and it has nothing to do with the equally scary chemistry fizzing between her and special agent Charlie.

Is it Amber’s wish for more excitement in her life which has landed her in big trouble – or is her fate written in the stars?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Amber Reed is still good friends with her ex. When his brother is found dead he calls for a celebrity murder investigation and asks Amber to help the investigator assigned to the case. The investigator is not happy but knows she is going to follow him no matter where he goes so he concedes to letting her tag along. Amber doesn’t know why but she is very attracted to this investigator and the more time they spend together the closer they get. As their romance heats us so does the danger. Is a life for them together “in the stars”? Will they survive this investigation and catch the killer?

If you like your mysteries balanced by romance and humor this is the perfect story for you.

Zanna Mackenzie has created some truly delightful characters in Amber and Charlie. Each a little wary of each other at first, their attraction progresses pretty rapidly. Amber is strong and independent and feels she doesn’t need a man to protect her. That gets her into some dicey situations. Charlie takes his job very seriously and finds himself not only trying to solve his case but keep Amber out of trouble too. Their relationship had me shaking my head, laughing out loud and scared for them, sometimes all on the same page.

The story has some nice twists making the story very exciting.  Some of the people involved hold things back to save themselves and without all the details the danger escalates. Turns out we are dealing with much more than murder.

I was very entertained by this story. The mystery was very well written, the characters are very engaging (their romance is G-rated) and there are several hilarious moments. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Twenty Quick Questions with Zanna Mackenzie

Favorite Color – Purple, well a lilac/ pink kind of purple!

Favorite Candy – I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and tend to prefer savory items such as crisps (chips) rather than candy but I do have a weakness for things like Nutella – we rarely buy it as I would end up eating the whole jar in a day or two!

Favorite Snack – Cheese! I have a digestive complaint which means I have to limit cheese on a rotation diet basis as I cannot digest proteins easily. In theory I’m only supposed to eat cheese twice a week with a three day gap between each serving but I confess it doesn’t always happen that way…

Favorite Soft Drink – I’ve never been a huge fan of fizzy drinks but I love Fentiman’s old fashioned ginger beer and also pure apple juice.

Favorite Hard Drink – I don’t drink alcohol because I’ve never much liked the taste of wines or spirits, even when I was younger.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor – Coconut or good old proper vanilla.

Favorite Movie – Oooh, that’s a tough one. I have so many! I love movies, mostly romantic comedies. If pushed I could maybe narrow it down to three – am I allowed to do that or is it a bit of cheat? Okay, here’s my three – Walking On Sunshine (I adore music and dance films) / Leap Year (stunning scenery and I’m a fan of Amy Adams) and Serendipity (a lovely escapist movie with some great music).

Favorite TV Show – Ooh, another tough one! I’m prone to swapping and changing on this depending on mood/time of year/ what’s on the TV. At the moment it is Chesapeake Shores on Netflix. We have a bookshelf full of DVDs from series we have watched in the past and loved and we choose a series to watch right from start to finish. We have things like the fabulous Brothers & Sisters (we’re working our way through this at the moment and are on series 3 of 5). We recently finished Pan Am (only one series made of this wonderful programme for some reason) and are planning on moving on to Hart Of Dixie next. I enjoy sitcoms too, especially Last Man Standing.

Favorite Book – Oh no, these questions are getting harder! As with TV stuff, I have favorite’s in different genres as I read across romance, chick lit, cozy mystery, chick lit mystery, cozy paranormal mystery and romantic suspense. My favorite genre is romantic comedy mystery (which is the genre I also write in) and I enjoy books by people like Camilla Chafer, Gemma Halliday and Stephanie Bond but if I can really only choose one then it would probably be Martina Reilley’s Even Better Than The Real Thing. It’s set in Ireland and Florida and tells the story of a woman who gets unknowingly caught up in art fraud. It’s a romantic comedy mystery.

Favorite Fictional Character – probably Sophie from Kate Johnson’s Sophie Green Mysteries. She has many flaws but is funny and feisty and great fun to read about.

Favorite Super Hero – Not sure I have one! Maybe The Flash from the TV series of the same name. Reason? He seems more ‘real’ than the others to me.

Favorite Singer/Group/Band – Sorry, I don’t have one particular favorite. I enjoy music of lots of types from lots of artists – such as Olly Murs (for upbeat dance numbers), Coldplay (for emotional numbers) and classical for relaxation.


Favorite Carnival Ride – I get motion sickness so avoid them all!

Favorite Spring Activity – Planting vegetables in the tiny veg plot in our garden; venturing outside with a coat, hat and gloves to walk the dogs, and enjoying a cup of tea and a spot of reading on the bench in the garden.

Favorite Summer Activity – Picking the aforementioned fruit and veg in the garden once it’s ready.

Favorite Fall Activity – Heading to the woodlands to enjoy the amazing leaf colours.

Favorite Winter Activity – Lighting some candles and cuddling up on the sofa with the family underneath some throws to watch something  blissfully escapist on the TV.

Favorite Place to Read – In bed, last thing at night, it’s my switch off and relax time.

Favorite Place to Write – In the garden with a notebook and pen.

Dream Vacation Destination – A deserted beach in the UK in winter, doesn’t matter where, though favorite spots are in Lincolnshire, Anglesey and south west Scotland. It will be freezing cold but wonderfully bracing. Follow a few hours of walking with a supper of cheese, biscuits and crisps (chips) in front of a real fire and relaxing. Wonderful…

About the Author

I live in the UK (Derbyshire/ Leicestershire border) with my husband, 5 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 my ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, I can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel I’m working on. I love it when the characters in my novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot.

I enjoy walking the dogs, gardening and reading.

Author Links –  Webpage – Blog – Facebook –  Twitter  GoodReads

Praise for In The Stars (Amber Reed Mystery)
by Zanna Mackenzie

Danger and romance heat up the pages of this intriguing mystery.
~Laura’s Interests

Amber is a great heroine. She is very loyal to her friends, as evidenced by her undertaking to help out in the investigation into the murder of her college-boyfriend-turned-movie-heartthrob (Ennis’s) brother (Joel), even though it initially is out of her comfort zone and eventually downright dangerous!
~Back Porchervations

Purchase Links

In The Stars is part of the fun, romantic Amber Reed Mystery series:

* In The Stars (book 1)
* On Trial ( book 1.5)
* Precious (book 2)
* Forever Mine (book 3)
* Past Perfect (book 4)
* Stop The Beat (book 5)
* Paradise Lost (book 6)

 Right now you can get On Trial (book 1.5) for free.
Just go to Zanna’s Webpage here to get your copy!


September 21 – Carole’s Book Corner – GUEST POST
September 21 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 22 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 23 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT  
September 24 – The Montana Bookaholic – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
September 26 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
September 27 – Socrates’ Book Reviews  – SPOTLIGHT
September 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
October 1 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
October 2 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW
October 3 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
October 3 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
October 4 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”