A Wicked Welcome to Connie di Marco

by Julie, getting a late start on my teaching day

I’m so happy to welcome Connie di Marco back to the blog. I love learning about astrology, and this series is a great way to do just that.

The REAL AskZodia

Julia Bonatti, my crime-solving astrological sleuth in the Zodiac Mysteries, writes an advice column, AskZodia, for her home town newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle.  Now, Julia’s column stretches reality quite a bit because what big city newspaper would have this kind of space?  But here’s a typical question Zodia might receive:

Dear Zodia ~

My birthday is September 13, 1974 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  I’ve been married for 26 years.  I’m very unhappy and confused.  I care about my husband, he’s a good person, but to be honest, I’m bored.  Bored with him and with married life.  I’ve been thinking about telling him I want a divorce, but I’m really afraid what this will do to him.  Please tell me what to do.

            ~ Growing Older

Dear Growing Older ~

Your sign off name says a lot.  You’re afraid life is passing you by and soon it will be too late for adventure.  What you’re not telling me, and I know because Neptune is opposing your Sun sign, and over the last year or so, opposed your Venus, is that you are attracted to someone else.  Here’s the thing about Neptune transits: they can lend a great aura of mystery or fantasy.  Much if not most of this is not real.  Think very carefully about your choices because in time, you may regret leaving your marriage.  If you would like to send a private message to AskZodia with this third person’s birth information, I would be happy to have a look at the new interest in your life.

Wishing you well ~

            ~ Zodia

Now there’s a . . . duh! . . . part of this story – I was so busy inventing my fictional astrologer, it never occurred to me to wonder if there might be a real AskZodia!  Then, at a street fair one day on Polk Street, out of curiosity, I stopped at the Chronicle booth and spotted the newspaper’s daily astrological column!  The same column Julia writes!  (sort of)  And I realized there is a REAL Zodia

I decided to investigate further.  Zodia’s name is actually Christopher Renstrom and he’s been kind enough to respond to my query.  He thought it was a hoot that a fictional astrologer was also writing for the Chronicle!  In fact, that fabulous Sagittarius art work is from Christopher’s site.  (In case you didn’t already know, Julia Bonatti is a Sagittarian). 

Christopher is a very well-known and well-respected astrologer with a website offering all sorts of astrological services and a terrific new book that’s just been released – The Cosmic Calendar: Using Astrology to Get in Sync with Your Best Life.  I’m reading and enjoying it right now! 

So if you’d like to enjoy a good astrological murder mystery, don’t miss The Madness of Mercury.  And if you’d like some real life astrology, find Christopher at his website [http://rulingplanets.com] at <a href="http://&lt;!– wp:paragraph –> <p>So if you’d like to enjoy a good astrological murder mystery, don’t miss <strong><em>The Madness of Mercury</em></strong>.  And if you’d like some real life astrology, find Christopher at his <a href="http://rulingplanets.com">website</a&gt; <strong>[</strong><a href="http://rulingplanets.com"><strong>http://rulingplanets.com</strong></a><strong>%5D</strong&gt; at Facebook <strong>[</strong>Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/christopher.renstrom] and Twitter @rulingplanets.  You won’t regret it! 

I have to confess something here — I have a fabulous computer program for astrology.  Don’t forget I have to work out all my charts for victims and murderers.  But while I’m in line at the supermarket, I can’t resist reaching for the nearest magazine to read my horoscope! 

How about you?  Tell the truth!  When you’re in line at the store, do you grab a Cosmo or Vogue and flip directly to the horoscope page? 


Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Suspense Publishing featuring Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco astrologer who never thought murder would be part of her practice.  The Madness of Mercury was re-released on October 9th, and the next two books in the series so far will be coming soon:  All Signs Point to Murder (December 1) andTail of the Dragon.

Website:  http://conniedimarco.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/zodiacmysteries
Twitter:  @askzodia

Writing as Connie Archer, she’s the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in both The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. 

Website:  httip://conniearchermysteries.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries
Twitter:  @SnowflakeVT

About The Madness of Mercury

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti’s life is turned upside down when she becomes a target of the Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle.  The Reverend, a recently-arrived cult preacher, is determined to drive sin from the city, but his gospel of love and compassion doesn’t extend to those he considers an “abomination unto the Lord.”  Julia’s outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, has put her at the top of the Reverend’s list.  While the powerful Mercury-ruled preacher woos local dignitaries, his Army of the Prophet will stop at nothing to silence not just Julia, but anyone who stands in his way. 

Buy links for The Madness of Mercury:
Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2TU13Ea
Barnes & Noble:  https://bit.ly/3evKszT
IndieBound:  https://bit.ly/3oZtsXJ

15 Thoughts

  1. I love that convergence of reality and fiction, Connie! I live with someone who is always explaining the world and people’s actions through astrology, so I don’t need to flip open the magazine.

    I also love that AskZodia has her own twitter handle. Perfect!

    1. Hi Edith ~ so glad to hear you’re well-versed in astrology! It’s a fascinating study and Scorpios are natural born detectives!

  2. Thanks to Julie and all the Wickeds for inviting me to visit today! I miss you all and hope to see all of you in person at a future Malice Domestic!

  3. Welcome, Connie! It’s so great to have you here. I love that there is a parallel real life person to your Julia. It reminds me of Lucy Burdette’s psychic Lorenzo who also has a real life counterpart.

    1. Oh that’s right, Barbara! I didn’t think of him. It’s great to be here and to chat with you. I still laugh when I remember your remarks on the mating habits of lobsters!

  4. Best of luck with The Madness of Mercury. Sounds perfect.

    How wonderful that life imitated art! I confess to being partial to the Cosmo horoscope. Do they still do the new year comprehensive book? It was wonderful, but I haven’t noticed it in a few years.

    I’ve had my horoscope done professionally twice. Now that my life has recently changed again, it might be time for an update.

    1. Hi Kait ~ thank you! I don’t know about Cosmo but Midnight Ink, my earlier publisher, put out a lot of those ‘Your year in ___’ type of books. It does sound like you’re ready for an update, maybe a second Saturn return? Planetary cycles are so fascinating — markers in life!

    1. Oh, thanks, Mark! What’s so fun is that Christopher was so kind to respond and got such a kick out of his fictional counterpart. But you ignore astrology??? Oh, my! What’s your Sun sign?

  5. Love this! I’m too superstitious to read my horoscope very often. And if I do it’s at the end of the day instead of the beginning. When I was younger (much younger) I loved the horoscope in Cosmo — especially the one at the beginning of the year.

    1. Hi Sherry ~ I think that’s the one that Kait mentioned earlier — Cosmo. But no need to be superstitious. What’s more accurate is to read the prediction for your rising sign because those daily horoscopes are based on a solar chart set up. if you don’t know your rising sign, let me know. We can figure it out easily.

  6. How fun! I used to read my horoscope, but I haven’t in a while. I love that you contacted the real Zodia and he responded so positively. Sounds like the connection was meant to be!

    1. Yes, I agree, Marla! I was so excited when he wrote back! Christopher seems like such a generous outgoing person. He even arranged to have his publisher send me a book which I’m reading now. It’s very entertaining!

  7. No. I do not pick up the magazines. I may look at the headlines, but leave them in their slots.

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