Spotlight & Giveaway: The Happiness Blueprint by Ally Zetterberg

Posted April 2nd, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 24 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Ally Zetterberg to HJ!

Hi Ally and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Happiness Blueprint!

Hi! I’m Ally and I write funny books with unique, often autistic, characters. I’m big on messy family dynamics and love stories in all their shapes and forms.

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

The book sees Klara, who is a bit lost, leave London and return to semi-rural Sweden to help her dad run his construction company during his cancer treatment. She meets Alex, whose life has come to a standstill after he lost his brother. When they sync their calendars for work they find they can communicate in a way they didn’t think was possible and might just start to fall for each other.

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

I love giving my characters lines that make readers laugh. But there’s also a theme of finding your place in my novel and this line was highlighted by a reader who is herself in her midtwenties. I loved reading that my words resonated with her.
“It’s not an easy place or age to be in, your midtwenties. You’re told that the world is your oyster, you’ve been fed it since youth, but then you arrive to find the shell shut and the oyster out of reach.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

My dad runs a construction company in southern Sweden and I would fare much worse than Klara should I ever need to take it over! My parents found it hilarious when I told them what my book was about. They find my dad’s job very mundane and couldn’t believe I used it for a novel. And that people actually want to read about it!


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

Oh gosh, this had me going back over their love story. Which is a bit embarrassing since I wrote it! But I think it’s such a slow dynamic attraction it’s hard to pin down? I think they both assume the other to be too good for them. So the moment they get over that mindset is the moment they can really let themselves be attracted to the other person. They are both kind, generous people and recognize that quality in each other.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

I am terribly unemotional and don’t cry at books. So when I say I’ve poured my sweat and tears into this book it’s not entirely true. Sweat, coffee and chocolate, yes, tears, no. I do love the ending though, every time I reread it I feel so happy for them!


Readers should read this book….

This book is for you if you feel like you don’t belong and haven’t found your place in the world or your love story yet.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’m currently deciding what project to jump into next. I like to first draft over the summer, first drafting suits the holiday season because for me it involves short intensive hour-long bursts of writing. Then I usually edit when fall comes around. My second novel, perfect for readers who enjoyed The Happiness Blueprint will publish with Mira next year! It’s Sweden set too and has an unconventional love story at its heart.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: (1) One finished copy of THE HAPPINESS BLUEPRINT to US/ Canadian readers!


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Have you ever felt that you stopped yourself from being happy? Maybe you didn’t think you deserved the relationship so didn’t approach the guy/girl? Didn’t apply for the job because you thought you weren’t qualified enough?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from The Happiness Blueprint:

This is the moment they sync their calendars and what is really the start of their connection.
We head to a small Japanese lunch restaurant close to the train station. There’s not a single Japanese person, staff included. I take a poke bowl, Klara goes for sushi. She explains her diet to me, the brief version. Seems incredibly complicated. Can’t judge, though, as mine currently exists of pizzas and jalapeños.
“Ants are off-limits then, you know, if you ever go somewhere they serve them dipped in chocolate. A single ant can live until it’s twenty-nine,” I say, hoping to impress her with this piece of knowledge.
“What about a married one?” I love that she laughs as much as I do at her joke.
She dips her sushi rice first into the sauce, and the sauce travels through it coloring half of the rice brown. You are meant to put the fish in first, I’ve read it so many times but I don’t tell her. Perhaps she has a reason for it—Klara has a lot of reasons for a lot of things. I think hard about what to say, all the questions I want to ask are too personal, even for someone without a murder stare. Do you have a boyfriend? Have you permanently moved in with your dad? How did you get the scar on your chin? How do you like your eggs for breakfast?
I settle for this: “How are you enjoying your time in Sweden?”
“Honest answer? It feels strange. The place has evolved since I left. I keep repeating phrases and expressions that were popular in the 2010s. When I left, we were dancing to Girls Aloud and Abba-Teens. Have you always lived here?”
“Malmö? Yes. I’m happy in the city. I never tried the countryside where you are. I like the fact there is always someone around. I don’t have to make an effort to socialize,” I say. Hope she doesn’t find me boring. Never been anywhere, never done anything, stable Alex always staying in his lane.
“I guess that’s the benefit of marriage as well. Even with all its challenges, you have someone around,” she remarks, and I think of Calle. And Dan. Because they’re the married people I know. I touch my ring. “I wouldn’t know, of course. Is that how it is?” she asks, and I look up.
“Yes,” I say, thoughts elsewhere. She stares at her phone, then at me. She has moved forward on her chair as if ready to sprint off. “I guess that’s what being married gives you. Comfort.”
Talk of marriage seems to unsettle Klara. Her large earrings are very still against her cheeks. Then they jump to life again.
“Please tell me that I’m wrong. Are we supposed to be in Dalby in twenty minutes?” she says.
“You tell me. You’re the boss.”
“How does this keep happening to me? Sorry, Alex, but you have about five minutes to finish your meal. Oh, it feels wrong to have ended the salmon’s life span early to only spend five minutes on it!”
Not entirely sure how Klara has managed to not mess up an entire job yet. It’s like she doesn’t know that there is such a thing as a calendar that comes with your Apple devices. Her scribbles across her dad’s leather-bound one do not count as organization. I almost installed a handrail and wheelchair access in the wrong apartment last week because the screenshots she sent me of said calendar are illegible. I feel a sweat coming on just looking at the messy attempt at time-keeping. Numbers, being on time and neatness are my jam. Entering tasks and completing them… I think your tactic is working, Dr. Hadid…
“How have you managed until now? You’re an adult living abroad and all, the international hotshot from London gracing the south of Sweden with your presence.”
“Hardly an accurate description. I shared a flat with my best friend in London, never lived on my own and spent my days on the computer feeling like I repeated the same conversation over and over but with a different person. I’ve never been the boss of anyone or anything.”
“Still, I feel like you—we—are doomed if we continue the way things are going. This morning I got a reminder saying buy tampons. She laughs a big belly laugh.
“Sorry, that was obviously for my eyes only.”
“Damn, I wish you had told me before. Already picked up the tampons on my way to work,” I say jokingly. “I bet you’re the type of person who has five hundred unread messages clinging to your inbox.”
She glances at her phone. I stand up, and we start walking. Impressed at the speed at which she finished her meal.
“Three hundred and twelve,” she says over her shoulder as she speeds off ahead of me. “Look, in London we had a response coordinator, reference responses and a schedule. I never had a reason to get my shit together. Why are you so ace at notes and diary entries anyway?”
“Let’s just say it’s my thing lately.” My only thing lately.
“Well, feel free to take my calendar over. I hate the thing.”
“Seriously? I won’t pass on that offer. Send me your log-ins, and I’ll slide into your calendar, then.” What did I just say? Sounds like a dating technique. But, actually, this works. We will have less confusion, fewer annoyed customers. Win-win.
Just as we reach the van my phone pings with Klara’s calendar access information. We’re now synced.

Excerpted from The Happiness Blueprint by Ally Zetterberg. Copyright © 2024 by Ally Zetterberg Literary Ltd. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Klara and Alex are having trouble connecting, but at least their calendars are in sync.

Klara—who’s always thought of herself as a little different, a sneaker in a world full of kitten heels and polished boots—is feeling a disconnect these days. She has type 1 diabetes, currently works in a dead-end job, and is in desperate need of a change. When her dad falls ill, Klara begrudgingly agrees to help run his small construction company while he recovers, even though it means moving back home and pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone to the extreme.

Alex has been a shell of himself since his brother died in an accident. He’s unemployed, has bills piling up, and is distant from friends and family. His therapist is encouraging him to keep things manageable by setting up a calendar, checking off tasks each day, and looking for work to help get him back on his feet. When an ad pops up for a carpenter position at a small construction company, he jumps at the chance to take a step forward.

Klara’s and Alex’s stories unfold through a series of miscommunications in this clever and witty novel from debut author Ally Zetterberg that’s about finding acceptance and even love in unexpected places.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N |

Meet the Author:

Ally Zetterberg is a British-Swedish writer. She spent ten years working internationally as a fashion model before becoming a full-time mum. Being neurodivergent herself and the mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, she is passionate about writing relatable characters and representing those living with medical conditions in commercial fiction. She speaks four languages and spends her days doing her best not to muddle them up.
Website |  Twitter | Instagram |

24 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Happiness Blueprint by Ally Zetterberg”

  1. janinecatmom

    Yes, in relationships. I tend to settle for good enough instead of waiting for what is best, because you never know if better will come.

  2. psu1493

    Q: Have you ever felt that you stopped yourself from being happy? Maybe you didn’t think you deserved the relationship so didn’t approach the guy/girl? Didn’t apply for the job because you thought you weren’t qualified enough? Yes, all the time. I have a tendency of putting the needs of others before my own. I wish I was more confident so that I could get the job and the man that I want.

  3. Ellen C.

    I have definitely not applied for jobs because I didn’t feel qualified.