Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Holiday

I saw "The Holiday" last night. It was really good. Romantic, funny, and a tear jerker. Not to mention Jude Law's in it. What more could you want. Anyway, I highly recommend it! :) (For you girls anyway. It's a definite chick flick!!)

Happy New Year's Eve!! :)


Saturday, December 30, 2006


It's snowing out today! Crazy. First real snow we've had this year. Global warming and all that, they say. (Don't get me started about the polar bears dying...grr..) So while usually I'm more than happy to avoid the white stuff, today it's a welcomed treat. Especially since Teresa is here and seeing as she's from LA, she hasn't seen it in a while.

Last night we went to Lucca for dinner in the North End. Had a great antipasto starter and then Pollo con Limone e Prezzemolo -- aka delicious lemon chicken over five grain risotto -- for dinner. Delish. Then we got wine and hung out at my place and caught up, listening to music, etc. Then this morning we went to the Phoenix Landing, this Irish pub in Cambridge, and met a few friends to watch footy (aka soccer!) Liverpool (my team) trounced the Tottenham Hotspurs 1-0 in the pouring rain. Yay!

Now we're going to head over to get pedacures. Teresa has a wedding to go to tonight so Mary and I are going to go to the movies. Figure that's a night mellow night out before New Year's Eve!

That's about it! Have a great day and watch out for snow!! :)


Friday, December 29, 2006

Viva the Internet

I'm very happy because I found a place online where people have uploaded tv shows and I've been able to watch season three of Veronica Mars before it comes on DVD. I was so sad when I'd finished season 2 cause I thought I'd have to wait until the DVD came out for season 3. But thanks to modern technology I can catch up!! I'll still buy season three on DVD when it does come out, but at least now I don't have to wait.

And I can finally go read all the whited out text on Diana P's blog where she rants about the show. ;-)

Ah, the simple, but good things in life. :)

In other news... As you know, my friend Teresa is coming tonight to stay with me. So I've been busy, busy, busy cleaning my apartment. you can see...I had a little help from Molls! :)

Haha!! The things I do to that poor dog. But don't let her pained expression fool you. Really she just sat around and ate Christmas bones while I did all the work. Most of which consisted of sweeping up the piles of black hair she leaves everywhere. I don't understand how that dog still has a fur coat, the amount she sheds!!


Thursday, December 28, 2006

NYE Plans

Happy Thursday! Tomorrow my friend Teresa is flying in from LA. I'm sooo excited to see her!! It's been so long. She and I went to college together and then worked together at Channel 7 (she's a kick ass AVID editor) and then we both moved out to California at the same time (me to San Diego, her to LA). We did the trek between SD and LA many, many weekends and then four and a half years ago I moved back to Boston and she stayed out there. (She works on reality tv -- fun fun!!)

She's coming Friday evening and staying til Monday AM. Crazy girl has an 8am flight New Year's Day! I can't even imagine the torture.

For New Year's Eve, me, Teresa, Mary, and Heather are going to go to this ball at a Boston hotel. It's a black tie event, which is pretty cool. A chance to go dress up and dance the night away. Should be fun! I've never done the dress up thing for NYE before. I must be growing up. :) I'll try to take some pics and post them afterwards. I think I'll just wear the dress I wore to the RITAs at Nationals this past summer. Don't really have time or $ to shop for something new. Hopefully it's dressy enough...


Tuesday, December 26, 2006


This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Not many people have seen it. And most people who have seen it think it's very weird. (Well, it's a David Cronenberg movie, duh!) But oh, how I love it!

Post Christmas Wrap-up

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Mine was good. I got lots of cool presents and was able to spend time with family. Went to my dad's on Christmas Eve, had relatives over, stayed over, opened presents on Christmas Day, then went over my aunt's to see more relatives.

My favorite present was a pair of Black UGGS that were sold out everywhere and had to be special ordered from UGGS headquarters in Australia. Major props to stepmother Sherri, who endured laughter from sales clerks when she asked if they had any in stock and even spent quality time on eBay trying to win me a pair. :) Unfortunately, even Australia was backordered til January, but I'm just happy to know they'll soon be on their way. :)

Other gift highlights - an Asian inspired black jacket from the Limited, a fleece throw that doubles as an electric blanket for my couch (my apt is sooo cold), yummy soaps and body washes from LUSH - this amazing soap store on Newbury Street, movie gift certificates, a hot cocoa/latte maker, sweater from Banana Republic, starbucks gift certificates, etc. etc. Yes, I must say I made out very well this year.

Hope Santa was good to all of you as well.

Sadly, tomorrow I have to go back to work. Boo!! So not fair. At least I'm finally off the night shift. And my friend Teresa is flying in from LA on Friday, so I am happy about that. I've been cleaning my apartment, but a lot more still needs to be done in preparation for her visit.

Ok, now I'm feeling guilty - so I'd better get cleaning. :)


Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Friday Before Christmas

Yay it's Friday! And better yet, the Friday before Christmas, which means 4 days off from work. Okay, I know many of you have ALL next week off, but shhhh don't steal my sunshine. I'm happy to be off night shifts so next week won't be bad to work at all!!

I thought I'd like night shifts, but it turns out, not so much. I thought I'd write every morning, but while I did on many days, others (like today) I found myself very unmotivated. Oh well, I'm sure I'll get a lot done over the next four days. Going to NH to my dad's for X-Mas and whenever I'm not at home, I tend to write more. Probably because there are no dreaded distractions and other people are on hand to brew me copious amounts of coffee. Other people who actually have non-expired milk in their fridge, I might add :) Sigh. I'm such a mess domestically.

Anyway, what I'm REALLY excited about is New Year's Eve. My friend Teresa is coming out from LA to stay with me Friday through Monday. I haven't seen her in like four years - and she was once one of my best friends. So it will be soo soo good to catch up. And, of course, do New Years things. I'm not sure what yet, but our Activity Director Mary is on the case.

Anyway, must run, but Happy Holidays!! Hope Santa is good to you!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm up to 54,000 words on Moongazer now, but more importantly, I've worked out the end. It was fuzzy to me for a while -- I was playing with so many directions it could go in. But while jogging today, it all became clear and concrete.

I know everyone writes differently, but for me I run plots over and over in my brain, trying them out different ways, imagining different outcomes. And finally one sticks. So even when I'm not physically writing, I'm usually thinking things out in my brain. I can only compare it to a puzzle. I know there's a correct way for everything to come together, but it's not always clear at first.

Now all I have to do is draft the second half of the book and then go back, fill it all in, and then read it all over to make sure everything makes sense. I keep a list of hints to work into the beginning that have to do with things that end up happening in the end to give proper foreshadowing. That can be important -- you don't want your climatic moment to come out of nowhere and the reader to throw the book across the room, feeling angry and cheated. It's far better to set it all up in advance and give that reader an "aha!" moment. They do this in movies all the time -- whatever gift the hero is given in the beginning saves his life at the end. Etc. etc. It's all about the symmetry.

Anyway, got a lot of writing to do over the weekend. Not to mention that whole celebrating Christmas thing. (Still have to wrap presents, sigh.) Oh and I have a marathon Veronica Mars session planned. I'm well into the second season now and it's dark and cliffhangery and I need to know what happens next!!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Now Touring: Venus Envy

I got to read an advanced copy of this one about a year ago and I'm still chuckling over Venus (yes, the goddess, now turned fairy godmother, much to her chagrin) and her antics. If you like chick lit paranormal romance then this is a book you should definitely check out.

by Shannon McKelden

Take one hunky firefighter, one stubborn "Cinderella," and one very reluctant fairy godmother and what do you get? Rachel Greer wants no part of Venus's scheme to land Mr. March as her Prince Charming, but Venus is determined to do just that. She's only a few love-life fixes short of returning to her former goddess status, and she's not letting one mulish mortal stand in her way.

It appears the only way Rachel can get rid of the very un-Disney-like fairy godmother is to play along. So she follows Venus's plan to interview Luke Stanton's ex-girlfriends...which Venus believes will cure Rachel's relationship fears, but which Rachel knows will only prove her point that men are never what they appear to be. But, when Venus's plan appears to work, and Rachel and Luke fall in love, does Rachel dare set aside her fears about happily ever? Or will betrayal send her back into relationship seclusion...this time forever? And what happens when a goddess-turned-fairy godmother breaks the most important rule--protecting herself from human emotions?
Want to know more? You can read an excerpt here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

PNR Interview

The folks over at the awesome ParaNormal Romance Group are focusing on time travel romances this December and were nice enough to include an interview with yours truly.

You can check it out here. There are also interviews with other fab time travel authors like Diana Gabaldon, Sandra Hill, Deidre Knight, and others, including the sweet and adorable Michelle Lang who wrote a fab Arthurian urban fantasy called Mrs. Pendragon for Triskellion.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Intense writing

Back from Florida - had gone for a long weekend to do a little pre-Christmas visit with Mom. It rained 2 of the days, but on the third it was sunny and warm and so we went to the beach. I didn't end up swimming because there were tons of jellyfish. Ew. But we went back to the pool and I swam in that instead.

Special shout-out to the awesome community relations manager at Barnes and Noble in Stuart, Florida. I love that even in chain stores there are still booksellers out there that really just love books and the business. I signed some copies of What, No Roses? and Stake That! if you are in the area and want to grab a copy.

I'm reading the best book. It's called Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. It's one of those early 90s cyberpunk type books and a lot of it is very outdated (because the futuristic stuff he's talking about actually exists now!) but it's an amazing book. The first time in a LONG time I've been sucked into a book so deeply that I've decided to forgo sleep. :)

Speaking of cyberpunk, I'm almost to the 50k point of Moongazer. Yay! So I'm still right on schedule. My goal is to have it completed by January 15th, then go back and give it a final polish and pass it in on January 31st. That'll mean I wrote the whole book and polished it in two months. Not bad. In fact, I was pretty darn proud of this until I read in Marjorie Liu's blog today that she wrote 10,000 words in one day. Sigh. Though, in my defense, she writes full time.

This is an interesting experiment, actually, writing a book in a short period of time as opposed to stretching it out and doing my usual 1-2,000 words a day over four or so months. I feel much more invested and involved in this book's world and characters because I spend so much time with them. I'm not writing a few words, then going about my day. I'm living my life with them. They're my best friends. I actually turned down a party last weekend because I wanted to go hang out with my characters on Saturday night. Dawn, Skye and I have an intense, powerful relationship and I really love and care about them as if they were real people. (Yes, yes, we writers can sound crazy!)

In any case, I'm hoping this will translate somehow into the book itself and offer a more powerful story. At the same time, I'm looking forward to getting my life back come February. Never again will I sign up for this kind of deadline. I've learned my lesson. Balance in all things. Work, writing, friends, family.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Titles and where they come from...

Diana has been talking about titles for her blog so I thougt I would continue the theme here. I'm very into titles and I usually can't start a book unless I am certain what it will be called. I've gotten to keep most of my titles, which is cool.

Here are my books, their titles and how their names came about:

A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court - obviously a play on the Mark Twain Title. The problem is some reviewers tried to say I plagerized Twain's book. Funny thing is I've never even read it. I just borrowed from the title. But as far as I've been told, Twain's book isn't a reliving of the King Arthur story as a romance told by a snarky 29 year old fashion editor so I think I'm safe. But if you parody titles of classic books, be warned you will be called on it.

Sk8er Boy - This is very close to the title of an Avril Lavigne song called "Sk8er Boi" making it very hard to GOOGLE. Also, it's frequently mispelled SK8TER BOY by people who evidently to realize there's already an implied "T" at the end of the letter eight.

Boys that Bite - Someone from some gramatical society pointed out on their blog that this had them gnashing their teeth because it should be "Boys who Bite." The original idea for this book was "Wow, That Sucks!" But I figured it might be hard to say and parents wouldn't let their younger teens by a book with "suck" in the title.

What, No Roses? - My editor came up with this idea of 20th century time travels and asked me to do one. They were going to originally do a whole series of these books and promote them a lot. Then the editor went to another company and they just dropped the whole idea. But I was stuck with a joke question title. The alternate title from my new editor was "Time to Roar" which I think is awesome for a time travel to the roaring 20s book. Oh well. Can't win them all.

Stake That! - Could have been called "Stake This" just as easily... My agent had suggested Love Bites, but that's also the title of a Lynsey Sands vampire book.

A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest (feb 07)- used to show that it's a sequel to Connecticut Fashionista. I wanted to call it a Hoboken Hippie but my coworkers didn't think hippies were cool enough and vetoed it. I still wrote Chrissie, the heroine, as a total hippie though.

Moongazer - (aug 07) - The original title of this was "Mariah's Web" which I love and fits the book, but my editor thought it sounded to Matrix'y and computer'y. I came up with the alternate title and I'm happy with it now. It used to be Moon Gazer, but the other two Shomi titles are one word titles - WIRED and DRIVEN. So I decided to keep with the trend.

Girls that Growl (oct 07) - I swear my editor bought this book on title alone. She told me she was having a bad day and she just read the title of this proposal and started giggling and couldn't stop. She said she then went around Berkley telling everyone the title. Since the book's about werewolf cheerleaders, I think it fits. :) What I've never told her is that the title was actually suggested by a (non-writer) friend and not one I came up with myself. :P

The Camelot Code (fall 08) - I don't know if I'll get to keep this title or not -- too early to tell. It was originally sold to Dorchester's Smooch line as "" but since that URL has been taken I decided it wouldn't be a good title. I wonder if people are going to think it sounds like the Da Vinci code. The two books certainly have nothing to do with one another.

There you have it! My titles and their histories!!


Friday, December 08, 2006

So...I made a quiz to celebrate the launch of STAKE THAT!

And then I decided to take it myself!

So which Boys that Bite twin are you more like? Sunny or Rayne?


Are you Sunny or Rayne?

You are Rayne!You're a creature of the night and sometimes a bit of a bad girl. You like your guys dark and moody. Poets rather than jocks. You don't care at all what people think of you and will dress how you want and act how you feel. Your life's dream is to become a vampire. Here's hoping you someday get your wish.Check out Rayne's adventures in: STAKE THAT! by MARI MANCUSI
Take this


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

No Life

I have no life.

Seriously. All my friends are dashing from holiday party to holiday party. They're seeing concerts, they're trimming trees. They're skiing. They're shopping. They're having FUN! Without a care in the world!

Not me.

I'm writing a book this holiday season. A book that's due January 15th. That means every morning before work and every night after work I sit down at my computer and type. I'm writing approximately 3-4,000 words a day--way above my average 1,000 word daily goal.

It's like I have this really posessive boyfriend. Everytime someone asks me to do something, I have to check with him. Can I go out for a drink Tuesday night? Well, only if I spent a few extra hours on Monday to get my word count done in advance. Can I go walk my dog on Sunday? Well, only if I take the commuter rail out to the suburbs instead of driving so I can have 2 hours on the train with my laptop. I decided to visit my mom in Florida next weekend just because I figured being stuck on in an airport and plane for 6 hours over a weekend would give me time for the book. Last night I had such a bad hand cramp I had to stop. But later I felt guilty and decided to try to work through the pain.

I normally consider myself a disciplined person, but this is getting ridiculous.

Okay - I know some of you are like, "Oh cry me a river! At least you get to write books." And I'm so with you. I love writing and I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to do so. And I love this book. So I don't really mean to come off complaining. I'm just saying it's been a little sad around the holiday season this year so far to have to say no to friends and family and be alone all the time. But we all make sacrifices at times and unfortunately this year this has to be mine.

But next year, I'm so taking December off.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Now Touring: Come Moonrise

Since I've been writing my book Moongazer, I've been seeing moon references everywhere. A psychic drew a moon card for me, I went to a writer's meeting over the weekend where they talked about moon dancing, and now here's a brand new story by Lucy Monroe called "Come Moonrise" in the anthology UNLEASHED.

Maybe I should start paying attention to all these signs!

Anyway, if you're done drooling over the cover, here's the blurb.

Ty MacAnlup has seen the tragedy that a mating between a werewolf and a human can bring and he wants no part of it, no matter how much his body and heart ache for a taste of Frankie's softness. Frankie has loved Ty for years and while she doesn't know he's a werewolf, or even that such things exist...she does know that to her, he's always been more than a mere man. Ty's hidden beast wreaks havoc with his determination to stay away from Frankie when they are trapped together in a small cabin in the snow bound wilderness.

Sound cool? You can find an excerpt here.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rumors of my book deal have NOT been greatly exaggerated...

When my latest book deal with Dutton was publicized in Publisher's Lunch last week, my agent Kristin Nelson mentioned it on her blog. Then some anonymous poster went on and implied that Kristin had exaggerated the sale to garner film interest. Kristin posted the next day saying she was annoyed that someone would imply that she was a liar when it came to her deals. And it sparked a whole slew of posts both defending her and attacking the commenter's right to call her a liar.

And so it goes...

Anyway, to set the record straight, I wanted to post saying that the deal, of course, is not exaggerated. One, Kristin would never do such a thing. Two, I, as a self respecting author, would never let her! Besides, is it so hard to believe that for my 9th and 10th books I got a very nice deal? Eesh, it's not like saying I got a million dollars!! Not that I'm not thrilled with the deal, mind you, but I just don't see why people would assume it was exaggerated...

In other news...

I've hit page 100 on Moongazer. Woot! This book is practically writing itself. I wrote 8,500 words in 2 days. I just didn't want to leave my keyboard. Walk away from my characters. I think I might have a slight crush on my hero. Okay, I adore him. He just feels so real to me. And since I'm writing in first person I can kind of pretend, while I'm writing, that he's mine. (Ah, if only it were true!) I hope readers love him as much as I do. :)


I saw Stake That! in the Framingham Barnes and Noble today. The information desk guy said they'd already sold some copies. Cheer! Thanks to everyone who's gone out to buy one or plans to. I want this book to be successful cause I love this series so much and the only way to write more is to have people buy them. :) So help me feed my vampire obsession, please, please?

And finally...

I love Logan Echols from Veronica Mars. So much. He is totally my new boyfriend. Totally. And I don't care if that makes me sound like I'm 14.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Ritas, My Weekend, and Stake That in stores now

I'm not going to blog about how the YA category for the RITAs was cancelled AGAIN because I'm likely to swear a lot and say things about people who didn't enter that would be forwarded around the net and get me nasty comments. Plus, I'm trying not to be an angry, negative person and instead concentrate on all the good things in life. Flowers, bunny rabbits, rainbows...



Um, anyway...

On Friday I went over my friend Mary's house and we drank wine and ate sushi gave each other tarot card readings which, in our tipsy states, seemed extremely accurate.

On Saturday I gave a speech to the Rhode Island Romance Writers about becoming a trendsetter. They're a great group of women and it was a lot of fun. Then I had lunch with Reality Chick author Lauren Barnholdt and we chatted about writing, scandalous agents, deadlines, and of course Britney and Paris's new friendship and why neither of them can seem to wear underwear.

On Sunday I went to Concord, Mass. where I used to live, for a group dog walk. Gotta enjoy the good weather while we can. Then we ate out at the Colonial Inn, which is a very nice historic place.

I also managed to write 5,000 words of my book Moongazer. It's amazing how much faster writing goes when you're not writing comedy. It's doubly hard to write a story AND insert jokes. Now I just insert sex and violence when things start to drag. Yay!

And last but definitely not least - STAKE THAT is now out in stores!!! What a great Christmas present that would make for someone on your list. :)


Saturday, December 02, 2006


Wow - this is so depressing to read. To big bookstores, we authors are simply widgets.

If you want a copy of Stake That, but you can't find it in your local bookstore next week, please, please, please ask them to order it for you!! Don't let them get away with not stocking books you want!!

Desperate Author Public Service Anoucement Ends.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Book Deal!! :)

Okay this is official now and will go into today's Publisher's Lunch so I can finally announce it!!

Mari Mancusi's YA novel THE CAMELOT CODE, in which Merlin sends a sophomore girl back in time to meet the teen once-and-future-pre-King Arthur and have him spend a week in the 21st century only to have him Google himself, discover his fate and refuse to return, to Sarah Shumway at Dutton Children's, in a very nice two-book deal, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson
Literary Agency (World English).
Translation rights:

So exciting! And these will be my first books in hardcover! I'm very happy. And I couldn't have done it without my fab, superagent Kristin Nelson. She's amazing. I'm so lucky to have had her take me on.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Promised News--Please stand by

I know, I know. I promised I could spill about my good news on Monday, but my agent has one more issue to resolve before I can make my final decision and have things official and announce'able. Argh. Talk about agonizing. This has been going on for over 2 weeks now. But it's all good stuff. :)

So as they say in the tv news biz: STAY TUNED!

Or better yet, go forth and pre-order Stake That! It's officially out on Tuesday. I'll be your best friend forever if you do. :)


Monday, November 27, 2006

Dying to buy the OJ book?

Okay you sick little puppy - but it'll cost you more than 8 grand...

(no offense to sick puppies)


Friday, November 24, 2006

Post Turkey Day

Hope everyone had a yummy Thanksgiving. I went to my aunt's house in North Andover. It was great. Tons of food and people. My cousins and I have a tradition going all the way back to when we were kids of playing the Game of Life. We have this really old version - totally out of date - but it's so much fun. :) We were dying laughing through the whole thing. I have to see if there's a modern version out there -- where a doctor job doesn't pay you $50,000 year and houses cost $40,000 to buy.

I am especially thankful this year for my new agent and my new book deal which I can't talk about til Monday. But I promise to post details as soon as I'm able. It's so, so exciting!!

I'm just polishing the final chapters of Girls that Growl and passing it in on Monday. I wrote that book in record time, but I really like how it came out. Can't wait to see what my editor thinks. Then it's on to Moongazer, which I also have to write in record time. Gah! Do the deadlines ever end? I'm not complaining though. :) I actually like being busy.

For those of you in the New England area, I'll be speaking at the Rhode Island romance writer's group next Saturday. Topic is: "Boldly Go Where No Writer has Gone Before" - basically about starting trends rather than following them. More info is on their homepage. Hope you can make it!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What Tarot Card are You?

Too lazy to write so I stole the "What Tarot Card are You" quiz off Barb's blog.

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fan Fic - Yes or No?

So I know there's always this raging debate about fan fic. Is writing your own stories about characters you love a means to creative expression or stealing from the author?

I know of several teens who write Boys that Bite based fan-fic and have published it on the Internet. And while I feel this should bother me in some way, actually I feel just the opposite. I love that my book inspired kids to write their own stories and express themselves on the page. (Or screen, as it were.)

Here's one example of a budding young author's Boys that Bite inspired story.

What about you guys? Would you be flattered or dismayed if your characters starred in Internet fan fic?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Obsessive Behavior

I'm one of those people who is all or nothing. I can't just watch an episode of a television show or listen to a band. Once I discover something, I end up obsessing and overdosing on it til I'm totally sick of it and then move on to the next thing. I do it with food, too. I'll eat the same thing every night for like 2 weeks and then never want it again.

Here are a few of my current obsessions:

  • Watching Veronica Mars
  • Listening to KEANE
  • Drinking sparkling water
  • Eating grilled cheese sandwiches made on a George Foreman grill
  • Drinking New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Reading Phillip K Dick novels
  • Playing World of Warcraft videogame (though this is a long term obsession)
  • Going to bookstores and checking out what imprint published what YA book
  • Reading my agent's blog and all the comments people write
  • Looking for NYC apartments on Craigslist to rent
  • Looking up my friends' MySpace pages and reading what other people wrote about them
  • Checking my email 50,000 times a day for a reason I cannot disclose at the moment

What about you? What are some of your obsessions?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oh how I loved Little House on the Prairie

Monday nights. Eight pm. Gathered in front of the television with my mom and dad. And this theme would start to play. It still gives me chills today.

My kindergarten teacher used to call me Mary Ingells cause I was blonde and, well, my name was Marianne. But Mary was so stuck up and boring. I was definitely a Laura all the way! :)

I'm so buying the DVDs one of these days and watching them all over again from start to finish.



So...I'm interesting in trying to read some graphic novels/Manga, but I have no idea where to begin. There are a dizzying array of choices at my local bookstore. I ordered the new Labyrinth one online (I was such a fan of the movie) but I'd like to try some others as well.

Anyone have any suggestions?


Monday, November 06, 2006


So Diana Peterfreund was talking about how she's clearly "made it" since she's now referenced in Wikipedia. Jealous of the so-called cyber fame, I decided to do a search for Mancusi. While no clever pop-culture references referring to me popped up (sigh), I did find an interesting entry for my step-grandmother, Kathryn Hays. As many of you know, she plays Kim on As the World Turns. The article mentions my step mom, hence the last name Mancusi was identified, but also adds some interesting information about my stepsister Kate.

It says the following:

Her granddaughter, Kathryn L. Wells, models for Abercrombie and Fitch from her Boston home.

Wait! What? She does? How was I never told of this? And also--I swear the last time I visited them they lived in New Hampshire! Not to mention the fact that Kate's actually in college in some midwestern state -- nowhere near Boston. And before that she went to boarding school in Missouri. And seriously, if she currently models for A&F I swear my family's keeping it a deep, dark secret. (I gotta get my hands on a catalog!)

Anyway - this is a silly example, but it proves a VERY important point. (And no, it's not spend more time with your family or you'll suddenly be learning stuff about them off of Wikipedia.)

The information on the Internet is often taken as FACT even though much of it's never been verified or vetted. Some random person wrote that article. And someone else will read it and assume it's true. And while yes, who cares if my stepsister is currently a model in Boston or not, other entries could cause much more catastrophic errors. What if journalists refer to Wikipedia for their research? Then they write articles based on false information which are then uploaded to the Internet. Then the false information appears to be vetted by a major news organization.

Also, entries can be CHANGED. While this is good in a way and assumes a checks and balances system, it also is quite scary in a Big Brother is watching you type of way. After all, in 1984, Winston's whole job was to find old news articles and change the facts in them to go along with what was currently being done by the goverment. (We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.) Isn't that very scarily similar to what's capable of being done by Wikipedia?

Anyway, just food for thought. I'm off to email my stepmom to figure out if Kate is/was a model and if so, am I entitled to any discounts at Abercrombie and Fitch. ;-)


Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm so happy it's Friday. Especially since I have a lot of fun stuff planned for the weekend.

Last night I attended a reading at the BU Bookstore in Kenmore Square with chick lit author Stephanie Lessing. She read from her book Miss Understanding. It was so funny -- I laughed out loud several times. So definitely pick it up. The main character works as an editor at a fashion magazine just like Stephanie used to do in real life. And you really get a good insider's peek at the craziness. :)

Afterwards, Jennifer O'Connell and Hank Phillippi Ryan and I went to the Evening Standard for drinks and food. Jen and I got the BEST DRINK EVER. I've tried a lot of drinks in my life, but we both agreed there was nothing better than this one. It's called a Strawberry Cobbler and has strawberry infused vodka, sweet mint, and fresh strawberries actually in the drink. It was so delicious! Sweet and yummy. Jen swears she's going to figure out how to make them. If she does we'll post the recipe I'm sure!

Tonight I'm going to see Saw 3 and get dinner after. Then Saturday I'm going to work on Girls that Growl during the day and go out with friends at night. Not sure where yet.

That's about it for now!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sweeping through

Today is the first day of November sweeps. For you regular people that means good tv shows will start playing all month long! Horray!

For us TV people, that means a whole lot of work. Producing those stories you see promoted all through those good tv shows.

"Can your couch kill you? Find out...tonight at 11!"

Yup. That's what I do for a living. :) But it beats digging ditches. (No offense meant to ditch diggers who love their jobs.)

Tonight though Harlequin NEXT author Hank Phillippi Ryan (PRIME TIME, June 07) and I (STAKE THAT!, Dec 06, lol!) will join the lovely Jennifer O'Connell (oh, damn now I have to go look up her next book to shamelessly promote it. This is what happens when you set a we go....INSIDER DATING, May 07) to go see Stephanie Lessing read her book Miss Understanding at the BU Bookstore. Then we're going out for a drink or two. Fun, fun. :)


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Writer Drugs

My friend Liz Maverick always says, "A writer's got to have drugs." And no, she doesn't mean the illegal kind. :P The idea is that you're at home, alone, plugging away, discouragements hitting you left and right, and it becomes hard to keep up the motivation. You're a loser. A poser. Why ever did you think you could write books? Maybe you should just give it all up and go be a dentist or something.

Then it happens - you get a fan email, cover art, a new book deal, whatever. Something great happens. And suddenly you're jazzed again, excited about writing, ready to go that extra mile to get it all done. Those, my friends, are the drugs.

I'm happy to say I got some drugs this week - and boy did I need them!

  • My agent sent out my new proposal to editors yesterday!!! So I can obsess about that for the next few months. Imagine my new dream book deal, etc.
  • I got cover art for my October YA "GIRLS THAT GROWL" and it ROCKS. I love it so much. As soon as it's finalized I'll post it.
  • I got invited to speak at the New England RWA conference in April. My talk will be "Not Acting Your Age" and is basically a YA how-to.

So lots and lots of good writer drugs! Now I can keep going!!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Say it isn't so!

Ryan and Reese getting divorced!?!? Of all couples, I thought these two actually had a chance at a happily ever after. Guess that doesn't happen in Hollywood...

In happier news, Ryan's single again. **evil grin**

For the whole scoop, check out TMZ. And someone get me Ryan's cell # asap!


Friday, October 27, 2006

Vampires a Mathematical Impossibility, Scientist Says

So I saw this article today:

Vampires a Mathematical Impossibility, Scientist Says

Sara GoudarziLiveScience Staff WriterLiveScience.comWed
Oct 25, 5:15 PM ET

A researcher has come up with some simple math that sucks the life out of the vampire myth, proving that these highly popular creatures can't exist.

University of Central Florida physics professor Costas Efthimiou's work debunks pseudoscientific ideas, such as vampires and zombies, in an attempt to enhance public literacy.

Not only does the public believe in such topics, but the percentages are at dangerously high level, Efthimiou told LiveScience.Legend has it that vampires feed on human blood and once bitten a person turns into a vampire and starts feasting on the blood of others.

Efthimiou's debunking logic: On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb. 1, 1600. A month later there would have been four, and so on. In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all have become vampires with nobody left to feed on. If mortality rates were taken into consideration, the population would disappear much faster. Even an unrealistically high reproduction rate couldn't counteract this effect.

"In the long run, humans cannot survive under these conditions, even if our population were doubling each month," Efthimiou said. "And doubling is clearly way beyond the human capacity of reproduction."

So whatever you think you see prowling around on Oct. 31, it most certainly won't
turn you into a vampire.

Obviously this researcher hasn't done much research. You don't turn into a vampire just by being bitten by one! Eesh! Has this person EVER read a vampire book in his life? You have to drink the vampire's blood to become a vampire and they're sure as hell not going to let everyone they snack on to bite them back. In fact, most often the blood donor dies. Duh.

I won't even go into the part about why the heck are people studying such nonsense.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I'm so annoyed today. First I wake up to a bird in my apartment. ANOTHER BIRD! This is the 3rd or 4th bird that has flown through my chimney and into my apartment in the last month. And it's nearly impossible to get them to go out the window. They crap all over my stuff and bang against my windows and it's the most annoying thing in the universe. And if I keep my flu closed they get stuck in the chimney and bang around for a few days causing a horrible rukkus and then DIE so when I open the flu dead birds fall into my fireplace.

I told my landlord this was happening last winter and nothing was done. I need to speak to him again. And here I thought a working fireplace was a luxury in a Boston apartment. I'd much rather have a sealed up one at this point.

To make matters worse my monitor died on me this morning. So my manuscript, which I am very behind on as it is, is trapped inside my computer and I can't see it. And of course I have zero money to be wasting on a new monitor and I can't even move the one I have because it weighs a TON. (It's a 25 inch monitor cause I play videogames.)

Sometimes it really sucks to live alone.

Anyway, just had to vent.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Children of the Universe

I found this on YouTube. I just love it. Had to share.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday, Friday!

I finished polishing the first 35 pages of Moongazer and passed them in to my editor this morning. I don't normally pass in books 35 pages at a time, but they're doing excerpt booklets for a special mailing to booksellers and needed some chapters. For two weeks, I've been working overtime to get these pages done. Now I need to get back to Girls that Growl, which I have to pass in mid-November. Then go back and finish Moongazer. Sigh. The deadlines really never end. But the good thing is I LOVE both of these books so they're a pleasure to work on.

I also revised a partial for a new YA book that my new agent will be sending out soon. Currently waiting to hear her thoughts on it. I'm really happy with how it turned out, so hopefully she'll agree!! She's tough - but in a good way! After all, I'd rather have all my submissions perfect before sending them out.

I'm so glad it's Friday - though I'm helping a friend move into her new apartment tomorrow so it won't be all fun and games. But it's all good. I don't mind. I should also try to get some writing done, but I'm really lousy at writing on the weekends. So all in all, probably a mellow weekend. But thats just in preparation for next week's Halloween fun!! Cheer!

Three things on MySpace that bug me:

1) Authors who write erotica who try to friend my teen book. While I have no personal problems with erotica, I don't want to give my 12-17 year old readers easy access to it. PLEASE don't invite me. Invite my adult MySpace page instead. (

2) Authors who spam advertisements in my comments section. I can spot an auto-comment a mile away and it not only annoys me, it makes me not want to buy your book. If you don't have time to comment personally, then don't comment at all. If you want to plug your book - send a bulletin. But don't clutter up MY page with your blatant, non targeted advertisement.

3) People who auto-add you. The guy selling cds for toddlers did not stumble across my profile and say "Hey, she'd be a great friend." And I'm sure the guy writing a literary book about death, sex, and drugs did not say "Hey, here's a teen author who I'd really like to get to know." Bands are notorious for that, too. Using auto-add programs that don't target WHO they're inviting. If you just want a million friends, fine. But everyone I invite to MY MySpace page is invited for a reason. They may like vampire books, they may like Buffy. They may like other authors I do. They may BE other authors I admire. But I've chosen to invite them for a reason. And so if you invite me, I look at your profile and decide whether I want to friend you.

I also am not a HUGE fan of the glitter "Thanks for the add" graphics, but some of them are actually pretty so I'm not putting that on the list. :)


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Win an ARC of Stake That!

Today only - head on over to Out of the Blogosphere and join the block party! Lots of great prizes being given away - including an advanced copy of STAKE THAT! All you have to do is post a comment under my blog entry and you'll be entered. Drawing at the end of the day!

What are you waiting for? ;-)


Monday, October 16, 2006

Out of the Blogosphere - BLOCK PARTY!

All this week, the fab paranormal authors on Out of the Blogosphere are having a block party. That means fun posts, free stuff, recipes, contests, and more! My day to post will be tomorrow (Tuesday) but in the meantime if you want a fab recipe for Rebecca York's buffalo wings or to try your hand at winning some books - you'd better head over there now!! :)

I think I'll be giving away an advanced copy of STAKE THAT! tomorrow. And maybe other fun stuff. Just don't expect any recipes from me. I'm a city girl. I do takeout.


Friday, October 13, 2006


I'm currently taking a break from writing GIRLS THAT GROWL to write and polish the first 30 pages of my August book MOONGAZER because Dorchester is putting together special excerpt booklets for the first three books in the new SHOMI line to send to booksellers and needs the excerpts super early for the mailing. It's a great opportunity for some extra promotion so of course I am working overtime to get the partial done.

And I'm having a blast writing it. There's just something about starting a brand new book that I find exhilarating. The joy of meeting the new characters and discovering their personalities. Crafting that perfect beginning. Plotting how the story will unfold.

And this book is extra special cause it's my first foray into speculative fiction. Imagining and creating a brave new post-apocalyptic world from scratch. So much fun--especially for a sci-fi junkie like myself. This is also my first non-comedy, though I can't help but throw in some sardonic humor here and there. It just wouldn't be a "me" book without it. It's also still first person, so it's not a complete departure from my normal style. Basically if you took the voice of a chick lit book and threw it into the Matrix, you'd get something like Moongazer. I think. I hope. Well, you'll see. :)

Anyway, I could go on and on -- I'm really excited about this new project as you can tell. But it's Friday and the 13th and so I'm off to a Friday the 13th movie watching party. Gotta love Jason Voorhees!!!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random Stuff

Ooh guess what? I finally have a website devoted to my teen books. I'd been using my adult website and MySpace for the longest time so it's nice to finally have a real site. Check it out here. Thanks to the awesome Dreamforge Media for setting it up. I think it looks really cool.

Cindy Holby posted some fun pics of our NYC adventure on her blog, including all those yummy desserts we devoured. Mmmm... I can still taste the sugar.

My February book "A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest" is now up for pre-sale on Amazon. Horray! This is the sequel to my first adult title "A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court."

And okay, for you guys who thought that loft apartment on the Upper West Side was too small, how about this one I found on Craigslist today. Pretty nice, huh? Then again, it darn well should be for $11,000 a month!!

Back to writing....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

NYC/NJ Trip Report

I'm back from my NYC/NJ adventure. I had sooo much fun!

To recap: I took a train into the city Tuesday night and hung out with my friend down in the East Village. Then Weds I went to Dorchester where I worked with my editor to finalize revisions on A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest, my February book. Then I met up with my partner in crime, Liz Maverick, at our hotel (a great little Comfort Inn in Hell's Kitchen which, despite the name, is really a cool area.) We went out for sushi in midtown at a place called Blue Fin in the W Hotel. Good stuff.

On Thursday, Liz and I went back to Dorchester to have lunch with the head of sales, head of publicity and our editor Chris to talk about all the fabulous plans they have in store for the launch of the new Shomi line. Liz is doing book #1 in the launch (WIRED) and I'm doing #2 (MOONGAZER). I'm so excited about this project because 1) It's a very cool, different style of book for me to be writing and 2) it's part of a launch so there's all sorts of special promotion attached that a midlist writer like me doesn't normally get. I can't wait! Of course this means very tight writing deadlines, but I know I can do it. I can't wait to see the manga-inspired covers, too.

Thursday night was Dorch author night. Liz, Jade Lee, Cindy Holby and I went down to Greenwich Village to eat at a former speakeasy called Chumley's. Then we found a terrific Italian bakery nearby where we pretty much ordered everything in the case and drank cappaccino. Mmmm... delicious!!!

On Friday we headed down to the NJ RWA conference. It was a lot of fun. This is the 4th year I've gone to this conference and I always have a good time. We went to a great plotting workshop by Bob Mayer which was both inspiring and scary. Then Liz won an award for her book Crimson Rogue. I also got to see lots of my writer buddies - including Alesia Holliday and Barb Ferrier and Nadia Cornier. It's so not fair that I don't get to see these people on an everyday basis.

Saturday night I came back into the city to hang with friends and Sunday I went home. Now I'm back to reality with all sorts of crazy deadlines, but at least I had a really fun week!!


Monday, October 02, 2006

I <3 NY

It's Monday, but since I'm only working today and tomorrow it feels more like Thursday. Yay! Two day work weeks are the best! Especially two day work weeks that end with exciting trips to NYC!!

Okay, fine, I go to NYC so much I don't think I'm allowed to call the trips exciting anymore. Except that they are. I love NYC so much. My ultimate life's goal is to live there. Right on the Upper West Side, probably in the 70s/80s. A few short blocks away from Central Park. Even if all I could afford was a tiny studio - not much bigger than a closet. After all, the city itself would be my backyard!!!

Here's my little UWS dream apartment. Isn't it just too cute? I love the loft bedroom. I could SO see myself living here. Of course to you guys who aren't city people, this may seem a small version of hell, but I'm a total city girl at heart and this apartment is totally me.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Fun Friday (not)

Insomnia has to be the worst thing in the entire world. Because of some personal and professional stresses I'm going through (yes, yes, what else is new Mar?) I couldn't fall asleep until like 4am. And when I did finally fall asleep I had this horrid, horrid, horrid nightmare about bedbugs. So let's just say I'm not a happy camper today.

On the brighter side, I get to dogsit my ex husband's dog Adora this weekend, which is very exciting. She's such a cutie! Aaron doesn't know it, but I'm going to dress her up in clothing and take lots of photos and post them to the Internet. Mwahahahah!! See if I ever get asked to dogsit again! :)

Then next weekend he's going to take my dog cause I'm off to the Big Apple. Liz Maverick and I are doing the NYC thing for a couple days. (I'M the one supposed to be the tour guide so we'll see how lost we get.) While there, we're going to meet with our publicist at Dorchester to talk about all the fab things in store for the new SHOMI speculative fiction line we're doing books for. Cross your fingers she'll have some kick ass manga cover art to share. Then we're heading down to New Jersey for the RWA conference there.

Fun, fun. Though at the moment, I'm tired just thinking about it! I'd better get some sleep before then...


Thursday, September 28, 2006

My new agent!

I've been waiting for this to be official and since I finally signed the contract this week, I guess it finally is!

I just signed with the fabulous Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literay Agency.

Kristin is awesome - tough as nails, but still really nice. She's done wonderful things for her clients and they all love her to death. I'm so excited to be working with her.

She's currently helping me perfect a really exciting new YA project that we hope to shop out soon. I can't wait!!!


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mrs. Giggles!!

Ooh, I'm so excited! My books were FINALLY reviewed by the infamous Mrs. Giggles. For those of you who don't know her -- for shame! She writes some of the most fabulous reviews of romance novels. And by fabulous I mean she usually completely trashes them. But in such an entertaining way. Never will you read a romance review like a Mrs. Giggles romance review. They're awesome. Especially the bad ones.

Anyway - I actually got a really good rating for A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court. I agree with a lot of her criticisms too. If I had written that book today I would have definitely changed those things.

And she totally TRASHED "What, No Roses?" Basically saying Dora was as stupid as a Kaite MacAlister heroine. (Yay - I love Katie MacAlister!!!!) Honestly, I don't think she quite got into the spirit of the book - it was purposely slapstick and silly. Dora being a competent, smart heroine would have ruined all the fun. She's dumb, she's bumbling, but she's got heart. At least that's how I see her. :) But Mrs. Giggles does NOT tolerate fools in any romance book. In any case, I found her review very entertaining all in all. You've got to have a sense of humor about these things.

Oh and she liked The Rat!! Yay!

Anyway - if you want to read her reviews you can check them out here.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You can post ANYTHING on YouTube

I have a confession to make. I am a YouTube addict. It could be dogs sleeping, kids having their stuffed animals dance, paint drying. If someone posted it to YouTube, I'll probably watch it and send the link to all my friends. Sigh.

So one day, when I was avoiding my revisions, I decided to upload two videos.

The first was a video message to my readers. I added it to my MySpace profile. I think it's an effective way to communicate to teens and plan to update it often - answering questions, annoucing contests, etc. etc.

The second was...well, (blush) a video of my dog howling...

Guess which I'm most proud of...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Celebrity Lookalikes

I stole this from Gena Showalter's blog, but it's pretty cool. It's a site that will analyze your photo and then tell you which celebrity you most resemble. Of course it didn't pick Jennifer Jason Leigh, who I've been compared to all my life, but it's still pretty fun. :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just a random update

So a lot of things in my life are in the works. Many good and potentially good things, but until they are all finalized I cannot talk about them. Grrr... Sucks to have a blog and not be able to share everything. Oh well. Soon, soon.

Just finished writing A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest, the sequel to CT Fashionista. Going to pass it in on Monday. Very happy to be starting Girls that Growl, book 3 in the Boys that Bite series. Those books are just so fun and easy for me to write. The second I opened the blank word document, the story started just flowing out of me. I couldn't type fast enough to keep up with my ideas. Maybe it's cause I know the characters so well now and I love being in Rayne's head. She's such a great person to write. I feel almost as if she's real.

Started reading Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl today. Got totally sucked in at the doctor's office and ended up reading 61 pages, which is a lot for me in one sitting. No wonder there was such interest in this book! I'm also reading The Winds of War, a world war two book, which is going to take a lot more time to finish, considering it's 1,050 pages and very small print. It's really interesting though--and I feel like I'm learning something about history. Plus the people seem very real.

BTW Dorchester finally posted pics from the National Conference. For once I'm not in half the shots, which is probably best. I like to think it means I behaved myself this year. ;-)

I have NOT yet seen Snakes on a Plane. Sooooo sad!!!


Monday, August 14, 2006

Prime Time

I'm so excited to post this! My longtime mentor/coworker/friend/critique partner Hank Phillippi Ryan, the investigative reporter at my tv station WHDH-TV just signed a two book deal with Harlequin for their NEXT line for her humorous reporter mystery series.

You can read more about it in today's Boston Herald.

It's a really fun book. Make sure you pick it up when it comes out.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

All About Romance

All About Romance website -- You know it, you love it, but you also know what a tough site it is for reviews. Unlike some reviewers, they sure don't just give away those good grades! So I was really excited to get this review for "What, No Roses?" Sure, a B- doesn't seem too high at first glance, but the reviewers on this site are TOUGH, so I take it as a huuuge compliment. :) Plus the review itself is great! I'm so glad she loved Ratty!! He's my favorite part of the book, too.

Anyway - just wanted to share!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Romantic Times Convention

Yes, it's only August, you've barely gotten your breath back from Nationals, but it's already time to start thinking of next year's Romantic Times Convention!! (I mean the costumes alone take a year to plan, right?)

I am pleased to announce I've been selected as the Captain of the Young Adult panel discussion for next year's RT. How fun is that? I'm thrilled and honored they want me! Now I just have to gather my panel members and decide on two sessions worth of topics. Any suggestions?

While I'm posting (I've been so lazy/busy!) here are a few more pics from Nationals.

Cindy Holby, Chris K, and I -- propping up the bar

Watch out - Serena Robar is braced 2 bite!

Bar Divas - always cute and fun and never drunk and annoying!

"No you can't take my Rita home with you!"

Have a great weekend! I'm off to get wine and sushi with my friend Mary. Yummm!!!


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Back from Atlanta

I am wayyyy too tired to tell you everything that happened in Atlanta (and - heh - maybe some of it best stay in Atlanta anyway :P) but needless to say the conference was a blast and I'm so glad I went. It was wonderful to see all my fabulous author friends!

But the big news of the week?? Guess what my dear friend Alesia Holliday won! Yup, a RITA! For best novella! WOOT! Sooo well deserved!!!! Here are the two of us. Doesn't she look sooo happy?

For those of you not in the writing world, that golden statue is called a "RITA" and it's the best award a romance author can win. Sort of like an Emmy. Yay Alesia!!
P.S. For those of you wondering, my apartment is fine. No lightning disasters this year!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Next stop: Atlanta!

Well in two days I'll be off to Atlanta for the National Romance Writers of America conference. I'm so looking forward to seeing all my friends and going to all the parties. If you see me in the hall, please stop me to say hi. I love meeting new people!!

Stuff I will definitely be attending:

* Paige Wheeler's Chocolate Devastation party (my agent's party for clients)
* From the Heart Romance Writers party (Thursday)
* National Reader's Choice Awards (Thursday) - wish me luck in the Young Adult Category!
* Berkley book giveaway - signing copies of "Boys that Bite"!! (Friday afternoon)
* Dorchester Publisher's dinner (Friday)
* Berkley cocktail party (Friday)
* Ritas/Golden Heart post party (Saturday night)

I was thinking of trying to sightsee during the day on Saturday. Anyone know any cool stuff to see in Atlanta? I've only been there once, for a work related thing, so I'm not very familiar with the city.

I have the BEST dress for Friday night! It totally looks like something right out of the 1920s - flapper style - to go along with my "What, No Roses?" book's theme! I can't believe I found such a perfect dress. :) Very psyched to wear it!


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blog Slackers Unite

Hey all,

Sorry for the week of silence. I've just been going through some personal drama that has sadly become all-consuming. But hey, what else is new, right? :P And, as they say, whatever doesn't kill us will make us stronger. (And after the last year, I'm destined to become the strongest person ever!)

Anyway - I'm looking forward to seeing people at Nationals in Atlanta next week. I am going for a few days - just to network and party. I'm up for a Reader's Choice Award, which is cool. If you see me, make sure to say hi! My usual partner in crime, Liz Maverick, is in Paris and can't make the festivities - so if you're an author behaving badly who has a thing for conference chicken, find me in the bar!!! :)

I got a copy of the coverflat for "A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest." It's really pretty - much prettier than the online version. The lettering is pink foil. (Did I mention I love foil lettering? haha) I've got to stop using really long titles in my books though - my name is practically microscopic in order to fit it on the page. Ah well. Maybe people with bad eyesight will confuse it for a Katie MacAlister book!!

That's all for now!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Now Touring: Angel with Attitude

I read Michelle Rowan's "Bitten and Smitten" and it was really cute! Now she has a new paranormal comedy out called "Angel with Attitude." The interesting thing is that book features a talking rat--just like my new release, "What No Roses?" Isn't that a crazy coincidence? Obviously talking rats are the new black!!! :)

Anyway - the book looks like a lot of fun. Here's more info:

(Warner Forever, July 2006)

When you're hot for a demon, you might as well kiss your halo good-bye...

Falling naked into the killer whale tank at MarineLand is always bad news, but it's a real bummer when you've just been kicked out of Heaven. Former angel Valerie Grace is determined to reverse her banishment-Earth's just no fun.

Her best friend is a slightly perverted human-turned-rat, and she's being tailed by a sexy Tempter Demon named Nathaniel, who's trying to lure her to hell with kisses that are almost worth the trip. With the talking rodent sneaking peeks down her shirt and Nathaniel getting more irresistible every minute, this ex-angel has only one hope: find the stolen Key to Heaven and go home.

Then the oddest thing happens-Nathaniel starts to show signs of loyalty and love. And soon Val is asking herself if it is such a bad thing to have the hots for a demon.

Michelle Rowen was born in Toronto, Ontario. As a child she decided that when she grew up she would become a flight attendant, a jewel thief, or a writer. One out of three ain't bad. She is a self-confessed bibliophile, the proud owner of an evil cat named Nikita, Reality TV junkie, and has an unhealthy relationship with all things Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Rowen does a delightful job mixing things up with her sassy and sexy characters. She has her own unique spin on life and the afterlife and good and evil, which makes for downright fun reading. 4 stars ? Romantic Times

ANGEL WITH ATTITUDE is such a fun story...Michelle Rowen has proven herself to be an ace storyteller with a truly fresh and sharp sense of humor. I'm officially a fan! -- Lani Diane Rich, RITA Award-winning author

An amusing heavenly romance with a hell of a price to pay for not reading it. -- Harriet Klausner


Monday, July 10, 2006

A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest - COVER!

Okay here it is - the long awaited (at least by me!) cover and back cover blurb of the sequel to "A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court".

(And yes, Diana, it's still mostly blue!)

A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest

"Mancusi writes with style, wit and absolute treat!"
-USA Today Bestseller Julie Kenner

If Chrissie Hayward knew that morning she'd be traveling back through time to rescue her crazy coworker Kat, she'd have worn better shoes. Doubly so if she'd expected to meet her true love. According to the mysterious gypsy, Chrissie was "the gentle soul who would tame an outlaw's thirst for revenge"-aka, the real Robin Hood. So how come the guy was such a dud?


No, Robin of Locksley was no Prince Charming. And the part about robbing the rich to feed the poor? He didn't get the memo. In fact, all the guy seemed to do was mope. (And he and his not-so-merry men thought Chrissie was a boy. Sure, she wasn't stacked, but still!) Nonetheless, he was loyal and brave and handsome as sin. If Chrissie could just get him with the program, she could right this wagon and get these boyz 'n the wood to be heroes of the realm instead of twerps in tights. Only then could this prince of thieves become king of her heart.
There you have it! Let me know what you think!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Well they're dancing in the streets where I live in the North End of Boston (Little Italy) this afternoon! A nailbiting penalty shot finish had Italy beat out France for the 2006 World Cup. Traffic was blocked off on Hanover Street and people overflowed out of bars and restaurants--cheering and singing and dancing and waving the Italian flag. I've never seen anything like it! It was great - so much energy and patriotism! It made me proud to be Italian.

I grew to love soccer/football while married to my ex who is from England. He believes there is nothing better in the world than soccer and can't understand how America isn't into it like the rest of the world. My cynical thoughts are it's because you can't throw in advertisements every 5 seconds in a soccer match like you can with American football. But in any case, it's become one of my favorite sports. I called him after the match and he was saying over 1 billion people watched the game. Incredible.

It may be too loud to sleep tonight- I'm sure the celebrating will go on til the wee hours of the morning--but I don't mind. This is a world event and I'm happy to be a tiny part of it.


Saturday, July 08, 2006


For those of you wondering, yes my Boys that Bite MySpace page has disapeared. I'm not yet sure what happened - it seems to have been deleted somehow. I'm working to figure out what's going on, but haven't heard back from MySpace just yet. Pretty distressing, considering how much time I put into the page. :( But what can you do?

I finished my charity anthology story for "Fangs Again" today. I love how it came out!!! I could totally expand on my main character - the were-dragon virgin Ash-lee Firebreath - and write a whole book on her. I know that after the last anthology some of the authors got a deal with Berkley to do "Mysteria" based on the same characters/storyline of Bewitched, Bothered, and BeVampyred. So you never know. But for now, suffice to say I'm happy with my chapter and glad to be a part of such a noble cause as raising money for breast cancer research.

Other than that, it's been a quiet weekend so far. Which I needed, considering I just got back from five days in NYC. Time to clean my apartment, have a 24 season 1 marathon, and continue to read Shogun. (I'm almost 400 pages in now - what a great book!)

Hope you're also having a great weekend!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thursday Stuff

I've been working on my charity anthology story for part two of "Bewitched, Bothered & Bevampyred: Fangs Again." I absolutely love how it's coming out. It's so fun to write a short story after working on novel length fiction. Totally refreshing. Plus, how cool to write a book and have the proceeds go toward breast cancer research. It's such a great idea. But after I'm done I must buckle down and complete "A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest", which is due at the end of the month. Gah!! Lots of work ahead of me.

I'm supposed to get a royalty statement sometime this month for my first book, "A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court." That'll be pretty cool to see. My first royalty statement! I mean I'm not expecting a million dollar check here - who knows if I even earned out. But it will be very interesting to see the breakdown. Another writing milestone.

I've been getting some great reviews for "What, No Roses?" which is pretty exciting. Here's a portion of one from Romance Reviews Today:

Slapstick, sarcastic, silly, and downright laugh-out-loud funny, WHAT, NO ROSES? is Ms. Mancusi's second foray into this genre, and it's just as entertaining and hilarious as her first, A CONNECTICUT FASHIONISTA IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT. The time traveling part is logical -- if one believes in time travel, that is. It's a machine; no magic is involved. Everything that happens after her arrival in Chicago is pure fun, although also just a tad on the dangerous side. These are mobsters, after all! But Dora is lots smarter than her 1920's body personifies, and she uses common sense to accomplish her objective. Most of the time, anyway.

WHAT, NO ROSES? is a hoot! For a great summer beach read, don't miss it!

Jani Brooks Romance Reviews Today

Nice, huh? I was thrilled, to say the least. You just never know how a new book will be received.

You know what's so weird? "What, No Roses?" features a talking rat who's really an FBI agent, which I thought was a pretty unique idea. Well, another book - released this month no less - also features a talking rat! It's called "Angels with Attitude" by Michelle Rowan. (Warner I think.) AND there's a new movie where a talking rat gets flushed down the toilet in!!

Dude, talking rats are the new black. It's so obvious!

Off to see "Devil Wears Prada." Will let you know what I think!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy 5th

I'm back from a terrific weekend in New York. Did I mention I'd really love to live there? :) Seriously, the place has absolutely anything a human being could want! Got to see my long lost friend Jamie (who I mentionde previously) and it was soo good to spend time with her again. I hope we stay in touch from this point forward.

I saw Superman Returns--was pretty good, I thought, though a bit long. Very faithful to the original movies -- and WOW does the new Superman look like Christopher Reeve. Crazy.

Went to the bookstore and saw that "What, No Roses?" really is sitting on the shelves!! It's still pretty surreal to see my book just sitting there, waiting to be bought. I remember for so long going to bookstores and finding the "M" section and imagining my book fitting in between people like Katie MacAlister and Liz Maverick. It seemed an impossible dream, but now here I am on Book #4. So for those of you still submitting, don't give up! If I can get here, you totally can too!!!

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July!


Friday, June 30, 2006

Blogging about John Hughes

If you're a child of the 80s like me, you grew up with classics like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Some Kind of Wonderful. This week over at the YA Paranormal Authors blog we talk about our favorite John Hughes movies. Check it out!! '

And have a very HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!! :)


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Now Shipping from Amazon!!

Looks like "What, No Roses?" is now shipping from Amazon!!! It's probably already out in a bunch of bookstores, too. (I'm going to go check my local Borders at lunchtime.) Official release date is Tuesday.

Run out and get your copy today -- before they're gone!! :P (Now I sound like one of those AS SEEN ON TV people. "If you buy Roses today, we'll throw in a set of knives...")


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Is it Friday Yet?

It's only Weds and I'm already jonesing for my New York trip this weekend to see my friend. I know it sounds cliche, but I really do love New York. It's such a great city--so alive and vibrant. So many stores, so many people. And yet you can walk down the street in complete anonymity. It's a beautiful thing. I want to move there so badly. Everyone always tells me they can totally see me as a NYC girl and I definitely agree. And hey--I've done the Florida thing and the California thing. I'm sooo ready for the Big Apple. :)

Tonight on Channel 7 I have a story on the air about video game addiction. Men and women who have lost their jobs, homes, families, etc. due to their excessive use of video games. It's kind of an interesting story to me personally because I'm such a gamer myself. And I've seen this kind of intense infatuation many of my friends have developed with the online games. (Like World of Warcraft, for example.)

Psychiatrists say video games can actually boost serotonin levels in the brain, causing gamers to get a high, much like alcoholics get by taking a drink. And the game's reward system allows them a sense of accomplishment they may not be feeling in real life. It's like they're running from something in their real lives--trying to escape stress or financial problems or depression or relationship issues. And the game just swallows them up. They form online relationships that become more real and interesting to them then their real life friends and family. Nothing is as satisifying as logging in. Nothing is worth logging out for.

Some might say, "Get a life!" But I'm not sure it's that simple or that true addicts really have a choice. Unfortunately, because this is a relatively new addiction, there are few therapists who can treat it. Hopefully that will change soon.

Anyway - kind of rambling - but like I said, I'm an avid gamer and I've seen so many people get sucked in. So the subject matter kind of hits close to home.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Got my author copies of "What, No Roses?" today!!! Woot!!

Next week they'll be sitting pretty at a bookstore near you. Double Woot!

I'm still reading Shogun. Page 76 / 1,1000. This could take a while.

Why is it I write books faster than I read them?


Monday, June 26, 2006

In other news...

Thanks for everyone who sent their support for my blog disclaimer entry. :) You guys rock and are the reason it's worth writing.

For those of you following the "MySpace Reunion With Long Lost Friend" saga, I have an update.

(Sorry "Andy" (if that's your real name...) - I know you don't care. Feel free to skip this entry and head over to Amazon to pre-order "What, No Roses?" instead - hehe)

For those of you still with me, Jamie called me today and we made plans to meet up in NYC this weekend!! I haven't seen her in over four years so I am completely thrilled at the chance to reconnect. She's so much fun and a great person. I can't believe she's been this close since January and I had no idea. :) Yay MySpace!!

In other news:

** "What, No Roses?" officially comes out in 8 days!! Woot! Pre-order now and I'll be your slave forever! (No, not a love slave. And I don't do dishes. Okay, I'll be a lousy slave, but I will be very, very appreciative!)

** I've been reading Simone Elkes upcoming "How to Ruin a Summer Vacation" from Llewellen Flux to give a blurb quote to and I absolutely love it!!! A must buy for all teens once it's released.

** I went to the stupid local Borders - the one too stupid to carry Boys that Bite - and realized they're too stupid to carry Gena Showalter's "Oh My Goth" and Caridad Ferrier's "Adios to My Own Life" as well. Though they had ten billion copies of the Da Vinci code, which, duh! Everyone in America (but me) has read.

** I've started reading SHOGUN just to prove to a friend that 1,100 word books about feudal Japan do not intimidate me. Actually it's good so far. I mean, how could you not like a book where a samurai chops off a guy's head simply because he didn't bow?? We need to send him after whoever buys books for Borders.

** I'm kidding!! I love all booksellers - even if they don't choose to carry me and my friends' books. Really! Booksellers rock!! (Now don't forget to place an order for "What, No Roses?" or I'll send Oni-San after you!)

** Diana Peterfreund has an amazing new website called I am very jealous of all the flashy technology stuff.

** Congrats to my aunt who just retired after 30 something years of teaching. And to my cousin and her girlfriend for graduating from Yale law school. And to my other cousin who is expecting her first baby in the fall!!

** Congrats to Angelina and Brad for baby Shiloh as well. (Didn't want them to feel left out.)

That's all for today!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Blog Disclaimer

Grr. I'm so angry at all these drive-by posters and their comments. (see below entry - I refuse to delete this time!) Especially ones who don't have the guts to link to their profile/blog. So disclaimer time:

My blog declares no responsibility to:

a) Make the world a better place
b) Entertain you
c) Cause you to think
d) Make you want to buy my books (Someone in a drive-by the other day asked if I thought "this depressing crap would make people buy books")

It is what it is. Sometimes I'm going to talk about my lousy day (or my great one!). Sometimes I'm going to post pictures of my dog or me and my friends out at a bar. Sometimes I'll talk about real issues and often I'll pimp out my books. (Did I mention "What, No Roses?" is out next week!?!? LOL) But it's MY blog and I'll post what I want. I'm not looking to win a content award here. I just want a platform to ramble from.

That is all.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Can I just tell you.... much I love MySpace?

I just found one of my really, really good friends from when I lived in San Diego. I lost her # when my cell phone died a few years ago and have been searching for her ever since. She has a very common last name, so I was having no luck. Then I found a profile on MySpace. There was no pic, but it was someone with her name, her age, and lived in San Diego. So I took a chance and wrote her a message.

She responded and said she's been searching for me, too! And that she moved to NYC and comes to Boston all the time!!! She sent me her cell # and I'm going to call her this afternoon!

Yay! I love MySpace!!

Friday, June 23, 2006


From Publisher's Lunch:

Children's: Young Adult
Jamie Michaels' KISS MY BOOK, story of a teen writing sensation who gets caught plagiarizing her debut novel, but finds redemption and romance when she escapes to a small town, to Krista Marino at Delacorte, by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Random thoughts

I am still doing my Buzzing your Book workshop over at Romance Divas. Today I wrote about using MySpace as a promotional tool. If you've ever thought of promoting for free to over 87 million people - and no they're not all teens! - you might want to check out my step by step guide.

I'm feeling so much better today than I felt during the beginning of the week. Phew. Sometimes life can really smack you upside the head. But if you can just get through the bad days better ones always come. :) The important thing is that when you're going through bad moods or whatever that you don't take it out on people you love. Especially the ones who are trying to cheer you up. They care about you and want you to feel better and they probably feel helpless because they can't seem to make you smile the way they usually do. And it's so easy to lash out at these people because they are around and they don't run away from your bad mood like casual friends will.

If you can't deal with them, tell them you need some time alone. But never, ever be nasty to them. Because they have opened themselves up, made themselves vulnerable, in an effort to help you feel better. And that, my friends, is something more valuable than gold.

Anyway - that's your psych lesson of the day from Marianne.

Tonight I'm going to a cookout at my dad's. It'll be the last time I see him and my stepmom for like a month cause they're traveling cross country to go to Colorado to visit my brother and camp and hike etc. I'm totally jealous. Oh to be retired and have whole summers to tour the country. Then again, I'd probably just sit at my computer the whole summer if I had a choice.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sunshine and Roses

I took Monday's post down, in case you were wondering, because some anonymous commenter said it was irresponsible to my teen readers to admit to feeling down in a blog. I don't want to be a bad influence so I'm sorry. I was just having a lousy day and really didn't feel like chatting about sunshine and roses.

But now it's Tuesday and it's sunshiny out and ohhh - I have a new book called "What, No Roses?" out in stores in less than two weeks! Woot!! So there we go!!!

BTW if you're one of my MySpace friends, I'm running a special contest til the end of June. Post a comment about what you liked about "Boys that Bite" and on June 30th I'll draw from all the commenters and pick three people to name characters after in book 3 - Girls that Growl. :) Check out MySpace Boys that Bite for more details!

That's all for now! I'll be posting lesson #1 on buzzing your book over at Romance Divas in a little bit - so make sure you stop by.


Friday, June 16, 2006


It's Friday! Yay! And tomorrow is a special day for me. I'm doing a booksigning at Annie's Book Stop in Sharon, Massachusetts. Now, normally booksignings aren't that exciting, but at this particular booksigning I'll be signing my brand new book "What, No Roses?" You see, my publisher set up the signing and so they're sending books before the actual July release date for it. So this will be the first time I see a copy of my book in book form!! w00t!!

Hopefully I won't end up buying all the copies in sheer exultation...

And yes, the new book thing never gets old. In fact, I bet if I get to book 100 I'll still be just as excited to hold it in my hands. :)

In sadder news, my ex husband Aaron's dog Adora got hit by a car yesterday. She will likely survive, thank goodness, but she has a collapsed lung and multiple fractures and has to have her leg reset. She's only a year old and so cute--Australian Shepherd mix. She had to have surgery today and the whole thing is costing Aaron $4,000. I wish I wasn't so broke or I'd pitch in. I love that furry little mutt.

Okay, now that I've depressed you - have a great weekend!


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Vegas Pics

Okay I've got a few pics of Vegas for you to check out! Click on pics for larger images.

The girls: Me, Mary, Heather, Lisa, Kara

The view from my hotel room at the Mandalay Bay:

The hotel that the medieval geek in me would like to stay in: The Excalibur!

The clubs were crazy! Huge, with waterfalls and cage dancers and acrobats! This was "Rum Jungle" at the Mandalay Bay.

There you have it! :) I have to say though, Vegas is not my favorite place in the world and while it was cool to experience it, I don't think I would go back anytime soon. It's like Spring Break for adults who want to behave badly. Maybe I'm just not the party girl I used to be, but the atmosphere was just too rowdy for me. I think I'd much rather go somewhere with some history and culture. Or at least just a white sandy beach. The cheesiness and tackiness of Vegas were just too much for me.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Now Touring: Julie Kenner

Hi all,

Back from Vegas. Will post pics soon. But today we have an Out of the Blogosphere tour guest. Julie Kenner is the bestselling author of many funny paranormal books. She was also awesome enough to give me a quote for my upcoming "A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest." So needless to say we love her here at Cosmos and Chat.

She has a new book out - second in the series - about a soccer mom who fights demons in her spare time. (I know, you're like "What spare time?") It's called "California Demon" and looks adorable!

CALIFORNIA DEMON: The Secret Life of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner
(Berkley Trade, June 2006)

What's a mother to do, when there are only so many hours in the day, and the fate of the world is in her hands?

Kate Connor was a retired demon hunter. Now, after fourteen years busting her tail as a suburban housewife, raising two kids, and supporting her husband's political ambitions, she's rejoined the workforce-and except for a few minions of evil, no one has a clue. She tries hard to keep her home and work lives separate-a good idea when your job involves random slaughter.

Between fending off demon attacks, trying to figure out why the mysterious new teacher at the high school seems so strangely familiar, and keeping a watchful eye on her daughter's growing infatuation with a surfer dude, Kate is the busiest-and most dangerous-soccer mom on the block?

? Groceries
? Pay bills
? Gas up the minivan
? Pick Allie up from cheerleader practice
? Clean out nest of evil, blood-thirsty preternatural creatures with a few wooden stakes, some holy water, and a can of Diet Coke
? Self-defense class
? Volunteer at nursing home
? Battle determined demon while making meal
? Put Timmy to bed
? Clean up dishes
? Dispose of demon carcass
? Iron Stuart?s shirt
? Write tomorrow?s to-do list

Read an excerpt here.

National bestselling author Julie Kenner's first book hit the stores in February of 2000, and she's been on the go ever since. Her books have hit lists as varied as USA Today, Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine. Julie is also a former RITA finalist, the winner of Romantic Times' Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, and the winner of the Reviewers International Organization's award for best romantic suspense of 2004. She writes a range of stories from sexy and quirky romances to chick lit suspense to paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, was selected as a Booksense Summer Paperback Pick for 2005, was a Target Breakout Book, was a Barnes & Noble Number One SFF/Fantasy bestseller for seven weeks, and is in development as a feature film with Warner Brothers and 1492 Pictures.
Julie spent four years mainlining venti nonfat lattes in order to write, practice law full time, and take care of her kiddo. Then she wised up, quit the practice of law, and settled down to write full time. She now lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and a bunch of cats.

Check out her website:

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Viva Las Vegas

Greetings from Vegas. I'm writing from my hotel room at the Mandalay Bay. For those of you who have never been, Vegas is crazy! Everything is HUGE here. And themed. It's like an adult DisneyWorld. Or an adult spring break. Of course it's a total meat market as well, all these overgrown college frat boy types trying to hook up. Um, thanks, but no thanks.

My friend Bobby from Orlando is out here too - attending a conference. So I hung out with him and a couple of his coworkers last night. We found the cheap side of Vegas where there were $1 drinks instead of $11 like at my hotel. Low brow and not as nice, but better for my wallet. I can't believe how much everything costs here. I've done a tiny bit of gambling, but I'm not really into it. The place has a great pool so we went swimming yesterday. I think we're going clubbing at Studio 54 tonight cause my cousin's husband got us on the VIP list.

That's about it for now. I'll post pics at some point.

PS I've yet to win a million dollars. In case you were wondering.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

One more book...

I knew if I started listing July books I'd forget one.

Reality Chick - by Lauren Barnholdt. It's a YA put out by Simon Pulse about a girl who has her freshman year in college videotaped for a reality show. Good premise - I couldn't imagine if they had done that to me my freshman year!! My parents would have probably stopped paying the tuitiion bills once they watched the show, lol.

I haven't read it yet, but Lauren is way cool and she wears tiaras at RWA conferences with me. So you should buy her book. Seriously, go pre-order it now, while you're thinking of it. :)

I'm off to Vegas tomorrow so expect a blog hiatus. But I'll be back Tuesday with lots of pictures. Of course, I'm not sure how many I'll be allowed to post on my blog. After all, what happens in Vegas...