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.