Friday, February 26, 2010

Preppy Pink and White

prep 003, originally uploaded by starrgirl77.

Going to an 80s preppy/pink and white themed party tonight. Madonna would be proud of my interpretation.

Snowpocalypse 3!!!

Molly snow, originally uploaded by starrgirl77.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

German Book 5 has a title and release date!

Found out the German title for Book 5 today!

BeiƟ mich, wenn du dich traust

- which, translated, I'm told means:

"Bite me, if you dare!"

So cute! The book will be released in Germany in August. The editor said she loved it - I hope you guys will, too! We're now negotiating Books 6 & 7 in German.

For the rest of you, we're still hanging out, fingers crossed, waiting for my US editor to read Book 5 and hopefully commit to publishing it. Keep spreading the word about the series to your friends - the better it does, the more likely it will continue!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend in DC!

This weekend I finally fufilled my long ago made promise to visit my friend Diana Peterfreund down in DC. It's really easy to get to DC from NYC - just jump on a BoltBus, which is one of those nice bus lines that have internet access on board. It's cheap, too. Like $20 each way! Now I'm not sure why I didn't go sooner!

We had a really fun weekend. Got to go out to her friend's restaurant Friday night where I ordered a duck special (yes, I'm obsessed with duck now) and sampled yummy cheeses and desserts and wine. (Had to go off the pre-wedding diet for the weekend, but it was well worth it!) The next day we headed out to the woods to go hiking with her adorable dog Rio. I always say Molly is the best dog in the world - well, now it's confirmed that Rio is a close second! (No offense to other great dogs out there...but Rio is super awesome and not just cause she cuddled in bed with me my second night there!)

After hiking - man DC still has a ton of snow! - we headed to the Spy Museum, on the advice of fellow YA author Ally Carter. Ally did not steer us wrong - it was super cool. After that we had a leisurely dinner and then headed to the movies. The movie we chose - "Dear John" a chick flick we figured neither Jacob or Sailor Boy would be interested in - was NOT super cool. In fact, it had a major plot flaw, which we discussed til exhaustion on the way home. The good news? We figured out a way to make it work, if the filmmakers are interested in doing a revision at this late date. :) Ah, writers.

Then on Sunday we made cinnamon muffins (and when I say "we" I mean Diana made them while I watched her and drank lots of coffee) and talked writing. Actually we talked a lot of writing all weekend, which was fun because I feel like I never get to really talk writing with other writers unless I'm at a conference. So that was fun in and of itself.

And then I jumped on the bus and headed home! All in all a very fun weekend had by all! Of course it wasn't til I got back that I realized neither of us remembered to take a single picture. Oh well. Guess I'll have to go back sometime!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar (Los Cabos, Mexico) - Poolside

Where we are going on our honeymoon. I wish I was already there!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Cooking

Jacob and I have a tradition of cooking a brand new meal on Valentine's Day - something we haven't tried before. This year we decided to create a Crispy Duck with Orange Ginger Glaze from the Weber Grill cookbook my brother gave me for Christmas this year.

It was pretty simple, though we had never cooked duck before Basically we created an orange/ginger flavored maranade and maranaded duck breasts for about an hour. Then we took them and brought them out to the grill. It was FREZZING out, but Jacob braved the elements for this noble cause.

Inside, I prepared the slices of oranges and cooked the sides. Red potatoes and...because we're real classy...peas.

To go along with our peas, we opened a bottle of champagne, given to us by Jacob's dad. (So you know it had to be good!) I need to register for champagne glasses though. Ours are literally from the dollar store!!

Okay, I'm no food stylist, but here's my attempt of making it look like the cookbook! Disregard the paper towel napkins...or consider them shabby chic! In any case, doesn't the duck grill up beautifully?

And here's the whole meal all put together.

The verdict? The duck was delicious, but the skin was too thick. I don't know if that's how duck is supposed to be or this was a trait of the particular kind we purchased but I ended up taking off the skin and feeding it to Molly. She, um, liked it.

So there you have it! Another delicious Valentine's Day meal from the Beach/Mancusi kitchen! Oh and just to add - the next day we cut up the leftover duck (sans skin) and mixed it into marinara sauce with more peas (they give a sauce more oomph in my opinion!) and served it over wheat pasta. A very healthy, yummmy leftovers meal. (Sadly I didn't food style this very well - splattered tomato sauce on the plate!)

And yes, in case you were wondering, Jacob did give me roses. :)


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Oreo Truffles

We made this recipe for a Better TV shoot. It was sooo delicious! And so easy, too!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The name is Bond - James Bond

And I got to meet and interview him on Friday! Pierce Brosnan is starring in the new Percy Jackson and the Olympians movie that comes out, I think, next week. I also got to interview the younger members of the cast- the teens who play Percy and Anabeth and Gordon. Was a lot of fun to meet them. And the movie is excellent! Go see it when it comes out - it's a great family film for both kids and adults. Though probably not for young kids - there's quite a bit of action, some could be scary.

Anyway, here's a pic of Pierce Brosnan and I. As close as I'll ever get to being a Bond Girl. ;-)


And here is how they had the hallway decked out (the press junkett was held in the Empire State Building where, according to the movie, you can find the door to Mount Olympus.) And sure enough - here's the door!


Sadly, I wasn't allowed to go through! :)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Vermont to Orlando to Jersey

Things have been busy at the Beach/Mancusi household lately. I'm just now getting time to update the old blog. :)

Two weeks ago, I went up to Killington, Vermont to shoot ski stories with my photographer for Better TV. But all work and no play makes Marianne a dull girl so Jacob and my dad and Sherri came up on Saturday to go skiing/snowboarding with me. It was a beautiful day - in the 30s with clear skies. Couldn't ask for better!


Now that my iPhone is a 3GS, my dad decided to use it to take video of me snowboarding! Kind of neat to see it from another perspective!

Once we got back from Killington, this is what it looked like outside. BLEH. Nothing worse than NYC in the dreary winter rain.


So we packed up our bags again and headed down to Orlando, Florida for the weekend to visit my matron of honor Ali (She so loves being called a matron, lol) and her husband Bobby and, of course their kids, who are so cute!

On Saturday we went to Disney World! I wanted a nice pic in front of the Magic Kingdom castle. But, of course, Ali had other ideas! Check out this awesome photo bomb!


I did finally get my photo though. :)


We stayed in the brand new Disney Bay Tower at the Contemporary - a new set of hotel rooms built right next to the old Contemporary hotel. They're super nice - we had a studio with a kitchen and it was very conveinent to store drinks in the fridge. And best off - our balcony looked over the Magic Kingdom.


We could even walk to the park from there, so it was super conveinent. Might just be my favorite new Disney hotel!

And, of course, since I'm getting married in just under 2 months (ack!) I had to get some bridal mouse ears with my name on them!




After hanging in the park all day, where I was having too much fun to take photos, we returned to the hotel to watch the fireworks! (Which I can assure you looked much better in real life than on my iPhone pictures!)




All in all it was an amazing weekend and I didn't want to come home! But now, after all the excitment, I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend at home. And, of course, Superbowl Sunday!


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Gamer Girl Fan Art

I hadn't featured any GAMER GIRL fan art for a while, so I thought I'd post some today. You guys are so creative! Maddy would be so impressed! :)


gamer girl sir leo by ~kittycatmg6 on deviantART

GAMER GIRL m y v e r s i o n by *XCloseXToXNothingX on deviantART

Allora by ~4ever-artist on deviantART

Gamer Girl: Allora by ~WinxClub-Riven on deviantART

Gamer Girl- Maddy by ~AnimeArchAngel24 on deviantART

Allora 8D by ~Akatsukifanatic on deviantART