Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Free Read: Disturbia

Looking for a free read? I've started serializing a new novel over at Wattpad called Disturbia. It's about an artsy city girl from Brooklyn named Lonnie who's forced to move to a suburban town in Connecticut when her mother remarries. But while the town seems picture-perfect on the outside, things are not always as they seem! (And that's all I'm giving away at the moment--no spoiler alerts!)

I'm posting this as kind of an experiment. If I get a lot of interested readers, I'll keep going on the story, posting a new chapter every few weeks. Therefore if you like the first chapter, please vote for it, so I'll know you want more!

Read chapter one HERE!

Monday, September 17, 2012

My heart belongs to Texas (readers)

Hey all,

I'm writing this from inside a Houston motel room, where I'm crashing before my very early AM flight to Orlando tomorrow AM. I've been having a wonderful few days hanging out with lovely fellow YA authors Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, and Tracy Deebs--doing our mini Texas book tour.

On Sunday we spoke and signed at The Book Spot, a wonderful independent bookstore in Round Rock, TX. (Just north of Austin.) It was POURING rain out that day and I was a little worried people would stay home. Boy was I wrong! The place was packed--standing room only.

The audience filing in.

Everyone asked great questions, I handed out Halloween candy (cause it's never too early for Halloween candy) and then we signed a gazillion books. Some readers even had me sign the entire Blood Coven collection--all eight books! And a few brought in their copies of Gamer Girl. I have to say, I feel especially happy when I meet Gamer Girl readers--who tell me how they can relate to Maddy. Because Maddy was just like me, when I was their age.

Not sure why we look so serious here!

Posing with readers!

After the signing, Tera, Sophie and I drove to Houston and we crashed at Sophie's house. We woke up the next morning and hung out in Starbucks, working on our books. In addition to working on Dragonbound, I've been doing a little last minute proofreading for Alternity, which will be released digitally sometime next month. I'm excited to share it!

See how excited I look?
Deadline? What deadline?

And bonus--there was a cupcake shop next door!

After picking up Sophie's son from school, we spend the rest of the afternoon writing by the pool. Not a bad way to spend a Monday--especially with the beautiful temperatures. I'm so glad Texas is finally cooling down a bit. Cannot WAIT for fall.

Living in a writer's paradise!

Then we packed up our laptops and headed to Katy Budget Books, another wonderful Houston area bookstore. There we did our presentation again in front of another packed house. It's so wonderful to have such supportive readers! I think a lot of them were new to the Blood Coven so I'm hoping they enjoy the books they picked up! I sold a lot of the omnibus version, which contains both Boys that Bite and Stake That. I always push that one--since it's two books for the price of one.

After signing books we were asked to do a bit of an arts and crafts project--handprints to hang on the store's wall! It was messy but fun and a lot of laughter ensued.

Then it was on to Mexican food for dinner and a drive down to the airport area so I could check into my hotel. My flight leaves first thing in the AM so I wanted to be close.

The tour will be on pause for the rest of the week, while I'm in Orlando, but will resume on Sunday where Tera, Tracy and I will meet back up at the Lewisville Barnes and Noble in the Dallas area. I'm sure that signing, set up by my lovely assistant Andrea, will be just as awesome as the others.

But for now, I'm exhausted. Ready for a little reading and then right to bed!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Book Deal!!!

Hey all,

I've been waiting a long time for this day -- the day I get to announce my new book deal with Sourcebooks Fire! It's finally official and I can now shout it from the rooftops! Here's the deal memo describing the deal, put out in today's Publisher's Marketplace: 

Author of the Blood Coven Vampire Series, Mari Mancusi's trilogy starting with DRAGONBOUND, pitched as Terminator meets Daenerys' Dragons from Game of Thrones and centers on a teen girl whom twin brothers claim is the owner of the last dragon egg, and the only one who can stop a future apocalypse wrought by a fiery dragon war, toLeah Hultenschmidt at Sourcebooks Fire, in a very nice deal, by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency (NA). UK & Translation rights: 

YES! Dragons!!! 

Here's another summary of the series - with a little more detail: 


When sixteen year old Trinity Brown's grandfather shows her the mysterious golden egg sent to their failing, roadside attraction museum after being unearthed from a melting glacier, she thinks only of its potential to pull the museum out of financial ruin. She has no idea it's the last surviving dragon egg of its kind--and destined to bring about the apocalypse.
Connor Johnson is a Dragon Hunter, sent back in time to the 21st century, to prevent the dragons from taking over the world. He knows this one simple egg, hatched and cloned and turned into a biological weapon of mass destruction by the US government, will lead to a worldwide conflagration, that will send mankind scurrying underground. Connor believes if he's able to destroy the last remaining egg before it hatches, there's still a chance to save the future world. And he needs Trinity's help to do it.
But Connor's not the only one after the egg. A group of dragon sympathizers, known as the Dracken, have sent Connor's own twin brother, Caleb, a Dragon Rider, back in time to also retrieve the egg. The Dracken believe that dragons have the power to save the world--if raised and bred in a controlled manner this time around. In short, if dragons become extinct, so will we. 
Connor is brave and steadfast. Caleb is clever and charismatic. And Trinity soon finds herself torn between the two brothers--and their very opposite missions to save the world. In the end, it'll be up to her to make the ultimate decision--to destroy the dragons or save them from harm. The fate of entire world depends on her choice.

This series is definitely a departure from The Blood Coven - it's darker and more action packed and told from third person perspectives. It's been so exciting to work on something so different. And I hope readers will love reading it as much as I'm loving writing it!

Much more to follow! But thanks for celebrating with me!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Want an autographed copy of Blood Forever?

Hey all, 

If you're looking for an autographed copy of Blood Forever (or any of the Blood Coven books!) you can now order one at my official online store at The Book Spot. If you order now you can even get it personalized! Just fill out the form online and what name you want it made out to and they'll have me autograph it when I'm there this Sunday for my book signing. Then they'll mail it out to you! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Musings

Hi all,

Hope you had a great weekend! I spent mine with my little zombie! (If you could see the way she walks, you'd totally understand the t-shirt! I totally need to dress her up as a zombie and take video! BRAAINS!!)


This week I'm gearing up for my mini Texas book tour. (Which I talked about in a previous post.) First up is this Sunday at The Book Spot at 3pm in Round Rock, TX. Then I head to Houston on Monday. Should be fun -- hope some of you can make it out.


In addition, I'm hard at work on my new series. I really can't wait until it's officially announced so I can talk about it more! But I'll give you a hint...

Adorable, no? BTW to give credit where credit is due, this little guy was photographed/created by Jan Oliehoek and posted on the Wild for Wildlife and Nature Facebook page. I just love him sooo much! And their Facebook page posts really cute pictures of animals, so I highly suggest you throw them a "like". Just for this dragon awesomeness alone it's worth it!! 

For those of you who haven't gotten a copy of Blood Forever yet, I'm giving one away over at Literary Escapism blog today as part of their "School's In" series. Rayne talks about having to go back to school in Book #8. Which, let's just say, she is NOT so happy about! Go check it out and WIN! 


For those of you writers out there, I highly recommend you go check out the film The Words. I saw it this weekend and it was really interesting--especially coming from a writer's point of view. I don't want to give anything away, but a great film with a great cast and a great message for writers. Oh and having Bradley Cooper in it doesn't hurt!! :)


That's all for now! Have a great MONDAY!!!


Friday, September 07, 2012

Random Updates

Hey all, 

Trying to be a better blogger and also keep people informed of where I'll be and what I'm up to! (Well, besides having tea with a 15 month old...) 

For those of you in Texas I have a few upcoming appearances. Here's how they break down: 

September 16th - Austin, TX - The Book Spot - 3pm
Chat and signing with: Tera Lynn Childs and Sophie Jordan 

September 17th - Houston, TX - Katy Budget Books 6-8pm
Chat and signing with: Tera Lynn Childs and Sophie Jordan 

September  22nd - Dallas, TX - Lewisville Barnes and Noble - 2-4pm 
Chat and signing with Tracy Deebs and Tera Lynn Childs 

At each event I will be signing copies of BLOOD FOREVER. If you can't make an actual event, but still want a signed copy, you can go to my store at The Book Spot and place an order online. And yes, I can personalize the book to you - even if you get it mail ordered. AND they *will* ship internationally! 


In other news, though The Blood Coven has officially had it's happily ever after, Blood Coven memberships can still be obtained by signing up at my website: I'm actually getting in brand new bookmarks with all the books in the series listed. About time! :) If you sign up, you'll also get a welcome letter, a membership card, and a limited edition Blood Coven magnet. And please don't forget to join the Blood Coven on Facebook. I'm always having giveaways and sneak peeks and other fun stuff there. 


So what's up next? Well, I'll be re-releasing a former Dorchester novel, originally called Moongazer, updated  for digital release, at the beginning of October. It's now called Alternity. Isn't the cover cool? It just fits the book SO WELL! 

And Tomorrow Land and Skater Boy will be available as print books within the next month or so as well. I'll keep you posted when they're available. In the meantime, they can be purchased digitally for $3.99. 

And for those of you who like chick lit novels, I hope you'll check out LOVE AT 11. It's available digitally for $3.99 and is a book after my own I once was a TV producer just like the main character. Just a small warning - it's not a YA and has some adult language/content. :) 


And lastly, if you're not sick of me yet, check me out over at Tynga's Reviews. I do a special "When I'm Not Writing" blog for them. 

That's all for now! More soon!! 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Dragon*Con recap

Hey all,

This weekend marked my fourth adventure to Dragon*Con, the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe! (I stole that from their website since I always get asked exactly *what* Dragon*Con is!

In other words - it's this huge gathering of nerds and geeks and the people who love them! There are elaborate costumes, discussion panels, a parade, celebrity guests, and lots of partying!

First up, the work. As a guest of the con, I was asked to be on seven different panels. Some had to do with Young Adult literature and some were just geek culture fan panels. For example, during the panel I talked about post-apocalyptic vs. dystopian literature, the appeal of monster boyfriends (vamps, werewolves, etc.), and vampires vs. zombies on the YA track. (I was on Team Vampire, but sadly we were vanquished by those pesky zombies. What can I say...they had the numbers!) That might have been my favorite panel as they audience was really into it! Somehow it got kind of political, too, with the zombies claiming to be the "99 percent" and the vampires declaring no exsanguination without representation!

Team Vampire! I'm on the right - dressed in costume. More on that in a moment! 

Team Zombie. Look at those brainless losers!

I also had a chance to participate on several fan panels, which was a lot of fun, though a lot of studying up in the months beforehand. You may love a director or series or author but if you have to be on a panel about them, you'd better know some interesting stuff. My Dark Fantasy and Horror fan panels this year were on Stephen King, David Lynch and The Evil Dead series. I have to admit, The Evil Dead might have been the most fun. Especially since I got to be on it with my beloved Sherrilyn Kenyon. Even if she did rebuke me for not bringing Avalon this year! I did WANT to bring Avalon, believe me. I even had the perfect idea for a costume -- I could be Daenerys from Game of Thrones and she could be my baby dragon! Next year for sure! Anyway, at the Evil Dead panel I gave away the most awesome prizes. Little "Evil Pumpkins" containing actual dirt from the site of the real Evil Dead cabin. (Where they filmed the first movie.) They came from Etsy and a website called Everyone was really impressed! We also gave out music inspired by The Evil Dead and some other schwag.

Speaking of schwag, I was quite the shopper at this year's Dragon*Con. A lot of the stuff I bought was dragon related, in conjunction with my new book series that I'm not allowed to talk about until it's officially announced. I got some signed prints from Larry Elmore who did the original artwork for Dungeons and Dragons gamebooks. I'm going to get those framed. It was cool to meet him except some annoying guy kept talking to him the ENTIRE TIME he was signing so I never even got to say a word to him. So disappointing. I have to say, it kind of dampened the entire experience. All I wanted to say was how much I loved his artwork and how many hours I used to pour over those D&D books. I guess that's one of the problems with Dragon*Con. When you have 40,000 nerds/geeks in one town center, not everyone's going to have the proper social graces. haha. Oh well, maybe next year.

My most precious buy this year, however, was a corset dress from the Pendragon shop. I'd been wanting one of their corsets ever since I started going to Dragon*Con but could never afford one. This year I bit the bullet and treated myself. I wore it that night!

All corseted up! 

I didn't forget Avalon either! We got her a Vamplet t-shirt that says "I give vampyre kisses" (which if you could see how she does an open mouthed kiss, you'd understand!) and a zombie t-shirt as well.

After shopping so long, we decided it was best to head to the VIP room where food and drinks were free! There we met up with Heather Brewer, Diana Peterfreund, Princess Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber and others. Including some pretty awesome celebs. Jewel Staite who played Kaylee in Firefly and a bunch of the True Blood cast members including the actors who played Sam Merlotte, Alcide the werewolf, and Arlene the waitress. Heather totally broke the Green Room rules and took a photo with Sam. Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

That Auntie Heather. Such a rebel!

Though I would have held out for Alcide if I were her. OMG he's hotter in real life than on TV if that's possible! He was hanging out talking by the bathroom and all the girls in our party kept making excuses to go. :)

Unfortunately when hanging out in the VIP lounge he wore a shirt the entire time...

After an unfortunate incident revolving around Heather Brewer and a vampire duck, we decided it was best to leave and go costume gawking. I was actually pretty decked out myself and so was Jacob. I was playing Winona Ryder's character, Lydia Deetz, from Beetlejuice and Jacob was Mad Max. (Though many mistook him for Kyle Reese, from Terminator. Jacob actually does resemble him!)

For comparison: The real Lydia Deetz from the film.

Mad Max or Kyle Reese. You decide. 

My costume was a go walking amidst 40,000 people, but I managed to make it through alive. In fact, we even went dancing at the Last Party on Alderaan, thrown by the Star Wars track. I do admit to ditching my wig at some point though.

I wasn't as diligent at taking cool costume pics as I should have been, having only my iPhone on hand. But there were some amazing ones as always. Here are a few highlights:

Daenerys and her dragons

An amazing Jareth and Sarah of Labyrinth!
This guy was in the process of putting on a full-on dragon suit. Not sure how he planned to get around the con...
Planet of the Apes!
Female Ash from Evil Dead 2
Wizard of Oz with a Batman scarecrow

Sorry my pics aren't awesome - again, iPhones - what can you do? I'd suggest going to Flickr and looking up the most recent Dragon*Con pics for some better costume viewing.

All and all it was an incredible con and we left feeling tired, but happy. I cannot wait to do it again next year!!


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Blood Forever Release Day!

Today is a very bittersweet day for me! Blood Forever, the 8th and final Blood Coven Vampire book has been released. I could have never imagined, back in 2005 when I first sold Boys that Bite, that this would be such an amazing ride. Back then, Twilight had just been released and no one had any idea how popular vampires would become!

It's funny--sometimes I see reviewers accuse me of following a trend by writing vampire books but these books always came from my heart, not the marketplace. I was fortunate that the marketplace wanted to read them. But for me, vampires have always been special. Ever since I picked up that first Anne Rice book. Or the days I got completely sucked into Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There's just something awesome about those creatures of the night and the fact that I get paid to write about something I love so much -- well, who could ask for anything more?

At first there was only going to be three books in the series. My publisher had decided to stop publishing young adult novels. But readers rallied through the "Save the Blood Coven" campaign we had through MySpace (yes, I'm dating myself!) and my German publisher asked for a book four. I figured I'd write it for Germany and then I'd just give it away in the US or something as an e-book. (Back before e-books were really that popular.) In any case, the popularity of Twilight and other vampire properties convinced my publisher to not only buy a fourth book, but also repackage the first three. One thing led to another and now we end the series at a whopping eight. With the books being translated into at least six different languages.

Some of you ask why I am ending the series--you could read Blood Coven books forever. (And I love you for that!) But I wanted to give Sunny and Rayne a real, definitive happy ending and the only way to do that was to make sure I got to write that last book. Many authors get cut off by their publishers before they can finish what they started and the books just kind of dangle at the end. I didn't want that to happen. I wanted to give readers a satisfying ending to the series.

That said, I do hope to revisit the world of Blood Coven through digital publishing in the future. I'll be creating spin-off stories about Stormy and Spider and some of the other characters, with Rayne and Sunny playing supporting roles. I'll release those novellas at a low price for readers who want to keep going. And for the rest of you? I have a brand new hardcover series that begins next fall. So stay tuned - more to come on that, soon!!

Thanks so much for taking the ride with me. Writing books isn't always easy or fun, but the excitement and enthusiasm of readers has kept me going to the end and makes even the most difficult days worthwhile. I love you all!!!

Hope you enjoy Blood Forever!!!


Blood Forever is available at:

Barnes and Noble
Book Depository (International)