30 March 2012


Happy Friday! Today I'm featuring Skater Boy by Mari Mancusi, and she's generously offered an e-book of the title! All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address and at the end of Sunday a winner will be chosen. Thanks for stopping by!


Dawn Miller is sick of being good. Her parents have scheduled her to within an inch of her life and her popular friends can only think of hooking up and shopping. She's ready for a serious boyfriend, and it's definitely not the obnoxious rich boy everyone wants her to date.

Then she meets Starr, the headmaster's punk rock daughter who refuses to play by the rules. The differences between them are night and day but Dawn is fascinated. Starr introduces her to a world she didn't even know existed: hip indy record stores, all night raves, and cute skateboarders who hang out underneath a parking deck downtown.

Skateboarders like the gorgeous Sean, who's sweet, smart, and curiously serious --everything Dawn's always wanted in a boyfriend. Soon she finds herself head over heels and doing the unthinkable, lying to her parents and friends. Deep down she knows her parents will never approve of this boy from the wrong side of town...and her secret life is finally catching up to her. Will Dawn be forced to choose between the girl she was and the girl she is meant to be? And if she chooses, will she lose her skater boy forever?

What's Being Said:

"Mancusi has scored a hit. Dawn is likeable, and any teen girl--wealthy or not--should identify with her typical problems. From boys to friends to parents, the author covers it all. She even manages to include one or two deeper messages in the form of "straight edge" teens and a "perfect" wealthy boy who turns out to be a real jerk."-- Alexandra Kay, RT Book Reviews


“Hey, Dawn, whatcha writing?”

I slam my notebook shut and force a wide smile as my friend Ashley approaches the lunch table. I can’t believe it. She’s five minutes early. Five minutes! After I’ve already gone and used up one of my three-bathroom-breaks a-semester chemistry class privileges for a few precious moments of writing time. And now Ashley has shown up and ruined it all.

The early bird gets the chance to tick Dawn off. . . . “Nothing,” I say, forcing a casual shrug. “Just a birthday wish list. You know how The Evil Ones are. Left to their own devices I’d probably end up with some itchy Harvard letter sweater for my sweet sixteen.”

I’d actually been working on a poem, not a birthday list. One I plan to enter in a contest sponsored by Faces, a local Massachusetts literary magazine. But I am certain ly not about to inform our head cheerleader of that little technicality. I mean, writing poetry? How geeky can you get? And The Evil Ones (aka Mom and Dad) are terrible in the presents department, so it’s not like I’m telling a total lie. . . .

“Oh cool.” Ashley flounces onto the chair beside me, her wool plaid skirt puffing up and then settling back down over her perfectly sculpted thighs. We all wear the same skirts here as sophomores at Sacred Mary’s, but Ashley's skirt usually falls at least two inches shorter than regulation and it constantly gets her in trouble with the Sisters. “You should ask for those Seven Jeans we saw at Nordstrom the other day.”

“The ones with the crystals on the back pocket?” I look up and see that Ashley #2 has arrived at our lunch table. Like Ashley #1, she’s blond and lanky and wears her skirts too short. Her claim to fame is being picked as homecoming queen last fall, even though she’s only a sophomore. “Those are completely lame. When shopping for jeans, I say go James every time. They’re scientifically designed to make your butt look smaller, not draw attention to it with crystals.”

I stifle a groan. I love my friends, don’t get me wrong. But there are times I’m not quite sure I fit in with them. I mean yeah, I’d rather be here than at the loser table discussing games like Magic: The Gathering, but is it really necessary for us to debate the pros and cons of designer denim every single lunch? Doesn’t anyone talk politics anymore? Not that I know anything about politics, but maybe I could start learning if someone brought them up once in a while. It’d probably prove more useful in life than the Fashionista 101 sessions we seem to hold every lunch period.

“You guys are crazy!” Oh, there’s Ashley #3, making our lunch group complete. She swings her Kate Spade messenger bag off her shoulder and plops it on the floor. We consider Ashley #3 the brainy one. She’s president of the student council and wants to be a TV anchorwoman when she grows up. I think she has a good shot at the job. She’s already got the brilliant white capped teeth and perfect hair. “Obviously Levi’s makes the best jeans known to mankind.”

The other two Ashleys groan in sync. “No way would I be caught dead in Levi’s,” says Ashley #1.

“That’s ’cause you’re a lemming,” Ashley #3 explains, using the big word with a smug pride. She knows for a fact Ashley #1 won’t know what it means and she’s right.

“Hey! What did you just call me?”

“Girls, girls! Let us not fight over fashion,” Ashley #2, the peacemaker, coos. She took a yoga class once and has been all Buddha-on-the-mountain ever since. “Our differ ent tastes in denim make the world go round.” She holds her palms out and smiles demurely. For a minute I think she’s going to actually break out into an “Ohmmm.”

Instead she says, “What were we talking about again?” “Dawn’s birthday wish list.”

“Ah. How about a side of Brent Baker, served on a silver platter?” Her demure smile morphs into a lecherous smirk as she watches the senior from across the room. We all turn and look. The Ashleys sigh, again in sync. They’re good at that.

“No way. He’s on my birthday list,” declares Ashley #1. This obviously strikes them as funny, and all three break out into giggles.

You know, I’m pretty convinced I’m the only girl in school not lusting after Brent Baker. Brent Baker the Third, that is. Born with a silver spoon wedged up his butt. His parents and my parents go to the same country club, so I’ve known him since my playpen days and he’s been after me almost as long. But I’m so not interested in him. I mean, sure he’s got the blond, blue-eyed jock thing going on, but his huge ego negates any points he’s chocked up in the looks department.

The Ashleys can’t understand why I think he’s repulsive, but they don’t rock the boat. After all, that means he’s fair game for any one of them. 


Also available on iBooks

Two time Emmy award winner Mari Mancusi used to wish she could be a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another bloodsucking profession--journalism--instead. Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens, including the award winning Blood Coven Vampire series published by Penguin Books. When not writing about creatures of the night, Mari enjoys traveling, cooking, goth clubbing, watching cheesy horror movie and her favorite guilty pleasure--videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and dog Mesquite. You can find her online at www.marimancusi.com.

23 March 2012

Guest Blog: April and Danielle

Happy Friday! Enjoy today's guests:

Welcome aboard! Tell us a little about yourself, please.

We are April and Danielle! Woo hoo! We are new to the publishing industry, and it has been quite a ride. Writing has always been a passion we’ve both shared for a very long time, and my by chance one day we joined forces and become Jedi-Authors. And we are totally loving it!

What about your latest release?

Flesh and Feathers is the first book in The Flesh Series. It’s an Urban Fantasy with a little action, drama and some hot angels. Azaleigh is our main character; she’s quirky, sarcastic and somewhat introverted. A love triangle forms between her and two very sexy guys who are fighting for her attention. Mean while Azaleigh is fighting for her life as she runs from a bounty hunter and a future that is completely out of her control. Saving her life will be the easy part; save her heart will be another.

Ok, let’s get down to the fun stuff. If you were stranded on a lush tropical island, and all of your basic needs were met, what two items would you have with you? What person would be with you? Remember, you’re stuck there for an indefinite period with only each other to occupy the time.

April: I would so take sunscreen, because I burn easily! And it is no fun looking like a lobster. The next item would have to be Chap Stick. Anyone who knows me, knows I will actually have a meltdown if I do not have my Chap Stick! Life will end for me quickly if there is no Chap Stick! As for who would be with me? That’s easy! Danielle! She is the only person who gets me.

Danielle: The first item I would have to take with me would be my life-size cutout of Robert Pattinson, so I would have something to look at. Next item would have to be my iPod, because the person I would take would be April, and sometimes I just need to drown her out.  

If you could play opposite any of your lead characters, which one would it be and why?

April: I would probably be Scarlet, just because I would like to be really evil for once in my life and not such a good girl all the time.

Danielle: I would have to go with Kano! Because he has lots of really cool weapons and can kick some major ass.

If you could lead any of your secondary characters, which one would it be and why?

April and Danielle: We would have to go with Kano. His story unfolds in the second book, Flesh and Flames. His story is so fascinating and could, by far, be a book of its own.

You’re locked in a closet with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, three paperclips and a string. How do you get out?

April and Danielle: Easy! We would use one paperclip to pick the lock to the closet door, then we would kick Kate Beckinsale and Colin Farrell out, telling them to run for help. Then we would tie Johnny Depp up with the string using one of the paperclips to secure the string (so that he can’t get away.) The third paperclip would be used to lock the closet door back, breaking it off in the door so no one could get in.

Name five things you can do with a pencil.

April and Danielle: #1: Hair accessory, #2: Cuticle pusher, #3: Weapon of choice, #4: Bookmark, #5: Human chew toy.

Who’s your favorite character from your book(s)? Why? Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

April: Gage, because he is confident, hot and tells you exactly how it is.

Danielle: Kale, because he makes you work for it. Yum!

Where can we find you around the vast interwebs?

April: Umm, not sure. Seem to lose myself everywhere and never really know where I will end up.

Danielle: Amazon because I’m a little crazy! And Goodreads because I’m even crazier.

What about your books? Where are they being sold at?

April and Danielle: Right now, we just have Flesh and Feathers, which is due to release March 31st by Silver Publishing. We have many more projects in the works, so you will be seeing a lot more from us in the future. Flesh and Feathers will be available through Silver Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other outlets.

Thanks for dropping in! Any last words?

April and Danielle: This was a fun interview and have enjoyed being able to hang out with you guys today. Keep your heads up and pencils sharpened!


Azaleigh's life is simple until, by chance, she meets Kale.  Charming and handsome Az is immediately drawn to him. But long kept secrets lurk in the hearts of those Az holds most dear, and dangerous plans are unfolding around her.  As her life begins to crumble and Kale disappears, Gage, charismatic and striking, arrives, providing a calm port in an increasingly violent storm.  But with every narrow escape from a far from human bounty hunter after her life, Az begins to unravel a secret with the power to change her forever.  In an increasingly hostile world of Angel and Fallen, Azaleigh must navigate her own path, chose her own side, and ultimately protect her heart.  Faced with two gorgeous men, an enemy she doesn’t know, and a future she cannot understand, Az must make the choice: the man she loves, or the man she cannot live without.

About the Authors:

Danielle Hylton-Outland was raised in Virginia. She grew up having a huge appetite for daydreaming; always wanting to live in the spectacular worlds she created in her mind. She now lives with her husband and dog where she is pursuing a degree in literature. Danielle is a strong animal activist. She is currently co-writing the second book in the Flesh Series, "Flesh and Flames".

April Fifer grew up in a small town in Virginia, where it was common practice believing that dreams could only be found in stories. At the age of seven she was diagnosed with dyslexia. She was told that she would struggle through life and would never pick up a book to read for pleasure. Although school was hard, she was able to find her way with the help of two teachers who taught her self-discovery. Ignoring what she was taught growing up, she turned it around and found that your dreams could become stories.

Contact information:

Buy Link

22 March 2012

Blog Hop: Jane Isaac!

Welcome, welcome! Here's Jane Isaac for you to enjoy with a guest post:

What’s Your Style?

“...writing so good, I didn’t notice it.” When I first read this line in a book review, some years back, my initial thoughts were – the poor author.

As writers, we agonise over words to convey just the right message, layer our descriptions to build a certain atmosphere, craft phrases to achieve the correct imagery in readers’ minds.

There are those inspired sentences: ones that come to you into the night, those that spring into your mind in the supermarket queue. Lines that need to be scribbled down on the back of old receipts, scraps of paper, backs of hands; caught quickly before they slip away into the deep, dark abyss within our heads.

When my writing tutor cast her red pen across these precious lines, I wanted to wrap my arms around them, my babies to protect. As she whipped them out, I wanted to run to the waste paper basket, uncurl the crumpled pieces, and insert them back into my work.

Instead, I thought about books I have read. It’s no secret that I have a penchant for crime thrillers. I’m a sucker for a good page turner. It got me thinking – how many times do you see ‘spare’ words and phrases in a thriller? The simple answer is never. Why? Because they distract the reader and detract from the story. In point, they can be the difference between a reader loving or hating your book.

As those inspired lines were prised from me, I realised that in the early days I was being self indulgent. I used some prose because I really liked it, not because it either added to, or drove, the story forward. And that is what it is all about – the story. We are here to spin a good yarn.

So, when writing my own crime thriller, An Unfamiliar Murder, I aspired towards “writing so good, I didn’t notice it.” If I achieve this, I’ll know I’ve done my job.

Contact details: 
You can read an excerpt from An Unfamiliar Murder and contact me on my website at www.janeisaac.co.uk. I love to hear from readers and writers. Sign up to my newsletter for updates on An Unfamiliar Murder and its sequel which should be out by the end of 2012. Alternatively, follow me on Twitter: @JaneIsaacAuthor or on Face Book: Jane Isaac Author.
What readers are saying:

"The characters are brilliantly crafted.... I can't wait for the sequel!"

"...as fast paced as it is full of twists and turns... "

"...compulsive reading. Brilliantly written, gripping plot."

Buy An Unfamiliar Murder here:

15 March 2012

Blog Hop: Life In Death

Happy Wednesday!

Today, I'm hosting a spotlight for Life in Death, part of the Kari Merchant Series. This one is by the awesome Harlow Coban, so enjoy!


When a girl that social worker Kari Marchant places in foster care is brutally murdered, she’s compelled to learn why. Her quest for the truth pits her against friends and coworkers. As Kari works to solve the horrific plot, more people die.  How far should she go to learn the truth—even if it threatens her life?

When homicide detective Rance Nicolet meets Kari, his attraction to her is powerful—and the feeling is mutual. But things between them go terribly wrong when Kari’s old lover is found murdered with a letter from her in his pocket. The evidence against Kari is damning. Rance’s personal and professional lives collide. Does he blindly believe the woman he’s falling in love with or follow the evidence no matter where it leads?


“Frost. Call on line one.” The voice boomed overhead and interrupted Scott Frost mid-climb. He jumped off his truck, pushed up the sleeves on his dingy green work shirt and walked to the phone mounted on the wall, his face a scowl of irritation.

He grabbed the receiver. “Hello.”

“They found Patience,” his wife, Andrea, whispered. 

Mammoth garbage trucks rumbled and shook the walls as they rolled out into the street for the day’s work, their giant bellies hungry for trash. Scott strained to hear his wife over the noise.

“I told you never to call me here.” 

“Do you know what they did to her?” Her voice rose an octave. 

"Hold it together.” He clenched his fist and resisted the impulse to smash it through the wall. “She’s the one who ran off.” 

“She didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserves that.” 

The phone slipped a bit in his sweaty hand. Tolerance had never been one of Scott's virtues, and what little he did have waned with each whiny word his wife uttered. “It’ll all be over soon, you know that.” 

“They won’t let us out.” 

He gnashed his teeth together until the noise in his head drowned out the roar of garbage trucks. The pumping of his heart escalated and Scott imagined he could feel his blood pressure rising.

“Damn it, Andrea, take a valium. These people are dangerous. They’ll kill us if we flake out.”

Ooooh, enticing! And for the second excerpt:

"Where is she?" Luke Dolo, Patience’s father, pounded a fist on the table. His face had contorted into an ugly mask. His smooth, dark skin had a reddish tinge to it, either from alcohol, anger or both.

For the first time ever, Kari thought about alerting security. She weighed her options. 

“Mr. Dolo, please calm down. As I said before, you need to speak to the police.” She slid Detective Nicolet’s card over to him. 

He stared at it, eyes dull.

“Just tell me what happened to her?” The veins in his neck bulged and pulsed. 

She didn’t respond. She couldn’t respond. It wasn’t her place to tell him his daughter was dead.

He leaped across the table, hands closing around Kari’s throat like a vise. She struggled against his strength and they tumbled to the ground. He landed on top of her. The weight of his body coupled with the fall knocked the breath out of her, but she continued to struggle. She scratched and clawed at him to get free. His fetid breath nauseated her as she fought to take a gulp of air. Soon dots danced in front of her eyes and she felt dizzy.

Buy Links:

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007B4S9JW

About The Author:

Author Harlow Coban was born in Kansas City, MO, but grew up in Denver, CO. She relocated to North Carolina five years ago with her husband, two dogs, and 16-year old twins.

She shares a birthday with the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. In keeping with his legacy, she is currently working on taking over the world. Harlow’s positive attitude and fresh take on life are her tools and conquest is certain.

She spends her free time writing, dancing, traveling and defending mailboxes from her 16-year-old twins’ driving.

Her debut novel, LIFE IN DEATH (February 2012), is a murder mystery which pulls from real-life situations from her own family history. She felt compelled to share her story with the world while offering a thrilling, entertaining, and amusing escape for readers.

In keeping with her commitment to improving the lives of children, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club in her home state of North Carolina.

Twitter: @HarlowCoban

10 March 2012

Release Day!

It's the big day! Delila #2 is out, and she's a ton of feisty and fun! Here's the opening excerpt:

The impatient drumming of my fingertips on the cool wooden tabletop echoed around the chamber of nervous men as they shifted uncomfortably under my glare. Flickering light from the candles set in odd intervals on the wall created a quite unnecessary theatrical effect, and one which only served to make my irritation that much worse.

"Gentlemen," I said suddenly, making the entire room start in surprise, "surely your leader knows I have much better things to do with my time than sit here and stare at you, lovely as you all are."

A man to my right stood and bowed deeply. "Of course, Delila. Please excuse me. I'll seek him out immediately." He left with a swoosh of his robe and the room fell silent once more.

I glanced around the room again, taking in the vampires who were staring at me. "Would anyone care to give me an inkling of what's so important here?" No response came. "I receive a cryptic letter in the mail, imploring me to come see you in the middle of the frozen tundra, and no one can speak?" Irritation gnawed at me. I had much more important things to deal with back home, namely helping my adopted daughter, Ana, bring her werewolf pack under control.

My cell phone vibrated in my pocket, making a man nearby leap from his seat. His chair tumbled backward, the crash echoing off the cavernous ceiling.

I stared at him with aplomb. "Really, Lucius. It's just a cell phone." Shaking my head, I pressed a button and spoke into the mouthpiece. "Hello?"

"Hello, Delila," said Ana, the very werewolf I was just thinking of. I stood and walked out of the room to talk privately.

"Hello, darling. To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?"

"Not a pleasure, I'm afraid. My pack has found a dead wolf on my land. It appears he was the victim of a vampire attack."

My anger flared as I stared at a hole in the cement wall across from me. Attacks on werewolves unless provoked were expressly forbidden under my rule, and this was on Ana's estate in Texas. "I see," I replied. "I'm out of the country right now, but I'll be back tomorrow, I anticipate. We'll talk then."

"All right. You should know the pack isn't happy with this. And when they're not happy, neither am I." The line went dead before I could say anything else, and I stared at the phone as though it had sprouted tendrils. What was that all about? I returned to the room to find the men talking nervously in low tones. They immediately stopped and sat up when I entered.

"Don't stop on account of me," I said, smiling.

No sooner had I sat down than the vampire who'd left came sweeping back in with a tall man in tow. His hair, spiked and standing on end, brushed the top of the archway as he entered, and dark green eyes shone out from his pale skin. I rose and extended my hand, which he took and kissed my knuckles while bowing deeply. "Delila," he said in a reverent tone. "It is an honor to be in your presence."

I rolled my eyes before he glanced up. "You must be Otto."

"Yes, I am Otto. Shall we?" He indicated the chair I had just been occupying, so I settled into it and watched him closely. He reminded me of the former Elder vampire Micah, and that was not a good thing. Micah was a cheat and a liar, and left me with a hot, sticky mess.

"For what purpose am I sitting in this dank dungeon?"

"I am afraid," he said, shaking his head, "that someone has been creating vampires in the villages on our outskirts."

This vampire was no more than two hundred years old. Why he was speaking as though he were from the dark ages was beyond my understanding, and thoroughly annoyed me. "Pardon? You summoned me all the way from the United States on a regional concern?" He sputtered for a moment, sensing the mistake. "Do I not have enough responsibility on my shoulders, Otto? Is this a matter you could not have handled on your own?"

"My lady," interjected Lucius, an old friend of mine. "This is not an average vampire. We believe him to be a half breed."

I looked at Lucius from under my eyelashes. "What exactly do you mean by half breed?" The atmosphere changed as the vampires glanced between each other, nervous and hesitant. "Would anyone care to tell me what this half breed vampire is so I can kill it?" I slammed my hand on the table with the last phrase, bringing their attention back to me.

"We--We're not sure," Otto murmured.

I rubbed my eyes on a sigh. "You're not sure. Have you seen it?" I received a chorus of shaking heads. "So all you have are newborn vampires rampaging through your villages."

"They're not rampaging. They're making new vampires," Lucius told the floor. Obviously, he didn't want to look at me.

My chair flipped backward and the candles behind me snuffed out with the wind as I launched out of my seat. "What did you just say?" I asked in a controlled voice. My fists were balled on the table. "How long has this been going on right under your nose?" No one answered.

A muscle in my jaw clenched as I grabbed Otto by the throat and slammed him against the wall. His feet were dangling from the ground as he kicked and struggled. My nails dug into his flesh, drawing blood and a gasp of pain from him. "How long?"

"Three months," he managed before I sent him flying across the room and into a rack of wine bottles, my fangs down and a thirst for blood surging through my veins.

To buy, you can find her here with all the e-book options you could possibly hope for.

Thanks for all the support, dear readers, and I hope you enjoy!

06 March 2012

Blog Hop: Forsaken

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday's a good day, right? One step closer to the weekend, anyway. Today I'm hosting an interview with Elise Whyles, author of the Forsaken series. Enjoy!

Please tell the readers a little about yourself:

Lol, a little about myself? Hmm where do I start? Well, my name’s Elise Whyles and I love writing outside of  the box. I’ve never studied formally to write, but have spent time in the industry. Currently, I live in British Columbia with two dogs, a leopard gecko, four fish and my family.

How about your latest release?

Forsaken Heart is the first book in the series The Forsaken. It features a sexy, alpha vampire virgin who finds himself on the edge of a war and facing a woman with more than meets the eye.

What was your primary inspiration for this book?

When I started the series idea I was thinking there were somethings in this world we don’t know or see. Things we take for granted – like forgiveness. So, what better way to share those lessons about love, forgiveness, justice, and acceptance – than to write a series with sexy bad boys and hot tempered heroines.

Do you have any muses?

Oh do I? I rely on a lot of things as my muses – dreams, visions, inspiration from a scene in a movie or  book, a word.

Do you control your characters or do they flog you into shape?

I start off with control but by about page four they’ve taken the reins as well as a big whip to  beat me into submission with. Not always the easiest thing when you have a character who decides they want to tell their story – not have you dictate it.

When you write, is there a special routine you follow?

No. I  write when, where, and however I can. There is one thing I require and that’s my  music…it helps me to  keep focused.

If you could be one animal, person, or at a place for a day what/who/where would it be?

Horse – because they’re majestic, untamed, beautiful, and have the ability to have an edge not controlled by others.

Five random facts about you:

I love to bake
Hate sorting socks
Wanted to learn Spanish
Live near an airport
Love cats

Are you working on any new releases later this year?

Yes, I am. I’m working on Forsaken Paradise – book three in the series, with Ciara Lake working on the even numbered books. As well, I’m currently plotting out A Real Good Man – the first in my Canadian Heros books. I’m not sure if I’ll make it a series or just a trilogy – but as I learn more I’ll keep my readers updated.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you for  having me. I love sharing details of my writing and how it affects me and others.

Contact info (Facebook, Twitter, website, blog):

You can find me at www.elisewhyles.com