Category Archives: Marianne Mancusi

January Through June 2011 Reads – Star Ratings

Books I read in January through June this year. Separated into star ratings, then listed by order in which I read them. All up at GoodReads. Some reviews here on my WordPress. Does not include books that I didn’t finish, because I’ve deleted them from my catalogue, and likely my memory.

Let me know if you decide to read or not to read them, based on my ratings. Because yes, I am that egocentric πŸ˜‰

5 STARS: Rage (Jackie Morse Kessler), American Vampire (Jennifer Armintrout), Project 17 (Laurie Faria Stolarz), The Gathering (Kelley Armstrong), The Repossession Mambo/Repo Men (Eric Garcia), Moongazer (Marianne Mancusi), Wither (Lauren DeStefano), Girl Hero (Carrie Jones)

4 STARS: Outside In (Maria V. Snyder), Stocking Full of Coal (Amanda Feral), The Walled Garden (Michele Lang), The Shadow Runners (Liz Maverick), The Vespertine (Saundra Mitchell), Linger (Maggie Stiefvater), Dark Life (Kat Falls), Demonized (Naomi Clark), The Reckoning (Kelley Armstrong), Midnight Alley (Rachel Caine), Feast of Fools (Rachel Caine), Lord of Misrule (Rachel Caine), Carpe Corpus (Rachel Caine), Fade Out (Rachel Caine), Coming Home (P. D. Martin), Kiss of Death (Rachel Caine), XVI (Julia Karr), Ghost Town (Rachel Caine), The Girl in the Steel Corset (Kady Cross), Matched (Ally Condie), Uninvited (Amanda Marrone), The Bradbury Report (Steven Polansky), Uninvited (Justine Musk), Exile (Rebecca Lim), Helper12 (Jack Blaine), Darkness Becomes Her (Kelly Keaton)

3 STARS: Jealousy (Lili St. Crow), Among the Betrayed (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Among the Barons (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Becoming (Kelley Armstrong), Shadow Days (Andrea Cremer), Day of Fire (Kathleen Nance), Dreaming Anastasia (Joy Preble), Things Bogans Like, Beyond Heaving Bosoms (Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan), Fugitives (Alexander Gordon Smith), The Power of Two (Patti O’Shea), Coming Undone (Lauren Dane), In the Arms of Stone Angels (Jordan Dane), The Iron Witch (Karen Mahoney), Damaged (Yolanda Sfetsos), Falling Freestyle (Vivian Arend), Jeweled (Anya Bast), Thyla (Kate Gordon), It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One (Alex Borstein & Cherry Chevapravatdumrong), Burn Bright (Marianne de Pierres), A Touch Mortal (Leah Clifford), Night and Chaos (Naomi Clark), Savage Transformation (Lexxie Couper), The Official Illustrated Guide (Stephenie Meyer), Exit Strategy (Kelley Armstrong), Made to Be Broken (Kelley Armstrong), You Are So Undead to Me (Stacey Jay), Hereafter (Tara Hudson), Relentless (Lauren Dane), The Scarlet Empress (Susan Grant), Close Encounters (Katherine Allred), Perfect Cover (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), Killer Spirit (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), West End (Laura Van Wormer), Moon Sworn (Keri Arthur)

2 STARS: Defiance (Lili St. Crow)

[REVIEW] Moongazer – Marianne Mancusi

Marianne Mancusi
Moongazer
Dorchester Love Spell SHOMI (US: August 2007)
Buy (US) [eBook only] Buy (UK)

The author originally wrote this story as a screenplay for a university course, and it benefits us all that she resurrected it as this novel. I sorely miss Dorchester’s SHOMI imprint, and Moongazer was not only one of its launch titles, but also one of the best. The whole concept – even the name – of Moongazing, what it entails, its effects, why it exists…everything is brilliantly executed. The different societies – and how they each operate separately and together – humanise Mariah Quinn’s world, and the surgeries are always fascinating. Marianne Mancusi may be writing YA vampires nowadays, but her futuristic adult novels are her finest works.

[REVIEW] Razor Girl – Marianne Mancusi

Marianne Mancusi
Razor Girl
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 26th August 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

As a teenager, Molly Anderson entered an underground fallout shelter. Six years later her mother is dead, the doors have opened, and Molly starts trekking to Florida to meet up with her father. Her nano-enhancements are faulting, so time is of the essence, but Molly soon gains travel companions in the form of children…and her former boyfriend. But their relationship issues are nothing compared to the big picture: the Others are hungry.

I love Dorchester’s now-defunct SHOMI imprint. This book has my favourite cover art of all-time. And the premise is fabulous. William Gibson’s Neuromancer couldn’t hold my attention, but Razor Girl (an homage to the cyberpunk classic) should’ve had a much better chance. The narrative certainly grabbed me, as well as the world-building – this is fascinating stuff. But a romance novel can’t work if the characters piss off readers, and Molly and…the Griffin guy are bloody annoying.

Chase is not his real name. In high school, he was…Chris Griffin. Family Guy is one of my favourite programmes, so I can’t take any Chris Griffin seriously as a romantic hero. Sooner or later TV’s Chris Griffin will pop into your head, saying profound things like “we’ll be his period” and “now I don’t know math”. This Family Guy parody of One Tree Hill doesn’t feature Chris, but it rather sums up the teen relationships in this novel.

But Chris Griffin’s name isn’t the most irritating thing here. SPOILERS:

-Chris should be keeping an eye on his sister, but instead he’s focused on Molly. The little girl is killed.
-Chase is addicted to Vicodin and Oxycontin, and sneaks away to search for more. This leads him into unnecessary danger.
-Molly’s mother was a pill-popper, so the razor girl is effing steamed to learn that Chase endangered himself, and the group, in his selfish quest for drugs. But not long (less than a day) after the death match, they’re “lovemaking”.
-Chase later pushes Molly away for a reason he should’ve just been honest about. For feck’s sake…
-The “one year later” chapter is so twee.

Molly’s implants, the gladiator sport/entertainment, and the Hive’s history are riveting stuff, as is the all-too-brief glimpse of Disney World. I just feel let down because this novel has so many awesome ideas, but the characters totally spoil the read.

Cover Art Survey

This survey came via one of the loops I’m on. Thought I may as well share my answers with you, too.

I’ll give you my demographics, too, so you can see where I’m coming from, and perhaps why my opinions are what they are.

23 years old, Celtic-Australian female in suburban Victoria. Am a reader, not an author. Not really into romance as a genre – I prefer it as a subplot rather than the main event.

1. What kind of covers do you like? I prefer photography, or illustration that looks close enough to resemble photography. I’m easily distracted by pretty colours, swirly things, prisms throwing rainbows, pretty cityscapes, gorgeous international architecture, etc.

2. How much detail should be on them? Maybe three things maximum on the front cover – character, setting and symbol. I’m happy to have a very detailed setting, but would prefer more anonymous character models.

3. Do you prefer characters or symbols, and why? Symbols. Would rather see something ABOUT the character, rather than the character his/herself. So pretty much symbols win by default πŸ˜‰

4. What don’t you like on covers? I’m so over mantitty and clinch covers, and arse/boobs shots. I guess when you’re exposed to something so much, you become desensitised, and that’s pretty much the stage I’m in.

5. What would you prefer in digital artwork? Characters, or something to do with the story? Character faces are fine, but see my above note about T&A/naked torsos. So I guess I would prefer something to do with the story, but surely there’s room on the cover for both character and something that fits the story.

6. Links to covers you do like, both digital and ‘normal’. http://judyyork.com/collections/Fantasy3/imgs/5.jpg This is my favourite cover of all time, done by Judy York for Marianne Mancusi’s Razor Girl. Love the colours, love the setting, love the look of the character – of course, you need great writing to inspire a great cover commissioned just for the book. Think it has elements of both digital and normal. http://www.stygiandarkness.com/store/images/L_a_flash_of_hex.jpg This is Timothy Lantz’s cover for Jes Battis’s A Flash of Hex. This is illustrated, I think, but may also have digital elements. I love the smoke, the colours and the glowing things. http://samhainpublishing.com/graphics/1316.jpg And as for straight digital art, I recently found this gem by Kanaxa for Nicole Kimberling’s Happy Snak. It’s got the right balance of character, setting, and swirly colours. The font is also a good match for the genre.

The Ultimate Cat-with-Book Photo

2 cats in one photo – the mind boggles…

I Can Has Cheezburger? will be released by Hachette Australia in December 2008.

Off to stare at the Razor Girl cover some more…

Today’s Purchase

Anyway, I tried to help the publishing industry by buying a book today. Okay, I lied – I really just bought the book because I wanted it. Selfish, aren’t I? I would’ve bought more – there were two other books I would’ve definitely bought had they been on shelf, but alas…

Yeah, so I snagged the only copy on the shelf of Marianne Mancusi’s Razor Girl. So now I can stare at the gorgeous art whenever I freaking want πŸ™‚ I asked about the state of Liz Maverick’s Irreversible, and while it was on their computer database, apparently no Borders store in Victoria has any copies yet. And even more unfortunately, A. J. Menden’s Phenomenal Girl 5 was not even in the database yet. I’ll try again in a month or two, or maybe I’ll just order them from Romance Direct (I think I have some loyalty dollars to spend). But not now – must finish purchasing Christmas presents. Then we’ll see…

My Dreams Are Made of Weird

It’s not often authors turn up in my dreams, but yesterday I rearranged the contents of my bookshelf, so some must’ve stuck in my brain.

So Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi had come to my suburb (don’t know why, when they could’ve been in the City). And they’d brought with them a gift, which I wasn’t expecting. It turned out to be a brochure from Port Authority. I’m not sure if such a place with this name actually exists, but in the dream I thought it was a train depot or ferry stop. And Liz had her photo in it. Not that she was a catalogue model or anything (as far as I knew), but that you could have Port Authority brochures personalised with your photo. Huh. So my impression of Liz was…well, that she was weird. Marianne, however, did not have her photo in the brochure, but some other woman was.

Are dreams supposed to have meanings? I know other people get story ideas from dreams, but that’s never been the case for me. Is my dream trying to tell me that Liz might be…weird? Stay tuned πŸ˜‰

Happy Birthday, Marta Acosta; Cat with Books & New Vlog

It’s August 1st – Marta Acosta’s birthday. Give the gift of royalties by buying Happy Hour at Casa Dracula and Midnight Brunch, and pre-ordering The Bride of Casa Dracula. Miz Marta is doing RWA in San Francisco right now…

Received new books today by authors such as Keri Arthur, Colby Hodge, Marianne Mancusi and Richelle Mead. See them all here.

And here’s me yapping about the books. It’s over 7 minutes long because I wouldn’t shut up πŸ˜‰ Big file, so I couldn’t be bothered uploading it to Vimeo and Blip as well.

Borders in Oz

Went to Borders and spotted some of your books. Keep in mind that Borders specialises in imports, so it has a lot of stuff that shops like Dymocks and Angus & Robertson don’t. Of course, if you’ve sold UK (and therefore Australian) rights, you’re much more likely to have your books in any store. Like Richelle Mead and Jeff Somers. Pretty much – if you’re published by HarperCollins or Hachette, you’ve got a good chance of getting here. Because Hachette UK publishes a lot of stuff that Hachette US doesn’t do – Kelley Armstrong, Laurell K. Hamilton, etc.

Good little me only bought one book – the Weddings from Hell anthology – but here’s some other stuff I saw that wasn’t expected (because of the no UK/Australian rights thing):

Jennifer Armintrout (though unfortunately not All Souls’ Night)
Anya Bast
Colby Hodge
Eve Kenin
Marianne Mancusi
Liz Maverick
Rachel Vincent

If you’re on the list, you can poke my brain to see if I remember which of your titles I saw. As for the rest of you…better luck next time. Meanwhile, hopefully your agents and publishers are working on selling UK/Commonwealth rights. Because non-US royalties are still royalties πŸ˜‰

[COVER ART] Seraphs – Faith Hunter; The Rebels of Romance Team Up with Eve Kenin

Amazon.com wouldn’t work for me properly last night, but Amazon.co.uk did. Thus I found the cover art for the mass market re-issue of Faith Hunter’s Seraphs. Pre-order.

Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi (along with Eve Kenin) are in professional mode discussing how their SHOMI books came about, and why the Rebels of Romance brand was created: here. (Scroll down – I tried embed the videos, but their server doesn’t work with WordPress.)