Official release date + Teaser

Hello, lovely friends. The last few months have been a complete whirlwind of activity, and I’m sorry for being so neglectful. When my agent said to prepare for the accelerated timeline, she wasn’t kidding. BUT! I wouldn’t have it any other way. So far we’ve gone through edits and copyedits are coming at the end of the week, and cover art concepts just arrived, and interior page design flailing occurred, and the wonderful publicity team has a bunch of insanely cool events planned for the coming months, and…we have an official release date!

This is all A LOT considering OF BLOOD AND SHADOW only sold this past October. It speaks volumes to the team working behind my book that so much has happened already. Words fail with describing how grateful I am to have them on my side.

Originally, we had an estimate of pubbing OF BLOOD AND SHADOW in October 2016, but with all the hard work from my editor and everyone at jimmy patterson and Little, Brown, we are hitting bookshelves on….

September 20, 2016!

*flails*

I still can’t believe this is real, but with ARCs coming soon and everything that’s quickly following, my excitement is through the interwebs roof. Since I can’t share the striking new title or jacket copy yet, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at my first ever Teaser Tuesday. Hope you enjoy this snippet and stay tuned…lots more announcements, giveaways, and teasers will be coming your way shortly.

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Kerri Maniscalco Teaser Tues 2:16:16

Click here to add OF BLOOD AND SHADOW to goodreads.

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Retellings and the new Sherlock episode

So…I don’t have a cute little quote or saying for you this Monday, instead I’d like to gush about season two of Sherlock. Did you guys see it last night? GAH Benedict Cumberbatch is the PERFECT Sherlock. He plays the character so well, it’s definitely my favorite retelling of the Holmes mysteries. I have been WAITING for season two like a deranged groupie. I LOVE what the writers have done with the series.

This is the exact sort of thing that I really enjoy while reading a retelling of a popular story. It’s that essence of the character brought about in an entirely new (and exciting) way that makes you fall in love with the story all over.

For Sherlock, I love the modern-day setting and the neurotic behavior of this forensic genius. Intelligence definitely is the new sexy.

The first novel that comes to mind that I read recently is CINDER by Marissa Meyer. If you haven’t read that yet, you seriously should add it to the top of your TBR pile. It’s one of the best fairytale retellings I’ve read.

Here’s the blurb:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. .  

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

The second novel that I immediately think of is EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton. In EVERNEATH Ashton brings a lovely modern twist to the ancient myth of Persephone. (Which happens to be one of my all-time favorite myths.)

Here’s the blurb:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s…

And because I can’t get enough Sherlock, I’m going to leave you with a little video. Enjoy!

Sherlock Season 2, episode 1 clip

 

5 things you can be proud of RIGHT NOW

As writers we spend a lot of time inside of our heads. A LOT. I’d say we also spend a GREAT deal of time focused on the future. OMGGG when will I sign with an agent? When if ever please please please will I find an editor who wants to buy my book? What if no one thinks my manuscript is pretty? What if I get a kajillionmillionbillion sad faced reviews on Amazon/Goodreads/Barnes and Noble/and GAHHHHHHHH.

BREATHE.

No really, take a nice deep breath. Don’t focus on that stuff, focus on the here and now. Need a little help? Okay, here are some things you can be proud of RIGHT NOW:

1.) I’ve said this before a KAJILLION times, but it’s SO worth repeating. YOU WROTE A BOOK. OMGGGG. Do you have any idea how many people say they’re going to write a book one day, and NEVER ever ever ever ever do? You came up with a plot, a story arc, YOU KNOW WHAT A MACGUFFIN IS, you have amazingggg characters, and HOLY FREAKING MOLE you rewrote until your eyes bled 26 letters all over the page thousands of times. Be proud. No matter where you are in the publishing process, don’t ever forget that you wrote a book. You sat down late at night when everyone else was asleep. Maybe you wrote at the crack of dawn, when even the birds were too tired to get up. You sacrifice any and EVERY extra second in your day for this one dream. You’re my hero, so BE PROUD of yourself.

2.) You got a form rejection. How is THAT something to be proud of?!! Simple. You didn’t just talk about making your dreams happen, you went out there and you DID something about it. YOU WERE SO BRAVE FACED I WANT TO INTERWEBS HUG YOU SO BAD. You learned how to write a query letter. You researched agents, you boiled your plot down into 250-350 words INCLUDING your bio – holy crap you are a rock star. A form rejection, while it isn’t pleasant, means YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING. HUZZAH!!! You are wearing something that walks, talks, and looks a WHOLE lot like perseverance right now. So be proud.

3.) You got a partial or a full request. First of all YAYAYAYAYAYAYYYY high five! That feels AWESOME, doesn’t it? I mean, a real live literary agent saw something in YOUR query letter and was all, “OMGGG SEND ME THIS RIGHT THIS SECOND AS AN ATTACHED WORD DOCUMENT PREFERABLY. I HOPE TO GET BACK TO YOU IN 60-90 DAYS THANK YOU FOR THINKING OF ME…” SQUEE! Now do me a favor. Remember this feeling. Take it and squeeze the juice out of it and put it in a bottle to savor when you’re feeling down. Stop focusing on what happens next. The best thing I can tell you is this; you now have a 50-50 shot. It’s either going to be yes, or no. So breathe. SO MANY THINGS go on behind the scenes for why an agent may or may not take your project on. Be proud of how far you’ve come, and don’t forget that squishy feeling in the pit of your stomach and the triple beat of your heart slapping against your ribcage when you open that email and see a request. Allow yourself to feel proud, you accomplished something. You are so awesome.

4.) You have read every last book in your genre, your mother’s genre, your mother’s mother’s great Aunt Sissy’s genre and — holy crap that’s A LOT of reading. Why is this on the list? Reading is essential for writing. YOU are doing research, whether you think you are or not. How else will you know where your book fits into the market? Eat books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sprinkle stories on your ice-cream at night. Read read read read read as MUCH AS YOU CAN. Then write. Reading work that has been published helps get your brain into butt-kicking sharpness. PLUS, isn’t part of the reason you’re in this whole publishing game BECAUSE you heart books so much? So be proud of how much you read, no matter where it sits in the bookstore. If you like YA…YAY!!! Mysteries, thrillers, science fiction WHATTTT. (Sorry, I loves me some science fiction.) Ahem. Be proud of yourself for taking the time to read. YOU are working on your craft and that is DEFINITELY something to be proud of.

5.) You never give up. A rejection dings its nasty little head in your inbox, but you don’t even bat an eye. You take out your handy-dandy list of well researched agents and you carefully send out a personalized query in the rejections place. You don’t view rejection as a toxic dart being shot into your heart. You view it as it was intended; It’s nothing personal – you just weren’t a good fit with that agent for whatever reason. You are a professional, you are always kind and courteous – you bravely soldier on. YOU ARE SO ADORABLE AND AWESOME AND OMG KEEP GOING GOING GOING GOING. Because you are SO CLOSE, I can feel it. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GIVE UP. One day I’ll be reading your book, falling in love with your characters, and DYING for your next work to come out. Thank you in advance for all that you do. I am so very proud of you.

HAPPY MONDAY!!!

Revisions, Unicorns, and lot’s of Face Punching

Oh my, oh my, OH MY. I can’t believe it’s Friday, which is a good thing. But STILL. Where does the time go? More importantly WHERE DID MY BRAIN GO?! There’s so much happening.

Here’s the deal:

I received a reader’s report on my current manuscript several weeks ago, LURVED the suggestions and got to work going balls deep in revisions. In the end, I was SUPER pleased.

Wait…did you notice my word choice…was…that wasn’t a mistake.

I’ve been sick with a fever and bronchitis and somehow during my feverish delirium an amazing idea struck me. LIKE SO EFFING AMAZING I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T THINK OF IT SOONER. I SHOULD HAVE FEVERS ALL THE TIME THEY MAKE ME SO SMART.

Then another thought hit me…and I banged my head against my laptop for a good forty-five minutes.

STUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPIDSTUPID…

Ahem. Excuse me.

Where was my crystal ball three weeks ago? Why didn’t I foresee this plot twist? WHERE IS MY LITERARY PSYCHIC CAP?!!

Face punch. Punch. Punch. Punch. Punch.

I promised myself I wouldn’t touch the damn book again. Then I remembered I write fiction…I LIE.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I sent my project out into the query world prematurely. Quite the opposite. It’s been beta’d, critiqued, beta and critiqued, beta and critiqued and slaughtered and shelved a MILLION BA-JILLION KA-TRILLION times before it ever saw the light of day.

It’s getting a lot of requests as is. But this one little added detail, which is SOOOOO easy to build into the current framework of the manuscript is REALLY something sparkly. Like superhero power sparkly.

Sigh.

It’s like the difference between a unicorn and a goat. Subtle. So, so very subtle. They both have horns and four legs. But they’re just not the same.

I can only hope one of the agents who currently has my manuscript will fall in love with it and then I can share my additional WOWZA factor. And they can be all, OMG I was thinking the SAME EXACT THING we are literary twinsies. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

But whatever way it works out, my current manuscript is super sparkly. And that’s the most important thing, right?

So that’s my story.

Wish me luck, I definitely need it. Also, send vodka. Lots and lots of vodka.

Wishing you all a very wonderful weekend. May the creative gods shine some goodness on you. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always alcohol. XOXO

Brain Teaser Monday

Oh, the joys of Monday morning. To help my readers get their brains back in working order after the booze fest weekend, here are a few brain teasers. Holy helvetica, they never get old. Enjoy <33333’s!

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C34R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15. R3 P057 1F U C4N R35D 7H15

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Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. 

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, t he olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rgh it pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on.

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Can you tell what this says?

There are nine people in this picture, can you spot them all?

Hmm. Pretty fracking amazing, right? I’m guessing if your brain can handle all that, those revisions/new project/query letter/synopsis/insert whatever you’re currently laboring over — should be a piece-o-(something fall-like and delicious)-cake. No? 🙂

Happy Monday!!!!! <333333

Best maniacal meme ever…

My super awesome author/blogger/twitter/Neil Gaiman lovin’ (I swear she’s my twin) pal, Anita Grace Howard (from A Still And Quiet Madness) tagged me in a really fun Meme. Her awesome blogging pal Miss Jenny Phresh (of The Party Pony) made up these silly questions and they’re crazy fun. I’ve tagged some new and old blogging friends at the bottom…enjoy! <3333

Are you a rutabaga?

Nope. I’m just a tumblin’ little twinkie.

When was the last time you ate lion meat?

Hmm, hard to say. I did drink some tiger blood with Sheen a few months back…

Upload a heartwarming picture of something that makes you smile.

My kids

Behold the power of kitty cuteness!

If you could go back in time and kick the crap out of someone, who would it be?

The Easter Bunny of 88’ for being downright creeptastic.

Name one habit that makes other people plot your demise.

My weekly singing of the Newsies “King of New York” at a decibel only furry woodland creatures can hear. You only think I’m kidding…

What song would you like to be playing while you are kicking the crap out of someone?

R.E.M – Shiny Happy People. It’d mess with their minds.

Where da muffin top at?

Rumor has it, that it’s near Antarctica on holiday. But that’s supposed to be a secret.

How many goats, stacked atop one another like Yertle’s Turtles, would it take to reach the moon?

That’s super easy: 3,647,193. Duh. The real question is how many aardvark’s (carrying two goats on its back) does it take to cross the United States three times…only moving in a westerly direction?

Describe yourself using obscure Latin words.

Deus ex machina only because I bought a shirt, or dress that was called deus ex machina a few weeks ago. *Shakes fist at ModCloth*

Why does evil exist?

Because we killed all the friggen unicorns back in the day.

What the chiz are you thinking right now?

How come more people don’t talk about rutabaga’s…they’re interesting enough. Right?

As the rules state, I can tag as many or few peeps as I want. I’m tagging five of my cool blogger pals, in hopes they’ll play along and pass on the lunacy. Let’s make this puppy go viral!

  1.  Alexis
  2.  2blu2btru
  3. Coco Cappuccina
  4. Ruth A Casie
  5.  L.M. Stull

Pick a funny nickname for number 1. 

Bunny Ears and Bat Wings (It’s the super awesome name of her blog!!)

Make up a rhyme about number 2.

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Sugar is sweet

And so is 2blu2btru!

Where would number 3 hide in the event of the apocalypse?

Somewhere near lots-o-coffee or tea! 🙂

Where does number 4 purchase her pants?

At the awesomesauce pant’s store.

What would number 5’s favorite dance move be?

The Running Man!

Have a wonderful day! <333333333

Extra, extra

The very talented Eileen Andrews has been interviewing writers and getting an insiders look at where the writing magic happens. Guess who she interviewed? So if any of you charming lil’ lurkers want a look inside my writing space, check out the interview here.

Here’s some of the interview, with just one teaser pic. You’ll have to check out the link for all the photos and the entire interview.

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Photo by Kerri Maniscalco

The Interview

What’s the most important thing about your writing environment? Does it change regularly? Or do you require consistency?

I’m a closet romantic, so the overall atmosphere is the most important thing about my writing environment. I light candles, keep favorite books close, and start typing.

Some days I’ll switch it up and write in bed – just to be daring. As much as I enjoy spontaneity in life, my work environment remains pretty consistent.

Do you have a writing talisman? Something to jump you into writing?

Usually I’ll think of Jack London. Which sounds weird, but he said ‘You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.’

So that’s exactly what I do now. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing every single day, even when I don’t feel ‘inspired.’ Amazingly, it works.

Are you an evening or a daytime writer? What’s your writing schedule like?

I’m a day into evening writer. Typically I write between eight and fourteen hours a day, six or seven days a week. Though, lately I’ve been trying for a more regular schedule to avoid getting burnt out.

Ideally I’d love to write Monday through Friday for eight to ten hours a day. But I’m not very good at that whole cutting back thing just yet.

Are you a pantster or a plotter? What do you like about your method?

I’m a balls-out kinda girl, so it depends on what project I’m working on. The first book I wrote I was a complete pantster, and loved it. But with the second novel, I crafted a query letter first, then tried to make it work around that. I enjoy plotting basically for the challenge it provides.

It’s like‘Okay, I’ve got an idea of what I’d like to do, but can I make it work on paper? Am I going to fail miserably? Is this a terrible idea?’ I love the feeling in the end when it all comes together. Then of course I start looking for the next challenge right away.

Do you have a favorite book on writing? What made it so helpful?

I don’t have a favorite book on writing per se. I took creative writing in high school and college, but I think reading in your genre (and as many other books as you can) is the most helpful tool any writer can call upon.

I recently bought a book about forensics for writers, which I enjoyed. So technically that could be my favorite book on writing. Today…

What book or author has had the greatest impact on your writing career?

This is a REALLY hard question. Lilian Jackson Braun, Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich are a few contemporary mystery authors I just started reading. Shakespeare, Poe, Hemingway, Salinger, Frost & Dante have been longtime favorites. Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues is something I re-read periodically. Shel Silverstein is an author I was obsessed with as a kid.

I’ve also been reading The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides – it’s just amazing. I wouldn’t know where to begin with deciding the greatest influence! Basically they’ve all impacted my writing in some weird, eclectic way.

What author would you break the law to meet?

Find out my answer by checking out the link HERE.