Guest Post By Mari Mancusi

mariOne thing I love about writing is the chance an author has to “try on” different worlds—from time travel to futuristic to paranormal—truly, anything goes. But in this particular case, I decided to go the opposite route and use my real life experiences instead. Love at 11 is a new adult romance set in a television newsroom, the very same place I spent much of my career.

I will never forget the day I started writing Love at 11. I was in the middle of a rough draft of what would eventually become the sci-fi romance Moongazer and I’d had the worst day at work. My executive producer had assigned me the stupidest story on the planet — Cosmetics that Kill — and I wasn’t making any progress on it. Simply because, cosmetics, as a rule, don’t actually kill. But the station loved the scare stories and hey, it’d sound great in a promo, so they weren’t going to take my objections or rationalizations. I was to find some makeup with gross, nasty bacteria lurking in it, have it tested and inform the world about all the grossness I found.

(Note: You’ve probably seen these germ stories before. They’re the kind of stories stations always fall back on to get the ratings. And no matter what you test–be it the bottoms of purses or the ice in ice machines, you’re likely going to find something that sounds gross to the general public. But what you don’t see on the news is that most of these germs, while icky, actually won’t harm you. Our bodies have antibodies to take care of those kinds of things.)

Anyhow, I started thinking about all that goes on behind the scenes in television news. How they exaggerate to scare, how they won’t tell you about something truly deadly if it involves one of their advertisers, how managers will only approve a story if you can attach celeb’s name to it (they wouldn’t let me do a story on teens cutting until I mentioned that Lindsay Lohan was rumored to be a cutter), how they fire veteran journalists who make too much money and replace them with hot 20 somethings who have no experience, but will practically work for free, etc. etc.

I started writing. And the words poured out of me. About Maddy, a hapless special projects producer, like myself, who was always assigned the most ridiculous stories. She longs to become a real journalist and work for a network news show that still takes pride in reporting the truth. Instead, she’s stuck with silly, sensationalized stories like Deadly Dishwashers, Killer Clay, and Perilous Pets–stories aired for the sole purpose of boosting ratings through scary promos–while the most shocking news event in her town goes unreported.

I think when many people read Love at 11 they will assume much of it was exaggerated for fiction. But while the plot and characters are made up, the inner workings of the television newsroom are extremely real. For example, these “Household Products That Kill” stories Maddy’s assigned are all based on real news reports I’ve been assigned over the years. We really did air Problem Pedicures, Cosmetics that Kill, Shower Shocker and the rest on a daily basis.

But just as Maddy and her photographer–sexy, motorcycle riding bad boy Jamie Hays–find a way rise above the corruption and risk their jobs to uncover the truth–in real life too, there are true journalists slaving away in the trenches. The unsung heroes who work overtime to expose the bad guys, right the wrongs, and produce fair and balanced reports. If anyone can save the industry, it’s them. They give me hope for the future and inspired the Love at 11 novel.

Love at 11 amazon GR Smash (1)When Maddy graduated from Columbia University, she was ready to change the world. She’d get a job at Newsline, meet a nice guy, and live happily ever after with a real designer handbag on her arm. Two years later, she’s stuck producing puff pieces for News 9 San Diego–where “if it bleeds, it leads.” She’s still single, her family’s falling apart, and so is her knock-off Kate Spade. 

 Then Jamie Hayes walks through her newsroom door. The former filmmaker is now her cameraman and everything Maddy has ever dreamed of. Creative, smart, and sweet—with eyes that could make a girl melt. The perfect guy…but perfectly unavailable. And the more Maddy tries to stay away—the further she starts to fall.

 Now a secret scoop from her favorite knock-off purse guy has Maddy chasing a lead that could make her career. Or destroy it forever. How far is she willing to go to broadcast the truth? And will this breaking news lead to more broken dreams…or an exclusive on Jamie’s heart? Stay tuned…

It’s the story of a lifetime.

About Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi used to wish she could become a vampire back in high school. But she ended up in another blood sucking profession –journalism — instead.  Today she works as a freelance TV producer and author of books for teens and adults. A graduate of Boston University and a two time Emmy Award winner, she lives in Austin , Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon and their dog Mesquite. You can find Mari online at www.marimancusi.com or www.bloodcovenvampires.com.

Giveaway

This week I’m giving away two copies of Mari’s book, Love at 11.  But you must leave a comment in order to win. (If you are reading this on Goodreads, you have to comment on my CC Hunter Books blog to win. And, yes, sorry, but this is limited to U.S. residents only. But if you live outside the U.S., be sure to read the end of this blog!)

Haven’t Read Saved at Sunrise Yet?

Saved_at_Sunrise_ebook_FINALIn Saved at Sunrise Della…

  1. Almost gets arrested.
  2. Disobeys Burnett and skips out on her partner.
  3. Comes face to face with Lee—and his fiance.
  4. Gets thoroughly kissed.
  5. Wakes up in bed with Steve.

You can read the first chapter here.  It’s available for only $1.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Want to Meet CC Hunter?

Well, I’d love to meet you! If you live in the Houston, Texas area, come out to one of my Chosen at Nightfall signings. Tell your friends–better yet, bring them with you!

Friday, May 3rd, I’ll be at Katy Budget Books, Katy, TX, 7-9 pm. (The first ten people to show up and buy a book get a FREE t-shirt. The next 25 people will get a FREE signed posters.) http://www.katybooks.com

 Saturday, May 4th, I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble, The Woodlands, TX, 2-4 pm. (The first 25 people to show up and buy a book will get a FREE Shadow Falls t-shirt. The next 25 who show up and purchase a book will get a FREE signed poster.) http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2200

And the Winners are…

Okay, last week I had a huge giveaway to celebrate the release of Chosen at Nightfall. I got many wonderful comments.

The winner of the Kindle or Nook is Elise N.

The winner of the copy of Chosen at Nightfall (hard copy or ebook) is Donya.

The winners of the Shadow Falls poster are Alison Troutman, Essie B. and Angela Sickles.

The winner of Jennifer Armentrout’s Apollyon is Mariah Kerivon.

The winner of Kelly Armstrong’s The Rising is Fiona Sutton.

The winner of Kiera Cass’ The Elite is Chastity Duffey.

I know I have many readers who live outside the U.S.  So, in the next couple of weeks, I am planning a special giveaway just for you. 

 

Win! Win! Win!

This week, the release week of Chosen at Nightfall, I’m giving away tons of stuff.  Yes, tons!  Either a Kindle or a Nook, three Shadow Falls posters, copies of three other books by some other amazing authors, and a chance to name a character in my upcoming novel—which will be the first book of Della’s story.

Chosen at Nightfall (1)Yes, it’s here!!!  Kylie’s last book is out.  Her journey is complete.  I traveled with Kylie.  I’ve cried when she got her heart broken, I sighed with she got kissed.  I laughed when crazy things happened.  I felt Kylie’s pain when she learned that her parents weren’t perfect, but she found they didn’t have to be perfect for her to love them.  I have written and experienced Kylie’s life with her and so have you.

Do you remember when Perry turned into a cat?  Do you remember Kylie being kissed by Lucas down by the stream?  Or how about the warm, wonderful kisses she got with Derek when her world turned into a fairytale.   What was your favorite scene?  What part of Kylie’s journey have you enjoyed the most.  Boy, Kylie sure has come a long way since she first stepped on the bus to Shadow Falls Camp!

Today, I’d like to give away some neat prizes and ask for a some assistance in getting the word out, of creating buzz out there about Kylie, about the Shadow Falls series, and all the wonderful things she’s discovered along her life’s path.  What you have to do is either tweet/Facebook/ post something on your blog, or go out and tell someone about my book, tell them the parts you loved.  Then, leave a comment telling me your favorite scene.  I’m not only giving away a grand prize this week of a Kindle or Nook with a gifted copy of Saved at Sunrise, but I’m giving away three posters, a copy of Chosen at Nightfall, and because there are so many other awesome books out there releasing this month, I’m going to give one of each of the books, either print of e-book, posted below as well. (If you are reading this on Goodreads, you must post your comment on my blog page to win.) Unfortunately, I have to limit this giveaway to residents of the U.S.

Armentrout Apollyon (Convenant Series #4) 

by Jennifer Armentrout                                                           


 

 

The Rising

The Rising (Darkness Rising Series #3)

by Kelley Armstrong

 

 

 

The Elite

The Elite

by Kiera Cass

 

 

 

So make sure you help me get the word out there and make sure you leave a comment.  Then don’t forget to come back next week and see if you won.  Have a great week guys, and happy reading!!

In the Houston Area?

On Sunday, April 28th, I’ll be at Murder by the Book in Houston, TX at 2:00 pm.  I’ll be signing Chosen at Nighfall and revealing a few secrets. Shhh! And the first fifteen people to show up and buy a book will get a FREE Shadow Falls t-shirt. The next 25 people to show up and buy a book will get a signed Shadow Falls poster. To pick up your shirt or poster, just bring the line number you got the day the book went on sale. So come early. I really want to meet you and your friends!!! So,spread the word! http://www.murderbooks.com/hours-and-location

Shadow Falls Characters

I often get asked which character I feel closest to in my Shadow Falls series. I have to say, this is very much like asking me to choose my favorite child.  Each of the characters in Shadow Falls has a little bit of me inside them, which makes me feel close to all of them.  Della is my rebellious side, and don’t we all have one of those?  Miranda is dyslexic, which means as a witch, she gets her spells wrong sometimes.  (Which brings in lots of humor.)  And I relate to her because I’m dyslexic, too.

But of all the characters, I think I relate to Kylie the most.  I based a lot of her backstory on things that happened to me when I was a teenager.  I had a family member die when I was around her age, and my parents got a divorce, too.  That was so hard for me.  Plus, I had girlfriends making some bad decisions where boys were concerned, just like Kylie’s friend Sara.  I used all of the emotions I felt, all of the insecurities and uncertainties I experienced as a teenager, when I molded Kylie’s character, and I think it helped bring her to life.  I guess you could say I plagiarized my life to create Kylie.  However, Kylie is a lot cooler than I ever was.  Oh, and I never discovered I wasn’t human.

Readers also ask me which of the two love interest I relate to the most.  It’s so hard, because when I was writing a Lucas scene, I was a Lucas fan, and when I wrote a Derek scene, I was a Derek fan.  I can honestly tell you guys that I made a huge mistake writing this series.  You see, this is the first book in which I wrote a love triangle, and I didn’t know that I needed to make one guy so much better than the other.  I basically wrote two great heroes, both of them almost perfect for Kylie.  But as crazy as it sounds, I think I let Kylie make that decision and not me.

But I want to know which of my Shadow Falls characters to you relate to most and why?

Winner!

The winner of last week’s giveaway of The Collector by Victoria Scott is Tina N. Please email you address to cc@cchunterbooks.com.  Congratulations, Tina!

Connecting With Fans

Howdy, everyone!  Howdy, Jordan M!

Who is Jordan M?  Well, you’ll have a read a bit to find out.  But I have to tell you, she’s someone who made my day.

When I sat down to write this blog, it was early in the morning on April 2nd, the day Saved at Sunrise was released.  As crazy as it sounds, I still get this knot in my stomach when I have a book released.  I’m always a little frightened that the story will miss the mark with my readers.   That the things I thought were funny, won’t seem so funny to you guys.  That somehow, my characters will fall flat.  You would think that after having almost 20 books published, the nervousness would end, but nope.  Putting a book out, is a little like standing naked in public.  Because when you write a story, it’s part of you.  Writers dig deep into their pasts, their morals, their fears, and likes and dislikes to create these pieces of fiction.  So, all these pages are really parts of us.  Then when those pages are released, we are exposed, opened for the whole world to see, to read. It’s a scary thought.

Yet, while I’m nervous, I’m also excited.  I want you to read my book.  I want to know you laughed, that you got that knot in your throat in the same places in the book that I got a knot in my mine while I was writing.

As a writer I have a few fantasies.  And no they aren’t about hot guys.  Okay, I might have a few of those, but I’m not sharing.  LOL.  I have this dream that I will sit down on an airplane and casually look over at the person sitting next to me and he/she will be reading my book.  And recently I’ve been doing a lot of traveling.  While I haven’t run into someone reading my book, I did have something almost as good happen.

You see, when I travel for book tours, I get to the airport and my publisher will have a limo driver waiting for me in the baggage claim.  I spotted a man with my name written on a card, and he helped me with my bags and we started off to the hotel.  He had heard I was a writer and asked me what I write.  I told him and he shared he has a step-daughter who reads.  I signed a bookmark for him to give to his step daughter.

I thought that was the end of it, that I would never see the limo driver again.  Sure in the back of mind, I mused about how cool it would be if his step-daughter actually read my work.  Now flash forward a few days.  The same limo driver came to pick me up at the hotel to take me back to the airport.  And when he saw me, he told me that after he’d met me he’d called his step daughter, Jordan.  He asked if she knew who C.C. Hunter was.  He said, she replied, “Of course, why?” When he told her he’d met me, she thought he was just teasing. So, he took her the bookmark.

Then as we got into the limo to return to the airport, he handed me a letter from Jordan.  It was beyond sweet.  She told me what she liked about my characters, about how she thought some things were funny and some things were sad.

Jordan, thank you for taking the time to write me a letter.  Thank you for thinking I’m funny in the right places and for tearing up in the scenes that made me cry.  Thank you for being a fan.

And thank you to all of you who are reading and enjoying my books.  Without readers, without the really excited fans who run out and tell someone about Kylie Galen and Lucas and Derek, and about Miranda turning Kylie’s cat into a skunk, without you guys, I couldn’t be a writer. And I wouldn’t be releasing my fifth Shadow Falls book, Chosen at Nightfall on the 23rd of this month!

So I have a treat for you. Here is the video for Chosen at Nightfall. Enjoy!

THECOLLECTOR CoverToday, just because I think you guys are the best, I’m going to give away a copy of a book I read and enjoyed: The Collector by Victoria Scott.  Yes, she was my guest blogger a week or so ago.  But I just want you guys to know I read this, and she’s an amazing writer.  She’s a little bit sassy like I am–and you know I love sass.  Victoria has an amazing writing voice.  So, I think you guys will enjoy her.

Make sure you leave a comment to be able to win.  Thank you again.  And hey…it’s just how many days until Chosen at Nightfall comes out?  Soon, right?  Very very soon!!  I think those knots in my stomach are coming back.

Winner! 

The winner of last week’s Chosen at Nightfall giveaway Isaiah Aldridge. Please email you mailing address to cc@cchunterbooks.com. Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

 

Saved at Sunrise

Saved_at_Sunrise_ebook_FINALIt’s here! Today is the day Saved at Sunrise is released! I have to tell you this was a story I really felt compelled to tell. I told my editor I was working on it, and she reminded me I was supposed to be working on something else. It didn’t matter. I had to get this story out of my head. Della wouldn’t let me off the hook. She wanted her adventure with Steve available for my readers.

So, here it is, now you can read it. It is only $1.99 at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Although it is only available as an e-book, if you don’t have an e-reader, you can always download it to your computer or phone and read it there. So what are you waiting for?

In case you haven’t seen it before, here is the cool video for Saved at Sunrise:

In Saved at Sunrise, Della…

  1. …gets a hicky from a hot guy.
  2. …comes face to face with Lee—and his fiancé.
  3. …almost gets arrested.
  4. …gets thoroughly kissed.
  5. …says something very hard for her to say—to Steve.

I think that’s enough to get your imaginations going, and if you read my blog two weeks ago, you have already read the first chapter.  But remember, Saved at Sunrise is only the first part of Della’s journey. I’ll be writing even more about Della in the future.

Winners and Giveaway!

The winner of my Chosen at Nightfall ARC giveaway from my special March 24th blog is Kelida Schuchardt.  You have until April 9 to email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your mailing address. Congratulations!

To celebrate the release of Saved at Sunrise, I am giving away another ARC of Chosen at Nightfall to one lucky person who leaves a comment. (Remember, if you are reading this on Goodreads, you must post on my CC Hunter Web blog to win. Sorry, but I have to limit this giveaway to US residents only.)

C.C. Interview Contest

Chosen at Nightfall (1)On Tuesday, April 2, I was interviewed at Authors on the Air by Pam Stack. You can follow the link to listen to the interview, on their website.  I’ll be giving away THREE copies of Chosen at Nightfall, a Shadow Falls t-shirt, and a copy of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. All you have to do is listen to the interview before next Tuesday and answer these questions:

1. How tall am I?

2. What is my favorite word?

I give the answers in my interview.  To enter, email the answer to Authorsontheair@gmail.com. That’s it!