RE-BRANDING: Acephalous Book 1 NEW Cover and Blurb

29 Mar

CREATESPACE PRINT book cover FINAL-300dpi

These new paperback covers are available only on Amazon. Ebooks now have this cover on all available platforms (Kindle, Smashwords, iBooks, and Kobo).

Love the old cover? My remaining stock, both Advance Reading Copies and Final Publications, are now event exclusives. Visit one of my events for a special signed copy. Less than 300 ever made.

New Back-Cover Blurb:

Breena wishes she was someone else and uses her dreams to escape. When a dream-figure presents the opportunity to transform, she seizes it. But, the learning curve to her new identity is steep and painfully loses its charm. Her teacher’s plan is chaos, and it’s spreading. Bree wants to do the right thing, but when she finally steps up, it’s too late, and she must sacrifice a part of herself to survive.

For the How & Why of the new cover, read on.

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Triple A Book Blog Reviews Humans In My House and the Stars Above It

19 Mar

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(This book review by Triple A Book Blog originally published here: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTripleABookBlog%2Fposts%2F1362158520597724&width=500 Republished with permission.)

An adorable sequel, our cat friend from the first book gets a name from Emily. She names him Kepler and attempts to explain why. Kepler, Emily and one of her friends then go outside to watch a meteor shower.

The dream sequence Kepler has is fun while also being highly informative. It was a widely interesting way to teach the kids I read to about the universe around us.

I adore these books and hope to see more of Kepler, Emily and friends in the future.

(Read Triple A’s review of Humans In My House series book 1 here and their interview of Amanda Marsico here.)

Triple A Book Blog Reviews Humans In My House (series book 1)

19 Mar

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(This book review by Triple A Book Blog originally published here: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTripleABookBlog%2Fposts%2F1361681833978726&width=500 Republished with permission.)

A charming book for the youthful reader, or those young at heart. I not only enjoyed this book but so did the group of kids I read it to at school.

Quirky and fun, it’s one of the few books I’ve ever read that was from the point of view of a stray cat living in an abandoned home.

I love that it’s first person and really feels like how a cat might think. It also helps show a unique twist on the psychological makeup of children and what they deal with such as peer pressure, without being too heavy.

I can’t wait to read the second book and see what happens next with the cat and the humans…..

(See Triple A’s review of Humans In My House and the Stars Above It here and their interview with Amanda Marsico here.)

Triple A Book Blog Interviews Amanda Marsico

19 Mar

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(Interview originally published on Triple A Book Blog in two parts and republished here with permission. https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTripleABookBlog%2Fposts%2F1361588037321439&width=500)

Shay: Amanda, thank you for being with us today. I know you met Corry and Lia at Authors Invade Columbia. So it’s been a few months and I know you’ve been busy; especially with the newest kids book you’re getting ready to release soon. We are so excited you were able stop in on the blog today.

Amanda: I’m glad to be here. It was nice to meet your team and they kindly invited me to stop in. I can’t wait to have your readers learn more.

TA: So we met you at an author event…logically we can start with: what was the first thing you say you wrote as an author?

AM: I was prolific as a child and teen. I was always a writer, and it would be hard to say which piece was my first. But the first time I wrote something that made me feel like an author, like a professional, was the publication of my first novel Humans In My House, which started out as my master’s thesis. This book wasn’t my first work published. There were freelance editorials, poetry, and short stories in web journals here and there. But, there was a distinct feeling of legitimacy that came with a book–something I might see on a store shelf that was mine from cover to cover.

TA: I read your Humans In My House to a third grade class and they asked the book. It may have been their favorite read I’ve done this year….Who are some of your favorite books and authors? Both now and for youthful readers.

AM: This isn’t an easy one to answer but I’d have to say that when it comes to adult and literary fiction, I’d have to say:
°River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
°The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
°Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
°The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Bradbury
°Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

I occasionally enjoy true stories so for Non-fiction, Bio, or Memoir, it’d be:
°The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel
°Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz

Young/New Adult:
°The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (and her other series)
°The Fallen series by Lauren Kate
And for children or the young at heart, my children’s and Middle-Grade picks are:
°Corduroy by Don Freeman
°This Is Not My Hat; I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
°One by Kathryn Otoshi
°The Geronimo Stilton series by Thea Stilton and released Scholastic Books
°The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

TA: Wow, you are really well read. I know many use reading to escape from work (or chores) Was there another field of work you saw yourself doing, other than writing?

AM: More like there were many fields of work I distinctly saw myself not doing. Writing was it. It was my sole purpose in the educational choices I made and how I spent my creative free time. I dabbled with ideas like international relations and translation as options that would incorporate language and writing with other interests, and I have varied subjects of interest outside of writing, but they were never viable career considerations. So, when I’m not writing, and to finance the novels, I teach composition at the college level, and I own Red Ink Enthusiast, a writing services company. Whether it’s my own text or someone else’s, it’s all writing all the time.

TA: That kind of determination and love is inspiring. Who is your biggest inspiration?

AM: The indie and self-published community as a whole inspires me to keep plugging away at my dream. To see authors like me become best sellers, some even multiple times, to see them get movie adaptations of their books, win awards, etc. is proof that there is just as much legitimacy in non-traditional publishing routes as any American Classic or traditionally published new release has.

[Come back at the half hour for part two of our chance to sit down with Amanda Marsico]

[Welcome back to our interview, where we’ll get to know more of Amanda]

TA: After that quick break to stretch our legs and grab fresh bottled water, let’s get back into this. Let’s start this part with getting to know more about you as a person…What is your favorite food and beverage?
AM: I love sushi and will never turn down an opportunity to have it. I drink mostly water, and tea and coffee (decaf only, sue me) if I want something with flavor.

TA: Shay is a big tea drinker. She says one of her favorite guilty pleasures is hot tea, Danish butter cookies and a good book to end her day. What guilty pleasure or quirky ritual do you have to have while you are writing?

AM: I guess I’m boring in this respect. I don’t do anything special or odd. At least, it’s not odd to me. I will write anytime, anywhere if there is something I need to get accomplished. I’m great at tuning out the world around me, so I don’t have a writing soundtrack or anything like that. Typically, it’s me, a laptop or notebook, and a cat or five on the couch around me. Netflix is usually on in the background, but I don’t pay it much mind. Coffee, tea, and chocolate seem too typical a guilty pleasure to consider as quirky and, well, I don’t feel guilty about those treats at all.

TA: You mentioned sitting on the sofa with the cats. What is your favorite place and time to write?

AM: I prefer to start writing first thing after waking up and to go straight through until my goal for the day is met. Typically, this happens on the couch. However, I found during a recent trip to San Diego that I am especially productive in airports and on planes, writing by hand because a notebook is much easier to travel with than a laptop. When writing by hand, there’s no constant word count reminder. It feels like I don’t write as quickly as I could in type, so I keep writing. By the end, I’ve written more in one sitting than I would have on a computer. Any instance where I’m unexpectedly productive is a favorite.

TA: I hear you on how great it feels to be more productive than expected. I noticed that when I’m busy doing stuff is when i get some of my brightest ideas but by the time i get to paper, they’re gone. What is the oddest place or time that a book idea has come to you and you just had to stop and write it down?

AM: Most ideas come as I’m trying to go to bed, but I think that’s pretty normal for creatives. I use a memo app to keep track of ideas that come while I’m out and about. I’ll stop in the middle of the grocery store or during a hike if I have to.

TA: Hiking? That’s an interesting activity, i know some do it for fitness while others like the quiet communion with nature that’s possible during a hike. What do you like to do to relax?
AM: Hiking might not sound relaxing to some, though it sounds like you understand. I do love a physical challenge and enjoy routes that require mountain scrambling. I feel most at ease in the middle of the woods with a pack on my back. And, of course, if I’m just going to sit around, I like to read.

[Speaking of reading; next up is Shay’s reviews of Amanda’s two middle grade books, followed by the conclusion to our interview]

(Find the review of Humans In My House here and Humans In My House and the Stars Above It here.)

Official Cover Reveal for Nova June: Inventor

14 Mar

Red Ink Enthusiast™

This beauty is finally ready!

Createspace - Full Cover - Correct Size - with ISBN - Dark Back - Final - smaller (300 dpi).png

Nova June: Inventor will release in April on Amazon in kindle and paperback.

Come see me at an event for a signed copy and a special bonus item for the first 12 people who purchase in person

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Official Cover Reveal for Nova June: Inventor

13 Mar

This beauty is finally ready!

Createspace - Full Cover - Correct Size - with ISBN - Dark Back - Final - smaller (300 dpi).png

Nova June: Inventor is available for pre-order (kindle only, paperback to follow) on Amazon.

Come see me at an event for a signed copy and a special bonus item for the first 12 people who purchase in person.

caitsbooks Reviews Acephalous by Amanda Marsico

5 Mar
3-5 stars

3/5 stars

The following review was written by Caitlin at caitsbooks.tumblr.com and originally published here. Republished with permission.
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If you wish to skip to certain parts of the review covering specific topics, look for the bold words! Also, there are NO SPOILERS AHEAD!

*Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

To see my review on Goodreads, click here!

Overall: 3/5 Stars
Characters: 2/5
Setting: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 3/5

If you don’t feel like reading this long review, here is my review in a nutshell:
While the pacing wasn’t great, and some of the characters were unlikable, Acephalous was still an interesting book with fascinating magic and lore.

The plot of Acephalous follows Breena, as she goes to London for the summer. There she meets Atlas, who introduces her to a world of illusions. But there is more to this world than she knows, and she must learn how to manipulate the illusions herself if she wants to avoid becoming a pawn in an impending apocalypse. While reading, I couldn’t help but compare this book to a mix of The Phantom of the Opera and Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones.

The pacing of this book varied. In the beginning, everything felt rushed. There was a lot going on, as well as a lot being introduced, making it hard to keep up with what was happening. However, after the first half of the book, the pacing smooths out as the lore has been established and the plot starts to truly unfold. The quick pace made it a fast read, with constant action and plotting. I think the sequel will really reap the benefits of this pace more than this first book did because there will be less exposition and worldbuilding thrown in.  I did enjoy learning about the magic and the illusions in Acephalous. The supernatural aspect was fascinating to read about and I look forward to uncovering more in the next book. Also, there was a lot of funny and entertaining dialogue that I really enjoyed and can’t wait to read more of. 

The main character, Breena, was probably my least favorite part of the book. I just found her somewhat annoying (but hey, I’m not a big fan of Christine Daae and Clary Fray either, so this is just proving my earlier comparison). A lot of Breena’s actions frustrated me, mostly concerning her relationship with Atlas and with Jordan. Love triangles are basically impossible to do perfectly, and I wasn’t a big fan of this one. When Atlas was introduced, I was really annoyed with how Breena would switch from forgiving him for being a weird stalker then being creeped out by it. I had mixed feelings about him during the book and didn’t really start to like him as a character until about halfway through the book. Their relationship was also something I wasn’t a big fan of until much later in the book. I do really look forward to seeing Atlas in the sequel because his development throughout this first book set up for a really interesting character for later. Jordan, Breena’s other love interest/long-time friend, was a little better for me at the beginning. It was established from the start that he loved her, and although I was annoyed that he didn’t really accept her rejection, I did end up liking them together. I also liked all of the other side characters, (especially Lily and Linda! Love the LGBT representation! It was done really well!).

Pros– Funny and #relatable dialogue, interesting magic system and supernatural aspects
Cons– Awkward pacing, and a frustrating protagonist  
Overall- 3/5 stars.

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