Sunday, April 8, 2012

CBLS Virtual Book Tour - Promo and Excerpt: Mari Mancusi's "Skater Boy" (First Kiss Club)


Title:  Skater Boy
Author:  Mari Mancusi
Publisher:  NLA Digital Liaison Platform LLC
Length:  50,000 words
Sub-Genres:  Contemporary, Young Adult (YA)

BLURB:

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?

"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

EXCERPT #1:

“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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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.


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