Tag Archive | Christine Manzari

Bookstagram Interview: Christine Manzari AKA Xenatine


You have probably seen Christine Manzari or @xenatine ‘s awesome bookstagram account over on Instagram. Today I have an interview with her for you guys!

View More: http://jensnyder.pass.us/manzari

What made you decide to start a bookstagram?

I started my bookstagram by accident. At first I was just interacting with other book lovers to try to connect with YA readers, but then I stumbled upon some amazing bookstagram accounts and decided to join in on photo challenges for fun. When I started gaining larger numbers of followers, I dedicated my account solely to books.

When did you start your bookstagram account?

I don’t know the exact day, but it was in May of 2016 when I started posting solely about books.

Do you take a lot of pictures at once or do you take them each day?

Since I usually post 3-4 times a day, I take lots of photos when I do photo shoots. Most of my photos are taken Monday-Friday in the morning and I’ll take 5-8 photo layouts. I find that if I do an elaborate setup, it’s easy to take a lot of photos with different perspectives and just save those pictures for a rainy day.

What would you consider your style or vibe when it comes to your pictures?

My style is colorful and often geometrical or symmetrical. I was an art major in college and I was a graphic designer for about ten years, so doing bright color combos and detailed compositions are my bread and butter.

What kind of books do you like to feature on your account?

I like to feature the kinds of books I read. That usually means YA fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and sometimes paranormal. I feature NA romance sometimes too, but fantasy and sci-fi are the most common because that’s what I read most often.

Where do you get all your accessories that accompany the books in your pictures?

Some of my props are things I have around my house, but I get most of my things from Michaels craft store or Amazon. Storygramtours has a great post on their website with links to different props that the owners used and I’ve found some fun items on there that I’ve added to my prop collection over the last two years.

Do you have a particular favorite bookstagrammer?

I don’t have one favorite and I don’t like choosing because I have so many dear friends on bookstagram, but here are a few accounts that have inspired me for various reasons.

– @darkfaerietales_ does a nice variety of shots and styles which I admire. She can do cosplay, epic stacks, shelfies, flatlays, etc. I am in awe of the shots she takes.

– I love the bright and colorful feed of @paperfury and her captions are the best ones on bookstagram. I wish she could live with me and just leave me funny notes in varoius places around the house. The only reason I ever go on twitter is to read the posts that @paperfury makes.

– @everlasting.charm has a gorgeous feed that looks so peaceful and perfect. I’m not a girly type of girl, but she makes me want to love pink.

– The pictures by @myfriendsarefiction are so lovely and she does a great job of showing off merchandise. I also love that she reads a lot of ARCs so she does the hard work of reading books ahead of time and letting followers know which ones are worth putting on their TBR.

– I really like the way @eden.hammond uses colors and geometrical layouts. She’s so creative and unique in her setups.

– I wish I could take pictures like @lifeandliterature @ursula_uriate and @lifeinlit Their styles are magazine worthy and I love looking at them. 

You’re also an author, reader, and mother, how do you juggle it all?

It’s all about getting into a routine. I’m a creature of habit so I take bookstagram photos in the morning, do my mom duties during the day, and write and read at night. I try to squeeze in reading at other times of the day by listening to audio books in the car or while I work out. When I’m lucky, I can usually do some writing during the day, too.

As for being an author, can you tell us a little bit about your books and any upcoming releases you may have?

One theme that is prevalent in all of my books is that I like to write strong female characters. They are bold and sassy and clever. So far I have written six books and co-written two others.

The first series I wrote is a YA dystopian trilogy, called The Sophisticates Series, which is about a group of teens who have been genetically modified to be human weapons against terrorism. The Sophisticates Series is great for fans of The Darkest Minds and the X-Men.

I’ve also written a NA romcom trilogy called the Hearts of Stone series. They are all standalone books which are connected by three men who all share the last name Stone. These romcoms are a little bit steamy and a lot snarky and perfect for fans of Helena Hunting and Christina Lauren.

I’ve co-written a NA romance trilogy with Laura Ward called the College Bound Series. We are publishing the third book in that series this summer. The interesting thing about this trilogy is that there are special needs characters in each book who have integral roles in the stories. What I love about this series is that it mixes my snarky sense of humor with Laura’s tender storytelling to create stories that I think fans of Colleen Hoover would enjoy.

Lastly, I’m currently working on a YA fantasy about stolen magic, a fearless warrior girl, and a gladiator tournament. Fantasy has always been my first love so I’m excited to share this story with readers.

Do you have any advice for others interested in bookstagramming and building their fanbase?

I think the biggest piece of advice I can give is to have fun! Interact with people in the community and be genuine. Be you. If you interact with other bookstagrammers by commenting on their photos and chatting with them, you will develop true friendships and discover that this community is more than just pictures of books. It’s about finding your tribe.

As for taking pictures, joining in monthly photo challenges is a great way to find inspiration that will help you discover your style. You can love other accounts without having to take the types of photos they take. Be unique, be you, find the types of photos that you enjoy taking. Show off the books you love in a way that shows your personality too. Bookstagram should be fun so don’t worry about numbers of likes or comments. It takes time for those to come and the more active you are, the more fun you’ll have. And that’s what reading should be about.

The technical advice I can give:

– Take pictures when you have good natural light. I take pictures in my library in the morning.

– I use my iphone so you don’t need special cameras, your smartphone can take great pictures.

– Use monthly photo challenges for inspiration.

– Take photoes of the books YOU love, not what you think others want to see.

– Anything can be a prop. You don’t have to go to the store or Amazon to buy crazy props. I’ve used silverware before and old bridesmaids dresses for splashes of color. Things around your house can create fun textures, places around where you live can be pretty backdrops. Experiment!


Christine’s Social Media Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xenatine/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Xenatine

Website: http://www.christinemanzari.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristineManzari/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7218946.Christine_Manzari



Are you following Christine?


Top Ten Tuesday: Books Under 2,000 Ratings I Enjoyed


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic is Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

All of these books were awesome!  They all stuck with me after I read them and would read them all again. Go check them out!


Photo Credit

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What is your favorite book that has under 2,000 ratings on Goodreads?

Author Interview: Christine Manzari

The Sophisticates Series





College Bound Series


What do you like best about writing?

The thing I like best about writing is the ability to create something that will touch someone emotionally or make them need to turn the page to find out what happens. As a writer, I’m able to make my own schedule and choose what I do every day and that’s an amazing feeling. If I want to write about a sword fight, I can. If I want to dream up a sexy scene, I can do that. The freedom and sense of power that comes with writing and creating is something I’ve never experienced at any other job.

What is your favorite genre of book and why?

First and foremost, a book has to have some sort of romance to it. If it doesn’t have at least the chance for someone to fall in love, I lose interest. I read a wide variety of genres, but my favorite is fantasy. I grew up reading the Chronicles of Prydain and the Chronicles of Narnia and I still gravitate to those types of books when I’m shopping in a bookstore. I love getting lost in magical made up worlds and I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of it. I guess the reason why I love fantasy so much is because the impossible can happen. Characters can cheat death or win a war against impossible odds. Fantasy is limitless.

What is your favorite book you have written?

I’m going to choose from my solo works on this question. My favorite book that I have written is Hooked. Not only did I enjoy writing a strong, confident female lead, but writing Hooked was cathartic for me. My mother died of pancreatic cancer and many of the scenes are things I went through with my own mom as we dealt with her illness. Writing down my pain was a way of letting it go. But Hooked isn’t just a story about grief and loss. It’s funny and brave and sexy and it was a lot of fun writing a book that was so out of my comfort zone at the time. I knew that I took a risk with writing a main character who was opinionated and flawed, but it was so rewarding when readers fell in love with her anyway.

If you could pick one character of yours to be who would it be and why?

If I could choose one character of mine to be, I would choose Arabella from The Sophisticates Series. As a Deviant, she has been genetically altered to have skills that are similar to that of the Indonesian Mimic Octopus. She’s exceptionally strong, she can change the way she looks with just a thought (even hair color), and she can stretch her body. I’d never have to go get a step stool again. In addition, Arabella is hilarious and loyal. She’s willing to sacrifice herself for her friends and I’d like to think if it came down to it, I’d be that loyal too.

If you could live in a different type of world what kind would it be?

This may be cliché, but if I could live in a different type of world, I would definitely live in the world of Harry Potter. I’m a die-hard potterhead and I would love to go to Hogwarts and study magic. I’d like to think I’d get to have en English accent too.

When did you discover that you wanted to write?

I discovered I wanted to write in the seventh grade. I’d always enjoyed reading, but the summer after seventh grade, I went to writing camp. I stumbled off the writing path in high school and college and got lost for a little bit, but I found my way back to the written world once my kids were born. It wasn’t until I read Twilight and read Stephenie Meyer’s bio about how she would write while her kids were at swim practice that I realized that just because I was a mom, that didn’t mean I had to be only a mom. I could be a writer too.

Who is your number one book boyfriend?

For a while, my number one book boyfriend was Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. Now, the number one spot has been taken by Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sara J. Maas. I really like bad boys, especially when they’re snarky and turn out to have good hearts. I also really like Drew from Tangled, Bennett from Beautiful Bastard, Morpheus from the Splintered series, Captain Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles, Arin from The Winner’s Curse, and Alex from Pucked.



The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. She even turned her dining room into a library—reading is more important than eating. She also has a weakness for adventure and inappropriate humor. Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Follow Christine:


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What did you think of the interview?

Review: The Color of Us

Title: The Color of Us

Authors: Laura Ward & Christine Manzari

Date of Publication: June 20, 2016


Goodread’s Summary:

Eighteen year old Alexis Sinclair is lost in the darkness of grief. Since the death of her sister in a car accident, she can’t find the will to get out and enjoy life again. When she’s forced to face her biggest fear and take a summer Driver’s Ed course, she’s surprised to find hope in the most unlikely person.

Liam O’Connell is trouble. He isn’t proud of his dark past, and he knows Alexis is the one girl he has no business pursuing. Doing the right thing has never been easy for him, but this time, it just might be impossible.

The perfect girl and troubled boy are all wrong for each other, but as Liam helps Alexis cope with her grief, they realize nothing has ever felt more right.

That is, until Alexis uncovers a secret about Liam that breaks her heart.

Liam knows he can’t allow the one good thing in his life to walk away without a fight, and he’s determined to convince Alexis they can find their way out of the darkness together.

Can he prove he’s worthy of her, or is some love too tainted to be saved?

My Review:

This book was an emotional and beautiful ride with such a gorgeous cover.  I think I might actually go paint my nails rainbow today.  Alexis aka Lex is the good girl that follows the rules and has become understandably the sad girl after losing her sister that died in a car wreck with her drunk boyfriend.  She starts drivers ed at eighteen before going off to college where she meets Liam who is the bad boy with a beautiful heart.

“Because every time I look at you, I see heartbreak. And trust me I look at you a lot.”

They form a special bond as they get to know one another, and he helps pull her out of that bubble that she seems to have trapped herself in and becomes more adventurous and although still missing her sister Sam, she starts to let herself go.  Swoon alert!!!  This book had a lot of it!


Photo Credit

Alexis and her sister Sam also had this thing when they were younger with rainbows, and that part was my favorite piece of the story just finding the color in everything.  Rainbows become her and Liam’s thing as well which just drives the force of the story.

I don’t want to give too much away but things happen and they are separated for a while in the story which most of the time I wanted to strangle Alexis and talk some sense into her, but fear not she wins me back.  The book is also told in both point of views which I really liked, and I loved I mean I really loved how much Liam grows throughout the book and the man he becomes not only for himself but for Alexis.

“And I know I’ve made mistakes, but when I’m with you, I want to be better. You make me feel like one day I could be worthy.  I want to be good enough for you, Lex.”

The side characters were great besides Alexis’s mom most of the time, but I loved her Dad, Stacy, and Julie. Stacy is such a beautiful character who is a rainbow in herself, and can I have her style please??

This is not just a story about romance, it is about growing up and still be yourself but a truly better version of yourself without losing your identity. It is about friendship, family bonds, and letting go.


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This is an absolute perfect read for the summer or actually anytime in general! I was rooting for Alexis and Liam the entire time.