Title: Accidental Witness (Morelli Family, #1)
Author: Sam Mariano
Genre: Mafia romance (here be dark triggers, mateys!)
Vince Morelli.

The closest I ever wanted to get to him was several rows away in English class. We’d never spoken, but of course I heard the stories about his family. I know they’re dangerous. I know he’s dangerous. Vince never had a reason to notice me, anyway—until I inadvertently witnessed his first mob hit.

His family doesn’t believe in leaving witnesses alive, but Vince seems different. He knows the best thing he can do for me is stay away, but something keeps drawing us together. Despite knowing the risks of getting mixed up with him, I can’t resist. Only problem is, Vince is a package deal—you don’t get him without getting swept up in his family’s dark games.

Now entangled with a notorious Chicago crime family, will my life ever be mine again?

Available on Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US >>
Amazon UK >>
Amazon AU >>

Amazon CA >>

About the Author

Sam Mariano loves to write edgy, twisty reads with complicated characters you’re left thinking about long after you turn the last page. Her favorite thing about indie publishing is the ability to play by your own rules!
If she isn’t reading one of the thousands of books on her to-read list, writing her next book, or playing with her adorable preschooler, she’s probably at the movie theater watching the new Beauty and the Beast for the 8,001st time. She regrets nothing!


Cover Reveal: Accidental Witness (Morelli Family, #1)

I’m so excited for you guys to meet my favorite character!


March 27th, Accidental Witness will be releasing on Amazon (it will also be available on Kindle Unlimited)!

Title: Accidental Witness (Morelli Family, #1)
Author: Sam Mariano
Genre: Mafia romance (here be dark triggers, mateys!)
Releasing: March 27, 2017
Vince Morelli.

The closest I ever wanted to get to him was several rows away in English class. We’d never spoken, but of course I heard the stories about his family. I know they’re dangerous. I know he’s dangerous. Vince never had a reason to notice me, anyway—until I inadvertently witnessed his first mob hit.

His family doesn’t believe in leaving witnesses alive, but Vince seems different. He knows the best thing he can do for me is stay away, but something keeps drawing us together. Despite knowing the risks of getting mixed up with him, I can’t resist. Only problem is, Vince is a package deal—you don’t get him without getting swept up in his family’s dark games.

Now entangled with a notorious Chicago crime family, will my life ever be mine again?


Also, if you haven’t read The Complete Irreparable Boxed Set, now would be a very good time to start! 😉

#amwriting topic: POV

One of the more important things to decide going into a new story is what POV you will write in.

Me, I generally don’t do much to decide this anymore. However the voice comes into my head, that’s how I write it. (And these days, that’s first person present. I’m currently cycling between a first person present WIP and a first person past POV, and boy, is that going to be a headache in editing. I’m switching up tenses all the time and having to go back and fix it when I realize I’m in the wrong story/tense.) The funny thing is, I really don’t like first person POV. It’s limiting. I prefer third, but in my experience, the readers don’t. I wrote a duet in third person dual POV, but several ARC-readers gave up on it, saying the third person made it hard for them to connect with the characters.

So I switched. (Not that duet, but going forward.) Now I try to write all my stories in first person, but that hasn’t been without its issues, either. I just released a first person present (dual) POV book, and two of the reviewers pointed out what they took to be plot-holes or inconsistencies. An example: in one chapter, the hero’s POV, he is in a separate place from the heroine, so there would be no sense in detailing her specific stops on her way home, where he’s waiting for her. In this story, the heroine happens to live in New Jersey, but she had spent time in the city that day. The heroine has anxiety, and chooses not to drive in the city, so she used public transport while there. The hero is waiting at her house, though, and isn’t along for any part of this, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to detail her stop after departing public transport and getting back into her car to drive home. But when the heroine showed up back at her house in her car, one of my readers thought it was an inconsistency. One scene she’s getting on the subway in the city, in another she’s driving a car to her house in Jersey. But the hero/person whose POV the chapter was written in wasn’t there, so why would he mention that?

My current WIP has some similar issues popping up, and I find it annoying. An early reader pointed out a possible plot hole that isn’t a plot hole, but to tell the audience one thing while showing them another, the first person heroine (immersed in the life, so this wouldn’t jive with her worldview) would have to tell them. Obviously that’s a no-no (and a little insulting to the reader, in my opinion), but not including—in my opinion, unnecessary—information does leave you open to criticism. Including it would, too (boring! Tedious! Telling instead of showing—worse, telling after showing), so I guess there’s just no winning. At the end of the day, I guess all you can do is write what makes sense to you, what you think will make the most sense to the most people, and accept that a few people are going to find fault with it either way. 🙂

The Book You Fall For

I began writing for the same reason a lot of people probably do: it made me happy.
I had stories in my head, characters I wanted to explore, and the easiest way to do that was to write them a story.

The problem with publishing those stories (for me, not for everybody) is that sometimes you lose that feeling, but you still have to keep going. Occasionally you never even get it.

Writing a new book is like meeting a new love. You never love two people exactly the same way or for exactly the same length of time. Every single one is different, and every single one fits you differently. Sometimes (usually when I’m working on a different story) a new story hits me like a tsunami, it’s all I can think about, it pours out of my fingertips, and sleep is the only thing stopping me from writing it all at once.

That’s the best. The absolute best.

I started a new project, a passion project, and I’m certainly not ready to announce anything about it yet, but all I’ll say at this point is that I’m absolutely smitten. I’m so in love with this book. I’m convinced it’s The One. I’m preemptively afraid for every book I have to write after it, because how can I ever love another as I love this one?

I’m in the honeymoon phase. I’m feeling young again! We just got together and things are going great. (Which is funny, because boy, is this NOT how I do love in real life, with actual people. LOL.) Ain’t No Other Book/Hero for me, no sir, no way.

There will be, of course. Because like relationships, the honeymoon will end, there will be struggles, times I have to plant myself in front of the computer and yank words out of my brain. There are days like that with every book (for me, especially at the end. I hate writing endings… I guess I never want to break up. :D) but for now… for now, I’m in love.

Anyway, when I can share this story with you (and I hope that’s soon), I hope you love it as much as I do. 🙂

-Sam Mariano

Cover Reveal: The Last Boss’ Daughter

The end of the year is almost here, and with 2017 brings a fuller book release schedule than 2016 (though since I only released one new book and one boxed set containing said new book, that’s not hard to beat).

The first book I will be releasing is my dark, fairy-tale-inspired The Last Boss’ Daughter. You’ll probably be able to guess which tale inspired it by the cover. 😉


Title: The Last Boss’ Daughter

Author: Sam Mariano

Genre: romance

Release date: February 9, 2017

Add to your to-read list: Goodreads




Annabelle De Luca craved it.

On the heels of her beloved father’s murder, betrayed by those closest to her, Annabelle had a choice to make: accept the man responsible and fall in line, or suffer the consequences. Never one to back down, she rejected her new stepfather—then spent years ignoring his best efforts to crush her spirit.


Liam Hunt never needed it.

Some people deny the darkest sides of themselves; Liam’s made a career out of his. Never once has he hesitated to pull the trigger, but an unexpected encounter with Annabelle leads to feelings he hasn’t experienced before—and doubts about his current assignment.

Liam knows he should leave her alone, keep his head down, and do what he’s being paid to do, but he can’t bring himself to stay away. He’s the last person anyone would classify a hero, but he can’t shake the doomed desire to be hers.

He shouldn’t want her.

She shouldn’t trust him.

On a course set for utter devastation, can these forbidden lovers find their way to happily ever after?

Inspired by the classic tale Snow White, The Last Boss’ Daughter is a modernized, darker re-imagining.


Fall is Here!

I love fall.

Just today while my little one was riding bikes with her friend outside, I noticed the leaves crunching beneath my feet for the first time this season. Sigh. 😀


This fall is far busier than usual for me. I’m taking night classes 3 nights a week and I work 2 jobs outside of authoring, so my schedule is ridiculous. On top of that (and normal life stuff, like my little one and the time I lose every day mindlessly scrolling through Facebook) I’m also working on writing projects. I’ve been brimming with ideas lately. Seriously, I wish I still  had the ability to just spend hours of every day writing, because if I could, I’d be able to bang out so many manuscripts right now. I don’t, and most of these ideas will dwindle away (my ideas don’t linger if I don’t start on them right away; that would be too easy!) but one in particular struck with a vengeance and stuck. I wrote down the outline immediately, started writing it, and despite my schedule, I’ve invested many hours pounding away at my keyboard instead of studying. Whoops.

But that means I have a new release right around the corner!

I’m a few thousand words from a finished manuscript, I just have to find time to write them. (I should have that time this weekend, so it should be finished and ready for a read-through and revisions by next week!)

That’s really exciting. Because two months ago? I didn’t even know these characters yet. I love when I get carried away and write a story that fast. (There’s plenty to fix in edits, but there always is.)

I have a proofreader all lined up for after edits. Evelyn over at Summer’s Eve Reads has started proofreading, and she kindly booked me for November. That means by early December… I should have ARCs ready!

This book is called The Last Boss’ Daughter, and it’s a modernized, dark re-imagining of Snow White. (Loosely. I don’t follow the fairy tale exactly or anything, but it was part of my inspiration in many respects.)

I’m really excited to introduce Annabelle and Liam into the world. I’m really, really excited to have a finished manuscript to build on.

Yay fall!


Quick Note About Irreparable Series

As if I’m capable of brevity. LOL.


Irrepar Sale

Since Irreparable Lives is releasing next week, Irreparable Damage is on sale this week (not on, sorry; I had this sale for last week, but nobody bought any, haha)! So go on and grab a copy if you want to, this is the best time–cheap price and hardly any wait at all for the sequel.

As for the Irreparable Boxed Set… Originally my intention was to release it at the same time as the sequel. Irreparable Damage would be removed from KDP/KindleUnlimited and published on iBooks and many other retailers, as well as Irreparable Lives, and I was going to publish the boxed set as an Amazon exclusive. Best outcome for everyone.

Instead of doing that, however, I’m going to release Irreparable Lives as Amazon exclusive next week, but only for 3 months. After only one term with KDP Select (the exclusivity program that allows books to be in KU, but disallows selling them on other platforms) I’m going to pull Irreparable Lives AND Irreparable Damage from KDP and publish them on other retailers. At the same time, I’m going to release the Irreparable Boxed Set. It will be Amazon-exclusive and KU readers will be able to borrow it. It won’t be available on iBooks or Kobo or any of the other platforms, but the individual books will. So everyone will be able to get their hands on the book if they so desire, one way or another.

I wanted to get this all done at the same time, but work and moving and just general life-stuff… my plate was too full. This schedule is much more realistic. (Additionally, given my non-author work schedule the rest of this year, I doubt I’m going to be able to release another book this year. When I made all of these plans, I was focused mainly on my author career, and that’s no longer fiscally possible. Irreparable Lives and the boxed set has been hard enough to squeeze in. 😦 After You will have to be released in 2017.)

But, it’s almost here! One more week!

On that note, a teaser:

irreparable lives teaser

Happy reading! 🙂



The Release Date

To those of you who have read my terribly taboo romance, Irreparable Damage, I apologize.

Especially if you bought it when it first came out, now over a year ago. This was never my intention. In fact, a long wait between books was the very last thing I wanted to do.

To explain: I hatched the idea for my Irreparable books the summer before last. Feverishly. I outlined each book in a notebook next to my laptop, and then I spent every night—long into the wee hours, too often, frankly—pounding away at my keyboard, beginning Ethan and Willow’s story. When I finished it, I was so proud of how quickly I’d done it. I launched into writing the next book immediately, and every night bled into morning as I would write and write, and I loved the characters, and I was so wrapped up in their story. It would be the quickest I’d ever completed a duet before (unpublished or published). I was optimistic about what it meant for future book releases.

And then, after 28,000 or so words, I got my heart broken. Blown to bits. Entire world shattered and ripped out from under me. That sort of thing. The sort of thing that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s catastrophic.

Some people write through their tragedy. I’ve done that before. I couldn’t this time. I’d never been quite so decimated. Making matters worse, there are elements of this series and this story and these characters that…well, I couldn’t handle. For a long, long time, I couldn’t handle any writing at all. For a long time, I couldn’t even drag myself out of bed. I felt worthless for a while. I lost my confidence, a thing that had never actually happened in my adult life, and with it, not just my ability to write but my desire. I didn’t enjoy writing anymore. For the first time in my life, for a whole year of my life, nothing about writing interested me. The characters stopped talking. Inspiration dried up. Just looking at a word document…it felt like sitting in an algebra class (and if you knew me, you’d know that’s bad). Frankly, I began to fear I would never write again. My mindset at the time, I wasn’t even disappointed because I’m a writer, it’s part of my identity (I’d lost so many other parts of my identity, one more seemed almost inconsequential at that point), something I’d found joy in for half my life, but I was horrified at the thought of not finishing a series for the readers who had invested in my book and my characters. There are so many books out there to choose from and they chose mine, and I was letting them down. It was never an option. Even if Irreparable Lives and After You were the last things I ever wrote outside of a grocery list, I was going to finish them.

But I also didn’t want to produce inconsistent garbage just because writing it had become a chore to me. So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. My guilt grew, but you know, healing takes time.

Eventually the time came that I opened up my document and I didn’t fill up with hatred. I read what was finished, and then I wrote, just a little bit. A few hundred words. My drive wasn’t back, but it was progress.

Next time—weeks later, possibly even months—I wrote a little bit more.

Now I’m writing it regularly. One year and one month past the expected release date, I still haven’t finished the first draft.

But I’m close. Finally. I know what I still have to write—just a couple of scenes left. Finally.

Then rewrites. Because of the tumultuous journey I’ve been on while writing this book, I expect rewrites to be more extensive this time around. Given the hiatus, there’s some issue with flow at a certain part of the book, I’ll need to fix that.

But I’m finally crossing the finish line.

I was finally able to set a release date.

It’s July 19, 2016.

I’m going to release a box set, as well. (Amazon exclusive, so it will be available to Kindle Unlimited readers.)

I don’t anticipate anything like this happening again, but I also never anticipated it happening the first time. I’m going to attempt to change my release pattern going forward though, just in case. There are still some unstable areas in my life, and my personal circumstances have changed, drastically reducing how much writing time I have. My drive to write and my ideas are finally coming back, but we’re not all the way back to healthy yet. In the meantime, to prevent this happening again, my plan is to not release book number one until book number two has a finished first draft. It may mean I don’t release books as often as I intended to when I began my writing career. I know there are plenty of other books out there so it won’t make a difference to the world, but it does to me, and I’m sorry that I won’t be able to focus on my writing career the way I planned to. I no longer have the support system I had then, and as I’m sure you’ve gleaned, being an indie writer doesn’t rake in Taylor Swift dollars. I will still be writing and releasing books. I will not be writing and releasing 3-4 books a year, as originally intended. :\ If I get Irreparable Lives and After You both published this year, I will consider that a success at this point.

Anyway, I just thought I owed readers who have been waiting an explanation. Setting a 2015 release date and then not having the book out a year later is so not my style. Life just got in the way this time.

Thank you for reading my books! 🙂

-Sam Mariano

On Writing Characters in Untenable Circumstances

I write things.

More specifically, I write stories that I make up featuring characters I mentally spawned going on journeys I engineered myself. And more often than not, they’re bad. Not the stories (I hope), but the characters, their circumstances, their choices, what have you–something is kinda bad. That’s just how it tends to go.

With some stories it’s harder than others. My Irreparable books, I was sitting on my couch summer before last and I had this idea of this really terrible situation I could put all of these poor characters in, and the whole aim of this series (it was originally going to be 3 installments, but it’s actually only 2 now) was to decimate everything and see what was left. It was to put them through horrible scenarios and then build something with the irreparable pieces of their former lives. Not to say there’s no happy ending, but given the circumstances, given what’s done and what happens and just…all of the destruction, there’s a limit to how tidy things can ever really be. I’m going against nature by tying these characters together, I’m tying triggers into the mix and ensuring that it’s as hard as I can possibly make it to keep these characters both likeable and self-respecting.

It’s hard. Ethan, I’m finding, is the hardest. Because it’s a romance. Taboo, yes, but a romance. And it’s not a straight dark romance, like a WIP to eventually be revealed, where I can sort of unapologetically throw heinous things out there and be like, “He’s a bad guy, what do you expect?”

Ethan’s not a bad guy. He’s not an anti-hero. But sometimes it’s hard as hell to make him a hero, too. Especially considering I don’t just want him to be the good guy for one damaged young woman, I also don’t want him to be a heel to a woman whose years of love and life he completely betrayed. Nothing about his character’s journey is ever easy. He has a road full of difficult decisions and responses to situations he didn’t mean to create in the first place. All the while, he wants to be the hero of two opposing stories.

This isn’t possible. Maybe it is, but I’m probably not going to pull that off. Rather, Ethan isn’t. I know this because I write him, and the more I try to make him a good guy in one respect, the less he feels like the good guy in the other. I’m pulling him in several different (untenable and a bit unnatural) directions, and it’s probably pushing the release date even more (because when I finish doing the Stretch Armstrong on him, I’m gonna have some overall revisions to do), but at this point, this book isn’t the “3 months of fall/winter” writing that I planned it to be, and I just really want to get the ending right. I know it won’t please everyone, I know some people will struggle with his struggle/what inevitably makes him a better man than he could be, but it’s just who he is. The heroine loves him for/sometimes despite it, and hopefully everyone else will, too.

I shared this Facebook post today because it’s so true. Published and unpublished, I’ve written some crazy stuff. It’s just fiction. I’m just spinning a tale, trying to weave some reality and fiction together to tell a story that might entertain you for a few hours. I’m not condoning something because I write it. Some readers have this feeling like we should be punished for writing in distasteful scenarios, but I have news for them: we are, sometimes when we’re writing the story, and definitely later when it comes time to try to find reviewers!

God help anyone who reads my books looking for tips on how to navigate their own love life.

Anyway. It’s 4 am and I should really go to sleep, but I just left Ethan in a really crummy situation…so maybe I should write a little bit more….

Eh, on second thought, that’s Tomorrow Sam’s problem. 🙂