M.S. Izbicki’s debut novel ‘Dani Capello: Shadows of Men’ is a unique story about loving & finding the courage to live by your own rules.

Dani Capello is in trouble, and, in her case, trouble means something more than just a slap on the wrist. After all, her family is in the mob, and with this comes unexpected consequences and dangerous challenges. M.S. Izbicki presents the thrilling new novel Dani Capello: Shadows of Men.

Dani Capello is a teenager who is quick, fun, and fond of getting into trouble. She is quite normal in regard to her high school hijinks, parties, and more, but she is also a girl growing up in the mob. Her family is involved in something quite dangerous, and the violence of their lifestyle casts a shadow over Dani’s life.

After getting in a fight with a so-called friend of the family, and one with quite a high rank, Dani is sent away to an elite boarding school: Catholic, strict, and prestigious. Here, she struggles to adapt but gets to meet three girls who become her friends and show her how to get in trouble and party here too. Emma, Madeline, and Whitney help her fit in, but it is with Emma that Dani develops a close connection. 

As her relationship with Emma develops and becomes intense and close, Dani finds herself struggling to protect her family’s secret and also begins to wonder about the high costs of their criminal activity, the danger, and the violence involved.

Shadows of Men is an effective coming-of-age tale with a mob twist that adds a lot of memorable details, and it also manages to be an endearing and charming queer romance that is sure to provide readers with a unique experience.

Dani Capello: Shadows of Men offers a unique story about loving and living while caught in your family’s rules and ideals. It’s about challenging what you have come to expect and building a life for yourself under your own rules. The romance at the center of the tale adds a lot of charm and sweetness to a story that is not afraid to dip its toes into more violent waters and confronts the idea of what it means to have a mob family, not just from a romanticized point of view but also provides a greater deal of context and impact. 

This is a great option for anyone looking for an original coming-of-age story and queer romance with a distinctive twist. It creates an exciting narrative that is sure to please fans of romance and adventure, combining a variety of elements to mix up a tale of exciting stakes and endearing relationships. 

You can find Dani Capello: Shadows of Men on Amazon:

You can find out more about the author on Linktree. This is Melissa Izbicki’s effective debut as a writer. However, she is also a musician working with the bands Myles and Ash and Cigarette Juliet, a country and a punk band, respectively. Dani Capello promises a lot of exciting future books and is sure to please fans of stories about growing up, making one’s own life, and queer couples.


We had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Izbicki. Here are the excerpts from the interview. 

Hi Melissa, Great to have you with us today! Please share with our readers about yourself.

Hi, I’m a writer, musician, and filmmaker, and I just released my debut novel, ‘Dani Capello: Shadows of Men.’ As a storyteller, I enjoy blending genres, and exploring complicated family/social issues, while showcasing powerful female characters and strong female friendships. When I’m not writing books, you can catch me pretending to be a rockstar – singing lead vocals in my country band “Myles and Ash” and my alt Punk band ‘Cigarette Juliette.’ 

Please tell us about your book, Dani Capello: Shadows of Men. 

Dani Capello: Shadows of Men is a unique twist on a classic mob story. Told from the point of view of a teenager whose family has ties to organized crime, the story explores normal teenage problems (first loves, growing up, parties, college admissions, etc.) with a sort of ever-present threat of mob violence. 

What inspired you to write Dani Capello: Shadows of Men?

I’ve always been interested in coming-of-age stories, especially gritty ones. I’ve also always had a passion for a good gangster flick. When I decided to write the book, I knew I wanted to blend these elements together somehow– which is where I got the idea to tell the story from the point of view of a teenage girl. 


What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?

I have an incredible support network of friends/family who are willing to listen to me ramble on for hours on end about whatever project or idea I’m hoping to put on paper. Without their advice and support– there’s no way I’d finish anything I start. I also don’t take myself particularly seriously. I’m serious about the work I do– but I think it’s important to find humor and joy (when possible) in the ups and downs of any journey.

Any message for our readers.

Dani Capello: Shadows of Men is book one of the Dani Capello series. I’m currently in the process of writing book two, and I’m looking forward to getting that one out as soon as possible. Stay tuned! 

Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you? 

You can follow me on Instagram @melissaizbicki. 


Thank you so much, Melissa, for giving us your precious time! We wish you all the best for your journey ahead!


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