Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hump Day Hottie Way Back Machine

I'd like to take you back a couple of decades... to the 80s. The era of Boy George, lace ruffles and ankle boots, Cabbage Patch Kids, and the California Raisins. And some of the greatest movies of all time--including one of my all-time faves: Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Why, you may ask, is this my fave? Sure, Sarah Jessica Parker is a great goody-goody schoolgirl. Helen Hunt is an inspiring bad girl. And Jonathan Silverman and Shannen Doherty provide loads of laughs. But the highlight of the movie, for me, is Lee Montgomery. Who? Lee Montgomery.

You might not have ever heard of him. He started out as a child actor in the 70s, starring in The Million Dollar Duck, Runaway!, and an episode of Columbo. He had dozens of parts on classic 70s and 80s TV show before landing the role of Jeff Malene in Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Jeff is a tough, bad boy, working class kid who really knows how to dance. He gets paired up in the dance contest with good girl Janey (SJP) and, of course, eventually falls for her. Jeff has it all: a gorgeous smile, adorable dimples, a sarcastic sense of humor, a great behind, hunky arms, and (my must) dark brown curly hair. He even rides a motorcycle. Vroom, vroom. Oh yeah, he can dance, too.

But what happened to Lee? He made GJWTHF in 1985, a couple more movies in 1986-1988, and then... nothing! No more acting roles. So what has he been doing? Well, there's not a lot of info out there, but he's credited as the "Composer" on Legend of the Phantom Rider (2002) and Trespasses (2005). All I can say is, "Girls just want to have more Lee Montgomery!"

Growing Up Godly, Summer 2008
Dutton Children's Books

what I'm reading ... Murder of Bindy MacKenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Let The Games Begin!

Playing off Marley's post yesterday about her first kiss being during the kissing game of "School", I thought we could explore some other kissing games.

Here’s a few, starting with the ones we probably all know:

Spin the Bottle-- a circle of friends, a bottle that spins, and plenty of kisses!

Seventh Minutes in Heaven-- a guy, a girl, a timer, a closed door...

Dentist-- one girl, three guys, a chair, a blindfold. She decides who’s best, and then he takes the seat and blindfold to meet three girls.

And here’s some you may not have heard of:

The Candy Kiss Game-- Open one hard candy per couple. Start the timer. Start the kissing, passing the candy back and forth between mouths. And when the bell goes off, the partner with the candy in her/her mouth is the winner!

Marathon Kissing-- which couple can go the longest without breaking the seal.

Marathon NOT Kissing-- put couples together with lips almost touching, and see who can go the longest without kissing.

Wow...these all sound a lot more fun than the boring winter Tuesday I’m having today. Tell me what you think of these games...and if you have any others to add!

Top Ten Uses for An Unworn Prom Dress, March, 13, 2007
How to Hook a Hottie, Spring 2008

Monday, February 26, 2007

Nothing like a first kiss... happened at a party. Someone turned the lights down, put some party music and then the room divided up into boys on one side, girls on the other. "Let's play school!"

School? But, we're in school...we're in 8th grade. It's where you kiss every guy once and he decides whether you get to "advance" to the next class...if you're a good kisser.

How do I know? The only thing I've ever kissed is my giant stuffed sheep named Johnny and he never gave me any blue ribbons. What do I do? Do I run into the kitchen and hang out with the other fraidy cats? Or do I take a deep breath, step up and play the game?

Do it...what do you have to lose?

I line up with the other girls, my heartbeat Nascar-ing under my skin. My palms are sweaty and I wonder how my hair looks. Will any of the guys want to "advance" me?

Then, it happens...the kissing begins. Girls all around me are laughing and giggling as they take their turn. My turn comes and it's The Class Shy Guy. Great. He barely brushes his cold lips against mine. I mean, it totally does not count as a kiss. But I get to advance to the next teacher...who is The Hottied I've Had a Crush On.

I stand there and watch him kiss Laura and Missy and Carole...

And then it's my turn.

I take a deep breath, step forward and then feel The Hottie's hands on my arms. He pulls me to him, slants his head, I slant mine and then it happens.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzztttttttttttt!! Oh yeah...electricity, baby! From the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Stomach in turmoil and heartbeat rushing like an incoming tidal wave. The Hottie's kissing me! Man, or man.

Delicious. Delightful. Yummy.

Do you remember your first kiss? What was it like? Where was it? How did you feel?

Marley = )
Sorority Rush Begins - Spring 2008!
Puffin Books

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Series to Remember

Have you guys noticed how many YA books come in series? I used to love series. When I was into a character, I couldn't get enough of them. I would wait anxiously every month to see what new book came out and immediately get it from the library. For my birthday, if I ever go a boxed set of series book, hoo-boy, was I ever a happy girl. I was a nerd :)

1) The Little House series...I think this is actually considered middle grade, but who cares? I can sit and re-read ON THE BANKS OF PLUM CREEK any day of the week. These were the first chapter books I read after moving to the U.S. and learning English. I devoured the first book LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS at least 45 times, before discovering the rest of the series. Loved them all. Still do.

2) Anne of Green Gables series. Loved Anne. Loved Marilla. Loved Gil. This is another series that I can sit and read anytime. The characterizations in the books are so excellent that I can, to this day, imagine what each of those characters would do in a specific situation. My favorite of the series was ANNE OF AVONLEA, when she goes to college and falls in love with Gil. Who doesn't love a story of a "horrid little girl" who finds her place in the world in a sleepy little town?

3)Little Women. This was my earliest "girl power" book and I've read certain chapters of this a hundred times. Jo March is one of my all-time favorite female characters. I didn't care much for JO'S BOYS or LITTLE MEN much though...

4)Babysitters Club Series. Yeah, I know. But still, they were such great stories. Excellent characterizations. I remember, I wanted to dress like Stacey, do my hair like Claudia, play sports like Kristy and be sweet like Mary Anne. When I go into the YA section and see rows of these lined up, I still get misty.

5)Sweet Valley Series. Okay, I admit it. I like the sleaze involved in these stories...especially Jessica's Journal and Elizabeth's Diary. When I go into the YA section, I can't help but pick up the latest of these books to see what the twins are doing nowadays...

What are some series you guys liked as teens?

Dona Sarkar-Mishra
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HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI - January 2008 from Kimani Tru

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Keeping Motivated

You need a lot of self-discipline to be a writer. It takes inner fortitude to sit there at the keyboard on days when it's not going so well. It also takes inner fortitude to keep your perspective on days when it's going great. Maintaining the vision of your book, in the face of many obstacles and distractions, is hard work.

Maybe it's a little cliche' but writing a novel is a bit of a marathon. Not that I've ever run one, but I think you know what I mean. You know how you'll run the race. You study the course. You train. But it's only your guts and determination that see you through the difficult middle (when you're feeling tired or even like giving up!) and get you to the final tape.

A career in writing (or any creative passion) is pretty much the same. There are going to be those hills that are hard to run up. There are going to be dry patches when you're praying for someone to douse you with a cup of water. There are going to be those miles when the finish line (for whatever you're dealing with) seems unreachable. So how do you (or I) keep motivated?

1) Support each other. Find others who are doing what you do and cheer each other on. Hello, Buzz Girls!!

2) Remember the good times. Keep a file of "good" rejection letter. Read your contract! (You'll be thinking to yourself -- OMG, I can't believe they actually pay me money to do what I love!) Look at pitctures from writers' conferences when you were with your writing buds. Glance at contest final certificates, good judging comments, anything that helps you remember you're on your way.

3) Keep the end in mind. How do you want to finish this section of the race? Strong or staggering? Keep a diary of the pages you write, noting how much closer you're getting to the end of the book. Remember who you're writing for and how much the story could mean to them. The world needs this to be told and you're the only one to tell it!

4) Let new ideas come. Write down short paragraphs with your new ideas (for me, they always come about page 50 of a new book) and keep them in a drawer for another time. Don't fight them. Don't let them seduce you away from your current project. Unless you want them to. lol.

5) Reward yourself. Celebrate small and large accomplishments. Always keep sparkling cider or champagne chilling in the fridge. (And a Pepperidge Farm chocolate layer cake in the freezer if you have good will power.) Or, buy movie passes for yourself and reward yourself with a fun flick when you acheive a goal. And there're always new shoes.... Ahhhh, shoes....

6) Reread your favorite books about the craft or career. I like Stephen King's On Writing and Deb Dixon's Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Also screenwriting books by Syd Field -- which, incidentally, I took on my trip to Hawaii as beach reads when I was seventeen. I wanted to be a storyteller so badly, guys!

So those are some of my ideas on how I keep myself writing even on the bad days. And I have to say... any bad day spent writing is better than a day doing anything else.

Get writing, peeps!


Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in 2008 from HarperCollins

Friday, February 23, 2007

Got inspiration?

I wasn't one of those kids that carried around a notebook and documented my entire childhood. I really wish I would have been! Authors have always been like rockstars to me and when I would browse through the bookstore caressing the smooth covers, I wanted to be one. But I could never come up with any original ideas. So the idea of being an author was buried deep in my subscious along with my dream to win the lottery.

Then my first son was born. I didn't want him growing up seeing his mother work an unfulfilling job just because the money was good. I wanted him to see me living my dream, and hopefully follow in my footsteps. Um, I also got laid off. :) So I started trying to think of what job I could do from home that I would actually enjoy. Some of my friends wanted me to start giving those parties with the high-end sex toys. But I decided that I wanted to write.

Now came the hard part. Thinking up ideas to actually sustain a three hundred page novel. I remember my first idea. Brace yourselves!

The title: Forget Me Not

The synopsis: A woman unsatisfied with her life goes out of town on business and gets in a terrible car accident causing her to lose her memory. She is suddenly free to have the life she wants until she starts remembering the family she had forgotten. When she remembers will she choose to keep living the life she always dreamed of, or will she go back to the family and the life she never knew she wanted but realizes she loved?

Yes, I know, cheeseball city. As if the world needs one more amnesiac story. It sounds like about ten Lifetime movies I've seen. You could probably check on Amazon and the title is already taken for a similar book.

Okay, so I didn't get anywhere with that. But I found that the ideas started coming in after this first one. Most of them sucked, but occasionally there would be tidbits I could use.

REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN was the third novel that I wrote. And now the ideas come fast and furious. Some still suck, but I think most will eventually find a home. I see everything differently now. I'm constantly on the lookout for ideas or how I can twist something into an idea. My most recent idea came from the most unlikely source, the seventy-five percent off Valentine's candy at Target. But now that I think about it, chocolate has always been sort of an inspiration! :) So look around you, ideas are everywhere!

Okay, I couldn't stand it and went and Amazon'd (yes, I made that up, but you can use it) Forget Me Not. Look what I found.

As I read the summary of the book, I realized that this was exactly what I was talking about. The author, Marliss Melton, took the standard amnesiac idea and twisted it into something original. Her story still contains the unsatisfied wife who longs for a different life. Then one day her husband dies so she gets to have the life she wants. Then he comes back from the dead, but can't remember anything. Wife isn't too excited about it, but he's a different man now and they start to fall in love all over again. It reminds me of that movie Regarding Henry, if Henry was a Navy SEAL. But you get what I'm saying, you have to take a tried and true story and put your own spin on it.

So where do you get your inspiration and ideas?
I'm off to add Marliss' book to my Amazon wish list now! :) Happy Weekend!



All that matters is what's long as your outside is wearing the tiara!REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, July 3,2007, Berkley Jam Books

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ten Ways to Procrastinate

Some days it's just impossible (read: unappealing) to sit down and start writing. There are so many other things that absolutely have to be done (read: could be done) first. Besides, that deadline is negotiable (read: etched in stone) anyway. Here's a list of some of those things that become urgently pressing when my cursor is blinking back at me from a blank screen.

  1. Watch Survivor Palau The Complete Season on DVD in a non-stop, 12-hour marathon.
  2. Catch up on laundry -- legitimately urgent because the dryer just got fixed after not working for a week.
  3. Complete the following at-home beauty rituals: facial, manicure, pedicure, body scrub, brow tweeze, and bikini wax. Okay, maybe not the bikini wax.
  4. Reorganize the TBR (To Be Read) pile into color order -- does pink go with red or purple?
  5. Empty the refrigerator, scrub it clean, and put everything back according to the Real Simple principles of food placement.
  6. Bathe the dog. Brush the dog. Paint the dog's toenails cotton candy pink. Wait, she would never let me do that. Better make it candy apple red!
  7. Go to Target.
  8. Read old story ideas -- did I really think anyone wanted to read a medieval, vampire, time-travel fantasy?--with the intention of deleting the really bad ones. End up reviving nostalgia for those bad ideas and trying to write a synopsis that would make it work.
  9. Browse catalogs and websites to find the perfect "YA Author Wardrobe" -- even though release date is over a year away this still counts as "working on writing," right?
  10. Stare blankly at that blinking cursor, hoping that your life suddenly turns into a Stephen King novel and the computer starts to write your story.
If these procrastination techniques do not succeed in taking top priority on your "To Do" list, there's always baking. Cookies do wonders for making you forget what you were trying to procrastinate in the first place.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Faint by Numbers

I’d heard about it, I’d seen others wailing in the throes. But I thought I could handle it, could keep it under control. Until a couple weeks ago, when my agent, Nadia Cornier, officially diagnosed me:

I’ve Got Ratings-itis.

A compulsive illness that strikes some writers during a book release, Ratings-itis manifests itself in the compulsion to check your Barnes & Noble and Amazon “numbers” all day long. (Okay, all night, too, but having come to the conclusion that B & N doesn’t do a list shift until mid-morning, I have been sleeping better.)

The sufferer is not only obsessed with her moment-to-moment standings, but loses her grip on reality enough to think others care, too. Therefore, anyone she happens to see--say, in the produce section--is fair game for a full assessment. Paperback versus Library Issue Hardcover. B & N versus Amazon. The fact the victim starts backing away only encourages the afflicted to talk louder.

I’d like to believe that researchers are working on a cure. (Perhaps Xanax?) But until then, if you or anyone you know has suffered from Ratings-itis--and gone on to lead a normal and productive life--please, share.

I have no where to go but up. Well, unless you’re talking ratings, in which where I really want to go is down...

(P.S. to those who don’t know my humor--I AM kidding here. Sort of.)

Top Ten Uses for An Unworn Prom Dress--available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble NOW
How to Hook a Hottie, Spring 2008

Monday, February 19, 2007

Writing Through the Big Chill

So, here we are in the heart of winter and boy, let me tell you, it's coooooooooooooooold here in Boston. I understand why people move to Arizona and Florida when they get older because this is truly bone-chilling weather. Here's why the view from my condo is supposed to look like:

Here's what it looks like today:

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....makes you want to dive under the covers looking at that, right?

The best thing about this weather is how much reading and writing you can get done. I'm terribly prolific with my writing when I'm under the blanket or have the warm laptop buzzing on me...well, lap. I don't know whether it's because I'm so cold and moving my fingers along the keyboard helps the blood circulate or what. Maybe it's the fact that my Sorority Sisters Series is set in Florida and I'm thinking about the warm weather and their surroundings as I'm writing.

I've had people ask me my "routine" when I'm writing. I never really thought of it as having a routine, more like a habit that I've gotten into that makes things work. Writing's all about doing it and doing it consistently. It's all about practicing your craft and honing it and making it your own.

So, to answer the question, I must first say that I work full-time, so I write around the day job. At lunchtime, I go into the work cafeteria (or go out to Au Bon Pain or Souper Salad), put my headphones on blasting Dance or House music (yes, don't laugh!) and I get out my trusty Alphasmart Neo and just...write.

It's great, because it's a word processor and you just let the words flow. No editing, no nitpicking...just letting the characters speak and the action happen. Also, it's light-weight and easy to carry around. (This moment sponsored by Alphasmart Neo...LOL!)

I was in New York Thursday through Saturday (went to my friends Michelle Yu and Blossom Kan's book launch) and pulled the Neo out on the Peter Pan bus on the way home. I was able to write about 3,000 words on the trip home. just find the time and you do it.

As for the questions about my books and where they're "at," well, I'm waiting for line edits from my fabulous editor on the first two books, we're discussing titles and covers and everything's rolling along towards the Spring 2008 release. Can't wait to have covers to show everyone -- you can bet I'll debut them here.

If anyone every has any writing questions, I'm happy to help out the best I can. Just post here on Books, Boys and Buzz or e-mail me through my website.

In the meantime, grab a good book, curl up under the covers and stay warm!

Marley = )
Sorority Rush Begins - Spring 2008!
Puffin Books

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How I Miss Thee...

I think one of the saddest things that can happen is this: Fall rolls around, you get totally engrossed in a TV show that has it all: great plotline, good timing, and best yet, total hotties.

Then comes the back news. Your show is cancelled! In a tribute to the boys gone bye-bye, here are a few of the hotties I've had to say good-bye to.

Hello Michael! Michael Vartan aka Michael Vaughn on ALIAS kept me coming back to the show over and over despite the far-out story lines. He was such a cutie...usually I'm a girl who likes the brunette guys, but this one...whew, is he ever amazing. There has never been a man who furrows his eyebrows quite like Michael :)

I've been in love with Milo Ventimiglia ever since I saw him as Jess Mariano in GILMORE GIRLS...then he got a show where he played a major role (BEDFORD DIARIES) The show, while shortlived and with weird storyline made me fall in love with Milo even more. Those eyes! That hair!

Happily, Milo is BACK as the selfless and talented Peter Petrelli on HEROES. Yay for Milo!

Cool Eddie Cibrian is next on the list... his portrayal of the confused, tortuned forest ranger on INVASION kept me coming back to the show...till they cancelled it. I've loved him since his days as the evil Matt Clark on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

Last but not least, the yummy latin lover Jay Hernandez. As the uber-romantic Carlos on SIX DEGRESS, he was part of an ensemble good-looking cast. The show got cancelled after about 10 episodes and I hate ABC for keping me hanging on Jay's storyline :)

So there you have it! The hotties casualties of primetime casualties...who have I forgotten ladies?

Dona Sarkar-Mishra

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HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI - January 2008 from Kimani Tru

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hotties on Film

If you haven't guessed from the previous posts, our topic of the week is boys. So, I present to you some suggestions for weekend rentals which include (in no particular order) five great guys on film:

Ethan Embrey in Can't Hardly Wait. If you haven't seen this one, go rent it. Ethan's character, the day before leaving for college, writes Jennifer Love Hewitt, the most popular girl in school, a love letter and then struggles with how to give it to her. Really great supporting cast including Seth Green and Lauren Ambrose. Very sweet movie.

Matt Schoeffling in Sixteen Candles. This one is so sweet. In fact, this may be the reason I write teen romantic fiction. I always hope that my books have the same flavor as a John Hughes movie. You probably know the story. Matt is Jake, the popular boy, who likes Samantha, the awkward redhead who's in the middle of a family weekend from hell, including her forgotten birthday. Really funny, great soundtrack, great actors and who doesn't melt when Jake meets Sam at the church?

Derek Luke in Pieces of April with Katie Holmes. This is a charming movie and Katie (in her pre-TomKat days) rocks. If you've ever wanted to make things better for your family even with your meager ability to do so -- this is your story. Derek plays Bobby, the sweet boyfriend of rad punk girl April. All he wants to do is make her Thanksgiving (which she's cooking for her family) turn out all right. April has her own problems, most of them with her oven and her relationship with her folks. You will love this movie.... and Derek.

John Cusack in Say Anything. Absolutely a wonderful movie about loving someone despite what those around you think about them. It is possibly one of the greatest teen romance movies of all times. I don't even think I can write much more about this one. "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, played from Cusack's boom box to serenade his girlfriend? Come on. It doesn't get any more touching than that.

Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You. It's Heath. That right there means you're going to love it and it's the re-telling of Shakepeare's "Taming of The Shrew" so it's almost nutritious for your brain. And it's got Heath. Yeah, I know I already said that, but come on... *sigh*

Anyway, Heath is kind of a sleazeball who takes on the job of wooing Julia Styles so a guy can date her younger sister. Julia's character rocks. Heath is tough but sweet. And all ends well. Great movie.

So, I know there are tons of worthy guys that didn't make my list...

Who are your top five hotties in teen films?
Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in 2008 from HarperCollins

Friday, February 16, 2007

Boys that stand the test of time

One of my favorite crushes that has stood the test of time is Rob Lowe. I've loved him since 1983 and he burst onto the scene as Sodapop Curtis in The Outsiders.

Isn't he just adorable????? Okay, so there was that little sex scandal thing, and the alcoholism. But he fessed up, got help, and I think, has come back better than ever. Rob has been in so many movies and television shows it would be impossible to list them all, so I'll just give you a few of my favs.

1984- Oxford Blues, so good!

1985- St. Elmo's Fire- who could resist the irresponsible playboy, Billy Hicks???? Not me!

One of my absolute fav performances of Rob's was a skit he performed on SNL. He was Shaggy from Scooby-Doo and I'm telling you, it was the funniest thing ever. Couldn't find it on YouTube, sorry! But here's a pic.

He's currently heating up Brothers & Sisters as Senator McAllister. I found out while searching for these pics, that Rob is deaf in his right ear. Do you have a favorite Rob Lowe movie?
Enjoy the view! Happy Friday!
All that matters is what's long as your outside is wearing the tiara!
July 3,2007, Berkley Jam Books

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Special VALentine Edition of Hump Day Hottie

Happy Valentine's Day!

In honor of Valentine's Day, Boys week here on the BuzzBlog, and just general boy-craziness on my part, I'm bringing you a special edition of Hump Day Hottie with perennial favorite VAL KILMER.
He hasn't been on the radar much lately, but when you think of VALentine's Day, how can you not think of VAL? I mean, his name is VAL! (Okay, I'm stretching... but you know what I mean.) Over the years he has starred in so many of my favorite movies. He was a star right from the start, kicking off his movie career with Top Secret! and Real Genius--both totally hilarious and so not how you think of VAL now. Then there was Willow, The Doors, and Thunderheart--a truly fab movie if you haven't seen it! He starred with Kim Basinger in one of my all time fave movies, The Real McCoy. He plays a kinda loser thief who's totally in love with Kim and trying to help her get her kid back. Adorable!
More hit-after-hit with Tombstone, Batman Forever, Heat, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. (Ha, just seeing if you're paying attention--that last one was an awful movie!) VAL starred in The Saint, as the emotionally burdened, Alpha male with a billion identities and a soft spot for Elisabeth Shue. His fame has kind of tapered off, but he's still making movies. (And, if the gossip mags are right, he's put on quite a few pounds and won't be fitting back into that Batman costume any time soon...) But I think one of my fave roles VAL has played--the yummiest bad guy of them all--is Iceman in Top Gun. Who can resist a guy who knows he's the best and shows it?
Love to VAL and Happy VALentine's Day, BuzzReaders!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Top Ten Places to Meet Cute Guys

Moving along with our Boys Theme, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of places to meet them--besides the obvious places (work, school, nightclubs/bars and dances). So I did some checking around with “experts”, and here’s what I came up with, in no particular order:

Your high school track, during off-hours

Guys of all ages run their local high school track in the evenings and on weekends to keep in shape.

Ski Resorts

Whether on the lift, the slope or in the lodge, ski resorts are happening places. And in California, I can give you a tip that our resorts are often manned by cute Australian skiers who come over here to work during what is their summer months.

Internet Café

It’s a great place to meet guys who are on vacation and checking their e-mails.

Water Sports Rental Shops

Ever notice how hot the guys are who man the jet skis, canoe and kayak rental shops? Some of the renters are something to look at, too.

Gaming Store

With a warning here from an 18 year-old male gamer that these stores are magnets for outta shape guys with no social skills, I am still recommending a walk by your local gaming store to see what’s happening. Because every rule is meant to be broken.


Stopping by a Starbucks or your local equivalent isn’t exactly a novel idea, but for a spin, try it late at night for different clientele.

A Family or Neighborhood Party

Don’t overlook the obvious, that sometimes a totally boring and predictable family or neighborhood party can surprise you. Remember Mark Darcy from the Bridget Jones movies (shown here in one of his “Christmas jumpers” from one of those family parties).

Charity events

People from all walks of life come together for charity events. Consider volunteering or attending a local walk-a-thon, trash pick-up, food drive, YMCA pancake breakfast, etc.


Okay, I’m a married lady, and my site is to meet readers and authors and to generally procrastinate. But single girls tell me other stories!

Public transportation

Planes, trains, buses, subways, taxis. Keep your eyes open--you never know.

(Haha, okay, the picture's a bit dated, but anyone who has seen A HARD DAY'S NIGHT know these four cute guys thrilled girls at every train stop.)

Anyway, just some ideas. And if you’ve met a cute guy in an unusual place, please share with us!

Top Ten Uses for An Unworn Prom Dress, March, 2007
How to Hook a Hottie, Spring 2008

Monday, February 12, 2007

I've got a Grammy hangover

Boy, if you were looking for entertainment and eye candy last night, the place to be was the Grammys. So much talent all under the roof of The Staples Center! Amazing. Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Chris Brown, the Dixie Chicks, Beyonce...just wow.

Let's talk about the boys, though. Most specifically...Justin Timberlake.

His talent is unbelievable! He sings, dances, plays the piano, plays the guitar, it's just simply amazing. No lip syncing or pretending. He's for real. What you see is what you get. And is it just me or what...that he can sing high like a girl and still be amazingly cool. I love his music and I was glad to see him not only win last night, but also showcase some new talent.

These three phenomenal singers (Africa, Brenda and Robyn) were the finalists in the "My Grammy Moment" to see who would sing with Justin at the end of the show. Robyn won and was fantastic, but I have to say I really wanted Africa to win. Get this...when she was six years old, Africa (on the left) took violin from my mother! Talk about a small world! I remember she was the cutest little girl and now, she's certainly grown up into a gorgeous, talented woman.

Then, there was also Ludacris, who I think is just the cutest thing ever. He can sing and dance and he's a good actor and he's funny. Here he is accepting his award:

I love when he said, "If I'd 'a known cutting my hair off would get me a Grammy, I would have done it years ago."

It was a great event, lots of eye candy and good entertainment.

Did you watch? Any particular hottie stand out to you? Are you going to rush to the store and buy any new music today?

Marley = )
Sorority Rush Begins - Spring 2008!
Puffin Books

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the ... Really Bad.

I watch so many movies that "watching bad movies" is one of the pastimes I list on my Friendster, MySpace and Orkut accounts..sad I know. This year has been no exception. Usually around Oscar season I'll completely head-over-heels fall in love with a movie and tell everyone about it. Last time this happened was 2005 when I saw MILLION DOLLAR BABY. Still to this day, one of my all-time faves. I could watch it over and over.

This year, however...ehh. Let's go through the list of movies nominated for some Oscar or another:
BABEL - I went in expecting great things. Brad Pitt! Cate Blanchett! Gael Garcia Bernal! Usually these people do great work...and maybe this movie is great. I just didn't get it. What was it about? Politics? Guns? Be nice to your kids? I just didn't understand it at all. Everyone is saying that Rinko Kikuchi is a shoo-in as the dumb/deaf Japanese teenager, but I just thought her character was weird and kind of scary actually. What did other people think who saw this?

DREAMGIRLS - I wanted to love this movie. I heard so many great things about it. Jennifer Hudson! The songs! Eddie Murphy! And yes, the songs were good...I did feel a few of them went on a bit too long though. The costumes were out of this world...what I wouldn't give for those dresses and hairdos...but the movie overall? Predictable, I felt. Though, Eddie Murphy was pretty damn amazing.

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS - Now this movie I did like a lot. Such lows and such highs. It really leaves you with a feeling of "I can do anything I put my mind to." And I believe this is the best Will Smith has ever been. I liked it, but don' know if I can see it over and over.

THE DEPARTED: Good movie! Very cool story and acting, but the language was pretty strong, almost distracting and I don't think I quite *got* the ending. But overall, I liked this movie. Again, a watch-once, not a own-forever.

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA - I LOVED THIS MOVIE! The outfits! Meryl! Paris! Ahh, loved it. I think this may be my favorite movie of 2006. I am buying the DVD as soon as it comes out. I saw it twice in theatres. Loved it.

WATER - This is Canada's entry to the Oscars . Great movie. This story about widows at an asham in India will stick with you for a long time. I still think about the ending of this movie with shivers...

Movies I really really really want to see next:
CARS and VOLVER. Not a single soul has said they didn't like these movies.

Movies I kinda want to see: THE QUEEN, PAN'S LABRYNTH, NOTES ON A SCANDAL....Maybe I'll catch a matinee tomorrow....

Dona Sarkar-Mishra
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HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI - early 2008 release from Kimani Tru

Pop Goes the Buzzzzz!

I am a HUGE movie fan.

Once upon a time, I was going to move to Hollywood and become a filmmaker. Luckily for me, I found writing... Anyway, I still love sitting in the dark and being wisked away to another time and place.

And the popcorn. I love popcorn....mmm...

Anyway, this year I’ve seen a ton of flicks, including most of the ones nominated for Oscars. It’s actually hard to know who and what’s going to win – with the exception of Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress, duh!) and Helen Mirren (Best Actress) and Forrest Whittaker (Best Actor). Okay, so maybe I do know who's going to win, but they are shoe-ins, people! How could you not know this. BTW, I would love for Eddie Murphy to win Best Supporting Actor – he was amazing in Dreamgirls...

But in the midst of all the Oscar fever, there are these little awards called Grammys being given out on Sunday (tomorrow) night! I am soooo excited to watch the show. THE POLICE are reuniting for the Grammys! Dude, that rocks!

So like everyone else this last year, I shook my booty to the Black Eyed Peas’ song “My Humps", I grooved to JT’s “Sexy Back” and even cried with the American Idol castoffs sent packing to the tune of Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” – but this was also a great year for music you didn’t hear so much you wanted to stab your eardrums with pencils...

There are some amazing up and coming bands nominated this year. Take the following category for example:
Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals:

My Humps -- The Black Eyed Peas
I Will Follow You Into The Dark -- Death Cab For Cutie
Over My Head (Cable Car) -- The Fray
Is It Any Wonder? -- Keane
Stickwitu -- The Pussycat Dolls
Only two of my FAVORITE bands in this category!!

Keane, from England, are freaking amazing. I just saw them play live two weeks ago, after listening to their CDs as sort of a soundtrack to my new life in the city all last fall. It was what I'll call "transformational" -- is that even a word? Anyway, these guys sounded even better at their concert then their awesome CD Under the Iron Sea. It was truly one of the best concerts I have ever, ever, ever been to. Ever. Did I say that already?

My favorite part of their performance was when Tom, the lead singer, introduced one of their songs, “Bad Dream” with a clip of a Yeats poem called “An Irish Airman Foresees his Death”.

When have you gone to a show and heard the poem that inspired the song read aloud? Genius, people.
This nominated song, “Is it Any Wonder?” is all about the confusion in the world that people are living through. It’s catchy, yet filled with a message. Like pretty much all of Keane's music is.

Death Cab For Cutie, a Seattle band, have a great song in this category, too -- “I Will Follow You into the Dark.” If you haven’t heard it, it’s an acoustic song with pure vocals and an eternal love letter message.

My sister used to know the lead singer (went to college with him) and she still can’t get over the fact that the dude is a rising star. He’s also part of the group The Postal Service – which does an electronic version of “Such Great Heights” another fab song.

Look for good bands in the Best Rock Song category. The Killers (another fave of mine) and the Irish band Snow Patrol are both nominated.
Snow Patrol’s song “Chasing Cars” did get a little overplayed, but I still love the lyrics...

“Forget what we’re told,
Before we get too old,
Show me a garden bursting into life.”

Isn’t that simple, yet cool?

In the Best Alternative Album category, there’s an NYC group called the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is their second nomination in this category. They’ve got an indie rock sound (remind me a little of The White Stripes) and a cool girl singer.

So, there’s a lot to get excited about in music this year. And yes, Justin Timberlake is nominated all over the freaking place. The guy has talent. I can admit that. I’ll be dancing in my living room when he throws down on Sunday night at the Grammys.
But, I hope you’ve checked out some of the other cool artists on the Grammy nom list. All of these bands have myspace pages -- so check their music out before the big show!
Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in 2008 from HarperCollins.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

And the Oscar for Best Motion Picture goes to.......


Okay, so this is just my choice, and I have to admit I didn't see any of the other films, but this one is such a winner that I'm really rooting for it.

*************SPOILERS AHEAD*****************

Made up of a spectacular cast, this heartwarming and hilarious film brings a dysfunctional family together on a 3 day road trip to a beauty pageant in a busted down VW.

Alan Arkin is hysterical as the pageant choreographing grandpa who just happens to be a cokehead. Steve Carell plays the suicidal, homosexual, unemployed Proust scholar who's b/f left him for his nemesis. Just looking at him makes me laugh. And who of us writers can't feel for Greg Kinnear's character who is obsessed with landing a book deal on his 9 step program for success. The scooter scene is hysterical, and I have to admit, I may have actually done the same thing at one point in my quest to be published. Although quiet most of the film, the angry teen played by Paul Dano, still brings a sweetness to his character through his occasionally caring notes. And what can you say about Toni Collette? She's totally fab in everything she does.

But the film wouldn't be anything if it weren't for 10 year old Abigail Beslin. I'm sure all the other women in the Best Supporting Actress category wouldn't be thrilled to lose to a 10 year old, but I think she deserves it just for the pageant routine scene. Abigail breathes such enthusiam into her character Olive. Even when faced with a room full of mini-models, overweight, four-eyed Olive doesn't back down but goes out and gives it her all in her grandpa's memory. Here's a pic of the adorable Abigail looking nothing like Olive.

I loved the ending when the family all stood up and cheered Olive on while everyone else sat horrified. Have you ever said something bad about a family member but then when someone else says the same thing your claws come out? It's okay for you to make fun or criticize your family, but not somebody else, right? This was how this scene felt to me and I loved seeing their loyalty to little Olive.

Okay, so now that I've completely ruined it for you, go rent it. What was your favorite movie of 2006?

Happy Friday!



All that matters is what's long as your outside is wearing the tiara!REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, July 3,2007, Berkley Jam Books

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wait, I Have Seen One!

With the Oscars only a week and a half away, I was feeling ashamed of my movie-loving self. I thought I hadn't seen a single one of the nominated films... but I have! The Devil Wears Prada is nominated twice: once for Meryl Streep for Best Actress and once for Best Costumes. Even though it feels like this movie came out eons ago--I've even seen it on an airplane already--I'm so glad it got the Oscar nod for several reasons.
  1. Because I love Chick Lit and especially Chick Lit turned into movies!
  2. Because, even though Rachel Leigh Cook was a horrendous narrator for the book-on-tape, the book is just awesome.
  3. Because Meryl Streep was the perfect power b!atch in the role.
  4. Because I love, love, love Adrian Grenier (even though I thought his character was a little whiny).
  5. And, most especially, because I love Anne Hathaway.
Anne Hathaway is one of those actresses that you can truly love, guilt-free. She is a terrific actress--even stretching herself into "beyond the princess" roles like gangster-poser-rich-girl Allison Lang in Havoc (a totally wicked movie).

She doesn't wind up on the cover of People/US Weekly/In Touch for either wild partying, making a public scene with an on-again-off-again boyfriend, or looking like an eating disorder poster girl. Though she got her start early, landing The Princess Diaries when she was still a teenager, she seems to really have her head on straight. She confronts her problems head-on. People magazine reported this week that Anne had battled depression as a teen. Rather than resorting to medication, she worked through the tough times and now has this to say about it:
"I said to Mom the other day, 'Do you remember that girl? She has now gone, gone to sleep. She has said her piece and she is gone,' But then I thought, 'I so remember her, only she is no longer part of me.' "
How classy is that? I think that what I love about Anne the most is that she is Every Girl. She has the same kind of universal relatability that made Mia Thermopolis and The Princess Diaries a blockbuster hit. And she has the charm and grace to make her next role (as Jane Austen in Becoming Jane) a success.

So, even though she is not nominated for any awards at the upcoming Oscars, I'm going to be cheering on her movie. (But maybe not in the Best Costume category... I mean, what were they thinking when they made that purse?)