Monday, April 30, 2007

The new guy in my life...

Everyone likes an adorably cute new guy in their lives, right? Well, I've got one. He's blond and young and playful and European. He had a rough beginning, but with a lot of love and care, he's finding his way in the world and he's become quite the celebrity.

His name is Knut. Pronounced Kuh-noot. He lives in Berlin.

And he's the new guy in my life.

He was born in December and his mother shunned him and his brother, not letting them nurse or anything. Soon, his brother died and the Berlin Zoo stepped in to save littel Knut. One of the zookeepers hand fed him with a bottle for a couple of months to save him.

In March, he made his public debute to the Berlin press...and to the world...

Isn't he a darling? While he's a polar bear in captivity, he does symbolize all the struggles these noble animals are going through with global warming and sometimes the mother not taking to her cubs.

Some critics have said it would have been better to Knut to have died than to have been raised by humans. So-called animal rights people! But how can you look at this face, see the spirit and beauty in him and say he'd be better off dead?

Here's what he had to say to his critics!

The zoo is his home and they're doing everything they can to raise him to the best of their abilities to be a "real" polar bear. At least, as much as one can be in a zoo. He plays with his blanket and soccer ball, has showings to the press and public, and just loves rolling around in the sand.

Annie Leibowitz came to Berlin to photograph Knut. He made the cover of
Vanity Fair's Green Issue to show the love the world has poured out for Knut. How can you not love this little guy?

A German confectioner has made a Knut candy. The zoo has stuffed animal versions of him. And there's rumors he'll soon be on a stamp.

I think, most of all, what this adorable little guy represents is how we're so delicate and in need of companionship and love.

Knut's getting bigger each and every day...

...but he'll always have a place in my heart. I can't wait to go to Germany some day and see him in person.

Marley = )
Sorority Rush Begins - Spring 2008!
Rush - A Sisterhood Novel
Pledge Class - A Sisterhood Novel

Puffin Books

What I'm reading: a fantabulous new proposal by Simon Pulse author, Wendy Toliver. Shhh...I can't talk about it!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bad Boy of the Week: Caleb Becker

Yes, it's time, my long-promised review of LEAVING PARADISE by Simone Elkeles. I read this book a few weeks ago and I have to tell you: I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. The story itself is simple: two people, bonded together by a tragedy, shunned by the rest of the world, who turn to each other.

The execution is anything but simple. Caleb and Maggie are both complex, real people who you in-turn, love and get infuriated at. They are people, not characters. This events are something that can actually happen, not just story. The ending is satisfying, a real ending, not a contrived, happy one. I feel like I can pick up the paper and read about an incident like this today, that's how real this story is.

Maggie's good-girl and Caleb's bad-boy personalties are an immediate catalyst for a lot of great conflict, misunderstandings and of course, excellent chemistry. I can see this becoming a has that kind of lasting visual impressions.

Maggie's hopes and dreams of leaving Paradise behind and Caleb's hopes of a "normal" life with his family, girlfriend and "the guys" are dashed quickly in the story. You realize that these people don't have anyone who understands them. Their story together is haunting and devastating and you feel your heart break for these two teenagers who have looked things in the eye that most adults would have a hard time with.

I loved the alternatiing points of chapter I hated Caleb and felt so sorry for Maggie, the next chapter I HATED Kendra and felt sorry for emotions were in a turmoil throughout this story. Like all great books, i read this in one sitting and all I have to say is: WELL DONE Ms. Elkeles. This is not your standard fluffy HS adventure. This is what happens when HS goes wrong, leaving behind repurcussions that last a lifetime.

I read this book and Jodi Picoult's NINETEEN MINUTES around the same time. The themes are similar...when ordinary people go very wrong. I loved both...and I will not call Simone, the Jodi Picoult of YA.

Thanks for the great read Simone. I hope we see Maggie and Caleb again one day :)
Dona Sarkar-Mishra
HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI - January 08 from Kimani Tru
HOW LYAH MET ANA - November 08 from Kimani Tru

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Bad Boy Philosophy

Boys who think they’re bad are not bad boys. A true bad boy doesn’t think about it at all, he just is the way he is.

So, it cracks me up when guys who are obviously not bad boys try to come off like they are. He gets the armload of tattoos. He buys the loud and expensive motorcycle. He grows his hair long or at least wears it unruly.
And then you find out he’s in dental school.

Yeah. Not so tough. You can buy the trappings of bad-boyhood, but you can’t fake the bad boy persona.

That’s not to say that educated or just plain smart guys can’t be bad boys. I’m always charmed by the boys who appear tough on the outside, but on the inside they’ve got a huge brain and and even bigger heart.

In fact, in my book Never Cry Werewolf, my hero is like that. Austin is the son of a rockstar with a family secret. He's never been able to trust anyone with the truth. He’s been hurt before and would rather lash out than take a chance with his heart.

Which brings me to my favorite original bad boy... Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

He may not have the motorcycle or the tattoos but he’s definitely got the bad boy emotional attitude and philosophy: Say it like it is. Go your own way. Don’t show your feelings. Keep your distance. But on the inside he's our dark hero... and he gets transformed by love!

What do you guys think? Is Mr. Darcy an emotional bad boy?

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

Friday, April 27, 2007

What does your bad boy drive?

Would you still think that a boy was bad if he pulled up next to you on this? Yeah, not so much.
So even if they've got the attitude, the walk, and the soft spot for the girl, if he doesn't have cool wheels, he just doesn't have game.
I don't think anyone would argue that the baddest of boys ride motorcycles. Motorcycles and bad boys are synonymous. Why do we love a bad boy on a bike? Is it the leather coat that is practically a prerequisite for riding a bike? Is it the wind in his hair? Bugs in his teeth? Or just the fact that we don't have the hindrance of a car door to check out his entire body?
What about a jeep guy? A jeep guy is adventurous and not afraid to get dirty. He's got a roll bar and isn't afraid to use it. I loved seeing Matt get dirty in Sahara. How about a big rig? Does your bad boy fly down the highway while talking on a cb? In that case, Nick Lachey might be your guy. Here he is standing in front of the new CXT.
If it's speed you want, Paul Walker's your man. Even though technically, he wasn't a bad boy in The Fast and the Furious, he sure could drive like one.
Lots of bad boys seem to gravitate toward muscle cars. Is it the power? The looks? The idea that generations of bad boys have passed that vehicle on to them? So what does your favorite bad boy drive? On second thought, maybe the bicycle thing isn't so bad.
What I'm reading...I've done which more writing than reading this week, so I'm still reading Marley's manuscript!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Text Book Bad Boy

So, I have to admit to being a slow starter on watching The O.C. And yes, I know it's canceled, but please don't tell me anything about it as I'm watching it straight through. The best thing of all about this show is...Bad Boy Ryan Atwood, played by Benjamin McKenzie.

He really is the quintessential bad boy because he demonstrates all the traits. Oh, what are they? we go...

1. Angst: A true bad boy always has a certain level of angst. As with Ryan, he came from the wrong side of the tracks, was abandoned by his family and thrust into a strange new world. Angst is his ally in getting through every day surrounded by rich kids who've never known a bad day in their lives.

2. Attitude: Ryan displays a certain attitude for life that helps him cope with every day situations, slightly mixed with a snarky, dry wit. Whether it be pining for the girl he's attracted to, fitting into his new family or making his way in a new school, the attitude is always there.

3. Fierce Loyalty: A bad boy like Ryan is fiercely loyal to those who prove themselves worthy of his trust. And he will move heaven and earth to support and defend them against anyone.

4. Toughness: Ryan's opening introduction to Newport was a fight scene with rich guys picking on him for being different and not "from 'round here." Ryan shows that while he can still be classy in the face of danger, he also doesn't take any $hit from anyone.

5. Sucker for a Girl: All Bad Boys are a sucker for the right girl. Ryan's Achilles Heel is his love and devotion to Marissa whom he'd move heaven and earth for. A true Bad Boy might be tough on the outside, but when it comes to time with the girl he loves, his softer side comes out.

6. Deadly Cute: Let's face it, most Bad Boys are just too cute for their own good. There's something about their rough edges that make them shine. And it makes us melt.

So, who's your text book Bad Boy? What qualities does he have?

Marley = )

Sorority Rush Begins - Spring 2008!
Rush - A Sisterhood Novel
Pledge Class - A Sisterhood Novel
Puffin Books

What I'm Reading: Meg Cabot's Shadowlands

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Essential Bad Boy Kit

Not every boy can be a bad boy. It takes that swagger, that confidence, that I-don't-give-a-$h!t attitude. But more than that, it takes a kick-butt wardrobe and a few key accessories. If you want to be a bad boy--or if you want a bad boy--make sure the following items are on your wishlist.

1. KILLER PAIR OF SHADES. They might be for staying undercover--the eyes are the most recognizable facial feature--or they might be for protecting his retinas from serious sun damage. Either way, a bad boy who's hiding his eyes might also be hiding other secrets. Deep, dark, juicy secrets.

2. FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW. Facial hair, while uncomfortable for the significant other in certain situations, is a bad boy trademark. He's a guy that too busy bucking the rules or saving the day--in a reluctant hero kind of way--to bother with shaving regularly.

3. BUTT-HUGGING JEANS. They need to be well-worn in, just the right mix of soft and, um, not. If they are over five years old and have a few threadbare spots around the back pockets and the knees, so much the better. 10 points to Tina if she can name that well-hugged butt. =)

4. TIGHT T-SHIRT. I prefer the tight black tee (though I know some girls go for white). If the guy has the bad boy attitude to carry it off, all he needs for shirts are black tees. They're the little black dress of bad boy clothing. And boy does Ben Browder know how to wear one!

5. A TATTOO. It can say Born To Kill or I Heart Mom, but a tattoo gives instant--and indelible--bad boy cred to any guy willing to go under the needle. There is also something extra special to be said about a tattoo you can't see everyday. The hottest tat I ever saw was a celtic symbol just below the bellybutton... yum-my!

Bonus Items: Motorcycle. Scar with a history. Strategically placed dirt.

Growing Up Godly, Summer 2008
Dutton Children's Books

what I'm reading ... The Husband Trap by Tracy Anne Warren (RITA book #3)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's In The Way He Walks

Just about everyone can point to the characteristics that make up a Bad Boy, be it in-your-face attitude, shrugs, scowls, maybe tough-guy vocab or accent. But for me, it’s all about The Walk. The rolled-back shoulders, the head held high (or sometimes low to avoid eye contact), the ready-for-action legs and arms.

Like Kevin Dillon from HBO’s Entourage, making his point with his body as well as his words:

And this year’s 007, Daniel Craig, moving into action on the beach:

The Walk projects the image of cool, the mess-with-me-and-you’ll pay. And of course, throw in a weapon or two, and The Walk transforms into The Strut:

Or the "Do NOT mess with me":

But no matter what components make up your idea of the perfect Bad Boy, I know you’ll love Simone Elkeles’ Bad Boy, Caleb Becker. Check LEAVING PARADISE out for yourself.

And tell me what lets you know a bad boy one you see one!

What I’m Reading: A SWIFT PURE CRY, by Siobhan Dowd

Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Buzzing about....The Namesake


This book/movie is close to my heart for several reasons. First of all, the family the story portrays in a Bengali family from East India. That's the same city where my family is from and the earlier parts of the book/movie pretty much depict my parents' early years in the U.S. down to the T.

Also, this is a story by an Indian-American author which has done phenominally well and I hope to touch even 5% of that kind of success one day :)

Third, I really loved the book and the movie...which is rare. Usually the movie sucks if the book is good, or the book is boring if the movie is good.

Without further adiue, I present to you THE NAMESAKE: This is the poignant love story of Ashima and Ashok, two immigants from Calcutta, India who fall in love after their arranged marriage during the '70s in New York City. They have a son, Gogol, named after the famous Russian writer, Nikolai Gogoal, Ashok's favorite writer--the man he credits to have saved his life.

Gogol fights his way through his teenage years between his parents' world of tradition and the East, and the western world he lives in. Only after a tragedy touches their family, does he understand what needs to be done.

Both book and movie are touching, funny, sad, and extremely honest. I would highly suggest you check out the movie...and if you like it, grab the book. Or the other way around. Both stories are independent yet related but each stand on their own as complete.

In the movie, the role of Gogol is played by the immensely talented Kal Penn, formerly known as Kumar in HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. Kumar is gone in this movie and he is replaced by a strong, handsome young man who does justice to his role.

So, check it out! And if you've seen it, let me know what you think!

HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI -- January 2008 release from Harlequin's Kimani Tru

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fashion Buzz...

I'm only a fashionista-in-training, but I thought this week I'd round up some spring style buzz...

Out here on the West Coast, the baby doll dress (which last surfaced back in the late 80's) is everywhere. Because of the empire waist, this is a great look if you're smaller on top or if you've got a rounder stomach to cover. There are a ton of variations on the dress, knits, wovens, cool patterns, the works. And... you can pair it with leggings from Urban Outfitters if you don't have the legs to go bare in.

The best thing about spring style is shoes. I've seen cute flats, espadrilles, and even Converse topsiders worn with dresses and jeans. I love bright colored shoes that pick up some color in the outfit on top.

For makeup, retro rules. Surprisingly, blue and green mascara and eyeliner are making a comeback. Fun for nighttime, but not so much for day. Pink-pink lipstick is also hot and recently inspired a feeding-frenzy when several cosmetics company released limited edition pinks in NYC. Within hours, there were people selling the special retro pinks (Pepto-Bismal color) on EBay.

Sideswept bangs and ponytails/pigtails are still popular. Simple, elegant, or casual, the ponytail always rocks. Girls are wearing it a little to the side, but not full on sideways a la Chrissy from the retro show Three's Company.

Pigtails can look cute on most people, though on me they tend to give me a country-girl look, so I stick with the pony. Also, I throw in a sparkly barette for night time.

For accessories, it's cool to mix classic with trash-ic. Like a plain black tanktop with a fancy pearl choker. Or a nice fitted jacket with a sparkly cheap necklace.

My sister is a master at accessorizing the trashy-classy way. She'll wear a designer bustier with jeans and a pile of necklaces, including her fave -- a pendant of a bug trapped in lucite plastic. It looks awesome on her.

So what do you guys think? Are there any fashion trends you're sick of? Which ones look good on you and which do you skip?



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

Friday, April 20, 2007

What makes me buzz.....

If you talked to some people (my mom & husband) they would probably mislead you into thinking that I am high maintainence. I do not require a tiara (at least not at ALL times), I do my own laundry (and everyone else's), and my license plates do not say, DIVA. It really doesn't take that much to make me happy and give me a little buzz. You aren't buying it? Let me prove it. These are just a few of the things that give me a daily buzz.
1) Stumbling upon things that remind me of my upcoming release, REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN. I found this adorable necklace for $6 and it came with the cutest little frog jewelry book. Doesn't he look exactly like my cover frog? I asked him if he did modeling, but his only reply was, "ribbit". Freaking models...

2) Dry toilet seats- One might think this is a given but remember I live in a house with two toddlers and a man/child. Our ONE bathroom is pretty much the equivalent of one at a frat house. If you haven't ever plopped your butt down in the middle of the night in a puddle of someone else's urine you are very lucky. Occasionally, the boys will actually hit make the target. Those are very good days!
3) Seeing a brown horse everyday- Not because I like horses because I'm not really a fan. It goes back to this whole camping trip as a Girl Scout on these really steep trails and me trapped on the back of some renegade horse determined to make his own trail. I still have nightmares about it. Okay, so every morning during my walk I pass this brown horse (not the one in the pic) and it makes me really happy to see him because it means that I am 3/4 of the way done walking my three miles! :) I was going to take his pic but he is really snotty and he won't even come close to the fence unless you have an apple. Talk about a diva!

4) Spray-on suntan lotion- Even though you practically need to wear an oxygen mask just to apply the stuff, I love it. Because YES, I really am too lazy to rub it in.

5) Afternoon matinees with my husband when we are the only ones in the theater- We used to do this all the time since my hubby usually has weekdays off but once the kiddies came, it seriously curtailed our movie going. We got to go see Disturbia yesterday. It was really good. But I'm kind of crushing on Shia in a big way so I might not be the best judge. (Mental telepathy to Shia: You want to play the male m/c in my book really, really bad. But you better hurry b/c pretty soon you'll be too old)

6) Surprises on my computer- The coolest thing EVER happened yesterday. I logged into myspace and I had a comment from a girl that I had approved as a friend. It turns out that she is the beauty gracing my cover! HOW COOL IS THAT? I was always hoping that she would find me and since I have pretty much pimped her face out all over the Net I guess it was just a matter of time, but I couldn't get over how cool it was that we found each other!

See, I told you I wasn't high maintainence! So what little things give you a daily buzz?

What I'm reading...just printed off Rush: A Sisterhood Novel by Marley Gibson...I can't wait to start!
All that matters is what's long as your outside is wearing the tiara!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Can Stop Anytime I Want To... I Just Don’t Want To

Here are some of the things I’m currently addicted to, in no particular order.

1. Magazines -- Big (W), small (Food), cheap (Shop, Etc.), pricey (Bride’s), serious (The Economist), or silly (TeenPeople), I read them all. If they’re sitting at the checkout, chance are I’ll buy them. I’ve read everything from Allure to Wallpaper. But my all-time favorites are travel magazines! I could probably travel around the world with all the cash I’ve shelled out on those slick wonderlands.

2. No Whip Caramel Frappuccino -- The no whip part is my attempt to make a deliciously dangerous treat slightly less dangerous, even though I know the drink itself is loaded with sugar and calories. All I have to say is that without this beverage not one of my books would have ever gotten written.

3. T-shirts -- Since summer is coming (and some days the heat is already here) I’ve been stocking up. My faves come from Target and Old Navy, mainly because they’re cheap and I can buy tons. I love the low--but not ultra-low--v-neck that’s out this season and the rainbow of colors to choose from.

4. Flip-Flops -- Again with the summer thing. Right now I have four pairs: a simple black suede-y pair (from Target), a hot pink pair with sparkly beads (also from Target), a black pair with understated black sequins (from Express--three years ago), and a white pair that laces up my ankle (from The Gap--last year). My all-time favorites, though, are the terrycloth ones from Mella.

5. Bookstores -- Barnes & Noble. Borders. Waldenbooks. Larry’s Discount Book Emporium. Okay, I made that last one up, but if it sells books and magazines (see #1) then I’m there with bells--and glasses--on.

6. Sabrina the Teenage Witch -- It’s in reruns on ABC Family and I watch it whenever I get the chance. There’s just something about a talking cat, a pair of batty 400-year old aunts, and a high school (and later college) girl struggling to come to terms with her magical self. And it doesn’t hurt that Josh (David Lascher) from the college years is a total hottie!

7. Sprite Zero -- Meg Cabot has Tab. I have Sprite Zero. This is a long-standing habit that replaced my Diet Coke addiction when I learned that cola can stain your teeth. Zero stains. Zero calories. Tons o’ flavor. What’s not to love?

8. MySpace -- This is an on-again-off-again thing. I’ll be really obsessed with it for a few weeks (like right now) and then I’ll go cold turkey for a while. But the itch to add friends always comes back.

9. Kiwis -- (The fruit, not the national mascot--although New Zealanders can be really hot!) Did you know that kiwi fruit has twice the vitamin C of an orange, more fiber than strawberries, and twice the vitamin E of avocado, as well as potassium, folic acid, and cancer-fighting phytochemicals? I can’t get enough.

10. Sleep -- This is one I really want to cut back on. Sound crazy? Well, not if you consider the article that I read (again, see #1) that says people who sleep 5-7 hours per night live longer than those that sleep 8 or more. How unfair is that? I mean, not only do they get more time each day, but they get more time overall. I’m definitely scaling back on my 8-9 hours a night!

So... any addictions of your own to confess?

Growing Up Godly, Summer 2008
Dutton Children's Books

what I'm reading ... Spy Goddess by Mike Spradlin (I know, I know. It's not a RITA book... but I got sucked in.))