Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Reading Programs

I spent many summers flying through the pages of crisp paperbacks. I devoured them as fast as I could. As I got older I moved on to sturdy hardbacks that could double as door stops. I flew through them just as fast. I didn't keep track of how many books I read or how many pages I read. I read them just because I loved to read. My library never had any kind of reading program. Actually the librarians frowned on children even entering the building. They would glare down at you and make even the best children (yours truly) feel like a criminal. (How cute am I? And don't even act like you aren't jealous of my kneesocks!)

Fast forward twenty-five years and the very same library is filled with women who encourage every childs love of reading. My boys were lucky enough to participate in their wonderful summer reading program. I know some people are against the idea of giving prizes for reading but I just can't see the downside. Prizes + reading = awesomeness in my opinion. Every week we would religiously fill out their reading logs and turn them in. Every week they got certificates for free ice cream cones, mini-golf, hamburgers, etc. They were so excited to turn in their logs each week. Yesterday was the reward party for all the children who turned in their reading log for all eight weeks. They brought in a snake expert who taught them all about snakes then handed out prizes. I'm pretty sure I let out a yelp when my six-year-old won FIRST place for reading the most books in his age group!!!

They even sponsored an adult reading program. I managed to read ten books since June 1st. I won't know the results until next week. I'm sure someone outread me but I had just as much fun filling out my book log every week as the kids.

Does your library offer a summer reading program and did you participate?

Happy reading!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Myspace: Anybody Home?

Until recently, my computer routine was fairly set in stone: e-mails first. Then my two blogs. Myspace. Facebook. And any favorite book-related websites and blogs.

But lately my visits to Myspace have seriously tapered off. Because I’m finding very little social activity from my 1,000+ reader-writer friends, and most of my new friend requests are from people trying to market new health care products.

I've tried posting the occasional bulletin, asking readers for help with elements of my book, but whereas those bulletins used to net me upwards of 50 responses, now I’m getting 5 or 6. And the views and comments on my Myspace blogs have dropped so low that I’ve basically stopped posting them.

What’s saddest to me is that I’m getting very little fan mail there now. That’s where I often heard from new readers, through Friend Requests and fun little notes, and got to know some of them a bit.

The obvious explanation here is that many people have abandoned Myspace for Facebook. I’ve heard again and again from readers and writers lately that they’ve made the jump. And believe me, I’m on Facebook all the time--so no commentary from me on that. I’m just sorry to be losing “an old friend.”

How about you? Still checking your Myspace page? See any hope for things to turn back around?

And for what it's worth, feel free to friend me at! (However, I don't need any more health-care products, thanks.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Soundtrack of your summer

I have a very vivid memory of cruising the aisles of a new Wal-Mart in the summer of 1984. The song playing was "Heart & Soul" by a band named T'Pau. Click here if you have no idea who the heck I'm talking about.
Isn't it funny how our summers seem to get defined by a certain song? In 1991, it was Bryan Adams tearjerking ballad, "Everything I Do, I Do It For You." Certain songs just seem to open a floodgate of memories. I bawled my eyes out to Leann Rimes, "How do I live," in 1997 when my boyfriend broke up with me. I danced to Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" in 1998 at my wedding with that same guy!
I'm a little torn about the songs this summer. I haven't heard a good slow song yet. I don't know what the heck a disco stick is, why shortie's burning up on the dance floor, I don't like being told to shut my lips, and how do I know I want you if I can't understand half the words you are saying? My four-year-old loves "Boom, Boom, Pow" by the Black-Eyed Peas and rocks out every time it comes on. I guess that'll have to do for the summer of 2009!
What's the soundtrack of your summer?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First of all -- can we hear it one more time for Best First Book RITA winner, Tera Lynn Childs!!?

I'm so proud of both TLC and Tina Ferraro for finalling in the Rita competition -- it's truly a huge accomplishment. And for those of you who don't know about the Ritas -- they are kind of like the Golden Globes of Romance fiction.

I found a nice surprise this week -- Buzz Girl Marley Gibson and I have books mentioned in Publisher's Weekly's Spring 2010 Children's Preview:

It's fun to see everything that will be hitting shelves next spring! Here's what it says in case you don't want to scroll all the way through the listings:


Graphia knows who they’re gonna call with Ghost Huntress Book 3: The Reason by Marley Gibson, is the latest in this series; The Clearing by Heather Davis, a paranormal romance about a modern girl in love with a boy from 1944; and Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter, in which a girl tries to change her boy-crazy ways.

Cool, huh? Has anyone else got good news to share today? Let's hear it in the comments section!

Never Cry Werewolf ~ HarperTeen Sept. 1, 2009!
The Clearing ~ Houghton Mifflin Graphia April 2010.

Monday, July 20, 2009

More from DC!

Steph did a fantastic job of sharing the RITA news on Sunday, but I thought I'd give a couple more behind-the-scenes glimpses.

Here are Rosemary, Tera and me at the Golden Heart/Rita Reception, after Golden Heart finalist (and our friend) Vanessa Barnevelt told us to yell out "Rita!"

And here, another picture taken by her, in the last row of the Rita seating, just moments before the program began.

Next year's conference is in Nashville--hometown of country music. What else do we know about Nashville? Shout it out and let's get the BUZZ started for 2010!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

There's a new Buzz Girl!

And Rita is her name! That's right, Tera Lynn Childs won a Rita last night for Best First Book! All the Buzz Girls are so excited for her. We can't wait to buy Barbie clothes and dress Tera's Rita up for her. Ha, just kidding. I don't have many pics to post yet but I'm sure there will be plenty to come later this week.

We are so proud of you, TLC!!!!!

Here is a pic of Rosemary Clement Moore (Congrats to Rosemary for winning the Rita for Best YA) and Buzz Girl Tina Ferraro. Tina won the award for smoking hottest YA author. Okay, I totally made that up. But seriously, check her out. And she's got this diva look on her face like, "Yeah, I'm hot. You got a problem with that?" I think everybody was a winner last night!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Is it over yet?

Happy Friday, everyone! I don't know about you but I've had a crazy week. I knew on Monday that I probably wouldn't be in the best mood since it is Nationals and I am NO where near Washington D.C. I did feel better knowing that my friends would update their Facebook statuses regularly and post pics. I did NOT know my four-year-old would decide to dunk my Blackberry in a mud puddle! I'm trying to dry it out because getting on my laptop a hundred times a day to find out the scoop is not easy (reference above spirited four-year-old who cannot be left unattended for more than thirty seconds!) I have found out that Tera Lynn Childs won two National Readers Choice Awards for Best First Book and Best YA for her debut, OH.MY.GODS. If you haven't read this book yet, I just feel sorry for you. It should be your life's mission to buy it and read it this weekend. Seriously.
And in case you've been in a cave, two of the Buzz Girls, Tina Ferraro and Tera Lynn Childs are up for a Rita in the YA category tomorrow night. The results will be on Twitter (which I don't do so I couldn't tell you how to find that tweet or twit or whatever) but they will also be available on . I will also post the winner here for those dying to know. And remember how you never thought you'd use fractions and all that seventh grade homework was a total waste of time? Not so. There are three YA authors up for the YA Rita. Two of them are Buzz Girls. That means that there is a 66 2/3 % chance that the winner will be a Buzz Girl. See, all that homework I did totally paid off!
So, what's the weirdest thing that happened to you this week?
Happy weekend!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Good Luck, Good News, Good Grief!

I wanted to send my love, hugs, best wishes, and cheers to fellow Buzz Girls, Tera and Tina for the Rita Awards this week in Washington, DC. Even though I can't be there, I'm with you gals in spirit and I hope there's a tie and they have to give you each a pretty golden trophy.

I have some awesome news to share! My wonderful editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has signed me on to do TWO more titles in the GHOST HUNTRESS series, bringing the total number of books to five! I couldn't be happier!!! I'm hard at work finishing up Book 3 - GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON and can't wait to come up with ideas for books #4 and #5!

I've been on the go since June 17th, traveling around, doing conferences, selling books, doing signings, seeing friends and family. It's been exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time. I've been able to spend some down time at the beach and I got to parasail (wow!) and go waverunning with dolphins (double wow!) and snorkel and just enjoy the summer sun. But there's work to be done. As I said, I have to turn in Book 3, start promoting Book 2 and also start promoting my non-fiction book THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN'S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL, as well as my other non-fiction book CHRISTMAS MIRACLES. I'm headed to Baton Rouge, LA this weekend for the BabelCon Conference and then will be headed back to Boston to regroup.

To anyone going to the RWA National Conference in DC, have a great time!!

Marley = )

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Off to DC...

Many of you know that Buzz Girl Tera Lynn Childs and I have had our books, Oh.My.Gods and How to Hook a Hottie, nominated by the Romance Writers of America for Best Young Adult Book at their annual conference/RITA award ceremony this upcoming week.

It's been a crazy few days for me, for in and around shopping, planning and packing for the trip to Washington, D.C., real life, of course, reared its head with various highs and lows which included rushing my 89 year-old aunt to the ER in an ambulance (she's fine now) and celebrating my birthday with a dinner out, my first iPod, and the SWEET news that my husband got me upgrades on my flights.

So I thought you'd like to see a picture of me, taken just moments ago:

Okay, obviously kidding, but that's how I feel!

I'd also like to mention how happy Tera and I are to be in the company the lovely and talented Rosemary Clement-Moore, whose book, Hell Week is the third nominee in the Young Adult category.

And to let our readers know that the winners will be posted rather instantaneously on (you may need to find the site's exact page). The award ceremony is Saturday, July 18 at 8 pm EST.

And meanwhile, any advice on the actual award ceremony is appreciated! Keep the heels low so I can walk? Don't drink too much water beforehand? Bring speech notes on an index card? What say you?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Where do you shop for stories?

Much to my dismay, I live almost one hour from a decent brick and mortar bookstore. We have a Waldenbooks outlet in our local mall but they only stock the most popular releases. They have kindly offered to order books for me, but unfortunately they arrive through the Pony Express. We have a fabulous place called The Old Book Barn. It is an amazing place that is stocked with new and used books. Unfortunately, every time I set foot in the place my asthma kicks into full gear because it is very musty and dusty. So, most of the time I have to order from Amazon to get the goodies on my wish list. While this is super good for my wallet because I just can't seem to stop myself from purchasing tons of books at a book and mortar store, it still kind of blows. I found this picture of the coolest looking Barnes & Noble store in Rochester, MN. It used to be an old theatre. And this link shows some amazing bookstores around the world.

Are you lucky enough to shop at any of these cool places?

Also, I want to wish our very special little bee, Tina Ferraro, an extremely happy birthday tomorrow. I hope all your wishes come true, Tina!


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Summer Reading?

It's summertime, so naturally, I've got a teetering TBR pile. Top of the pile today is Beating Heart, the latest release by A. M. Jenkins, a fellow Harper author who wrote the fabulous Night Road and Repossessed.

There's nothing better than a sunny day spent laying in the grass reading a great book. In fact, any day reading is great day, right?

So... what are you psyched to dig into this summer? Are you finding all the time you need to get reading?
And where is your absolute favorite place to read?

Never Cry Werewolf ~ Harperteen Sept. '09
The Clearing ~ HMH April '10

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Writer at work

Sorry for the late post today! Still on the road on the world's longest road trip...and working hard on GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON, book three in the Ghost Huntress series. The book is due on July 17th, so I'm writing my fingers to the bone.

The road trip is still going great. Spent a lot of time with my family in Alabama where we celebrated the Fourth and had a great time. (Even buzzed over to Biloxi and won about $200 at roulette at the casino...saaaaweeeeet!)

I made a pilgrimage to my alma mater, The University of Alabama, and visited the Walk of Fame displaying our many national championships in football...

Spent some time with my niece, Sarah...

Is that a halo I see above me?...

Hung out with my parents. Here's me and my mommy...

Made a new friend...unfortunately, I ate him...

I signed and sold books at the Barnes and Noble in the Easter Shore Plaza...

And now, just basking in the sun and writing my book. Hope everyone had an amazing Fourth of July! I'll close with a picture of the fireworks in my parents' neighborhood...

Marley = )

GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING (Available Now! Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE (Coming September 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON (Coming May 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
(Coming September 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
CHRISTMAS MIRACLES (Coming October 2009, St. Martin's Press)
SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available from Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available from Puffin Books)

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Write Stuff

My two favorite “writer” t-shirts have hit the dust lately. The first, purchased at a Romance Writers of America conference, was hot pink and read “Careful what you say or it could end up in my next novel.” The other, picked up at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, read, “Imaginary Character.”

I am hoping to find one or two new ones at the Romance Writers of America conference in Washington, D.C. next week. But in case I don’t, thought I’d do a little shopping on-line. And I have to say I’m quite amused by:


How about you, any favorite t-shirt sayings, writer-related or otherwise?


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie, 2009 Rita Finalist
The ABC's of Kissing Boys, 2009 YALSA Nominee
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

Friday, July 03, 2009

How good of a view do you want?

When I was in high school our Economics class took a trip to Chicago. One of our stops that day was the Sears Tower. I can remember being on the 103rd floor and pressing my face against the glass to get an awesome view of the city. That was many moons ago. This week the Sears Tower (I will never call it anything else else EVER!) opened a glass floor off the 103rd floor. You can step out onto an inch and a half of glass to look out over the city. If you were crazy enough to do this you would be 1353 feet up. I've never been scared of heights but I have my limits. I will happily keep my face pressed against the glass and my feet planted firmly on several layers of concrete! How about you? Do you have the courage to walk into thin air?

Happy 4th of July everyone!


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Summer School?

Happy nearly Independence Day, guys!

My question for you today is -- are you learning anything new this summer?

Buzz Girl Marley is taking SCUBA lessons, and I decided to learn to sail.

This summer I've been out racing on a friend's boat, barely able to help but having lots of fun -- and then I decided that my friends were right -- it was time to take the classes.

So far, I'm loving it! I can't wait to be able to sail in my own little boat.

How about you guys? Are you learning anything new this summer?


Never Cry Werewolf - Sept. 1, 2009 HarperTeen
The Clearing - April 2010 HMH

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Summer Travel!

Happy July 1st everyone...and to my friends north of the border, HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

Sorry I missed blogging last week, but I was sort of handed a curve ball in my life that I've been dealing with. Suffice it to say that when life tosses a ball at you like that, you can step away from the plate and let it sail by you or you can swing hard for the fences.

I've chosen to swing for the fences.

I'm currently on a six week road trip that is taking me all over our great nation attending conferences, doing book signings, visiting friends and family, and just seeing the great American countryside.

So far, I've been to Niagara Falls...

Then, I went up to the north woods of Wisconsin. Check out the deer and the sunset on the lake...

Spent a solemn moment at the tomb of Abraham Lincoln...

Saw (and went into and up to the top of) the St. Louis Arch...

And stood at the gate of Graceland late at night...

Still on the road with a lot more ahead of me. Today, I'm stopping at my alma mater, The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa before heading down to the gulf coast to visit my parents, do more book signings, and spend time at the beach.

Hope everyone is having an awesome summer, a spectacular Canada Day, and a very Happy Fourth of July this weekend!

Marley = )