Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wendy and Tina Rock Applebee's!

My husband, kids and drove to Utah this past week for a big Ferraro family Thanksgiving. And among the fun and festivities was my first-ever meet up with an author I have long considered a good friend: Wendy Toliver!

She met us for lunch at Applebee's, and luckily my daughter, sisters-in-law, niece, nephew and his girlfriend were kind enough to let us go sit at a separate table and "talk shop." (The rest of the Ferraros went off on a separate outing.) Which was great fun, especially listening to Wendy's excitement about her upcoming Simon Pulse release, Lifted, due out on June 8.

Afterwards, my daughter took some stand-there-and-smile pictures of us, but one or another of us kept blinking, so we threw up our hands and got weird. Which worked best for both of us!

Feel free to throw out a caption for this picture! I'll start with my own: "Uh-huh, not me!"

It was great fun to finally meet the lovely and talented Wendy Toliver--the first of many get-togethers, I am sure!


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie
The ABC's of Kissing Boys

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I have the best blog day of the whole year today -- Thanksgiving in the US!

For a long time I was a vegetarian, so I spent all of high school and college eating just the sides at Thanksgiving. My dad did eventually start cooking some special souffles and things like that for me, which was very sweet. Still, to this day, I'm a huge sides fan. I'm sure I'll be eating more than my share of mashed potatoes this year.

Of course Thanksgiving is about more than the sacrificing of the birds and the smashing of taters. It's about being with people you care about, and reflecting back on your many blessings. Whether you are religious or not, Thanksgiving is a time to think about all you have and those you love. I'm no genius, but it's my duty as your Thanksgiving Day blogger to point these things out, guys.

As for me, I'm so thankful for my supportive family and friends, and for the wonderful year I've had with my debut novel at HarperTeen. Publishing a book was a dream I've had since the year 2000, so to finally hold the real, hardcover edition of my work was magical. I think back to those who said I couldn't do it, to the call from my agent saying we had sold the book, to celebrating the sale by myself because I was on my own for the first time in a decade, and flash-forward to the blessed life I have now (health, a job, a place to live) and the many friends and family that surround me. Even though our country is in a bad state, I'm proud that our government is trying its best to work it out. I'm grateful to all the service men and women who are in volatile places all over the world. I can't image the sacrifice they are making.

I'm especially thankful for the Buzz Girls, who've shared this blog with me for the last three years. True friends are there for you in the good and the bad times, and truly, these women have been there. Hugs to all you bees.
I'm also thankful to our blog readers (Yay, you!) who stop by to comment, enter the contests, and cheer us on. Thank you so very much. Lately, I've started to get a few "fan" letters from young readers, and that has been an amazing thrill. To know that my story and characters have resonated with you means so much, and it keeps me going.

What are you guys thankful for this year? Please let us know in comments today...

Love & Light,

Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen 09/09
The Clearing - HMH 04/10

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On Winter and Motivation

Living in a tropical climate (Houston) I think I kind of forgot what winter feels like. While I know that Oklahoma City is not in full on winter mode, the signs are definitely here. Dead leaves blowing around the yard. Crisp blue skies, ultra-dry air, and fleece-worthy temperatures. Holiday-themed beverages at my favorite writing spot.

Minus the ultra-dry air, these are some of my favorite things about the winter season. Here are some other wintry things I'm looking forward to:
  • The first ice storm, when all the leafless trees turn into crystalline sculptures.
  • Lazy nights in front of the fire with a warm blanket, a cup of cider or cocoa, and a holiday movie. (Current fave is Holiday in Handcuffs, starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez.)
  • Footprints in the snow.
  • Scarves and mittens.

In other news, I'm am speeding toward my deadline lightning fast and (since certain editorial type peoples insist my deadline is a fuzzy, movable line) I have come up with the greatest motivation ever. I've been talking about getting a dog for ages. I put it off in Houston because I never had the free cash for the pet deposit. But now that I'm (temporarily) at my parents' house, it's fair game. So, here is my motivation:
When I turn in my book I'm getting a dog!
Hooray! So, do you have any bits you love (or hate) about winter? Or any suggestions on how to pick out a dog (I'm going to a pound or an adoption agency, so I'm not looking for a specific breed)? Or any funny stories about how you got your pet?


OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP (out now!)
FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turn it Up!

Years ago, I read an interview with Stephen King. At the time, audio books were few and far between, and he said he paid his (then teenaged) kids to read select books aloud into a tape recorder, which he then played back on his road trips. He said it paid off in two ways: for not only did he get to “read” more, but he made sure his kids did, too.

I have some history with my own kids and audio books, but it comes from the ones that we listened to on road trips.

One book, Cheaper by the Dozen, was such a hit that certain lines from it have become ingrained in our family history. Some, like All Creatures Great and Small, held us spellbound. Some (no titles need to be mentioned) bombed terribly, for one reason or another, often simply because they did not appeal to one family member.

This Thanksgiving, my family is off on yet another road trip. And being that my kids aren’t exactly kids anymore, and that our tastes vary wildly from science fiction to action adventure to romance, the decision wasn’t easy. But I fell upon what I hope is the perfect selection: an 11-hour collection of short stories by none other than Stephen King!

How about you? Any audio books that have worked for you individually, or as a family? And any books you wish was in audio version that presently is not?

Happy Thanksgiving, all!


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A trip to the V-E-T

This week both my blog sister Tina Ferraro and I had to take our beloved fur-children to the
V-E-T. My baby Ash needed to go in for his yearly vaccinations and h e threw the biggest fit getting into his carrier. He cried mournfully like a pathetic kitty in the car and when we got there he hissed at the lovely lady doctor! What a brat.

I don't know how Tina handled all THREE of hers :)

Today's post is devoted to pictures of Ash in various moments of sleep and cuddles (and when he's not going to the V-E-T)

I forget what a brat he is when he looks so angelic!

He loves to sleep curled up next to me.

MMMM, feet!

Just surfing Facebook, mom :)
Who has good trip to the v-e-t stories to share?
Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Friday, November 20, 2009

Turkey or Sides?

I don't know about you but I'm counting down the hours til Thanksgiving. I'm on a diet (all holidays are excluded from diets, FYI) so I've been dreaming about it for a while. I think most people look forward to digging into a juicy, golden turkey, but I'm curious about your favorite sides.
Personally, I LIVE for stuffing!
And mashed potatoes! And rolls! But if you dare drop a disgusting sweet potato on my plate, I will gag. I don't care how dressed up with cute little marshmallows they are, sweet potatoes are my food enemy. And I have to admit I've never really done cranberries. I'm kind of against eating anything remotely healthly on Thanksgiving. It seems like a sin or something.
And don't even get me started on pie. Mmmm, pie. But I guess pie isn't technically a side. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to tell me your favorite side!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My writing life in LOL cats - part II

I'm totally ripping off TLC's post 'cause it's fun, creative, and 'cause I'm on deadline for GHOST HUNTRESS: THE COUNSELING, book 4. And who doesn't like looking at precious little kittehs?

I thought these were quite appropriate considering my life as a ghost huntress myself, researching, and writing about entities and spirits.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

lolcats funny cat pictures

the seance circl workd

Now back to the manuscript! Happy America's Next Top Model FINALE night! Gooooooooooooo Laura!!!

Marley = )

Who wants to do some ghost hunting?
- from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Life in LOL Cats

Posting on the fly from the OKC branch and waiting for pesky mortals to get out of my chairs! Some recent LOL Cats seem relevant to my world so I thought I'd share them here.

If I wrote vampire books, I'd totally love this one:

Since I moved recently, I found this one hilarious:

And considering what I do write (aka myth-based fantasy) then no wonder this one cracked me up:

I wonder if it's true....


OH. MY. GODS. (now in paperback!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Slang, Dude!

A couple weeks ago our readers we kind enough to help me pick a hottie celeb for my heroine to crush on. This week I'm going to ask for help, helping this teen writing Mom keep current on slang. I'd love to hear what's popular in your neck of the woods...

Like...can a cool t-shirt be sick? Do guys still use "Dude" as "Hello?" Are "awesome," "random" and "wicked" still peppering high school campus sentences? Is "bad" still "good?"

I need the 4-1-1! Okay, I do know THAT's out of tell me what's not!


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie
The ABC's of Kissing Boys
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

Friday, November 13, 2009

Are you superstitious?

Happy Friday the 13th, Everyone! Hopefully none of our readers suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th. Personally, I think the number 13 gets a bad wrap. And how can a Friday ever be unlucky when the whole world looks forward to it every week? 2009 had three Friday the 13th's, which is sort of rare, next year we will only have one.
I am not a superstitious person. I've broken mirrors, had black cats cross my path, and walked under ladders. I'm still here to talk about it. I don't really have any good luck charms either. I guess I just never really got the whole idea that one material item is going to make or break your luck. Besides, I didn't want it on my conscience that some poor rabbit lost a foot so I could have a better day.
How about you? Does Friday the 13th freak you out? Do you have an item or ritual that you just have to do which brings you good luck?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Support your Local Booksellers!

I took a wonderful trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week to meet with local booksellers and sign stock in their stores. It was so uplifting to see people out shopping in each of the stores I visited. Despite the bad economy, people need books. As Buzz Blog readers know, books are a great way to escape into a different world for many hours or even days -- all for around the price of a movie ticket and popcorn.

I know it's convenient to hop online to buy books from a big web retailer these days,but the local brick and mortar stores really need business. Recently, a Seattle indie bookstore, Bailey Coy Books, announced that it would be closing at the end of November, and I know they won't be the only bookstore to do so.
For me, a bookstore is a special place. I could hang out in bookstores for hours. I mean, isn't it great to browse all the titles, read the first pages, and get advice from real life humans? And there's something about the smell of a bookstore - fresh ink and paper -- that always makes me smile.

I had a particularly fun time visiting Next Chapters Bookstore in Mequon, Wisconsin. It used to be a store owned by a small, independent chain called Harry Schwartz, but they went out of business. Luckily, the store manager bought the store and renamed it Next Chapters and they seemed to be doing well.

I was impressed by how friendly each of the booksellers I met was - from the folks at Barnes and Noble, to Fireside Books in the small town of West Bend. Booksellers love books and they love Young Adult fiction! It truly is the people in a store that makes a difference. They add what an online retailer never could - a personal connection and a love of story.

Tell me -- do you have a favorite bookstore? What do you love about the bookstore experience compared to the online one?



The Clearing ~ April 2010 HMH Graphia
Never Cry Werewolf ~ Sept 2009 HarperTeen

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The perfect sandwich

I've been on the road quite a bit since mid June. I've been to about 28 states and I've put over 15,000 miles on my new Honda Fit (her name is "Conniption"...or "Nippy" for short - LOL!) And in my travels, I have found that I am in search of the perfect sandwich.

I love turkey. Not just for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but for every day of the week. I could eat a turkey sandwich for every meal quite honestly. But not everyone is as talented at making them as they should be. Sometimes it's the pressed/formed/chopped turkey meat that leaves you with heartburn and wishing you'd driven past the restaurant.

A truly memorable turkey sandwich is one that has you searching out for the store in future towns, setting your GPS to get you there in time for the lunch rush. I have found several in my travels and here they are.

Jimmy John's Club Lulu - otherwise known as the #16 is fresh sliced turkey breast, bacon, lettuce, & mayo. I get it without tomato. The key to Jimmy John's sammiches is the bread. It's amazing. It's not too doughy or over powering. It's the perfect accompanyment to the rich deli meats.

Firehouse Subs - I first found this place near my parents' house in south Alabama and boy, did they win me over. The Club on a Sub consists of smoked turkey breast and Virginia honey ham topped with Monterey Jack Cheese and crispy Bacon, served hot and “Fully Involved” - which means all the fixings. You know me, though, I get it with lettuce and mayo. This is a serious sub that can be halved between two people to save a little cash.

A little find was Geonetti's Specialty Subs in Roanoke, VA. They bake their turkey, ham, and bacon club and layer on some light mayo. Totally nummy and delicious. pic of the sammich...just a pic of the building.

Subway - when in a pinch, I'll go with their Subway Melt. it's made with lean and tender sliced turkey, ham and crispy bacon topped with melted cheese and served hot with your choice of fresh vegetables and condiments on freshly baked bread. Mmm. Not exactly on par with Jimmy John's and the other places, but the most convenient.

As a New Englander, I do truly cherish the after-Thanksgiving day turkey sandwich made with leftovers of turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and mayo on wheat toast. A lot of restaurants in New England serve it as a "Pilgrim" sandwich. Had one recently on the road at D'Angelo's and they made themselves proud with it...a side of turkey gravy came with it for dipping.

So, there you have it. My obsession with the turkey sandwich. Do you have a sandwich obsession? What's your fav? Who makes it the best? Let us hear what you think!

Marley = )

What's better for Halloween than some ghost hunting?
- from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Monday, November 09, 2009

Big Thanks and the Winner(s)!

Thanks to all of you who jumped in to help me “Choose My Hottie” last week. I needed to find a celeb who my 15 year-old book heroine could be crushing on--who was unmarried, had a great smile, and thriving career. I got some wonderful comments and suggestions, and carefully considered them all, especially the advice to put my heroine’s personality first in the decision.

I decided to go with Chase Crawford.

(Nothing against the others--especially Twilight’s Robert Pattison, you understand, just that Chase seemed like the best fit.)

And now for the winner of a signed copy of How to Hook a Hottie chosen by my handy-dandy random number generator):


Elnice, please e-mail me at with your contact information.

And thanks again to all of you for your help and support!


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys

Saturday, November 07, 2009

You know you're getting old when...

You think the dad or the teacher on a show is actually more attractive than the male lead! A file example of this is the show that I've started watching after a lot of peer-pressure from my friends (I, however, am not to old for peer pressure!). The show is none other than GLEE!

The basic story is that a high school Spanish teacher wants to relive his glory days and decides to resurrect the school Glee Club with a cool team of so-called misfit teenagers who sing, dance, rumble and terrorize each other into our hearts on Wednesday nights. The musical numbers are just awesome, those kids are so very talented. The cast also represents today's youth: Latinas, black women who are more than just that, gay kids, punk Asian kids, disabled kids, a great mix of characters who all share a passion for the stage.
The male lead of Glee Club is Finn, a jock who wants to be more, and he will be...he's going to be the daddy of his girlfriend's baby....or is he?
This is Finn with the "other" woman in his life, the female lead of Glee Club, Rachel who is in love with him.

My favorite is of course the teacher. 30 year old Will Shuster played beautifully by Matthew Morrison. Will is the leader of this rag-tag little group and has problems of his own. His wife of 5 years is expecting their first child....or is she?

I love this man's voice and dance skills! I completely feel that he steals this show from the younger kids and always love "Will and Emma" focused forbidden love episodes. I hear Matthew is making his own album...can't wait for that!

Now, who is Emma? Watch the show to find out!
I'm off to continue my NaNo goals...I am 8K in and very behind!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Friday, November 06, 2009

These guys suck, but I still love them.

I decided to go with my favorite vampire hotties today. Even if the thought of a guy sucking your blood completely turns you off, you still have to admit these guys are hot (I guess they are actually cold, but you know what I mean).
If you aren't watching the CW's The Vampire Diaries, you are really missing out. This is turning into a really great show. My favorite character is Stefan Salvatore played by Paul Wesley. Stefan isn't your typical bloodsucker. He only feeds off animal blood and spends all of his time running around trying to keep Elena safe and clean up his brother Damon's messes.
Damon Salvatore is your typical vampire bad boy. I didn't give Ian Somerhalder a second glance when he played Boone on LOST, but he cannot be ignored as Damon. As vampires go, Damon is probably one of the worst. He is constantly killing or turning someone. He's kind of awesome. Just ask Tera, she'll tell you!
Eric Northman, yummy. I hated Eric in the first season of True Blood. I thought his character was just way too obnoxious. Then he got a hair cut. I'm serious, that's all it took for him to quickly become one of my favorite characters. Yeah, I'm kind of superficial like that. I'm looking forward to more of a relationship between Eric and Sookie.
And last but not least, Bill Compton. Who doesn't love a Southern gentleman? Bill can be pretty fierce but he's a pretty good guy for the most part. He is always so sweet with Sookie, even when she is being super annoying and I would have smacked her. I just hoped that whoever kidnapped him is taking very good care of him until the next season starts.
Who is your favorite bloodsucker?
Happy weekend,

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Books, Boys, and Boooooos!

How was everyone's Halloween? Hope it was great!

First off, the winner of my Halloween contest (both GHOST HUNTRESS books and a copy of THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN'S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL) is........

Lucile aka Book Sp(l)ot

Please contact me with your snail mail address at marley_gibson AT yahoo DOT com.

Since we've got a boys theme going this week, I'll sign off with a report from my school visit to Boston College High School. It's an all-boys private school here in Boston and it's very prestigious. I spoke to two groups: one was the middle school book club where we talked about the GHOST HUNTRESS series and the paranormal and the second was the senior AP writing class where we talked about the publishing world. Great kids and a fabulous time with them. Here I am with a few students and the amazing librarian, Tia Esposito, who brought me in. I just loved visiting!

Marley Gibson-BCHigh

So, Halloween night, my sweetie and I went to see PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, which I think was very well done. So funny, all last week leading up to Halloween, I had a ton of radio interviews and every single one of them asked me what I thought of the movie. I guess as a ghost huntress myself, I have some credibility when it comes to things like that, eh? Well, I thought the movie was brilliant. Filmed for $11,000, no crew, a cast of a handful, very suspenseful and accurate towards some of the tools actual investigators use. I thought the special effects were realistic and well done, but I wanted to smack Micah. He never listened to Katie. He kept dabbling in something he had no business dabbling in. And he brought in a Ouija board into the way.

Well, I won't spoil the plot if you haven't seen it. I highly recommend the movie.

Have you seen it yet? What did you think? Did it scare the patookie out of you? LOL!!

Marley = )

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Deadline Girl

I am currently racing toward a December 1st dealine, so no time for a real blog post. Instead, I give you a snapshot of what I'm staring at for hours each day while writing my first draft.

While I'm not admitting my current page count (editors are watching, you know) I will say that I hope to have my draft done in two to three weeks. Yeehah!


OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP (out now!)
FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The "Help Me Hook a Hottie" Giveaway

Okay, to be more precise, let's call this the "Help Me CHOOSE a Hottie Giveaway." Here's what's going on...

For my work-in-progress, I need to choose a hot celeb for my 15 year-old heroine to be crazy about. He should be:

--popular with today's teen girls
--someone who seems to be establishing a career (so when readers pick up the book down the road, there is instant name recognition).

And it would be great if:

--he was unmarried
--he had a great smile

Here are three candidates:

Robert Pattison

Michael Phelps

Chase Crawford

What do you think? Weigh in on these hotties and/or name others. And next Monday--to thank those who entered--I will randomly choose and then name a winner to get a signed copy of my book, How to Hook a Hottie.

Thanks in advance!


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys