Monday, December 31, 2007

It’s Dona’s Release Week!

In honor of the release of Dona Sarkar’s first book,

the Buzz Girls are having a “How To” Week. We will take turns sharing with our readers what we hope is interesting "How To" information (and I understand there's going to be a book giveaway later in the week, too).

I'm up first!

Since many states no longer require parallel parking as part of the driving exam, I’ve become aware that many young people today simply don’t know how to parallel park. I, on the other hand, not only had to learn it for the exam, but to survive, as more often than not in the community where I grew up, it was parallel park--or nothing. So, here you have it:

How To Parallel Park

• Find an empty space. Remember you need at least an extra three feet more than your vehicle.

• Make sure you are clear before stopping, and be sure to signal. If a car is behind you, you can wave them past you.

• Line up your vehicle with the parked vehicle directly in front of the spot. Don't get too close on the side, or you might scrape the other car. But you also don't want to be too far away--two or three feet will suffice. Position your vehicle parallel to the parked car, aligning your bumpers or staying two or three feet behind.

• Put your vehicle in reverse. Check the driver-side mirror to make sure the street behind you is clear of traffic before you begin to back up. Look over your other shoulder at the space to assess the gap. Turn the steering wheel hard right.

• Release the brakes and slowly begin backing into the turn. Check in front of and around your car often. Make sure you remain far enough away from the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you as you slide in. If your rear tire hits the curb, you've gone too far; just shift gears and pull forward a few feet if this happens.

• Turn the steering wheel to the left once the rear of your vehicle is predominantly in the space, still going backward. This is where you snake your way completely into the space and straighten out your car at the same time. Continue in reverse as far back as you can without tapping the bumper of the vehicle behind you.

• Shift into drive and turn the steering wheel to the right again, and move forward gently toward the curb while centering your vehicle in the space.

And you’re in! See--it wasn’t so bad!

So tell me now truthfully, how do you feel about parallel parking? Is it a piece of cake, something you avoid or somewhere in between?

Happy New Year!

What I’m Reading: Wonderful Tonight, Pattie Boyd


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie, January 8, 2008
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, out now
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday Travel Buzz

The winter holidays are a time of travel for many people, and my family is no exception. I've been trying to institute the Childs Family Christmas Trip for years and years and years. For months before the actual holiday ever year, I start saying, "Where are we gonna go for Christmas?" And I usually got, "I dunno. We'll think of something," in return. In the end we would end up visiting family here, there, or everywhere, but never taking an actual holiday vacation trip.

This year, I started earlier, planned the holidays themselves ruthlessly, and pocketed a contingency plan. The result? The day after Christmas, my parents--who are visiting me in Houston for the holidays--and I drove to San Antonio. It was a short trip, but it was a start. I am already making plans for next year. In the meantime, I'll share some picture highlights from our first day, spent visiting San Antonio's famous (and not-so-famous) missions. Enjoy, and tune in next year to see where the 2nd annual Childs Family Christmas Trip takes us.

Inarguably the most famous of the missions. This site, so significant (and controversial) to the history of Texas, is now run by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the admission is free. The grounds are lovely and, although the surrounding area is squarely touristy, there are some nice historical buildings around, as well. My favorite spot? The long barracks. Learn more at

The remaining four missions are all managed by the National Park Service and are all still active Catholic parish churches. When we visited, they were all decorated for Christmas with garlands, poinsettias, and nativities. Imagine, four churches built in the 1700s and still in operation today. Learn more at

Mission Espada

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo

Mission Concepción

Did anyone else travel somewhere noteworthy this holiday season? Do share. Bonus points for directing us to pictures.

Hugs and Happy New Year!
OH. MY. GODS. -- Dutton, May 2008
Pre-order from Amazon now (and save 32%!)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Year End Buzz for the Little Animals

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful holiday season! I had a fantastic birthday yesterday with one of our sales guys making me b-day cupcakes and topped off with an exciting lunch with my new editor. Doesn't get much better than that!

But here's something that can get better...

As a writer, I always look to real heros (gorgeous ones at that!) to base characters on. Jason Taylor (above) of the Miami Dolphins was the insiration for my football player, DeShawn Pritchard, in my SORORITY 101 books. When this PSA announcement launched yesterday -- on my b-day! -- I knew I had to do something to pass the message along.

My husband and I support the MSPCA (the Massachusetts chapter), the ASPCA and the Humane Society. Even though our condo building doesn't allow pets, we feel we have to do what we can to help those who have no one. Since the year is drawing to a close and perhaps you're looking for a last-minute tax donation for next April's income tax, think about supporting the little animals who give us nothing but love and adoration. I just did.

Thanks so much!

Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (May 2008, Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (May 2008, Puffin Books)
GHOST HUNTRESS Series (Begins May 2009, Houghton Mifflin)

Dedicated to the memory of my Puddy Tat whom we rescued and brought into our home

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 Movie Buzz

With only three days left in 2007, I decided to "try" and think back on some of the movies I saw this year and list my favorites, and some of my not-so-favorites. Keep in mind, that as the mother of two toddlers, I don't get to the theatre very much so some of these movies may not have actually come out in 2007.
I'll start with my favorite movie of 2007 which I just saw with my oldest son last Friday.
I thought Enchanted was absolutely enchanting. Amy Adams is intoxicating as an animated character and in real life. And can you ever really go wrong with Patrick Dempsey (which was the name of my first boyfriend, btw) and James Marsden? I think not. This movie was part animation/part musical/and part real life which I thought was a perfect combination.

Another fun movie I saw a few weeks ago was Fred Claus. Vince Vaughn can always be counted on for some laughs. Seeing Ludacris made into an elf is worth the price of admission alone.

Other 2007 favs: Disturbia, Transformers, Bee Movie (only saw 3/4 of this one because I took my youngest, big mistake!), Christmas with the Kranks(this one is a few years old but I really liked it), The Astronaut Farmer, Superbad, Knocked Up, Because I Said So, Waitress (not really a fav but I liked it.) and Holes.

NOT SO FAVORITES: Mr. Brooks (it was too weird), Evan Almighty (I love Steve Carell but this one was horrible), In the land of women, Reign Over Me, & Evening.

For 2008, I'm really looking forward to 27 Dresses starring Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Ed Burns and Judy Greer. It looks adorable. Untraceable starring Diane Lane looks good too. How about you, any favs, not so favs, or looking forward to's?

What I'm reading....The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts...



Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Buzz from Seattle

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Here's a picture I snapped last night down at Seattle's Pike Place Market. It's full of fresh food, artisanal gifts, and tourists up the kazoo -- but it's a holiday institution. And for a Downtown Buzz Girl, it's the perfect place to wrap up the Christmas shopping.

So, it's been a wonderful year for me -- and I have to thank all the Buzz Girls, and the Buzz Blog readers for all the support and fun along the way. I'm so proud to be part of this little hive we created two summers ago.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and enjoy lots of yummy food and good times with your family.

Love and Light,


Heather Davis the author of Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in April 20009 from HarperCollins

Good Things Come in Threes!

I recently had three good things happen and since this is our Happy Holidays Buzz week, I’m going to share my gifts:

Yep, I got my author copies of How to Hook a Hottie!

Also, I found out that Publisher’s Weekly ran an article about post-Christmas sales, and listed some “big children's books” that Random House was releasing, which included mention of my own! Here’s that link:


Last but not least, I was asked to write a bio for the Random Teens website, as I am going to be the Featured Author next month! Here’s that link (although I won’t appear for another week or so):


So, as far as I am concerned, Santa came early!

Happy Holidays to all.

What I’m Reading: 30 Days to Getting Over the Dork You Used to Call Your Boyfriend, by Clea Hantman


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie--releasing in 2 weeks
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Hottie-Days Goes Undead

If anyone who is even remotely a vampire fan (and since most of us have read and loved TWILIGHT, then I think we are) hasn't seen the new CBS show MOONLIGHT, then you should. (And if you're not a vampire fan, you just might be after watching hottie Alex O'Loughlin as one of the hottest vamps since Brad Pitt.)

Alex plays sexy, charming, and with-a-touch-of-bad-boy private detective Mick St. John, who also just happens to be a vampire. When not taking on standard human cases, he hunts down rogue vamps, fights hired assassins, has run-ins with a photographer who may or may not be his ex-wife (the vamp who turned him and whom he, in turn, killed ... maybe), and battles his attraction for cute (and human) tv reporter Beth. All while dressed in hottie bad boy immortal black, with gorgeous dark wavy hair, sexy eyes, and a smile that, while rare, can melt a frozen heart.

And just for your extra-viewing pleasure, here's an interview clip of Alex on Extra TV. I lo-o-ove the part where he's explaining why he's not allowed to do the big stunts. Oh, and then there's that accent, too. Sigh.

"But Tera," you say. "You've tickled my fancy. I, however, have missed the entire first season so far. Whatever will I do to quench this burning need to watch Alex?"

Never fear, dear readers. You have two options here. OPTION #1: Watch the re-runs of the first ten episodes that will be airing on CBS in the near future. (Episode 1 played this week, so it should pick up with Episode 2 next Friday.) OPTION #2: Innertube. While CBS is only posting the two most recent episodes on Innertube, you can pick up Episode 1 right now, and (I assume) the subsequent episodes after each has rerun on tv.

MOONLIGHT airs Fridays on CBS after Ghost Whisperer at 9:00 Eastern/8:00 Central. Enjoy.

OH. MY. GODS. -- Dutton, May 2008
Pre-order from Amazon now (and save 32%!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Hotties continued....

One of my most favorite things to do this time of year is to watch every cheesy holiday movie imaginable. Lifetime, WE, and ABC Family are loaded with them. I always know exactly how the movies are going to end but I just can't help myself. This is how I discovered my holiday hottie. This guy was no stranger to me. I'd seen his infamous shower scene on Nip/Tuck but was still immune to his... ahem....attributes. He never did a thing for me as A.C. on Saved by the Bell. But when I saw him starring with Melissa Joan Hart in Holiday in Handcuffs, I finally succumbed to his never ending dimples.
Yes, I'm talking about Mario Lopez.

If you haven't seen Holiday in Handcuffs, you really should. When you see how hot Mario looks, you'll understand why MJH puts him in a pair of fuzzy handcuffs and kidnaps him! So how about you, do the dimples get you every time or are you immune? :)

What I'm reading....Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts



Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We interrupt your hottie viewing...

...for this important winner announcement!

I'm pleased to say that my friend, Rebecca, here at work, chose the following names randomly (and looked at me like I was crazy as I asked her to do it) to win my Saturday book giveaway.

Without any further ado...

The winner of Wendy Toliver's THE SECRET LIFE OF A TEENAGE SIREN is...


Yeah!!!!! To be shipped out after the release date of December 26th.

And the winner of an advance copy (as soon as I get it) of my SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA? is...

Maureen McGowan


If you ladies will please e-mail me your snail mail address to marley @ (no spaces), then I'll get these books out as soon as they're available.

Thanks to everyone who entered and commented. Stick around...2008 is going to have a lot more giveaways!

Marley = )

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Hottie Days

I can't top Tina's post on Matt Damon. Let's face it -- he's hot, but can I just say Heath Ledger in the new Batman movie?

Okay, yikes! But even scary, Heath is my hottie of the year.

What do you think? Can a hottie still look hot as a scary villain?



Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in April 2009 from HarperCollins

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Hottie-days

This week we’re going to be focusing on “Boys” in our Happy Holiday blogs, and along those lines, I am pleased to present my favorite photo of 2007. Those in the know will be surprised by who the picture NOT of (maybe next year, Marky Mark), but might remember my choice is someone I saw up-close earlier in the year, and decreed sizzling hot...

With a tip of my hat to the August issue of GQ, I present Matt Damon looking every bit the part of the Sexiest Man Alive, and my idea of some fine looking holiday eye candy:

Anyone second my opinion?


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gifts To Fill the Holiday Nights

As I said in my comment on Tina's Monday post, I heard a new tradition myself this holiday season--on the radio, no less. It's designed for the 12 days of Christmas (Christian), but can just as easily be applied to the 8 nights of Hanukkah (Jewish), the 7 days of Kwanzaa (African), the 8 days of Rohatsu (Buddhist), the 30 days of Ramadan (Islam), or the 1 night of Yule (man, pagans get screwed here). It is a tradition for households with children still young enough for story time, and here it is:

On each day of the celebration the parents give the child the gift of a book that will, in turn, be read that night at story time.

What a wonderful way to: a) bring families closer together, and b) encourage young children to become readers. The books aren't necessarily expensive. In research for this post, I visited the children's section at my local Barnes & Noble and found some of my old favorites (yes, they're still in print) for just $3.99 each.

Speaking of my favorites, I thought I'd throw out a list of titles or series that still speak to me after all these years. Maybe they'd be a place to start if you're thinking about implementing this tradition this year. (FYI--the 12 days of Christmas begins on Christmas day and runs through Epiphany on January 6.)

1. The Berenstain Bears -- Oh how I loved these books! My favorite titles were Berenstain Bears Go To School, Berenstain Bears in the Dark, and The Berenstain Bears' New Baby.

2. Little Golden Books -- There are more titles in this classic collection than I could ever hope to think of, but I loved everything about these books: their hard covers, their little gold spines, and, of course, the great stories. If I had to name faves, I'd pick The Poky Little Puppy, Scruffy the Tugboat, and Cinderella. But my absolute all-time most loved was The Bunny Book. So you understand why, here's the blurb:

A daddy bunny plays with his baby bunny and says, “What will our baby be when he grows up?” Everyone, from the baby’s mother to big sister to Great Aunt Bunny, seems to know: a clown, a policeman, a candy store owner. But the baby only nibbles on his carrot and looks wise . . . for he knows he will grow up to be a nice daddy bunny!

3. Dr. Seuss -- The master of rhyme, Dr. Seuss books are fun. There's no way in hades I could choose just one. My picks: The Cat in the Hat (classic), One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (crazy fun), and The Lorax (timely).

4. Little Critter -- The little critter in question is a weird-looking, gerbil-meets-porcupine looking kid, but I loved him. My faves were The New Baby and What a Bad Dream.

5. Curious George -- As a child, I loved this series so much my nickname was George. Seriously. Until I was like ten everyone called me George. They're all great, but you can't go wrong with the classic original, Curious George.

There are other favorite childhood reads that I didn't have time to list in detail. Babar, Disney Books, anything by Richard Scarry, Corduroy, and everything by Shel Silversteing (especially The Giving Tree).

In honor of this new tradition, I'm giving away a copy of CURIOUS GEORGE. If you want a chance to win, just comment with your favorite childhood read and any other titles you'd add to the list this holiday season.

OH. MY. GODS. (Dutton) May 2008
Pre-order from Amazon now (and save 32%!)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More holiday giveaways...and winners!

'Tis the season!!

I have another fun giveaway here for our readers, which also includes a favorite teen book! It's a book that's debuting in eleven days. A book that I had the privilege of reading during the very beginning stages. A book that I fell in love with immediately and couldn't put down (okay, technically, I couldn't stop scrolling because it was on my computer screen.) It's got one of the most beautiful endings ever and I can't wait for everyone to read it. It's by one of my bestest buddies, Wendy Toliver and it's called THE SECRET LIFE OF A TEENAGE SIREN:

Geeky to gorgeous in sixty seconds...
Roxy's about to turn sixteen, but life isn't so sweet. As a band geek, Roxy can barely get the cute guys to notice her, much less go out with her. Then, on her birthday, Roxy is transformed into a siren: seductively beautiful with the power to control all men. She thought sirens were an ancient myth, but suddenly Roxy can get any guy she wants with just a few notes on her flute.

There are only two rules: don't tell anyone about being a siren, and don't fall in love. When she starts dating Zach, the guy everybody's crushing on, Roxy realizes she could get used to this siren thing...but how can she keep herself from falling in love?

I hope everyone rushes out to get the book on December 26th! And, for one lucky blog reader, I'll be giving away a copy of the book. Keep reading!

But wait...there's more! My editor told me that my advanced reader copies of SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA will be shipped to me next week. Sooo...I'm giving away a copy of it, as well.

Here's the blurb:

High school is already a distant memory for incoming Latimer University freshmen, Jenna, Roni, and Lora-Leigh. Jenna wants to meet cute college boys, Roni wants to get away from home, and Lora-Leigh...well, Lora-Leigh couldn't care less. She's going to LU and participating in sorority recruitment only to appease her mom. Sorority girls are pretty, rich, andsnotty, and Lora-Leigh doesn't want to be one of those girls. So she's shocked to find her self actually connecting with the sisters of Zeta Zeta Tau. And her new friend Jenna can relate. She came to sorority recruitment only because her roommate begged her to, but now she can't decide with sorority to join; she likes them all! Roni, on the other hand, knows which sorority she should join. The Tri-Omegas are exactly the type of "it" girls she would usually befriend, but Roni came to LU to reinvent herself. As recruitment progresses and the girls to make big decision, they'll need to heed the best advice there is: follow your heart. But where will it lead?

To qualify for both giveaways, please leave a comment about the absolute best, most rocking holiday present you've ever received. Winners will be announced on Wednesday!

And now...for the winners of Simone and Dona's giveaways:

For Simone's post, here are the winners!!

These people won all three titles:

Teen Zone

These people get to choose one title:

The Page Flipper

Please e-mail Simone your name/address to simone_elkeles @ (no spaces)

And for Dona's giveaway:

The winner is...


Please e-mail Dona at dona @ (no spaces)

Thanks everyone!!!

Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (May 2008, Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (May 2008, Puffin Books)
GHOST HUNTRESS Series (Begins May 2009, Houghton Mifflin)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Steph's new favorite series....THE LUXE....

*********Contest winner is Marlayne******************************

When I first heard the premise of The Luxe by Anna Godbersen my first reaction was to cringe. A historical YA? I envisioned pages and pages of flowery descriptions and boring dialogue spoken by perfectly proper young ladies. No thanks. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The Luxe has everything a girl could want. A deceitful best friend, scandalous midnight trysts, sibling rivalry, mama drama, revenge and much more. I'm so excited that this is going to be a four book series with the next book, RUMORS, coming out next summer.

I love this book SO much that I'm giving away a copy along with a signed copy of my book, Revenge of the Homecoming Queen. All you have to do to be entered is write a review of one of the following books on either or

Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro

Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

How to Ruin My Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles

Just post a comment here or on my MySpace page telling me which site you wrote your review on and you'll be entered. I'll choose the winner tomorrow. Good luck!



What I'm reading....Class Favorite by Taylor Morris

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Giveaway week continues...

Happy holidays everyone!!!

This week the Buzz Girls are celebrating books we loved and giving away fun gifts! Hmm, some books I loved as a teen....

There was the entire Anne of Green Gables series. Who didn't love the stories of the impish orphan who charms a whole town (and that dashing Gilbert at that!) I still love those books and recently, I purchased the entire boxed set as a "memory lane" thing.

I loved all of Lurlene McDaniel's books, even though I knew someone was going to die at the end of each one. They were all stories of teens who had chronic diseases, or terrible accidents...generally short life spans. I was pretty "emo" then and loved my once-per-week cries over my literary dramas.

I loved Lois Duncan's realistic spine-tinglers. My favorite was DON'T LOOK BEHIND YOU, a story about a teenage girl whose family goes into the witness protection program after her father is threatned. I loved all her books, but that one was my favorite. Pretty, popular girl loses her whole life and tries to cope. Great stuff.

For my giveaway this week...

That's right! An early release signed copy of HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI! To win, just leave a comment for me telling me your favorite teen read!
Have a great weekend!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra
HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI - January 2008
SHRINK TO FIT - June 2008

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Gift That Keeps On Giving...

At a party recently, a lovely woman named Tamara told me that last Christmas she asked her close friends and family members to give her a copy (new or kindly used) of a favorite book, and to write on the inside jacket why.

She received a large pile, and is still leisurely reading them, and, she said, having a personal experience with each gift giver as delves into his/her favorite book.

I absolutely love this idea! And while it is not the right time in my life to try it, I mentioned it to the Buzz Girls and we thought it would make a fun blog week. So one by one, we’ll talk about which book we would choose and why. (And you may even see a book giveway or two.)

I am hard-pressed to cite “my favorite book,” as I have loved so many at different times in my life. But I don’t think I could go wrong with Jodi Picoult’s Plain Truth.

The story of an Amish teenager who may or may not have given birth in a barn, it has all the elements of a fantastic read to me: beautiful, put-the-book-down-and-sigh prose, jump-off-the-page characters, unexpected twists, a glimpse into another world, and thought provoking topics. It is definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Has anyone else read Plain Truth? Or would you like to suggest a book you’d give as a gift?

What I’m Reading: Grave Sight, Charlaine Harris


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Recipe For a Perfect Winter Day

As hard as it is to believe in some parts of the country (i.e. OKC, where my folks are iced in) it's been ungodly hot in Houston this week. Today my car thermometer read 88 degrees. (Yes, you read that right). All this hot, humid weather has me dreaming of true winter weather. In honor of my fantasy and those readers currently experience Mother Nature's frigid side, here's my recipe for a perfect winter day:

1. Windows closed, but blinds open. (So you can see the winter, but not feel it.)

2. Thermostat set to toasty. (Not too hot, or you won't be able to truly enjoy #5.)

3. A warm, oversized, fleecy robe. (Knotted tight around your waist as you curl up in a comfy chair with #4.)

4. Stack of books waiting to be devoured (as I am currently devouring J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series... yum!).

5. Steaming hot bath, seasoned with tasty bubblebath (sugarplum is my flavor du jour) and bath oil (to leave your skin sleek and soft).

6. Candles glowing everywhere. (I got a dozen tiny votives at Hobby Lobby last week for an amazing $2.50!)

7. Warming-from-the-inside-out beverage of choice: hot tea (try Bigelow's Caramel and Vanilla with a splash of milk and a dash of sugar), gourmet hot chocolate (my grocery store sells single serving packs in yummy flavors like hazelnut and mint), or (if you're of age) and nice red wine (currently sipping on Rex Goliath Pinot Noir).

That's my perfect winter day... what's yours?

OH. MY. GODS. (Dutton) May 2008
Pre-order from Amazon now (and save 32%!)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Do you believe in ghosts?

Ever since I sold my new series, GHOST HUNTRESS, I've had a lot of e-mails from people asking me about whether or not I actually believe in ghosts. This isn't an easily answered question -- meaning, there's no black and white answer.

I got the idea for the GHOST HUNTRESS series when I was at the New England RWA conference back in March. My agent had told me she had a great book title for me..."Divining Women." She had no idea what it was about or anything, but said she had to tell me the title. Oh-kaaaaaay. I had no idea, either. Until...I stepped into a workshop called Ghost Hunting 101 with The New England Ghost Project.

For two hours, I was riveted by group leader, Ron Kolek, and psychic investigator, Maureen Wood (shown above mucking it up on an investigation.) As I was sitting there listening to their adventures and learning about their equipment and methods, the entire idea for the GHOST HUNTRESS series fleshed out in my head like a movie from opening theme song to closing credits. (I love when that happens!)

After the conference, I began researching like a mad woman. I talked to Ron and Maureen and even went on several ghost hunts with them. I saw some very interesting things, heard voices that weren't there, experienced drastic drops and increases in temperatures, witness people channeling spirts and took some very interesting pictures of orbs and light anamolies.

I began avidly watching Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted and Lisa Williams and surfing Ghost Village all the time and any other ghost hunting/paranormal show I could get my eyes on.

Do I believe in ghosts, though?


Let me just say that I think it would completely ignorant of us to think we're all alone in this vast world. There's more to this earth than heaven and hell, Shakespeare wrote, and I believe him. I had definitely experienced energies and sensations through my research and ghost hunting that has made me believe that spirits and angels are with us. I think that's the great thing about it,'s up to your own free interpretation. And, in this field, you need skeptics to challenge the data and keep you honest.

So, do I believe in them...yeah...I think there are spirits and angels with us, checking in, whispering in our ears and sharing their knowledge with us. Do I believe Grandma and Grandpa aren't at rest and are following me around constantly? Not really. I'd like to believe that when we pass, there's a peace that comes with being in another realm...but it would be nice to know we can check in with our loved ones every now and then.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have any stories you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!

And speaking of ghosts, I just read a fabulous YA book by a fellow Houghton Mifflin author, Laura Whitcomb, called A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT.

Marley = )

SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA? (May 2008, Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: THE NEW SISTERS (May 2008, Puffin Books)
GHOST HUNTRESS (May 2009, Houghton Mufflin)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Never...

It's free week -- and in the spirit of Tina's Spin-the-Bottle adventures -- have you played this game called "I Never" ?

Here's my list:
I never attended a hockey game.
I never water-skied
I never ate prime rib.
I never had a pet rabbit.
I never made a Black Forest cake.
I never paid a toll on a toll road.
I never knitted.

What have you never done that some (or most) people have done?

Have you done something on my I never list?



Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in April 2009 from HarperCollins

Monday, December 03, 2007

When Is a Kiss...A Kiss?

We’re having a free forum week, which means we can talk about anything we want. And on my mind practically all this year has been kissing since I’ve either been brainstorming, first drafting or revising The ABC’s of Kissing Boys (Delacorte Press, Spring, 2009).

In preparing my bio for the book, I found myself writing up something about my first kiss...and I realized, I don’t know exactly when it was.

There was the quick “here goes nothing” brush of the lips I got from a guy during a Spin-the-Bottle game in 6th grade. It was undoubtedly a first for me, and I’m betting for him, too.


The sweet kiss one year later from my first boyfriend, which involved premeditation and at least a little emotion.

Which one do you think “counts” as my first kiss?

What I'm Reading: Platinum, Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Thankful For... Affordable, Stylish Swedish Furniture

In other words: IKEA.

I first heard about IKEA when I lived in New York for grad school. My Australian apartment-mate (who later turned out to be a teeny-tiny bit psycho--no offense to the relatively normal Aussie population) basically outfitted her entire share of our apartment with IKEA. For under $500, she got a cute little loveseat, a bed, and a folding dining table and chairs. Well... I was in serious need of a bookshelf (being a grad student, and all) so I ordered a SVEN bookcase. They no longer make SVEN--FJUS is the closest thing they have now--but let me tell you it was a student's dream. $29 plus shipping. Seven feet tall. Strong. Basically a collection of raw lumber organized into a shelving unit, but it was awesome. And I was hooked.

From there I moved to Colorado--which has no IKEA, can you believe it?--and Missouri--of course they don't have an IKEA. Then, finally, to Texas. I furnished my bedroom and office entirely in IKEA.
When I went--oh-so-briefly--to grad school in Boston, I got a nightstand and bookshelves for my dorm room.
Now that I'm back in Texas, my apartment is--of course--a living breathing ad for IKEA. (And will be even more so when I get the rest of my shopping list!) So far, I have a dining table, six chairs, dresser, mattress, and nightstand for around $400. Can't beat that. Plus, like those other Swedish exports, Saab and Volvo, it's stylish and built to last.
Dish. Do you have any secret (or not-so-secret) sources for affordable, stylish stuff for your home or bedroom?

OH. MY. GODS. (Dutton) May 2008
Pre-order from Amazon today (and save 32%!)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thankful for the idiot box...

Yes...the idiot box. My father's loving term for the television. To which I've been addicted to as long as I can remember.

I love watching television. It's soothing, comforting, entertaining. I'll pretty much watch anything, too. Comedies, dramas, movies, cooking shows, travel programs, sci-fi features, you name it.

And now...check out what I have to watch it on! A brand new LG 42" LCD HD TV (got all of that?)


Now, my favorite shows are even bigger. It's my own home theatre. (And we got a wicked good deal on it, too!) Hockey looks better, football is more action-packed, leading men look more dashing and the romances just seem bigger. I think LG and I are going to have a long, beautiful friendship.

Are you as addicted to television as I am?

Have a great weekend!
Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (May 2008, Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (May 2008, Puffin Books)
GHOST HUNTRESS Series (Begins May 2009, Houghton Mifflin)

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm thankful for things that save me time.....

As a stay-at-home mom/author I am always thankful for anything that saves me time. Pre-packaged meals, the microwave, and Pull-Ups are big around the Hale household. But my most favorite thing in the whole world that saves me tons of time is a tiny little guy with a television for a head. TIVO!
If you are a television lover, you just have to get a DVR! There is nothing like plopping down on your couch after a long day to find that Tivo has remembered to tape all of your favorite shows.
Fast forwarding through the tons of commercials is a lifesaver. I would never have the time to be addicted to so many shows if I couldn't FF. Tivo saves me from having to sit through endless hours of Ninja Warrior and Trucks when my husband is home. Not to mention all the fun little things TIVO will tape just to surprise me. He really is the perfect man!
Here are a few of my Season Passes: Gossip Girl, Dirty Sexy Money, Dancing with the Stars (yeah, Helio), Ghost Whisperer, Pageant Place, Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies, & Women's Murder Club. Just to name a few. So, what's on your TIVO list?
What I'm reading...The Luxe...I know, right?
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thankful Buzz Continues...

So... we're thankful for things that have Buzz this week... and I'm thankful for my Nano! His name is Poddy McPod (named him myself, don't ya know) and he's loaded with nearly 1000 songs that motivate me as I walk to the day job, run on the treadmill (sometimes), write at the coffee shop, or even clean my place.

I'm not trying to be an ipod commercial or anything, but the buzz on the Nano is totally deserved. Ever since that one summer that I lost my entire CD notebook on the plane to Alaska (to spend the whole summer at a remote camp!) I don't think I'll ever go back to Disc land. It's good to buy discs, but putting them into your ipod can save a lot of pain. The one time that Poddy got sick (he was corrupted!) I fixed him by reading a simple internet tip.

Fave music to listen to at day job? David Bowie.

Fave music to listen to on the walk to/from day job? Keane.

Fave music to listen to when writing? The Killers. (Sawdust, the new album, is so good!)

Fave music to listen to when getting ready to go out? LCD Sound System.

Fave music to chill to? Ryan Adams. (Listen to Easy, Tiger)

Harper the kitty's favorite singer? Feist

The song I listened two twice today on Poddy McPod? Only You - by Yaz.

Is anyone else addicted? What do you listen to when you write?



Heather Davis is the author of
Coming in April 2009 from HarperCollins

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Things We Take For Granted...

Our final week of What We’re Thankful For falls into our Buzz category, which means talking about pretty much anything in our universe that gets some buzz!

But turning that concept on its side, I’d like to give snaps and recognition to the things in our lives that we rarely stop and think about. The things, that sometimes, you only appreciate when you realize they are gone--permanently or momentarily. The things we often take for granted.

Here are some of mine:

My good health.
A bump-in and nice chat with a casual friend.
A good night’s sleep.

How close my family has remained.
My comfortable standard of living (not rich, but the fact I can afford what I need).
My good, solid internet connection!

How about you? Do you have something you fail to give its due?


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thankful For... Boys Who Give Back

Since Steph's post remined me of my all-time-favorite Christmas singer (Harry Connick Jr.) I thought I would throw a little highlight on boys who give back to the community.


Debt AIDS Trade Africa (DATA)
DATA is an advocacy organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty and AIDS in Africa.

Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.

6,500 Africans are still dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity - this is about justice and equality.

Paul McCartney

Adopt-A-Minefield® is a campaign of the United Nations Association of the USA, which engages individuals, community groups, and businesses in the United Nations effort to resolve the global landmine crisis. The Campaign helps save lives by raising funds for mine clearance and survivor assistance and by raising awareness about the landmine problem.

John Prendergast

ENOUGH was born out of frustration and hope.

We ran out of patience with the world's shameful lack of progress in combating terrible horrors. We found confidence in the growing number of Americans who are demanding more aggressive, more successful solutions. And we have faith that we really can abolish genocide and mass atrocities once and for all.

We know that people care, but many assume that the crises in Africa and elsewhere are intractable. This perception of futility sustains the killing of thousands and destroys the hopes of a safe and secure future for millions more. With every passing minute, the slaughter continues.

Activist mega-hottie JP co-wrote Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond with Ocean's 11 cockneye cutie Don Cheadle.

Harry Connick Jr.

New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village

Musicians’ Village, a cornerstone of the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) post-Katrina rebuilding effort, is designed to both construct a community and preserve a culture. Conceived by New Orleans natives Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis, Musicians’ Village will provide a home for both the artists who have defined the city’s culture and the sounds that have shaped the musical vernacular of the world.

The music and musicians of New Orleans have always been the city’s heart and soul. Your support of New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village is the best way to ensure that my home town lifts itself from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina with heart and soul intact.

In this giving season, it seems especially important to acknowledge those who are trying to make the planet a better place. What other boys are out there doing good in the world?

OH. MY. GODS. (Dutton) May 2008