Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pomp and Circumstance

I'm keeping today's post very short because my hubby and I are off to Florida for my niece, Stephanie's high school graduation! Congratulations Stephanie!!!

For those of you who've read my two SORORITY 101 books, the character of Jenna was based on Stephanie. In the books, Jenna struggles with being a diabetic and how it affects her college life. Steph was diagnosed with her diabetes when she was eight years old. She has handled her disease in a very grown up manner and has been very responsible. I'm so proud of her.

Do you have a special teen in your life who has overcome trying circumstances? Please share with us!

Until next week...


Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available Now! Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available Now! Puffin Books)
GHOST HUNTRESS SERIES (Coming May 2009, Houghton Mifflin)

Friday, May 30, 2008

One man's treasure or just a bunch of crap?

Tis the season to break out the Sharpie graffiti'd cardboard box and throw it at the end of the street. What's that? You have no idea to what I'm referring? It's rummage sale season! Here in the Midwest, Fridays and Saturdays are meant for putting up your garage door and rolling out all the crap you don't need anymore. Throngs of people descend upon your driveway to cart away your worn-out Nikes or the toy your kid just had to have but then only played with twice.
Rummage sales are a lot of work but they can also be very fun. It's a great way to rid your house of excess "stuff", plus you walk away with some pretty good cash. If you've never been to a rummage sale, here are a few tips.

1) Please do not hand me a twenty dollar bill when you are buying something for a quarter, especially at six o' clock in the morning. It will not go over well.

2) Please do not let your child play with all of the toys for an hour and then not buy anything.

3) Please do not haggle with me over something marked ten cents. Seriously.

4) Please do not go through all my old clothes for sale and complain that they are just TOO big.

5) Do show up as I'm getting ready to close and offer me fifty bucks for everything! :)

Believe it or not, rummage sales are a great way to meet people. And you just never know when you might find that treasure you've been searching for.

So, are you a rummager or is your idea of a hand-me-down dating your b/f/f's b/f?

What I'm reading now...Airhead by Meg Cabot


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chatting Tonight!

Hey everyone...just buzzing in real quick (yes, I know it's not my day, please forgive me) to plug my online chat tonight. Here's the 411:

WHEN: 8pm EST, Thursday May 29, 2008 TONIGHT!!!!!

To Enter the chat tonight: Follow this link TKA CHAT ROOM, enter a screen name and simply select “log in.”

Hope to see you there!
Marley = )

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A season of finales

So, it's upon us once again...season finale season. This year there are no *major(* long-running TV shows that are saying adios, but there are quite a few big bang season finales for some of the Buzz Girl favorites.

WOW! Did anyone see the child prodigy David Archuleta NOT win?

Finale took me completely by surprise, not at all what I expected! 5 years in the future looks pretty interesting....what's going to happen on the show now?

Could this mean true love for McDreamy and Mer? What is going on with Hahn and Callie?

And of course the finale of all finales (for me anyway!)

What will happen to the Losties? Why is Charles Widmore so freaking crazy? What happens to Sawyer?

Questions that will only be answered tomorrow night for us LOST fans!!!!

When the year ends, it's that time again...summer TV. Some shows from years gone by have been big hits (Dancing with the Stars, So you think you can dance) some really not (Can't even remember them right now!)

What is everyone planning to watch this summer? What finales are you looking forward to/enjoyed this season/just hated?

Have a great finale season!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Seen a Sasquatch lately?

Hello Buzz fans!

After a jaunt to NYC, I'm back and happy to post on ye olde Buzz Blog. Yay! Though I love the Big Apple, I'm so happy to be back in the land of Thai Food and Indie espresso shops.

So, immediately after landing here in the Rainy City, I headed with a friend to the NW best live Concert/Festival -- Sasquatch.
Every year, this giant event showcases NW and global bands, complete with lots of food and oodles of sunshine. It's held at the Columbia River Gorge Ampitheater in George, Washington. (Really the town's name.) With the exception of Red Rocks in Denver, CO, the Gorge is probably the most beautiful concert venue in America. Not that I'm biased or anything.

We went to George for the Sunday line up -- The Presidents, Death Cab for Cutie, The Kooks, The Cure and a ton of other bands. The two hour drive from Seattle was beautiful and luckily my friend kept reminding me to put on more sunscreen. For those of you who have never been to Washington, there is a wet side (Seattle and Western Washington) and a dry, desert-like side -- East of the Cascade Mountains. The variety of topography is one of the things that makes the NW a great place to live...

Anyway, we got to the Gorge in early afternoon and scoped out the scene. There is a giant lawn where you can spread your blankets, break out the snacks and jam out. It was hilarious trying to meet up with my friends as the text and cellphone situation was spotty at best, but eventually we found them and hung out.

As the night wore on, couples tangled in covers and little kids conked out while dreaming up at the cloud-hidden stars. The Cure lit up the night with old hits and new songs.
The scent of Elephant Ears (do you have those pastries everywhere?) and grilling hot dogs blended with the smell of warm earth and damp grass -- and it was suddenly summer again.

Do you do the music festival thing?



Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
coming in April 2009 from HarperTeen

Monday, May 26, 2008

Let’s Talk Kindles!

Last week Amazon Digital Services released How to Hook a Hottie in Kindle Edition! I knew from my agent and editor that this was in the works, and was pleased to see the e-book format come to life.

Here's the Amazon link:


But until very recently, the only thing I’ve known about Kindle Editions is that my critique partner, Kelly Parra’s book, Graffiti Girl, has been selling well as one.

Here's the Amazon link:


I did play the informational video on the Amazon site, so now I understand the concept and the attraction of the Kindle electronic device and format. But I’d love it if people could enlighten me a bit about what they know and how they like them--and to tell me if I should jump into the Kindle world myself (since clearly, I admire their taste in books =)).

Happy Memorial Day!


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie - Book Sense Top Teen Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, National Reader’s Choice Award

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Baaad Boys Rock My World

These aren't your normal, everyday bad boys. Not motorcycle-riding or hotel-room-trashing Hollywood stars. Not the high school rebel boy who cuts class and defies dress codes. Not even the romantic hero with a rough exterior that secretly covers a sensitive heart (my favorite kind of hero, btw).

No, I'm talking about these baaad boys:

Okay, before you freak out and say, "Um, Tera. You're posting about sheep. Do you need a CAT scan?" hear me out. These aren't just any sheep, these are sheep donated by the Heifer Project to help families in undeveloped regions earn a sustainable living.

The Heifer Project is one of my favorite charities because, instead of just giving people money or food or whatever, they provide them with the skill and resources to support themselves. Their motto could be that Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Heifer is all about teaching people to fish. (Or raise goats or rabbits or honeybees.)

For example, in areas of extreme climates, where traditional farming is impossible, Heifer might give a family a dairy goat along with the training necessary to raise her. From that simple gift a family will receive: several quarts of milk per day (extra can be sold--to pay for necessities, education, or medical care--or made into yogurt, butter, or cheese), manure that can be used to develop a vegetable garden, and 2-3 kids per year (which they can sell or keep to grow their dairy farm). This can change a family's entire life.

But that's not the end of the story. Heifer also requires the families to "pass on the gift." They must share the offspring of their gift animals, their knowledge, their skills, and other resources with neighbors so that they, too, will develop a sustainable life. Pay-it-forward in action.

This is one of the most forward-thinking approaches in the quest to end world hunger. What begins with a single family gradually grows into a neighborhood, a community, even an entire country able to feed, clothe, and educate themselves without outside help. As their mission strategy states, "As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe."

That totally rocks my world.

Check out their website, their gift catalog, and their mission statement.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Jason Taylor Rocks My World!

Okay...just to be clear here...I do not watch ridiculous shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. It's just not me. No way. No how.


When I found out that my NFL heart-throb since 2000, star defensive end of my Miami Dolphins, Jason Taylor, was a contestant on said Dancing With the Stars, I made an exception to the No TV Schlock rule. And boy, am I glad!

JT not only charmed the judges and the audience alike, that two hundred forty pound, six-six body of his can dance like nobody's business.

Light as a feath'ah.

He had an amazing partner/coach in Edyta Sliwinska, who turned the fierce, yet hesitant football player into a dancer to be envied.

Did you see them dance? They may have come in second to the judge's favorite, Kristi Yamaguchi (who was fab, but come on...years of choreography on the ice gave her an advantage...a football player dancing like he did should have taken the mirror ball trophy home), but dancing like this can't be forgotten:

But he's more than just a pretty face. For thirteen years, Jason has been a member of the Miami Dolphins, and more than that, a giving member of the community. He supports many charities, including the United Way, the ASPCA, and has his own organization, called The Jason Taylor Foundation, that helps underpriviledged kids in Dade County Florida learn to read. Because of his charitable activities, the NFL named him the NFL Man of the Year. As a long-time fan of his, I was pleased that he was recognized on and off the field.

So, did you watch DWTS? If so, do you agree with me that JT was robbed?

Oh...I did a workshop this week on the Romance Divas' site called HAZARDOUS MATERIAL AHEAD: Avoiding Common Manuscript Mistakes, and I'm the guest blogger today at the fabulous Plotmonkeys. Hope you'll check in!

Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? - Available Now! Puffin Books
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters - Available Now! Puffin Books
GHOST HUNTRESS Series - Begins May 2009, Houghton Mifflin

Contest Winners!

Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday. I really appreciate all the congrats on my new book deal. And the winners are:


Please email me at stephanie at with your address and I'll get your copy of Twisted Sisters on its way.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The boys of Tinseltown rock my world!

Let me preface this post by saying that I do not live in a very exciting locale. Our claim to fame is that we are the soybean capital of the world. I know, right? So when Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, and Stephen Soderbergh show up in town to film a movie, it kind of shakes things up a bit.

The film is called The Informant. Here is an excerpt of the book by Kurt Eichenwald that the movie is based on.

"The FBI was ready to take down America's most politically powerful corporation. But there was one thing they didn't count on."
So reads the cover of this high-powered true crime story, an accurate teaser to a bizarre financial scandal with more plot twists than a John Grisham novel. In 1992 the FBI stumbled upon Mark Whitacre, a top executive at the Archer Daniels Midland corporation who was willing to act as a government witness to a vast international price-fixing conspiracy. ADM, which advertises itself as "The Supermarket to the World," processes grains and other farm staples into oils, flours, and fibers for products that fill America's shelves, from Jell-O pudding to StarKist tuna. The company's chairman and chief executive, Dwayne Andreas, was so influential that he introduced Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev, and it was his maneuvering that ensured that high fructose corn syrup would replace sugar in most foods (ever wondered why Coke and Pepsi don't taste quite like they used to?). There were two mottoes at ADM: "The competitors are our friends, and the customers are our enemies" and "We know when we're lying." And lie they did. With the help of Whitacre, the FBI made hundreds of tapes and videos of ADM executives making price-fixing deals with their corrivals from Japan, Korea, and Canada, all while drinking coffee and laughing about their crimes. The tapes should have cinched the case, but there was one problem: Their star witness was manipulative, deceitful, and unstable. Nothing was as it seemed, and the investigation into one of the most astounding white-collar crime cases in history had only just begun

The universe would conspire against me and put so many obstacles in my way the ten days they were in town that I would not be able to stalk Matt properly. I mean, see him face to face. But I have the whole two degrees of Matt Damon going on with several close friends. Everyone has gone on and on about how friendly Matt and the entire crew were. Here he is at the local mall with my friend Erin.
It was fascinating to all of us how snowdrifts could be made on an eighty degree day. How a Firestone tire store could be transformed into an exotic car lot in just a few hours. How every tiny detail was thought of for a scene to make it perfect. And most of all, how on earth could Matt Damon ever be made to look sort of geeky?
I can't even imagine how many pictures Matt stopped to take with fans, or how many hundreds of autographs he stopped to take the time to sign. He was truly gracious and Decatur, Illinois will never forget it.
And in very exciting news that has nothing to do with Matt Damon, unless he wants to buy the movie rights and star as the dad, I recently sold a new book. I'm very excited about this one.
Here is the deal posting.

Steph Hale's THE ALPHA BET, in which a super-smart sixteen-year-old starts college early as a way to escape her hyperactive parents and gets in over her head when she decides to pledge a sorority, to Andrew Karre at Flux, by Jenny Bent at Trident Media Group (NA).
I'm very excited to be a part of the Flux family.
To celebrate I'm giving away three copies of my new release, TWISTED SISTERS, to random commenters. So comment away. You have until midnight tonight (Central time)And happy weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ben & Jerry’s: They’re About More Than Just Ice Cream

In the second week of our ROCK OUR WORLD theme, we’re looking at “boys” who give back to our world.

While eating some ice cream this past weekend, it occurred to me that I could do no better than to feature the guys whose foundation’s mission statement is “to make the world a better place by empowering [its] employees to use available resources to support and encourage organizations that are working towards eliminating the underlying causes of environmental and social problems.”

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started their ice cream company in 1978. Ten mega-profitable years later, they released a flavor whose proceeds went to help save the rain forest, and contracted a bakery for their brownie chunks that employed and empowered disadvantaged workers.

Approaching their 30th anniversary, they support a variety of causes, including programs to feed the hungry, and one to help small and mid-sized farmers remain gainfully employed. And their website offers up 50 ways to promote peace.

So yay for these “boys” who think outside the box. While offering up tasty flavors like Cherry Garcia, Imagine Whirled Peace and my personal favorite, Phish Food.

What do you think about Ben & Jerry’s?

What I'm Reading: Oh.My.Gods by Tera Lynn Childs!


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie - Book Sense Top Teen Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, National Reader’s Choice Award

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sharie Kohler/Sophie Jordan Rocks My World

When I think back to how I first met my amazingly talented critique partner, I'm still amazed. It was my second RWA meeting, the month of my first RWA conference--where I was going in as a Golden Heart finalist. Now, it was usually my M.O. to sit at an unoccupied table, but since I was determined to network in an attempt at making writing a real career, I decided to plop down at a table full of writers ... right next to fellow-unpubbed Sharie Kohler.

I don't want to think about what my career status would be right now if Sharie and I hadn't hooked up (she insists that she would have found me, even if I hadn't chosen that open seat next to her) but needless to say, I feel pretty lucky. Here's her story...

About a year after we met, Sharie sold her first historical romance (the first manuscript she wrote, by the way) to Avon, under the pseudonym Sophie Jordan. Once Upon A Wedding Night was a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Nominee for Best Historical Romance. Her second historical romance, Too Wicked To Tame, was a USA Today Bestseller!!! Her third historical, One Night With You, came out in December and her fourth, Surrender To Me, comes out this July.

But wait, there's more! In between all those fabulous historical romances, she's also found time to pen a couple of amazing paranormal romances under her own name, Sharie Kohler--bringing her beautiful voice to the world of lycans (werewolves). Marked By Moonlight, with a super-sexy lycan-hunting hero and a mousy schoolteacher-turned-lycan, is the first in her Moon Chasers series and released from Pocket in December. The follow-up, Kiss Of A Dark Moon, comes out in October.

On top of all this authorial fabulousness, Sharie's an amazing critique partner and a terrific brainstormer. And--perfect for me, since I'm writing YA--she was a high school English teacher! You can friend Sharie on MySpace, but don't monopolize all of her time--she has a few books to write!

Only a few short months after her first sale, I had mine, too. I know it wouldn't have happened without her. Thank you, Sharie, for being my perfect match.

OH. MY. GODS. -- Dutton, available like NOW!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Two heads are better than one!

...or three, if you include me. LOL!!

In our week of tributes to our critique partners (CPs in the writing world), I am blessed to have two awesome ladies who read all of my work and give me their invaluable input. I've known then pretty much since this whole "writing thing" started and I've cried and celebrated along with them when they sold their books.

First up is the fabulous Diana Peterfreund.

Diana and I met in 2002 on the eHarlequin message board, right after it first came out. We joined a critique group together and it was soon apparent that our voices and writing style didn't mesh with the others, so Diana and I politely exited. I've had the priviledge to see Diana's writing develop over the years into the wonderful Secret Society girl series and her upcoming YA book, RAMPANT. Her third book in the Secret Society girl series is coming soon...don't miss it!

Next up is the equally appreciated Wendy Toliver.

Wendy and I met at the Romance Writers of Ameria conference in (what year was it? Ummm...I want to say 2004 in Dallas?) I was immediately drawn to Wendy's sweet smile and friendly demeanor. She's just a total ball of energy and I saw that "must write" sparkle in her eyes. Ironically, I judged some of Wendy's work in a contest before we teamed up. I knew her style and work ethic and it just works to help each other with our writing. I introduced Wendy to her awesome agent and I squealed like a little girl when Wendy's book, THE SECRET LIFE OF A TEENAGE SIREN. Cutest. Book. Evah.

And a discussion on CPs wouldn't be complete without a shout-out to my first CP, and my writing mentor, Jessica Andersen.

Jess befriended me at my very first RWA meeting and from then on, she never gave up on me, taught me so much about style and substance of writing, and helped me navigate the waves of the publishing industry. Jess doesn't write YA, but for our adult readers, her unbelievable FINAL PROPHECY series comes out next month and let me tell you...she is going to hit it big with this. Go pick it up!!!

Have you read their books? If so, be sure to let them know here how awesome their writing is! If you haven't, I encourage you to pick up their books immediately...if not sooner.

Here's to Diana, Wendy, and Jess!

Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? - Available Now! Puffin Books
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters - Available Now! Puffin Books
GHOST HUNTRESS Series - Begins May 2009, Houghton Mifflin

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Introducing my fabulous critique partners....

I started writing seriously the summer of 2005. I knew that I wanted to stick with it until I became a published writer, or died trying. But I knew I needed help. I can't remember exactly how our trio came to be, but I do remember that it was because of the teenlit loop that we found each other. When Bethany, Carmen, and I got together none of us were agented or had sold. Within ten months, we were all agented and sold. Now that's what I call kismet. Let me introduce you to the two fabulous ladies that have played such an important part of my writing career.

Bethany Griffin~ The author of the forthcoming novel, Handcuffs, which will be released in December. Yeah, I can't wait. Bethany is also an English teacher and the mother of two toddlers. We bond over our novels and the many ways that children dream up to torture their mothers. I'm psyched to see Bethany at RWA this summer.

Carmen Rodrigues~ Carmen is the author of Not Anything, which is available in stores right now, so go buy tons of copies. Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida (lucky girl!) she is now residing in North Carolina attending UNC.

These two women have meant so much to me during this crazy process of getting (and hopefully staying) published. They gave me confidence in my work when I didn't have any. They gave me courage to send my work out into the world. But most of all, they gave me friendship and a girl can never have enough of that!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Fantastic, the fabulous, the one and only Heather Davis!!!

Yes, it's the day to celebrate my lucky star, my critique partner Heather Davis.

Isn't she gorgeous?

I met Heather years ago at a local RWA meeting where she was doing a million different things, including finaling in the Stilleto contest with her YA novel THE SECRET LIFE OF AMBER HICKENBOTTOM, being the VP of the RWA chapter, making newbies like me feel at home in the chapter, and generally being her usual faboo self!

She was so sweet and so kind to me that immediately, I felt a bond to this super-experience writer and was so grateful for how great she was.

Fast forward a few years and I was looking for a critique partner for my very first, brand new YA novel HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI. And Heather was looking for a critique partner for her fourth (or fifth?) YA novel titled NEVER CRY WEREWOLF.

The stars aligned and everything fell into place. Within a few months of us critiquing each other's books, we each got agents, we formed a fantastic group called The Buzz Girls, and soon after, we both sold!
Plus, I was the one lucky enough to be by Heather's side as she was a double nominee for a GH in 2006 AND the winner of best YA manuscript for HAUNT ME.

So, you see folks, Heather really has been my lucky charm. She is always ready to help me plot though my books, help me work out my characterization kinks, and talk me into actually doing marketing for my books.

Heather is truly my writer soul-mate. I would love to hear about other such relationships out there in the publishing world!


Dona Sarkar-Mishra


SHRINK TO FIT - August 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dona Sarkar Rocks My World!

This week we're highlighting our critique partners -- and I'm lucky enough to have had Buzz Girl Dona Sarkar as a CP for the last two years. (Hey, it's our anniversary, Dona!)

Dona is amazing, talented, and gorgeous!

I just got to hang out with her in the city last Friday and we covered all 3 B's -- Books, Boys, and Buzz -- while we ate delicious yet tiny and expensive Tapas at a downtown hotspot. She's super fun to hang out with. And, not only did Dona help me launch my publishing career by critiquing Never Cry Werewolf, she's been a great help in plotting my novels and my life.

Did I mention she's a fashionista who can accessorize with the best of them? Just ask to see her shoe collection. Her polka dot stilettos are famous. But more than that, Dona is a great friend -- she's so encouraging and gracious. She is there in good times and bad!

In addition to having a successful technology career, Dona is also a YA success story -- her first Kimani-Tru YA novel, How to Salsa in a Sari, debuted this January and her second published novel, Shrink to Fit is due in August.

I'm so proud of her.

Kudos to you, Dona, on all your success! I couldn't ask for a better partner in literary crime. ;)

Show Dona some love, people!!



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

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kelly Parra Rocks My World!

We are starting a new theme this week called Rock My World. First up, we’re going to dish about those special writer-friends who keep us fired up, honest, and on course: our critique partners.

Kelly Parra and I met five years ago through a critique partner coordinator in the Kiss of Death Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Our love for writing (and for family) helped us to quickly bond, and to become the most important person in each other’s writing lives.

Kelly and I have ridden many waves together, but whether up or down, we’re “there” for each other, with support and our full attention to each others’ projects.

Last year, her first book, GRAFFITI GIRL, was released to rave reviews, and this year, she was thrilled to receive The Call from the Rita Award coordinator not once, but twice, with the news that it was a finalist for Best First Book and Best Young Adult Romance. (Yay, Kelly!)

This September, her second YA novel, INVISIBLE TOUCH, hits the shelves. Here is a sneak peak at the blurb:

Secrets. Everyone has them. Some are bigger than others, and sometimes the only way to keep them from consuming you is to whisper them on a weblog. Kara Martinez is a normal, uncomplicated teenager on the outside, but hides a traumatic past and a surreal secret that she reveals only on an anonymous website.

Kara sees signs

Moments of time where a single image appears on the front of a persons torso, like a small screen, showing a quick flick. The same words repeated to her in the physical world, on television, in print, or by someone speaking to her. Signs of premonition, she calls them, since the images are forewarnings about the person involved--one piece linked to a bigger puzzle. With the repercussion of debilitating headaches should she ignore her ability, Kara has no other choice but to follow the clues and attempt to save others from possible unfortunate fates.

An invisible gift or a curse?

When one vision leads her to Anthony Garcia, a dangerous boy from a rough side of town, she is thrust into a conflict between teen rivals. Despite her familys concern, she cant stop her growing feelings for Anthony or the brutal images she sees on the people around him that are pushing her into danger. While those closest to her begin to look into the secrets of her past and her present, Kara must stop one fate from turning deadly--and its fatal outcome from becoming her own.

INVISIBLE TOUCH is a terrific read, one that will stay with you long after you put it down. You can preorder here through Amazon:


Well, I have loved this opportunity to brag about Kelly! Now feel free to follow my lead and say something sweet or fantastic about her, too!


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie - Book Sense Top Teen Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, National Reader’s Choice Award

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hestia: the Goddess of Peace and Tranquility

This may come as an interesting fun-fact, but our own Tera Lynn Childs worked for a time as a teacher. And while it’s been a while since she taught (and even longer since I was in school), I happily accepted her assignment this week to write about my favorite goddess.

Hestia was greatly respected by the Greeks. They saw her as the deity who best exemplified tranquility, peace, gentleness, and kindness, and strong family life. Her symbol is a hearth and the tamed fire that burns there. Greek colonists would kindle fire from her hearth in the prytaneion and keep it lit until they reached the hearths of new towns and cities. There is one of these at Olympia and at Delphi.

However, she only rarely appears in any works of art and temples, and it's not even certain if any examples of Greek statues of Hestia still exist. But here is the Giustiniani Vesta portrait that is believed to be of her.

I am drawn to Hestia because of the very characteristics for which the Greeks admired her. Especially tranquility, which continues to allude my always-on-overdrive writer’s brain. I could definitely stand to do more smell-the-roses stuff!

Of Hestia’s qualities (tranquility, peace, gentleness, and kindness), is there one you could go for in a bigger dose?

And speaking of this Greek earth mom type, Happy Mother’s Day to all. And if you’re still looking for a gift for mom (or yourself), I wholeheartedly recommend Tera Lynn Child’s first release, Oh.My.Gods!


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie - Book Sense Top Teen Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Finalist, National Reader’s Choice Award

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Let's muse over The Muses...

First and foremost...a major shout out to Tera Lynn Childs on the release of her first book, OH. MY. GODS. - available now! We're soooooooooooooooooo proud of her here at Books, Boys, Buzz. Can you tell? We're just bursting!!!

And, in honor of her Greek-themed young adult book, we've been talking about goddesses this week. I couldn't really think of any goddesses that identified with or could tell their story in great detail. As a writer, though, I know that there are those special intuitions inside of me that guide me through my stories. Could they be my Muses, walking me through the creative process? Probably so! (Otherwise, we writers would be committed for having voices in our heads. LOL!!)

The Muses...the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne are are known in Greek mythology to be sisterhood of goddesses or spirits. Collectively, as well as individually, they embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces through song and theatre, writing, music, and dance.

Here are the nine Muses:

1. Calliope, meaning "beaytiful of speech." She's the chief muse and insires epic or heroic poetry.
2. Clio, means "glorious one." She's the muse of history.
3. Erato, "the amorous one" is the muse of love poetry, lyrics and songs about marriage.
4. Euterpe means "well pleasing" and she muses over music and lyrical poetry.
5. Melpomene is the "changing one" and is the muse of tragedy
6. Polyhymnia is the "singer of many hymns" which makes her the muse of sacred songs, lyrics, singing, and poetry.
7. Termpsichore, meaning "delights in dance" is the muse of choral songs and dance.
8. Thalia is the "blossoming one" and stands as the muse of comedy and bucolic poetry.
9. Urania means the "celestial one" and she's the muse of astronomy.

The muses are often pictured with lyres and flutes, tablets, books, and scrolls, masks, flowers, roses, and a globe. They are thought to bring prosperity and friendship.

Of course, there's the classic movie -- now a Broadway musical -- called Xanadu in which one of the muses comes to life and helps a struggling artist find his true calling in painting, music, dance...and a roller disco! was the early 80s...what do you expect? Olivia Newton-John played Kira, the muse who literally stepped out of a painting to inspire the movie's hero. Many people think it's just a cheesy 80s movie, but it truly is a classic about reaching for your dream and achieving it.

And seriously, how much fun would it be being a Muse? Think of what they've done through the ages. They've inspired great works of art from the most amazing painters. They've helped craft songs with beautiful lyrics. They've sparked our imaginations and boostered our confidence to put ourselves out there creatively and express ourselves.

Like Tera did with her book.

Like what all the Buzz Girls do with their books.

I consider the Buzz Girls my own personal muses as they inspire me and support me with their friendship.

Who are your muses? How do they inspire you?

Marley = )

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available Now! Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available Now! Puffin Books)
GHOST HUNTRESS SERIES (May 2009, Houghton Mifflin)

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Toga Party has begun!

I am SO excited to have my turn at congratulating Tera Lynn Childs on the release of her debut novel, OH. MY. GODS. I got a sneak peek at her novel and could not put it down. I've always been mesmorized by Greek mythology and her spin on modernizing these gods is amazing. It got me thinking about when it was that I was introduced to Greek mythology.

It was either 1982 or 1983. My dad was working at a country club and I spent a lot of time in the clubhouse killing flies (hey, they paid me five cents a fly) and drinking Shirley Temples. I'd nurse my kiddy cocktail at the bar and watch television. That's the first time I saw Clash of the Titans. I thought it was awesome. Now, of course, I realize how cheesy it was. But in a good way. From what I remember, Harry Hamlin played Perseus and his quest was to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster to save the Princess Andromeda. (Nice nipple, Harry!)
That was my first introduction to Medusa. Myth has it that Medusa was a sea nymph, one of three gorgon sisters. Medusa was the most beautiful. She hooked up with Poseidon in a temple of Athena. Athena was outraged and turned Medusa from a beautiful sea nymph to a terrifying creature with snakes for hair whose glance could turn you to stone.

Personally, I think Athena overreacted a bit. Who could resist Poseidon anyway? He's all cut up and that trident is one sexy accessory. But Poseidon swam away to woo other sea nymphs leaving Medusa with a permenent bad hair day. I always felt a little bad for her. But I couldn't help thinking the turning people into stone thing would be sort of cool (I had an evil stepmother at the time). After hundreds of horrifying-cheesy special effects, Harry Hamlin cuts Medusa's head off and takes it back to Athena(Like Athena hadn't already done enough to her). In myth, Medusa had two beings come from her body, Pegasus (the winged horse) and Chrysaor of the Golden Sword. This statue is on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. It's awesome and you should check it out if you are ever in the area. So, the moral of the story is: Be careful who you hook up with. How about you, does Medusa just gross you out or did she just fall for the bad boy? And who would you turn to stone?

PS- I was also excited to find out while researching this blog that in 2010 a remake of Clash of the Titans will be made. I can hardly wait to see the cast. And don't forget to pick up a copy of OH. MY. GODS.



Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Athena and the meme attack

The Greek goddess Athena was considered the child of Zeus alone for Zeus had swallowed her mother, Metis, and gave birth to Athena himself through his head and fully grown. Athena was a war Goddess, and represented the intellectual and civilized side of war. For these reasons it has always been desirable to count upon her favour when war is at hand, for Athena, it is said, would never put up with defeat.

I've always loved Athena because she's exactly the kind of heroine I love to read and the kind of heroine I try to write: a kick-ass chick who is wise, yet doesn't take crap from anyone. She's passionate, strong, yet also reasonable and kind.
This week we're celebating the launch of our very own Tera Lynn Childs' debut novel OH.MY.GODS. What a great title, huh? I am so excited for my very own copy to arrive through Amazon and dive into the world of Phoebe and the Greek Gods.

As for TLC, she is one of the kindest, most responsible and most ORGANIZED people I have ever known. She always has it completely together and is on top of what we Buzz Girls should blog about, who's birthday is coming up, updating our gorgeous blog with our recent book covers, etc. She's the one who helped me create bookmarks and postcards for HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI since I'm a complete graphic design moron.

We love you SO much Tera and we at BBG are so, so, so very proud of you!

Also, I have been "tagged" on YA Fresh, so here goes:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Make up the next three sentences and post them
5. Tag five people and post a comment to the person who tagged me.

Okay, so the nearest book to me? A signed copy of CHINA DOLLS by Blossom Kan and Michelle Yu.

Page 123, fifth sentence: “Once in America, they'd scimped and saved, determined to give their daughter every opportunity to succeed."

The next three sentences: Of course with me being their daughter, they really should have blown their life savings on sweet and sour chicken and Manolos. That's what I was doing anyway. Viva America, the land of Chinese buffets and Italian shoes.
Five people I am tagging:
  • Christina Arbini
  • Kelli Estes
  • Erin Eisenberg
  • Serena Robar
  • Shannon McKelden
(Love these ladies! Saw them last night at Jane Porter's book signing for MRS. PERFECT and we had a blast over 7-up and vodka chocolat-tinis)

Happy Wednesday!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra
HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI -- out now!
SHRINK TO FIT -- August 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Bees Favorite Goddesses...

We're celebrating the Launch of Oh. My. Gods. here on the Buzz Blog!

Huge congrats to Tera Lynn Childs!!

To mark the occasion, we're highlighting Greek Goddesses this week....

I'm going with Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and supposedly default Queen of the Underworld. I say default because Hades took the rap for abducting Persephone and bringing her to the Underworld, where he ruled. But, I like to think they fell in love and decided to run away together.

Demeter, Goddesss of the Harvest, was so sad when Persephone took off, that the earth ceased to be fruitful. Finally, hearing the cries of hungry mortals, Zeus made Persephone come back. But before she left Hades, Persephone ate some of a pomegrantate Hades gave her -- and so she was bound to return to him. Now, she goes underground four months every year to be with him -- scholars say this was one way the ancient Greeks explained the seasons.

I always loved this idea -- going underground for a while and then emerging and bringing Spring with you! Haven't you ever felt like that? Like you are in a cocoon and then you flutter out to find a new situation, maybe even a new you?

My manuscript HAUNT ME, which won the 2006 YA Golden Heart award, starred a girl named Persephone -- she went by Perry. I chose her name because she was in that underground place, not quite who she was going to become and, because it was a ghost story, bound to the Underworld by duty.

Speaking of naming characters Persephone, if you try to track down pictures of her, you will find that way too many people name their cats Persephone. What's with that?

Anyway, I love the story of Persephone and I don't think Hades was as big of a creep as some versions of the story make him out to be. I like to think that there was a great love story there.

(Maybe it was kind of like when your friend gets a boyfriend and forgets about everyone else for a while, at least until she and the boyfriend break up?) Anyway, P. had to be one cool, strong girl to make it through the Underworld alive. She rocks.

What do you think? Have you ever gone underground like Persephone, only to emerge renewed or a totally new person?



Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in April 2009 (Only 11 months!!) from HarperCollins