Monday, September 29, 2008

Haunted High School?

Our Marley Gibson is in the process of writing a series called Ghost Huntress, and has been involved in paranormal research--even recently interviewed about it on A & E.

In that vein, I’d like to offer a video from about two months ago, an unexplained event in a high school in Asheville, NC. Give it a play and tell us your thoughts!



Tina Ferraro
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys - January 13, 2009
How to Hook a Hottie - Out Now, Book Sense Top Teen Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress - Out Now

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Location, Location, Location...

Happy Sunday!
What the heck is the picture to the left? Why, Seattle's famous Gum Wall, of course.
This local curiosity is the composite of bazillions of wads of gum (and coins) stuck on the bricks of an alley wall below Pike Place Market. Here is a one foot detail of the 30' x 20' + wall.
Disgusting! I know, right?
But also somehow beautiful and definitely interesting... an unusual location for sure...
And have you noticed how great scenes take place in interesting locations? Screenwriting gurus call this the "pope in the pool." If you're going to have a conversation with the pope -- stick him in the pool (an unusual setting.)
My beloved Heath comes to mind in 10 Things I Hate About You -- a typical high school setting -- but the filmmakers found varied and interesting settings -- remember the serenade from the stadium stands? Remember the paintball fight? (Filmed at Seattle's Gas Works Park, btw.)
Or what about Sixteen Candles? -- boys' bathroom, school weightroom, girls' showers, party house, church, etc. Even in a setting as common as a high school, the filmmakers found interesting locations that added so much to the scenes. Can't Hardly Wait also has some good locations for their scenes.
So... what stories and unusual scene settings have you loved?
Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
coming in April 2009 from HarperTeen

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Notes from Dona's Book Tour (so far!)

Hello friends!

Yes, you read that right, I am on a book-tour in my home state of Michigan for a week and a half before returning to Seattle for the launch party of my latest release SHRINK TO FIT! I know I've been MIA for a while getting ready for the tour, but now I'm back!

The schedule looks something like this:

Michigan Events

9 am
Parkview Elementary School in Novi
Meet the author!

4 pm
Detroit Public Library: Redford
Book-discussion and signing of HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI

(both of these are done! More details below!)

11 am
Detroit Public Library: Duffield
Book-discussion and signing of HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI

7 pm
Ann Arbor Downtown Borders
Book-reading, discussion and signing of SHRINK TO FIT

11 am
Detroit Public Library: Knapp
Book-discussion and signing of HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI

Seattle Events

7 pm
Kirkland Parkplace Books
Launch party of SHRINK TO FIT with fun, food and gifts followed by a book-reading and signing.

Emerald City Writers Conference
Workshop: Breaking into YA: Finding Your Niche

If you happen to be in the area, stop by! I would love to meet you guys!

So, as far as the school and library visits go, here is what happened:

Elementary School Visit
My little 4th grader cousin told her classmates and teacher about me and how I'm an author and the teacher asked me to come in and speak to the class (even though my book is QUITE out of their age range.)

So I went. The teachers were so cute and the kids were excited to see an author, especially one that had graduated from that school district.

I just gave the basic story of how I've always loved reading and made up stories of my own once the books ended. It was amazing to see the kids totally engaged in listening and asking so many questions!

Some of the questions were so sweet…..“Have you met Dr Seuss? Are you famous? How much money do you make?”

I gave bookmarks to all the kids and signed all their writing journals and they gave me big hugs.
The principal came by and asked if I could come back in March for a school-district wide event.

So, all in all, I think my first school visit experience was a success! I am definitely NOT funny (like Simone!) nor is my story that interesting (like Heather!), but the kids made it all worthwhile!

Library visit (Pictures coming soon!)
This one was for an older audience, the members of the community of the Redford Library. The librarian had ordered 50 copies of HOW TO SALSA IN A SARI which I signed, one for each family.

I then talked about my journey to becoming a writer, how everything I write involves the heroine being an outcast, since that's how I felt after leaving Detroit, as well as the wonderful things about being an author (having friends like the Buzz Girls, being able to write books I would have wanted to read as a kid, etc.)

Some quotes the librarians gave me were, "You were wonderful! Please come back soon!" and
"You are truly one in a million!"

So, I was pretty happy :)

So that's how the book-tour is going so far!
Have you guys been to any author events that you've really enjoyed? Who? And what did you like about it?
Dona Sarkar-Mishra
both out now!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why couldn't I have thought of that?

Have you ever seen something in a store and did one of those palm/forehead smacks wondering why you didn't think of it? Do you grumble the rest of the way down the aisle picturing the inventor sipping pina coladas on the beach somewhere? Well, I do. Here are just a few of the things I wish I would have invented.

A few months ago, our beloved Maltese, Lucky, passed away. He was an inside dog so I never bothered much with a collar unless we were going somewhere. He had two charms on his collar, one with info, and another that was a guardian angel of dogs. When he wore the collar the charms would clink together and drive me insane. It wasn't until he had passed that I saw these rubber silencers you could put around the charms so they don't clink. Ugh. Why didn't I think of that?
What girl doesn't love high heels? Okay, maybe not actually wearing them but how you look when you do. What if you had an adorable pair of heels that were actually comfortable? Unfortunately these only come in size 0-6 months! Baby high heels! Why couldn't I have thought of those? I'm still hoping I will think of something brilliant that everyone will just have to have. That way I can write my books from the beach from now on. What is your favorite invention? Is there something you wish you would have invented?

What I'm reading now....The Informant by Kurt Eichenwald


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New family members!

Sorry for the quick, fly-by post! I have two more chapters to write in GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE before I can read, polish, edit and get it critted before October 6th!! Tick, tick, tick...

But, I just had to share pictures of my new fur babies! They are just too adorable for words. And the sweetest little love bunnies. The black one is Natasha, or as I've been calling her, Princess Tashi-Tash of Gorgeousville. The gray one is named Stanley (for the Stanley Hotel and for the Stanley Cup), although I've been calling him Lord Stanley Baby Boy. They don't seem to mind either way.

They're getting settled in, are starting to get on a regular eat-sleep-play-pee schedule. LOL! We're just happy to have been able to give two rescue/shelter kitties a loving home.

Do you have pets? What do you love about them? (Other than they're fabulous!) I know several Buzz girls have beloved pets. How 'bout you?

Marley = )

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Library Shout Out

(Question: Is "shout out" totally passe yet?)

Tomorrow (Wednesday, September 24) the teens and tweens of Davidson Public Library, outside beautiful Charlotte, NC, will be meeting and discussing none other than OH. MY. GODS.

photo by FLC

This is my first (known) library discussion group for OMG and I am beyond excited. I might have gone a little crazy because I called the library yesterday and offered to send some fun goodies (aka bookmarks and buttons). The librarian in charge of the program might have been a little freaked out. In a good way.

So, to the readers of Davidson Public Library I say, "Have fun and let me know what you guys talked about!"


OH. MY. GODS. (available now!)
GODDESS BOOT CAMP (coming June 2009)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Coming Soon...

I realized the other day that my blonde head was fuzzy on upcoming Buzz Girl releases, so decided to put myself on the task and find out. Take a look! Some of the Buzz Girls had the time to give me blurbs, as well, and, as you will see, I included an early look at my next cover...


Perfect Chemistry, Simone Elkeles, December 2008


The ABC's of Kissing Boys, Tina Ferraro, January 2009

When Parker doesn’t make varsity soccer, she concocts a crazy-but-just-might-work plan to change the coach’s mind, which includes kissing the socks off the prom king at the sports fair. But between now and then, she needs to learn everything she can about kissing...and first up is finding the right kind of coach.

Spring Breakup, Stephanie Hale, March 2009

Aspen Brooks trades in sand between her toes for shopping on The Strip when she agrees to go to Las Vegas for spring break with her boyfriend, Rand, her bff, Angel, and Angel's bf, Lucas. Their hotel is hosting the Miss Teen Queen Pageant and surgically enhanced beauty contestants are everywhere. But when Miss Illinois goes AWOL, its up to Aspen to represent her home state and find out what’s really going on. Even if it means putting down the suntan lotion and ignoring Angel's meltdown over breaking up with Lucas.

Never Cry Werewolf, Heather Davis, April 2009

Ghost Huntress: The Awakening
, Marley Gibson, May 2009

Goddess Boot Camp, Tera Lynn Childs, June 2009

Phoebe, who recently discovered she's a descendant of Nike (the goddess, not the shoe), is finding out that supernatural powers come with a crazy learning curve. Her new stepfather, headmaster of the Academy for descendants of the Greek gods, has enrolled her at Dynamotheos Development Camp – aka Goddess Boot Camp – with a bunch of ten-year-olds for the summer. Embarrassing as that is, hopefully it'll help her get control of her powers in time to pass the test of the gods, continue training hard enough to qualify for the Pythian Games (the only sporting event bigger than the Olympics), and enjoy her godly boyfriend, Griffin, all while avoiding getting smoted for accidental misuse of powers!

The Alpha Bet, Stephanie Hale, September 2009

Geeky Grace Kelly Cook knew the only way to get away from her helicopter mother was to graduate high school early. So at only sixteen, she is off to college. With the help of her new roommate and b/f/f, Jentry, Grace Kelly is trying to go from geek to Greek. Together they rush the most elite sorority on campus, the Alpha's. Grace Kelly loses her bid due to an accident that wasn't her fault. Thanks to her Google obsession, she finds a loophole back in the sorority. But someone doesn't want her there and demands that she complete The Alpha Bet (a set of twenty-six alphabetical tasks) before becoming a true sister.

Ghost Huntress: The Guidance, Marley Gibson, October 2009

(Untitled--third in the How To Ruin series), Simone Elkeles, October 2009


When Bad Flings Happen to Good Girls, Tina Ferraro, Spring 2010

Brandy intends to stay unattached in her senior year so she can maintain top grades and give her best to her beloved robotics team. But her BFFs tell her if she doesn't find a boyfriend to spice up her social life, they'll do it for her. So she sets off to have a bad summer fling, to return to school with a broken heart to keep her plans in place and her friends at bay. But what do to when a bad fling turns good?

(Untitled--sequel to Leaving Paradise), Simone Elkeles, Spring, 2010

Ghost Huntress: The Reason, Marley Gibson, May 2010


So there you have it! Enough fun and excitement to keep us all busy for a couple years.

What books (listed here or otherwise) are you looking forward to reading?


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, September 21, 2008

Savvy Shopping in Hard Times

YES -- the economy stinks!

This week, more than ever, everyone has been watching the crazy news from Wall Street (hugs, Marley!) and starting to worry about finances. Even my crush George S. spent most of his "This Week" show talking about the crappy economy.

But that doesn't mean you can't buy stuff. People occasionally need stuff -- even people on a budget. And that is why I am so psyched that our downtown Seattle H & M has finally opened!

H & M is my fave store for new stuff. Seriously, I pretty much stick to thrift stores, H & M, and the Nordstrom Rack for cute outfits. Usually I have to wait to travel to NYC to get my H & M fix, and now it's here in the Northwest! Very, very cool. If you still have back to school shopping to do, or need clothes for work, H & M has some deals -- also, my sister and I found GREAT sales at Old Navy.

Yay for sisters and shopping!

Since fall is really here (cue the rain) after a weird Northwest summer, it's a good time to take inventory of the closet and see what you need to supplement your wardrobe. And of course, give your cute things that you can no longer wear to charity --- or do a clothing swap party!!

Have you done one of these yet? You invite 6 - 8 friends and tell them each to bring a friend. Size doesn't matter -- with that many peeps, there should be something for everyone. Everyone brings a bag of stuff they love but can't fit anymore or that doesn't actually look good on them. This should be good stuff! Add in some snacks and beverages and a changing area -- and behold, everyone gets a new outfit or two and has fun.

Some people have everyone draw numbers for choosing order-- but I think I prefer the free-form method. Have you ever been to a clothing swap? What other fashion on a budget tips do you have?

Happy Fall!


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

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How well do you know your librarian?

I grew up in a town of about 1500 people. Our library was small to put it mildly. I would love to say that our town librarian was a sweet woman who inspired me to become a writer. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. Our librarian was the nastiest, most hateful woman alive. My friends and I were convinced that she rode a broom to work. She would eyeball us like we were kleptomaniacs. If I couldn't find something I was looking for, I didn't dare ask her for fear that she would throw me in some secret closet and use me later as an ingredient for one of her potions. My friends never had the love of reading that I did so they tired of her nasty comments. Soon I was all alone venturing into the library to find more books to quench my reading thirst. Instead of nurturing my love of reading and helping me find books that would have expanded my love of the written word, she would gripe that I was "back again already". Eventually, I stopped going and relied on the book orders from school and the occasional trip to the bookstore.

I've thought of this woman many times over the years and wondered how many potential readers for life she crushed under her wicked tongue. Luckily, my love of books won out over anything she could have said to me. I did, however, have an unfortunate stereotype of librarians stuck in my head. I couldn't help thinking that they were all old, crusty, and practiced some sort of witchcraft using children in their potions.

Thanks to the Internet I have come into contact with many librarians across the U.S. who have blown my stereotype of librarians away. They are some of the most passionate booklovers on the planet. Nothing makes them feel better than matching a reader with the perfect book. They will go out of their way for authors to spread the word about their books. They are an author and reader's best friend. They even go to extremes to get kids/adults excited about reading. They want your book to succeed. They want you to write more books. They are even devoted readers of blogs just like this one.

And just like you, sometimes they like to take a long lunch with a cool drink and enjoy one of the Buzz Girl's awesome books.

Sometimes they even like to paint their toenails to match their favorite book cover. You can't get much more dedicated to books than that. Thanks to Chuck the golfing librarian from GA for the laugh! How cool would it be to have him for your librarian?

So thank you to all those crazy librarians who will do just about anything to get their patrons excited about books. Are you a librarian or did one influence your love of reading?



ps- Come help me celebrate the release of Linda Gerber's Death by Latte. Read my blog post on the only time I lied to my mom (okay, that's a lie) and have a chance to win a copy of Twisted Sisters and lots of other great YA novels.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My frenetic life!

What? It's my turn to blog again? Oy on the vey! Where did the week go? For that matter, where has this year gone? Is it just me, or is 2008 like an eyelash blink?

Things are crazy here in my world. I work in the financial industry, so as you can imagine, it's a bit of a carnival ride right now. On top of that, I'm on deadline for my book, GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE, that is due in 18 days!!!

And, as if that's not hubby and I went to the shelter last night and put down an application for two kitties.

How adorable are they?
A brother and sister who are five years old and have been there for a long time after being surrendered by their previous owner. The volunteers were sooooooo happy that we not only wanted them, but that we'll take both of them. Of course, like a good new mommy, I will post more pictures when they come home.

Oh heavens...we need names, too! Any suggestions?

Finally, some exciting news that I can share!

I spent last weekend in LA at a production company getting interviewed and filmed for a new paranormal TV. I can't give away too many details right now, but the show will premiere on The Biography Channel on Halloween night. It's being produced byA&E and they may be sneak-previewing it on the 29th. It was a really grueling pace from flying across country to working on the production for two days straight. So many LA friends were disappointed that we couldn't visit, but it was a business trip.

Well...we did have two hours on Saturday night to play. Check out the video my friend, Donn Shy, a fabulous paranormal investigator, did of our time in Hollywood.

Have you ever been to Hollywood? What was your experience? Was the cheese level as high for you? LOLOL!!!

Marley = )

GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING (Coming May 2009, Houghton Mifflin)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE (Coming October 2009, Houghton Mifflin)
SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available from Puffin Books)

SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available from Puffin Books)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Things Ike Taught Me

I thought about starting like this:
I survived hurricane Ike and all I got was this lousy blog post.

But I think the devastation wrought on the Gulf Coast last weekend deserves more than a flippant opening. It deserves a more thoughtful sort of commentary, especially since so many in the area are still suffering. Especially since that suffering is not about to go away.

Instead, I'm going to talk about some of the things I learned from my first true hurricane experience.

1. Family is precious. I spent my sleepless hours before and during the storm texting weather updates to my parents. (This will be the one and only time I ever thank AT&T because I never lost cell service.)

2. Friends are also precious. Although my apartment wasn't in an evacuated zone, I fled to my dear friend's home in Katy on Thursday night. She and her husband and two kids fed and sheltered me until my apartment regained power and water on Monday night.

3. There is strength in numbers. I wasn't their only refugee. On Sunday night, their home hosted a dinner including me, my friend, her husband, their two kids, her mother- and father-in-law, two of their close friends who have three kids of their own. It was a ... rambunctious (and relief-filled) night.

4. Mother Nature always wins. No matter how hard you plan, how safe you think you are, she will always toss you something completely unexpected. Like a Category 2 storm with a Category 4 storm surge. Every time we try to classify or outwit her, she proves her power.

5. The past was not romantic. It was dark, dank and sweaty. After only 22 hours without power, my friend and I were whining like we'd just crossed the Prairie in a wagon train. (Although I bet those women never complained about anything.) Just imagine the families that are still without power. And those who will not be getting power for up to a month or more.

6. Infrastructure is amazing. The city of Houston, Harris County, and the surrounding cities and counties seem to be doing a terrific job of coordinating relief and recovery efforts. FEMA PODs (Points of Distribution) seem to be up and running with moderate wait times. Power is slowly but surely returning to the 2.3 million customers who were cut off in the storm. Debris removal is underway in critical areas. Rescues continue. Government (like people) may not be perfect, but it can be comforting in a time of crisis.

7. Fear blooms in the absence of knowledge. I fled to my friend's house a day early because my internet (my main connection to the outside world) started acting up. 24-hour coverage on local channels as well as simulcasting on radio for those who lost power was a godsend in the dark of the storm. Listening KHOU and KRBE on my emergency weather radio kept me sane that night.

8. Battered but not beaten. The Texas Gulf Coast took a catastrophic hit in the early hours of Saturday, September 13. But the Texas spirit lives. Life goes on. My friend's baby turned one on Saturday. His first birthday party had to be postponed because of the storm. Instead, our little household joined the neighboring family for an air-conditioned celebration at a miraculously open restaurant. An $8.99 cake from Kroger's and an all-you-can-eat buffet may not have been his mom's idea of an ideal birthday, but we were safe, we were with friends, and we made the most of what we had. There will be a lot of that going on in the coming weeks.

[Photos in this post taken from the Houston Chronicle]

Want to help? The Red Cross is operating shelters and provides a registration service, Safe and Well, that allows family members to tell their loved ones they are okay. Donations to the Greater Houston Red Cross will be put to good use.

Want to learn more? Check out the Houston Chronicle and the KHOU websites.

Hugs, luck and love,

OH. MY. GODS. (available now!)
GODDESS BOOT CAMP (coming June 2009)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nice Girls Rule!

Most of us know the slogan, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” and I’m willing to bet every one of us has broken it at least once...

I’ll ‘fess up. I recently I tried to encourage a friend to say something totally NOT nice. We were having a restaurant lunch when in came someone who had repeatedly “mean girl’ed” my friend. And while I’m actually quite good at forgiving people who hurt or come after me, I’m part barracuda and part elephant-who-never-forgets when it comes to “my peeps.”

(Behold, an attractive reenactment of the lunch, except for the fact my friend and I do not smoke.)

Anyway, looking at the Mean Girl, the perfect line struck me. I whispered it to my friend, and dared her to go by the table and deliver it to Mean Girl, to put her in her place.

My friend laughed--yep, I’m clever--but then shook her head.

Me: “Come on, you know you want to do it.”
Her: “I couldn’t. It’s too mean.”
Me: “After all the stuff she said to you? She deserves it.”
Her: (shaking head)
Me: “I’d do it.”
Her: “Yes, Tina, I know. I’ve read your books.”

Touche. In fact, this suddenly did feel like the mall scene from Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, except my main characters are never the ones who say the mean things.

So in the end, we took the high road. Okay, my friend took the high road. And I suppose I’m sleeping better for it. And now I’m back to being nice. (I am!)

How about you? Have you ever delivered the perfect line, or had it in you, then bit your tongue until it bled?

What I’m Watching: I'm not reading anything because I'm on deadline, but I'm watching back-to-back episodes of The Office.


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, September 14, 2008

American Teen -- The movie...

Hey guys, happy Sunday!

So, I saw a great documentary yesterday -- American Teen. It premiered at Sundance earlier in the year and is now in theaters nationwide.

Though posters tout the movie as a modern-day Breakfast Club, the kids are much more complicated than the fictional characters of the John Hughes classic.

One teen in particular, Hannah, seen in the photo as the Ally Sheedy freak-girl character, is heartbreakingly awesome. An artist who dreams of film school and lives with her grandma, Hannah is just like the girls I write into my novels -- the girls on the edge of knowing who they are and accepting themselves. Hannah has troubles with an ex-boyfriend that throw her into depression and threaten her graduating school and then, when she dates a popular jock, Hannah learns the hard way that peer pressure can ruin a relationship. So Pretty in Pink, but real life. I loved Hannah. In many ways, I feel like I *was* Hannah in high school, so maybe that's why...

The other kids are equally complicated and each struggling with their own family pressures and worries about the future. In Warsaw, Indiana, they are growing up and learning who they want to become. The geek boy wonders if he'll ever have a real girlfriend. The jock is trying to get a scholarship for basketball because his dad won't pay for college. The popular girl is especially screwed up and the film does a good job of suggesting just why she's become that way...

Anyway, can't say enough about this great movie. I hope you get a chance to see it.



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

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The New Microsoft Ads

A bunch of may have seen those new Microsoft ads and wondered, "What the heck is going on?"

If you haven't, here's the latest one with Seinfeld and Gates:

Believe me, there is a plan and a story that go along with the ads. (I just can't tell you what it is!)

Microsoft has long been known as the company that NEVER bashes it's competitors. Not in ads. Not in press-releases. Never.

When you're a long-standing multi-billion dollar company and your CEO is one of the richest (and most giving!) people in the world, you have no reason to bash the "smaller" companies. You're a role model for the billion + users of your product (and that's not an exaggeration....the next version of Windows is slated to have a billion!)

The Mac ads are funny, I give them 100% credit for being creative and hilarious, but Microsoft would never go down that path. And believe me, there are enough funny and creative people at Microsoft would could come up with WAY more offensive ads.

But we channel that energy to shipping more products year after year instead.

It reminds me of writers. We promote ourselves with our products...our work. Never by putting down others in the process.

Have you guys ever encountered a "basher" in your line of work? What's your reaction?
Dona Sarkar-Mishra
both out now!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Random things on a Friday....

I'm feeling very random today so there will be rhyme or reason to this post. Enjoy!

I'm SO ready for Halloween, sweatshirts, and crunchy red and gold leaves. The boys and I hung our skeleton friend, affectionately known as Mr. Bones, on our tree this week. The neighborhood squirrels now fight over our cool tree. We also broke out the Halloween garden flag, our plastic jack-0-lantern, and our ghost lights. Is it too early? Ah, who cares?
I don't understand why nobody ever made a big deal of the movie, BECAUSE I SAID SO. This is one of my favorite movies and I love it more every time I see it. I've never seen a movie so accurately nail the complexities of the mother-daughter/love-hate relationship. Watch it.

Is it wrong of me to be insanely jealous of Zoey Dean and Charlaine Harris for having these amazing shows based on their books? I'm addicted to both series already after just one episode.
True Blood-based on Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series.

The chemistry between Sookie and Bill is amazing!

And Privileged based on Zoey Dean's novel.

FYI****TO ALL MOVIE AND TELEVISION PRODUCERS***Shockingly, the rights to my novels are still available. If you would like to resolve this, please contact Jenny Bent at Trident Media Group. I know, I'm shameless.

And finally, I am completely psyched to be one of the lucky authors to participate in the cyberbration of Linda Gerber's new YA novel, Death by Latte. It starts Sept 18 and runs through Sept 22. Check out this awesome trailer Linda made and don't forget to visit to win books and other prizes.

What I'm reading now...The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stuck in the middle with you...

(For anyone who's curious, the haunted spice rack on eBay sold for $232.50!) high school, I was part of a trio. Three really close friends. Inseparable. Two girls and one guy. We were bestest friends and like brother and sisters. We hung out together, did homework together (even did each other's some times), went off campus to lunch together, did stuff on the weekend, and were basically joined at the hips three-ways.

Our senior year, I noticed that my two friends would disappear more and more. They weren't always available for lunch or homework or riding around after school. Then, I caught them making out in her car. Needless to say, I was shocked, horrified...and hurt. I think secretly, both of us had always had a crush on him and hoped something would blossom...but why was it her and not me? They both tried to comfort me that "nothing will change" and we'll all still be friends. But how can you go back to how things were when you're clearly the third (undesired) wheel?

This happened two other times to me in my college years. Obviously I can't learn. Each time, I felt betrayed, idiotic, and lonely over the loss of the unique friendship. I also wondered why wasn't I the one the friend chose? Which leads to typical teen self-doubt, lack of self-confidence, and overall fear of rejection.

I'm thinking of including this type of situation in a future YA book since it's a really emotional thing that a growing teenage girl has to deal with and overcome to be a confident, strong woman.

Have you ever found yourself to be the third wheel or odd man out in a special relationship? What did you do when you found out? How did you cope with it?

Would love your feedback!

Marley = )

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

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Say It's My Birthday

Okay, so it's not my birthday until tomorrow, but here are some funny birthday quotes to get me in the mood.

Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.

Steven Wright
Last week the candle factory burned down. Everyone just stood around and sang, 'Happy Birthday.'

Samuel Johnson
The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.

Father Larry Lorenzoni
Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.

Robert Frost
Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty.

Erma Bombeck
A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday.

Mary Schmich
Like many women my age, I am 28 years old.

George Burns
People ask me what I'd most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit.

Robert Frost
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.

John Glenn
There is still no cure for the common birthday.



OH. MY. GODS. (available now!)
GODDESS BOOT CAMP (coming June 2009)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Signs of the Times!

A couple of years ago, my critique partner, Kelly Parra, introduced me to fun sign generating website:

sign generator

I went ahead and made a couple ridiculously fun signs:

Some months later, went back and made this:

And this weekend, I decided to ignore my book deadline and have more fun:

This site allows you to play with fonts and sizes, as well as numerous backgrounds, and believe me, you can lose yourself for hours, whether it’s for promo or just to create something to tease a friend or two.

Check it out and tell me what you think!

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

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Anybody else broke?

The Hale household has taken a serious look at their finances lately. Okay, it was just me looking at my checkbook wondering why my balance wasn't bigger, but still. I know everyone is tired of hearing about high gas prices so I won't start whining about that ($3.70 a gallon in these parts). I realized very quickly that we eat out WAY too much. I knew if I didn't act quickly I may soon have to choose between my beloved five cheese ziti from Olive Garden and new books from Amazon. If I absolutely had to choose, I knew I could always munch on the pages I'd already read!

Instead of taking those drastic measures and possibly exposing myself to ink poisoning (What? This can totally happen if you write all over yourself. At least that is what my mom used to tell me). I started clipping coupons that I used to just throw away. I started actually using my deep freezer. I even Googled: five cheese ziti from Olive Garden and got the recipe. I made it for my family on Saturday and they went crazy.

I stopped buying so many magazines, knowing that I could always check them out from the library if I needed to. Our library also has an awesome selection of DVD's (they get the new ones every Tuesday) so I am considering canceling Netflix. I'm constantly following around behind the kids shutting off lights and appliances. I recently needed a new purse and found a gorgeous black leather Perlina at Von Maur for $120. I came home and got on eBay and bought the same exact NEW purse for $15. Yeah, baby! I also got some new Born shoes that retail for $100 for $16.
If I keep up at this rate, I may be able to get some of those things on my Amazon wish list next month! What are your favorite ways to save money? And what do you refuse to live without no matter how broke you are?



Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Oy vey...eBay!

Well, just when you think you've seen it all -- you know, the Virgin Mary in a grill cheese sandwich, Mickey Mouse in a Yukon gold potato, or the auctioning off of a human kidney -- eBay goes and flashes us another stroke of seller genius.

As you know, my next series, GHOST HUNTRESS (out in May 2009!), is about teenage ghost hunters so my friends send me anything and everything related to hauntings and huntings and spirits. The latest is from the fabulous Kristen Painter.

Check out this latest auction on eBay: Spice Rack Haunted by Spirit:

It looks like a normal spice rack. Harmless. Standard. However, the current owner claims...

I purchased this spice rack at an old thrift shop a few months back and ever since paranormal and unexplainable things have been occuring. The first strange thing that occured was the sound of an elderly woman humming in the kitchen as if to entertain herself while baking, banging of pots and pans have also been heard. Spices I had set on the spice rack have rearranged themselves over night as if the individual haunting this spice rack didn't like how I had them place. Whenever I'm in the kitchen I also feel like someone is watching me. I'm not sure of the history behind this spicerack but i'm pretty sure the person it belonged to sure loved spending time in the kitchen. Trying to sell it in hopes that the spirit haunting my kitchen will follow along with the spice rack once belonging to them in there physical life. Serious inquiries only please.

Thing is...there are 17 bids up for it and it's risen $50 since I discovered this yesterday. Why would you want that?!

Don't 'cha just love eBay? What's the strangest thing you've seen on eBay?

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)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lazy Day Post: M.A.S.H.

Even though yesterday was Labor Day, I worked the whole time! So I'm taking today as my Labor Day and doing a slacker's job on my blog post. Here's a fun (and, near the end, slightly gross) video about the game M.A.S.H.

If you don't know the game M.A.S.H. then you were clearly never an elementary school or junior high girl. Wikipedia has a nice basic entry about the game and so does Like Totally 80s. There's even an online version you can play (if you feel like channeling your inner tween).


OH. MY. GODS. (available now!)
GODDESS BOOT CAMP (coming June 2009)