Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve!...and a Winner!

Three of my favorite words: New Year's Eve!

For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with New Year's Eve. When I was little, I'd sit up with my stuffed animals and have a party with them, complete with sparkling cider that my mother would buy for me. I'd hang my brother's disco ball (left over from his prom) on my ceiling fan and put a flashlight on the floor beaming up at it. own club! As I got older, I'd hang out with friends and ring in the new year with firecrackers and fun. And, of course, there was always Dick Clark's New Year's Rock 'n Eve and the ball drop in Times Square.

Some of my favorite New Year's memories are vacations my hubby and I took around New Year's. We've been in Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, and Miami Beach. I love how each of the different cities celebrate and watching all the people who come to the areas.

This year, it's low key at the Gibson household...but that's okay. Since we have our two new family members (Stanley and Natasha), we want to stay in with the kitties and ring in the New Year. Sure, there will be champagne and we'll watch the fireworks on TV and from from our balcony, but we're just happy that we were so blessed with so many wonderful things in 2008. Our wish for 2009 is health, wealth, happiness, and friendship for everyone!

What are your plans tonight? Let us know!

And to round out the festitivies...thanks to everyone who posted teh 170 (WOW!) comments in conjuntion with the giveaway of Simone's book PERFECT CHEMISTRY. I put all of the names in an Excel sheet, numbered them, then called my hubby and said, "Give me a number between..." And the winner is....


Please send me your snail mail address at marley @ (no spaces.) Thanks to everyone! I think we hit a record for Buzz Girl comments! LOL!!

Happiest of Happy New Year's to all of you and we hope you'll join us in 2009 for even more fun!
Marley = )

P.S. If you'd like to check out my interview on radio's Spooks R Us program on Monday night, please check here for the replay. My interview starts 64 minutes into the show.
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING (Coming May 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE (Coming October 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE (Coming October 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
CHRISTMAS MIRACLES (Coming October 2009, St. Martin's Press)
SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available from Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available from Puffin Books)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things I Got For Christmas

Earlier this week the Story Siren posted pics of some of holiday gifts she received (she also posted the latest edition of her books to pine for, which includes my to-be-released GODDESS BOOT CAMP, but that's not really relevant—just really cool), so I thought I'd share some of my favorite spoils of Christmas.

1. Roomba—A robotic vacuum! I am way more excited about this than I should be because I hate vacuuming. Now all I have to do is punch a button and Wilbur (that's what my dad named him and I think it fits) will do all the work for me. Yay!

2. Wine glasses—I already have wine glasses, but these ones are better because they have turquoise stems (turquoise being my fave color). My mom found them at an antique shop in Guthrie, OK. But I won't hold that against them.

3. Peppermint kitchen kit—From Williams Sonoma (they have the best soaps and lotions for the kitchen) it includes dish soap, hand soap, lotion, and counter cleaner. Mmmm.

4. Handmade bowl—Made by my uncle Greg. It's small, round, and totally perfect. (He made my parents a Chinese checkers board with the first line of their wedding vows carved across the top. Way cool.)

5. Gift cards—I have the funds to keep me in Starbucks and Barnes & Noble for a good while, and a little fun at Target, too.

Okay, so those were some of my favorite gifts of this Christmas season. What about you? Any fab prezzies you'd like to share?


PS—Click over to my personal blog to read The Twelve Days of Stella, my short story holiday gift to readers.

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Books, books, and more books...

Hey, Santa brought me a Kindle this year! And the timing was perfect because Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress and The ABC's of Kissing Boys became available in Kindle format last week, joining How to Hook a Hottie. So you can believe I quickly learned how to download them, in addition to the newest Sophie Kinsella book, which I've dying to read.

In other fun news, I got my Box 'O Books from Random House, and couldn't resist snapping a shot in front of the tree.

Just about two weeks now until it hits the shelves!

Here's hoping the holiday season left you awash in books, too!


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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Two kinds of Bad Boys...

It's the wrap up day of Bad Boys Week on our blog -- all in celebration of the release of Buzz Girl Simone Elkeles' new book Perfect Chemistry.

I got to thinking about bad boys and I've come to what I think is a pretty good conclusion... there are two types of bad boys.

The first is the bad boy that ultimately earns redemption by the end of the story -- and the other bad boy is the type that takes you to to the edge of what you will accept or take and by the end of the story has you realizing that the *other* guy right under your nose is actually the one for you.

I'm a big fan of the first type of bad boy -- and Daniel Craig plays just this type of dark hero in the new movie Defiance, which opens nationwide in January.
This movie is directed by Edward Zwick, who did The Last Samuarai and Glory, as well as having a hand in the wonderful TV series, My So-Called Life, incidentally. But back to Daniel...
He and his brothers (the awesome Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell) in this WWII set movie are the town ne'er-do-wells who know the forests of Bellarusse like the backs of their hands -- they've often used the woods as a hideout during their thieving days. As the Nazis begin rounding up the Jewish people of the town, Daniel and his brothers take to the woods, interested only in their own survival. But soon, more people find their way to the forest seeking asylum and Daniel becomes the leader of a small society that fights the tyranny of the Nazis and ultimately saves hundreds of people.
He is a bad boy redeemed in this wonderful movie that shows a story of war never before told. I got to see a preview screening with a Q and A with the director afterwards and it was fabulous.

Anyway, it's this kind of bad boy that I think is the very best kind. The reluctant hero that rises to the occasion. See also my beloved Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You - and of course, Simone Elkeles' book Leaving Paradise for the bad boy with redemption possibilities.
The other type of bad boy is not my favorite -- though I've definitely dated him before. Lol. This one takes you to the edge, hooks up with your best friend, and ultimately breaks your heart -- see Kelly Parra's Graffiti Girl for an example of that guy! And, seriously -- stay away from him, P.S.!
So what do you think? Do you go for the bad boy who'll be redeemed, or the bad boy who shows you he's not the one for you in the end. And why, oh why, do we lust after these jokers, anyway?
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen June 2009
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Spring 2010

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bad Boys of the Big Screen

Here at Books, Boys, Buzz, we are celebrating "Bad Boy Week" in honor of our very own Simone Elkeles's PERFECT CHEMISTRY. Folks, if you haven't pre-ordered PC yet, DO IT NOW! If you haven't read LEAVING PARADISE yet, add it to your pre-order. Trust me on this one.

On the big screen, several bad boys have made their appearance this holiday season as well:

In Seven Pounds, Will Smith portrays a man out for redemption, someone who is terrified of letting anyone get close to him because of the way he destroyed his and the lives of seven people in seven seconds. He plays the "bad boy with a heart of gold", the one who is willing to anything to protect the ones he loves.

In Four Christmases, Vince Vaughn plays a boy who hasn't quite finished growing up. Instead of being honest with his family about why he doesn't want to spend Christmas with them, he makes up elaborate schemes involving helping orphans in Burma.

In Valkyrie, Tom Cruise plays a man who is out to take on Adolf Hitler. He is ready to do whatever it takes to remove the dictator from power. Tom Cruise as bad boy? Check out the eye-patch!

And the best for last...everyone's favorite bad-boy:

Marley! Marley and Me is the best-selling novel turned movie about a lovable yet naughty yellow lab.

Who's your favorite "big-screen" bad boy?
Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boys (bad and good) & their toys!

Ah, boys and their toys. I'm not talking about Legos (that are scattered about my house just waiting for my bare feet to find), or the Polar Express train set that is now taking up 3/4 of my living room floor, I'm talking about the time-consuming, money-sucking, space-eating toys that BIG boys like.

My husband's current obsession is four wheelers. He thinks he needs one for himself and two mini's for the boys. This is all very fine and good. But what about the 1981 CJ Jeep he had to have seven years ago? Or the two snowmobiles that don't run but he refuses to part with? And exactly how many power tools does a man who doesn't fix things need? Hmm....

So we made a deal, if he puts the Jeep back together, yes, not only is it taking up precious space where I could be parking a new car, but it is also undriveable because he took it apart to "spiff it up" and never put it back together. So he agreed to put it back together and sell it and the snowmobiles THEN get four-wheelers. I'm pretty sure we had this same conversation a year ago but I humored him.
(This isn't "the jeep", this one looks way better!)So what is your guy/previous guy into? Baseball cards? Coins? Cars? Motorcycles? Does it annoy you or do you just love seeing how excited he gets talking about his hobby?

Congrats to Simone on her new release, PERFECT CHEMISTRY. Now go use those gift cards and get yourself a copy!!!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Bad Boys of Christmas

This week, we're celebrating the release of Simone Elkeles’s latest release, Perfect Chemistry, and chatting on the topic of bad boys.

My blog day happens to fall on December 25th, and I’d feel remiss if I didn’t focus on the Bad Boys of Christmas--those boys who are naughty so much more than nice.


Or, as we call in the western United States: caribou. I had the pleasure (well, sorta) of spending an afternoon on a caribou ranch, where we had a wagon ride through herds roaming free on a frozen tundra. Understand, I’m a pampered city girl. After a lot of, “Cool, wow, are they BIG,” I mostly said things like, “I’m cold...can we go back yet?” and “Breathe through your mouth, kids, to minimize the stink.”

Here are some fun facts about reindeers, courtesy of Wikipedia:

--Reindeer have specialized noses. Incoming cold air is warmed by the animal's body heat before entering the lungs.

--Their hooves adapt to the season. In the summer, when the tundra is soft and wet, the footpads become sponge-like and provide extra traction. In the winter, the pads shrink and tighten, exposing the rim of the hoof which cuts into the ice and crusted snow to keep it from slipping.

--Males battle for access to females. Two males will lock each other’s antlers together and try to push each other away. The most dominant males can collect as many as 15-20 females as partners.

Uh-huh...see? Bad boys!

In any case, it wouldn’t be fair--and it wouldn’t be Christmas--if I didn’t close with a picture of everybody’s favorite reindeer.

And to those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas!


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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas/Hanukkah Giveaway!

Could we *be* any prouder of Simone here at Books, Boys, Buzz with her awesome new release, PERFECT CHEMISTRY? We probabaly could be, but then we'd be busting all of the buttons off our clothes from the pride! Huge congrats to Simone on her release!!! Can't wait for to deliver my copy.

And you, too, can have your very own SIGNED copy of the book. My Christmas/Hanukkah present to one of our awesome readers! All you have to do is leave holiday greetings in the comments many times as you'd like. No limit to the entries this time! What they's the holidays! Cheers and glad tidings all around.

Here's wishing you and yours an awesome holiday season and all good things for 2009! Thanks for supporting the Buzz Girls and we're looking forward to an awesome New Year!

Big hugs,
Marley = )

GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING (Coming May 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE (Coming October 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON (Coming May 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available from Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available from Puffin Books)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Bad Boy Who Started It All

I'm a sucker for the bad boy as much as the next girl (okay, maybe a lot more than the next girl), but I'm not about to dish on my personal history with such creatures. Instead, I'd like to talk about the bad boy I blame for my relentless attraction to the tall, dark, and dangerous.

Name: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy

Source: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

What makes him a bad boy: He's a total snob, he's abominably rude to Lizzie Bennet, he breaks up the relationship between Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley, he is very high-handed, and seems to think he's better than everyone else just because he's wealthy, handsome, and educated. He also has that talk, dark, and brooding thing going on, and is not one to say more than absolutely necessary.

What makes him irresistable: Falling in love with Lizzie changed him, made him look more critically at himself and his faults, made him a better man. He helped her sister (and her family) avoid the scandal of an unfulfilled elopement, he patched up things between Jane and Mr. Bingley, and he is nothing but welcoming kindness when Lizzie and her middle class aunt and uncle visit Darcy's massive country estate. It's the transformation he makes, into a more complete and well-rounded person, and the knowledge that it is his love of Lizzie that prompts this change that makes Mr. Darcy such an enthralling character.

I guess that's the perpetual lure of the bad boy. The idea that the power of a woman's love (or the love for a woman) can bring out the best parts of him--some of which are hidden deep, deep down. It's the hope that beneath his rough, gruff exterior is a soft-hearted man just waiting for the right girl to come along, turning him into the kind of guy who looks like a puppy dog whenever he sees her.

Your turn. Who's your first (or favorite) bad boy?


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

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Wonderlands...

Do you love snow?

Here in the Northwest, we got dumped on last night, and though this is the stuff awesome ski lodge snowbound romances are made of, it mostly just makes me stir crazy.

It's the start of Hanukkah tonight (love to all who are celebrating!!) and in Seattle, we always seem to have big storms right before the festival of lights. My bff cancelled her Hanukkah party, so today I got out the grater and made some latkes -- gotta have them or it's just not the holiday season.

The winter weather is also making travel plans a nightmare, with lots of cancelled flights, parties, and shopping trips. I did manage to hit Pike Place Market yesterday and got lots of little things for the people at work before the snow started falling in earnest. I'm thankful for stores like Cost Plus that have bargains and stay open, even during the white stuff. We're just not prepared for this much snow in most places on the West Coast, and people have a hard time driving in the white stuff. Rain is, of course, way easier for us out here.

I was trying to think of some funny snow stories, but mostly I just thought of times when I lived in the country and the pipes froze when the power went out (why didn't we buy a generator, ever?) Often, I cooked dinner on the woodstove, including one time when I fried fish and then made hush puppies. I think I must have been channeling the South that night. Or, there was the time I had to dig a "habitrail" for my Golden Retriever in two feet deep snow. Of course, he wasted no time soiling his labyrinth.

Anyway, one of the best things about the snow and being snow bound is having a great book to read. I love hunkering down with a great book, a mug of cocoa or cider, and a cozy blanket. Books work, even when the power goes out!

Ok, so post your favorite snow story. What was the funniest thing that ever happened during the snow?

Hugs and stay warm!

Never Cry Werewolf ~ HarperTeen June 2009
The Clearing ~ Houghton Miffling Harcourt Spring 2010

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tis the season to pig out...

You know you've grown up when you get more excited about the food being served at your holiday parties then the gifts you might get. I think everyone has certain foods that they look forward to all year. Personally, I'm a huge fan of the appetizer. I'm perfectly happy grazing on appetizers and foregoing the big, fancy meal.
Here are some of my favorites to bring along to holiday get-togethers. First off, my husband will not go anywhere unless there are meatballs present. So I'm usually toting a crock pot of meatballs wherever we get invited. These are so easy. Just dump some KC Masterpiece (the King of BBQ Sauce) and grape jelly into the crock pot along with some frozen meatballs. Start it a few hours before your party and you have some awesome meatballs!
I'm a big dipper. I feel an almost magnetic pull if there is a cheese ball in the room. I like to take chopped chipped beef, cream cheese, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and cheddar cheese. Beat it all together, form a ball then slap it on a cute dish with some crackers. Another easy dip is to spread cream cheese, top with cocktail sauce, then top with tiny shrimp. Yum!
Another holiday favorite is oyster stew. This is definitely an acquired taste. My husband refuses to kiss me after I eat it. I use a simple recipe of half and half, butter, salt, and oysters. I do drain the oyster liquor and rinse them or else it is too fishy for my taste. You have to be careful that you don't get the stew too hot or the milk will scorch. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

I'm attempting some new recipes this year, one being fudge. I'm not a fudge eater but my hubby loves it. I'm going to try it and see how it goes. Wish me luck.
So, how about you? Do you have some holiday favorites? Share one of your favorite recipes with the BBG's. Happy holidays to everyone!

What I'm reading...Dashing through the Snow by Carol and Mary Higgins Clark



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TV Appearance

I have to admit that Christmas is sneaking up on me. But it's not my fault. I've been really busy working on my CHRISTMAS MIRACLES non-fiction book that I'm writing with New York Times bestseller, Cecil Murphey. We have over a hundred submissions and I'm furiously reading them as fast as I can.

And, I took time yesterday to appear on Boston's FOX 25 Morning Show to talk about the book and request submissions. Check it out!

Remember, if you, or someone you know, has a Christmas Miracle, please stop by our website and submit it.

Wishing you and your family all the best this holiday season!

Marley = )

GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING (Coming May 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE (Coming October 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON (Coming May 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available from Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available from Puffin Books)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Movies, Part Deux

Okay, so Heather already gabbed about her favorite romantic holiday movies, but I get to have my say, too. (Don't worry, there won't be much overlap.) For the sake of clarity (and my general obsessive-compulsive organization) I'll separate my choices by category.


My number one, all-time favorite holiday movie absolutely has to be WHITE CHRISTMAS. I love everything about this movie--the comedy is genius, the music addictive, and the story just wonderful. It is not Christmas in my world until I've watched

Other classics I love:
  • THE BISHOP'S WIFE (A thousand times better than the Whitney Houston remake, even with Denzel Washington. I'd like to request Cary Grant as a guardian angel, please.)
  • IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Who doesn't love this classic? Although I will admit that I can only watch every other year, or so. I can only take so much super-sweet.)
  • Unlike apparently every other person on the planet, I don't love A CHRISTMAS STORY. In fact, I kind of hate it. (I watched it once as a kid and have never recovered from the tongue-to-a-frozen-flagpole trauma.)


The two that I own are HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (Can't you just hear, "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch? No? Well, then click here.) and A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (I can't resist that sad little tree.)

I also adore THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Tim Burton is, quite obviously, a genius and he manages to make this dark, spooky film be totally full of the Christmas spirit.


Here's where the choices get a bit more personal. There have been a lot of great holiday movies in the last twenty-or-so years. Some are very securely Christmas movies (Think HOME ALONE, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION, and THE SANTA CLAUSE.) While others are holiday set, but don't necessarily feel like Christmas (For me, these include LOVE ACTUALLY, THE HOLIDAY, and YOU'VE GOT MAIL.)

But my absolute favorite new holiday movie from the last few years has to be (don't laugh) HOLIDAY IN HANDCUFFS, starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez. Right there you have two of the major pros: MJ and Mario. I've always been a Melissa Joan Hart fan (everything from Sabrina the Teenage Witch to Drive Me Crazy) and I think she's a charming actress. And Mario Lopez is ... well, MARIO LOPEZ. He's hot, plus you get to see him shirtless! Also, the premise is delightful. Here's the blurb from
A struggling artist working as waitress kidnaps one of her customers to bring home and meet her parents at Christmas.

If you didn't catch this movie when it debuted last year, or when it played on ABC Family earlier this month, then I highly recommend you queue it up in Netflix. I'm so bummed that I missed it on the DVR that I'm going to order it from Amazon--it's only 9.99!

Okay, your turn to share. Do you have any favorite holiday movies that you're almost embarassed to admit you like? Do you have any contrasting opinions on my selections? I can just hear the defenders of A CHRISTMAS STORY warming up their typing fingers. Bring it on!


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

Monday, December 15, 2008

So...Which is YOUR Favorite?

Odds are, if you’ve seen a good picture of me, it was taken by my photographer friend, Jari Blakely Kirkwood. She’s amazingly patient and creative, not to mention fun to work with. So no wonder I called her and asked if we could have another go with the lens and lipstick...

To the left here is obviously The ABC's of Kissing Boys specific--in fact, I'm already using it as my Facebook profile picture, and have plans to use it on booksigning flyers.

But what I need is for everyone to weigh in on my Official 2009 Author Photo:

Number One (or Green):

Number Two (or Purple):

And Number Three (or Tree):

Many thanks to Jari again for her hard work.

And so please tell us...which is YOUR favorite?

What I Just Finished Reading (and absolutely loved): Let It Snow! By Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren Myracle

The ABC's of Kissing Boys--out next month!
How to Hook a Hottie
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a Wonderful Season...

What could be better than a weekend dusting of snow and the fabulous classic It's a Wonderful Life on the tube?

This is a great movie! In the name of research (part of my new book takes place in the early 40's) I *forced* myself to watch the whole thing the other night.

What struck me in watching this movie for what must have been the twentieth time was the incredible love story between George Bailey and Mary. Do you know what I mean? The scene where she's on the phone with the boy in NY and George is listening with her, his lips just millimeters from hers is pure magic. By the end of the call, he's thrown the phone down and cursed the town and Mary -- but he's kissing her. That's hot.

I guess I had never noticed the romance very much before, because it's easy to get involved in the lives of the townspeople, and George's fight with Mr. Potter, but it's a very romantic story -- and the characters of George and Mary are so rich. *sigh* Love.

Do you have a favorite holiday romantic movie? Mine is clearly now It's a Wonderful Life...

I guess I also like While You Were Sleeping, and The Family Stone, too. And Bridget Jones has a holiday background as well... she encounters Mark Darcy at the New Year's Turkey Curry Buffet, remember?

So how about you guys? Post your favorite romantic movie so I can make up a must-see viewing list for this season...

Never Cry Werewolf ~ HarperTeen June 2009
The Clearing ~ Houghton-Mifflin Graphia Spring 2010

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dona in Mexico1

Hello Buzzies!

I've been in Mexico all week on a Microsoft recruiting trip. Today, I visited ancient pyramids and pictures will be coming soon!

For now, I have two jokes:

What do you call 4 Mexicans in quicksand?

Cuatro Cinco!
Why can't mexicans be firemen?

They can't tell the difference between jose and hose b!

Have a great weekend!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra


The two winners of the autographed copies of Handcuffs are:




Thanks to everyone who commented! Winners please send your address to me at stephanie at stephaniehale dot com.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Random cool things this week

My brain is kind of fried from working on revisions for The Alpha Bet so I don't really have a theme today. I'm just going to share with you some random things that have brightened my week.
1) Finding a recipe for cookies that taste exactly like Girl Scout Thin Mints. These are totally delish and so easy to make. All you do is melt one bag of Ande's Mint Baking Chips then take Ritz Crackers (I know, right) and dip them in the chocolate. Lay on wax paper and chill. I sprinkled some green sugar on mine just to jazz them up. OMG, they are so good.
2) Fellow young adult authors Terri Clark and Wendy Toliver both making new books sales. Yay! I just love it when friends make new sales. Congrats, ladies!

3) I get to go on a date with my hubby Saturday night. We are going to a nice Italian restaurant and to see Four Christmases. I'm very excited.
4) Amazon sent me an email that a game I was thinking about purchasing was going on sale. I got Scene It for $11.99. Is there anything better than saving money?

5) Tonight is my four-year-old's birthday party. His theme is Scooby-Doo. I'm pretty sure I have everything I need. He wanted a chainsaw, fake of course. I can hardly wait to see his face when he opens it. I might not be as excited when the loud thing is still going at eleven o'clock tonight though! ;)
6) Online wish list websites. I'm having a hard time figuring out what to get for certain relatives this year. At, they can go online and make a list of what they want. It is very easy and I'm going to start using it a lot earlier next year.

7) The coolest thing that happened this week was the release of my critique parter, Bethany Griffin's debut novel, Handcuffs. Bethany sold this book in 2006 and I can't even imagine the agony of waiting so long to see her awesome story in print. Handcuffs is an amazing book and you need to pick up a copy. Because Bethany is so awesome she is giving away two autographed copies of her book. All you have to do is tell me something that happened this week that you thought was cool. You have until 6am on December 13 to post. I'll announce the winners tomorrow morning.

Here's the blurb:

Parker Prescott is an Ice Princess. Cold, aloof, a snob. At least, that's what everyone says on Marion Hennessey's blog. And everyone reads Marion Hennessey's blog.
Parker Prescott is a middle child. She's the good one, the dependable one, the one her parents trust. Well . . . she used to be.
Parker Prescott's parents want her to break up with her boyfriend. But she already did, two weeks ago.
And then she realized it was a mistake. He came over. He had the handcuffs in his pocket. Everything went downhill from there. Sort of.
Parker Prescott's world is changing and she no longer knows who she is. Does anyone?

Congrats, Bethany. I'm so happy for you!
What I'm reading...Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

Monday, December 08, 2008


I first heard the term “webisode” on a warm July evening last summer, chatting with the two producers who have optioned my books. In case you’re not familiar with webisodes, Wikipedia offers this definition:

An episode of a television show that airs initially as an Internet download or stream as opposed to first airing on broadcast or cable television. The word itself is a portmanteau formed by the words 'web' and 'episode'.

Once I was up-to-speed, the three of us kicked around ways to adapt How to Hook a Hottie in webisode idea which we did indeed run with, and I hope to have more to report on in the future.

And just like the newly pregnant woman who suddenly sees babies all around, I now see webisodes everywhere. Here are some of my favorites:

We Need Girlfriends is not only ground-breaking as one of the first webisodes, but features completely original storyline and characters.

The thirteen Lost “Missing Pieces” are great brain teasers to help fans get deeper in the plot.

And the brand new The Office: The Outburst webisodes are offering up a side story that’s keeping me coming back.

And although the following is not technically a webisode--more of a commercial--it stands out as one of the most amusing I’ve seen in a long time, so check out Beware of the Doghouse.

And let us know if you like them, or maybe some favorites of yours?


Tina Ferraro
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys (out in 35 days!)
How to Hook a Hottie
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Decorating for the Holidays

Behold the mighty tinsel tree!

It's Christmas time at my place and here is the Target beauty that signals the start of the festivities.

Back in the day, when my digs were larger, I had a full on pine tree, with all the smells and lush sights that come with it. There's nothing like that wonderful forest smell.

Nowadays, my small place is better suited to the tabletop variety. I put the cat on the table, so she could smell the tree and ornaments -- and we had a frank discussion about her not jumping up there to check it out on her own. Well, as much as you can have a frank discussion with a cat. So far, so good. I was the culprit who broke the first ornament this year. Harper has a perfect record.

Here she is lounging by the radiator and checking out me wrapping a growing pile of presents.

How do you guys decorate? Does your family have special oraments or decorations for Hanukkah or Christmas?

Btw, I can't wait for both holidays... My friend Jen is having her 3rd annual Hanukkah party and making the most delicious latkes in the world. Yum. And I know it's nice for her, with family far away, to gather her friends together and share her traditions and stories.

Are you excited yet? I think this whole country needs a little Christmas and Hanukkah now...


Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen June 2009
The Clearing - Houghton-Mifflin Graphia Spring 2010

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What's the strangest gift you ever got?

Disclaimer: The author of today's blog thinks hunting is mean. She also occasionally enjoys a good steak. Hmmm....

Just in case you didn't know there are only 19 shopping days left until Christmas. I have been happily doing my part keeping the economy afloat. My closet is so full that I can't open it without everything tumbling out. I just have a few more gifts to purchase online and I'll be done. Most of my purchases have been for my little boys. One wanted a remote control dirt bike, which is safely tucked in my closet, along with a neat digital camera for kids, LeapFrog tag reader, candy, movies, kiddy shaving cream, and Tinker Toys. My littlest guy has been begging for a shopping cart since last summer. I found him a really cool metal one from Pottery Barn Kids and am going to fill it with plastic food and a Cabbage Patch Kid. Until Thanksgiving, I thought I was done buying for the boys.

Then we spent the day with my in-laws. My father-in-law had just gotten a six-point buck a few days earlier. My mother-in-law was thrilled at the prospect of yet another deer head hanging on her wall (they already have two). My boys have talked of little else since last Thursday. My oldest son asked me when we could have a deer head on our wall. I told him when pigs fly. He proceeded to tell me that when he got his own house he was going to hang a hundred deer heads on the wall. He's five and I don't really want him thinking about moving out quite yet. I figured there had to be a compromise. It got me Googling. You really can find anything on the Internet. So here it is.
For only $45, my boys can have their very own stuffed deer head to hang in their bedroom. It is by far the weirdest thing I have ever bought. My husband thinks I'm insane. The way I see it is that I only have a limited number of magical Christmases with my boys. If something they want is within my power, I'm going to get it for them. Someday they will realize how incredibly cool I am and be in awe of me. Yeah, I know that part won't ever happen but a girl can dream.

So, how about you? What is the weirdest gift you have ever bought/received?

What I'm reading...Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Off on another ghost hunt...

I can't wait for Saturday because I'm headed out to Long Beach, California, for my first ever trip and ghost investigation on the haunted Queen Mary.

(Cool picture, eh? This is an infrared shot taken by my buddy, Patrick Burns, star of TruTV's HAUNTING EVIDENCE - photo available for purchase on his website.)

The Queen Mary was a luxury liner back in it's heyday, but now it's permanently docked in Long Beach as a hotel. It's said to be one of the most haunted places to go to. The hosted some of the world's most famous people like Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, David Niven, Mary Pickford, just to name a few. When World War II broke out, the Queen Mary was transformed into a troopship. By the end of the war, "The Grey Ghost," as she was referred to, carried more than 800,000 troops and played a significant role in virtually every major Allied campaign. She also transported more than 22,000 war brides and their children to the United States and Canada.

I'll be attending the Darkness Radio Event with all of the "paranormal celebrities" who'll be there giving presentations and leading investigations. I'll also get the opportunity to investigate many of the haunted locations on the ship, including the first class swimming pool, the engine room, and many of the staterooms. Can't wait! Maybe even my cabin will be haunted! Hoping to capture something cool on video again or get some amazing recordings.

Should be quite an adventure!

What's the most unique adventure you've been on? Share your story!

Marley = )

GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING (Coming May 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE (Coming October 2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON (Coming May 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
SORORITY 101: Zeta or Omega? (Available from Puffin Books)
SORORITY 101: The New Sisters (Available from Puffin Books)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

That's Funny, I Forgot It Was Tuesday

It's been a long day (a long week) and I just realized that it's my day here on the Buzz Blog. I'm too busy enjoying my Brie and Pear Apple in a Phyllo Pastry (courtesy of Target's Archer Farms) to write a real blog post, so here are some writing-related funnies.

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"

"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.

“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is--”

“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”

Rules For Writers

1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They're old hat.)

6. Be more or less specific.

8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

10. No sentence fragments.

11. Don't use no double negatives.

12. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out or mispeld something.

13. Eschew obfuscation.

How many science fiction writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Two, but it's actually the same person doing it. He went back in time and met himself in the doorway and then the first one sat on the other one's shoulder so that they were able to reach it. Then a major time paradox occurred and the entire room, light bulb, changer and all was blown out of existence. They co-existed in a parallel universe, though.

How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.

How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

How many screenwriters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Why does it *have* to be changed?

How many cover blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?


Three guys are sitting at a bar.

#1: "...Yeah, I make $75,000 a year after taxes."
#2: "What do you do for a living?"
#1: "I'm a stockbroker. How much do you make?
#2: "I should clear $60,000 this year."
#1: "What do you do?"
#2: "I'm an architect."
The third guy has been sitting there quietly, staring into his beer, when the others turn to him.
#2: "Hey, how much do you make per year?"
#3: "Gee... hmmm... I guess about $13,000."
#1: "Oh yeah? What kind of stories do you write?"

How many screenwriters does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Ten.
1st draft. Hero changes light bulb.
2nd draft. Villain changes light bulb.
3rd draft. Hero stops villain from changing light bulb. Villain falls to death.
4th draft. Lose the light bulb.
5th draft. Light bulb back in. Fluorescent instead of tungsten.
6th draft. Villain breaks bulb, uses it to kill hero's mentor.
7th draft. Fluorescent not working. Back to tungsten.
8th draft. Hero forces villain to eat light bulb.
9th draft. Hero laments loss of light bulb. Doesn't change it.
10th draft. Hero changes light bulb.

Jokes borrowed from Absolute Write.


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

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hooking a Hottie with a Prom Dress

I heard a great tale over the holiday weekend, which I absolutely have to share...

It circles around my nephew, who is 19, great looking, popular, confident--just ask him. LOL. In fact, we’ve got a running joke in the family that if How to Hook a Hottie ever gets filmed, he’s going to try out to play the hottie baseball player. And it's only sort of a joke.

Anyway, last month he was in a Borders, picking up a book for a class, when he noticed a “hot girl” (his words) pursuing the YA shelf.

Searching for a way to meet her, he moved into the YA section, did a check of titles and found a copy of Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress.

“Excuse me,” he said, holding up my book. “Have you read this?”

She looked up. “No, but actually, my sister did and loved it.”

He turned on The Smile. “Yeah, well, the author’s my aunt...”

“Really?” she said, smiling back.

Yada, yada, yada...he left Borders with the book he needed for school--and Hot Girl’s phone number.

I love it!

So my Prom Dress book helped my nephew Hook a Hottie. What’s next, the two of them trying out some ABC’s about Kissing???

So how about you? Ever been the deliverer or recipient of a spontanenous, creative pick-up line?

What I Am Reading: Blood Brothers, S. A. Harazin


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