Friday, January 30, 2009

Will you be watching?

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm kind of a girly girl. Sports have never really been a huge part of my life. I did try out for volleyball in sixth grade. I got cut on the final cut and it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Luckily, my husband isn't a die-hard sports fan who makes me watch hours of every sport imaginable. Once my second son came along, I realized that my non-sport watching days were very limited. My son's are already proclaiming that they want to play football. So this Sunday the Hale Family will be watching the Super Bowl together.
I have to admit I have no preference who wins (Arizona Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, in case you didn't know, which I didn't, good thing hubby is sitting here). If I had to pick I guess I would say the Cardinals. Just because my son's school is the cardinals also, so I'll stay loyal to the mascot. I know, I have a lot to learn right?I'm really looking forward to the commercials. The Today Show already had a few clips and they were hilarious. I guess I can suffer through the game to get to those.
And do you have your 3-D glasses yet? We picked up four free pairs at Wal-Mart yesterday so that we can enjoy the Monsters Vs. Aliens preview. Chuck will also be in 3-D the next night. Will you be watching the Super Bowl or are you anti-sports? Does your husband/boyfriend drive you crazy watching hours and hours of sports?
Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Things I'm looking forward to...

As I sit here next to the heater with yet another snow storm blowing through downtown Boston, I'm thinking of the year ahead of us and all the wonderful things in store. I can't help but get excited about what I'm looking forward to. Thought I'd share a few:

FEBRUARY: Writing retreat with a couple of friends, as well as a photo shoot and a ghost hunt in cold, cold Minnesota. I know...who goes to Minnesota in the dead of winter? My critique partner, Wendy Toliver's MISS MATCH is out in stores. Sooooo adorable. Pick up a copy!

MARCH: Pre-media blitz for my GHOST HUNTRESS series with ghost hunting events in Boston and New York City. Also, will be going to a conference in Gettysburg called Phenomenology 101. My friend, Jenn Echols' book GOING TOO FAR comes out this month, too...amazing book! Everyone buy it!

APRIL: Book launch party and presentation at GhoStock 7 in Salem, Massachusetts. It's going to be a blast!

MAY: GHOST HUNTRESS officially hits the shelves on May 4th. Lots of promo going on including trips to Louisville, Indianapolis, New York, and Columbus. Also, be sure to check out Diana Peterfreund's YA debut, RAMPANT, about killer unicorns and the virgin huntresses who are pre-destined to save the world from them.

JUNE: As I right now, I have nothing on the calendar for June, but hopefully the sun will be out, the pool open, and there will be some time for rest and relaxation before a busy fall schedule.

JULY: Can't wait to see all my writing friends in our nation's capital for Romance Writers of America Conference. I'll be signing GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING there, as well.

AUGUST: Going to ParaCon 2009 for a book signing in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada and then later in the month, a camping trip in Washington state to go UFO hunting. Whoooo... Also, I'm told that GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE will be available for my book signings.

SEPTEMBER: Football season starts and my Crimson Tide returns to hopefully repeat their awesome Top 10 season of last year. Would love to visit the alma mater for a football game.

OCTOBER: This is going to be a crazy month! There's sure to be lots and lots of promotional trips for GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE, but also, my non-fiction book, CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, will be available in stores. Very excited about the book! Also, this month will be my twentieth wedding anniversary!

NOVEMBER: More than likely, another trip out to Estes Park, Colorado, to The Stanley Hotel for a ghost hunt and book signing. I'll have to remember to take canned oxygen this time to avoid altitude sickness...bleck. Also, we're hoping to take a European trip in November. That would be the bomb!

DECEMBER: Wow...2009's almost over? Nothing planned as of yet, but it's the holiday season (hopefully the CHRISTMAS MIRACLES books will be selling well) and my b-day and just gearing up in general for a jam-packed 2010!

So...what are you looking forward to in 2009? What are your big plans? Share with us!

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)
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, January 27, 2009

Countdown Meme

I'm feeling flaky this week, so I'm going to fill out and post a meme instead of a real live blog post. I Googled and found a fun one at Loaded Gun Theory. (No, I don't understand the blog title, either.) It took some liberties with the list items. Here goes...

  1. Color: Turquoise (depends on the day, though)
  2. Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's White Russian (but, since that's been retired, I'll also say Dulce de Leche)
  3. Donut: Maple Glazed (I spent formative years in Canada, where everything is maple flavored)
  4. Pizza: Blackjack (a Colorado chain with the best thin crust ever)
  5. Beverage: Sprite Zero (it's a toss-up between that and a Caramel Frappuccino)
  6. Movie: (how do I choose just one??? okay...) Drive Me Crazy by Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier
  7. TV Show: Psych (love, love, love, love, LOVE!)
  8. Adult Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (hands down)
  9. Teen Book: Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart (this is my fave now, but my fave when I was a teen was probably Congo by Michael Crichton)
  10. Children's Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

  1. Current Mood: Tired but Happy.
  2. Current Scent: Peppermint (from the bubblebath I just used up)
  3. Current Clothes: Pink lounge pants and a black v-neck tee (almost time for Bed)
  4. Current Desktop: An Arctic Fox all curled up.
  5. Current Ringtone: Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Beddingfield (time for a new one)
  6. Current Music: So What by P!nk
  7. Current Time: 10:15 pm (I'm pre-posting)
  8. Current Surrounding: The little cubby-sized Office in my apartment.
  9. Current Event: In my life, Good Career News that I'm not allowed to share yet.

  1. First Pet: Muffye (golden retriever
  2. First Kiss: Stephan (in pre-school)
  3. First Crush: Joshua (but he doesn't even remember me)
  4. First Car: bright orange 1976 Chevy pickup
  5. First Best Friend: Anouk (in 1st grade--she died that year)
  6. First Music: Mickey by Toni Basil (also in 1st grade)

  1. Last Class: probably History of Directing (from my one semester of a PhD program)
  2. Last Drink: Diet Sprite
  3. Last Trip: home to OKC for Christmas (yay)
  4. Last Kiss: Mom (before she and Dad returned home on Sunday)
  5. Last Movie Seen at the Theater: Marley and Me (with my parents at Christmas)
  6. Last Phone Call: Dad (to talk about some website stuff)
  7. Last CD Played: a collection of Christmas Music I made a few years ago

  1. Have you ever broken the law? Traffic laws, Yes. Other laws, um, no comment.
  2. Have you ever been arrested? No.
  3. Have you ever dated one of your best guy friends? Not in an official kind of way. (So, No)
  4. Have you ever skinny-dipped? Strictly speaking, No.
  5. Have you ever been on TV? No, not that I know of.
  6. Have you ever kissed someone you didn't know? Um, way No Comment.

  1. Thing you do when you're bored: Shop (at Target preferably)
  2. Thing you're wearing: we've already covered the clothes, so I'll say Glasses
  3. Thing you've done today: Bought Envelopes
  4. Thing you're bothered by: Odd Numbers
  5. Thing you can't live without: Email!

  1. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  2. Cape Town, South Africa
  3. Tokyo, Japan
  4. Morocco (but this list could go on forever, because I want to go everywhere)

  1. My Mom
  2. Sharie
  3. Oh, who am I kidding. I tell everything to Everyone!

  1. Black or White? (depends on the context) Black for clothes, White for furniture
  2. Hot or Cold? Cold (you can always layer on more clothes)

  1. Visit Every Continent (there are so many things I want to do--several involving the New York Times bestsellers list--but this is one I can actually control)

Whew, that was easy. (Okay, I lied. It wasn't easy.) Now it's your turn. Feel free to consider yourself tagged or, if you're feeling too lazy to do the whole meme, then just leave a few tidbits in the comments.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

I’m off on a short trip, to take care of some family business. Not my idea of a good time, but when fine-tuning the details, I did come up with something in the “plus column”:

lots of sitting around + no internet =
huge pockets of reading time.

Whoa! A chance to sort of/kind of/at least attempt to catch up on my reading!

So what did I pick? First, the book I am currently reading, Paula Yoo’s Good Enough. Which my friend and daughter loved, and I’ve been trying to “get back to.” Next, Jessica Burkhart’s Take The Reins which just came in the mail. Then I went to Amazon to download something on my Kindle (my new toy!) and the Stephanie Plum Christmas book, Plum Spooky. That will more than hold me.

Some of you may have lots of reading time, but that’s just not my life right now. In any case, I pose this question to you: if you suddenly had a flight ahead of you and could take ANY book you wanted (and feel free to make one up, like “the 5th Twilight book”) with you, what would it be?


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

Late, but....

I am spending the weekend celebrating my darling husband's 33rd birthday. What are we doing? Well, it's a surprise...I will have a full report next Saturday!

Some of his favorite things:
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Technology
  • Our kitten
  • Movies - especially Indiana Jones
  • Me!

So, happy birthday to him and here is a picture that exactly represents him: A cute tabby kitten inside an Indiana Jones hat on the ICanHazCheeseburger website, posted by me.


Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Friday, January 23, 2009


Sorry about the slacker post but I just finished my first set of revisions on my fourth book, The Alpha Bet and I'm truly exhausted. This has been my most challenging book by far. I'm really looking forward to spending a few days just kicking back and doing nothing writing related. I really admire authors who can write every single day, but I'm just not built that way. I always have to take some time off to recharge my creative batteries.

Here are some things I do to recharge my creativity:

1) READ! I always get inspired when I read. And I have a large stack of RITA books just waiting to be cracked open.

2)Watch movies! I renewed my Netflix subscription and I'm going to get caught up on some flicks I've missed.

3)Leisurely flip through my big pile of glossy magazines. When life starts to get crazy my magazines are usually the first casualty. I'm looking forward to plopping my butt in the recliner and catching up. I've gotten several book ideas just from magazine pictures.

4)Shopping. There is nothing like spotting a new couch I'd like or maybe some killer shoes to get my motivation pumping on a new book idea.

5)Just slowing down and enjoying life. You can't write about someone else's experiences unless you've had your own, right? Even if it is just something as simple as taking a different route home, you just never know what you'll see that could inspire you.

How do you "recharge" yourself?

Please also check out the auction that author Gemma Halliday is having to benefit a sixteen year old homeless girl and her mom. There are lots of autographed books up for bid (including mine) and tons of other great stuff you can bid on!



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Musings on a Wednesday Morning...and a Winner!

You'll have to forgive my slowness and sleepiness today. Not only did I just get back from vacation and got my copyedits for GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE, but I stayed up waaaaaaaay too late watching the Inaugural festivies on TV. What an historic day yesterday was for our whole country! This is why we live in such an amazing country!

And how cute are our new leaders?

The President and First Lady...

The Vice President and Second Lady...

Here's wishing all the best of everything for America!!

And here's some good news for one of our readers...the WINNER of Tina's THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS is............


Please e-mail me offline (marley @ - no spaces) with your snail mail address and I'll get the book off to you!

Let us know what you thought of the Inaugural festitives! Would love to hear how it was viewed from around the country.

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)
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, January 20, 2009

Famous Firsts

For no particular reason, my post today is about famous firsts. (Okay, so there is a particular reason, but you'll have to read to the end to find out.)

Famous First Lines:
  • It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. ~ 1984 by George Orwell
  • It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. ~ The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  • It was a pleasure to burn. ~ Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. ~ Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Television Firsts:
  • First couple to share a bed? Mary Kay and John Stearns on the 1940s sitcom, Mary Kay and Johnny.
  • First openly gay character? Peter Panama on 1972's The Corner Bar.
  • First interracial kiss? Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura on a 1968 episode of Star Trek.
  • First commercial? Bulova Watch Company in 1941.
  • First televised tour of the White House? Jackie Kennedy in 1962.

American Firsts:
  • Anne Bradstreet — first published American woman writer (1650)
  • George Washington — first President of the United States (1789)
  • Elizabeth Blackwell — first American woman to receive a medical degree (1849)
  • Hiram Revels — first African-American senator (ironically, he took over the term of Jefferson Davis, who had resigned to become president of the Confederacy)
  • Victoria Woodhall — first woman to run for President of the United States (1872)
  • Annie Moore — first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island (1892)
  • Teddy Roosevelt — first American to win the Nobel peace prize (1906)
  • Alan Shepard — first American in space (1961)
  • Thurgood Marshall — first African-America supreme court justice (1967)

And now for the timely event that has me posting about firsts today ...

first African-American president of the United States


What a momentous day.


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

Monday, January 19, 2009

The December-May Romance!

I got such an interesting compliment on The ABC’s of Kissing Boys last week. A reader told me that it was the only teen novel she could think of that addressed an older girl/younger boy scenario. Funny, because I’d been promoting the book as a soccer story that dealt with friendship and family issues, while giving lots of pointers on kissing. I’d entirely overlooked the idea that I’d given a glimpse into a “fresh” topic!

So, older girl/younger boy. General wisdom is that teen girls mature faster, and therefore look at older guys. But there are no hard and fast rules, and besides, by late high school, that playing field evens out. And what’s a year or two in either direction when we’re talking true love?

Here are some adult celebrity couples who have defied the age coda...

Barbara Hersey & Naveen Andrews, 21 years difference:

Madonna & Alex Rodriguez, 17 years difference:

Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher, 16 years difference:

Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon, 12 years difference:

Halle Berry & Gabriel Aubry, 10 years difference:

Can you think of any more? And what’s your take on the December-May relationship?


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

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Last First Kiss...

I hope everyone enjoyed our week of kissing kick-off for The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Buzz Girl Tina Ferraro.

I'll just make a short post today -- and I have to include the famous WWII photo at left. The kiss is an iconic image of the end of the war. I've always wondered if it was a first kiss, or a welcome home kiss. If anyone knows the real story, please comment!

So, in my upcoming story Never Cry Werewolf, the book begins with a kiss. A kiss that gets the heroine in deep trouble. Because hey, there's nothing like a kiss to kick things off -- or to signal the end of things forever, right? And kissing means alot. So here's my question for you...

Would you continue to date a guy who wasn't a good kisser?

I have in the past, and the truth is true romance is all in the kiss. (Just like the song!) So, if the kissing doesn't float your boat from the start, the reality is that it's not going to change. Kissing is pretty personal, too -- so it's not like you can say to someone, "Hey, I don't like the way you kiss." I mean, you're going to royally tick them off and anyway, what can they do about it?

I think you can show someone how you like being kissed, and hopefully, they make adjustments so it's good for both of you, but some boys never learn.

What do you think? Am I being too mean? Can a boy or girl re-learn to kiss?

Let's hear it, guys -- what do you think?


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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My first and most famous kiss

My first kiss was with Patrick Dempsey.
Okay, it wasn't THIS Patrick Dempsey, but my Patrick Dempsey was pretty dang cute too. When I was in middle school the big deal was for boyfriends and girlfriends to kiss before they caught their respective buses. This caused me enormous stress. Would Patrick know I had never kissed anyone before? How does the tongue thing work out? What if we bump noses? These are just a few of the thoughts that were running through my mind as I approached Patrick on that fateful day.

I don't really remember him leaning into me, although he must have, because I was too petrified to instigate things. I just remember actually kissing him and everything working perfectly. Then somebody pulled us apart. My principal. He rushed us off to our buses saying he would talk to both of us later. As the bus bumped along my head was spinning. Will the principal call my mom? Did Patrick think I was a good kisser? Where did I get the gum in my mouth?

Patrick and I were not meant to be. He dumped me for a girl named Barbie. I know, right? But I have great memories of my first kiss. I'm reminded of him almost daily as his nephew, who looks exactly like him, is a classmate of my son's. The principal was so sweet during our talk. I've never forgot the advice he gave me about keeping some things private. Truer words were never spoken.

Was your first kiss perfect or did something humiliating happen? How close have you come to kissing a famous person?
Major congrats to Tina on the release of her third YA novel, THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS. I can hardly wait to read it! Get to your bookstore and get yourself a copy. And get out there and kiss those boys!



******************************WINNER OF TINA'S GIVEAWAY*********************


Please send Tina an email with your name and address so she can get your autographed copy in the mail. Send email to

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Best First Kiss...Evah!

In celebration of Tina's awesome new release, THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS, we're talking first kisses. Nothing like them. Nothing like that roller coaster feeling in your stomach with the up and down of anticipation and excitement. And what better way to get that across than on the big screen. I have to say...without a doubt, the best evah on-screen kiss is as follows...

MOULIN a movie...and what a first kiss! Christian and Satine figuring out they're meant to be and sharing an exploding (literally) kiss underneath the loving watch of the songful moon. And of course, it's Ewan that's a bonus! = )

Isn't that what a first kiss feels like? That you're the only two people in the world and the sky explodes in rapture while the moon bursts into song and serenades you?

What was your first kiss like? Were there fireworks and singing? Tell us in the comment section to be entered to win a copy of Tina's awesome book, THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS. Winner will be announced next Wednesday!

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)
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, January 13, 2009

Kissing Frogs

While staring at a blank blog page--feeling thoroughly uninspired to write anything about kissing--I started thinking about non-traditional kisses. Like air kisses and Hershey's Kisses and S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss, for the uninitiated.) Nope, none of those sounded blog-worthy today.

Tina already stole "Best On-Screen Kiss" (but, then again, it's her book release week, so I guess that's her right). What about favorite "On-the-Page Kiss"? No, I decided, that was too subjective. I mean, an in-book kiss is all in the reader's imagination, so we could be picturing two totally different types of kisses. (To find out about all the different types of kisses check out Tina's new book, The ABC's of Kissing Boys.)

Then my thinking shifted to Fairy Tale kisses. Like Sleeping Beauty and her Prince. Or Snow White and her Prince. Or Cinderella and Prince Charming. (Didn't any of these princes have names?) Or ... the Frog Prince.

Whoa, I thought. The Frog Prince? Now that's a weird one. Kissing frogs. Um, I hope that's not in Tina's book. If you're not familiar with--or have forgotten--the story of the Frog Prince, here's the Wikipedia nutshell:

In the tale, a spoiled princess reluctantly befriends a frog (possibly meeting him after dropping a gold ball into his pond), who magically transforms into a handsome prince. Although in modern versions the transformation is invariably triggered by the princess kissing the frog, in the original Grimm version of the story, the frog's spell was broken when the princess threw it against a wall in disgust. In other early versions it was sufficient for the frog to spend the night on the princess's pillow.

I'm not sure which version I prefer. How about you? If you were the spoiled princess in this fairy tale, which version would you rather find yourself in?

Option A--You befriend a frog, wind up kissing him (reminder: frogs are green, slimy creatures who live in green, slimy swamps), and thereby turn him into a prince.

Option B--You befriend a frog, wind up flinging him against a wall (and getting sued by PETA and ASPCA), and thereby turn him into a prince.

Option C--You befriend a frog, wind up letting him sleep on your pillow (see reminder in Option A), and thereby turn him into a prince.

Is it just me, or do these all sound like episodes of a reality dating show? Okay, okay. If I have to choose one, I guess ... kissing him. Option A. Because I'm not fond of the animal cruelty in Option B and I'd be afraid I'd roll over in the night and squish him in Option C. Also, it would be over very quickly.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Which fairy tale would you rather live?


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

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kissing Week Contest!

In anticipation of the release of my latest book, The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, the Buzz Girls are doing a kissing week!

I'm up first...

I started working on this book in early 2007, and time-wise, it couldn’t have been better because in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, numerous bookstores had romance displays, featuring books about kissing and famous kisses.

I ate it all up. And over the next two years, accordingly, I paid more than the average attention to on-screen kisses.

So...for the purposes of this blog, I thought through them all (oh, how I suffer), and (ta-da), present the one that truly knocked my socks off:

Kate and Sawyer, from the TV Show, Lost.

Without giving much plot away, just know their desperate situation has brought her feelings for him to the surface, and not only is finally acting on them, but she is giving him the love and comfort he so needs at this time.

I mean, look at the head-hold, the power in that kiss!


So what on-screen kisses have given you a big “awwww” or made you go weak in the knees? Tell us here in the comments and be entered to win a signed copy of my book! The contest starts NOW and closes at 6 pm PST on Thursday, January 15th. The winner will be announced by Stephanie Hale here on Friday’s blog.

Best of luck!


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

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Prelude to the Kisses!

Hey Buzz Blog Readers,

Just a quick post to say Happy Sunday! I've been hard at work on my upcoming book, The Clearing, but I am taking the night off to watch one of my favorite romantic movies, Roman Holiday, with Audrey Hepburn and the uber hottie of old, Gregory Peck.

This is a charming romantic comedy about a princess undercover and a reporter determined to get her story. You should totally rent it if you haven't already seen it.

It's also the perfect segue into next week's theme of Kissing -- in honor of Tina's upcoming release, The ABC's of Kissing Boys. Stay tuned for a fun week of blog posts that kicks off tomorrow.


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

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dona's Days in Paradise

I had a fantastic holiday break in Aruba with my darling husband, sun, sand, gorgeous weather, beautiful island. I think the pictures will say it all!

We rented a car and drove around the island, only 20 miles wide and 6 miles long!

Snorkeling-I saw a squid and a German shipwreck!

Cuban cigar lounge

A pirate ship we went on! (A friendly one!)

So happy!

Foam raft fun

Famous divi tree on Eagle Beach

The amazing beach

And now we're trying to make it through the cold, wet Northwest least I am chock-full of Vitamin D!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Friday, January 09, 2009

How do you stay motivated?

It's 8:41am on January 9th and I just finished twenty-two minutes (500 calories) on my elliptical machine. Big deal, right? You should know that I've never lasted this long on a NY resolution, so it is kind of a big deal for me.

I'm trying really hard to keep myself motivated in lots of different ways. I've realized that I'm going to slip (had pizza last night) but it doesn't mean I have to give up. If I just keep plugging along and stay the course more than I detour, I'll eventually get there. Rome wasn't built in a day, right?

Here are some things I'm doing to stay motivated.

1) Breaking out some old pictures of myself. I've propped a few up in the room I workout in.

2)I've watched almost every season of The Biggest Loser. The difference this time is that I'm not eating a big bowl of buttery popcorn and drinking Coke while I'm watching it. I'm already rooting for Tara of the green team. She's going to look amazing by the end of the show. I also found a new show on Lifetime called DietTribe.
It's about five friends losing weight together over ninety days. Their trainer is so smoking hot it is unbelievable. I would hurt myself if I had to weigh myself in front of him. You should check him out. I also like getting on the Biggest Loser website and looking at the before and after pictures of regular people who have been inspired to lose weight. The stories are all so inspirational.

3)Buy something in a smaller size. I've never actually done this before. I guess for fear that I'd be wasting my money. But January usually means sidewalk sales at my local mall and I'm determined to find something really cute and way smaller that hopefully I'll be able to fit into someday.
4)Plan a vacation. Done. Five months from today, I'll be basking in the Florida sun with my three boys. You need serious stamina to traipse around Walt Disney World for a week. I'm working on it.
5)Little incentives. I bribe myself with new books, lotions, and makeup for reaching small goals.

I guess that's about it. I'm hoping the combination of all these things help keep me motivated all through 2009 and beyond. How about you, how do you keep yourself motivated???


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Year...a new diet!

Happy New Year everyone! Here's wishing all of our readers a lovely, successful, awesome 2009! Thanks for sticking around with's gonna be a great year!

As like so many of you, one of my resolutions is to lose weight. I'm happy to report that I'm down 18 pounds from this past summer and would like to lose an additional 22-ish pounds. My hubby and I bought an elliptical for the house as our Christmas present and the guys from Resolution Gym are coming to put it together today. Can't wait.

But there's more to losing weight than just exercise. We must eat right. No matter the hype with all of these diets...the science is really simple: consume less calories than you expend. Easier said than done...right?

So, I've been looking at a way to jump start the weight loss and reading up on all the fad diets. There are sooooo many of them!

Weight Watchers - been there, done that, did well, bored with it.
Jenny Craig - hey, it worked for Valerie Bertinelli and Kirstie Alley! LOL!
NutriSystem - hey, it worked for Don Shula and Dan Marino - I've heard the food is nasty, though.
Special K Challenge - my lactose intolerance can't handle that much milk
Acai Berry diet - okay, is it just me or is everyone and their brother getting spammed with news of this one that's promoted by Oprah and Rachel (gag me) Ray. What's this all about?
South Beach - I'm not a big meat-eater, so I don't think will work for me
The Master Cleanse - my friend Kristen is doing this and it's working for her, but honestly...tea, lemon, water and cayenne pepper?

There are tons more. It makes my head spin! What works? What's fad? What's hype?

What has been your secret that has worked for you? Of course, different diets work for different people, but do you have anything to share that might help?

Off to drink my XXX Vitamin Water (acai-blueberry-pomegranate - 150 calories!) and get to work.

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)
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)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ringing in the New Year...

We had a New Year’s Eve party at my house last week, with a small group of family and friends. But there was one visitor who arrived without invitation...or welcome: a cold/flu virus, who slammed into me about two hours before the first guest arrived, and refused to let go. I’m sorry to say I had to eventually leave the party in my husband’s capable hands, and that my New Year’s toast was a slug of Nyqil in a bathroom.

So that said, and this being the start of a New Year, I’d like to think illness is behind me, and look forward to a totally healthy New Year. I’m going to keep up the exercise, try to drink more water, and eat my veggies.

And I’d love to hear what you do to stay in the pink. What works to keep you healthy? Or, at the first hint of illness, what do you do to fight it off?


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