Friday, October 30, 2009

Do you do scary?

I'm not ashamed to admit it, I'm a total scary movie wuss. I wasn't always like this. I used to be first in line at the latest scary movie flick. Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees were my besties. These days...not so much.

The other day I was at my friends house and she had these motion-detecting Halloween lights hung up. I walked by them and they started playing that creepy music from Friday the 13th. I swear I about jumped out of my skin.
I think it might have something to do with growing up and realizing my own mortality. When I was a teen, I thought I was invincible. I knew I wouldn't be some wimpy chick who would wander around in the dark by myself just to get offed by some weirdo with a mask. These days Jason wouldn't have to worry about stabbing me because I'd probably die of a heart attack the minute I saw him!

Are you a scary movie wuss like me or do you like your movies bloody? And what is your favorite scary movie?

Happy Halloween everyone and don't forget to scroll down two posts to enter Marley's contest!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

I want to read your Halloween Stories, too!

Just a quick post to say remember to enter Buzz Girl Marley's book giveaway contest (see yesterday's post).

All you have to do is tell us your best Halloween story and Marley will pick a lucky winner to win two of her spookiest books.

As for me, I'm gearing up for tomorrow night! I'll be doing a signing with Liz Gallagher, Cherie Priest, and Kevin Emerson in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. I think Buzz Girl Dona Sarkar will be there, too.

I'm supposed to dress up... so far, I've got kitty ears. That's it people - kitty ears. Help! What on earth am I going to be? My dad said I should be an ear of corn, but that is not cool. I mean, love ya dad, but corn?

Don't forget to spill those stories in Marley's comments section from yesterday. I can't wait to read about your spookiest, ookiest Halloween.
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen
The Clearing - April 12, 2010 HMH

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Halloween History

Halloween has long been an...interesting holiday for me.

I remember my first costume and trick or treating outing was me in a white bedsheet with the eye holes cut out and me carrying a plastic pumpkin and tooling around town with my cousin, Ben, and my friend, Melissa. We gathered a plethora of candy that night, however, I couldn't eat any of it until it was inspected for razor was the scare back then.

At my school, we always had this kick @ss Halloween carnival. In second grade, I was up for Halloween festival queen. It was a fundraising thing. The girl who raised the most money won the crown. My brother, a senior, was working the admission gate for the Halloween carnival and he asked everyone entering if they'd give a donation for his sister to become the queen. With his help, I came in second place! I won a red velvet cake that year in the cake walk.

As I worked my way through school, my homerooms hosted different activities for the Halloween carnival. Second grade was the pick up ducks, fifth was the country store where we sold davinity, cookies, and other homemade items. Nineth was the go fish booth where you tossed a fishing pole over a sheet and pulled back a bag full of goodies. Junior year was the haunted house where we all slapped on fake blood and rubber masks and scared hell and four dollars out of all the younger kids. We also had the hay ride where we all piled into the back of a truck, steered through the woods behind the school where each load was attacked by water balloons by hidden seniors. Sadly, some little kid got upset by it and the school discontinued it. So, my senior year, we hosted a Monster Mash. Three tickets to dance with the senior of your choice in this semi-disco in our home room. Cheesy...yes, but a lot of fun.


My sophomore year, I was riding around town with some friends of mine when we came upon one of the city's cemeteries. Quicker than a flash, they attempted to leave me and my friend, Daphne, in the cemetery by ourselves. Being the smart girls that we were, we both tackled one of the football player guys who were trying to ditch us. We spent the next hour and a half huddling together for warmth around creepy gravestones. Daphne and I were the picture of bravery...the football players...not so much.

College brought less mischieviousness and more mayhem. Fraternity parties. My best costume in my college years was as a Navy Blue Crayola. Brilliant costume, if I must say so myself.

Nowadays, I find myself not at a party or dressed as something crazy-cool or hip...rather, I'm in my jeans, hoodie, and tennies and I'm walking around a haunted location with my K2 meter, my digital voice recorder, and my camera. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I have learned so much in my ghost hunting research. I have met so many wonderful people who aren't creepy or weird or anything like that...rather they are spiritually grounded, faithfully based, and eager to try and seek out what's on The Other Side.


As a giveaway this Halloween, I am offering up a copy of my two (so far) GHOST HUNTRESS books - THE AWAKENING and THE GUIDANCE and my non-fiction how to book, THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN'S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL for the commenter who leaves their best Halloween story.

Happy hauntings to you all!
Marley = )

P.S. Today is my Dad's 83rd birthday! Fresh from a triple bypass, he's doing well and is at home celebrating his special day. Love ya Joe!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The True Meaning of Halloween

I know that, historically, Halloween is a holiday steeped in the tradition of frightening away evil spirits with carved turnips. And over the decades it's become more about getting dressed up as scary, disgusting, fantastical, or otherwise escapist costumes. But, let's be honest about the true meaning of Halloween. Candy.

I don't usually crave candy. I'm more of an ice cream (hello Ben & Jerry's White Russian!) and cheese girl. But whenever Halloween rolls around I can't seem to get it out of my mind. It's everywhere: at the grocery story, the drugstore, the bank, the giant bag in the garage desperately hoping to stick around long enough for the trick-or-treaters.

If I eat candy the rest of the year it's usually something like Milk Duds at the movie theatre or a Skor bar from the drugstore. When October rolls around, though, it's like my taste buds take a turn and suddenly I'm interested in things that do nothing for me the other eleven months of the year.

Some candy I only eat during the Halloween season:

  • Smarties
  • Candy Corn
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Dum Dums, Blow Pops, Tootsie Pops, and other suckers
  • Mini candy bars (especially Snickers and Butterfingers)

What about you? Do you have any favorite Halloween candy that you could care less about the rest of the year?


Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp (out now!)
Forgive My Fins (coming June 1, 2010)
Get your goddess on. Join the Ning!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The CSI Halloween Party Game

With Halloween just days away--and on a Saturday night this year--I thought it might be fun to post a party game I’ve heard about. But warning, it’s a bit on the gross side...

Start with candlelight, and arrange your friends in a circle. You explain that you are now CSI investigators who needs to identify the remains of a victim who just met his untimely death. Make up a victim’s name, and the specifics of his death.

Hand out pencils and paper.

Then pass around brown bags, saying:

"This is his brain..." (it will be filled with cooked cauliflower)
"This is his heart..." (peeled raw tomato)
"This is his liver..." (how about spam?)
"These are his eyes..." (peeled grapes)
"These are his teeth..." (unpopped corn)
"These are his fingers..." (raw carrots)

And anything else you can dream up!

As you are going along, encourage your friends to help you with specifics about the crime. And to write down what they think they actually felt in the bag.

Then have them return the answers to you. When you’ve tallied them, announce the way the crime has been “solved,” (anything you want, like a spongy brain indicated poisioning) as well as the winner of the guessing game. How about handing out two movie tickets to a slasher-thriller or Paranormal Activity as a prize?

Hope you have a Happy Halloween, whatever you do!


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

Friday, October 23, 2009

How much is that doggie in the window?

My family has spent an insane amount of time together over the last three weeks compliments of the swine flu. There are only so many movies and board games to pass the time. I tried to get creative so my four and six year olds wouldn't be bored out of their minds so we started our Christmas lists a little early. My six year old surprised me by listing a dog as his number one choice.
We lost our Maltese, Lucky, about a year and a half ago. He was the best little dog on the planet and his sudden passing crippled me with grief for a long time. My youngest son still asks about him every single day. The other day he asked me if he threw a bone high enough in the sky if Lucky would get it in heaven (I know, right?).

I've never really considered getting another dog because I just felt it wouldn't measure up to Lucky. But I would turn myself inside out making my sons happy. And I have to admit I really do miss having a pet. The goldfish and the frogs just aren't cutting it. Then I remember how having a puppy is almost like having a baby and housebreaking is such a nightmare. Then I remember the year I didn't get a Cabbage Patch Kid and how I'm still pretty sure I have issues because of it. So I'm torn. Please help me decide, do I suck it up and get the dog or go back to trying to train our tiny frogs? And tell me what kind of pet you have!

(We would go with something like this little guy)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Next Week is Halloween!

I can't believe that Halloween is next week. Where did the summer go, anyway?

I'm pretty sure we're doing a theme week on Books, Boys, Buzz... next week -- all about scary stuff and Halloween memories. I have quite a few!

Which brings me to my question for you today -- what are you going to be for Halloween? I'm still not sure...
Last year, I was Holly GoLightly (Audrey Hepburn) and it was a pretty great costume. The year before that I was a pirate girl. The year before that I was a fairy godmother -- that was the first time I'd dressed up in over a decade. I don't know why I stopped dressing up somewhere along the way... Halloween is fun at any age!

Ok, so tell me -- are you dressing up? Got any costume ideas for me this year?

Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen Sept. '09
The Clearing - HMH April '10

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Event, Chat, and a Winner!

If you or your friends happen to be in the Little Rock, Arkansas area this Saturday...come check out the Books, Blood & Bones young adult author book extravaganza!

Books, Blood & Bones
Come meet some of your Favorite Authors
Host: Books-A-Million North Little Rock
Date: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm (CT)
Location: Books-A-Million
Street: 2747 Lakewood Village Dr
City/Town: North Little Rock, AR

Book Signing By Authors: Melissa Francis, Stacey Jay, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Linda Gerber, Marley Gibson, and Chloe Neill. Creatures of the Night Costume Contest. Come as your favorite Vamp, Vampire, or Mystery Character. Paranormal/Mystery Trivia Contest.

Also, tonight, please join me and my co-authors, Patrick Burns and Dave Schrader for a live chat at The Knight Agency. Click here for the login to the chat site.

And finally, the winner of last week's givaway for CHRISTMAS MIRACLES is Girlforchrist. Please contact me at marley_gibson (AT) yahoo (DOT) com with your snail mail address and I'll get a copy of the book out to you ASAP.

Thanks so much!
Marley = )

Monday, October 19, 2009

Travels with Tina

I do a far amount of travel around the southwest, usually with my nose buried in a book because it's good, interrupted reading time. But last week I went to New York, through international terminals, and had a grand time people-watching and people-listening! (Yes, we writers DO get snippets of ideas this way).

Sitting at the Los Angeles terminal, I noticed a guy passing by, and did a wait-I-know-him thing. I watched him veer into the newspaper shop, and since I wanted a bottle of water for my flight, anyway, decided to covertly follow.

But one good glimpse and I realized he wasn’t my kids’ former soccer coach or the guy who doesn’t water his plants on the next block...but one of the guys from the TV show, Mad Men. (Cool!) Which happens to my husband’s and my new favorite show.

For those unfamiliar, here's a photo from the show:

And here he is, actor Bryan Batt. As “Sal,” the character he plays.

But no, I didn’t talk to him. I did enough celebrity gushing when I met author Janet Evanovich at the Romance Writers of America conference last summer to last a lifetime, thank you very much! I just bought my water behind him (he seemed nice to the sales person) and went back to my gate. And then texted my husband!

Fast-forward a few days, and I’m at the JFK terminal in New York, waiting to board a flight to San Francisco. And I see people taking pictures with some guy with bleached blond hair. I look at him and did another, “Oh, yeah, you’re somebody,” but I admit, I had to ask someone exactly who.

It was Guy Fieri, from the Food Channel, who hosts Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

I watched his show once, and really liked. But I went around craving fried hash brown potatoes and gravy for a few days afterwards--which wasn’t really in my best interest! Anyway, he was on my flight, and later the flight attendant mentioned to me that she’d traveled with him before, and he was a great guy. Always good to hear!

So now I was down to my last flight, San Francisco/LA. I was now too tired to check for celebs, but was lucky enough to get seated next to a TV comedy writer, who--no surprise--was sharp and funny. I ended up giving him a copy of one of my books because he said his good friend was trying to write a young adult novel.

I came home and wondered how many celeb sightings and interesting conversations I’ve been missing with my head in a book? Who knows?

So tell us...have you ever had a celeb sighting in an airport or on a plane? Or met a particularly interesting person seated beside you? Or like me, do you often spend your flights reading?


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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Head over heels for fall!

Fall is by far my favorite season. I love breaking out the jeans and sweatshirts. Here in Illinois, fall seems to have almost bypassed us this year though. We are already shrugging into winter coats lately. Even though the temperature is a bit nippy, the leaves are still beautiful. I love hearing my little boys oh and ah over the crisp red, yellows, and oranges that the leaves turn. Our most favorite fall activity is a trip to the pumpkin patch. Don't you just love searching for the perfect pumpkin? I say that a pumpkin can't be too plump. If you have little ones a fun Halloween book is Spookley the Pumpkin by Joe Troiano.
Another favorite fall treat is double-dipped caramel apples from a local store called Del's. They are the most delicious thing EVER! I am actually going to try and make my own caramel apples this weekend. I know they won't be as good as Del's but I'm going to give it a try! I also like making pumpkin rolls. If you haven't ever had one of these treats, do yourself a favor and Google the recipe and make yourself one. So what is your favorite fall treat? Happy Fall Y'all!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A new release!

While it's not a young adult book, I am thrilled, proud, and beaming to announce that my non-fiction book, CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, is released today in bookstores everywhere! Isn't it pretty? And it'll make an awesome stocking stuffer for anyone this holiday season.

I co-authored this book with Cecil Murphey, New York Times bestselling author of 90 Minutes in Heaven.

I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity today to talk to my friend and co-author, Cecil “Cec” Murphey:

Marley: Cec, thanks for spending some time with me today.

Cec: Marley, it's great that you could take time away from important things like making a living to spend a little time with me.

Marley: I’m so jazzed about our Christmas Miracles book that’s coming out soon. I’ve had a lot of questions from folks wanting to know how we met, what brought us together, etc. So, I thought we’d do a back and forth on how it all came to be. Of course, I have to give props to our amazing agent and friend, Deidre Knight, for bringing us together. For those of you who don’t know, Cec co-authored the runaway New York Times bestselling hit 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper.

I have to say thanks to Deidre Knight as well. Between Deidre and my assistant, Twila Belk, I've been able to sell quite a few books. 90 Minutes in Heaven has been my big book. I'm also proud of a book I wrote in 1990 called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The book has never been out of print and has hit close to four million in sales. Early this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. starred in the made-for-TV film version.

Marley: That’s amazing! You are truly prophetic and definitely “the man behind the words.” Now, people ask how we teamed up. Sadly, there was a personal tragedy that brought Cec and me together as friends.

Cec: True. In early 2007, our house burned and our son-in-law died. Aside from the grief over Alan, we lost everything. Deidre and Jan, my-then-assistant, sent the word out of our tragedy without telling me. I'm immensely grateful for every gift people sent, but I probably wouldn't have admitted I needed help and wouldn't have asked. They taught me how much we need other people.

Marley: Deidre put out a call to other clients of The Knight Agency, to help Cec and his family out in any way in their time of need. At the time, my company was moving and we were cleaning house. We had a ton of office supplies that we were either going to throw away or give to some of the charities the company worked with. I got my boss’ permission to send a large care package to Cec…full of office supplies for him to re-stock his writer’s office. You name it…post-its, staples, paper clips, pens, pencils, markers, white out, ruler, scissors, paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes, a laptop case, tape, glue, folders, binder clips…etc. A veritable potpourri of office delights. I was hoping that it would help Cec have a sense of getting his office back so he could keep working.

Marley's gift was the most unexpected I received. We hadn't met, although Deidre Knight had spoken of her many times and kept telling me she was wonderful. I wonder if you can imagine what it was like for me to open that box from someone I didn't know. I saw all those practical things for my office and yelled for my wife. I felt as if I were reading a first-grade book. "Look! Look and see! Oh, look!" I was overwhelmed by the gift and even more to receive it from a stranger. Those supplies were the most practical gift anyone could have given me. I'm still using black paper clips and red folders from Marley.

Marley: Awww…thanks, Cec! I didn’t have to think twice about doing it. Writing is such a solitary “sport,” but the writing community always astounds me with how they help their own. Not long after that, over plates of spinach and Gouda omelets, Deidre introduced me to Cec in person and I was thrilled to finally meet the man behind the words. Deidre knew we needed to work on a project together and thus began our brainstorming. What did you think of that first meeting, Cec, and cooking up the idea to work together?

Cec: Deidre and I had already spoken about a Christmas book and I had some idea about what it should contain, but nothing had come together. One day Deidre told me that Marley was coming to visit her and she wanted us to work together on a Christmas project. Marley and I talked before we ate and again during the meal. Everything felt right to me. I knew my strengths and Marley knew hers (and Deidre knew both of us). Everything clicked. Marley, a far better networker than I am, immediately sent out the word for submissions. Within days she had almost four times more than we could use. (She read every one of them!)

Marley: I was truly impressed with the submissions we received and it was hard narrowing it down to the ones we chose for the book. We’re fortunate to have such a go-getter agent in Deidre Knight. Cec, can you share how the whole idea of Christmas Miracles came about and what you thought of the project originally?

Cec: For me, it actually started while I was on the rapid-rail train from the Atlanta airport when I listened to teens talk about Christmas and it was mostly about gifts. I had the idea then, but nothing really came together. Months later when Deidre I and had a meeting, she brought up the idea of a compilation and mentioned my working with Marley. I've been Deidre Knight's client since 1997 and I've learned to listen carefully when she comes up with an idea. I said yes before she gave me all the information.

Marley: That’s the truth about Deidre! Getting back to those submissions, Iwant to say we got more than two hundred submissions for Christmas Miracles. So many wonderful stories to read through and select for the book. It was a challenge to pick and choose which ones were right for the book, but I loved every minute of it. After I chose the entries that would go into the book, Cec toiled long hours editing the works for a unified voice. What was the biggest challenge you found in the editing process, Cec?

Cec: I've been a ghostwriter and collaborator for twenty-plus years and this was a switch to give the book a unified voice—which was mine. It would have been easier to stay with each writer's voice, but the book—like many compilations—would have been uneven in tone and quality. When I discussed this via email with our delightful editor, Rose Hilliard, she was (to my surprise) familiar with my work. She told me she liked the warm tone of my writing and that I don't waste words. "That's the voice we want," she said. It still wasn't easy, but it was an exciting challenge. After Marley and I agreed on the stories and gave them that unified voice, our editor pulled six contributions. Although different, Rose felt they were too similar to other stories.

Marley: Can you give our readers a preview of the book? A favorite story perhaps…or one that moved you to tears? (I have to say the little boy who wished for nothing but to be able to read a book all the way through because of his stutter had me bawling when I read the submission.)

Cec: That's not fair! I liked them all. The one that touched me most, however, is the last story in the book, "Sean's Question." We had almost finished the book and I was teaching at a conference in Florida. I felt we needed one strong story at the end. Despite all the good ones, I didn't feel fully satisfied to conclude the book. On the last day of the conference, I met a conferee named Sara Zinn for a consultation. As we talked, I mentioned Christmas Miracles and that I still needed one more story. "I have a Christmas story," she said and told me about Sean. As I listened, tears filled my eyes—but, being the macho type I am, I was sure it was an allergy. Sara wrote the story, and it became the one I sought.

Marley: Oh yes…that one is an emotional one all right. It was meant to be in the book because of how you met at the conference. Now, you and I have both had challenges in our lives that others might have found too much to take, but we are both very strong in our faith and our relationship with God. How do you think Christmas Miracles is going to help others feel closer to God and experience His miracles in their own lives?

Cec: Awareness and appreciation are the two things I want readers to grasp. Awareness means for them to realize that they're never totally alone in life. Those unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary events remind us of that. Appreciation means to be thankful for what we already have. Too often, and especially at Christmas, we focus on what we'd like or what is supposed to make us happy. Christmas Miracles gently reminds readers of both.

Marley: In this day and age when our country is fighting two wars, unemployment is high, and a lot of people have a lack of hope and faith for their future, what do you want readers of the book to take away from Christmas Miracles and how can the stories in our book help provide comfort to those struggling?

Cec: I want readers to see that miracles do happen—sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural (as in one of Marley's stories). I call myself a serious Christian. For me, the world's greatest miracle began with the birth of Jesus. Regardless of a person's religion, this book encourages readers to think about life during the Christmas season and see that life as more than gifts and celebrations. It's also a reminder that God loves us and hears our needy cries.

Marley: Beautifully put, Cec, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Can we share what’s next after Christmas Miracles? = )

Cec: Why it's the Cec and Marley show, of course. Because of our go-getter agent and our enthusiastic editor, we've already received thumbs up for The Christmas Spirit. This will be stories of people who express the true spirit of Christmas by acts of love and kindness, for release in the fall of 2011.

Marley: And I can’t wait to start working on that project! Thank you so much for your time, Cec, and answering my questions. It was a privilege and honor to work with you and I look forward to our future projects together. You’ve helped me along during a trying time and I appreciate your friendship and support.

Cec: I liked this project because Marley had to send out the word, collect submissions, read them, and discard the weaker ones. I get to see only the better-written stories. (Don't tell her that I have the better job.) Although I mentioned only one story, all of those in the book touched me because of the poignancy of their situations and the miraculous answers. I won't say the stories increased my faith, but they increased my appreciation for the delightful mix of human need and divine intervention.

Marley: Thanks again, Cec! God Bless! And to our readers, please be sure to pick up a copy of Christmas Miracles, out October 13, 2009 from St. Martin’s Press. It’s a great stocking stuffer or gift basket filler. We hope you, too, will discover your own Christmas Miracles in your life.


Please leave a comment with any miracles you've experienced in your life. All commenters will be entered to win a copy of Christmas Miracles!

And, on a personal note...speaking of father had surgery on his carotid artery and a triple bypass of the heart yesterday. Thanks to all of my friends for their prayers and support. Miracles DO happen!

Marley = )

Monday, October 12, 2009

Buzz Girl Out

I'm moving in less than a week. Enough said. Here are some LOLs to keep you entertained until I return to normalcy. (Well, as much normalcy as I can stand, anyway.)

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp (out now!)
Forgive My Fins (coming June 1, 2010)
Get your goddess on. Join the Ning!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Moon Explosion?

You’ve probably heard by now that NASA plans to hurl a massive charge of TNT at the moon tomorrow. Apparently, they are investigating the presence of ice on its surface. Aside from my problems with the $97 million dollar cost, which I’m sure was budgeted for years and years ago, I can’t see how it’s a good thing to bomb the moon.

I mean, in our grandparents’ or parents’ day, there were astronauts exploring the moon and touching down to make a “giant step” -- now, we cause explosions…. So, is this just a case of nerd boys wanting to blow stuff up?

In defense of nerd boys -- my brother is kind of a nerd. He was all about computers and I’m pretty sure he was in the rocket club at our elementary school. I can totally see him wanting to know more about the moon and stars. And there is nothing wrong about launching a project in the spirit of discovery. I’m all for finding out things that are important.

Maybe since I write novels about werewolves, I’m particularly sensitive to this latest NASA project. I mean, what if something happened to our moon? Could tides shift? Could all of the creatures of the night be totally thrown off?

What do you know about the explosion? Is there anything else that you’d like scientists to focus on discovering instead?


NEVER CRY WEREWOLF – Sept ’09 HarperTeen

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A newfound pleasure

Last night, I went to see TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2 in 3-D. I had never seen either of these movies when they originally came out and let me just tell you....I'm in luuuuurve.

It's a given that the animation is amazing and blows you away -- not to mention seeing it in 3-D, but the stories were so heartwarming. Underneath the cutesy Disneyfication, there's really a soul to these characters and a message so strong it made me cry. Friendship is the glue that holds our society. The love of a child is indescribable. Loyalty to those you love goes above and beyond all things.

You might think it's just a simple kid's cartoon...but it's really about standing up for those you love and letting them know how you feel. It's also important to love your toys because they are important in your life and they are your friends.

Case in point...I still have my teddy bear that I got on my third birthday. His name is Donny and he not only did he go off to college with me, but he went on my honeymoon. Any time I've had a horrid day, Donny is always there sitting on the chair when I need him. His love is unconditional and he asks for nothing in return.

Donny and me then...

Donny and me now...

My stuffed animals and toys still hold a special place in my heart. I have never thrown any away, sold them in a yardsale, or given them away (with the exception of a stuffed lamb my grandmother made me and my Jolly Green Giant that my mother put in a yardsale when I was away at college -- along with my cheerleader pom poms and batons -- and I was heartsick to learn that they all sold.)

Do you have a special toy that means something to you? A stuffed animal that's always been there for you?

Marley = )

GHOST HUNTRESS series - The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality!
co-authored with Patrick Burns and Dave Schrader

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

In a Dark Paranormal Kinda Mood

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, what with working on a new proposal, procrastinating on the book that's actually due, getting ready to move, and the flu flying all around me, taunting me with its power. So, in an effort to think about anything other than what I need to do, threw myself into my to-be-read pile. Here's what I read:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Evermore by Alyson Noel

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

And, by the way, they were all awesome. They all have sequels. And they are all going to haunt me until I get and read those sequels. Which can't happen until after the move. Grrrr.

What about you? Read any great books lately?


Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp (out now!)
Forgive My Fins (coming June 1, 2010)
Get your goddess on. Join the Ning!

Monday, October 05, 2009

I Knew It Was Over When...

I did some driving in the southwestern U.S. this week, and enjoyed switching radio stations to see what was out there. At one point, I came upon call-in program where the DJ's were asking listeners to finish this sentence regarding their exes: I Knew It Was Over When...

My romance writer spirit went on overdrive! I became engrossed in the stories of liars and cheaters and thieves-of-hearts. When the program ended, I started reviewing my own single years and what had been instant deal breakers for me. Here are two:

...when I found hickeys on my high school boyfriend’s neck. That were not from me!

...when a relatively new boyfriend talked nonstop during a movie. And got annoyed when people asked him to be quiet. Later he explained to me that movies were stupid, just “something to do” to pass the time. (Next!)

Now I’d love to hear from YOU. Keeping it PG-13 rated, please, fill in the blank: I Knew It Was Over When...


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

Saturday, October 03, 2009

She's goin' traveling...

I'll be traveling a lot this fall/early winter: for work, for family, but not really for vacation!

My first stop was Portland, Oregon where I'd spent a summer interning at Intel Corp. Portland holds a dear spot in my heart because that's where I met my darling husband almost 9 years ago!

This time, Portland held a dear spot in my heart because of what I saw at the local Barnes and Noble:

That's right! My good friend Heather Davis' recent debut NEVER CRY WEREWOLF was on an endcap. Her neighbors? Alyson Noel and Stephenie Meyer! Wow!

My next stop on my fall-travelapalooza was Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in the Motor City and love going back to recruit talent for Microsoft at my alma mater, The University of Michigan. Go Blue! This year, I had so much fun meeting the students in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department who were all looking for jobs. I love college students!

Where am I going next? Stay tuned a few weeks to hear!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Friday, October 02, 2009

I love a parade!

Today is homecoming at the high school I graduated from. The festivities kick off with a fun parade in the afternoon to get everyone pumped about the game later tonight. I used to have a blast marching in my dorky band uniform playing my clarinet all four years of high school. My high school days are WAY behind me so I have a different role these days. My job now is to keep the little kids from running under a fire truck for a Tootsie Roll. It's actually harder than it sounds.

I love seeing the adorable king and queen drive by on their convertible waving awkwardly at everyone. The energy of the football players riding on the fire truck is contagious and I always make a little wish that they will win their game. I hope (with just a tinge of jealousy) that they all have a blast tomorrow night at their dance.

If I was given a do-over for high school, I'd definitely pick homecoming. I'd dress up in my dorky band uniform and march in the parade, cheer for the football team at the game, then put on my new outfit and dance the night away with a cute guy. But since that isn't going to happen, I guess I'll have to be content dancing the night away with my two little guys! How about you, what high school event would you relive?


Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Return of Fall and Bookfest

Happy Thursday!

It’s finally fall in the city, which means it's raining. But, the news isn't all dreary. I’m happy to report that after a hiatus of a few years, Seattle Bookfest is back! I’m so glad that people in the most literate city in America are working to put on the festival next month.

Why is Seattle so book crazy? Maybe it’s because we have so much rain – and when I say rain, I mean consecutive days of steady drizzle. When it pours, Seattleites love to cozy up with a giant latte and a cup of coffee. This is not a stereotype, guys. It’s the real deal. Of course, we’re also known as people who love the outdoors. We have hiking, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, and sailing right within a short drive of the city, and you will always find people biking and running in the rain here. Crazy, crazy, wet people.

Even Harper gets tired of the rain. She stares out the window at the endless droplets wishing the sunshine-loving birds would come back to perch outside on the wires.

Anyway, Bookfest is going to be a really cool mix of workshops, readings, signings, etc and it goes for a whole weekend, October 24-25.

Does your city have a book festival? If it doesn’t, who would you love to see at your fantasy bookfest?

Happy Fall!


Never Cry Werewolf – HarperTeen September 2009
The Clearing – April 2010