Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Cover!

Well...I was going to blog about my trip to Gettysburg and show some pretty pictures, but I was sideswiped by the cover to the next book in the GHOST HUNTRESS series. THE COUNSELING comes out in October 2010 and I have to say, I think this cover is my favorite so far! Check it out:

I geek out every time I see a new cover. I am totally blessed by the Cover Gods at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. My thanks to ilovedust in the UK and to Carol Chu for their awesome work.

Do you love it? Does it make you want to preorder it immediately? LOL!!

Marley = )

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Adventure Continues... In Seattle

Last week I posted some highlights from my trans-continental adventure. Since then, I've made it all the way across Canada to Vancouver and then down to Seattle, to hang with Buzz girls Dona and Heather. This is my first time in the Pacific Northwest and let me tell you I am in love. There are trees and flowers everywhere.

There is an amazing diversity of cultures with a long and storied history.

And, of course, an astounding array of sushi.

What more could a Buzz girl ask for?


FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh, Yeah, I Do Have Some News...

The ever-lovely Stephanie Hale “outed” me on Friday as having good news to share today. I teased her a little in her comments about not knowing what she was talking about...but the truth is, yeah, I do have some news.

Last Thursday, the Romance Writers of America Rita® award finalists were announced, and I was lucky enough to get a call.

Here’s the list of 2010 Finalists for Best Young Adult Romance:

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
Don’t Judge a Girl by her Cover by Ally Carter
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

I am thrilled to be included with such talented authors! And must of course give a special shout-out to Simone Elkeles who was one of the first Buzz Girls, and will always remain one at heart!

The ceremony is being held at the national conference on July 31 in Nashville, TN...and I do believe all Buzz Girls will be in attendance. So I’m thinking pictures, pictures and more pictures. And lots of fun!

I hope we see some our readers there, too!


Tina Ferraro
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, 2010 Rita® Finalist
How to Hook a Hottie, 2009 Rita® Finalist
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Authorly Ramblings

I thought I'd write about some authorly stuff because it seems like this part of my life has been very active this month. (This is a picture of Lifted's page in the summer 2010 Simon & Schuster catalog. Looks great, huh?)

About a week and a half ago, I was invited to participate in an editor's retreat at a professor's home in Orem, Utah. What was different about this gathering was you had to be a nationally published children's book author or illustrator to attend. Ruth Katcher from Egmont USA came from NYC to talk about the children's book publishing industry and after mini-presentations by Utah authors Mette Ivie Harrison, Kristyn Crow, and Carol Lynch Williams, Ruth let us know what she thought about the first few pages of our works in progress. It was really exciting to get a sneak peek at the manuscripts such talented authors were working on, and everybody's feedback--whether from an experienced editor or an experienced writer--on the pages I shared was priceless.

Soon after, I heard back from my literary agent on the 3 book proposal ideas I'd sent her earlier in March. She thought my paranormal romance (YA) was most promising and had some great ideas for it. So, as you can imagine, I'm busy reworking the synopsis and writing those first couple of make it or break it chapters.

I've also been busy presenting lately. My sons' elementary school invited me to present an inspirational and humorous talk I call "Imagine the Possibilities!" Shortly after, I was invited to participate in a Salt Lake City charter school's literacy night, which was especially fun because I bumped into a couple of old friends who now have children who go to that school. Then I was supposed to present "The Path to Publication" at a university's writers' conference, but due to some strange conflicts, they canceled. Oh well, now I have a great presentation just waiting to be delivered elsewhere! Next I had another unexpected phone call. Each year, the sixth graders at Valley Elementary put on a Serve to Save dinner, where they raise an average of $6,000 for local, national, and international charities. Their keynote speaker canceled last minute, so they wondered if I could step in. So I did. On Thursday night, I spoke about the importance of service, and I have no idea how it went, but I was honored to have been asked. Then, yesterday I also had a speaking engagement, this time at the League of Utah Writer's spring conference. I did a workshop on pitches and since people were taking notes and participating, I think it went pretty well.

In addition to going to a retreat, working hard on a proposal, and having various speaking engagements, one of the first interviews for my upcoming YA novel, LIFTED, was just posted by Bee (from India) on her wonderful Dreamcatcher's Lair blog. Check it out here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

TLC in the house!

Our very own Tera Lynn Childs (TLC) is in Seattle for the next few days. (That is NOT Seattle in the background!)

Agenda item 1: walking food tour of Pikes Place Market. We are going to get us some....

Low-flying Alderwood smoked salmon
America's Best Clam Chowder & Seafood Bisque
#1 artisan handmade cheese in Washington
Renowned chef Tom Douglas's crab cakes
Fresh and exotic seasonal fruit
Savory Russian piroshky pastries
Piping hot mini-doughnuts
Cherry-inspired treats
Locally-roasted coffee
and a whole lotta more!

Post pics next week of our adventures!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What a difference a few books can make

I remember reading a disturbing article in 2004. The article claimed that fewer than half of all American adults were reading each year. The youngest group of adults, aged 18-24, had the steepest decline at 55%. I was horrified. I couldn't understand how so many people were missing out on the joy of reading. It made me very sad, especially for the youngest generations, that were trading video game controllers for novels. I wondered how things would ever turn around with new technological goodies being released every day.

Then Harry Potter (yes, I know it came out before 2004, but not everybody caught on) came along, followed shortly thereafter by Twilight. Reading became popular again. Families started reading the same books together. It might not have been The Great Gatsby but people were turning off their televisions and computers and curling up with huge tomes. I wondered if the popularity of these two popular books would be enough to edge those reading numbers back up.

I was delighted to read in 2009 that for the first time in over twenty-five years, adults were reading more. In fact, for the first time since 1982, when the survey began, the overall rate at which adults were reading rose 7%!!! And the biggest increase was in the youngest adults (18-24)!
The survey doesn't site Twilight or Harry Potter for being single handedly responsible for the increases, but we all know that the popularity of these novels brought teens and adults alike back to browse the bookshelves while they wait for the newest installment.

While at jury duty last week, I performed my own little completely non-scientific survey. I began looking around the room at the sixty-plus potential jurors to find that almost every other person was reading a novel. You had your occasional knitter, doodler, or Sudoku player but most of us were enjoying a book. BTW, my book was The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and it was amazing!

Do you feel that more people have started reading again?

ps- I don't want to steal anyone's thunder but make sure to check in on Monday for some exciting news!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Writing Wisdom...

I’m pretty excited. Tomorrow I’m going to present workshops at a local Young Authors’ Conference not far from my old home town in the mountains. I’m going to be working with kids in grades 6 through 8 – one of my favorite age groups. It's the first time I'll be back in my rural county in a few years.

I went to an arts camp in high school – on the wings of my visual art talent, not writing. And there, I remember interacting with other kids who were actors, artists, and writers, as we worked with professionals in the different disciplines. I especially remember the feeling of finding myself among people who were “from my planet” – they got what it was like to create something and to see the world a slightly different way.

So, off I go to teach these kids something valuable about writing. My workshop is going to be about layering in the details to make a scene come alive – something that I do in my own work somewhere between the first and second drafts.

I’ll tell them the most important piece of writing advice that I ever got, which was from my art teacher in college – to paraphrase - “Don’t be afraid to make crap.” In other words, don’t try for perfection, because you might limit yourself. Be brave, try something new and fail or succeed spectacularly.

What’s the best piece of advice on writing that you ever received?

Love and light,


Never Cry Werewolf – HarperTeen -09/09

The Clearing – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 04/10

Wherever You Go – Harcourt 2011

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Adventure Begins!

Well...I'm blogging from the passenger seat of my rig as we're rolling down the interstate. The apartment is packed, everything's in storage, and we are in the RV now! It's amazing how much stuff we fit in here. And here, I only packed twelve pairs of shoes. I think I'm doing pretty well. LOL!

First stop is Gettysburg for the Phenomenology 102 Conference where I'll be selling my GHOST HUNTRESS series of books, THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN'S GUIDE TOO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL, as well as fun things like pendulums, magnets, and essential oils. I'm also speaking with my co-authors, Dave Schrader and Patrick Burns (also my sweetie.) We'll be getting in some ghost hunting in Gettysurg while we're there, you can bet on that! We've got formal events through the conference where we'll investigate, but we're hoping to slip away on our own, as well.

Gettysburg is amazing place. I'm not psychic in the least, but even the most insensitive person (and I mean that in a psychic way) can't help but feel the buzz in the air and the tremor in the earth when you're walking the battlefields and sites of skirmishes where sooooooooo many people lost their lives. There are many stories of ghosts appearing on the battlefield, or helping answer tourists' questions, only to vanish into thin air. I'm certainly hoping for one of these encounteres.

Have you ever been to Gettysburg? What was your experience?

Marley = )

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On the Road Again-- Er, Still

Yep, I am still on my great adventure. (And will be for another few weeks, actually.) So far my journeys have taken me to New York, New Jersey, Montreal, Quebec City, and Toronto. When you read this I will be on the train, traveling across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. Internet will be spotty, at best, so I'm pre-posting, lest I be a bad bee again.

Anyway, I thought it was about to share some trip highlights with the Buzz readers. I'll choose one picture from the first few legs of my journey. I'll leave it up to you guys to write the captions. Here goes...

New York City

New Jersey

Train to Montreal


Train to Quebec

Quebec City

Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel)

Okay, that's it for now. When I post next I'll have done my time in Vancouver and will be in Seattle, chilling with Buzz girls Heather and Dona!


FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Monday, March 22, 2010

“I’d Like Mine Rare, Please”

For reasons I will never understand, my idea of a really good time often includes poking fun at myself. So I am prepared to take all kinds of (kind-hearted) teasing over the following admission:

When I go to pancake breakfasts--which happens several times a year in my small town-ish community--I ask for my pancakes served rare.

No, I am not kidding.

Because I learned, by accident, about 15 years ago, that in fact I did not dislike pancakes as I had always thought. I just disliked them thoroughly cooked. Which is to my taste, dry. (Yes, I use butter and syrup and sometimes even fruit and whipped cream--but still dry to me.) I like my pancakes about cooked about three quarters of the way through, which means, hard on the outside and soft in the middle.

Which is not to say that I get what I want at these pancake breakfasts. Reactions include the server staring at me blankly, laughing, or just pushing an already prepared (dry) stack at me. As well as my husband or one of my kids nudging me to shut up, take it and behave.

At home, however, I am free to make my pancakes as I choose, and no one notices or cares. In fact, it is accepted that I will always make my own. (“I did it my way...”)

Now as far as commenting, no way I’m asking if you like your pancakes served raw in the middle, too. (Although if you happen to know someone else or have heard of someone else, do tell me! It would be nice to know I am not completely alone.)

Instead, feel free to express your BLECH! reaction. And then tell me about your favorite pancakes, be they buttermilk, blueberry, chocolate chip...


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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wardrobe Malfunction, Anyone?

The lovely Grey's Anatomy and romantic comedy darling Katherine Heigl experienced a bit of a wardrobe malfunction in Las Vegas while accepting her 2010 ShoWest Female Star of the Year award. (Here's the VIDEO if you missed it.) Thankfully, she had help and handled the mishap as professionally as possible as she delivered her acceptance speech.
Why do you think something like an almost peek-a-boo boob moment so often makes the news? Is it because we like to see that even celebs in their designer finery sometimes experience snap failure like we do in our Target duds? Perhaps.
And that leads me to my next question. Have YOU ever had a wardrobe malfunction, whether a full reveal like Janet Jackson at SuperBowl XXVIII's halftime show, or a close call like Ms. Heigl?
Several accounts run through my mind, and believe me, I've learned my lessons:
1. Never wear a short fluffy skirt in Fort Collins, CO or anyplace notorious for sudden wind storms.
2. Never wear a string bikini while holding a toddler.
3. Never climb a barbed wire fence while on a date.
Do you have any rules to add?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Food & Family Traditions

I hope you all had a great St. Patrick’s Day! Marley, did you pause from packing to celebrate?

So... you may have guessed that my family is part Irish. Yep! When I was a kid, every March 17th my dad used to make the soda bread, simmer the corned beef, and play Irish records. Mmm! It was quite the feast. And can’t you imagine my divorced papa with three little redhead girls all dancing around to “The Unicorn” sung by the Irish Rovers? It was a celebration that even a one-parent family could afford.

It’s funny how ingrained those food traditions become in our lives. And of course you know that the corned beef and soda bread are really Irish-American variations on food from the old country. I don’t even mind. For me, it’s more about associating the togetherness with the food. My dad always made time to celebrate with us and that meant more than having a fancy house or expensive clothes ever could.

Needing to complete the tradition yesterday, I had to bake soda bread, and I made a chicken version of the traditional supper with potatoes and cabbage. I had to. It’s too weird for me not to. It would be like the holiday never happened.

My traditional foods obsession isn't limited to St. Pat's Day. It crops up at Christmas (Dad’s Chesapeake Bay chowder), Thanksgiving (Grandma’s corn pudding), and birthdays. Seriously, it is not a true birthday unless there are strawberry-covered pancakes involved. I’ve even adopted Hanukkah food since my friend Jen invited me over for her yearly celebration. Now, there must be latkes in December.

I love cooking these foods for and with friends – it always tastes better when you share and you don’t get tempted to eat the whole batch, right? I've always loved cooking and I’ve put a teen cook in my new YA I’m writing. She’s sharing the love through her baking – that hits very close to home for me. It’s been really fun to describe the things she’s creating for her family. Maybe I should have her make soda bread??

How about you and your peeps? Do you get cravings for special holiday food? Do you have any fun holiday traditions that you share with your family?



Never Cry Werewolf – HarperTeen 2009

The Clearing – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 04/2010

Wherever You Go – Harcourt 2011

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Quick fly-by I'm in the throes of packing up my apartment. The moving truck will be here in a few hours and then we're headed south to put all of our belongings in storage.

I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate moving with a passion. The tape, boxes, deciding what to keep, what to give away, what to throw away, renting the truck, hauling everything away. But it has to be done to start the next phase of my life...and for that, I'm very excited! Moving into the RV next week!!!

Still looking for the winner of my FIVE BOOK giveaway...rainesire111 - and friends Julia, Cecily, Tia, and Bryn - please email me at marley_gibson AT yahoo DOT com!!

Marley = )

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Traveling, Eh

My trans-continental journey continues. Since my last post, I've headed into the great white north, visiting first Montreal (aka my home from ages 4-8) and now Quebec City.

One of my favorite things about visiting a new place is catching a little local TV. Especially the commercials. And I already have a favorite.

Anyone who saw the closing ceremonies of the Olympics knows that Canadians have a special talent for making fun of themselves. (This is, I think, an excellent trait in anyone, let alone an entire country.) Well, this commercial exemplifies that.

FYI, Tim Horton's is kind of like a Canadian McDonald's, and the commercial is about their annual prize fest.

(Sorry for the poor quality. I couldn't find an official version of the video, so I had to make do with a YouTube copy.)

I have to say, I laugh myself silly every time this commercial comes on. As a former almost-Canadian (okay, Canadian resident) I hope I've earned the right.


FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Monday, March 15, 2010

There's No Place Like Gnome

My husband turned to me yesterday, in what was clearly a rhetorical question and asked, "Tina, where have our forks gone?"

My reply, "The same place as all the socks." At least, the socks that match the one ones we still have.

And days earlier, I'd been griping that I can never find a pen in our house...

And why is the paperclip container always empty?

Not to mention the food in the refrigerator that keeps disappearing. (Okay, wait, we DO have teenagers, so that answers that.)

But otherwise, all I can come up with is the suspicion that somewhere...there is a family of gnomes with a treasure trove of my belongings. Who have a penchant for stray socks, forks, pens and paperclips...

Either that, or when we next move, we're going to find them all behind the dryer or something.

Tell us, are the gnomes possibly hoarding possessions of yours, too? Some articles that keep inexplicably disappearing from your home?


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

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Trailers

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE watching book trailers. This one is amazing, don't you think? The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. (I just barely started reading this book, by the way.) Or check this one out: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. It's like a mini-movie! And so is The Karma Club by Jessica Brody's book trailer.

Yesterday my husband and I headed to Hastings (which I have to say is always so supportive of its local authors) to film what will eventually become the book trailer for my June 8th release, Lifted. While I adore the trailers for The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren and Miss Match (thank you Air Productions Co!) I thought it would be fun to do something a little less traditional, a little crazy, and maybe even a little illegal when it came to Lifted. So, with the help of my husband and my brother (who is putting it all together for me), I'm hoping it will be awesome!
What's YOUR favorite book trailer?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Windows 7 Cameo

Most of you know that I work at Microsoft during the day as a software engineering lead. Well, last year the fantastic Windows 7 launched (my baby!). As a special treat, the company who did the ad campaigns for the launch chose a few engineers from the Windows team to star in the ads.

I was one of them!

Can you spot me?

(It's very short, so if you can't I do not blame you!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't you just love the first warm day after a harsh winter? Okay, so maybe you're reading this from Hawaii and just don't have the appreciation for a warm almost spring day like a Midwesterner. But here in Illinois, after a particularly cold winter, we've had two wonderful days in the 60's and I was ready to break out my shorts. But every year on the first really warm day we have, I do something kind of nutty.

I start trolling the Web looking at vacations. I can't help it. I'm a self-professed vacation-aholic. I can't help it. I blame my mother who took me to exotic locations like Cancun, Hawaii, and Orlando. Okay, so Orlando might not be considered exotic to most but when you live in a cornfield, like I have most of my life, it's pretty dang exotic. My vacation hunting is particularly distressing this year as we need a new roof. And as much as I would like to take my six-year-old up on his suggestion of just getting a big tarp to put over the roof, I don't quite think that's gonna do it. So unless I hit the lottery (even though I don't play) or a huge book deal (on an imaginary book that isn't written yet) comes through, all my vacations are going to be cyber-vacations this year. (Except for Nationals in Nashville, ye haw!)

What do you drool over on the web? Purses, houses, or does something else?

Tina and I also got some very exciting news this week. Her book, THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS and mine, SPRING BREAKUP, are both finalists in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.
If you haven't read these two amazing books yet, what the heck are you waiting for? ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lost Boy Corey Haim

I was very sad to hear about the death of Corey Haim. He was a big star when I was a teen. Just last week, I was in Santa Cruz, passing the boardwalk where they filmed The Lost Boys. I was remembering the movie and thinking of him as the skeletal rollercoaster faded behind us in the distance.

Do you remember him and Corey Feldman trying to rid SC of vamps and fending off Mom's creepy vampire boyfriend? That was a great movie in the contemporary vampire canon. Seriously, Keifer Sutherland as a vampire? Gotta love it.

And now, at 38, Corey's passed away.

It’s always sad when someone dies way too young. And it’s sad that Corey, who had been such a big kid star, was never able to maintain his career as an adult. Lost potential and a lost childhood. I feel sad for his mom and family.

Do you remember The Lost Boys or Lucas? What other Corey Haim movies do you like?



Never Cry Werewolf – HarperTeen 2009
The Clearing – HMH April 2010
Wherever You Go – Harcourt Fall 2011

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Buzz Girl in the Windy City...and a Winner!

I'm trying something new today...blogging from the front seat of my car as we close the distance towards The Windy City - Chicago! I'm speaking tonight at the Plainfield Public Library in Plainfield, Illinois to their Teen Writing Group. If you're anywhere in the area, I'd love to see you. The talk starts at 5:00 p.m.

A follower of the Buzz Girls asked me to give some tips on author visits and speaking to school groups and libraries. I'll throw in some things that I think work for writers and I'd love for my fellow Buzz Girls to chime in in the comment section:


1. Know your audience. Get as much information going into your talk as you can. Know the ages of the crowd, if there will be teachers or parents there. Try to gear portions of your talk to them, as well.

2. Don't be nervous. Okay...easier said than done, but try to just be yourself. Relax and have fun. Be natural to your audience. Believe it or not, they're just as nervous meeting a "famous" author. LOL!

3. Send books ahead of time. If the school or library isn't familiar with your work, donate a set of books to their library for the kids to read ahead of time. That way you'll get some interesting questions because they're familiar with you.

4. Dress casually. Especially if you're writing for teens, dress down. Jeans, pants, casual Friday look. This actually puts them at ease because they can identify with you more because you have a casual "feel" to your presentation.

5. Get the audience talking. How boring is it for someone to stand in front of you for an hour going on and on and on?'ve been there! Keep your talk to maybe 20 minutes of highlights of whatever you want to talk about...your career, how you started writing, what your favorite books are, whatever specialty you bring with you (for me, it's ghost hunting), and then open it up to questions. This makes the talk much more interactive and the time just flies!

6. Do a book sale/signing. After you talk, the kids will want to read what you're writing, Always try to have a book sale and signing following your speech. Also, have some giveaways they can take away in case they don't have money for books - pens, bookmarks, anything relating to your book (I have temporary ghost tattoos) is great. Use your imagination!

7. Have fun! Take lots of picture, send a thank you not to the librarian or media specialist that sets up your event, and put pics up on your blog.


Hope this helps any writers out there wanting to get out and meet their audience. As I said, I'd love the Buzz Girls to chime in with any additional advice!

And finally....our winner of the FIVE for FIVE GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE contest is.....(drum roll).....
rainesire111 - and friends Julia, Cecily, Tia, and Bryn
Please email me at marley_gibson AT yahoo DOT com with your mailing address and I'll sign the books to all five of you and mail them to you. CONGRATS!!!

Marley = )

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Buzz Girl in the Big Apple

Last week I was a baaad Buzz Girl. I totally forgot to post. And you wanna know why? Because I was kicking off my big seven week adventure with a few days in the NYC. Specifically, Tuesday was the day I met with my editor and got taken to lunch at a fabulous restaurant called--wait for it ... Lily's! Yes, just like the main character in FORGIVE MY FINS. (My Lily, by the way, would have approved.)

(Me at HarperCollins)

New York always holds a special place in my heart. As a kid who moved around a lot (A LOT) growing up, the two places that feel most like home are New York and Boulder, both places where I went to school and did a lot of personal development. I lived in New York for nearly four years, and boy do I miss it.

(Me at Sardi's)

Every time I visit, it's like I'm back where I belong. If--no, scratch that ... WHEN I have the money, I'd move back to the city in a heartbeat. Because now, not only does New York feel like home, but it's also the epicenter of my career. That doesn't mean you have to live in New York to be a writer--although history and nostalgia are definitely in that favor--but it does mean there are lots of other writers there, too. And, as any writer can tell you, being able to talk and share and whine and cry and celebrate with other writers is invaluable.

(Times Square at Night)

So don't be surprised, if you see FORGIVE MY FINS flying off the shelves or roaring to life on the big screen, to find I've moved back to my hometown.


Monday, March 08, 2010

Tower of Power

Something quite odd has happened in my my house...well, in my room. The mile-high pile of books that has kept me company for as long as I can remember has been dwindling...

What's the story here? Well, three things...

1--I have been reading a lot;

2--I have started buying and reading some books electronically on Kindle; and

3--I have worked my way down to the books that don’t immediately appeal to me. These are the ones I’d bought on a whim or to support a particular author, received as a gift, or have been keeping around because I felt I “should” or “someday might want to” read. (Two examples: book 5 in a series in which I long ago lost interest, and Willa Cather’s My Antonia.) So I decided to tackle those books one-at-a-time by reading the first chapter, then deciding whether to continue or move to my donation pile. Which has turned out to be about 50/50...with the ones I’ve chosen to finish turning out to be terrific. So I feel like I’ve been winning by simply trying.

And I’m all jazzed up about reading again, and missing the Tower of Power on my nightstand. What books can you recommend for me to add?


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

Sunday, March 07, 2010

What's Your Type?

I just finished watching Zombieland for the first time. I've been wanting to watch it for a while, and when Hollywood video called to wish me happy birthday last week and told me I could have a free rental, I decided to go for it.

While I'm more of a vampire and werewolf fan, I have nothing against zombies. I read and loved Zombie Queen of Newbury High by the lovely Amanda Ashby, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by the lovely Carrie Ryan (by the way, The Dead Tossed Waves is due out March 9!) and my TBR pile just acquired Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I've watched some zombie films too, like Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead (which reportedly was the movie choice for my parents' first date), and a fairly recent one that dealt with zombies and the apocalypse but for the life of me (pun intended) I can't recall its name! Grrr.

Okay, that was quite a birdwalk from what I set out to write about today. What I was going for was a theme about BOYS. And yes, while zombies as subject might be hot, I have yet to see a zombie dude we non-zombie girls drool over.

In Zombieland, Jesse Eisenberg played "Columbus," a non-zombie character reminiscent of the characters Michael Cera usually plays--like in 2 of my favorites, Juno and Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist. You know, kinda dorky, awkward, nervous, quirky, charming, sweet, honest, and kinda-sorta cute if you squint just right. At one point in Zombieland, Columbus asks the little sister (played by Abigail Breslin) of the girl he's crushing on (played by Emma Stone) what her big sister's "type" is. The little sister says, "Bad boy," so Columbus drops their popcorn bowl on the floor (trying to be a "bad boy," if you didn't catch that). Yeah. Doesn't quite work. So, I'm not sure if it's the fact that they're in the midst of an apocalypse and the supply of hot non-zombies is severely depleted, Columbus's personality ultimately wins her over, OR she's flat-out tipsy from Bill Murray's 1996 (if I remember correctly) wine, but (please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't seen it yet and don't want a spolier) our sweet little Columbus gets to first base with his crush. Yay!

Now, that's what I wanted to write about today. What's YOUR type? Do you like the type of guy who goes shopping with you and tells you which sandals to buy? Do you like the guy who is "all business" and has his future AND your future mapped out? Do you like guys who are into movies, art, sports, books, theater, camping? Shy or outgoing? Sexy or sweet? Alpha or laid-back? Sweet or smart-alec-y? Boxers or briefs?
And I guess it's not fair for me to ask without sharing my type. Though I've experimented just to be sure I'm not missing something, I've always been drawn to atlethic, protective, smart, handy, and somewhat outgoing guys. And I'm definitely a fan of boxers or boxer-briefs. So, sorry, Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg, but you're great for guy-friends, but boyfriends? Nope.
So, tell me! What's your type? And if you can tell me what zombie movie neither I nor my husband (who is 100% my type) can recall on my VERY limited description, bonus points to you!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Spring and News!

Yay! Look at these plum blossoms on a tree in Seattle. Isn't that awesome. Spring is here in the NW!

I think Spring is a great time of year. I love the birds chirping, the sun warming your back when you walk around town. I love the subtle scent of flowers and trees. I love the longer days. Daylight savings is just two weeks away!

So, in addition to the sunlight making me smile, I had some good news that you may have heard already, but I thought I would post in case any Buzz readers hadn't read it yet...

Author of the soon to be released THE CLEARING, Heather Davis’s next YA novel, WHEREVER YOU GO, the heart-breaking story of the ghost of a boy trying to make contact with the girl he left behind, who discovers that the girl’s ailing, Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather alone can hear him and act as his spirit guide, to Julie Tibbott at Harcourt, for hardcover publication in Fall 2011, by Stephen Barbara at Foundry Literary + Media. (NA)

I love my editor over at Harcourt, so this is going to be another great project together. And my great agent, Stephen -- he's so awesome. I'm incredibly lucky to have these great peeps in my life. And, of course readers and the Buzz Girls! Thank all of you for helping make my dream real.


The Clearing -- April 2010 HMH
Wherever You Go -- Fall 2011 Harcourt
Never Cry Werewolf -- HarperTeen Sept 2009

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Five for Five!

As I'm working to box up my apartment for my move and clearing things out and consolidating space, I thought it would be a great time to give away some books. We all love book giveaways, right?

So...I have FIVE copies of GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE to give away to our lovely blog readers. All you have to do is leave a comment in the trail, as well as leaving the name of four (4) of your friends -- each of you (five in total) will receive a personally autographed copy of the second GHOST HUNTRESS book. gets even better! You may enter as many times as you'd like.


I'll announce the winner next Wednesday!

Until then, happy hunting!

Marley = )

Monday, March 01, 2010

Lotza Winners (okay, three)!

I hereby announce winner of last week’s contest, a copy of Austenland, goes to:


And since I have not heard from the previous winner of the Steam Kiss contest (a signed copy of The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, I thought I would mention again that the winner is:


So Paddy and Gaby, please e-mail me at so I can get the books to you!

And finally, a winner weigh-in! I happened upon the following photo of Orlando Bloom on a celebrity hairstyle website called Hair Resources, calling it the 2009 winner for Best Men’s Hairstyle.

Agree? Disagree? (Help me to understand?)

Wishing everyone a win-derful week!


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