Friday, April 30, 2010

But I'm Not Lying!

This has been such an interesting week, learning about the lies the Buzz Girls tell. And like those who've posted earlier this week, I'm so excited to help celebrate the release of Stephanie Hale's The Alpha Bet.

Many of us who have put together a resume or been in a job interview have been tempted to embellish the truth or outright lie. Here's a story about how I was accused of lying.

Let's go back in time to when I used to work at a really great, hip, successful ad agency as the Help Desk Manager. The job itself was fine and paid really well, but it wasn't really "me." From the get-go, I wanted to test the copy writing waters. I worked hard to learn how to write copy, from listening in at the "Creatives'" meetings to building an album of my favorite magazine ads. Once I felt like I could start writing my own ads, I arranged an information interview with a senior Creative. Per her suggestion, I cut out images from actual magazine ads and wrote different (hopefully better) copy to go with the image. Then my art director friend helped me after hours to scan in the image into Photoshop and position the copy to make it look nice. My portfolio was full of ads constructed in this way: image from a real magazine ad plus my headline and copy. I showed my portfolio to one of the partners at my ad agency and he said I was on the right track, but they didn't have any junior copy writing positions open. So I decided to start freelance copy writing. That way, when a position did open up, I'd have some real-world experience to show. I went on a few interviews and racked up quite a few projects. But here's the interview that to this day haunts me:

Two partners from a smaller ad agency in the same city invited me to lunch. I showed them my portfolio. They flipped a few pages, making agreeable noises, asking if it was my own work (I explained that the words were all mine, that I tried to put a new spin on an ad or improve the copy in the original ad). They seemed impressed with my work. Until they turned to a page where I'd written an ad I was particularly proud of. I knew I'd really pushed the envelope with this one and I was fully prepared for them to either love it or hate it. Come to find out, it was THEIR ad image. Small world, eh? Well, I don't know what went wrong but they had it in their head that the copy was theirs too. That I'd basically cut out their ad and put it in my own portfolio to pass it off as mine. (PLAGERISM!) To make matters worse, the senior Creative who'd given me the advice to take an image from an ad and write my own copy was their good friend (small world again) and I didn't know what to say. Since they truly believed I'd plagerized their work, was this going to get back to their friend, who might mention it to the Powers That Be at my agency? And don't forget, I'd already told them that my writing was supposed to be a new spin or an improvement on the original ad's copy, which could be considered a slap in their faces (awkward!). Was my copy writing career shot before it barely even began?

The only thing I could think of was to tell them to take my portfolio with them, to discuss it amongst themselves, and to carefully read the ad in question. They did. They called me in to talk again and give me back the portfolio. I have to say it was still really awkward, though I do think they figured out that my copy was completly different than the original ad's copy. And, thankfully, I was never black-balled. (Whew.)

So, my question for you is: Have you ever been wrongfully accused of lying or cheating? Tell us about it and you'll be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of The Alpha Bet by the amazing Stephanie Hale.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Greatest Lie I keep Telling...

It's Thursday and we're continuing the celebration of release week for Buzz Girl Stephanie Hale's new book, The Alpha Bet.

In celebration of her book about lies told... we are dishing about lies this week on the blog. You've heard some whoppers already - I mean, who can beat Tina's story about being a made-up physicist leading to meeting her true love - but I wanted to talk about a different kind of lie.

Did you ever see the movie The Usual Suspects? It's one of my favorites and has one of the best endings ever written in Hollywood. In the movie, Kevin Spacey says a line something like, "The greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing mankind that he didn't exist." It's a prophetic statement because it has much to do with the unfolding plot, but it also seems to point to a bigger idea about the world.

So what's your greatest lie ever told?

The longer I live, the more I realize the greatest lie ever told (and continue to tell!) is, "I can handle this on my own." How many times have I said those words, only to realize that I need my friends, family, and other folks to help me handle something.

Sometimes it's a good lie. Seriously, for perfectionists or overachievers, the lie that everything's fine and it's all going to work out, is almost a necessary mantra. It's part of optimism, a little bit of ego that helps you push through whatever task is at hand. The part that comes as a surprise is just how much you do need other people to help you get the job done. And, even more surprising is the fact that even though you are nowhere near perfect, it's okay to let them see you in your imperfection. They want to help you. And, P.S. -- they already know you're not perfect!

Need an example? Picture me baking four dozen buttermilk biscuits the night before my launch party for The Clearing and trying to manage those along with the other snacks, getting into a cute dress, preparing my talk, and packing for a vacation that was supposed to happen the very next day. When my handsome entourage of one came to pick me up, I just about collapsed into his arms from the sheer relief.

The reality is that you need your loved ones to help you out. You need your friends to cheer you across the finish line. Sometimes, I need reminding.


Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the lie that you can handle something on your own?

Post in comments a few words about telling the "I got this" fib and then realizing you needed help. How did it turn out? Post your story and I'll draw a winner this weekend for a copy of Steph's fun new book!



Wherever You Go - Harcourt - Coming in Fall 2011

The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Greatest Lies...Necessary Lies?

What an awesome week! Huge congrats go out to Stephanie for her brand new release, THE ALPHA BET! Can't wait to read it when my Amazon deliveries catch up to my traveling ways.

Oooo...pretty cover...

We're talking lies this week...and I've compiled a list of, perhaps, the greatest lies of all time. See what you think:

• The check's in the mail.
• I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.
• I thought I already gave you that money I owed you.
• I promise I'll pay you back next Friday.
• Now we're even.
• I'm fine.
• We'll have the repairs on your car done by noon.
• You look like you haven't aged a day.
• No, I don't think that outfit makes you look fat.
• This is what it will cost to repair your car.
• If elected, I promise...
• You're going to love working here.
• I don't know what you're talking about.
• Please hold, and a customer service representative will be with you shortly.
• I'll only take a minute of your time.
• Our cellular phones will give you more freedom...
• 100% compatible with your existing equipment.
• I'm being totally unbiased.
• I'll call you.
• This will hurt me more than it does you.
• I'm doing this for your own good.
• Oh well, no harm done...
• I didn't do it.
• I don't know who did it.
• We are experiencing a peak level of call volume...
• You may already be a winner!
• This product was made in an environmentally friendly manner.
• I know it's none of my business...
• I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but...
• It's nothing personal.
• New and Improved!
• Trust me. We found and fixed the last bug!
• The software will ship on schedule.

And those last two lead me to my confessed lie. Yes...I sold vaporware. (Vaporware is a word used to describe products, usually computer hardware or software, not released on the date announced by their developer, or announced months or years before their release.)

For four years, I worked in the (or, as I'd like to call it dot.bomb) industry at a company called SureSell Multimedia. We sold software for home builders. It was a noble idea, but, as the term vaperware implies, we just didn't have the finances, the personnel, or the development team to quite pull off the final product. Still, as the marketing and events director, I sent out marketing materials, fancied up the website, went to tradeshows, demoed the software and did all I could to sell it. Mind you...the 1.0 version worked just fine, but to compete in the highly competitive tech market, our 2.0 version had to sparkle, shine, cook breakfast for you and your kids, and drive them to school afterwards. Suffice it to say...the software never came to fruition. I was on vacation in Paris when I got the call that the company went kaput.

The things we do for a paycheck, eh? LOL!! I think that falls into the category of a "necessary lie." Don't you?


So...what "necessary lie" have you told? For a chance to win a copy of THE ALPHA BET and a copy of GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE, let us know you're "necessary lie." Be sure to check out the other posts this week and comment to increase your chances to win! Come back on Sunday, when the list of winners will be posted.

Marley = )

~*~ Ghosts don't hang up their sheets on November 1st~*~

Lies Writers Should Never Tell

Yet another release week, here on the Buzz blog. This time it's Buzz girl Steph with her fourth book, THE ALPHA BET. (Do you have your copy yet? You should! If not, don't worry, because you can win one every day this week. Keep reading to find out how.)

To help Steph celebrate, we're all supposed to share a lie from our past. This is tough for me because I never lie. Okay, I try to never lie. Partly because I'm really bad at it, but mostly because I think it's not very nice. Still, in the interest of Buzz girl solidarity, I will share my shameful secret.

Any writer who has ever been to writer's conference knows the joys (and terrors) of pitching your book to an agent or editor. This is a session, usually 8 to 10 minutes long, in which you try to convince them that you're book is the greatest book ever written, while trying to disguise the fact that you really think it might be total crap. Sessions vary from author to author and from agent to agent, but there are a few unwritten rules to every pitch.
  1. Be succinct.
  2. Be professional.
  3. Have questions ready in case there's a lull.
  4. Remember that agents and editors are people, too.
  5. Never, ever lie and say a book is finished when it's not.
Confession time: I broke rule number five. Twice.

I never set out to lie. In my defense, both times I was pitching to agents who NEVER EVER requested full manuscripts. It wouldn't even be an issue. They would request the partial (three chapters and a synopsis), which I had at the ready, and by the time they requested the full, the book would be done.

Only they didn't request the partial. The requested the full.

Rather than admit the books were unfinished (each was more than a hundred pages from being done) and potentially lose an opportunity, I just said, "Uh-huh. Oh, yeah, it's finished." Thankfully I survived both these situations because I am a VERY FAST writer and I excel under the pressure of a deadline. And I wanted a writing career way more than I waned anything as insignificant as sleep.

If I had the chance to do it all over, I would totally lie again.


So you see what kind of lengths I was willing to go to in order to become a professional writer. (Pretty much anything short of murder and animal cruelty was fair game.) For a chance to win a copy of THE ALPHA BET and your choice of OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP, comment your answer to the following question:
What would or wouldn't you do to achieve your dream?
Be sure to check out the other posts this week and comment to increase your chances to win! And come back on Sunday, when the list of winners will be posted.


FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Newton’s Law: Lies Return To Haunt You

We are celebrating Stephanie Hale’s newest release, The Alpha Bet this week, with a daily giveaway of a signed copy the book. So be sure to comment each day to be entered to win!

Relating to the theme of The Alpha Bet, we’re going to be talking about lies we have told. And I must start with the line I’ve tried to live by all these years: if you’re going to lie, make sure you do it well. In other words, do not do what I did...

Okay...back in my single days, I found myself in a nightclub in Copenhagen. My friends had disappeared, and I was sort of killing time waiting for them, when this guy about my age approached me. We started talking about both being Americans on vacation in Europe...and then he asked me where I worked.

I told him the name of the university, and that I worked in the physics department. Where I was, incidentally, the office manager. I expected the usual so-what-do-you-do-there, and he really shocked me by instead asking what I had written my Ph.D thesis on.

And suddenly, I had this scathingly brilliant idea. I mean, here I was in Europe, talking to some guy I would never see again. What the heck? So I took a breath and relayed the title of a research paper that one of our professors had just had published.

Funny, huh? I thought so. Until he responded with a physics-lingo-appropriate question.

It turned out he was a physicist. And he was familiar with my “research topic,” my department, and my “co-workers,” (actually, my bosses). WHAT WERE THE ODDS OF THIS?

Happy, he started talking shop. Relativistic this-and-that, thermo-whatsis, hydro-whatever. While adrenaline raced through me. How could I get out of there? Where are my friends? And worst of all...if he showed up at my office, could I get fired for “impersonating a physicist?”

When it was my turn to speak, I impulsively blurted out: “I can’t...have this conversation. You don’t understand.” Then I really started lying. Because what better way to get out of a lie? “My--my husband and I divorced because we couldn’t talk about anything but physics. And I swore I’d never date another one. Or if I did, we wouldn’t talk about work.” (To be very clear, no such ex-husband existed.)

Stupid? Totally! Because of course, now to top things off, the guy thinks I’m interested in him romantically!

I made it through another hour or so, then my friends returned and we hit the door. He followed me, saying the next time he was at my university, he would look me up. Would this ever end?

So when I got back to my office a couple weeks later, I had no choice but to tell the front office staff what happened, so if he showed up, to say I no longer worked there. The story, of course, went like wildfire around the department. Tina pretending to be a physicist--to a physicist. And the person who loved it the most? A good-looking post-doctoral student named Ferraro, who took me to dinner to hear more...

Okay, so this tale of my red-faced deception has a happy ending. I am, after all, a romance writer (and not a physicist). Ferraro and I started having regular dinners together, and went on, of course, to marry. And that guy never showed up in my office. He probably looked back on the evening and either thought me emotionally unstable or completely full of it. (Both of which are arguably true.) But it really taught me a lesson about lying: don’t do even if you THINK you can do it well!

To be entered in this contest, feel free to tell me what you think of this and what would might have done. Or maybe a lie you told. Your choice! Just be sure to enter because you're going to love Steph's new book!

All of the winners’ names will be posted on Sunday!


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, April 25, 2010

The Alpha Bet Week!!!

We are celebrating the release of my fourth YA novel, The Alpha Bet, this week. I'll be giving away one signed copy of The Alpha Bet every day this week to a random commenter. Here's a the back copy blurb for my new novel.

Some teenagers use drugs or sex to escape overbearing parents. I used books.

All my life my mother has been hovering over me, afraid to let me experience ANYTHING

So I got really good grades, graduated high school at sixteen, and escaped to a new life-my own life-at college.

To jump start my social life, I decided to rush the Alphas, the most exclusive sorority on campus.

Things started to get complicated when I told one little white lie (okay, maybe not so little).

Then one sister invoked The Alpha Bet, a super-secret set of alphabetical tasks we pledges have to complete to prove our loyalty to the sorority.

Now the Alpha Bet has taken over my life.

Can you spell B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L?

My main character, Grace Kelly, tells a whopper of a lie to get what she wants. The Buzz Girls thought it would be fun to blog about some lies we've told. I decided to go with a lie I told in fourth grade.

I should probably back up a little bit. When I started kindergarten I met a nice curly-haired little girl who liked all the same things I did. We became fast friends and were soon inseparable. As lame as it sounds, she was my whole world. Even though I was very young, I can still remember that I could feel our friendship was changing. She started spending more time with four other girls and she started having a really hard time "finding" me on the playground. We still sat side-by-side in class and shared lots of giggles throughout the day. One afternoon we had a test on measurements. When I turned in my paper I felt like I had done pretty good even though inches and centimeters weren't my best subject. A little while later the teacher called both of us to her desk. I remember thinking that maybe we were getting a prize for having the two best scores in the class.
The teacher shocked me by asking us if one of us had cheated. I remember being so shocked you could have knocked me over with a feather. Then my "friend" told the teacher that she saw me looking at her paper. I didn't know how to respond. I just stood there, brokenhearted. Then the teacher asked me if I had looked at her paper. I said yes. I don't know if I did it out of hopes to keep my friend or if I had doubts that maybe I really had glanced over, not to copy, but maybe I wanted to see if my friend was almost done or something. Thankfully, my teacher was smarter than a devious little fourth-grader. She separated our desks all the way across the room from each other and made us take the test again. The teacher graded the papers right in front of us without saying a word. I got an A and she flunked.

My teacher never said anything to me about the incident but I knew from that point on that she was on my side. I hate to think what might have happened if the teacher hadn't retested us. As you can imagine I lost my best friend that day. Not that she turned out to be much of a friend after all but it was my first significant loss and I have never forgot it.

Have you ever told a lie to salvage a friendship?

Don't forget to comment everyday this week for your chance to win a signed copy of The Alpha Bet!!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Summer, where you at?!

Who's ready for summer? I am! So many exciting things in store this summer like....

1. Nashville RWA Conference where EVERY Buzz Girl will be present!
2. My 30th birthday....very excited to have a monthlong celebration in August!
3. Some long awaited books will be out such as MOCKINGJAY (Suzanne Collins) and HEART OF THE MATTER (Emily Giffin)
4. Did I mention RWA? I get to see my lovely and talented agent Elaine Spencer again!
5. ...and last and more important, Buzz Girl Tera is moving to Seattle! Three buzz girls in the same town, Seattle will never again be the same!

What is everyone else looking forward to this summer?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Every single time I suffer through two days of having a rummage sale, I swear I'm not buying another thing as long as I live. Yeah, that usually lasts about two days. In my defense I was actually browsing eBay with a specific purpose today.

My youngest son is obsessed with the movie Ghost Busters. He has been talking for months about his Halloween costume as Venkman. So I started out looking for patches to put on his costume. When I ran into this..

a vintage GB backpack!! And the bidding was only open for another hour. I mean seriously, people, if that isn't kismet I don't know what is. Of course, I ruthlessly waited until the last two minutes of bidding then swooped in and won it. He is going to freak! He'll want to wear this thing to bed and I can hardly wait to give it to him. I can't help but wonder who's basement this thing has been collecting dust in for the last twenty-five years.

Have you found an absolute treasure on eBay that you just couldn't live without?



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ghost Huntress Spotted "in the wild!"

Whooohooo!! Well, the "official" release date on GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON isn't until May 6th, but there are reports of the book being seen and bought out in the wild.

Here's Shelby-Nicole Holt with her copy. She just happens to be a major character in book three. Her mom, Mary, bought naming rights to a character at a charity fundraiser auction in December 2008 at the Queen Mary for Erin Gray's Haven House. Mary paid $500 to have Shelby's name in the book, so I thought I better do it up right.

And here's another fan, Emmanuelle Dessureault with her freshly-purchased copy.

And finally, a buzz reader, Stephanie, sent in this pic of her and the book.

Stephanie and THE REASON from Borders in CT

Thanks so much to everyone who's buying the book! And please send me picks if you see it anywhere!

Marley = )

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Buzz Girl Heading Home

Today, I am finally--after more than seven weeks on the road--heading home. It's been an absolutely amazing journey. Along the way I spent time in:
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Montreal
  • Quebec City
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • Houston
  • San Antonio
Here are some of my trip details:
  • I traveled by planes, trains, buses, and automobiles.
  • I packed in a single, carry-on suitcase.
  • I did laundry along the way.
  • I kept under my budget.
  • I missed my family and my dog.
  • I took over 1500 pictures.
  • I posted all of them on Flickr.
  • I went east (Quebec City) to west (Vancouver).
  • I went north (Edmonton) to south (San Antonio).
Am I glad I went on this trans-continental journey? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Maybe, someday. Am I ready to move to Seattle and settle down for a while? Definitely.

My life isn't going to be exactly sane for the next few months--then again, when has my life ever been sane? Here's what I have coming up:
  • Head home to the parents' for a few weeks.
  • Pop down to Welasco, Texas, for a school visit.
  • Pop down to Houston for Forgive My Fins signings.
  • Head out to Vegas for the summer with Daisy and the parents.
  • Pop up to Seattle to scout apartments and neighborhoods.
  • Pop over to Nashville for the RWA national conference.
  • Head back to Oklahoma to pack up for the move.
  • Move to (barring an unforeseen apocalypse or change of mind) Seattle.
After that, I think I'll be in one place for a bit. Well, maybe....


FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Winners!

Two Mondays ago I announced a contest to root me on in the writing of my work-in-progress.

Well, I ended up writing myself into a corner and had to reconsider and rewrite some pages before moving forward again. (No surprise--that’s often it goes for me.) So I postponed the announcement of the winner for a second week--and it therefore only seems fair to announce two winners.

First, for guessing the correct page count of:


And then, chosen by my handy-dandy random number generator, is:


If both of you would please contact me with mailing information at, I’ll get signed copies of How to Hook a Hottie out to you!

Thanks to all who entered and cheered me on!


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, April 18, 2010

The Winners!

We have had a super fun week talking about time travel fantasies in celebration of the release of The Clearing.

Now it is time to announce the winners of a signed copy!

(Please e-mail your contact information to

Elizabeth Briggs
(Please e-mail your contact information to as well as to to let her know if you want a signed copy of Oh.My.Gods or Goddess Boot Camp).

(Please e-mail your contact information to as well as to marley_gibson AT yahoo DOT com and let her know if you want a signed copy of Ghost Huntress: The Guidance or Christmas Miracles).

(Please e-mail your contact information to

Samantha R.
(Please e-mail your contact information to as well as to for a signed copy of The Alpha Bet.)

Jessica Rabbit
(Please e-mail your contact information to

Congrats to the winners...and to those of you who entered my contest two weeks ago called “How to Encourage an Author,” check back tomorrow for two more winners’ names!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where in the world is Dona?

Continuing the Time Travel trend to celebrate Heather Davis' THE CLEARING release (remember every unique commentator for this post has a chance to win a copy of the book!)
I would love to visit so many eras, Victorian England, 1950s New England, but the most fascinating era for me would be the "Napolean" era of France during the early 1800s.

Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor in 1804 and was keen to make France a leader of fashion and innovator of design and craft skills. During the French Revolution the French textile industry had suffered and unlike in England, use of textile machinery had been non existent. Emperor Napoleon stopped the import of English textiles and he revived the Valenciennes lace industry so that fine fabrics like tulle and batiste could be made there. This was the beginning of France become one of the big fashion capitals of the world!

To make women buy more material he forbade them to wear the same dress more than once to court. (Love it!) Ladies dresses had extra fabric gathered into the back and trains were seen again for evening. Bonaparte also had fireplaces at the Tuileries blocked up so that ladies would wear more clothing.

Bonaparte was following a long tradition of promoting the French economy through fashion. His empress Josephine was a great fashion leader. She was an ideal model for the slender fashions of the day.

(sigh) What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall at a well-attended dinner in Napolean's palace!
Have a fantastic, fashionable weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Clearing Release Week Continues....

We are having a blast celebrating the release of Heather's book, The Clearing, by time traveling. So far we've jammed with the Beatles, spent some time in ancient Greece, breezed by 14th century Tuscany, and debated if we would change history by revisiting certain historic events. Be sure to leave a comment after reading where I travel to for a chance to win Heather's book, and also a copy of my new book, The Alpha Bet. Heather is also donating 50 cents to TeenFeed for every unique comment so be sure you get yours on here! I have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt. I would love to travel back in time to see what the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids looked like in their prime. If a Delorean magically appeared in my driveway, I'd probably set it for the year 40 B.C.

(Catherine Zeta Jones as Cleopatra)

I've always been mesmorized by Cleopatra so that is whose shoes I would walk in for a few hours. I'd love to know how amazing it would feel to be worshipped by so many people and being a ruler of a country at 17. Of course she had many enemies also but her amazing charisma could charm almost anyone. While Cleopatra has been largely portrayed as a bombshell (being Caesar's mistress probably helped with this one), there are actually reports that she had quite masculine features. Any deficiency in the looks department could definitely be overlooked by her razor-sharp wit. She was the only pharoah to have learned Egyptian. And that was only one of the eight languages she knew.

I would definitely head out when the infamous basket of figs was delivered to me. While I can't say that I think much of death by snake bite, I do admire her for going out on her own terms.

What woman in history would you like to be for a few hours?



Time Machine Time!

This has been such a fun week, learning what time period and place people would like to experience. And how exciting that this is the launch week for Heather Davis's The Clearing! I don't know about you all, but I'm very excited to read it. And this week, six lucky commenters will win it!

Now, what time period and place would I like to visit if I could? I'm really bad at these type of questions because I analyze them way too much and keep changing my mind and make a whole production out of something that should probably be easy. For instance, would it be for just a day, or would I be stuck there for a long time? So I'm just going to pretend that it's only for a short time so I can be braver with my answer.
I'd like to go back to the beginning of the Renaissance, specifically 14th century in Tuscany. Hopefully I'd survive the Black Death plague and get to put my two cents in when it came to new intellectual, artistic, philosophical, and religious views.

Other time periods/places I would like to visit are: The Wild Wild West of America, mid to late 1800s, for the cute cowboys; Paris in the 1960s for the grooviness; and Bethel, NY, Aug. 15-18, 1969 for Woodstock.

What time period or historical event would you like to visit?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time Travel: Changing History

I just want to say how proud I am of Heather for her new book THE CLEARING. It's on order for me and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.

Time travel has always fascinated me. I love movies with it (hello...SOMEWHERE IN TIME) and action sequences (STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME) and just the idea of it in general. Particularly...I wonder, if I went back in time and did even the slightest thing...would I alter history? Would I change my own existence?

Like...what if you went back in time and stopped Eve from eating the apple from the snake. What then?

What if you went back in time and warned the Titanic captain not to speed up and that there were iceburgs up ahead?

What if you went back in time and told Abraham Lincoln not to go to the theatre that night?

What if you went back in time and killed Hitler before he came to power?

(UGH...hate even putting that man's picture on the block. He still creeps me out!)

What if you went back in time and warned JFK not to ride in an open convertible through downtown Dallas?

Or happier

What if you went back in time and bet on the 1986 World Series outcome or told poor Bill Buckner to actually field ball?

What if you went back in time and invested all of your money into Microsoft before it took off to be the company it is today?

What if you went back in time and met your own parent in a freak car accident that caused them to not ask your future parent to the school dance? (LOL...I love BACK TO THE FUTURE.)

They say everything happens for a reason and, say, if you killed Hitler, then there would just have been another person like him to come along and maybe cause even worse events in history. It's that whole space/time continuum that the science fiction movies are so good at portraying.


Now, for your chance to win a copy of Heather's new release, The Clearing, and a copy of GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE or my CHRISTMAS MIRACLES book, and to clock another 50 cent donation from Heather to Teen Feed, then comment with your answer to this question:

If you could time travel to another time and alter an historical event, what would it be and why?

Marley = )

Ghosts don't hang up their sheets on November 1st


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Time Travel: Ancient Greece

The celebration of Heather's latest release, The Clearing, continues. Today it's my turn to answer the question: If I could time travel anywhere, when and where would I go?

Now, as a history junkie, this is a tough question. I mean, I'm fascinated by Regency England and Renaissance Italy and Revolutionary France. I want to know what Manhattan looked like before Europeans moved in and how Vikings really lived. To narrow it down to just one place and just one time... that's hard! I'll have to go with one of the places closest to my heart:

Ancient Greece

I have always been fascinated by ancient cultures, and Greek is top of the list. I would love to go back and visit the Parthenon while it was still in pristine original condition. To walk into a temple or an agora or a gymnasium or even a common residential house.

I would love to see the source of the Western theatre tradition, the roots of the all classical drama and production, the plays that are still relevant and still produced today. I would love to attend a play at a Dionysian festival in one of the massive amphiteaters, like this one at Epidaurus.

I would love to see how the people lived, from the very rich to the very poor. To learn, firsthand, how the myths of their religion wove into everyday life. I would love to watch the armies from two opposing city-states clash on the field of battle.

I'm sure that the ancient world had it's downfalls (hygiene, slavery, disease, war, poverty), but if I knew I could return home a the flick of the time travel switch, that's definitely when I would want to visit for a few days.


Now, for your chance to win a copy of Heather's new release, The Clearing (which is getting fabulous reviews, by the way), and a copy of either Oh. My. Gods. or Goddess Boot Camp, and to clock another 50 cent donation from Heather to Teen Feed, then comment with your answer to this question:
If you could time travel back to the ancient world, which ancient culture would you visit?
(And it doesn't just have to be a western culture, like Greece or Rome. Think globally, like pre-Columbian Mexico, Han dynasty China, or Berber Morocco.)


FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time Travel: Where To Go?

The newest release from Heather Davis, The Clearing, hits shelves on April 12, and in celebration, the Buzz Girls are answering the question of where we’d love to time travel!

My (perhaps surprising) answer follows, but first, I want to put on an administrative hat and tell our readers that:

--one signed copy will be given away each day this week, so please keep dropping by and commenting;

--Heather will be making a 50 cent donation to the Teen Feed charity for each unique comment left this week, so not only will comments lead to entering the contest, but helping feed homeless teens;

--I will be posting the 6 winners of her signed books next Sunday, April 19;


--I'm postponing announcement of the winner of my "How to Encourage an Author" contest until next Monday, April 20 because I basically I wrote myself into a corner and had to back up and start again. So for those of who have yet to enter, there’s still time.

Okay now, back to the fun!

If I could time travel anywhere, would I go?

Well, starting with the fact I’d like to limit my time travel to short vacation, and to shave a bunch of years off my age so that I’d wouldn’t look like somebody’s mom?

It would be Hamburg, Germany, in the early 1960’s, in a club called the Kaiserkeller, when The Beatles were featured performers.

I’ve read several nonfiction accounts of the early Beatles days, of their trials and tribulations and various member changes, and have seen the movie, Backbeat, a couple of times, and just would love to experience the youthful energy and craziness that spurred what is (arguably but commonly) known as the greatest rock band of all times. And how much fun would it be to Twist and Shout with them while they were still trying out their sounds and materials?

So...keeping to the rock and roll theme to my time travel fantasy, is there a time and place--maybe a concert--from one of your favorite bands that you wish you could go experience?


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, April 11, 2010

Special Announcement: Release Week for The Clearing April 12-17th

Monday, April 12th, 2010 is the actual Release Day for my second novel for teen readers, The Clearing.

This book is a time-travel, paranormal YA romance published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It's the story of Amy, a girl who moves out to the country to recover from an abusive relationship. All she's looking for is some peace at her aunt's farm, but in a misty field at the back of the property, she finds Henry, a boy living in the endless summer of 1944, staving off a tragedy that could rip his family apart. Both teens must gain the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.

Here at, in celebration of Release Week, from Monday through Saturday we will be posting stories about where we'd would like to travel in time.

You can enter to win a signed copy of The Clearing each day, simply by responding to the post in comments. At the end of the week, we'll draw a winner from each day's commenters!


Because so many teens don't have a place to go to recover from abuse like Amy, I will also be making a donation to Teen Feed in honor of The Clearing's release. Teen Feed is a wonderful organization in my city that serves homeless teens hot meals and helps them find the resources to get identification and counseling that will lead to employment, housing, and a new life. I will donate 50 cents for each unique commenter during the release week, up to $250.

SO... please spread the word about Release Week for The Clearing and help me support teens who need safety from the streets and a life free of the emotional and physical abuse they've faced at home.

Love & Light,


The Clearing - April 12, 2010 HMH

Never Cry Werewolf - Out now from HarperTeen

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coffee Houses: What's your fave?

When TLC was in Seattle, she and I had a good discussion about our favorite coffee houses/shops. Ah, something about a nice hot cup of coffee enjoyed in a cozy atmosphere, the din of the espresso machine purring and the slow jazz playing in the background just puts me at ease.

Being a Seattle-ite, I do love me Starbucks. I love their musicial selections, their caramel macchiatos and their white mochas as well as their (TLC introduced me to these) tiny vanilla scones. Yummy! I also love when they have comfy seating.

I also love another local chain Tully's. The caramel isn't as good as Starbucks is, but I think they usually have more fireplaces and comfy chairs.

I love a lot of the independent places around Seattle as well. Sureshot in Seattle's University of Washington District has some AMAZING white coffee. For those who don't know what that is, it's coffee beans that have been only lightly roasted to maximize caffeine. It also has a really mellow flavor and when made into a mocha, is a total dessert in a cup!

I think my all-time favorite coffee place is one we DON'T HAVE IN SEATTLE: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Their Double Vanilla Tea Latte is the closest thing to heaven I have ever tasted. Everytime I'm in California or Arizona or Mexico City, I must visit one of these! My friend recently came back from Hawaii and brought me some tins of their Genmaicha tea and their Vanilla Ceylon...I love Coffee Bean!

So....your turn caffeinated readers. Fave coffee houses, fave drinks?
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 09, 2010

I want my hour back...

Have you been feeling a little sleepy since March 14? I know I have. That was the day that we "sprang" forward and lost a precious hour to our already over-scheduled lives. I'm becoming less and less of a fan of daylight savings time the older I get.
My mind knows that it is only one hour I'm losing and that I'll get it back sometime in November, but my body is screaming and pulling the covers over my head each morning in protest.
Daylight light savings originated in 1895. It was first instituted in the United States during WWI to save energy for war production due to late daylight hours. It was required again in WWII. I'm pretty sure it became standard practice in the 60's. In 2007, it was extended four weeks in hopes that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day. This would be completely awesome and I would be all for getting up early if anyone could actually prove that this happens.
So, how about you? Do you enjoy popping out of bed an hour earlier or do you drag around until you get your hour back in the fall?

Happy weekend! Come back next week for a fun week to celebrate Heather's new release!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It's Almost Here!

It's been a busy week as I gear up for the release of The Clearing next Monday.

The funny thing with this book, as opposed to Never Cry Werewolf, is that the publisher shipped the book early – so it’s in stores already and available at Amazon. On release day for Werewolf, I had to persuade the bookseller at B & N to look in the back for the unopened box of books. This release day, my book will already be on shelves.

It was super excited to see the book for real. Here’s a picture of my mom by my two novels at my local indie store, Queen Anne Books, which is hosting my launch party on April 16th. It was really cool to see The Clearing on the table with Werewolf. I feel so lucky to have two books out there in the world. In fact, I still can’t believe it.

When I first had the idea for The Clearing, I was living in a mountain town of four hundred people. The mist in the field next door to our property was where the book began. Some days the mist was so thick the big red barn at the end of the field would nearly disappear. And then one day, Henry Briggs came walking out, a boy locked in an endless summer. It was several years before I wrote the book, but the genesis was right there in that field.

The official date of the release is Monday, April 12th. So, in honor of the release – we will be having a special giveaway week. Check back in on Sunday for details…

So, I’m wondering if you guys think it makes a difference whether or not a release day is a firm date or not. In some ways I’m glad the book is shipping, but on the other hand, I wonder how it affects the buzz for the book. What do you guys think?



Never Cry Werewolf – HarperTeen

The Clearing – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Wherever You Go – Fall 2011 Harcourt

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring break...covered in pollen!

Well...we're on spring break with my boyfriend's sons (11 and 9) and we're having a great time...except for the pollen! Holy's like it snowed yellow! My poor car is covered in it and if you stay still outside for more than ten minutes, you'll be covered with it too.

Check out my poor whip...

We have enjoyed campfires...

Turkey burgers on the grill...

And finding the REAL Farmville...LOL!!


We're having a great time being together and hanging out. What do you do during spring break?

Marley = )

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

TLC in the Emerald City

As Heather and Dona mentioned in previous posts, last week I spent some time in Seattle with my Buzz girl sisters. It was my very first time in Seattle (in the Pacific Northwest, period) and let me tell you... it was awesome. Here are a couple of my highlights:

Dona took me to her office at Microsoft. Not at all the sterile white cubicle you might expect from a software queen. She has an amazing view and a very comfy and personalized space. I can (almost) see why she's content to spend so many hour here each day.

Heather chose the Pink Door restaurant for the Sunday night TLC handover from Dona's care to hers. We were all a little surprised to learn that there would be live entertainment in the form of a trapeze artist... right above our tables! So typical of the fun kind of atmosphere that Seattle embraces.

I also had time to meet up with fellow YA authors Barb Ferrer and Serena Robar. We did the touristy thing and had fish and chips on the waterfront, where I took this self-portrait of us three.

All in all, I have to say that Seattle was wonderful. Which is why, as I decide where I'm going to settle down this Fall, it's currently at the top of the list. Take one part rain, one part culture, one part high-tech, one part great food, one part diversity, and one part nature loving, shake it all up in a snowglobe, drop it into a beautiful natural setting of water, forests, and mountains, and you'll get an idea of Seattle. Is it any wonder that I'm smitten?


FORGIVE MY FINS (coming June 1, 2010)

Monday, April 05, 2010

How to Encourage an Author!

I am on Chapter 6 of my work-in-progress and I have an usually clear week ahead of me. Which should translate to writing, writing and more writing. So I thought...what a great time to run a “Go, Tina, Go!” contest!

It starts now and the winner will be announced next Monday morning, April 12th at about 7 am PST. All you have to do to be entered to win a signed copy of How to Hook a Hottie is to comment with the number of pages you think I will get accomplished between now and then.

But to increase your odds of calling it right (or closest to right), understand that I’m not a first draft writer or a power writer. I’m what is called a final draft writer, which means I don’t move ahead until what I’ve got on the screen feels “right.” So if I get stuck or have some brilliant idea on how to revise what I’ve already got, it could definitely impact my page count. So really, for your best shot at winning, keep your guess between about 10 and 60.

Good luck!


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, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

I'm not really sure how, but Easter totallly snuck up on me this year. I didn't even decorate. I am, however, excited to make cupcakes. You know the ones you put green-dyed coconut and jellybeans on to make it look like eggs in grass? Tina had me craving those when she posted something about visiting one of those fancy cupcake shops on Facebook the other day. I can pass on pie and donuts, but I love to sink my teeth into a cupcake!

Last night, we dyed Easter eggs. I have three little boys so that's always a big production. This year we bought those Paas kits, one was tie-dye and the other was sparkle paint. The sparkle paint was all dried up (I'm sure it was from last year) and didn't work, and the girlie in me was slightly disappointed, but the rest of the eggs turned out nicely. What do you think?
Do you have any Easter traditions? Our boys get goodie baskets and do an egg hunt in the morning, next we go to church, and then we do something with the extended family. This year, we're going to my in-law's house for a BBQ. Of course, as you can see by the egg photo, we still have snow here in Utah so that always brings up the question: Hunt eggs inside or outside?
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend, and I'd love to hear about your Easter traditions if you have them.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tera's Visit

Hey Everyone!

So, I was very happy to play hostess earlier this week for part of Buzz Girl Tera Lynn Child’s Seattle trip. She, Buzz Girl Dona, and I had a great dinner Sunday night at the famous Pink Door restaurant (complete with trapeze artist swinging above our dessert) and then shared a memorable Oaxacan feast with YA author friend Liz Gallagher on Tuesday. I'm all about the food, people!

I’m sure Tera will post all about the Seattle leg of her journey soon, so I’ll just say I can’t wait for a Bee reunion in Nashville this summer. All seven us in one place! It's going to be awesome. And of course, we'll have lots of Buzz Girl books releasing this spring and summer, so keep your eyes peeled. Btw, The Clearing is already popping up in bookstores, and its official release is 11 days away yet! Look for a Clearing release week giveaway on BooksBoysBuzz this month...

In other news, I do hope everyone’s April is off to a swell start. I did not, for the record, play any April Fool’s jokes today. I’ve been too busy to cook anything good up.

How about you, dear BBB readers? I’d love to hear about jokes you played or were played on you. And I’ll resist telling you the full story about my sister dipping Puppy Chow nuggets into chocolate and leaving them on the dining room table… Yikes. Salty. Not good. And sadly, yes, this is a true story.

Happy April ~


The Clearingonly 11 days away! HMH April 2010

Wherever You Go – Harcourt Fall 2011

Never Cry Werewolf – HarperTeen Sept. 09