Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banned Books Week

Thanks for helping the Bee's support Banned Books Week. I'm not really sure what else I can say. It's pretty apparent that the seven fabulous authors of this blog, plus hundreds more, think banning books of any kind is ridiculous. I had to laugh out loud when I saw the Captain Underpants series on the list. My boys crack up at these books!

What is funny to me is that everyone knows as soon as you tell somebody not to do something, or watch something, or read something....yep, that's the first thing they are going to do. I do appreciate the fact that these people are at least paying attention to their children enough to know what they are reading. But don't they realize that there are going to be WAY bigger battles to fight down the road?

Let's say your child is curious about magic. Wouldn't it be better to let him read Harry Potter to satisfy his curiosity then drop out of college someday to join the circus? Okay, so that's an extreme example, but I know that anything I was denied growing up, I completely longed for. For the record, I wasn't denied much, except a dog, because of my allergies.

And even if they don't agree with a certain book for THEIR child, should they really be given the power to make the decision for all children? I think not. Personally, even if I wasn't an author, I wouldn't pay a bit of attention to these lists. We all parent differently. Maybe you feed your kid cotton candy for dinner? I don't agree with it but it isn't my business. Just like it isn't your business what book I let my kid read.

If you want to read more about Banned Book Week, check out this article with Meg Cabot. She says it better than I ever could.

And don't forget to pick yourself up a banned book this week.



Banned Books Week - Say What?

It's Banned Books Week on Books, Boys, Buzz... and as I perused the ALA lists of books most frequently cited for complaint over the years (you can find the lists here) I was shocked to find one of my childhood favorites - ok, not so shocked, just disappointed.

Bridge to Terebithia?

People actually brought forth complaints of "the occult and satanism" about this lovely, award-winning book by Katherine Patterson. I'm sure they didn't like the idea of Jess and Leslie creating their own world in the book, but what is more troubling is that they probably didn't like the questions that Jess asks when Leslie passes away.

Jess is a Christian in the book, and Leslie's family does not believe. When Leslie is killed in the flood, Jess knowing that Leslie is not a Christian, wonders what will happen to her. Will Leslie go to Heaven or Hell if she is not saved as he understands it?

What a great question! I think that when you believe in something, it is imperative to keep asking questions, to understand the tenets and feel comfortable discussing the hard topics. More than challenging your faith, questions refine your faith. Books like this bring up the hard questions, create discussions, and foster learning and growth.

And this book is just a great coming-of-age story -- a young boy choosing between hanging out with his friend Leslie or going to the museum with his art teacher, who he's crushing on.

I hope if you haven't read Bridge to Terebithia, you will check it out. It's one of the books that made me want to become a storyteller - and it's a book that deserves to be read by people everywhere.

What is the most surprising title you found on the Banned Books List? Seriously, I can't believe these people.... ;)

Happy BB Week!

Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Wherever You Go - Harcourt Fall 2011

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Books and Censorship: Not on my watch!

As a reader and an author, I am in total support of Banned Book Week. I'm proud of the Buzz Girls for bringing this topic to the forefront for our readers and I hope you agree with us. Banning books and censorship are just NOT cool.

We've all seen the list of banned books over the years...a list that contains one classic after the next. Well, I just read this news article on with ten (10) banned books that will really surprise you!

I'm horrified to see not just one, but two dictionaries included on the list. All because they define words that some find offensive. You know what? Don't look those words up! And to see Lord of the Rings considered as "Satanic?" Did they read the same book I did in middle school? And good old Harry Potter...not just one of the books is banned, but the whole series. An entire series! They say it's "Satanic" and "occultist" and...get this..."anti-family." Are you kidding me? After losing his real family, Harry finds solace and comfort in his Hogwart's family. It's anything BUT anti-family. And the last one that knocked me off my seat is Grimm's Fairy Tales. In particular...Red Riding Hood. Why? Because she had a bottle of wine in the basket for her grandmother. Honestly people!

Which brings me to censorship. A topic very near and dear to my heart. I'm totally against it. Big time! I'll let this e-mail exchange that I had with a librarian recently explain my views exactly:

Subject: A wish....
Comment: Dear Marley: I saw you on TV on "My Ghost Story" and when I heard you write teen ghost hunting novels I went straight and looked you up. I am an elementary school librarian and my kids love supernatural reading. I was soarly [sic] disappointed to see that I had already checked out your book to purchase and then realized you had so much fowl [sic] language. I have never written to anyone before, I am not a stodgy person, but I am so tired of books that I think would be great for my kids, being filled with language that I don't want encouraged. I go through all these books (because I like the topic too) and then I have to mark out bad words just so my kids can still read the book. I know 12-14 year olds are not angels... not by a long shot... but I don't want to encourage this behavior until they are old enough to REALLY know what is right or wrong. Is it so hard to write a book that I don't have to sit with a marker in my hand just so my kids can have a good supernatural book to read? Sorry for the venting... I would so like to get your books for my kids, I know they would love them... I just wish you had not gone down the language, etc. path.

And my response to her...not attacking her horrid misspellings...


I appreciate the time you took to write to me voicing your concerns.

I am, however, appalled to think that you go through books—by any author—with a marker to “mark out bad words” and "language that [you] do not want encouraged." I’m sure your intentions are good, but the reality is that you are censoring books, a practice that most Americans would agree is horrific at best, and one we rightly vilify as a society.

My books are not geared for elementary school-aged children. They are written for "young adults," kids older than 12 (they’re clearly marked as such), and I write them in common vernacular to better connect and identify with my teen audience. I have never had a teacher, librarian, parent, or student object to the language in my books - nor mark out words before letting others read it.

As a librarian, I assume it is your responsibility to select which books are included in the SCHOOL WITHHELD Elementary library. If you choose not to include mine, I understand. I’ll just hope that the kids who would enjoy them find them from another source. I am curious to know if the school administration, WITHHELD County School Board, or the PTA condone your practice of editing the books that you *do* choose to put in the library?

It is my sincere hope you will reconsider your censorship practices. I realize I'm in good company with the likes of Judy Blume, Lois, Lowry, Steven King, J.D. Salinger, and others, but it still doesn't make it right in my opinion. As an author, I will do everything in my power to see that censorship is stopped, wherever and whenever I become aware of it.

Marley Gibson

Now, I shared this with a PR friend of mine who told a friend of hers at The Washington Post about it and she wanted to do a story on it. She contacted the librarian and didn't get a response. She then contacted the school and was told, "She will not be marking out any passages in books anymore."

Well...score one victory against censorship.

Pick up a "banned" book this week and see what you think. And if you feel so inclined, read the GHOST HUNTRESS books and judge them for yourself.

What do you think? Should librarians (whom I love!) be able to mark out passages of books they personally feel are inappropriate? Would you speak up at your local school or library if you ran across such markings in a book?

Thanks for your support!
Marley = )

Get spooked this Halloween!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Book Banning: Coming To A Town Near You

I'm starting to think it's me.

First, a school visit from Ellen Hopkins got cancelled in Norman, OK, just a few miles from where my parents lived at the time. Then, Ellen got disinvited from the Humble ISD Teen Lit Fest, to which I had also been invited and in a district just a few miles from where I used to live in Houston, TX. Now it's Laurie Halse Anderson and Sarah Ockler getting trashed in the News-Leader in Springfield, MO, the town where I went to high school.

Seriously, maybe I'm the Banned Book Fairy and I don't even know it.

What bothers me most about these, and all censorship situations, is that a very narrow minority is trying to decide what others can/cannot or should/should not read because they know better. They believe teens are incapable of thinking for themselves, incapable of discerning the difference between rape and sex, between smart choices and dumb ones, between right and wrong. If a parent hasn't raised their kid to know the difference between right and wrong, then stopping them from reading a book isn't going to prevent the train wreck.

The good news is that every time one of these small minded, book banning, brainwashing, goosestepping goobers steps out into the public spotlight, there are hundreds of us open-minded, banned book reading, intellectual freedom loving, think for yourself advocates to raise our voices in protest.

And thanks to the internet and the real-time news distribution that happens on Twitter and Facebook, we can spread the word fast and wide.

When Ellen's event got cancelled in Norman, she went anyway and held an alternative event, speaking to a huge crowd at Hillsdale Baptist College. When Ellen got disinvited from Humble, several of the other authors involved, including me, withdrew from the festival rather than show any level of support for this kind of censorship. And when the Springfield newspaper posted the book banning opinion piece, they got almost 500 comments and posted a response from Laurie a few days later.

As readers, writers, and consumers, we have two weapons in our arsenal against censorship: the power of the dollar and the power of the word. Next time you hear about a book or an author getting banned, break out your power tools. Buy the banned book and read it or give it away. Write a blog post or an email or a Tweet, and spread the word. Speak loudly.

Because, in the end, when one of us loses intellectual freedom, we all do.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Buzz Girls Support Banned Books Week!

The Buzz Girls are proud to be supporters of Banned Books Week, the national celebration of the freedom to read. I kicking things off our theme week with some background information.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries, their targets ranging from books that explore contemporary issues and controversies to classic and beloved works of American literature.

Topping the 2009 list of the American Library Association’s Top Ten list of the Most Frequently Challenged Books is Lauren Myracle’s best-selling young adult novel series TTYL, the first-ever novels written entirely in the style of instant messaging. MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult, CATCHER IN THE RYE by J. D. Salinger--and one of my favorite books for its humor, grit and heartwarming realism, THE EARTH, MY BUTT, and OTHER BIG, ROUND THINGS by Carolyn Mackler, also appear.

“Even though not every book will be right for every reader, the ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values,” says Barbara Jones, the director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Protecting one of our most fundamental rights – the freedom to read – means respecting each other’s differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read.”

For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office website.

And please leave a comment, offering up your supportof Banned Books Week, and naming any favorite books that you know of that have been challenged.


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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What'cha reading?

In case you are just tuning in, the Bee's are discussing what we are reading this week. I just finished a fabulous book called SHADE by Jeri Smith Ready.

Here is the book trailer:

It really is a unique twist on ghosts and I couldn't put it down. But just in case you still aren't convinced, you can read the first chapter here:

There is one thing that sucks about this book though. The sequel doesn't come out until next May!!! I can hardly wait to find out what happens with Aura and Logan.

It's the perfect book with Halloween right around the corner! I'm going to give away my copy to a random commenter. Tell me what your favorite Halloween costume was that you wore growing up. You have until Sunday, September 26 at midnight to comment!


What I'm Eating (I Mean Reading)...

It's funny, but sometimes, especially when I'm in the thick of writing one of my stories, it's very refreshing to read some non-fiction, or at least something totally unrelated to the story I'm crafting.

Cue Cheesemonger by Gordon Edgar.

My boss gave me this book to borrow, because, he said, "You're the resident foodie." I started to read a little bit every day on my lunch break and found myself hooked into the story of how a punk rock kid living in the Bay Area found work at a cheese counter and in doing so, a whole new life as a cheesemonger.

Punk rock and cheese? I know, right? They don't seem related, but Gordon brings the two together, talking about culture and agitation and individuality. He also makes some great points about small producer cheese versus factory cheese - about valuing the artisan's work and nourishing your palate in the process. About the need for food and farm workers to have a healthy, safe life. About how people should be adventurous and step away from commercially produced cheddar, jack, and swiss cheeses every once in a while.

Do you guys this this is totally crazy of me to read a book about cheese? Well, I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love to read - so it's kind of a good fit for me. And actually, it's a pretty great read. I savored it, cover to cover. (And -- here's a shocker -- it made me hungry for cheese!)

So, what's the most off-beat non-fiction book you've read?


Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Wherever You Go - Harcourt - Fall 2011

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reading on...the Nook!

Because I live on the RV, it's hard to hoard the amount of books that I'm used to, well...hoarding. I had to put all of my precious books into storage to read another day. But I've found a solution...

My Nook!

I got this wonderful tool at the Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando this summer and it has changed my life. I can now literally carry 1,500 books with me anywhere I go. And there are tons of free and cheap downloads to nab. Of course, I had to get the Kate Spade "traveler" cover to go with it.

I just finished FORGET YOU, by my friend and critique partner, Jenn Echols. She really knows how to delve into teen relationships and make them come alive on the page. I also downloaded former Buzz Girl, Simone Elkeles' PERFECT CHEMISTRY and will begin reading that shortly.

Two of the free ebooks I got were THE COMPLETE WORKS OF JANE AUSTEN and Louisa May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN. It's amazing how many classics are available for free. I plan to catch up on them and remember how wonderful these stories are.

Have you gotten into the ebook craze? What do you think of it? I'll admit, I still love the smell and feel of a book and wandering through the book store reading the back and deciding which one will come home with me. But, for now, this is a really convenient device for me. Let us hear your thoughts!

Marley = )

Get spooked this Halloween!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm Reading Now

This doesn't fall into the category of Very Exciting Reading or even anything teen or YA-related, but the book I'm reading now is called The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play.

The book I'm reading.

Basically, I was looking for a book to help me manage my time better (aka not waste so much of it) and be more productive. I already have Getting Things Done, which is great for helping me organize the stuff I have to do, but not so great at helping motivate me to actually do the stuff.

I'm only a couple of chapters in, and already it's helped me figure out why I procrastinate. (FYI, it has to do with perfectionism and temporary stress relief.) Now I just need to read the part that helps me learn how to actually stop procrastinating.

As a side note, I downloaded the free sample of this book on my Nook and it gave me just enough pages to know that I wanted to read the whole thing (not always true for Nook samples, btw). I'm generally gun-shy of self-help-type books, so the sample chapters were definitely helpful.

What about you? Have you got any time-management, procrastination-abatement, task-motivation techniques to share? I promise I'll pay you back by writing even more books sooner!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Revisiting Required Reading

As Wendy pointed out yesterday, this week we’re talking about, simply, what we’re reading.

Being that I was currently in-between books, I realized that this was the perfect time to pull out from my to-be-read pile the water-swollen, yellow-paged, twenty-five cent copy of Willa Cather’s My Antonia that I recently found at a used book sale. It was time for my long-anticipated re-read.

The last time I read it? In 11th grade. When it was assigned English class reading. I remember looking at the cover (a barren field) with disgust, thinking it looked even more boring that the books we’d already had to read that year...and would this torture of reading the classics ever end?

Then I started reading it. And the most amazing thing happened. I liked it. A lot. Soon, I loved it. To the point that for the first time ever, I read beyond what was assigned. And finished well pretty quickly because I could not stop reading.

Reading such quotes now as, “No romantic novel written in America, by man or woman, is half so beautiful as My Antonia,” [H. L. Mencken], I see the sparks of my own interest in reading and writing romance.

And so how is it standing up to my first read? Well, I’m still in the first half, but I think it’s fair to say I've already jumped ahead to loving it again.

So now I’m turning the tables to you. What’s an assigned reading book that you’ve loved? And if some time has passed, what was your experience with a re-read?


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, September 19, 2010

What We're Reading

Hello! This week the Buzz Girls will be blogging about what we're reading. And lucky me, I actually had a little time to read a book this past week. Realizing I'm probably the only person in the universe who hasn't read a Holly Black novel since having snuggled up with the Spiderwick Chronicles (which she wrote with Tony DiTerlizzi) with my oldest son, I picked up Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie. It's about Val Russell, a 17 year-old lacrosse player and gamer who runs away to New York City when both her mom and her boyfriend betray her. She joins up with a group of homeless teens living in the subway tunnels and is promptly introduced to a delicious, dangerous, and unpredictable new world--one she would've thought was impossible until she began to experience it herself. The urban fantasy explores friendship, addiction, love, and standing up for what one believes in--even if your beliefs are being challenged with every step. As I voraciously turned its pages, I felt the danger, smelled the odors, and hoped our smart, witty, and lovable heroine would not only survive, but thrive.

As I'm sure you can tell, I really enjoyed Valiant. It was well written, highly imaginative, full of action and emotion, and quick-paced. The romantic in me was pleasantly surprised who Val connected with on a romantic level (I can't say because it would be a spoiler; but trust me, it's cool!) and I have to admit that I feel a bit sad that I'm finished reading it.

So! I'm really looking forward to finding out what books the Bees have been reading lately, and I hope you'll share with us what YOU've been reading!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Over It In a BIG way.....

The Bees are being random this week so I decided to post on something that has kind of been driving me a bit crazy lately.

3-D. Seriously, what's the deal? Personally, I get a terrible headache watching anything in 3-D. My son even brought home a new dinosaur book that came with 3-D glasses. I know the studios make more money off the films because they can charge an extra fee but I just feel like I'm missing the point. I mean, seriously, how close to the action do you want to be, especially at something like Piranha?

I've been lucky that a few of the 3-D movies I've wanted to see like Shrek and Toy Story also came out in 2-D, but I'm getting kind of worried. What if this trend continues?

(Me and my hubby getting ready to ride the Toy Story Mania ride at Hollywood Studios, which I think is in 4-D. It was awesome. )

What about you, are you over the 3-D thing or am I just a buzzkill?


Umbrella Time Again...

First of all, yay for Marley! I'm so proud of her.

If you didn't read her post below, please scroll down and read it, I'll wait...

Ok, good. You're back... Isn't that awesome news? I can't wait to read RADIATE and hear all about Marley's journey.

It's a rainy Thursday here in the Northwest. Out my window, everyone has umbrellas and the sound of rain pattering is unmistakeable. I'm not quite ready for it to be rainy fall. We never did get enough sunny days this summer for the season to feel real - and now the downpour begins.

Over the years, Harper Cat's spent a good deal of time testing my umbrellas. Here she is with last year's model... and a (fake) mouse.

And in other news.... I finished my revision and turned in my new mauscript. Yay! I can't wait to share WHEREVER YOU GO with you next year. ;)


Never Cry Werewolf - Harperteen
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Wherever You Go - Harcourt Fall 2011

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Deal!

Sorry for the late post, but it's been a crazy-busy, exciting day. I'm thrilled to share my news here with my Buzz sistahs and our readers. Without further ado...


Marley Gibson’s RADIATE, by bestselling author of the GHOST HUNTRESS series, the fictionalized version of her own battle to overcome cancer as a teenage cheerleader through humor, humility, and perseverance for Spring 2012, again to Julia Richardson at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency (NA).

I can't tell you how excited I am about writing this book. It's very near and dear to my heart because the story will be loosely based on my own experiences when I had cancer in 1982 and was a varsity cheerleader.

There won't be anything angsty, bitter, or negative about it. It's about facing adversity and overcoming anything. I really hope this book will be an inspiration to teens coping with cancer. I often wondered WHY I had to go through that so many years ago...maybe THIS is the reason!

Time to celebrate!
Marley = )

Lazy Daisy Post

Ooops! I forgot to post yesterday, and since no one else has posted today, I'm throwing up a quick post to cover my slackerness. I now present some adorable pictures of my dog Daisy.

What do you mean my ear looks like a funny hat?

I want to move but my head is just ... so ... heavy.

Puppihood can be exhausting.

Yes, most of my pictures of Daisy happen to be when she's sleeping. That's because when she's not sleeping she moves too fast for me to snap a shot!


Sunday, September 12, 2010


Thanks to everyone for helping celebrate the paperback release of Never Cry Werewolf this week! And thanks to all the readers who commented for their chance to win a signed copy of the book.

And the winners are:

Jessie Oliveros
Jenny N.

Please email me at heather(at) with your mailing info.



Thursday, September 09, 2010

Congrats to Heather on the paperback release of Never Cry Werewolf. With Halloween just around the corner I can't think of a better time for you to get yourself a copy! And don't forget that Heather is also giving away five autographed copies so make sure you comment each day this week for your chance to win! This week the Bee's are all talking about the second time we have done something and how much better the experience is. Several years ago, I picked up and moved to Colorado. My dad and stepmom lived out there but other than that I didn't know a soul. I was kind of in limbo when I first moved out, there not going to school or working, so it was next to impossible to make friends. The movie of Maeve Binchy's Circle of Friends came out at the theater. I wanted to go so bad I could hardly stand it. But my parents didn't really care for going to the movies so I made the decision to go alone. To a Friday night 7pm showing. Yeah, I know. I might as well of had an L tattooed on my forehead. I was scrunched in between two couples the entire time. After the movie I drove home sobbing and swore I would never, ever go see a movie alone again.

Fast forward about twelve years, a husband and two kids. I was desperate to see the movie Hairspray and get some "me" time. The only problem is that the only time I could get away was when all my friends were working and my husband said he would rather eat broken glass than see THAT movie. So I ventured off alone to the theatre. I admit that this time it was an early afternoon matinee and the theater was pretty empty. But I couldn't believe how different the experience was. I truly enjoyed myself and didn't rush from the movie bawling my head off.

(He is really why I wanted to see the movie)

I'm sure it made a difference that I was now married and a mommy when before I was certain that I would never find The One. Or maybe I had just grown up enough to realize that I don't need permission from strangers to do something I enjoy. And if the theatre around me had movies that ended before I had to pick the kids up from school I would probably be there every week.

Can you go see a movie or eat in a restaurant by yourself without worrying about what other people think?


Great Expectations

Hooray for the new paperback version of NEVER CRY WEREWOLF by our own Heather Davis!
This week we're chatting about things that are better the second time around. The types of things that pop into my mind have to do with:

1. My taste changing with time.

For example, music, art, and food. Avocados used to gross me out, but now I find myself actually craving them, whether in salads, on sandwiches, or guacamole.

2. Being in a better or different mind set the 2nd time around.

You know, when you aren't really enjoying yourself because you're not in the right mood? For instance, vacations, books and movies. Vegas was a bit of a blur my first time, but the more I go, the more I explore and enjoy it. And sometimes a book or movie is better the 2nd time I read or watch it because I look at the details instead of just the big picture.

3. Knowing better what to expect and therefore being able to relax the 2nd time around. This is close to #2, but a little more specific. It is what happened to me with my first kiss.

Since I was older (almost 18) when I finally had my first REAL kiss, I'd been playing the moment over in my head for eons. And when it happened, I was so shocked, I literally fell over! I recently told this story on Nisha Sharma's blog, so if you want to read it, click HERE. But then, as can be predicted, subsequent kisses went much smoother--with him, as well as with future guys (Notice I didn't write "boyfriends" because I admit that when I got in college I kissed my share of random guys. ha!)

Want to win 1 of 5 signed copies of NEVER CRY WEREWOLF (in its new paperback version) by Buzz Girl Heather Davis? Of course you do! So leave a comment here, as well as on the other posts made this week, for a chance to win. Here's your prompt for today: What have you enjoyed more the 2nd time around 'cause you knew better what to expect?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Second Time Around: Book to Movie

What a great week...we're shouting out about the of the paperback release of Never Cry Werewolf by our own Heather Davis.

And, because of the second release, we're talking about something we loved even more in its second incarnation than the first.

For's BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY by British author, Helen Fielding. I read this book in 2000 and it changed my life. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and, most of all, it made me want to quit talking about writing a book some day and make some day happen. This is the book that got me writing until I hit "The End."

It was because of the voice, the energy, and the characterization in this book that had me glued to the computer working on my own novel about a quirky, fun, friendly heroine.

Imagine my excitement when I found out the book was being made into a movie!

And not just any movie. A blockbuster! A hit! An iconic film for our time. I laughed all over again. I cried all over again. I watch it time and time again with fresh eyes each time. Renee Zellweger WAS Bridget. Colin Firth WAS Mark Darcy. And, Hugh Grant WAS Daniel Cleaver. Brilliantly brought to life on the big screen for my enjoyment.

The actors literally brought to life the already vividly written scenes like Bridget's dinner party with the blue soup, showing up at the Tarts and Vickers party as a Playboy bunny, her dieting, her friends, her bad habits...but my favorite scene that was brough to life was Mark and Daniel fighting over Bridget in the streets of London. CLASSIC.

And, of course, books made into movies are never really the same, so it was like getting another version of the book...still with the happy ending.

What's your favorite book-to-movie? Leave a comment to be eligible to win one of five (5) copies of Heather's book, NEVER CRY WEREWOLF that she's giving away.

Finally...the winners of last week's GHOST HUNTRESS: THE COUNSELING giveaway are:


Please e-mail me at marley_gibson AT yahoo DOT com with your full name and mailing address. CONGRATS!
And congrats to Heather!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Second Time Around: Columbia

Hooray to Heather for the paperback release of her debut novel, Never Cry Werewolf. Because this is her book's second time around in the publishing world, all week we're talking about things that we loved even more the second time we experienced them. (Heather's also giving away books, but more on that later.)

When I first left for college in New York City, I was a few days shy of my 18th birthday. At just 17 I was ready to take on the big apple, to get an Ivy League degree and forge a path into whatever future I desired. For a while everything was great. I had awesome friends my freshman year, I (mostly) loved my classes, and had wonderful experiences in the greatest city in the world.

A few months into my sophomore year, so much had changed. I had a single room and suddenly my friend all felt too far away. I took the first class in my architecture degree, and I hated it. And then, after a fateful trip to the Dartmouth campus--beautiful, perfect, picturesque Dartmouth--I suddenly felt trapped by the city. I wanted fresh air and escape and trees. Lots and lots of trees.

Shortly after that I withdrew from Columbia and eventually transfered to the University of Colorado at Boulder. Fast forward a couple of years, and I'm applying to graduate schools. The one that floats to the top of the pile is, once again, Columbia. (Partly because they were the only school that accepted me, but that's another matter.) Once again, I packed my bags and headed to New York.

This time, though, things were different. I would only be there for two years--just a semester longer than I'd lasted the first time. I was a bit older and far more experienced, especially socially. I was studying a very specific field that I loved. I could tailor my classwork to my personal preferences. I had a fair amount of free time to explore museums and attend shows, often as part of my thesis research. In short, it was a wonderful experience.

Not that I didn't love New York the first time, but I definitely learned to appreciate the city and what it has to offer even more. And I now consider New York to be one of my hometowns--along with Boulder and Houston, all the places where I made the most progress on becoming myself.

Your turn to share. Have you ever done something that started out great, went a little wrong along the way, but then wound up awesome in the end? (FYI, I feel that way every time I write a book!) Comment for your chance to win one of five (5) copies of Never Cry Werewolf that Heather is giving away this week.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Second Time Around: Vacation

In celebration of the paperback release of Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis, we are talking are "the second time around" this week, or something we have loved even more in its second incarnation.

Which brought to mind this picture of me, taken the summer of '07, in Oahu:

If you look closely, you can see I am holding a copy of my critique partner, Kelly Parra's, book, Graffiti Girl, which I had brought along to reread.

That was my first time to Hawaii. Because I am not naturally a bathing suit wearing island girl, I had put the 50th state low on travel list, and only pretty much went because it interested my family. Well...of all of us, I think I was the one most blown away by the gorgeous beaches, rolling hills, sunsets, laid-back atmosphere, and adding becoming a total fangirl for LOST, I have been bugging my husband ever since to take me back.

And since next month we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, can you think of a better place for a get-away? Maui, here we come!

How about you? Is there a vacation spot you've visited once that you're itching to return to? (Or barring that, a place you're dying to go to?)

A comment below will make you automatically entered to win one of FIVE copies of Heather's paperback release!


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, September 05, 2010

Release Week for Never Cry Werewolf in Paperback!

Hello and ahhooooooooh!

It's Sunday, and that means is the kick-off day for my first book Never Cry Werewolf's paperback release!

I'll be giving away five signed copies of the paperback, so please comment on each Buzz Girl's post and we'll each announce winners at the end of the week.
Contest is open to US and Canada residents, 13 and over.

So, the theme of this Release Week is the second time around. What did you enjoy or appreciate better the second time you experienced it?

For me, this one is so easy! It's all about food.
Just last night, I had one of my favorites - beets. I can remember totally hating them when I was younger and first encountered the ruby-colored beauties. My dad was from farm country in Kansas and he'd boil up beets on the stove for pickling. The whole house would get this earthy, then vinegarey smell that made me go, ugh! I was so not into boiled beets.

Then, years later, I encountered beets of the roasted variety. Roasted beets on a yummy salad of argula and goat cheese. Swoon! They were drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, not overly sugarey and tasted like earth in a good way. This was definitely not the horrid vegetable I had once despised. I fell in love with beets at second bite and we've never parted since. And now, I know there are golden beets, too - which are also super yummy.

So how about you? Did you hate a food when you were younger that now delights you? Please post in comments to be entered to win a copy of the book!


Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen 9/7/10
The Clearing - HMH Graphia - Now
Wherever You Go - Harcourt Fall 2011

Saturday, September 04, 2010

What comes around....

This week we're celebrating Marley Gibson's THE COUNSELING release...yay Marley! Please mosey on over to her website to win some goodies. Marley is an incredibly generous person so don't miss out!

Today's post is about decisions and choices and how funny they turn out for the best sometimes...the theme of THE COUNSELING!

When I was in college, I wanted to study medicine and eventually become a therapist or a psychiatrist. My parents thought that was way too much schooling and they wanted me out of college and earning a living ASAP. They put the kibosh on my plans and told me to pick something...shorter.

Then I wanted to study English so I could teach and write abroad. They thought that was impractical and again...the kibosh.

Finally I asked what my options were and they both said the same thing, "Computer Science", technology is the wave of the future. I listened, I did the degree and moved to Seattle.

Lo and behold 8 years later I am working at Microsoft managing a large team of people....spending most of my time playing "therapist". People always tell me I'm so successful at my career because I really "get" people. No med-school degree or student loans needed!

On the side, I'm an author.

So strange how I reached my goals of helping people AND being an author in a most round-about way, but also in a way that is rewarding AND fun.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever thought you'd missed out on a great opportunity and it showed up again--even better than the first time?

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Marley's Book Release Week!

I'm so excited for Marley as the fourth book, The Counseling, of her Ghost Huntress series releases. If you haven't already, make sure you get over to her website to put your name in for her fantastic giveaway.We are talking this week about finding our way in the world and decisions we have made. The heroine from my most recent novel, The Alpha Bet, struggles with making her own decisions. For sixteen years Grace Kelly has had a helicopter mother who has pretty much controlled her every move. She dreams of the day when she can finally make all of her own decisions. But when she gets dropped into the middle of a college campus and finally has the opportunity to make all of her decisions, she realizes quickly how unprepared she is. She learns that being an adult isn't just making your own decisions, but owning up to the bad decisions you might make. She realizes that in the past it was easier to blame things on her mother so that she wouldn't have to take responsibility. Grace Kelly ends up learning that sometimes the answers you are looking for don't come from a book.

I was guilty of some of the same things that Grace Kelly was when I was younger. I desperately wanted to be independent but when I wasn't comfortable making a decision about something, I would usually blame it on my mother. To me, learning to make your own decisions is a lot like learning to walk. Nobody just gets up for the first time and struts across the room. Eventually you are going to fall. And even after you've been doing it for a while, every now and then, you'll trip.

Did any of you use your parents as scapegoats if you weren't comfortable making a decision as a teen?

Congrats to Marley and make sure you pick up a copy of The Counseling!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Release Week for Ghost Huntress: The Counseling!

Yay! We're celebrating the launch of Marley's new book, the 4th in her Ghost Huntress series. Release weeks rock because they usually mean giveaways, and Marley's series is so good!

I, too, loved the first three books and let's just say they were realistic enough to make me turn off the white noise app on my iPhone that I'd slept to for a year. I totally kept thinking some spirit was going to talk to me through it. Then again, I'm what you call a ghost-sensitive person. Which means, I can't wait to read The Counseling... with the lights on.

So, we've been talking about the hard choices we've had to make in order to find our own paths. Sometimes, though, the choices we make are in response to things we can't control. I know that's what's happened in my life during the last five years.

I sold my debut novel in the midst of a terrible break-up, which had me contemplating moving away from my job, friends, and hometown. I had had the choice to stay in the town where my ex lived, or to move back to the big bad city and start completely from scratch. I thought for awhile that staying in the town where my support systems (church, work, friends, neighbors) were would be the best choice.

But sometimes, life helps you out toward the decision you need to make.

First, I found out that more bad things were happening with the ex. Then there was a wildfire on the hill above my rental house which had me packing for an impending evacuation, and then, once the wildfire danger had passed, the owner of my rental home told me the house was about to be seized for tax issues. Um... universe? Were you trying to tell me something? I loaded up my broken down Hyundai with clothes, computer, and my manuscripts, and drove to the city with only $300 in my pocket and the promise of my sister's guest room for a few weeks.

I had no idea what I was going to do next, but leaving town was the right thing. Sometimes, life helps you out. Kind of like that old Alannis Morissette song - you know the one. And it all worked out beautifully in the end, just the way it was all meant to work out. My life is so much happier now, so thank you, disasters - you really did help.

So anyway, now it's time for you to enter to win a copy of Ghost Huntress: The Counseling --

In comments - tell me about a time where you were set to do one thing, but then the universe suddenly helped you to a different path. Or, just tell me if you're afraid of ghosts (that one's a lot easier).

Oh, after you comment, go over to Marley's website to enter more giveaways. Here's the link --


Wherever You Go - Harcourt Fall 2011
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen Paperback - next week!
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - Out now

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Insert Quick Flyby!

And don't forget the contests over on my website blog! Get your name in the hat for some cool prizes!!!

Thanks and hugs!
Marley = )

Congratulations to Marley for the release of the highly anticipated 4th book in her Ghost Huntress series: THE COUNSELING!!! If we Buzz Girls could all be together, we'd dress fabulously (like we did at the RWA national conference this summer) and have a champagne toast to celebrate this momentous occassion. Alas, we live too far away from each other, so we're doing the next best thing: Celebrating here on our blog!
I've absolutely loved the first three books in the series and I can't wait to see what all Kendall is up to and find out (finally!) who Emily really is.

This week we're talking about finding our way and making the best decisions for ourselves. This is something we all have to do at one time or another, especially in the face of a tragedy or a huge change in our lives, such as moving, losing someone special, going off to college, falling in love, getting a new job or getting fired, having a health scare, etc.

Poppy Browne, the main character in my LIFTED, finds herself lost in a whole new world when she leaves her public high school in Boulder, CO for a private Baptist school in Pleasant Acres, TX. She gradually opens herself up to the new places, people, and experiences in her life, and she starts to feel like maybe she can find her way, maybe even thrive, in this new environment. But then something very bad (and illegal) comes out of her new life and newfound happiness, and this time, she's afraid she won't be able to dig herself out. She's forced to cut out all the distractions around her--even the positive ones--and instead concentrate on herself: her goals, her fears, her problems, her family. Her life. And maybe, hopefully, once she digs out her true self, the people who mean the most will be waiting with arms open wide.
Now, enough about Poppy because this is the week of Kendall! Don't forget to leave comments all week for chances to win copies of THE COUNSELING, and stop by her blog to enter her grand prize giveaway.
And now, a question for YOU. Has something happened in your life that forced you to take a good, hard look at yourself?