Thursday, March 31, 2011

There's a new man in my life...

I've been back and forth about wanting an e-reader for quite some time now. When I finally decided to break down and get one, I couldn't decide which one I wanted. I leaned toward the Kindle for a long time and was just about to purchase one when I found out it wasn't backlit. So I finally went with the Nook Color.

OMG, it is amazing. I am so in love and I know that I haven't discovered even half of it's features yet. I love that I can give it to my youngest son and it will actually read a book to him. I broke it in by ordering the latest Kristan Higgins novel, My One and Only. Normally I would have had to wait a few days to get my hands on her new book because we don't have any big bookstores around me. But within seconds on release day, I had it downloaded to my beautiful Nook.

Ah, I'm in love. I know we've talked about e-readers before but they have really exploded over the last few months. Have you purchased one yet? Feel free to share any Nook tips with me!



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rita, Purina, and Romantic Times

First off, let me join in on the buzz and congrats for Bee Heather on her fabulous Rita Award nomination for her book, THE CLEARING. I adored this book from the second I started reading it and knew it was something special. So proud of Heather and wish her luck at the awards ceremony!

Secondly, I've entered a little contest of my own. My fiance, Patrick Burns, and I have done a video application to be Purina's first Cat Chow Correspondents. Check it out and leave a comment for us, if you will.

Thirdly, I'm getting ready to join everyone out in Los Angeles for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention where they're featuring teen reads. There's going to be a huge Teen day with book signings and speed reading "dates" with teen authors, as well as panels, discussions, giveaways, and more. My awesome publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has donated a ton of not only my GHOST HUNTRESS series, but also Heather's Rita nominated THE CLEARING. So exciting! And, I'm doing a ghost hunting basket giveaway including my series, my how-to book, some basic ghost hunting equipment and more fun stuff.

To celebrate all the good things going on, I'm going to give away an advanced copy of my upcoming May release, GHOST HUNTRESS: THE DISCOVERY.

Just leave a comment here in the trail or on my YouTube video, to be entered to win. I'll announce the winner next Wednesday.

Marley = )

Ghosts don't hang up their sheets after Halloween!
GHOST HUNTRESS series - The Awakening, The Guidance,
The Reason, The Counseling - available now!

Monday, March 28, 2011

After High School: What Comes Next? (giveaway)

In my book, How to Hook a Hottie, 17 year-old Kate DelVecchio has very different plans for her post-high-school future than her parents...and part of the story deals with how she’s going to get around them to make her life happen her way.

That storyline came to me partly because two of my kids were nearing the end of high school at the time, and I was watching them and their friends weighing options. Because clearly, it’s a stressful time, with many factors needing to be weighed carefully, especially if you’re not entirely certain what your life’s plan is.

Four year college...straight to school...military...”gap year”...and more!

So as we near April 1st of this year (the date by which most four year colleges will reply), my youngest son and his friends will be addressing these questions AND answers, deciding who is going where and who is doing what and how.

Exciting times. Kind of nerve-racking, too.

How about you? Are you or anyone in your life in post-high-school flux? Or do you remember this time in your life and the choices you did or did not make?

Please share with us. And next Monday, I’ll give away a signed copy of HOW TO HOOK A HOTTIE to one commenter!


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

Saturday, March 26, 2011

YA Romances, How We Adore Thee

You might have already heard but if not, it's my great pleasure to announce that our own Buzz Girl Heather Davis's The Clearing has been nominated for the prestigious RITA award which is given by the Romance Writers of America at their national conference each summer. (Read Donna's post below for more info.) This is an epic accomplishment and we'll be celebrating all week long right here.

Since The Clearing is a YA romance (and if you haven't read it yet, you're in for a treat once you do) I thought I'd talk about what we all love about YA romances, whether realistic or paranoramal or sci fi or whatever you like to read.

Here's what my agent, Christina Hogrebe, has to say about what makes YA romance so fun to read: "[It captures the] intense feelings of awkwardness that surround all of the firsts. ... It's messy and embarrassing and scary and irrisistible."

I couldn't have said it better myself. I adore a story where awkwardness reigns, and where there's an exciting mystique to the beautiful ordeal of falling in love. Where the ending of the emotional trip isn't necessarily a wedding or even a desire to get married (as it oftentimes is in "adult" romances), but a new level of understanding and self-acceptance--a golden piece of the puzzle of life.

Here are some quotes I found that nicely portray teen love:

"Once in a while, right in the middle of ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale." ~ Author unknown

"There is a time for risky love. There is a time for extravagant gestures. There is a time to pour out your affections on one you love. And when the time comes, seize it, don't miss it." ~ Max Lucado

What do YOU like most about YA romances in general and the romance in The Clearing in particular?

Guess who's nominated for a Rita?

It's our hometown girl HEATHER DAVIS for her fantastic second published novel THE CLEARING!

For those of you who don't know, a RITA is like a Golden Globe or an Oscar for the romance/women's fiction world. This year Heather is nominated in the best YA catagory for this poignant story of star-crossed lovers. If you haven't read THE CLEARING yet, get thee to your nearest independent bookstore and get your hands on it NOW. This will be the next big NYT bestseller and don't you want to be the one who has an "early" copy?

Neededless to say, this is a HUGE achivement and all of the Buzz Girls (in person and in spirit) are going to be at the Romance Writers of America conference in NYC to cheer her on this summer!

I've known Heather for almost 10 years now. When I first moved to Seattle and joined the writing chapter, Heather was one of the very first people to make me feel at home. Five years later, this lovely lady and I became critique partners and close friends and from there....miracles! We both both agents shortly after and within months of each other SOLD our first books! Heather has always been my writing lucky charm, an inspiration, a mentor and a very, very good friend.

Since that first sale, Heather's career has really taken off and with two books out and a third on the way, Heather is unstoppable! Please join me in congratulating Heather on behalf of all us Buzz Girls.

CONGRATS honey! We are so proud of you!

Check out all the details of Heather's RITA nomiated book, THE CLEARING at her website: We Buzz Girls are going to continue this big celebration with a WHOLE WEEK dedicated to THE CLEARING with fun and prizes so keep checking back here for details!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Weekend Reading!

My new proposal is finally done and handed over to my super agent, so to celebrate, I allowed myself a giant weekend of reading for pleasure.

After having it gaze longingly at me from the to-be-read pile, The Sweet Far Thing finally made it into my hands. 

For me, if I'm going to read an 800+ page book, I need solid blocks of reading time.  That's why, this book, which I purchased in hardcover when it first came out (a long while ago!) has been languishing.  Also, it's the third book of a trilogy, so it's hard for me to let the series go.  Maybe that accounts for the delay, too...

As I hoped, it was an awesome read and a great wrap up to Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series.  I highly recommend it. 

So, I'm curious --

How many of you will wait to start a bigger book like I did?  Do you save books for a big reading weekend, or do you nibble away over weeks and weeks?  What is next in your stack for a pleasure reading weekend?


Wherever You Go - Harcourt November 2011
The Clearing - HMH
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Storms: Hot or Not?

The weather is changing here in Oklahoma (finally!) and signs of Spring are all around. Grass is growing, flowers are blooming, and storms are brewing. I have to admit ... I love storms. I hate the destruction that sometimes come with them (tornadoes and hurricanes for example) but I adore a good thunderstorm.

I can practically smell the ozone in this pic by -Qualsiasi.

On a stormy night I'll open the window in my room and lie there in the dark listening to wind, thunder, and rain pinging against the window. Ironically, storms make me feel peaceful. If I could sleep outside in a storm (without floating away or getting toasted by lightning) I would.

And as much as I love storms, I love the day after almost as much. The skies are a clearer blue than usual, the air is fresh, and the natural world comes to life with signing birds and frolicking wildlife.

What about you? Do you love a good symphony or thunder and lightning? Or do you hide under your blankets and hope it passes by quickly?


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Last Sunday we turned our clocks ahead an hour, and this one denotes the official first day of spring!

Students and teachers are either on their way back from spring breaks, kicking them off, and eagerly anticipating them...and Passover and Easter are getting steadily closer.

In Los Angeles, we are “celebrating” with an extended rainstorm, and up in our ski areas, it’s snow/snow/snow. How are you marking the news that spring has sprung? With a break from school, planting a garden, maybe working out a little toward your summer swimsuit?


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

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bigfoot anyone?

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I trashed my kitchen and bathroom. No, I didn't have too much green beer. I wanted my boys to think that a naughty little leprechaun broke in. It worked. Never in a million years did they suspect that the same grouchy mommy who nags them for spitting toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror would use an entire tube of it making four leaf clovers on the counter. I also knocked over chairs and sprinkled green crinkle grass all over the kitchen table and ceiling fan. Of course I left some gold coins (chocolate flavored, of course) and some green Hershey kisses that I called leprechaun turds. They freaked out. They've come to expect Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, but we had never had a visit from a naughty leprechaun before.

(I love those 'I exist' support group commercials that Diet Dr. Pepper has)
I figure I only have a few more years of them suspending belief before the questions start creeping in. Remember when you believed in fairy dust? Is there anything that you still believe in, like aliens, or Bigfoot?

For me, it's the Loch Ness Monster. I've always been fascinated by Nessie. I still think that somewhere in that loch in Scotland, she successfully avoids sonars and doesn't peek her head up quite as much as she used to. I've always felt that she was a kind animal. Like a cross between a brontosaurus and a Beluga whale. She would never capsize a boat or eat an unsuspecting swimmer. I even suspect that she probably saved a few children from drowning before the first picture of her surfaced.

Okay, so who do you still believe in? And don't even think about telling me that you don't still make a wish anytime the clock says 11:11! :)


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Are you wearing green today? 

I am, and I promise it's not just underwear.  (That old trick never works, btw.)  Yes, I'm wearing green because I love St. Patrick’s Day! 

Part of my love for it has to do with the food.  Even though I don’t eat beef, I’ll still make cabbage, potatoes, and carrots with some chicken, and of course, the soda bread.  Every year I debate whether or not to stir in some raisins (an American addition).  The raisins usually win.

This year, I’ve been looking around today for a lower fat soda bread to replace my family one (which includes butter and eggs) and I saw a ton of varieties to try.  There was even a vegan recipe for soda bread at, TLC!   On another site, I did find one that has no butter or eggs, but includes traditional buttermilk, so I may try that one tonight.

I know I write about food a lot.  I think it’s because my dad is such an amazing cook.  He showed his love for us through cooking and passed on his knowledge in small, non-judgmental doses.  He let us follow recipes, innovate some our own, and always was there with a hint or two when you needed it.  (Like, there's no need to add lemon juice to a red sauce.)  I’m sure he’ll be making some soda bread tonight.

My interest in cooking really began when I was a teen, so it seemed natural to give the  protagonist in my fall book, Wherever You Go, the same love.  Throughout the book Holly makes things like meatballs, marinara, brownies, cupcakes, stew, lasagna, and baked chicken for her little sister and grandpa.  Maybe I’ll need to have a recipe page on my website when the book comes out in November.

So, are you cooking Irish food or going out for something yummy to celebrate the wearing o’ the green tonight?   I would love to hear what’s on the menu for your St. Paddy’s celebration.

Enjoy the day!

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Save Us Spartacus

Part of me really wants to post something about the disaster in Japan today, but I think it's still too raw (and continuing and uncertain) for me to write about yet. So instead I'll take my cue from Tina (one of my favorite things to do here on the Buzz blog) I'm going to talk about a favorite premium cable TV show.


I blame Sophie Jordan for my introduction to Spartacus. (And True Blood for that mattercurse her and her irresistible premium cable channels!)

The tag line for season one was Blood and Sand and boy is that fitting. I have never seen a bloodier show. It's almost B-movie horror flick epic proportions of blood, but there is something magical about the cinematography that turns it into more of an artistic effect than a gory mess.

It is the amazingly emotional story of a Thracian soldier who, betrayed by Rome, is sold into slavery and becomes a gladiator. His wife is also taken and he is driven to win by the desire to earn his freedom and find her. The title character is played by Andy Whitfield. (Yum, yum. Yum, yum-yum, yum.)

And he's Welsh, to boot!

(Sadly, Andy had to bow out of the series to undergo treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Think good thoughts for this sexy, talented man.)

If you're looking for a show that appeals to guys (action and intrigue andsince this is premium cableplenty of ladies without their clothes) and girls (hot sweaty warrior guys, 'nuff said) that has both wonderful stories and strong emotional journeys, and you're not afraid of a little (a whole freakin' lot of) blood, the definitely give Spartacus a try. It's available instantly via Netflix.

Now excuse me while I go catch up on season two, Gods of the Arena.


Monday, March 14, 2011

True Blood: Better Late Than Never!

I have been a fan of author Charlaine Harris for many years, starting with a couple southern mysteries she wrote in the 1980's (Sweet and Deadly, A Secret Rage), and going through her cozy series. But I stopped short at Sookie Stackhouse because as a general rule, vampire stories are just not my thing.

Of course, I’d heard all the raves about the HBO program based on the series, True Blood. And recently I caught a little and decided to start back at Season 1, Episode 1 and give it a go...

And wow, hot stuff and great plot twists and lotza drama. But I will admit that I put a sofa cushion over my face when it starts getting all bloody...

I might have to get the whole book series now, too.

Who else is watching True Blood?


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

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"What are the Buzz Girls Up To" Giveaway Winner!

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Thanks to everybody for commenting last week. I had a blast learning more about my Buzz Girl sisters and I hope you did too!

We had about 40 entries this week for the lovely green jewelry bracelets and earrings.
The winner is ....
Congrat's, Colette! Please email me via my web-site with your full name and mailing address and if I get it in time I'll mail it on Monday before I head to Kauai!
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Busy and Enigmatic Tina Ferraro!

Last and definitely saving the best for last....let's catch up with our girl Saturday...the lovely, the brilliant...TINA FERRARO! Tina is one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met and I am so proud to call her my blog-sister!

If you haven't read any of Miss Tina's books, get thee to her website stat!

Now, here is Tina in her own words:

How was the holiday season? Did anything surprising happen to you?

I had a great holiday season, including a few days in a condo with my family at a ski resort! I stopped skiing when I was a teen--it just didn't appeal to me--but I had quality "quiet time" while they were on the slopes, and enjoyed the movie and games nights.

What are you most looking forward to in 2011?

The Romantic Times conference Los Angeles in April. Especially Saturday, April 9th, which is Teen Day!

In my personal life, all three of my kids will be away-at-college come fall, so that means from now on, for months at a time, at least, my husband and I will have an "empty nest." I expect to do a lot of writing! And while I will always miss my kids, I am treasuring this next phase of their lives and so proud of the roads they are taking.

Here is Tina looking quite at home in a dorm!

What book are you currently reading?

I have spent the past several months reading all books by adult romance author, Kristan Higgins. I chatted with her a couple times at the Romance Writers of America conference last year, as we were both RITA finalists, and later found one of her books in my "goodie" bag. From the first page, I was hooked, and have not only bought them all, but talked her up to all my friends, too.

While Kristan Higgins is not a young adult author, her stories are sweet, funny and touching, and I could see them appealing to certain teens, as well.

What exciting book news do you have to share with your readers?

Well, I have a novel being shopped right now called HALF-LIFE. Its a teen angel story with the surviving twin facing some dangerous issues, with help from the twin who passed away long, long ago.

And I am putting the final touches on a second book that?s still kind of hush-hush, but I can leak these items: hot surfer dude, a truly crazy crush, and truth behind the secret menu at In-N-Out Burger...

Well, there you have it! For those of you who have read Tina's books, please comment on this post with your favorite book and/or character. For those you haven't, tell us what you're reading now!

Post for a chance to win the lovely jewelry!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, March 11, 2011

What's new with Wendy?!?

(Isn't she adorable?)

As most of you loyal bee followers probably already know, Wendy is the author of The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, Miss Match, and Lifted. She is also a super mom (it's true, she held on to her four-year-old with superhuman strength earlier this year as he dangled from a ski lift), a devoted wife, animal lover, and just generally a swell gal.

Since Wendy lives in Utah, and I live in Illinois, we just don't get to see each other as often as I would like. But I sent her a list of questions so that we could all get caught up on what is going on in her life.

Steph: What's new on the writing front? Can you give us any teasers on new novels?

Wendy: Well, I'm still in the very early stages of a new book idea (writing a proposal) so nothing really to share at this point. I do love this idea though; it's a bit paranormal and I tell it in dual POV, male and female.
Translation: She isn't going to jinx it by spilling the beans. You'll just have to wait until it's out in bookstores. It'll be worth it. :)

Steph: Are you attending any conferences this year?

Wendy: I am not sure as of now. This is getting to be a very busy year already with reunions left and right. I hope to make it to RWA Nationals in NYC this summer and would love to go to some smaller ones if opportunity knocks.

Steph: Anything new in your personal life that you want to share?

Wendy: My husband and I are going on a vacation to Kauai this month and I've very excited. I've never been to that island and I'm hoping to get lots of good snorkeling and hiking in.
(I'm soooo jealous!)

Steph: What keeps you motivated to write?

Wendy: Kind of like exercise and eating healthy, it just makes me feel better about myself when I take time to write a little every day. Also, my kids like it when I'm writing because I let them get away with more. Haha.

Steph:Do you "reward" yourself for meeting writing goals, and if so, what are your rewards?

Wendy: Oh yes, I'm all about rewards. Here are some I particularly like: reading a book I've been wanting to read for a long time, eating something yummy and chocolatey, going out on a girls' night, watching a movie, and hitting the slopes.

Steph: What's the best book you've read in the last few months? Any books you are looking forward to reading?

Wendy: I look forward to reading The Book Thief, which I asked for for my birthday (Wendy FINALLY turned 21 on March 3), and The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, which my son is reading now, and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick. Some good books I've read lately include: Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, Lifted (twin title!) by Hilary Freeman, Matched by Allie Condie, and The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams.

Steph: What author would you go completely fan girl over?

Wendy: Judy Blume! (ah, wouldn't we all???)
It sounds like Wendy is as fabulous as usual and I don't know about you but I can't wait to read her future novels. Thanks for playing along, Wendy. And let me know if you need help carrying your bags to Kauai next month. :) For more info on Wendy and her books, visit her website. Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win the fabulous jewelry!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Catching Up with Tera Lynn Childs

You have to swim pretty darn fast to catch up with Buzz girl Tera Lynn Childs.  
Not only is her successful mermaid book spawning a sequel this June, but Tera's also taking on the mythological demon busting business with a brand new series featuring kick-butt teen heroines.
How she manages to be this productive and still have a life is a complete mystery - but her readers are definitely reaping the benefits! 
Continuing our "What's New" feature on the buzz blog, here's my interview with wonder woman/author TLC.
Tell us -- what are you working on?
I just finished up the "Anglicanisation" process for the UK edition of Forgive My Fins, which comes out this summer, and I'm excited to announce that my UK publisher just bought the rights to publish the sequel, Fins Are Forever, too. 
On my desk right now are the final page proofs for Sweet Venom, my last chance to look at the book before it goes into print--eep! Then, at some point soon, I have to start writing the second book in the Medusa girls trilogy, which is due June 1st. I have the synopsis done and I know where the story has to go... it's just a little daunting to dive into a "middle" book. I'm also working (as always) on a couple of secret projects that may or may not come to fruition in the near future.

What's coming up in 2011?
Bookwise this is my biggest year yet. I have Fins Are Forever coming out at the end of June and, just like with Goddess Boot Camp, I'm nervous about sending a sequel into the world. My fingers are crossed though and early responses are super-positive. 
Then in the Fall I have two projects coming out. First, in September, is my story "When Magic Sleeps" in an anthology called Wicked Pretty Things about dark faeries and the mortals who love them. Then October 4th is the release date for Sweet Venom, the first in a trilogy about triplet descendants of Medusa who reunite and learn it's their destiny to hunt mythological monsters that ordinary humans can't see. I have never been so excited about a book and I think it's my best yet.

What about upcoming travels this year?  Where can readers meet you?
Besides my impending move to Seattle (soon, very soon) I have a bunch of professional travel lined up this year. First up is the RT Booklovers Convention in LA the first weekend in April. I heart booklovers and I heart LA so this is a double-win, plus there is a huge Teen Day this year and I'll get to hang with some Bees, too. 
Then I'm heading back to Texas for the Texas Library Association conference, where Forgive My Fins is nominated to the Lone Star Reading List. This summer will include a trip to visit the parents in Vegas and the Romance Writers of America conference in New York, followed by another trip to Texas to do Fins Are Forever signings in Houston. There's more travel coming up in the Fall, but that's only sorta semi-public and not fully finalized, so let's just say that I think I'll be visiting the Midwest come October.... I think that's everything!
That's a lot!  I'm tired just reading about everything you've got going on, Tera.  Thanks for the interview!  
And now, readers, do you have any questions for Tera?  Post them in comments!!

Remember, all this week you can comment for a chance to win a lovely bracelet and earring set that Buzz Girl Wendy found at her local boutique, Chic Style.

It's green, perfect for St. Patrick's Day! Comment or submit questions every day for more chances to win.

Good luck!


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What's new with Steph?

I'm loving this week...catching up on news from all the Buzz Girls! And we've got an incredible giveaway! Keep reading for more deets.

It was awesome to chat with Stephanie on what's been going on in her world.

Hey Steph! How has 2011 been treating you so far?

STEPHANIE: I can't believe it is already March and almost time for the RWA Rita finalists to be announced already. I don't know where the year has gone!!

I know! Time flies... So, tell our readers what you're currently working on?

STEPHANIE: I'm currently working away on a new YA novel. I wish I could tell the readers more but I'm very superstitious about discussing new works. Hopefully someday soon I'll be able to announce a new sale and tell you all about it. I'm extremely lucky with have our own Tina Ferraro as a critique partner and she has helped me so much!

That's great...and we've got our fingers crossed on a new sale soon! So tell you have any upcoming events or signings where people can catch you?

STEPHANIE: I had really hoped to be in NYC for RWA Nationals this year, but I don't think it is going to work out. Unless I win the lottery, then I'm totally there. Ha. I hope to be in LA with the Buzz Girls at RT in spirit though and I expect pictures of hot guys.

Yeah, I'm a little worried about RT as a first-timer. Don't know what to expect! LOL! Can you tell us what inspires you as an author?

STEPHANIE: If I'm having a day when I think my writing isn't good, or just feeling down about things, I like to re-read fan emails. It is an amazing feeling to know that you have kept people up turning pages when they should have been sleeping. Or that someone got something positive from your writing that you didn't even originally intend. These are the things that inspire me.

That is so true! In this digital and automatic age, it's so easy for authors to connect with their fans...and their appreciation and e-mails really DO make a difference and keep us going.

Thanks for sharing what's up with you! And if you haven't already read Steph's books, what are you waiting for? Check her out at enter our contest to win the fabulous jewelry, please leave a comment or question for Stephanie.

Thanks again, Steph!!!

Marley = )

Ghosts don't hang up their sheets after Halloween!
GHOST HUNTRESS series - The Awakening, The Guidance,
The Reason, The Counseling - available now!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What's New With Heather

Catching up week continues with Buzz Girl Heather, who filled me in on the latest doings and goings on in her world. Let's see what Heather had to say...

What are you working on?

Right now, I’m putting the finishing touches on a new proposal. It’s a book about the closeness of sisters, a topic I haven’t really touched much in my work so far. I’m excited to be going deep and personal with this story, and of course, it has a touch of the supernatural. I also just sent back my page proofs for Wherever You Go, my next book for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. That’s the last call for changes and corrections before the actual book is printed. I’m working on things like bookmarks, interviews and other promotions for the book. And, very soon, I’ll be relaunching my website with a whole new look and feel that reflects where my fiction is going these days.

What’s coming up in 2011?

November 14th is the release date for Wherever You Go. It’s a book that deals with several family issues close to my heart: Alzheimer’s and teen depression. I’m hoping that the novel will give teen caregivers and families struggling with these problems hope and comfort. The story’s theme is “real love is seeing the people you love for who they are, not for who you wish they would be”. Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about the necessity of that practice -- of taking the time to honor the truth of our loved ones and ourselves. As you can probably guess, there are no car chases or explosions, but there is a ghost boy, wandering among the living while he tries to find his way to the light. And a wonderful Italian grandpa who I wish was real.

What about upcoming travels?

Like several other Bees, I’m attending the RT Booklovers Convention in LA this April. I can’t wait to interact with readers and meet some authors I admire. (No fan girl incidents a la Meg Cabot in Atlanta circa 2006, I promise!) It's going to be my first time there -- I have no idea how crazy that teen day might be, which is kind of exciting.

After that, I’ll be packing my bags for a much anticipated trip to Italy, where I’ll be writing some pages of the new book, riding some Vespas, eating way too much, and appreciating great art. I’ve been studying Italian since last September, so I’m excited to try it out in real life. I’m hoping to be able to blog from there -- we’ll see!

Wow, sounds like a fabulous year in store for Heather! Don't you think? Keep up with Heather on Twitter and stay turned for her website relaunch.

Remember to comment below (with a question or a thought or whatever) to be entered to win our fabulous St. Patrick's Day jewelery prize.


Monday, March 07, 2011

What's New With Marley?

It's my pleasure to chat about Marley Gibson today, to bring everyone up-to-speed on her exciting adventures! (And be sure to check the deets on the week-long giveaway at this post's end.)

Hey, Marley, could you please tell us about the young adult novel you just finished, RADIATE?

Marley: It's set to come out in the Spring of 2012 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It's a fictionalized version of what I went through as a teenage cheerleader with cancer. I had to update the story (since mine happened in 1982) and add a lot of drama, but it was an amazing experience. My editor loved it and said she cried ten times in the first one hundred pages. I think it can be a really powerful book for teenagers who are going through--not just cancer--any challenge in their life.

Remind us what’s hitting the shelves next?

Marley: In May is the fifth book in the GHOST HUNTRESS series called THE DISCOVERY. I had a blast with this book, adding a lot of experiences from my own investigations and research and also weaving in a bit more of the danger and creepy factors. I hope readers enjoy the layered mystery.

I know everyone would love to hear about your life, which is anything BUT ordinary!

Marley: Life is crazy...but in a good way. My fiancé, Patrick Burns, and I turned our rig west back in November, following the path of old Route 66 to California. We've seen so many amazing things during our time on the west coast: Pacific Ocean, Sierra Nevadas, Pacific Dunes, Napa and Sonoma wine country, Santa Barbara wine country, Corondado Island, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Las that was just on the way out. We're heading east today and plan on hitting White Sands, New Mexico, San Antonio, Texas, New Orleans, and visits to see my parents and Patrick's boys.

However, the most amazing part of our four month "wintering" was adopting two orphaned shelter kitties named Madison and Boo. They are now our constant travel companions and every day they amaze us.

Too cute! And thanks for these updates, Marley! And looking forward to being your roommate at the Romantic Times conference in Los Angeles next month...

Now about this week's giveaway. Yesterday Wendy posted a beautiful necklace set--just in time for St. Paddy's day. Comments all week work as entries. So leave a question or comment for Marley today to be entered, and be sure to return next Sunday learn the winner's name!


Tina Ferraro
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Sunday, March 06, 2011

What's New With Dona? (PRIZE WEEK!)

This is an exciting week here at the Books Boys Buzz blog. Not only will you find out what's going on with each of us, you can comment for a chance to win a lovely bracelet and earring set that I found at my local boutique, Chic Style. As you can see, it's green, perfect for St. Patrick's Day! Comment every day for more chances to win.

Here's What's New With the Beautiful & Talented Dona Sarkar

How was the holiday season? Did anything surprising happen to you?

This was the best holiday season ever! I had surprise Christmas Eve guests! My friends from California suddenly called on Dec. 23rd and asked if they could come up and spend the holidays with us. I was so happy to have them here because we'd had a very quiet Christmas planned. We loved having a full house and a fun holiday meal. My husband made lamb-chops and mint jelly. I made stuffing and mashed potatoes ... we had leftovers!

What are you most looking forward to in 2011?

I am really looking forward to all my upcoming traveling this spring and summer. The RT (Romantic Times) conference will be going on in LA in April. I will also be going to Michigan (Mackinaw Island) for my sister's wedding. I am the maid-of-honor so I better practice my toast! This is my first time being in a bridal party so I am excited to wewar a matching dress and throw a bachelorette party!

What book are you currently reading?

I am reading adult mystery THE EDGE by Jeffrey Deaver to break things up a bit.

What exciting book news do you have to share with your readers?

Well, HOW TO SALSA is STILL on the best-seller list in India ... it's in every major chain bookstore there and sometimes still in the front table/display case. This is hands-down the coolest thing that has ever happened to me.

I've also been invited to speak to a sorority on March 14th at the University of Michigan about my writing and chosen topics. So, all in all, a great year so far!
Wow, I'll say! Congratulations, Dona, and we look forward to seeing what other exciting things happen this year.
Do you have any questions for Dona? Leave a comment to be entered in this week's prize drawing. A week from today (Sunday, March 13) we will draw and announce the winner. Given that I have the winner's address in time, I'll mail the jewelry on Monday so the winner can have it in time for St. Patty's Day. Good luck!

Friday, March 04, 2011

When I was little there were only three television channels...

Seriously, people. Three channels. Oh, and my parents had a remote control. It was me. I'm totally not kidding. I can remember sitting in front of the television for what seemed like forever while I turned (yes, the tv had a dial that you actually turned) the dial and waited as they took their sweet time deciding what to watch. We didn't have DVR's, DVD's, or even VCR's. If you wanted to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas show, you better have your butt in front of the tv at the right time, and you better not have to pee because you're going to miss something if you do.

Okay, now that I've completely dated myself. Kids have so many more choices in television programming today. Heck, they don't even need a television. They can watch DVD's and shows right on their computers, phones, Ipads, etc. And while I still love all the Charlie Brown shows, today's animated movies are amazing.

The other day I took my boys to see Gnomeo & Juliet. It was completely adorable. If I'm being honest I think I wanted to see it more than they did. It was the best animated film I had seen in a while. And the story was so sweet. It's fun trying to figure out who out the voices behind the animated characters too. My favorite was a bully gnome named Tybalt. Jason Statham was the voice behind this tough guy gnome which was a perfect fit. Some of the funnier characters were a deer voiced by Ozzy Osbourne and Hulk Hogan as a psycho lawn mower.

If you get a chance to see this one, I'd definitely recommend it. What is your favorite animated film?
And have you seen what's coming next summer? I can't wait!


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

In case you need a moment of zen today...

...thought I'd share some sweet little faces with you to oooh and ahhhh over.

Bath time always leads to nap time.

But Mommy, I want to wear the sunglasses!

The orange side of Madison.

Driver's assistant, Boo Bear!

One of Madi's favorite napping spots.

Marley = )

Ghosts don't hang up their sheets after Halloween!
GHOST HUNTRESS series - The Awakening, The Guidance,
The Reason, The Counseling - available now!