Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Oopsies and a Winner

We've been talking about blips in our booksignings this week. Fortunately, I've had a good run with my signings, but I do have two stories to share.

First off, when my SORORITY 101 series debuted, I had a launch party in Boston with all of my work friends, a ton of writer friends, my agent, my sister, brother, nieces, and cousins. It was a huge blowout and I was hot, sweaty, nervous wreck. As I gave my speech toward the end of the night, I looked around the room to thank certain people. When I saw the person's face, I thanked them, and proceeded around the room. However, I pulled a Hilary Swank. I forgot to thank my then husband! It wasn't totally my fault because he was standing behind a pillar and I couldn't see him. I did correct the mistake, but I was horrendously embarassed!

Marley speaking

The other oopsies was when my book THE OTHER SIDE: A TEEN'S GUIDE TO GHOST HUNTING AND THE PARANORMAL was released, my co-authors (my now fiance, Patrick Burns, and Dave Schrader) and I were having our launch party at Dave's Darkness Radio event at the Queen Mary. Only problem was, the books arrived a week after the event. Talk about egg on the face! We had 200 people there who wanted to buy our books. So, our amazing publisher got the attendee list and addresses and mailed them all a FREE copy of it. That was incredibly generous!


Let's hope neither of those things happen again!

Last week, I put up a giveaway for C.C. Hunter's BORN AT MIDNIGHT...and the winner is...


Please e-mail me offline with your name and address at marley_gibson AT yahoo dot com. Congrats!

Next week...the launch of my new book GHOST HUNTRESS: THE DISCOVERY!

Marley = )

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Near-Fiascoes in Book Event World

Inspired by Shannon Hale's Mortification Monday (thanks Wendy!) this week some of the Buzz Girls are sharing book event fiascoes with the world. Now, hopefully I'm not jinxing myself (*throws salt over shoulder*) but I've never had a true book event fiasco. I've had some near misses, though, so I'll dish on those...

  • For my debut launch party at Houston's Blue Willow Bookshop, my parents were planning on flying down from Oklahoma City to join the party. It was their only child's first book and they wanted to be there to celebrate. They packed their overnight bag, went to the airport, and... realized that they had misread the landing time as the departure time. They had missed their flight! Luckily, they caught the next one (it's only a hour long flight, thank goodness) and, despite cutting it quite close, made it just in time!
  • My next signing was at Katy Budget Books, also in Houston. Unfortunately, that was the time when my mother was in the hospital and I was up in Oklahoma City to be with her and my dad. She was still in the hospital, but stable, and I didn't want to flake out on the booksigning. So I bought a ticket down and back on the same day, leaving myself plenty of time to get to the signing. Three hours extra, in fact. Guess how late my plane took off? Yep, three hours! I made it, though... barely. However, it was summer vacation, and apparently everyone who had been in the store the week before had been buying books for their trips because, literally, two people showed up. And I knew one of them. It was a very emotionally draining day, but meeting the one fan who came in already having read my book and asking me to sign the cover with silver marker, to take pictures with her for her blog, that made it all worthwhile.

All of my other events have been pretty smooth (*knocks on wood*) with only the typical no-one-shows-up dramas and do-I-have-to-read-pages worries. If those are the worst things that ever happen in my booksigning career, then I'll county myself lucky. (*goes in search of four-leaf clovers*)


Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Event Fiascos

I absolutely love book events, whether I'm The Author, an author, or a fan of the author. And when these events run smoothly for everybody involved, great. Unfortunately, glitches are inevitable, and I've had my share.

As you might know, RWA (Romance Writers of America) holds its national conference every summer. Last year, it took place in Orlando, FL. Since it was the summer Lifted came out, I was especially excited because I was eligible to sign at the gigantic book event that takes place the night before the conference. Authors, writers, and readers flood into a ballroom in hopes to get books signed by Meg Cabot, Nora Roberts, and Wendy Toliver.

Ha! But really, I happen to have family and friends in Orlando, and they sweet-talked (bribed?) all their friends into coming. So I was expecting a fairly sizable crowd, if only to brush by me and grab a free bookmark. Brandishing my "Yes I'm supposed to be here" pass, I strolled through the rows and rows of authors (nicer to stalk this way than in the bathrooms).

When I found my name tent, I just stood there, dumbstruck. No books. As I tried to process the horrible truth that my books had not made it, people voiced their condolences and I tried to smile and pretend like it was no big deal that bunches of people were coming to see me, and that I'd booked a red eye flight and paid for an extra night at the hotel so I could be there on time. Then Marley and Tina had a fabulous idea: Write "Sold Out" on my name tent and just smile and hand out bookmarks. Sure enough, it drummed up some interest and even though I'd gotten a hold of my "fans" and told them not to come, I had a wonderful time meeting readers and other writers. The rest of the conference was perfect, from visiting Harry Potter at Universal with my fabulous agent Christina Hogrebe to hobnobbing with the Buzz Girls in our Awards Night finery (photo: left to right Tina, Marley, me, Tera).

If you're an author, have you ever had a book event glitch? Here's a link to Shannon Hale's stories, and click here for James Dashner's.

What I'm reading: The Book Thief (still, because I'm spending so much time on my proposal)


Here in the Midwest we've been teased with a few beautiful seventy-degree days over the last month only to plunge back into the thirties before we even had time to break out our shorts. Tulips bloom giving me hope that spring is indeed on it's way even if it doesn't arrive when the calendar says it should.

My favorite sign that spring is finally here is finding a robin's nest in my front tree. We have lived here for eleven years and every single spring there is a nest built on the same branch. I kept waiting and waiting this year trying to spot a momma robin building a nest. But no nest.

We've had some pretty severe thunderstorms lately so I figured it was for the best because the nest would have been blown out of the tree anyway. But I was still bummed that I wouldn't be able to look out every day and see eventually see tiny mouths opened wide while momma robin dropped regurgitated worm into them. Okay, it sounds gross, but it really is something to see.

I decided to console myself by breaking out the new set of pots and pans I bought myself. Yeah, I know, my life is super exciting. So I was washing out the pans and gazing out into the backyard when a robin flew by the window. I leaned over to see where the obviously pregnant robin was headed only to be surprised to see a giant nest built on our privacy fence. I nearly leaped for joy. I can practically gaze into the nest from my window and this way my kids can see everything without the fear that they might accidentally touch the nest. So even though my furnace is kicking on at the moment, I'm still going to dig my shorts out!

What is your favorite part of spring?



Thursday, April 21, 2011

Travel Ahead!

Well, Buzz blog readers --

I'll be in Italy next week!  O.M.G.

Though I've been planning the trip for a long time (and have been learning Italian since September) I can't believe the time is finally here.

I haven't traveled this far on my own before, so it should be an interesting adventure.  And, I haven't been to Europe since I was in college and never to Italy for real, so I'm very excited.  So far, my plans are pretty simple:  See some art.  See some ruins.  Write.  Eat gelato in massive quantities. 

I've always wanted to go to Italy, so I'm really happy that I'm making the dream come true.  Going on my own feels a little intimidating, but the prospect of putting it off until a friend or significant other could come with me feels like wasting time.  And so, I go into the unknown -- to enjoy myself, to use my questionable language skills, to learn more about the world, to meet people and soak in some life.

I'll try to put up a post from the road, but if I somehow don't, I'll give you a full Buzz blog recap when I return.

Is there somewhere special in the world you want to visit someday?  Where would you like to travel and why?  And, any last travel tips for me?

A presto,

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Happy...a winner...and another giveaway!

To all of our Buzz fans, I want to wish you a Happy Passover and Happy Easter! spring really upon us? I sure do hope so. We've been in Gettysburg for the last month...or as I call it, Wettysburg. I know April showers bring May flowers...those need to be some pretty stupendous flowers! LOL!

Some good news to share is the WINNER of my Meg Cabot book giveaway. A copy of AVALON HIGH CORONATION goes to...


Congrats! Please e-mail me at marley_gibson AT yahoo DOT com with your name and mailing address. this week's giveaway. (Isn't this fun?) I'm giving away a copy of my fellow St. Martin's Press author, C. C. Hunter's book BORN AT MIDNIGHT. The cover is reallllly dark and cool.

To enter the book giveaway, please leave a comment letting us know what you and yours are planning for the Passover/Easter holidays. Anything yummy to eat? Family traditions?

Marley = )

The next installment of the popular Ghost Huntress series
Coming May 2nd! Everything's not as it seems...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Home at Last!

After a twelve day sojourn that took me from Oklahoma to Los Angeles to Houston to Austin to Houston and finally back to Oklahoma, I am finally home in Poketown (aka Stillwater, OK). This is just my temporary home, of course, because I am working on getting to Seattle this summer, but my bed and my puppy were waiting for me, so home it is.

One of the things I love most about conferences and conventions (besides meeting fabulous fans and readers and bloggers and librarians) is getting to hang out with other writers. This always energizes me, recharges my writerly batteries and I come home eager to write-write-write.

This is an especially good thing right now because I have a book due, like, yesterday. (Okay, June 1st, but it feels really really close.) And, while I won't admit my current page count (it's pretty small) or how much I plan to write in the next two weeks (it's a lot) I will say that I'm going to be nose-to-the-grindstone to get Sweet Venom 2 done early enough to revise it before sending it off to my editor by deadline.

Before I left on my big trip I ordered a new Alphasmart. My old one had been my dear companion for many years, but the keys started getting sticky (even after I took them all off and cleaned off the sub-key gunk) and it hurt my wrists to type on it for very long. So my shiny new, non-sticky-keyed Alphie is charged and ready to go. I'm charged and ready to go. Operation: Write That Book is about to begin. (Sophie Jordan and I are going to do daily #deadlinedash check-ins on Twitter, if you want to follow our progress.)

With all the book inspiration I've accumulated in the last two weeks, I'm ready. Wish me luck!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Announcing The Winner...

Last week I announced a giveaway of a copy of Meg Cabot's RANSOM MY HEART, in celebration of the good times had at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. And that winner is...


So Renee, please e-mail me at and I'll get that book in the mail to you!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Battle of the Bands

When I saw that a Battle of the Bands was happening in nearby Ogden, Utah, I jumped at the chance to take a car full of young, impressionable boys. What I found was so much cooler than what I expected. For one, the uber talented Craig Bielik was emceeing. Also, there was food: pizza, breadsticks, popcorn, and Chick-fil-A--always a plus. Tables were set up where local businesses had give-aways and drawings. One of the boys I brought won a $10 gift card to use at Newgae Mall, and we also won free bumper card rides, eyebrow waxes, hair cuts, etc. We all (except my youngest) had brightly colored hair extensions put in by Cherry Bomb Salon. Not only did we get to eat and look like rock stars, we got to listen to bands representing 13 Ogden-area high schools.

Most of the bands were what I'd call hard(er) rock, as well as old school metal, blues, pop, and punk. I have to admit I had to leave early, so I missed the last few bands, including the winner, Roy High's Mermaid Baby (surf-rock), but if what I heard is indicative of our future music, then we have a lot to look forward to!

This video shows Tribe, the band representing Weber High School of Pleasant View, Utah.

Have you ever been to or competed in a Battle of the Bands? If not, you should definitely consider it. It's a lot of fun and it's a great way to show support for local talent.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rock the Drop - YA Lit Day!

It's April 14th -- and that means it's time for YA authors and readers to hit the streets and leave a favorite teen book for a lucky reader to find.

It's a really fun thing happening all over the country (and maybe in other parts of the world?) today.  Many authors and fans will be tweeting and blogging about their drop.  You can get more deets about the mission over at -- Readergirlz.
Have any of you "Rocked the Drop" today?  

Or -- better yet -- have any of you found one of the dropped books?


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

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Buzz Girl Love

It was so awesome hanging out with the Buzz Girls in Los Angeles at the RT Convention. As others have said Teen Day rocked the house. We had a fabulous booksigning, then a party where teens, their friends and parents, joined over twenty YA authors for free books, pictures, and signatures. It was amazing to see the smiles on the girls' faces when they delved into their goodie bags of books to see favorite authors and new ones to enjoy.


(Heather, me, Simone, Dona, and Tina in front)

It was also fun to hang with former Buzz Girl, Simone Elkeles, who is now a big time USA Today and New York Times bestseller. But she's still Simone...and her fans love her. She's a blast to hang out with and we miss her smiling typeface around here.


(Tina and me with Simone)

Tina and I had a fabulous dinner with her. Here's a pic of my filet and know me and my foodie-ness!


I, too, got a huge stash of books. Even accidentally packed "The Teachings of Budha" book that was in the hotel room. Oopsies! There were so many books around...who knew? There are just so many cool reads coming out this year (including GHOST HUNTRESS: THE DISCOVERY in 18 days!) that it's hard to keep up with everything.


(My fur baby, Boo, modeling my stash.)

So, I'm going to give away my copy of Meg Cabot's graphic novel, AVALON HIGH-CORONATION. Just leave a comment in the trail here about books you're looking forward to this year and I'll pick a winner and announce next week.

Marley = )

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

Monday, April 11, 2011

Buzz Girl Party in LA

As you might have noticed, a few of the Buzz girls descended on L.A. this week. I'm still on the road, so I'll have to rely on the others to share full details, but suffice it to say (is that an insanely lame phrase?) we had a great time.

My first unofficial conference event was a big YA author party at the home of Melissa de la Cruz. It was all out and just a wonderful time. Here's the one Buzz girl pic I have here on my phone:

This was before Marley showed up. I have to say that Teen Day far exceeded my expectations and it was great to meet so many awesome teen readers. If it's going to be that great again next year, I just might have to make the trip to Chicago.


Back from RT (and book giveaway!)

Last Thursday, Heather posted pictures and an update on the fun that the five of us Buzz Girls were having at the Romantic Times Booksellers Convention!

Here's one more picture, of our Marley Gibson with Knight Agency super-agent, Elaine Spencer (who just happens to represent both Dona Sarkar and me):

Saturday was TEEN DAY! Hundreds of teens and their adult companions joined the 1,000 or so readers already in attendance in a mega-signing that featured a football sized room full of romance authors. The Young Adult authors got their own row, making it fun for the readers and authors alike. (For instance, the alphabet being what it is, I got to sit between Simone Elkeles and Marley Gibson!)

Later came talks from YA authors, book readings, face-to-face chats, and finally, a teen party with a mega book giveaway. Great fun!

The one thing I felt I missed was something called Mr. Romance, where male cover models vied for that coveted title, because it conflicted with my author schedule. However, never one to let things totally pass me by, I did get to spend time with this hottie:

And on that silly note, please tell us in the comments the name of the super-hero that you'd like to meet, and be entered to win a copy of RANSOM MY HEART by Meg Cabot! The winner will be announced next Monday!

Good luck!


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

Thursday, April 07, 2011

RT Convention Update

Five of the Buzz Girls are loose in LA -- oops, that sounds bad!  But we really are at the RT convention, sponsored by RT Booklovers Magazine.  The event culminates with a massive Teen Day event on Saturday!

Here I am with Dona, decked out for Melissa de la Cruz's awesome dinner party for YA authors at her home here in LA.  Not only does fabulous Melissa have a to-die-for home, but she's also got the cutest husband and kids ever. 

And, the guest list was extraordinary!  From Melissa Marr (hard-working organizer of the RT-Con Teen Day Event on Saturday) to Alyson Noel and Carrie Ryan, there were interesting YA authors filling ever square foot.  We ate, drank, and wrapped ourselves (ok, I did) in cozy blankets, hanging out on her deck until well past dark.

Here is Buzz Girl Tera with Sophie Jordan (Firelight) and debut author Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed).  

It was fun to hear about all the new books coming out, and to talk about the state of the industry in general.

Here are Marley and Dona with the aforementioned YA goddess Alyson Noel, who is not only a great writer, but is also super sweet.

Here are Tina and Dona, I think right after the red velvet cake and chocolate mousse cups arrived.  See those satisfied smiles?  The food was really, really yummy!
But, around one AM we were hungry again, so we went up to Marley and Tina's room to order in some snacks. 

Marley's holding up the fruit, but we really ate turkey burger and grilled cheese.  All this writer talk makes us hungry, obviously!

Although we're missing our bee sisters Wendy and Steph a ton, we're having a great time so far.



Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Winner + RT or Bust!

Last Wednesday, I offered up an advanced copy of the next GHOST HUNTRESS book, THE DISCOVERY. And the winner is...
Amanda Mora!

Congrats Amanda! Please e-mail me at marley_gibson AT yahoo dot com with your contact information so I can get it in the mail to you.
A really cool thing...I'm blogging from 35,000 feet. Thanks to a nice $5 connection from Southwest, I'm able to wave down at you from the friendly skies as I'm headed out to Los Angeles for the RT Booklovers Conference. I'm really excited to see fellow Buzz girls, Tina, Tera, Heather, and Dona, and our former Buzz girl, Simone Elkeles and so many others. My agent, Deidre Knight, and I are doing a panel on how agents sell film rights to books. I'm participating in CLUB RT, giving away a fun ghost hunting basket, and, of course, I'll be participating in Teen Day!

As Tina and Tera mentioned in their posts, I'll be among the teen authors appearing at Teen Day at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention on Saturday. Something cool is the teen authors will have their own rows, all together, for easy access. Then all of the YA gang will move into various activities like meets-and-greets, interesting talks, author readings, one-on-one "speed dates," and then all followed by a teen party. This is my first RT conference and I can't wait!

Come by and say hello!

Hugs, Marley = ) Ghosts don't come out only at Halloween! THE DISCOVERY, available May 2nd!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Heading to Cali

By this time tomorrow (early, early, early) I'll be on my way to Los Angeles for the RT Booklovers Convention. I have to admit that I have an ulterior motive for going to this event. Sure, I'm exciting by all the fabulous teen stuff happening on Saturday--I love any chance to meet teens and readers!

photo by Kansas Sebastian
But I'm also suffering from SoCal withdrawal. I haven't been to southern California in a few years and I'm missing a lot of things.

  • Air that smells like tropical flowers
  • Sun and sand and beautiful weather
  • Sea breeze
  • Art deco architecture
  • Convertibles (I'm renting one!)
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping
  • Amazing sushi (vegan please)
  • Star spotting
  • Drinks from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • Fun, laid-back, hip vibe

There are also quite a few quintessentially LA things that I've never done, and maybe I can check a few of them off my list during this trip.

  • Griffith Park Observatory
  • Hollywood Bowl
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • La Brea Tar Pits
  • Queen Mary
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Union Station
  • Huntington Library

And if I have time to visit the Getty again I will totally make the effort. It's an amazing collection and an amazing building.

Have you ever been to Los Angeles? If so, what were your favorite things to see and do? If not, then what do you dream of seeing or doing in LA?


Monday, April 04, 2011

Winner + Teen Day Reminder!

Last Monday we chatted about “what comes next after high school?” and as promised, I am announcing the winner of a signed copy of my book, HOW TO HOOK A HOTTIE, which deals which such issues. The winner is:


So Girls Cooking Games, please e-mail me at with your contact information so I can get it in the mail to you.

And a reminder to all of our readers that Tera Lynn Childs, Heather Davis, Marley Gibson, Dona Sarkar-Mishra and I will be among the teen authors appearing at Teen Day at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention next Saturday in Los Angeles. The day starts with a huge book fair where readers can meet with scores of romance authors. The teen authors will have their own rows, all together, for easy access. Then all of the YA gang will move into various activities like meets-and-greets, interesting talks, author readings, one-on-one "speed dates," and then all followed by a teen party. We hope to see lots of you there!


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

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Warning: You Are Now Leaving Your Comfort Zone

I've been a bit of an insomniac lately and for some strange reason, last night I kept thinking about something I did back in high school, something that comes back to haunt me every now and then. I took piano lessons for 10 years. Though I mainly played at home with only my immediate family within hearing range, I occasionally played at my church, for school talent shows, at recitals, or at family get-togethers.

One day, my high school concert choir teacher (who, while a great teacher, was notorious for being cranky) asked for a volunteer pianist to play the the national anthem for the finale of our spring concert, which included every choir in the whole school. No one volunteered. ("Buehler? ... Buehler?") It was a very fancy version of the song, and I could tell by looking at the music that it would be a challenge at my playing level; besides, I'd never accompanied a choir. However, as someone who is always willing to dangle outside of my comfort zone, I raised my hand. The teacher looked a little less grumpy. That very afternoon, I put my fingers to the ivories and practiced, practiced, practiced. I was determined to do my school proud.

The choir practiced a few times with me on the piano, and I don't recall it being bad or anything. The teacher spent a lot of time on the choir part and barely said a word to me. Then, the night before the big concert, the pendulum swung, and suddenly, it was ALL about me. The more the teacher yelled, the worse I shook; and as anyone who's played the piano knows, shaking fingers equals even more mistakes. I was trying my damnedest not to cry in front of (what I'm guessing was about 150 of) my fellow students. Suddenly, all that practicing and any modicum of talent I might or might not have possessed flew out the window. The teacher turned her wrath on the choirs and they stared at me like abused children. I don't think they were mad at me the way she was; I think they felt sorry for me. But either way, the rehearsal was a complete disaster--because of me.

As soon as everybody filed out, tails tucked between legs, the teacher came over to have a talk with me. I was lucky I hadn't cried in front of everyone, but as soon as it was just the two of us, I couldn't hold back my tears. The teacher was speechless, which I guess was better than yelling. In place of wrath, I detected sadness in her eyes. Maybe a little bit of fear, too. Because while she wasn' t known for being a sweetheart; when it came to concerts, she did put on a helluva show. And would I be able to accompany the most important song of the entire concert tomorrow night? I said something like, "The funny thing is, I had no idea until tonight that I'm so terrible. If I'd known, I never would've volunteered." Or maybe I didn't say it, but I was definitely thinking it. I stood up, gathered my music, and left.

So what happened the next night, at the big concert? Well, my song was the finale so I had to sing all the other songs with a terrible case of nerves. Then, I took a deep breath, stretched out my fingers, and played. I'd like to say I played my heart out, as I'd envisioned doing all those hours of practicing, but if I remember correctly, I just played well enough to get the choirs through the song. I got through it. No fireworks, no big hug and "I knew you could do it!" from my teacher or any of the choirs. Just the relief of getting the whole ordeal behind me and the gratefulness that tomorrow is another day.

I know the right thing to say is even though it was painful at the time, I'm glad I had that experience--that it's made me a better person or whatever. But if I'm being completely honest, if I could go back in time, I never wouldn't raised my hand in choir class that day. To this day, I get a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I think of it. It totally wasn't worth it.

Have you ever done something out of your comfort zone that you wish you hadn't?