Thursday, July 28, 2011

YA Scavenger Hunt on August 1st!

A few of us Buzz Girls are participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt organized by YA author Colleen Houck.  Our own Marley, Tera, and Heather will be part of the event, which will be one day only -- August 1st.

There are thirty YA authors participating, all of whom will post bonus chapters, news on upcoming books, cover reveals, and much much more on their individual sites.  To play, you just start at one of our sites and follow the links to complete the hunt -- enjoying all this cool insider content along the way.

At many of the author sites, you can enter individual giveaways.  To enter the grand prize drawing for a multi-author book bonanza, you'll collect the clue word in red on each author's post to complete the YA Scavenger Hunt Puzzle.  Once you've got the puzzle completed, you'll email it in to enter the grand prize drawing.  Rules and a puzzle form will be on each author's blog in the hunt.

It's one day only - August 1st, 2011 -- so get ready to go on the hunt!



Monday, July 25, 2011

Reunion Times Four

Ahh, summertime. Impromptu barbecues, chilled watermelon, homemade ice cream, tank tops, flip-flops, belly-flops, and, for many of us, reunions.

Last week, the little town of Eden, Utah experienced an enormous spike in population as 30 of Mama Billie's (sitting pretty amongst her grandchildren and great grandchildren) relatives from Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Utah checked into the Snowberry Inn. An iced keg of rootbeer from Rooster's Brewery graced the kitchen, providing refreshment in-between shopping trips, hikes, boating expeditions, wildlife safaris, target shooting, hot tubbing, alpine sliding, the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo, a tour of Model Linen, and games of volleyball, wiffleball, horseshoes, and cards. It was the 2nd Annual Eden, Utah Gray Family Reunion. And it was fun, fun, fun!!!

But I'm exhausted.

When my husband and I got up at 5 Sunday morning to take my sister and Mama Billie to the airport, we thought we'd have a couple of days to catch our breath before Mom, my 3 boys, and I drive to Colorado for my 20 year high school reunion. But then my uncle, aunt and their 3 teenagers called after their whirlwind trip to Yellowstone to say they're staying at our house for a couple of nights before heading back to Dallas. So! I popped a couple of elk roasts in the Crock-Pot and made a fresh batch of iced tea. The good thing is, I'm not the only one who's exhausted so while some of them went to Costco to get family reunion photos developed, the rest of us are hanging out at home, watching The Simpsons Movie.

Still. I'm exhausted. And I've got three more reunions (one for my advertising agency, one for my husband's high school, and one for my high school) to go!

Anyone else having a big reunion (or two or three) this summer? My friends just had one in Durango, CO with 100 family members! Holy cow! Steph, don't you have your 20 year high school reunion this summer, too? Or has it already happened?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Winchester Mystery House

The Buzz Girls have gone on a relaxed schedule for the summer, giving us all more time to write and read and just...hang out. So I thought I'd pop in to mention one of the more unusual things I have done with my summer so far...

Last weekend I was in San Jose, California, and at the advice of a friend, visited the Winchester Mystery House, a seriously odd and fascinating mansion that was under 24/7 construction for 38 years.

Purchased by Winchester gun magnate widow Sarah Winchester in 1884, she paid for round-the-clock renovations and add-ons until her death in 1922. She had been told my a psychic that a curse was on her family from all the lives that had been lost to Winchester guns, and that only way to be safe (and possibly live forever) was the continuous building of what turned out to be a somewhat crooked and very confusing (though lovely) house!

Before the 1906 earthquake, it had boasted 7 stories, but these days, it's 4 stories high with 160 rooms. But it's the rooms themselves that are so odd and one merely fold into the next, with doors and staircases that lead nowhere. One door opens to the second floor air! One of the first things the tour guide tells you as you embark on the one hour tour is that if you need to leave, he'll have to walkie-talkie to get you a escort out, otherwise, you'd never find your way!

Here is a staircase that leads you into a roof:

I ended up calling it "Hearst Castle meets Ripley's Believe It or Not!"

Although this was not mentioned in the tour, I have since heard this house was the setting for the 2002 Stephen King movie, "Rose Red," and I know of at least TV program on the house, claiming that it is haunted to this day.

And yes, I did immediately send our resident Ghost Huntress, Marley Gibson, a message to ask if she'd been there. She said no--not yet, but it was definitely on her to-do list!

I thought I'd share the details with our readers here, to see if any of you have visited, or to possibly put on your to-do list for an interesting sightseeing adventure!


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

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Fiery Pits of Prom Hell

I recently got involved in a pretty sizeable clean-up project in our house, and discovered all kinds of “hidden treasures.” Including a copy of PROM NIGHTS FROM HELL, a paranormal short story collection by five young adult authors, Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe, Stephenie Meyer, and Lauren Myracle. Glancing at the back cover (“Worried that prom is gonna bite?”), I realized despite my good intentions, I had never actually read it.

That error is no more! I spent the past couple days in the fiery pits of prom hell, and enjoyed every moment. In particular, this book gave me a first introduction to the sharp, funny Michele Jaffe, who contributed the short story, “Kiss and Tell.” I loved it and will be definitely be looking for more from her!

So how about you? Is summer a good time for you to catch up on books you’ve been meaning to read, too?


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

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The final countdown...

I hope everyone had a wonderful, firework-filled Fourth of July! My fiance, his boys, and I are in Florida awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. Not just any launch, but the final one. Not just the final one for Atlantis, but the final launch for the entire program.

After thirty years and over 135 launches, America's space shuttle program will come to an end. Atlantis is scheduled to lift off for the last time on Friday morning, July 8th at 11:26 a.m. And we're here to see it!

Officials here at Cape Canaveral are expecting a million people to pour into the neighboring towns to watch Atlantis soar into the sky one last time. We've already staked out our viewing location--12 miles away--and plan to get there wicked early to set up our lawn chairs, cooler of ice water, still cameras, and video recorders. If you've got deep pockets, you can pay for a ticket to watch the launch from the causeway--about 5 miles away. If you're one of the lucky ones who won tickets, you can view the launch from the area with the astronaut's families--3 miles away. This is the closest you can get to the orbiter.

The Crew of Atlantis

...or so we thought.

Patrick and I were at the Canaveral National Seashore to swim and hang out when we noticed something toward the end of Playalinda Beach. We walked and walked and walked...probably for a mile...until we reached a security fence protruding into the ocean. A man in a guard tower held up his hand to keep us from getting closer. But we were allowed to stand there with others and stare in awe...Atlantis in all of her glory sitting on Launch Pad 39A only ONE MILE away!


Truly a moment to cherish!

Have you ever seen a shuttle launch? It's got to be a magical experience...which we'll find out soon. We'll see if the weather holds off and Atlantis and her crew speed away on Friday morning! Keep your fingers crossed!

Godspeed the crew of Atlantis!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy July 4th

Happy Fourth of July from the Buzz Girls!

Wishing all of our readers a safe and happy holiday!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Meet Miller the Mallard

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you might have already seen this photo but as we're heading into the 4th of July I thought it would be fun to post the story behind this picture here on the blog.

Meet Miller the Mallard. We were driving up the Ogden Canyon and suddenly, my husband and I both saw this little guy waddling alongside the 2-lane highway all by his lonesome. On one side of him was the highway and the other a cement barrier to keep cars from falling into the Ogden River, which is at a record high thanks to all our snowfall this past winter. This is a very dangerous, narrow, winding canyon and biking and walking along it is frowned upon. But I couldn't let my husband, Matt, just drive by so I talked him into stopping. Matt found a place to pull over (wide enough spots are few and far between) and he drove up and down to try and protect me when I was on the narrowest of stretches. (I was wearing very high heels because we'd just come home from a party and I still have a blister but it was worth it.) When I found the duckling, who my husband later told me was on his back with his little legs and huge feet up in the air on one of his drive-bys), he was soaking wet. I thought about just putting him on the other side of the cement barrier but there was a huge drop to the river. So I decided I'd take him to the truck, where my husband and three sons were eagerly waiting to see him. While we were debating what to do with him, Miller, my oldest, mentioned that his friends in the near-by town of Huntsville live right on the lake and have a bunch of ducks that they feed and take care of. So we thought it would be worth a try. The dad and his sons were all out on the front lawn playing football when we pulled up. We could tell right away they knew what to do with the little guy; they had a place for him, food he could eat, and a wonderful yard in which to grow stronger. They named him Miller, after my son, and invited us to come and visit anytime.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July, American friends!