Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 16 - Christine Marciniak

The winner of Shana Norris's Troy High is...cait045! Congrats!

Today's Blogtoberguest is Christine Marciniak, whose debut YA novel, When Mike Kissed Emma, came out recently from Climbing Roses, the YA imprint of Wild Rose Press.

Emma Landon has a plan: she's going to be in the high school musical and sing the most romantic song possible to her boyfriend. She's not looking for the lead, just a decent part where she and Trevor can dance together on stage. The plan starts to unravel when she gets the starring role, and playing opposite her is not her perfect boyfriend, but the school loner, Biker Mike. When Mike kisses Emma at the school dance, everything changes. Emma must figure out what is more important—the way things look or something deeper.

I can totally relate. In my wilder days (don't laugh), I used to do theatre and had a tendency to fall for my co-stars, due to my inability to distinguish between fiction and reality. I quit theatre when I met my husband (but we wouldn't have met if it weren't for a play, so there).

Christine is giving away a signed copy of When Mike Kissed Emma to one lucky commenter, so give a warm welcome to this fabulous debut author!

* * * *

First I want to thank Jeri for letting me share in her blog birthday celebration.

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to write a Halloween-inspired post. Because, you see, the thing you need to know about me is that I am a complete wuss when it comes to scary things. The commercials for horror movies would give me nightmares. Remember the movie Edward Scissorhands? I don’t think that was supposed to be a particularly scary movie. I can’t be sure because I never saw the movie. I had nightmares for months just from the commercials. So, the scarier aspects of Halloween: I don’t do them. I do like the candy though.

So, now that we’ve established what a wimp I am regarding scary things, let me tell you a ghost story.

We lived in an old dorm in college. It had character. It had squeaky pipes and hidden corners. It had stories.

One cold and rainy night we were hanging out in the hallway eating pizza, because that’s what we did. (We tried to get a pizza delivered to the hallway once, but they made us give an actual room number.) So we were eating pizza, and joking around and moving out of the way for anyone who might want to actually walk down the hall, when Mike said: “You know, this dorm is haunted.”

“Haunted!” Lisa and I exchanged nervous glances. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“There was a girl who died here like twenty-five years ago.”

“That’s true,” I said. “My mom’s friend knew her. She lived in this dorm.”

“They say she committed suicide.” Mike said. “Hung herself.”

“In what room?” Lisa asked.

Mike shrugged. “Could have been any of them.” But none of us knew for certain.

AJ lit a cigarette and continued the story. “They say she walks the halls at night.”

“No way,” I said.

“It’s true,” Bob picked up the story from there, “And one time she unscrewed one of the light fixtures and it fell on top of someone.”

“I bet it was the light she hung herself from,” AJ said.

“Did that really happen?” Lisa asked, bumming a cigarette off of AJ.

“Absolutely.” Mike said. “Fish’s older brother knew the person the light fell on.”

Who could argue with a source like Fish’s older brother?

But there are no such things as ghosts. I knew that. I wasn’t worried about the ghost of student-past coming and haunting me in this dorm. Talk moved on to other things. We finished the pizza, people started drifting off to finish homework or watch something on TV. Lisa and I, both with early classes, headed down to the communal bathroom to get ready for bed.

“You don’t believe in ghosts, do you?” I asked her as we lathered soap on our faces.

“I don’t know,” she answered, which wasn’t the complete denial I’d been looking for.

Just then something squeaked. Was it a screw turning in the light fixture? We both looked up. Everything seemed in place. “Why’d you look up?” Lisa demanded.

“You did, too!” I answered.

Another squeak and hearts thumping we looked back at the light again.

“Don’t look up!” Lisa insisted.

One more squeak and we ran, screaming out of the bathroom, our faces covered in soap.

The hallway was empty and once we were standing there we looked at each other. “Heh heh” we sort of laughed and slunk back into the bathroom before anyone could see us. The light never fell off the ceiling, but the heater continued to squeak and thump as it always did on cold days.

Christine's Blogs:
The Simple and the Ordinary
Simply Put: The Writing Blog of Christine Marciniak

* * * *

To enter to win a signed copy of When Mike Kissed Emma, leave a comment below. And remember, each comment automatically enters you in the drawing for the grand prize package: all 25 books!

For complete rules, read the introductory post.

Deadline for entry: Wednesday, October 28, 11:59pm Eastern. NOTE: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is yabooknerd!

Linda Joy Singleton and Dead Girl in Love
Linda Gerber and Death by Denim
Alexandra Diaz and an ARC of Of All the Stupid Things
Melissa Walker and Lovestruck Summer
Sydney Salter and My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters

Thanks so much to Christine for sharing her "ghost" story!

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Jeri -- you've got a cover image!!! It's awesome. :)

I love Christine's cover as well. It's got that great cozy style. Great ghost story! Did you ever find out if Fish's older brother was *actually* a reliable source?

Posted by: Blogger alanajoli at 10/21/2009 8:14 AM

Another fun story to look forward to.


Posted by: Blogger Karen at 10/21/2009 8:30 AM

This book sounds so cute and the cover is great....can't wait for it.

Posted by: Blogger cait045 at 10/21/2009 9:04 AM

Sounds like another good story to add to the list! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: Blogger Sara C at 10/21/2009 9:18 AM

This sounds like a sweet book. I was big on theatre in high school & college too. High school was all-girl (!) though so no fear of falling for other actors there -- college was a different story! ;)

Posted by: Blogger SMJ at 10/21/2009 9:31 AM

Alanajoli - I don't think Fish's older brother was too reliable a source.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 9:36 AM

Oh goodness, I had a similar experince once. When you're excited and nervous, it seems like everything has a hidden meaning. :)

Posted by: Blogger Melanie at 10/21/2009 9:44 AM

Melanie, I think we did more to scare ourselves than anything else! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 9:47 AM

hahaha.... I'm not a real spook when it comes to ghosts and all. But I have seen some really crazy stuff. I lived in a small town growing up. Our house was at the end of a dead end street about 5 miles out of town. I've spent many nights looking over my shoulders and investigating spooking noises (always with my older brother).

P.S. Thanks for sharing with us Christine. I look froward to checking out your book!!!

Posted by: Anonymous Brittany at 10/21/2009 10:35 AM

Brittany, I'm sure if I were investigating spooky noises with one of my brothers, they'd be the ones making the spooky noises!

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 10:44 AM

Christine, that's a great story! I'm no fan of ghost stories either, and movies are even worse. I couldn't even deal with "The Sixth Sense" or "Knowing," never mind "The Amityville Horror."

Posted by: Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz at 10/21/2009 11:54 AM

Barb, I totally don't do horror movies. I prefer not to even think about "The Amityville Horror"

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 12:07 PM

Jeri~ I love the cover! It is great.

Christine~ I really do not do horror stuff either. I prefer the stuff that does not scare me to death. When Mike Kissed Emma sounds really good...I definitely love a story with a "bad" boy in it.

Posted by: Blogger Lori T at 10/21/2009 1:34 PM

Lori T - thanks for the kind words. And it's nice to know I'm not the only one who doesn't like horror!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 1:40 PM

Sounds like another good one, count me in!

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 10/21/2009 2:10 PM

Thanks tetewa!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 3:04 PM

I would love to be entered!
Christine's book looks so cute, and I love the cover.

Posted by: Blogger Erica at 10/21/2009 6:48 PM

Thanks Erica! I really like the cover too, it's great when a cover does a good job capturing the feel of a book!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 7:27 PM

What an awesome Ghost Story for someone who doesn't like scary things! ;) lol We can be scary wimps together as Im not as into the "scary" things either (but I too like the Candy!!) lol

Your book sounds interesting. Thanks so much for sharing and best wishes to you!

Debbie in NY

Posted by: Blogger WriterWannaB_NY at 10/21/2009 10:10 PM

Debbie - Thanks! I'm definitely ready to be part of a scary wimps club. :)

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 10:18 PM

Sounds like a fabulous debut!


Posted by: Blogger Asylumgirl at 10/21/2009 11:01 PM

Thanks, Deidre!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/21/2009 11:08 PM

Christine, you're post made me laugh about the odd things we do while in college. Your story about sitting in the hall reminded me of me and my roommate. Even after spending most of the day together, we always seemed to end up standing in the communal bathroom talking for ages. We even had people coming through asking, "Are you still here?!" LOL.


Posted by: Blogger Dawn M. at 10/22/2009 12:06 AM

Dawn M., thanks for stopping by! The hallway was definitely our hangout of choice. I suppose we treated it like a second-floor lounge, which we didn't have.

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/22/2009 6:59 AM

Loved the story. Sounds like something my sister and I would do. We are such fraidy cats when we were little (okay, we still are). If one of us jumped at a shadow, the other felt obligued to scream and jump with her. We were always freaking ourselves out.

Posted by: Blogger Linda Kage at 10/22/2009 9:32 AM

so looking forward to reading this book. i've heard great things about it :)

Posted by: Blogger Jennifer Rummel at 10/22/2009 10:50 AM

Linda - it's so much easier to be spooked together, isn't it?

yabooknerd - I hope you enjoy the book!

Thanks, both of you, for stopping by!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/22/2009 10:57 AM

Very awesome story, Chris! I hung on every word!

Posted by: Blogger PJ Hoover at 10/22/2009 11:35 AM

Thanks, PJ. :)

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/22/2009 11:42 AM

In college, my roommate and I got into a weird frame of mind one night (no, we weren't using drugs!). What started as a silly conversation about the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, giant-sized as in Ghostbusters, appearing outside our second-story window, ended with us being paranoid that something lurked just outside in the darkness, ready to strike. We were up half the night feeding each other's paranoia!

Posted by: Blogger Ken at 10/22/2009 12:58 PM

Ken, that's an even better story than my friend and I thinking the light was coming unscrewed above us!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/22/2009 1:03 PM

Great story - I would be freaked out too!


Posted by: Blogger Sara at 10/22/2009 1:17 PM

Thanks, Sara! I knew we weren't wrong to be freaked out (okay, maybe we over-reacted just a little)

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/22/2009 1:19 PM

When Mike Kissed Emma seems like such a cute book. :)

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/23/2009 4:13 PM

Thank you, Lauren!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/23/2009 4:15 PM

Hi Christine! Your book sounds like a cute high school romance. I would love to read it.

I am a wuss as well when it comes to scary movies and the like. I blame it to my over active imagination. My friends and I are planning to watch Paranormal Activity on Halloween. I wonder how many days of sleep would I lose?


Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 10/23/2009 7:28 PM

That's it! I'm not a complete wuss, I simply have an over-active imagination! I feel much better now.

(Good luck watching Paranormal Activity)

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/23/2009 7:32 PM

Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger I ♥ Book Gossip at 10/24/2009 5:12 PM

I have to agree that this book does sound quite cute. That story is funny. My best friend and I used to watch scary movies and psyche ourselves out all the time. It was fun. <3

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/24/2009 9:07 PM

Thanks, Bekaj and Cindy!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/24/2009 9:19 PM

Wild Rose do some great books. I loved your ghost story too.

Posted by: Blogger Sheila Deeth at 10/26/2009 3:01 PM

Thanks, Sheila!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/26/2009 3:10 PM

Edward Scissorhands was oddly good in a not on purpose creepy way lol. I am not a fan of scary things either. Which is a surprise since I grew up watching scary low budget B movies such as baby on board and dolly dearest.


Posted by: Blogger Casse AKA Catholic Kittie at 10/27/2009 5:40 AM

Casse, I always suspected Edward Scissorhands might not be that scary and is probably a fine movie. But since the commercials gave me nightmares I figured it was a movie better off not watched. :)
Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/27/2009 6:46 AM

Happy Blog Birthday, Jeri. What a nice way to celebrate! Great story, Chris! So by any chance is the Mike in your story modeled after the Mike in college? Had to ask.

When Mike Kissed Emma is a great read. Do yourselves a favor and buy the book!

Posted by: Blogger Vivian Mahoney at 10/27/2009 12:12 PM

I wondered if anyone would ask that. No, the Mike in the story is not based on and doesn't bare any similarity to the Mike I knew in college. Other than the name, of course.

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/27/2009 12:14 PM

Sounds like a great book!

Posted by: Blogger Poppy at 10/28/2009 11:31 AM

Thanks, Poppy!

Posted by: Blogger christine M at 10/28/2009 11:52 AM

The winner of a signed copy of Christine Marciniak's WHEN MIKE KISSED EMMA is yabooknerd! Congrats!

Thanks to everyone who made Christine feel welcome, and stick around for more drawings!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/29/2009 9:19 AM


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Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

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