Sunday, February 25, 2007

Double Digits for Nicholas B!

Today is my son's tenth birthday. Amazing how the time goes by. I remember the day he was born, his first words, first steps, first day of school. Now, those "firsts" are fewer and farther between (and a little more dangerous when they happen: this past week he took his first double-diamond ski trail!)

On the left is a photo taken from Nick's first vacation: in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. On the right, a photo of Nick and his sister taken on our last vacation to Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks just this week. Did I blink? Probably. But, as I always remind him, when he's six foot three and can speak to me in a booming voice while looking down at me, he'll still be my baby boy.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Heading to the Mountains

It's President's Week and you know what that means: no school for the kids! So the Ardito family is headed up to the Adirondacks for a week of skiing, snowboarding, and other assorted winter fun. The car is loaded with plenty of staples: coffee, champagne, and of course, my loyal laptop. While the husband and the kids are conquering the slopes, I'm hoping to finish Hayley's story (or at least get a major chunk of it completed!) and do some research for another of the stories in the Nobody trilogy.

Behave while I'm gone! Stay warm. And don't spend too much money at those white sales!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sold Out!

Yep... at yesterday's booksigning at Huntington Station's Barnes and Noble store, I sold all the available copies of The Bonds of Matri-money. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to support me and the other authors of the LIRW: Stevi Mittman (seated next to me in the photo below), Marilyn Levinson, Michele Lang, MaryAnne Kelly, and Dawn Thompson at the event. It was a grand success for all of us! I'm sure we'll be doing many more booksignings in the coming months, culminating in the Literacy Signing at RWA National in Dallas, this coming July.

I admit to having a touch of nerves before the event began, but then, that secret part of me who lives for these moments popped out to hog the spotlight and I had a wonderful time. If you missed this one, stay tuned for details on upcoming signings. I know you'll want to be part of the fun!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Available for Pre-Order!

Can you see me dancing? At lunch this morning, a friend (Hi Ro!) said, "I Googled your name this morning and your book came up as available for Pre-order on Barnes & Noble."

'Tis true. Barnes & Noble and Amazon are now taking pre-orders for The Bonds of Matri-money, with a release date of February 24. Why not order your copy now? I hope you'll enjoy reading my story! Send me a message via my guestbook or private email--let me know your favorite scene, character, or line!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

You Be the Judge

If you've ever watched any of those "courtroom" television shows like Judge Judy or The People's Court, you've heard the expression about coming to court "with clean hands." Basically what it means is that you lose credibility in the judge's eyes if your testimony involves you having committed an illegal act. For example (a broad example, I admit), someone who purchases two ounces of oregano believing he received marijuana cannot sue the dealer because the purchase was illegal to begin with.

I bring this up for a reason. Many times I read a story that has been highly recommended by someone else (or many someone elses) and I just plain don't get it. I don't fall in love with the characters. It's even been known to happen in stories that are sequels where I originally loved the characters. A prime example would be Hannibal, the third in the Hannibal Lechter series. Now, I loved Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, touted them both long before Sir Anthony Hopkins signed on to play the good doctor. But the ending of Hannibal, the twist taken in Clarice's character, left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. (No pun intended!) Now, Hannibal does all sorts of illegal, immoral, and just plain creepy things, and I didn't have an issue with it because I never identified with Hannibal. I was never meant to identify with Hannibal. I was the voyeur, watching, learning who he was, trying to figure him out. In a nutshell, I was Clarice. And when Clarice's actions became questionable in that third book, the fascination died.

Why? Because she no longer came to the story "with clean hands."

I've started books where the heroine meets the hero when she somehow gets caught in an illegal act or the comedic element of the opening chapter involves a questionable action and pffft! That quickly, I'm gone. I don't want to be the Moral Judge for the literary world, and the things that bother me certainly don't have to bother other readers. But if I'm going to enjoy a story, I have to be able to put myself in the characters' shoes. And Goody-Two-Shoes that I am, you won't catch me tricking a guy into crawling into bed with me, or leaning out a car window driving and videotaping at the same time, or stealing a guy's wallet so I can return it at an opportune time and make myself look like a godsend.

But that's just me. the world of characterization, what would make you give up on a highly recommended book?