Sunday, June 28, 2009

Graduation Day

I swear; I blinked. And my little girl grew up on me. Today was the big day: high school graduation. I managed to get through the event with a minimum of tears (though my headaches really debilitated me). And while I remembered the sunscreen, I forgot my neckline, so I'm sporting a pretty nasty burn from the throat to my cleavage. Still, what's a little pink skin compared to my daughter's big day? So, without further ado, a few photos to mark this momentous occasion:

Receiving her diploma

The turning of the tassel

My new grown-up, mature daughter (sticking her tongue out at the camera)
The whole family

With her friends after the shedding of the cap and gown. Th-th-th-that's all folks!

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog posts...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Prom Time

Wednesday was all about The Boy. Yesterday was The Girl's night. So here's my soon-to-be graduate (and her friends!) in their finery.

With her proud dad.

Even willing to pose with her obnoxious brother (who actually asked for a shot of the two of them!)

Tori and her date: her friend, Ben.

The gang and their chariot for the event.


Tori and one of her best friends since elementary school, the lovely Jen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let the Family Photos Begin!

This is a big week for the Arditos. My son had his "moving up" ceremony today, tomorrow is my daughter's prom and Sunday, her high school graduation. What better way to share my pride than through photos? So if you can't bear to look, you have my permission to avoid my blog until Monday (when the Pop Quiz will return.)

For the rest of you gluttons-for-punishment, feel free to gush with me.

The traditional photo: Baby Boy in front of all the photos on the fireplace mantel. (Yes, I'm one of those moms!)

Close-up during the procession.

Nick with his teacher, who once paid me the greatest compliment when he said he hoped his infant son turned out as terrific as Nick.

With his proud mom and dad.

Nick and doting Grandma.

My daughter will probably kill me for including this photo. But, in her defense, her graduation gift to her baby brother was to take him to the midnight IMAX showing of Transformers II last night. So this photo was snapped while she was on four hours sleep when she pretty much rolled out of bed to be at his graduation.

Congratulations, Nick! And just because it's my favorite Nick photo ever, here's my boy at age 2.

Tomorrow's prom night. More photos then!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pride & Prejudice: It's Not Just the Tight Pants!

I'm guest blogging on the Wet Noodle Posse blog today about my passion for certain historical heroes. Stop by and leave a comment! See you there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

$190.50 Per Hour!

That was the average for yesterday's booksigning at Pindar Vineyards on behalf of Literacy Suffolk. In the course of two hours, the uber-talented ladies of Dunes & Dreams RWA raised $381.00 for this worthwhile cause! And that was despite the fact it was a male-oriented holiday on a rainy weekend when we competed with the Annual Strawberry Festival several miles away and the U.S. Open Golf Tournament in the other county.

The afternoon began with the presentation of two bottles of Long Island wine (Pindar, of course!) to members Bertrice Small and Barbara Metzger, to celebrate their latest sales. (All members of Dunes & Dreams who sell a new book or series to a royalty-paying, non-vanity publisher receive this gift from their chaptermates!)

We were then joined by newest D&D member, Patti Ann Bengen, RITA nominee Jean Marie Pierson, and the ever-charming Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for our signing. Representatives from Literacy Suffolk stopped by to see how things were going and stayed to chat.

At the end of the afternoon, the ladies generously turned over a portion of their sales, and when the grand tally was added up, I was thrilled to sign the "giant check" (designed by my dd) in the amount of THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY ONE DOLLARS!

Since I'm still getting used to the new camera, my photos are probably a little too close to the subjects for viewing. Be sure to stop by the Dunes&Dreams website and blog for more photos and details about the day's events!

Congratulations to all our signers and our thanks to everyone who came out to buy a book! Next year, we plan to double that amount!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It's been a very wet June (and May and April) here. Now, honestly, I'm not one to whine about the weather. Normally I save my rants for things I can control. But in this case, I have to make an exception. I think I might have mentioned that I've been sick since January. (Umm...yeah. I'm still sick). Turns out that the staph infection in my sinuses loves the accommodations so much, it has decided to take up permanent residence there. I now need nasal surgery to remove the pesky inflammation and be allowed to admit oxygen to my brain again. We're in the scheduling process now--happy, happy, joy, joy.

But in the meantime, the heavier the rain, the more pain I endure in my head. After a particularly brutal day, I likened the experience to "looking upon the face of God." It's a white hot pain, sharp and incessant, above my right eye. (The left is more of a throbbing ache.) It inhibits my ability to think, much less write.

And of course, this much rain means my backyard swimming pool still resembles a swamp, the dh can't get to the beach, and the dampness seems to permeate every pore. Misery abounds.

Still...I will press on, trying to focus on the good things going on. Dd and I split the cost of a new digital camera (you recall the laundry fiasco, right?) so I'll be ready to take oodles of photos at this weekend's big event.

Yes, Sunday is the FIRST ANNUAL DUNES & DREAMS MID-SUMMER'S DAY BOOKSIGNING TO BENEFIT LITERACY SUFFOLK! The forecast calls for rain in the morning with clearing in the afternoon. So take advantage of the brief sunlight and come down to Pindar Vineyards! Sip a little wine, read a little romance, and put a smile on my swollen face.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Guess What Came in the Mail Yesterday?

I'd love to show you a photo, but since dd left my digital camera in a pocket in her dirty laundry and I didn't discover it until after the rinse cycle...

You get the idea.

Therefore, you'll just have to take my word for it. My mail carrier was kind enough to bring me the author copies of my upcoming release from Avalon Books, A Run for the Money. And just in time for Sunday's booksigning at Pindar Vineyards! So...if you want to be the first in your neighborhood to own a copy of my not-yet-released new book, come to the vineyard in Peconic this Sunday, June 21, from 2-4 pm, buy a copy of A Run for the Money, and show your support for Literacy Suffolk.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vineyard Booksigning Is On!

We're just ten days from the First Annual Mid-Summer Afternoon's Booksigning at Pindar Vineyards, hosted by Dunes & Dreams RWA. This is a terrific event, bringing romance authors and readers together, with our authors generously donating a portion from their sales to Literacy Suffolk. Among the signers scheduled to appear we have:

NY Times bestselling authors Bertrice Small and Barbara Metzger

2009 RITA Finalist Jean Marie Pierson

Romantic Suspense author, Patti Ann Bengen

Author of women's fiction with romantic elements Candace Gold and her alter ego Candy Caine

The sassy Debora Dennis who writes erotic novellas


Sarah Wendell, aka Smart Bitch Sarah, co-owner of the romance blog Smart Bitches/Trashy Books and co-author of "Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels."

Of course, with a fabulous locale like Pindar, there'll also be wine tasting and tours, strawberries, music, and fun for everyone. So take a trip to Peconic on Sunday, June 21. Stop by the vineyard between 2 and 4 pm. Meet our authors, talk about the genre, or just say hi as you make a beeline for the bottles of Winter White. Purchase a book or two. You'll be rewarding yourself with a great new read and helping another Long Island resident learn to read. A double-dose of feel-good. (Add the wine and it's a triple whammy!)

We'll be there. I hope you'll be there, too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In Memoriam: Edith Layton

Edith Layton lost her battle with ovarian cancer yesterday and the romance world has lost another star. Her regencies were fun, insightful, and beautifully crafted. Her spirit was generous and light-hearted. Edith Layton will be missed. A few other facts about Edith:

Publishers Weekly called her, "one of romance's most gifted writers."
She worked as a volunteer for the North Shore Animal League
In 2004 she won a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times

My favorite personal anecdote about Edith: A few years ago, I was seated next to her at a restaurant and she told me she'd just completed the last book in her last contract. "Now," she said with a wicked grin, "it's back to hooking on the streets."

Oh, yeah. She will be missed.


To support Edith's long-time love of animals, the ladies at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author are sponsoring a special memorial giveaway/raffle/auction with some fabulous prizes including lots of great new books. Stop by one of these sites and check out the details. Proceeds will be donated in Edith's memory to benefit North Shore Animal League.