Thursday, August 26, 2010

She Likes Me! She Really Likes Me!

Just when I thought it would never happen, I got my first review for Kismet's Revenge. And it was worth the wait. As Inigo Montoya would say, "Let me esplain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up:"

"The complex characters and mesmerizing plot make Kismet's Revenge compelling. An extra—the quotes at the beginning of each chapter—is like a visit with old friends. Moreover, they are relevant to the upcoming events in the chapter.

Katherine Brandon is a writer to remember. She writes GOOD reading!"

Birthday Booty

Still catching up on all the news that's fit to print in my world. So...
Last Friday was my birthday. As my son so eloquently puts it, "It's the eighteenth anniversary of my 30th birthday." That boy's got a future in fiction or politics. Not sure which.

The day was quiet. The night before we'd traveled to our local Six Flags, didn't return home until 2 in the morning, and I had to be up by 6:30 am for Le Day Job. Needless to say, I was pretty wiped by the time my birthday evening rolled around. I requested a pizza for my fabulous birthday dinner. (A trend. Both my kids requested Albert's Pizza--the family favorite--for their birthdays as well this year.)

And was present time. My girl surprised me with all my favorite summer vanilla scents from Bath & Body Works in a very pretty gift bag. Dh came through with the requested present: a Nook. And the boy provided the leather jacket for said Nook.

Now, I gotta tell you. I'm in *love* with my Nook. I can carry copies of my own books, hundreds of books to be read, and listen to music with it. My Nook fits in my purse, and gives me access to millions of books at the touch of a button. It also has 3G, wi-fi, and lots of capabilities that I'm still discovering. If you're thinking of an e-reader, compare (like I did) and choose the one that's right for your needs. For me, it's Nook. All the way.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vacation Photos

Yes, yes. I'm long overdue in posting. But here goes. A few snapshots from my recent trip to South Carolina.

How the girl and her guy spent *most* of the drive down.

The building that housed our condo. Look at the roof on the left hand side and then count down about four floors. That would be our unit.

Early morning view from out bedroom balcony.

Mid-afternoon view

My temporary writing office

Catch the rainbow

Because there's more to South Carolina than the beaches. The grounds of Boone Hall Plantation.

Boone Hall Plantation

The Charleston Battery (that grayish lump waaaaay in the background slightly off-center? That's Fort Sumter.)

The gorgeous homes and tree-lined street of the Charleston Battery.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sssh! Someone's Having a Birthday

Yep, it's me. Today's my birthday. Don't know what the fam has planned for me yet, though I did make several requests. (One of them was a nap, which was summarily refused. How fair is that?)

I'll fill you in on the booty after the weekend. Hey! If I have to wait, you do, too!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation: All I Ever Wanted...

My heartfelt apologies for getting that inane song stuck in your head now.

You know how people say they need a vacation after their vacation? That's where I am right now. After the crazy, hectic, wonderful week that was RWA National, I'm now down in Myrtle Beach, SC with the fam for our annual summer getaway. I've posted some photos of my place in the sun, my temporary writing office, and the views on my Facebook page. Find them here.

Yesterday, we spent the day in Charleston, one of my favorite cities of all time. We did the tourist thangs: Boone Hall Plantation, the Battery, and of course, a haunted walking tour. One of the highlights, however, was dinner at Hyman's Seafood for some of the best fish we've ever tasted. I have a weakness for hush puppies, since my very first trip to Charleston thirty-plus years ago. And Hyman's were perfection, crisp on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside. The crabcake hubby got with his meal had a remoulade that I could never hope to duplicate. Lining the walls around us were hundreds of photos and autographed plates from famous people who'd dined there in the past: Mel Gibson, Angus Young of AC/DC, Cyndi Lauper, Timothy Dalton, Sir Anthony Hopkins, the list goes on and on. I kept teasing that one day, *I'd* have a plate there. But I want to wait 'til people don't look at it and say, "Gina Ardito? Who's that?" Which means, of course, I've got to sell more books first. Which means, less time on vacation and more time writing.

*Sigh.* It's a vicious cycle.

More tomorrow--if the fam lets me near the laptop enough to post, I might even add some more photos!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Interview Today

Pop on over to the Examiner where Fran Lee did a really nice interview with Yours Truly in celebration of the release of Kismet's Revenge. Stop on by!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Photos From RWA National

The trip begins at Southwest Airlines at Islip's MacArthur Airport.

No journey is worthwhile without a stop at Starbucks!

Paul, our driver, welcomed us to Orlando with a big smile and a big SUV.

Welcome to the Swan!

After a busy day at the Chapter Leadership Seminar, there's nothing like relaxing in a chaotic room with thousands of people, signing books to benefit literacy! Note the glass of wine near my books that Chief Fetcher, Trisha, got me. (She spoils me. I'll miss her when I give up the presidency.)

A walk on the Boardwalk at night is a delight for the senses.

Hey, look! See that blondish looking head? That's Queen Nora herself, giving her inspiring yet entertaining keynote speech.

Bitch Wine, the official vintage of Dunes & Dreamers at Conference! Don't believe me? Take a look at the cap:

It's a heart with a knife plunged into the center!

 maybe I should 'splain. I got this fabulous bruise on my arm from schlepping my books after the Literacy Signing. Since he was big and still noticeable on Saturday night, we drew a face on him and decided he was my "arm candy" for the evening. His name? Fred.

After the awards ceremony Saturday night, we got together with some dear friends for 007's and laughs. Left to right: Carolyn Hughey (Bling Girl), Chelsea Gilmore, and Elizabeth No Last Name who fit right in with her wonderful sense of humor and fabulous twang.

Debora Dennis and Jessie Esposito

Carolyn, Chelsea, and Elizabeth

The ultimate Chick Lit cover: dancing shoes and an alco-bev.

Trisha sporting her hair gear (mandatory for all the Dunes & Dreamers that night!) Perhaps she senses a scandal behind us!

Carolyn Hughey and her fabulous sister, Jessie Esposito

Sunday morning, Paul returned to drive us back to the airport for our return home.

My gratitude to RWA, the fabulous staff of the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, and everyone who made last week a memorable occasion! To all my friends, new and not-so-new, I'm fortunate to have you in my life. Thank you for sharing, writing, and laughing with me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Congratulations to the Winners!

The winners of my Christmas in July blog contest are as follows:

R.M. Gilbert--The Bonds of Matri-money
Linda Kage--A Little Slice of Heaven
Andrea Becraft--A Run for the Money
Brandy Blake--Kismet's Angel
Bethanne Strasser--Kismet's Revenge

If you haven't yet contacted me about your prize, please do so as soon as possible! If you have contacted me, your books went out yesterday.

And special congrats to Trisha Kiefer, the winner of the pearl earrings for her suggestion for my Music to Write By segment. Trisha's winning entry will be featured as next week's spotlight in Music to Write By.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Blog Post of Why

I'm in a philosophical mood these days after RWA National (nothing deep--just useless thoughts). So I have composed a list of dopey questions running through my mind. You know: the ones that keep me from sleeping at night. 

Feel free to add your own:

1. Why don't commercials ever show men cleaning the toilet?
2. Why do I love iced coffee but despise cold coffee?
3. Why do two light bulbs changed at the exact same time burn out at different times?
4. Why can't cookie manufacturers make resealable packages that actually keep the cookies from going stale?
5. Why won't my cats stay out of the attic? It's gotta be a thousand degrees up there.
6. Why is the air conditioning never cold enough?
7. Why is New Jersey suddenly so popular on television (Real Housewives, Jersey Couture, Jerseylicious, Jersey Shore)? And why don't they ever show *normal* New Jersey residents on these shows?