Saturday, December 29, 2012

FREE This Weekend!

My latest lighthearted paranormal romance, Chasing Adonis, is free on Kindle this weekend. Why not pop over and download a copy? You've got nothing to lose and who knows? You might discover a new favorite author. <smirk!>

The blurb: Every girl sees her thirtieth birthday as a milestone, but in Adara Berros's case, her entire life has turned upside-down. She may not know it, but Adara is actually the reincarnation of Greek mythology's Adonis. And she's about to be drawn into a centuries-old game between the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, with her eternal love as the grand prize.

Detective Shane Griffin senses trouble when he investigates an accident involving Adara and a mysterious stranger named Ted. Having lost his sister to domestic abuse, Shane suspects Ted is not the charming guy he appears to be. After he discovers Adara is the key witness for a murder trial, Shane vows to put his life and career on the line to protect her. 

When Adara's life is threatened, she and Shane go on the run. Now, mortals and immortals alike are all...

...Chasing Adonis.

Jane of Lindsay and Jane's Views and Reviews says, "Chasing Adonis is a worthy read, it has a mix of mortals and immortals with gods and goddesses appearing in forms we don't expect and a back story of endangered life and time on the run. There is plenty for everyone in this great read, and I highly recommend it."

Get your copy here.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Feature: Nobody's Darling

Finally! The last of my books originally published in hardcover with Avalon is now available through Amazon's Montlake imprint in digital and paperback. Nobody's Darling is actually Book I of the Nobody Series and features eldest sister, April Raine.

April  was married and pregnant at eighteen, divorced ten years later, and has struggled to provide for her two children. Now a successful businesswoman, she accepts a challenge from a daytime talk show to compete in a thirty-day battle of the sexes. April is up against a television psychologist who claims her parenting services organization hurts the very people she alleges to help.

Dr. Jefferson Prentiss, television's Dr. Jeff, is haunted by the loss of his wife and newborn son, and by his role in their deaths. To atone, he's dedicated his professional life to the ideals of family. The talk show challenge presents him with the opportunity to prove not only the sagacity of his self-help book, but the inherent danger of paying strangers to perform those family tasks that should be done out of love and nurture.


Once inside an isolated cabin filled with videotaping equipment, April and Jeff learn from each other, tackle their demons, and discover a new awareness between them: love.


I hope you'll give my Raine sisters a try, and Nobody's Darling is the perfect place to start.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Feature: In the Mood for a Skiing Romance?

It's almost winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and our thoughts turn to snow. What better time to fall in love with a skiing romance? 

In Nobody's Business, ski champion Brooklyn Raine has  given up the spotlight for a quiet life in Vermont as bed and breakfast owner, Lyn Hill. Bitter and emotionally closed off after the death of her husband, Lyn wants nothing to do with her former fame or the rabid reporters who recorded her most devastating moments for publicity. But the slopes still enthrall her and she's given a lot of her time and money to a rehabilitation program for war veterans called Ski-Hab. 
Sports reporter, Doug Sawyer, isn't a true war veteran, though he was injured in a military fracas in Iraq. When he told his boss he'd give his right arm for the opportunity to embed with an athlete-turned-soldier and gain the interview of a lifetime, fate took him at his word. Bitter and maimed emotionally as well as physically, he becomes Ski-Hab's first civilian participant and comes face to face with a woman who just might represent his road back to sports journalism. If he can convince her to tell her story... 

Nobody's Business is the second of the Nobody trilogy, originally released in 2011-2012 from Avalon Books, now re-released in digital and paperback formats by Montlake Romance, the publishing arm of Amazon.

I hope you'll give it a try!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Available Now: Chasing Adonis

If you read my post last week, you know that I was indecisive about releasing my second paranormal contemporary, Chasing Adonis, a month early. Well, after a few sleepless nights (not that the decision kept me awake--I'm not that neurotic--but I never sleep more than a few hours a night without pharmaceutical aids), I pressed the "Publish" button on Sunday. It's official, kids. Chasing Adonis is now available for purchase for Kindle or in paperback.

As usual, this means I will now share a sneak peek with you to whet your appetite and make you want to buy. First, the blurb:

Every girl sees her thirtieth birthday as a milestone, but in Adara Berros's case, her entire life has turned upside-down. She may not know it, but Adara is actually the reincarnation of Greek mythology's Adonis. And she's about to be drawn into a centuries-old game between the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, with her eternal love as the grand prize.

Detective Shane Griffin senses trouble when he investigates an accident involving Adara and a mysterious stranger named Ted. Having lost his sister to domestic abuse, Shane suspects Ted is not the charming guy he appears to be. After he discovers Adara is the key witness for a murder trial, Shane vows to put his life and career on the line to protect her.

When Adara's life is threatened, she and Shane go on the run. Now, mortals and immortals alike are all...

...Chasing Adonis.


And now the excerpt:



“Tell me about the man you hit—”

“I didn’t hit him. Someone else hit us both.”

“Okay. Tell me about the other victim. Is he conscious?”

“I-I’m not sure. His eyes aren’t open. He groaned a few times, but he hasn’t really moved at all.” She glanced at the beautiful man, lying in the same position since she’d first spotted him near the sidewalk. “He’s on his stomach. I’m afraid to roll him over.”

“Don’t move him,” the woman on the other end ordered. “Just wait for the EMTs. They’ll be there soon. Does he have any visible injuries?”

“There’s no blood. I don’t see a scratch on him. His chest is rising and falling nice and even. He looks so peaceful, almost like he’s sleeping. God, that probably sounds stupid.”

“It doesn’t sound stupid, Adara. You’re doing just fine. How about your injuries?”

“I banged my head on the windshield and fell off the hood. I ache everywhere.”

“Any dizziness?” the operator asked. “Or nausea? Did you lose consciousness at all?”

“No, no. Nothing like that.” A dull ache bloomed in her skull. The man’s fingers tightened on her hand. “The man is in a lot worse shape than I am. I mean, I’m a little shaky, but otherwise, I think I’m okay.”

“Well, considering you’re shaky, you’re doing great. Where’s the car that hit you? Any injuries to the driver?”

“No…” She stopped, looked around. The street was completely deserted. “I mean, I don’t know. The car is gone.”

“Gone?”

“It drove away. I didn’t even see what kind of car. Just the headlights.”

“The ambulance just passed First Street, so you should see them any minute now.” As if the woman’s words had magical powers, a screaming siren cut the late night silence.

“I hear them.”

“Terrific, Adara. Don’t hang up yet. Stay on the line with me until they get to the scene, okay?”

The wails grew louder, and flashing lights came into view. Red, white, and blue illuminated the trees and sidewalk in crazy swirls.

“I see them now.” A static hiss pierced her eardrum.

Then the operator said, “They see you, too, so I’m gonna disconnect. Good luck, Adara.”

“Thanks.” She slid the cell phone closed and leaned to whisper to the fallen man. “The ambulance is here. Everything’s going to be all right now.”

His eyelids fluttered, and a long exhalation of breath left his lips. “Adara.” Both hands clutched hers, icy fingers squeezing hard enough to crush bone. “Stay with me. Please.”

The blare of sirens intensified. A dark sedan, emergency signal whirring from a mount on the dashboard, pulled up at the curb.

Out stepped the man of her dreams. Figuratively speaking, of course. Tall, drop-dead gorgeous, with the self-assured gait of someone who knew he could have any woman he wanted with the snap of his fingers. He waved for the ambulance to pull up alongside his car.

While the medical technicians climbed from the other emergency vehicle, the man knelt beside her. Stonewashed denim eyes studied her carefully. “Miss, I’m Detective Griffin, Suffolk County P.D. Are you the lady who called in the accident?”

Did he say Griffin? Like the creatures in the ancient myths her grandmother used to tell?

As a child, Adara would lie in her bed, covers to her chin, while Gigia spun tales about the gods and goddesses from her homeland. Griffins were fierce protectors, the guardians of hidden treasures. In Greek mythology, the griffin served Nemesis, goddess of retribution. Classical artists depicted the beast with the head, wings, and claws of eagles attached to the body of a lion. But this griffin was one hundred percent human animal, with the profile of a god and the body of a warrior.
 
Chasing Adonis is available for Kindle now.


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 25, 2012

To Release or Not to Release? That's the Real Question

After a crazy October/November, the Thanksgiving four day weekend became a time of recuperation for me. Here it is, Sunday, and I'm still not feeling my usual energy. To be honest, I didn't leave the couch all day Saturday (which gave me the opportunity to catch up on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills--OMG!--but that's a story for another time.)

With all this downtime, I decided to start formatting my January release, Chasing Adonis, for its eventual uploading to Amazon. Well, guess what? I was done in less than thirty minutes! So there it sits, on my Bookshelf, in "Pending" status, ready to go with just a push of the button.

The question now becomes: Do I leave it there until January? Or release it a month early? What do you think? Here's the blurb:


Every girl sees her thirtieth birthday as a milestone, but in Adara Berros's case, her entire life has turned upside-down. She may not know it, but Adara is actually the reincarnation of Greek mythology's Adonis. And she's about to be drawn into a centuries-old game between the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, with her eternal love as the grand prize.

Detective Shane Griffin senses trouble when he investigates an accident involving Adara and a mysterious stranger named Ted. Having lost his sister to domestic abuse, Shane suspects Ted is not the charming guy he appears to be. After he discovers Adara is the key witness for a murder trial, Shane vows to put his life and career on the line to protect her.

When Adara's life is threatened, she and Shane go on the run. Now, mortals and immortals alike are all...


...Chasing Adonis.


Is there a reason to wait?

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Re-Releasing Today!

Two of my prior Avalon releases are being re-released through Amazon today.


The Bonds of Matri-money is the story of Renata Moon and Connell MacAllister: two friends who need cash fast and opt for a quickie marriage to appear on a Survivor-style game show for newlyweds. There's just one catch: they'll have to remain handcuffed to one another the entire time they're competing for the million dollar prize! You can purchase The Bonds of Matri-money through this link:  http://amzn.com/B00A22FETS


In A Run for the Money, Nicole Fleming and Dante LaPalma only have one thing in common: an old man who has named them as heirs in his will. To gain their inheritance, they'll have to work together as they solve a series of riddles that will lead them to a great treasure. You can find A Run for the Money through this link: http://amzn.com/B00A9S4RYI


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Reunion in October

I've been invited to participate in a blog game called The Next Big Thing by Jill Hughey. The idea is to answer a few questions about my work in progress. In this case, I'll be discussing Book II of my Calendar Girls series, Reunion in October. Let's hit it!

What is your working title of your book?
Reunion in October

Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is the second book in my series, so the main characters were already established in Book I: Duet in September.

What genre does your book fall under?
Lighthearted contemporary romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmm...I have two heroes and two heroines in this story. So for Francesca, I'd choose Salma Hayek. For Emily, Cobie Smulders (from How I Met Your Mother).
For Josh, I'd go with Ben Barnes and Roy is all Ben Affleck. (Two Bens! How'd I do that?)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Two women at crossroads in their lives must decide which path will lead to their Happily Ever Afters.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I haven't decided yet, but I've been enjoying the freedom of self publishing so I'm leaning heavily in that direction.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I'm still writing it, though I hope to have it complete within the next few weeks. For me, there really is no first draft. There's just the draft and the final.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'd compare this series to something by Barbara Freethy or Jill Shalvis.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The characters had small roles in Book I and their backstories intrigued me enough to decide I had to tell their journeys to love.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Like in most of my stories, these are characters you'll love to spend time with in a town you'll want to visit over and over again. I hope you'll come by and discover Snug Harbor and all its wonderful inhabitants!



For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 12, 2012

Miss Me?

It's been almost a month since I've posted here. And what a month it's been!
I had set a self-imposed deadline for my latest WIP, Reunion in October (Book II of The Calendar Girls series), of the week before Thanksgiving. After such a hectic year, I wanted to take the holidays off from writing, guilt-free, to spend some quality family bonding time. I was right on target too. Until...

...Sandy blew into my life.

By now, unless you live under a rock, you've seen and heard about the devastation, the aftermath, the people still suffering. My family and I were lucky. We were without power, heat, and hot water for nearly two weeks, but aside from a few hundred dollars' worth of food and some inconveniences, we're all okay. My thoughts remain with those less fortunate who lost so much more. For me, Hurricane Sandy was not a pity party. It was a time to rejoice that we remained whole, an outcome many others did not achieve.

Today, I've just returned from a trip to Maine where I presented my body language workshop to the Maine RWA over the weekend. Now, I'll get to buckle down and do some writing. Will I finish before Thanksgiving? Probably not. But I'm going to come as close to the end as possible so I can still achieve my more important goal of quality family bonding time. Because if it's one thing Hurricane Sandy taught me, it's this: Cling to those whom you love, for all in life is temporary.


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm Guest Blogging Today!

I'm over at Romance Books 4 Us, talking about playing God and Eternally Yours. Stop by and leave a comment, please!













For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing page: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 14, 2012

FREE Christmas Stories!


Yes, for today and tomorrow only, the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe and Magic, which includes my short story, The Gift of the Magic, will be free on Amazon Kindle. Don't have a Kindle? You can download the Kindle app (also for free) for your smart phone, computer, or iPod.

Mistletoe and Magic is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NO1J0O

You can find the Kindle app for Cloud, PC, Blackberry, Android, etc. by using the Amazon search engine.


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need an editor for your manuscript? Gina is pleased to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Official Release Date: October 15!

Yep, my short story, The Gift of the Magic, in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe and Magic, will be released on October 15, 2012. Want a sneak peek? Okay!

At last, Polina reached the center of the ring-shaped park and stopped on a bench across from the fountain. Rifling through her backpack—her only luggage—she pulled out Mom’s itinerary. What next? She scanned the list, ignoring the more bizarre instructions like, (5.) Follow the dog, and (8.) Kiss a stranger. Mentally, she crossed off (3.) Visit Planty Gardens and her finger stopped at (4.) Have your fortune told.
Naturally. Because Mom would continue to push her interests in the paranormal, the abnormal, even from beyond the grave.
Last time, she reminded herself again. Those two words, now a mantra, kept her moving forward.
Okay, fine. Get her fortune told. Where? As if on cue, a young girl, dressed in scarlet and tangerine scarves dripping with gold medallions, peered out from the closest alcove and crooked her finger in Polina’s direction. There, of course.
After replacing the list and zipping up the backpack, she made her way toward the archway where the dark-haired, dark-eyed girl with skin the color of Arizona sand waited. Inside the stone apse, the girl had set up a long wooden shelf littered with hand-painted wooden dolls and sequined trinkets. Polina hated sequins and spangles, hated anything anyone used to make shoddy products shiny. True quality didn’t need spotlights or halos, a lesson she learned early in life.
“I tell your future?” the girl asked in stilted, but understandable English. “Ten zlotys?”
“Yes, please.” She passed over the money, roughly three American dollars.
The girl stuffed the brass and black coins into a brightly colored woven box and shoved it under the shelf, then took Polina’s hand. The gypsy didn’t ask Polina to remove the glove or even attempt to read her palm, she simply riveted her dark gaze into Polina’s blue eyes. “You have suffered great loss,” she intoned. “But don’t weep. Someone very special waits around a corner. Follow the dog.”
“Follow the dog,” Polina repeated with a sigh. The same instruction her mother had given her. “What does that mean?”
            “Sometime this evening, you will hear a dog barking. Walk in the direction of the sound to find your future.”
Great, Polina thought. That sounds exactly like something Mom would say.  Did every fortune teller in the world use the same schtick?
“I am sorry. That is all I can tell you,” the gypsy girl said, dropping Polina’s hand.
Oh, big surprise. Well, at least she hadn’t spent a fortune for a worthless fortune. “Thanks.” Polina turned away to hide her disgust. Really, what had she expected? She’d grown up around these charlatans, knew all the gimmicks and cons they used to get marks to ante up more cash. Follow the dog. Next, the girl would tell her someone had placed a curse on her, and for ten thousand zlotys, the gypsy could wrap an egg in a handkerchief and remove the ill will.
When had she become so naïve? Time to smarten up and remember. Mom didn’t invent the con; she’d just perfected it.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sneak Peek: Eternally Yours

This is one of my favorite scenes. Jodie, fledgling bounty hunter, has been sent to recapture a ghost who murdered her abusive husband in a lighthouse in the 19th century.

She rocketed toward Jodie on black thorny wings, hands curled into claws with nails sharp enough to cut a diamond. Sheets of flame encased her ebony mourning gown, yet never singed a thread. Beneath a frilly white lace cap and steel wool hair, her pale face was a contorted mask of rage. Garnet eyes blazed with hellfire.
Amanda Kroger, aka the Lighthouse Widow. A Fury.
Bloodless lips opened in a puckered suture line. “By what business do you dare to disturb my solitude?” Her voice, raspy as sand, scraped Jodie’s hackles.
            Still, Jodie gathered enough energy to shout back, “By the order of the Board. I’ve been sent to take you back with me to the Welcome Level of the Afterlife. A new life awaits you there.”
            “To hell with your new life!” On a blur of violent hues, the widow’s talons slashed Jodie’s face.
Her atoms split like fabric tearing along a seam. The universe diffused, casting her into a spiral vortex of dust and debris. Funny…who knew dead people could still suffer pain? But agony radiated through Jodie’s cells, and she had to bite her lip to keep from screaming. Centipedes of color began a frenetic dance across her consciousness: white-hot sparks turned yellow, collided with red, bounced off orange, and wavered over pulsing blue lines. The sparks blinded her, their flashes of neon intensifying each needle-like stab in her vision.
The widow expelled enough hatred to feed a global war for centuries. Instead, though, she focused all that negative energy toward harming Jodie. Chaos ruled, and she spun like fruit in a blender, colliding with the walls, the glass, the iron rail, even the burning lens. Each impact brought a new series of shocks to jolt her, as if she wrestled an electric eel. Slam! Zap! Slam! Zap!
Maniacal laughter rang in her ears while the Fury continued to toy with her. With no fight left and her energy completely depleted, she sagged like a sodden rag doll. Apparently, Amanda Kroger grew bored with a spirit who didn’t fight back. She slowed Jodie’s dizzying speed to a more reasonable rotation until equilibrium returned. Slowly, Jodie sank to the floor and stayed still.
Too dazed to move, she lay scattered across the cold concrete. Searing heat blistered the paint beneath her hands, and then crackled over the walls of the service room. Struggling to pull herself together—literally as well as figuratively—she recalled Luc’s comments regarding Furies. Trying to convince a Fury to release his hold on Earth and return to the Afterlife often results in violence and destruction. These spirits are so full of hate they’ll wreak havoc rather than move on.
Yeah, well, she could certainly attest to that. In hindsight, announcing her intention like a dorm mother during a panty raid was probably not the wisest way to handle a Fury.
A high-pitched shriek drew her attention a heartbeat before the glass walls overhead burst. Running on instinct, Jodie covered her head with folded arms. Shattered slivers rained down. A thousand knives sliced her elbows, neck and back, severing her newly gathered focus into pieces yet again.
            In her mind, Jodie catapulted back to that day in El Salvador. Her parents’ bodies jerked and danced in the front seat. Blood popped everywhere, splattering her hands, her cheeks, her bare legs. Screams and pungent smoke filled the air. The sharp taste of gunpowder pierced her tongue. Fear filled her throat, clogged the scream struggling to escape. And then, the hiss of the gas lines…
            “Aiiiiiiiii!” Amanda Kroger’s bellow summoned more ravens.
The inky cloud shot toward her on ear-splitting squawks and violently flapping wings, the widow’s harbingers of doom.
            Oh, God. I’m going to die. Again.

Eternally Yours is available in digital format or paperback at Amazon, B&N (go there for the paperback--it's cheaper!), Smashwords, and Kobo. In honor of Halloween, I've lowered the price for the digital version to 99 cents.

You can read reviews from others at Amazon or Goodreads.


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day Four of the Book Blitz!

Have you been collecting all these fabulous books? You should be! Here's today's crop of 99 cent beauties. And let me tell you, these are ALL top-notch stories! I know. Tracy's one of my fave authors for detail and dynamite plots; I've already read and laughed out loud at Victoria's and Excellence in Editing (my editing service) handled Mona's Christmas story, which is oh, so adorable!
And I'm not the least bit biased.

What are you waiting for? Hurry!

Tracy Dunham
Murder on the Mattaponi
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009DQH3ES

Victoria M Johnson
The Substitute Bride
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00762XPB6
Mona Ingram
Gift Wrapped for Christmas
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009DRUP9C

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Blitz Day Three

Here's today's list of Avalon Authors Book Blitz 99 cent books. Be sure to buy your copies. Remember...these are not necessarily "Avalon-like" books. Don't believe me? Take a look at what we've got for you today! Thieves and zombies and killers, oh my!

Beate Boeker
> Rent-A-Thief
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009DAHRKY
>
> Kent Conwell
> Night of the Butcher
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005D7VAV8
>
> Rebecca B
> Zombies for Breakfast
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007U7WPGS


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Today's Book Blitz Shopping List

Did you get your bargain books from the Avalon authors yesterday? I hope so. Here's a whole new crop to try today! Come on...buy one or two or all of them. There's no greater feeling than discovering a new "friend" in the book world.

Christine Bush
Warning at Eagle's Watch
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1467967254


Fran McNabb
Selling as author name Fran Fisher
Forever My Love
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006P7FC5U


Karen McCullough
Programmed for Danger
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0091TRBYY


Joan Vincent
Honour's Debt
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JWPNJK


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's a 99 Cent Book Blitz!

A group of Avalon Authors are trying a new promotion. Special books (not necessarily Avalon-appropriate) will be on sale from these authors over the weekend for Amazon Kindle users. I can tell you quite seriously that Avalon authors are a very talented bunch of scribes. You will NOT be disappointed. There'll be different choices each day, so check my blog all weekend for the updated list. Here's today's crop of 99 cent specials! Be sure to grab your copy today before the prices go up! Don't have a Kindle? No worries; you can download a free app for use on an iPad, iPod, or p.c.

Barbara Morgenroth
Mounted (Bittersweet Farm)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00958643U

Blanche Marriott
Born to Bitch
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006K7Y1H0

Carole Hutchens
Flames of Deceit
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0067PZXPE

Kathryn Quick
Braeden and Janne
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008880DLW


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sneak Peek: The Gift of the Magic

I've got a Christmas anthology coming out next month with my writing pal, Carolyn Hughey. And I'm currently finishing up the last chapter of my story for this special project: The Gift of the Magic. No, that's not a typo; it's a twist on the O. Henry classic, The Gift of the Magi, a perennial favorite of mine. My story takes place in Krakow, Poland right before Christmas.

Here's a little taste of what you can expect. As details become available on cover art, release date, title, etc., I'll be sure to let you know.


Once again, she passed the bakery. God, she was starving! Maybe she should splurge on a real dinner tonight. Grab a cheeseburger deluxe with fries and onion rings. And some fresh apple fritters for dessert.

This time around, she couldn’t help but stare longingly at the glass display case where lighter-than-air pastry shared a starring role with loaves of freshly baked bread. Gaze riveted on the goodies in the shop window, she turned the corner.

Wham! Something huge collided with her midsection and knocked her onto the slushy sidewalk. Stars exploded in her skull as the back of her head slammed against the pavement. When she finally opened her eyes, a hairy gray face came into view, with sharp teeth inches from her nose. A wolf! She cried out and raised a hand to shield herself from a vicious bite.

A wet black nose snuffled into the space between her elbow and her chin, and she gave a low whine, squeezing her eyes shut, tensed for the attack.

“Hunter, tu przyjść!” a brusque voice ordered.

Who was that? Slowly, she lowered her arm, opened her eyes, and came face to snout with her attacker. Not a wolf. A dog. A tremendous, wiry-haired dog with a toothy grin.

Slurp!

A dog that had just licked her nose. Ick. She wiped a sleeve across her cheeks to swipe at the doggie slime.

“Hunter, tu przyjść!” The order, dark as smoke, came again. Lucky for her, the man patted his thigh, and the dog immediately bounded off her to stand beside him.

Polina looked past the not-so ferocious beast planted on her chest to the owner of both the smoky voice and the overly affectionate animal. He was tall, broad-shouldered, and despite the frown he flashed at her new furry friend, very appealing with a wide face and hazel eyes, framed by thick honey-colored hair. His clothes were expensive, shoes gleamed. Money. He smelled of it, reeked of it.

Przepraszam. Czy jesteś dobra?” He held out a hand to assist her to her feet.

With her very limited grasp of the Polish language, she had to rely on the man’s body language to assume he was apologizing and, maybe, asking if she was hurt. “I’m okay,” she replied with a smile she hoped would translate.

“You speak English?” Surprise glazed his words stronger than the very British accent he used, and he gripped her hand a little tighter.

She nodded. “I’m American.”

His smile beamed white, lighting up his face, and Polina’s heart sat up and took notice. “Oh, thank God. My Polish isn’t exactly flawless yet.” Reaching into his pocket, he withdrew a leash and clipped it to the dog’s collar. “I apologize about the dog. He belongs to the son of a colleague, got away from the kid, and I’ve been chasing him for the last three blocks. Are you sure you’re all right?”

“Uh-huh.” Her brain spiraled into free fall as his gaze raked her from disheveled head to booted toe. In an attempt to regain some sense of calm, she turned slightly and hitched up the nylon backpack. “I landed on this. Not exactly a plush cushion, but it’s better than full contact with cement.” Of course, the knot blooming on the back of her head said differently, but she opted to keep that a secret. Along with her now crushed and useless sandwich. She didn’t want to engage in explanations or additional conversation.

 

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Wrote 10,000 Words Today!

Umm...no. I didn't. Did the title make you feel inadequate? Even for a minute? Well, it shouldn't.

Lots of times on Facebook and Twitter, I'll see posts from authors who crow about how many words they wrote that day. And I'm happy for them. Really. I'm just not one of them. I never will be. Know why? Because my writing routine is very different.

I know writers get tons of advice about just putting dreck on the page and then going back to edit later. If that works for you, and you're happy to finish a first draft with 200,000 words of dreck that will eventually be cleaned and polished to a 50,000 word manuscript, good for you. Everyone has to find their own process.

But I can't put dreck on a page and boast about it. I can't move forward until what I've written previously is the best that I can make it. (And ooh--look! I'm breaking another rule by using the no-no phrase "I can't..." Not once, but twice! Egads. Hide the women and children!)

I don't apologize for not writing 10,000 words in a day because that's not my process. Here's a typical writing day for me:

I write a scene, mostly dialogue. Then I go in and layer that scene. Sometimes five and six times. I fix punctuation and spelling errors, double-check my research, add color and scenery and stage direction. And then, when that scene could go into a published work exactly as written, I'm ready to move onto the next scene and do it all over again.

With a process like this, it's no wonder I'm thrilled if I write 500 words in a day. The difference between me and the Dreck Writer who writes 10,000 words a day is, when I type The End, it really is The End. I can rest assured that the book needs one quick read-through to focus on story arc and continuity, and that baby is ready to fly. While my counterpart is stuck in revision hell, trying to decide if (s)he really needs to mention the curtains were green right before the house goes up in flames.

So the next time you feel inadequate because someone's boasting about writing 10,000 words today and you've stared at the same sentence for a week trying to decide whether to use "which" or "that," take heart. You're not alone. I do it too. And since I've already published 12 books, with a Christmas anthology due out next month and at least two full-length novels coming in 2013, I'd say you're in pretty good company.

It doesn't matter how you write the book. Just write the damn book. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Five: Five Lessons From Project Runway

Now in its tenth season, Project Runway still remains one of my favorite reality shows. I love getting to know the designers each year, rooting for my favorites, and let's face it, who doesn't love a really cute dress made out of birdseed? But there's more to it than fashion and drama. There are some real life lessons tucked into each episode. Don't believe me? Try these on for size:

1. Be yourself. Christian Siriano was fierce, Mondo Guerra shared a devastating secret, and Santino did a spot-on Tim Gunn impression. Whoever you are, own you! Those who truly love you will accept your quirks and flaws. Those who don't, don't matter.

2. Don't settle for conventional materials. Corporate-speak will tell you "think outside the box." But even that phrase is now in the box. Flex your imagination. Over the years, the designers have used candy wrappers, flowers, and dog leashes to create amazing outfits. Whatever you do in life, try moving away from standards if you want to stand out.

3. Those who fear your talent will attempt to tear you down. Every season sees the cat fights between two or more contestants. Sometimes, in life, the more popular you are, the more unpopular you become with those threatened by your success, your uniqueness, your talent. The only way they can feel better about their own miserable selves is to drag you into the mud. Don't fall for it. Your true allies will stand by you.

4. Just because you're down doesn't mean you're out. So you got thrown out of the club. Big deal. Don't quit. Prove them wrong. Be bigger, better, stronger. You have it in you. Only you can make yourself fail.

5. Make it work. Oh, Tim, how I adore you! These three words can sum up the solution to all life's problems. Sometimes, you get the crappy end of the stick. Everyone does. Winners make it work. Losers sulk and whine about how they "can't" do it.

Got a life lesson from Project Runway? Share!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School Daze

The kids are both back in school as of today; my daughter in her third year of college, my son starting high school (tenth grade). For me, like so many other parents, this heralds in a new pattern to the days. We'll be awake the same time, sharing coffee in the morning, fighting for bathroom rights. It'll take me a little longer to get to Le Day Job and back, thanks to the increase in traffic and the perpetual school bus stops. The next few days will usher in multiple trips to Staples for supplies. Evenings will revolve around reading, writing, and homework. Weekends will become a time we all look forward to for reconnecting, catching up, and relaxing together.

Along with school comes autumn, my favorite season because it reminds me of home and hearth. The shorts and sandals will move into the attic and sweats and sweaters will fill the closets. Sunday barbecues will give way to Sunday roasts. My kids will be thrilled to smell my chicken soup simmering on the stove (they claim it's "crack" and will often sneak crocks full to sip while it's still cooking). Baking becomes a regular ritual. The leaves will change colors, hubby will close up the pool, and we'll start looking forward to the holidays. (I know a few people who've already started their Christmas shopping...heathens!)

What's your favorite part about this time of year?

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why I've Embraced Indie Publishing as a Writer

Previously, I covered why I've embraced indie publishing as a reader. Today, I'll tackle the other side of the coin, indie publishing as a writer.

One of the biggest pieces of advice writers will hear (and repeat) is "Write for yourself." But the biggest problem with writing for yourself is that you're an audience of one. And often, the Big 6 (aka NY traditional publishers) aren't interested in anything different from what's selling. Snooki sold not one, but two books to NY! Is there anyone in the world who thinks Snooki is a literary giant? Of course not. She's a name. And there are too many people who buy books based on a name, rather than on the talent of the author or the uniqueness of the storyline. Given the choice, NY will choose a big name over a great story every single time. Publishing is a business, but it's also subjective. A name guarantees sales; a great story might go largely ignored.

This is where indie publishing can be an author's best friend. Many authors will hear "It's a great story, but we don't know how to package it" or "We love the story, but we already represent an author who has a similar story line." Other authors will receive recommended changes before publication that don't make them comfortable or go against what the author envisioned for the characters.

So what's an author to do? A few years ago, the author would probably put that story on the shelf, write a different story, and move on. Nowadays, (s)he doesn't have to table the first story. And who benefits? The author (of course), but also the reader!

Other perks? The author has control over things that were out of his/her grasp before. Cover art, for example. When an author finishes a book, (s)he has a pretty good idea what the cover should look like. Many publishing houses take that into account and actually ask the author for input. Most, however, don't. Ever buy a book and notice the heroine doesn't have the right hair or eye color? And you wonder if the author was on drugs not to notice? Chances are great that the author knows, but can't change it because the art department has final say on the cover, not the author.

Again, nowadays, the author can have full control, whether (s)he chooses to create the cover or hires a cover artist.

Heard about the Harlequin shenanigans that caused several authors to file a class action lawsuit to get the royalty rate their contract promised? Have an opinion on the cost of ebooks? As a former Avalon author, I can tell you that I always hated how expensive my hardcover books were priced, considering their length. But that was out of my control. Now, indie publishing gives the author control of royalties, pricing, marketing, etc.

I admit there's a lot of hard work involved in indie publishing, and no one should go into any kind of publishing project blindly. If your book is not clean, well written, and properly formatted, don't leap to hit "Upload" on Amazon or any of the other self-publishing sites. Editing is crucial, and you should pay for a professional editor(self indulgent plug: if you need an editor, I offer Excellence in Editing with timely delivery at reasonable rates), and a cover artist if you don't have the skills. Become well informed about markets, and be prepared to invest a lot of yourself (and your own cash) into the project. Be patient. No one becomes an overnight sensation in indie publishing.

But if you're willing to do the work, the rewards could be well worth it!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer's Over? Not For Me, It Ain't!

It seems to me these days that we spend too much time pushing ahead instead of enjoying what we have in front of us. School supplies hit store shelves before the 4th of July, this week Starbucks announced they're getting ready to reintroduce their Pumpkin Spice Lattes for fall, and yesterday, a friend told me she'd started her Christmas shopping already!

When I was little and couldn't wait to grow up, my mother used to accuse me of wishing my life away. Nowadays, I'd say we're shopping our lives away--always looking for the early bird special to save a few bucks, but never really enjoying the here and now. So here it is the final week in August and guess what? I'm not putting away my flip flops yet. I refuse to climb into the attic to pull out my sweaters and jeans now. Autumn doesn't officially start until September 21. I'll wait til then to welcome the colors, the crisp air, and yes, the pumpkin spice lattes.

How about you?

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hooking the Reader and Free Books!

I'm kicking off a whirlwind blog-a-thon with my first stop at pal Becky's blog where I discuss "Hooking the Reader." Come on over and leave me a comment. You just might win one of the books in my backlist!

http://bexboox13.blogspot.com/2012/08/guest-blog-gina-ardito.html

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The {Booker} Award: My Five Favorite Audio Books

The uber-talented, kind-hearted, generous soul, Ellie Heller, tagged me for this meme, which she conveniently adapted for audio books. I listen to audio books at work so I do have a comprehensive list of favorites.

Before I begin my list, I want to clarify this by saying, for me, when it comes to audio books, it's all about the narrator. I've listened to some really stinky books that were saved by brilliant narration. And I've had to read some really great books because the narrator on the audio version was such a disappointment. These five had the perfect combination of a well-written book and amazing narration. So with that in mind, I'm listing my books, along with the narrators:

1. Naked in Death by JD Robb, narrated by Susan Ericksen. I should probably amend this to "any of the In Death books that are narrated by Susan Ericksen." I'm addicted to this series, and I first fell in love with hero, Roarke, when Susan gave him that sexy Irish lilt in this book. <Delicious shivers!>

2. Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann, narrated by Patrick Lawlor and Renee Raudman. Again, any of the Troubleshooter books with Patrick's narration are must-haves for me. Suzanne Brockmann writes the male POV so brilliantly and Patrick brings that POV to life with humor, snark, and a realism that makes you love every member of this series.

3. The Bone Vault by Linda Fairstein, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. I love all of Linda's books about Alexandra Cooper, DA for Manhattan's Sex Crimes Unit. How could I not? She combines my love of suspense with my love of history and adds all the details of New York City. There's also that underlying current of sexual tension between Alex and Mike Chapman that grows from Book I through the later books in the series. Barbara Rosenblat is an amazing narrator who can easily switch between the characters, giving each of them a unique voice.

4. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, narrated by Jenna Larnia. The beauty of this book, the color and rich description, the drama of the women, kept me pinned to my chair for hours.

5. Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Suzanne Toren. I wept like a baby while listening to this magical story about a "wild child" and a hurting psychologist who tries to unlock the little girl's story.

If you're not an audiobook fan and want to try one, you can't go wrong with any of these. If you're more a physical book fan, pick up any of these beauties for un-put-down-able entertainment. You won't be disappointed either way.

Thanks, Ellie. This was fun!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html