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 na├»ve? 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