Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dear Liberty Mutual Insurance

An open letter from a woman who can parallel park like a boss:

I don't know if anyone outside the tri-state area has seen this commercial, but every time it airs on my television, I have to leave the room before I chew up the couch.

What kind of sexist crap is this? Why don't you show a guy who can't parallel park? And what's with her options? She supposedly knows she's gonna one day hit someone, so she can either 

(a) Take the bus


(b) Get Liberty Mutual Insurance's "accident forgiveness."

What about...?

(c) Find a friend, coworker, spouse, neighbor who does know how to parallel park and have that person take her someplace safe where she can practice 'til she's got it down


(d) Call up her local driving school and pay for one lousy lesson? 

Either option would cost her less in the long run and give her a sense of accomplishment that she mastered a personal weakness. Win/win.

Seriously...parallel parking isn't brain surgery. Nor is it some skill most women can't master because our limbs are too short or our necks don't stretch to the right angle or our boobs get in the way.

You just might be surprised to learn this, advertisers, but I'll let you in on a secret that must have escaped your notice: We're actually fairly capable human beings.

Now, get that ad off my television screen before I rip your bumper off.

No Love,


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: http://excellenceediting.com/

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Cover. I Haz One

The revamping for the current Calendar Girls series is completed with the release of the newest updated cover for the novella, CHARMING FOR MOTHER'S DAY. 

I couldn't be more thrilled with Elaina Lee's vision for my girls. And believe me, I'm a challenging customer! 

For those who aren't familiar with CHARMING, let me introduce you to the first taste of the little Long Island town of Snug Harbor.

              Ariana stared up at Colin, her honey eyes filled with girlish adoration, as if she’d found her personal Prince Charming. “I rooted for you on the show, Chef Colin.”
She and I had watched “All Star Chef” every Tuesday night, with Ariana critiquing the different contestants’ skills and reporting her conclusions to Sidney every Wednesday.
“You did? Thank you. I appreciate the votes of confidence.”
Oh, puhleez. I had to turn away so he wouldn’t see me roll my eyes, and only faced the crowd again when I had my placid expression under control.
He lifted his gaze from Ariana to me. “That must be why I won. I had two very pretty ladies secretly cheering me on.”
            I winced, knowing what would come next. Sure enough, Ariana speared me with an icicle look. “Mom didn’t root for you. She wanted Chef Christian to win.”
            His hazel eyes, familiar in my dreams, crinkled with amusement as Colin joined my daughter in the staring contest. Target: me. “Did she?”
            My cheeks flamed, but I pulled off a dandy imitation of a casual shrug. “Guilty.”
            “Mind if I ask why?” he persisted.
            Damn him, he should know why. But of course, he didn’t. Why would he? I was just a summer fling—a fact he drove home when he dumped me after a few weeks, going so far as to give me an invalid email and the wrong phone number.
            “She said you were too snotty to win.” Once again, my daughter pushed me under the proverbial bus.
            To my surprise, though, he laughed. “She’s probably right. It’s certainly nothing I haven’t heard before.”
            I didn’t react. On the outside. On the inside, my heartbeat hammered my ribs, and my throat dried to sawdust.
            After several squirm-worthy seconds, he refocused his attention on Ariana. “So, if your mom thought I was such terrible person, why did you want me to win?”
            “I thought you had great knife skills,” she replied with more conviction than a prosecuting attorney. “Even better than Grandpa.”
            “Watch it, snickerdoodle,” Sidney growled then grabbed her by the waist.
            She screeched, and he pulled her against his side for a series of noisy kisses to her cheek.
            Through a riptide of giggles, she amended, “Well, he’s pretty good, based on what I saw on the show. Maybe you guys can have a contest before you move to Florida.”
            My rigid stance relaxed. Oh, thank God. In the back of my mind, I’d wondered why Colin had suddenly appeared at the Gull and Oar. But he must have just stopped by as a courtesy to Sidney before heading south. In that case, I could be gracious to him. Temporarily.
            “Florida, huh?” I said to Colin. “Are you opening a new place down there? Whereabouts?” Not that I ever planned to visit, but—
            “No, Lucie,” Sidney said. “I’m going to Florida. Chef Colin’s bought the Gull and Oar.”

Who wants to see the new home for the pages of these fabulous characters?
Here ya go. 

Isn't it gorgeous? Don't you just love the colors? 

So what are you waiting for? Do you have your copy? No? Go get it!

Don't worry about cost. CHARMING FOR MOTHER'S DAY is free! All day, every day in all digital formats.

Find it on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and NoiseTrade.

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: http://excellenceediting.com/

Friday, September 5, 2014

Authors Behaving Badly

Sigh! It's happening again. Every few months or so, something brings out the ugly author. 

Maybe it's lunar. We creative types are often driven by the phases of the moon. Maybe it's the solitude of our craft. We tend to immerse ourselves in our own little worlds, barely coming out for air or human contact--especially when we're on a writing jag or deadline. Maybe it's emotional. I've always said that writers "feel" things differently than other humans. That's what makes us so good at toying with the emotions of our readers.

Whatever the reason, the bats have left the belfry and are flying willy-nilly through the world, wreaking havoc. 

Case in point #1: The case of the plagiarist vs. Rachel Ann Nunes. Although her real name and aliases (and there are many!) have been released to the public, I won't give this one any additional publicity. In a nutshell, the plagiarist was caught copying Ms. Nunes's work to pass off as her own by changing a few words here and there and adding some sexy-time scenes. When the facts started to come out into the open, she took to Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon to besmirch Ms. Nunes's character and belittle her books by posting dozens of one-star reviews. Go to the plagiarist's Goodreads author page (it's still up) and you'll see under the "Quotations" section where she's taking credit for quotes from a book written by another author (with an oddly similar name--coincidence? Umm...no.) as her own.

There's a special place in hell (or wherever you believe the dead go after they depart Earth) for plagiarists. They steal not only their victims' words, but pieces of their heart and soul. For profit. In this case, the perpetrator went farther by continuing to attack the victim, even after she was caught. 

Plagiarists are everywhere these days. Today, an author claimed an entire boxed set--no longer available for sale through legitimate channels--was plagiarized by another scoundrel. How do we catch these villains? Generally, it's our savvy readers who first connect that a story seems far too familiar and does the initial research out of curiosity (and a need to stay sane). But it's up to the original author of the story to do the dirty work, which includes hiring a lawyer to sue for damages. The crime itself and the follow-up procedures cost a lot of money, take a lot of time, and rip an author away from her steady writing income. So not only is the plagiarist stealing an author's earnings by claiming the work as his/her own, (s)he's also stealing future earnings, past earnings, and present earnings. It's a vicious cycle. 

Please read Ms. Nunes's story here and here. And if you can, please visit her GoFundMe page to assist with her legal fees here.

Case in point #2: The case of the author diva. Diva girl's Facebook post (again, not providing names because why give her any additional promotion?), wherein she berated her readers for asking her questions that could easily be answered on Google, thereby taking her away from precious writing time, went viral in a twenty-four hour period. Both readers and other writers have been (for the most part) taking her to task ever since for her boorish behavior. Rumor has it, in a previous tantrum, she complained that her recently released book didn't hit the bestselling list fast enough and then proceeded to bash the authors and books that did make the list. She also proudly boasted she didn't care if her words hurt her readers' feelings because...who needs 'em? 

Well, sweetheart, you do. Without our readers, writers don't get paid for our work. Without our readers, we don't catch the plagiarists. We writers create our works to be read. To be enjoyed. We long to touch our readers emotionally. Without readers, we might still have a product, but it's back where it was before we published: under our beds, in a desk drawer, or still in our heads. 

Writers aren't perfect. We make mistakes--sometimes big ones. But we should be honest and put only our own words on the page. And we should respect our readers for their support and love of our work.

To my fellow writers, thank you for sharing the pieces of your heart with us.
To my readers, thank you for loving the pieces I share with you.

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: http://excellenceediting.com/