Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What I'm reading


I'm supposed to be writing. . . I am writing, just not as enthusiastically as I'd like. But it's the holidays and hard to get motivated. I want to just curl up with a good book and take a day off.

I just finished Shelli Stevens Silk Hauntings. I love a good ghost story and this one had not only a ghost but was a very satisfying romance too! The best of both worlds (so to speak).

In my to be read pile is:

Stacking the Deck by Sara Dennis
Melting Iron by Ann Cory

Monday, December 18, 2006

No Winner Here

Well, my Christmas wish didn't come true, but in the spirit of sportsmanship, I'd like to offer congratulations to Dan Stroschein, The Naughty List, for winning the Fast and Festive Fiction Contest at Echelon Press.

I'm shelving Mary's Christmas List for this year, I'm planning on turning it into a much longer novella with a lot more character development and submitting it for next Christmas. . . I need to do some more research and am waiting on a book from the library that I'd ordered 2 weeks ago. Guess EVERYTHING slows down for the holidays.

Meanwhile, back to writing The Were Whisperer. . .I had hopes to have the first draft written before the holidays. . .guess we'll see. . .

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mary's Christmas Wish

Mary doesn’t believe in Santa anymore. Besides, Santa couldn’t bring what she and her brothers want the most: a new Ma.

Katherine Larson is a spinster, working in her aunt’s boarding house in Chicago. When her friend ends up with two marriage proposals, Katherine fixes the situation by taking her friend’s place and traveling to San Francisco to marry a man she’s never met. When she arrives, she discovers that the man she’s come to marry didn’t send for a wife.

The last thing grieving widower, Jonathon Muller, expects for Christmas is a new wife. However, his children have conspired together and answered an advertisement for a mail-order bride. Katherine isn’t the woman they are expecting, but is she the answer to Mary’s Christmas wish?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fast and Festive Contest

I got the e-mail from Echelon Press ( , announcing their Fast and Festive Short Story Contest. Further information about the contest is listed on their blog. Echelon only accepts submissions by invitation, so this might be a chance to get my foot in their doorway. This morning in the shower, I got the idea for a historical romance. So, I'm going to give it a shot. . .

Friday, December 8, 2006

I've been linked!

Cool -- I just found my link on Romancing the Blog -- I'm right there under Making Mischief!

Snow Update

Mammoth mountain has a snow update every morning during ski season -- but I figure once every few weeks will be often enough to keep up with MY snow update.

I completed most of the snowflake for my novel. I skipped writing the story out in narrative form-- I have trouble going from the narrative to scene structure. Instead, I hopped right into writing the first draft.

I'm almost 1/3 of the way in and I must admit, the snowflake method has been one of the easiest to implement and made the most sense to me as to how I plot/outline/write.

TWW (The Werewolf Whisperer) is turning out to be more of a suspense than a mystery, so I'll be using Carolyn Wheat's "How to Write Killer Fiction" to check the story arcs for a suspense/thriller.

I'm excited to get this finished and start polishing. I've been sending off chapters to my critique group. They've been asking some challenging questions but have been reaffirming that it's working ~ so I'm happy about that.

Can't wait to start writing tonight. I'll be working on the "good" part~ the love scene between my hero/heroine!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Critique Groups -- Should you or shouldn't you

I belong to several yahoo lists and the talk on two of them have lately revolved around critique groups. Whether they help or hinder or don't make any difference a'tall.

Well, I belong to two critique groups. One is a mystery group that meets at a local bookstore once a month. One chapter a month is too slow of a critique for me personally. I write faster than that. I do enjoy reading what everyone else has written, the critiques are honest and challenging, and I always come home recharged and ready to write.

The second is an online critique group made up of women who write erotic romances running the gamut of genres: Sci-fi, chick-lit, historical, suspense.

What I look for in a critque group is a sample audience. I try out my words on them, they tell me if it works or not for them, and then I go fix parts that I agree are wrong and hopefully make it better. I dont' expect everyone to like and admire every word I write. Heck, I know I write crap at times. But, I do expect them to be honest and tell me that it's crap. That whole feedback loop breaks down when no one gives an honest assessment (good or bad).

I'd say join, try one out, if it doesn't work for you, try another one.

Writing is such a lonely occupation at times that it's great to have a group of people sharing the same experience.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Researching Markets


I had no idea when I started researching a market for Crystal Clear that I would find such a huge selection of erotic romance e-book publishers!

I made my first publisher selection on short turnaround time, cover art (yeah, you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but. . . ), well-written excerpts, reviews, and the fact that I know several authors who publish with them. I'm hoping that they are as pleased with my submission as I was with finding them~

Now, if I could only find the time to read everything I've found of interest on their "shelves"-- I've purchased a few (my husband thinks they are for research, I haven't the heart to tell him they are for fun!) and hope to read them over the Christmas holidays.

So, what do you think? Are e-books here to stay or is it a passing fad like VHS tapes?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dreaming of snow. . .

Well, the weather here in Southern California is gorgeous, especially up in the high desert where it's warm enough for the neighborhood kids to play outside this afternoon.

I should be raking leaves. Instead, I'm thinking about snowflakes. I'm not talking about the white stuff here. . . I'm talking a paper and ink snowflake design of my new novel. (For more information about the snowflake design and how to use it, see

Here's the first flake of The Werewolf Whisperer:

A celebrity dog trainer takes on the ultimate challenge: to use her skills to tame the biggest dog of them all -- the werewolf.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Now Playing . . . The Waiting Game

My reader had just a few comments, so I incorporated them, ran the evil spell check & grammar check.

I tinkered with my cover letter all day yesterday until I destroyed it (talk about flat and lifeless), then put it back to its almost original state with only one change.

Then, with a deep breath, I pressed the submit button.

Now, on to my next ideas -- a spicy Regency mystery -- an idea originally submitted for the Avon Fanlit contest (and no, the characters names WILL NOT be Patience and Damien!) OR a paranormal romance starring a lone wolf (werewolf that is!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Story Behind The Story

Crystal Clear is a spicy romantic suspense.

Park Ling just met the woman of his dreams and didn’t even catch her name. Too bad, because now he suspects that she’s a serial killer’s next victim.

Park would never dream of poaching on another man’s girlfriend. So, when he meets the woman of his dreams in a Santa Clarissa sushi bar, he passes up the chance to even find out her name. It’s a situation he immediately regrets when he sees two dead women who resemble the woman he met. With an urgency Park hopes isn’t just raging hormones, he races to find her before the killer does.

Sexy psychic Serena Killian is a board-certified psychologist who threw away a six-figure salary to open a candle shop in Santa Clarissa. When her bank account took a nose dive, she began giving advice to her customers and found her calling as a life coach. Things are really looking up for Serena until she is hired by Tony Markham, a soap-opera star needing career advice. Unable to foresee Tony’s future, she has no trouble at all seeing her own death. Is the sexy stranger from her visions her lover or her killer?

I finished writing it earlier this week and have it out to my first reader. When the comments come back, I'll incorporate them and hit the submit button.

Making Mischief with Ericka Scott


I'm Ericka Scott - a romance writer. Stay tuned to this spot for breaking news about releases, contests, and more!