Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

I love this time of year. The after Christmas part. It makes me feel energized. Well, truthfully, this year, we’re having people over for New Year’s Eve. So guests equal cleaning. That’s not a complaint, but you know how we get. Sorta omg, is everything just right? Again. Didn’t we just do that last week?

Right now I’m thinking about 2011, what I was able to accomplish, and what I wasn’t. One of the things I didn’t do was set hard and fast concrete goals. Especially for my writing. Thus I watched the days and weeks blow by while doing something else. Something that was just as important I’m sure, as keeping my dream alive.

Really? Where’s that little ‘I call bullshit’ icon when you need it. I’ve been reading a lot lately about how goals should just be generalized because we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. Well, there’s hard, and then there’s HARD.

Hard (meaning difficult, uncomfortable, or just what you really don’t want to do) is when you give up your favorite television show to write that fourth chapter whose beginning just escapes you because can’t figure out where to start it. Hard is when you get up early, or stay up late to write, because it’s necessary to your happy existence. Hard is when you spend your lunch hour writing, instead of going out for burgers or shopping.

And then there’s HARD. Really, truly, gut wrenching, life-changing HARD. HARD is when your spouse serves in the military, and you have to serve right along with them because they have a dangerous job, and you keep the home fires burning without them, every day. HARD is not having enough food to eat. HARD is losing a loved one. HARD is being homeless. Really homeless, like living on the street, or in your car.

See the difference?

I’m not really a resolutions kind of gal, but this coming year I will set goals. And the first one is not to whine about how ‘Hard’ my life is. I know people in all of those situations who’ve got it HARD. There are times when my life has been HARD. And I’m incredibly grateful that my life isn’t that way right now.

We’re all crazy busy most of the time. Yet we manage to make time for things that are important to us. And we’ll happily or maybe not so much, let the rest slide. I’m going to spend the weekend thinking about my concrete goals for 2012.

Once I get them on paper, I’ll let you know what they are. And you can follow along and see if I do better with concrete goals than rather nebulous ones. At this point I have to say that I truly do admire people who can use nebulous goals and be successful. That must be awesome. Truly. It just doesn’t work for me. Thankfully, we can always change our strategy.

It’s with that thought in mind, that I’ll raise a glass of bubbly over the weekend, and be thankful for all of my writing friends and fans, who inspire me to be a better person. I didn’t say a softer one, but truly, a better one.

Wishing each of you a Happy New Year. And may it be the best one ever!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Writing Contest

The First Annual Lyrical Press How Lyrical is Your Romance? Contest opens on Monday, January 16th. This contest is open to both published and unpublished authors.Entries must be complete works, ranging in word count between 15,000-100,000 words, any heat level, and fit into one of the following subgenre categories:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Historical romance
  • Paranormal or urban fantasy romance
  • Romantic steampunk
  • Romantic Suspense


1st Place: $200 advance and digital publishing contract (advance payable as $100 upon finalized contract and $100 upon publication).

2nd Place: $100 advance and digital publishing contract (advance payable as $50 upon finalized contract and $50 upon publication).

3rd Place: Top-scoring contestant in each genre category will receive an acquiring editor’s critique of synopsis and first 50 pages of manuscript.


File type: .rtf, .doc, or .docx only

12pt black font (Times New Roman, Cambria, Courier or Georgia preferred)

Line spacing: 1.5

Margins: 1" all

Page-breaks between chapters

Please include a title page listing the following information:

Legal name

Pen name

Email address

Contact phone

Working title (include series name and details if applicable)

Word count


Entries will be accepted from January 16, 2012 through February 5, 2012, and must be emailed to Entries sent to an email other than the aforementioned will be ignored. Please include book title and contest in subject line thusly: Booktitle – How Lyrical Is Your Romance?. Attach full manuscript, and 2-5 page synopsis in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format (Booktitle_MS and Booktitle_SYN as file names--your book title replaces “Booktitle”). After February 5, the contest will close, but we’ll still be accepting submissions as always at our submissions@lyricalpress.comaddress.

No entry fee required. Judges reserve the right to Decline to Judge any entry if it does not fit our lines, level of writing is not acceptable, or submission guidelines are not followed.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Hook, Pacing/Plot, Characterization, Dialogue, Mechanics, and Author Voice.

Winners will be announced on March 12, 2012 via our blog direct emails to winners.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Guest Author Autumn Piper

Hey everyone. Today's guest is my fabulous friend and awesome author, Autumn Piper. She's one of the authors celebrating the Christmas Bash with Lyrical Press. (*waves* Merry Christmas, Autumn!) Without further ado, here's our guest.

With a little help from our friends.

Who among us doesn’t need friends? I know I do—and claim some top-notch, world class best as my own. (Sutton Fox included. Merry Christmas, Sutton!)
I think characters need friends, too. And those friends can influence how a character thinks, feels, acts. Sometimes in positive ways, and others… Well, we don’t need a lesson in peer pressure.

I love secondary characters—reading them and writing them. For me, they make the story whole and give us another look at how our characters act/react in different social situations. And my characters always, always have friends, to use as sounding boards, to lean on, to party with and forget their troubles, get razzed by, to celebrate the good times with.

In Waiting for Revenge, my lead character Mandy is pushed, pulled, influenced, tempted, and goaded by various other characters. Poor Mandy gets Advice Overload. She’s in a tough spot trying to decide what to do about her wayward—though not wholly bad—husband. (As if the holidays don’t come with enough hassles already, right?) Though she strives to keep her predicament private, someone else is always finding out about her troubles. Her great aunt gives her pretty stern advice and tells her to take her husband to task, her big brother thinks she should leave him immediately, and his wife proves herself a First Class Girlfriend as well. Her son, who above all else she tries to shelter, guesses something is up and wants to protect her, her marriage counselor advocates revenge… And above all, her heart tells her she’s over her marriage and moved on, but she just can’t get past fear and guilt to welcome in those new feelings for someone else. She’s in a real quandary, and unfortunately for Mandy, the more she discusses her situation with other characters, the deeper her confusion (something of a Quagmire of Indecision).

As we all do, she eventually figures out what’s best for her kids and herself, and goes for it, with a few bumps along the way. She gets her happy ending, survives her ordeal, and provides the reader with a few laughs along the way (and a few emotional patches, too, though it’s not a gut-wrenching, sad story)…and her friends are by her side at the end just like they were in the beginning. Just like true friends should be.

Here’s a link for the book trailer:

And the book’s page on the LPI site: (currently on sale for .69)


One good heartbreak deserves another.

Mandy plans to leave her husband the minute their month of counseling is over. How can she forgive his outrageous affair? It would almost be funny if the consequences weren't so harsh. They've got kids, and families with strong -- and warped -- opinions on marriage.

Her aunt thinks she should take a page from the black widow spider. Her brother's begging to avenge her broken heart, and their marriage counselor offers to play the willing victim in some payback sex.

While her clueless husband launches a campaign to win her back, Mandy meets Adam, the perfect shoulder to cry on. Will perfect justice prove just how sweet revenge can be when you wait for it?

Content Warning: Real people aren't all good or all bad. Neither are the characters in this story. The shade of right or wrong you see may depend upon whose glasses you are looking through.

If you're looking for a great read this holiday season, or anytime for that matter, you should give this story a try. I've read it, and highly recommend it. It's got engaging characters, an emotionally gripping plot we can all relate to, and hot romance. But don't think it's a sad story, Ms. Piper has crafted a story filled with her sharp wit, touching scenes, and enough humor to keep you turning the pages. What's not to love?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Reading

Our regularly scheduled programming has been cancelled due to conflicting schedules. Those things happen. We'll try to get Ms. Selwyn to guest another day.

In lieu of guests, don't forget about the Twelve Days of Christmas.

The Passionate Critters are posting a great short free read every day.

Lyrical Press has fourteen authors celebrating their Christmas Bash with books that are 30% off.

Don't miss out on the fun!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Traditions at Ericka Scott’s House

Don't you just love Christmas traditions? I do. Without further ado, here's fabulous author, Ericka Scott to talk about hers.

Around the Scott household, the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas all seem to be jam-packed with Christmas parties and family get-togethers. Some years, we have too many to fit into two short days. Over the last couple of years, I’ve let activities crowd out some of our most memorable traditions. Not this year.

This year, we’re having a real tree which we’ll decorate to the strains of NSync’s Christmas album (it’s tradition, you know). Then, we’ll gather around the fireplace to light our Yule log and eat sugar cookies we made to distribute to the neighbors as gifts.

These cookies are, in our eyes, masterpieces. No, they aren’t those gorgeous things you see in bakery windows, but have the quirks that our family is known by. We decorate Christmas fish, only one of which is given three eyes and made especially for our friend, Jon. There are some traditional shapes, stars and Santas, but you are just as likely to find rocket ships amongst the Christmas trees, a T-Rex waiting to devour the red and green bunnies, and there is always a haunted church cookie -- complete with sugar black bats in the belfry.

Given the oddities of our family, I guess it’s no surprise to find that my holiday tales aren’t full of Christmas cheer, instead they tout titles like A Christmas Curse, which can be found in the ‘Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas Anthology ( and my latest, Tidings of Fear ( I guess I enjoy making readers shiver from more than just the cold.

A psychic, a skeptic, and a serial killer…

Psychic Lia Morgan sees portents all around her. Although estranged from her family, she joins the search for her missing sister. A simple case gets complicated fast when she discovers her sister’s plethora of secrets includes a son.

Professor Jared Trimble’s world has no room for paranormal mumbo-jumbo. When asked to consult on a case involving a series of crossword puzzles, he’s conflicted. Is he a suspect, or an investigator?

While Lia uses her physic gift and follows signs, Jared uses his wits and experience. When the two collide, passions flare and the final clue brings them both into the bull’s-eye of a serial killer’s target.



“Hello?” she called. A creak sounded from above and a trickle of discomfort slid down her spine. She pulled out her key chain, from which hung a small canister of mace. Another creak made her jump.

“Hello?” she called again. Taking a deep breath, she strode purposefully into the house and found herself in a small living room. Lia glimpsed a small alcove off to the side and expected to find a small dining area, or perhaps an attached office.

Her breath caught in her throat as she walked into another large living room and straight into the past. Positioned under the window were the couch and loveseat she remembered from growing up. A recliner sat in the corner, a newspaper already opened to the comics on the seat.

She shivered. A tall enclosed bookcase, the one that had resided in Lia’s bedroom, stood next to the window. If she stepped closer, she knew she’d recognize every title on its shelves.

A small wooden rocking chair sat next to the recliner. A Raggedy Ann doll vied for seat space with her twin, Raggedy Andy.

“Oh, God,” Lia said. The memorial to her family should have been macabre. Instead, it brought tears to her eyes. Even the antique desk her sister, Sylvie, had thrown a fit to own and then despised when computers became popular and her father wouldn’t let her buy a more functional desk had a place in the room. A smile tugged at the corner of Lia’s mouth.

She could almost hear Sylvie’s famous whine, “But, Dad…”

As memories flooded her mind, she had to blink back a sudden rush of tears. She took a step back, turned and nearly ran back to the hallway. A light dimmed and brightened in another room. Lia didn’t need to count the pulses to know there would be eight.

A short walk found her in the kitchen. The stainless steel appliances sparkled and even the floor seemed to have been freshly waxed. She wished her kitchen looked this good. A towering pile of newspapers indicated they were sisters, after all. The stack teetered on the corner of the kitchen table. All of them were opened and folded to reveal the crossword puzzle.

Had Sylvie left these here? She couldn’t remember her sister having a penchant for crosswords, but she obviously didn’t know Sylvie as well as she’d thought.

Or had someone else brought these in and put them there?

Speaking of which, where was her sister?

She headed upstairs, calling as she went. Just as empty as downstairs. And just as neat. A small blue plastic item on the floor of her sister’s office appeared to be the only thing out of place.

Lia scooped it up. A thumb drive. She went to put it on the desk when a loud creak sounded behind her. She shoved it into her pocket and fumbled for her keys.

Heavy footsteps approached up the stairs.

Lia turned as a shadow fell across the doorway.


Check out the Free Reads Page on my website in December for our infamous sugar cookie recipe (it contains eggnog) and also one for a decadent chocolate Yule log (yum).

And yes, Virginia, there were once camels in California…

Ericka Scott is a multi-published, bestselling author of seductive suspense. She's written stories for as long as she can remember and reads anything under the sun (including the back of cereal boxes in a pinch). She got hooked on romantic suspense in her college days, when reading anything but a textbook was a guilty pleasure. Now, when she’s not chauffeuring children around, wishing she had a maid, or lurking at the library, she’s spinning her own web of fantasy and penning tales of seduction and suspense. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.

Get a behind the scenes look at her writing and zany family on her blog at

She also loves friends, so come friend her at

She's also on Facebook at and Twitter @ErickaScott

You can find out more about her books at

Thanks for being with us today, Ericka. We wish you much success with your books!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Great Free Reads

Here’s something to help get you in the holiday spirit. Or keep you there if you’re waiting in line.

Come join the Twelve Days of Christmas with the fantastic ladies of The Passionate Critters. They’ve written short Christmas stories for their blog. Starting today, they’ll post a new one every day for your reading pleasure.

 I’ve been fortunate enough to read most of them, and let me tell you, they rock!

The Passionate Critters

Don’t miss out on the fun!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Last Minute Gifts

If you’re like me, your evil day job has put you behind on all the holiday duties you should be doing. Like decorating, baking, sending cards, and shopping. Shopping, nope, I haven’t even started yet. Today will be my first foray into getting the perfect gift.

It’s wonderful to get the gift that’s just right for someone you care about. There’s really nothing better than watching the emotions cross their face as they unwrap something that’s special to them.

I’m doing things a little differently this year though. When I go out today, I’ll be shopping with a purpose. And that purpose is to make a concerted effort to shop locally. I’m either going to buy gifts that help a local charity, or shop at local merchants because they need help just like the rest of us. What better way to buy American than to do it in your own back yard. And help your own community in the process.

Not that malls aren’t great. But small town merchants need love too.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Holly

Due to a cancellation in our regularly scheduled programming, I came up with a last minute solution. I would be remiss in my duties as author if I went the entire holiday season without mentioning the reason for the shiny EPIC finalist badge on this blog.

If you like short stories, you may want to check this one out. In light of the holiday season, I'll give away a copy to one lucky commenter.

So without further ado, here's Christmas Holly.

Young, beautiful, and certain of her future, Holly Clark fully expected to have a wonderful time attending her mother’s annual Christmas Eve bash. The one thing she didn’t expect—was her own untimely death.

Gallery owner and world renowned artist, Greg Marshall is desperate to relive his past. Until he receives a startling visit from a woman he believed to be the love of his life. Her sudden appearance has the power to change everything.

Love doesn’t mean what it used to. Can the past really affect the future, or can the future transform the past?

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming starting on Monday. Have a great weekend, everyone!