about erica

I teach preschool to children who belong to someone else along with teaching lots to my own boys, who are my captive audience for at least several more years.

I write YA and MG. In first person, if you haven't noticed a trend yet.
I met Christy and we're about to making blogging history.
I wish my real life was as exciting as my virtual one.

Come on over, join us, sit a spell, have a drink, and

What inspires your writing?
 For me, erica, it's THE SHOWER! It's the only place where I can go to be alone and hear my own thoughts.

I have written my whole life - I have notebooks (the paper kind, remember them?) full of first lines, plot ideas, short stories, and novel beginnings. But it wasn't until Lincoln ("the boy" from my YA romance, A New Day) started whispering to me that I was able to finish what I think is a really great book.

umm...I probably shouldn't admit that teenage boys whisper to me in the shower...I'm sure his eyes were closed...on to a new topic (jeesh)

I am currently writing Coyote Hotel, an MG ghost story inspired by my parent's bed and breakfast.

Here are two teasers from my novels A New Day (completed) and Coyote Hotel (WIP).

This is the moment when my mc, Kenz, first meets Lincoln at her mom's housewarming party. And love is born :)

"Shut up you stupid scale. And stay in the closet where you belong," I muttered. Anxious to be far away from the mirror, I hurried out of the bathroom - and right into the shoulder of someone walking past.

Hands caught me by the waist and turned me around, so we were facing each other and sort-of hugging. Part of my brain was able to register what he looked like (amazing) while the rest of me searched for an escape route (none). I should've known the first time a hot guy showed up, I'd be in the bathroom.

"Well, there you are, McKenzie," my mom said, coming around the corner with another couple trailing her. I shrugged his hand off me and tried to look professional, even if this guy had already pegged me for a lunatic. His casual shorts and t-shirt made me feel uncomfortable and dressed-up, which was totally not the look I had been going for. And why was he still standing there, anyway?

"This is Mr. and Mrs. James. You remember Mr. James, the broker who's helping me get started at the firm?”

I nodded, frozen to my spot with four sets of eyes on me.

“They also own the bookstore in Plains, where I'm sure you'll be spending a lot of time.” She smiled at the woman and I had a bad feeling anything about to be said had no chance to improve my social life. “McKenzie loves to read. If I can't find her, I follow the trail of books and there she is."

Really, Mom? Now?

Mrs. James smiled back and put her hand on the mysterious stranger’s shoulder. He was obviously their son. This was so not like what I spent a lot of time picturing over the past couple nights. I was totally unprepared. Plus, my head kept nodding up and down like I was agreeing with whatever they were talking about. I stood still, plastered my usual smile on my face, and tried to listen. Oh no, now Mom looked like she was going to talk to him.

"Maybe you and Kenz could discuss the most popular books at the store these days. She insists on wasting her time reading horrifying vampire books over and over."

Oh my God it's getting worse. I imagined meeting people from town who were strange and awkward at this party. Now that described me. Not to mention I was trapped in the bathroom doorway. Awesome.

Okay, one more. First draft-version of my uncompleted Coyote Hotel, about a boy who lives in a haunted bed-and-breakfast and is taking his friend Jed in to see the ghosts and solve a mystery.

"Kaleb, who do you think will be in there? I mean, I figure it isn't Coyote, since we aren't all excited and stuff, but we need one that talks. Or we won't figure anything out."

I put the key in the lock and turned it. "Let's go find out," I said, swinging the door open. If he wasn't going to be nervous, I wouldn't be, either. Or at least not let him know it.

We took a step in at the same moment and I turned to shut it. I turned back slowly, my breath stuck in my chest like a lump of chicken.


Well, not nothing. A bed up against the wall, a dresser with a mirror next to the closet door. A coat stand in the corner. More dust than what was in our entire house covered the room, a result of my parent's never giving it a second thought.

"Maybe things are still the same and Coyote just turned out to be in a really nasty mood with that group. If something was super wrong, your parents would start to notice. I mean, remember last summer when they started asking you why you liked the storage closet so much? They know there's something here and if it's bad, they would notice, right?"

The dude was starting to freak out on me, even with nothing here. He talked so fast I could hardly make out the words. His forehead was actually sweating. It had been an act before - him pretending not to be nervous.

"Maybe those kids, like, they made it up or something, even. You know, it was the barking dog again or even that nice lab that tries to lick you once in a while and then one of them got nervous and scratched her or maybe even she scratched herself and then got embarrassed and the big kid wanted to steal your money and they hit you, but then that other lady from across the hall heard it happen and they had to run and then."

And then he stopped. He didn't trail off, like in the book Aunt Becky wrote. He stopped everything. Talking. Blinking. Moving. Sweating.

Actually, one part of him moved. His arms hung at his sides and my eyes caught one finger slowly make its way up. He was pointing toward the back of the room, by the dresser. Jed knew what we were here to do, had even been here before. Whatever made him clam up like that wasn't necessarily something I wanted to come face-to-face with.