We would like to interrupt this looong pause from blogging to let you all know that we hope you had a blessed Christmas and that your new year will be merry, bright, and full of delicious books.  Happy Holidays!!!  Shortly, we will post our 2013 reads post!!!  Since we did very little blogging, our list should be long, right?  You'll just have to wait to find out. 

~erica and christy



I am excited to share in the cover reveal for Rachel Morgan's final book in her Creepy Hollow Trilogy.  Her book will be out this fall and I can't wait--I mean CAN'T WAIT--to read it.  Though, coming to an end of a trilogy is always bittersweet.  It's sad to part with characters who will be busy living their ever after without my viewing pleasure!

Without further adieu, here is the cover for THE FAERIE WAR. 

The fate of the faerie world is in her hands...

Title: The Faerie War
Series: Creepy Hollow, Book Three
Author: Rachel Morgan
Cover Designer: Morgan Media
Publication Date: Oct 2013

If you haven't read the first two books in the trilogy, YOU MUST.   Go here to purchase THE FAERIE GUARDIAN and here to purchase THE FAERIE PRINCE.  Go here to meet and get to know the amazingly talented and sweet RACHEL MORGAN.


What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk that's geared toward readers and writers. To join in the fun, add your name to the list.

What I'm Reading

I'm on vacation again this week.  Not still, but again. 
Last week we went on vacation with my parents.  This week we are on vacation with my husband's mom, five siblings and their families. 
There are 18 of us, two cabins, two bathrooms, six double beds.  There are lots of ants and lots of gnats.  My oldest son is not thrilled with the bugs.  I have not been a good influence on him.  He thinks the place is gross and is looking forward to going home.  Part of my can't blame him.  Two full weeks away from home is hard.  Fun, but hard at times. 
Most of those hard times (for me, not him) have been at my youngest son's nap and bed times (We have three sons.)  He's one and he's NOT going down well.  At home, naps are easy and very scheduled (not because I want I want them to be, but because that's what he needs and is ready for on his own every day).  That is NOT the way it's working out these two weeks away....
I feel like I'm leaving Middle Child out.  He's been eating really well here.  It was not the case at home. He just had tubes put in his ears and he's been very responsible about wearing his ear plugs and head band.
Oh, was this section supposed to be about a book?
What I'm Writing


 I've written 6k since last week's post! I'm 20k in!  I wanted to write another 10k this week, but I think I was aiming high.  Unless I can write TONS after we get home Saturday....There's a chance! 

What Inspires Me Right Now

I've been thinking up my best scenes when I'm running. As long as I can  hit the laptop shortly after, then the words are  not lost.

What Else I've Been Up To

 Er.  Whoops.  Already talked about this up there.  On vacation.  Swatting at gnats.  Being a crabby parent.  Avoiding ants with my bare feet.  Swimming. Praying there are no bed bugs.  Smiling. 
Ready. Set. Write.

I'm not officially participating, but I'd really love to write  at least 10k per week to finish my novel's first draft in the next two weeks. (I aim for 40k for the first draft and usually add 10-15k during revisions.)
Okay, I'll fess up.  I want it to be ready for WOC.  In a month.  I know, I know.  That's bad.  I'm rushing.  I'm breaking rules. 
I want to have the draft done and to edit revise my first 50 and to have a couple of betas have at it too.  Wishful thinking?



First Sentence Critique

Miss Snark is hosting a first sentence critique today.  Unfinished manuscripts were allowed.  So even though nobody has ever read my WIP, and I'm only 15k in, I entered.  I've never been good at beginnings, and I think my first sentence would be better with the second attached to it, or maybe the first page...we'll see what critters think.  (I'm sure it is too vague, and lacks voice, but ah well.  It is what it is!)

The posted sentences will get a YES or a NO along with a brief explanation as to WHY.  Feel free to head over and critique the 50 entrants that got in (lottery-style).

Or you can just crit it in my comments:


Happiness is so many things.


Happiness is so many things.
It isn’t this.

FIRST PAGE  (I've really never, ever rocked a beginning, so crit away or smile and keep your opinions to yourself, since this is a complete rough draft.)

Happiness is so many things.


            It isn’t this.

            It isn’t blue skies with a backdrop of bluffs.

            It isn’t twittering birds flying over this God-forsaken town.

            It isn’t 600 kids of whom five-ish know my name.

            It isn’t a mom who cries in her sleep, or having a boyfriend without kisses, or passing a chemistry exam when I started the same course last semester

            somewhere else.

            Somewhere where blue skies

            and robins

            and friends meant I was happy.

            A place where my mom was with my dad and he was with me and we smiled and hugged.

            A place that was




            The door slams when I rush into the kitchen where Mom is at the stove.  I stop, confused.  She doesn’t turn and for three seconds I wonder who this woman is and what she did with my mother.

            “What, what are you doing?” I ask.

            She turns and smiles.  She actually smiles.  “Making spaghetti.”

            When I don’t speak or move or breathe because I am afraid of this moment, afraid maybe that if I move I will smash it into kazillion teardrops, she says, “Doesn’t spaghetti sound marvelous?”

            It does.  I can’t believe it but it does.  I bring my backpack to the room I am using to sleep in and do homework in and hurry back to the kitchen.  I take out milk and find French bread on the counter.  I slice it up with a bread knife that has never been used and spread butter and sprinkle garlic and find parmesan cheese to grate.  Mom hands me a baking sheet, and she is


            I am looking at her again and examining her hair—did she cut it?  Her eyelashes are wearing mascara and it is not smudged black underneath her eyes.



What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk that's geared toward readers and writers. To join in the fun, add your name to the list.

What I'm Reading

This is terrible.  I'm currently between reads.  I finished MIND GAMES by Kiersten White and I bought THE LINCOLN LAWYER for $2.99 and then I went on vacation.  Normally, you'd think of vacation as the perfect time to read, right?  Not this week.  I am with my parents, husband and three kids.  Did I mention three kids? That's why I'm not reading this week. 

That, and FRIENDS has been on late every night....one episode after another.  I've been busy laughing.  Remember when Ross went on a date wearing leather pants and couldn't get them back on after taking them off to cool down?  Remember when Rachel wanted a bunny cake for Emma's first birthday party, but ended up with a penis cake instead?  Remember when Ross applied for a grant but had to go through his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend to get it?  Remember when Rachel couldn't gossip, but found out Monica and Chandler were secretly dating?

Oh, yeah.

What I'm Writing


I'm 14k in. 

It's emotional and that's how I'm writing it.  My characters don't think in complete sentences.  Sometimes they don't use periods.  Sometimes their thoughts ramble and come out in run-on and run-on and run-on sentences.  Sometimes they pause

and words continue on a different line than the one they started on.

Sometimes my characters get stuck on a thought and can't stop thinking it and they repeat, repeat, repeat.

My novel might not be clean.  It might not be correct.  But it is emotional.

What Inspires Me Right Now

You.  Anyone out there who is writing every day.

What Else I've Been Up To

I'm in Door County, WI on vacation.  I run every other day.  Outside.  At home I run inside.  I am trying not to be afraid of the birds on the telephone wires.  I've been playing tennis with my seven-year-old and my five-year-old.  We went kayaking yesterday and got stuck in the middle of the lake.  Waves kept pushing us out farther and farther.  50 minutes of hard-core paddling got us back to the beach we started at. Ow.  My arms are SORE today.  We've taken walks.  We went to Wilson's for ice cream and played at the park.  We've built moats in the sand and collected sea shells.

Ready. Set. Write.

I'm not officially participating, but I'd really love to write  at least 1k per day and finish  my novel in two weeks.  (Which would require about 1.5 k per day.)


(WIP) Cover Reveal

I'm on vacation.  I have pictures to share with you, but they are not handy at this hour.  Instead, I'll share a different image.  (And I'll save the pics for a different day.)

The night before I left home, I started researching how to create a cover for a book in case I ever wanted to self-publish one.  (And for fun because I love photography and playing around with design.)  However, I had no idea what a stock image was.  I don't have Photoshop.  I didn't know how to add text to an image.  So, after finding a couple of resources, I spent a quarter of an hour creating my first cover for my WIP.  Here it is....

My first-ever try at creating a book cover. 

The original photo was this:

It's amazing all the fun options out there for photo editing.  I used foto flexer since I don't have Photoshop.  Check it out!

I'm currently 14k into this WIP and so badly wanted to be 35k into it at this point.  So, instead of digging up vacation pictures and linking to resources to help you in case you're interested in creating book covers, I'm going to go and write (while my family sleeps).  BUT, I'll be back another day to share all of these things with you.  Until then...write, read and enjoy  life!



What's Up Wednesday

I visited my friend Kari Marie White's blog Writing by Heart and learned about What's Up Wednesday.  I decided to give it a go this week.

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk that's geared toward readers and writers. To join in the fun, add your name to the list.

What I'm Reading

MIND GAMESI just started reading MIND GAMES by Kiersten White. 

The other day I visited her blog and found that it was on sale for $2.99.  I'd enjoyed her PARANORMALCY trilogy and I'd just finished THE FAERIE PRINCE by Rachel Morgan, so I was in need of a midnight read (I was staying up late to celebrate the end of the school year---I'm a teacher.)

What I'm Writing

A new work in progress about a small group of teens and the issues they each deal with in their lives.  Some of their issues stem from, or become more complicated by, miscommunication.  They will need to learn, or not, that assumptions and not asking questions will cause them more heartbreak.

What Inspires Me Right Now

The novel I'm writing uses two of the same characters I created for a different novel, one that I finished two summers ago.  The rest of the characters and the old plot are gone--very necessarily.  I'm excited to say that I think this is the novel I've always wanted to write.  It's a little deeper than anything else I've written and I'm not worrying so much about "plot" as I am "story" and "emotion". 

Books that have a more poetic writing style (such as Tahereh Mafi's SHATTER ME, Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER and Jandy Nelson's THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE) fuel the emotional way my words are typing themselves out.  I've also been inspired by the two POV and story in Chelsea Fine's SOPHIE AND CARTER.)

What Else I've Been Up To
-Cleaning my classroom for the summer cleaning crew and for Vacation Bible School use.

-T-ball, machine pitch, soccer (my two oldest boys play, not me)

-Getting ready for two weeks of vacation:  one week with my parents, one week with my husband's mom and four siblings and their families)

-Laundry, cleaning, feeding children, bathing children

-Playing in the sandbox

-Making sure my one-year-old doesn't break an arm when he's climbing up the play set to go down the slide since he thinks he's three.

-Running and trying to get some strength training in

-Using Essential Oils for the first time.

-Stalking Indie authors and wondering how to create a cover for a book.  Investigating options for Photoshop and wondering how the heck to find a stock photo and upload it and add text and size it right...NOT that I'm going Indie, but just because I want to create these cool graphic images.

AAAAAnnnnd...that's that!

I'm not participating in Ready. Set. Write, but my writing goal has been to get 1k in per day to finish this draft by the end of June.  However, even though I was clipping along, a week of final grading and report cards threw  me off my sprint.  I haven't caught up.  Yet.  My goal is my goal even when I'm falling behind.

Best of luck to you with finding quiet reading time and writing time this week!  (Even if you lose your writing inspiration, try to write through it. You can always delete later. Chances are, you'll gain momentum and something you write will trigger a new muse!)



considerations, such as traditional publishing or going indie

Though I haven't been around the blogosphere much lately, I've noticed that quite a few of the writing bloggers who got started around the same time as Erica and me have gone indie.

I'm so intrigued.
And so impressed.

And yet I'm wondering if it's worth it.  (For me.)

I know that the novel I'm working on right now will be queried.  I'll try to get it an agent who will try to get it a publisher who will try to find it many readers.


I can't help but wonder.

About $$$$.

I quit a better paying job last summer to take a (much) lower-income job doing the same thing (teaching).  I'm closer to home.  I'm literally with my family (I teach at their school). I teach my faith (It's a Catholic school--hence less pay.) I'm happier.  So I would love to make money writing.

This leads my wondering mind to wondering whether selling fewer copies indie (not that that's always the case) because I feel like I'd reach fewer people (I'm nowhere near the business woman I'd need to be --yet--to sell big) would make more money than giving away a larger percentage of money to all the people who take a cut for traditional publishing. 

(It kind of drives me crazy to think that I would make a teensy tiny itsy miniscule amount of money for a book that I spent hours on.)

I'm wondering if I'd have what it took to put the time into researching and creating and dreaming and everything else to self-pub and self-market completely solo. Or would it be worth it to pay someone else to do some of that for me?  Would it make more sense for me to focus on the writing part and pay someone to save me time?

I think I'd LOVE to make my own cover art and do the formatting and create swag and a new web page and ALL of that, but I also know that that would take me SO much time.  And, I can be honest with myself, I don't have that.  I am a mom with three kids whose teaching job takes all my school year time and a lot of my summer time, plus I try to run/workout on a daily basis and I can barely squeeze in an hour a day to WRITE much less do anything else.  Even now I'm taking 20 min (ish) to write this post and that's out of novel-writing time.  (My baby is napping and I'm sure he'll wake up any minute.  Then it's off to pick up the dog from the groomer, pick up the ceramics we made at THE FIRE, off to finish packing up the classroom and THEN to the zoo since I just promised my older kids.  And there's t-ball tonight.)

But I'd love to make it all mine.  I'd love to get up in the morning and hop online and see how my book is selling and being rated and to collect some extra money (since I want to buy a travel trailer and a permanent camping site and hubby says no unless I get a second job--hey, hey, writing!)

Help me out.  What are your plans for your writing?  What have you done already?  Most importantly, WHY?  Why did you/didn't you/won't you/will you go indie? 

I love the idea of selling indie novellas.  To see what happens.

Maybe some day.

For now, Erica and I will put finishing revisions and edits on our co-novel (we had to take a break from it to get to the end of the school year) and we will query it.  I will get farther than the 12k I'm at on my latest WIP.

But I'll continue to research and stalk you all and consider.

Hopefully we'll have a post or two here along the way as well.

We'll visit you!



absolutely 100% invested

Whether I'm writing or running or mothering or teaching or cleaning or complaining, I'm 100 percent invested in whatever it is I'm doing at that moment.  And having that many things going on at once makes me 1000% exhausted.


The lack of blog postage postingage posts.

But, now that the teacher part of me can sleep for a few weeks, I can spare some time for the writer part of me, or more specifically, the social writer part of me. READ:  you guys.

ALSO, I've been writing, some, these past few weeks.  In fact, in one week alone I got 10k into a brand new novel. 

This is the one, folks!


Also, I've been reading.  Most recently, I read THE FAERIE PRINCE by Rachel Morgan, an Indie author who has done it all completely right.  The novel?  It's the second in a trilogy.  It's paranormal.   It's romance.  It's kick-ass, hard-core, girl making her way to the top.  Rachel has also started her own media company to help out other authors who decide to go Indie.  You must read THE FAERIE GUARDIAN and THE FAERIE PRINCE.  And you must check out her new company (Morgan Media) to see the beautiful images she can create and services she can offer.

Since it's summer, I'm getting ready for Write On Con coming up in August.  I'm hoping to have THE NOVEL done by the end of June so it can be edited and revised and ready for WOC.  Shh. Don't tell me there are rules about letting it sleep for six months.  Rules schmools when it's the one, right? 



Since you probably forgot all about us way over here, I'll make my way around your blogs to catch up!!!

Miss you.




Can words help you sleep?

I missed a few days weeks of sharing some of my favorite quotes with you.  April's not over yet and I am awake in the middle of the night with things on my mind, so what better way to ease myself back into a deep slumber than to read some soothing, romantic words?  In case you are having a night of insomnia too, I'll post this now, at 3 AM.

I feel in love with this author and her writing when I read THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE a few years ago.

“When he plays
all the flowers swap colors
and years and decades and centuries
of rain pour back into the sky”

― Jandy Nelson, The Sky Is Everywhere

What better way to try to fall asleep than to read a children's picture book?

"I love you to the moon--and back." by Sam McBratney, Guess How Much I Love You

If not, do you have any advice for me?  What do you do on nights when you're stressed or have too much on your mind and wake up in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep?


This Thing We Do

So this month, in the midst of editing most of TTM and rewriting parts of it, Christy and I decided to start blogging again.

Um, yeah, sounds like we could use some inspirational writing quotes! Do you? Here you go! (all quotes taken from Goodreads)

“Sometimes a writer, like an acrobat, must try a trick that is too much for him.” -E.B. White

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” -Madeleine L'Engle

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” -Robert Frost

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” -W. Somerset Maugham

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard.” -Neil Gaiman

And THIS just because it will make you feel good.

Have a happy weekend!


My First Love

No, not that kind of first love. Although that does make for an interesting and at-the-time-cry-my-eyes-out-tragic kind of story. . .but no, not that. I (erica) might be a 37-year-old mother of two, but I still love Contemporary YA, particularly those that include less awkward first romances than mine was. Hey, you guys are writers, you know what I'm talking about, right?

So, today, I bring you some quotes by one of my favorites. . .Sarah Dessen. And if you haven't read anything by her - what are you waiting for? I suggest starting with The Truth About Forever. Or Just Listen. Or maybe Along for the Ride. Or. . .never mind, just go read her! (all quotes taken from Goodreads) And in the comments, let me know if you save quotes. It's super easy on my Kindle, I just don't think of it as I go!

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.” (Someone Like You)

“It's all in the view. That's what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count.”  (The Truth About Forever)

“You should never be surprised when someone treats you with respect, you should expect it.” (Keeping the Moon)

"...the bottom line is, what defines you isn't how many times you crash, but the number of times you get back on the bike. As long as it's one more, you're all good." (Along for the Ride)

“It was like when you're a little kid and you run into your teacher or librarian at the grocery store or Wal-mart and it's just so startling, because it never occurred to you they existed outside of school.”  (Just Listen)  (and I HAD to include that one because as teachers, christy and I know it's true!)


The Book I Read in One Day

GUYS!! Who among you has walken down the dark, dark road that is the Gone series by Michael Grant? I (erica) discovered it when the first book, appropriately entitled Gone, went to paperback and was on display at the store we used to call Borders.

Then I read the next one. And the next-next one. And. . .well, it's a six book series. Yesterday I read all 432 pages of the last book, Light. Yes, yesterday as in all in one day. I even manged to feed my family a couple of times in the meantime.

Light (Gone, #6)
If you haven't read the series, I'll warn you now, it's dark (I'll refer you to the second sentence of this pseudo-review). I mean, the TITLES are even dark - Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, and Fear are the first five. From the first book in the series to the last, many kids die. Including babies and toddlers. Even including main characters. Many of them are killed by the same kids they used to sit next to in school. Almost everyone becomes some kind of a criminal. There's torture and alcoholism and sex, all in a world where no one over the age of 15 exists.
So, anyway, christy and I are doing quotes this month. Here are a few from the series - let me know in the comments if you've read any of them and especially if you've finished Light!
(all quotes taken from Goodreads)
“You can't be trapped by other people, you can only be trapped by your own fear. Defy and win.” (Hunger)
“Superpowers, don't always make you a superhero." - Duck  (Hunger)
“Ninth graders with machine guns: its hard to make that a happy story.”  (Gone)
“Dekka laughed... "Sam: you're still the leader. You're always going to be the leader. It's not something you choose: it's something you are.”  (Plague)
“Sam’s probably out there somewhere being his usual heroic self,” Caine said. “I can’t let that boy save the world all alone. I’d never live it down.”  (Light)
“It's a good thing to read a lot. It's a good thing to write a lot. The best thing to do is to live a lot. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Make a fool of yourself. Watch other people make fools of themselves. Believe something stupid and then realize you've been tricked. Feel embarrassed. Be brave and bold. Then be cowardly and pathetic. Give a damn about the world outside yourself. Have some very dark nights. It's all good. You'll use all of it.”  (Michael Grant)


According to Dr. Suess....

We are elementary school teachers.  Therefore, we celebrate Dr. Suess and his stories.  Recently, it was his birthday.  In my classroom, we made oobleck, wrote crazy rhymes, drew imaginative illustrations, and of course read, read, read!

April 3, 2013...More quotes for you!

“I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird. One day two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love.”
Dr. Seuss

“Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered.”
Dr. Seuss

“Writing simply means no dependent clauses, no dangling things, no flashbacks, and keeping the subject near the predicate. We throw in as many fresh words we can get away with. Simple, short sentences don't always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive.... Virtually every page is a cliffhanger--you've got to force them to turn it."~”
Dr. Seuss

“You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
Dr. Seuss

“Cause when a guy does something stupid once, well that’s because he’s a guy. But if he does the same stupid thing twice, that’s usually to impress some girl.”
Dr. Seuss

“It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
Dr. Seuss

“You can find magic
wherever you look.
Sit back and relax,
all you need is a book.”
Dr. Seuss

“If I were invited to a dinner party with my characters, I wouldn't show up.”
Dr. Seuss

“Sometimes you will never know the value of something,until it becomes a memory.”
Dr. Seuss


April 2...Quote 2

Love.  It's what keeps me turning pages.  If I could just focus on the love I want to share in my writing, I might be able to get my characters' story written.  Here's a writer who knew how to really, really write about love. 

“So in the middle of all the noise, I point to the sky. I hope he understands what I mean, because I mean so many things: My heart will always fly his name. I won't go gentle. I'll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him. And I know he understands as he looks straight at me, deep into my eyes. His lips move silently, and I know what he says: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know. Tears well up but I blink them away. Because if there is one moment in my life that I want to see clearly, this is it.”
― Ally Condie, Matched

Here's hoping for melted snow, warm sun, happy birds and lots and lots of puddles to splash in.


april 1st brings you...a quote

While we are not technically participating in the A-Z challenge this month, we are semi-committing to posting a quote from books we love when we get a chance, daily even, if possible. 

Here is today's quote.  I felt it was appropriate for a writing blog. 

Happy April, friends.

“As the hours crept by, the afternoon sunlight bleached all the books on the shelves to pale, gilded versions of themselves and warmed the paper and ink inside the covers so that the smell of unread words hung in the air.”

― Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver


*POOF* Where'd March Go?

First of all, Erica and Christy would like to wish you and yours a happy and blessed Easter. For those who do not share our beliefs, please know we post this wish with the best of sentiments.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.
Secondly, what happened to March? Maybe it's because it's still cold and there's snow on the ground throughout Wisconsin (and the midwest, I believe), but it sure doesn't seem like spring break is over! Yet, there it is - a school night tonight. *sigh*
We participated in the ever-popular A-Z challenge a couple of years ago and after that took a blog hiatus during April because it's just, well, hard to keep up sometimes. This April we'd like to share some book-related quotes to you. We aren't commiting to the challenge because, well *see above* but we did compile some and will post from time to time.
Heck, maybe if we don't make the commitment, we'll end up posting every day. Yeah, that's how it sometimes works with us!
So, in the meantime, we're now on a *pauses to shed a quick tear* partial rewrite of our book The Text Message based on some reader (and co-author) feedback and are still working on our own projects.
It's spring. Out with this:
snow, snow, go away
And bring on this (we're ready):
We hope to see you around soon!


WOC pitch fest details and links

Click HERE to go directly to the pitch forums where agents are posting their critiques (and some requests).  You can learn a lot about what works and doesn't work in a query. 

DON'T POST IN THE COMMENTS.  Just read and learn.

If you want to vote (which I think is done via email, also not in the comments) then you need to read THIS and then you need to register HERE.

If you want to read our pitch for THE TEXT MESSAGE, our completed YA novel you can go HERE.  (Again, don't comment on the WOC forums.  If you want to vote, you have to go through the correct channels.  See above.)

(So far, my favorite pitch is for TAYLOR-MADE, a YA novel under Kathleen Rushall's list. I haven't read even close to all the pitches, but this one made me feel like I was reading the back of a book and wanted to be holding it so I could dive inside!-Christy)

Enjoy!  The forums and comments and voting will be going on all week until Friday.

Keep your fingers crossed for us. 



We're in!

The folks at Writeoncon decided to host a mid-winter pitch fest.  ericaandchristy submitted their finished pitch for their co-written novel--AND GOT IN! 

What does that mean? 

Well, it means we're one of 300 or so lucky pitchers who got selected for the pitch fest this upcoming Monday through Wednesday. 

Further, it means that our pitch (which will be posted anonymously) will be read by agents, book bloggers and YOU!  It will collect votes (we hope) and comments and critiques to help us out now that we're ready to QUERY the thing!  Woot! 

So, once we know the number our query has been assigned, we'll let you know so you can check it out and let us know what YOU think! If you like it, we hope you'll honor it with a vote. 

For even more info, please click on the button above and read it directly from the WOC website.

We'll keep you posted here, via twitter and Facebook where the pitch fest is at and how we're doing in it.



erica and christy are. . .Back From the Future

(See the linky below to visit other participants' blogs.)

You're up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven't brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you ... from you.

You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox -- sent from ten years in the future -- and it's filled with items you have sent yourself.

What's in it?


1. A bill from Harvard University for $250,000 - the cost of my older son's tuition

2. A bill from the jewelry store for the cost of 11 pairs of diamond earrings - one for each of my younger son's girlfriends

3 A torn-off cover of a book listing me as the author. On the back is a note in my handwriting that says "No cheating. Now go write it."

4. Pictures of my family and we're all happy, healthy, and having fun

5. Plane tickets and gift certificates for a 14-day vacation to Australia and New Zealand and a note saying "Bring your laptop. Trust me."


1. A copy of my future best-selling trilogy with a note:
"Read these.  You wrote them.  So don't feel bad doing what I'm about to tell you to do.  Type them up, send the attached query to agents.  Get published now.  Save yourself the dozen manuscripts that you'll just plop on a shelf.  Really, do you need more junk to dust?  Besides, you need the money.  Buy the camper you want now.  Enjoy the camping years while the kids are still young." 

2.  A bottle of really great aged wine.

3.  A copy of my diploma letting me know I will finally finish my final two credits and get my master's degree.  Oh, and the thesis I no longer need to write to get it.  (Phew.  Love that saved time and brain power!  Thanks, future me!)

4.  A picture of my future abs.  Cool, I really will lose that baby weight!  It just takes more than a year...or, wait, did I finally give up and get plastic surgery?  It's hard to tell.  Great pic!

5.  A key.


10 ways to be sure your editing won't get done (again tonight)

1. refresh your email, waiting for a messge from your blog partner/co-writer even though you know she is out for the evening

2.  read a blog re-capping The Bachelor even though you spent the previous night actually watching The Bachelor (Hey, at least the re-capped version was waaaaaay funnier and more entertaining!  srsly, check it out for yourself here.)

3.  check twitter even though you never write anything and you have no conversations with anybody on it

4.  daydream about the  new novel you will write once you can finally query the novel you are not editing

5.  read a blog post about how to begin a novel and start brainstorming ways to begin the novel you were daydreaming about  (so amazingly helpful!  you MUST read it NOW:  here.)

6.  click on a link to read about how to create well-rounded characters. stop to think about how these characters would want you to start out your new novel

7.  decide to create a new blog post even though you really have nothing to say other than to share how you are writing it only to keep from doing what you are supposed to be doing 

8.  wonder how you will finish the blog post and wonder further why you chose the number ten when clearly you have not really procrastinated that much...yet

9. (see 8)

10.  check the clock and wonder how long it will be before your eyes glaze over when it will be too late to open your acrobat.com acct to GET THE EDITING DONE, erm, started

(erica, really, if you're reading this, it's still relatively early and i'm going in right now.  i'll get lots done.  i hope you are having a fantastibulous time this evening.  i can't wait to email you tomorrow to tell you how i finished our edits.)



10 Reasons This Week. . .(nvm, we don't want to swear)

We, erica and christy, are not prone to violence. However (and truthfully, this is erica speaking) if even one person on this planet wishes for this week to repeat itself, well, you'll find us (okay, erica) resorting to this:
10. Last Saturday was my husband's nephew's wedding. My youngest son was the ring bearer. He woke up on Saturday with a 102-degree fever.
9. I hopped my kid up on Tylenol and we made our merry way to the wedding. Yep, mother-of-the-year here. (hey, at least I win Aunt-of-the-Year, right?)
8. My husband's on a pretty strict diet and I called the wedding-dinner-hall-thingy and asked them for an alternate meal. My husband *apparently* didn't want anyone to know about the diet, so he was PISSED when he found out I blabbed, even to strangers. Plus, his meal was very tiny compared to the rest of ours, which did nothing to make him happier. Umm, yeah.
7. I just blogged about his diet. Please don't tell him or he may never speak to me again. (but if you do, mention that I think he's doing awesome. because he never believes me when I say it!)
6. My youngest missed both Monday and Tuesday of school because of a 100-101.8 fever and cough.
5. On Monday, the aforementioned groom said he ended up in the ER due to a high fever and cough and had to get IV antibiotics. 
4. Tuesday brought a little bit of health to my family, so my husband and I left the kids with his parents and went to a poker tournament, where we both won seats to a tournament in Las Vegas in November. (don't cheer yet, trust me. . .)
3. My oldest son woke up Wedneday morning with a sore throat and 100.4 degree fever. I left him with some Dayquil and ibuprofen and went to work because the poker tournament took until 10:30, so my kids slept and their grandparents' and I didn't know about his condition until 15 minutes before school started. Yep, mother-of-the-year right here!!
2. My teaching assistant's son took her son to the doctor the first morning he spiked a fever and the kid tested positive for Influenza A. My kids are on Day 7 (in case you're counting) and I'm still going with the "It's just a virus" defense. (for the record, they didn't give the other kid anything but cough medicine for the flu. trust me, my kids are on cough medicine. So. Much. Medicine.)
So - and I don't do this for sympathy, just for laughs and commiseration - the #1 reason this week sucked (brought to you in two parts):
1.5 On Wednesday, my husband and I sat down and discussed a plan for doing 2 vacations in the next year. One for us to Las Vegas next November (the seats we won gave us both a really great deal - mostly it will just cost us airfare) AND something we can do with our kids that would be better than usual. We figured if we save $50-75 per week from now until the middle of summer for one and mid-summer until November for the other, we could pull it off without much of a problem. SCORE!
1.0 On Friday, I found out the Head Start grant I have worked under for the past 9 years won't cover expenses this year (by no fault - or knowledge - of mine). Therefore I will have a $50-75 per week cut in my wages for the remainder of the school year.
So, yeah, don't plan on asking Karma to give you a do-over on THIS week. That bi**ch hates me and I'm not afraid to slap her.
(this post softened by a nice smiley) :)


Please allow us to reintroduce ourselves.

Hello, our names are erica and christy. We used to live here. No, really, we did. What, you don't recognize us? erica's the tall one with long hair, christy's the short one with short hair? Not ringing any bells? Well, okay, fine. . .please allow us to reintroduce ourselves, courtesy of this blogfest.

Erica (the aforementioned tall one - see picture on the side bar for proof and please ignore that I look like I'm both drunk and tipping over. It was the 3rd day of my first writing conference, so I was a little woozy! I have no explanation for why christy looks normal. dang christy!) lives on a farm in west-central Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, three dogs, one guinea pig, and a bunch of cows. One of her sons turns 12 next month. Let's all hope they both live through the preteen years because so far it's been tough on her. She teaches Head Start and Early Childhood Special Education at the local grade school, where her youngest attends 1st grade. Oh, and she writes books that hopefully you get to read one day.

Christy lives in a house on the complete opposite side of the state as Erica. She has a husband, three sons, and a dog that doesn't get enough attention. She teaches 1st grade at a parochial school where she has her oldest son as a student in a class full of the smartest kids she's ever taught. She's a runner, which means if she only gets 2 miles in per day, she feels yucky and actually wishes it was 5 (and that it was outside - spring can't come fast enough). Oh, and she writes books that hopefully you get to read one day.

Together, erica and christy wrote aYA adventure/mystery/thriller (hmm, we should probably narrow that down) book called The Text Message. And then took many, many, many weeks (months? let's go with weeks) to edit it. THANKS again to our critique partners who looked at the first 30-60 pages for us. Now that christy's report cards are done and erica's aren't due for another month, we hope to finish the last, well, 150 pages or so of editing. You'll know when we're done because we'll be bugging you asking for someone to read the whole dang thing and tell us how wonderful it is. :)

Go ahead, click the link above and allow others to reintroduce themselves to you. But first, let us know in the comments that you stopped by so we can return the favor! Don't worry, no word/number verification system here, so it's easy-peasy! Easier then going to school on a Monday morning after an ice storm, which is what both of us (yes, on opposite sides of the state and everything!) are up to today!


2012 BOOKS IN REVIEW (2/2)

A few days ago erica shared her 2012 reads with you.  Here's my list!  (I linked the author's name to her goodreads page.)

Anew (The Archers of Avalon...  Avow (The Archers of Avalon...  Awry (The Archers of Avalon...          

chelsea fine

Yearbook       Matched (Matched, #1)  Crossed (Matched, #2)  Reached (Matched, #3)

ally condie

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)  Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)  Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)  Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)

becca fitzpatrick

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)

andrea cremer

The Faerie Guardian (Creepy...

rachel morgan

 Embrace (The Violet Eden Ch...

jessica shirvington

 City of Lost Souls (The Mor...  City of Fallen Angels (The ...          Clockwork Angel (The Infern...  Clockwork Prince (The Infer...

cassandra clare

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)  Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)

cynthia hand

 Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)  Delirium (Delirium, #1)

lauren oliver

Divergent (Divergent, #1)  Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

veronica roth

The Giver (The Giver, #1)

lois lowry

The Liar Society (The Liar ...

lisa and laura roecker

Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)

kiersten white

Possession (Possession, #1)

elana johnson

I totally thought I read waaaaaaaay more books than that.  Maybe some titles are hiding in the cobwebs of my mind.  If I get around to dusting and vaccuuming up there any time soon and uncover any, I'll be sure to let you know. 

There are some amaaaazing books to look forward to reading in 2013!  We may just share some titles and linkage with you in a feeeeeew days.

(Jeepers, are some of my vowel keeeeys sticking?)

Have a great weekend, friends!

~ a very young christy