Behind the Scenes: 2W2K Critique Partner

No woman is an island, although if I were, I’d kinda like to be Sicily. Very Happy My gelato/canoli addictions aside, I knew when I sat down to write Too Wicked To Kiss, if I wanted to create the best manuscript I was capable of writing, I would need to call a lifeline–my critique partners.

Not all writers have critique partners (CPs) for various reasons, but I find mine to be invaluable. They support me in a myriad of ways, from encouraging me when things get frustrating to telling me things like “This ending sucks… Write a new one.” They are friends and professionals, and I respect their opinions completely.

I asked my CP Darcy (who has read countless iterations of Too Wicked To Kiss) how she knew that it was a story worth telling and a manuscript that would sell, and this is what she had to say:

Too Wicked to Kiss fills a subgenre as a truly gothic Regency. I’d never read anything like it–a classic whodunnit set in my favorite historical romance world. A delicious hero and strong heroine lead a fabulous cast of characters that made me laugh, swear, and either root or boo for. As a critique partner, you sometimes feel a sense of jealousy over your CP’s writing and this was definitely a book I started reading and said, “man, I wish I’d written this!”

See why she’s so awesome??? 🙂

How about you? Whether you write or not, who are your go-to people in your support network? For those of you who are writers, (aspiring or otherwise,) do you have a critique partner, or someone you run pages or ideas by?

Eve Silver – Where are you now?

I mentioned to Eve Silver that I’d like to do a “Kensington Authors: Where are they now?” style series on my blog, and she was awesome enough to agree to be my first guest! Without further ado, I present the incomparable Eve Silver:

Seduced By A Stranger

What was your Kensington debut book?

The historical gothic romance, DARK DESIRES (November 2005). As a madman stalks the streets of Whitechapel in 1800s London, a handsome doctor with dark secrets instills passionate longing and fear in the woman who works by his side.

What is your current Kensington release?

A historical romantic suspense with gothic tones, SEDUCED BY A STRANGER (September 2009).

Excerpt from SEDUCED BY A STRANGER:

He kissed her. There was no preamble, no sweet and tentative approach. There was only the heat of his body and the strength of his hands on her arms, holding her as his mouth pressed to hers, hard, hungry. For an instant, she responded. The silk of his tongue in her mouth, the mingling of breath, the scent of his skin, faintly citrus, filled her. There was pleasure here. Primitive, savage pleasure.

Oh, God, how long since she had felt this?

Never.The truth of that was irrefutable.

Whatever stirrings of passion she had felt in her past, it was a mere prelude to the sensations that drowned her now. She had never been kissed so thoroughly, so savagely. So beautifully.

With only a kiss he had found the part of her she thought she had killed. She had been wrong. Her passion was not dead, only sleeping.

Under the press of his lips and the stroke of his tongue she unfurled, the air around them so still it quivered, the storm inside her building until she kissed him back, open-mouthed and hungry. Her fingers twisted in his hair, tugging him down to her as she fed on his strength, his passion, the physical comfort of his hard body and sheltering embrace.

He protected what was his. Coldly. Ruthlessly. She had witnessed that with her own eyes. He would protect her if she were his.

And it was that realization that chilled her, drowning the sharp flare of her passion as quickly as it had come.

She would not do this. Would not put herself in this place. Would never again be any man’s possession. His property.

With a gasp, she turned her face away and pressed hard against his chest.

“Catherine,” he murmured, his voice low and rough, his lips moving against her throat. “I want you.”

What is your upcoming release?

I have a dark urban fantasy/paranormal romance trilogy coming from HQN in summer/fall 2010. SINS OF THE HEART (Aug) is first, then SINS OF THE SOUL (Sept), then SINS OF THE FLESH (Oct). I’ll be posting info, covers and excerpts on my website soon.

Book-A-Day Giveaway: 7 Wicked Kisses, Day 7

Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
It’s release day!!! Want to win an autographed copy of
TOO WICKED TO KISS?

I’m giving away a book a day until launch day–7 days of fun!! All you have to do to be eligible is answer the Daily Kiss question.

3 ways to win:

1) Tweet/RT on Twitter (to @ericaridley with hashtag #2w2k)

2) Post to the Facebook wall: facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

3) Comment on this post with the answer to today’s question!

And today’s Daily Kiss question is:

Describe the best stolen/secret kiss (real or fiction)!

Good luck!!!

Yesterday’s Winner: lyoness2009

Yesterday’s Daily Kiss Challenge:

Describe the worst kiss in 7 words or less!

Yesterday’s Entries:


  • Teeth scraping my face; ‘chin hickey’ aftermath
  • 11th grade, truth-or-dare, spelunking tongue.
  • Those I wanted and never had.
  • Too much garlic!!
  • 15th Birthday, roses, male friend,slimey, GROSS!
  • No skill, no spark, boring.
  • Did you just fart? <– Friend’s experience after a kiss….still makes me laugh by the way she will tell it!
  • wet and sloppy
  • my first kiss!
  • Big slurp in mouth from my dog!!
  • Him- diving in, mouth open, tongue extended.
  • it was ewwwwwwww!!!
  • Tangled and wet…..not from an animal…

Comment to win today’s challenge:

Describe the best stolen/secret kiss (real or fiction)!

Book-A-Day Giveaway: 7 Wicked Kisses, Day 6

Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
Want to win an autographed copy of
TOO WICKED TO KISS?

I’m giving away a book a day until launch day–7 days of fun!! All you have to do to be eligible is answer the Daily Kiss question.

3 ways to win:

1) Tweet/RT on Twitter (to @ericaridley with hashtag #2w2k)

2) Post to the Facebook wall: facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

3) Comment on this post with the answer to today’s question!

And today’s Daily Kiss question is:

Describe the worst kiss in 7 words or less!

Good luck!!!

Yesterday’s Winner: JoAnne Kenrick

Yesterday’s Daily Kiss Challenge:

What is the most memorable Book Kiss?

Yesterday’s Entries:


  • My favorite book kiss was the first kiss of Cece and Holland in Julie Anne Peter’s Keeping You a Secret.
  • My favorite kiss in a book is from “It Happened One Autumn” The scene in the library with the peach schnapps…The kiss is amazing! The kiss is amazing, super sexy, and makes me smile every time I read it. Utterly sweet and wonderful.
  • of course gone with the wind, scarlett and rhett
  • Megan Penworthy and Ambrose St. James MAN OF MY DREAMS by Johanna Lindsey
  • scarlett and rhett
  • Hettie&Nevada in Zane Grey’s novel Nevada. 🙂
  • One of my favourite book kiss is Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey!
  • of course, Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  • On the beach in Rites of Spring (Break)!
  • Elliott/Julie in E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet
  • Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’hara — hard to forget. ” Scarlett! Look at me! I’ve loved you more than I’ve ever loved any woman and I’ve waited for you longer than I’ve ever waited for any woman.”
  • “The Raven Prince” by Elizabeth Hoyt. The hero is a scarred kind of recluse, the heroine is his widowed secretary. The story is emotional and heart wrenching, but the love scenes are incredibly hot. The first kiss is beyond incredible. They both know its wrong but its oh so right.

Comment to win today’s challenge:

Describe the worst kiss in 7 words or less!

Book-A-Day Giveaway: 7 Wicked Kisses, Day 5

Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
Want to win an autographed copy of
TOO WICKED TO KISS?

I’m giving away a book a day until launch day–7 days of fun!! All you have to do to be eligible is answer the Daily Kiss question.

3 ways to win:

1) Tweet/RT on Twitter (to @ericaridley with hashtag #2w2k)

2) Post to the Facebook wall: facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

3) Comment on this post with the answer to today’s question!

And today’s Daily Kiss question is:

What is the most memorable Book Kiss?

Good luck!!!

Yesterday’s Winner: Lois Merritt

Yesterday’s Daily Kiss Challenge:

What is the most memorable Movie Kiss?

Yesterday’s Entries:


  • I really liked Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks kiss at the end of “You’ve Got Mail”
  • The end of “Desk Set”, where fireworks are going off in the background as a very expensive computer is malfunctioning, and the engineer manages to keep kissing the librarian long enough to borrow a hairpin and go fix the damn thing.
  • When Pam and Jim finally kissed on the “Office” I was incredibly incredibly happy
  • Scarlett and Rhett in Gone with the wind
  • I always liked the upside down kiss in Spiderman.
  • Wicker Park – when Josh Hartnett (hello!) finally gets the girl, and kisses her in the airport. OMG I was crying watching that.
  • 1995P&P, by the end, you’re just dying for Darcy and Lizzie to kiss already!

Comment to win today’s challenge:

What is the most memorable Book Kiss?

Book-A-Day Giveaway: 7 Wicked Kisses, Day 4

Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
Want to win an autographed copy of
TOO WICKED TO KISS?

I’m giving away a book a day until launch day–7 days of fun!! All you have to do to be eligible is answer the Daily Kiss question.

3 ways to win:

1) Tweet/RT on Twitter (to @ericaridley with hashtag #2w2k)

2) Post to the Facebook wall: facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

3) Comment on this post with the answer to today’s question!

And today’s Daily Kiss question is:

What is the most memorable Movie Kiss?

Good luck!!!

Yesterday’s Winner: Diana Owen-Emerson

Yesterday’s Daily Kiss Challenge:

What is the best song to kiss to?

Yesterday’s Entries:


  • Kiss You All Over by Exile
  • I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner
  • Avalon by Roxy Music
  • The Flame by Cheap Trick
  • Here, There, and Everywhere… The Beatles
  • Anything by Mana
  • Kiss – Prince
  • Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney
  • Depeche Mode’s Stripped
  • Extreme- When I first kissed you
  • Nights in White Satin
  • Kinda I Want To
  • Mercy by Duffy
  • Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney
  • A house is not a home – Luther Vandross

Comment to win today’s challenge:

What is the most memorable Movie Kiss?

Book-A-Day Giveaway: 7 Wicked Kiss, Day 3

Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
Want to win an autographed copy of
TOO WICKED TO KISS?

I’m giving away a book a day until launch day–7 days of fun!! All you have to do to be eligible is answer the Daily Kiss question.

3 ways to win:

1) Tweet/RT on Twitter (to @ericaridley with hashtag #2w2k)

2) Post to the Facebook wall: facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

3) Comment on this post with the answer to today’s question!

And today’s Daily Kiss question is:

What is the best song to kiss to?

Good luck!!!

Yesterday’s Winner: Lexie Cenni

Yesterday’s Daily Kiss Challenge:

Describe your strangest kiss location in 7 words or less!

Yesterday’s Entries:


  • While touring a cave 😉
  • Between the Buns!
  • on my schools playground.
  • Outside apartment building. Bowling ball in hand.
  • While juggling 2 kids on a slide.
  • In front of the Hanford Nuclear plant!
  • In the ladies bathroom at work.
  • I guess it was behind a church…..
  • Upside down on the monkey bars
  • WalMart parking lot in the pouring rain
  • The Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World
  • The Yellow Cab dispatch center for Gainesville
  • On a moving motorbike
  • Steamy kisses over the garbage cans!

Comment to win today’s challenge:

What is the best song to kiss to?

Book-A-Day Giveaway: 7 Wicked Kisses, Day 2

Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
Want to win an autographed copy of
TOO WICKED TO KISS?

I’m giving away a book a day until launch day–7 days of fun!! All you have to do to be eligible is answer the Daily Kiss question.

3 ways to win:

1) Tweet/RT on Twitter (to @ericaridley with hashtag #2w2k)

2) Post to the Facebook wall: facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

3) Comment on this post with the answer to today’s question!

And today’s Daily Kiss question is:

Describe your STRANGEST KISS LOCATION in seven words or less!

Good luck!!!

Yesterday’s Winner: DANIELLE YOCKMAN

Yesterday’s Daily Kiss Challenge:

Describe your first kiss in 7 words or less!

Yesterday’s Entries:

  • He should have brushed his teeth first.
  • Perfect. Sweet but sexy.
  • So forgetable that I don’t even remember!
  • Chaste, soft, tender, tingling, heartquaking and earthshaking.
  • Her snaggle tooth tore up my lips.
  • That’s not what happens in romance novels!
  • Too long ago to remember.
  • Wow!!! I want to do that again!!!!
  • Nervous, it was his first kiss too.
  • Funny. (mostly on my part 🙂
  • Embarrassing and awkward!
  • Sweet and innocent
  • Nice! Holy crap, like…Whoah!
  • Awesome really
  • scary but OMG!!
  • sadly cant remember the first one…… unremarkable.
  • Long awaited, left me wanting for more!
  • Wait…wait… HOLY CRAP!!!! Do it again!
  • Color of the wall matched his eyes…
  • I’ve got a surprise. Kiss! Run away.
  • Long overdue, awkward, fruitless; SO worth it.

Comment to win today’s challenge:

Describe your STRANGEST KISS LOCATION in 7 words or less!

Book-A-Day Giveaway: 7 Wicked Kisses, Day 1

Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
Want to win an autographed copy of
TOO WICKED TO KISS?

I’m giving away a book a day until launch day–7 days of fun!! All you have to do to be eligible is answer the Daily Kiss question.

3 ways to win:

1) Tweet/RT on Twitter (to @ericaridley with hashtag #2w2k)

2) Post to the Facebook wall: facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

3) Comment on this post with the answer to today’s question!

And today’s Daily Kiss question is:

Describe your FIRST KISS in 7 words or less!

Good luck!!!

Paula Reed: Where are you now?

Interview with Paula Reed!

1) Tell me a little bit about your Kensington debut book.

My debut book was the very first in the Kensington Debut program, published in June of 2004.  It is called Into His Arms, and it follows a Puritan woman, Faith Cooper, who flees an unwanted marriage in Boston straight into the arms of a privateer, Capt. Geoffrey Hampton, bound for Jamaica!

2) How many manuscripts did you write before selling?

This was my second completed manuscript.

3) What made you choose this genre?

I have loved historical romance novels since high school.  They create such total escape, and that was just what I was looking for at the point in my life that I wrote Into His Arms.

4) What are you working on now?

I just finished a manuscript, but it needs revision.  I haven’t even really told my agent much about it.  It’s a time travel between the present and a post-apocalyptic future.  It’s mainstream fiction rather than romance.

5) Do you have a current/upcoming release?

My first mainstream historical fiction novel is being released in hardback by St. Martin’s Press on February 16, 2010.  It is based on the missing years of Hester Prynne and her daughter, Pearl, from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.  They travel to Oliver Cromwell’s England where they find political intrigue and forbidden passion!  (It’s not a romance novel, but I haven’t forgotten my roots!)  Readers can find more on my website: paula-reed.com.

6) Any news to share?

My publicist is scheduling book signings.  They’ll be posted on my website as soon as I have dates.