Ericka Scott
Hope the rest of the new year isn’t this contrary…
Monday, January 3rd, 2011
Filed under Uncategorized

I’ve been looking forward to January 3rd since 1:59 pm on December 17th (the day the kids got out of school). Last night, I was salivating and counting the minutes… Then the phone rang.

Sure, it had been snowing since two o’clock…but we live in the Antelope Valley, people. Snow is a rare commodity and there was no way in Hades it would stick around until morning. But…it did. And they canceled school! AHHHHHHH!

So, I pulled up my big girl panties and began planning alternate entertainment for the day. Yogi Bear. Have to say, it wasn’t the best of movies…it wasn’t the worst either. I’ll tell you though, it looks w-a-y better than the previews for the remake of Romeo and Juliet with garden gnomes (yep, you heard me right. GNOMES! Right up there with Kraken erotic romances. Bleh!)

So, here’s hoping that the rest of the year goes better than it started out.


Interesting Research
Friday, December 10th, 2010
Filed under A Writer's Life

I’m working on a very exciting novella. It’s paranormal with a mix of historical and contemporary (sorry, not steampunk) but more on par with a time travel adventure. Now, I will go on record saying that history was one of my least favorite subjects unless it was Greek Mythology. Simply love, love, love all the gods and goddesses, their egos, their foibles. So, when I set about writing this novella, I decided that not only would I use The Hero’s Journey interpreted by Carolyn Wheat in How to Write Killer Fiction, but that I would also mix in a bit of two of my favorite subjects…mythology and the sea.

As I’m still belting out the first draft, I don’t pause to do a lot of research. However, I thought it was quite amusing to give you an insight into the things I’ve been looking up:

Greek Women’s names

Greek Men’s names

When mirrors were invented (thank goodness for Wikipedia) but because I don’t always trust their information, I also took a look at The History of Mirrors as presented by Inviting Home

Deep sea fish….man, oh, man, I had to drag myself away from getting lost at sea. Wikipedia seems to be the place to start, I think they have information on just about anything or anyone. But I also wanted to find out a bit more about the most common (according to Wiki) deep sea fish, the lantern fish. Most of them just looked “glowy”, but one image I found was impressive and a bit scary! In other words, just perfect.

And what investigation of Greek mythology is complete with a search for information about the oracle of Delphi? Especially since my story has it’s own version of an oracle!

I’m back to writing…I’m about 200 words short of my goal today and only have minutes left until my kiddos arrive home from the bus. I hope to get the rest of the story written before Christmas so that I can polish it up and submit it in the New Year.

Which reminds me…goals…gotta think about goals for next year…. I wonder if Wikipedia has something listed for typical author’s writing goals?….

Til next time!


Twas a Dark & Delicious Christmas Anthology goes to PRINT!
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Filed under Uncategorized

Yep, you read that right. Less than a week after the e-book released, the anthology is going to print. You can find the details HERE.

On another note, I’m going to be posting spare updates over the next few weeks. The holidays are nipping at my toes and I’ve bitten off a bit more than I can chew publicity-wise. If you check under NEWS on the Welcome page of my website, you’ll see all the other places you can find me this month~ You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook for almost daily insights into what I’m doing.

Hope your holiday season is Merry and Bright!


Over at the Island Today!
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Filed under Uncategorized

‘Twas a Dark & Delicious Christmas releases today at Evernight Press! To celebrate, a couple of the authors are having a party over at Author Island.

Come join us!

Oh What Fun!
Monday, November 29th, 2010
Filed under Uncategorized

I discover a lot of paranormal sites while I’m out and about doing research for my books.

Loyd Auerbach is Director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations as well as being an author and a featured expert on many televised paranormal studies. If I ever had a ghostly infestation (or even the niggle of possession). he’s who I’d call! His site is full of excellent information about ghosts (and non-ghosts)

I also found a terrific site run by Fiona Broome called Hollow Hill. She has some articles on her site that are free to distribute (long as credit is give to her and it’s linked back).

My Christmas story, A Christmas Curse, coming out December 3, 2010 from Evernight Publishing prominently features a demon – and not a nice one, either. So, I thought I’d repost her article, Exorcisms and Demons, to give a bit more information/background about these wily creatures. As a side note, I also read a recent article that U.S. Bishops are looking for a few good men to become exorcists.

So, enjoy this bit of information as the Christmas season heats up!

Exorcisms and Demons by Fiona Bloome

Exorcisms date to earliest times. The belief in demons and demonic influence is documented in many pagan cultures, beliefs and practices.

However, not all demonic possessions were attributed to evil spirits. For example, in classical Greek, daimonan merely means to be mad or insane.

The treatment for that kind of demonic problem is less than — and very different from — the rituals used to drive out malicious entities or spirits.

As I explained in Possessed? Need help?, the vast majority of so-called demonic possessions have nothing to do with demons… or even ghosts.

Before deciding that you’re dealing with demons, calmly evaluate the situation.

What you’ve seen on TV is often created to make the show more sensational and increase ratings. That’s entertainment, not reality.

Modern and historic exorcisms range from simple to complex, but they generally have one element in common.

Pagan and earth-based rituals often involved salt and/or water, or herbs, or some blessed object, plus a casting-out ritual invoking the name and assistance of Deity.

Modern-day rituals also use holy objects plus the name or names of Deity to empower the rite.

In other words, most traditions recognized that spiritual assistance is necessary to cast out — or reject the influence of — an entity with evil intentions.

Development of exorcisms

Over many centuries as religions emerged, very precise and effective exorcism rituals were developed. In the Jewish faith, exorcisms were fine-tuned and included specific names, varying with the situation.

From the 1913 edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia:

“The chief characteristic of these Jewish exorcisms is their naming of names believed to be efficacious, i. e. names of good angels, which are used either alone or in combination with El (= God) … it was considered most important that the appropriate names, which varied for different times and occasions, should be used.

“…It was a popular Jewish belief… that Solomon had received the power of expelling demons, and that he had composed and transmitted certain formulae that were efficacious for that purpose.” (emphasis added)

In other words, there are specific rituals that work. Others can do more harm than good. That’s important to keep in mind.

Today, many exorcists rely on the rituals documented in church history. Whether they believe in Jesus Christ or not, many exorcists note that the use of Jesus’ name seems to be among the most effective for banishing a demonic presence.

However, inexperienced ghost hunters and paranormal researchers usually don’t know the difference between a demonic possession and the far more dangerous devil (or Devil) possession.

They are two different issues, and must be treated differently.

Types of Christian exorcisms

Christian exorcisms trace their roots to the ministry of Jesus.

There are three kinds of exorcisms in the historic church:

1. Baptismal exorcism, performed when someone is accepted (baptized) into membership in the church.
2. Simple exorcism, including the blessing of a house.
3. The Rite of Exorcism, used to cast out demons or the Devil from a human.

A traditional baptismal exorcism includes phrasing that is the basis for many other kinds of exorcisms.

The following text is from the 1894 book, The Glories of the Catholic Church – The Catholic Christian Instructed in Defence of His Faith.

Then the priest proceeds to the solemn prayers and exorcisms, used of old by the Catholic Church in the administration of baptism, to cast out the devil from the soul, under whose power we are born by original sin. ” I exorcise thee,” says he, ” O unclean spirit, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that thou mayest go out, and depart from this servant of God, (name of the afflicted) ; for He commands thee, O thou cursed and condemned wretch, who with His feet walked upon the sea, and stretched forth His right hand to Peter that was sinking. Therefore, O accursed devil, remember thy sentence, and give honor to the living and true God. Give honor to Jesus Christ His Son, and to the Holy Ghost, and depart from this servant of God.”

Those kinds of prayers and rituals were developed over many centuries, and refined to work as quickly and effectively as possible.

Other religions and spiritual traditions may use different approaches.

However, most demonologists explain that exorcisms rarely work on the first try. The person may seem to be free of the demons, but relapse later. It’s not unusual to require ten or more rituals of exorcism, and each one of them can be excruciating and exhausting for everyone involved.

In addition, treating a non-demonic situation as if demons are involved can be dangerous. It can trigger mental, emotional, physical and spiritual issues that weren’t a problem before the attempted exorcism.

For this reason, physical and mental illnesses must be ruled out before an exorcism begins. No one, including the afflicted person, should have to go through an exorcism if other treatment — medical or pastoral — is more appropriate.

Experience matters

Even it appears that a demonic entity is the cause of the problem, the solution isn’t always simple.

In the hands of someone inexperienced, exorcisms can go horribly wrong. The methods and rituals that can drive away malicious spirits that were once human, and cause lesser demons to cower, can make things worse if a more powerful presence is involved.

Currently, the biggest liability is the example set by TV show and movies.

Even when they’re presented as “reality” shows — a loophole that allows networks to pay far less than an actor would earn in a regular TV show — what you’re seeing may not be reality… or anything even vaguely like it.

Waving a cross and walking briskly through a “possessed” house is not a Rite of Exorcism.

In addition, deciding that something is definitely demonic after just one visit… that’s not what really goes on in this field, either.

One of our biggest concerns is the number of people who see something on TV and think that’s what real paranormal researchers do.

They either emulate what they’ve seen acted-out on TV, or — if they’re clients — they expect the team (or expert) to do what was shown on TV.

Both are unhealthy approaches, and they can even be dangerous.

For that reason, we recommend contacting an experienced demonologist if someone is dealing with a potentially dangerous possession.

Remember that a demonologist is someone with expertise in the field of demons. A demonologist may also be an exorcist, but many demonologists work with exorcists and do not initiate the rituals themselves.

Exorcists must know how to identify an actual possession — since most cases appear to only mimic possession — and which rituals and practices to use at each level of actual possession.

Recommended resources

I recommend only a few people with whom I’ve worked in the past.

John Zaffis – and PRSNE (203) 375-6083

Father Andrew Calder –


Also, if you might be dealing with a poltergeist rather than a demon, and especially if a teen or a child is involved, contact Peter Haviland. He travels to meet with clients, and is based in Texas. Lone Star Spirits –

The Wango Tango, Crazy Arguing, and Selective Hearing
Friday, November 26th, 2010
Filed under A Writer's Life

I received a note in the mail from the school district referring my RAD*let for audio/visual assessment

On a daily basis, I spend a lot of time saying my son’s name, yelling for his attention, while he remains focused on the computer, television, etc. I’m not fooled. The child is not deaf. For instance, today at lunch, since I’m not “really” supposed to eat french fries, I limit myself to the baglers and what I can beg off the kids. Drama Teen gave me three and I looked at Inertia Boy. He had three left. So, I jokingly said, “Sissy gave me three, now you can give me three.” He suddenly adopted sudden stillness. He’d heard me — no question about that. He then ate his three french fries as quickly as he could. No, the child is not hard of hearing. However, I can see why a desperate teacher might grasp at that straw.

Inertia Boy wears glasses. We bought him a croakie to hold them on his face…but usually, he looks like he’s been in a fight with them hanging off one ear or totally down on the end of his nose while he looks over them. When we took him for an eye exam, the physician received no cooperation. Inertia Boy wouldn’t read the eye chart (even the kid-one with pictures instead of letters). They used some sort of magic machine and determined that he had terrible astigmatism. Adjusted the eye thing to compensate and still got no cooperation out of Inertia Boy as to whether he could see better or not. So, are the glasses the correct prescription or not? Beats me.

Over the past two weeks, the Wango Tango, that lovely temper tantrum (complete with throwing himself on the ground and wetting himself, just for novelty and variation) has been lurking just below the surface. I know a lot of it had to do with the stress of the upcoming holiday. RADlet’s don’t like change…(thus his nickname)… plus we kicked off the week with a trip to the dentist. The regular dentist. Not the special (and very expensive) dentist who has a volcano and games in the waiting room and did NOTHING different than the regular dentist. They cleaned his teeth. No drugs, no happy gas, just a little boy feeling “special”. If it hadn’t cost the equivalent of the entire family getting tickets to Disneyland (and also feeling special), I’d have sent him there again. To boot, he pea’d all over the floor in the dentist’s bathroom, just for good measure. Sigh.

Then there is the crazy arguing. Anytime he is given his least favorite answer “No,” he hauls out the bad attitude and wears it. Cause and effect doesn’t sink in. Just because he repeats the same question 100 times with little variation (at the top of his lungs and with true emotion ringing in his voice) doesn’t mean that the answer will ever change. The only way to stop the cycle is to send him to his room. Happens once a day without fail, twice on a good day.

He reacts t the way a two-year old does. Emotionally, he’s probably stuck right around there. It’s hard to accept when it appears in the body of a seven year old.

I look at the referral for the audio/visual assessment. A poor result would mean a hearing aid and/or a pair of appropriately prescribed glasses. Oh, if only it were that simple…


*RAD is short for reactive attachment disorder

5 Things I’m Thankful For
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Filed under A Writer's Life

As the local school district thought it was a cool idea to offload the kids for an entire week instead of the traditional Thursday/Friday holiday for Thanksgiving Week – I’m finding it hard to get onto the computer. Heck, I’ve had to set a timer so that I can have my own hour! Yikes!

So, I’m going to skip the long blogs and just list my top 5 things I’m thankful for:

1. My Family — The Husband is a most wonderful man, supportive, loving, and sexy. Drama Teen, Scooter, and Inertia Boy are blessings (sometimes in disguise) but I’ll always be grateful that I could complete my family both in the biological way and through adoption.

2. My Health — yep, as I’ve aged, I’m feeling the aches and pains, and am lugging around a few extra pounds, but I’ve got all my parts and they are all working reasonably well. Can’t ask for much more than that.

3. My Friends – both in real life (IRL) and online. My IRL friends keep me grounded, make sure that I actually leave the house occasionally, and treat me to laughter and lunches. My online author friends share the writing journey with me. There’s nothing better than hanging out with people who “get” you. My blogging RAD parent friends leave me in awe at their energy, innovation, and sheer love for their difficult children. Their stories give me hope and without them, I’m sure I would have given up on Inertia Boy long ago.

4. My Country and Countrymen – I am forever grateful for all of those in the armed forces who fought to give me freedom, and continue to fight, every day, to make sure that I continue to live free.

And last but not least —

5. The dude who invented writing. I often imagine that stone-aged guy (or gal) knocking a hole in a rock, choosing a concept for it to be associated with, and then sharing it with friends and family. Because, Lordy, where in the world would I be if I couldn’t write down all the stories in my head and share them with someone?

What are you thankful for?

A Charlie Brown Weekend
Monday, November 15th, 2010
Filed under Uncategorized

My love of Mondays is running a bit low today as I have one child home with a supposed earache. He’s not running a fever, and a quick feel inside his mouth revealed very large lumps where his 8-yr molars are erupting. I suspect those are the actual culprit of his “illness”. Gave him pain medication and sent him to bed…only he’d wet the bed last night and I’m in the throes of doing two instead of one load of laundry. Sigh… So, he’s laying on the bed anyway…

This weekend was the infamous ACM programming contest, fondly called ‘the other woman’ around our house. The Husband is notoriously absent from about the end of August until Mid November…and a few weekends punctuating the rest of the year. Thus earning this activity “affair” status.

This year, The Husband left on Friday with Drama Teen (she was helping — kindof) and after a very exciting soccer game on Saturday (the boys’ team won 5-4), the boys and I left for Riverside, CA where the contest is held at Riverside Community College. We typically stay at the Mission Inn in a suite…it’s my reward for putting up with the other woman. However, this year, we’re saving money in hopes that the US government will give The Husband permission to take us all to Egypt for the international arm of the other woman. The hotel where we stayed had a heated pool, which almost made up for the lack of privacy/lack of time/lack of computer. Almost…

We dumped another typical activity this year as well. We always wander the downtown area, eat lunch, wander some more, then meander our way home well after dinnertime. Well, we weren’t downtown this year, so we left early. This meant that for the first time in a couple of years we could stop at Charlie Brown’s and shop/browse/eat. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Charlie Brown Farms, here is the link.

The website is a lot more organized than the store. To say it’s overwhelming inside is an understatement. We ended up spending about 2 hours there…much of that waiting on our lunch. Drama Teen had the usual drama when her smoothie order was “lost” for a few minutes. Luckily, she recovered when her Vegetarian Rice Bowl was served. Charlie Brown’s is famous for their BBQ, and she had a RICE BOWL! That’s my girl!

The boys had fun looking at the dinosaurs and we left after purchasing a few early Christmas gifts (candy), silly bands (those rubber band things for the kids that are all the rage) and toting our full stomachs.

As for publishing news — I’ve been out of the loop for a bit, what with the holiday last week and the time I had to spend with my family to make up for The Husband’s absence. What I did notice is that Loose Id has a new call for submissions for Men of Mystery, think James Bond-esque heroes. Now, if I could only find time to write…

Hope you had a great weekend!


Angels and Demons
Friday, November 12th, 2010
Filed under Uncategorized

Peanut butter and jelly
Fish and chips
Pizza and Beer
Left and Right
Up and Down
Inside and Out
Doughnuts and Coffee
Angels and Demons
Yin and Yang

Do opposites attract or repel?

When I began researching demons for my short story, A Christmas Curse, appearing in the soon-to-be released anthology, ‘Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas, I found a plethora of demon-themed Christmas stories. Not demons versus angels, but teaming up against a common baddie, or a demon being redeemed by his love for an angel.

All this research led to an odd question. Does evil exist without good? Without the polar opposite, would we be able to differentiate between good and evil? :twisted:

Personally, I do believe in evil…I believe it exists just as strongly as good. But I was still struggling. I can’t quite get around a demon being redeemed. They are evil, right? Right? However, as an author, I tend to keep an open mind, and I’m willing to be convinced otherwise. At least in a fictional arena.

Which is when serendipity…that odd coincidence of running into something that echoes your own thoughts — stepped in and slapped me upside the head. Yesterday, I took the kids to see Megamind. I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but man-oh-man, it sure did make me look at good, evil, and redemption in a whole new way. Not only that, it’s a great movie to boot.

That being said, I would have enjoyed it more if Scooter hadn’t spilled his drink the moment he sat down. I thought I would save the day by ordering a large drink, so I had plenty to refill his cup (brilliant thinking on my part, right?). However, in the dark, I spilled a portion of my drink, right into the communal popcorn. Groan. Despite that inauspicious beginning, we had a great time.

Hope you have a good weekend!


Monday, Monday…
Monday, November 8th, 2010
Filed under A Writer's Life

Wow…I’m loving the extra hour of sunlight in the morning. The kids popped right up for school and I was able to take my morning walk without the sun glaring into my eyeballs. All good.

Had a busy, contest-task filled weekend in preparation for the ACM programming contest in Riverside, CA, next weekend. I even got to help by working up a mail merge to help out with distributing items to the teams as they check in. This is the first time in years that I’ve had time to do anything to help out with the contest besides taking care of the kids while The Husband did his ‘thing’ — it was nice to lend a hand doing something I enjoyed.

The boys played outside all weekend. I avert my eyes when I see them swinging from the neighbor’s tree. After having had a girl for so long, it’s sometimes hard to let them be boys! Drama Teen slept for almost 24 hours around the clock, then woke up feeling fine…just in time to do all the homework she’d accumulated.

Another of my publishers is having a contest. Evernight Publishing, who will be publishing A Christmas Curse in ‘Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas, is giving away several great prizes to celebrate their new website launch. Click the link for more details.

Contest Banner

For every e-book that you purchase through the new Evernight Publishing website (not including distributors), your name will be added to the draw. The more books you purchase, the more entries you receive.

Contest Draw Date: December 17th, 2010

I’ve also been updating the news section on my front page, so keep your eyes peeled there for more information about the anthology!