Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guest Author - - Erica Ridley

At the age of three, Erica Ridley learned to read and also decided she was going to be a writer. Her writing journey has taken her from stories written in crayon to dramatic sagas filling multiple notebooks to her brand-new debut novel, Too Wicked to Kiss - a Regency historical romance with a touch of paranormal.  Check out PJ's review here.

Erica also has a taste for adventure in her real life. When not reading or writing romances, she can often be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.  Please join us in welcoming Erica to The Romance Dish

Is writing romance your primary career?

I should be so lucky! I'm not yet ready to give up my day job. I develop websites, databases, and software... not exactly the same side of the brain as writing romance, although programming applications can involve some pretty creative problem-solving skills. =) It may be hard to believe, but I think the two are good complements, precisely because they are so disparate. When I need a break from the endless lines of code, I can immerse myself in my story. And whenever I write myself into a corner and need time to think, there's always a website waiting to be tweaked!

But... it sounds like you never leave your laptop?

Well, not for long. LOL. Working from home, like all things in life, definitely has its pros and cons. The biggest downside--other than how tempting it is to do just about any chore other than whatever I should be working on--is the fact that I never have vacation days. I can't remember the last time I even went an entire weekend without working on a website, a manuscript, or both. The upside, however, is that this is work that can be done from anywhere in the world--and I adore taking advantage of that perk!

And it's all tax deductible?

Hahahaha! Sadly, no. (But one day, when I rule the world... *g) I have been lucky enough to do hands-on research, inasmuch as anything related to Regency England can be hands-on. I spent a few months in England this past year, and even got to visit the site of the next book! (I took copious photos of the caves used by smugglers... hint, hint!) While in Europe, I also had the chance to visit several period homes (where, unfortunately, copious photography was verboten) as well as various museums containing period costumes and furniture. It was fabulous.

Would you like to have lived in Regency England?

Well, I certainly wouldn't mind visiting Regency England... but I'm not sure I'd like to give up all my modern comforts. Then again, if I could be guaranteed a leg-shackle to a dark, brooding, loyal, fierce, utterly romantic hero like Gavin Lioncroft... Mmmmm. (It's not a sign of mental imbalance to be half in love with the hero of one's own book, is it??)

Where do you live now, and why?

I live in Tampa, FL, for the simple and shameful reason that I am a total cold wuss. Jacket weather is not my friend. As to ski-mask-and-moon-boots weather? And waking up half an hour early to warm up the car, scrap ice off the windshield, and try not to accidentally lock the keys inside? For me, the midwest (where I'm from) is much better suited for family visits over the holidays. Tampa, on the other hand, is almost always fabulous. (Save for this totally bizarre wave of record lows we've been having the past few weeks. Frost should not come this far south! Grrr.) I love the palm trees, the sunny skies, the ability to strap on my roller blades and cruise alongside the river when I'm working out a story problem. Plus, Tampa is a hotbed of fabulous romance writers. I'm extremely blessed!


From the ravens circling its spires to the gargoyles adorning its roof, Blackberry Manor looms ominously over its rambling grounds. And behind its doors, amid the flickering shadows and secret passageways, danger lies in wait.


Evangeline Pemberton has been invited to a party at the sprawling estate of reclusive Gavin Lioncroft, who is rumored to have murdered his parents. Initially, Gavin's towering presence and brusque manner instill fear in Evangeline...until his rakish features and seductive attentions profoundly arouse her. But when a guest is murdered, Evangeline is torn. Could the man to whom she is so powerfully drawn, also be a ruthless killer?

Zebra Debut
March 2, 2010

Where to find Erica:

Author Website: http://www.ericaridley.com/

Book Bonus Features: http://www.2wicked2kiss.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EricaRidleyFans

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EricaRidley

Breaking News: TOO WICKED TO KISS has been selected as a March book club pick for Barnes and Noble! Erica will be at the book club  forum all month long, so please stop by to say hi or to talk about the book! Here's the link: http://bit.ly/bOPvn4

A question for our audience:  Where do you live now, and why?  Where, and in what time period, would you like to live?  Do you think you'd enjoy life in Regency England?  


  1. Hi Erica! Congrats on the release of Too Wicked to Kiss. I enjoyed this story so much!

    Living in Tampa sounds wonderful today...as I watch snow fall outside my window. I used to live on the Florida Gulf Coast and can fully appreciate how inspiring it can be.

    We love Call Stories here at the Romance Dish. Will you tell us yours?

  2. Good morning, Erica! We're glad to have you with us today.

    I used to live in Tampa (two different times). I'm a fellow USF alum! Although I grew up in Florida, I don't miss the heat. Of course, here in the NC mountains we've had far too much snow this winter. A little warmth and sunshine would be welcome right now. :-)

  3. Hi Erica,
    Congrats on your release! I love the book trailer for it. ^^

    Right now i live out in Mennonite country Pennsylvania. I live here because i was still in college when my parents moved and now i'm a recently graduated, but unemployed. So basically i've had no choice to live where i live now.

    I would love to live in Regency period. Something about that time period rather attracts me. The dress, ladies were ladies, men were gentleman, the new and exciting world that lay upon it. Therefore, i do believe i would very much enjoy living in regency england. I would love to pop into Jane Austen's home and say "What are you writing today Dear Jane". ^^


  4. Hi Erica!

    Born and raised and still live in NYC. Everything that's good about the Big Apple it is exactly what I dislike about it: big, fast, with attitude. Don't get me wrong, the opportunities offered in NYC are unparalleled: culture, jobs, fashion, glitz, etc... but it gets to be a bit too much sometimes.

    I am a bit of an Anglophile. I love to read about Regency England but I don't think I would actually enjoy the contraints of living during those times.

  5. Hi Erica! I absolutely loved Too Wicked to Kiss! I'm telling all my friends about it - call me an Erica Evangelist!

  6. Hi Erica,
    Congratulations on the new book! It sounds spooky and suspensful. I live in the northeast and am jealous of your warm temperatures. I cannot tell you how sick of snow I am. I would definitely love to visit Regency England but I don't know how happy I would be there on a regular basis.

  7. I'm hearing good buzz about Too Wicked to Kiss, including recommendations from trusted sources like PJ and Eloisa James. Adding yet another title to my must-read list . . . I need to add a room to accommodate my ever-growing TBR collection. :)

    I'm a Georgian, born and bred, and while I love to visit other places, my roots are so deep in Georgia soil, I'd be difficult to transplant.

  8. PJ: Thank you!!! =) My call story is actually a "missed call" story... I was in Costa Rica at the time and had the phone off so as not to rack up another $600 roaming bill like I did the *last* time I went to CR, which meant it wasn't until I went to an internet cafe to check my email when I opened one from my agent that said something like, "What do I have to do to get you to call me back??? We've got an offer!!!"

  9. Gannon: NC is sooo pretty! I visited when my younger brother lived there and fell in love with hiking through the picturesque mountains.

    Melissa: I agree, the clearly delineated gender roles and societal norms are one of the things I love about the era. Maybe there was a lot of "game-playing", but everyone knew the rules and the part they were supposed to play. And there's something so satisfying about the women being ladies and the men being gentlemen!

  10. Scorpio: I adore NYC for all the reasons you name... and am not living there, also for all the reasons you name. LOL. I keep saying I'd like to spend a year (or maybe just the warm months, since I'm a total cold wuss) in NYC to truly have the full experience... maybe someday!

    Becke: I like the sound of an Erica Evangelist! (An Evangeline Evangelist? LOL) Thank you so much for spreading the word!!

  11. Maureen: Thank you!! And come to think of it, if I thought Midwest winters were bad, winter in Regency England would've been so much colder. Imagine huddling together on a mail truck as you traveled from one town to another in the snow. Yikes!

    Janga: Yay, thanks!! I really need to explore Georgia more. I've been to Atlanta dozens of times, but other than that, I really haven't done GA justice. I've seen such beautiful photos of less big-city areas.

    Karyn: Mmm, hunky dukes and earls, exactly! ;-) I'm fascinated by all the changes and technological advances of the Victorian era. (I love to read steampunk, which takes it in a more unreal direction, but nonetheless also fascinating.) Canada really is a huge country! I promised some friends I'd come up there to visit and do a little adventuring... but not until it's warm!

  12. Yikes! A $600 roaming charge? I think I'd leave my phone off too! What a memorable way to get the news though. I have a feeling there was much celebrating done in Costa Rica that night.

    Erica, I know your next book won't be released until 2011 but I'm eagerly anticipating Susan's story, especially after hearing that there's a pirate involved. Will you share a bit about TOO SINFUL TO DENY? (Love that title, btw!)

  13. Erica, Georgia has some beautiful areas. I live in northwest South Carolina, less than 20 miles from both the Georgia and North Carolina state lines. We're in the foothills and mountains up here (where the scenery is gorgeous). Lots of waterfalls, terrific hiking, beautiful lakes and friendly people!

  14. Sure! I'm super excited about Too Sinful To Deny. (And I cannot wait to get cover art!!!) The brilliant marketing folks who do the cover copy will craft the official blurb at that time (I have absolutely zero blurb-crafting skills, LOL) but here are the first two paragraphs of the proposal I sent my editor:

    For gossip-hungry socialite Miss Susan Stanton, nothing could be worse than being torn from London and shipped off to spend the rest of her life in a desolate coastal village. Nothing, perhaps, except a near-death incident that leaves her with broken bones and an unfortunate ability to see (and hear) ghosts. Desperate to return home despite her parents' decision to wash their hands of her, and determined to keep her newfound talent a secret, she is nonetheless intrigued by handsome, devil-may-care Evan Bothwick--even if he more resembles a footpad than a gentleman.

    Evan Bothwick can't imagine anything more amusing than running illegal contraband right under the watchful eye of the local magistrate. His merry band of thieves (well, pirates) is all the family he needs. That is, until one of them murders Evan's brother. Now it's every man for himself as Evan hunts down a killer while trying to avoid being hung for treason. And that too-nosy-for-her-own-good new girl in town? There's only two ways to shut up the outspoken debutante. One's with a pistol. The other... well, the other is too, but the more figurative kind. Things are about to get interesting.

  15. GA/SC sound gorgeous! I love, love, love hiking and enjoying lakes and waterfalls and nature. (I think that's why I like Costa Rica so much!) Add in the friendly people, and I'm sold. I have to plan a road trip up that way!!

  16. Hey Erica! And welcome to The Romance Dish! I have heard so many great things about your book, Too Wicked To Kiss .

    I used to live on the Florida Gulf Coast too. Just a little further south -- Fort Myers. But I really enjoy the change of seasons in Atlanta. But like everyone else, I'm so ready for this winter to be over!

  17. Hey there, Erica, and welcome!! Happy Release Day to you! Congrats on your baby finally hitting the shelves. How does it feel? I can't wait to read it as soon as I finish my current review books.

    I lived just south of Tampa (Brandon/Riverview) for 16 years before moving to Atlanta 5 1/2 years ago. Besides my friends, the only thing I miss is the warmth in the winter. Like you, I am a cold-weather wuss. LOL

    As for Regency England, I'd love to visit, but I surely would not like to live there for any length of time. I would miss so many things!

  18. Hi, Erica! I love in the chilly state of Massachusetts right now, but I would love to live in Regency England. I just love how they acted, the manners, the clothes - it all seems so much more romantic.

  19. Hi, Erica. Congratulations on your release of TWTK. It sounds very good.

    I live in Iowa and I really love it. (Yes, even when temps are frigid in winter and snow is plentiful. Well, then there's all that humidity in July....I still love my state.) Iowa is really pretty.

    I think I wouldn't mind living in Regency England, but I would have to come from a family of influential means because I like my comforts and all the niceties of life! Don't we all?! LOL

  20. Hi Erica!

    I was born in the Tampa area and moved to the Atlanta area almost 7 years ago when I was 12. I miss the beach and warm weather of FL, but I like GA as well. My family and friends are there and I love working there. I would love to visit Regency England, but I would miss home if I had to stay!

  21. I live in northern California and I love it. We have 4 wonderful seasons. It's hot in the summer (perfect for swimming) and wet in the winter that keeps everything nice and green.

    I would love to visit the Regency period but I'm not sure I could live there...I love my computer to much!!!

    Congrats on this great book!!!

  22. Buffie: The changing seasons are definitely nice. Sometimes I forget that it isn't summertime, and when I call my family from, say, the beach, and their first comment is, "I wish the snow would let up!" it takes me a second to reconcile what they're saying! (Not this winter though... it's been horrible even here. Florida is not frost-friendly, and all our plants are dead!)

    Hi Andrea! I am juuust barely on the Tampa side of 301, so Brandon is much closer to me than downtown! And it feels absolutely awesome to finally have my book in stores!!! (Although it doesn't always feel real! LOL)

    Margay: Oooh, Massachusetts--I bet it IS cold up there! I absolutely agree with you about Regency times being inherently more romantic. It was such a point of pride to be a gentleman (or a lady) then, and courting could be such an art!

  23. You know, I've never been to Iowa! It's one of my dreams to visit all 50 states (or at least the continental 48) so I hope to correct that lack very soon. And I agree... if I were to live in Regency times, rich would be the way to go! LOL.

    Hi Trisha! Do you make it back to Tampa much? I find that I take it for granted sometimes, and don't take as much advantage of the weather and beaches as I should. And then when I'm stuck somewhere with cold weather or no ocean, suddenly I'm homesick for Florida!

    Mitzi: California sounds great! I've visited several times, and everyone I know who lives there, just loves it. And I agree with you about Regency England--what would I do without wifi???

  24. I live in the Mid-West because that is where I grew up..it's not a very original reason but I've gotten used to having all 4 seasons and probably would miss it if I didn't. I would love to live in the Regency period for the clothing of that time, I just love the clothes. I would probably enjoy the manners of the time period although I might have a problem with women's rights issues during that time.