Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fabulous Spring Giveaway!


Spring is here and it's time for a big giveaway from Laughing Vixen Lounge. 11 shops have come together to create one amazing Prize Pack ($280+) full of Jewelry, Perfume, Clothing, Vintage and much more! Many of the shops offer items perfect for any book lover along with lots of other unique, handcrafted and custom designs.


The Fabulous Spring Giveaway is open worldwide. 1 winner will win the Prize Pack. You can enter via the Rafflecopter below. Please visit the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog and the Main Giveaway Post HERE to see the full prize list, participating shops and daily features during the giveaway.


Since Summer is right around the corner the giveaway theme is Vacation Memories. Each of our participating shops, and many of our blog sponsors, will be sharing some of their favorite vacation photos with you.


Giveaway runs May 4th - 18th. Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all giveaway details. See full details HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Guest post on true love and Haunted...

Thanks to KD Grace who graciously invited me to guest blog on her site about my new release Haunted and the inspiration behind it...the love of my life.

Please pop over and check it out if you have some down time. Or some 'wasting time" time. ;)

XOXO
Sommer


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Do yourself a solid: read this book!

Drawn That Way (Bound)Drawn That Way by Bronwyn Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Full disclosure, I was a beta reader for this book before it was published. My plan was to read about a chapter a day due to my schedule. That went right out the window the moment I started reading. I inhaled the entire thing in two days. Drawn That Way is hands down my favorite erotica book I've read this year. I had all the feels, thanks to the wonderful talent of Bronwyn Green. I adored the characters, I loved the plot line, and the writing was spectacular. And did I mention it's hot? Like hot, hot, hot. With all the exclamation points. Do yourself a favor and read it. You won't be disappointed. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 24, 2015

Why Netflix Isn’t Cheap (and why Boom Chicka Pop should come with a warning label)





A lot of you witnessed my household’s fabulous entry into the modern day a while back when I fretted online about getting Netflix, a device, etc, etc. Long story short, despite my original plan of a Wii, I ended up discovering that I could get a Blu Ray DVD player (needed a new DVD player, anyway) with internet connection and Voila! I would have access to Netflix.

It was like magic.

Turned out, when boy child got everything set up and hooked up and turned on, we had other things as well. We had YouTube, we had Crackle, we had Amazon Instant Video.

Addictive.

Here’s the part where you say, but Netflix is super cheap. It really is!

And it is. But…it’s not.

See, here’s how it goes.

Girl child and I get addicted to Flashpoint.

We watch 5 seasons of Flashpoint on Netflix.

According to Amazon there are SIX seasons of Flashpoint. I order season six because…WE CANNOT WAIT. (Turns out there is no sixth season. When the released them on DVD they reshuffled the seasons to create 6 not 5 so yeah, pissed. But whatever.)

Due to my addiction to Flashpoint, I developed a Hulk sized crush on Hugh Dillon. So of course I had to watch The Killing alllllll the way to the end to see the season he was in. No biggie. It was on Netflix.

I also HAD to see Durham County. So (remember, thanks to my Netflix Flashpoint addiction) I bought S1 and S2 on DVD because it wasn’t on Netflix. Then I blew through that and no one (no one!) had S3. And how the fuck can you get 2/3 of the way through a dark story and not know the end?

So….I found it on Amazon Instant Video. And I bought it.

Let’s tally. My very cheap Netflix has now cost me: monthly fee, Flashpoint S6 (that I’d already seen), 2 seasons of Durham County on DVD and one on Instant video… O_o

Then I signed on for 30 days of Amazon Prime because…Veronica Mars. We binge watched three seasons in less than three weeks. That is impressive.

Alas, Veronica Mars was over, we were mourning, and we flitted around but couldn’t find anything that really did it for us (despite at the moment having Netflix AND Amazon Prime). To pass the time I binge watched (yes, I am somehow writing and running a household and keeping myself fed, dressed, and lucid during all this. Don’t ask me how) Hannibal S1 and S2

One day, girl child settles on The Originals on Netflix. She says, “Hmm…I’ve heard it’s good but…”

“But you, like me, said you’d never ever ever watch it? You’d rather eat broken glass?”

“Yeah.” She sighs.

“Fuck it. What have we got to lose?”

So we hit play on episode 1.

Three days and 22 episodes later (22!) we are done. Done. We are sad. We are a little frantic. Having some withdrawal issues.

Me: “Well, what season’s on TV now?”

Her: “Two.”

*looks on demand. Nope.*

*looks on CW app. They offer three full episodes, no more.*

*looks on Amazon Instant Video (of course it’s not part of my free Prime!) and there it is. 19 episodes. 3 more to come. At the modest price of 38 bucks and change.* Um…

“It’s 38 bucks. We’ll have to wait.”

“Yep,” she says. “I guess.”

*silence*

“But we can’t wait! The baby! The war! Oh my god.”

*girl child nodding through my panic*

“We can’t wait!”

She squirms. “I know!”

Later that night…

“You better tell me how much you love me.”

“I love you,” says girl child.

“Tell me again.”

“I love you. Why?”

“Because I just bought Season 2. We start tomorrow when you get home from school.”

“I love you!”

And this is why Netflix is not cheap.

XOXO
Sommer

p.s. This entire TV saga brought to you by Boom Chicka Pop. I started with Skinny Pop and Bronwyn Green professed her love of it also on FB. Then Heidi Champa chimed in and said that Book Chicka Pop’s Lightly Sweet was to die for. So I bought what I thought was Lightly Sweet. It was Kettle Corn. I ate the bag in two days. By myself. Then I bought Lightly Sweet. Two days. I seem to have a popcorn issue and the Boom Chicka Pop is by far the most tempting and hardest to put down for sweet, Skinny Pop for savory.
p.p.s. Shirt I must own thanks to my new Skreened addiction via Alison Tyler found here.

I blame Heidi Champa. And Bronwyn Green. And of course Netflix. And also Amazon Instant Video. And the gunman on the grassy knoll…




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Scary good..."


So yay! Despite trying to avoid reviews, these were brought to my attention. Haunted now has two 5 star reviews on Amazon.

"Creepy, abandoned amusement park? Check.
Ghost hellbent on revenge? Check.
Hot sex? Check.
Two deeply wounded people each trying to banish their own demons? Check and check.

Sommer Marsden's Haunted, is en eerie, gripping story that gave me goosebumps - more than once. It's also a story of healing and realizing that some things are worth taking a chance on. And love is one of those things. If you like a touch of the spooky with your romance, this book is definitely for you!
"~ 5 stars C. Allen-Riley

"Always love Sommer Marsden. This was a sexy healing slightly terrifying ride. Definitely worth the price of admission. Scary good."~ 5 stars Evelyn Adams

To those of you who've picked it up, Thank you, thank you, and a jar full of kisses.

XOXO
Sommer

Friday, April 17, 2015

Release Day! *boogie down*

Haunted is out today! I'm very excited. Not only did I fall in love with this story while writing it, but it's the last novella I wrote while Jim was still alive. I wrote the majority of it by his beside. For that reason it's especially beloved to me.

I won't ramble on. I'll just post the blurb and the buy links below. I hope you'll consider giving it a read and then telling me what you think.

XOXO
Sommer

Amazon
Excessica
*also available at most major vendors. I just haven't grabbed the links yet!

A paranormal erotic romance...

Two people lost and alone in life searching for answers…

Maddox visits abandoned sites to take photographs and figure out his future. He haunts the places that are monuments to the way he feels inside. Stark, empty, raw. And Olyvia searches for answers to her own painful loss by hunting ghosts. Trying to comfort herself by seeking proof of an afterlife.

One haunted amusement park with a dark history…

Maddox and Olyvia recognize kindred souls in one another. But a chance to fully explore their connection is a luxury they may not have. There’s a ghost stalking Screamland hell-bent on revenge. And it’s targeting them. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

All Aboard the Procrastination Train...


photo credit: 47727 Passes Cheeseman's Green via photopin (license)




If you’ve ever read an interview with yours truly, when they get to the part where they ask for advice for new writers, you’ll see this: Write. Write every day…

Or something similar.

Physician heal thyself!

Lately, I’ve been on the procrastination train. I’m trying to be patient with myself. I try to remember my entire world has shifted, rather quickly, and I need to give myself the understanding I would give another person in my position.

Easier said than done, my friend.

So, what have I been doing? Well, everything I shouldn’t, to be honest.

It sort of goes like this in my head.

I’m only half done this novel due in June. It never takes you this long. You should write…

But there’s a lot left. And only a little time. So, instead how about we…

Sew. Watch Netflix. Watch Prime Instant Video. (Seriously, technology is the devil. We inhaled the final two seasons of Veronica Mars in a week. A week!) Go somewhere with girl child (she’s been on break). Go somewhere else with girl child. Sew some more. Clean. Dance to Uptown Funk for the millionth time. Meditate and do yoga. See if I can get a selfie of myself I like. Sit and stare into space…

The list continues.

How avoiding work because there’s so much and so little time works as time management…I’m not sure. Actually, it doesn’t. But the project seemed so big in so short a time span I figured why not just hide! (That’s logical right?)

So, yesterday, I sat and I used my handy dandy new phone—yeah, as a calculator, *snort*--to figure it out. I have X amount of days and X amount of words. Once the hives from having to do math, even with technological assistance, passed I found that I have to write 647 words a day to get this sucker done on time. Usually, 647 words for me is just a warm up, an appetizer. Luckily, it also seems a reasonable number for me to commit to without freaking myself out.

I’ve already hit the goal for today. Thank goodness. I am not sure, barring the obvious, how my normal work pattern has shifted so quickly. Even when I was a full-time mom, full-time caregiver, full-time writer, full-time everything all at once, I managed to write almost every day. Now I have a lot more time on my hands and I can’t seem to tap into that normally, nearly manic, insane drive.
So, I’m going to be patient. And I’m going to put my head down and get my shit together. Because I must.

I guess in the next interview you’ll see this: “Write. Every day. Unless you can’t. Then take a break, blow of steam, work through your shit, and then disembark the procrastination train and get yourself back on track.”

Tada!

XOXO
Sommer
 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sending Flowers to Alison Tyler...

In case you've missed it, Alison Tyler is on a #10000flowers mission. She's asking folks to send her shots of flowers for her blog and to share. To spread something nice and pretty around online.

I'm such a good friend (actually, I'm just quite obsessive when given a mission). Below are some of the flowers I've sent to AT. And believe it or not, I have another. When I wasn't looking, flowers began to spring up in my life. Inside, outside, and now thanks to Ms. Tyler...online!

Send her some flowers and brighten her day. And anyone else's who happens to get a glimpse of the pretty you've sent along.

p.s. Sorry so incommunicado. I've been writing and 'spring-breaking' with girl child. I'll probably be less inclined to silence when my mini-me has been returned to the classroom. (*sob!*)






Monday, March 23, 2015

Spontaneous Cover Reveal!

Spontaneous cover reveal (because I can't stand to wait) for my upcoming novella Haunted (erotic romance) due out 4/17. Of course, cover by the amazing Willsin Rowe​. Story inspired by the magical writing-prompts of Kiki Howell​ Editing by the bad ass Chris Allen-Riley​ of Round Table Author Services​. #boom !

What happens when two people who've hit rock bottom due to loss and pain meet in a haunted amusement park? Will they connect on a level never expected or fall victim to a ghost hell-bent on revenge?




Friday, March 20, 2015

I just want to do the job...



So, yeah…I took a break for a few days. I’m back now. Sort of. While I’m here, I wanted to blog about a few things and just put some of it out there. Readers are welcome to take it, leave it, or just not read it. It’s entirely up to you, but I’m posting because it’s about things online that have been weighing heavily on me for some time and I’m just kind of done. If you know what I mean.

I am finding it harder and harder to navigate online waters without crashing into huge boulders of negativity, aggressiveness, and downright maliciousness. This is not a good environment for me. I don’t really think it’s good for anyone, barring those who get off on drama for drama’s sake. I've kind of felt like I was in an episode of The Walking Dead, having to machete, slice, and shoot my way toward my goal (the wonderful people I’ve bonded with over the years, positive posts, good things) through a sea of groping monsters. I’m mixing a ton of metaphors, but when I started writing full-time, ten years ago this month, and joined the erotica community, it reminded me of a giant dirty slumber party. Going on to chat and check in was fun. It was pleasurable. Now, it often feels like Fight Club. I’m always waiting for the unexpected left hook out of nowhere.



Ironically, no one has really ever done anything to me. That’s not always the important part of the equation, though, is it? Just because no one has ever done anything to me, I’ve still seen flocks of people go after a lot of writers I care about. It’s unnerving to say the least the way these things start as a seed of truth, or sometimes misinformation, and then boom! Overnight you have a huge towering oak of anger, rage and blame.

Sounds a bit dramatic, I know. But the feelings and the stress of a lot of the online goings on, both in the publishing world and outside of it, are very real. Because I’m a human. And what I absorb I respond to. Simple as that.

So, what did I do while offline? Hmm. Let’s see…

I cleaned. Including approximately fifty pounds of once frozen, now-thawed dachshund poop. That was NOT my favorite part of my internet ban.
I cleaned other things. My house is neater. Things I’ve been ignoring since Jim’s death, well, those things got done.
I wrote. I didn’t necessarily write more often. I wrote for longer sprints. I put down more words. I wasn’t constantly checking in on Twitter and Facebook. My thought process was clearer. My mind more in tune with the task.
I watched Netflix. A looooot of Netflix. And also Durham County S1 and S2 on DVD. You’d think I’d get nothing done, watching all these dark crime shows (hey, it’s research. I want to tackle a dark crime novel). You’d be wrong. Without checking in constantly, I still managed to get a shit-ton done.
I breathed/meditated. When I started meditating after Jim died my brain was like a rat in a cage. My mind had been through a lot. It was traumatic, not to put too fine a point on it. But I stuck with it, and now it grounds me. It helps me with my writing, it supplies the plotline gaps, it also let me release all the negativity I’d been taking in.
Most importantly: I was calmer.

Now this is the point where I warn you that if you’re reading this because you think I’m going to name names or point fingers or supply specific situational information that caused my break from social media, sorry. Not gonna happen. That would simply be perpetuating the things that caused me to flee like my hair was on fire in the first place. Ironically, I once saw a writer publicly called out and persecuted for not naming names. For addressing issues and not pointing fingers at specific people. Quite frankly, that literally makes my brain hurt. But much like that friend, I won’t do it. I won’t change my beliefs or actions for anyone else. Period.

Here I get to an amusing part (not really). I broke my internet ban for approximately two seconds the other day to retweet something from an author that helped clarify a misunderstanding that was causing a lot of people to jump all over, quite viciously, I might add, a person I greatly admire and think is a wonderful person.

Two seconds…

The next time I dared to look the very first response to a simple RT was an aggressive tweet. Which served absolutely no purpose other than to be inflammatory.

I retreated back into my turtle shell of Netflix, cleaning, writing and being in real life. Because the immediate off-the-cuff passive-aggressive (not really, more like aggressive-aggressive) nature of the tweet hurt.

Yes, you heard me. It hurt.

I also had an instance of feeling this, if I'm honest~



Here’s the part where people say, “Don’t be so sensitive. Don’t take these things personally.” Yeah but, here’s the problem: I’M A PERSON. It’s hard to not take things personally when you’re seeing someone being falsely accused of a great disservice and you know for a fact that they didn’t do it. Sorry, that hurts. Might not hurt you, but it hurts me and my feelings are the only ones I have to go on. Because I swim around in them all day.

Another part of the internet shunning, for me, was that it’s not getting better. It appears to be getting worse. Every day is a new instance of meanness for meanness sake. Immediate, knee-jerk, decisions to ‘convict’ ____fill in the blank_____ of something. Cruelty, in some instances. What was once a very happy place for me has become a stress trigger more often than not.

Can I change it? Nope. At least not in big ways.

Can I walk away from it? Yep.

It has finally dawned on me, after 43 years, that I choose what goes into my head. I used to say to myself, “You can’t be so sensitive. Everyone is different. Not everyone thinks and/or operates the way you do.” But I have realized, that though that is true, I get to control the junk that goes into my head. I get to control my online environment. And if I don’t want it, I don’t have to have it. Period. Not in the name of ‘sucking it up’.

I ‘sucked it up’ a lot for almost two years during Jim’s illness and then death. What that taught me, along with love someone you love as MUCH as you can love them EVERY DAY, is this:

Live the life you want NOW.

I don’t want the drama. I just want to write.

I told you I’ve been watching a lot of TV (heh). Det. Tom Bykowski on Durham County summed it up best in a S1 episode. My heart leapt when he said it. Yes, I thought. Yes, this is me!



“I just want to do the job. That’s enough for me. I don’t want to play the game.”

Amen.

I know I’ve changed these last two years. I don’t think you could go through losing the love of your life and not change. It’s sensitized me, for sure. Made me more aware of how we treat one another and the consequences of what we choose to focus our energy on. And that awareness is okay. It’s good, in fact.

To wrap up this ridiculously long blog (sorry about that, folks), I’m coming back online. Albeit, slowly and with great care. This industry and online in general can often feel like a mine field, at least for me, personally. No path is the safe path, but I keep stepping the way that feels the best. To the amazing people I’ve been blessed to get to know after ten years of doing this job. Yes, that’s right, there is, in fact, magic on the internet too. Lots of good. Lots of kindness. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and at one point in my life, it literally saved my sanity. The online world of support and love my family and I received was astounding. When I go online, I work my way toward the people who supported me and mine in so many ways, ways I can’t even describe, during the slow and horrible loss of my husband.

So…"I’m back, baby!" to quote George Costanza. It will be in measured doses with a healthy chunk of perspective I’ll carry with me at all times. I’ll gravitate to the good, the happy, the uplifting.
All the rest I plan to blow away with a breath of kindness. Or, ya know, unfriend/unfollow/not look—but kindly-like ;)

This blog is strictly for and about me. I’m not preaching to anyone or judging how you spend your online time. It’s not my place to do so. However, I’d encourage people to not gut react and trash talk online w/o a healthy slab of facts at your disposal, but I fear, in some cases, that’s probably a wasted statement. Instead, I’ll leave you with this…


XOXO
Sommer