Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Towel Tale

So, life has been strange for…oh, the last three years or so. If you follow me, you know. If you don’t and you’re curious just start hopping around on this blog. I won’t rehash why, I’ll just say, for someone who has always cracked herself up…it’s gotten worse (heh).

We seem to always have a shortage of towels around here. We never had that problem when the laundry fairy was with us. My husband was of the belief that we were a “one load per day minimum” household. But seeing as I wrote all day, homeschooled our son, handled all kid stuff, and the various things that would crop up during any given day, he didn’t look to me to do it. If I didn’t manage to toss a load in during the day, he did it in the evening. The laundry fairy name evolved because during the weekend he’d blow through whatever was left. Like a madman. Load after load, until it was done.

We’d pass some loads off to the kids to fold. Or I’d so some. Or he’d do them all. It varied. I was the official ‘putter awayer’. Which is funny because I don’t mind washing or folding laundry, it’s the putting away that kills me. However, if someone is strong arming your laundry for you, you don’t complain.

We no longer have a laundry fairy. And I am the proud sole owner of two teenagers who often forget that things like…oh, clean towels, are important. Until they’re ready to get into the shower and don’t have any.

We’ve gotten a decent system down (at least we try). When they get low someone will throw a load in. Which is where this blog comes in. Like I said, we struggle with laundry, and I talk to myself even more than I used to when Jim was alive. And I am a funny motherfucker, so I crack myself up.

The other day my pile of laundry had gotten way out of control. And we were growing low on towels. To avoid getting out of the shower and wandering down the hallway wet, naked and shouting for anything, anything at all---a clean tee shirt, a dish towel, a paper towel, hell, a coffee filter, I was keeping a close eye on them as I bagged up a load to throw in. It sort of went: clothes, clothes…1 towel…clothes, clothes…two towels…three towels…four towels…five towels…And then the bag was full. I glanced at Jim’s photo on the bookshelf, tossed my head back, and said in my best Sesame Street Count voice, “Five towels!”

And that’s how I cracked myself up and why Sesame Street is still a major influence in my life. Or it’s senility but I’ll stick with my original theory. A pointless blog, really, but if there is a point it’s this:

Always make sure you have clean towels.
Always crack yourself up.
Always remember your lessons from Sesame Street.
Always find something amusing in every single day. Even if it’s a shitty one.

Somewhere my husband chuckled at my self-humor. Humor was big in this house (still is). Almost as big as clean towels and the one load per day minimum.


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Story of the Accidental Bunny Habitat

So, I’ll be the first to admit that since Jim passed the lawn would totally not pass muster with him. I admit it and I do the best I can. It’s become sort of a begrudging Zen thing with me, mowing that bastard yard.

Years and years ago—those of you who followed me on Smut Girl (my original blog) might remember—we had a pear tree that decided to just start dropping limbs. The first being on Jim’s Jeep baby. So, the tree guys came and said it had to come down. It had gotten ridiculously enormous considering it was one of the soft wood pear trees that have caused many a problem. And we figured before it dropped a limb on a person we should have it taken down.

Jim, being Jim, paid extra to have the stump removed. That’s the origin story of the accidental bunny habitat. As the years passed, sans tree, obviously the root system began to break down and rot. And we noticed it was sinking some where the tree had stood.

I really noticed it when he was in chemo. And considering I had about a bajillion things going on and barely had time to breathe, I stuck a stick in it with a red rag tied around it. Ya know…to say…don’t walk here.

Well, everyone and their mother (including Jim’s mother!) walked right over the damn thing anyway. But it really wasn’t that bad. Just a kind of divot. So, I didn’t worry too much.

Last summer the neighbor’s cat escaped (I originally typed her house escaped. I might have mentioned at the beginning of this blog that I was up at 5:15 this morning to drop girl child off at 6:15 for a field trip…but I ramble…) and I saw this woman walk right over my lawn and sort of dip where the stick was. Like she might fall. So that worried me. The following day I went and got the stones that were originally around the base of the tree and formed a ring so that no one would walk there—period.

A week later our trimmer broke. Such a shock! (not really, if you follow me on social media you know that just about every damn thing in my house broke last summer). And so many things had gone haywire/broken since he died and we were nearing winter, it wasn’t a priority. I was fine with looking like the crazy widow who had a stone circle containing…well, very tall grass and nothing else. LOL

Fast forward to this year. The damn grass is growing again (why does it insist on doing that? Can’t we just mow it once and be done?) and the grass in the circle has gotten very tall. The other day, I looked out to see this guy---

He sits in there, in his bunny sanctuary and eats the grass (hey, who needs a trimmer, am I right? Nature, baby!) and dandelions. He seems to feel very secure in there, except for when I mow, which I did today, this pic is from Friday so DO NOT JUDGE ME, PEOPLE! I figure I’ll leave the grass even when I do get a trimmer. Jim had a bunny out back that he used to talk to when he was smoking cigars. The rabbit became so accustomed to his presence and his voice, it would come right up on the patio and sit near his feet. I know it’s not the same bunny, but damn, I used to think that was the cutest thing.

I also figure I’ll leave it (or maybe plant a bush for the rabbits to actually hide under) because that hole, believe it or not, inspired my book Once Bitten Twice Shy. It literally opens with someone falling in the hole. And it was that damn hole I was talking about in the novel.

Thus ends the rambling blog about how I built and accidental bunny habitat. And how I think we’ll name him Petey the Second in honor of Jim’s original bunny buddy. This also acts as an official notice to all of you who have been under a rock and have not heard me bitch about how—I HATE MOWING THE LAWN!

p.s. Bonus excitement! My new melon slicer my aunt sent me (so I can have classy melons) and a baby pineapple. Because…baby pineapple!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Release Day! Muse is live!

I might be mildly excited. Just a touch. A smidge. A wee little bit! My lovely Muse is live today from HarperCollins Mischief and despite the mutant cold from hell I may or may not have given a happy little whoop when I woke up (at five-freaking-thirty, no less) and realized it was release day.

Here's the blurbage and some buy links (available at other vendors as well). If you follow me on social media I'll be posting some tasty little snippets throughout the day. *cartwheel* more coffee. MOAAAAAR COFFFFFFEEEEE!


Life as a nude model wasn’t what Dani Young expected. It was all Chris’s idea. His art class was minus one model and her life needed a change—a big one. An emotional shake up, he said. Something to make her feel wild and brave and free.

She’s learning a lot about herself — her wants, her desires, her unexpected fantasies. But her biggest lesson may be that she deserves so much more than she’s always settled for in the past. Something like a courageous, blazing shot at real love.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What's your jam? (Authors Wanted)

So I'm reading a book where the author did the coolest thing, she put her playlist for the book at the back. At least, I thought it was the coolest thing. Because I'm a nosey somebody. And it got me to thinking I'd love to know the playlists for other books out there. It strikes me as a very intimate way of knowing what the writer was thinking/feeling etc during the process of creating a book. Which leads me to you, AUTHORS. I want to know your jam(s).


There are limited spots and some restrictions for content (certain taboo topics I won't host. I have no issue with them, I just like to avoid any reason for my blog to be pulled. If I have an issue with it, I'll contact you).
What I want:

Choose one book, most recent or fave, works 30,000 words or greater please. Give me your playlist for that book. Example of how to set it up.

If I Ever Leave This World Alive: Flogging Molly
Yellow: Coldplay
Santa Monica: Everclear
Where the Devil Don't Go: Elle King

Any notes, explanations, and additional info for particular characters or scenes related to songs can be explained in a paragraph at the end to give additional insight. (this is optional).

Include a book cover, a bio, a link to purchase your work (2 max), social media links (2 max), blog or website link, a short excerpt 250-500 words that relates to one of the songs listed. The goal is to keep these streamlined and manageable instead of huge rambling blogs. Short is good. People like short. 
Send your playlist bog or any questions to sommermarsden[@]gmail[.]com (remove brackets). Please put PLAYLIST BLOG in your subject line.

Go forth and crank up the jams!


Monday, February 15, 2016

Ten days! (and finding joy)

I felt bad because my last novel Once Bitten Twice Shy got very little love from me. I was still struggling with my mood (still do, to be honest) after losing my husband. It also came smack dab in the middle of let's-get-ready-for-the-holidays-we-don't-want-to-celebrate season. It also came after my first effort at dipping my toe in the dating pond (I have since withdrawn my toe and all other bits from that pond for the time being). So it sort of sat there without much stroking, cooing, or love.

That being said, I am SUPER excited for Muse to come out. Can you tell? I've made some little doodads with favorite snippets from the book. I had a lot of fun doing them. They made me happy. And isn't that what life is all about? Doing what makes you happy. Finding the joy?

Happy snowy Monday.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Because who doesn't love a free sample?

I was very excited to see that Muse was not only up for pre-order on iTunes (release date February 25th from HarperCollins Mischief, baby!) but that they offer a free sample. So if you want to do a taste test on my upcoming novel, you can have your sample now.

As for this novel, if you liked Calendar Girl, Boys Next Door, or Restless Spirit, you will love my gorgeous Muse and her equally attractive suitors. The book contains BDSM, spanking, naked painting, humor, a man bun, and good old fashioned love.

Happy Thursday, or as I like to call it, Pre-Friday :)


Monday, February 8, 2016

Less than 3 weeks, baby!

I just realized Muse is out in less than 3 weeks! Yay! It's up for pre-order now. Which seems to be happening in the UK so that is awesome :)

The only thing more exciting (to me) than Muse almost being live is that I'm almost 10K into the newest novel. It's different for me. A bit terrifying...but a challenge. And I like a good challenge. So, onward and upward with the new book and much excitement over the impending release of Muse. Blurbage and links are below if you care to get your pre-order on.

Happy Monday. Sort of. I is still Monday. Eek!


Life as a nude model wasn’t what Dani Young expected. It was all Chris’s idea. His art class was minus one model and her life needed a change—a big one. An emotional shake up, he said. Something to make her feel wild and brave and free.

She’s learning a lot about herself — her wants, her desires, her unexpected fantasies. But her biggest lesson may be that she deserves so much more than she’s always settled for in the past. Something like a courageous, blazing shot at real love.

Friday, February 5, 2016

"I'm big in Japan"

I think we've all heard someone say that. I'm certainly not but it amused and tickled me that my story Missus, written a few years back for HarperCollins Mischief, has been bought and translated. It even has a shiny cover! When I received word I thought (I'm good with words. No, really. I read things. I just don't always comprehend depending on the level of adulting on any given day) the sale was for the whole anthology. But nope...

So, Tada! My Japanese cover for the standalone story Missus by, :)

Something pretty and shiny to show off given I have been a horribly neglectful blog parent and haven't said boo in a very long time. I'm working on that. I hope to have more chatter going on here in the near future.

The almost but not quite adult...Sommer

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Release Day!! Once Bitten Twice Shy

It's out! It's out! *runs in circles sloshing coffee* Once Bitten Twice Shy is finally out from HarperCollins Mischief today. Boy, for some reason, it felt like this one took forever to release, but now the day is finally here :)

The deets are below as is the gorgeous cover. If you pick it up and enjoy it please drop me a line, toss me a review, send me a carrier pigeon...whatever floats your boat. I love reader input.

Now I need more coffee. I'm currently wearing most of mine.


Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:

August Adams has an awful track record with love. She’s worked very hard to make herself emotionally unavailable. Her life consists of her art, her best friend, and a feral cat named Iris. Until the day Jack Murphy falls into her life. Literally.

The new lawn man takes a tumble into the hole in her front yard — the very hole he’s there to deal with. This man with his big brown eyes, his muscled forearms, and his quick smile shakes up her safe little world from that very first encounter. Ready or not, here he is. Eager to love her and hoping to be loved in return. So it’s all up to August. But can she let go of her past and embrace her future? Or will she remain once bitten, twice shy?

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Holiday Debate that Won't End in a Fist Fight...Mostly

First of all, let us just take a moment of silence to appreciate the sexy beast pictured above...

****moment of silence****

Done? Me neither, but I'll revisit it later.

I watched a debate on the Today show this morning between men and women over whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. The guys are in favor of yes, the gals are in favor of no. So, I shot Alison Tyler a tweet that apparently...we are guys!

That's right. We agree. Die Hard is a Christmas movie. For many reasons beyond it being set at Christmas. Imagine that, me and AT agreeing on something. *snort*

So now you weigh in. I truly have mad curiosity about this topic. me your opinion. *Is* Die Hard a Christmas movie, or are we totally, totally wrong? Beats talking about what's going on in the world...that's for sure!

Ho, Ho, Ho...

Monday, November 9, 2015

"The Smile Experiment" or "My Trip to the MVA for My Mug Shot"

Photo “Smile” ©Sommer Marsden

I know I’m not smiling a lot lately. Oh, I smile at my kids and I tend to smile back at people who smile at me. But that’s about it. I’ve always had RBF (Resting Bitch Face) but I smiled more readily back in the day. I’m not blind to the fact that even though our family has passed that supposedly-magic (it’s not) year point of grieving that my smile is often MIA.

Today was my trip to the MVA for drivers license renewal. I tried to renew it by mail but misunderstood the form and didn’t send an eye doctor note saying I wasn’t Mr. Magoo. So I had to go in and do it the old fashioned way, sitting there for a century waiting to be called.

Since I was killing time and I’ve been doing a lot of introspection (sounds super intense but it’s not really) I decided to try smiling. For no fucking reason other than to smile, to be honest. Maybe it would help my mood and my experience as the computer called out Now Serving B 33…and so on.

I smiled for no reason. I smiled at people. People are so frowny in the MVA and I’ve always been one of them too. A lot of people smiled back, a lot of them looked like I was insane…that’s cool. I just kept smiling.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t sit there grinning like the Joker for 45 minutes straight, but I made an effort to smile at others.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who plays this game. We watch the people who work there, evaluate them (hey, you’ve got time on your hands, right?) and pick the one you hope you get. Well, I got my guy and I walked up to him when my number (B45 in case you were wondering) was finally called.

First thing out of his mouth, “Well, hello, Miss Smiley, how are you today?”

Boom! Instant gratification. My experiment had worked. I was going into this with a person with a great attitude and it would be better than most scenarios at MVA where I get someone rude and I end up looking like one of America’s Most Wanted on my license.

So, I sat in the picture chair and smiled when he told me to. My signature tight little controlled close mouthed smile. He added as he was taking it, “Oh, I saw you smiling over there. A great smile.”

Then his forehead wrinkled and he said: “Well, that’s good but why don’t you smile showing your teeth?”

“I never have. I just don’t…like to.”

“You should. Great smile.”

“You sound like my daughter.”

“Well, she’s right.”

Then we do this and that and the other, pressing buttons, answering questions, and he says, “How old is your daughter?”

“Seventeen. I have a nineteen year old son, too.”

“Get out! You do not.”

“I do.”

“Well, good for you…You certainly don’t look like you could have kids that old.” (Bonus points for him for tossing my ego a nice meaty snack.)

This went on and on. My eye exam, chit-chatting, and then he guessed my occupation. “Health care?”
I laughed. And for the first time in my entire life with a stranger I smiled (couldn’t help it at that point) and said very confidently, “I’m a writer.” But I wasn’t dreading the next question. There’s always that next question. Or in this case, a guess.

“Kids books?”

I laughed again. (and here’s the first >>>---->) “Oh, no, I write dirty books. Or you can call them erotic romance.”

Another more boisterous, “Good for you!!”

It goes on, but I really think that all that random fucking smiling dictated this exchange and my self-confidence to flat out say what I did to a stranger for the first time ever. I wasn’t worried about judgement, I wasn’t worried about shock or horror, I wasn’t worried about anything…because all that sporadic smiling had changed me on the inside and turned what could have been an hour in hell to a pretty damn fun encounter.

Then he says: “Are you sure I can’t convince you to smile showing your teeth?”

“It’ll be terrible,” I assured him.

He shrugged, “So we take it again.”

I caved. I was on board. I took it again. This time I smiled showing my teeth.

“There you go!” he said as I ran my card through to pay. Then he’s scrolling…”Do you know this is the first time you’ve ever smiled showing your teeth…ever?”

“You can see all that?”

“I can. Hey, look, we made history today.”

Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know that I learned something today. And I know that was the most fun I’ve ever had in an MVA in the history of ever. So maybe we did make history today, after all.

He ended with “You have a beautiful day.”

I told him that thanks to him it was definitely looking like it would be one. And then I smiled at him again. I couldn’t help it. ;)