Sunday, April 29, 2012

22 years of ignorance...

You might wonder how a person never saw Twin Peaks. Hell, I wonder. I remember it coming out and all the hoopdie doo and all those who watched it chattering away at school or work. But it seemed to me, at the time, at the ripe old age of 19 that it was too much friggin' effort. And it also seemed like one of those shows that if you missed *one* single episode (back in the stone ages before on demand where if you missed it, you missed it) you were hosed.

Let's not forget, I was nineteen, in college taking something like 17 credits and working two jobs at the time. When I did have free time, I read, watched movies or went out with my friends.

So I went 22 years without knowing who killed Laura Palmer. And not a single soul ever revealed to me who done it. Which was spectacular when I found the collection of Twin Peaks at my library to borrow and decided, at 40, to experience what so many people had talked about for so long. In the comfort of my own home.

The rules were: No child or husband was allowed to tell anyone that I was watching it. Because, you damn well know that as soon as they revealed it, some joker would say, "What, you didn't know that ______________ killed Laura Palmer!" and then I'd have to kill that person. I'm too young and vibrant for jail. The other rule was, I did not mention it to anyone online, no matter how strange, funny, or mindfucky the episode might be (giants,little people, owls, eye patches, spirits, screaming----loooooots of screaming, invalids...I could go on) for the same reason. So no one would inadvertently ruin it for me.

Now I'm done. And might I say: "What the fuck?"

I loved it. I hated it. It was awesome, It was awful. I have never seen a television show (past or present) that could run the gamut from hysterical to bone chilling in one episode. I have also never seen such a cluster of good actors doing bad acting. Overly-dramatic, super surreal music, true soap opera fashion...on crack. A mish mash of theory, lore, speculation, Buddhism, waking dreams and well, the kitchen sink!

I can sum up the final episode thusly: Me in the living room watching it, girl child on her iPad half watching and boy child yells down from upstairs "*WHAT* ARE YOU WATCHING!?!?" Seriously, half the episode was screaming and the other half was strange music and the rest was a valiant effort to tie up loose ends with pretty bows due to being canceled. As for the last 20 seconds, well, as goofy as the 'wrap up' was and as confusing...thank you Dale Cooper for putting a chill up my spine.

Now, all that being said, anyone see the Psych episode of Dual Spires? Ha! Oh, and I need a tee that says I FINALLY KNOW WHO KILLED LAURA PALMER. Tada!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Zen Again

I told the man I really needed to find my Zen...again! I keep losing it, damn it. He sent me this...

You know what that means, he thinks I'm nutso, but loves me anyway.

Happy weekend to you! Mine is crazy until Sunday. Sunday I plan to sprawl on some flat surface and not move. Yeah, like *that* will happen. Well, a girl can dream.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

*squeaky dolphin noises*

Look what's out in print in the UK today! Did you guess my novel Restless Spirit? You are super smart.

Boy am I jealous. One day I plan to go and just visit myself in bookstores. Wouldn't that be a great itinerary for travel? I shall go and visit my books in bookstores and fondle them! Sounds like fun.

Now, before I put myself on lockdown to write, I just had to say yay! Restless Spirit is out in print today (print coming in August to the US). And hey! If you see me while you're out and about, snap a pic of my lovely book and send it my way. I'll share it with everyone here on the blog. :)

Last but not least, my Restless Spirit print winner is (#3 chosen by Tracy! Once I have my author copies I'll be sending one along to her. Thanks everyone for commenting and sharing deets about your big stuff. :) You are some brave folks.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One day left!

Until the paperback version of Restless Spirit is released (UK version, US soon to follow)! Which  means, one day left to enter my "big stuff" contest. Just comment about something big and/or risky you've done in your life. Could be as big as moving cross country to date a man you'd never met in person or know, buying expensive shoes when they weren't on sale. Hey! If it's risky to you, who am I to judge.

Tomorrow, I'll draw from the comments and the winner gets a copy of Restless Spirit as soon as *my* copies arrive. So once I have mine, you get yours, hot off the presses! GO HERE to ENTER. And stay tuned for the second week of May when the Restless Spirit book tour happens. There will be character dish and chatter and yes, prizes. Huzzah!

Now I go back to trying to wake up. It is not an easy task today...[yawn].


Monday, April 23, 2012

And in the "Yay!" category:

Blue and Green feather I finished proofreading my novel (as my original self) today. I am so excited! I kept waiting to think it sucked, but that didn't happen. It's been sitting untouched in a file on my computer for over a year. I was nervous to say the least. Now I am psyched. I want to put this baby out in the world. But first...beta readers ahoy!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

A very important blog...

Sometimes after dinner is done, we linger. We discuss very important things. Tonight, we did that. Me with my wine and them with their dessert. Driving had come up. I told them the story of how my mom taught me to drive and then tried to teach me to park with their actual car between actual other cars on an actual street...and then my dad went damn near apoplectic. So then he went and fleshed out a parking spot of the exact dimensions in the MVA handbook at the very school girl child is about to graduate from. Then he made me park like...a thousand times. (I passed my test with flying colors on the very first try).

Then I noticed boy child arranging his Jolly Rancher jelly beans by color as we talked. Little soldiers of bright sugar all lined up on his napkin. Which lead to the heavy conversation. Top secret stuff. Make sure you have your clearance. Ready? Here goes:

Gummi Bears
(originals (Haribou))in order from least favorite to favorite.

Yellow (least)
Green (fave)
*pineapple is only eaten if drunk or desperate


 Yellow (least)
Green (fave)


Yellow (least)

*who remembers green ones? They had lime ones when I was growing up. I am *still* pissed that the discontinued them!

Jolly Ranchers (original flavors)

Strawberry (least)

*green apple is only eaten in the case of a zombie apocalypse or if I find myself shipwrecked.

Now note that green is my favorite if it's lime, shunned if it's green apple. Green apple anything is an abomination. Not quite as bad as banana flavored stuff. Or um...pineapple gummi bears!

So that's my scoop. How about you? Do you have a system? I promise to keep your secret if you share :)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Signs of insanity...

Or just normal me? Let's start at the beginning:

 My giant bottle of rotgut. Is it to dull the pain of my wretched writer's existence clean? Ding-ding-ding! It's to clean. I read in some article or another about using vodka as a rug deodorizer (it did work like a dream), but now I've read it works for bathroom ick. Like that mold we all get from the damp environment. And if you know anything about me, you know I am a huge cheimicalphobe, so straight up liquor is fine by me. I know what's in it and I can't drink it anyway (wheat)...Not that I would (sorry Baltimore, I know you make Rikaloff, top of the, booze in a plastic bottle).

Next! We move on to, talking to my characters. I've finally snapped, or I've just finally found a way to write guest blogs for a tour without feeling like I'm floundering about while being zapped with a taser. I always feel very awkward gust blogging. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming Restless Spirit Tour. I will be having some probing conversations with some of my characters. Don't call the men with the butterfly nets...yet.

Now we move on to talking openly about sex with young folks. What? Won't that make it? No. It will not. The duh is implied. I had a very interesting conversation with girl child the other night while we watched The Secret Circle together. All the girls on that show are portrayed as very sexually advanced at sixteen (confirmed Thursday by them showing their birth dates). They randomly spend the night with young men. The show is pretty in your face with it (much like Buffy was once upon a time). Which is more realistic than society's current thought that kids should be kept in the dark about sex lest they want to have it. And no one should imply any of them are having sex because that makes them okay. Jesus.

I'm very frank with my kids and they can ask me anything. I've been called a sex advocate before and guess what, I consider myself a sex advocate. I want to inform my kids of safe, sane, consensual and above all else, empowered sex. So when girl child sent me the link below and said, "Given our convo the other night, I thought you'd like this" I had a mommy warm fuzzy moment. I would NEVER have sent that link to my mom. Most kids her age I know wouldn't feel okay sending it to their mom. The fact that she did...well, I feel like I'm doing something right.

This is how we should be talking with our young people about sex. Bravo! :

Next, is misplaced notes. That's right. I had the ideas, I wrote them down, I was very excited...I lost them. They're around here somewhere. I'll have come up with and written three different stories and then...that's when I'll find my super secret hiding spot for my notes.

Final insanity, sex laughing jag! Today, no less. The man and I actually managed to carve out some top secret time for s-e-x and I got to laughing so hard for no reason, it was nuts. We've been watching a lot of Duck Dynasty around these parts and here we are in this sexy situation, having managed to dart off for time in the bedroom, and I made the mistake of saying "Hey!" before a sentence. If you've seen the show, you know that "Hey!" will make you think of Uncle Si. So here I am, when I should be all quiet and furtive, laughing top volume because I can't stop saying "Hey!" Forget the kids hearing me, I'm sure the whole neighborhood heard me. And then he started laughing because, well, you know I am amusing...

The final thing, that is just something I want to share in this mish-mash of I-have-not-blogged-in-a-while insanity:

The perfect blueberry smoothie. I whipped this up yesterday and it is my breakfast now.

1/2 cup of all natural no sugar added applesauce
1/2 a cup of frozen blueberries
splash of almond milk
splash of 100% juice fruit juice
*make your splashes smaller or larger depending on how thin or thick you like it.

Whir that up until you have the right consistency and tada! 100 calorie purple/blue breakfast full of antioxidants. Just make sure you brush your teeth after. You're going to look like a pirate.

And I'm over and out. What a long, crazy blog it's been.

Happy weekend!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway of Angry Sex...

There's still plenty of time to enter. And there's still plenty of time to comment on the blog below this one. I'm loving your comments and thank you for leaving them! :)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Angry Sex by Sommer Marsden

Angry Sex

by Sommer Marsden

Giveaway ends May 29, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How, oh how...

Did you find me? The older I get, the nosier I get. And I am trying to perfect this working writer thing. The busier I get the more I want to understand some of the ins and outs of being the best writer I can be and I also want to understand you the reader. So...that leads me to a very important question. How did you find me and my humble books?

Did you see one of my covers and like it? Read one of my short stories? Did a friend recommend me? Did we speak on Twitter and then you bought a book? Did you fall bass ackwards into me the way I have stumbled over some of my favorite writers?

I am very curious and the input will help me work better and smarter and maybe even be *more* productive (though I think I might disintegrate if I do that).

I'd love it if you'd share and if you are a super shy type, of course you area always welcome to email me at hot4sommer [at] yahoo [dot] com. Thank you in advance! Your input and the fact that you read me at all--even if it's just this little blog of mine--is a huge honor.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Exciting stuff...

I have so much of it that this should be a newsletter. LOL! (Speaking of, don't forget to sign up for mine. You get all kinds of goodies as we go. The sign up is that way~~~~>). Ready? Here we go.

#1 Our winner of the giveaway is Gillian! Yay, Gillian. I got various folks entering in various ways. At least a few folks took advantage of each option, so I'll make sure to give a few options in the future. But the RNS chose Gillian. Woohoo!

#2 The Secret Library is on its way. And it is gorgeous. *And* I'm a part of it (along with some great writers like KD Grace, Lucy Felthouse, Charlotte Stein, Elizabeth Coldwell, Justine Elyot, Shanna Germain and more that are escaping me at the mo').  Visit the site to learn more:

And finally...

#3 My newest publisher (smoking hot new books, folks) Mischief is giving away! The promotion runs through April, but I believe the books will be switched up. So grab your goodies--free and nicely discounted--while you can. Go, go, go! Don't just stand there. :) [Note: as it stands it *looks* as if this offer might only work for UK residents, but I'm looking into it.]

That's all of my news. I know there's more, but I just woke up and I've been off caffeine for weeks. You can only expect so much from me.


Friday, April 13, 2012

It's my lucky day! [WEEKEND GIVEAWAY]

The 13th. And since it's a Friday the 13th [shh...can you hear the horror movie music?], I'm giving away a print copy of Angry Sex. Just came in! Fresh off the um...porch. Where UPS left 'em.

Anyway, chances to win are simple:

Comment OR email and get a chance. (sommermarsden at gmail dot com)
Follow me on Twitter and get a chance (@sommer_marsden)
Follow me on Facebook and get a chance (
Follow this blog and get a chance.

I'll chuck all the chances in a proverbial hat and pick one. The more you do, the bigger shot you have.

I'll send you a signed hard copy and some swag. I'll run this all weekend long and Monday morning I'll choose and contact a winner. *Make sure you leave a contact email! :)

Happy Friday the 13th!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Naughty boooks, ahoy!

I am woefully behind on updating you on books I'm appearing in. I blogged Erotica 2 edited by Barbara Cardy a while back, but I'm going to reiterate that and add Erotica 7 edited by Barbara Cardy to the fray. Woohoo!

And...I'm also in this little ditty called Shaming Mrs Sloan edited by Elizabeth Coldwell for Xcite.

There are more to come! I knew once April hit it would be a roller coaster ride of announcements. Eek! When it rains it pours. Dirty books, apparently. Oh well, better than cats and dogs. They get tangled up in my hair.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A slow fuzzy rolling ball of words...

When I realized I wanted to be a writer, I barely wrote. I wrote poetry, school papers, small things. Hell, I once passed a college Math course based on the quality of a paper I wrote. It was not my math skills, trust me. I also am still being taught, to the best of my knowledge, at a local college for "Core Classes" on how to write papers. Isn't that cool?

But then I stopped writing.

After a long bit of not writing. I started writing again. Girl child was small and I was having, for want of a better word, an identity crisis. I was supposed to have been a famous writer by then! (27) At the very least, I was supposed to have been a published writer by then (not counting college stuff). What was I? Who was I? From my perspective I was a young woman with an office job and two small kids (and a kick ass husband). A wonderful life for sure, but not the one I had pictured for myself only a few short years before.

The man, being so fucking calm and logical said, "Then write."

I wrote. I wrote a whole damn novel that everyone in my life read. I sent it out to publishers. I got praise but no bites. It was a mystery and as far as plot goes it was fair. As far as characters go, I am still super proud of it. But it sits in a drawer utterly dusty and marked up and dog eared from so many familial readers. But it did spur me on  to write all kinds of things. Short stories, poetry, flash fiction. And I was published. Huzzah!

Hesiod and the Muses by Gustave MoreauThen my mother-in-law went back to work. We had no reliable child care and I decided to a) get the man a better job by planting a bug in his hear about one I'd heard of (he'll agree to this, I think) and b) quit my not terribly paying job to stay home. Things would be tight, super tight, but we'd make it work.

I stopped writing.

Then I home schooled for a few years due to various reasons and ended up keeping sane by writing stuff little things here and there, but nothing major. Nothing to sink my teeth into. I was floundering.

Our neighborhood changed, for the worse, and we put our house up for sale. We moved in with family for a very long year. Long to us because we are damn near hermits and 9 people in a house is lunacy, long to them because my brother-in-law had been deployed. But the week we moved in, I was officially cleared to go as a writer if I wanted. The kids were attending public school and I was given, by my wonderful man, a laptop after we got the house money.

I wrote...a bit.

March 2005, I stumbled over a site while researching another mystery I was writing (still living with family and volunteering in the kids new classes almost every single day. I even worked the library to boot.) It was I read a story. I read a 'porn' story. And I thought...hunh. So I googled for places taking submissions and found another wonderful place called Ruthie's Club. I read another story. I was floored. And I wondered if...I that?

So I did and within ten hours of submitting they'd taken my story and asked for more. That was when it clicked for me. I was a writer and I was going to write. Period.

I haven't looked back. I pretty much write every day. If I don't, I often feel restless and crazed and sort of...grumpy. For years now, I have been bombarded with ideas and as this train clicks along on its imaginary track, I often feel frazzled trying to keep up. I want to write, I want to get it all, I don't want to miss anything at all. At all!

But lately things have shifted and I'm not sure why. In fact, I'm not even sure why I'm blogging this (wrote globbing first time) other than I am pleased and a bit peaceful and I love to stumble over things in blogs that I can identify with, so maybe you can identify. Things in me have found this low lulling rhythm.

I seem to be operating in this slow fuzzy rolling ball of words. And no, I am not still on those killer pain meds from surgery ;). I get ideas but am okay to either mentally file them away or jot them down. I am much more Zen about ideas, how fast they come and the (once upon a time) urge to do something with it right NOW! Which often stressed me out because I was juggling multiple long projects and usually shoving in several shorts where I could.

I don't know how long it will last. I don't even know if it will last. I might wake up tomorrow back to my white-knuckling self. I sometimes feel a stab of panic that I feel this way because I'm slacking off. But then I take three big steps back and look at my week. This week is trying to finish the secret selfish project (already up to 54k), two shorts--roughly 4k each, various bits of maddening paperwork and copy, and proofing a novel as my original self I'm hoping someone will be daring enough to publish. That is my new hope. This book as my original self being out there to be read.

I'm definitely not slacking off. Maybe I'm just learning to cut myself some slack, is all. I must be getting old. ;)


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


It's rare to see a movie adaptation that even comes close to the book, in my opinion. I usually feel pretty let down. I remember being pretty damn happy by The Dark Half movie based on Stephen King's book. That, for me, did justice to the book. (Whereas, Pet Sematary...kill me now). Anyway, I didn't finish this book until Easter evening, so it was all very fresh in my head. Which means I could have been hyper critical if I wanted to be. And...I wasn't. It was a spectacular movie, in my opinion, where they tried to stick as close to the book as possible, and when they couldn't, the compromise was spot on.

We had a predictor behind us. This would be a person who would lean in to his companions and say, "Now she's going to..." and reveal stuff about three seconds before they happened. Had I been with him, I'd have smothered him about twenty minutes in. There was also a massive throat clearer and a popcorn bag rattler and the dreaded cell phone addict who couldn't just keep it in her pants.

But overall, the movie was a great deal of fun and we all came out very happy. One of the most exciting moment for me was when I realized Stanley Tucci was in it! No one told me Stanley Fucking Tucci was in this. I was so happy. I have a bit of a crush on Mr. Tucci. Like...he'd be on my freebie list and everything.

And yes, I did cry. Those of you who saw the movie or read the book know what part. And I bawled like a baby. To the point where I think I embarrassed girl child. Oh well, she'll live. I hope to embarrass her for many more years to come. Huzzah!

(Now I impatiently wait to get my hands on book two)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Still hungry...

So after speed reading The Hunger Games after my children spent months (nay, years, says boy child!) poking me in the ass with pitchforks, I am still hungry. To see the movie, that is. We were supposed to go today after my mad dash to read the whole book in four days while working and Easter and all that jazz. But one of the spawn is experiencing intestinal disturbances today. Intestinal disturbance the day after Easter=too much fucking chocolate.

Me: How much chocolate did you eat?

Minion 1: Some

Me: What's some?

Minion 1: A bit

Me: Do you know what chocolate is?

Minion 1: Delicious?

Minion 2: Is it a laxative? (joyously)

Me: Yes, yes it is...

So! The plan for tomorrow is NO CHOCOLATE and to actually manage to see The Hunger Games. I'm in the process of snagging book two as we speak. Can't wait to see what happens!


Saturday, April 7, 2012


Easter or Spring or whatever it is you celebrate. We have brunch tomorrow. I'm excited, I haven't really been to a family function since before surgery. I am finally, happily, utterly starting to feel like myself again. Still a bit slower but totally getting there. Baking, writing, walking the dog, wine, sex, cooking dinner. You like how I slipped that wine and sex in there, didn't you? Yeah. Me too. ;)

Happy tomorrow. Whatever it is you might do!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Get 'em while they're hot...

Snafu all rectified. My bestselling M/M novella Unexpected is Deal of the Day at Ebook Eros. Ten copies, a buck a pop, that's about an 80% savings. Grab one. :)

Off I go to do whatever I am supposed to do. Whatever that was...I have forgotten. :/


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Angry Sex on My Porch

My copies came! The UPS man literally chucked them onto my porch (Grr...). But, they are soooooo pretty! I lined them up, held them up, examined them and made some girlish noises. Willsin Rowe's cover is just as gorgeous in person as it is in ebook.

I'm putting up a little dirty snippet of Angry Sex today to celebrate. It is definitely NSFW.

Also, thanks to all my guest bloggers this week and to all the readers who read them and those who left comments. :)

I have writing to do, banking to do, thrift storing to do with girl child. Busy, busy bee. Buzz, buzz, buzz...but first. That dirty NSFW snippet:

*also now available in print
by Sommer Marsden
NSFW Excerpt:

He moved over her, kissed her once, hard, and stared her down. “Hi,” Adam said, positioning himself between her legs. But he didn’t push into her. Just positioned himself that way—in a holding pattern—right above her and touched up against her nether lips.
“Hi,” Luna breathed, trying very hard to stay still. To stay calm.
“Hi,” he said again and slipped into her slowly. She was so wet he entered with ease, driving deep so that they connected with the smack of pelvic bones and matching gasps of pleasure.
Luna nodded, stupidly. She gripped him, and moved her hips up to fill herself with his cock. He was thick which stretched her in a way she wasn’t used to. Until recently, it had been masturbation with slim toys for quite a while and now…oh now, she was full of him and it felt good to be full. “Okay?” he asked, his movements amping up. His thrusts rough and desperate.
“Okay, okay,” she said and nodded. A slam of emotions worked through her—the anger at his anger toward her. The shock that her bedroom door was open and they were fucking. The remembered sadness that her son was gone. She shut her eyes to block it out, to hide it from him.
Now was not the time for emotion. Now was the time for release.
Adam kissed her again and must have caught something. His fingers swept the moist skin beneath her eyes and she shuddered internally because there was no denying the wetness on his fingertips. “None of that, boss lady,” he said.
She made a noise like a startled bird when he grabbed her arms and pushed them above her head. Elbows bent, wrists crossed, upper body pinned beneath his. She brought her legs up high and wide to get him in as deep as he could get. Every thrust brought his pelvic bone down on her clit, sending a damp shiver through her body. She was going to come. But so caught up in the pain and confusion, lust and urgency, she felt like she was swirling down a drain. Being sucked to nowhere on a wave of tainted pleasure. Goodness deeply veined with grief.
Adam shoved hard against her wrists, the small bones grinding together provoking a burst of pain. He found the tenderest bit of her throat with his teeth and bit her, all the while rocking into her with quiet intention.
She came. The noise of her orgasm ripped out of her on a deep and embarrassing sob. She was too far gone to stop it and her confusion made its loud stamp on the quiet room with a different mournful sound. And yet her pussy continued to clamp and spasm around him. Taking every thrust he offered, milking every ounce of bliss she could get from their coupling. It left her weak and shaken.
Adam pulled from her, grunting, “good”. When he stood, cock hard and flushed, it hit her—he hadn’t climaxed.
He was rifling in his pants and she sat up, wiping her eyes, too shocked to feel embarrassed by her tears. “You didn’t…” she started.
He glanced at her, blue eyes flashing in the low light thrown off by the dim table lamp she always kept on. “Didn’t what, boss lady?”
He flashed her a half smile and she felt heated attraction fill her again. “You didn’t come.” She nodded to his erection even as a blush heated her cheeks.
Adam ripped his belt from the loops and Luna watched, feeling slow and confused. What the hell what he doing?
When he moved toward her, she didn’t think to move away. She simply sat there. He dropped to the bed and grabbed her hand. She turned her palm against his and clasped his hand briefly, he squeezed as if they were sweethearts holding hands.  “That’s because we’re not done yet,” he said.
Then he placed her hand on his cock and she felt his pulse there, the dampness on his skin from their sex, the jerk of his desire when she squeezed. Adam gave another grunt—for some reason his caveman sounds turned her on to no end—and then he whipped his belt out and around her wrist. Before she could react, he’d moved behind her, the mattress bouncing joyfully with his movements.
“What are you doing?” she squeaked.
“We’re supposed to be having angry sex, Luna. Not sad sex, or emotional sex, or happy sex, or giggly sex. Angry sex. So, I’m helping you get your anger back.”
She had no idea what he was talking about, but when he grabbed his belt and used it to truss her upper arms up so she couldn’t move them, she let out a caterwaul worthy of an angry cat.
“Let me go!”
“Nope. Hang out right here and get your anger back, lady.” He grabbed a pair of nylons she had on the bedside chair and did something with them. He was behind her and so were her hands so she had no idea what he was doing—all she knew was the end result was she couldn’t move away from the bedpost. She was not only trapped in his belt but she was bound to her bed.
Luna’s breathing was hard and she gritted her teeth—ire filling her gut.
“Let me go,” she said as calmly as she could.
“Soon.” He turned and started to walk to the doorway. His cock was still hard and flushed, and she still felt an amazing surge of want when she saw him.
“But where are you going?” Her voice was too high, too panicky.
“To make a sandwich. I’m starved.” He walked out of the room as she sat there gaping.
What. The. Fuck?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guest Blogger: Katie Salidas

Yay! Katie Salidas is here today to talk about her most current book Soulstone. Katie's writes vampires. And here she looks so sweet, now doesn't she? ;)

Without further chatter, away we go with Katie...


To kill, or not to kill, that is the question!

So, at the end of Pandora’s Box (Book three in the Immortalis series) I left readers with a question, “Is Lysander truly dead, or can he be saved?”
No, I’m not going to reveal his fate now, you’ll just have to read Soulstone to find out.
I know, I’m such a meanie! =p
But, it brings up a great topic. Killing off characters.
As an author, my characters are somewhat like my children. Each one has a backstory, a current story, and a potential future. I’ve taken a lot of time developing them.  I’ve created them from scratch and watched them virtually grow. So, with that in mind you’d think it would be abhorred to me to end their fictional existence.  I mean, what mother would ever want to harm their child, right?
In some cases, yes. There are some characters that would break my heart to destroy. On the other hand, there are some characters who need to die. Boy do I sound mean now. Stick with me though and you’ll see what I mean.
Some characters have to die. It’s the circle of life. (insert the famed Elton John song from the Lion King). Every fictional character has a lifespan. They have a purpose in a story and sometimes their death serves that purpose.
In Pandora’s box, for example, I had to kill of a character I loved. I felt very sad when the moment came to end her existence, and I am not afraid to admit that I shed a tear for the loss of her fictional life. She was one of my favorite secondary characters.
Hers was a necessary death. It created a chain reaction of events. Without her death, her mate would not have developed the reckless attitude that allowed him to challenge the werewolf pack leader and earn his respect. Without that earned respect, the wolf pack would never have helped the vampire clan with the Pandora’s Box. This is of course a simple explanation of the events in Pandora’s Box, but you see just like with real life, every action has a reaction and all things are connected. It’s the butterfly effect. You know, that theory that if a butterfly flaps his wings somewhere in the world and it causes a ripple effect that eventually links to a hurricane on the other side of the world. I believe it is also known as chaos theory. But, I’m getting off track. The point is, sad as it can be, some character deaths have to happen.
So, some deaths are necessary. But, there are also “fun” deaths. Now I sound like a psycho. LoL. And to that I’ll say, all writers are a little bit crazy. Sometimes it’s therapeutic and even fun to kill off a character, especially an evil one that “has it coming.” There is a certain satisfaction for me as a writer when I kill off a bad guy, and I’ll bet other authors out there can attest to this too.
The “bad guy” deaths. Those are the deaths you expect to see in a book. The bad guy should have an untimely end. And there is an unwritten rule that says the death of the bad guy needs to match up with the level of evil that “bad guy” has committed. That’s what makes the death really satisfying. You want them to pay for their crimes. And making them pay is fun. It’s vindication for not only the author but the reader too. As much as I have fun killing off bad guys in the most deserving way possible, readers too tell me they love it when the bad guy “gets it!”
So, writing character deaths is a natural part of the fictional circle of life, and sometimes a really fun part of being an author.
And yes, if you read to the end of Soulstone you’ll find out Lysander’s fate. Until then, you’ll just have to wonder…

Book 4 in the Immortalis Series
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It’s a desperate time for rookie vampire Alyssa, and her sanity is hanging by a slender thread. Her clan is still reeling from the monumental battle with Aniketos; a battle that claimed the body of Lysander, her sire and lover, and trapped his spirit in a mysterious crystal. A Soulstone.

Unfortunately, no amount of magic has been able to release Lysander’s spirit, and the stone is starting to fade. Weeks of effort have proved futile. Her clan, the Peregrinus, have all but given up hope. Only Alyssa still believes her lover can be released. In despair, Alyssa begs the help of the local witch coven, and unwittingly exposes the supernaturals of Boston to unwanted attention from the Acta Sanctorum.

The Saints converge on the city and begin their cleansing crusade to rid the world of all things “Unnatural.” In the middle of an all-out war, but no closer to a solution to the dying stone, Alyssa is left with an unenviable choice: save her mate, or save her clan.

Sample Chapters

Down the creaky steps I walked, alone, heading for the basement.
Visiting Lysander had become my nightly ritual. I’d wake up in my bed, reach out to the empty sheets, and feel nothing but crushing emptiness. It’s hard to believe that the absence of someone can bear such a heavy weight on one’s soul, but it does. That’s when realization would hit me, and I’d relive that terrible memory of seeing Lysander, my love, my mate, dive into the flames. Only after coming downstairs to the dark, dungeon-like basement, would I feel better.
I took a deep breath and stepped down onto the cold concrete floor. To my already tepid skin, the ground felt icy. Winter’s chill had frozen everything, and the basement was no real shelter from the cold. I probably should have worn something more than socks, but in my desperation to see him, I’d ignored basic necessities. I shook off the chill working its way up my spine and continued on.
“Good evening sweetie.” I said it as if he could hear me.
His spirit could, I guess, but Lysander had no voice with which to respond. Still, it made me feel better to talk to him as if he were alive and in front of me.
“It’s snowing outside. Boston is a winter wonderland. Zuri took us shopping for coats and boots.” Lysander had lived the last fifty years in Las Vegas. I had grown up there, before becoming a vampire. So for desert rats such as us, snow was as infrequent as rain, which made them special. Now that we were on the east coast, both were very common but neither had lost their beauty, at least to me they hadn’t. “I wish you could see it, honey. It’s just gorgeous out there. Everything’s covered in white.”
No response, as always. Not that I had really expected one. Hoped for, yes. But, at this rate, my hope was beginning to wear thin.
Too much time had passed since he’d been trapped inside the crystal that now served as his prison. The fragile hope I held of saving him was almost gone. I grew restless for a resolution. His spirit felt weaker. The warmth of his presence was almost … transparent.
Ariana, our resident witch, had not yet come up with a solution. She’d managed an impressive feat, trapping Aniketos back into the Pandora’s Box. But because she’d used her own spells instead of the original ones from the old scrolls, Lysander had been trapped too. His spirit now resided in a large blood-red crystal.
She’d said her coven might be able to help; however, weeks later, we still had no resolution. Others in the house had already given up. I could feel it in the way they avoided any talk of Lysander or the crystal. They’d always find a way to change the subject. A few times, I had the sneaking suspicion that they were purposefully avoiding me so as not to have to talk about it.
I reached up and pulled the chain, flicking on the overhead light. The basement was small and bare. Brownstones in the Back Bay area of Boston were built tall, not wide, so the basement didn’t take up much square footage. Lysander’s coffin sat in the middle. Just a plain pine box that reminded me of ones from the old westerns I’d watched as a kid.  It had been quickly constructed, and wasn’t a showpiece; just a simple, almost flimsy box, only meant to hold Lysander until we could find some way to release his spirit.
Seeing it there, sitting all alone in the cold dark room, caused my heart to seize. Each time I set eyes on the coffin, for a brief moment, my world crumbled into dust—like everything important had been destroyed, except the reminder of the act that put him in this coffin.
For as long as he’d been lying there, I hoped he was comfortable. Part of me felt guilty, like the others and I should have gotten him something a little nicer to sleep in. That thought too made the permanence of death seem more real. A tear welled up in my eye, and I wiped it away.
The pine box is fine. He won’t be in it much longer.
I pushed aside the lid and leaned it against the side of the box. Inside, Lysander lay, looking as if he were sleeping off his terrible injuries.
Where his body wasn’t scabbed or bruised, the skin appeared ashen in color and almost plastic-looking, as if not really skin at all, but a sort of waxy coating. I shivered at the gruesome sight. He’d been so beautiful before the fire charred him. His once-gorgeous chocolate-colored hair had been singed away in the blaze, leaving only a few patches here and there to remind me of its original color. The tips of his fangs poked down from behind dry, parched lips. I’d tried to give him blood, hoping it might restore him, but it hadn’t had any effect. His body was frozen in the moment his spirit had left it.
The fire had almost destroyed him before his spirit had been caught. Ariana had suggested to me that Lysander had already died and his spirit was moving on when she trapped him. She told me that if we freed it from the crystal, he might not return to his body.
I wasn’t ready to accept that. I could still feel his presence, though weak, emanating from the large soda bottle-sized crystal. Whether in his body or not, his spirit was still with us. That had to count for something. He was still here with us and alive, for all intents and purposes. And until we knew otherwise, I did not want to hear talk of him “moving on.”
I hoped and prayed to every deity out there that when Ariana did find the answer, Lysander could be returned to his body. Even if he remained charred and burned, I’d still love him. I didn’t want to face eternity without him.
I’d placed the crystal on his chest and folded his arms across it. There it had rested for the last two weeks while I tried to find answers. I hoped keeping the two together like this would help in some small way.
“Alyssa the widow is back to mourn again,” said an overly chipper voice from the top of the stairs. “Shouldn’t you be wearing black?”
I craned my head to look up and found Ian standing at the top of the stairs. As usual he was dressed for a night out: raven-black hair slicked back with just a few strands framing his face, skin-tight t-shirt and tight-legged jeans to ensure nothing was left to the imagination, and topped off with a leather coat. I often wondered if he had been a greaser before being turned. He certainly looked the part.
“Widow implies death, Ian,” I said with as much snark as I could put into my mournful voice.
“Widow also implies… available.” Ian beamed down with his thousand-watt smile. “I’ve had enough of this moping. You’re coming out with me tonight.” He took the stairs at a trot.
“No, thanks. I don’t need to hunt tonight.” I looked down at Lysander again. “You have to come back, honey. Look what you’re leaving me with.”
“I’m not taking no for an answer.” Ian’s breath blew across my ear. I felt the closeness of his body almost pressing against my back. “And I prefer to be the one on the hunt.”
I jumped in response, and my head collided with his. “Ugh. Ian! Stop it. I’m not one of your waitresses or barmaids. Leave me alone.” A spike of pain radiated through my skull. I could only hope I’d done more damage to Ian. The nerve of him, hitting on me in front of Lysander.
“No, you’re not. Which makes the hunt all that much more fun for me. Tricky little prey, aren’t you, Alyssa?” If I had injured him, he didn’t show it. In fact, whatever pain I’d caused him, he might have even liked.
I groaned in frustration and rubbed the sore spot on the back of my head. 
“Oh, c’mon. Try me. You just might like it.” He winked.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “I don’t want to try anyone, especially not a sleazy vampire that’ll sleep with anything that breathes.”
“Not fair. I didn’t sleep with your human friend, Fallon.”
“That’s ’cause she’s with Aiden.”
Ian grimaced for a brief second before his smile returned. “She’s off limits.”
“And so am I.”
“Just come out and have fun.”
“Fun for you is getting in the sack.”
“Look, you might see me as sleazy. I prefer the term ‘promiscuous’; it has a nicer ring to it.  But the bottom line is, at least I’m out there living life, not moping around in some dingy cellar, waiting for a man who’ll never return.” His typically cheerful tone had all but vanished. “I’m trying to help you.”
It was the first time I had ever seen Ian serious. Beyond that, he almost looked angry. His blue-gray eyes narrowed on me and his lip curled ever so slightly. “You have to know when to give up.” He inclined his head toward the coffin. “Let a lost cause go.”
I stared at him while anger and grief fought each other to be the dominant emotion inside me. My jaw quivered. I mashed my teeth together so it wouldn’t show.
“Lost cause? Lysander’s not a lost cause.” My eyes watered. I blinked and turned away. I didn’t want to melt down again. I didn’t want anyone seeing me like this.  
“Look, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings,” Ian said, softening his tone. He smiled at me, but it didn’t have its usual brilliance.
  “You don’t know what this feels like. To know that your mate is here, lying as if dead. But I feel him. I know he hasn’t gone yet. Yes, Ian. I can feel his spirit. Right here.”
I picked the crystal up, off Lysander’s chest, and held it for Ian to see. “He’s not dead and gone. I know you can’t feel it, but I can. That’s what makes this so difficult.”
“I get it. You’ve been so maudlin lately. I’m just trying to lighten things up. Put a smile on that pouty face.”
I huffed. There was no getting through to that man. How could I expect him to understand the loss of a mate? He was the pathological playboy of the immortal world. Sex was his answer for all life’s problems.
“I’m sorry. Let’s try this again.” Ian’s wide eyes suddenly narrowed on the crystal. “Hey, didn’t that used to be all red?”
“What?” I pulled it closer to inspect. When Lysander had been trapped, the crystal had gone from completely transparent to a deep red color, as if it were made from blood itself. To my surprise now, the tip had turned clear.
“What does this mean?” I mumbled more to myself than to Ian.
“Good news, probably. Maybe the longer you keep that thing on Lysander’s chest, the more his spirit can seep back into his body.”
Oh, how I wished he were right! Ever the optimist, Ian had given me a little more hope. Maybe the spell would reverse its self after a short while, and Lysander would heal and return to us.
“Ariana is coming by later. You can show her then.”
I gave Ian a genuine smile.
“There it is. That’s what I’ve been looking for. You look so pretty when you’re not moping. Now, let’s go out and celebrate this good news.”
Part of me wanted to. I’d been cooped up for the last two weeks, researching and staying by Lysander’s side. It would be nice to get out and enjoy the city.
Ian took a step, closing the gap between us. He was a tall man, six foot or better. He pulled me into a hug and cradled my head to his chest. “It’s not a crime to go out and have fun. You have to live too. Otherwise, what’s immortality good for?”
I pulled back and looked down at the crystal in my hands. It seemed to pulse, as if Lysander were trying to tell me something. The warm, tingling sensation of his presence briefly flashed through me. Maybe he was saying the same thing: You shouldn’t forget to live.
I held it up and gently kissed the smooth sides. “I’ll be back soon,” I said, and then placed it against his chest.
“Atta girl.” Ian’s full blinding smile returned. “Let’s turn that frown upside down, permanently. We’re gonna hit the town and have a little fun.”
“I’ll go out with you tonight, on two conditions,” I said as I closed the lid to the coffin.
“Name them.”
“Quit with the cheesy lines. You need some new material.”
“Ouch. I think I might be insulted,” Ian quipped.
I shook my head. “Oh, poor baby. It couldn’t hurt that bad. I doubt anything in the world could damage that ego.”
“You’re so feisty and full of anger. I know a way to relieve some of that tension.” He waggled his eyebrows.
I gave him my best I-don’t-think-so look and drummed my fingers on the top of the coffin.
“Can’t blame a guy for trying. Either way, you’re still smiling.” He smirked. “What’s the other condition?”
“That you talk Zuri into coming with us.”
“Spoil sport.” Ian shot up the stairs, leaving me alone with Lysander’s body.
I had to laugh. Ian just didn’t give up. That, in its own funny way, gave me more hope. Maybe he was right and Lysander might actually make a comeback. That was a reason to celebrate, even if it was with Ian. I took one last look at the coffin. “Are you sure I should go out with him?” I mumbled to the box. As expected, there was no response, but I still felt Lysander spirit.
I wished, just once, that he would answer. With a sigh, I headed to the stairs, pulling the chain for the light as I walked by. “I’ll see you later honey. Don’t you go waking up without me, okay?”


As I went upstairs to get ready for my night with Ian, I stumbled upon my clan members seated around a large cherrywood table in the formal dining room. I stepped inside to see if any of them wanted to join me for a night out on the town. I opened my mouth to speak and caught the awkward glances that Nicholas, Crystal, and Drew were giving me. Silence enveloped the room, as if my presence were unwanted.
“Did I miss dinner?” I asked, hoping to break the awkwardness of the moment with a little humor, but none of them laughed at my bad joke.
Nicholas folded his hands in front of him on the table. He shook his head and clenched his jaw as if he wanted to say something but was holding back. Drew looked down at the dining table, pretending to be intensely studying the grain of the wood, while Crystal sat back in her chair, picking at her long, manicured fingernails. If I wasn’t mistaken, they seemed to be avoiding eye contact with me. This was one of those many times I wished I were an older vampire and had developed the ability to read thoughts. Being a newbie, as I was, I had almost none of the nifty abilities that the more experienced vampires had. I could sense emotions, but that wouldn’t do me much good here. I did, however, have the sneaking suspicion they’d all been talking about me.
“Okay then,” I said to break the silence. “Lysander’s crystal is in the coffin if anyone is looking for it. I noticed something different about it today. Possibly a good thing. Fingers crossed. When Ariana gets here we need to have her take a look at it. Maybe the spell is reversing itself. Wouldn’t that be great?”
Crystal glanced up for a brief second and smiled awkwardly at me.
Drew cleared his throat and it sounded like he said, “Okay,” but didn’t bother to turn and look in my direction.
I found it odd that none of them bothered to comment on what I had said about Lysander or the crystal. Come to think of it, they’d been acting funny for the last few evenings; avoiding me, ignoring me, and spending a lot of time in their own little group. Did they know something I didn’t? And if they did, why weren’t they telling me? I wanted to blurt these questions out but knew better. If they were trying to hide something from me, the direct approach wasn’t going to get me any answers. I’d have to keep a close watch on them to find out myself.
“Anyway… Ian is dragging me out of the house. We’re going to hit the bar. If anyone else wants to join us, I’d love to have you. Please come.”
Crystal shook her head and folded her arms across the table, but maintained her silence.
“Drew, Nicholas, either of you guys want to tag along? Don’t make me go out with Ian all by myself.” I figured that would at least get a rise out of one of them. They’d been like overprotective brothers, and Ian was just the kind of guy that brothers kept away from their little sisters.
 “Actually, that might be best.” Drew said in his usually chipper tone. “You get along well with the Boston crowd. I feel you should go out with them more often. It would do you good.”
“I’m sorry… what?” To say I was startled would be an understatement. “Remember we’re talking about Ian here. Mr. Wannabe Casanova. You want me to go out with him tonight?”
 “You can handle him,” Drew responded.
“What I think Drew is trying to say,” Crystal said softly, “is that we want to see you going out and having fun. We’re worried for you. The Boston crowd is younger, and you can relate to them better. Maybe that’s what you need to move on.”
“Move on!” I said a bit louder than I wanted to. “Nicholas, back me up here. Have you moved on from Rozaline?”
I realized about two seconds too late that I probably shouldn’t have reopened that wound. And I was right. Nicholas’s face tensed. His jaw clenched. His eyes zeroed in on mine, and without needing to hear the sound I knew he was still screaming in pain on the inside.
Rozaline, Nicholas’s mate, had died days before Lysander had been charred and trapped in the crystal. We’d all watched her decapitated and drained at the ghostly hands of Aniketos. Her death had been gruesome and very final, and I doubt even the coldest heart out there could have gotten over that pain so quickly.
“Sorry, that was wrong of me. I didn’t mean it to come out like that. All I’m trying to say is, she died and he is allowed to mourn. Lysander isn’t dead, and you all seem to want to act like he is. There is nothing for me to move on from.”
Crystal stood and walked purposefully toward me. “We just feel like you might be holding false hope. We don’t want you to hurt more if things don’t work out.”
“At least I have hope.” I couldn’t hold back the raw emotion in my voice. “At least I want things to be better. What are you all doing? Have you lost your humanity completely? This is no different than if he were in a coma in a hospital. If we were human, I’d be by his side every day, because I love him. That’s what you do when you love someone.”
She put her arm around me. “You’re not wrong to care. And we do want things to be better. Even if that means letting go.”
I jerked away from her.
“Not of your hope,” she added. “Let go of some of the pain. Don’t forget you have to live too. Transfer that energy into something productive, so you’re not constantly dwelling on the uncertainty of his situation.”
“And what if I’m not ready to let go of the pain? What if all I have is my pain?”
“You know that’s a lie.” She pulled me back into her arms. “You have us. We care… in our own way.”
Drew stood and joined us. His massive height dwarfed both Crystal and me. “So go out tonight. Have fun with Ian and Zuri and anyone else you can drag along with you. Get out of this house. That’s all we want.”
“Then I want you all to come too.” If I was to be forced into going out and having fun, they should have to go too. It was only fair.
“We’ve already hunted,” Drew said with an obviously fake smile. “And I don’t really care much for the dance clubs here.”
“There is nothing you can say that will get me to go to another bar,” Nicholas said with a note of finality.
I knew better than to push him. We shared a common pain, though not exactly the same, and I wouldn’t blame him at all for locking himself away to mourn. Losing a mate with whom you have shared eternity is not something you can just walk away from. He’d been ready to join her, offering himself as a sacrifice, but that too had been stolen from him when Lysander took his place.
“Well, I know Crystal will go with me.” I gave her my best you’re-not-getting-out-of-this look. Crystal liked to go to parties and clubs. She’d been the first to take me out dancing after I’d been turned. “No excuses. If you don’t go, I don’t go.”
She sighed and for a brief moment, I almost believed she was angry at me for giving her an ultimatum; but then a smile blossomed from her tight lips. “Oh, all right. I’ll go out tonight.”
Drew cleared his throat. “I thought we had our own plans for tonight.” He put his arm around his mate. “Remember, just the two of us?”
She stammered for a moment and looked up at her mate with confusion in her eyes. “Oh… yes… I completely forgot. Alyssa, let’s have a girls’ night some other time.”
I couldn’t put my finger on it, but they were all acting very suspicious. I sighed in disappointment. “Fine. I’ll see you all later. Will someone call me if Ariana gets here before I return?”
“If we’re home.” Drew said with a cocky tone that didn’t suit him.
Something was definitely up.
“Yeah, okay. If you’re around, give me a call,” I said, and then turned and headed toward my room to get ready. 

More On Katie:

Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.
 And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…
Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.