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.”


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…


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Promo Spotlight: Kiki Howell's new release FORBIDDEN

Today one of my favorite people is on my blog. Kiki Howell's new release Forbidden is 99c for a limited time only. Snatch it up while you can! :)

Available for a Limited Time at the special price of $0.99 !

James Alexander Whitmore III, better known as Jaws as a joke among his co-workers, doesn’t even want to be on this cruise he’s been guilted into.

A rule-breaker in his CEO father’s eyes, he’s a software engineer who designs video games. Although, he’s not your typical geek, either, with his muscular body framed by long, dark hair and home to tribal tattoos from his latest successful game.

After traveling around the world to gain certificates as a personal trainer and yoga instructor, Samantha has finally landed her perfect job working on a cruise ship. As a staff member, Sam has the run of the ship. She can fraternize with the passengers, but being caught in flagrante delicto is grounds for immediate dismissal.

While an adventurer, she’s not a rule-breaker, so this poses a problem when she meets Mr. Tall, Dark and Mysterious. While she can’t imagine fitting into the world of a man who can rent a secluded cabin in the Grand Turks for the five hours they are in port, he just may prove to be her greatest adventure yet, in the bedroom and out.

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Available Now at AmazonAll Romance EbooksNNP Store


“This book is sexy, sweet, funny and absolutely worth devouring! Watching Samantha struggle with her decision and Jaws flirting with destiny had me glued to the pages.” ~5 Stars, Ava Mallory
The romance that flourishes between them is swoon-worthy, and the narrative is far too good to not read all in one setting. I didn’t want to put it down! If there is one thing Kiki Howell knows how to do, it’s write a romance that is the perfect blend of erotic sensuality and passionate romance.Your breath will catch, your face will flush. You will swoon, you will sigh. In the end, you will read the final word with a smile on your face. That’s how you know it’s a great romance.” ~ 5 Stars from AP Bullard, Triskele reviews

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Punch a Higher Floor...

Reposting from my Facebook feed because it's crunchworthy:

I am embracing the Jeep. The Jeep was always Jim's vehicle. To me it was sort of like riding a horse but without the enchantment. Not the smoothest ride. But to keep it running, I have to drive it. Plus, it has a working radio (mine doesn't at the mo). When I took it to do groceries today, and was secretly digging driving Big Bird, this came on. I've always loves this song. I am a child of the 80s after all. But somehow...I felt like he was talking to me. And I was listening. I'm punching a higher floor, baby ;)

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life

Electric word life
It means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here to tell you
There's something else
The after world

A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything'll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

'Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You're on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy, punch a higher floor

Monday, March 9, 2015

Cover Reveal: Bad Boys Next Door Box Set

Coming March 16th! Thrilled to be a part of this big bundle bargain. A dozen authors. One. Dozen. What a steal. Keep your eyes open for our release day. It's a limited time!


Bad Boys Next Door Box Set — Available March 16, 2015
There’s just something about a bad boy… It could be that neighbor you’ve had the hots for forever. Or maybe the guy in the cabin or office next door. It might even be a guy you meet on vacation or one you’ve known since you were a kid.
Twelve prolific authors, including New York Times Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Selena Kitt, and USA Today Bestseller, Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette, present a sizzling collection of erotic romance sure to bring you to your knees and make you believe in love again – or, at least, lust at first sight!
Set also includes: Gwendolyn Cease, Bronwyn Green, Tilly Greene, Elise Hepner, Jessica Jarman, Sommer Marsden, Kris Norris, Paige Prince, Charlotte Stein, and Alison Tyler.
Abigail Barnette (Jenny Trout) – Bad Boy, Good Man
Newly independent real-life adult Ellie McCormack loves everything about her first apartment…except her neighbor. His bi-weekly sex fests keep her up at night in more ways than one as she wonders about the man who’s making all the noise—and what he’s doing to make his women so damn loud.
But even her wildest fantasies couldn’t conjure up a man like Antony DeLuca. When she works up the nerve to confront him, she’s expecting a player, but there’s more to Antony than his carefree sexual escapades. One hot night with him helps Ellie see through the man who drives women wild, to the good guy beneath it all. A guy that she just might be able to fall for…
Gwendolyn Cease – No Strings
All Kaitlin O’Neal wants to do is fix her sink. She’s intelligent and resourceful. Plus, she’s got her own tools. How hard could it be? Apparently, extremely hard, since her attempt left the sink in an unusable condition. When her next-door neighbor, Cameron Sinclair, offers to help her fix the mess and renovate the rest of the kitchen, she jumps at the chance. She’d be a fool not to, right? Cameron, though, is hotter than hot and makes her an offer she can’t refuse.
Cameron has wanted Kaitlin since she moved next door. So what if she’s older than him? She’s beautiful, sexy, and he wants to get to know her better. He offers her a no strings affair—one he hopes will keep her coming back to his bed. Between home improvements and steamy sex, Cameron realizes that their no strings fling will never be enough, but can he convince Kaitlin he’s worth the risk?
Bronwyn Green – Drawn That Way
Tristan Weaver, accountant for a successful video game company, is in way over her head. Honestly answering a company-wide survey and criticizing the sexist stereotypes used in the company’s games was enough to catch her boss’ attention. But speculating on his sex life within his earshot has unexpected consequences when her hot, but nerdy, boss invites her to model for him.
Owner, artist and lead developer of Brecken Games, Rory Brecken, has a strict no fraternizing with employees rule. However, when he overhears Tristan’s conversation with her friend about his rumored kinks and begins to suspect her curiosity in the submissive side of sex, he’s more than a little tempted. When her interest is undeniably confirmed, he suggests a onetime only, colleagues with benefits hook-up.
Though neither want a relationship, once isn’t enough for either one of them. As their encounters become more intense, Rory makes a huge mistake that may cost him the woman he’s coming to love.
Tilly Greene – Her Wicked Ride
Mike Mulligan co-owns a garage and fixes cars. He rides a Harley, is covered in tattoos and has spent time in jail. Since being released he’s tried to live a clean life, but he’s a bad boy with women, very bad and terribly sexy. Bondage, domination, and so much more, are his preferences when playing with the ladies, and there have been a variety until the last one.
For the first time, he had to work for a yes. All summer, they’ve had fabulously wild no-holds-barred sex, but one morning everything changes. With chaos in the garage, a cup of coffee in hand, and a half-naked Sherry Gonzales in his lap, his eyes are opened to wanting more than sex with her. Mike’s solution is to go on a date, their first date.
The night starts out fine. But things get wicked on the back of his bike before taking a turn, but for the good or bad?
Elise Hepner – A Marriage of Inconvenience
When Izzy Thorton's mother falls ill and is given a terminal diagnosis the last thing Izzy anticipates is a proposal from her best friend, Sebastian Leery, to fulfill her mother's dying wish. Only one snafu keeps Izzy from saying yes—she's in love with him. But before she can say much of anything to his proposal, Bash takes the reins by telling her mother the good news.
Unable to fight her undeniable attraction to her playboy best friend—Izzy goes through with the best and worst mistake of her life. No sooner are the rings exchanged when they both realize their friendship can only bridge so many gaps. Sebastian has no hope of keeping his skeletons in the closet and Izzy doesn't know how much longer she can keep her heart out of the equation.
Together they fumble through the darkness of their past to a future that might just be a little more clear--if they can fight their chemistry long enough to talk.
Jessica Jarman – London Bound
After losing her husband six years ago, Meg Stevens has focused on the day-to-day and being a mother, not sparing a thought for anything beyond—no dates, no excitement, no life other than what she already had. A six-week vacation to London, all but forced on her by her two children, changes all of that. Meg meets the man of her dreams—gorgeous, dominant, and completely on board with a short-term fling—despite the fact he’s far too young for her.
Nathan Harris is more than a bit curious about the beautiful woman renting the upstairs flat, and once he talks to her, curiosity is quickly replaced by arousal and desire. It doesn’t take long before it’s clear she longs to experience sexual submission, and Nathan finds himself desperate to be the one she submits to.
Her days spent exploring the city, her nights exploring Nathan and the pleasure submitting to him brings, Meg discovers the trip she’d taken out of obligation has turned into something she doesn’t want to walk away from. However, the life she left behind beckons, and there’s no room there for dreaming of something she can never have.
Selena Kitt – Working for the Weigands
Lloyd “Boone” Goodhart has been working for the Weigands since he was in high school, mowing their ornamental lawn, shoveling their long, winding driveway and skimming their enormous in-ground pool for extra cash, much of which he gives to his mom, a single-mother who has worked in the Wal-Mart bakery for twenty years. Boone, more apathetic cynic than true slacker, is also attending community college, bagging groceries at a local supermarket, and rebuilding his dead-beat dad’s old Harley.
His second summer after high school graduation starts out just as mundane and routine as the first, but Boone’s world turns upside down when Mrs. Weigand tells him her husband has left her, and her daughter has returned from boarding school in Europe, where Danielle “Ellie” Weigand has spent the past five years.
Before he knows which way is up, Mrs. Weigand starts requesting extra services of Boone—in more ways than one—while her daughter, Ellie, teases him mercilessly, just like she did in junior high. He soon finds himself immersed in a desperate, passionate affair, with not just one woman, but two.
Will the attention of both mother and daughter be more than he can handle, or will his growing feelings for them be more than he can bear?
Sommer Marsden – The Anniversary Party
Kylie Walker is cracking under the stress of hosting a thirtieth anniversary party for her parents and trying to keep up with her freelance writing deadlines. With a new house, a well-meaning but useless sister, and roughly forty people about to descend on her home, she doesn’t think it can get much worse. Until her mother’s friend, Mrs. Sinclair, calls to ask if they might bring one more person. Her son, Wade. The man who up and left Kylie eight years before.
Wade Sinclair has come back to town with one hope—to make things right with his high school sweetheart. Still hopelessly in love with Kylie, Wade knows he must come clean about why he left her all those years ago so he can finally set about reclaiming what he never should have let go of in the first place—her love.
Can they put their past behind them and look toward the future? Or will the anniversary party be the end of them altogether?
Kris Norris – Force of Nature
Love—an unparalleled force of nature.
Conservation Officer, Finley McKay, isn’t a stranger to criticism. Taking risks to protect delicate ecosystems doesn’t impress most people—including the doctor renting the cabin beside hers. The man’s arrogant, opinionated and far too sexy in his faded jeans and tees. She already knows he’s an ass—she just wished it mattered enough to make her keep her distance.
Dr. Coen Brady isn’t looking to fit in. Having recently retired from the military, he’s hoping to spend a few months hiding from the world in a small, out-of-the-way town in northern Washington.
But just his luck, he has the misfortune of running into his next-door neighbor. A girl who seems determined to get herself killed before his time there is up. She’s reckless, stubborn and slowly driving him insane.
When anger morphs into angry sex, Coen knows taking her to bed is a calculated risk—one he might regret when her investigation turns deadly, leaving Finley’s life hanging in the balance. Breaking a few rules to keep her in the game doesn’t seem that dangerous, until it becomes painfully obvious she won’t stop until justice is served—even if the price is her life.
Paige Prince – Lost Treasure
Danielle Almasi-Epperson's parents were killed in a tragic car accident when she was eight years old, leaving her world famous, Egyptologist grandfather to raise her in their stead. While she had the pleasure of growing up on archaeological digs, he never believed that the field was a woman's place. All she's ever dreamed of is adventure and the kind of love her parents had.
Jareth Riley was the boy in the tent next door to Danielle's at every dig she could remember while growing up. Her grandfather and his father labeled him a troublemaker from day one. So, when Danielle and Jareth fall in love and lose their virginity to each other, it takes no time at all for her grandfather to ship her off to Harvard.
Ten years later, she's working as a curator at a museum and he's a treasure hunter. When he shows up on her doorstep asking for help to find a lost artifact with supposed mystical powers, she can't help but say yes. In no time at all, they're on the run from mad men with guns and rekindling the romance that had never quite died. Will they be able to restore the lost treasure to the rightful owners, or will they destroy their chance at happiness or lose their lives in the attempt?
Charlotte Stein – Curveball
When Judy Myers is offered a relaxing vacation to get away from her latest heartbreak, she can’t say no. A cruise on her brother’s yacht sounds like heaven...until she realizes her brother’s best friend has been invited along for the ride.
Steven Stark is big, he’s loud, and he’s obviously not interested in the plump, plain little sister he used to tease unmercifully. In fact, he’s still quite happy to tease her – until she turns the tables on him. Now, Steven can’t seem to keep his thoughts, or his hands, to himself. And worse, Judy’s not sure she can resist the attraction she’s kept buried for so many years.
Being trapped on a boat isn’t the best place to be, when you’re suddenly thrown a hunky curveball.
Alison Tyler – The Spanking House
The Spanking House is a fantastical tale of a writer struggling against the beast known as "writer's block." Mia Rogers rents a cozy cottage in a small town in hopes of jumpstarting the novel she can't seem to finish. When she meets Tripp Johnson, she becomes motivated in ways she previously hadn't thought possible.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Reader Request from the Rolling Desk of Sommer Marsden...

Hey, all, this is a multi-author indie bundle I'm involved in with some fierce writers. An even dozen of sexy, steamy goodness. Please consider helping us out with our cover reveal, details below. I'd be forever grateful. 

Hey, you. Yeah, you...reader of steamy books. I see you over there with your collection of smutty goodness. 

Wanna get in on some exclusive excerpts for The Bad Boys Next Door Box Set before it releases? 

Think of it - 12 Authors, 12 Exceedingly Bad Boys, 12 Scorching Hot Stories - coming your way on March 16th!

Help us out with our cover reveal, and you'll get a sneak peak at up to four exclusive excerpts. All you need to do is click this link, sign up for the social media sites you're willing to post on (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, your blog) and we'll do the rest. We'll send you a post and cover art and after the reveal goes live, we'll send you the excerpt(s) you've chosen. Easy peasy!

Participating Authors: Abigail Barnette, Gwendolyn Cease, Bronwyn Green, Tilly Greene, Jessica Jarman, Selena Kitt, Elise Hepner, Sommer Marsden, Kris Norris, Paige Prince, Charlotte Stein and Alison Tyler.

Cover reveal sign up period runs from 3/4 - 3/7 (closes at midnight)