Saturday, September 13, 2014

Snog for Sommer

I'm participating in the Snog for Summer. (Pop over there and check out all the other snoggers. Donate if you have the means. Share the link, please.) Here's why:

Once in a great while, an editor collides with an author who is an absolute joy to work with. One who delivers the goods on time (or even early), one who needs minimal edits and is gracious when changes are necessary, and--in the case of Coming Together--one who is unfailingly generous with her words. Given how hard won my words are to me, the latter is extremely precious.

Sommer Marsden has been a Coming Together contributor since its first open call way back in 2006. Back when ebooks were the inferior cousins of real books. Before Kindles and Nooks and iPads.

Sommer was there.

She has consistently submitted her stories to Coming Together collections ever since. I don't think I've ever turned one away. And why would I? She writes edgy, raw passion. Unapologetic sexuality. It really doesn't matter if the protagonist shares your kinks and triggers. She'll hook you with emotion.

Sex is extremely difficult to write well. Sommer makes it appear effortless! That said, I'd seek her work in any genre. She spins an engaging tale (tail?) regardless of realm.

This inaugural collection of Treasures will benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (, a charity selected by Ms. Marsden for very personal reasons. Your purchase not only benefits the organization directly, but also supports Sommer indirectly.

Thank you!

~ Alessia Brio

Friday, August 15, 2014

O Genie! My Genie!

While painful, shared loss also has a raw beauty. It unites a disparate population, at least for a short time, as we reminisce and ache together. Death is indiscriminate. Disease and depression are our common enemies, even when widely misunderstood. We latch onto those threads and find temporary solace in our mutual grief.

Beneath the emptiness of loss, however, I'm feeling something more complex and debilitating. Guilt.

While it seems the entire Internet is saying a huge "Thank you!" to Robin Williams for his work and his humanitarian efforts, I primarily want to apologize to the man and his family.

It may seem trivial & silly to some. Robin Williams never knew me. I was never on his radar as an individual. I'm as certain as I can possibly be that he would never have considered me (or anyone else) at fault in any way. Yet I feel responsible, both as an individual and as part of a collective audience, for failing to provide whatever spark he needed in order to choose to remain alive.

So, to keep my own demons at bay, I will continue celebrate his life and the vast body of work that is his legacy. I will laugh, as he intended, for I can think of no finer tribute.

Be well, y'all, and please be kind. You never know when it might make a pivotal difference in someone's life.

peace & passion,

~ Alessia