Friday, December 14, 2007

Please Welcome Samantha Hunter

I'm excited to welcome today's guest blogger- Samantha Hunter and I both write for Blaze and both blog on the Love Is An Exploding Cigar blog. Sam's latest Blaze is SUPER hot, and her cover just begs you to snuggle up and enjoy the, um, holidays :-)


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Sam, TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP is your 9th book for Harlequin Blaze, with 3 more coming soon and more in the works. How to you keep them fresh?

I think it comes down to the characters, especially in category. All books within a line have to have certain elements, certain commonalities, and so the way you keep things new is with characters who are unique to you and among the books on the shelf at the time. Then, it's writing a book to fit the characters -- so, for instance, you don't just write a love scene, you write the love scene as it makes sense for these two characters -- what's unique about them, their personalities and styles? They won't think about love, sex, or each other like anyone else you've written. They are their own people. So, that's the newness. Also, new writing challenges keep it interesting and fresh -- each book I've done has some new challenge (a larger subplot, a continuity, an anthology book, a miniseries book, a Forbidden Fantasy, an Extreme, etc ) so that keeps it fresh.


You've done everything from teaching to editing to working at a radio station. Do you find yourself bringing bits and pieces of each of those jobs into your stories?

Some of my teaching experience has shown up in a few books, but travel and personal hobbies/interests show up more. I actually use more of others' professional experience. My first book, Virtually Perfect, was inspired by the fact that I met my husband online 14 years ago, but also his work as an internet security specialist was a huge part of my interest in writing my HotWires series about the members of a computer crime team. My family teases me that I'm working through all of their professions in my books. ;)


How does all that compare to being a writer? Have you always wanted to write romance, or did this career choice come about in a different way?

I tried writing a romance back in my twenties. Silhouette asked for the full, and then rejected it for having too much sex *G*. I chucked it, went back to school and really never thought about writing fiction again until fifteen years later when I met Cara Summers who was teaching in the same department I was, and she wrote romance for Blaze. She encouraged me to give it a try, and I ended up with Virtually Perfect. :) I was looking for work in the environmental job market at the time, based in my geography work, but it was a tough employment landscape and when my book sold it seemed to make sense to try to stay here instead of moving, and follow up on the writing career. So, no, I can't honestly say I had lifelong ambitions to write romance, but I've always been a romance reader, and writing has always been a part of my life. I guess it kind of makes sense that I would end up here. :) As you know, writing is a lot of work, long hours, serious highs and lows. In terms of comparison, I had some of that in teaching, too, but I was earning more and had benefits. ;) I was a good teacher, and I liked it -- but I never really felt I'd accomplished anything of my own at the end of the day. All my energy went outward, to help others accomplish something, and after 12 weeks they were gone and I never really got to know how what I taught them took root or not. Some people who see teaching as a vocation are good with that, but I wasn't. I felt there was something missing, something that *I* had to show for what I did all day. Now I have books on the shelf, and it's pretty amazing to have that to show for my work. It may be tough work, but every time I clear a hurdle, take on something new, make a new sale, try something new, I get that rush of having done something really cool. It's what keeps me going even when it's rough. I do still keep my hand in freelance work, however. Never hurts, and it breaks up the day, gives my brain other things to do.


I tend to put a little bit of myself into each of my heroines, it could be a habit, a neurosis, a specific belief system – something. How about you? Do you personalize your heroines that way?

Hmmm. A percentage of mine are redheads or variations thereof. Some have freckles. ;) Some do things I've done, go places I've gone, drive cars that I've owned... That kind of thing. In About Last Night and Friction (HotWires, Bk 2), I did share some of my beliefs or personal feelings in the books. In About Last Night... my heroine is a dog trainer, and she does use dog training techniques and philosophies we use with our own dogs, but I also used that book to put in a good word for Pit Bulls (this is not the breed's name, but how most people recognize the dog I mean). I'm very interested in animal rights, and advocate for education in this area -- too many people have mistaken ideas because of the media. There's no such thing as a mean puppy, and while some dogs have aggressive/protective traits, it's about people who own them, not the breed. If you want to learn more, check out http://www.pbrc.net/breedinfo.html. Sorry, had to get that in -- I feel strongly about this.I own a pit mix, and she's lovely. The best dog I've ever had, and I don't think I'll ever be without one. So a lot of that comes through in About Last Night.... :) In Friction, there's some focus on the environment of the lower Chesapeake Bay, something I know very well and care about as I did a lot of my master's research there for Geography. Every book in the HotWires series is reflective of time I spent in and studying that location. You'll see several books in New England and Cape Cod, my favorite places.


Which character that you've written is the most like you – and which is the least?

Sarah Jessup in Friction is probably least like me -- she's the wounded, kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, heroine and she's very tough. Very. Readers and reviewers LOVED her, which was funny to me, because she wouldn't be a gal I'd probably hang out with. She probably wouldn't be too crazy about me, either. The one I am most like? That's harder... Probably Lauren in Pick Me Up. She had a lot of phobias, including heights and horses, which I do as well, but I think her personality was the most similar to how I see my own, with a little bit of Joy from Talking in Your Sleep thrown in, because I'm probably a little more uptight than Lauren, but not as tightly wound as Joy. Then there is Miranda in About Last Night... she's maybe more daring than I am, but her dog relationships are definitely me. ;)


Do you focus more on character, or on plot?

I tend to start with plot, which is good, because you know, we have to have a story. ;) But plot will only take you so far, you have to have both plot and character, so I work on them concurrently, like most writers do. I think you need a good balance of both, but I'd say character is definitely more work for me, comes harder. Maybe because people are complex, and building good ones is tough. ;) Most of my revising is about characters -- I am always deepening or changing them altogether, where my plots stay relatively the same from the beginning.


Care to share any juicy little secrets about TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP, your December Blaze release?

Four words: Naked Christmas Tree Decorating. :) I'll leave it at that.

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In keeping with the Bandita’s holiday recipe fun, Sam shared one of her favorite family recipes:

Corn Stuff (as we affectionately call it)
1 can creamed corn1 can whole kernel corn
1 Pack Jiffy Cornbread mix (small blue and white box)
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 tsp
cayenne pepper

Drain the kernel corn, and spray a 8 -10 in round casserole dish with nonstick spray. Mix all of the ingredients right in the dish, bake at 350 for about an hour until golden and make sure the center is cooked. Easy and yum. :) Make double, because it will go fast!

Oh yeah... I can so see making this for those holiday brunches!!!

And mine – a super simple, incredibly delicious fudge recipe:

2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 snickers candy bars, chopped up
1 can chocolate frosting


Line a square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate chips in a pan over medium heat, stirring so they dont' burn
When melted, stir in the frosting and all but a couple tablespoons of the chopped candy bars, blend well.
Spread in foil-lined pan, then sprinkle with remaining candy.
Refrigerate for at least an hour, cut into squares, eat up.



I can't wait for a quite couple hours to curl up and read Sam's latest book, myself. Of course, given the craziness of the season, thats not looking like it'll happen. Maybe if I ask Santa? How about you... if you could ask Santa for any one thing this year -- what do you want?

Share your holiday wish, or any questions or comments for Sam in the comments section and she'll pick one lucky winner to receive a copy of her book, UNTOUCHED!

Happy Holidays ;-)

63 comments:

Helen said...

Did I get the GR has he returned to Australia for some hot weather.
Have Fun
Helen

Tawny said...

WTG Helen!!!

Looks like you're the keeper of the GR tonight ;-) Congrats!

Helen said...

Thanks Tawny loved the interview and the receipes.
These books sound great I love the way you have put a little bit of yourself into the heroines.
I totally agree about the dogs Samantha I have had dogs all my life and they have all had such lovely personalities and the way they are treated means a lot to their character they become part of the family and mean so much to us. We have 3 dogs at the moment and cherish them all.
As for a wish for Christmas I truly would love to retire so as I can read more but that probably won't happen but Rod Stewart is touring here in Australia in February and our children have bought my hubby and myself tickets to see him so I have got what I wanted besides world peace of course.
Thanks again Tawny and Samantha.
Have Fun
Helen

Jane said...

Naked tree decorating with Rafe is what I want for Christmas. If I can't have that, I really want a LCD tv.

Helen said...

It will be good to see the GR again and spend some time with him.
Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

I agree Jane this naked Christmas Tree decorating sounds very interesting.
Have Fun
Helen

Tawny said...

Jane, I'm with you and Helen on the naked christmas tree decorating! Nothing like adding a little heat to the holidays :-)

Helen, how fab that you get to see Rod Stewart! I'll bet you have an incredible time. and I agree as well on the dogs. We had the sweetest Pitt Bull for years, he was my baby. It broke my heart last winter when we lost him to his second bout with cancer. But hubby surprised me with a new baby - Tinkerbell is a gorgeous Rottweiler and again, a dog with such a less-than-friendly reputation. But she's a sweetheart and just the cuddliest thing!

Helen said...

Tawny one of our dogs is a cross rottweiller his name is Blocker and he is so placid and gentle my 23 month old grandson runs around the yard throwing toys and balls for him and them takes them back of him to throw again they have so much fun together. It is always sad when you loose a pet because they mean so much to us.
Have Fun
Helen

Tawny said...

Helen, I have to ask... is your Rottie like, the laziest thing in the world? My dog is a lump LOL. I remember reading that they have a high energy level until they are two, then it tapers off. I figure if Tink's energy tapers any more than it is, I'll be holding mirrors under her nose to make sure she's breathing! And yeah... losing a pet just bites :-( It was an ugly winter for us.

Christine Wells said...

Woohoo, Helen! Congratulations, my Aussie friend. About time the GR made another trip Downunder.

Welcome, Samantha! Thanks for visiting the Bandit lair today. Great interview, Tawny.

I love getting insights into writers' processes and I'm interested that plot comes more easily to you than character, Samantha. I find that I start with plot, too and I have to write around it until I find the characters that fit the plot. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Four words: Naked Christmas Tree Decorating. :) I'll leave it at that.

I must admit, I have images of very unique Christmas baubles here...and I'll definitely leave it at that!

Christine Wells said...

Oh, and I LOVE Snickers bars. But can I bear to sacrifice them to the fudge? I might just have to buy a few and find out:)

Tawny said...

Baubles, Christine? ROFLMAO

I'm the complete opposite as you and Sam -I start with characters, then struggle to find their plot. I admire plot-driven writers who just "get" where their characters are going.

and... yeah, sacrifice the snickers... its so worth it!

Christine Wells said...

I suppose the grass is always greener, but I'd rather start with characters. I had to rewrite my last book because I tried to shoehorn the wrong hero into my plot. Once I had the right man it went like a dream but it took me a long time to work out why the book wasn't working. Or maybe I'm just a thickie:)

Tawny said...

Ahh, definitely green-grass envy, Christine :-) For me, the characters click fast and easy, but I struggle for EVER trying to solidify a plot that will carry them all the way through their story. Aren't we funny how we all have our "thing" and wish we could master the opposite?

Tawny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen said...

Yes Tawny Blocker is very lazy he is 10 years old and lays around the yard wherever he is comfortable when someone walks out in the yard more often than not he just opens his eyes to see who it is doesn't even move his head.
Yes Christine the GR is enjoying the warm weather and watching the cricket with us and loving it.
Have Fun
Helen

Ann M. said...

Naked Christmas Tree Decorating sounds very interesting. :)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

If I could have anything for Christmas it would be an endless supply of books....LOL All of these new books coming out is making me scramble for shelf space and money.

Buffie said...

What a great interview!! I have only read one or two Blaze books (both of which were Jacquie D's), but I have added Tawny and Sam to my list of books to check out.

And yes, I agree with all you ladies, naked tree decorating sounds interesting. But I think I would have to lock the kidos in their rooms -- just to make sure they were not mentally scarred for life :)

Gannon Carr said...

Great interview! And of course those four little words, 'naked Christmas tree decorating', got my attention right away! Now, I absolutely must read your book, Samantha.

Tawny, I'm going to have to try your recipe since Snickers are my fave candy bar. Yum!

Samantha Hunter said...

Wow! You ladies are on fire! Thanks to Tawny for having me here and I plan to hang out with you ladies more -- what a fun blog!

It's 8:30am here on the east coast and I'm just starting the caffeine drip, and reading through comments...

I love it that I am among dog loving friends. :) I love Rotties, too -- our neighbor had one and she was the best dog. I would love to have one. Tawny, I'm so sorry your lost your dog friend, but glad you have a new baby. This whole dog reputation thing drives me batty -- why can't people understand that mean dogs are the victims of bad owners? Ban the bad owners, not the dogs.

As to plot and character...I think it's a challenge no matter what side of the fence you're on. The plot does lay itself out before me more or less, like with Talking in Your Sleep, the idea came first -- two people with sleep disorders, one hears the other through his window... but who are they? It always seems to go that way, which is neat for me, because I enjoy discovering the characters on the page, and I'm less likely to write myself into a corner if the plot is worked out first. Not that it doesn't happen -- I just wrote myself into a big corner the other day, and it was because I'd completely botched a character in the WIP, but I was able to see and go back and fix...

As to naked Christmas tree decorating... just watch out for the needles, heh. ;)

Sam

Samantha Hunter said...

That fudge sounds sooooo good. I love fudge. It's a good thing that Christmas spirit prevents weight gain, huh? ;)

Sam

Samantha Hunter said...

Helen, awesome Christmas present! I love Rod Stewart. What kinds of doggies do you have?

I would love to have more... I have two cats as well, and love them, too...

I need a farm, I really do...

Sam

Samantha Hunter said...

Tawny, LOL about Tinkerbell and the mirrors. The best part is, I bet, that while she has that laid back nature, you know she would lay her life down for you or your family. That's what always touches me about dogs, how absolutely loyal they are.

Sam

doglady said...

Wow, I can tell I am among friends with all this dog talk! Helen, congrats on the GR. Don't forget to put some sunscreen on him! Great interview Tawny. My deepest condolences on the loss of your baby. I lost my Dane last Christmas Eve to her second bout of cancer. It is definitely tough. My brother and his wife have a Pitt Bull. Harley is huge and he adores my 4"11 / 100 lb 72 year old mother! When she visits she sits in the rocking chair and he backs up to sit in her lap! I have loved and lost three Rotties and they are just awesome dogs. My last Rott, Psycho, put up with my niece's sticky hands, ear pulling, riding him, you name it and he was just look at her with such adoration.

Now, Samantha, about this naked Christmas tree decorating! I love this! I haven't read that many BLAZE books, but this one is a must buy for me. Sounds too delish for words. Is it EASIER to go with plot first and then layer the characters?

Kirsten said...

Naked Christmas tree decorating? Hmm...makes me think of that Seinfeld episode--there's good naked, and bad naked, and me crouching down to find the best spot for an ornament would definitely be bad naked...LOL!

Samantha, welcome to the Lair! I hope we don't overwhelm you with our holiday madness. :-) I loved your interview (well done Tawny!) and I am jealous of your plotting as well. I'm definitely a character first writer, and finding the perfect plot to illustrate the characters' conflicts is certainly a challenge. Wouldn't that be great if BOTH plot and character magically appeared in your brain? Snort!

And on the subject of pit bulls, we lived in a rough neighborhood for a while and the guy behind us bred pit bulls for fighting. It turned your stomach. We heard him fighting the dogs once in his garage and called the police, but then got a very ominous visit down our street from the neighbor (who had already announced that he carried a gun when we moved in)...we didn't call again. :-( We've since moved (thank goodness) and I often wonder what happened to those poor dogs.

hugs,
Kirsten

Shari C said...

'Naked tree decorating' certainly got my attention. Most interesting interview...definitely enjoyed it!
I need a new laptop from Santa very badly...I think mine is dying, but, more realistically, I always want new books, books and more books.l
Happy Holidays!

Joan said...

Welcome Samantha! Your books sound great! (Note to self: Stop by Borders)

I have two Christmas wishes..kind of related.

The first, of course, to achieve publication of my Patrician series and to find Mr. Right! (We'll decorate the tree together and if he doesn't come pre-naked...well, I'll take care of that! :-)

Donna MacMeans said...

Naked Christmas tree decorating...now there's a hook, or should I say, several of them *g*.

Great interview!

jo robertson said...

Welcome, Samantha, to the Bandit Lair. Great interview, Tawny, you ask such interesting questions.

Wahoooo, Helen, on snagging the GR!

I have a question for Sam: You taught school. Elementary, high school or college? Geography? That's such an interesting topic. Did you have a special project for your students?

Oh, and the corn recipe sounds delish!

jo robertson said...

Oops, forgot to comment on the naked Christmas tree decorating -- let's just say that's fodder for a hilarious cartoon, at least at MY house!

It sounds so trite, but I'd really like to leave a better earth for my grandchildren. Ellie asked me this morning is Mother Earth was a real mother because she thinks we're not treating her very well. And that's plain not nice!

Samantha Hunter said...

Hey everyone -- I'm all awake now, so thanks the the enthusiastic welcomes, and I hope you can see my posts (you can right?) I was a little paranoid because the comment count hasn't increased, and yet the comments obviously have! I'm hoping there's not a technical glitch...

Anyway...

Doglady: I don't think there's anything easy about writing, no matter how you come at it, and how you come at it is individual. For some reason, I plot first, the idea comes first, and then it's like "oh, I need people." LOL So it's "natural" for me, but not easier, I don't think...

Kirsten, I love holiday madness. :)
As to the dogfighting, you can't endanger yourself, obviously, but you can call the Humane Society or the SPCA, and they will check out animal cruelty charges and take appropriate action. I almost can't stand to think about it -- I was cheering and dancing when I saw Michael Vick got almost 2 years jail time -- wish it was longer. Hope it completely sucks for him. And then some.

Shari, hope you get your laptop!

Joan, you're wicked. I love it. I hope you get everything you want, and more. :)

Jo, I taught college, so we did do projects, but not the kind you think of for secondary or elementary. I love Geography, and the thing is, in my books, setting is always so important to me. I don't like writing anyplace I don't visit, and I like to work with setting a lot -- though I often forget I have to include what my characters look like, and have to go back and layer that in, LOL.

Funny you mention environment, because my focus was environmental geography and sustainable development, particularly in the coastal regions, and it's very interesting. I love maps -- had to make my own maps for my thesis -- and I loved it.

Sam

Anna Sugden said...

Fabulous interview, Tawny. Great to have you in the Bandita's lair, Samantha! I loved hearing abotu how youwork and about all your experiences.

As a former teacher (of 7-11 year olds) I can sympathise with how you felt. I used to feel that if I could get one child to make a huge step change while they were in my care, I'd achieved something special. I'm glad to say that I did at least that ... but, somehow, the overwhelming admin and political nonsense and total lack of respect got to me. I didn't intend to give it up - US immigration and NJ regs did that for me when we moved over here. But now, I'd find it hard to go back.

Not much I can say about naked Christmas tree decorating ... except I hope it's one of those trees that doesn't drop its needles!

What I would like for Christmas ... really unoriginal, but The Call *grin*. [oh and for my hockey team to win the Stanley Cup ;) ... I would ask for a hockey player ... but hubby would object!]

Tawny said...

Jo, what a lovely wish! I'm with you!

Kirsten - I've known people like your bully neighbor. They are just evil.

Gannon - YAY, let me know what you think of the recipe ;-)

Helen, I'm so glad to hear the laziness is a breed thing. But they are just so sweet, aren't they?

Psycho for a dog's name is making me laugh :-D Our Pit was named Bluto (after the big burly bully in Popeye cartoons).

I'm giggling, now picturing a slew of naked Christmas tree decorating happening among everyone. Of course, in my imagination, its Johnny Depp decorating my tree... and he's wearing one single, very strategically placed bow. hehehe

Tawny said...

Sam - Yup... my pups are the ultimate protection :-) I'll have to get their holiday pictures up on my blog this weekend!

Doglady - hugs on losing your dog to cancer. Isn't that the ugliest thing? We went through surgery once for it, but they just couldn't save Bluto the second round.

Dianna, Buffie - I can't wait to hear what you think of the Blazes ;-)

Joan & Anna - fingers crossed Santa nudges your editors and THE CALL comes soon! You both so deserve it.

terrio said...

This is a great interview and such great info and insight. I have to pick up some of these Blaze books. They are definitely on my list and first of the year I'm hitting the bookstore.

I've had such a great year that I can't think of anything big I want so I'd just have to say more time to write. Full-time job/part-time college/single-mom stuff doesn't make it easy so I guess I have more of a new year wish than a Chrsitmas one. A more calm 2008 and a finished MS would be wonderful!

BTW - that "Naked Christmas Tree Decorating" bit has me incredibly interested!

terrio said...

Forgot to mention I used to have a Chow mix and I know they don't have the best rep but that dog was perfect. Dozer was 1 when my daughter came along and he was uber-protective of her. She could sit on him, pull on him and he would just let her. But if she cried, he would barrel through the house to find out what was wrong. He once went through a screen door to get to her.

I live where the Vick thing happened and it's just ugly. The way the guy who bought the house is now auctioning it off and using the horrible events to make the price go up. Who would do that?!

Anna Sugden said...

Johnny does look so sexy in a bow-tie ;)

Samantha Hunter said...

Hmmm... Tawny, you have me thinking about whom I would want wearing that bowtie (aside of dh, of course!) and how it would, uh, attach.... ;)

DISGUSTING that anyone would sell the house like that -- but then again there are things like serial killer trading cards out there in the world, so what are you going to do?

Anna, oh, yes, the politics. Loved the women I taught with, made many close friends, there, and the students, but OMG the administration... it was a hornets nest. I don't know if I could ever go back to teaching. Maybe a job at Home Depot first... *G* I hope you get your call for Christmas... come to think of it, I hope I get one too... been waiting on several submissions for a long while (See, it doesn't go away after you sell, sorry to say).

Terrio, great story about the chow -- yes, my sister had chows, and one was a big love, and the other was good with immediate family, but not anyone else.

I'm enjoying this alot... :)

Sam

terrio said...

Yes, Samantha, my Chow was only good with those of us he knew well. If a stranger pulled in the drive he would stick out his chest and the hair on the back of his neck would stand up. Let's just say they did not get out of their car. LOL! Perfect guard dog!

I also get the characters before I get the plot. Usually they show up when I'm trying to sleep and I get one character before I get the other. But the idea of the plot comes close behind then I find I like to know where my plot is going before I get too far. Writing stuff in a notebook really helps me move along.

MsHellion said...

I want to decorate at Tawny's house! Please, please, please can I come?

Helen said...

Samantha 2 of them are mixed breeds we got Blocker and Brandy from the RSPCA 10 years ago and when I lost my Mum 5 years ago I got her dog a mini fox terrier named Tootsie who is 13 and rules the roost here. We love them all and wouldn't be without them.
Have Fun
Helen

Laura J. said...

Four words: Naked Christmas Tree Decorating. :)

Guess what book just got bumped up on my Christmas reading list?

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Samantha! I LOVE your books!!!! I haven't gotten the latest yet, but it is on the wishlist.

If I could ask for one thing from Santa this year it would be for him to pay for me to go to an RT convention...I have always wanted to go to one, but haven't had a chance.

Since that isn't likely, I will settle for the ebook reader I asked for...LOL.

tetewa said...

I would love to get tickets to see The Lion King coming to my hometown in the next couple of months!

flchen1 said...

Congrats, Helen! I'm sure the GR is enjoying a change of climate :)

What a fun interview, Sam and Tawny! Very neat to get more info "behind the scenes," so to speak! And Sam, I didn't end up doing anything with it, but I studied a lot of environmental type stuff in school, too. (Before I finally came to the conclusion that no-way-no-how was I an engineer by any stretch of the imagination...)

A Christmas wish? Can the cookies make and pack themselves this year, please? I packed up our cookie cutters earlier in the year when we were redoing the kitchen and they have not resurfaced yet... Any day now, please! More seriously, some fun, unstressed, family time with the kids and the grandparents, please!

Please don't include me in the prize picking--I already have Untouched! (Mmmm... ;))

Samantha Hunter said...

Hey! fun to see familiar faces as well as make new friends. :)

Fedora, sorry you lost your cookies...um, cookie cutters. ;) I'm spending one day next week with a good friend, and we're making cookies all day, exchanging kinds (we'll each make three) and then our dh's will come home with pizza and we can all visit in the evening -- I'm really looking forward to it! So find a way to make your cooking baking fun -- it's really one of the best parts of the season, though man can I offer you sympathy and hugs on having things torn apart for a remodel -- as you know, we just went through that,too.

Jen Y, hi! :) It would be cool to go to a convention -- what kind of ebook reader do you want? I love mine -- and just figured out with some help from eHarlequin how to make the background dark and the text light so it's easier on the eyes.

laura, meshellion, and tetewa, it's good to see you all, too -- sounds like a lot of Christmas spirit in this bunch...sorry if I've missed anyone, I'm trying to keep up! ;)

Helen, your dogs sound wonderful -- what a mix! :)

Sam

Joan said...

Enviromental geography? Do you know what came to my mind? Is the impact of development in the country of Ireland.

Now, I havne't been back for 2 years but in the 4 in a row I visited, the development EVERYWHERE was overwhelming! I worry about all that beauty being compromised.

Cherie J said...

If I could have anything for Christmas it would be a week away from the kids with my hubby on a romantic cruise.

Nathalie said...

I would ask him to let my family in good health and too bring us all happiness :)

Naked tree decorating... nasty!!

Lily said...

I am not sure what I would ask him... maybe a longuer vacation... I have only a few days and I am really tired!

I love Loveisanexplodingcigar blog :)

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Samantha! Thanks for swinging by the lair & forever implanting in my brain the idea of naked tree trimming. :-)

That corn casserole recipe is a long time family favorite for us, too. We call it Heart Attack Corn Casserole, & it holds a place of honor on the holiday table right next to the Angioplasty Potatoes. (You don't even want to know what's in them. Suffice it to say they're really good.)

Okay, I'm off to add a few blazes to the old TBR pile...

Susan

Jennifer Y. said...

Sam: I am not sure what ebook reader I will get...I asked for the ebookwise, but I don't know. What kind do you have? I am not real familiar with all the readers available. I probably won't get one until after the holidays though.

Samantha Hunter said...

Susan! I love it! Heart Attack Corn Casserole. Yep. Wonderful isn't it? And I made Shirley Jump's Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving, and I think they qualify -- they were great (I added more butter and about 2 cups of milk, and made them two days ahead, and they were great).

Jen, I have an Axim that I got on ebay -- it's new, but it's a discontinued model so I got a deal, and I love it.

Joan, development is the enemy, especially along coastlines -- as Katrina proved, it's a dangerous place to be. And the more you develop,the more unstable the coastline, which is why so many municipalities have to rebuild beaches starved of sand... and you can only do that for so long. Nature wins.

Methinks there is going to be a lot of naked people around the Christmas tree this weekend! (Cherie - if you can't swing a cruise, maybe a night off or a weekend? I hope you get some alone time wit hubby...)

Sam

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Samantha! Talking In Your Sleep sounds fantastic - another book going to be added to my TBR pile *g*

After spending the day shopping, I could definitely use some downtime as a gift from Santa. Or else he could just wrap all the gifts I bought :-)

Great interview, ladies!!

Samantha Hunter said...

Beth, thanks!

I know what you mean -- I just did groceries and supplies today to prepare for the nor'easter we're due on Sunday, and the roads and the stores were nuts. I mean, sure, it's supposed to be a bad storm, but we live in Syracuse, not the boonies. I'd like to be able to spend Sunday inside with a book, and dh is making his home made candies that day, but if I *had* to go down the street to the store I could... it's weird how wound up people get.

I've been thinking about Tawny's fudge and want some right now...

BTW, did I mention there's naked cookie decorating, too. ;) heh.

Sam

Suzanne Welsh said...

Great interview, Tawny and welcome to the Bandit Lair, Samantha! We're glad to have you here for the holidays!

By the way I'm thinking I have to make both these recipes this year.

As for what I'd ask for above all others, well, it will be delivered in January, and that's a healthy baby girl for my daughter and son-in-law....and an easy delivery for my daughter.

More materialisticly speaking....Hmmm...I've got my dining room furniture and clean, painted walls...soon I'll have a clean, painted office in the next week, so I'm pretty happy!

Jennifer Y. said...

"naked cookie decorating"???

Well, if I wasn't sold before...

LOL.

Anna Sugden said...

Hey Samantha - waving to you from Bergen County in NJ. We're getting ready for the Nor'Easter too. Stay safe!

doglady said...

Okay, visions of everyone naked Christmas tree decorating could be a little dicey!

Psycho was two years old when I got him so the name wasn't my idea. One of my former student's sister owned him. The owner's husband beat her, the kids and the dog. When she got the courage to leave him and go to live with her parents they refused to allow her to bring Psycho. The day she was escaping and they were loading the truck before the husband got home I went over to supposedly meet the dog. I ended up bringing him home. He was with me for 9 years. I lost him to brain cancer. He scared the dust out of people because he was so big (almost 200 lbs of pure muscle) with a head the size of a microwave oven. (my brother's words) Like with your dog, Tawny, Glory had surgery to remove a leg and did great for over six months. When the cancer came back there was nothing we could do.

Keira Soleore said...

A late, late welcome to Samantha! And Tawny another great interview!! As far as what we want Santa to bring us... that would be another year of happiness.

Caren Crane said...

Tawny and Samantha, sorry to miss the party! The corn stuff sounds great! I might be tempted to drain a can of Ro-tel tomatoes and throw them in there. *g*

Samantha, I loved hearing a plotter's perspective. I have Tawny's problem: characters with no plot! I find plotting a real challenge. I'm not sure anyone is satisfied with their natural "mix". All we can do is tap the brains of our other-minded writer friends and ruthlessly exploit their idea. Mwahahaha!

Oh, and Santa needs to bring me Super Scrabble this year. I mean, come on, it has an expanded board, more special scoring squares and, best of all, more letters! Woo hoo!! Um, is anyone else a Scrabble geek?

Caren Crane said...

Samantha, I meant to say that my mother's dog is what the vets termed a Pit X. From her spotted skin on her belly, she looks to have some Brittany Spaniel in her. Her name is Duchess (not to be confused with our dear Jeanne) and she is the sweetest dog in the world!

She was a rescue dog and had been in an abusive home. But she was not trained to be mean. She smiles bigger than any dog I've ever known. Very, very smart and protective, but she is such a love! My mother was lucky to adopt her and she certainly seems to love her Mama!