Kindle Contest Day 19 – Samantha Sommersby

Please welcome Samantha!

1. What is your favorite thing about the colder weather?

All the great food I get to cook. I live in southern California, so we don’t experience a drastic weather change. But in the summer I do a lot of grilling and cooking with fresh vegetables from the garden. In the winter I make more soups, stews, and roasts. Having grown up with cold New England winters that always makes me feel nostalgic.

2. What kind of books do you like to curl up with on a cold day?

Hot vampires and shape-shifters anyone? Seriously, my favorite thing to read is urban fantasy/paranormal romance. Although I also read a fair amount of thrillers and mysteries.

3. What is your favorite holiday food?

A pork stuffing that my Irish/Polish grandmother taught me how to make. I make it every Thanksgiving and every Christmas. Yum!

4. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Our annual Christmas Caroling party. For the past 16 years we’ve hosted a party before Christmas and it’s become a tradition that many of our friends and family members have come to enjoy. Folks arrive around 5:30-6:00 pm and we ask each of the guests to bring an appetizer to share. After an hour or two of cocktails and appetizers, we all go out into the neighborhood and sing our hearts out. We live in an area where there’s a combination of old residential homes and businesses. We’ve been doing it long enough we actually get asked by local business owners when we’ll be coming and some of them have hot chocolate (some have brandy) ready for our little group. After our trek everyone returns to our house for dessert, coffee, and more holiday cheer. We have a blast.

5. Be honest, how much do you decorate for the holidays?

The house gets decorated for the holidays the Thanksgiving weekend. We go to Mission Hills nursery to pick out our tree the day after Thanksgiving and while other folks brave the crowds at the mall, we play Christmas music and decorate the house. The tree goes up in the living room, lights go up on the outside of the house, we hang fresh garland and a wreath on the door, then more over our fireplace behind our stockings. I love the siding in the living room  in front of the fire at night and looking at the tree.

Scavenger Hunt Question:

Wesley Atherton, the hero from Samantha Sommmersby’s The Sacrifice is a…
a.      Sharp-shooting Navy Seal
b.      Knife-wielding shrink
c.       Spell-casting sorcerer

The answer can be found on Samantha’s website.

Click here to submit your answer.



Filed under Books and Authors, Contest!, Samhain Publishing

42 responses to “Kindle Contest Day 19 – Samantha Sommersby

  1. Phyllis

    Samantha’s holidays sound like a storybook. 🙂

  2. Judith Hulley

    I love the sound of your Christmas Caroling party and its great that you have been doing it for 16 years. Sometimes life gets in the way and people drop out, so well done for keeping it going for so long. Sing loudly and happily!!!

  3. Sherry

    The Christmas Caroling sounds like a lot of fun and something that I would enjoy doing although I don’t sing very well. I agree nothing beats a good paranormal book to read on a cold night.

  4. Tia

    In the stuffing, do you use ground pork? And what are some of the seasonings?

  5. Rhonda Barnes

    Your Christmas Caroling party sounds wonderful! I’ve never gone Christmas caroling, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

    God Blesss,

  6. I know it’s already been said, but your holiday does sounds like a storybook! How wonderful!

    And the pork stuffing sounds so yummmy!

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year!

  7. I think it’s funny you live in So. Calif. I’m from Redding way up north and have also lived in San Diego. Now I live in New England…RI in fact, we switched spots. Been to your website a bit lately and it’s ver nice. Gotta love those Alpha males.

  8. Armenia

    Christmas caroling party. That’s a wonderful idea. You don’t have any snow to deter you at all.

  9. Amy S.

    I went Christmas Caroling one year. It was fun. I enjoy eating soups, chili, and stews in the winter.

  10. Thanks to everyone for popping on so early. The sun is just coming up where I live and I’m trying to roust the teenaged boy out of bed. Does anyone have a crowbar?

    The caroling went well this year. We indoctrinated a couple new restaurants into the tradition, folks stayed until after midnight, and there were hardly any leftovers. All in all, it was a great party.

    Tia asked about the stuffing. Yes, I use ground pork. I start with about 3 lbs. I add a head of chopped celery and one large chopped onion. Then I cover all that with water in a saucepan and cook the mixture down. After it cools I add in the dried bread, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, black pepper, white pepper, and garlic. Then I use warm low-sodium organic chicken broth – pouring it over the concoction and mixing until it’s just the right consistency.

    You can stuff the turkey with it or bake it in the oven in a separate dish. Nana used to do the former. I like to stuff my turkey with citrus and fresh herbs and cook the dressing in a baking dish.

    There’s also a great recipe for Orange – Cranberry Sauce that I shared in a freebie cookbook you can find on my website on the free reads page. I love to cook – so I’d be grateful for some of your fave holiday recipes as well.

    (who will check back later)

  11. Christmas Caroling is a great idea. I did it as a child and I remember it was a children’s caroling choir. Now as an adult I understand why the parents all sat in the cars keeping warm, all the snow on the ground and all. But it was a wonderful experience. Maybe this year I’ll get the neighborhood kids and do some houses. Great idea. Thanks!

  12. Maggie Johnson

    I love to grill in the summer wish I could do it all year but don’t want to be out in the cold.Paranormal is my all time favorite.The pork stuffing sounds good.Your Christmas Caroling party sounds like alot of fun.

  13. april strength

    every year we make the same stuffing my grandma made. its french (called fowl) it has potatoes, stuffing, giblets, hamburger, onion and some seasoning but everyone who tries it always love it and most people have never heard of it (its been it the family so longer there are no measurements it all be taste).

  14. nicholandria

    I LOVE the idea of pork stuffing! I will definitely have to try it! I have a favorite Sweet potatoe casserole that I make, only one my husband eats! It is easier to just leave the link to it so here you go!

    Thanks for the recipes! I love to muck about in the kitchen! And now I have something new to try!

  15. Happy Holidays Samanatha!
    Oh, that pork stuffing sounds tasty. Stuffing has always been my favorite part of the traditional Christmas dinner. Typically, Sage and Onion. But this year, I will have to try your suggestion. Like that your using low sodium stock, too. Is there a reason why You use that?
    I have to avoid water retention, so I always cook with low-sodium broth/stock.

    Soups, Stews and roasts are mostly all we eat in the winter, too. Something so comforting about a big bowl of stew and freshly baked bread rolls. YUM.

  16. Tom McEwen

    I think I’d enjoy not having a drastic weather change for winter!

  17. Hayley –

    A few years ago I got terribly ill and was severely anemic for quite a few months. Ironically, the idea for my vampire series came to me while I was in need of blood transfusions. LOL!

    Although my health is back on track – I was left with some lingering issues. High blood pressure is, unfortunately, one of them. So I’ve been on a low-salt diet for a couple years now. I’ve become the queen of cooking low-salt.


  18. Yvonne McEwen

    I like to decorate but usually wait until some time in December.

  19. Lesa

    I love your Christmas Caroling tradition! What a fun evening, both for those singing and those listening. 🙂

  20. Cheryl McEwen

    Your carolling party sounds like so much fun!

  21. Crystal B.

    I also like hot vampire and shapeshifter books. The pork stuffing sounds good.

  22. OH yeah, I’m all for the “Hot vampires and shape-shifters anyone?” That’s the best way to deal with a chilly, winter day, huh? 🙂

    Merry Christmas!!

  23. Jennifer M

    If you like to make stews and things in the winter, have you ever checked out the crockpot365.blogspot website? It’s got great recipes for all kinds of stuff.

    I find the crockpot is wonderful for cooking low or no-salt meals, because everything comes out so flavorful that you don’t need to add any salt, or very little.

    Last week I made shredded beef for tacos in the crockpot using two jars of bottled salsa and a rump roast. This week we made apricot chicken using boneless thighs and breasts, a jar of apricot preserves, some minced onion, soy sauce, ginger, dijon mustard, and red pepper flakes (recipe on the crockpot365 blog). No additional salt was added to either recipe and both came out great.

  24. Karin

    The Caroling party sounds like a lot of fun. Definitely a great way to get into the season and share the feeling.

  25. flchen1

    Samantha, thanks for the deets on your grandmother’s pork stuffing–that sounded delicious! And I love that you were inspired to write your vamps while in need of a little blood yourself–I’m glad you’ve recovered, and are gracing us with these stories now! And your annual caroling party sounds like an incredible tradition–getting together with friends to share and sing and laugh and enjoy the season! Hope your holidays are merry!

  26. Marie t r

    Wow I envy you I miss southern Cali, the weather is so nice. Wow a christmas caroling party I wish I had a traditon like that. Hope your having a good holiday.

  27. What a great interview. I just found the contest and have been reading all the other interviews.

    I love the Christmas Caroling idea. That is so cool and actually something that is really doable since everyone helps by bringing a appetizer. I would love to do something like that.

    We just moved and this is our 1st Christmas in our new house and our 1st Christmas with our grandbaby (she’s 10 mo old). I can’t wait.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  28. Hi Samantha!

    I really like your carol tradition, I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard/saw carolers! It is kind of sad, but I have to say it is one thing I miss from growing up!

  29. Cathy M

    When I lived in the city Christmas carolers were on almost every corner during December, but I’ve never seen them where I live now, and that’s kind of a shame.

  30. Andrea Infinger

    Your annual Caroling party sounds fun. I enjoyed it the year our church went caroling at the Seniors Apartments near us.

  31. Joder

    I absolutely love stuffing! This is going to sound gross, but I just eat chunks of it cold the next day because it’s so flavorful.

  32. Estella

    I like your caroling tradition.

  33. Tracey D

    Stuffing is my favorite, too. My grandmother would make sausage stuffing. Unfortunately, I never got her recipe.

    Tracey D

  34. fallon hadley

    I’ve never heard of a pork stuffing, before. It sounds interesting. Want to share?

    Fallon Hadley

  35. Jessica

    I love reading about vampires and shape-shifters too. Mostly vamps though.

  36. Sharon M

    I wish I could do more Christmas caroling. The neighborhoods where I live aren’t close knit communities so it would never occur to my neighbors that we should get a group together to go caroling. A lady from my church used to get a group together to go to nursing homes and assisted living centers but since she’s now too sick to do that, the group didn’t happen this year. My husband’s barbershop chorus does go to area hospitals and some nursing homes and he tends to enjoy that a lot.

  37. I love your holiday tradition of a Christmas Caroling party, and then to have the food to share before and after is a great idea. You don’t see these very much any more…and it makes me kind of sad 😦

  38. Beverly G

    I loveto listening to Carolers but dont liek christmas music on the radio

    my favorite traditions tho r watching the silly old cartoon christmas shows and finishing decorating the tree and makeing christmas cookies with my dad

  39. s7anna

    I’m looking forward to catching up on the books on your backlist.
    Do you have any fave stew recipes you want to share with us?

    Happy Holidays

  40. Stew recipes? Absolutely! I love cooking in my crock pot this time of year. I’m on deadline now, which means I need to come up with meals that are tasty but easy to prepare. Tonight I’m making veal osso bucco. You can substitute lamb shanks instead of veal shanks, or even chicken with this. This serves 4:

    Place 4 veal shanks in the bottom of your crock pot.
    Pour 3 large cans of crushed tomatoes on top.
    Add 1 small can of sliced ripe olives, 1 small jar of capers, 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, 1 medium chopped onion, 1 cup of red table wine, a teaspoon of crushed garlic, a few dashes of worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon each of basil/oregano/parsley, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of course ground pepper. This should cook for about six hours. You want the meat to be falling off the bone.

    I like to serve it over a saffron rice. I’ll use Arborio, or just a regular long grain white rice, substituting low-sodium chicken broth for water. I’ll add saffron (if I have it), or tumeric (as a substitute if I don’t. 1 teaspoon to 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of broth. Cook until the water is evaporated (about 20 minutes).


  41. s7anna

    That sounds absolutely divine! I have got to try it out for sure!

  42. Tia

    Thanks for the stuffing recipe. I’m going to bake mine in a separate dish.

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