Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guest: Samantha Hunter

Welcome Samantha Hunter to the convertible today!


The UPS guy just delivered our order of extra virgin olive oils and 18 year aged balsamic vinegars. I used to buy plain vinegars at the store, but then we took a trip to Chicago and went to a shop called Old Town Oil. The vinegars were so good, you could drink them from a little paper cup. After that, we have never been able to use anything else. Believe me, once you’ve had 18 year old Pomegranate or Black Current Balsamic Vinegar, you’ll never go back.

I’ve always thought of myself as a practical person, and people who know me well would probably agree. I’m not overly indulgent or extravagant. I can even be cheap, LOL. But I I am a sensualist as well… I love the taste and richness of the vinegar, I love the crispness of the vegetables, the color of the tomatoes. The scent of a good steak (or burger) on the grill is heaven, or the cracking sound and heat of a roaring fire. I love the scent of flowers in my yard (even if I am allergic), and in sewing, the colors and textures of the fabric are addictive. Yet, I am just as likely to find fabric I like at a thrift shop or garage sale – I don’t have to spend a lot of money to find something that turns me on -- but I think it’s worth the money when we do.

The everyday things that make us feel that zzzziiiinnng are so important.

I write sexy romance, and I draw on a lot of the senses when I’m writing a love scene, but I think sex and sensuality has to be all around, woven into life. If you look at this excerpt from HARD TO RESIST, at the bottom of this page, you’ll see one of my favorite scenes. I love how the clicking sound of the camera works in, and how she is touching the camera while watching him, and how it’s all sex without them touching each other at all. I try to work this kind of sensuality into the fabric of the book, in the same way I think it should be in the fabric of our lives. It’s part of what makes life worth living, don’t you think? It might also be what makes a book worth reading, the entire experience, every page, not just the sex scenes (though we certainly do enjoy those too!)

What sensual delights (not necessary sexual! Let’s steer clear of TMI, LOL), do you enjoy in life? Do you find you enjoy the little sensory experiences of your day, and what are some of your favorites? The aroma of cookies baking? A fresh bottle of wine? A certain perfume? What gives you the zing? Share, and you can win a copy of HARD TO RESIST, and if you have been following my blog tour, this is one more stop on the way to the end!



Anonymous said...

love gardienas smell good, flowers are my aphodisica

a nice sweaty man tooo
hot cover congrats
love your books


Emmanuelle said...

A good romance novel + a huge mug of tea (I love to try new varieties, tea is pure bliss for me) + some chocolate or a piece of chocolate cake (with tons of frosting of course) = my idea of a perfect sensual moment !!! lol

lois greiman said...

Hey Samantha. Thanks for joining us in the convertible.

Good topic, because we often forget to smell the roses. Life moves too fast. As for me, I really enjoy mornings when the day is still mine and the fog hangs quiet and silvery in the valleys. Seeing my horses race through the dawn on their way to the back pasture can bring tears to my eyes.

Betina Krahn said...

Sam-- welcome fellow Blaze Babe! I LOVE your books! And this one looks great.

I, too, am a sensualist. . . love to experience the world with all the senses. Except I lost my sense of smell a few years ago and since then I've been trying to find ways to compensate. Now I pay much more attention to colors and textures and tactile sensation. I also love colors and indulte in those more than I used to. One wall of my office is a bright salmon color that I adore.

I'm big on music and ambient sounds like falling water and scale-tuned wind chimes. And I love massages and hot tubs and the feel of floating in water. It's very healing to me. I'm not a bit sun-bather, but there are days that just going outside and turning my face up to the sun-- feeling the warmth of the rays hitting my skin is as good as chocolate.

Oh, and did you hear that the FDA took the sinus medicine Zicam off the market! It's been shown to cause people to lose their sense of smell!!!

Helen Brenna said...

Hi Sam and welcome back to the vert!

Love the excerpt - very sensual! And you definitely have me rethinking the whole vinegar thing. I didn't know there was such a thing as aged vinegar, although it makes sense.

I love the scent of a nice perfume. I'll often put it on in the morning before I sit down to write. I sometimes put fragrant flowers on my bedside stand.

A full life is a sensual life, right?

And Betina!!! I saw that about the Zicam and immediately thought of you. Didn't know zinc could destroy the sense of smell.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Samantha. Love the cover to Hard To Resist. I love the scent of freshly laundered clothes and the aroma of good food cooking.

Kylie said...

Welcome to the convertible Samantha! Love the title, LOL, as I had a SRS with the same a few years back!

For some reason I respond to music, which is interesting because I don't have a musical bone in my body, and I'm not auditory at all. But I find it very evocative and mood-setting, if that makes sense.

Other than that I'm a very visual person. Love walking among my flower gardens in the morning to see what's in bloom.

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, those peonies! I have some on my desk right now and the perfume makes me dizzy it's so powerful. Love that. I love sensual fabrics and colors and mix those throughout the house. Try to make food colorful and interesting, and think fruit salads are very sexy. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Fresh cut grass and the way the air smells when it's going to rain. Both bring a smile to my face. And chirping birds in the morning.


Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Sam
GREAT excerpt. Loved it.
and I'm a sensualist too. I try to soak up all 5 senses every day. This time of year is stunning with all the beautiful flowers blooming, the birds singing (I've discovered that a Cardinal has MANY distinctive calls). Can't wait for that first cutting of hay here in the Midwest. The scent is heaven - well, or Iowa :o0

GunDiva said...

I agree, Cindy - fresh cut hay is way up there on my list of favorites. I'm very tactile, I love to feel things. I could never yell at my kids in the store when they were little for touching things, because I was touching many more things than they were!

EllenToo said...

I enjoy visual sensual delights - cloud formations, waves that crash along the seawall near my home, kittens at play and even birds hunting for bugs in the grass.
And I love descriptions in books that create pictures in my mind as I read.
Of course there's always the aroma of anything baking in the oven which doesn't happen around here very often.

Samantha Hunter said...

Hey folks! Sorry I'm a bit late getting started -- I had to get the dogs out before rain moves in, but here I am! Thanks to Michele and the gals for the invite. :) I love it here in the convertible, hair blowing in the wind. :)

KH, thank you! I love gardenias, too -- I had the best luck with them growing in my bathroom. I guess they liked the steam from the shower, and when they were blooming, the whole room would be so pungent!

Emmanuelle, I like tea in winter, and iced tea in summer, and chocolate cake -- always a good one. :)

Lois, you have an amazing morning view! You had me sighing. :)

Betina, you are the second person I know who has lost their sense of smell -- wow, and I didn't know that about Zicam. Hmmm. Not so good.

You had me on colors, and the warmth of the sun. Love both -- we have one room in our home that is naval orange (where I'm sitting now) -- you'd think "ugh" perhaps, but it works, and people tend to congregate there a lot when we have company. Also a brick red ceiling in our dining room (bone colored walls) -- again, seems odd, but works. DH and I both love lots of color around us. And I can't get enough of the sun -- I feel starved through the winter.

Helen, thanks! I loved that excerpt for many reasons, mostly because it was one of those "writing moments" where the characters "clicked" for me (no pun intended). LOL

Those vinegars are addicting. We eat SO much more salad, LOL. I have allergies, so I can't do perfumes, though I used to. There was a Liz Clairborne that I loved, and I have flowers in the house from my gardens, though I have to put them in places where we won't suffer from the pollen, LOL.

Crystal, good ones -- those "comfort smells" of home really do strike deep notes in our hearts, I think...

Smell is so important, isn't it?

Hi Kylie! Did you really? This was a tough one to title, and we went through several before hitting this one, that seemed to fit on all counts. I don't mind admitting I still have a crush on this particular hero. I enjoy all of my characters, but now and then there's one that just stands out...

And I'm with you on the music -- I am not a musical person at all. In fact, I can find music very irritating if I am not in the mood for it, or if it's not something I like. And yet with my current wip, certain songs keep pushing me... I've never had that happen before. But it's like I remember a song, listen to it, and then I know what to do with the scene... It's been kind of strange. LOL

Michele, you and I are peas in the pod I think. Fabrics are my other addiction, since I sew home decor and quilt (and bags of course). I had such a strong hankering for yellow fabric yesterday, I may go get some today. I think it's your fault after telling me about the yellow peonies! :)

Marcie, those are all some of my favorites -- wow, there's a lot to notice and enjoy in a day, isn't there, when we open up the senses?

Cindy, thanks. :) I think it's a great exercise to really open the senses every day...I almost can't help it. But there are times, especially in winter, when I think depression sets in because it's harder, especially looking outside and everything is so cold and stark and white. We look inside for different stimulation, then, but I know I can't wait to throw open the windows when it warms up!

GunDiva, LOL, on touching things... that's why I like to do a lot of things by hand, especially cooking, like making bread by hand, etc. It's a whole sensory experience that way.

Ellen, animals can provide so much joy that way. I love the way my younger dogs whole face transforms into joy when we pick up her toy.

And you're right -- we need these descriptions in books, because I think they are as much a part of the experience as any other part.

Thanks for all the comments, and I'll check back through the day... off to write!


Keri Ford said...

Baking Bread! Can't believe no one has said this one yet! I could of been a baker. Ya know, one of those baking shops that sits somewhere on a square with fresh coffee and tea all day.

Samantha Hunter said...

Keri, I completely agree with you on bread -- I love to bake.

But I was just making myself some lunch, and I've had a big bowl of peaches on the counter, waiting for them to over-ripen so I can use them for jam, and the smell makes my mouth water every time I walk by. I love fruits (there's that sexy fruit salad! LOL), but seriously is there anything sexier and more sensual than a ripe peach?


robynl said...

I love the sun coming up and the birds singing early in the morning when I'm at work and the smell of coffee while I'm waiting for residents to come out for breakfast.

Petrolee said...

I am one of those people that smell everything ! I love all the above mentioned but two others I also love is; the smell of water, and the smell of newly cut grass :)
I absolutely loved "Hard To Resist" Samantha and that scene is definitely one of my favorites, makes you hold your breath doesn't it ? ;) Awesome ...

Jane said...

Hi Samantha,
I love the smell of fresh laundry, coffee and the aromas coming from the bakery.

Samantha Hunter said...

Wow, smell and scent certainly seems to be taking the day -- are women particularly sensitive to scent, I wonder?

Lori Wilde has a wonderful scene in a single title of hers where the h/H meet in the dark, and she learns him by how he smells first. I always loved that.

Petro, thank you -- I think I held my breath in quite a few moments of that book, LOL. ;)


flip said...

I love the fresh laundry comment. I also love the smell of laundry freshly dried. I want a clothes line because I think that nothing smells better than laundry which has hung outside.

I also love the feel of a crisp sheets. My grandmother always ironed her sheets before making the bed. I must admit that I am not so industrious.

Betty S. said...

Very timely topic for me as I just returned from a trip home to my Mom's house on the Texas Gulf Coast. While taking in the sun (a rare occurrence for me these days) while my girls were playing in the surf I thought about how much I'd missed the smell of salty air, the cool gulf breeze on my face despite the heat of the day, and the overhead cries of the gulls seeking food, companionship or whatever the birds hope to find flying around above the heads of sun worshipers. I don't get to the beach often, but it's one of my most favorite sensual delights.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi Samatha! Welcome to our fresh air mobile.

I love scents, but not so much in the department store. I tend to power walk through the perfume. No allergies, just don't like the overload.

But I do love the smell of snow in the air. Spring rain. Night. Spices, especially cinnamon. Flowers, of course--I walk around with the grand kids and get them to smell whatever is in bloom and remind me what the name of it is. I have a jasmine that I've brought in the house through four or five winters and it still blooms on my deck every summer.

Wow, that cover is hard to resist. Some abs on that cowboy!

Debra Dixon said...

OMG!!! I was just talking about balsamic vinegar in an email. You really have to reduce the stuff you can buy locally to pull out the flavor.

I'm so happy you're here today!

I literally just stopped my comment while I went and ordered product.

Happy happy!

Oh, and now I have to go read the rest of your blog because I didn't make it past Old Town Old.

Debra Dixon said...

>>Do you find you enjoy the little sensory experiences of your day, and what are some of your favorites?<<

Um...yes and please see post above for one of my favorites. LOL!

ForestJane said...

Good to see you here, Samantha. I've been following you on facebook for a while now. ;)

Hmm. I have a bunch.

A ripe, juicy tomato.
Frozen Slurpee, when you've walked in the hot summer sun a mile to the 7-11 to get one.

This is going to sound weird, but coming inside on a cold day to a hot dinner in the crock pot - chili smells or roast beef and anything with onions...
Coffee and bacon frying in the morning, even though I don't drink coffee.

I'm a fabric lover, so I adore petting fabric. Silks, the nap on velvets, the plushness of Minkee, the cold slickness of satin.

Samantha Hunter said...

Kathleen, rain is a very nice smell, and sound. I find it very relaxing, at times. I can sleep well in rain (as long as it's not storms).

And yeah, what about those abs? I guarantee my heroine uses all of her senses exploring them, LOL. ;)

Deb, you bought vinegar! Oil? Their Blood orange oil and Orange vinegars are amazing... I wonder if they know they are on a romance blog today? LOL We went there on a food tour -- much fun. You have to let me know what you think - which did you get?

Jane, I hear you on the cold day, warm house comfort. Believe me. Cooking and sewing are two of the ways I survive the sensory deprivation of winter (I know some folks love it, I just can't bring myself to...I dream of a winter house in FL).

Tomatoes are a wonderful one -- not just taste and texture, but just how they look. There's something so beautiful about a ripe, red tomato (looking at those plants on Deb's blog below, LOL).

Thank you for following me! :) I really enjoy chatting with everyone at FB and Twitter -- probably too much! LOL


Christie Ridgway said...

Hi, Samantha! Thanks for taking a ride in the convertible today. The excerpt was fab...and the cover is great too.

As for me...yeah to meat on the grill, that was making me crazy yesterday (or maybe it's the pre-conference dieting). When I'm shopping for clothes, I touch everything. Just bought 2 new t-shirts that have a fabulously soft texture. And right now I'm eating from a bowl of raspberries and love the way their flavor bursts on my tongue. Yum!

'Kay, now I'm super hungry. Ack!

Samantha Hunter said...

Hi Christie! Wait -- pre-conference dieting? I hope that's not a requirement. I think I have done the opposite since finding a local bakery with the best cupcakes... dh and I have one every night, LOL.

I try to eat well, but diets are out the window for me. I like exercise, which can also be a sensual thing, but forget denial, I suck at it, and I've found peace with this, LOL.

Raspberries are a favorite around here -- dh grows 4 different types down in the lower yard... they are the best. :) I make peach jam and have it on a waffle (whole grain) with rasperries and bananas, and that's my favorite breakfast...


Debra Dixon said...

Samantha-- We got 2 kinds of oil and 2 kinds of vinegar. Oils were Greek and the Australian (based on what hubby uses them for and the recommendation from the story).

And we got Black Cherry and 18 year aged Basalmic. Oranges are probably next on my list.

We decided if these are wonderful then it's like buying wine and we need a variety. So, we'll go back and broaden our pantry.

Samantha Hunter said...

Let me know about the Black Cherry -- I like the Pomegranate and Black Current, and the 18 year old is very nice -- have that here. The Fig is good -- takes some getting used to.

The Meyer lemon oil is also very nice for grilling fish and veggies. :)


Christie Ridgway said...

I want Samantha's breakfast! And her raspberries! And her attitude toward dieting!

Cari Quinn said...

Hi Sam! Fun blog and terrific excerpt! Love to see that sexy connection between a h/h who don't really know each other yet. Makes me want to clear my schedule even faster so I can finally read HTR and post my own 5 star review.

I'm definitely going to try those vinegars. You sold me on them in just a few lines. ;) And I'm like you...I love colors and scents, though sometimes the simplest are the best. The air just before a thunderstorm and freshly mowed grass are my favorites, though the second makes me sneeze. LOL And I'm huge on music. The right song can bring me to tears even when I'm not in a crying mood. Probably because I dreamed of being a singer even before I picked up a pencil. ;)

Lots of great food for thought here!

Samantha Hunter said...

Christie, LOL, but I bet your jeans are a much smaller size! LOL And you are welcome for b'fast any time. ;)

Cari, hey! I didn't know you wanted to be a singer -- do you do any singing around town?

Really, the vinegars make salad like candy -- that's healthy, right? *G*

I hope you get to the book soon, too -- I value your opinion!


Samantha Hunter said...

Betina, I was remiss -- I just saw your cover for Blaze and OMG! how amazing... that is just so, so romantic and sexy. I covet, even though I am very happy with mine, as well. ;) So we are shelf buddies!

Are you in DC this year?


Estella said...

The smell of fresh coffee, lilacs, fresh baked bread and chocolate chip cookies.

Betina Krahn said...

Sam, sorry, I won't be in DC. . . lots to do here! But I love the cover they gave me, too. It's very like my hero and heroine. I love the guy on your cover-- kathy mentioned the abs. . . yowza. And those jeans. I'm "indulging" my imagination plenty on that guy!

Have fun at the Blaze dinner-- or whatever they have to treat you! Bring back a full report!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Samantha!

My one indulgence is Chanel perfume, I love Allure. Well, that and the romance books that I slip into now and again.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Sam! Sorry to be dragging in so late--spent the day chaperoning kids at the park (not exactly a walk in the park... ahem ;))

Anyway, sensual delights? Food, definitely--creamy mashed potatoes with gravy; cold, rich ice cream; excellent sushi--rice with a bit of zing combined with ultra fresh fish or something else yumola; melt-in-your-mouth chocolate...

And clean sheets--I *love* sliding into a just-made bed with crisp clean sheets.

I do have to say that I treated myself to a rare mani-pedi yesterday, and the salon did a great job of making it an all-around sensual experience--the shop was done in a gorgeous combination of vibrant colors with eye-catching artwork on the walls; it looked and smelled clean and inviting. The manicurist did a great job while being gentle and the all-too-brief massage felt terrific. They offered me a cup of hot tea while I soaked my feet... All in all, a very lovely indulgence :)

Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the "zzzziiinng!!"

Laurie said...

I like the feel and smell of body lotions. I have several to select from so it just depends on my mood. I like pretty smelling shampoos too. I rarely where perfume as I'm outside a lot and attracts bugs!
I love flowers: lilacs, lilies of the valley, roses, gardenias...

Just sitting outside in the sunshine reading a book relaxes me and gives me a ZING!

Teresa said...

Chocolate chip cookies
Bread baking
The Sea Air
My cat and dog
My cat purring
The feel of a book as I turn the pages. Not much of an ebook reader.