Wednesday, June 24, 2009

News about the future of the Forbidden Series!

First I want to thank those of you who have written to me about the fate of the Forbidden series lately. I promised that I would post as soon as I knew something solid. Most of those emails and messages were from folks who knew that my publisher, Linden Bay Romance, was purchased by Crissy Brashear, the owner of Samhain Publishing at the beginning of this year. 

For the first few months, as Crissy committed, things continued pretty much "business as usual". Upon returning from RT in April we (the former LBR authors) were told that Samhain editors would be going through the current LBR catalog and that decisions would be made to either release authors from contracts OR to offer authors new contract so that titles could be migrated to Samhain. We were also given the option of requesting rights back outright. Fortunately, the series has been picked up. Yippee! Samhain has also picked up Shelter from the Storm. 

What does this really mean? One thing it means is that I have my work cut out for me over the next few months. The entire series will be going through edits again and several of the books are going to be lengthened, which I'm excited about. They are also going to all get new covers. The editor who has been working with me on The Sacrifice, Tera, will be sticking with me. This is a big plus. She knows the story and we've worked well together thus far. I've always been blessed with wonderful editors and my luck seems to be holding. Upon reflection I've learned so much from Maria, Stephanie, Barb, Nikki...and now I'm learning new things from Tera (i.e. limiting my use of filter words). 

I'm still waiting for new release dates and will keep you posted as to those. I know that The Sacrifice (Book 1) is scheduled for a 9/29 release. I finished my edits and those are with Tera. I may get another round before it goes to line edits. We'll see. 

Under Fire, which I've been working on for Red Rose, is almost ready to go back to Lea, my editor there. I don't  have a firm release date for it. When I do, I'll post it. I need to let it sit for a bit before going through it one last time. 

Meanwhile - it's back to The Summoning. I hope to read what I wrote prior to turning my attention to Under Fire today and tomorrow, then getting back on track with William and Elizabeth's story. 

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 3 – Wine tasting trip report

Wow – I can't believe that this is the last day of our trip. We just finished breakfast and I have a short window of opportunity to get this blog posted. So this is going to be an abbreviate report…
We started yesterday at Siduri winery where the winemaker talked to us about blending. They specialize in Pinot's and we spent about an hour playing there. Part chemistry, part art. This was a blast. I've never done any of my own blending before. We ended up leaving with a couple bottles of their Hirsch Vineyard label. Very yummy.
From there we went to Seghesio. We'd fallen in love with their Zin's about a year ago and meeting the family behind the label was a memorable experience. This winery dates back to pre-prohibition and it's a family affair. A bonus – they also make fantastic sausage. The winemaker shared his family sausage recipe, which we got to make. I love to cook, but I'd never made sausage before. After we were through Uncle Nick fried some up. Amazing. Then he threw together a spectacular risotto, which we had with more sausage, Caesar salad, and about 6 different Seghesio wines. We ended up bring home a case of their Barberra (which we hadn't tried before) and a case of their Old Vine (which is a zin). I'm sorry that I didn't get the recipe for the risotto. I may need to email them for it.
Next was Rockpile. I confess, I sat part of this one out. The winemaker was really young and enthusiastic. He wanted to take us out and have us walk the fields. It was 85 and very hilly. Hubby was more than game. I took a breather. He walked through the various blocks, sampling wines as he went.
Last, but not least, was dinner at the Hotel Healdsburg prepared by the Chefs at Dry Creek. This was another 6 course meal – paired with a little over 20 wines. There was absolutely no way that I could taste them all. Memorable ones were a 1986 Heitz Cellars Cabernet, a 1994 BV Latour, and a Syrah that the winemaker, Tyler, brought from Pax. The envelope containing the vintage is packed – but I think is was a 2007. Very, very, nice.
Dinner –
First course: Dry Creek Peach Carpaccio
Second course: Spice Crusted Ahi Nicoise
Third course: House Made Potato Cavatelli Pasta
Fourth course: Butter Braised Alaskan Halibut
Main Course: Pan Roaded New York Strip Steak Entrecote
Dessert: Almond Financier (Roasted Peaches, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream).
Time to run and enjoy the last day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 2 – Wine tasting trip report

We started yesterday's travels at the Palmaz Vineyards. This place was fascinating. The vineyard itself dates back to pre-prohibition. During the prohibition era all of the fines were pulled and replaced by various fruits. Dr. Palmaz purchased the vineyard in the late 90's with the intention of turning it into a family run business. The former radiologist who invented the heart stent funded the venture with money earned during his illustrious medical career. Dr. and Mrs. Palmaz are very involved in the running of the vineyard and making of the wine – as are their children. The facility that they build was designed to support producing wine using a gravity-flow method. It's an 18 story underground building with tons of storage capacity. It's all very high-tech with computers monitoring the various tanks. We were treated to 2 wines, their 2005 Chardonnay and 2005 Cabernet. They were both delicious – but pricey. We left with 2 bottles of the Cab which we intend to cellar.
From there we drove to the Reynolds Family winery. Steve Reynolds assured us that we would have fun at his place, and he wasn't kidding. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The Reynolds winery was a start contract to Palmaz, kind of like the difference between walking into a sterile operating room vs a barn. Okay – maybe not quite that much of a difference. The Reynolds place is run by Steve, who used to be a dentist. He's passionate about wine and for years struggled to balance his career in dentistry with his desire to be a winemaker. This is an organic farm staffed by a handful of friendly and yes, fun, people. We tasted their 2006 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We were about to move on to the 2005 Estate Cab when Steve interrupted. I'm so glad he did. He led us to the back where the 2007 barrels were being stores and we spent about an hour tasting from the barrels and listening to Steve tell stories. He's an entertaining guy – I could have listened to him chat all afternoon. We sampled the 2007 cabernet, merlot, and zinfandel. I particular liked the zin and will be curious to see you it turns out.
We were then treated to a sorely needed lunch. Shrimp, chicken, and beef tacos served with rice, beans, and his 2005 Estate Cabernet. The food was terrific and we ate outside by the garden. We finished off with a taste of the 2005 Persistence with is a blend of a variety of grapes. Wow. This was something special. We left with a half-case.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect at the next stop – Soda Canyon Caves. This place is currently under construction. The project is approximately 85% completed. There's still a ton of cosmetic work to be done. If enthusiasm is an indicator of success, then theses guys are going to have something spectacular. The short story is that 3 winemakers have joined forces to create this storage and winemaking facility that will be underground-dug into the side of a mountain. They took us through the caves, showed us some beautiful mountain views, and had close to a dozen different wines for us to taste. I tasted about 4. My favorite by far with the Waugh Zinfandel, which we intend to order after we get home.
By the time I left Soda Canyon I was wishing for a hot bath, dinner, and bed. But we had one more stop to make and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. We were handed a glass of chardonnay as soon as we arrived. After brief introductions we were taken out to stroll amongst the wines. We meandered around back to the garden where a Pinot was waiting for us, along with some appetizers. I sampled a spicy tuna cerviche with paired nicely with the wine. The garden was a beautiful place and I would have liked to have stayed longer – but dinner was announced. We were let down into the Rudd caves for dinner. We didn't leave until midnight. What an experience.
Rudd Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Sardines layered with lemon, bread crumbs, pinenuts, and chilies
Rudd Crossroads Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Rabbit braised with fresh figs and ginger
Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red 2005
Bourbon glazed pork belly, pickled peaches, fried green tomato, and wild arugula
Edge Hill Mixed Blacks 2006
Whole roasted baby spring lamb, porcini, guanciale, medjool date, baby swiss chard
Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary red 2004
Red wine poached beef tenderloin seared foie gras, red onion and mustard chutney, truffle jus.
Edge Hill Vintage Port 2005
Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta, Shortbread, and Silverado Trail Strawberries.
Now you see why we were there until midnight. All of the wines were outstanding. Our favorite was the Edge Hill Mixed Blacks 2006, which we ordered.
This morning were going to start the day at Siduri. Time for breakfast!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 1 – Wine tasting trip report

I'm happy to report that or first day of this trip was amazing. I can't wait to see what's in store for us today! The flight into Oakland yesterday was fast and painless.
It seemed like I just blinked my eyes and we were landing. That might have had something to do with the fact that I'd downloaded Cat Johnson's newest release, Unridden for the trip. That also explains why I wasn't able to take many pictures and post them from or last destination yesterday. My iPhone ran out of battery.
A chartered bus took us to our first stop. Enroute they serves bloody mary's and we had a light snack which was sorely needed despite the fact that we'd had a substantial breakfast before leaving San Diego. We arrived at Clos Pegase around 1:00. Although it appeared to be a lovely winery and the winemaker greeted us, the attraction there was Peter Thompson of Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards. We were treated to a vertical tasting of his Cabernet Sauvignon 2003-2005. As a bonus we also tried his Cabernet Franc. He spent quite a bit of time talking about the blending of the wines, which I found interesting. He was extremely engaging, inviting lots of questions. We're taking home 3 regular bottles of the 2004, plus a 1.5 liter bottle. They should continue to improve over the next 3-4 years, then hold for 15-18. Definitely something to put in the cellar and forget about for a while.
We then hit Lynmar in the Russian River Valley. This is mostly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir country. I'm not a big Pinot fan, but I do enjoy and drink quite a bit of Chardonnay. The selections there were a little disappointing. The grounds and gardens were lovely and I spend time meandering in them. That was really the highlight for me. I liked their Sereinite Chardonnay, but in wasn't remarkable enough for me to pay $70.00 per bottle. They also were pouring a Wente clone with was tasty. They had some light food pairings (VERY light).
The last stop of the day was Michel Schlumberger. This was an incredible experience. My only regret was that my iPhone battery died shortly after we arrived, so I was unable to take the photos that I wanted. Winemaker Mike Brunson, who was a fabulous host, greeted us. We began with a 2008 Pinot Blanc which we enjoyed in the garden as his Springer spaniel ran happily around. After a brief introduction, we set out to walk the field. This man knows every inch of the vineyard. Michel Schlumberger is completely organic and the love and dedication that Mike puts into his wine is apparent. This is a man who is passionate about his work. The end of our little hike culminated at the top of a hill overlooking the valley. The view was incredible and he opened a 2004 Merlot for us which we enjoyed before heading back to dinner.
Dinner was served right in the winery and Mike joined us, introducing each of the wines as they were poured. The food was spectacular:
2006 La Brume Chardonnay
Heirloom Tomato Caprese * Cresenza Cheese * Grilled Watermelon * Garlic Croutons
2006 Le Fou Pinot Noir
2000 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
2004 Deau Terres Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Coteaux Sauvages
Red Wine Braised Waygu Beef Cheeks * Summer Bean Medley * Tomato Confit
2002 Semillon
Dahman confections Assorted Truffles
We left with a split case – 6 bottles of the 2000 Reserve Cabernet and 6 bottles of the 2004 Deau Terres. The 2000 is drinkable now and will hold for another 6 years, perhaps more. The 2004 is going to continue to age for a few years, then will hold for perhaps 10. These are very big, very delicious reds. Fabulous finds.
We didn't leave until about 9:45. By the time we checked into our hotel we were exhausted. Not I'm up, I've had a good breakfast, and I'm ready to hit the road and enjoy about day.

(P.s. I posted a variety of pictures to my twitter account yesterday and will continue to do so today. If I have time tonight I'll re-edit this post and add some.)


Saturday, June 13, 2009

June Contest-$25.00 Gift Certificate and Burning Alive, signed edition

First I'd like to congratulate Sandie E. for winning the May contest. Your signed copy of Forbidden: The Temptation and that cute, cuddly werewolf plush is on the way to you. Enjoy!

Now, onto the June Contest!

Summer is right around the corner and school is almost out. Although I equate this time of year with long lazy days filled with scorching hot reads, this summer I'm going to be knee deep in edits and writing. 

What am I going to do instead? I'm going to give one lucky reader a $25.00 shopping spree at All Romance eBooks (cause you know I love's my eBooks) AND a signed copy of this month's bookclub pick--Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher (see extraordinarily yummy cover below).

To enter you must (1) be on Sam's newsletter mailing list (you can sign up on my website) and (2) send in your entry via the contact form on Sam's website. Provide your snail mail address along with the phrase "June Contest".

What's the website? samanthasommersby [dot] com

Good luck!


The Temptation is up for Best Book at Long and Short Reviews!

I can't believe that I completely forgot to mention that The Temptation is up for the honor of Best Book over at Long and Short Reviews. This award is based on reader polling, so if you have a chance to pop over, review entries, and cast your vote, I'd appreciate it. 

Wish me luck!

longandshortreviews [dot] com/WC/recentrev [dot] htm


The best vacation EVER!! Napa - here I come!

I just printed up the boarding passes for a little mini vacation that hubby and I are taking. It's been a long while since the two of us have some away on a trip that didn't involve some business. I always enjoy myself at cons, signings, and events - but this time away with him is something I've really been looking forward to. We're heading early tomorrow morning to go to Napa for a wine tasting trip. The best part is that someone set the entire thing up for us - from telling us what flight to take to where we'll eat every meal. I've been really pre-occupied with deadlines, so I'm happily putting our fate in the hands of Chris and his wife Mary - from the Wine Vault & Bistro here in San Diego (winevaultbistro [dot] com). We buy a great deal of our wine from him and he's never steered us wrong. He's also bringing his chefs along, so I know that we'll be eating like Kings and Queens. This is really a dream vacation for me. Who knows - maybe it will inspire a book set in the wine country? I'm hoping to send in reports along the stay tuned for some terrific wine recommendations. Here's a glimpse at the itinerary. 

14 June 2009 (Sunday)
10:30 AM         Arrive Oakland Airport 
11:00 AM         Champagne & Bloody Mary brunch
12:30 PM         Andrew Geoffrey 3-year vertical tasting with Peter Thompson at the base of Diamond Mountain
01:15 PM         Champagne tasting & cave tour at Schramsberg in Napa
04:15 PM         Reserve Pinot tasting, light lunch and garden tour at Lynmar in Russian River
06:15 PM         Vineyard trek at Michele-Schlumberger Winery in Sonoma
07:45 PM         Dinner at Michele-Schlumberger Winery prepared by our chefs Bobby and KC
10:45 PM         Check into Hotel
15 June 2009 (Monday)
08:30 AM         Breakfast at Hotel
09:30 AM         Leave Hotel 
10:30 AM         Tour and tasting at Palmaz Vineyards Winery in Napa
12:30 PM         Lunch, tasting and vineyard trek at Reynolds Family Winery in Napa
03:00 PM         Caves-under-construction tour and tasting atop Soda Canyon Road in Napa
05:30 PM         Tasting and garden trek at Rudd Winery in Napa
06:45 PM         Dinner underground in the caves at Rudd Winery prepared by our chefs Bobby and KC
10:45 PM         Check into Hotel 
16 June 2009 (Tuesday)
08:30 AM         Breakfast at Hotel 
09:30 AM         Leave Hotel 
10:00 AM         Pinot blending at Siduri Winery in Santa Rosa
12:00 Noon      Sausage making party, tour, tasting and lunch at Seghesio Winery in Sonoma
03:00 PM         Rockpile vineyard trek and tasting with Clay Mauritson
06:30 PM         Back to Hotel to clean up
07:30 PM         Dinner in the Carriage House & Gardens at Hotel prepared by Dry Creek Kitchen
17 June 2009 (Wednesday)
08:30 AM         Breakfast at Hotel
09:30 AM         Check out of Hotel 
11:00 AM         Tasting and vineyard tour at Saracina Winery in Hopland
12:30 PM         Lunch, tasting and vineyard tour at Ceago Winery in Lake County
03:30 PM         Leave Ceago for the Airport


Friday, June 12, 2009

Comic-Con News!

I've received an invite to sit on a panel this summer at Comic-Con that I'm very excited about. If you live in the San Diego area or will be coming to the area for the event - mark the date on your calendar! I'd love to see you. Here's the info. There will be a book signing following the panel. More details will come as I hear them.

Saturday, July 253:00-4:00                   
 Monster Mash                                               Room 2Panelists: 

Amber Benson (DEATH'S DAUGHTER); Alice Henderson (VORACIOUS), Walter Greatshell (XOMBIES: APOCALYPSE BLUES), S.G. Browne (BREATHERS); Marlene Perez (DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR); Rob Thurman (DEATHWISH); and Samantha Sommersby (FORBIDDEN: THE TEMPTATION).

Monday, June 08, 2009

Guess who is being featured?


The video for Forbidden: The Temptation is being featured as the book trailer of the week over on the blog of the wonderful Raina James. 

The book has been out for a while now, but that doesn't matter. I never seem to get tired of watching that video. Those little scrap fairies are very talented at putting those videos together. 

If you haven't seen it yet, or if you have and like me want another peek at Jake Madison, pop over to: http://rainajames [dot] com/blog/

Now I'm off to dive into my edits for The Sacrifice. I'm hoping to have it back to my editor by Wednesday. Wish me luck!


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Where the heck have I been?!?

Where the heck have I been?!?

I flew to New York as planned for BEA and despite the fact that I was still feeling icky from the flu, I had a wonderful time. My husband came with me and made sure that I remembered to eat, drink, and get plenty of rest. (Which is hard to do when you're in the city that never sleeps).

We stayed in a room overlooking Times Square, ate in lots of fabulous restaurants, caught up with some friends, and in general had fun. The buzz at BEA this year turned out to be eBooks. Everyone was talking about the explosion of digital. One high-light for me was getting to preview the new Cool-ER. A brand new eReader from the UK which looks suspiciously like the Cybook Gen 3 that I have - only it's available in cool colors and is quite a bit cheaper. If you are wanting an eReader that's the size of a trade paperback, I encourage you to check it out. I'm so happy with my iPhone as an eReader I haven't read off of my Cybook in ages.

Speaking of reading - I've read a couple really good books in the past couple weeks. Two of them were thrillers. Once upon a time I used to read a lot of thrillers. I picked up these two from the Goody Room at RT and I wasn't disappointed.

The first one is Dead Ringer by Mary Burton. I love alpha males and kick-butt heroines, so this book really appealed to me. The sensuality level wasn't quite where I would have liked it to be, but the characters were very well developed and the plot had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing.

Scream for me, the second thriller was even more enjoyable. Special Agent Daniel Vartanian was amazing character. I'm definitely going to go back and read some of the earlier books written by Karen Rose. I started reading this one on the trip back from New York, despite the time difference I found myself reading late into the night when I arrived back in San Diego and picked it up early the following morning to finish it.

Hot Night by Shannon McKenna was by far the best of the three. This book grabbed me right at the beginning and wouldn't let go. I read it on the flight out to NY. What an incredibly satisfying book. The hero was to-die-for (Zan - a delicious bad by who is reallllly good), the plot was fast-paced, and the sex was hot. 10-days later I still want more! If you haven't read this one, pick it up.

Now I'm off to prepare for a chat over at Love Romances Cafe today from 4 pm to 6 pm pst. Come join me if you can! http://groups [dot] yahoo [dot] com/group/LoveRomancesCafe/