Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 4 of 15 Days of Christmas -- Sam Cheever Shares

Today we get Sam Cheever’s thoughts on holiday season.  In addition to being a fellow author, Sam is also my roommate when we end up at the same conference and a good friend.  We’ve pulled each other back from the brink of insanity that hits most authors from time to time.  It’s great to know there’s someone just a phone call away that understands why your difficult character has you in tears.
In addition to the free story for everyone who comments, Sam will also give one lucky winner a cute Christmas t-shirt and boxers.  And don’t forget, that lucky winner will also go on the list for the England “surprise” drawing for what I bring back from my trip the end of the year.
Every year, about this time, I ponder what makes the season special. I suspect a lot of people do that, so I’m not unique. But my perspective on the season is unique. As is yours. I’m not one of those people who looks to the past a lot. But this time of year seems to be the exception. For me, Scrooge-like, the magic of the season is enhanced by Christmas past. I move through my day with one part of my brain tied to fond, seasonal memories. The way the tree looked, surrounded by all those pretty packages on Christmas morning when I was a kid; the memory of singing in the church choir at candlelight services when I got a little older, past gifts given and received that were special…for whatever reason.
It’s hard to pinpoint why I love Christmas so much. Despite the rush of added tasks and projects, the extra work involved in getting or making gifts, the pull of emotion the season engenders, I can’t help feeling its magic.
Maybe I like it so much because it brings out the best in me.
To me, Christmas is a conglomeration of things, past and present. As a creative person, I think my perception of this time of year has been formed by creative things. The following embody the spirit of this time of year for me.
Movie: Since family is important, Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation is a favorite for my family this time of year. The movie is silly and fun, absolutely, but at its core it is the perfect, farcical representation of what a lot of us experience during the holidays. We surround ourselves with family, sometimes a double edged sword, and try extra hard to create the perfect Christmas, a memory that we’ll clutch forever to our breasts as the years pass. It’s horrible to put that much pressure on ourselves, but we often do it none-the-less, and it’s usually every bit as painful as the movie portrays. My favorite line of the movie? Cousin Eddie saying,“shitter’s full”, as he empties the contents of his porta toilet directly into the sewer.” Snorf, what can I say, I’m simple!
Book: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is about fitting in, being accepted, and feeling needed. No time during the year is this more important than the holidays. People who don’t have loved ones are especially lonely this time of the year. More people die during this time of the year. It’s harder to be different, alone, ostracized this time of year. But no one really needs to be alone. This cute, inspiring movie shows us that, despite our differences, we can all find common ground, and everybody has a part to play in the grand scheme of life. It’s a heartwarming sentiment, and one I’ve treasured through the years.
Book: One of my favorite authors is Dr. Seuss. I love his books, his style. My favorite story of his is far and away How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Fun and well written, the story stands alone in my heart as one of the great classics, the embodiment of the anti-Christmas sentiment that makes those of us who love the season enjoy it all the more for its happy ending. No Grinch could withstand the sweet, sad face of Cindy Lou, or all that she represents. Only the most cynical among us truly believe that Christmas is about things. Buying things, giving things, receiving things. If you were to take away the things, the spirit would still shine bright.
That’s what makes Christmas my favorite time of year. That’s the magic of it. That’s the joy.
I hope you manage to wrap your arms around your ideal Christmas this year. But if you don’t it doesn’t really matter. If you offer love and acceptance, surrounding yourself with friends and family, you’ve already reached your Christmas dream!
Merry Christmas Everybody!
A Christmas Gift to you from Sam
My Christmas gift to you is this year’s Astra Q Phelps Christmas story. If you’d like a copy of this 11,300 word story, just drop me a note: samcheever at samcheever dot com and I’ll send it right out. Here’s the blurb:

In this short Christmas story, Astra is determined to take Christmas off so she’s been ignoring the nearly constant calls from the North Pole to help them find Santa, who’s disappeared just days before Christmas.
But when a flash mob of elves whisks her away to the North Pole, fresh from the shower and all nakies, what’s a Tweener to do?

Looks like Astra will be working again on Christmas after all.

Grinch Punch –

·         1/3 cup sugar
·         6 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons water
·         1/3 cup evaporated milk
·         1/2 teaspoon almond extract
·         12 drops neon green food coloring
·         1 bottle (2 liters) lemon-lime soda, chilled
·         2 pints vanilla ice cream
In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; remove from the heat. Stir in milk and extract. Transfer to a bowl; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Just before serving, transfer milk mixture to a punch bowl. Stir in the food coloring and soda. Top with scoops of ice cream. Yield: 4 quarts.
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup equals 142 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 46 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 1 g protein.
Award winning author Sam Cheever mixes in a little fun, a little adventure, and a little real-life spice to create her sexy fantasy and romantic suspense stories. Sam’s fictional peeps fight their way through a dizzying array of challenges without letting little things like treacherous villains, vicious monsters, or manipulative gods dampen their zest for life and hot love!
To find out more about Sam and her work, please pay her a visit at any one of the following online hot spots:;;; or She always loves to chat with readers.


Unknown said...

Sam, great post! I love the same stories as you and get to relive them through my grandchildren! They love to read books and I am proud that I am the one that gave them that love! Dr. Seuss is one of the best, and I really love, Oh, The places you'll go. It is so encouraging. It is also nice that my grandchildren live with me and I get to see their bright faces anxiously waiting for Christmas day. Your punch sounds wonderful too, I will have to try that out for the grand kids anyway (g)! Thanks for your sharing and I will check out your books!

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Lisa!

I'm so glad you stopped by! How lucky you are to have your grand babies so close! Christmas is truly special when seen through the eyes of small children. Enjoy the season and thanks for sharing a few minutes of it with me and my babbling! Snorf! Merry Christmas!

Jennifer Mathis said...

excellent post and thank you for the gift . Dropping you an e-mail :)

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks, Jennifer! I'm so glad you stopped by. I hope you enjoy my little Christmas story!

Connie Kline said...

Great memories! Great Story! I loved it when my kids were younger and the Christmas Season held so much more excitement.

Sam Cheever said...

I agree Connie, the season was a lot more exciting with young kids. But I'm surprised by how much I still enjoy it, even with my kids grown into adults. I guess it still inspires the kid inside of me!

Thanks for stopping by to visit!

JeanMP said...

Great post and wonderful stories you shared. It is always so nice to see Christmas through the little ones eyes. The punch recipe sounds delicious.

skpetal AT hotmail DOT com

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks Jean! It was fun to share my feelings about such a special time of the year.

This punch is especially fun because of the color...nothing like drinking frothy green stuff at Christmas, eh? You just need some red cookies to go with it. Snorf! Enjoy!

Helen Hardt said...

How's it going, Lizzie and Sam? I love Dr. Seuss, too, especially the story of the Grinch. To me, that story embodies what I love about the season -- peace on earth and good will toward men. My favorite holiday movie, though, is A Christmas Story. I laugh every time that kid gets his tongue stuck to the pole!

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Helen!

That's definitely one of the Christmas greats. LOL We might need to drag that one out of the moth balls again this year. Thanks for stopping by!

JoanneR said...

Wow, all of your choices are the same as mine would be! Absolutely love your insight into things. Sending you my email so that I can read your story.

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Joanne!

You must be my sister from another mister...hehehe I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy my fun little Christmas story!

books4me said...

Sam, enjoy your trip to England! Where are you going exactly? We are visiting next summer as a class trip...can't wait!

Thank you for the free short story; I emailed you earlier.

Happy holidays!

books4me67 at ymail dot com

Shadow said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing your memories and stories with us. ;) I love rudolph. I love the recipe. Sounds fun and yummy! Thank you! Happy Holidays!

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Wendy!

Alas, it's Lizzie who's going to England. I have to stay here and hold the publishing world together while she's gone. LOL!

Enjoy your class trip, that will be so much fun!

Sam Cheever said...

Hey Shadow!

I'm so glad you stopped by! Merry Christmas!

Lizzie said...

Thank you for spending time with us Sam. Love that everyone is a winner with the free read!

But for the special win:

JoanneR. takes home the prize.

Joanne, connect with Sam on this!