Spotlight & Giveaway: Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter

Posted April 14th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight, _Contemporary / 70 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome contemporary romance author Samantha Hunter to HJ!

I asked Sam to tell us about the inspiration behind her  Strangers on a Train novella, TIGHT QUARTERS…. 


There’s Nothing to Fear Except… Well, Everything.

We’re all afraid of something, right? Some people fear cats, others are afraid of the water or flying. The number of possible fears in the universe is endless (some people fear the endlessness of the universe). 😉

TQIn my Strangers on a Train novella, TIGHT QUARTERS, my heroine Brenna suffered a teen trauma that left her riddled with phobias, and after spending most of her adulthood in therapy to work through them, she has one left: claustrophobia. She’s working on it, and she’s determined to beat it, but facing a fear and quelling it is no easy task. At least she has fearless former NYPD detective Reid Cooper to help her get through the worst of it on a weekend train ride through Upstate New York.

My own phobias include a fear of heights, but it is very dependent on the kind of height. I’ve been up in the Empire State Building and I’ve walked across the Golden Gate Bridge – but those things have railings and definable space. Any open edge terrifies me. Like driving down canyon roads out in in the Anza Borrego, outside of San Diego, I drove at a crawl, constantly petrified of the thousand (or more) foot drop to my right, where there was nary a guardrail.

I do try to face my fears, though, and sometimes I even overcome them. I used to be very afraid of flying, but I found that flying frequently more or less solved that fear. Our home is about fifteen minutes from an airport and I hear planes overhead all day long, and I always think of the other thousands up there that all safely make their destinations every day. It’s comforting. Also, I really love to travel, and flying is the best way to get anywhere. When else can you see clouds? Or thunderstorms and sunrises above the clouds? I love a window seat!

I also have a selective fear of spiders. I used to be afraid of all spiders, and have learned a hard lesson or two with that. Like the time a huge black spider (really, the size of a car, or a nickel, maybe…) jumped down on my kitchen table right in front of me, and I panicked. I called everyone I could think of to come kill it, but it was the middle of a weekday. No one could come over, and by the time I realized I had to face it myself, it had disappeared. I couldn’t work comfortably in that kitchen for weeks. The lesson to kill it when I see it was drummed into my head quite nicely.

But then, as I got more into gardening, I realized that most spiders outdoors don’t bother me at all – I don’t want them on me, but hey, it’s their yard, and they are just going about their business, not worried about me. It seems so silly to be afraid of such a small creature (so I tell myself). And then there are those little green spiders that pop up in the house, they are so puny and harmless, so I catch them and put them outside when I can. And daddy longlegs – they barely qualify – they can’t even bite!

Once, trying to face this fear, I decided to let a small black spider that had set up a web in the corner of the bathroom stay there. I named her Bitsy. I made a deal with her that if she stayed in the web, we were cool. No smushing. Bitsy got relatively large in her spot, and she mostly kept to the deal – she didn’t really travel much (I kept a close eye when I was in there). Over time, I did get used to her. Though as she got larger, I was a little more nervous. Only slightly. But I was also determined. I probably maintained the alliance with Bitsy for three months or so. Then, I went to RWA, and when I came back,  my husband had cleaned the bathroom (and did a bang-up job) and there was no more Bitsy. I asked him if he had finally sent her on to spider heaven, and he said no. She had just gone away on her own. (Right. . .to a nice farm in the country, right?). I have to admit, though, I was a little relieved.

Last night, when a large spider crept out in front of me down in the cellar. SMUSH.


Giveaway: an e-copy of TIGHT QUARTERS and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate that you might want to use to pick up the other four books in the series, too. There’s nothing to be afraid of – they’re all great! 🙂

To enter giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: We all have some fears and phobias – what are some of yours? And what have you done to try to get over them? Share…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

SHSam Hunter lives in Syracuse New York with her husband and several pets. Since January 2004 when she sold her first book to Harlequin Blaze, Virtually Perfect, she has gone on to publish several more with new releases on the way. Sam holds two Master’s degrees and was a university instructor for many years before quitting to live the writing life.

Samantha Hunter website

Samantha Hunter on Twitter

Samantha Hunter on Facebook

Samantha Hunter on Goodreads

Book Blurb

In the years since a horrific car accident left her with a long list of phobias, Brenna Burke has overcome them all except one. Crippling claustrophobia—not a good trait for an aspiring travel writer. With an interview for her dream job looming, Brenna forces herself to board a train for a weekend tour through New York State…only to find her berth has been double booked.

Retired NYPD detective Reid Cooper isn’t happy about the mix-up, or his attraction to his petite, sexy roommate. But as their up-close-and-personal weekend progresses, something remarkable happens. Being with Reid makes Brenna feel normal, unafraid of anything. After one passionate night, both are thinking beyond a mere weekend fling. But when Brenna’s last phobia pounces at the worst possible time, she could miss the last boarding call for happily ever after.

Strangers on a Train at Amazon 

Strangers on a Train at Barnes & Noble

Strangers on a Train at Samhain


70 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter”

  1. kp

    I have a big fear of driving over bridges, but to get to my daughter’s school I have had to overcome it. I still get anxious but don’t let it stop me.

  2. Martha Lawson

    Lizards!! I kinda have the same deal with lizards! If they don’t come inside, then we’re cool, but if they come inside – I’m leaving and let them have it!!!

  3. Mary Preston

    I really only have the one – maggots. I can barely bring myself to type the word. SO GROSS!!!

    • Samantha Hunter

      YES! Ugh. I wanted to draw bluebirds to my yard and everything says to put out meal worms — so I bought some dried ones, which were gross enough, but apparently the birds don’t like dried, they want live worms. Um, no. Sorry birdie. Just to gross (they look a lot like large maggots… no thank you.)


  4. Annwitch

    I hate blood, it makes me feel faint. Good thing I am not in the medical profession. I had to take my son in for stitches when he fell off his bike and I almost passed out in the ER. They made me sit down so they wouldn’t have two patients. My son handled his cut much better than his mother.

    • Samantha Hunter

      I’ve only passed out — like fell to a dead faint, to the floor — once in my life, and it was from blood — not even a lot of blood (I won’t share) but I try to avoid it now if I can… also needles. I can get a shot, I just can’t look at it while I’m getting a shot, or anyone else…


  5. Shannon G.

    Hmmm not really sure. Not that I’m not afraid, but there isn’t anything that I’m working on. I’m not deathly afraid of some things but I certainly don’t like them. There are definitely things I’m not a fan of – crowds, large audiences,and the like.

  6. Belinda

    My phobia is spiders. I really hate them, But sometimes it gets the best of me, so I use RAID.

  7. Leanna Hiner

    Sometimes I get afriad of heights but I just take deep breaths and try not to look down. It is best to face your fears headon.

  8. Kai W.

    I have a quite a few phobias. I’m scare of height, spiders, and snakes. Sometimes I even spook myself of things that go bump in the night. I was afraid of water after a near-drowning experience. I finally got the courage to take swimming lessons. I did learned to swim. I just need to learn how to dive (the height issue).

  9. Barbara Elness

    I get nervous about heights, have social anxiety, and don’t like germs. I try to stay off ladders and avoid high places, I usually manage to convince myself to go ahead and participate in social situations despite the anxiety, and I wash my hands a lot. 😀

  10. Winnie Lim

    I’m afraid of being in confined space. The feel of bring trapped in and unable to move is horrifying.

  11. Christine Merritt

    Slugs – just slugs and where I live in the Pacific Northwest they are EVERYWHERE. I have lots of bird houses and feeders all over the branches of trees, in my garden and yard (birds love a slug or snail snack). I simply avoid them when I can and find a big rock to squish them when one is on the ground.
    If there are slugs eating my hostas or hanging on my ferns, I call my brilliant german shepherd point to the slimy nasty thing and tell her to “get it” she will pick it off the plant and spit it out for me to flatten t it with a big rock.

    • Samantha Hunter

      That is an awesome dog. We get some slugs, but not that many — wow. Have you tried beer? Or are there just too many? I put cups of cheap beer in my garden, and that helps with slugs and lots of other pests…they crawl in and drown. Sam

  12. Veronica

    1) I am loving these Stranger on a Train stories!
    2) I have a massive fear of getting a paper cut on my eye, so I tend to tense up or freak out if someone happens to come super super close to my eyes with paper. It’s weird, I know, but it’s still freaks me out lol

  13. Miss Spell89

    I have a phobia of heights. Always start to freak out the closer I get to railings and stuff. I just hang on for dear life and try to look straight out instead of down. My heart still pounds like crazy but I can at least stand there for longer.

  14. roslyngroves

    I am afraid of crustaceans, live ones. After my dad set a crab off after me as a kid, I cannot handle being around them. I will even look in the opposite direction if I am in a restaurant with a live lobster tank. Cook them and smother them in butter, it’s fine, just don’t put a live one near me.

    • Samantha Hunter

      This was so interesting I had to look it up — one resource said this is related to fear of insects and spiders, etc as well, but another had a specific name for it: Kabourophobia — fear of crabs, and crab-like things, basically. I’m not afraid of them, unless they are big enough to pinch, but like you, I’d rather meet them in a sandwich. 😉


  15. Leslie Miner

    I’m scared of snakes. I moved to a rural area, which just happens to have a lot of snakes (didn’t know about it until after we moved), so for a majority of the year, I have to deal with them in my yard, on my patio and in my garage. Although I did learn that moth balls will keep them out of the garage. 🙂 I’ve tried making peace with them and it has gotten better over the years, but I still am scared to walk through my yard because you don’t see them until they move.

    • Samantha Hunter

      Yes, my dog loves playing with them for that reason — they surprise her and she’s so funny when she jumps back (these are non-biting, non-poisionous). I don’t fear snakes, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be bitten by a poisonous one. Good for you trying to make peace with them — all creatures great and small, right? — they actually probably keep a lot of pests out of your yard! 🙂 Sam

  16. joni78

    I hate to drive across bridges too, especially wooden ones. I roll my window down I don’t care how cold it is I have to have an exit. I also hate for people to stand behind me I can feel them there and it drives me crazy.

    • Samantha Hunter

      I have a tough time on really high ones, or narrow — I always want the center lane. With the feeling of people getting too close, and small spaces, you will relate to my heroine in this book, for sure. 🙂 Sam

  17. Donna Cummings

    Poor Bitsy! Let’s have a moment of silence for her untimely demise. 🙂 I probably shouldn’t read what everyone else’s fears are — I might pick up a few new ones! Great post!

  18. Samantha Hunter

    Thanks to Sara for having me by today, and thanks for all the great comments — it’s so interesting to hear about everyone’s fears and how we handle them (or not — I think it’s perfectly valid to have a fear and simply respect it). I’ll pop back during the day, and hope everyone has a great Monday, even though it’s tax day (there must be a term for fear of taxes? lol) – off to pay mine. 😉


  19. Lisa H

    I have a very short list of actual real consistent fears. Three. One of them is The Wizard of Oz. I am a 51 year old grandma. I am pretty tough. I am not a fraidy cat girly girl that freaks out at everything. Scary movies do nothing for me. Monsters, invisible threats, crazy people with weapons, etc, …..nothing. I fall asleep. But those flying monkeys are the exception.
    What have I done about it, uhm, I don’t watch The Wizard of Oz.
    And that takes care of that. Happy Monday everyone!!

  20. Sue G.

    I am afraid of bees. Problem is I love to flowers. I plant about 200 flowers in my yard each year. I have learned to put my MP3 player on fairly loud (to drown out the buzzing noise) and keep a can of bee spray close by incase the bees don’t want to play nice. I’m sure my neighbors get a great show of me running from bees but the end result is very pretty!

    • Samantha Hunter

      *G* I have tons of bees in my gardens, too, and a honeybee nest in our sugar maple, which I encourage, of course, since they are threatened. The honeybees are sweet (no pun intended) they just go about their business. Some of the others can be a little more aggressive, but they do bring us all of our flowers, veggies and fruits… Happy Gardening! Sam

  21. Tawnya Bentley

    I have a huge fear of something happening to my kids while I’m away from them, and by away I mean hundreds of miles. I want to be able to be able to comfort them in the invent something tragic occurs. I’ve had this all their lives and I don’t think I’ll ever conquer it, I just learn to live with it and trust the people I leave them with.

  22. Eva

    I used to hate flying but after flying every week for a year, I love it now — just had to get over the anticipation

    • Samantha Hunter

      Anticipation is often the worst thing– we torture ourselves more than anything, and make whatever it is worse. 😉 I love flying now, too — and I’m glad about that. 🙂 Sam

  23. Beth Haney

    I don’t have a fear of heights, but I do have a fear of falling. The only thing I’ve tried to do to shake my fear is to not fall 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!

  24. Marcy Shuler

    I really dislike bats. Our home is over 100 yrs old and sometimes bats find their way down the chimney. Ugh. I usually cover my head and yell for my hubby. He catches it with a butterfly net and lets it loose outside. *shudder*

  25. Samantha Hunter

    It’s interesting how much fear is associated with things we can’t control — flying, nature, things happening to loved ones, etc. I guess what we can control is our reaction, but that’s so often easier said than done, as those fears are deeply ingrained… interesting stuff!


    • Samantha Hunter

      Yes! Funny you mention ballparks — most of them are fine, but Cleveland Indians stadium nearly reduced me to tears up in the nosebleed section — not only high, but steep. Even hubby had vertigo. That’s the only ballpark I’ve been in that’s like that, though… Sam

  26. Cherri Porter

    I have that expanding universe/time never ending phobia, which I’m surprised you mentioned b/c most people aren’t aware of it. Turns out this terrible phobia is genetic. I have struggled with it for years and was very careful never to mention it around my son. On his eight birthday he came into my room after he’d been in bed a while sobbing: he just realized time/universe was ever-expanding and was inconsolable. Major bummer that one is.

  27. Michelle Fidler

    I’m afraid of heights too and sometimes get a funny feeling in my butt. There’s a sky ride at Niagara Falls that goes across the falls and that scared me just looking at it. If I was in a glass elevator or observation deck, that would scare me.

    I’ve never flown but that would scare me.

    RE: slugs, I don’t like them either and salt will dissolve them.

  28. Timitra

    One of my fears is speaking in public before an audience. The way I’ve tried to get over it is by going back to school where I’m forced to do presentations.

  29. amel armeliana

    I’m afraid og height. So afraid, that I always shaking when I was in the elevator or just standing in the egde of railing only a floor above. I know, it’s lame. I have tried once, tried a flying fox and ended very embarrassing, I don’t even want to remember that.

    Thanks for this giveaway.

  30. Connie

    Like so many others, I’m afraid of heights. I avoid them when I can, but I did get to the top of the Eiffel Tower when I was in Paris because — well, some things you just have to muscle through! 🙂

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