Monday, November 3, 2014

Cowboys & Christmas Blog Tour


Welcome to the

Blog Tour!

A kickoff of two new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield

and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

An Interview with the Men of Hardman Holidays

Three characters from Shanna Hatfield’s historical holiday series, Hardman Holidays join us today. Set in the western town of Hardman, Oregon, this series of sweet romances highlights determined women and the men who fall for them. Luke Granger, Blake Stratton, and Arlan Guthry talk about life in Hardman in the 1890s.

A warm welcome to you all. Tell us a little about how you met.

Luke: We all grew up in Hardman. Blake moved here with his parents from England just after my family arrived from New York when we were quite small. Arlan, your parents moved here before you were born, didn’t they? I was young enough I don’t remember.

Arlan: Yes, they did. My brother, Adam, was just a year old when they moved to Hardman. I was born two years later. Blake’s mother was a friend of my mother’s.

Blake: That’s right. When Mum and Dad returned to England, she mentioned how much she missed visiting with your mother, although she didn’t say the same about Luke’s.

Luke: (Grins) Dora Granger just takes a little getting used to. Besides, she’s completely changed for the better since I married Filly.

Blake: Rather like you, ol’ chum.

What type of work do you do?

Luke: I own the Hardman Bank and manage it with Arlan’s capable assistance. I also raise cattle, hold an interest in a lumber mill, and a partnership in a mine.

Blake: He doesn’t want to get bored. (Blake and Arlan chuckle). While Luke is running hither and yon to meetings and the like, I stay home and carve furniture or work with my horses.

Luke: The Viscount should mention his furniture is in high demand both in England and America under the Roxbury House name. He also breeds and trains some of the best horses in this part of the country.

Arlan: His stallion, Romeo, is quite an impressive beast.

Blake: Romeo’s feelings would be hurt to hear you refer to him as a beast.

Arlan: If the name fits… As Luke mentioned, I work at the bank as his assistant. When I’m not there, I play the trumpet in the community band, and participate in activities around town.

Luke: And I thought he just had a thing for the phantasmagorical wonders of the new magician who rolled into town.

(Arlan frowns at Luke while Blake laughs)

Arlan: You just like to say the word "phantasmagorical" and work it into nearly every conversation since Alex came to town. She is a very talented magician.

Blake: And very beautiful.

Luke: And single. Don't forget she is as free and unfettered as they come, should anyone be interested in courting her.

(Arlan glares at Blake and Luke)

Use  five words to describe the most wonderful thing in your life

Luke: Filly - my wife, my love.

Blake: Beautiful Ginny - wife, friend, lover.

Arlan: That’s a tough one. Maybe you can come back to me on that.

Luke: (Slaps Arlan on the back) It’s just us. Go on, Arlan, fess up.

Arlan: (Frowning at Luke while fidgeting with his pocket watch.) Look at the time, we really must be going.

Before you leave, tell us what’s the best part of Christmas in Hardman?

Arlan: The sounds of carols, the crunch of snow beneath my boots, and the decorations. There is a feeling of kinship and welcome all around town.

Blake: (Snorts and shakes his head) Don’t forget the food, Arlan. You’re about to neglect a very important part of the holidays.

Luke: Like Filly’s cakes, tarts, and candies. There are the sweet breads and rolls, jams and pies, and the best cookies.

Blake: (Glances at Luke) Did she make those chocolate meringue things again?

Arlan: I had the rash idea Filly and Ginny were the best part of the holiday season for you two. It will be my pleasure to let them know you much prefer cookies and bread to their love and devotion. (Smirks at his friends)

Thank you for joining us. Any parting words for our readers?

Luke: Thank you for hosting us today. If you enjoy sweet holiday romances set in the past, I hope you’ll consider reading our stories in The Christmas Bargain, The Christmas Token, and The Christmas Calamity.

Where to Find The Books

Travel back to a different time with the historic Hardman Holiday Series,

christmas bargain coverbeginning with The Christmas Bargain

Now through Dec. 24, Shanna will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all her book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. JCCF logoThe JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party:

The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here:

In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!

Prize Basket

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form.

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.

Find Shanna’s books at:

Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Vision

This story happened about fifteen years ago and will be incorporated into my current work in progress or nonfiction transcript because HIS story is always timeless.

At school, I mentioned that we planned on vacationing in Seattle, Washington.  I knew a few things about the area.  It rained all year, there.  There would be glacial mountains such as Mt. Rainer, nearby.  We’d be staying with grandma in the campgrounds on a military base in Tacoma.

One night, before our summer trip, I had a weird dream.  I stood in colorless mountains, which were very bright and glistening white.  It felt extremely cold so my brain kept demanding a jacket, which was nowhere in sight.  So, I ducked inside a library to read about the rainy season or year as is the case in that area.  Giggling at my jumbled thoughts encountered in that dream, I reminded myself to pack a light coat even though our vacation occurred in July.
Staring out the window from the airport to our transient home in the recreation area, I asked, “Where are the mountains?”
“You can’t see them on rainy days because they have glaciers and are as white as the foggy conditions right, now.”
“I see,” but really didn’t understand because the Smokey Mountains were green and lush as well as very visible in most weather conditions.  I kept this idea to myself while searching the skies for signs of the peaks.
After stopping at the gate to check grandpa’s credentials, the van followed a winding path through huge, majestic evergreens. My rambling thoughts- about their beautiful image blocking the hilly terrain- were interrupted by grandma, “Turn right at the library or you’ll miss our campsite, again!”  The mention of the library took me off guard so I listened to them argue about the best way to their travel trailer.
As grandpa parked his van, grandma warned, “Pull on your jackets; it’s colder than you think outside.”  She was right; for summer the fifty degree weather took us southerners by surprise.
The bigger shock was my dream being reality.  How did I know all this stuff having never stepped foot in this area in my life?  I was guided by God, He knew the white glacier mountains would be colder than expected as well as the fact that the campground sat near the Tacoma Military Base’s library.  God’s Spirit guides us until and to Heaven.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Music to My Ears

Yesterday, all day, my mind thought of my aunt because I missed going to see her before the youngest kid settled back home from her college dorm.  Auntie lives close to that child’s university.  That older relative had been chronically ill.  She is my deceased mom's sister.  I thought about her as my daughter ran back up to the campus to sell back her books.  However, due to a cold, I wouldn’t be able to go with my kid and drop in on my ailing relative.  I hate to make ill people sicker.

We were already late getting ready to go out for my other daughter's 21st birthday celebration.  My family celebrated a few weeks early because Jewel would be gone on a college expedition when she hit adulthood.  Plus- when she returned, her sister would be gone on a different university trip.  So, we decided to celebrate as a family- now- in spite of my horrible cough.

Just before the birthday girl jumped in the shower, she stood talking to her daddy and me in our great room.  Nearby, in the foyer to our house sat a wood book shelf full of angels.  Some of the statues had built in music boxes.  All of a sudden, the three of us heard something in that area.  I thought the other two kids were at the front door talking.  They were late coming back from pre-checking into a hotel (our surprise gift to the 21 year old).  However, the noise continued while no one came through the front door.  It was like a scratchy but harmonious sound.  It grew louder.

My husband asked, "What the heck is that?"
My daughter warned, "Don't tell me the sound is coming from nowhere.  That’s going to scare me!"

I boldly approached our foyer, "Oh, my!  It’s this angel statue; it’s singing.  It's playing ‘Happy Birthday.’"  I picked it up, "Did someone wind it- today?"

"Now, you are scaring me!  That music box turned itself on?"  My daughter pointed and made a face.

"Yes, this music box angel is playing out of the clear blue sky.  It is singing to you."

My husband gestured that I was frightening our kid.  "Maybe someone turned it on, today!"


"I didn't!" Jewel exclaimed.

"I didn't either but maybe your sisters did!" Daddy added.

"This angel was given to me my first birthday after my mom died; it’s from Auntie!  See, she holds my birth date in her hands and plays the melody." I explained while toying with it in my hands and examining it as if I was a detective.  Then, I twisted the statue to replay the tune.

"Now, I am scared!"  My kid added agitated.

"Why, it is only a birthday song from my aunt!"

When the two other girls got in, I asked who touched the angel this week.  No one did!

I think it was apropos that the angel turned itself on because that week my girls gave me flowering plants for our new yard for Mother's Day.  Their garden selections were inspired by flowers their deceased grandma liked.  As we planted my favorite day lily, I remembered that my mom gave me a similar one almost 17 years ago for our previous yard; I wondered what day the single bud on this new plant by the front door would open.  To my surprise, astonishingly, it was in bloom as we left for dinner.

It should NOT have amazed me because the birthday girl told me 14 years ago that her grandma promised to visit her from Heaven on her birthday- but then never came.  A flower would be left by our front door to prove it was grandma visiting her. Back then, she was a child full of wonderment.  From age 7 and for the rest of her earlier birthdays, we all noticed and discussed that a special flower never arrived at our front door for that daughter.  Since it hadn’t happened, the child became convinced that she was wrong about that promise.  Also, advancing age caused her to dispel all her childish memories and predictions.

When my eyes noticed that bloom as we exited for her 21 birthday party, I knew if I brought up that prediction the girls might shudder.  Even as I believed that the melodic message was from my deceased mom via God, my decision included not further scaring my daughters.  I didn't want to make them more apprehensive than the singing angel statue already did.  Instead, noticing the flower, I just smiled inside. I believe God allows these messages to show He cares about keeping all love connections going.  Look for the signs of His Love.

P.S. In August of 2007, I moved that angel statue so my first grandbaby wouldn’t break it.  One day, when my hand grabbed a picture of that granddaughter to show off her big blue eyes to a friend, I discovered that that angel was in a worse location! My brisk movement inadvertently tossed that statue to the floor where it decapitated and broke off its wings.  Sadly, the statue went in the trash.  However, its story remains in my memory- forever!