The Cowboy’s Christmas Plan Backstory
November 10, 2011 by Shanna Hatfield
Back in August, I drove five hours by myself to spend some time with some of my favorite women on the planet.
Five hours in a car all alone, gave me lots of thinking time. As I was driving through one little small town after another, an idea for a holiday book popped into my head. I rolled the ideas around the rest of my drive and, on the drive home, started formulating a story line. Driving back home through Grass Valley, Oregon, I knew I wanted it to be the setting for my book. The town is tiny, for sure, but it is the perfect backdrop for Trey and Cadence’s story. I also have a very good friend who grew up in Sherman County, and attended school in Grass Valley. She was a wealth of helpful information when it came to area details for the book.
As the story evolved in my head, I knew I wanted a city girl who had to escape to “the sticks” to get away from something. I also knew I wanted there to be a cowboy involved.
This one seemed like a good inspiration for the character of Trey.
Or this one… of Chris Pine.
I chose the name Trey because I thought it was fun and different and just fit the character I had pictured in my mind. I knew I wanted there to be three brothers and I wanted all three of their names to start with the letter “T”. After much searching, I came up with a list of names I liked and narrowed down the selections. Trey just stood out as the one that worked the best.
Choosing our lead female’s name was a little more work. I wanted a name that was unique, but also sounded professional and maybe just a bit stuffy. I definitely wanted a name that Trey could shorten into a fun nickname. Cadence was a great choice. It didn’t take long for Trey to decide to call her Cady.
This is how I picture Cadence (Cady) in my head. Here she looks fun-loving, probably cute, and very approachable.
I started thinking about what would a city girl do, especially one who was professional and proper and uptight, if she landed on a ranch on the middle of no where with a bunch of cowboys? If it was me, hyperventilation would seem a likely first response. But Cady is made of stronger stuff.
So she jumps into the job of housekeeper and cook for Trey, his brother Trent, and the hired hands.
As she and Trey fight their attraction for each other, they also welcome a little orphan girl into their hearts and end up fighting for custody of her.
The name of the story came from the idea that Trey had plans to fill the open position of housekeeper and cook. Not to fall in love, not to get involved with a child. Then he decides he better be making some big Christmas plans.
I won’t give away any of the details, but I had so much fun writing this story. And despite my best intentions not to, I fell in love with the characters. So be watching in the spring for the second in the Grass Valley Cowboys series, when Trent gets a chance at romancing one of the local schoolteachers. The book will be titled The Cowboy’s Spring Romance.
I hope you enjoy Trey and Cadence’s story. Let me know what you think of them and the Triple T Ranch in Grass Valley!