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Archive for the ‘Shanna Hatfield’ Category

adventure beginTwo years ago yesterday, I shared the graphic above and announced: “Last day at my day job. Next week – occupation: full-time writer.”

Wow! It’s been an amazing adventure so far.

There were many, many people who thought I’d fallen off the deep end when I told them I quit my job so I could write full time.

anniversary 4There are many people who still think I’m crazy. If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “When are you going to go back to work at a real job?” I’d be independently wealthy.

Yeah, there are a lot of negative people out there. But, then again, they are the people too afraid to let go of what they know and do what their heart dreams.

Following your heart is a terrifying and amazing journey. There are moments so full of blissful wonder, you think you just might burst from the joy of it. There are also moments full of doubt, worry, and fear.

faith makes possibleThat’s why I’m a firm believer in having faith. It doesn’t make a hard path easier, but it makes the journey possible.

anniversary 3Fear is one of the worst things to get in your head and convince you of all sorts of untrue things. Faith helps me keep fear at bay. There have been days along this adventure when I feel like I can take on  the world. And there are days when I feel like the world has beaten me down to nothing.

When I have one of those days, I think about how far I’ve come in what is truly a short time.

anniversary 2

Since I left that day job two years ago, I’ve learned so much about myself. One of the things I’ve recently decided is that this journey I’m on isn’t just about gaining new skills, but letting go of old habits and thoughts that hold me back, weigh me down, and keep me from being who I want to be. In the past few months, I’ve really noticed I’m much more attuned to allowing things into my life that bring joy and enrich my world while closing the door on those things that aren’t me – that never really were me.

anniversary 1Frequently, I wonder if I’m  heading where I need to go. I can honestly say I feel like I am – but that doesn’t mean I don’t wander off the road and get lost sometimes. Overall, though, even on the days when I know I’m lost, it still feels good to be lost while heading in the right direction.

Despite those who think I’m wandering aimlessly in circles, I do have an idea of where I’m going in this journey. However, some days were meant for exploring while others are definitely meant to walked on a well-traveled path.

Little by LittleThis is one of my favorite, favorite quotes  – especially the past few weeks. I’ll be honest with you – summer is always rough on my book sales. Really rough. And if I start comparing myself to others, to their successes… well, it sucks the fun out of things in hurry. That’s why I have this  sign above my desk. It reminds me that as long as I keep walking forward in this journey – even taking baby steps – that constant motion can carry me a long way.

Make no little plansIn some ways, I feel like the summer is my cocoon stage. I hunker down and spend time writing Christmas stories. I plot and plan for the holiday season (and I’ve got some really fun stuff planned!). Even though to the outsider looking in, there may not be a lot of activity taking place, there is a whole sleigh full of plans starting to come together. So much of writing is planning – planning the storyline, the characters, the cover, the release date, the promotions. And I’m often of the mindset if a little plan is good – a big one ought to be better!

dream

In the past two years, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am a dreamer. And yes, one of those who dreams with their eyes open and their thoughts  scattered across hundreds of miles. I love to dream and imagine, hope and believe.

I wake up every single day (every one!) so grateful for this opportunity to do something I love so much, something that brings me joy and satisfaction, excitement and a drive to keep on doing it. Am I blessed? You betcha. If I think about it for more than thirty-seconds, it makes my mascara run and my heart ache (in a good way) to know how incredibly, wonderfully, truly blessed I am with this life and the amazing people who support me.

Captain Cavedweller is my rock, my champion, the giver of pep talks, a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on when I need one, and willing to give me a nudge when I hesitate on the edge of jumping into the unknown.

When you spend all day every day home alone, you get a little introspective. You can get lost inside your thoughts. You can realize you’re a little kooky.

Days have gone by when the only person I’ve seen or talked to is CC.

And that’s why I have to thank all of you, my wonderful online friends, who make me smile and laugh, who share in my triumphs and trials, who offer support and encouragement. You inspire me to keep getting better at what I do. You encourage me – even on those days when I struggle to take even a few steps forward. You make my heart smile and I am so blessed to know each one of you.

anniversary 5

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey. It’s just getting started and I can’t wait to see where it leads!

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 Although you should be glad you can’t see it, I’m dancing around my office this morning. It’s Lacy’s release day and I’m so excited to share her with you all!

Lacy

Pendleton Petticoats Series Book 5

Lacy Cover

Sweet romance blossoms between people from two very different worlds.

Will the bonds of love be stronger than the bonds of tradition?

Eager to make her own way in the world, Lacy Williams leaves behind her family on the Umatilla Reservation and accepts a job in Pendleton at the telephone office as an operator. The work she takes in stride, but dealing with the unfamiliar, unsettling feelings stirred by the handsome banker across the street is an entirely different matter.

Grant Hill wants a wife.

However, not just any wife will do. If that were the case, he’d make an announcement at the mercantile and cause a stampede to the church. Grant wants a woman who will look beyond his material wealth and see into his heart. When he’s all but given up on the possibility that such a woman exists, he runs into the lovely Lacy Williams.

The two of them must strive to discover if the bonds of love are stronger than the bonds of tradition in this sweet historical western romance.

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Meet Lacy  and Grant

If you’d like a chance to win a digital copy of Lacy, either post a comment here or on my Facebook page what you enjoy most about a historical western. One random winner will be drawn Saturday morning!

Happy Reading!

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Lacy Cover

With Lacy releasing next week (Hooray!), I thought it would be fun to share my visuals for some of the characters in the story. That way, when you start reading, you’ll know what I envisioned as I created the characters.

Today, I want to introduce you to Grant Hill’s mother, Imogene, and Lacy William’s father, Joe.

We briefly met Imogene Hill at the end of Marnie. She was visiting Grant and went to Ilsa’s dress boutique, looking for a new hat. Marnie helped her and the prickly woman seemed quite taken with Marnie. (Mostly because she had no idea about Marnie’s past.)

Imogene’s husband passed away several years before and she’s never quite gotten over the loss. So she fills her days with idle gossip, sweets, and plotting the future of her four children.

Kathy Bates (imogene hill)In my head, Imogene looks like Kathy Bates, except with silvery-gray hair and not quite as tall.

Her favorite color is mauve and she often wears dresses covered in ruffles and exceeding embellishments.

Imogene's gownRather like this one.

Grant thinks she looks like a “ruffle-bedecked mushroom” but keeps his opinions to himself.

Imogene is demanding, outspoken, spoiled yet loved by her only son (she has three daughters). In fact, because of her love of mauve, Grant decides to redecorate a guest room in that particular shade to surprise his mother when she next visits him.

mauve wallpaperHe used this wallpaper for part of the project.

Even though he hates the color mauve. In fact, here’s what he had to say on the subject:

***

Grant shuddered. “I thoroughly detest the color. It looks like a perfectly healthy shade of pink has taken ill with some incurable malady, but it is Mother’s favorite.”

Lacy hid her smile as she helped roll up the wallpaper. It was hard for her to comprehend a man who loved his mother enough to decorate a room in a color he hated just to make the woman happy.

***

Joe Williams has also lost a spouse. She passed away four years before Lacy’s story begins and was the light of Joe’s life. He struggles to get through one day then the next after her death and retreats farther and farther into the past rather than face the future.

It’s because of his inability to move beyond his pain and the old ways of living that he and Lacy seem to continually lock horns.

Like his daughter, Joe is stubborn and obstinate.

dr whirlwind

This is “Dr. Whirlwind,” one of Lee Moorhouse’s favorite subjects (Moorhouse was the Indian agent on the Umatilla Reservation during the early 1900s. He captured thousands of images of the tribal members, surrounding landscape and people in Pendleton). I believe his name was David Young Chief although I’ve also seen his name listed as Charley Shipley. As a young man, Dr. Whirlwind carried dispatches for Colonels Wright and Steptoe during the Indian uprisings for 1855-56. He also served as a scout during the Sheepeater Campaign of 1879.

With his stern countenance, this is how I envision Joe Williams.

dr whirlwind 2Especially in his traditional garb (check out the embellishments on the gun).

He isn’t a cruel or bad man – just one who is hurting and lost. However, he and Lacy lock horns early on in the story…

***

“I said no and I mean it, Lacy. I forbid it. You will not take a job in town. Absolutely not!” Joe Williams paced around the small kitchen in their cabin before resuming his seat at the table. “We’ve been over this before. Why must you continue to defy me?”

“I’m not trying to defy you, Father, but we could use the money. I’m capable of doing the work. Why not let me at least try?” Lacy stared at her father, holding onto her temper with both hands. If her father brought up Phillip Redhawk again, she wasn’t sure she could keep it from erupting.

“Hey, Pops, why not let her give it a go?” Walker, Lacy’s cheeky seventeen-year-old brother, winked at her as he leaned back in his chair. “It’s better than her sitting around here all day thinking up things for me to do.”

Joe slammed his fist down on the table. The dishes clattered and the sound awakened Ruth’s two-month-old baby with a start.

***

Stay tuned next week… I’ll share more about some of the other characters!

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wheelbarrow workersWhen I visited parents last week, my Dad pulled out a stack of photos I hadn’t seen before and we looked through them.

One was this photo, taken in 1949. My dad’s family moved from Colorado to Oregon in the summer of 1948, right before Dad started his senior year of high school. With the help of some neighbors, they built a new house on the farm Grandpa purchased.

In this photo, the men are pushing wheelbarrows full of cement to dump into the basement. Dad is the handsome young fellow on the end of the line to the left. My Uncle Bob (he married Dad’s oldest sister), is in the white shirt pushing a wheelbarrow.

I just loved this photo – not only for the history, but also for the artistic lines and contrasts.

Do any of you have a thing for old photographs?

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cowboys-up-on-horses

Captain Cavedweller is convinced I’ve lost my ever-loving mind (and he might be right) but I’m off to a two-day book signing in Kennewick, WA at the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering.

I promise next week to share more of the details about Thimble and Thistles and any other news you’d like to know about the Petticoat Ball, Lacy, or anything that strikes your fancy. Just shoot me a message on facebook or email me at shanna (at) shannahatfield (dot) com if you have any questions you’d like answered and I’ll do a Q and A post next week (if I get enough questions)!

My heart is so full as I write this – thankful for the wonderful friends who helped me launch Thimbles and Thistles, spread the word about Aundy being free, and joined in the festivities of the Petticoat Ball.

Thank you, thank you, thank you …

For your kindness ~

For your encouragement~

For your making me feel very loved ~

Have a blessed, beautiful weekend, my dear friends!

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Thimbles and Thistles Cover

Tomorrow is the big day! Hooray! I can hardly stand the wait until Thimbles and Thistles moves off pre-order status to sale status!

I thought I’d share some fun teasers with you all today… and say thank you – for your kindness, encouragement and support. You are so appreciated and make my heart all warm and fuzzy!

Although I shared their photos a few days ago, as you read through the snippets, here’s how I envision Maggie and Ian.

Alana de la Garza

Alana de la Garza

Matt Barr

Matt Barr

Okay – without further ado:

***

In the bright spring morning, Maggie took note of the way the sunlight glinted off his hatless blond head. He wore his hair longer than she deemed appropriate and more often than not, it was tousled and wild, rather like the man himself.

Broad shoulders looked like they could carry the weight of the world while forearms corded with muscles drew her attention as he stopped the wagon beside her.

Brilliant blue eyes twinkled with humor as he leaned forward and rested an arm on his upraised knee.

***

When he lifted his gaze to Maggie’s, her face hovered just inches away from his. Time ground to an abrupt halt as he studied the dark, almost black ring around the iris of her eye while the inner circle lightened to a beguiling shade of topaz.

Slowly inhaling a deep breath, the scent of sage mingled with her sweet perfume, further ensnaring his already entangled senses.

Of their own volition, his eyes trailed over her face, taking in her determined chin and stubborn jaw as well as her creamy cheeks and rosy lips, just begging for a kiss. Bereft of the ability to stop himself, he started to lean toward her, causing her to gasp and jerk away from him.

***

Maggie could have sworn Ian had stood at the door listening to them talk by the knowing look on his face. “I’m sure nothing we discussed would interest you – just topics of importance to women. Girl stuff.”

“Girl stuff, huh? Why do you think that wouldn’t interest me?” Ian waggled his eyebrows at her. “I’m interested in girls in general, you in particular, and would love to discover more about your stuff.”

Too amused to be offended, Maggie laughed. “Mr. MacGregor, you do say the most outlandish things. What am I going to do with you?”

Ian gave her a rakish wink. “I’ve got a few ideas. Care to hear them?”

“No, sir. I don’t believe I do.”

***

 

She assumed he was teasing, but his comments made her cheeks flush with embarrassment. “Is your father as full of idle flattery and hot air as you?”

Ian chuckled. “Where do you think I got my good looks and appeal?”

“Who said you possess either?”

Maggie’s saucy grin made his heart pound wildly in his chest. He ached to kiss her, to hold her, love her.

“Many a lady has assured me it’s true. Are you telling me they lied?”

“Not exactly.” Maggie wondered how he so often managed to back her into a conversational corner. She had a hard time keeping her wits about her when she was alone with him.

“Tell me the truth then, Maggie. Am I a homely mutt with all the charisma of a chunk of wood?”

Her laughter made him smile. “No, you incorrigible man. Why must you constantly need reassurance that you are, in fact, capable of charming the bees out of their honey and handsome enough to turn the head of most any girl? If it wasn’t for that tousled mess you call hair and that scruff you allow to grow on your face like mold on a wedge of overripe cheese, who knows what might happen.”

Ian appeared affronted as he ran a hand over one jaw then the other. “Och, lass, you’re breaking my heart. How dare you compare this fine growth on my face to moldy cheese? That is an insult of the worst kind.” Mischief danced in his eyes as he stepped closer to her. “I dare you to touch it and tell me that it isn’t as soft as one of your finest pieces of fabric.”

Maggie had never been able to pass up a dare, even when she knew better. Boldly reaching up, she ran her hand along Ian’s jaw, surprised how soft his beard felt beneath her fingers. The contact of her hand to his face caused flames to leap up her arm and sear her chest, but she lifted her other hand and bracketed Ian’s cheeks with both of her palms.

The sassy smirk on her face drew one from Ian as she turned her snapping brown eyes to his liquid blue ones. “I suppose it’s more like the bristles on a boar’s behind, but you might someday find a girl who enjoys that sort of thing.”

***

“It’s a lovely night, isn’t it?” Maggie asked, leaning against Ian as he stood with an arm around her. She hadn’t felt so cherished and secure for years.

“Lovely? Yes, Maggie, my love, it is the most lovely night I’ve ever seen.” Ian’s gaze rested not on the twinkling stars overhead, but on the woman beside him. “In fact, it’s about to get even better.”

Maggie looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. “Is that so? How could it get better? I’ve never seen such a beautiful June night. You can smell the sagebrush blended with the flowers from the reception. It’s not too warm or cool. The stars are glowing up above. It’s perfect.”

“All that is pleasant, I agree.” Ian swept her into his arms and started toward the house. “It is a beautiful night, lass. But sagebrush and posies hardly hold a candle to your alluring fragrance. The stars are mere specks compared to the twinkle in your eyes. And you’ve had me overheated for the past several hours, anticipating the moment when I can peel that verra pretty dress off you and make you my own, Maggie. I do believe the perfection of this night is yet to be discovered, but I can hardly wait to get started.”

***

Wishing you all a verra bonny day!

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Now through April 11 – Aundy is available free!

For those unfamiliar with the Pendleton Petticoats series, Aundy is the first book. Here’s the scoop:

Aundy CoverDesperate to better her situation, Aundy Thorsen agrees to leave behind her life in Chicago to fulfill a farmer’s request for a mail-order bride in Pendleton, Oregon.  When a tragic accident leaves her a widow soon after becoming a wife, Aundy takes on the challenge of learning how to manage a farm, even if it means her stubborn determination to succeed upsets a few of the neighbors.

Born and raised on the family ranch, Garrett Nash loves life in the bustling community of Pendleton in 1899. When his neighbor passes away and leaves behind a plucky widow, Garrett takes on the role of her protector and guardian. His admiration for her tenacious spirit soon turns to something more. He just needs to convince the strong-willed Aundy to give love another try.

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Meet Aundy and Garrett

Praise for Aundy:

“Shanna Hatfield writes a story that is reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian, complete with the conflict between cattleman and those daring to raise sheep…”

InD’Tale Magazine

“Fans of good clean historical romance that is rich in detail will certainly enjoy Aundy, but anyone looking for a sweet mail order bride tale filled with a few twists will be pleased as well. Truly one of the best mail order bride adventures that I have had the pleasure of reading.”

Brenda Casto for Readers’ Favorite

“The author makes the land, weather, and seasons an essential part of this fascinating story! The characters, including Aundy, are people I genuinely came to care for and want to know more about…This book also provides an accurate picture of many aspects of life in the West at the turn of the century.”

Amazon Reviewer

  “What sets this story apart is humor, as it adds a bit of clean spice to a wonderfully written love story…”

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  “I just love stories with strong female leads and when it combines with historical…WOW! Read this book in just hours.”

Amazon Reviewer

 “It isn’t your usual historic romance novel! The author brought each and every character to life.”

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Excerpt:

Before he let sense overrule desire, he yanked off his gloves and tossed them on the nearest chair then took her face in his hands, brushing his thumbs over her cheekbones, gazing into her eyes and getting lost in the warm blue depths.

Lowering his head to hers, he only meant to give her a swift, chaste kiss. Heat exploded between them at the touch of their lips. Garrett lost his ability to think as he repeatedly pressed his mouth, hard and hungry, to hers. When her arms slid around his neck, he drew her even closer and deepened the kiss.

Garrett felt lost to everything except the woman in his arms, the woman who fit there so perfectly. He admired her spirit, appreciated her fine figure, enjoyed her laughter, and liked her caring heart. What he felt now, though, was so much more.

He felt passion and, if he cared to admit it, soul-deep love for the girl who kissed him with every bit as much yearning as he kissed her.

Aundy finally pulled back with a ragged breath, eyes wide in delightful wonder. She’d promised herself she would never get involved with another man, but her feelings for Garrett were more than just involved.

Involved meant there was care and concern, maybe friendship and fun.

The wild currents of longing swirling inside her were so strong they made her bones ache. The emotions Garrett stirred in her were much, much more than she ever imagined feeling for anyone and most definitely beyond being merely involved.

“Garrett, I… you…” she said, unable to think with the delightful tingle of his kisses still riding her lips. She couldn’t believe he’d kissed her. Or that she’d kissed him in return.

Never, not once, had any kiss ever made her feel like her heart would pound right out of her chest. Her stomach felt light and her knees weak while she scrambled to regain the ability to have a coherent thought. How could one kiss, one magnificent kiss, affect her so?

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