Brave Lessons #1

For Christmas, a friend gave me something engraved with the words “fearlessly authentic” on it.

I loved it.

And I loved the thought behind that – of being fearlessly authentic. To me, it meant being brave. Brave enough to be myself in any circumstance.

Each year, I choose one word as kind of my “theme” and I really hadn’t been able to come up with anything I liked for 2019.

Captain Cavedweller and I were on a long road trip a few weeks ago and we were taking about the gift from my friend and my need to come up with a word. Nearly at the same time, we both said “brave” and that’s when I knew that would be my word for 2019.


So what does that mean?


To me, being brave has never been about being fearless. It’s doing what you needed to do despite the fear.

As one who tends to worry too much, who doesn’t always boldly go forth when the opportunity arises, and quakes in her boots from time to time, this is a great word for me to focus on this year.


It’s time to learn about being brave and putting what I learn into action. My goal is to blog each Monday about a brave lesson. I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me.



The Christmas Melody long

I thought you might like to meet the characters from The Christmas Melody today!

For this story, I had the cover planned before I wrote a single word for the book. When I found the image I used on the cover, which was actually a wedding photo of a bride in a white gown, I knew it was perfect, even if she needed a different dress. (I loved the way the cover turned out, though!)

But I knew our hero was going to have longer hair. So I started looking for some inspiration and quickly decided on this guy:

Barnes 5

Ben Barnes seemed like a perfect Grayson Carter.

Ben Barnes 4

He’s handsome, has that air of mystery, and the hair… he had the perfect hair for the story!

For Claire Baker, we knew from the The Christmas Confection that she had dark hair and blue eyes, but not much else.


Violett Beane made such a perfect Claire. She’s absolutely lovely.

Violett 3

She also has a sweet appeal, just like Claire.

Violett 5

And she has a goofy, playful side –  just like Claire!

I also needed a little inspiration for Gray’s daughter, Maddie Mae.

JoJo Kushner

JoJo Kushner was definitely how I envisioned the precocious little girl.

JoJo Kushner 2

Just look at that smile. That hair! Oh, I think I want my own Maddie Mae!

The song I listened to while I wrote the book was Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs. It just seemed appropriate for the book since Claire is her own kind of beautiful crazy and Gray loves her for it!

You can find more visuals that inspired the story on my Pinterest Board

If you haven’t read the book yet, download it today!

The Christmas Melody

The Christmas Melody,  Hardman Holidays Book 7, releases today! 

3-D Cover face right

He needs a holiday miracle. . .

She’s prepared to deliver one

Claire Baker does nothing halfway. She makes it a point to follow her heart, even when it leads her to a small Eastern Oregon town to stay with relatives. In truth, she loves Hardman and the people there. Which is why she wants a recluse she met in the woods and his adorable daughter to join in the community holiday celebrations. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes she’s fallen hopelessly in love with both of them.

All Grayson Carter wants is to be left alone. That’s why he built his cabin in the middle of more than a thousand acres of woods, seeking to disappear from the world and keep his daughter, Maddie, safe.  Then a beautiful interloper appears and becomes quite determined in her efforts of drawing him back into the land of the living. As she brings him and Maddie Christmas cheer, he realizes falling in love with her could be the best and worst thing he’s ever done.

With Christmas fast approaching, a mystery to be solved, and old-fashioned holiday fun, this sweet historical romance will fill your heart with the joys of the season.

Available on Amazon!

The Christmas Melody 1


But today, she had no such worries. She’d left the corset in her bedroom and enjoyed the freedom of movement she had in the britches she’d had the dressmaker sew for her despite Bett and Ari’s protests.

She leaped onto the stump where Maddie had performed and danced an impromptu jig before she pulled an arrow from her quiver, notched it in the bow, and let it fly into a tree. It hit the exact spot she’d been aiming.

Without hesitating, she grabbed another arrow and sent it zooming into the first, splitting it down the shaft.

“What are you doing, woman?” a voice bellowed behind her.

Claire spun around so fast she would have toppled off the stump if Carter hadn’t been there to catch her.

With her face mere inches from his, she could see golden flecks that seemed to spark like embers from a fire in his nearly obsidian colored eyes. He smelled of winter fires and freshly hewn wood, and all man. Involuntarily, the hand not holding her bow settled on the curve of his shoulder, finding the muscles solid and hard beneath her palm.

“Careful,” he said in a gruff tone, but he gently set her on her feet before he took a step back. “I thought I told you to stay away from here.”

“You did, but I don’t do well following orders when I find them ludicrous.”

Read Now button

Capturing the Cavedweller's Heart Cover

Twenty-five years ago today, I married a boy who’d captured my heart.

He made me laugh. He filled my heart with so much joy. And I loved him to the depths of my heart.

Now, as we celebrate our anniversary, he still makes me laugh every single day. He fills my heart with more joy than it can hold. And I love him to the very depths of my soul.

When I was trying to think of a special gift to give him for our anniversary, the idea of writing a book kept trickling into my thoughts. So today, Capturing the Cavedweller’s Heart releases – to celebrate our anniversary and as a tribute to my very own Captain Cavedweller. I hope you enjoy it!

Available on Amazon

Cavedweller release

Can true love endure across the constraints of time?

 USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield will capture your heart in this time-travel romance.

Archaeologist Hannah Clayton has the unique talent of clearly imagining the past as she unearths artifacts in the present. When she stumbles across a cave with a wall of hidden petroglyphs, she’s giddy with excitement. At least until a man dressed like a caveman appears out of nowhere and scares her witless.

Inexplicably drawn to the cavedweller who calls himself Thor, Hannah has to decide if he’s involved in an elaborate hoax or if he’s a walking miracle. Thor is unlike any man she’s ever encountered. From the moment they meet, she knows nothing will ever be the same.

He acts as though he adores her, makes her laugh, and fills her world with more joy than her heart can hold. But are the bonds they share strong enough to keep Thor beside her and prevent his return to the past?

A sweet romance, Capturing the Cavedweller’s Heart takes readers on a lighthearted journey sprinkled with tidbits of history and wrapped in the hope of lasting love.

3-D CDH face right.png

The thought of someone watching her freaked her out. She didn’t care if the guy was carrying out a joke or not; she wanted him gone.

“Okay, buddy. Fun’s over. Tell Sam I figured it out, but you portrayed a very convincing cavedweller.” She waggled the flashlight toward the cave tunnel that provided her only exit. “You need to leave, and I’ll get back to work.”

The man stared at her as though she’d grown a second head or was speaking in tongues. He held her gaze so long and with such power, she felt like he was trying to stare into her soul. What was it about this guy that left her completely unsettled?

His anger appeared to dissolve as his nostrils flared and his glance raked over her from the top of her ponytail to the toes of her hiking boots and up to her face again.

Something sparked in his eyes and flamed. Fear snaked through Hannah, and she took a step back. She didn’t know what thoughts were going through his mind, but she was certain she wasn’t going to like it. One thing was for certain — she refused to stick around to find out exactly what he had planned.

Slowly, with purpose, he took a step toward her, as though he stalked prey. If she wasn’t frightened half out of her mind, she might have admired the grace of his movements, almost like he was one of the big cats she’d imagined once possessed the enormous paw she’d dropped on the cloth or the one he wore against his hip.

Hannah needed the man to leave or allow her to go. Since he blocked her one means of exiting the cave, she hoped he’d get tired of the game and confess who’d sent him. If Sam was behind this, she’d make sure he understood payback was going to be a painful form of torture.

When he took another step toward her, Hannah assumed the man had no intention of leaving or letting her do so either. Her mind tripped over itself in terror of what the crazy guy might do to her. She tried to think of anything she had in her pack she could use as a weapon without actually killing the guy. She had picks, knives, and handheld shovels.

Oh, and a taser gun her brother-in-law, Jason, had given her when she’d first started going out on digs.

Desperation lent speed to Hannah’s movements as she stuffed the flashlight in her pocket, grabbed her pack, and pulled out the gun from the zippered pocket where she kept it.

“Last chance to leave me alone, mister,” she warned, holding the taser gun in front of her. “Do not come any closer.”

The man continued staring at her and took another step forward. She pointed the gun at him, grateful it came with a built-in light and laser beam.

“Aim and fire,” she said, repeating the instructions Jason had given her when he’d shown her how the gun functioned. On the off chance the garment the man wore was authentic, she aimed for his bare arm and pulled the trigger. Two dart-like electrodes flew out, attaching to the man’s impressive bicep. He shouted, whether in pain or shock, she didn’t know or care.

He appeared stunned but remained standing. Hannah pressed the stun gun component of the taser against his arm and gave him a jolt. Jason had warned her to never hold it more than five seconds on someone. She’d counted to three when the man’s body crashed to the ground.

Read Now button

Wings of an Angel long

The characters for Wings of An Angel were so fun to create and write!

I wanted Drake Miller to have a sort of goofball appeal…

Drake 2

Bug Hall (from Little Rascals fame) was so perfect. I could totally see him shaping the minds of Faraday’s young students.

Bug Hall

And winning Angela Carol’s heart, too!

Drake 5

Even if she left him more than a bit perplexed at times.

For Angela, I wanted someone lovely, yet who was strong enough to weather the storms my character has endured.

angel 3

Brooke Nevin seemed like the perfect choice for Angela.

Angel 2

I could easily envision her as a woman wounded by her past, but trying to stay positive and upbeat for her son.

Angel 4

And as a great veterinarian!


Max Charles is how I envision Nick – a kid full of pluck and spunk who loves his mom and wants a dad for Christmas.

sheep 3

And we can’t forget Shep.

Dove 1

Or Jasper!

The song I listened to while I was writing the story is Tennessee Christmas by Steve Wariner, an oldie but a goodie and so perfect for Angela!

You can find more visual inspiration on the Pinterest Board!

Wings of an Angel

Wings of An Angel

The Friendly Beasts of Faraday Book 4

Wings of an Angel (2)

The last thing she needs is a romance . . .

The first thing he intends to do is make her fall in love

Veterinarian Angela Carol escaped her past and started a brand new life in the friendly community of Faraday. Her charming little boy, Nick, a thriving practice, and a comfortable home are all she needs to be happy. At least that’s what she continually tells herself. But her traitorous heart longs for Nick’s teacher, a man who’s become her best friend. With no intention of falling in love again, she struggles to keep her thoughts and heart in line where Drake is concerned.

Drake Miller had plans to be the next NBA star, but when an injury left him sidelined in college, he decided to teach and return to his hometown of Faraday. There’s nothing he enjoys quite as much as shaping the minds of the first grade students in his classroom, unless it’s making Angela Carol smile. The first time he saw her, he knew he was a goner, but the widow has made it clear she has no interest in getting involved in a relationship. How can he prove to her that it’s worth taking a chance on love?

The unlikely team of Nick, along with his pet sheep, Shep, and a dove named Jasper, work to spread a little romance along with holiday cheer. Will their efforts be enough to unite Drake and Angela in time for a Christmas miracle?

Enjoy discovering the answer in this sweet Christmas romance filled with the spirit of the season and tenderness sure to touch your heart.

Available on Amazon

Wings of an Angel 2


“A dove hit the window and knocked itself out. Nick and I put it in this box, but I figured you’d know what else to do to help it.” Drake slid the box toward her.

Angela slowly lifted the lid just enough to peek inside. “Looks like Mr. Dove is still sleeping. I’ll take him with me so I can keep an eye on him.” She turned to Nick and cupped his chin in her hand. “Grab your coat, baby. We need to get going. I promised Mrs. Burnside I’d stop by to check on a cat she says is staying on her back porch. She’s worried it might be hurt because it walks funny, whatever that means.”

“But, Mom, I’m hungry. Can’t we go to the café? Please?” Nick retrieved his coat and put it on while he begged.

“I’ve got dinner cooking, Nick, and snacks in the truck. The sooner we go see Mrs. Burnside, the sooner we can go home.” Angela handed Nick his backpack then turned to Drake.

“Thank you, again, for allowing him to stay. I know I shouldn’t ask you to do that, but I so appreciate your help, Drake.” She stood on tiptoe and kissed his cheek.

Drake stood perfectly still lest he turn his head and make sure the kiss landed on his lips. When Angela moved away from him, he smiled at her, wondering if she could see his heart in his eyes. “You’re welcome, Angela. I’m always happy to help when I can.”

“I know. That’s what makes you such a good friend.” She squeezed his hand then turned to Nick, nudging him toward the door. Drake walked beside her carrying the shoebox with the bird. At the door, she took the box from him. “I’ll let you know how our feathered friend does later.”

Drake knew that meant she didn’t want to worry Nick in case the bird died. He walked with them to the outside door and held it open for her. “Sounds great, Angel.” Whoops. He hadn’t meant to call her that, even though she looked like one as she stood in a shaft of late afternoon sunlight. The golden streamers created a soft glow around her, like she wore a glowing halo instead of just her hair twisted back in a messy bun. With her rosy cheeks and perfect ivory complexion, he had no problem at all imagining her as a celestial being.

Afraid of what her reaction to his slip up might be, he bent down and grinned at Nick. “Hey, thanks again for your help, buddy.”

“Anytime, Mr. Miller. Bye!”

“Bye, Nick.”

Drake waved once then hurried inside, mentally kicking himself all the way back to his classroom. He’d better rein in his thoughts where one gorgeous vet was concerned or he’d end up losing her friendship. For now, friend status was better than nothing at all.

Boughs of Holly long

When I was trying to picture the characters for Boughs of Holly, I knew the rancher needed to be a little reserved, a little skeptical of love. And the nurse, Holly, well, she needed to be vibrant and free-spirited.

Seth 1

I thought Mike Vogel made an amazing Seth Stafford. Just that look right there so made me think of how he would react to meeting Holly.

Seth 5

And this one! I could just picture her dumping her coffee all over his coat.

Mike Vogel

Really, just so perfect for Seth’s character (and handsome, too!).

For Holly, I knew the moment I happened across this dazzling redhead, she was the best fit for the character.


Jo Newman has the ideal blend of sweetness and sass – and all that red hair!

Holly 3

It was so easy to envision the laughter and smiles she’d bring to the Stafford ranch with her warm personality.

Holly 4

And she’s just beautiful! No wonder Seth couldn’t help but fall for her!

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro  is how I imagine Sam, Seth’s grandfather. He can be a tough nut to crack, but beneath that prickly exterior is a heart of pudding. He loves his grandson and just wants what’s best for him.

hereford 2

And we have to include Ivy! This is the photo that inspired her character! Just love me some fuzzy red and white bovines!

The song I listened to while I wrote this is from Chris Young  – It Must Be Christmas. Such a great holiday song!

Boughs of Holly is available now on Amazon!