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Posts Tagged ‘cowboy’

Please join me in welcoming Andrea Downing to the blog today. She’s a fantastic person, talented author, and wonderful friend. We met at a Women Writing the West Conference back in 2015 and have been swapping “howdies” since then.  

City or country? 

Born in NYC, having lived most of my life in the UK—mostly London—you might think I’m a city girl.  In fact, I much prefer the country so, despite the fact I now live part-year in NYC to be close to my daughter, I live the rest of the time in Wyoming.  And that’s what got me thinking….

Andy BBoy.jpg

At the end of the first of my two ‘Heart of the Boy’ books, Bad Boy, Big Heart, cowboy & fourth-generation Wyoming rancher Chay Ridgway is headed off  to New York so he can be with his girlfriend, K.C. Daniels, while she completes her M.A.  Talk about a fish out of water!  I just knew I had to see what would happen to this former rodeo star when dropped in the Big Apple.

Life could not be more different than between those two places, and City Boy, Country Heart deals with that.

 

Andi NYc

As any visitor to NYC knows, New York is crowded.  Manhattan is full of people, buildings are one upon the other, streets are packed with vehicles.  Living spaces are minimal—if you happen to be rich enough to own a complete brownstone house to yourself, it’s still crammed in between others of its ilk.  Forget about having land—a long narrow strip of backyard might be yours if you’re lucky.  In the other four boroughs, there is a sense of suburbia with single family homes on small plots. But for most people, apartment living is the norm, and for youngsters, sharing is usual.  If you grew up in the country like Chay, a sense of claustrophobia would be immediate. Moreover, when so many people are crammed into a small area, housing, with everything else, becomes expensive.

And you’re certainly not getting around by horse!  Even having your own car in the city is a waste of money because parking is at a premium and necessitates constant moving of the auto, while garage parking costs are astronomical.  So, what transportation is there?  Within the city, taxis and Ubers and their competitors are too expensive for daily, frequent use by college kids.  It’s down into the subterranean world of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s subway, a dismal hell-hole providing good transport.  Buses, too, are frequent but a lot slower, having to deal with NYC traffic.  To someone brought up in the fresh air of Wyoming, it would be disturbing and repellant at best.

With Lady Liberty on our doorstep, New York is a very mixed environment.  When you put a lot of people into an urban situation like this, there are bound to be pros and cons as Chay soon finds out.  Being neighborly is not particularly a NY trait.  I do know the people in the next apartment and a few others in my building, but no one drops in for coffee and a chat.  On the other hand, the huge amount of diverse ethnicities lends itself to a multi-cultural world that has its benefits:  any kind of food in the world is available in NYC, and living and learning with folks of such varied backgrounds leads to increased tolerance and understanding.

What other benefits are there to living in NYC?  Well, anything can be delivered straight to your door, and I’m not talking Amazon here.  Groceries, meals, dry cleaning (which can also be collected) come with a phone call or click; in Wyoming, where I live, I can’t even get a pizza delivered! In NYC, doctors of all specializations are on your doorstep; museums, libraries, and theatres are within walking distance.  And then there’s Central Park.

But for Chay, I believe, it would come down to space, an ability to step outside his door and instead of seeing the next apartment, see the Tetons, pastures, the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  It would come down to this:  New York City (that is, all five boroughs), at 304.5 sq. miles,  population 8.5 million; entire State of Wyoming, coming in at 97,818 square miles, population under 600,000.

Andi Wyoming

City Boy, Country Heart:

Rodeo star and rancher Chay Ridgway has left Wyoming to follow his girlfriend, K.C. Daniels, to New York.  Leaving behind all he knows for a small bite of the Big Apple, Chay discovers the canyons of city streets may be too oppressive for this cowboy, especially when the trauma is compounded by the fact K.C.’s parents dislike him, their housemate is a harridan, friends are few, and the only job he can get is rounding up dinner plates.

As K.C. continues her two years of study for her Master’s degree, can she also continue to keep a rein on Chay’s heart? Will this cowboy become a city boy, or will the wide-open spaces of Wyoming call his country heart home?

Excerpt:

Having pushed their way to the corner, crossed the street and got to the line for the skating rink, K.C. left Chay to hold their place so she could ask what the cost would be. He took in the scene and tried to enjoy it: the skaters below doing their pirouettes or figure-eights; the towering buildings reflecting each other; the children running about with rosy, excited faces; the golden flags waving and planted trees decorated with lights; and above it all, the Christmas tree, a goliath of multi-colored lights topped by a star. It was all too much, too much commotion and hubbub, too much noise.

K.C. came back with a downcast look to a stomping Chay trying to stay warm.

“What? What now?” he asked.

She tutted and sighed. “Thirty-two dollars to get in, twelve dollars to rent skates.”

Chay stared at her in disbelief. “You have got to be kidding. How much money are they making? Maybe I should open a skating rink on my frozen tanks back home. Geesh. I’m not going to—”

“No, no. Let’s go…somewhere we can get a hot chocolate and warm up.”

“Yeah, and I know just the place.” Chay grabbed her hand and pushed back through the crowd.

“Home?”

“Home.”

“I’m sorry.”

“For what? It isn’t your fault.”

“I thought…I thought it was going to be such fun, the windows and the skating, and the—”

“Crowds?”

“Well. I didn’t know it was going to be this bad.” She peered over her shoulder at the golden statue that graced Rockefeller Center, and the tree. “Oh, gosh, Chay! You hardly saw the tree!”

“I saw it. Great. Big, and lots of lights and things. Maybe nice at night, though.”

K.C. stopped in her tracks and swiveled to him. “Nice at night? Nice at night? That’s all you have to say about the Rockefeller Center Tree—the most famous Christmas tree, like, in all the world?”

He stared at her and grimaced, shoving his hands in his pockets. “K.C., it was lovely. I see pine trees outside my window all year. I like them in their natural state, like in Wyoming. Up mountains, by lakes, with elk or moose underneath. I never did like the idea of putting silly little baubles on them, trinkets, or angels at the top. What’s the point?”

“What’s the point? Chay, it’s Christmas. It’s a Christmas tradition. Didn’t you ever have a Christmas tree in your home?”

“Yeah, I did. I decorated it with home-made things I could make when I was little. My mother showed me how to make cut-out paper chains, and popcorn garlands and stuff. All that glitz, I think, it’s sort of stupid, isn’t it? Spending money on crap, buying things. Taking something from nature and dressing it up like that?”

“It’s Christmas!”

“Yeah. I got that. It’s Christmas.” Someone pushed him from behind and anger flared across his face like wildfire down a hillside. “I thought we were going home for hot chocolate.”

K.C. stared at him as if she were seeing a different person, a person she didn’t know. “Where’s your Christmas spirit,” she asked in a voice so hurt, he thought she was pleading.

“Christmas spirit is maybe different to different people. I find the crowds—”

“All right, I understand!” She jerked her arm free and walked on at a quicker pace. “Christmas spirit is different to different people.”

Chay stopped for a moment, lost in the crowd, keeping an eye on her retreating back. “Yes,” he said to himself. “Christmas is certainly different to different people. And we were different people in Wyoming.”

***

Andi 1

A Cowboy To Keep Anthology

Featuring stories by Carra Copelin, Andrea Downing, Kristy McCaffrey, Devon McKay, Hildie McQueen, Hebby Roman, and Patti Sherry-Crews

 Catch a cowboy … Keep a cowboy …

Don’t miss this great collection from USA Today, Amazon Bestselling, and Award-Winning authors!! Available at https://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Keep-Contemporary-Western-Collection-ebook/dp/B072869SGV/

THE LEGEND OF BAD MOON RISING by Carra Copelin

Sheriff Ben Hammond is finally over the woman who shattered his heart, but when Dinah Horne suddenly returns, can he ignore the passion still burning bright between them?

CITY BOY, COUNTRY HEART by Andrea Downing

Trading horses for subways for two years seemed like a good idea to cowboy Chay Ridgway, but can city girl K.C. Daniels keep a rein on his country heart?

BLUE SAGE by Kristy McCaffrey

Archaeologist Audrey Driggs rolls off a mountain and lands at the feet of rugged cowboy Braden Delaney. Together, they’ll uncover a long-lost secret.

THE DRIFTER’S KISS by Devon McKay

Determined to take back what belongs to her, Addison Reed will do anything. Even trust a complete stranger.

HER MAN by Hildie McQueen

Deputy Mark Hunter falls for Eliza Brock during a murder investigation. Is it fate or bad luck, especially when she may be involved?

BORDER ROMANCE by Hebby Roman

Widow Leticia Villarreal wants to establish a horse-racing stable and old acquaintance John Clay Laidlaw offers to help. But can she trust him with her business and her heart?

PHOENIX HEAT by Patti Sherry-Crews

After losing her fiancé and her New York City business, Harper Donovan returns to Arizona and meets cowboy Frank Flynn. Will his past and their differences extinguish the heat between them?

 

 

***

BIO:

A native New Yorker, Andrea Downing currently divides her time between the canyons of city streets and the wide-open spaces of Wyoming. Her background in publishing and English Language teaching has transferred into fiction writing, and her love of horses, ranches, rodeo, and just about anything else western, is reflected in her award-winning historical and contemporary western romances.

She has been a finalist in the RONE Awards for Best American Historical Romance twice, placed in the International Digital Awards twice, and won ‘Favorite Hero’ along with Honorable Mentions for Favorite Heroine, Short Story and Novel in the Maple Leaf Awards. Her book, Dearest Darling, has also won The Golden Quill Award for Best Novella and been on the short list for winning The Chanticleer Award for Best Short or Novella.

You can find Andrea at:

WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/writerAndreaDowning

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

 

 

 

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Did you know you can find some of my books in audio format?

It’s true!

And I have four new ones out right now!

Four!!!

And guess what? Three of them are Christmas stories!

audio-cover-capturing-christmas

Capturing Christmas is the third audio book Luke Andreen has narrated for me. He did books 1 and 2 in the Rodeo Romance series. This one just released yesterday, so be sure to check it out!

You can find it on audible, Amazon .

 

Cowboy Leaning in Doorway of Barn

Talented Chris Abell narrated The Cowboy’s Christmas Plan for me! If you love the Thompson brothers, be sure to listen to him bring the characters to life in the audio version!

Available on Audible and Amazon.

 

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Michael L. Canaan lent his versatile voice to The Christmas Bargain. He really made the story fun for me to listen to by adding little extra touches to the narration. I hope you enjoy listening to him, too!

Available on Audible and Amazon.

audio-cover-gohh

The awesome Michael Rahhal narrated Garden of Her Heart. He is amazing and I know you’ll love the way he brings the story and characters to life!

Available on Audible and Amazon.

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I have something exciting to share with you today!

Are you ready?

Without further ado…

Cowboy Leaning in Doorway of Barn

 

The Cowboy’s Last Goodbye (Grass Valley Cowboys Book 6) is now available for pre-order!

And you get to be the first to see the cover!

Originally, I planned for Ben Morgan’s story to release this week, but with all that has transpired this fall, it just wasn’t ready in time.

I could have rushed and got it out mid-January. However, I want this long-awaited story to be the best it can possibly be, so mark Feb. 4 on your calendars because that is the date it will officially release!

In the meantime, here’s a little teaser…

***

Harper Hayes had no idea what possessed her to offer a stranger a ride.

Pure stupidity.

That had to be the reason she’d stopped to give the good-looking man a lift. He could be a con artist, a thief, or some kind of sick pervert.

For all she knew, he could be flashing that six-pack of abs and chiseled chin to make her the next victim in a string of yet undiscovered murders by a psycho serial killer.

Then again, Harper seriously doubted a serial killer would go hunting for unsuspecting women on dusty dirt roads that very few people traveled and even fewer women inhabited.

Before she fully regained the ability to own a rational thought, she observed the man, starting with his thick, short dark hair. Eyes the color of magnolia leaves in the autumn — brown with a slightly inviting sheen — made her want to take a step closer to him.

In all her twenty-eight years of living, she’d never seen a guy with such a full bottom lip, one just made for enticing kisses out of entranced women.

For a moment, she indulged in thoroughly ogling his broad shoulders, sculpted chest, and muscled arms. Eventually, she forced her gaze back to his face.

And it was such an incredibly attractive face, too.

Mortified by the wayward thoughts swirling around in her head, heat stung her cheeks as she took a step away from him. Away from temptation.

“What’s your name? I haven’t seen you around here before.” His deep voice flowed over her like a welcome breeze on a sultry summer afternoon.

Mercy!

She was in trouble where that six-foot of hunky biker was concerned. The last thing she needed in her complicated life was another man, especially one who appeared so virile and strong.

Nervous and ill at ease, she took another step back.

As though he sensed her concern, he offered her a reassuring look.

“I’m Ben Morgan. My family owns the Running M Ranch in Grass Valley.” He took a step forward and held out his hand while offering her a charming grin.

 

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JCCF Flyer

For those of you who have already helped with the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund campaign – my sincere thanks to you!

For those who are just hearing about it today, this is the third year I’ve contributed funds to the JCCF – an organization that gives a hand up to rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to compete for an extended period of time.

Save A Cowboy, Read a Book! is the theme of this year’s campaign that runs until midnight Christmas Eve. I donate 10 percent of the net proceeds of all my book sales Nov. 1 through Dec. 24 to the JCCF.

To get in on the promotion, purchase any book (written by yours truly). It can be an ebook, a paperback or an audio book – they all help the cause!

And don’t forget books make fabulous gifts! You can even gift digital books!

To find my books online, look on:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Apple

Kobo

Smashwords

Audible

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The Christmas Cowboy Cover

If you love Christmas, cowboys and free books – have I got a deal for you!

The Christmas Cowboy is available for free Kindle downloads through Sunday.

Get your copy while it’s available!

This sweet western holiday romance is the first in the Rodeo Romance series.

Christmas Cowboy tough bronc

http://amzn.to/21Q8LN2

Still not convinced it’s for you?

Here’s what others had to say…

The Christmas Cowboy – 5 stars
This is a really sweet, really well written story that romance readers will love. I loved how it was incorporated around the Christmas holiday. Tate is handsome, sweet, and never gives up, even when he is shut out by the distrustful Kenzie. Readers will relate to Kenzie’s walls, but root for her to tear them down and give the loving Tate a chance.
Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite

The Christmas Cowboy – 5 out of 5 stars
“Are you searching for a clean romance with humor, a spine-tingling romance with some hunky, genuine cowboy on the side? If you are, this book is unequivocally for you! You will find no profanity nor  bedroom scenes, but you will find romance that will set your head spinning. There is no doubt that Shanna Hatfield knows how to write clean romance that is nothing but pure romance that incurable romantics like me crave…”
My Devotional Thoughts Book Reviews

Caution:  You may fall in love with a fictional cowboy named Tate! I loved this story so much! The chance meetings at the airport and the flirting back and forth! Family, rodeos, Christmas, trust issues, yeah this book covers it all! The entire book consumed my thoughts until I was finished reading it, and now that I am done, I am still thinking about it!  From contemporary to historical Hatfield can write any genre she wants and I will read it! With characters that are endearing and you feel a real emotional connection with, Hatfield has a way of writing a story that anyone want would want to read! Grab your favorite blanket, find a cozy chair and a cup of hot cocoa because this Christmas story is one you won’t put down until you finish the last word!
Books Are Sanity

Christmas Cowboy 1

And if you’ve already downloaded it, be sure to let your friends know its available free for a very limited time!

Happy Reading!

 

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Guest Author SignToday is the day!

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party, today, Nov. 12, 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 (many of the giveaways will stay open until the following morning, so don’t worry if you can’t be there during the party.)!

Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty2

The talented guest authors joining in the celebration include:
10 a.m. – Carmen Peone
10:30 – Kayla Dawn Thomas
11 a.m. – Melanie D. Snitker, Author
11:30 – Julie Cerniglia Lence
Noon – Author CJ Samuels
12:30 – Rachel Rossano
1 p.m. – Author Kristin Holt
1:30 – Dani Harper

Grand Prize Photo

Enter to Win Prizes!

In addition to all the cool party prizes, you can also enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies. Just fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and notified Nov. 16. http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasprizes2

Today is also the release day for Capturing Christmas and The Christmas Vow!

Woohoo!

christmas Vow 3

The Christmas Vow CoverThe Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series.

Columbia River Pilot Adam Guthry returns to his hometown of Hardman, Oregon, after the sudden death of his best friend. Emotions he can’t contain bubble to the surface the moment he sees the girl who shattered his heart eleven years ago.

Widow Tia Devereux escapes her restrictive life in Portland, returning to the home she knew and adored as a girl in Hardman. She and her four-year-old son, Toby, settle into the small Eastern Oregon community, eager for the holiday season. Unfortunately, the only man she’s ever loved shows up, stirring the embers of a long-dead romance into a blazing flame. When her former father-in-law, a corrupt judge, decides he wants to raise Toby, Adam may be the only hope she has of keeping her son.

Order your copy today for only $2.99! http://amzn.to/1KQHhvI

 

Capturing Christmas 1

Capturing Christmas is the third installment in the sweet holiday western Rodeo Romance series.

Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep.Capturing Christmas Cover The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo.

Determined to capture the best images possible, rodeo photographer Celia McGraw is fearless and feisty. Not one to back down from a challenge, her biggest risk isn’t in her work. Danger lurks in the way her heart responds to one incredibly handsome stock contractor. Will Kash and Celia capture the spirit of the season?

Order your copy today! http://amzn.to/1FC8ZQj

Happy Release and Party Day!

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Capturing Christmas CoverToday, I thought it might be fun to share a few “behind the scenes” details about Capturing Christmas.

I knew from the moment I first created Celia McGraw’s character in The Christmas Cowboy that she had to have her own story.  From that book, we knew Celia was pretty with red hair, she owned a feisty attitude, worked as a photographer, and wasn’t afraid to stand up to her big brother and his best friend.

How could you not want to write a story about a girl like that?

A few months before I finished writing The Christmas Cowboy, I heard about a young cowboy proposing to his girlfriend in the middle of the rodeo. He had the announcer her call her out to the arena and dropped down on one knee in the dirt, proposing to her right there in front of the spectators.

Of course, she said yes.

That idea stuck with me. So when I started thinking about Celia’s story, I knew I wanted to somehow incorporate that into the book.

But what if instead of saying yes, she said no? What if the person proposing wasn’t someone she wanted to marry? What if…

Would you like a little peek at that scene?

~*~

“Are you insane?” Celia glared at the man kneeling before her in the loose dirt of the rodeo arena holding a ring box. A gaudy diamond glittered in the sunlight.

In all her wildest imaginings, seeing Wayne Warshaw down on one knee was the farthest thing from her mind.

He beamed at her and held up the ring box. “Marry me, Celia! Make me the happiest cowboy on the planet.”

Furious, she shook her head. “No! I won’t marry you, you lunkheaded idiot! If you’re operating under the delusion I’m even remotely interested in marrying you, you’ve got feathers and fudge for brains.”

Twitters of excitement fell to a stunned hush as hundreds of spectators caught their collective breath at her rejection.

“Celia, you don’t mean that!” The spurned prospective bridegroom lunged to his feet and grabbed her hand in his. “You’re such a tease. Give ol’ Wayne some sugar, honey.”

~*~

It wasn’t easy coming up with a character who could keep up with Celia. He needed to be strong and every bit as stubborn as her, but also gentle and patient.

There was no doubt the guy would be a cowboy, but what type of work would he do? How would the two of them meet? That’s when I decided he’d be a rodeo stock contractor.

After doing research into that career choice… let’s just say they have my full admiration because, man, do they work hard. As a homebody, I can’t imagine being on the road so much and with trucks full of animals. From what I know and what I researched, many of the rodeo animals receive better care than many people’s beloved pets.

Anyway, from there, Kash Kressley was born (so to speak). One of my friends has a horse named Kash and I loved the name, so I stole it (thanks, Carmen!).

It stood to reason that Kash and Celia would have many opportunities to interact at rodeos if he was providing stock and she was photographing them.

Here’s another little teaser…

~*~

Determined to pull herself together, she released his hand and took a step back from the fence. “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Kressley. How did you know my name? You said it earlier when you were taking me to task for my temporary loss of sanity.”

What could have been the beginnings of a grin lifted the corners of Kash’s mouth upward. “I’ve seen you around a few rodeos. In fact, you aged one of the bullfighters by a decade or two last month when you almost got run over by one of my bulls.”

Celia blushed. While photographing the bull riding at a rodeo, a cowboy behind the chutes caught her eye. Although she knew better, she turned her attention to him and lost track of the bull until she glanced up to see him heading straight for her. Just in time, she scrambled out of the way, aware that one of the bullfighters had been hustling to get to her side.

As the man gave her a curious once-over, she realized he looked a lot like the cowboy who’d unknowingly diverted her attention from the bull that day. “I guess I owe you a double thank you.”

~*~

If you have any questions about the story behind the story, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer them!

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