Posts Tagged ‘cowboy’

SBR long meme

I thought it might be nice to share the character inspiration from Sleigh Bells Ring.

These two characters are a little different because they aren’t a typical romance story couple. They are in their 70s.

If you’ve read the book, you know I mention Jess Milne looks like Harrison Ford. That’s because I really did use Harrison Ford for the inspiration.


I mean… it’s Harrison Ford!


How could Doris help but be charmed by the handsome rancher?

We first met Doris in Blown Into Romance. From the description there, we knew she had white hair and was a little feisty.


That’s why I chose Honor Blackman (former Bond girl) as inspiration for Doris. She’s just perfect!


And how could Jess be anything but smitten with her!

If you haven’t yet read the book, I hope you’ll give it a try, and the rest of the Christmas in Romance stories, too! You can read them all free with Kindle Unlimited!

Read Now button

And find out more about the visual inspirations behind the story on Pinterest!


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Saving Mistletoe is now available in both digital and paperback formats.

Saving Mistletoe - Shanna Hatfield

Will love be enough to bring

A miracle for Christmas?

Hotshot attorney Ellen Meade seems to have it all: a powerful position with her firm, a posh downtown apartment, and a bright future ahead of her. But for Ellen, the future grows dimmer with each passing day. Her apartment is lonely without her best friend, and the demands of her job are slowly killing her soul. She’s simply surviving until she bumps into a police officer who changes everything.

Burke Tipton loves his job as a Mounted Patrol Officer in downtown Portland.  The life he’s built away from his family’s ranch is simple and uncomplicated. At least it was until a beautiful woman bumps into him and turns his world upside down.

Add in Burke’s partner Sugar Bear, Lovey the dog, and a child named Mistletoe in need of a Christmas miracle, and you get a heartwarming, holiday romance from USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield.

Available now on Amazon.


Slowly opening her eyes, she glanced up at the scowling, tanned face of a police officer as he sat astride his large chestnut mount. The horse shook his mane and glanced back at her, as though he measured her worth and found her severely lacking.

She pushed against the man’s muscled thigh to regain her balance and took a step back. The contact with his leg left her further unsettled than she’d been mere seconds before.

Who had muscles like that, anyway? His thigh felt like it was made of steel. What was the guy, a fitness nut? The short sleeves of his uniform shirt only accented his biceps and broad shoulders.

A brief perusal that started at the top of his hat and ended at the toes of his shiny leather riding boots confirmed that the man was, indeed, in prime physical shape.

His gaze held a hint of scorn as he continued to stare at her with a disapproving frown.

“May I help you, miss?” he asked in a smooth voice that held the hint of a drawl. He didn’t sound Southern, exactly, but he wasn’t from Portland, that was for sure. The man had a rugged, outdoorsy look to him. His seat on the back of the tall horse only accentuated the persona.

“No, thank you,” she said. Another step back nearly carried her into two businessmen walking past her. One of them gave her a cool glare while the other shot her an interested glance.

“Are you sure, miss? You seem to be a little lost.” The officer’s expression didn’t soften as he held her gaze with eyes that were a surprisingly clear shade of blue. In spite of his gruffness, Ellen couldn’t help but notice the sculpted firmness of his lips, particularly the top one.

Unbidden, thoughts of kissing it flew into her head…

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Wrestlin 17 meme 1

Wrestlin’ Christmas, Rodeo Romance  Book 2, is on sale today through Dec. 13 for just 99 cents!

If you haven’t yet read Cort and Kaley’s story, I think you’ll really enjoy it.

Wrestlin Christmas 17

Sidelined with a major injury, steer wrestler Cort McGraw struggles to come to terms with the end of his career. Shanghaied by his sister and best friend, he finds himself on a run-down ranch with a worrisome, albeit gorgeous widow, and her silent, solemn son.

Five minutes after Cort McGraw lands on her doorstep, K.C. Peters fights to keep a promise she made to herself to stay away from single, eligible men. When her neighbor said he knew just the person to help work her ranch for the winter, she never expected the handsome, brawny former rodeo star to fill the position.

Ready to send him packing, her little boy has other plans…





Meet Cort McGraw and Kaley Peters


Tate Morgan called the previous afternoon and said he knew someone experienced willing to work for what she could pay. Unable to believe her good fortune, she expected a grizzled old ranch hand in his retirement years, not a good-looking giant of a man in his prime.

Tall and brawny, Cort McGraw happened to be one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen. From his silvery-gray eyes rimmed with black eyelashes to the dimple in his all-too-attractive chin, she wished Kenzie had given her some warning. If she’d known what he looked like, that he was so young, rugged, and hunky, she would have told Tate not to bother sending Cort to her place.

Mercy, he smelled good, too. Even now, his manly, musky fragrance filled her senses. Annoyed with herself for savoring his heady scent, she brushed at her nose, hoping to chase away the lingering aroma of his aftershave.

Listen to an audio sample of the book, narrated by Luke Andreen – Wrestlin’ Christmas

And don’t forget, all book purchases now through Christmas Eve help benefit the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund through my 4th annual Read a Book, Help A Cowboy campaign!

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Joy is…

a great rodeo

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Captain Cavedweller and I spent the weekend at the Pendleton Round-Up.  It’s something we look forward to attending all year.  I have a lot of fun just snapping photos during the rodeo, so I’m sharing some of my favorites with you today.



Swan Lake starts to play in my head when I look at this photo.

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Liked the colors in this one… of his shirt, boots and the horse.


Eye-catching colors…


And the dust softening the image.


A Indian Relay

The Indian Relay Race hearkens back to the early days of the Round-Up and is still an action-packed event. Teams race around the big track to win the title of this event. Each rider switches horses three times. And some of these horses act is though they’ve barely ever seen humans let alone been ridden before. Oh, and did I mention they ride bareback? At Saturday’s championship race, one of the horses got away and started racing in the opposite direction around the track. Made for some exciting moments for the spectators as well as the racers.


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This is my favorite of all the calf roping photos I took. I love the look on his face and the way the rope is floating above the calf.


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Saddle Bronc is probably my favorite event.

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Why, you ask?

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There’s the fact The Christmas Cowboy hero is a saddle bronc rider and it’s what started me out on the Rodeo Romance series of my books.

Also, these guys ride with a certain grace and panache…

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And we love cheering for this guy – Cort Scheer. I met his sweet mama and sister years ago in Las Vegas and enjoy staying in touch with them.

dismount in crowd

This is one of my favorite photos from the rodeo this year. The rider made his eight second ride (which took him into the crowd of cowboys watching on the grass). He dismounted and landed on his feet right there to receive a bunch of hearty slaps on the back from his peers while the horse caused a bunch of last-minute scrambling. (Note the one cowboy who’s got a death grip on the back of a photographer’s vest in the lower left corner). Oh, and Cort is the one laughing and cheering right by the horse. So fun!

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I don’t think these guys get enough credit for what they do, but the Pickup men are awesome.


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I didn’t get a lot of fabulous Bulldogging photos, but I liked this one because you see so much action in it.


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This bull has a rather devilish look to him. I don’t think the tongue out and flying snot is helping any.

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Kickin’ up dust…

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It’s challenging for me to get good bull riding shots because the bulls stay so close to the chutes.

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The bull fighters did a fantastic job at the rodeo. Dusty Tuckness is a crowd favorite and Tim  O’Connor was fabulous, too.

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If any of you read Barreling Through Christmas, above is a barrel and the rodeo clown just happens to be inside it at this particular moment.

Enjoy the photos today? If so, I’ll share some of the parade and a few “blooper” photos tomorrow!


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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….

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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?


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.



“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—”


“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.”


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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/


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?


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.


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?


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?





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!


And guess what? Three of them are Christmas stories!


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.



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.


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.


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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