Welcome to the
A celebration of two new sweet historical romances by Shanna Hatfield
If you ever find yourself driving on I-84 through Eastern Oregon, take a moment to stop in the small town of Baker City.
From the freeway, travelers might notice a handful of restaurants, hotels, and gas stations. Few visitors realize that Baker City was referred to as the “Denver of Oregon” back in the 1800s, when gold mining drew people to the area and the town boasted any number of luxuries.
Baker City’s history goes back to the mid-1800s. The Oregon Trail went through the area (The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center located just a few miles east of town provides a rich and colorful look at life on the trail) and many settlers decided to make Baker County their home.
The city (now the county seat) and Baker County were named in honor of U.S. Senator Edward D. Baker, the only senator to be killed in a military engagement while leading a charge of Union Army soldiers up a ridge at Ball’s Bluff, Virginia, in 1861.
Gold drew settlers to the area. Auburn, a gold mining boom town located five miles southwest of present Baker City, served as the seat of Baker County in 1862.
In 1864, only three cabins stood within the urban boundaries of present day Baker City. A portion of what would become downtown was platted and by 1865, the main street offered a saloon, a few hotels, a livery stable, a variety store that housed the post office, a blacksmith shop, and a handful of other buildings.
By 1868, as placer mines played out, Baker City became both the county seat and commercial center. Auburn soon became little more than a memory.
In 1874, the legislature approved Baker City’s first charter, which set up a board of five trustees. In 1887, Baker City elected blacksmith and farm implement dealer Syrenus B. McCord as the city’s first mayor along with five councilmen.
Beginning in its earliest days, Baker City had a Chinatown that included several businesses, a Chinese temple, private dwellings, opium dens, and prostitution cribs. Today, visitors can see the Chinese cemetery just off the freeway.
Baker City’s buildings were constructed of wood until 1873, when former Sheriff James W. Virtue, who had established the county’s first bank in 1870, built a stone “fire proof” business structure on the southwest corner of Main and Court. Despite his claims, the building burned down in the 1880s.
Several fires ravaged Main Street buildings over the years. The most disastrous was the 1887 fire that destroyed all structures on the east side of the 1700 block of Main. Before the year was out, all those frame buildings were replaced by brick buildings, and some made of native volcanic tuff stone quarried at Pleasant Valley, south of Baker City.
One of the most impressive brick buildings still standing today is the Geiser Grand Hotel, located on Main Street. The Warshauer brothers, Jake and Harry, constructed the hotel in 1889. It went by the name Hotel Warshauer until purchased by the Geiser family about 1900.
You can read a little about the hotel and life in 1890 Baker City in Crumpets and Cowpies, the first book in the Baker City Brides series.
In the story, Rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate only to find he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined. Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s insufferable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she finds herself traveling across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon.
The second book in the Baker City Brides series releases Thursday, April 9!
Maggie Dalton has no need for a man in her life. Widowed more than ten years, she’s built a successful business and managed quite well on her own in the bustling town of Baker City, Oregon. Aggravated by her inability to block thoughts of the handsome lumber mill owner from her mind, she renews her determination to resist his attempts at friendship.
Full of Scottish charm and mischief, Ian MacGregor could claim any available woman in Baker City as his own, except the enchanting dress shop owner who continues to ignore him. Not one to give up on what he wants, Ian vows to win Maggie’s heart or leave the town he’s come to love.
Be among the first to order the long-awaited story of Grant Hill. Talk about losing at love… eligible banker bachelor Grant needs to find the right girl.
Those attending the party will also get a first look at the cover!
“Will the bonds of love be stronger than the bonds of tradition…”
It just wouldn’t be a party if there wasn’t a book available for free! Aundy, Book 1 in the Pendleton Petticoats series, will be available for free Kindle downloads April 9. Make sure you grab your copy! If you’ve already read it, tell your friends to download it. If you haven’t met the characters from Pendleton Petticoats, here’s a brief intro:
Aundy (Book 1) – One stubborn mail-order bride finds the courage to carry on when she’s widowed before ever truly becoming a wife, but opening her heart to love again may be more than she can bear.
Caterina (Book 2) – Frantic to escape a man intent on marrying her, Caterina starts a new life in Pendleton, completely unprepared for the passionate feelings stirred by the town’s deputy sheriff.
Ilsa (Book 3) – Tired of relying on others to guide and protect her, Ilsa finally finds the strength and courage to take control of her life. Unfortunately, her independence drives a wedge between her and the man she’s come to love.
Marnie (Book 4) – After giving up on her dreams for a future, Marnie finds her hope rekindled by one caring, compassionate man and the orphans who need her.
Dust off your dancing shoes and choose your formal attire for the Petticoat Ball Party on Facebook April 9, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Giveaways and games will make for a splendid event as we celebrate the release of Thimbles and Thistles and the debut of Lacy!
The talented and fabulous guest authors joining in the shenanigans include:
10 a.m. – Julie Lence
10:30 – Kathleen Ball
11 – Rachel Rossano
11:30 – Christina Cole
Noon – Peggy Henderson
12:30 – Kristin Holt
1 p.m. – Karen Witemeyer
1:30 – Kayla Thomas
Invite your friends to the party, and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift card. Go to the Facebook Party Page, click on the “invite” button, invite your friends, then post how many you invited. One randomly drawn person will win, but you get additional entries for every 25 people you invite! Also, ask your friends when they join the party to share that you invited them on the party wall. Each friend who mentions your name, earns you another entry in the contest! The winner will be announced prior to the start of the party April 9! http://tinyurl.com/petticoatball
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
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