There’s Something About A Cowboy

Shanna-Hatfield-Nov-Blog-Tour

Welcome to Shanna Hatfield’s Cowboys & Christmas Blog Tour!

A kickoff of two new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

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What is it about a cowboy that inspires giddy thoughts of romance in otherwise sane and sensible women?

It could be the way they make a pair of jeans look just right. If you haven’t ogled a pair of fine-fitting Wranglers at a rodeo, please take yourself to the nearest medical facility to make sure you’ve got a pulse.

It could be the dusty boots on their feet. The dirtier, the better. We want a hard-working, real man, after all. Not one who just dresses like a cowboy on the weekends.

It could be that Stetson on his head. There’s something about a man sweeping off his hat in a gesture of polite recognition that makes our knees wobbly and our thoughts scattered. Also, there is something entirely endearing about a man with a hat-ring in his hair.

It could be the little swagger in his walk. Most of the cowboys I know don’t work to put it there. It’s a byproduct of injuries, too many hours in the saddle, and walking in those dusty boots.

It could be the manners they exhibit, no matter how rough and tough they might be. You show me a raised-in-the-country cowboy and I’ll show you a man who respects women and elders, says “yes, ma’am,” and holds doors open. I don’t care how independent and strong of a woman you are, when a good-looking cowboy tips his hat and holds a door open for you, it makes you want to swoon.

For me, it’s such fun to write about cowboys and the women determined to resist their considerable charms.

In The-Christmas-CowboyThe Christmas Cowboy and Wrestlin’ Christmas, the first two books in the Rodeo Romance series, neither heroine wanted to fall for a cowboy. In fact, they fought quite a valiant battle – but as they say, sometimes resistance is futile.

Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund®

Now through Dec. 24, Shanna will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.

Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.

Kindle | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple | AudibleWrestlin'-Christmas-Cover

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 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! Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty

The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994

In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!

Prize BasketEnter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasprizes

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2A 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.”

A Cowgirl Falls in Love

Dreams 1 5 X 2In my first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, Nettie and Jake are working horses together when they are caught in a sudden hail storm. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m offering this excerpt:

For just a moment the force of the hailstones seemed to let up, and Jake wrenched his saddle loose. “Here, grab one side.” He hoisted it over their heads. The sky grew a shade lighter as the hail turned into rain that fell in sheets, driven diagonally by the wind. Nettie stumbled along with Jake, bumping into each other. Both held the saddle up with one hand and led their horses with the other, the storm pushing them from behind.

Lightning slashed through the murky sky. A thunderclap rattled her teeth. The horses shied and tugged at the reins. Barely able to breathe, Nettie could no longer feel her hands. Her whole body was numb. She felt the saddle slip. They wouldn’t make it. She was going to fall. They’d both be hit by lightning.

“Hang on, we’re almost there.” Jake shifted the heavy saddle to take more of the weight himself. “It’s OK. You can do it. Come on. Just a few more steps.” Together they staggered the last few yards to the old shack. Jake dropped the saddle on the refuse-strewn porch and tethered the horses under the roof overhang on the lee side. Then he pushed the door open and helped Nettie through the opening. She nearly fell into the room, relief flooding over her.

He pushed the door shut against the gusts of wind and rain, and struggled to latch it. Then he knelt beside her, his wide eyes examining her face. “Are you all right? Are you hurt? Anything broken?”

“I’m OK.” Nettie looked up at him, gulped and blinked. “Oh my gosh, your eye …” She sat upright and reached up to caress the rapidly swelling bump.

“I’m just fine.”

“Oh, Jake, we coulda been killed.” She shuddered as the realization washed over her, then broke into great hiccupping sobs.

He encircled her with his long arms and drew her face to his chest. He smelled like horsehair and tobacco. It didn’t matter that his sodden denim shirt stuck to her cheek. She closed her eyes and snuggled close inside his embrace as he stroked her wet hair.

The rain beat a vicious tattoo on the roof. Just like those hailstones on her head and back. Her skin still stung, and her hands were raw and tingling. She shivered again. The ice seemed to have penetrated her blood. Her teeth chattered. Never in her life had she been so scared. They were lucky to be alive. Safe in his arms now, her sobs gradually subsided.

Jake hugged her closer, his face only inches from hers. She felt his warm breath on her cheek.

He rubbed a hand up and down her back, sending warm shivers through her body. “I have to let you go for a minute and see if I can get a fire going.”

Nettie clutched at him. She didn’t want him to go, even a few feet away.Love-Couple-Vector

Murmuring in her ear as if soothing a skittish colt, he eased out of the embrace and off the floor. He picked up an old horse blanket from one corner of the nearly empty room and shook the dust off. Gently, he wrapped the worn, dirty wool pad around her shoulders.

Nettie glanced around the room, wallpaper peeling in strips, cobwebs strung over the windows, the floor rotted and splintered. Wonder what happened to the people who lived here? A wooden chair slumped on its side, a leg missing. Jake stomped on the remaining legs to break them, then the rungs and the back, into pieces. He pried up a loose floorboard to add to the pile of firewood

Nettie watched him squat before the fireplace, moving with such confidence. Gosh, he knows just what to do. He whittled shavings from the wood, then struck a match from a little tin canister in his pocket. He’s so handy. And so caring. He protected me.

Jake blew on the flame, coaxed it to catch. Above the sunburned line on his forehead where his hat usually rode, his skin was fair. His reddish blond hair shone softly.

The flame caught and grew, its flicker kindling a spark of hope in her. She heard the snap as it spread to the other shavings and sticks of wood.

Jake added more fuel to the fire. He coughed as it smoked, but then the smoke drew up into the chimney. He sat next to her again, cradling her in the curve of his arm. He took out a small flask from his pocket. “Here, have a slug of this. It’ll help warm you.”

She coughed at the harsh fire that ran down her throat. But it did warm her, and her shivers diminished as her clothes dried.

“Thank you for saving my life.” Nettie raised her face to his and kissed the corner of his mouth. Then, to hide her blush, she leaned against his strong body. He tightened his arm around her shoulders.

They’d made it. Together. They were together, and that was all that mattered right now.

Cowgirl Dreams and the sequel Follow the Dream are available through my website and as a Valentine’s week special, I’m offering FREE SHIPPING! Be watching for the third book in the series, Dare to Dream, coming in 2013.

Meet the Author: Leslee Breene

Welcome to my guest, Leslee Breene, author of the newly-published contemporary western romance, Starlight Rescue,  set beneath the Wyoming Big Horn Mountains on an animal rescue ranch.

Wyoming vet Kimberly Dorn fights to keep her rescue ranch from land developers.

Gabe Trent, an adventurous wildlife filmmaker, offers her an opportunity to film her rescue animals for a TV documentary. The film shoot goes awry.

Kimberly asks herself: If she  can’t trust him with her animals…can she trust him with her heart?

***

Leslee, you’ve written 3 historical romances before you switched to contemporary. What led you to write romances?

Thank you for hosting me today, Heidi. Well, I always loved western history and I also loved romance… This seemed the logical place to be for some years. I’m a Denver native, so that played a part as well. Now I’m changing horses, so to speak, and venturing into contemporary western settings.

Have you written in any other genre?

Yes, my short stories are mainstream women’s fiction. To share a bit of shameless self-promotion: My short fiction, “White River Phoenix,” has been selected as a finalist in the 2011 WWW LAURA Awards. The five finalists will be judged by the noted author Pam Houston and announced at the WWW Conference in October. I am honored.

Congratulations! That is an honor, indeed.

When did you start writing?

A long time ago. In the l980’s, a group of writers came together in Aurora, Co., and formed the National Writers Association. I joined critique groups there. We were all pretty much novices at that time and learned together. Several from that early co-ed clan became published novelists and poets. Sandy Bechtel, Irv Sternberg and Rob Baldwin to name a few.

How has your writing progressed since your first book? Has it changed you? If so, how?

I hope I’ve become a better writer, of course. =) My main character is always a woman on a quest. That hasn’t changed. My goal with each book is to delve more fully into that character’s inner self, her motivations, flaws, and growth at the end of the story. Perhaps I am evolving into a more spiritually guided author, at least infusing that universal desire into my characters. Especially so in my recently finished novel, Journey to Sandcastle.

What is your work background?

I attended the University of Denver and graduated from F.I.T. (Fashion Inst. Of Technology, NYC). My work background includes a mixed bag of categories. I’ve been a newspaper fashion artist in San Fran, a Kelly Girl, an A&W car hop, a fashion coordinator at The Denver (ladies dept. store), although not in that order.

What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore? How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published?

Ah, that was sweet! Foxfire, 2001. I believe it was the Tattered Cover in Cherry Creek, Co. They carried my book, but wouldn’t allow a book signing as it was “self-published.” Admittedly self or subsidy publishing was verboten at that time. Now, quite a few published authors are taking that route. I’m proud of that leap of faith I had to take to put the book out there. Foxfire was a national RWA chapter award finalist before it was published. It is still available through my website: www.lesleebreene.com. I’m sure my husband bought me roses on that occasion.

What do you think is the hardest part of the book process?

For me, the hardest, most frustrating part is the formatting and last edits. So time consuming. Every editor has different requirements and pet peeves. What is acceptable to one is not to another. In the future, I will definitely look for a competent, reasonably priced ms. editor.

If a movie were to be made from Starlight Rescue, who would you like to see cast in the leading roles?

I’m somewhat out of touch with the younger generation of actors, so that will take some thought. My heroine, veterinarian Kimberly Dorn, is in her late twenties, more an all American girl, not a glamour girl, blonde and outdoor athletic. Hero Gabe Trent is tall, dark and an outdoor  filmmaker. Now, there’s a pair. Both are animal lovers which movie characters would have to be comfortable with. Let the readers imagine who might fill these roles. =)

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

In about fourth grade, I read a wonderful book,The Five Peppers, I believe was the title. It was a charming, heartwarming story of a poor family with five children. What I remember was their efforts to make a special birthday cake for one of the members. The theme of love and support of the family impressed me the most.

What kind of books do you normally read and who is your favorite author?

I am very eclectic in my reading. There are so many! In earlier days, I loved LaVryle Spencer, Laura Kinsale and Maggie Osborne, all marvelous women’s fiction/romance authors. Recently I’ve discovered fiction author Jane Kirkpatrick and poet/non-fiction author Susan Tweit. It’s so difficult to name favorites because there are numerous authors I enjoy.

Outside your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

Free time? (She grins.) I would love to take a leisurely road trip through the Colorado mountains in the summer or fall. My husband and I have enjoyed past annual trips to Jackson Hole where he climbed the Grand Teton years ago. I’m always in awe of the majesty and beauty of that area. And, not to forget, spending time with my little soul companion, Danny, a spirited miniature poodle.

Starlight Rescue, a RWA PASIC award winner, is available in Softcover through Treble Heart Books and is also available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle, etc. Also, it’s definitely nice to have my new release in softcover and about half the price of my last two hardcover books. Please visit my new website at: www.lesleebreene.com.  and Amazon Ebook Kindle.

(First visitor to my last blog with Mary Trimble and the first visitor to your site will win a softcover copy of Starlight Rescue! Keep posted for next contest on my website and www.facebook.com/lesleebreene.)

Published in: on September 26, 2011 at 6:05 am  Comments (7)  
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