Inspiration can strike writers in all shapes and forms, but nothing inspires me quite like visual triggers.
Four years ago, my husband, Captain Cavedweller, and I settled at our gate to wait for our flight at the Las Vegas airport.
Shades of black randomly interspersed with hues of tan and gray surrounded me as I gazed over a sea of cowboy hats. Like us, hundreds of cowboys prepared to depart after attending the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and many of the accompanying activities.
Each December, the city of Las Vegas takes on a country vibe as the rodeo comes to town, bringing with it hundreds of vendors, thousands of spectators, and a whole lot of fun.
As we sat at the airport that morning, an idea for a story and accompanying series started to take shape.
Since the cowboys who compete professionally spend a good deal of time traveling, I wondered how many of them flew from one rodeo to the next. If they were flying, it made sense that they might meet a girl at an airport who turned their head.
I began jotting down notes and by the time we reached home, The Christmas Cowboy (Rodeo Romance, Book 1) was born.
The sweet western holiday romance tells the story of Tate Morgan, a successful saddle bronc rider, who falls in love with Kenzie Beckett, a corporate trainer he frequently runs into at the airport. Despite their mutual attraction, the relationship is going nowhere fast. Kenzie has sworn of men in general and good-looking, charming cowboys in particular.
As a big fan of rodeos and a dabbling photographer, I turned to images I’d snapped of the rodeo and crowds to flesh out the details of my story. Pinterest is one of my favorite things in the world. It is a fact I’ll never make all the recipes I’ve pinned or have time to create even a handful of the craft ideas I’ve liked, but Pinterest gives me the ability to create story boards for each book I write. For a girl who is all about visuals, this is a huge help in my writing process.
While researching details for The Christmas Cowboy, I became aware of a great organization — the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. From my initial research, I knew I wanted to do something to help promote such a great cause. That’s when I decided to donate a portion of my book sales. November 1 through Dec. 24, 10 percent of the net proceeds from all Shanna Hatfield book sales will be donated 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.The second book in the series, Wrestlin’ Christmas, highlights Tate’s friend Cort McGraw, a world champion steer wrestler.
The third book in the series, Capturing Christmas just released Nov. 12. 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. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as Celia McGraw.
The Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series and also released Nov. 12.
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.
To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, Wrangler Tote Bag, Rock & Roll Cowgirl T-shirt, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and announced Nov. 16. http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasprizes2
About Shanna HatfieldConvinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.
When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
This USA Today bestselling author is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, and Pioneer Hearts.
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