What Shape is YOUR Heart? ~Tanya Hanson

2016-01-04 09.26.03-1

Happy almost-Valentine’s Day to all y’all! Please leave a comment…three copies of my novella PICK ME are up for grabs today. (e-book or PDF) So please leave me a comment! (U.S. Residents only and compliance with P and P’s sweepstakes rules.) My magic question will appear at the end!

Do you remember the little talky-hearts from your school days?

sweethearts

 

I sure do! Indeed, it was Daniel Chase in 1866 who invented conversation hearts at the New England Confectionery Company, so they’re 150 years old this very year! The confectioner itself is America’s oldest candy company, dating from 1847. In 1901, it became NECCO® after merging with two other candy makers.

candy-17497_1920

Anyway, I was thrilled to be able to participate in this year’s multi-author “Candy Heart Series” at The Wild Rose Press, where authors picked a typical candy-heart slogan and ran with it. My story Pick Me is short and sweet, and my first-ever contemporary western.

(Mega-thanks to author Sydney St. Claire for this wonderful YouTube showcase of the entire series! I promise there’s a story and a heat-level for everybody!)

So what’s it about? Third-grade teacher KELSEY HUNTER has the brainstorm for her class to grow heart-shaped carrots as a Valentine treat for the horses at the rescue where she volunteers. Of course it looks just like the rescue where I volunteer…complete with the unique “pink moment” when sunset colors the hills themselves.

Pink Moment 1

Her search for answers leads her to a comfy organic farm where she meets hottie LANDRY MILLS. Thing is, she’s recovering from a recent heartbreak…Although he steals her breath, can she give him her heart? It’s not in the best shape…

Here’s her first meeting with him. She’s all hot and grubby and sweaty from mucking…

val hearts

Of course.

“Hey. I’m Landry Mills.” He touched the brim of a dark brown Stetson, then held out his hand. For a sec, she wondered if she’d explode if she put hers in his. But her fingers felt soft and safe inside his hard-working grasp.

Still, she ought to have taken another swig of water before leaving the car. Mucking at the horse rescue was hot, hard work. Her tongue was the size of a cucumber.

Familiarity caught her breath. She knew this gorgeous man, didn’t she? A friend, God forbid, of Gunnar? But no. She’d never have forgotten meeting such a man in the flesh, shoulders so broad, legs so long fitting in a truck’s crew cab would be impossible. Eyes sparkling like champagne…

But…

“Hi.” She coughed and swallowed hard. At least her voice sounded normal. “I’m Kelsey Hunter. I have a question about a possible class project. I teach third grade.”

“Pleased.” And his eyes let her know he meant it. Oh, nothing ogling or untoward. Just…she knew. Dang, he was tall. “Hope I know the answer. Gotta tell you up front, though. We don’t grow third-graders here.” His white teeth shone in his sun-kissed face.

Although she laughed back, felt a thrill, this wasn’t eHarmony. She grabbed onto professionalism right quick. “I, Mr. Mills, I hope this isn’t too out-there, but…is there any way my students could grow heart-shaped carrots?”

Brownish-blond hair peeked from the edges of the Stetson. “It’s Landry. Mr. Mills, uh, was my dad.” His face fell, just for a flash.

His smile returned, kind but manly at the same time, and he gave her a two-fingered salute at the edge of his brim. Part of her ached to show him her ringless left hand. She was finally breathing normally after Gunnar’s gut-punch, but…

…Last thing she needed was another guy to mess up her life, even in a good way…

perf5.000x8.000.indd

.BLURB: Volunteering at a horse rescue has helped heal schoolteacher Kelsey Hunter after her celebrity ex’s betrayal. Life in the rural California community suits her better than the bling of Hollywood. When she seeks help for a classroom project, she’s thrown into the sphere of a down-to-earth organic farmer and horseman who could really steal her heart… 

However….Landry Mills is really successful mega-spokesmodel for a famed Westernwear line, He’s returned to his hometown to regroup and reconsider signing the next contract. Meeting Kelsey explodes feelings in him he wants to make real. But finding out a fancy director’s son recently crushed her spirit has him take things slow. What will Kelsey do when she finds out he’s a celebrity in his own right? He might not be able to bear it…

 

SO…what’s YOUR favorite Valentine treat?

Tanya Hanson
A California beach girl, I love cowboys and happy-ever-afters. My firefighter hubby and I enjoy travel, our two little grandsons, country music, McDonald's iced coffee, and volunteering at the local horse rescue. I was thrilled last year to receive the CTRR Award at Coffeetime Romance for Sanctuary, my tribute to my cancer-survin' hubby!
Updated: February 3, 2016 — 7:33 pm

30 Comments

  1. My Valentine treat would be Chocolate covered truffles with almonds. 🙂

    1. Hi Mary, so good to see you here! Me, too, anything with chocolate and almonds is my favorite! Thanks for posting today.

  2. I like chocolate of any kind. My husband always loves these little hearts, so I always pick some up for him.

    1. Hi Janine, oh, these little hearts bring back so many childhood memories. Kids would bring them to school and hand them out to their favorites. It was so cool to get an “I love you” one LOL. I I so appreciate you stopping by today.

  3. The story sounds great. And I love that you set it at a horse rescue ranch. My favorite Valentine’s treat — my husband, oh and chocolate. 🙂

    1. Aw, Allison, how sweet! I too adore my Hubs…I think I’m gonna get pink post-its and write candy-heart sayings on them and stick them in a big heart-shape on his mirror. Thanks for your good wishes about Pick Me. I gotta say, volunteering at the horse rescue has made my life so much better. So grateful for your post. Thanks.

  4. I loved this book, Tanya. Your H&H were made for each other, and their story was so sweet. And that photo of the “pink moment” washing the hills is perfect. We get something similar sometimes in the desert. It’s gorgeous

    1. Hi Robena, my friend! I so appreciate you taking the time from your busy day to stop in. I just love the pink moment…you can almost feel it settle on the hills. I’d love to live in the area (I’m about 20 miles away) other than it gets So Hot in the summer. I’m pretty much a beach girl. Hugs and good wishes to you and your Bachelor Island! xoxox

  5. Chocolates are always a plus, but my fav thing is to receive a handmade card from my little nephew.

    1. Hi Colleen, aren’t little kids the best? I hope to make Valentines with my grandangels myself. But yeah, give me chocolate in the meeantime. So glad you stopped in today.

  6. Caramel hearts covered in chocolate are pretty hard to beat!

    1. Hi Melanie, I agree! Give me a good caramel any day. Oooh, I’m getting excited for the big day! Thanks so much for commenting today.

  7. Baklava! Loved the book, great characters, wonderful setting, and he can cook!

    1. Hi Nancy, thanks so much for stopping by! Baklava is a good one, pretty sweet. Reminds me of my teaching days when we always had our Christmas party at the Greek restaurant! Glad you liked Kelsey and Landry’s story.

  8. Pick Me is on my to read list. Love the rescue idea. Good Luck with Pick Me. The Candy Heart Romances are so much fun!

    1. Hi Tena, thanks so much for the good wishes! I’ve gotten some very fine reviews so far. It was such a fun series…I told my ed right away to save me a spot! I hope to catch up on some of these great stories in time for Valentine’s Day! I so appreciate you stopping by.

  9. I love those candy hearts Tanya. Also love your cover! It’s sweet! Of course, as I head to my elliptical machine, I have to say my favorite treat is chocolate in just about any form, but I love candy bars and raspberry chocolate cake!

    1. Hi Charlene, ugh, I’m trying to be better. It’s so hard. You made me laugh about the raspberry chocolate…I bought chocolate and raspberry tamales at Trader Joe’s yesterday! You should have seen Hubs eyeing them with distrust. I’ll have to let you know LOL. Hugs…

  10. Hi Miss T, I love chocolate covered marshmallow valentines! When my oldest daughter began her second semester in college, she gave me a set of the sugar valentines you talked about. There were four boxes wrapped in plastic. I have the date on each year. We are now down to one box for 2017 when she graduates and goes to med school. I also put stickers on the small boxes for our booksigning for a Valentine’s anthology. Yummy to eat the left-overs! Thanks for a fun blog lady. Love from Texas, Phyliss

    1. Phyliss, hello sweetie, so good to see you here! What darling ideas you just told us about! We have our family chili book-off on Sunday (there is a trophy involved after a secret ballotting!)…all participants have to name their chili so of course, I’m naming mine Pick Me…and keeping a nice little bowl of candy hearts right next to it LOL. Thanks so much for stopping by. xo

  11. Hi Tanya, so enjoyed reading your blog. I work at our shelter and reading about a horse rescue will definitely touch my heart. I too absolutely love anything chocolate. I try to stay with plain dark, but golly sometimes if it’s got peanut butter or carmel inside, well what’s a girl to do? I’ve read two stories out of the Candy Hearts Series and can’t wait to read PICK ME. And as a matter of fact I have a book signing tomorrow night and am handing out chocolate hearts for adults and for the kids accompaning their moms I have candy hearts. Wishing you the best.

    1. Thanks so much, Beverly! My kids and grands always love Valentine’s Day so much. In fact, I’m gonna make Vals with my little grandsons tomorrow. I even got cute dragon stickers LOL. Have a wonderful time at the book signing!

  12. I’m doing Whole 30 this month, so I think my V-Day treat is going to be a fun, romantic read. Sounds like PICK ME fits the bill perfectly!

    1. HI Sam, oh you are soooo good! I think your treat sounds like a winner. I gotta make time to read, read, READ. At least I do get that done on the exerbike but I’ve been a sluggo this week. Sheesh. Thanks so much my very busy friend for making time to stop in for a howdy. xoxox

  13. I’m easy. Chocolate. If I’m in a picky mood, I might hold out for dark chocolate with caramel and nuts — maybe. 😉

    1. Glenda, that sounds perfect to me, for sure! Thanks for commenting. xo

  14. Fudge! Love post. Appreciate knowing about candy hearts.

    1. Hi Susan, you just reminded me i still need to make a fudge mix I ran out of time to do at Christmas! Have a wonderful “heart” day and thanks so much for stopping by.

  15. Valentine hearts bring happiness! We would even pick special ones to share with friends. But PEEPS are my bona-fide winner!

  16. I do remember candy heart. He can cook. Yes.

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