Romance and Banter are Brewing

Last year, I joined with a group of authors to create a series of fall-themed romances. The books were all set in the fictional town of Romance, Oregon.

We had a great time writing the sweet contemporary novellas that involved a common theme of not only autumn, but also pet adoption.

This year, six authors from the Welcome to Romance series joined together to bring readers a new collection of sweet Christmas novellas!

CIR meme with covers

The stories begin releasing November 1.

Between odd animals, lost loves, second chances, hidden identities, a secret Santa, and bickering senior citizens, it might just take a miracle to bring everyone a happily-ever-after for the holidays.

 Sleigh Bells Ring Meme

 Sleigh Bells Ring in Romance is my contribution to Christmas in Romance. It  releases Nov. 1.

You’re never too old to fall in love . . .

Will two over-the-hill neighbors embrace a holiday romance?

Rancher Jess Milne lost his wife years ago, but he’s finally ready to give love a second chance. It’s a shame the one woman in Romance who captures his interest is a prickly, wasp-tongued she-devil. She used to be one of his closest friends until he asked her out. Her vocal, vehement refusal made her thoughts on dating him crystal clear. Despite her animosity, Jess can’t help but be attracted to her fire and spirit.

Widowed more than ten years, Doris Grundy tries to convince herself she’s content with her life. Her recently married grandson and his wife bring her joy. The ranch she’s lived on since she was a young bride gives her purpose. She’s an active member of their close-knit community. But the old coot who lives down the road continually invades her thoughts, keeping her from having any peace. Doris will be the last to admit she longs for the love and affection of her handsome neighbor.

When the two of them are unexpectedly thrown together, will they find a little holiday spirit and allow the love of the season to ring in their hearts?

As the story begins, Jess and Doris can hardly stand to be in the same room with one another. Then Doris’s grandson volunteers her to take care of Jess  while he recuperates from knee surgery. 

She can’t believe Blayne would do that to her,  but he and Jess’s daughter have made devious plans…

 

“Did he see you sneak out here?” Blayne Grundy asked, peering around the edge of the barn door as he lingered in the shadows.

Janet Moore shook her head and tugged her sweater more closely around her in the nippy November air. “No. Dad is zonked out taking a nap. He’s been exhausted since he came home from the hospital. Who would have thought the mighty Jess Milne would sleep more than a toddler after having knee replacement surgery? At least the doctor said he’s doing well and should have a normal recovery.” She stepped out of view of anyone passing by, moving closer to Blayne. “I never thought we’d resort to holding a clandestine meeting in the barn to discuss the love life, or lack thereof, of my dad and your grandmother.”

Blayne chuckled and leaned against the wall behind him, crossing his arms over his broad chest. “Honestly, it’s never something I envisioned, either. It’s nice of you to use your vacation time to come take care of your dad while he heals. How long are you planning to stay before you fly back to Salt Lake City?”

“Until the first of December, but then I have to get back home. By that time, Steve and the kids will either have learned how to take care of themselves or be living off pizza and take-out food while dressed in filthy clothes. I’m not convinced any of them know how to turn on the washing machine.”

He smirked then tossed her a cocky smile. “You know I had a huge crush on you when you used to babysit me.”

Janet nodded. “Since you followed me around like a besotted puppy, I was aware of that fact.”

“I did no such thing,” Blayne said, scowling at the woman who had been his neighbor, babysitter, and was now a good friend.

“You did and you know it,” Janet pinned him with a perceptive glare. “But let’s figure out what to do about Dad and your grandmother. Do you have any idea why Doris refuses to speak to him?”

“Not a clue. She isn’t the least bit helpful when I’ve asked her why she turns all lemon-faced at the very mention of Jess.” Blayne sighed, removed his dusty cowboy hat, and forked a hand through his hair. “I’ve done everything I can think of to get those two together. It’s obvious to everyone but Jess and Grams that they should fall in love.”

“The problem is that they are both too stubborn and opinionated to admit they like each other. We’ll just have to get creative.” Janet plopped down on a bale of straw. When one of the ranch dogs wandered inside, she absently reached down and rubbed behind his ears. She glanced up at Blayne. “What does your wife think about all this?”

“Brooke is all for whatever makes Grams happy, and Jess, too. She and your dad get along like old friends.”

“I’m glad to hear that. Brooke is fantastic, Blayne. You couldn’t have found a better girl to marry.”

Blayne’s face softened at the mention of his wife. “She is pretty special.”

 Janet remained silent for several moments, lost in thought, before she looked up at Blayne with a confident smile. “What if I suddenly had to return home and no one else could stay with Dad? Could you persuade Doris to take care of him until he’s back on his feet? If they had to see each other every day for two or three weeks, maybe they’d get past whatever it is that’s keeping them apart.”

A slow, pleased grin spread across Blayne’s face. “I think, with enough guilt, it might work. I can remind Grams of the number of times she’d lectured me about it being not just a duty, but an honor and privilege to help take care of our friends and neighbors in times of need.”

“Perfect! I’ll see if I can get on a flight tomorrow. If not, the next day at the latest. Steve is going to be thrilled at this bit of news.” Janet hopped up and tugged her cell phone from her pocket. “I just hope our plan works. Doris and Dad have too many good years left for them to spend them alone.”

“Especially when they clearly would like to be together.” Blayne pushed away from the wall. “With a little holiday magic, anything is possible.”

Janet nodded in agreement. “It certainly is…”

 

Find out what happens in Sleigh Bells Ring in Romance, part of the Christmas in Romance series. And don’t miss the other books in the series!

A Merry Miracle in Romance by Melanie D. Snitker – It’ll take a Christmas miracle to turn a grudging friendship into true love. 

Holding Onto Love in Romance by Liwen Y. Ho – A small town inn owner and a big time pop star need a reason to keep holding onto love.

A Reel Christmas in Romance by J. J. DiBenedetto – Unwittingly engaged in the plot of a classic Hollywood romance, can two email pen-pals find their way to a happy ending?

A Christmas Carol in Romance by Franky A. Brown – A bitter-on-love radio DJ and his girlfriend of romance past need a second chance.

Santa’s Visit in Romance by Jessica L. Elliott – Santa’s got his work cut out for him to help a reluctant couple find love during the holidays.

pre-order SBR

 

If you were going to create a fictional town, what would you name it and why?

 

Shanna Hatfield
After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky western heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

35 Comments

  1. Oh Shanna I can hardly wait to read these new books by you. I would name my fictional town Garrison after my Great Grandma Garrison I loved her so much in the short time I knew her. She died when I was 6 but her sweetness has stuck with me all these years

    1. Glenda- what a great honor for your great grandma. I love the name of the town.

    2. That’s a fantastic name, Glenda! And a beautiful reason behind it. Love, love, love it!

  2. Good morning Shanna, I can’t wait to read your new book, it sounds amazing.
    If I was going to name a town I’d choose Stonington, there was an old settlement where I heard outlaws hung out here in KS in the 1800’s and that’s what they referred it by. It’s nothing but an old bridge in the middle of nowhere now that I travel over on my inspections. I love to try and imagine what it used to look like. A tributary of the Cimarron is what the old bridge crosses.
    I hope you have a wonderful day my sweet friend.

    1. Oh, wouldn’t it be something to see the settlement in its glory days. How fun to picture what it might have looked like. Wishing you a beautiful day, my friend! <3

  3. These sound good. Nothing like sneaky relatives.

    1. Thanks, Debra! Those sneaky relatives can sure add fun to a story. 🙂

  4. This series sounds like one that I would love. I think if I were to name a town, I would go with Heaven. I think everyone would want to live there. Or, maybe Truth. Truth, Texas has a good ring to it.

    1. It has a wonderful ring to it! And I like Heaven, too! 🙂

  5. Beautiful, beautiful covers, Shanna! Congrats on the new series. I like Janine’s idea – Heaven, Texas. Yep – sounds, um, heavenly!

    1. Thank you, Pam! And it does sound heavenly! 🙂 Thanks for popping in today!

  6. I Love the excerpt Shanna. Definitely will be reading these stories.I think I’d go with Love.

    1. Love would be a great name for a town, Carol! And thank you! So glad you could stop in today!

  7. This sounds like a great series and I’m sure I’ll love your story in the collection. To name a town. Oh my, I think I’d name it Fortune in hope that whom ever finds themselves there they find all that they had hoped to find in a place to settle.

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! That’s a great town name and reason for it! Have a fabulous day!

  8. Congratulations, Shanna! You write the best Christmas stories of anyone. I just love them all. I named the town in my outlaw series Devil’s Crossing because it originally was their hideout but after they got it going they changed the name to Hope’s Crossing. Wishing you tons of success!

    1. You are so, so sweet, Linda! What a wonderful thing to say, especially coming from a fabulous author like you! So honored! <3 That’s so cool about the town names! Thanks again!

  9. I have several times. The town in my current WIP is Burleigh. Contemporary romance set in the South.

    1. That’s a fun name, Denise! It sounds like a great southern name for a town!

    1. Can’t go wrong with that one!

  10. What a great post and a great book! Thank you for sharing! I would name my town Joy Creek. Of course, there would be a wonderful creek snaking through the town and Joy is my mother’s first name and my granddaughter’s middle name.

    1. Love that idea for Joy Creek, Melanie! So, so fun! And thank you! 🙂

  11. sounds like a great book and I love the cover will this be in paperback thank you!

    1. It will be, Sarah! So glad you like the cover!

  12. I love Sharon Sala fictional town of Blessing Georgia.

  13. Love this blog!! And so impatiently awaiting ‘the rest of the story!!”

    1. LOL, Ruth! Soon, soon, soon! It’s coming soon!

  14. love the covers looking forward to reading the book

    1. Thank you so much, Patricia! <3

  15. Another great read soon to arrive! I am looking forward to reading about people my age in a “falling in love” situation. Seems they just might be there already.
    To name a town. I would name it McCarty, accept that name is already taken. Can’t blink when you’re on the I-40 around Grants NM or you’ll miss it! Ha! I would name my town Amazed. So beautiful people are always saying how amazed they are to find a town so friendly and beautiful.

    1. That’s a wonderful idea, Janie! And glad you are looking forward to the story! Thank you!

  16. like all the rest looking forward to the new ones comeing in Novemeber. I’d name a town Sleigh Bells……..the bell is always bring people together…
    love it. can’t waite. hugs.

    1. Fun idea, Suzanne! Thank you so, so much for popping in today!

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