Tanya Hanson: Marrying Mattie, Marrying Minda…too many M’s.

Marrying Mattie just came out at The Wild Rose Press, the second book in “The Paradise Brides” series, so I thought I’d babble a bit about it/her today. And anybody wanting to babble back in the comment section today gets in the Stetson for a signed copy! (It’s also available on Kindle. Yay. My kindle is my new favorite thing.)

Here’s how the story came about, which means I gotta go back to the first book for a little bit.  In Marrying Minda, Minda Becker, who raised her three little sisters by herself,  finally marries off the last of them and realizes it’s time for her. Signing on as a wealthy farmer’s mail order bride sounds like just the thing…so she ventures to Nebraska only to marry the wrong guy. Oh, Brixton Haynes is a hottie all right. But the cowboy isn’t a homebody and  misses his life on the Goodnight Loving. He just wants  to get back to Texas. Of course he starting to Fall In Love With Minda, but until he Knows For Sure,  she  gets wooed by the town schoolmaster who is eager to give her a nice life and help her raise the “stepkids”  left behind by the original bridegroom. After all, Caldwell Hackett has taught a couple of them.

So….as soon as my editor contracted this book, she wanted me to write a short  2,500 word Christmas story to kind of introduce myself. So I did…reckoning the poor schoolmaster needed a  love  story all his own. His Christmas Angel,  which came in at 2,499 words , was released six months before Marrying Minda, so  I decided to give readers a quick tale about Minda’s sister Mattie falling for the hapless schoolmaster Caldwell Hackett. (It’s a free download and will take about four minutes to read. C’mon!)

Since y’all know by the 2,499th word they’ll get together, I had to find a Good Reason to keep them apart—while not separating them—when I decided that Mattie and Call deserved their own novel.  Therefore, Mattie’s nasty ex-husband shows up at the wedding in Marrying Mattie to halt the vows,  smash the cake, throw a hymnal through a church window. break hearts and cause just a glut of problems..

To top it off, Call –who has given up the classroom to doctor sick horses around Paradise—has to face a strange epidemic  striking the horses in Paradise, even his own beautiful medicine hat mustang, Lakota. Poor guy ‘s got so much on his plate.

Speaking of guy,  I modeled him after Guy Pearce who wore wire-rim glasses in a movie I can’t remember the name of. So imagine Call looking something like this with a Stetson and hair a bit longer and lighter. (I reckoned a schoolmaster needed spectacles. Doesn’t mean he couldn’t still be sexy, which if you’re looking at Guy, you get it.)


Since Mattie’s ex, Woodrow  casts doubts on the legitimacy of their  divorce back in Pennsylvania,  she’s advised to act like a married woman until things get sorted out…meaning her “private time” with Call is somewhat limited. Fortunately, they take shelter in an abandoned soddy  during an impending  tornado and take full advantage of getting stranded. I couldn’t’ resist the tornado scene after my Nebraska friend Nancy told me about seeing clouds that look like boobs. They are indeed called mammatus clouds and here are some pictures. So imagine them when you read the excerpt.


Just past a stand of  ash trees, a brown little mound rested against a knoll, and she reckoned it was the old soddy, built rather in the dug-out style she’d learned about. Around the old place, the trees writhed in the wind, sending their shadows scurrying around the remnants of the disused farmyard.

The workhorse ran like the devil was after him. Up above, before her eyes, in the snap of a finger, the sky turned a savage brown, hung with hundreds of white clouds in the shape—she gulped embarrassed—of women’s breasts.

Hastily, Call parked the wagon near the trees and helped her down. “Go on.”

“Go where?” she asked, panic on fire in her chest.

“The house. If we’re lucky, there’s a root cellar.” Quickly he unhitched the horse and ground-tethered him against the bluff.

Around them, in the space of a single heartbeat, the air turned still as death, quiet as the grave, and too hard to breathe into her lungs. The bosom of clouds began to undulate in and out as if unseen fingers caressed them.

Call ran around the ragged old structure, and Churnhead neighed.

“No cellar. Get inside. The southwest corner.”

“What about the horse?”

Call shoved her inside a rickety door attached with old shoe leather. “Here.” He dragged her to a corner, and then met her eyes. “He’ll be fine. We’ll be fine. The funnel may not drop.”

“Funnel? You saw a funnel cloud?”

Call said nothing, but he didn’t need to. He had. She knew it.

“Oh Lord have mercy. Call!” She thrust herself into his arms. The funnel might not drop. But it just well might. And they could be killed. Their lives could be over before they truly had begun. What shelter did a tiny pile of sod bricks give them?

Also, the little hook for this one is, well, Mattie has been married before but Call is a virgin. Of course y’all know she eases his nerves in just the right way.

 Please sign the guestbook at my website as well for a chance to win a signed copy. www.tanyahanson.com

Hope you like your day in Paradise. Oh, I named Mattie after my son Matt and grandbaby Carter.

(P.S. Click on any cover to obtain…thanks.)


+ posts

40 thoughts on “Tanya Hanson: Marrying Mattie, Marrying Minda…too many M’s.”

  1. Hi Tanya, What fun to hear about the evolution of your books! I’m always fascinated by how ideas take shape. “Shape” makes me think of those clouds! I’ve never seen anything like them, but we get some wonderful skies here in Lexington. Are there any more “Marrying” books in the works? You could do Mary, Mabel, Missy, Margaret, Molly… I see endless possibilities!

  2. Hi Margaret, you’re so right! But I’d rather live with our “faults” than wait on a hurricane or face down a tornado LOL.

    Thanks so much for the nice words LOL. oxox

  3. HI Vicki, weren’t those clouds something? I’d so love to see them in person. Actually Marrying MOlly is the next one up…I gotta get started LOL. But there are a lot of M names, that’s for sure.

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, my filly sister! oxoxox

  4. Tanya, loved the excerpt. Wow! It sure hooks a person. As one who’s lived through a tornado, I could feel Mattie’s panic. Like Vicki, do you have other “marrying” books in the works? What a good series for you. And the publisher really gives you some great covers. Love the running horses on the new one. Wishing you lots of success, Filly sister!

  5. Hi Tanya, Faults?? I bet I have more than you… But I have Lenticular clouds. Otherwise called the Sierra Wave on the Eastern slope of the Sierra. So we have hang gliders and glider planes up and down our valley. I haven’t read any of your books, but after you’re wagon trek, I plan to get me some. You’re new ones sound great.

  6. I’ve never heard of this type of cloud before!
    They have got to be a sight to see when they are
    all hanging out! Oops, must be careful when one
    is describing these formations.

    I’m with Victoria on the “M” names, you could go
    on forever!

    Pat Cochran

  7. Hi Tanya,

    I loved hearing about how your stories came about. Love the tornado excerpt–very familiar since I live here in OK in tornado alley. And those clouds! I have never seen anything like those! Gorgeous pictures.


  8. Oh Hi, Linda, your words always mean to much to me. I do have Marrying Molly to finish up. The hero’s name is the best…Flint. My hubby thought it up. So nobody else steal it LOL.

    Nicola Martinez is the incredible graphic artist who does these covers. I love her work. oxoxox

  9. hi Tabitha, I’ve got a hotter excerpt up at http://helensheroes.blogspot.com from yesterday LOL. I guess when a tornado comes you hide in the SW corner of a structure if you don’t have a cellar. Something about air pressure. I had to do it once in college…very scary…but I never felt death looming LOL. Thanks for posting today.

  10. Hi Mary J, lenticular clouds are new ones for me. I will check out. I live near the beach where we get a lot of fog, no really lovely clouds. But the nearby mountains have had thunderheads lately.

    I never heard of Mammatus clouds either until Nancy saw them during a summer visit to Platte Center NE (she lives in California now) and told me about them…so I had to find a use for them somehow LOL. Aren’t they terrific looking?

    Thanks for your nice words; I hope you enjoy my stories.

  11. Hi Pat, I so agree. I’d love to see them in peson and don’t get this wrong, they do seem very touchable. Thanks re: the name thing. I like Marguerite, too. So nice to see you here today.

  12. Hey Cheryl, yeah, the pix are great. I did not take them LOL, only borrowed. But seeing those clouds really helps visualize the scene, no?

    Thanks for your encouragement, as always. oxoxxo

  13. Tanya, Marrying Minda is not my first of your books and it will not be my last. I’m almost through with the first and awaiting the second. I love your writing style and your subject matter. Great luck on your book sales!

  14. I really enjoyed the excerpt. I gotta get this book. Sounds right up my alley.
    They do look like boobs, big huge ones!!!
    What a great interesting fact to add to a story. I love the premise and the place where it takes place. Good luck, this one will sell like crazy!!

  15. Look at those clouds, wow! Congrats on your newest release… love looking at the book covers! Thanks for sharing the excerpt with us!

  16. Hi Mary, thanks so much for coming to the Junction today. Yeah, it was too much fun not to include those clouds. Esp. when Mattie and Call are, dare I we say, horny?

    Yep, Nebraska is very dear to my heart!

  17. Hi Colleen, cool clouds indeed. I’m glad you love the covers. Nicola puts together just how I want them to look. Glad you liked the excerpt, too. Thanks so much for stopping by today.

  18. Cool cloud pictures. My husband and I saw some similar ones when we were out west. My son (27) rolled his eyes when I made the boob cloud comment. Unfortunately my grandson was in the next room. I know what he’ll be telling his mother tonight : )

    Had a column cloud come over our house in Colorado Springs. The air was green and charged. The hairs were standing up on our arms. Your could hear the hail churning and rumbling in the clouds. I sat on the porch watching the clouds rotate and the column cloud form and head our way. It is the only time we had to head for the basement, I had my 3 children and 3 or 4 of the neighbors kids. Luckily it never touched down. Just got our attention. As wide as the mouth of the column was, it would have been a serious tornado.

    Thanks for an interesting post and great pictures.

  19. Hi Patricia, what a wonderful descrption of your experience! Wow. It cracked me up the clouds are actually called mammatus LOL. We don’t get very interesting clouds around here but…I guess the earthquake spectre makes up for it. Thanks for posting today.

  20. Love, love, love this one, Tanya! This has got to be a winner for you.

    Okay, maybe Californian’s don’t see tornados like the Plains, but we experienced a “so-called” 100-year flood when we lived in Southern California. When you have to fill sandbags half the day and hope your efforts will forestall a dam washing out, taking your only road in and out of your land, it’s mighty threatening. Besides temblors, how about those fires that errupt with regularity in Southern CA?

    I love “buttermilk skies,” which we see quite regularly here in Southwest Florida. 🙂

    Best of luck with this winner, Tanya.

  21. Thanks for visiting the Junction, Joyce. And Oh, I know all about the sandbags and wildfires. My hubby spent 34 years as a firefighter chasing flames and sandbagging the Pacific. Don’t mind a bit that he’s retired now and safe at home. Whew.

    I so appreciate your kind words!

  22. Tanya, I have a Kindle preordered, and the first books I plan to download are these 2 and Hearts Crossing Ranch. Can’t wait to read them!!!

  23. Hi Tanya,
    Your books sound great, I can’t wait to read them!!! I too love your book covers!! Living here in Wyoming I have seen some really ferocious looking clouds along with heavy hail and high winds. The cloud photos you posted are amazing.

  24. Boob clouds!? You crack me up, Tanya. Though, I imagine they’d be quite scary in real life. Fortunately for me, I’ve never been up close and personal with a tornado, even though I’m a Kansas girl.

  25. Hi Jennie, thanks for stopping by today! I think it’s amazing how much of my own life appears in my writings…little things, names, foods, colors. I guess that’s why we writers write.

    Glad you liked the excerpt.

  26. OH, Melissa, I am truly honored! Yay. Oh, and Redeeming Daisy comes out next week LOL. I’ll be yamering about that one (the followup to Hearts Crossing Ranch) in two weeks. Thanks so much for your support…now I gotta hope and pray you like ’em. oxox

  27. Sharon, we just had the most amazing time in Wyoming taking our wagon train trip about the Tetons. The weather was just perfect and what glorious country. I also remember enjoying Cody when my folks drove me back to college in Nebraska eons ago. Cool places. Thanks for posting today.

  28. Hi, Tanya, thanks for mentioning me in your blog. I grew up in NE, moved to CA in 1972, visited there many times, but never saw boob clouds until I was 53 years old! We were in a neighboring town having dinner and meeting my soon to be daughter-in-law for the first time. When we came out of the restaurant, the sky was covered with the clouds, no wind, just an eerie stillness in the air. When we got to my parent’s home, there had been a wind storm, not sure if a mini tornado or what. Lawn chairs were tossed about, BBQ grills turned over and a center pivot blown across the road. The pivot was a gathering place for many neighbors because this was very unusual too. Love minda and Mattie and looking forward to the next Paradise (Platte Center) story.

  29. Hi Tanya,

    Loved Marriyng Minda,,,,can’t wait to read Marrying Mattie !!! sounds great.
    Take care!

    see ya :o)

  30. HI Nancy, thanks so much for posting. I get so many of my details from you, and lots of local color too. I tried to kind of instill your description in that chapter LOL. oxoxox

  31. Hey Loretta, wow, I am honored! Hopeyou enjoy it. I’ll be drawing a name about midnight PDT so good luck, everyone, and thanks for making this day so memorable for me.

    Oh, hubby remembered the movie I couldn’t think of, L.A. Confidential. It was one of those guy-movies (no pun intended) that I didn’t quite get which is why all I remembered was Guy.

Comments are closed.