Christmas Without Snow…any wonder why I love Hallmark movies? ~Tanya Hanson

Cheryl Pierson and I are doubling-up today!  Our heart-felt wishes for a beautiful, blessed and brilliant 2014!

Our tree  2013

In my humble opinion, the best stories are set at Christmastime. Right now, I’m finishing up reading B.J. Daniel’s suspense romance, Christmas at Cardwell Ranch. Which, despite the murder, is keeping me in the Christmas spirit with the snow snow SNOW. And the best of the bazillion Hallmark movies I’ve recorded since November 5 have had snowy Christmas Eves…

That’s because I live where it doesn’t ever snow snow SNOW.  In fact, I spent Christmas Day celebrating in shorts and a tank top. The top has silver sparklies running through it, festive in its way, but I did have a cute plaid Scottie dog long-sleeved shirt as my original couture. Which was too hot hot HOT to wear.

And because it was 80 degrees, we didn’t light the fireplace. Fortunately, a TV channel displayed a flickering fire most of Christmas Day to keep us in the spirit of things.

Christmas fireplace 2013

I’m not really a chef—hubby is. He made Red enchiladas (cheese) and Green enchiladas (chicken)  for Christmas dinner which I thought was extremely clever besides being yummy.  But I did get some baking in, mostly notably, gingerbread men. Afterward, though, they were so hard…I had to find a remedy online to soften them up to edible status. Adding slices of apple to their airtight container worked magic. They ended up chewy and delicious, after all.

gingerbread boys

Christmas afternoon, we took our grandsons to the beach where they cavorted through the sand dunes. I considered making a snow sandman, or would it be simply sandman? But it seemed a lot of work. Probably the main memory of Christmas 2013 is Elf Baby.


Little “Buddy” from the movie looks So Much Like our two-year old grandbaby that both Rhys, and the seven year old, Carter, claimed the photo was Rhysie. (Kinda too bad it wasn’t; he’d have a pretty decent college fund by  now. Oh well, the timing is a bit off. The flick is ten years old.)

I digress. Back to literature. Even though it’s not a Christmas story, my all-time favorite book, Little Women does start out with Jo’s complaint that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without any presents…

Well, I got just what I wanted for Christmas–an invitation to contribute to the debut romance of Prairie Rose Publications, the Christmas anthology Wishing for a Cowboy that also features stories by Cheryl and two other filly sisters–Phyliss Miranda, and Tracy Garrett. Yes, in Covenant, there’s snow. Lots of it. It’s set in Nebraska, after all, on Christmas Eve.  (WFAC was followed just weeks later with the release of my first-ever, full-length inspirational western romance, Claiming His Heart. Yes, there’s snow here, too, even though it’s April…A spring blizzard snowbounds the couple…)

Wishing_for_a_Cowboyfinal_cover (2)

So I’m gonna close out my last 2013 post with a sigh, a prayer for rain at least, some blurbs, and a promise to y’all that we fillies here at Petticoats and Pistols have more new releases, more wonderful guest bloggers, and even better posts planned for 2014!

God bless you all, everyone.



Blurb for my story, Covenant:

Alone, abandoned, struck with guilt and grief, mail order bride Ella Green refuses to celebrate their first wedding anniversary by herself on the Nebraska homestead. Her fault Charlotte died.

Her fault her husband couldn’t stick around. So it’s back to Pennsylvania. Until the snow hits.

But do the spingerle cookie molds depicting her life–Carsten’s hand-carved courtship gifts to her across the miles–still have more story to tell?

Or is it truly The End?

Widower Carsten Green took on a bride merely to tend his little daughter. Unbeknownst to Ella, he gave her his heart instantly. Yet he believed she’s got no reason to stay after the child’s death. So he’s left her first.

How can the Christmas blizzard separating them warm their hearts, brighten their future, and ignite love gone cold?


Cheryl Pierson’s Blurb: The Outlaw’s Kiss

Talia Delano has been humiliated before the entire town of Rock Creek by Jake Morgan. A known gunman, Jake has bid an outrageous sum for Talia’s “boxed supper”, a kiss, and the gift of her time for the rest of the Independence Day celebration.

But, as always, Jake changes the rules and takes more than he should—especially with the whole town watching.

Talia’s chance of happiness is dashed, along with her reputation, when Jake leaves Rock Creek suddenly.  When he shows up five months later at her farmhouse, wounded, and in the midst of a blinding snowstorm, she can’t turn him away — even though she knows being along with him will cause tongues to wag once more.

With Christmas only two days away, how can she harden her heart against the handsome outlaw who has no place else to go—even if he is being trailed by someone just as dangerous?

Hanson_Claiming_His_Heart_Web (3)

 Blurb: My Claiming His Heart

Caught between a noose and a cave-in, Tulsa Sanderson must do anything possible to prove his brother’s innocence…even if it means marrying a gold miner’s daughter he just met. He needs every nugget and flake he can pull from her worn-out claim, but he sure doesn’t need a wife. Save his brother and he’ll be back on the Texas cattle trails. God, and trusting Him, are things of the past.

Charlotte Amalie lost her heart, her virtue, and her money to the last mysterious outsider in the valley. Faith? That’s wavered, too, after too many family tragedies. But she has no choice but to wed the handsome Tull. He bears terrible family secrets that need to be kept behind closed doors. Although she’s eager to leave the valley to find a new life for herself and medical treatments for her wounded brother, her unwanted marriage douses her plans, yet stirs up hope and love for Tull…and begins to fortify her weakened faith. 

Can the two of them find a future–and faith–together even with their haunted pasts?

Oh, I nearly forgot. My story Covenant features the German molded Christmas cookie, springerle.

Springerle rolling pin If you’re interested in the recipe, Kig Arthur Flour generously allowed me to use theirs, and their pix. Click here:

+ posts

13 thoughts on “Christmas Without Snow…any wonder why I love Hallmark movies? ~Tanya Hanson”

  1. We had just enough snow on top of ice to make the roads a little treacherous. But it cleared for Xmas Eve and all was well for the morning. Happy New Year, Tanya & Cheryl!

  2. I applaud you for doing what you can. We sometimes have to make the best of things even if we have to do it through movies. I love Christmas movies. It’s one of my favorite things about the season. It snowed here three days before Christmas and that was just fine with me. I was glad the sun melted it all by Christmas Day.

    I loved yours and Cheryl’s stories in the anthology. You’re both so talented!

    Wishing you tons of success for 2014!! May all your dreams come true.

  3. Love your blog! There was no snow in the part of Nebraska that we were in this year either. In fact we were last minute shopping without coats. Of course as always living here we just wait a few hours and the cold keeps us in by the fire!

  4. Tanya, I always love to hear how others celebrate Christmas–I’ve never been anywhere other than somewhere COLD for Christmas, either Oklahoma or West Virginia (we lived there for several years when my dad was transferred there, then I married a WV boy!) I used to have a lighted palm tree (fake) that I put in our bedroom at Christmas–it was easy to decorate and I loved it, but it’s gone the way of all good things now. I’m so glad you had a wonderful Christmas–and I loved Covenant in Wishing For a Cowboy–it was so different, and soooo good. Also truly loved CLAIMING HIS HEART, and can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
    Hugs, dear friend!

  5. Hi Tanya, If you had wanted cold and/or snow you could have hopped over the mountain and we had lots of it. We actually got up to 70 one day. But all week we have been high 20’s at night. My poor house doesn’t warm up until it’s getting cold again. I’m already ready for summer.
    Happy New Year to everyone!

  6. We had almost a foot of snow in Wisconsin. Now the bitter cold has set in -15* yesterday morning -2* this morning. BRRR!
    Great reading weather!
    I want to try the cookies. I’m going to look around Milwaukee for one of these rolling pins.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and book info.

  7. Sorry to be so late replying. Thanks to all of you who took time to comment during these busy days. We were out of town for another family Christmas YAY)…and it looks like next year, we will likely be traveling north to snow country for Christmas. I might get a white one yet. It was hard to reply on my smartphone….I tried a couple of times only to have my efforts vanish somewhere. Sheesh.

    Have a blessed new year, y’all! xox

  8. All of these tales inspire us as they do remind me also of the Classic Hallmark movies. Just as those are like comfort food for the soul, your new novels echo the same promise.
    Congratulations to all the authors at Prairie Rose and best wishes for a Great New Year!

Comments are closed.