Jangle my bells and call me a fruitcake (you wouldn’t be the first), but I’m as pleased as a cup of Christmas punch to be a guest once again here today.
I’ve had Christmas on the brain since mid-summer when I started working on holiday stories. Two of them released yesterday, so I’m excited to share a little about them with you today.
The Christmas Vow is the fourth book in my Hardman Holidays series. These sweet Victorian romances take place in Eastern Oregon in the town of Hardman.
Once upon a time, there was a town named Dairyville, springing up from the barren landscape of sagebrush and rolling hills in the Eastern Oregon desert.
Eventually, the town became known as Raw Dog while a rival settlement sprang up a mile away known as Yellow Dog. Stagecoaches and wagon trains traveling north and south through eastern Oregon and Washington found a convenient stopping point in both Raw Dog and Yellow Dog. The rivalry between the two locations escalated as they competed over which town would secure the stagecoach depot for the area. When Raw Dog received a permanent stagecoach station, the two towns became one — Dogtown.
The town’s name changed to Hardman in 1881 when David N. Hardman, an old pioneer farmer, moved to town and brought the post office with him, by consent of the government, which he previously operated from his farm. The town took the name of the post office, and was known from that point on as Hardman.
Today, Hardman is a ghost town, but I like to envision it when it was bustling with activity. Images of what it used to be like filled my head as I created the first book in this series, The Christmas Bargain.
As owner and manager of the Hardman bank, Luke Granger is a man of responsibility and integrity in the small 1890s Eastern Oregon town. When he calls in a long overdue loan, Luke finds himself reluctantly accepting a bargain in lieu of payment from the shiftless farmer who barters his daughter to settle his debt. Much to his surprised pleasure, Luke discovers his wife is a wonderful cook, among other things.
In fact, her skill at whipping up delicious meals and sweets carries through all four stories in the series.
Here’s a little excerpt from The Christmas Bargain:
“I happen to know a thing or two about you.” He shot her a sideways glance.
“Do tell, kind sir.” Filly batted her eyelashes at him. If Luke didn’t know better, he would think she was being downright flirtatious.
“I have observed, dear woman, that you put others before yourself, you are a dedicated and caring friend, and that you have a keen mind with a quick wit. You are clever, smart, and not afraid of hard work. Also, you’re very talented with domestic skills and inspiring as a cook. Your chocolate pudding could make grown men weep.”
Filly offered him a perturbed glare. “So, Mr. Granger, I have missed my calling as a schoolteacher or perhaps a cook at the restaurant. If my chocolate pudding makes grown men weep, what will my peach pie do to the male population? Bring them to their knees? Make them beg for mercy?”
Luke laughed aloud…
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 the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo.
November 1 through Dec. 24, ten 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.
Heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful gals here at Petticoats & Pistols for inviting me back for a visit today.
As a thank you, I’ll give away one digital set of the Hardman Holidays series. Share a comment answering this question:
What’s your favorite holiday treat?
Wishing you all an early but very happy holiday season!
Convinced 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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