Welcome to Shanna Hatfield–and three books, three winners!

It is a pleasure and a treat to be a guest once again here at Petticoats and Pistols. Thank you to all the fillies for hosting me today. I’ll be giving away THREE ecopies of The Christmas Quandary, so please leave a comment.


I love history and digging into tidbits of the past as I research details for my sweet western romances.

In my latest release, The Christmas Quandary, I happened upon a toy that captured my interest.


A zoetrope is one of several animation devices (pre-motion pictures) that produce the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings or photographs, shown in progressive phases of motion.

The name Zoetrope was composed from the Greek root words “life” and “wheel” – meaning “wheel of life.”


A cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides is the basic component of the zoetrope. The inner surface of the cylinder features a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures. The slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion.

A 5,000-year-old earthenware bowl from Iran is considered a predecessor of the zoetrope. The bowl, decorated in a series of sequential images, portrays a goat jumping toward a tree and eating its leaves. zoetrope-4

Variations existed on the idea of the zoetrope, but it wasn’t until December 1866, when an American company, Milton Bradley and Co., advertised a zoetrope.

Zoetropes were eventually displaced by more advanced technology, notably film and later television. Today, some zoetropes can still be found in special art projects and performances.

In The Christmas Quandary, one of the characters purchases a zoetrope for his daughter’s Christmas present. The only quandary surrounding the gift is whether or not the child’s uncles will wear it out before Christmas morning since they can’t seem to stop playing with it.

Have you ever been in a quandary? Had a dilemma?

Share your answers for a chance to win one of three copies of The Christmas Quandary (Book 5 in the Hardman Holidays series).

And if you haven’t read any of the Hardman books, The Christmas Bargain (book 1) will be available for free digital downloads on Monday!



Shanna Hatfield 2Convinced 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 this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Find Shanna’s books at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online:

ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

Make sure you sign up for her Newsletter to get the latest on new releases

and exclusive giveaways (including a free short story set in the old west)!


Guest Blogger


  1. Hi Shanna! I remember seeing a zoetrope in an old movie once. They are quite interesting.

    As for a quandary or dilemma, I experience them every Christmas season. I have a hard time finding just the right gifts for my 88 year old mother. She has just about everything and she never lets on what she wants. I usually pray about it and God leads me to just the right thing.

    May you have a blessed weekend!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    1. Hi Cindy!
      I know what you mean. Both of my parents are in their 80s and it is hard to find just the right gifts for them. Wishing you happy shopping for your dear mother this year!

  2. I had students make one in class to see how they worked. Some were great and some were not. But it was lots o fun. Where to spend Christmas is always a question.

    1. Hi Debra!
      How fun you made one in class! I bet the students loved it!
      Where to spend Christmas is a hard question. Hope you have a lovely holiday season, wherever you may be!

  3. Those have always intrigued me. I have seen one in person before! As for a dilemma, I have one every morning: should I get out of bed or not!?!?!

    1. Hi Susan!
      LOL! Now that is quite a quandary!
      So fun you’ve seen a zoetrope in person. They are so fascinating!
      Thanks for stopping by today!

  4. I love the beautiful craftsmanship of the zoetrope in the first photo. I could just look at it without bothering with moving pictures. Thanks so much for an interesting post, Shanna.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jeannie!
      Some of the zoetropes are like works of art!
      Have a great weekend!

  5. Very interesting post. Had not seen pictures of a zoetrope before. Who, in the family, is going to cook Christmas dinner is a dilemma for us.

    1. Oh, the dinner dilemma… I hope whoever does prepares a delicious feast!
      Thanks for stopping by today, Estella!

  6. Thank you for a fascinating and educational post! Love your stories.

    1. Oh, thanks so much, Alisa! And thank you for stopping by today!

  7. I bought something similar for my niece was she was a baby.. Thanks for sharing this story.

    1. Hi Kathleen,
      What a wonderful gift for your niece! Sure she enjoyed it!
      Thank you for stopping by today!
      Have a lovely weekend!

  8. Hi Shanna! Welcome back to P&P. We always love it when you come. Your blogs are fascinating about some little-known tidbit about the 1800s. I had never heard about zoetropes. Very interesting how they designed those. I’ll bet they were fun to play with.

    Congratulations on the new Christmas book! The Christmas Quandary sounds right up my alley.

    1. Hi Linda!
      Thank you so, so much. I love being a guest here! Always such a treat and honor.
      Zoetropes are so cool. Now, I wish I had one!
      Thanks again! And enjoy your weekend!

  9. Zoetropes are clever… can not imagine how the creator came up with the idea long ago… as for dilemmas, I have had plenty and right now it is what to buy for Christmas!

    1. Hi Colleen,
      I have that very same dilemma. Hoping to get started on fixing it today! 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by. So appreciate it!

  10. I think I saw some zoetropes in the shop of a science centre some years ago.

  11. Dilemmas and quandaries abound around here. Do I stay up and watch Steven Colbert Late Show and then check my emails or do them both at the same time making it take much longer? I am over committed in volunteer organizations. They are all worthwhile, but I have no time to stay home and am busy 7 days a week. Which ones do I drop out of or cut back on? My husband and I haven’t had a day to ourselves in months.
    Yes I have been there and am still there.

    1. Oh, Patricia! Hope you and your husband find some time just to relax and enjoy one another. Hang in there!

  12. I have never heard of zoetropes so this is very interesting. We all have dilemmas right now on what to buy for Christmas, so good luck to all.

    1. So true, Quilt Lady! Trying to find that perfect gift can be such a challenge. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Never heard of them but very interesting toy.

  14. Thank you for your very interesting post. It is always such a pleasure to visit P&P.

  15. Of course, who hasn’t? One of the minor ones is finding a present for my father every year. I usually end up buying a restaurant gift certificate since he grumps if I don’t get him something useful. I’ve also started sending him romance novels that I’ve already read. Yep, my dad reads romance! However, I have to be careful which books I share…. and he grumps about me spending money on postage as well… 🙂

Comments are closed.