My childhood was spent on a farm and trips to town were not a frequent occurrence. Perhaps that is why, when we did venture into the nearest town (population 1,200) it was such an exciting adventure.
When I was a little girl, my hometown was thriving. There was a department store, three grocery stores, a leather shop that I loved to visit, several restaurants, and more. Summer was my favorite time of year because there were baskets of blooming flowers, the smell of greasy burgers hanging in the air near the Dairy Queen (doesn’t every small town have one?), and everyone seemed so happy and friendly.
I think the small-town charm I experienced as child translated into a certain magical wonder for sparsely populated towns and all the possibilities they hold, at least to my writer’s mind.
It’s so much fun to build a world full of quirky characters set in an equally off-the-wall community.
When I began thinking about a new series, set in what many would consider the middle of nowhere in the eastern Oregon desert region, I incorporated elements from my hometown into what would become Summer Creek, Oregon, population 497. Summer Creek also takes inspiration from a tiny little town near our current home. And I tossed in a liberal helping of my over-active imagination to round out the vision of how Summer Creek would look, feel, smell, and sound.
Summer Creek is an old town, one that used to be a great place to live, but it’s fallen on hard times and is just on the verge of falling down around the ears of the hardy (or maybe it’s stubborn) residents who live there. There are old buildings nearing the need for demolition if they aren’t repaired soon. There’s a handsome sheriff’s deputy who lives there. Summer Creek also boasts a meandering goat named Ethel that can be found eating plastic bags at the grocery store or stealing lunches from the children at Summer Creek School. Of course, there’s also a gang of blue-haired senior women who ride around in a powder-blue Lincoln, thinking about matchmaking possibilities while dishing about the history of the town.
One of my favorite things about Summer Creek is the sense of community. The residents of Summer Creek are a supportive bunch, for the most part. They survive because of the support and encouragement they receive from their neighbors and friends, knowing whatever happens to the town, they are all in it together.
Summer Creek, if it really existed, is in ranch country, with cattle ranches and farms around it. It’s also an hour’s drive into the mountains. Which makes it the perfect setting for a sweet romance.
The moment I began thinking of ideas for this series, I knew there had to be outsiders coming in to Summer Creek and falling in love with the community as much as the hero or heroine.
That is exactly what happens in Catching the Cowboy, book one in the Summer Creek series.
Summer Creek is one of those small towns—the kind brimming with quirky inhabitants, pets with personalities (like a meandering goat named Ethel), meddling matchmakers, tumbling-down old buildings, and dreams. So many dreams. These sweet, uplifting romances explore the ties that bind a community together when they unite for a common purpose and open their hearts to unexpected possibilities. Heart, humor, and hope weave through each story, touching the lives of those who call Summer Creek home. Readers who love Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series and RaeAnne Thayne’s Haven Point series will enjoy coming home to Summer Creek.
The first three books in the series release this summer.
Catching the Cowboy (read more below)
ABOUT THE BOOK
“When I feel the need for inspiration and comfort I reach for a book by Shanna Hatfield.”
Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
She’s fresh out of jail . . .
He’s fresh out of luck.
Spoiled heiress Emery Brighton indulges in one mimosa too many, attempts to steal a horse, and winds up in jail. A sentence of community service leaves her at the mercy of strangers on a remote ranch near a small town in Oregon. Adjusting to country life is hard enough, but she has no idea how to handle her growing affection for a surly cowboy and his adorable daughter.
Steady and dependable as the day is long, rancher Hudson Cole just wants to raise his little girl and be left alone. When his grandmother invites a lawbreaker dressed in Louis Vuitton to Summer Creek Ranch, Hud is convinced Grammy has lost her ever-loving mind. Determined to detest Emery, he instead finds himself doing the one thing he vowed would never happen again: falling in love.
With one foot out the door, will love be enough to convince Emery to stay?
The book includes a Reader’s Guide, perfect for book club discussions.
For a limited time, the ebook is available at the discounted price of just $1.99.
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When she bent closer to study the bruise, her hair brushed across his neck. A soft, floral fragrance ensnared his senses while the warmth of her breath fanning his skin made him teeter on the edge of combusting. He glanced heavenward, praying for divine intervention before he lost the tenuous hold he had on his self-control.
“I knew we should have taken you into the clinic. Is anything broken?” Emery asked, taking a step back and carefully placing the ice pack on his shoulder. At least it helped cool the fire created by her touch.
“Nah. It’s not even dislocated.” Hud made light of the injury, even if he knew he’d be stiff and sore for several days. “No big deal.”
“It looks like a big deal to me.” Although Emery backed away another step, her gaze melded to his.
The hypnotic, electric sizzle he’d done his best to ignore danced between them. Awed by the sheer strength of it, he wouldn’t have been surprised if whatever snapped between them illuminated the entire kitchen.
He wanted to take Emery in his arms, hold her close, and kiss her until he forgot about everything but loving a beautiful woman.
Instead, he gulped from the glass of milk in front of him.
“See you in the morning,” Emery said, then quietly left the room.
Hud released his breath and rubbed the throbbing pain that suddenly began pounding in his temples. The longer Emery stayed at Summer Creek Ranch, the harder it was to overlook the feelings, undeniable, deep feelings, he held for her.
And that was something he flat-out refused to allow.
One (1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Catching the Cowboy
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