The Christmas Wish and a Giveaway

I can’t speak for all authors, but I think many of us get attached to our characters like they were members of our family.

For me, that is certainly the case with my Hardman Holidays series. 

Back in 2012 when I wrote The Christmas Bargain, the first book in the series, I had no intention of making it into a series. But I fell in love with the characters. I really did. Book nine, The Christmas Wish, will release in a few weeks! 

If you are unfamiliar with the series, the first book is about Luke (the town banker) and Filly (a woman he marries in lieu of payment on a loan). Readers have called it an Old West Cinderella story with a holiday twist. The second book is about Luke’s sister, Ginny, and Blake, the boy she once loved who is now a man who thinks she is frustrating, ridiculous, and entirely captivating. Book three is about Alex, a purveyor of prestidigitation, and Arlan, Luke’s straight-laced assistant at the bank. The fourth book is about Arlan’s brother, Adam, and Tia, the girl he planned to wed before she married an older man with deep pockets. The fifth book is about Tom Grove, a newspaper man, and Lila, Luke’s lovely cousin. Book six features Fred Drecker (once the town bad boy) and Elsa, a sweet woman who runs the town bakery. A recluse, Gray, and his adorable daughter, Maddie Mae, encounter a lively socialite, Claire (Fred’s aunt) in book seven while book eight features Trace, a telephone lineman and a Victoria, Gray’s sister. 

The Christmas Wish is about Percy Bruner. He’s made an appearance in every single book in the series. In The Christmas Bargain, we meet him as a six-year-old rascal who helps out in his parents’ mercantile. I knew the first time I envisioned his character, I wanted to write more about him. By the time I finished the second book in the series, I planned to one day tell Percy’s story. We get to watch him grow through each book and now he’s a man with a broken heart who hates the thought of returning to Hardman. But an urgent telegram from his mother beckons him to return to Hardman, a place he once loved, but hasn’t set foot in for almost five years. 

Percy discovers something when he returns to Hardman he never expected to find. I won’t give you any spoilers, but it involves a pretty girl who runs the bookstore, writes anonymous “wishes” letters to the people in town, adores a cat named Teddy, and has a grandfather in need of his own romance. 

Here’s a little excerpt from the book:

~*~

“Did you know Brynn Rutherford was helping with the children’s program?” Percy asked, tossing his mother an accusatory glare.

“I had no idea. Pastor Dodd just said he had one volunteer and needed a second.” Despite her nonchalant demeanor, Percy noticed the hint of a smug smile forming at the corners of her mouth. “Isn’t that nice of her to help?”

“Nice,” he muttered, convinced his mother wasn’t nearly as innocent as she pretended to be.

“That Brynn is such a nice girl,” Aleta said, glancing at Percy, then her husband.

His father nodded in agreement. “She’s got plenty of gumption, that’s a fact.”

“Not only that, but she’s thoughtful and fun, and so well-liked in the community.” Aleta blew on a bite of the hot stew. “I’m not sure Mr. Howland is a good match for our girl.”

There was that “our” business again. Percy wondered when his mother had decided to claim Brynn as part of the family but decided it best not to voice his question. By sheer determination, he ignored her comment about Christopher Howland. Percy had seen the strange man leaving the bookstore late one evening and could only assume he was there after hours to visit Brynn.

The thought of him, or any man, coming to call on her left Percy with a bad taste in his mouth. He took a long drink from the glass of milk sitting by his plate and then glanced down at his bowl of stew.

“This is good, Pop. Thanks for cooking for us.”

“I won’t say it was a pleasure, but it did feel good to do something productive,” George said, cutting a slice of cornbread and slathering it with butter and honey.

Later that evening, as Percy prepared to turn in for the night, he glanced across the street and saw a light burning in the room he was sure belonged to Brynn. He smiled, picturing her lost in a romance, growing swoony over a swashbuckling hero.

He climbed into bed and closed his eyes, wondering if any of her heroes ever had red hair.

~*~

 

The Christmas Wish releases December 3 but you can pre-order your copy today. 

Also, you can discover the visuals that have inspired the series on my Pinterest boards here.

What about you?  If you had the opportunity to make a wish for someone else, what would it be? 

Post your comment for a chance to win the Hardman Holidays ebook boxed set which includes the first three books in the series!

 

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After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky western heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

47 thoughts on “The Christmas Wish and a Giveaway”

  1. I have an old friend who just lost his wife yesterday to cancer. My sister and her husband are both fighting cancer right now. If I could grant a wish, I would make cancer go away. Also, covid, because it’s really doing a number on people right now.

    Reply
  2. Welcome today. This is cool. I love it when a series has a character or two and we get to see them grow up and finally find their own sweet love. If I could wish for something it would be to make cancer disappear. My mom and dad both died from cancer. Different kinds but still. I know many others with cancer or who have died from cancer. Some in their middle years.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    Reply
  3. I would wish a rewind of Friday night/Saturday morning and that my brother didn’t get a phone call telling him that his eldest son, age 30 had died.

    Reply
  4. If I could wish something for someone else, that wish would be that everyone would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. With Him, we can face anything life throws at us.

    Reply
  5. I would wish continued health for a lifetime.
    I’m so excited to read this book and Idid shed Happy tears at the dedication to our Sweet Glenda. She adored this series.
    Love you dearly Shanna.

    Reply
  6. My wish is selfish I wish my Grandsons didn’t have to grow up with out their mother, and that my daughter was here to see her first grandchild.

    Reply
  7. I would wish that people wear masks. I am, like so many others, a senior with heath problems. It is difficult enough for elderly people to keep themselves well but we really need other people to help us by protecting us from other illnesses.

    Reply
  8. I’m actually reading the Hardman series, I’m on book 6 Fred’s book . I love all the characters but those little ones ( Erin especially) melts your heart.
    If I could have any Christmas wish come true it would be no childhood cancer ?
    I wish we could rid this horrible disease but children should never have to go through this !!

    Reply
  9. My D-I-L is having difficulty getting pregnant. She’s lived with rheumatoid arthritis since grade school. I would wish for her to become pregnant and have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby!

    Reply
  10. I wish the season of Thanksgiving is meaningful in spite of the challenges related to Covid. I wish to have a happy heart of gratefulness. Thank you Shanna for bringing happy reading to my rocking chair. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Reply
  11. My wish would be for my Mom’s memory and personality change reverse. This occurred after she hit her head. If she is not able to get around, I wish that the electric wheelchair be approved by the insurance company.

    Reply
  12. I would wish that my dad could feel at peace, and that my youngest wouldn’t struggle so much with school…and that COVID-19 would go away!

    Reply
  13. I am sorry I got here so late. I would wish for everyone to find the future that makes them happy, be it with a life partner or/and a career path that is enjoyable and rewarding.

    Reply

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