Distracting the Deputy


I am super-duper excited to share about my soon-to-release book with you all today.

Distracting the Deputy (Summer Creek, book 4) releases on Tuesday! Yeehaw!

I know I always say I had such fun writing a book, but I seriously had such fun writing this story. The characters climbed inside my head then wound their way into my heart. I was so sad to write the last few pages. However, since this is a series, I know these two wonderful characters will pop up again!

Zadie Redmond is a woman full of mystery and secrets, mostly because it’s the only way to keep herself and those she cares about safe. And she’s a woman full of contradictions.

If things had gone according to plan, she’d be performing as a prima ballerina, dancing on stages across the globe. Instead, she was remodeling a home she would most likely never own, scraping pond scum from beneath her chipped nails, and teaching the basics of ballet to a group of country kids who arrived for their lessons wearing cowboy boots with their leotards.

Knox Strickland is a Deputy in Harney County, based in his tiny little hometown of Summer Creek, Oregon. He’s a good guy who always goes above and beyond, and he truly cares about people.

When he’s not evading grabby-handed octogenarians, mentoring troubled teens, or rescuing rascally youngsters from disaster, Deputy Knox Strickland can be found upholding the law in the eastern Oregon region he patrols. He avoids making plans for tomorrow, focusing instead on doing his best today. Then one chance encounter with a beautiful woman in a wheat field turns his world upside down. Knox is left questioning what secrets she’s hiding, and how hard he’ll have to work to scale the fortress she’s built around her heart.

I may or may not have developed a teeny-weeny crush on Knox. He’s just so… swoony!

Here’s one of my favorite fun scenes in the story:


“Well, hello there, Captain America,” Jossy said in a teasing, seductive voice that made Zadie giggle.

“I’m standing right here, you know,” Nate said, scowling at his wife.

“Yes, you are, and you look so adorable, Nate.” Jossy smiled at her husband, then smirked at Zadie, “but this girl should magically turn him into her own personal superhero.”

“Don’t get any ideas.” Zadie frowned at Jossy, then turned to ogle the man dressed as a popular comic book hero. Making a mental inventory of his attire, she started her observation at his feet, covered by a pair of black lace-up military boots. Dark blue cargo pants fit the guy like a glove, highlighting his thick thighs and trim waist. In fact, thoughts of Knox and the teasing comments she’d made about his interest in being a tight end came to mind. Zadie noted the impressive form visible beneath the man’s long-sleeved blue T-shirt. She was sure what the fabric hugged were real muscles, not the foam or inflatable ones often worn with a costume. He had on a Captain America hat, wore leather holsters over both shoulders, and carried a replica of the Captain America shield. He turned slightly, and his profile certainly looked like one an all-American hero might possess.

Something about the strong, square jawline seemed oddly familiar. Then he looked over his shoulder, and Zadie’s jaw fell open. The hunky guy in the hero costume wasn’t a stranger after all.

“Knox? He’s Captain America?” Zadie whispered, feeling things she’d rather not acknowledge or explain, even to herself.

“The one and only,” Jossy said in a sing-song voice, then gave Zadie a nudge forward just as a loud pop signaled the beginning of the parade.

Zadie found herself pushed along and glanced up to see Knox looking down at her. He’d somehow finagled his way back through the line to walk beside her.

“You are the most gorgeous fairy I’ve ever seen,” he said, giving her an admiring glance.

Her cheeks warmed as she tried not to stare at the muscles of his chest, perfectly outlined by the tight T-shirt. “You look …”

“Ridiculous,” Knox grumbled. “My friend Wes’s wife suggested this would be a good costume. I already had the pants. The shirt and other stuff were easy to find when I was in Portland. She told me to get the shirt on the snug side.” He sighed and swept a hand in front of his chest. “I look like an idiot.”

Idiot was not the first, or even fortieth, word Zadie would have chosen to describe Knox’s appearance. Hunk. Hottie. Captain Cutie all came to mind.

Now that you’ve had a little introduction to Knox, what do you think? Would you want to live in Summer Creek where he’s on duty?

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.

Catching the Cowboy  (Book 1)

Rescuing the Rancher (Book 2)

Protecting the Princess (Book 3)

Distracting the Deputy (Book 4)

If you pre-order your ebook by June 21 (at the special price of $2.99) you can go to THIS FORM and enter your purchase number to receive access to a Bonus Bundle. The Bonus Bundle includes a short story featuring a day in the life of Knox, a Zadie-approved recipe, and some other fun goodies like coloring pages with Ethel the goat!

To enter for a chance to win a copy of Distracting the Deputy,

post one thing you enjoy reading about in small town romances.

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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.

55 thoughts on “Distracting the Deputy”

  1. I love reading about women who were srong enough to make the decisions she needs to make even back in “times before.” Women were making the same decisions we make but in much harder times than we live in. Their decisions were often over- rulled because men were brought up thinking that women were unable to think or even decide what could be best for them and often because men believed that woman’s place belonged under the man’s foot.

  2. I like that people in small towns are often ready to help each other out. Of course, this can also have a flip side. Sometimes, they can get too nosy, but I find it all charming to read about.

  3. Good morning Shanna! What I love reading about small town America are the family roots that are cultivated there. Everybody knows the town secrets, crushes, struggles, heart aches, and most of the time they are champions for each other. Small town America lives in my heart.

  4. I love small town romance because they remind me of my hometown. I grew up in a little town in vt on a back dirt road. Nearest store was 4 miles away. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Dearest Shanna- This book was phenomenal and I truly loved the mystery of Zadie intertwined. Knox, well let’s just say.. “I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM!”
    I know everyone who reads this book will love it as much as I did. I loved the way you had things happen toward the ending. I was on the edge of my seat in NYC.
    Congrats on another amazing book. Love and hugs.

    • Oh, thank you, thank you, Tonya! I’m just thrilled to pieces you enjoyed it so much. Knox is an easy character to love, isn’t he? Thank you, again, for reading an ARC of the book. I so appreciate you!

  6. I had to break out the fan reading that scene, Shanna. 🙂 The best part was your hero’s humility and self-deprecation. Good looks are nice, but good looks with a genuinely nice guy underneath? Perfection!

  7. Good morning. I love to read small town romance. Most of the time the towns prople are not fake. It’s a community ready to help no questions asked. Every one watches out for each other. Even the busy bodies.

    • Those busy bodies keep things interesting, don’t they? I agree – most of those little communities are filled with people who care about each other and are most always willing to help.

  8. Small town romances are real with authentic lives and individuals who are interested in being there for you.

  9. There’s no crime and an escape to a fictional place where things are the way we wish they could be in real life.

  10. They give me great enjoyment because they have life filled with thoughtful, caring and kind people.

  11. I would love to experience Pleasantville, especially nowadays. I need a setting which is conducive to a lifestyle filled with tranquility, and human kindness.

  12. Shanna I haven’t even made it very far in this book- I’m wanting my bunch to all go away for a few days- the house to be magically clean- my yards to be mowed- etc.etc.etc. so I can just read this book! I’m already in love with the characters.

    I love the interaction of small town people & how a small town can make it seem like the world isn’t so fast paced & crazy as it is!

    I’m dying to dive into this book! Soon, I hope!

    • So glad you are enjoying it and hope you get some time to read it soon! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. I do love how a small-town atmosphere can make the world seem to move at a slower, less hectic pace. Enjoy!

  13. Your book sounds like a very good read, I can see why anybody can fall in love with him! I love, love your book cover, it is gorgeous ! Thank you for sharing about your book with us. I like small town romances especially because you actually get to know the people of whom are usually a close knit community. Have a Great day and stay safe. God Bless you.

    • Your comment made me smile, Alicia! I’m so glad you love the cover. Thank you! I agree – small town romances make you feel like you are part of the community. Thank you so much! Blessings to you!

  14. Small town romances can be really fun because there’s usually a great supporting cast of characters throughout the town, plus they have such a homey feel to them because everyone usually knows everyone.

  15. I grew up in a small town and enjoyed everyone knowing you and watching out for you. They not only knew you, but knew your dog as well. We cheered each other on. I enjoy reading about that type of community relationships.

    • That’s one of the best (and sometimes most challenging) things about small towns, but also makes them such a great place to live. Glad you had that experience, Karen.

  16. I love small town romances because they all come together to help each other. They all know each other. This can be a good and a bad situation. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

  17. Small town romances everybody usually knows everybody else in the town. When anything exciting happens everybody knows about it!

  18. I love getting to “know” the town! Makes me wish I could move to that town and make friends with the characters in your book.

  19. I really need to get here earlier. Noticed when I got to the computer tonight that the winner was already announced.
    Anyway, I really like the sound of this book. I have enjoyed many of your other books and am sure this one will be as good, if not better. I love the banter, the humor, and the friendships. The relationships make sense and develop naturally. I hope the release goes well.

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