A crazy camel and Christmas in July

I don’t know about you, but in our little corner of the world it’s been hot most days for the better part of a month. In fact, our hottest day was 116. Whew!

It’s kind of fun to watch Christmas movies and read Christmas-themed books this time of year for no other reason than to convince myself it’s not really as hot outside as it really is.

In fact, I’m working on some Christmas books that will release this holiday season and would love to hear your thoughts about  what you enjoy most in a Christmas romance? What are some of your favorites? Do you like holiday romances that are tender and sweet or romantic comedies? Do you enjoy a touch of magic in them or prefer them to be more grounded in reality? What makes you pick up a Christmas book and read it in the middle of the summer?

If you were going to write a Christmas romance, what one thing would you definitely include?

One holiday series I wrote a few years ago was such fun for me. The books were inspired by a Christmas carol, The Friendly Beasts, and I had a blast figuring out ways to incorporate all the animals from the song into the set of four stories.

The first story begins with a meeting among the animals on Christmas Eve. They are a nativity, discussing the their humans and how they can help them fall in love. The ringleader is a sassy camel named Lolly.


“Any other business?” Ivy asked.

“We really do need to find a donkey,” Lolly said as one of the humans picked up a toddler and set it on Cam’s back. The pony froze mid-chew then dropped his belly so the little boy almost fell off. “One good with children.”

“I concur,” Jasper said, smoothing his feathers.

“We don’t need to vote on it, but everyone should take the initiative to search for a donkey. If one is located, Jasper can communicate to all of us on the matter.” Ivy glanced up at the bird then back to Lolly. “Anything else to discuss?”

“No. I move to adjourn the meeting.” Lolly narrowed her gaze as the adults continued inching closer to her.

“Meeting adjourned and none too soon,” Ivy said, stretching her neck toward the costumed humans heading their way. “And for goodness sakes, Shep, don’t fall into the manger this year.”

“It wasn’t my fault,” the sheep protested. “The mule we had last year knocked me into it on purpose.”

“And that’s why we’ve got Cam this year.” Lolly turned from her friends to the people trying to take a photo of their child in front of the fence. “You want a photo op with your little darlings? I’ll give you a photo op you won’t ever forget.” She leaned over the fence and opened her mouth, dropping it over the closest child’s head.

Ivy mooed with laughter while Shep and Jasper joined in the amusement.

“Taste good, did it?” Ivy asked when Rhett ran over and extracted the child from Lolly’s mouth, handing the girl back to her mother. Lolly ignored his admonishments for her to behave and quit treating the kids like giant lollipops.

“Like peppermint and strawberries mixed with fuzz,” Lolly said, sticking out her tongue and spitting as everyone ducked. She grinned and turned back to her fellow Friendly Beasts of Faraday members. “I can’t wait until next year. It’s going to be the best, most magical Christmas ever.”

For a limited time, get a digital copy of Scent of Cedar FREE! You’ll find Lolly and the story of her humans on Amazon.

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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.

36 thoughts on “A crazy camel and Christmas in July”

  1. Good morning Miss Shanna, I loved loved this series. I laughed so hard at these clever sweet lovable animals.
    I do love to watch Christmas movies in July. Seeing the snow just cools me off.
    If I were going to write a Christmas book I would have a family heirloom ornament as the centerpiece for the story. I would have the family coming together to decorate the Christmas tree at their family home after the passing of their Grandparents. But the ornament is missing in the box, but a note is left behind by their Grandmother, as to how to find it. Each place they look is another clue, but with each placement of the clues is another family history discovery. The scavenger hunt takes the entire family on a trip down memory lane as well as discovered hidden memories of their family tree and ancestors, they had no clue about.

    If only I were an author, I could have fun with this one.

    Have a very Blessed day My Sweet Sweet Friend.

  2. Good morning! I had no idea it got that hot up there in the summer! So much for moving to the North East to escape the Texas summer heat! I need to read some Christmas books to escape the Texas heat! Is it as humid up there like it is here in East Texas? My central Texas family can’t even handle the humidity of East Texas!!

    • Hi Stephanie,
      In our little corner of the west, it does get hot, but we usually don’t have much humidity. I would move to Arizona if we did! Stay cool and happy reading!

  3. Good morning! It’s been hot and muggy here in north Texas, with rain every few days. Good days for staying inside with a good book or movie while I do my tatting! I like a historical western Christmas story that has kids and a little bit of magic, and always, of course, a HEA. I love your kids books, in addition to all your regular books, especially the historicals.

  4. My favorite Christmas stories always include a nativity, whether it’s at a church, the town square, whatever! And, at least one of the main characters has to be involved in the activities. It could be a children’s play at church, a whole church production, but it has to have the REAL Christmas story in it somewhere to make me happy! This series sounds really cute!

  5. Thank you so much for the Scent of Cedar giveaway, I read your excerpt and was like, “I NEED to read this!” And then you gave it to us at the end, and I was thrilled! Thank you so much, I can’t wait. I love books told by animals.
    As for the prompt questions: I love to see the big strong tough heroes doing cute things at Christmas, like making cookies with the heroine or something. Christmas can be such a vulnerable time, it’s perfect to break through a tough shell or reveal a softer, cuter side. I like a touch of magic, especially if it is unexplained and subtle. And I love a healthy dose of whimsical humor!

    • You are so welcome for the book, Abigail. And I’m with you … I love seeing the tough heroes doing sweet and cute things. Humor is always a good thing! Have a great day and thanks for stopping in!

  6. Miss Shanna, I think you’re brilliant. This is such a fun idea and readers adore this series. You are blessed by the angels, Filly sister. I think the angels whisper these stories in your ear and you run with them. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. I really enjoy Christmas novellas, pretty much any kind really. I like the feeling of Christmas being so special that it brings people together and makes them feel like anything is possible.

  8. I enjoy Christmas books all year around. I am not one the enjoys a lot of magic. I love romance as well as comedy. Than you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  9. Oh, what fun this series must be. As for what I like and want in a Christmas story, I like stories that include some of all the elements you mentioned above. Christmas is a time of magic, joy, forgiveness, and coming together. It can be a time of sadness for some, but the spirit of the season can heal the heart and soul in its own way.
    Thank you for your generosity in sharing SCENT OF CEDAR with us. It sounds like Lolly is a creature to contend with, a bit of a trouble maker with her own sense of humor.

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