Sleigh Bell Serenade

I’ve shared before how inspiration can strike from anywhere when it comes to me writing a story.

Two Christmas seasons ago, I was happily decking my halls for the holidays and listening to a traditional Christmas music station.

A song started to play—one I’d never heard—and I literally stopped in the midst of hanging a holly garland and listened to Bing Crosby croon about a “Sleigh Bell Serenade.” If you’ve never heard the song, it’s so cute and you can listen to it on YouTube.

Anyway,  by the time the song ended, I knew I wanted to write a story with that title and have one of the main characters do something with sleighs or sleigh bells.

It wasn’t until I started writing The Snowman’s Sweetheart, which released in January of last year, that I figured out how to run with the sleigh bell idea. In this book, the hero, Ky, has a best friend named Bo who is a rancher, but also runs a sleigh tour business during the winter months.

Sleigh Bell Serenade is book two in the Winter Wishes sweet romance series, and shares the story of Bowen Jensen and Juniper Haynes, a hot-shot real estate agent who is really ready from a break from her big-city, fast-paced life.

The book releases tomorrow!

He keeps his heart heavily guarded.

She meets everyone with a friendly smile.

Will the attraction sizzling between them pull them into the space between their two worlds?

Burdened by too many responsibilities, Bowen Jensen struggles beneath their overwhelming weight. Between raising his teenage sister, running their family ranch, and managing Sleigh Bell Tours, he barely has time to sleep let alone do something just for himself. He can’t even recall his last date. Then a chance encounter with a beguiling woman leaves him pondering if there isn’t more to life than trudging through one lonely day after another.

Juniper Haynes appears to have it all with a successful real estate career and a picture-perfect life. In reality, she’s tired of dealing with demanding clients, wary of her so-called friends, and secretly longs for the peace she finds at her sister’s mountain home. After a magical New Year’s Eve kiss with a cowboy she barely knows, she realizes true happiness might only be found outside her comfort zone.

Can Bo and Juniper find the courage to embrace change and explore the possibility of a future together?

Find out in this sweet winter romance full of small-town charm, memorable characters, laughter, hope, and love.


Annoyed by his infatuation with Juniper, he took a step back, uncertain what to say.

Words had never easily come to him. He was more of a doer than a talker. In his younger years, his best friend, Ky, had always filled the gap since he could talk to anyone, anytime, about anything. Ky had received the gift of gab, while Bo had been given the gift of brawn and endurance.

But at that moment, an idea or two of something witty to say would have been helpful.

“Do you live around here?” Sassy asked as Bo stood there like one of the snow carvings that would fill the town next month at the Winter Fest.

“Cedar lives in Faraday with her husband. I live in Portland,” Juniper said. “I’m just visiting through the holidays.”

“So you’ll be around for New Year’s Eve?” Sassy asked.

Heaven help him if the girl decided to take it upon herself to ask Juniper to go out with him to ring in the new year.

Juniper nodded uncertainly.

“We’re hosting a little gathering of friends that night. Would you like to join us?” Cedar asked, smiling at Bo and then Sassy in invitation. “It’s very casual and informal. We’ll have finger foods and things like pizza and jalapeno poppers, and family-friendly games.”

“Why is this the …” Juniper started to speak, but Cedar gave her a quelling look that made her snap her mouth shut.

Bo might have laughed if he hadn’t been certain there was matchmaking afoot. Under normal circumstances, he would have run in the opposite direction as fast as possible, but he really wanted to see Juniper again. A party with her sister and friends seemed harmless enough.

“We’d love to come,” Sassy said with enthusiasm before he could respond. “Thank you for inviting us.”

Do you have a favorite winter memory?

Sleigh ride? Sledding? Nailing a smug sibling with a snowball? 
Share your comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Sleigh Bell Serenade!

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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.

40 thoughts on “Sleigh Bell Serenade”

  1. Sleigh Bell Serenade sounds like a delightful read. I miss the mild winter days and being able to walk in the snowy woods. There is a nice peaceful silence to them. We were out one year when it was snowing big, fluffy, wet flakes. We could actually hear them hitting the trees and ground. I have many good memories of winter growing up and living in northern NY. We had a wonderful sledding hill in the pasture behind our house. One year when our girls were about 4 and 5, my husband built a little skating rink on the front yard with a snow wall around it, and a snow slide onto it. The kids loved it. I miss ice skating, but would likely kill myself if I tried today. Ofd course along with the good, was getting out to shovel out the driveway before we could go anywhere no matter how cold it was.
    Thanks for bringing back some good memories. Also thank you for the link to the song. Bing is a favorite and it is nice to be able to understand what they are singing.

    • What beautiful memories you have, Patricia. Thank you for sharing them. I bet your girls had a grand time with their skating rink! I’m with you – would likely kill or cripple myself if I tried skating now. It is nice to be able to understand the words to a song, isn’t it. Have a beautiful day! Happy New Year!

  2. Growing up, I looked forward to building snowmen. I liked the artistic side of decorating it and deciding whether he/she should look traditional or be different. One year, I remember building a family of three after one particularly big snow. What fun memories!

  3. I live in the south so we never had enough snow for a sleigh ride but once in a blue moon we had a white Christmas.

  4. YES – being able to drive a pony pulled sleigh when I was 11 or 12 in the corn field next to the house – what a rush it is to do so and yes you must be very careful on corners as the sleigh obviously doesn’t turn like a vehicle with wheels – so it can assume a crack the whip type of movement! It was AWESOME!

    • How fun you had a pony pulled sleigh. I’m picturing you racing across the field with a big smile on your face. That is so neat! Thanks for sharing that memory with us. Happy New Year!

  5. This sounds like a beautiful story. Wonderful song for inspiration.

    After the Blizzard of ’77, Dad helped us build a snow fort, reinforcing it with lumber materials so it wouldn’t collapse. It was really cool, no pun intended. Unfortunately, one Sunday while we were at church, some neighbors destroyed it.

  6. Going to see all the Christmas lights in what we called the “Kingsway” area of Toronto. Dad and mom would drive us around this very affluent neighborhood to see all the mansion lit up. Always the Sunday before Christmas. We would also go to Casa Loma, yep, a real castle in the heart of Toronto. They had this Christmas fairyland and of course the castle would be lit up so that you could see it from space. Lots of good Christmas memories.

    • Oh, wow, Kathleen! It sounds like it was a magical place to see – especially right before Christmas. How wonderful your parents took you to see it. What a great memory to share. Thank you! Happy New Year!

  7. I remember a birthday party when I was in 4th grade. We played a chasing game on the snow covered ground. The only other snow related memories are school closings where we (my sister and myself) watched younger siblings while our mother went to work.

  8. Those games played in the snow were such fun. Snow days were a challenge for working parents. It’s nice you and your sister could watch your younger siblings. Thank you for stopping in today and sharing your memories with us. Happy New Year!

  9. I’m a native Floridian, never seen snow, and I can remember running around in shorts and/or bathing suits some Christmases!! I have memories of my nieces and nephews being in my sister’s pool on Christmas Day and it being so cold when they got out that they turned the outside shower hot water on and went from the pool to under the hot water to a towel before coming inside! And, other years, they didn’t shiver at all when getting out of the pool!

  10. When I was a teen ager we had this huge snow and was out of school the month of January and we had this huge hill on our little farm. We had the neighborhood over at our house sleigh riding. People would be out there half the night sleigh riding. They would build a fire to stay warm with and fix snacks. It was a wonderful time.

  11. As a teenager I loved to go out sledding down a big hill, which was before I detested the cold and can no longer get warm even in the house! Age does something to one’s body temp. It was also a blast with my kids on the saucer or a regular sled. We used to also lay down and make show angels.

    • I hear you on the cold, Judy. I used to be able to spend hours and hours out in it no problem. Now I freeze getting from the house to the pickup! Sledding was always a fun activity at our house. So glad it was for you too! Thank you for stopping in today!

  12. My sisters and I would go sledding with our friends. It was so much fun!! We actually went down a hill that ran into a street which was dangerous but everyone was doing it! Great memory!!

  13. Happy release day Shanna. I can’t wait to read this book. One memory that I have was when I was in the 2nd grade, we received snow in TX, a rarity for our part of the world. Dad got out an old tire, saddled his roping horse and grabbed a rope. He spent all day giving us and all the neighborhood rides (we lived in the country so kids came from a mile radius to enjoy the fun.) We thought it was the greatest day ever.

  14. Before my husband & I were married his cousin took me out on his snowmobile in MI.
    It was my first time ever, & all I remember him saying was “Are you holding on”? The next thing I knew we were literally flying ? It is one of my best Winter moments ever!!

  15. I grew up where there may have been a few flakes once a winter, but never did we have a snow day, or any measurable snowfall! Then, we had to move to OK, when I was 15. Then, when I was 16, my brother got married in January and it came a terrible snowstorm, so bad that everyone who was in the wedding party, wound up spending the night at our new (built in 1905, before statehood), humongous house! Cousins and best friends were everywhere, on pallets, all 6 beds, and all of the couches, divans, and sofas! It was so much fun!! I believe it was the most snow they’d ever gotten since the winter of 1929, when my Daddy was born, The Big Blizzard! Anyway, since we lived in town, there wasn’t a ton we could do, but you know how guys are-they were pulling people around behind their cars and pickups on trash can lids and anything else they could think of! We all just stayed out, walking in it, building snowmen, and throwing snowballs! It was probably the most fun time we ever had there! Very fond memory! I loved Bing Crosby! I really love the cover and name of your book! It looks awesome! And, I always wanted to ride in a one horse open sleigh!

    • Hi Lana,
      What an amazing thing that snow storm turned out to be. So neat your house was big enough hold everyone. Thank you for sharing that wonderful memory with us. And thanks for the kind words. Happy New Year to you!

  16. A favorite winter memory is spending the day inside working on a counted cross stitch project because work was cancelled due to the snow. There were people to shovel out the parking lot of the complex where I lived so nothing was required of me except to relax. Thanks for the chance to win a book.

  17. A favorite memory for me is living on a farm until I was 8. We had the perfect sledding hill and I still have the sled in my garage. Another favorite was my brother and I would build walls of snow to hide behind and have epic snowball fights. It was even more fun when the cousins came over. I’m reading Sleigh Bell Serenade right now and am really enjoying it.

    • I’m so glad you are enjoying it Barbara. And what a fun memory to share about sledding and building walls for snowball fights. Love it! Thank you for sharing that with us. Have a fabulous week!

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