Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Read a Book, Help a Cowboy

Today I'm sharing how my author pal Shanna Hatfield supports injured rodeo athletes, along with her wonderful new book release.

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For most rodeo athletes it is a matter of when they get hurt, not if.

Many are uninsured and for those who find themselves out of work for months on end, the injury can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially.

That’s where the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund steps in. The JCCF provides financial assistance to rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries that leave them unable to compete for an extended time. Rather than worry about how they’ll pay their bills, they can focus on healing.

Because she grew up around cowboys and loves to include them in the stories she writes, author Shanna Hatfield supports the JCCF through her Read a Book, Help A Cowboy campaign. In its sixth year, the campaign raises funds and awareness for the JCCF. Now through Christmas Eve, Hatfield will donate ten percent of the proceeds from every book purchase to the JCCF.

A wonderful addition to this year’s campaign is Hatfield’s brand-new book called  A Cowboy Christmas. The book features 300 pages of western holiday fun with more than 70 full-color recipes.

The jangle of spurs mingles with the jingle of sleigh bells in this celebration of Christmas—cowboy style!

Welcome home to a western holiday with A Cowboy Christmas. A collection of unique holiday d├ęcor, traditions, recipes, and guides for entertaining with ease make this your go-to resource for an amazing western Christmas. Filled with stories of real-life ranch families and rodeo cowboys, get a glimpse into their traditions, try their family recipes, and experience their lifestyles. From preserving memories of the past to tips for wrapping presents, discover the special touches incorporated throughout this book that make it a holiday keepsake you’ll cherish for years to come. Brimming with holiday cheer, recipes with full-color photographs, and one-of-a-kind ideas, this book is a wonderful celebration of the holidays that will help make your Christmas unforgettable.

This book is available from:


Chocolate Chex Trees

These yummy and adorable trees are so simple to make and a great project if you have kids at home who need something to do. Set them on a disposable plate, foil-wrapped piece of cardboard, or a large sugar cookie wrapped in cellophane for gift-giving!

3 cups Chex Chocolate cereal
6 pretzel sticks (the thick kind, made for dipping)
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup Nutella
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix the peanut but­ter, Nutella, but­ter, and pow­dered sugar in a bowl.
On whatever you plan to use for a base, mold the peanut butter mixture around the pretzel stick until it stands upright and forms a slight cone shape.
Hold it steady by using the tip of the pret­zel as a han­dle and begin insert­ing pieces of cereal into the peanut but­ter mix­ture in a sym­met­ri­cal pat­tern around the stick. You can tip the cereal pieces up or down, depending on your personal preference. Add more cereal pieces, stag­ger­ing them as you move upward, until you get near the top.
For the top of the tree, use broken pieces or cut them in half to get the smaller scale of branches near the top.
Use two pieces of cereal back to back to form the top.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 6 trees

"Absolutely one of the best Christmas entertaining books I have ever read or seen I would hold this up against even Southern Living’s Christmas book they put out every year and that’s saying a huge thumbs up for A Cowboy Christmas. The recipes are all easy and quick sounding which is always the type of recipe I love to use. Once again Shanna Hatfield is the best at what at she does!"
Goodreads Reviewer

 "Such a beautiful book, and such a wonderful celebration of traditions and ideas to introduce into your own family. Included are heartwarming stories, recipes, craft ideas. This book shares with Shanna Hatfield's readers her joy and enthusiasm for the Western Way of life and the continuity of family that needs to be handed down to the new generations."
Amazon Reviewer

About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up sassy characters, twisting plots, or testing out new recipes, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller. She resides near Walla Walla, Washington.

Monday, October 7, 2019

An Interview With Kristy

Tell us about yourself.
I’m an Arizona native, and live with my husband in the desert north of Phoenix with our two dogs and youngest child. My three older kids are grown and gone. My education is in engineering, but I’ve been a passionate writer since I was seven years old.

Where do you get your ideas from?
Book ideas come from everywhere: the news, magazines, the internet, TV, films, and my own curiosity.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Sometimes I use real people as inspiration, but ultimately I develop the character that I need for my story. Character and plot go hand-in-hand for me.

How do you pick your characters’ names?
I often use a baby book to get started, but sometimes I’ll change a name well into writing the story if the current one doesn’t seem to fit. I also love to watch the end credits of movies. Lots of great names to choose from.

What's your writing process?
I mostly write in the afternoons. I tend to plot a little, then write, then get stuck so I’ll plot a little more again. Rinse and repeat.

Is there a drink or food that keeps you company while you write?
I drink water and tea. If I'm particularly stressed over my writing, I tend to turn to candy. Sweetarts, red licorice, and gummies are my favorite. I also chew a lot of gum.

Who are your top 5 favorite authors?
Jane Austen, Katherine Neville, Anne McCaffrey (no relation), Marion Zimmer Bradley, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Katherine Neville, author of THE EIGHT, an ambitious and complicated novel that I love so much. I’d simply want to talk craft with her.

Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes. Nancy Drew books and Charlotte’s Web were favorites.

When did you start to write?
I’ve been writing compulsively and for fun since I was a child, but I didn’t write my first novel until I was 32 years old and had four children under the age of five underfoot.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
If you mean one of my own books, I wouldn’t. I’m pretty happy with how each of them ended. As for other books, I’m going to extend the criteria a bit to include the season finale of ‘Game of Thrones.’ I hope I’m not spoiling it for anyone since plot points have been plastered all over the internet, but I would change Dany’s character arc. She wouldn’t die, and she’d be on the throne.

Is there a book you wish you had written?
Yes, THE EIGHT by Katherine Neville.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be? 
The Art of Sleeping-In

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
This was harder than I thought it would be. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to choose film characters. I’m a sucker for a strong female lead in a movie. Here’s a few of my favorites: Bess Armstrong from Jaws 3-D; Kate Bosworth from Blue Crush; Sandra Bullock from Practical Magic; Reese Witherspoon from Legally Blonde; Brie Larson from Captain Marvel. Where would we go? A girl’s weekend at a nice resort—hit the spa, eat out, and have a great time chatting about life.

Do you take a notebook with you to write down ideas?
No, but I do take notes on my phone.

Have you considered writing in a different genre in the future?
No. I currently write in two genres (romantic suspense adventure and historical western romance) and it keeps me very busy.

Which genre do you not like at all?
I'm pretty open to reading anything that catches my eye, so I try not to limit myself.

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on Book 3 in my Pathway Series, ANCIENT WINDS. This will feature Brynn Galloway and Dr. Tristan Magee as they search for an ancient artifact. It will be a mix of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and ‘The X-Files.’

Any release news?
I'm about to release my first western romance, THE WREN, in German. I'm very excited to expand into a new market.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
My husband takes me to lunch.

How can readers keep in touch with you?