Monthly Archives: December 2013

Rodeo Queen

Rodeo Queen cover


Until she starts receiving threatening letters from a stalker. The good news is, the Texas Ranger assigned to her case is none other than her former sweetheart Mitch Warren—the man who chose his career over love.

Mitch vows to focus on protecting the woman he’s never forgotten. But Caitlyn stirs up memories best left in the past. When Mitch insists on hiding Caitlyn away on his family’s San Antonio ranch, will he keep things professional or seek out a second chance?

Welcome, Shannon. I love the cover! Please tell us about your book.

From the time I was a teenager, I had this story in my head. I finally wrote it in 1999 – the first book I ever wrote. It was about an interior decorator with a stalker and a private detective who protects her set in rural Arkansas. I’d never been to a writer’s meeting or conference and never taken any writing classes. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and got fifty-two rejection letters.

When I got the chance to continue my rodeo series, I thought of that first book. I changed the setting to the Fort Worth Stockyards – made my heroine a rodeo queen who owns a blingy western clothing store, and the hero became a Texas Ranger. I didn’t go back and try to fix that original manuscript – it was beyond fixing. I started over and completely rewrote the book using the knowledge gained from countless writer’s meetings, workshops, conferences, and editors.

Way to go on not giving up! What do you enjoy most about writing?

I get to use my overactive imagination in a constructive way and daydream. I’ve always had a problem with my mind wandering unless whatever’s going on really interests me. Since I’m a writer, it’s finally okay for me to daydream.

You and I are exactly alike in this aspect. I wonder if it’s a writer thing? 🙂 Do you have any big plans for the new year–maybe another upcoming release?

My 6th rodeo title releases in April – Rodeo Song. That’s another fun book based on a dream I had several years ago. After that, I have something in the works, but it’s not official yet.

Cool. What are you currently working on?

I’ve had this French guy wandering around in my head for about seven years. I haven’t had time to write his story because of deadlines—a good problem to have. Since I don’t have any deadlines at the moment, I’ve been trying to get his story in the computer. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll have more deadlines soon.

What inspires you to write?

First and foremost, I want to provide nice, clean, uplifting entertainment. I always hope the problems, decisions, and repercussions my characters deal with will help a reader in a similar situation. I always pray my books will draw readers closer to God or introduce them to Him.

My stalker idea came to life because I watched lots of detective shows as a teenager – Starsky & Hutch, Vegas, Baretta. Do you watch detective shows? If so, what’s your favorite classic or current show?

Shannon is giving away one copy of Rodeo Queen. To be entered you must answer the question that she asks above.

Rules: There must be at least ten qualifying comments. Ends January 5th, 2014. Open to U.S. address only. Void where prohibited by law.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter Headshot - red

Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows. Vannatter won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award.

Her books are available at,,,, and Learn more about Shannon and her books at and check out her real life romance blog at Connect with her on Facebook:, Pinterest:, and Twitter: @stvauthor


The Reason for Christmas


Luke 2:7

Christmas means different things to different people. For me it’s the day I celebrate the birth of Jesus with my family. We eat way too much and have a fun time playing games, and watching the Christmas parade.

I hope you have a special day however you celebrate and remember the reason for Christmas. God bless and Merry Christmas.

The Quaker and the Rebel

Quaker and the Rebel, The Welcome, Mary! Thanks for coming back and sharing with us again. Please tell us about The Quaker and the Rebel.

What happens when an Underground Railroad conductor falls in love with a man loyal to the Confederacy? Emily Harrison’s life has turned upside down. At the beginning of the Civil War, she bravely attempts to continue her parents’ work in the Underground Railroad until their Ohio farm is sold in foreclosure. Now alone and without a home, she accepts a position as a governess with a doctor’s family in slave-holding Virginia. Though it’s dangerous, she decides to continue her rescue efforts from there. Alexander Hunt, the doctor’s handsome nephew, does not deny a growing attraction to his uncle’s newest employee. But he cannot take tiThis is book one of a new series of historical romances, the Civil War Heroines series. In each story my Northern heroine must come to terms with her faith during the trials of war. She discovers there are no simple answers to complex problems created by to pursue Emily, for Alexander isn’t what he seems—rich, spoiled, and indolent. He has a secret identity. He is the elusive Gray Wraith, a fearless man who fights the war from the shadows, stealing Union supplies and diverting them to the Southern cause. The path before Alexander and Emily is complicated. The war brings betrayal, entrapment, and danger. Amid their growing feelings for each other, can they trust God with the challenges they face to provide them with a bright future?
This sounds good! Is this book part of a new series, or a stand alone?
This is book one of a new series of historical romances, the Civil War Heroines series. In each story my Northern heroine must come to terms with her faith during the trials of war. She discovers there are no simple answers to complex problems created by men.
Has there been any particular book that was easier to write than the rest? If so, do you know why?
I guess my two novellas, and not just because they’re shorter. Sarah’s Christmas Miracle was easy to write since it’s based on real-life people at the bed-and-breakfast where I stay while in Amish Country. And Always in my Heart from An Amish Miracle was easy to write because my husband and I were spending a month on an island off the coast of Georgia at the time. Although it was chilly November, walking the beach every morning was inspirational! I returned to our condo eager to write!
How will you be spending Christmas this year?
It’s still up in the air. But since we traveled to see family for Thanksgiving, we’ll probably be home alone. We’ll attend church on the eve, wake up and open gifts Christmas morning, and then eat an entire stuffed turkey just the two of us!! Ya gotta do, what ya gotta do….
Sounds good to me. 🙂 Thanks for spending the week of Christmas with us Mary. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Mary is giving away one print copy of The Quaker and the Rebel. If you would like to be entered to win please answer the following question. Do you remember your grandparents talking about the Civil War when you were a child? If so, did they slant the story in one direction or the other?
Rules: There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Drawing ends December 29, 2013. The winner will be notified on December 30th. Open to U.S. address only. Void where prohibited by law.
Mary Ellis low res full

Mary Ellis has written ten bestselling novels set in the Amish community. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her current series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. An Amish Miracle, a collection of novellas will release in December from Harper Collins. She is currently working on a three-book historical romance series set during the Civil War. The Quaker and the Rebel releases January 1st from Harvest House. She can be found on the web at:


Are you a Control Freak?

2011-11-27 18.20.11

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6 KJV

There are a few verses in the bible that I quote to myself frequently and this is one of them. I know that regardless of the outcome of whatever it is I am concerned about or stressing, the Lord is in control, and He always has my best interest in mind.

I encourage you to allow the Lord to take control. LOL I’m a control freak, so I don’t say this lightly–but life is so much better when I’m not running ahead of His will and I take the time to listen and wait.

A Christmas Promise

AChristmasPromise_med Welcome, Tamera! I’m pleased to have you here this week to share with us about A Christmas Promise. Please tell us about your story.

Thanks for having me, Kimberly. A Christmas Promise is a Christmas story set in 1773. During colonial times, John and Anna settle in an Ohio village to become Moravian missionaries to the Lenape. When John is called away to help at another settlement two days before Christmas, he promises he’ll be back by Christmas Day. When he doesn’t show up, Anna works hard to not fear the worst while she provides her children with a traditional Moravian Christmas. Through it all, she discovers a Christmas promise that will give her the peace she craves.

Schoenbrunn School

A while back I gave my blog readers a chance to submit questions they would like authors to answer. Since I work a couple of months ahead, you are the first to get one of these questions.:) What captivates your imagination to enter into the world by which your creating?

I find most of my stories in American history. I’ve always loved history, and when I read about events that happened, I wonder what it was like for the people living in those times. That’s why I write historicals. There are so many great adventures in American history.

Do you find yourself passionately addicted to research to entertain a finely stitched back-story and setting, or would you rather write by instinct?

I think I do both. I’m a stickler for research. I want my stories to be as historically accurate as possible. After the research is done, the instinct takes over.

What is next for you?

I’m currently co-writing a novel about a young widow who starts a sewing shop in a small town right after World War II. What she doesn’t know is a group of Communist sleeper agents have infiltrated her home town to carry out their nefarious plans. I’m also writing a novel about a married couple in 1920 who battle to survive a tornado and save their marriage.

Please tell us one thing about you that may surprise us.

Most people are surprised to know that I took ballet and tap lessons for twenty years. I love dance.

That’s cool, Tamera! I took ballet for six years. You must really love to dance. 🙂 Thanks for being here this week, and for offering to do a giveaway. Is there a question you would like the readers to answer in order to be entered into the giveaway?

The Moravians in my novella had a number of Christmas traditions. What is a tradition your family observes every Christmas?

Rules: There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. The drawing ends Sunday December 22nd, and the winner will be contacted on the 23rd. Void where prohibited by law. Open to U.S. addresses only.

Christmas Blog Hop Check out Tamera’s Christmas blog hop via her website. I’m visiting her site today. 🙂

Web1TAMERA LYNN KRAFT has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.