Growing up on a farm twenty miles from the closest town, we generally took our excitement anywhere we could get it.
Each summer, I eagerly anticipated our small town’s biggest event of the year - the Fourth of July Rodeo. Back in those days, it was a PRCA-sanctioned rodeo. Some of the top names in the circuit would join hundreds of rodeo fans for four days of rodeo, events in the park, a parade through town, and the annual Suicide Race (a crazy horseback race down a steep butte, across the highway, through the river, and into the rodeo arena).
The whole family looked forward to the celebration. My oldest brother often rode in the Suicide Race and some of my cousins often competed in the rodeo.
For a horse-crazy little girl who loved the smell of leather and the sight of cowboy hats, it was amazing. From an early age, I had a romance with the rodeo.
One of the few stores we had in town was a saddle-maker with a boot shop. When I was five, my dad took me to Leroy’s shop to pick out a new belt for the rodeo. It was the first time I got to choose my own and I was so excited.
As we walked inside, the welcoming aroma of leather filled the air. Dad led me to where Leroy worked on saddle at the back of the shop and they talked a few minutes. Impatiently waiting, they finally told me to go see what I could find. My gaze - and heart - immediately settled on a hand-tooled belt with little flowers and a silver buckle with a gold saddle that glistened in the overhead lights.
I still have that little belt today along with my love of rodeo. It’s because of how much I enjoy the watching rodeos that led to the creation of my Rodeo Romance series, set in the Pacific Northwest. Although the books all have a Christmas theme, they take readers through summer experiences of cowboys and the women who fight tooth and nail to keep from falling in love with them!
ThenChristmas Cowboy (Rodeo Romance, Book 1)
Among the top saddle bronc riders in the rodeo circuit, easy-going Tate Morgan can handle the toughest horse out there, but trying to handle the beautiful Kenzie Beckett is a completely different story.
Happy Fourth of July!
USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Find Shanna’s books at:
Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at: