Are you ready to meet another Inspirational Western Woman?
Well, I have an amazing gal lined up for this week. She comes from Eastern Oregon and knows a thing or two about farming and writing romance.
I’d like to welcome one of this month’s Inspirational Western Women, Shanna Hatfield.
I’m so grateful to Carmen for inviting me to participate in her Incredible Western Women Series. Carmen is someone I so admire and it’s an honor to be here, even if I don’t feel like I have much to offer in the way of inspiration.
I spent my childhood on a farm in eastern Oregon where only the most determined and resolute individuals dare till the soil that spent centuries covered in sagebrush, rock, and the random juniper tree. I never gave a thought to my great fortune in having a rural foundation on which to build my future until I grew up and moved away.
My dad didn’t aspire to be anything other than a farmer. He and my mother wed young in 1950 and began their family the following year with the arrival of my oldest brother. Working for a variety of farmers and ranchers during the first dozen years of their marriage, my parents saved every penny they could and, in the early 1960s, purchased the farm where they would reside in a small but close-knit community for the next fifty years.
Eight years into ownership of the farm and twenty years into their marriage, a strange wind blew, or some potent concoction somehow found its way into the well water, because with three teenagers in the house, the last thing my parents expected was to discover they were expecting.
I wasn’t quite two when my oldest brother wed, barely four when he welcomed his first baby, and from there our family grew.
Running wild and free on the farm where dad raised hay, wheat, corn, and cattle, along with the occasional experimental crop like zinnias, my childhood brimmed with sunshine, hay fever, and a never-ending supply of rural learning experiences.
With my two brothers and their families living within a mile of the farm, I had more adult supervision than any child could ever need. My oldest brother worked as a ranch hand and buckaroo, often gone for weeks and sometimes months at a time. He’d return home full of stories of his adventures, and I was eager to listen to them. Even as a child, I was fascinated by the world he lived in.
When I grew up and went to work as a newspaper reporter, I loved being sent out on assignment to a rural location. I may have moved away from the farm, but my country roots ran deep, and they still do. Even though I no longer live on a farm, or ranch, we do live out in the country where Wi-Fi service is spotty at best, a trip to town is an event, and the sunsets are often spectacular. My hobbies, when I have a moment or two to pursue them include toying with new recipes and snapping photos of the world around me.
It seemed only natural when I began writing my first sweet romance back in 2010 for the hero to be a cowboy. It’s what I knew. What I wanted to write about. What I enjoy as I create characters and settings in my head.
My 90th book releases June 22 and, no surprise, the hero is a cowboy. And a deputy. He works for the Harney County Sheriff’s Department and his patrol takes him through his hometown of Summer Creek (a fictional place, but if it was real, you’d find it about 10 miles north of Riley in eastern Oregon).
He’s the kind of character I love writing about most. Gentle and strong. Caring and tough. Hardworking but willing to play when the work is completed. Deputy Knox Strickland embodies all the heroes from my childhood, as do so many of the cowboy characters in my books.
I’m so thankful my parents raised me on our family farm and instilled in me the lessons you can only learn when you live a country life.
Distracting the Deputy:
Trouble is coming, but for whom?
When he’s not evading grabby-handed octogenarians, mentoring troubled teens, or rescuing rascally youngsters from disaster, Deputy Knox Strickland can be found upholding the law in the eastern Oregon region he patrols. He avoids making plans for tomorrow, focusing instead on doing his best today. Then one chance encounter with a beautiful woman in a wheat field turns his world upside down. Knox is left questioning what secrets she’s hiding, and how hard he’ll have to work to scale the fortress she’s built around her heart.
Zadie Redmond isn’t like most women. A life spent looking over her shoulder has destroyed the promising future she’d once envisioned. Her days are spent leading hunting and fishing adventures or teaching tiny ballerinas the proper way to plié. She fills her evenings with do-it-yourself projects while worrying about the day her past catches up with her. In an unexpected moment, the local deputy swoops into her world like a storybook hero and she knows nothing will ever be the same. Zadie will do anything to keep Knox safe from the danger lurking in the shadows, even if it destroys her chance at love.
Will Knox convince Zadie she can trust him with her secrets and her heart?
A sweet romance full of quirky small-town fun, Distracting the Deputy is a story of hope, help, and hanging on to what matters most.
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 unforgettable characters, twisting plots, or covertly seeking dark, decadent chocolate, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.
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Note to the reader: If you are a western woman or have someone in mind who can share their stories with us, please pass on their name and contact information to me. I’d love to include them on this journey. https://carmenpeone.com/contact/