Thursday, November 14, 2013

Covenant, by Tanya Hanson in WISHING FOR A COWBOY #western #christmas #romance

by Tanya Hanson
a short story in
Wishing for a Cowboy
Prairie Rose Publications

RTW is pleased to host the authors of Wishing for a Cowboy, the debut offering of Prairie Rose Publications.  It's available in ebook at Amazon and Smashwords, and in print at Amazon.

RTW's guest today is Tanya Hanson.  A California beach girl, Tanya loves cowboys and American history, so she writes Western romance, both historical and contemporary, both sensual and inspirational. She’s even concocting a Young Adult romance set in the Donner party.

Her story in Wishing for a Cowboy is Covenant  Can a Christmas blizzard ignite love gone cold?

Alone, abandoned, struck with guilt and grief, mail order bride Ella Green refuses to celebrate their first wedding anniversary by herself on the Nebraska homestead.  Her fault Charlotte died.  Her fault her husband couldn't stick around.  So it's back to Pennsylvania.  Until the snow hits.  But do the springerle cookie molds depicting her life — Carsten's hand-carved courtship gifts to her across the miles — still have more story to tell?  Or is it truly The End?

Widower Carsten Green took on a bride merely to tend his little daughter.  Unbeknownst to Ella, he gave her his heart instantly.  Yet he believed she's got no reason to stay after the child's death.  So he's left her first.  How can the Christmas blizzard separating them warm their hearts, brighten their future, and ignite love gone cold?

RTW: How did Ella and Carsten come to you?  Were they fully formed, or were they stubborn about telling you their stories?
Tanya:  Ella is a family name, so that one was easy. Since the couple has a German heritage, I went to a list of German boys names on the internet. Carsten jumped right out! 

I have to admit, when I was invited to contribute to this anthology, the story... well, it didn’t write itself. It’s crazy when an author says that because writing is hard work. But the bones of the story formed quick inside my head.
Tanya Hanson
RTW: What is it about Christmas that lends itself to romance?  How is springerle incorporated into your story and is it a part of your own family lore?

Tanya: I am a Hallmark Christmas movie junkie. I even watch/DVR them during their Christmas in July month when they preview their new ornaments. I just love how everything in those movies fixes up on Christmas Eve, promising peace and hope. I know that’s not how real-life is, but we write romance, right? How we’d like things to be! So I wanted to write a story that really wrenches the heartstrings, but turns all warm and fuzzy at the end.

The springerle (anise cookies shaped by carved picture molds) popped into my head right away. Weird, I’m not a baker and my gram, who used to make them, has been gone from us a long, long time. So maybe she sent that inspiration down from heaven. I mean it sincerely.  Carsten, the carving scenes of Ella’s life during their courtship, and then their reconciliation, just gelled.

RTW: If you lived in the Green’s house, how would you decorate it for Christmas? 

Tanya:  You know, I almost put this in the story: a tree branch with white cotton batting (for snow) around each twig, each hung with a hand-made Christmas ornament.  Paper hearts and lace angels. Pinecones or nuts hung with calico ribbons. Popcorn and paper chains. Decorations made from punched tin...

A branch was a make-do Christmas tree on the prairie where pines didn’t grow. A branch like this would last from year to year. Carsten was proud to have a wood house for his mail-order bride instead of a soddy (we’re in Nebraska)... so I can see a Christmas branch as the real centerpiece of their holiday. But this year, they’re grieving the loss of a child. 
RTW: What other books do you have for our readers to enjoy? 

Tanya: I LOVE my Lawmen and Outlaws series going on at The Wild Rose Press — three novellas where a bad guy turns good because of a good woman’s love. Christmas for Ransom takes place, duh, at Christmas. It’s a short, heart-warming read all y’all just might like — Jack stole her granny’s horses and unbeknownst to either of them, the handsome outlaw hires lovely schoolmarm Eliza to teach him to read... of course they are In Love before he gets found out. Sigh.
(The second book is releasing right now, and the third one will be out next year. Doing edits on it just now, my editor suggested another story about one of the unseen characters so... there ya go!)

Better yet, my first-ever long, inspirational western historical, Claiming His Heart, will be released by Prairie Rose Publications this very month! I’m extra-thrilled... my mom just went into hospice care (she’s 93 and frail) so now I can give her a print copy for Christmas.  She’s never been able to Kindle e-books.

♥ ♥ ♥
Cowboys, kisses, and love in the holiday air make for a special recipe in each of these wonderful new stories. Christmas miracles can happen when you're 

A Christmas Miracle by Phyliss Miranda 
Acceptance comes not through frosty eyes, but from the warmth of loving hearts. 

Outlaw's Kiss by Cheryl Pierson 
A long-ago schooldays crush is rekindled by an Outlaw's Kiss that sparks true love, and a new future for Jake Morgan and Talia Delano. 

A Husband for Christmas by Sarah J. McNeal 
A haunting night of horror and a wish for a new life. 

Peaches by Kathleen Rice Adams 
When a strong-willed schoolteacher invades an irascible rancher's Texas range, not even the spirit of Christmas may be able to prevent all-out war. 

A Gift for Rhoda by Jacquie Rogers 
A mail-order bride disaster! 

Her Christmas Wish by Tracy Garrett 
Her only wish for Christmas was the man who left her behind. 

Covenant by Tanya Hanson 
Can a Christmas blizzard ignite love gone cold? 

Charlie's Pie by Livia J. Washburn 
A wounded man, a desperate woman, a gang of ruthless outlaws... and the best pecan pie in Parker County!


Tanya Hanson said...

Jacquie, WFAC was such a terrific writing adventure...I loved everybody's stories, and being part of this anthology has really been an honor. Thanks so much for the shout-out today!

It's also a red-letter day, as Claiming His Heart is releasing a day early. Wow. Almost overwhelmed at the goodness going on.

Susan Horsnell said...

Hi Tanya. Looking forward to reading the book. Enjoyed your post. Wishing you lots of success

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I'm reading Wishing for a Cowboy right now. I can't wait to get to your story. I like the German influence in it. How inventive to have Carson carve the cookie making device. My mother had this cookie thing with different patterns to change on the rod to dip the batter in and put into hot oil to cook, but she never made any cookies that way.
I like what you said about writing being work. I sometimes get the impression that people think a story in your head is as good as on the page...but we know there's a lot of work between the two.
Lovely blog, Tanya.

Robena Grant said...

Congrats! Tanya, and what a lovely interview. Looking forward to the read. : )

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Susan, thanks so much for your good wishes. I love Christmas stories most of all--especially short ones because it's such a busy time of year--so being invited to this antho was just a dream come true. Enjoy!

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Sarah, I have one of those devices, too. My mom got it for me at this cute Danish town, Solvang. I remember it had a heart and a "club" like on cards...think I used it once. In might not have made it back into the cupboards after our kitchen remodel LOL. I'm not horribly handy in the kitchen, and the recipe I found for the springerle seems way complex. My gram used to make them, though...I remember the taste. Thanks for being here today.

Tanya Hanson said...

Oh Robena, thanks so much for commenting today! It means the world. Hope you enjoy! xoxo

Caroline Clemmons said...

I'm enjoying this anthology right now. Wish I could just sit and read the whole book straight through, but you know this writing gets in our way. LOL

Samanthe Beck said...

Sounds like an amazing anthology! I'm looking forward to diving in...although I'm terrified to realize the holidays are almost here!!!

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Caroline, I'm catching up on reading them all...being that I'm doing edits right now for something else. But insure love what I'm reading.mthe stories all have an "aw" moment, my favorite thing.

Thanks for the good wishes.

Samanthe, oh you are so great to stop in. Thank you! I know what you mean...despite the HM movies I've already watched so far ...Christmas is frighteningly close! Gulp.

Hugs to you both!

Cheryl Pierson said...

Tanya, I loved the story! Your characters just made me ache for them and their situation they were in. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the Valentine's anthology, HEARTS AND SPURS! And congratulations on CLAIMING HIS HEART--another awesome read.

Winnie Griggs said...

Tanya, the story sound wonderful. I too am a Hallmark movie junkie and I'm a sucker for a warm Christmas story so this sounds right up my alley!

Tanya Hanson said...

Winnie and Cheryl, your words mean the world. You are two authors whom I so totally admire. Thanks,mthanks!