Allow me to introduce you to Shannon Taylor Vannatter, who hails from Central Arkansas where she is an author and stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows and once climbed a mountain wearing gold wedge-heeled sandals, which became known as her hiking boots. Sharon won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award. Shannon has a new book out which we’ll tell you about at the end, and she also has a fun giveaway you won’t want to miss, especially if you or someone you know loves baseball!
But first, Shannon, tell us a little more about yourself. How long have you been writing, and do you write anything besides novels?
I started writing in late 1999 and signed my first contract in early 2009. I used to write short stories to enter writing contests and in an effort to get something published so I’d have a resume for editors. One of my short stories was published in Mature Living magazine in 2008. Since I’ve been contracted to write novels, I haven’t written anything else.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
Contemporary romance. I love the ones where the hero has been in love with the heroine for years, but kept his feelings hidden.
What do you find is the hardest part of writing?
Staying out of the stories in my head to focus on the real world around me. My husband often has to repeat things several times because I’m plotting.
Can you share with us about the back blurb from your book?
RAQUEL MARRIS NEEDS A MAN WHO’LL STAY PUT
And Slade Walker’s not a likely candidate. Even if the former major league pitcher just agreed to coach her son’s little league team. The single mom can’t risk everything on a bronc-riding chaplain who’s only passing through Raquel’s small Texas town.
Slade is taking a hiatus from the rodeo circuit to meet the sister he never knew he had. But the pretty widowed nurse next door is making him think twice about hitting the road again. He can’t turn his back on the cowboys who need him, but Raquel and her boy need him, too. Can Slade fulfill his calling and finally find a place to hang his hat?
How did you get the idea and why did you pick that setting?
When my son was seven, he played little league baseball. My husband was a bi-vocational pastor, so he had a full time job and pastored a church. He never got home before dark and when he was home, he had to work on his sermons.
I was trying to help my son with batting practice and couldn’t pitch well enough for him to hit the ball. I wished my husband could help him and though I supported my husband’s calling, I often felt like a single mom. I thought how nice it would be if a former baseball player or a coach lived next door.
As soon as I had the thought, I knew it was a book. At the time, I was working on book 5 of my Texas rodeo series and introduced Raquel Marris, a widowed mom with a young son, as a side character. By book 8 of the series, Raquel’s son was the right age to play baseball.
I chose the setting, The Fort Worth Stockyards and Aubrey, Texas because for the first book in the series, I needed a year round indoor rodeo with a small town not too far away where all my cowboys could own ranches. The Stockyards has such a rich history and Aubrey is known as Horse Country USA, so it was perfect.
Did you learn any interesting tidbits while doing research for this book that you can share with us?
Raquel is a school nurse. After talking to a few school nurses, I learned in many school districts, the school nurse is only allowed to provide very basic medical care.
What message would you like readers to take away from this book?
That if you’ll be patient and let Him, God will work out everything for you.
That’s a great message. Thanks for joining us today.
Where can readers purchase your book?
Shannon has eleven published titles and is contracted for four more. Her books are available at christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, harlequin.com, and barbourbooks.com. Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com check out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/.
In addition, you can connect with her on
And now for the GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Here’s something special to commemorate the Heartsong Presents line since it’s ending this month. Comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Rodeo Reunion. Ten copies will be split among names drawn during the blog tour from June 1st – July 1st. One winner will receive a baseball themed memory board personally crafted by the author. Winners will be revealed on the author’s blog on July 22nd.