Saturday, November 2, 2013

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

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!


  1. Tanya, you certainly met your goal of wrenching the heartstrings, then turning warm and fuzzy. "Covenant" is such a good story. I didn't know the tidbit about using branches instead of trees at Christmas, but it makes perfect sense in places where trees were scarce. I'm looking forward to reading CLAIMING HIS HEART. HUGS!!!!

  2. Tanya, your story was truly heartwrenching. It kept me wondering how in the world it could have a happy ending, but you made it happen! I had never heard of springerle either, and the rolling pin--what a beautiful thing!

    Great story--I loved it.
    Hugs, Cheryl

  3. I have tried so many times to leave a comment. My smartphone stank (we were out of town for the grandbaby's second birthday) and the iPad wouldn't let me type. Grrrrr. Anyway, thanks for the shout-out, Jacquie.


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