Friday, February 10, 2017

An Unlikely Beginning by Shanna Hatfield

Sometimes the ideas for stories begin in the most unlikely places. 

A few years ago, my cousin shared a hilarious story about an elderly woman she knew who’d taken to wearing her deceased husband’s underwear, because it provided such a wonderful lipstick holder.

Every time I thought of that woman's logic, I’d get the giggles. Then my overactive imagination jumped in. What if the woman wasn’t in the beginning stages of dementia, but just a little kooky? What if she had a single granddaughter in need of a good man? What if she lived in a retirement village and kept the residents there on their toes?

That’s when the character of a nutty matchmaker named Matilda, aka Grams, was born.

As a young girl, I heard my aunt and her friend laugh about that poem When I Am An Old Woman,”  by Jenny Joseph. They vowed to one day wear purple (and gold lamé) along with red hats, and to be indescribably outrageous when they were old enough to shock people and not care what anyone thought.

To date, my aunt hasn’t worn purple or gold lamé or a red hat, but I’ve always admired the idea of being a person who wears what they please and does what they want without giving a thought to what others might think.

Matilda is just that kind of person. Is she wacky? Absolutely. But she’s also kind and fun, and completely devoted to her granddaughter. When I was developing her character, I knew Matilda needed a sidekick. Someone completely different from her charge-ahead personality. Don’t ask me why, but the mother of one of my former classmates came to mind. Her name was Ruth and I always thought she looked like such a beautiful well-dressed lady, and she had such an air of poise and grace. I think there were eight kids in the family, so I’m sure she had her moments of keeping up with her children, but she had the softest, most pleasant voice and manner. So, my inspiration for Ruth derives from a real-life person.

Matilda and Ruth team up to get Matilda's granddaughter and Ruth's nephew together. The lengths they go to are quite astounding and loads of fun.

Today through February 13, you can download Valentine Bride (Holiday Brides Book 1) for FREE on Amazon!

 Two unlikely matchmakers set the stage for love...

Fynlee Dale returns to Holiday to take care of her wacky grandmother. Although it means giving up her dreams of a career and husband, she needs to be there for Grams.
Carson Ford vows to take care of his elderly aunt after buying her ranch. Comfortable with all aspects of his life, his world turns upside down when he meets a woman who’s impossible to forget.
They find themselves in the midst of a plot by two scheming old women determined to make them fall in love.
Valentine Bride is a funny, sweet romance given a liberal dose of humor through a cast of colorful characters intertwined around a heartwarming love story.

Fynlee held back a sigh as she watched the older women, wondering how many calls from the staff loomed in her immediate future. Matilda got into enough mischief on her own, but now she’d be dragging poor Mrs. Beaumont into the fray.
A clearing throat drew her gaze to the brawny man standing beside her, staring at the underwear in her arms.
“Is that a welcoming gift?” he asked with a lopsided smirk.
Heat flamed into Fynlee’s cheeks, making her freckles stand out even more as she hastily looked for somewhere to dump the briefs. With nothing readily available, she wadded them into a lumpy ball and clutched them against her side.
“No, it certainly is not. I don’t think anyone would want these old things, anyway.” Humiliated, she studied the burly, unreasonably attractive stranger. At her five-ten height, it wasn’t often she encountered a man tall enough to make her look up to fully see his face.
A tanned forefinger tipped back the brim of his straw Stetson and Fynlee swallowed hard. Blue eyes sparkled with humor behind thick lashes and a boyish smile added to his considerable appeal. Hints of golden brown hair peeked out from beneath the hat brim.
“I’m Carson Ford. Aunt Ruth asked me to help her get settled.” He held out a work-roughened hand to her.
Fynlee glanced at it, noting a cut across the back of his knuckles and a jagged scar near his thumb. Those hands looked every bit as rugged as the man to which they belonged.
With only a slight hesitation, she reached out and shook his hand, unprepared for the electrical current that sizzled from her fingertips up her arm.
From the way Ruth spoke of her nephew who purchased the ranch, Fynlee assumed he’d be in his fifties. A picture of a pot-bellied, balding man had fit her image of him. She certainly never envisioned the nephew as a young, incredibly attractive cowboy.
Gathering her rapidly scattering wits, she smiled at him. “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Ford. I’m Fynlee Dale. That loony woman with your aunt is my grandmother.”
The sound of his deep chuckle made something softly pluck at her heartstrings. For a brief, fleeting moment, Fynlee toyed with the idea that she’d finally met the man she would one day marry.
Stunned by the preposterous notions swirling through her mind, she took a step back and turned toward her grandmother’s apartment. In her twenty-seven years of living, she’d never seen a man as virile and entirely appealing as Ruth’s nephew, but that was no reason to lose her head.


Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real. 
    When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please),  this USA Today bestselling author hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
  Find Shanna’s books at:
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  1. Shanna, I think I like Matilda a bunch. I admire people who don't let others decide what they do. As I get older, I find myself leaning more in that direction. I haven't worn purple and gold yet. Who knows.

    1. That's great, Mary. I think as we age it is easier to not worry so much about what other people might think. :) Here's to the gold and purple!

  2. Sounds so fun. I love quirky characters.

  3. Shanna, so fun! I love your amazing characters!

  4. It's Great Thanks for sharing with us

  5. Thanks! I just downloaded this and I already know I am going to love it..sounds delightful. I wrote a novella with a quirky great grandmother named Mona, who decides to fix her granddaughter's non-existant love life, "Meddling Mona". Got to love those loving meddlers! Can't wait to read yours, Mona!

  6. Love the idea, and kooky characters. They usually have a mind of their own when you're trying to make them behave.