Thursday, April 10, 2014

RODEO SONG - Shannon Taylor Vannatter - One Free Book

Bio: Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows. Vannatter won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award.

She has nine titles with Heartsong Presents and is contracted for six more through June 2016. Her books are available at , , , , and .

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There’s a little bit of me in each character – my beliefs, my habits, my outlook on life. I’m an optimist, so my characters tend to be optimistic even when things are going disastrously. My bad girl heroines are the least like me, but by the end of the book, they’re more like me. But my heroines are always model material.

I’ve always struggled with the clock. I want to be a punctual person, but I go through life getting places by the skin of my teeth or five minutes late. Working on that was my New Year’s resolution this year and I’ve gotten better. Recently, I realized I’ve never put that trait into a character. So one of my upcoming heroines will be a time struggler.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In my early thirties, I realized two things: I couldn’t find any clean romances at the library and     that story I’d had in my head since my teens could be a book.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Contempory Romance, Women’s Fiction, and an occasional foray into Romantic Suspense. I only read Inspirational, and I have to be in the mood for suspense. It keys me up, and I usually read to relax.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Prayer. That sounds trite, but it’s true. When I’ve got a jillion things to do and run in several different directions, I pray for God to give me the stamina to tackle one thing at a time.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I try to use uncommon names for heroes and heroines and more common names for side characters. I often use a baby name book and the phone book for ideas.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My son. He’s twelve, he’s a Christian, he’s obsessed with basketball, and so far he still loves going to church.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
My pet dog or cat. Because my pets are very well cared for and loved. They’ve got life by the tail and me by the heart.

What is your favorite food?
I love pasta dishes with shrimp. Yum. A local restaurant, The Pasta Grill serves pasta with Alfredo sauce, grilled shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichokes. It’s so good. They’re my favorite restaurant. They play Christian music and they’re closed on Sunday.

I would so love that dish. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I had a hard time writing the hero of Rodeo Song as a Country singer. When I originally had the  idea for the book, he was a rock star with long hair. When I decided to include the book in my rodeo series, he had to transform, but I still wanted him to have long hair. In the past, there have been some long-haired Country stars. But not so much anymore. On top of that, I’m not a fan of Country music.

I was kind of stuck, so I went to a writer’s retreat with the ACFW AR writing group. By the end of the retreat, they’d helped me figure out a reason why his appearance didn’t fit today’s Country music. Also, one of the ladies told me to watch Country videos and try to find an artist whose music I like. I did and came to the conclusion that I like ballads, so my Country singer only sings love songs.

Tell us about the featured book.
It’s the only book I’ve ever written inspired by a dream. Years ago, after attending a Michael Bolton concert, I dreamed I was in the lobby when Michael did his famous lobby run. In the dream, he took my hand and pulled me onstage, then sang “Georgia on My Mind.” I used to live in Georgia and I thought the dream was funny, so I shared it with friends and family. After I started writing, I realized it could be a book.

Here’s the blurb:
But when silken-voiced Garrett Steele set out for stardom, he left Jenna—and his cowboy past—far behind. A chance encounter at one of his concerts propels him back into Jenna's life. But, once burned by love, Jenna must guard her heart against the captivating singer. 

Once upon a time, Garrett vowed he'd be a success, no matter what. But that path shattered his soul. His reunion with Jenna makes him long for things he once took for granted. Now he must show her that he's found what he was looking for all along…right here in his hometown.

Please give us the first page of the book.
(This is a bit more than the first page, but  since I talked about the dream, I wanted to include that part)
Screaming fans surrounded Jenna Wentworth as Garrett Steele’s rich, seductive voice and acoustic guitar drove the enraptured women into a frenzy. And despite her painful past with him, his lush baritone melted her insides.

Thirtieth row, floor seating. Jenna peered through the chaos, but with everyone standing, she couldn’t see much onstage. Her first country music concert. Ever. Stale beer assaulted her senses and her ears would probably ring for a week. Why had she come?

Because her friend Tori had promised to attend church with her in return, but. . .that wasn’t the whole story.

Truth be told—she couldn’t resist getting a glimpse of Garrett again. Pathetic.

The music stopped. Applause, whistles, and screams shattered her eardrums.

“What an awesome crowd.” Garrett’s words boomed over the speakers. “We’re taking a short break but we’ll be back, so don’t go anywhere Dallas.”

The crowd roared and the lights brightened. She stood on her tiptoes long enough to peer around the tall man standing in front of her to get a fleeting glimpse of Garrett leaving the stage before it went dark.

“I can’t believe I’m here,” Tori shouted over the clamor. “He’s even better looking in person.”

Jenna’s mouth went dry as the arena lights brightened. “How can you tell what he looks like?”

Maybe his floozy, boozy lifestyle had taken its toll, but Jenna couldn’t tell from the few glimpses she’d gotten of him.

“He’s just the greatest.” Tori did a little bounce.

Sure. Jenna rolled her eyes. The greatest guy to ever walk out on her.

“Okay, Jenna, I know you don’t really like him, but can’t you humor me?”

Time for a distraction. “I’m thirsty. Let’s get something to drink.”

They inched slowly up the stands toward the lobby, along with half the crowd in the American Airlines Center.

She could happily not talk about Garrett—if only she could stop thinking about him too.

Tori would be beside herself if she knew Jenna had grown up with him. That she’d once had feelings for him much deeper than like. Had once been the girl he’d claimed to love.

Though the cold bite of New Year's Day lurked outside, the lobby was toasty warm. But the line at the concession stand was endless. At this rate, they’d never get anything to drink.

Amongst the crowd of adoring fans, dutiful husbands and shrewd boyfriends, Jenna blended in like a Queen Anne wingback in a farmhouse.

Several amorous couples surrounded them. Men obviously brought their dates to Garrett Steele concerts to perform the dance of seduction for them. And it was working. All too well. Jenna closed her eyes.

Past simply thirsty, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth.

“Look! It’s Garrett Steele!” Excited voices echoed through the lobby.

In the distance, security guards cleared a path. Garrett ran toward the concession stand pursued by a trail of women.

Tori and a herd of females surged toward him. Men, deserted by their dates, stood as if rooted to the spot. Jenna moved closer to the counter to avoid the mob. Surreal. At least she’d get her tea faster now.

Though the women ran to meet Garrett head-on, they ended up in the throng behind him with the security guards keeping them at bay. Hands grabbed and clawed at Garrett as he and his entourage got closer to her. She could no longer see Tori. The rush forced abandoned men to move out of the way.

Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me. The pathetic one he’d turned his back on—at his concert with the rest of his minions.

Brilliant green eyes locked with hers. A flick of recognition followed by a familiar grin. Her heart went into overdrive. Surely she’d swoon. Mere feet away from her now, he held his hand out toward her. As if of their own volition, her fingers clasped his as he ran past, dragging her with him.

What a great hook. I’m sure my readers will want to get the book as soon as they can. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @stvauthor

Thank you, Shannon, for sharing this new book with us. 

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Rodeo Song -
Rodeo Song (Heartsong Presents) - Amazon
Rodeo Song (Heartsong Presents) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Cindy W. said...

I would love to win a copy of Rodeo Song, it sounds wonderful and I love the cover!

Living in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Cindy,
How cold is it up there? I lived in Illinois for 5 years when I was a kid. I remember snow. But I also remember being really hot in the summer. Everybody tends to think it's cold year round up there.

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Diana,
I've been to West Virginia. My husband has family there.

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

sounds like an intersting book--and I'm with you on the country music--only ballads. I live in Oregon, but travel all over with my husband for his job--I am currently in Portsmouth, England, so Cindy W.'s comment caught my eye... ;-)

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Thanks for the compliment. That's so cool that you get to travel with your husband. What are the odds of having two commentors in different Portsmouths?

Anonymous said...

I would love to win Shannon's book! she is a awesome writer!! I'm from MS! shelia Hall

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Thanks Shelia,
You always make my day with your comments. My sister in law lived in MS for a while and we visited once. I'm glad Lena had the idea of asking where people are from. This is fun.

scottsgal said...

what a great premise for a book -wish I had fun dreams like that.

Cheryl in Chicago burbs

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Cheryl,
I haven't had that fun of a dream in a long time. Pretty much the only concerts I go to anymore are Tran Siberian Orchestra. That should make interesting dreams, but I haven't had one yet. I lived in Elgin when I was a kid.

Mary Preston said...

My dreams are always so vivid & strange, not scary though - not book material at all.

I like the sound of this.

Mary P


Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Mary,
My dreams are usually very disjointed and weird. This one was rare.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Sydney Harries GA

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Oh and Mary,
I forgot to mention where you live. Australia. I've always thought it would be fun to visit there.

Thanks Sydney,
I used to live in Mableton, GA and I still have family in the area. We moved to Arkansas in 1977, visited GA in 1987 and 2003. Probably about time to head that way again. We don't go very often because the family there visits here usually every year since the entire rest of our family is here.

Aerykah said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Looks like a good book! :)

I'm in Oklahoma.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Aerykah,
How do you say your name? It's very unusual. You're probably thinking the same thing. Mine is - Van (like a minivan) adder (like a snake) but all one word - Vanadder.

I've never been to OK. I almost worked on an OK novella collection with 3 other authors, but it didn't work out. If it had, I planned to visit. I like visiting places I write about so I get the details right.

sm said...

How fun- a dream made into a book! Love country music and rodeos sound very country to me. I would love to win and read your book. sm, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey sm,
My rodeo books are very country. Actually all my books are. All my characters say y'all. My dad announced a small town rodeo when I was a teen and I worked the concession stand. That's where my inspiration initially came from.

I set the series at the Fort Worth Stockyards because I love TX and there are endless story possibilities at the Stockyards. This series started out as 3 books and has continued to 9. I've never been to CA.

Britney Adams said...

Thank you for sharing this great interview and giveaway. I would love to win a copy of RODEO SONG; it sounds delightful!

Britney Adams, TX

Susan Johnson said...

Your book sounds like a great read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
Susan in Texas

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Britney,
I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I did too. It was really a fun book to write.

Thanks for taking time to stop in. Hope you get the chance to read it.

Now y'all have me wondering where in TX.

Last time we were there, we went to Moms on Main in Aubrey. The restaurant has been in all my rodeo books and they let me have a signing there. The Murrays who own it so sweet and the food is great.

From there we went to the Stockyards Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum for another signing. Then on to Medina, near San Antonio to visit family.

Our son was 10 then. We stopped at two Bass Pro Shops and two Cabela's. Most of our trip found it's way into Rodeo Queen.

On the way home, we took our son on a wild hog hunt - he landed one. It's head is on his bedroom wall. That went in Rodeo Regrets.

We didn't make it that way last year, but we're planning to this year.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Sharon,
I've never been to SC either. But who am I kidding. I've been to very few states. I'm not a big traveler. And we're family oriented, so we usually travel to see family.