Newsflash: Book 7 in my Texas Rodeo series releases in January. Comment or answer a question at the end of any post dated Oct 20 – 24 to enter the drawing for a copy of Rodeo Family. I won’t get my author copies until January, but whoever wins will get their copy as soon as I receive it. Deadline: Nov 1st, 11:59 pm central time.
This isn’t my typical romantic post, but lately so many people have asked me when my next book will release, I decided to give everyone an update. You may have seen my new cover on Amazon or christianbook.com already, but just in case you haven’t, here it is.
It’s been a long bookless year as far as releases. Since 2010, I’ve consistently had two books release every year. Last year, since my white series was repackaged into a three in one, Arkansas Weddings, technically I had three books release. This year—one. Rodeo Song released back in April. That’s all—all year.
It’s my fault. When I was writing Rodeo Song last year, my agent called me and said we needed to discuss what I wanted to do next. In other words, she wanted a new proposal to pitch for my next book or series. I whined and said, I can’t think past this book. Let me finish this book and then I’ll think about it.
She calmly told me in her soothing voice, Okay, but you’ll have a long gap in between book releases and readers really don’t like that. So I finished Rodeo Song, rested my brain for a few weeks and put together a proposal for three more rodeo books. I was thrilled when she called to say Harlequin wanted the three rodeo books, plus three more titles.
So, this year, I’ve busily written two more rodeo titles during the long gap in between book releases. But the gap is about to be over. Rodeo Family – book 7 in the series releases in January. Hopefully readers will remember Tori Eaton from Rodeo Song. It never fails, whenever I write a non-Christian female side character whose life is a mess, I always feel compelled to explore why they ended up like they did and they usually end up getting their own books. Book 8 releases in June and Book 9 releases in November. So next year, I’ll have three books release. Yippee 🙂
Unless things change—Book 9 will be the last in the rodeo series. Originally, my Texas rodeo series was only supposed to be three books: Rodeo Dust, Rodeo Hero, and Rodeo Ashes. But then, Barbour sold the line to Harlequin, and my agent talked to my new editor who loved Rodeo Hero and wanted to know if I had anything similar. I had one dangling character, Natalie. Rodeo Regrets became her book, then her sister and cousin each got a book too, Rodeo Queen and Rodeo Song.
As I was writing Rodeo Queen, I realized that when this series ended, I’d have four dangling characters. So the series continued with three more books to wrap up their stories. Two of the characters end up no longer dangling together. With only Book 9 left to write, so far I’m not coming up with any more dangling characters to continue the series.
I remember the first time my husband and I visited the Fort Worth Stockyards and Aubrey, Texas where the series is set. I thought, there’s enough here for all three books. Little did I know, the setting had plenty of character to ground all nine titles. I’ve enjoyed the rodeo thoroughly. I love each character, each story, and I’ll miss them all.
If you’d told me a dozen years back that I would write 9 rodeo titles, I’d have laughed. I barely rode horses when I was a teenager and I’m not really a rodeo fan. But when I was fourteen, my dad announced at our very small town rodeo and I worked in the concession stand. Several years later, my husband and I took our son to the Arkansas State Fair. It was there that I saw a cowboy dressed in Wranglers, Justins, and a Stetson holding hands with a girl in a pin-striped business suit and suede high heel boots. I wondered where they met and what they had in common and Clay and Rayna were born.
I plan to reunite all the heroes and heroines in the final book. Maybe I’ll send them all to the State Fair of Texas or Six Flags or a rodeo, or a wedding. Or all four.
The final three books in my contract aren’t set in stone yet. And after this contract, we’ll see what happens next. Though this writing thing can be stressful, overwhelming, and brain-frying—for the most part, it’s fun. I feel blessed to get to write books and know people actually read them and I hope to continue for a long time to come.
I’ve never met a writer who wasn’t a reader first. We write because we love books and love to read. Readers, we understand you and you have no idea how much we writers appreciate you. If not for you, we wouldn’t get to live this dream.
About Shannon: 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.
Her nine titles are with Heartsong Presents and she’s contracted for six 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 and check out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/.
Connect with her on Facebook: http://facebook.com/shannontaylorvannatter, Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/29672798-shannon-vannatter, Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stvannatter/, and Twitter: @stvauthor.
About the book – Rodeo Family: TORI EATON IS READY TO START OVER
She’s beginning a new chapter in Aubrey, Texas, away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. As she picks up the pieces of her broken life, Tori’s surprised at the helping hand the church’s new song director, Brant McConnell, offers her, and at the warm emotions he inspires.
Brant is drawn to Tori. And as their friendship grows, so do his feelings for her. But Tori is still hounded by her past, and the walls she’s built around her heart are high. Can he convince the wounded beauty that he’s exactly the kind of man she needs—and deserves?
Question: Have you ever been to the Fort Worth Stockyards? or Where is your favorite place or tourist attraction to visit?
Come back Oct 22nd for Susan Reinhardt!