Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour!


Welcome to the 2nd annual

Cowboys and Christmas

Blog Tour!

Raising funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

Ring in the Holidays with a Helping Hand

JCCF logoNovember 1 through Dec. 24, 10 percent of the net proceeds from all Shanna Hatfield book sales will be donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period. Every book purchased during this promotional period adds to the donation total. Don't forget to add books to your Christmas lists!

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Rachel! It's such a pleasure to be here with you on my blog tour.

The Columbia River Bar

As a writer, it's important to me to get the historical details as accurate as possible in my stories.
Due to that fact, I spend a significant amount of time researching information that will help bring my stories and characters to life.

The Christmas Vow features a hero who is a Columbia River Pilot back in the late 1800s. I started doing research on what this job would entail and discovered a wealth of interesting details.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Columbia River, it is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. It flows northwest and then south into Washington State before it turns west to form most of the border between Washington and Oregon. It empties into the Pacific Ocean.

The river is 1,243 miles long and its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven US states as well as a Canadian province. It is the fourth-largest river in the US and has the greatest flow of any North American river draining into the Pacific.

 The Columbia Gorge is the route the river follows dividing Oregon and Washington. The gorge is canyon that is up to 4,000 feet deep and stretches for more than 80 miles as the river winds westward through the Cascade mountain range toward the Pacific Ocean. It provides the only navigable water route through the Cascades and the only water connection between the Columbia River Plateau and the Pacific Ocean. The Gorge holds a protected status as a national scenic area and is a popular recreational destination.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Ships coming inland from the ocean or those traveling down the river trying to reach the ocean face a treacherous area known as the Columbia Bar. The jaws of the mighty Columbia River empty into the ocean at the bar where water gushes more than a million cubic feet per second and smashes head-on with hurricane-force winds creating twenty- to forty-foot swells roaring off the Pacific.

Eerily nicknamed the "Graveyard of the Pacific," this stretch of the coast lives up to the moniker.  Since 1792, there have been approximately 2,000 ships sunk in the area and more than 700 deaths. Water, weather, and geography combine to make the bar deadly.

The Columbia River flows through a narrow channel into the Pacific. As the water surges toward the ocean, it slows down, dropping sand and silt. The sand and silt then form a fan-shaped sandbar that extends more than six miles into the ocean, creating underwater speed bumps. The conditions can rip ships to pieces and force swells to sheer off, creating a freefall. Pelting rain and heavy fog add into the dangerous mix. The bar's weather and waves are notoriously dangerous for all types of vessels.

In 1846, after numerous shipwrecks, the Columbia River Bar Pilots organization formed to ensure the safety of ships, crews, and cargoes crossing the bar. The main office is located in Astoria, Oregon (12 miles upriver), where Victorian houses crowd the steep hills to the waterfront, giving visitors a reminder of a bygone era.

The men and women who belong to this organization must hold an unlimited master’s license (meaning they are licensed to pilot vessels without limits on size, power or geographic location) and have served a minimum of two years as master of oceangoing vessels. The standard of licensing for the bar pilots is one of the highest in the nation.

All vessels engaged in foreign trade are required to employ a Columbia River Bar Pilot licensed by the State of Oregon when crossing the Columbia River Bar.  The pilots board the vessels and assume navigational control, using their experience and knowledge to safely navigate the restricted channels of the Columbia River and over the bar both coming and going from the sea.

Approximately 3,600 vessels cross the bar each year – from 100-foot tugs to 1,100-foot tankers, bulk carriers, car carriers, log ships, general cargo ships, container ships and passenger ships. An estimated 40 million tons of cargo valued at $23 billion goes across the bar each year.

Another organization, the Columbia River Pilots, provide maritime pilotage services to all ports on the lower Columbia and Willamette Rivers once ships have crossed the bar. These pilots are charged with safely and efficiently piloting vessels in all weather conditions, at all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year. Headquartered in Portland, the group has a pilot station located in Astoria where pilots await inbound ship assignments.

 In my story, Adam Guthry is a Columbia River pilot, helping guide vessels from the bar to ports along the Columbia River and back again. You can read more about his work in The Christmas Vow, releasing this November as the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays series.


New Releases

To kick off the second annual Cowboys and Christmas Blog Tour and the JCCF campaign,
 two brand new holiday romances will release Nov. 12! 

Capturing Christmas Cover Capturing Christmas is the third installment in the sweet holiday western Rodeo Romance series.

 Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo. Determined to capture the best images possible, rodeo photographer Celia McGraw is fearless and feisty. Not one to back down from a challenge, her biggest risk isn’t in her work. Danger lurks in the way her heart responds to one incredibly handsome stock contractor. Will Kash and Celia capture the spirit of the season?
Pre-order your copy today!
Get all three books in the Rodeo Romance series!

The Christmas Vow CoverThe Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series. Columbia River Pilot Adam Guthry returns to his hometown of Hardman, Oregon, after the sudden death of his best friend. Emotions he can’t contain bubble to the surface the moment he sees the girl who shattered his heart eleven years ago. Widow Tia Devereux escapes her restrictive life in Portland, returning to the home she knew and adored as a girl in Hardman. She and her four-year-old son, Toby, settle into the small Eastern Oregon community, eager for the holiday season. Unfortunately, the only man she’s ever loved shows up, stirring the embers of a long-dead romance into a blazing flame. When her former father-in-law, a corrupt judge, decides he wants to raise Toby, Adam may be the only hope she has of keeping her son.
You can pre-order your copy today for only $2.99!
Hardman-Holidays-block for web 
Don't miss out on the Hardman Holidays series!

Guest Author Sign

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party, Thursday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more (many of the giveaways will stay open until the following morning)! Here’s the link to the party:
The talented guest authors joining in the celebration include: 
10 a.m. - Carmen Peone 
12:30 - Rachel Rossano 
1:30 - Dani Harper

Grand Prize Photo

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, Wrangler Tote Bag, Rock & Roll Cowgirl T-shirt, autographed books, chocolates, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. Winners will be randomly drawn and announced Nov. 16.

Where to Find The Books

The Christmas Cowboy Cover 
Start the Rodeo Romance Series with The Christmas Cowboy.
christmas bargain cover 
Travel back to a time of grandeur in the old west
with the Hardman Holidays series.
The Christmas Bargain begins the popular series
and is available free for a very limited time!

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2Convinced 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), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
This USA Today bestselling author is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, and Pioneer Hearts.

  Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple  

Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter
Make sure you sign up for her newsletter to get the latest on new releases and exclusive giveaways! Newsletter


Shanna Hatfield said...

Thank you for hosting me, Rachel! So appreciate it!

Rachel Rossano said...

It was a pleasure having you as always! :)