This week, I’m excited about two things. Thanks to my awesome designer, Linda Fulkerson, I have a brand spanking new website. Be sure and look around. More content will be added in the coming weeks. The other thing I’m excited about – my latest release, Winning Over the Cowboy. This is book 2 in my Texas Rodeo series. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated April 4 -7 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: April 15th, 11:59 pm central time.
I’ve lost count of how many times my husband and I have made the trek to the Texas Hill Country in the over thirty years we’ve been married. His dad and step-mom, who we’ve dubbed Texas Mom, own a ranch fifteen minutes from Bandera. Known as the Cowboy Capital of the World, Bandera still has reenactment longhorn drives and gunfights at local festivals and at least a dozen dude ranches in the area.
Over the years, we’ve eaten several meals at Old Spanish Trail known as OST on Main Street. It’s such a fun place filled with Texas charm. There’s a gigantic elk hanging on the wall over the breakfast bar, so large the servers duck underneath it to work the counter lined with saddle topped stools for seating. The salad bar is housed by a realistic chuck wagon and one room is dedicated to the Duke with pictures of John Wayne covering the walls.
We often shopped Old West Imports and walked Bandera’s Main Street full of unique gift shops where we found every imaginable Texas treasure, then stopped in at Dogleg Coffeehouse. On the Vannatter ranch, we swam and waded in the river on the back of their property and whiled away our days visiting and enjoying our time together. A must stop always on our agenda, we visited The Apple Store.
The Apple Store is in Medina. With it’s own apple orchard, they sell gift items along with yummy bread, jams, and pies. They even have a cafe and apple ice cream. Our favorites are Adam’s Family Treat/Apple Pumpkin bread and Peach Cobbler Preserves. Did I say yum. We always bring home a nice haul of goodies and really enjoy when we get a gift box from The Apple Store for Christmas.
We lost my father-in-law several years ago, but we still visit Texas Mom often and she always makes us feel welcome and loved. We eat at the same places, visit our favorite stores, and explore flea markets. It’s not the same without him, but we feel closer to him there and relish our memories.
When we went there for his funeral, we stayed in a cabin on a dude ranch in Bandera and met a man at OST who’d known him. Our son was fascinated with pocket knives at that time and showed the man his. The man gave our son his knife. I fictionalized that and many other special memories in my new release, Winning Over the Cowboy.
About Shannon: Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife/award winning author. She once climbed a mountain wearing gold wedge-heeled sandals which became known as her hiking boots. Shannon writes inspirational contemporary romance and it took her nine years to get published in the traditional market.
Shannon hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as her characters struggle with real-life issues. Their journeys, from ordinary lives to extraordinary romance through Christ-centered relationships, demonstrate that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her family, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.
About the book – Winning Over the Cowboy:
The Rancher Stakes His Claim
When she inherits half a dude ranch after losing her best friend, Landry Malone is determined to see Eden’s legacy flourish. That is if her friend’s broad-shouldered cowboy brother will give her the chance. Chase Donovan isn’t happy that his sister left their family business to an outsider—and he’s determined to test Landry’s mettle, hoping she’ll give up her claim. Soon Chase is impressed by Landry’s ability to rise to every challenge he puts in her way—and worried that his attraction to the perky spitfire seems to know no end. Finally working together to ensure the ranch’s future, will their business partnership be the foundation for something more?
Question for Readers: Where’s a special store or restaurant you love visiting during family vacation? Tell us about it and why it’s special to you.
Come back April 7th for a comparison between Shannon and her latest heroine!