Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Win a Book!

When you leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, November 10, 2013 you'll be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book I mention below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left column “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I’ll add your name a second time in the drawing. You must be eighteen, have a U.S. mailing address, void where prohibited. You can read details about my book giveaways at Disclaimers.

 Rodeo Queen by Shannon Vannatter

Our guest blogger today is Shannon Taylor Vannatter, author of Rodeo Queen. A Central Arkansas author, Shannon is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. 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

What fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself?

I’d rather be cold than hot. I HATE summer. Makes me want to hibernate under the air conditioner.

I LOVE fall. The weather is cooler and since I live in rural Arkansas, you can hike in the woods without having to worry about ticks or snakes.

I finally joined Pinterest this year. It has the potential to be addictive and a time sucker. But it’s also a great tool. I pin pictures I find of potential characters for future books and crafts I want to attempt. I’m trying to find time to build a board for each of my books – with pictures of each character the way I see them, their houses, cars, and clothes. And it comes in really handy when it’s time to provide pictures to my editor for cover art.

Please describe yourself with three words.

Calm, loyal, boring.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I love to sew home interior – curtain toppers, bedspreads, bed ruffles. And I like making crafty decor items. I don’t sew clothes. If you make a pucker, it matters. With home interior, it doesn’t. Okay, it does matter on bedspreads—probably why those are my least favorite.

If you could have dinner with one person from today or history (except Jesus), who would it be? Why?

My husband. After 29 years, he still makes me laugh.

Please tell us about Rodeo Queen.

Rodeo Queen was the first book I ever wrote. The story was in my head since my teens, but I never realized it was a book until I hit my thirties. I have fifty-two rejection letters on it because I didn’t know I needed to learn to write.

It was fun to completely rewrite the story with the knowledge gained from twelve years of studying the craft of writing. It’s the same general plot with a new setting to fit my rodeo series.

Originally, the heroine was an interior decorator in rural Arkansas with a stalker.

Now she’s a rodeo queen who owns a blingy western store at the Fort Worth Stockyards. The rodeo queen aspect worked well with the stalker part. The hero was originally a private detective. Now he’s a Texas Ranger.

The original first line was – It was a beautiful day. The new version is – Was he waiting for her? I hope that’s more interesting. I’m almost as excited about this book getting published as I was my first published book. It’s my 8th published book, but it will always be my first book – to me. The one that started it all.

What takeaway value do you hope your readers receive after reading this book?

The heroine lets fear rule her even though she’s a Christian. My brother-in-law served in Iraq several years ago. My father-in-law, a pastor, told me that each night, he’d give his son’s safety to God. And every morning, he’d take it back and worry all day. We’re supposed to turn our fears over to God, but that’s one of the hardest things for humans to do. Even pastors.

Please tell our readers where they can get your book.

Barnes & Noble

Please tell our readers where they can find you online.
Group Blog
Twitter: @stvauthor

Any parting comment?

Thanks for having me, Jo. I love interacting with readers, so if anyone has any questions, I’ll be popping in throughout the day.

Thank you, Shannon, for sharing this interesting interview with my readers and me. One of my blog commenters will win a copy of Rodeo Queen, which you graciously offered. Thank you.

Remember: leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Sunday, November 10, 2013 and you'll be entered in the drawing for a copy of  Rodeo Queen by Shannon Vannatter. Please, please remember to leave your email address. I’ll need your email address so that should you be the winner I can get in touch with you. I’ll announce the winner in Monday’s blog.

The winner of last Thursday's blog post was given in this past Monday’s blog.

Till next time … keep on smiling.


  1. I love how share your writing journey. Congratulations on your book! Southern Superstitions is the book I feel that way about for some similar reasons. It was my first fiction book. It'll always be near to my heart. Blessings for success, Author BJ Robinson

    1. B.J., thanks for visiting with Shannon and me and leaving your comment. If you want to be entered in the book drawing I NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

  2. Hey B.J.,
    Congratulations on your book! That's awesome!

  3. I love that your endurance and persistence paid off and you never let go of your writing dream. Congratulations to you! I love the stockyards setting. My husband and I go there every year and of course, we go shopping ! Hope I'm a winner!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    1. Melanie, neat that you and your husband go to the stockyards every year. Thanks for for leaving your comment.

    2. Hey Melanie,
      I'd never been to the Stockyards until 2011 and I went for research for the first book in this series. But we've been every year since. My stepmother-in-law lives in the San Antonio area, so we visit the Stockyards on the way to see her.

  4. I love your persistence!
    Have a terrific,wonderful,blessed day
    God bless u
    Chris Granville

    1. Chris, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. If you want to be entered in the book drawing I NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

  5. Hey Chris, I tell people when they look up persistence in the dictionary, my picture should be there :)

  6. Great interview Jo. Enjoyed meeting my almost neighbor over in Arkansas. (I live in N. Mississippi) The Rodeo Queen sounds like a great book! pat at ptbradley dot com

    1. Pat, glad you enjoyed the interview. I used to live in Mississippi--Starkville. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Hey Patricia,
    I've traveled through your neck of the woods numerous times. When I was a kid, we lived in Georgia and visited my grandparents in AR every summer. And my sis in law used to live in N. Miss., but she lives here now.

  8. Enjoyed your interview. Book sounds fantastic. Would love to win it. Thank you for the opportunity to enter this giveaway and please enter my name.
    Barbara Thompson

    1. Barbara, you're entered! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for leaving your comment.

    2. Hey Barbara, Thanks for your vote of confidence. I really love this book. Hope readers will too.

  9. I love Shannon's books. I signed up for the e-mailing list. I have had the honor of meeting her at writing conferences. She is always so professional to everyone. She is anything but boring.

    Carolyn Boyles
    authorboyles (at)

    1. Carolyn, thanks for reading and leaving your comment. Glad you signed up for the emailing list.

    2. Hey Carolyn,
      Glad to hear from you. Thanks for saying I'm not boring.

  10. I have not read any of Shannon's books yet but I would love to. This one sounds good.

    1. Diana, glad you have found a new author to read. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

    2. Hi Diana,
      Hope you get the chance to read me. My books are easier to get a hold of since they're all digital now. That makes it where they never really go out of print.