Getting ready for your vacation and you think how neat it is to be traveling in the twenty first century.  You have cars and airplanes, all they had in the 1800 was horses, stagecoaches, and with a bit of luck, a steam engine train.  Right!

Think again.  Two things…getting there, and getting home marred a recent trip to the Bahamas…a vacation that included pastel cottages and solo beaches.






Eleuthera blue










As soon as the trip started reality set in.  Each leg of flying was met by aircraft delays, canceled flights, rerouting, seats that were given away, and long waits on the tarmac while Mother Nature and the airlines negotiated routes, also socked in airports and go nowhere airplanes.

Now Leo Stanton Worthington had the right idea, although she didn’t have much choice in 1884.  She took the steam engine train to Tucson.  So what if she was robbed.  The outlaws didn’t keep her waiting four hours, then give her pretzels to make her feel better.  The robbery was quick and she kept her appetite.

When she couldn’t take the train, she hopped on a stagecoach.  Turns out her fellow passenger was a dead man, at least he didn’t complain, snore, or demand she get up every ten minutes so he could take a short walk down the aisle.

If you want a bit of the good old days, some western fun, and a western mystery, climb aboard and Take the Train to Tucson.  Its a good summer read whether you are on the Bahamas beach, at the lake, or touring.  It’s even good reading if you are stuck on an airplane.

Take the Train to Tucson is now available on, barnes&, and your local bookstore in e-book and soft cover.


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We’ve got a guest today, so put on your smiles and your company manners and welcome Shanna Hatfield who will entertain you and inform you about mail order brides in the old west.  Check out her delightful fictions.


The Women of Pendleton Petticoats


Imagine a mail-order bride from Chicago, who has never been anywhere else, stepping off the train out west to meet her husband and discovering a lively, colorful city that is nothing like the quiet, dull town she anticipated.

Her gaze travels over the milling crowd, taking in the sight of people from all walks of life as they mingle on the platform at the depot.

There’s a tall, handsome cowboy wearing a shiny deputy star. A Chinese man wearing a queue and wide-brimmed conical hat hurries on his way, keeping his head down and gaze averted. Two Indians with colorful wool blankets stand talking to a young woman with her black-haired baby strapped into cradleboard. Finely dressed gentlemen escort women attired in the latest fashions. Ranchers pick up supplies while farmers with huge wagons and lumbering teams unload burlap sacks filled with golden kernels of wheat.

This was Pendleton, Oregon, queen of a golden wheat empire, at the turn of the century.

My latest historic western romance series, Pendleton Petticoats, is set this fascinating western town.

During the period of 1900 through 1910, Pendleton experienced a boom in both population and modernization, making it the perfect setting for this series.

Although many thought it was a Wild West town (which it was), it was also a very progressive town with a theater, opera house, French restaurant, and tearoom. Pendleton opened a telephone office in 1902 and was the second city in the state to install paved streets in 1904.

The people who inhabited the town were an eclectic mix from every background

As I began writing the first book in this series, I envisioned a mail-order bride stepping off the train, completely unprepared for what awaited her. She expected the town to be quiet, dusty, and backward. What she found was something so entirely different.

It is nearly impossible to fathom the bravery and strength of mail-order brides. They left behind everything they knew to travel somewhere they’d never been to pledge their life to a man they had yet to meet.

I can tell you right now, I’m not cut out for that kind of adventure. I also wouldn’t do well with the lack of electricity or in-door plumbing the majority of them faced.

Fortunately, for the women in my Pendleton Petticoats series, they found themselves in homes with telephones and bathrooms.

Aundy, the main character (and namesake) of the first book in the series, knows she is physically strong and capable to work on her husband’s farm, but she has no idea of the depths of inner strength and fortitude she possesses until it is tested.

The second book in the series, Caterina, features a feisty Italian girl on the run from the mafia in New York City. Have you ever wondered how many women journeyed out west because they jumped on a train with nowhere else to go? Unlike Aundy who arrived in town as a mail-order bride, Caterina is free and unfettered – or as free as she can be, hunted by powerful men bent on vengeance.

Ilsa, my latest release in the series, shines a light on one girl’s struggle to toss off the fetters of expectations placed upon her as she learns to believe in herself.

Isn’t that what we all should strive for?PendletonPetticoats



Shanna Hatfield is a hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure. In addition to blogging, eating too much chocolate, and being smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller, she is a best-selling author of clean romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

Find Shanna’s books at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Follow Shanna online: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

Email Shanna at






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Cooking Up Trouble

CookMy husband loves to cook, and I’ll admit he’s pretty good t it.  His white chicken chili will put a smile on your face.  However, like all cooks he has his disasters.  Now when the wife cooks, you eat the food and say something like…”That was interesting dear, but really not my favorite.”  OK, she gets the picture.  However, never, never, say that to your male cook.  His artistic talents would be hugely insulted.  So, you muddle through guacamole with peanut butter, cod swimming in skim milk, and other novelties.  When asked what you think, you say something like, “That was a real creation with a unique taste.”  You may get it again, but it beats days of silence, or…”Well if you feel that way I’m never cooking again.”  (Which may be a good thing.)

Now Leo Worthington Stanton, a fictional character in Contact Creede, and Take the Train to Tucson (out June 2014), doesn’t have a cook problem.  She has Maria, a feisty, commando-type Mexican woman who cooks heavenly French gourmet food at the Crooked Button Ranch.

Crooked ButtonFor those of you who want to add a bit of classic French flare to your cooking, be you male or female, here is a simple receipt for a favorite soup filled with good vegetables.  It will bring complements, not vague comments.


French Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup is a favorite of Marie’s.  It is easy and nourishing.  In France, this is served to all ages, including babies. This keeps well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, in fact its flavor improves as it sits. You can also serve this soup cold.

3 cups chicken broth

As much water as needed

2 medium size potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 medium size carrots, cut in chunks

½ onion (optional) you can substitute 1 leek

1 cup cut green beans

1 tomato quartered

1 cup of a green leafy vegetable of your choice, cut in chunks for easy blending.

Rounds of toasted French bread

Grated Parmesan cheese (or slices of a soft melting cheese)

Place all vegetables in large pot, cover with liquid, and bring to a boil. Simmer until vegetables are cooked.  Puree in blender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

For hot soup, reheat to serve.  Add either a shot of sherry or ¼ cup of milk or cream to mixture, stir well, and serve.  Before serving, place a slice of toasted bread covered in grated cheese. Bon appetite.

Serves 4 – 6


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2014 I’m Gonna——–!

2014 I’m Gonna_____!

Every New Year, millions of people make millions of resolutions to correct character flaws.  About February, they decide that their flaws are part of their charm.  This year I decided not to go through the steps: excitement at goal setting, determination, apathy, and guilt. This year I decided to just stick with the excitement of goal setting and make resolutions for others…namely my book characters.  They really don’t mind, and I’m not worried about them failing… they are either long gone, or fictional.

1. I will manage money better.  Buffalo Bill Cody (Annie’s Guests) Bufalo Bill


2. I will prepare for all possible events. Lieutenant Commander Waldo Tullsen (Banana River)       Scan0001 (3)








3. I going to find a peaceful place to enjoy. Buster Bailey (Canyon of Gold) Canyon Cover






4.  When times are tough, I will use all the resources I can.  Catherine Reidy (Images of America: Oro Valley)

Oro Valley







5. I will pay attention to what people tell me. Coronal Fountain (Outlaw Tales of New Mexico)

6. I will be ready to do what I have to, including butchering the pig. Elizabeth Adelaide Hoopes Allen (In Our Own Words)  Hoopes Allen




7. I will stay away from disgruntled ghosts. Mary Elizabeth Lambert (Myths and Mysteries of New Mysteries BookcoverMexico)







Barbara Marriott Contact Creed a Novel of Old Colorado



8. I will not let the bad guys get away with anything.   Leonarda Stanton Worthington (Contact Creede)





9. When life is tough, I’ll stick with it. D. C. Warren (Legendary Locals: Marana, Oro Valley and Catalina)









10. Safety first in everything we do. The Fleet Angels (The Fleet Angels of Lakehurst)  Cover






11. I’ll cook good food; it solves all problems. Maria (Take the Train to Tucson)  Spring 2014

Train to Tucson




12. You can’t win them all, but I’ll try. John Ringo (Two Six Shooters Beat Four Aces. 2015

Happy New Year everyone.  Share your New Years’ resolutions with me.



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   Xmas Present         

Santa has the best delivery system.  Ask any kid.  However, if you ask any sailor, they will tell you it’s not Santa that brings the Christmas goodies…it’s the Fleet Angels…the US Navy’s search, rescue, and delivery helicopter squadron.


For over fifty years, the men and women of the Fleet Angels have delivered mail to sailors serving aboard aircraft carriers and other naval ships. Deployed aboard US Naval vessels, they stand plane guard during aircraft sea maneuvers, perform rescue operations, and fly cargo and personnel between ships of the fleet.

They also deliver something more…a laugh, a tear, and a good time. They deliver the USO Christmas Show that features popular entertainment celebrates.  These shows bring song, dance, and laughs to our naval men and women away from their families.   Holidays are heart breaking when you are away from loved ones, but the Angels help add a bright moment to deployed men and women.

Although the pilots and crew personnel have other responsibilities, none brings them more pleasure than their holiday cargos.  This includes the delivery of the holiday mail, which means a LOT of cookies.

Of all the many celebrities who have entertained the Troops, none gave more of himself and his talents to the men and women in uniform than Bob Hope, and no celebrity is more revered than Hope, who started the Christmas Show tradition.

Welcome aboard to the USS John F. Kennedy and the Bob Hope Christmas Show, circa 1970.

1970_12_19 - CVA67-Det2 - Bob Hope Christmas Show21

1970_12_19 - CVA67-Det2 - Bob Hope Christmas Show05

1970_12_19 - CVA67-Det2 - Bob Hope Christmas Show08BH 2 (2)






American owes a debt of gratitude to Bob Hope for the joy he brought to our military men and women away from home.  I’m sure he has the heavenly angels in stitches.  Thank you Fleet Angels for delivering Hope.  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas.

Barbara Marriott


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