Sunday, February 20, 2011

Special Guest TANYA HANSON

Greetings "Sweethearts of the West" and Friends—I have the pleasure of introducing a very talented Western Historical author, Tanya Hanson. She lives on Central California’s coast with her firefighter husband. She gives of her precious time making friends with the horses at the California Coastal Horse Rescue         
where she volunteers cleaning stalls. She says her two grown-up kids are the best thing she’s ever done, and she’s the besotted gramma of a four-year old little boy. Tanya's career as a high school English teacher helped her hone her writing skills; pioneer ancestors, college days in Nebraska and Colorado, and childhood TV Westerns led her to find a home writing stores set in the West, both historical and contemporary inspirational.
Welcome, Tanya! We've been looking forward to your visit. Besides cleaning out horse stalls and playing grandmother, what else are you involved in? I know it's something to do with writing.
Absolutely. Last fall, the release of Redeeming Daisy, my second inspirational contemporary novella in the Hearts Crossing Ranch series, came right on the boot heels of my western historical Marrying Mattie. Since both heroes, some 130 years apart, are horse doctors, I reckoned I’d look into veterinary history a bit.
Okay. Long ago, the caretakers of the horses of the ancient Roman army were called “veterinarii”. The term itself derives from the Latin root for “beast of burden.” The first veterinary school was founded in Lyon, France, in 1762.
But in colonial America, words like “veterinarian,” horse doctor, or even “animal doctor” weren’t part of the vocabulary. For the colonists, animal disease was surrounded by mystery, superstition and ignorance—pretty much the same as for human ailments. Simple cures were largely unknown, because even  physicians had little information on bacteria and anatomy.  Often a sick horse was tended by a herdsman or farrier (blacksmith) with roots, herbs, and often witchcraft.  The prevailing and unfortunate creed was—the more it hurt, the better it must heal.
By the early 1800’s, professional veterinarians, most of them graduates of the  London Veterinary College founded in 1791, began migrating to America’s cities. Without suitable veterinary schools here, young men apprenticed with these professionals and went on to become animal doctors. There were also medical doctors who used their knowledge of humans to treat animals, and other doctors who served both “man and beast.”
On the frontier, most animal doctors were self-taught, like Call Hackett in Marrying Mattie. He has studied science at university level and reads treatises by such as William Youatt extensively. He performs necropsies when he can in a small lab he has set up in a shed on his land.

Back in the 1800’s, books and pamphlets on horse medicine helped spread knowledge. The first surgical anesthesia upon a horse was performed in London in 1847 and helped advance animal surgery in America.

 Prior, surgical techniques were rarely attempted on horses: forcible restraint and terrible anguish were just not pleasant for anybody, especially the animal.
Fun Fact: Dr. A.J. Chandler, a veterinarian who graduated with honors from Montreal Veterinary College at McGill University, left a successful practice in Detroit to come to Arizona in 1887 to set health standards for the growing cattle industry.
Fun Fact: Dr. Mignon Nicholson, Class of 1903 at McKillip Veterinary College in Chicago, is the first known female veterinarian.  Because of their smaller size, though, women were not usually accepted as large animal doctors.
One Important Final Fun Fact: Dr. M. Phyllis Lose, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School in 1957, is credited as the first female “horse doctor.”
Readers, you can purchase Marrying Mattie at:
You can Purchase Redeeming Daisy at:
And you can find Tanya at:
Blurb and Excerpt from  Marrying Mattie, second in the Paradise Brides series.
Blurb: Call Hackett knows everything abour horseflesh and nothing about women, yet he's managed to snare beautiful Mattie Carter's heart.  With their wedding coming up and him nervous and inexperienced, his beautiful bride manages to ease his worries in just the right way.
Mattie Carter, betrayed by her wealthy husband back home, seeks a new life with the handsome horse doctor she's promised to wed. But  her ex  halts their vows, claiming to the whole church she's still his wife. Can she regain Call's trust? And can the two of them find out the truth? 
     Her voice had grown deeply serious, too serious, and her  glorious eyes clouded over.
     Not sure what to say, he fiddled with the cushions. The high-backed bench wasn’t the most comfortable thing, but piled with pillows, it served well enough. Soon as he could afford it, he’d order her something soft and upholstered.
     Call couldn’t wait to get close to her, to let her warmth and scent cover him. Kiss her. He’d done that plenty of times and his technique seemed to please her. Maybe the rest of it would go all right. But right now, she seemed stiff, not quite welcoming, and his heart began to thump with dread.
     “What’s wrong, Mattie?” He had to know.
     Her forehead crinkled even more. “What’s wrong?  We’re meant to be together, Caldwell Hackett. I wore this dress tonight to remind you of that day we met. I knew from that moment on my heart was yours. My soul, too.”
     Despite the sticky summer evening, she wore the exquisite dark green velvet gown he’d remember until the end of his days. A pretty sheen of moisture glazed her upper lip and made it more kissable.
     He shrugged against the hard back. “I knew it, too.”
    “Then what’s changed? Something’s different these last few days.” Mattie’s voice trembled. “Caldwell, are you having second thoughts?” She grasped both his hands, tight, and her despair broke his heart.
     “Oh, no. No, my dearest darlin.’” He draw her close like he’d never let her go. Even through her thick velvet, her breasts merged with his chest, and his manhood raged. His stomach churned the same time as his heart pumped wildly. His bridal night couldn’t come soon enough yet he wanted it to hold off. What if he ruined everything?
     She pulled back from him a little. Seeing her eyes misting, Call took a deep breath. To ease her fears, he needed to let it out now. But he had to look away for her troubled gaze.
     “I want tomorrow night to be perfect,” he said, low. “But I fear I’ll disappoint you.”
     “Disappoint me?  We discussed this, love. I don’t want a fancy hotel room. I want our wedding night to be right here. In our very own house.”
     He fidgeted against her, but it had nothing to do with the hard wooden bench. “Mattie, I’ve never…I’ve never had a woman. It’ll be my first time.”
     For a while she was quiet, dead quiet, then she smiled. “Is that all? Sweetheart, it’ll be my first time, too.”  
     She cuddled closer than ever “With you.”
*****Remember, Tanya will give away an electronic copy of Marry Mattie to one lucky reader!
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. Wonderful excerpt and I really enjoyed the interview! My husband works with several folk who've been asking where they can find romances with a western flavor. I keep telling them we've got several wonderful choices at The Wild Rose Press. I'm going to show them this blog!

  2. Nice excerpt. Sounds like a good book. I'm sure the research done on this was fun.

    I wish you many sales.

    Love and blessings

  3. Tanya--loved your post! I admire you for being involved with the California Coastal Horse Rescue--what a great cause. Your books sound wonderful--wishing you much success and many sales!

  4. Wonderful post, Tanya. Thanks for sharing the info and excerpt. In the late 1920's, one of my relatives had such repoir with animals that even though he was in high school, neighbors called him to treat their sick animals. I suspect many have an innate ability that makes them better than average vets.

  5. Loved the blog, Tanya. I'm going to see if I can lay my hands on Dr. A.C. Daniels book. I never have enough research material at hand when writing. If I'd stop including obscure little tidbits in my work it would probably make writing much easier. What I love about other writers such as you, Celia and historical Western writers is, you find AND SHARE your sources.
    Loved Marrying Mindy. Now I'll have to get Marrying Mattie.

  6. Thanks so much, Sweethearts, for inviting me to spend a couple of days here! This is such a beautiful site.

    Maeve, how sweet you are to spread the word. The Wild Rose Press is so supportive of Western romance.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Rita, I so love doing research. There's a jimson weed poisoning theme in the book so that was very interesting to look into.

    Thanks for the good wishes, and thanks to Marin, too. I love the horse rescue. The animals are so beautiful. Each has a backstory that isn't too happy but they sure have a lovely home now, and many fans. The goal is to adopt/foster out as many as possible.

    Apreciate you ladies commenting today!

  8. Hi Caroline, I so agree. I think there are definitely "horse whisperer" characteristics that some are born with. Not just horses, but other critters, too. Animals are so smart; they can sense goodness.

    Thanks for posting today and for the invite to be a "sweetheart" for a couple of days.

  9. Hi Joyce, so good to see you here! I thank you for your kind comments. Oh, I Love those tidbits, though. Best wishes to my Cactus Rose sister! oxox

  10. Tanya,

    I love the cool history you've shared. Best wishes with Marrying Mattie.

  11. Great post -- Tanya, I've followed you for a while now, and you're always so informative about western history!! Love it! :-) God bless, sweetie!

  12. Tanya, what a great post with such thought provoking research. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Phyliss

  13. Hi Mary, thanks so much for the good wishes. I've really enjoyed the Paradise brides stories (Marrying Minda is the first) and Marrying Molly is in the works. Finding out tidbits of history and folklore about Nebraska in the
    1880's is great fun for me. Fortunately I have a close friend whose ancestors were homesteaders.

    Thanks for writing.

  14. Hi Marianne, you're always my #1 supporter! Thanks for that. I have always loved history. I think my years teaching American Lit, which is histori-based, really contributed to my interest as well.

    Thanks for coming by today! oxox

  15. Hi Phyliss, my Petticoats and Pistols sister! So happy to see you here today. I know we both love looking up cool historical stuff. Big hugs!

  16. So interesting, Tanya. Thanks so much for the history. Take care!

  17. Hey good to see you here! oxoxox

  18. Wow, that horse gag looks positively frightful! That is so interesting that both of your heroines dealt with animals that needed care. I'll bet their compassion really shines through. Wonderful excerpt.

  19. Tanya,
    Great to have you join us for a couple of days. Thanks for the interesting post. Good for you for helping the horses. How do you find time to write when there are horses that need your tending?


  20. Wow! What a great post. I had no idea about a lot of this stuff. Your books sound wonderful.

    Best of luck in all you do.


  21. Hi Tanya,
    Great excerpt, it made my heart pound. I love Westerns too, you can blame Bonanza, Wyatt Earp and Wagon Train for that.



  22. Tanya I enjoyed the information you've shared in your post and found the pic of the horse gag horendous, too.

    I'm very fortunate to know several wonderful people who are animal whisperers. They are inspirational to watch and listen to.

  23. Hi Raquel, thanks for posting. I also just shuddered at the mention of operating on horses without anesthesia. The suffering must have been unimaginable.

    I love animals so much! I so appreciate your comment.

  24. Hi Jeanmarie, I confess I don't get to the rescue as often as I'd love to. It's about 20 miles away, and I admit right now I'm swamped with three deadlines and edits. (I love it all, though.) When things settle down after June, I will increase my visits. Every time I go, the peace and beauty and hope of the place amazes me. There are local, nearby people who tend to the feeding. Thanks for posting and for your good wishes.

  25. Hi Cheryl, I too really enjoyed researching old-time vet practices. A lot of it was trial and error in the old West. I was glad to learn that a lot of human doctors did animal tending, too.

    Thanks for posting!

  26. Hi Margaret, ah, yes. I also loved the Big Valley and can still find repeats on cable sometimes. A few years ago we went to Lake Tahoe and wanted to visit the Ponderosa's now closed to the public! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Thanks for the post.

  27. Sherry, the rescue does have whisperes, too. and it's amazing how a gentle tone works with just a newbie like me. Even Rebel, our BLM rescue who is not people-oriented yet, will come and nuzzle and enjoy his carrots. (I don't go into his stall, though.) Thanks for the good wishes. And I agree, the gag was plain awful. Yuck.

  28. Very intersting, Tanya. My five year old granddaughter Gracey wants to be a horse doctor in addition to being a mom and a pilot. Love your books.

  29. Very interesting. My 5 year old granddaughter Gracey wants to be a horse doctor in addition to being a mom and a pilot. Love your books.

  30. Thanks for posting, Twoofthree. Our daughter for years wanted to be a vet...until she witnessed the vet draining impacated anal glands on our poodle LOL. She had enough that day. Thanks for the compliments.

  31. hi Tanya!

    So glad you could come over and be with us today here at SOTW! I love MARRYING MATTIE! This excerpt is one of my favorite parts of this book. As always, your post here was informative and interesting. I always thought I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger. Glad to see you over here, my filly sis!

  32. Hi Cheryl, my filly sister! I was so honored y'all asked me to quest at this beautiful blogspot. You are all doing such terrific work, with your books and the blog.

    Thanks again! oxoxox

  33. That sounds facinating, Tanya! I bet that research was fun since it sounds like it's something near and dear to your heart.

    Best wishes with your writing~

  34. Hi JoAnn, thanks for stopping by. It was a fun book to write but had some sad moments too. Sob. But as always an HEA. Glad to hear from you.

  35. What an attractive site. I'd never seen it before.

    Great blog, as always, Tanya.

  36. Hi Cher, yes, isn't it lovely? I was so excited they asked me to visit! Thanks so much for stopping by. oxoxoxox

  37. Rita, I drew your name from the Stetson LOL. If you'd like a copy of Marrying Mattie, please e-mail me at


    I had a great time here, cowgirls.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West!