Thursday, January 17, 2013

JANUARIES by Tanya Hanson

January
When I was little, January was the cruelest month. Watching the Rose Parade only reminded me I had another year to wait before Christmas came again. Oh, I don’t mean just presents and cookies and new black patent leather Mary Janes. I mean the whole wonder of memorizing Luke 2 for the Christmas program at school. The joy of the carols, the “gloria” of the angel wings I wore in the pageant. Most of all, the splendor of a tiny baby who was really the King of all kings...

The Januaries of high school and college weren’t much different. January only meant the end of Christmas break and back to the grind. And as a teacher myself later on, January slung me headlong into final exams and report cards.

January five years, though, found me barraging God with gratitude. After a long sophomore slump, I had a second romance novel scheduled to release!

And it released the same day my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Those horrible months taught me it wasn’t about the book. It was prayers and tears and caretaking as he battled to live, then struggled to regain his health.

Because of my husband’s ordeal, and the stretching of faith so taut my breath can still stop, I got the urge to write inspirational romance. By January 2010, I believed God had opened a new window, and I soon contracted a bunch of novellas about a fictional Colorado ranch family. I stood there, glowing, atop my pretend Rocky Mountain town. Into these stories flowed the people and stories of my own life and heart. Despite my best efforts and prayers, though, I can’t say I’m any kind of success. So once again, I realized it isn’t about the books. This time, it’s about the message.

Maybe reading Book three, a woman will get her husband or son to check himself for testicular cancer and help save his life. Maybe somebody will realize there can be falling in love during cancer. Maybe, like in Book Four, some reader’s estranged family will break down barriers that divide them. Maybe some couple on the brink of collapse, due to the stresses of an unimaginably disabled child might, can find the faith and trust to make it, upon coming across Book Six.

Maybe, like in a few of the stories, readers will simply realize that taking a city slicker wagon train trip can be just plain fun!

I don’t know.

This January has opened a new window, and it’s a terrifying one. By year’s end, I’ll be another name, Anya Novikov, and part of a young-adult launch. I left teaching years ago, I’m a gramma now of two tiny boys, and I have no idea how to reach a teenage audience. I guess I’ll have to use the next few months to try to figure it all out.

One thing. Mine won’t be the only set of footprints in the sand as my new journey starts.

 

Determined to get her life back on track, Mary Grace Gibson takes on a substitute-teaching job, grateful for the room and board offered at Hearts Crossing Ranch. The bustling family life helps her heal after abandonment by her ex. But her little boy’s serious disabilities make her cautious about revealing her secrets to anybody. Even Scott Martin, the handsome cowboy who’s fast stealing her heart.

Her former student now grown up, cowboy and graphic artist Scott Martin is instantly drawn to the beautiful single mom. She’s had some hard luck but never let go of her faith. Their age gap doesn’t fret him, and their kisses ignite his love. But as they fall for each other, Mary Grace’s lack of trust in him shatters his feelings, for he’s been down that broken trail before.


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I’m a California beach girl happily married to my personal hero (firefighter and cancer survivor). We’ve got two grown kids, who are the best thing I’ve ever done, and two little grandsons who totally obsess us. I love travel, country music, Hallmark movies, and McDonald’s iced coffee. I don’t like to cook, am terrified of down escalators, am a proud Defender of Wildlife, and I volunteer at our local horse rescue.

31 comments:

  1. Oh, Tanya, I can't imagine your pain, your fear, as you shared your hubby's cancer journey. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Your writing inspires so many, I'm so glad you listened to God's voice to write ispy. You're such a sweet friend and a blessing. Wish you lived closer. :-)

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  2. Tanya, I know your story and have followed you along the way. I don't know if you remember your books were among the first I read with a cancer theme, given that my mom died of breast cancer. You made that world one I could take on through my reading again.

    Blessings on your YA adventure.

    Peace, Julie

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  3. Hi Dora, oh it came upon us like a hurricane. But thank God testicular cancer is curable, even if the treatment nearly killed him. I confess the memories still get to me...will be glad when February starts LOL. Thanks so much, and to Angie, Annette, Dawn and Ocieanna (that sounds like a heroine's name) for inviting me here today. God bless.

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  4. Thanks so much for those encouraging words, Julie. Sanctuary (book three) took on a heartbreak last summer when the young woman on whom I'd based "Mallie" lost her battle with brain cancer. I'm still in shock even though...glioma is incurable. I've always known that, but I prayed and prayed for a miracle.

    Thanks again my friend, for stopping by today and for, being my friend! xo

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  5. Don't worry abut you YA books. Just write them and the readers will come!

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Janie. I know it's not good or right, but I'm a sorry worrywart. So your comment means the world! xo

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  6. Tanya, what a beautiful post...and what a touching testimony! I've always said it's not about the book, or the money, or the fame, or any of that stuff we'd all like a taste of. It's about the message God gives us for SOMEONE in every book. No, yours aren't the only footprints in the sand. I see the footprints of our amazing Savior...and a throng of other people, just like you and me, who need His strength along the way!

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    1. Thanks, Delia, my ever-wonderful friend. I wish the doubts didn't roil because I truly believe every word you wrote here. And I know you've got my back for sure LOL. And sincere love and best wishes at Heart's Haven!

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  7. Hi Tanya,
    The good news is, January is half way over! I'm so happy to hear that you have two grandsons! What fun. I also have two grandsons born only ten days apart.
    Your new book sounds like a wonderful read.
    I hope to make it to a LARA meeting soon, (not January's though, it's my daughter's birthday) and we can admire each others babies.
    Hugs,
    Carol Arens

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    1. hi Carol, nice to see you. I have a hard time getting to LARA too for a billion reasons, but I am scheduled to help behind the scenes with PAN. My babies are five years apart, but are still such tender friends. The older one just watches over the baby and the baby is SO reaching for hugs every second. God has truly blessed me.

      Yeah, ti's been a pretty good month so far LOL and today is my beautiful niece's birthday, so things are starting off well. I so appreciate you stopping by today.

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  8. What a great post! Good luck with your YA writing :) It's sure to be fun!

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    1. Thanks, Niecey, it's been fun so far, just hope kids read it LOL. I taught high school for just ever and although they're all grown up now, a number of former students are my FB friends, so that's gotta help, don't you think? I so appreciate your support today. LOVE your name!

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  9. I'm always glad to read books with serious undertones and themes which make them far more real.

    As for teenagers, try taking yourself back to some incident in your own youth, shut your eyes, and all too soon those feelings of angst and emotion will flood through your veins. Best of luck.

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    1. Thanks, Maddy, for your advice and good wishes. I'm a weenie by nature, so any new adventure gives me twitches, even though I do pray and try to trust. Sheesh. I guess it's all part of being human.

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  10. Tanya, what an uplifting post! Your stubborn tenacity in holding on to hope in the midst of trials is truly inspiring. Wishing you the best of luck in your exciting new venture into the world of YA!

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  11. Thanks, Winnie, so much! (Winnie is my filly sister at our western group blog www.petticoatsandpistols.com an

    She writes for Love Inspired. Actually, we both started out at Dorchester. After my first sale, hers was the first book I bought to read in my joy! xoxox

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  12. Thanks, Davalyn. I'm feeling a bit more confident today after reading everybody's lovely remarks.

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  13. Wonderful blog, Tanya. Wishing you all the best with the YA venture!

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    1. Vicki, thanks so much for encouraging me. I know how busy these days are for you. I so appreciate you Xo

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  14. Tanya, you are, and remain, such a treasure to me. Your testimony is amazing - your faith walk inspiring. Keep shining, and don't EVER let those demons of doubt keep you from achieving the greatness God intends. Love to you, and to the SW crew - aren't they awesome? I love this team. <3

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    1. Marianne, you are always with me when the doubts crash in my head. Thanks for helping Him hold me up with your words and prayers. I feel so much better after reading everybody's comments today. Thanks for all the love.

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    2. Thank you, Marianne. We love you, too. :-)

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  15. Tanya--what a lovely story about your writing journey. So, you're writing YA? A few other acquaintances have begun to do that, too, and I admire them...and you...so much. I couldn't do it in a million years.
    Will you YA novels be Inspirational? Or Fantasy? What? I wish you much luck with these.

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  16. HI Celia, yes, The Circle Girls: Once Upon a Witch is an inspirational, kind of a a dreamscape back to 1692 from 1992 as a teenage girl and her friends seem to have counterparts in Salem. My editor wisely set it back 1992, the 300th anniversary of the witch trials, but it's worked out great to keep constantly-changing technology in line. Kids had laptops and cell phones but no texting and internet like we know it.

    I had ideas twirling for years about setting a story in Salem, due to my career teaching American lit, so when Pelican Book Group put out a call for YA for a new line, Watershed, launching next fall, I tweaked things, finished it, and sent it off. It's a bit edgy too LOL.

    I have ideas for two more books featuring this group so
    who knows where the future leads with Anya. Well, God does LOL. We'll have to see. Thanks so much for posting today, my fellow Sweetheart of the West.

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  17. Good luck in your writing! I loved the post.

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    1. Thanks so much for posting, Sarah. I am so gratified at all the support I received here at Seriously Write.

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  18. Hi Tanya! This was a wonderful post. Thanks so much for sharing such a personal part of yourself with us. I'm wishing you many, many, many happy Januaries! (And Februaries, Marches, Aprils... )

    Congrats on your latest release and happy YA writing!

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    1. Robin, it means so much to see you here! Thank you, thank you! xox

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    2. I am so grateful to Dora for inviting me here, and to Angie, Ocieanna and Annette and Dawn for giving me this time.

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    3. Glad to have you here, Tanya! Thanks for sharing your heart with us! And all His best on your newest venture. :D

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