This is Tanya Hanson here. I’ve been invited to Seriously Write as a monthly contributor by the wonderful Angie Arndt whose support and cyber-friendship help me every single day!
"The Big and Little Things"
by Tanya Hanson
When Hubs and I took a city-slicker wagon train trip, the excursion, both grand and rustic, inspired the setting for a story set on a Colorado ranch. That inspirational novella got me contracts for an eight-book series.
Gulp. How could I possibly get seven more plots developed, new characters born? I started looking into the details surrounding me every day. My black Labrador. My godson’s disability. My vegetarian niece...
Then into our unexciting life came...Cancer.
I never started out with cancer as a theme until my husband survived it. And my daughter’s close friend and sorority sister Jackie did not.
Those two, with their courage and faith and hope in the midst of blackness, inspired the characters in Sanctuary, the third book in my series. A romance between two cancer patients. A cowboy hero, already in remission.
A city-girl heroine, facing an incurable brain tumor and struggling to accept Who’s in charge.
In many ways, it’s the best book I’ll ever write. And also the hardest. I learned more about the nightmarish glioblastoma multiform (the deadly GBM) than I ever cared to know. This horrific disease strikes only three out of 100,000 people. After fighting hard for four years, Jackie died a year and a half ago. Despite faith, hope and love, her death tore my heart apart. My son’s best friend, Teller--(all the kids went to the same university and lived next door to each other on Fraternity Row)--sent me a loving condolence card.
Fast forward to Good Friday evening. Tenebrae. The exact date, day, and time Teller and his beautiful wife Nichola exchanged vows six years ago.
This time, they were renewing those vows.
It was an evening of both joy and tears, hope and fears. For in the most agonizing of ironies, Teller is now fighting GBM, diagnosed last June. The struggle is not over, nor the challenges. Toss into all of this, the poignancy of their one-year old son. But the love last Friday night, the faith and the hope warmed the air already spiraling with hugs and prayers.
And much fun as well. Music, dancing, and my son’s frat brothers all together again despite the miles between. Like old times, Jake, in from Texas, had me laughing much of the time. That’s the kind of event it was--joy in the moment, hope for the future.
And I found my inspiration. Oh, no, not another cancer story. I’d been agonizing over a name for the heroine in the Christmas story I’ve been asked to write. Hearing the name of Jake’s fiancée, I knew it was perfect. I asked, and he said yes, with much more laughter and hugs.
I seem to be able to find inspiration in both big and little things. How about you?
A beautiful plus-one at a wedding, a hunky cowboy..autumn leaves and rugged horse trails. The perfect setting to unite two healing souls... Ranch foreman and single dad Hooper Martin is ready to put his health and life back on track after battling cancer...including re-entering the dating scene. His little girl sure could use a mother. Falling hard for wedding guest Malia Cameron makes perfect sense to him: she's a survivor, too. Mallie has put her heart on hold, knowing she will never recover from her struggle with a brain tumor. She can't promise a future to anybody and vows never to fall in love. Letting Hooper Martin into her life would be a big mistake. But his good looks take her breath away, and his living faith starts to gentle her confusion about Who's really in charge.
Tanya Hanson, a multi-published author of western romance, is a member of Los Angeles Romance Authors, RWA chapter. Sanctuary received the CTRR Award at Coffee Time romance as a Recommended Read. You can find her at