Friday, January 9, 2015



Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows. 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.

Her ten titles are with Heartsong Presents and she’s contracted for five more. Her books are available at,,,, and Learn more about Shannon and her books at and check out her real life romance blog at


She's beginning a new chapter in Aubrey, Texas, away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. As she picks up the pieces of her broken life, Tori's surprised at the helping hand the church's new song director, Brant McConnell, offers her, and at the warm emotions he inspires.

Brant is drawn to Tori. And as their friendship grows, so do his feelings for her. But Tori is still hounded by her past, and the walls she's built around her heart are high. Can he convince the wounded beauty that he's exactly the kind of man she needs—and deserves?


By Shannon Vannatter

By now, most people have made their New Year’s resolution. Some have already failed. Mine this year—to get back into my exercise routine be more punctual. As I write this post, the new year hasn’t arrived yet. I’ll let you know how I’m doing in the comments.

Since writing is a very sedentary profession and I’m not the type of person who likes to sweat, I’m happy to sit my days away. But I know that’s not healthy. Last year, a writer friend’s blog inspired me to treadmill at least ten minutes, five days a week. By planning to only exercise for ten minutes, it turned out so doable, I often walked twenty or thirty minutes. But on days when I was in a time crunch, I did the ten minutes. It worked all the way up until September when I went to the ACFW Conference in St. Louis.

Even though the hotel had a free workout room with a treadmill, I didn’t make time for it. I figured I walked the hotel for more than ten minutes each day just going from class to class. I’m certain I did, but it was enough to get me out of my routine. When I got home, I was exhausted and brain fried as usual after a writing conference. I never got back into my routine. Obviously, it doesn’t take much to rattle my resolve.

The other thing I resolved to do—be on time. I long to be a punctual person, but the clock and I have long had a battle and it usually wins. I look at the time and think, Wow I’m doing good. I’ll be ready in plenty of time. I look at it again seemingly minutes later and I should have left five minutes ago.

Last year, I was only late a handful of times. As opposed to most of the time in the past. So this year, I’ll continue to improve on my punctuality.

I always make a spiritual list to improve each year. This year’s list:

  • Spend more time in prayer.

I try to pray throughout the day. Whenever I think of someone I know is struggling. Whenever I hear an ambulance go by. Whenever I see someone less fortunate. When my son was conceived, I came up with a really intense, thorough prayer covering his entire life. I prayed it each night. Over the years, I’ve gotten lax. I want to get back into my nightly routine.

  • Read the Bible every day.
Several years ago, my husband and I went to a revival. The preacher asked for a show of hands of people who read their Bible every day. I couldn’t raise my hand. I started reading at least a chapter every night that very night. If ever asked that question again, I wanted to be able to raise my hand. I’ve never been asked again.

But I still read nightly. I chose night because reading doesn’t make me sleepy. It does relax me and what better thing to do before going to sleep than read the Bible. When I finish Revelation, I start over in Genesis. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read through—probably about ten. Sad since I’m almost fifty. But I didn’t start until I was in my thirties. Sometimes, I read two or three chapters. But I intentionally go slow, so it sinks in better.

  • Commit more fully to our church and congregation. Yes I’m the pastor’s wife and I’m there every time the doors are open unless our son is sick or I’m dying. But I used to visit our members more often. When someone was sick, I made soup. After I got published and started living on deadlines, I let some things slip. I’m planning to step up my game this year.

Tell me about your resolutions. Did you make any? How are you doing on your resolve? All comments will go into a drawing for my latest release, Rodeo Family.