Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: LAST CHANCE COWBOYS: THE RANCHER by Anna Schmidt

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LAST CHANCE COWBOYS: THE RANCHER (Where the Trail Ends, Book 4) by Anna Schmidt

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Synopsis

04754F82-2EB9-47BD-AC10-40C8BE2153AA“You can’t be sure we’re doing the right thing,” she said.

He drew closer to the barbed wire separating them. “It’s impossible to know what’s right. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting you.”

The world is changing, and the West isn’t as wild as it used to be. Trey Porterfield welcomes a new era of law and order—and the influx of settlers coming to the Arizona territory. But not everyone is willing to see the old ways change, and as the cattlemen and the herders take sides, a full-blown range war may be inevitable. There’s only one way Trey can see to bring peace to his feuding neighbors.

Marry the enemy.

Nell Stokes is a young widow fighting just to stay alive. In Trey, she sees a chance to heal old wounds and start over. Love was never in the cards, yet as Trey and Nell fight to unite the feuding land, they’ll discover a passion neither could have expected…and a danger far greater than either has ever known.

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Excerpt

When Trey reached home it was after dark and he rode straight to the bunkhouse. Javier sat on the banco outside the door, his arms folded across his chest, his legs outstretched and his hat covering his face.
“Javier!”
Trey reined in his horse and dismounted. By the time he had covered the distance between the horse and his friend, Javier was standing, watching closely as he clearly tried to judge Trey’s mood.
“¿Qué más, jefe?”
Trey grabbed his friend by his shirtfront and backed him up to the wall of the bunkhouse. Never before had he laid his hands on Javier in anger, but this time the man had crossed a line that friendship couldn’t forgive. “You tell me.” He stared at Javier, who met his gaze briefly, then glanced away.
“Not sure what you’re….”
Trey shook him. “The Stokes place last night—and the night before. You have anything to do with that?”
He had his answer before he finished the question. Javier scowled up at him, meeting his eyes directly. “You gotta choose a side, Trey.”
Trey felt an anger unlike any he had ever experienced in his life. It was born of frustration and exasperation, and fear. The fear that after the decades that his parents, his sister Maria and her husband had managed the ranch successfully, despite all kinds of human and natural disasters, he might be the one who failed. He gave Javier one more shove and then released him.
“Why do there have to be sides? Why can’t we all just live here and work the land and….”
While Trey might be quick to anger and quicker to let things go, Javier had no trouble showing his rage. He stepped closer to Trey and, with no pretense of modulating his voice, shouted, “You know why, Trey, and stop pretending you don’t. Them damned woolies chew the grass down to the nub, all the while their sharp hooves finish the job by digging up whatever’s left by the roots. This used to be open range—cattle range—and now we’re supposed to share it? You got any idea how far we’ve had to drive the herd to find decent pasture for the summer? That’s because of them.”
“And that makes it all right to terrorize a widow and her sick son for two nights running?” Trey roared in return.
Javier studied him hard for a long moment. They were both flushed, their fists clenched, their bodies poised for a fight. Javier was the first to step away. He stared down at the ground waiting for his breathing to calm, then looked up at Trey. “You falling for that sheepherder’s woman, my friend?” His tone was sympathetic.
Trey pulled off his hat and ran his fingers through his sweat-slicked hair. “She’s an innocent in this fight, and I just don’t want to see anybody else get hurt, Javier. There’s got to be a way we can work this out. They aren’t going away—and neither are we.”
“We were here first,” Javier said, his voice petulant.
Trey allowed himself a wry smile. “Technically the Indians were here first and look what we did to them. After that it was the Spaniards—your ancestors. And they raised sheep, my friend, long before cattlemen showed up.”
The two of them leaned on the corral fence and gazed out into the black night for a long moment. “This isn’t just about sheep versus cattle, Javier. The truth is things are changing—everything about the life our parents knew is different. Every year another new town springs up or spreads out. We either learn to live with that or we spend the rest of our time on this earth fighting against progress that’ll surely beat us in the end.”
“So what’s your plan?” Javier asked.
Trey shrugged. “Don’t have one—just the notion we need to make this more about how we’re gonna live in peace and less about needin’ to be right.”
“Let me ask you something, Trey. If that woman and her boy weren’t part of this, would that change the way you look at it?”
“I hope not—but yeah, maybe.”
Javier pushed away from the split rail fence. “Got to give you one thing—she’s awfully pretty, and from what I saw of her at the church social, she’s not afraid to stand her ground. She’s got conviction. You need somebody like that, Trey. Too bad she’s on the wrong side of things.”
Trey bristled. “Need someone like her? Is that how you see me? As a man who needs somebody to speak for him because I’m too weak to do it myself?”
“You’re strong in ways I’ll never be able to understand, Trey. But you’ve got this way of thinking that everybody’s as good as you are. Few are. Most folks are a blend of good and bad. Nell Stokes appears to know that.”
“I know that.”
Javier shook his head. “Trouble is you have this idea you can change those other folks to come around to your way of seeing things.”
“It’s called hope,” Trey argued.
“It’s called impossible.” Javier glanced back at a couple of the other cowboys coming out of the bunkhouse, stretching and yawning. “We got the night shift,” he said, as he pulled on his hat.
Trey turned to the other hands. “You boys head on out. I need Javier here to help me.”
“With what?” Javier’s eyebrows lifted with suspicion.
“Come morning we’re gonna pay a call on Henry Galway and see if we can work something out—a council or something to start decidin’ what’s fair. And then you are going to apologize to Mrs. Stokes for scaring the bejesus out of her and her son. But before we do any of that we’re gonna head for the Stokes place and see if we can repair any of the damage done there before she and her boy get home. Get some rest, Javier—we leave at daybreak.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Last Chance Cowboys: The Outlaw by Anna Schmidt!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Award-winning author ANNA SCHMIDT delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.

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Spotlight, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman by Anna Schmidt

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Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman (Where the Trail Ends, #2) by Anna Schmidt

Publication Date: December 6, 2016

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Synopsis

img_5264From acclaimed author Anna Schmidt comes a sweeping historical Western romance about the unbreakable bonds of family, second chances, and a whole lot of heart in the Wild West.

“This is me, Addie,” Jess murmured. “You and me, the way we always were.”
But it wasn’t, no matter how much she wished it were true. They were different now. She would always love him…
But can she trust him not to break her heart?

Jess Porterfield fled to the big city after his father’s sudden death, leaving behind his family ranch-and his childhood sweetheart. Now Jess has returned as the local lawman, determined to prove his worth…and win back the one woman he could never live without.

Young frontier doctor Addie Wilcox was devastated when Jess left her behind. Now he’s back and it’s difficult to remember why she should keep her distance. But with the town’s richest man set to see her hang for a crime she didn’t commit, Addie must put her faith in the lawman who broke her heart-and trust that together they’ll find their second chance at love.

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Author Guest Post

When authors aren’t hard at work crafting books readers can fall in love with, like readers, they enjoy unwinding with a good book, movie or television program. Maybe the writing is inspiring, or maybe it’s just nice to escape the real world for a little bit. I asked Anna about her favorite stories, ones from popular books, movies, and television shows that many of us probably know too. Read on to see what she had to say!

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
Anna: Give me a WWII setting in Europe any day of the week; add in love interests who cannot be separated by world events, and I’m hooked.

Interestingly enough, Anna takes inspiration, not just from other books, but from film and television most of all. She says:

That’s the way I write. My characters are actors on a stage or in a movie, and they walk around doing whatever they please while I try to get it all down!

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Excerpt

FROM THE AUTHOR…

Sometimes characters I think are minor speak up. (Sometimes they pretty much grab me by the shoulders and shout, “I want to tell my story!”) That was the case with Dr. Addie Wilcox. So when her childhood sweetheart and love-of-her-life Jess Porterfield returns at the end of The Drifter, I knew what the second book in the series would be. In The Lawman, Addie has to fight her lifelong attraction to Jess, determined that he won’t break her heart again. Trouble is, once he gets appointed to serve as the town marshal and is pretty much living down the street from Addie and her family, avoiding his good looks, charming smile and determination to win her heart becomes pretty much impossible.

The story of Addie and Jess is all about first love and second chances. Here’s an excerpt that I hope sends you running to the store or your computer to read more…

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Addie could not for the life of her figure out why she continued to allow that man to get to her. Why couldn’t she be more like Jess’s younger sister and her good friend, Amanda—calm and sophisticated? She searched the gathering for Amanda, but hesitated when she saw her friend surrounded by the usual trio of admirers. Amanda had been planning this party for weeks now. She certainly deserved to enjoy herself and not have to sympathize with Addie. Besides, Jess was Amanda’s brother, newly returned to the fold from his travels following his father’s death—a death everyone now knew had not been the accident they’d first thought.
Addie stopped dead in her tracks. Her hand flew to her mouth. What was she thinking?
Poor Jess. Did he know? Had anyone told him? Of course not. Jess had a temper, and if he knew what everyone now knew—that his father’s death was not the accident they’d first thought–he’d likely be off trying to track down the killer.
Maybe Jess had overheard some of the talk. Maybe that was why he was talking about applying for the marshal’s position. After all, Jasper Tipton had built that big house in town to please his bride, Pearl, and his brother, Buck, lived there as well. While the local marshal had no jurisdiction outside the town limits, Jess might just think the fact the Tiptons resided in town opened the door for him to go after them. More than likely he would get himself killed in the bargain. Her head was spinning as she tried to think the issue through from every side.
“This is not one of your medical cases,” she muttered to herself. “This is Jess.” And when it came to figuring out what Jess Porterfield might be thinking, she fully appreciated that logic was not part of the process. She was still mad at him for leaving all those months ago but that didn’t mean she didn’t care about him and, knowing his temper, he was bound to get into trouble. With a sigh, she headed off to find her father. Maybe he could talk some sense into the man—the man she had fallen in love with, planned a future, with and then rejected. But as she moved through the throng of party guests pausing now and then to exchange a greeting, it wasn’t her father she saw—it was Jess.
He wasn’t spoiling for a fight at all. No, he was laughing and flirting with Sybil Sinclair. Sybil with her blonde curls and her bright blue eyes and a cupid’s bow of a mouth that made her look like a porcelain doll. Sybil with her tiny waist and her flawless skin and giddy laugh that actually came out as Tee-hee-hee.
“My brother is trying to make you jealous,” Amanda murmured, coming to stand next to her. “Do not let him know that it’s working.”
“It’s not,” Addie insisted, pushing her glasses more firmly onto the bridge of her nose. She straightened to her full height, which was still a good three inches shorter than Sybil’s willowy five foot four. She brushed back a lock of hair that had come loose from the practical bun she preferred and tried not to think about how her stick-straight locks would look worn down like Sybil’s long curls. “I really couldn’t care less if your brother wants to make an utter fool of himself with that…”
“Good to know you aren’t affected,” Amanda said wryly.

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Buy Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2ghzGBq
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2gHlePZ
B&N: http://bit.ly/2f1LKFQ
iBooks: http://apple.co/2eXO11s

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Giveaway

Win one of five copies of Last Chance Cowboys: The Drifter, the first book in Anna Schmidt’s Where The Trail Ends series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Award-winning author Anna Schmidt delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.