Posted in Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on September 3, 2015

the drifterTitle: Last Chance Cowboys: The Drifter
Author: Anna Schmidt
Series: Where the Trail Ends, #1
Pubdate: September 1st, 2015
ISBN: 9781492612964


Caught between a greedy corporation and a desperate love of the land, Maria Porterfield barely has time to mourn her father’s death. If her family is to survive, it’ll be up to her to take charge—but she can’t do it alone. When a mysterious drifter rides into town, the handsome cowboy seems like an answer to her prayers. But Chet isn’t interested in settling down, no matter how tempting the offer…

Chet made his way West looking for a fresh start—the last thing he wants is to get involved in someone else’s fight. But something about Maria awakens a powerful need to protect the fierce beauty at all costs. He never thought he’d find love, but as danger presses in, he may find there’s more beyond the next horizon than just another long and dusty trail.


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Guest Post

What’s the most interesting fact or facts you’ve discovered while researching for your books?

Until I started researching the history of the Old West, I was unaware that the cowboy culture portrayed in films and books was relatively short lived. Once barbed wire was invented and the railroads expanded across the country and refrigeration became available, the need for cattle drives across thousands of miles of open range to reach markets came to an end. That detail gave me the frame I needed for my LAST CHANCE COWBOYS series. With book one [THE DRIFTER] the signs are there and by book four the West as Chet and his fellow cowhands know it will be changed forever.

Another research-related detail that inspired the story was my research on Florida cowboys. I have the blessing of spending my winters on the Gulf coast of Florida – an area near the state’s farming and cattle country. The idea that Chet might travel from the torrid jungle like land of Florida to the barren but also blazingly hot territory of Arizona on his way to the promised land of California quickly became the impetus for the story. How would the changes in landscape and cultures change him? How would he remain the same? Similarly as a woman who is now living with the aftermath of my husband’s death—a life I could never have imagined—I decided that Maria would face a life she could never have imagined when her father dies, her brother takes off for city life and she is left to manage—and ultimately save – the ranch her father spent his life building. (The research for her character was often based on my own life experience as a caregiver and widow.)

I have always loved research—finding that unexpected event or detail is indeed a thrill for me. When I was researching my WWII series (THE PEACEMAKERS) the idea for the third and final story that would bring the cast of characters together again was found in a short article I came across about a boatload of refugees that President Roosevelt brought to America toward the end of the war. To this day when I talk about the “safe haven” a thousand European refugees found in Oswego, NY, most people look at me with surprise and say, “I never knew that.”

It is precisely those “I never knew that” moments that inspire me to tell those stories—stories that were the lives of real people—stories with the power to inspire and touch hearts. And similarly when I draw on the research of my own experience or the experiences of others my intent is to perhaps give my readers a moment of “I never thought about it that way” or “I never realized it could be so…” And when a reader writes to say something like “You understood what I have experienced,” that’s when I know I got it right.

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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Hardback copy of The Drifter.  Open to US residents only

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