Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Anna Schmidt | Exclusive Excerpt: PATHFINDER + Giveaway!
Author Guest / January 1, 2020

The Harvey Girls, in full uniform, stood shoulder to shoulder, arms linked, at the entrance to the church. Emma was at the center of the lineup. Grace Hopkins was on her left and a woman Max didn’t recognize was on her right, all three also in uniform. Sheriff Bolton stood before them, shouting out threats to arrest the whole lot of them. Off to one side sat the bride, her face blotched with either fury or misery or both. Father O’Meara stood between McCoy, the local lawyer, and Mr. Gilmore, trying without much success to get them to lower their voices. And instead of consoling his bride, whose day had clearly been ruined, RJ stood with his arms around his mother—and his eyes fixed on Emma. Max started making his way through the crowd. “Wait, Max,” Aidan called, stopping him. “Let them alone. This just might work.” “Mr. Campbell,” Ford said, “please explain why employees of the Harvey Company are staging what appears to be a protest outside a church of all places.” “It was all their idea,” Aidan said, gesturing toward the waitresses. “Emma’s really—along with Grace and Lily, of course.” “Who’s Lily?” Max asked. Aidan pointed to the…

The Authors of LONGING FOR A COWBOY CHRISTMAS | Holiday Fun + Giveaway!
Author Guest / November 13, 2019

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? To celebrate, we asked the authors from the anthology Longing for a Cowboy Christmas to answer some fun Christmas themed questions! Their answers certainly have us Longing for a cowboy Christmas of our own!   What’s the best part about writing a Christmas book? Rosanne Bittner: The best part about writing a Christmas story is that it takes me into that “miracle” mood that seems to be a part of the Christmas holiday. I always try to include some kind of little miracle in my stories. In last year’s anthology, Christmas In A Cowboy’s Arms, my story miracle was the healed awakening of an unconscious little girl. This year, in Longing for A Cowboy Christmas, my miracle surrounds the birth of a baby boy the mother wasn’t sure she could love. Anna Schmidt: For me the holidays are a magical time of sharing and giving and FORgiving. To be able to tell stories that convey those things is a gift in itself. Margaret Brownley: I always seem to be writing a Christmas book during the searing heat of summer.  To get in the right mood, I try to imagine a reader…

Anna Schmidt | Exclusive Excerpt: RENEGADE
Author Guest / June 26, 2019

Renegade is the second book in the Cowboys & Harvey Girls series. It’s a sweeping, powerful Western historical romance series, featuring intrepid Harvey Girls and the rugged cowboys who win their hearts. I hope you enjoy this excerpt! *** She hadn’t seen much of the sheriff since Grace’s wedding. He rarely ate in the hotel dining room. She’d seen him a couple of times passing through the lobby, and he’d tipped his hat to her as he continued on his way. Now, once she reached the office door, she hesitated. The window that faced the street was dark, but a dim light was coming from a window at the side of the building. She rapped sharply on the door and after two seconds repeated the action, doubling the force. “I’m coming,” a male voice grumbled, and light flooded the window that overlooked the street. Lily stepped back, and when the door opened, she rushed inside, brushing past the sheriff, who was hooking his suspenders over his broad shoulders. “Miss Travis?” He ran his hand through his tousled hair. “What on…” He stepped outside and glanced around before returning and shutting the door. “Are you all right?” He looked her over….

Anna Schmidt | Trailblazer
Author Guest / January 2, 2019

Although I had certainly heard of Fred Harvey and his famous Harvey Girls, it had never occurred to me how much these young women changed the frontier forever. With their pristine uniforms and fresh faces, along with the strict code of conduct Mr. Harvey demanded of them, they were a new version of femininity to cowboys and other males on the frontier. They are widely credited with introducing a new level of civility to what had once been the wild West. *** TRAILBLAZER by Anna Schmidt Cowboys & Harvey Girls #1 MEET THE HARVEY GIRLS: These real-life pioneering women were symbols of elegance in the wild frontier: taming rough manners, falling in love, and changing the face of the West forever. Grace Rogers is ready for the adventure of a lifetime. With her family’s farm falling on hard times, she accepts a position with the prestigious Fred Harvey Company and heads for Juniper, New Mexico. There she meets a handsome cowboy who quickly turns her head. Too bad the Harvey Girls are forbidden to marry… Nick Hopkins has a plan: buy a little land, marry, and raise a family in that order. But after meeting Grace, he can’t keep away….

Excerpt / March 23, 2018

Trey had avoided calling on Pete Collins for as long as he could, hoping pressure from the other ranchers would bring him around. Earlier that summer, Colonel Ashwood had questioned Pete about the differences between his version of that day at Deadman’s Point and the testimony of the dead man’s son. Jess had told the family how Collins had hemmed and hawed about maybe being farther away than he’d first thought and how things could look different from a distance. In the end he had retracted his accusations against Trey and apologized profusely to the colonel. He had yet to apologize to Trey. But Trey wasn’t after an apology. What he wanted was to assure himself that Pete intended to observe the uneasy peace. There had not been a single incident since the militia had stepped up patrols and Trey wanted to keep things that way. When he rode under the arches announcing the Collins spread, he saw the rancher talking to two of his hired hands. The three of them were so intent on their conversation, Trey was nearly upon them before they noticed. “Gentlemen,” he said, tipping his fingers to the brim of his hat before dismounting. “Trey…

Authors of CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS wishes for the Holidays!
Author Guest / November 8, 2017

What do you wish for most this holiday season? Leigh Greenwood: I’m seventy-five so a year with no health issues would be wonderful. Rosanne Bittner: What I wish for most this season is health and happiness for my entire family. Linda Broday: For me—good health and the ability to keep writing all the stories that are in my head. For the world, I wish for peace and precious harmony. People need to learn how to get along and treat each other with respect and dignity. There are so many homeless people and children in orphanages and foster care who need a warm smile—to know they matter to someone. Margaret Brownley: I wish a Christmas miracle for every person who suffered a loss during the hurricanes. Anna Schmidt: Peace and genuine kindness to all…so very weary of the in-fighting and need to win at any cost. Amy Sandas: This holiday, my biggest wish would be to spend time with my sister and her family. She lives across the country from me and we rarely have an opportunity to get together at all let alone to celebrate the holidays. It would be pretty great if we could find a way to bring…

THE OUTLAW excerpt
Author Guest / July 5, 2017

Excerpt from THE OUTLAW Arizona Territory, Spring 1883 Amanda Porterfield gazed out the window of her bedroom at the endless landscape where cattle grazed and wildflowers were in full bloom and where she had spent the entire twenty years of her life so far. Even with all this natural beauty surrounding her, she was quite sure she would go stark raving mad unless something exciting happened to break the sheer monotony of her days here on the ranch. Practically everyone else in her family had found love or at least adventure, but here she sat with no prospects—either romantic, adventurous, or preferably both—in sight. She heard her mother and the family’s housekeeper, Juanita, talking as they sat in the courtyard and she decided to join them.  “I think I’ll go into town,” she announced after pouring herself a cup of coffee and flopping into a high-backed chair. “That’s a good idea,” her mother replied, setting aside her mending. “I’ll come with you.” Amanda swallowed a sigh. The point had been for her to be off on her own. If adventure did not find her, then perhaps she needed to go seeking it. But with her mother along for the ride,…

Anna Schmidt | Sometimes History Is Stranger Than Fiction
Author Guest / August 13, 2014

Whenever I tackle a story set in another time or place I really like to see if I can find some actual event that happened there and weave it into my novel. It has long been my belief that the best way to teach or learn from history is to take it out of the larger context and focus it in on one event or one group of people. The step after that is to place myself in their situation—in their minds if possible—and figure out how I might have survived. Such is the case with my latest novel SAFE HAVEN—the third and final installment of my Peacemakers series. In researching the first two books of the series I stumbled across the incredible story of a boatload of European refugees brought to America in 1944 (before the end of WWII) as “guests” of President Roosevelt. These nearly one thousand men, women and children had lost everything in the war—their homes, their businesses, their belongings and in many cases their dignity and their faith. So hooray for FDR for rescuing them, right? Well, sort of. The refugees were brought to the USA by boat and taken immediately to a fort in…