About the Book
Book: The Last Chance Cowboy
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: February 14, 2023
With danger drawing ever closer, their only hope of saving their futures lies in each other.
As a midwife, Catherine Remington is successful in bringing new life into the world, but she’s failed one too many times in finding true love. When she’s accused of a murder she didn’t commit, she’s forced to flee to Colorado to honor a patient’s dying wish by delivering a newborn infant to his father.
The repentant prodigal Dylan McQuaid is finally back in Fairplay. As sheriff, he’s doing his best to prove to the town he’s a changed man and worthy of their trust. When a woman shows up with an infant son he didn’t know he had, Dylan is left with only complicated choices on what to do next.
Having grown attached to Dylan’s son, Catherine doesn’t want to part ways with the infant, but what she doesn’t bargain for is how easily she’ll fall for the charming sheriff, or how quickly the past will catch up with her and put their love and lives in danger.
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About the Author
Jody Hedlund (www.jodyhedlund.com) is the bestselling author of over 30 historical novels for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Awards. Jody lives in Michigan with her husband, busy family, and five spoiled cats.
More from Jody
What drew you to Colorado as a setting for your latest historical romance series?
When I was a child, I lived up in the high country in Granby in Middle Park. Then my husband and I lived in Denver for a few years while he went to grad school. So in some ways, Colorado feels like home.
I was also drawn to writing about Colorado because of the ruggedness of the setting, especially in the 1800’s. It was difficult for those first settlers to survive in such a harsh and unforgiving place, especially without all the modern conveniences we’re used to.
Not only that, but I’m truly astounded by the beauty and majesty of the West. There’s nothing quite as stunning as the Rocky Mountains!
Why do you think readers always enjoy cowboy heroes?
I actually asked that question of readers and here are a couple of answers I received:
One reader said: I like their endurance and steadfastness. Their innate ability to deal with animals and athleticism to work in an outdoor environment that is many times unforgiving.
Another reader said: Cowboys protect each other, provide for their animals, help neighbors, and celebrate life. No matter how hard it is. They find happiness in the simple things of life. Determination, grit, are words to describe them. And love … oh yes how fiercely they love and protect their one and only.
I think the love of cowboys has to do with their reputation for their integrity and hard work ethic. Of course it doesn’t hurt that we think of most cowboys as hunks. Right
Are readers always promised a “happily ever after” in your novels? Why or why not?
As an avid reader of romance myself, I not only expect a HEA, it’s what I love! Since, I’m writing the books I would love to read, I wouldn’t ever be able to write anything but a HEA! I’m of the opinion that there are too many bittersweet and mediocre endings in real life. So with fiction, I want a book to inspire me and give me courage that I can be a better person. I hope readers feel the same with my novels!
When did you first begin writing stories?
I’m pretty sure I was born with a pen in one hand and a notebook in the other. Since my earliest days, I loved making up stories and writing them down. The passion followed me into adulthood. And after many twists and turns along the path, I’ve finally been able to channel that passion into a full time writing career.
What was the name of your first book?
The Preacher’s Bride was my first published book.
How did you get into the Christian/historical fiction genre?
I love reading historicals, so naturally that’s what I’m drawn to write. I’m fascinated with all of the things that happen in other times and places that seem so foreign to us now. I really appreciate when historical facts are woven into books seamlessly so that I’m learning but don’t really realize I am. And I hope that I can do that in my books too.
Who was your favorite author when you were younger?
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery was one of my favorites as a child because it played a role in developing my creativity as a writer. (Followed closely by A Little Princessand Little Women because they also featured strong, creative girls.)
How would you describe your writing style in three words?
Sweet, clean, with sizzle
How many books have you published so far?
Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
When I’m in first draft mode, I give myself a daily word count six days a week, and then I make myself write until I hit my goal even if that means I have to write all day and into the evening (most days that doesn’t happen though, thankfully). I’m pretty tough on myself about making my daily goals!
What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
I believe every writer should set realistic goals for whatever life season they’re in. For example, when my kids were younger and I was in the thick of homeschooling, I set my daily word count goal at 500 words a day. That was realistic for me at that stage. I made myself write that amount every day so that I built good habits of self-discipline and focus.
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
Coffee all the way! Black and lots of it!
How do you overcome writer’s block? Because of my stringent daily word count goal (and not allowing myself to veer from it), I push through writer’s block by simply writing whatever comes to mind, even if it’s not particularly inspiring.
Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
I start my writing day by re-reading a portion of what I wrote the previous day. I edit that lightly before moving on. But mostly I wait until the end to turn on my internal editor.
What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
It’s normal and natural to get excited about finishing a first book. But I’ve seen many writers eager to publish (and even rush into publishing) that first book. It’s almost always wise to wait to seek publication (or indie publish) until you have completed several books, taken classes, read writing craft books, and had critique partners.
How can readers connect with you?
To stay up to date, I invite readers to join my Facebook Reader Room where I post the most relevant book news and interact with readers. Or readers can visit my website at jodyhedlund.com
The story is a continuation in a series so it may be best to read the others first if you want to catch up with what has happened. I didn’t feel lost reading this book out of order though. It is obvious that Dylan has been not such a kind man in the past. We discover in this story that he has changed and now is the sheriff. He has put all the past behind him and now upholds the law. He is in for a big surprise when his past meets him face to face.
Catherine is a midwife who is very compassionate about helping women give birth. She had no idea that the child she just delivered would change her life. Without going into much detail, she honor’s the baby’s mother’s last wish. Finding the baby’s father was also a way to escape from town when she witnesses a horrible crime. As she travels to Colorado she hopes she can keep the baby and herself safe.
The initial meeting between Catherine, Dylan and his son are bittersweet. She has done what was requested of her, but how can she leave this precious child she has fallen in love with? Dylan seems to accept the baby and wants to do the right thing. I don’t understand why Catherine didn’t figure out that Dylan thought she was a woman he had been with back in the day.
I did like how protective Dylan was with his son and Catherine. He takes his new family in and without question makes things right. As the wedding is going on, didn’t Catherine wonder why he was marrying her, a complete stranger? I had trouble with this part and knew that somehow this secret would come out. There are a few times in the story where I thought the author focused on the attraction between Dylan and Catherine a little too much. The author describes Dylan’s thoughts about his wife that were a bit uncomfortable for me. I will leave that part for readers to decide on their own.
The ending was nice and there is a clear faith element in the story that illustrates forgiveness, trust, family and love. The story does reunite a family where a bond is formed. They look out for each other and I liked that even though rumors were unkind towards Catherine, her new family stood beside her. One thing to note was how Dylan reacted when he found out that Catherine had deceived him. It is a good lesson on forgiving and loving unconditionally.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of all five books in the COLORADO COWBOYS series: A Cowboy for Keeps, The Heart of a Cowboy, To Tame a Cowboy, Falling for the Cowgirl, and The Last Chance Cowboy!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.