Sit Down Saturday with Anna J Stewart

I LOVE when blogging day lands on an official release day. That's right, today THE RANCHER'S HOMECOMING, the fifth and final book in The Return of the Blackwell Brothers mini-series is available on all e-readers. I am so happy this book is finally available and hope those of you who have been waiting for Chance and Katie's story enjoy. 

As this is the final book, you can now binge on the entire series (if you haven't been reading along the past few months). In case you need a refresher:

In keeping with our Sit Down Saturday tradition, here's a bit more about my contribution to the series.

Of all the brothers, how did you end up with Chance Blackwell as your hero?

When the five of us were discussing our stories and potential heroes, I just knew I wanted the hero who wasn't a cowboy. Not just wasn't one, didn't want to be one, had no talent for being one and, in actuality, is a pretty horrible one. His nickname around the ranch growing up was Ricochet because he couldn't stay on a horse. I also knew having a hero with strong feelings about the ranch would automatically bring a lot of conflict into the circumstance of coming home. That said, my reasoning was also pretty selfish: I know next to nothing about ranching and writing cowboys. I didn't really think that through seeing as Katie Montgomery is the de-facto forewoman of the family ranch. Meaning I needed to know even more than I tried to avoid!

What did you know about Chance and Katie going in?

A few things, actually. I knew Chance left the ranch at a very early age and that he'd eloped with the foreman's daughter. After learning what all the other stories were going to be about, I needed something completely different within the confines of a homecoming story (since in essence, all the books fall into this category). I knew there was a lot of bad blood between Chance and his father-in-law, and that those family issues made for great conflict if his heroine was his late wife's younger sister. I'm always looking for ways to thread in conflict. The other thing I knew was that Chance would have a child and from the beginning all the authors loved the ideas of the Blackwell brothers only having little girls. So...I knew about Rosie (and her cuddly stuffed monster, Clyde).

As far as Katie? I actually got to know quite a bit about her reading the other books in the series. I knew the basics, from what she looked like and that she'd grown up on the ranch. I also knew that losing her sister the way she did, first when Maura eloped with Chance, and then again later when Maura died, absolutely devastated her. She needed healing and Chance returning with little Rosie gives her that opportunity. I also knew I wanted Katie to have a lot of secrets and the more I focused on that, the more secrets I uncovered. Especially in regard to her father.

Those scenes between Katie and her dad are pretty intense. Did you get any push-back on that?

At first I did. My editor thought it might have gone a bit too far, but she also said she was reserving judgment for when she finished the book. When she did, she was completely on board. They weren't easy scenes to write, but I always know if I make myself cry (and I did), that I'm on the right track.

Were there any scenes in particular you had misgivings or second thoughts about?

Oh, yeah. When I got to a particular part of the book, when Chance and his brother Ben finally have it out, I literally froze at the keyboard. I'd had a flash of an idea, a "wow, what if I actually did this" moment. I could not stop thinking about it. I haven't had a lot of those moments and with this one idea in particular, I suspected I'd break a lot of hearts, including my own! But once I had the thought, I knew I didn't have any other choice. I had to write it. Mainly because I knew if I didn't, I'd always regret it. I'd look at that book years from now and think, man, if I'd only pushed myself to do that. So I pulled the trigger. And I think it really works. It's one of the hardest scenes I've ever written, but it's also one of the scenes I'm most proud of. Because I didn't shy away. After that scene, I added another and then one more. It kind of worries me that I enjoyed making my characters suffer as much as I did, but it made the happily ever after all the more rewarding.

How much did you enjoy writing the character of Rosie?

Oh, Rosie. That picture on the cover just nails everything about her. I always love writing kids into my stories. Maybe because I don't have any of my own, so in my mind, they're idealized, but this time around, I really tried to make her real. She has tantrums, she gets cranky, and at almost five, she's already testing boundaries. But she's also love and happiness personified and acts as a true bond between Chance and Katie. She's one of those kids you can't help but love, but you also have no doubt that years down the road, she's going to be a serious handful. The scene at the dinner table with her cousins was a hoot to write and had me laughing even as the words flowed. My only problem was needing to pull her back so Chance and Katie could shine. But she helped. A lot.

When all is said and done, did Big E do the right thing bringing his grandsons home?

Of course I'm going to say yes, otherwise none of the Blackwell brothers would have gotten their happily ever afters. I don't necessarily agree with the way he did things, but when all is said and done, he got what he wanted and what everyone else needed: they all found their way home.

Chance Blackwell’s return—

Could cost her everything!

Ten years after he eloped with Katie Montgomery’s sister, Chance Blackwell is back in Montana to sell his family ranch. Katie could lose her job and the only home she’s known. But the loyal cowgirl is keeping a secret that could shatter trust and jeopardize her future with the widowed musician and her toddler niece. Unless Chance’s growing affection for her and all things Blackwell can earn Katie his forgiveness—and his love.

Get your copy today at:

USA Today and national bestselling hybrid author Anna J. Stewart writes sweet to sexy romance for Harlequin's Heartwarming and Romantic Suspense lines. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for her independent heroines. A former RWA Golden Heart nominee and 2018 Daphne DuMaurier finalist, Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural , Sherlock, and Jason Momoa addiction and surrounds herself with friends and family. When she's not writing, you can find her at fan conventions, at her local movie theater, or building her client list for her content editing services. You can read more about Anna and her books at


  1. Anna, this is one of the most insightful sit-downs I've read. Your intensity for your characters is compelling. I can't wait to read this one. I agree with you, if I cry when I'm writing a scene or particular character, I know I'm on the right track. Even if the editor doesn't like it, I know I did the right thing. I love your stories and this one looks to outshine them all. I wish you fabulous success with it! FUN SERIES!

    1. Thank you so much, Catherine! Those words mean the world to me. :) Glad you've enjoyed the series. It's so hard to leave them behind! <3 Merry Christmas!

  2. Anna, you did such a great job on the final Blackwell book. Everyone should start with the first one so they know the whole family. In fact, all of the month's releases were good. I think they need to go to 6 books a month since I've long since read the ones that come in my mail. Happy December to all.

    1. 6 books a month would be awesome! Great idea, Roz! <3 Thanks for the kudos. Being last had its own pressure, but I tend to like a challenge. Most of the time. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

  3. I've loved the whole series, and while I was already looking forward to your story, now I'm even more excited. It sounds incredible!

  4. I love Roz's idea, and I love this series!

  5. Your books look amazing. Congrats on the series. Thinking I have some reading to catch up on :)


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