Can Love Eclipse Hate?

On Aug.21, 2017, parts  of Kansas witnessed an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime event: a total eclipse of the sun! Ironically, this solar event occurred on the 154th anniversary of another historical, never-to-be-forgotten event in Kansas.

The Day Hate Eclipsed Decency

On Aug. 21, 1863, Confederate ally and guerilla commander William C. Quantrill rounded up three hundred Missouri “bushwhackers” and descended on Lawrence, Kansas, wreaking a terrible vengeance on a town known for its strong stance on the abolition of slavery.

Image courtesy of KansasMemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society. “The Lawrence Massacre,” black and white illustration of Quantrill’s raid that appeared in the Sept. 5, 1863, issue of Harper’s Weekly magazine. Artist unknown.

What forces drove these men to attack a town filled with civilians? Some would say a thirst for revenge. Tit for tat after a disaster in Kansas City when a building where Confederate women prisoners were kept collapsed on top of them, and other perceived injustices. By this time, deadly conflicts had raged along the Missouri-Kansas border for nearly a decade, costing innocent lives on both sides. The violence continued to spiral as the nation grappled in a civil war.

Years later, these men who’d given in to violence and hatred had to find their way back to decency. Some, like Jesse James, never did.

Although the series, Steam! Romance and Rails, begins five years after the end of the American Civil War, the two main characters in this novel are still struggling to find healing.

Her Bodyguard, part of the series Steam! Romance and Rails, weaves history and suspense together in a tale of deceit and betrayal, heroism and sacrifice, and the unfailing power of love.

Can love eclipse hate?

For America “Amy” Langford, investing in the railroad isn’t about chasing riches. The savvy businesswoman is after bigger stakes: influence, respect, success her father didn’t live to see. Rioting settlers and underhanded competitors can’t stop her, but a killer might.

Buck O’Connor has put his violent past behind him, but being a wanted man dictates a life of deceit. So what’s one more lie? He becomes Amy’s protector so he can secretly thwart her railroad’s progress to help his cousin avoid financial ruin. A great scheme—until he falls in love.

While Buck hides his true purpose, Amy lies to herself about her growing feelings for her bodyguard. But the price for deceit is steep, and secrets from the past could destroy their future—if they survive.

“E.E. Burke understands the heart of romance…and delivers it!” New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne

“Her portrayal of strong, realistic, well-defined characters and meticulous research transports readers back to the American West.” Jill Marie Landis, New York Times bestselling author

“Amy and Buck had chemistry and steam between them to power a train! Their push-pull relationship and witty banter was riveting.” Melanie Friedman, Bookworm2Bookworm Reviews

In this excerpt, Buck has just discovered that the railroad promoter he’s supposed to remove is, in fact, a woman–the same woman who offered him a position as her bodyguard.

Buck opened the door to the newspaper office and stepped inside.

Two men were engaged in a discussion. A bearded man behind a desk piled high with newspapers glanced up. The other man sitting in front of the desk twisted in his chair, and then bolted to his feet, his eyebrows arching nearly to a sweep of black hair.

Buck met pale blue eyes similar to his own, but untainted with the icy gray of the cold-hearted bastard who’d sired him. He took an uncertain step forward, waiting a heartbeat for the familiar grin. “Sean?”

Relief flickered across the matured face, however Sean didn’t embrace him as he’d always done in years past. He offered a handshake instead. “”Buck, we wondered if you’d show up.”

Buck gripped his cousin’s outstretched hand and squelched a twinge of disappointment. He hadn’t really expected to be greeted with open arms. They’d not seen each other for years and in between had served on opposite sides of a war. Yet, he had hoped for a warmer welcome than this.

His gaze flickered over his cousin’s shoulder to the grizzled man who’d stood, waiting to be introduced. Sean did his duty. “Buck, this is Amos Sanford. He’s the editor of the Workingman’s Journal. I wrote to you about him. He’s helping us settlers organize.”

Sanford inclined his head but didn’t come out from behind the desk to shake his visitor’s hand. “Mr. O’Connor, good to see you could make it here to help us out.”

Buck held a neutral expression. “What kind of help would that be?”

“What kind?” Sean looked startled. “Well, the kind I wrote to you about.” He sent a worried glance the editor’s direction.

“We need your help with removing an obstacle,” Sanford said smoothly.

Aggravation churned in Buck’s stomach. “An obstacle? Is that what you call her?”

When neither man answered, he strolled over to the desk and picked up a newspaper. The headline urged settlers to rise up and defend their rights. Where had he heard that kind of rhetoric before? Simmering, he rolled the paper like a club and tapped it against his palm. He had a good mind to beat these two over the head with it. “You got the wrong man for the job. I don’t kill women.”

Sanford sat and leaned back in his chair, stroking a gray beard that reached to the top button of his vest. Canyon deep lines rearranged themselves into a paternalistic frown. “You must have misunderstood, Mr. O’Connor. We haven’t asked you to kill anybody, much less a woman.”

Buck tossed the newspaper aside and snatched Sean’s letter out of his pocket. He slapped it on the desk. “States here you want me to get rid of a railroad promoter. That don’t mean sending a body away on a pleasure excursion.”

The chair creaked as Sanford reached for the letter. He peered through round spectacles perched at the end of his nose, perusing the lines like he’d never seen them. The crafty old fox had probably helped Sean craft the damn missive. After a minute, he folded the letter and crossed his arms over his chest. “There are many ways to remove obstacles, Mr. O’Connor. I suspect you’re bright enough to figure it out. Sean told me you led a company of irregulars during the war. The fact you’re alive proves you’ve still got a few tricks up your sleeve.”

An alarm tripped in Buck’s head. So that’s why the Land League wanted to hire him. They thought he was still in the ambushing business. He looked at Sean, who wouldn’t meet his eyes. He’d risked getting his neck stretched by returning to Kansas, but honor demanded he at least try to right a wrong done to his kinsman. Now it looked like he was a fool who’d walked into a trap.

His cousin stood at rigid attention, his tanned face drawn tight as the hide on a drum, not meeting Buck’s eyes. An ache started in the center of his chest. Despite their past, they were the only family each other had left. How could Sean have betrayed him like this?

Pulling back his coat, he revealed the twin Navy Colts at his side before pinning the editor with a cold stare. He hadn’t killed anyone since the day he’d left this godforsaken state, but he would reinforce the perception he was a dangerous man to cross so they’d think twice about hiring him to do their dirty work and then trying to collect a reward. “My wartime sentiments don’t have a damn thing to do with this.”

Sanford huffed. “We don’t care about your sentiments. It’s your skills we’re interested in.”

“So, you admit it. You want to hire a big gun to take care of one little lady.”

“Don’t be fooled by that pretty face,” Sanford blustered. “Amy Preston will do anything to advance that cursed railroad. With this Young Ladies Immigration Society she’s using the age-old strategy for dividing men. Women.”

Buck snorted a derisive laugh. “What’s so dangerous about importing wives for a bunch of horny settlers?”

The editor swelled up like a toad. “She’s dangling petticoats as an enticement to get us to pay those exorbitant prices her boss is charging for land. These boys were soldiers and most of them are unmarried. I suppose you’ve noticed how few decent women there are out here. It’s a devilishly brilliant scheme concocted by a woman who’d sell her soul for thirty pieces of silver.”

It was a brilliant idea, but Buck had already figured out Amy was smart. Her motives, however, weren’t so clear. Was she really that greedy? “I met her already, so I know what she’s up to, but she thinks somebody’s trying to kill her.” He narrowed his eyes in a way that put most men in a fearful sweat. “If I decide to help, I need to know whether you’ve hired somebody else—and don’t even think about lying to me.”

“We don’t have enough money to hire somebody else,” Sean grumbled. “If somebody’s trying to kill her, it’s probably ‘cause she robbed him blind.”

Sanford grunted an agreement. “Maybe she’s making that up so you’ll feel sorry for her. Where did you say you met her?”

Buck didn’t say, nor was he interested in providing the details. “I happened across her. She was waiting on some fellow who was supposed to help with that immigration society you mentioned.”

Sanford’s eyes sharpened with interest. “We had a talk with him. I don’t think he’s interested in volunteering anymore. Did she happen to mention her next move? We can’t afford to lose any more leverage against the devil who’s behind this fraud.”

James Joy. The force behind the Border Tier and Satan incarnate if the settlers were to be believed. He was Amy’s boss. So what did that make her? Last night, she’d looked downright angelic, even wringing wet.

If Sanford hadn’t hired another gun, then her attacker was likely a renegade. Was he an irate settler, an unhappy farmer, one of the men who’d signed up for her program and gotten an ugly wife? The list could be endless.

“She didn’t mention her plans.” Buck lifted his hat and threaded his fingers through his hair, his unease getting worse. She hadn’t told him much, but she’d played him masterfully to gain his promise of protection, something he’d offered to no woman since being betrayed by another smart, pretty one.

Still, he’d given his word and he wouldn’t go back on it. He adjusted his coat, covering the guns at his side. “Just so we’re clear, I’m not using violence against a woman, so I don’t know what it is you want me to do.”

Sanford jerked to his feet. “Distract her. Deceive her. Discredit her. We don’t care, so long as you prevent her from succeeding in her schemes.”

The frown melted as he came out from behind the desk and clapped a hand on Buck’s shoulder. “Why don’t you boys go over to the saloon and get reacquainted? Tell them I’ll pay for your drinks. I’m sure after you hear Sean’s side of things, it will clear up any misgivings you might have about ridding us of that troublesome woman.”

Buck shrugged off the unwanted familiarity. He hadn’t signed on for this kind of work. On the other hand, he couldn’t walk away without at least hearing what his cousin had to say.

Sanford casually laid his fingers on a dog-eared Bible at the corner of his desk. “You recall the story of Samson and Delilah? Makes a man think twice about falling for a pretty woman.”

Her Bodyguard, the second book in the series Romance and Rails, weaves suspense and history together in a tale of deceit, betrayal and the unfailing power of love.

Read Her Bodyguard today.

Or purchase the entire Steam! Series in a boxed set at a special price!

This week, I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card. Just enter the raffle and leave a comment.

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Did you see the eclipse yesterday? What did it look like in your part of the world?

 

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Don’t Miss This Special Promotion

For a limited time, you can pick up SEDUCING SUSANNAH for only 99 cents. 

When all else fails, try seduction.

Ross Hardt must marry a proper lady to reclaim his inheritance. Among the few remaining prospects in town is a beautiful, sassy widow who has tantalized him from the day they first met—the same day she slapped his face.

Susannah Braddock journeyed west on The Bride Train in search of a good father for her young son, but on the lawless frontier few candidates meet her requirements, least of all the arrogant, demanding, unfeeling railroad agent.

As Fate—and Ross’s scheming—draws them closer, Susannah glimpses unexpected tenderness beneath his harsh exterior, and she’s tempted by the fiery passion that flares between them. But when a secret comes out that threatens to destroy their budding relationship, passion isn’t enough. Only love can weather the oncoming storm. 

SEDUCING SUSANNAH is Book 4 in an exciting series inspired by true events. Sweetly passionate, filled with wit and warmth–don’t miss this top-rated historical romance. 

NOW ON SALE FOR ONLY 99 CENTS

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Here’s an excerpt:

Ross stood to stretch his legs. Needing to move, he crossed to the large picture window, which had been shipped in by railroad for a dress shop that had failed to materialize. The previous land agent used the glass for the land office instead. Ross enjoyed being able to see outside. He hated to be cooped up in a dark room.

A petite woman walking briskly from the corner arrested his gaze. Susannah Braddock. He’d recognize her curvaceous form anywhere—or his body would, at any rate. Inconvenient, this strong attraction he had to a woman who despised him.

Talk about first impressions. She’d made a hell of an impression the day she’d arrived in town, smacked his face so hard his ears rang. Granted, he had it coming after losing his patience and embarrassing her. Since then, he’d tried to find the right time and place to apologize, even stooping so low as to seek her out at church and sit beside her, hoping to speak to her afterwards. She’d shooed him away in front of the entire congregation. He ought to call it a draw and let her be, but he couldn’t.

“Ross, there’s something I need to tell you.” Val’s solemn tone drew Ross’s attention. Why the look of concern?

“Is Mrs. Valentine ill?”

“No, she’s very well, thank you. She’s shopping. Rose won’t have time to stop by, but she sends her regards.” Val didn’t bat an eye or indicate he still struggled with jealousy.

Ross had a slight bump on the bridge of his nose as a reminder. “Give her my regards in return, and tell her thank you.”

“For what?”

“For not coming by to see me and tempting you to punch me in the nose again.” Ross’s smile faded when his friend didn’t respond to the dig. He’d never been interested in Rose Muldoon beyond a sort of brotherly affection. Surely Val realized that by now. “What’s the trouble? You appear concerned.”

“I am concerned. For you.”

Ross released a laugh that sounded rusty. He hadn’t found many things amusing lately, but this was a good joke. Val must’ve looked out the window and seen the feisty widow approaching, and couldn’t resist returning a jab. He’d been witness to the face-slapping incident. “Aside from being a bantam, I don’t believe she’s dangerous.”

“Mrs. Braddock?” Val rose from his chair and joined Ross at the window. “Ah. I disagree. A determined woman can be very dangerous.

Welcome to The Bride Train

Four women answer a railroad advertisement seeking single young ladies as brides for settlers on the Western frontier. The Bride Train takes them to a land plagued by violence and unrest, a place where passion rules and only a woman’s touch can tame it into love.

 

 

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Celebrate Cowboys

 What it is about cowboys and the cowboy lifestyle that we find so compelling? I asked this question of five other authors and got surprisingly similar answers. Or maybe it’s not so surprising.

Summed up, we all share a deep love for the iconic cowboy. He’s the hero of our romance novels, he has equal parts courage and honor, and he follows a code of ethics that don’t just guide him, they define him.

Historically, the “cowboy code” wasn’t a set of laws or statutes, it wasn’t even written down. Rather, it was about core values, and an unspoken understanding about how one should behave—in public and in private. Here’s a nice summation:

1) Live each day with courage.
2) Take pride in your work.
3) Always finish what you start.
4) Do what has to be done.
5) Be tough, but fair.
6) When you make a promise, keep it.
7) Ride for the brand.
8) Talk less and say more.
9) Remember that some things
aren’t for sale.
10) Know where to draw the line.

Even today, this “cowboy code” or “code of the West” speaks to us. Why? I think it’s because it inspires us to be better than we often are, and it reminds us that these are the kind of values that will truly make a nation great.

But what makes a cowboy a cowboy? It isn’t putting on jeans and boots and a hat, and driving around in a truck listening to country music, or displaying guns, or flying your colors. Feel free to do all that (this is what freedom grants you), but if you’re coarse and rude, or dishonest and lazy, the rest of the package doesn’t matter. True cowboys, using the iconic definition I talked about earlier, are those who live by the code.

A little cowboy history

In reality, the original cowboys were mostly young men in their late teens and early twenties, who sought adventure and money as drovers taking cattle across rough, often hostile, country. They worked long hours, often through sleepless nights, keeping the herd together, safe and pointed north until they reached the railhead. Most of the men who worked this job didn’t even own the cattle. If the owner was a rancher, he might ride along, but not always; and sometimes the owners were businesses, not individuals.

It generally took upwards of three months to reach the railhead, where the cows would be loaded to be taken east to a slaughterhouse. Most of the cross-country cattle drives (such as the ones we think of when we hear “The Chisholm Trail”) were made in the early 1870s, before the railroads connected Texas to eastern markets.

Cowboys faced natural disasters (frequent storms and flooding), stampedes caused by any number of factors, inhospitable strangers, such as the farmers who hated the Texas cattlemen because of tick fever…and the list of obstacles goes on and on. Cowboys relied on physical vigor, cleverness, and sheer determination, along with the experience they gained along the way.

Out on the frontier, cowboys had to depend on each other’s character rather than depend on a set of written laws. In fact, the cowboy tended to be a mite independent (translate that, stubborn as a mule’s hind end). He might flaunt the law of a territory or state, particularly if he didn’t think it made sense, but you could count on him to abide by “the code.” Those who didn’t were drummed out of the brotherhood, at the very least.

Yes, cowboys could be wild, and at times, violent. They could also be generous, loyal and considerate, particularly to ladies. Were they perfect? Hell, no. And I’m betting they’d laugh if someone told them today they’re considered heroes with a special day set aside to honor them.

Saturday, July 22 is National Day Of The Cowboy.

Modern day cowboys

This summer, I met two professional bull riders, Matt Triplett and Tyler Harr, at a PBR rodeo in Deadwood, S.D.

Let me tell you, they were popular in the bar that night. You can see why. These bull riders look mighty fine in their jeans and hats and pressed cotton shirts. And, oh my, were they polite. Every sentence was punctuated with, “ma’am.” They were also endlessly patient with the entire female population at the bar who wanted pictures made with them. More than that, they’d cleaned up and come by to meet some of us romance writers after a grueling night of competition–and they never stopped smiling.

I’ll admit to being intrigued by what inspires bull riders to do what they do. Week after week, they load up and drive to the next competition, where there’s no guarantee they’ll make money. Frankly, there’s no guarantee they won’t get hurt. This is rough sport, and in many ways, unforgiving. But when you talk to these cowboys, to a man they’ll tell you they wouldn’t trade it for anything, and they can’t imagine doing anything else.

Mike Heald, shown at right, is a stock contractor (he supplies bucking bulls for the rodeos) and a former bull rider. He also serves on the board of the Rider Relief Fund, established to help pro bull riders when they get injured. I’d like to share a little of what he had to say when we talked about rodeo and modern day cowboys.

What drew me to the rodeo to start with? I guess the adventure, and being a cowboy is in my DNA. My dad was a cowboy. I was born and raised on a ranch in northeastern California; ranching and the cowboy lifestyle go hand in hand. I got into bull riding when I was pretty young. Wasn’t good enough to be a world champion, so I guess I’m lucky I got hurt early and had to get out of it.

What brought me back to rodeo and being part of it as a stock contractor is the community. It’s like family–however dysfunctional (laughs). I’ve had a career in Silicon Valley, met interesting and wealthy people, and it’s easy to get sucked into all that. But in rodeo, nobody gives a damn about what you drive or what you own. It’s about the love of the sport, the culture, the people, and what you do for each other.

Most bull riders start as kids in youth rodeo, and because the sport is self-selecting, they ride, get a high score, win, and then the best move ahead. They grow up with it. Soon as they hit 18, they can go professional. A lot of these guys live in RV’s, they travel from show to show. Some have wives and children who follow them. They really are the modern day “drifter.”

What attracts us to the sport? Hey, you write romance, so you know what I mean when I say it’s the romance. You can look at yourself and say, ‘I’m a cowboy. I’m special. I’m a dying breed, part of something unique, cowboy values, the Western way of life.’

Who these guys are and what they do, it’s really incredible when you think about it. They’re always one ride away from failure and injury, or one ride away from championship and victory…one ride away from a comeback, one ride away from reaching a dream.

Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy All Week!

Join me, Linda Broday, Carolyn Brown, Amanda McIntyre, Angi Morgan and Beth Williamson, July 17-22, at Get Lost in a Story for a special series to celebrate National Day of the Cowboy. Delve into cowboy lore and culture, find out who our favorites are, and while you’re at the blog, enter our Celebrate Cowboys raffle. http://bit.ly/2uRfnzlGLIAS_CowboyDay

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Meet a legendary Lone Star family

Say hello to Maybe Baby, the first installment in my new contemporary romance series, Texas Hardts.

Jen Chandler can’t ignore the urgent ticking of her biological clock, no matter how many hours she puts in at work. The nesting instinct has kicked in big-time, and she wants a baby. After too many failed relationships, she isn’t looking for a husband. Instead, she sets out in search of a sperm donor to make her dream come true.

Logan Hardt, a laid-back cowboy who shows up at her Atlanta home one day, turns out to have the right genes, as well as a pressing need for cash. But he’s seduced by more than Jen’s generous offer, and the closer the time comes to say goodbye, the less willing he is to honor a contract that would require him to walk away and never look back.

Will a contract between them lead to more than a baby? Maybe.

See what early reviewers are saying…

“If you want a good, fun romance that makes you laugh until your sides hurt, this is the book for you.” ~Linda Broday, NYT Bestselling author

“E.E. Burke’s Maybe Baby just catapulted itself into the front runner as my favorite.” ~ Amazon reviewer

“Maybe Baby fills all the spaces in our heart with a warmhearted story of two people finding love in the most unexpected ways.” ~ Goodreads reviewer

I’m over-the-moon excited to see that readers are loving Logan and Jen’s story. The series follows Logan and his brothers, as the Texas Hardts come together to save their family’s ancestral ranch.

Pick up your copy of Maybe Baby at the following online retailers:
Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Texas Hardts: The Origins

Logan Hardt, one of the main characters in Maybe Baby, is a direct descendant of two of my historical characters in The Bride Train series. Ross and Susannah Hardt. You can read their story in Seducing Susannah. Here’s the blurb:

When all else fails, try seduction.

 Ross Hardt must marry a proper lady in order to reclaim his inheritance. Among the few prospects in town is a beautiful, sassy widow who has tantalized him from the day they first met–the same day she slapped his face. 

Susannah Braddock journeys west on The Bride Train in search of good father for her young son, but on the lawless frontier few candidates meet her requirements, least of all the arrogant, demanding, unfeeling railroad agent.

 As Fate—and Ross’s scheming—draws them closer, Susannah glimpses unexpected tenderness beneath Ross’s harsh exterior, and she’s tempted by the fiery passion that flares between them. But when a secret comes out that threatens to destroy their budding relationship, passion isn’t enough. Only love can weather the oncoming storm.

SEDUCING SUSANNAH is Book 4 in The Bride Train, an exciting historical romance series inspired by true events. 

Texas Hardts: The Series 

Logan’s story will introduce readers to a sizzling new contemporary romance series coming out later this year, Texas Hardts.

Meet the Texas Hardts. They’ve survived war, drought and pestilence to build a ranching empire. Loyalty, they understand. These cowboys have a few things to learn about love…

Do you know why it’s called the Double H? Both Hardt men explain in  Seducing Susannah and Maybe Baby.

The Double H brand might give you a hint as to the meaning.

Click here to check out an excerpt from Maybe Baby.

This summer, I’m giving away five paperback copies on Goodreads. You can enter here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Maybe Baby by E.E. Burke

Maybe Baby

by E.E. Burke

Giveaway ends June 20, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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The Bride Train arrives with a new story

NEW! Seducing Susannah, Book 4, The Bride Train

When all else fails, try seduction.  

Ross Hardt must marry a proper lady to reclaim his inheritance. Among the few prospects in town is a beautiful, sassy widow who has tantalized him from the day they first met–the same day she slapped his face.

Susannah Braddock journeyed west on The Bride Train in search of a good father for her young son, but on the lawless frontier few candidates meet her requirements, least of all the arrogant, unfeeling railroad agent.

As Fate—and Ross’s scheming—draws them closer, Susannah glimpses tenderness beneath her suitor’s harsh exterior, and she’s tempted by the fiery passion that flares between them. But when a secret comes out that threatens to destroy their budding relationship, passion isn’t enough. Only love can weather the oncoming storm.

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 The Bride Train Series 

Four women answer a railroad advertisement seeking single young ladies as brides for settlers on the Western frontier. The Bride Train takes them to a land plagued by violence and unrest, a place where passion rules, and only a woman’s touch can tame it into love.

Valentine’s Rose, Book 1 

An English nobleman, an Irish laundress… Only in America would Fate would be foolish enough to put them together.

Start the series FREE with Valentine’s Rose when you sign up for my newsletter. Or you can buy it here.

Patrick’s Charm, Book 2

A disabled Union veteran down on his luck and a famous actress on the run from danger find shelter in each other’s arms, and love where they least expect it.

ON SALE FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!

Buy it today.

Tempting Prudence,  Book 3

A spinster kidnapped to become the bride for a bootlegger finds an unexpected chance at love.

Buy it today.

Seducing Susannah, Book 4

Ross must marry a proper lady to reclaim his inheritance. Susannah is the one he wants, but she hates him…passionately. When all else fails, try seduction.

Order your copy.

 

 

 

 

 

ENTER TO WIN MY #BOOKBIRTHDAY PRIZES: A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD OR A SIGNED COPY OF SEDUCING SUSANNAH WITH A SILVER BOOKMARK.

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Travel to a place with few rules and no limits…

Meet dangerous men and daring women caught up in intrigue, mayhem and murder, as the railroads advance across America’s frontier.

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Steam! Series Collection
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 Steam! Romance & Rails Series Collection 

“Pure passion and romance that will steal your breath.” New York Times bestselling author Linda Broday

HER BODYGUARD: A woman embroiled in intrigue employs a bodyguard to protect her from a killer, unaware that he’s an outlaw hired by her enemies to put a stop to her plans.

KATE’S OUTLAW: After a railroad heiress is abducted, her Indian captor becomes her protector. On the run from danger, with enemies on both sides, they discover a love as powerful as it is forbidden.

A DANGEROUS PASSION: An inquisitive author sets out to expose a corrupt railroad baron and becomes ensnared in a deadly mystery and a dangerous passion.

FUGITIVE HEARTS: When a newly made widow tries to cover up the truth behind her husband’s violent death, her plan backfires, sending her fleeing from a hardened lawman determined to bring her to justice.

If you’re a fan of passionate romance woven with rich historical detail and a dash of suspense, this series is for you. Grab your set today: 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jwpnaV

B&N: http://bit.ly/SteamNook

Apple: http://bit.ly/SteamApple

Kobo: http://bit.ly/SteamKobo

Google: http://bit.ly/SteamGoogle

Inspiration for the Steam! Romance and Rails Series

Historical events and bigger-than-life characters, similar to those that inspired the hit television series “Hell On Wheels,” inspired Steam!. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the United States entered a time of explosive growth and expansion that has been unmatched since. The country had just emerged from a devastating war and its people needed to have faith in something. That something turned out to be what railroads represented: opportunity and hope for the future.

The hotly contested  construction race between the Missouri, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad Company (nicknamed The Border Tier) and the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway (more commonly known as The Katy) encapsulates the spirit of these times and the challenges. This race turned out to be the perfect setting for an action-packed, suspenseful historical romance series.

Her Bodyguard follows the history of the Border Tier and tells the story of an unlikely romance that develops between a wanted man and a wealthy widow caught up in the cutthroat railroad race and a violent settlers’ revolt.

Kate’s Outlaw is inspired by the Cherokee people’s response to the railroad’s encroachment on territory that was promised to them “forever” after they were forced from their Eastern homelands.

The exploits of a indomitable Katy Railroad executive and the legend of a family of serial killers provides fodder for A Dangerous Passion. Ride the rails with the sheriff in Fugitive Hearts from the Katy Railroad’s headquarters in Parsons, Kansas, down through the Indian Territory in search of a fugitive who also happens to be the woman he loves.

The rich history of the railroads has inspired new ideas for more books. You haven’t seen the last of this series.

Steam On!

E.E. Burke

 

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Christmas Together: Two Bestselling Authors Team Up

 

1The holidays bring people together and inspire romance. What better time for two bestselling authors to team up to bring you both!

This month, Amanda McIntyre and I are joining together to offer you a great price on our Christmas romances. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can curl up by a crackling fire with Amanda’s brand new release featuring an immigrant’s first Christmas in America, and my #1 bestselling Christmas collection about a mail-order bride and a matchmaking experiment gone awry.

We’re also offering readers the chance to win some great prizes in our special Christmas Romance Raffle. Our way of saying, “Thank you.”

THE PROMISE by Amanda McIntyre

am-thepromise_400x600Brady McCormick made a promise to his young wife the day she died—to follow through with their plans to take their son to America and begin a new life in the land of opportunity. Now in New York, living in charity with a distant uncle, barely scraping by, Brady is unsure he will be able to uphold that promise, much less that he will ever be able to quell this loneliness eating him inside.

Saran Reichardt knows that she is unlike most women—headstrong, tenacious, she is dedicated to teaching, believing she has no need of a man to care for her, until an accidental encounter with a stormy-eyed Irish immigrant and his young son changes her perception of what need really is.

What inspired Amanda to write this story?

amandaI’ve always had a passion for taking ordinary characters and placing them in extraordinary circumstances. Whether in my historical or my contemporary romance books, I love watching my characters become the heroes and heroines of their own stories.

In THE PROMISE, I stretched back to my own roots of a Scottish-Irish heritage—Black Irish, my mother called it—and thought of what hope and dreams those living outside America might have had. What would it have been like to sail thousands of miles to a strange land, to come into that bay and see Lady Liberty and read the words at her feet written in 1883 by a native New Yorker, Emma Lazarus.

“…Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

rouse3Inspired too, by the painting called The Christmas Ship, the story of a young Irish immigrant who’d made a promise to his dying wife to bring their son to America and start a new life began to take shape. Set at Christmas in New York, it follows the struggles of Brady and his son as they adjust to the new land, and the unconventional woman the two meet by fate on the day of their arrival.

AN AMERICAN MAIL-ORDER BRIDE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION includes two historical romances and a short story, filled with Christmas spirit and a special kind of magic.

Here’s a video to whet your appetite.

American Mail-Order Bride Christmas YouTube play

 

Along with books at special discounts, we’re also offering you a chance to win a Kindle Fire and a Christmas stocking filled with some surprises. Enter the Rafflecopter below. (To leave a comment, scroll past the social media buttons and click on Comments.)

Our books revolve around three wishes and a promise. What wishes do you have this Christmas? Do you have any promises for the New Year?

From both of us to you and yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and promise to bring you more romance in the coming year.

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Are you smarter than a turkey?

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Congratulations to Bertha Chambers for winning the Turkey Quiz drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.

Congratulations to “Laurie”, the winner of the Turkey Trot Blog Hop grand prize, $50 Amazon gift card.

 

Answers to the Turkey Trot Quiz below.

Note: there are different answers depending on who you ask, so I don’t stand by any of them. Like I said, not for a grade. 😉

 

turkey-trot-quiz-2

The winners of the other blog contests will be posted on their pages.

Thank you to everyone who participated and answered the quiz. I LOVED your answers. Some of you should consider writing comedy.

 

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Autumn Harvest Author Blog Hop

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Congratulations to winners of the Autumn Harvest Blog Hop for the boxed set HEARTS ABLAZE.  Gregory Teresa: $50 Amazon gift card, Eva M: $25 Amazon gift card, Mary Brannian: $25 Amazon gift card.

The winners of my raffle are posted on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Come back on Tuesday, Nov. 22, when I’ll be participating in a brand new Thanksgiving Contest and Turkey Trot. More chances to win: $50 Amazon gift card grand prize, plus extra goodies from each of the authors participating.

In the meantime…

DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR COPY OF HEARTS ABLAZE. EIGHT BOOKS FROM EIGHT BESTSELLING AUTHORS, ONLY 99 CENTS!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fzodcL
Apple: http://apple.co/2eWEnBr
B&N Nook: http://bit.ly/2eWEKvJ
Google: http://bit.ly/2eWxJLI
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2eH7x2t

Kate’s Outlaw is part of the box set Hearts Ablaze.

A half-breed desperado abducts—and then rescues—a railroad heiress. On the run from danger, with enemies on both sides, Jake and Kate seek solace in each other’s arms–and ignite a love as powerful as it is forbidden…

blazinghero

 

Jake Colson has a white father, but he considers himself Cherokee. My interest in writing a book with a Cherokee hero came about while doing genealogy research to track down my husband’s Native American ancestry.

Do you have any interesting facts you can share about your family’s ancestral roots? Any surprises or funny stories?

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Two brides, three wishes…in an unforgettable Christmas collection

American Mail-Order Bride Christmas YouTube play

  AN AMERICAN MAIL-ORDER BRIDE CHRISTMAS

Romance and adventure spark the spirit of Christmas for two mail-order brides…americanmail-orderbridechristmas_boxset_cropped

Victoria, Bride of Kansas (#1 Amazon Bestseller)

A lonely society miss travels a thousand miles to marry a suitor whose romantic letters won her heart, only to discover she’s betrothed to a Scrooge.

Santa’s Mail-Order Bride (the top-rated sequel)

A well-intentioned matchmaker has plans for a scheming Santa. Plans that don’t include falling in love.

The Christmas Wish

In this short story, a young orphan who has never known love gets his Christmas wish.

When I set out to write these two stories, I wanted to include themes that for me define the true meaning of Christmas: family ties, hope, faith, the spirit of compassion and generosity, and above all, love…the kind of love that shines through the darkness of our circumstances, even the darkness in our hearts.

Victoria, Bride of Kansas, which became an Amazon bestseller, started as part of an unprecedented project with 45 other authors, the American Mail-Order Brides series. This book, about a lonely socialite who travels over a thousand miles to find true love, was a finalist in the 2016 Booksellers’ Best Awards and a semifinalist in the Kindle Best Book awards.

Santa’s Mail-Order Bride is the top-rated sequel. I couldn’t let nast-1881-santa-portraitVictoria’s meddling sister-in-law remain a spinster! This well-intentioned matchmaker has plans for a scheming Santa that backfire, with unexpected consequences. And yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. I can’t wait for you to meet him.

Where does my inspiration come from?

I’m a visual thinker, so I like to gather images of people that fit a mental picture of what my characters look like.

Victoria’s beau, David O’Brien, looks a bit like a brooding Aiden Turner.david-obrien

 

Maggie’s hero, Gordon Sumner, has Michael Fassbender’s gorgeous blue eyes and ginger hair.

gordonsumner

To see more of my inspiration, visit my Pinterest site: https://www.pinterest.com/authoreeburke/

I do lots of research when I’m preparing to write a historical romance, and if possible, I travel to the locations I write about. There’s something about physically being at a place and seeing it and experiencing it that makes it so much more real to me, which helps with my writing. I visit historical sites and museums. Go into the library or wherever they keep historical pictures and documents.fort-scott

These two books are set in the late 1800s in Fort Scott, Kansas, and feature characters from my first novel, Her Bodyguard (set 20 years earlier). I had so much fun learning about the history of this quaint town and the pioneers who settled here. I hope through these books you’ll come to love Fort Scott as much as I do.

Step into Christmas past with Victoria and Maggie this Christmas, and be sure to let me know what you think of their romantic adventures.

I pray this holiday season brings peace, hope and healing, for our great country, for our communities and for our families.

Blessings,

E.E. Burke

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