Tuesday, January 6, 2015

E.E. Burke's Best of the West with Linda Broday

How cool that my first Best of the West interview in 2015 is with the queen of the cowboys, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Broday. This month--today in fact--she's introducing her Bachelors of Battle Creek series with the release of the first book, Texas Mail Order Bride

Here's the series set up: 
Suffering from abuse, hunger and a yearning for family, Cooper, Rand and Brett come together in an orphanage where deep, unbreakable bonds are formed that last their entire lives. Three ragged little boys slip from their beds and, by the light of the moon, prick their thumbs and declare themselves brothers. They protect, support and love each other even after they escape an orphan train several years later and run for their lives. Through the years, they stand together, shoulder to shoulder, facing whatever comes. As men, they vow never to marry because the pain of their horrific pasts runs too deep and too wide. 

Texas Mail Order Bride
From Sourcebooks Publishing

     Rancher Cooper Thorne thinks his life is finally on an even keel—until Delta Dandridge steps off the stagecoach claiming to be his mail order bride. Brash and quick-witted, the meddling Southern Belle is everything Cooper thought he never wanted…and everything his heart is telling him he needs.
     Though it irks him mightily when she refuses to leave Battle Creek, he finds the challenges at every turn draw him closer to her. Dare to say he’s captivated by her charm and the need to matter to someone.
     But Cooper swore long ago that he’d never marry, and he aims to keep his word…especially now that the demons from his past have returned to threaten everything—and everyone—he holds dear.
    He’ll gladly give his life to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart and given him a reason for living. But will he win the fight and reclaim a piece of his soul he’s lost?

Read what Romantic Times has to say about Texas Mail Order Bride

"Broday introduces readers to three memorable heroes, a small town and one feisty Southern beauty. She spices up the sweet and gritty tale with plenty of adventure, meddlesome townsfolk and some ruthless villains."

Now, how about an excerpt:

     Delta Dandridge tried to still the tremor in her hands as she stepped onto the porch of Mabel’s Boardinghouse in Battle Creek, Texas. Crisp morning air filled her lungs.
     Rancher looking for a wife. Must be of sound mind, body, and moral character. That’s what the notice in the Matrimonial Harvest catalog had said. She’d upheld her end of the bargain and could attest with certainty to her exemplary mind, body, and character.
     But the gentleman?
     That Mr. Thorne hadn’t seen fit to meet her stage yesterday still smarted. Alone, with only a stranger to guide her, she’d taken a room here at the boardinghouse. In a state of collapse, the dark, dreary hotel had sent a sense of foreboding shivering up her spine.
     Now she wasn’t sure she was quite ready to meet the man who’d agreed to be her husband. Yet, here he was a few feet away. Fortunately, the tall rancher had his back to her, which gave her the advantage of seeing him first.
     “Mr. Thorne? Cooper Thorne?”
     He turned and Delta’s breath caught in her throat. My goodness, he was quite impressive. Tall and lean, there was a rugged quality about him from his chiseled features down to boots that had many miles on them. And a good deal of cow manure, if she wasn’t mistaken. His dark gray shirt stretched tight across his broad shoulders and the black Stetson that shaded his eyes had seen better days.
Yet it was the deadly Colt on his hip that gave her pause. He appeared a man to reckon with. Everything about him was hard and unyielding and put her in mind of someone who’d never known any kind of softness. For a moment, it took her aback. She wondered if she could please him.
     “Miss Dandridge, I suppose.” The deep timbre of his voice seemed to vibrate the air between them.
     “Yes. I’m so happy to finally meet you.” She smiled, covering the few steps with her hand extended.
     He touched her palm for the briefest of seconds and cleared his throat. “There’s been a terrible misunderstanding.”
     The wild beating of Delta’s heart suddenly stopped, and for a moment she feared it wouldn’t start again. “What are you saying?”
     “I don’t know how to break this to you gently. I’m not looking for a wife, ma’am. Never was. I’m a bachelor and quite content to stay this way. I’m not sure how such a mix-up could happen.”
     “So you never intended to keep your promise? You dragged me here under false pretenses. Why would you do that, Mr. Thorne?”
     From under the brim of his hat, she glimpsed surprise and something indiscernible in an honest gaze that was the color of gunmetal.
     “What I’m saying is…well, I didn’t send for you.”
     White hot anger swept over Delta. It was one thing to spurn her, but calling her a liar made her mad enough to fight. Yanking the packet of letters from her pocket, she thrust them into his hands.
“Then would you mind explaining these? If you can.”
     Cooper didn’t spare them a glance. “Look, lady. I didn’t write them. And if I ever find out who did, I’ll make him rue the day he took it into his head to claim to be me.”
     “If you'll just read the letters, you'll see the promises, the words of endearment that brought me here.”
     A muscle in his jaw worked as he shook his head.  “Once and for all, I'm sorry.  I truly am.”
     “Maybe if you just gave yourself a chance to get to know me.”
     “I can't offer hope where there is none. I'm sure you're a very fine woman who'll make someone an excellent wife.”  Finality echoed in his soft words.  “I'm not in the market.”
     Delta went very still. Slowly, her situation began to sink in. There would be no marriage. She was stuck in Battle Creek, Texas with an empty purse and no prospects. She blinked back the tears that threatened to spill and humiliate her even further.
     He continued, “Seems we’ve both been played for fools. I’ll be glad to pay your way to wherever you want to go.”
     The last thread of Delta’s dignity held fast. Her voice was cold and brittle. “You can keep your money, Mr. Thorne. I won’t take one cent from you.”
     With that, she jerked the letters from his hand and strode into the boardinghouse with her head held high.
Meet Linda

My interest in reading and history came very early, so when I began writing historical romances in the 1990s, it was no surprise to anyone. I reside in the Texas Panhandle. I'm a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. I love scouring history books and online for little known details to add to my stories. I've been accused, and quite unjustly I might add, of making myself a nuisance at museums and libraries. 

Humble roots and the love of family have become focal points of each book I write. I hope you like the stories I endeavor to bring to you and that you'll try my new Bachelors of Battle Creek series.

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/lbroday  

 Now, on to the questions

E.E.: How often do you get lost in a story?
Linda: I get lost in a story almost every time I pick up a book. Something always draws me in, be it the plot, the characters or the setting. I HAVE to know what's going to happen next. It's like opening presents on Christmas morning. Can’t wait to see the story unfold.

E.E.: What drew you to Western historical romance and what do you like best about it?

Linda: I fell in love with western historical romance in the early 1990s after reading Johanna Lindsay's "Angel" and Margaret Brownley's "The Kissing Bandit." Instantly, I knew it was what I wanted to write. It was sort of like I found a piece of me that was missing that I didn't know I'd lost. Prior to that I had loved the books about pirates, English rogues and gypsies and those were entertaining but they didn't fit me like western romance. 

I love cowboys plain and simple. They have such a love for the land, family and animals. They don't just talk about honor and courage, they live and breathe it. And when it comes to going the whole distance, cowboys fit the bill. There is no quitting with them. Maybe part of it is that I've been around cowboys my whole life. You can't walk down the street where I live without seeing them. Even yet when one holds the door for me or calls me "ma'am" in their lazy Texas drawl, I melt. And then, I also cut my teeth on TV westerns back in the 60s and 70s. So it's no wonder that I write historical western romance. I've certainly had enough inspiration.   

E.E.: What is the first story you remember writing?

Linda: The first one I remember clearly was a short story I wrote as a writing assignment in the 10th grade. The title was The Sugar Bowl and it was about an ant colony that decided to pay football in ... you guessed it -- the sugar bowl. Let me tell you, it was exciting stuff. It earned me a B grade though. I'm very glad I switched to romance. Probably was an excellent decision. 

E.E.: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Linda: This is easy. Either a librarian or the owner of a bookstore. I have to be connected to books. The written word is in my blood. When I was in junior high, I was chosen to be a junior librarian assistant because of being an honor student. I remember how thrilled I was to sit behind the desk and record the books my classmates checked out. I wore a big grin that entire semester.

E.E.: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Linda: I won the prestigious National Readers' Choice Award for The Cowboy Who Came Calling. That was such a thrill. I felt like I was on top of the world. But that was no comparison to making the New York Times and USA Today bestselling list. I have new goals and dreams now. I want to win the RITA Award, Romance Writers of America's highest pinnacle.

E.E.: Let's talk about your new book. What one thing about Cooper Thorne drives Delta Dandridge crazy and visa versa?
Linda: Cooper Thorne's ease in knowing exactly what to say in order to raise her dander is the main thing that gets under Delta's skin. She always feels like he's self-assured and in control no matter the situation and that makes her mad enough to spit. Delta Dandridge's boundless enthusiasm and zeal to accomplish things that more often than not gets her into trouble just drives Cooper nuts. She simply won't listen to him.

E.E.: What could we find in Delta Dandridge’s purse?
Linda: A few pieces of lint and fourteen cents which is everything to her name. She puts her future on the line when she headed west to marry Cooper Thorne. So when she discovers she's been duped, she's devastated. All the security and a chance for love at last disappears like a puff of smoke.

E.E.: Do you have a favorite “love” word?
Linda: Darlin' is my favorite love word. And it's no wonder seeing as how that's what my husband used to call me in his deep Sam Eliott voice and pulled me close. He's passed on but I still get all mushy inside when I hear the word. All my cowboy heroes call their lady loves that. It can certainly put me in the mood for kissing and cuddling. Oh, man!

Today Linda will give away a copy of her new book, Texas Mail Order Bride, to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment and enter the raffle.

What is your favorite type of historical romance? Is it English royalty, the American West, Regencies, or some other?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I don't think I have an absolute favorite. I love to travel the globe & go back in time to do it.

    1. Hi Mary! Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. You just love a good book plain and simple. I can certainly relate to that. This looks like a great place to find some. It's like an online library. I can almost smell the paper. I hope you'll like this western romance about love and hope and finding a way to trust again.

      Happy Reading!

  2. I'm happy to read any type as long as it's historical & well written.

    1. Hi Linda! Thank you so much for coming by. It sounds like you're not picky at all. I agree that variety is best. Though I only write western historical romance, I read all kinds of books. I like Dean Koontz and James Patterson and absolutely LOVE women's mainstream. I think it's good to expose myself to all kinds of fiction. E.E. Burke writes some darn good stuff. I hope you try my bachelor series.

      Wishing you a wonderful day and Happy Reading!

  3. I just like a good story that's well researched and written with an HEA

    1. Hi girlygirl! Thank you for stopping by and reading about my new series. I agree that a good story is crucial and a happy ending is a must. I hate to read stories that leave me down. I WANT the characters to get the happiness they've striven for through the story. I can assure you that Cooper and Delta find their HEA. I hope you do give the book a try.

      Have a great day and thanks for coming! Happy Reading!

  4. Linda, I'm so thrilled you're our guest today for my first 2015 Best of the West interview. The blurb and excerpt totally hooked me. I adore Delta. She reminds me of Scarlett. Oh man, does Cooper have his work cut out for him. Can't wait to read this book!

    I love that you set BIG goals. Winning a RITA. Yes! Go for it! And I'll go for my goal of reaching NYT/USA best selling status on day. We all need dreams, don't we?

    You know my favorite genre. ;)

    1. Hi Elisabeth! Thanks so much for having me. Oh my gosh! I love it here. I might just stay. Your site has such a homey, welcoming feel. I'm sorry that I'm so late coming to the party. My computer keeps locking up and having to reboot. But hopefully it's resolved now. Of all days to give me fits.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt of Cooper's and Delta's meeting that sets everything in motion. She was the perfect woman to give him a run for his money because her independent streak is just as wide as his. She doesn't roll over and play dead and sure doesn't give up on her dreams.I hope you like their story,

      Yes, we do need dreams to keep pushing us. I want to always be reaching for elusive things that are entirely possible if I work hard enough. You'll make the NY Times/USA Today bestselling list. I know it.

      Thanks again for having me. Get Lost In a Story is a very special place. Have a glorious day full of all kinds of good stuff.

    2. E.E. Burke (Elisabeth), I do think Delta Dandridge has a whole lot of Scarlet in her. She's so driven to find a place to belong and fit into. Battle Creek offers her so much more than she ever thought. Delta gets all the women together and form a club called The Women of Vision and boy are they visionaries! They are forward-thinkers and come up with things few people heard of.

      Thanks again for having me! I'm enjoying myself so much.

  5. It looks like a good series. I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing new authors :-)

    1. Hi Cissie! Thanks for coming by. I appreciate it. I'm glad I could introduce you to my bachelor series and give you a glimpse inside Cooper Thorne and Delta Dandridge.

      Happy Reading!

  6. Hi BN100! Thank you so much for coming by. Regencies are wonderful stories. I love reading about Dukes, Duchesses and the English aristocracy. I think if I didn't write western romance I'd try my hand at a Regency.

    Have a great day!

  7. I love cowboys too! Thanks for the interview.

    1. Hi Jeanine! Wow, we must be related since cowboys rock our world. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and tight fitting jeans! Yes ma'am. Thanks for coming by. I really appreciate the company. Glad you liked my interview. I think you can really learn a lot a lot about someone from an interview.

      Have a wonderful day!

  8. I will have to say the American west. Love historical westerns. Mail order bride stories are my favorite. So I can't wait to read yours.

    1. Hi Quilt Lady! I'm so glad you stopped by over here. That's great. I certainly don't think there's anything better than western romance. It fulfills and satisfies like nothing else. And YAY for me that mail order bride stories are your favorites!

      Ih hope you have a great evening!