Friday, March 27, 2015

E.E. Burke's Birthday Bash featuring Kim Rocha's top picks for BEST OF THE WEST

This weekend I celebrate my birthday. I love giving gifts as much as getting them, so I wanted to share with you, our readers, the gift of some great recommendations in Western romance, and to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card so you can go out and buy them!

For a top five "must reads" list, I reached out to KIM ROCHA, who blogs and reviews books on her site, Book Obsessed Chicks as well as being a feature columnist on Romance at Random. She has a passion for romance, a soft-spot for Westerns and a love for great books.

So, take it away, Kim.


Thanks for inviting me to Get Lost in a Story, E.E.!

Many don't know that I am quite the recent romance reader. I used to strictly read horror before I finished school, and when I had my first child, my reading days were over. I sporadically read here and there, but didn't really get back into it until 2008. Even then I was only reading paranormal until I met Beth Williamson in 2011 and she sent me her novella, A Cowboy's Muse. My obsession with the West began. Sometimes trying to explain to other romance readers that Western romance isn't always about the cowboy can be frustrating, but when I can give them examples and sometimes they take my advice, it's a wonderful thing!

Trying to whittle my way into giving you my Top 5 is like asking which is your favorite child, but I will do my best! These are in no particular order by the way.

Check out this book on Amazon


Cowboy Take Me Away 
by Lorelei James

This last book in Lorelei James' Rough Rider series can also be a gateway to the series. This is how the McKay clan began with Mom and Dad McKay, Caroline and Carson. Cowboy Take Me Away is one of those books that makes you want to go back and read the entire series over again despite the fact that you may have a TBR pile a mile high. These rough and tumble McKay and West people are unique and engaging and Ms. James has given them a legacy for readers to devour.



Check out this book on Amazon
Train Station Bride by Holly Bush

Back in 2012 when I picked up Train Station Bride by Holly Bush, I didn't know what to expect from this new author to me. The original cover was a sepia tone photo of the inside of a train car, sort of nondescript, but as a photographer, I wanted to know more. This is one of the best stories I have ever had the pleasure to read. It takes a down-on-her-luck girl from the East and brings her out West in hopes of a better life as a mail-order bride. The whole "getting to know you" theme is so amazing and the story that Ms Bush brings to light is a lasting one. Train Station Bride has recently been re-released and is a must read, as are the rest of Holly Bush's books.



Three Weeks with a Bull Rider
by Cat Johnson


Author Cat Johnson has been thrilling readers for years with her hot cowboys and military men. In her Oklahoma Nights series Cat brings us a fresh new take on cowboys and some pretty amazing reads. Cat's third book in the series, Three Night's with a Bull Rider is my favorite in this series to date, and not only because it's got a pretty hot cowboy in it. Let's face it, what girl wouldn't want a handsome bull rider? Jace and Tara's story is striking because it takes two unlikely to be together characters and give them so much passion that cannot be denied. Cat Johnson's ability to make the pair who have such disdain for one another come to desire one another so deeply is what I love about this book and Ms, Johnson.

The Sweet Spot 
by Laura Drake

The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake hit me hard. It's right up there with my favorite Bertrice Small book and that is saying something. Ms. Drake takes a couple who were once in love, separates them with the ultimate tragedy for parents and then after a time rekindles that love. This book teems with so much emotion and hope that it has earned its permanent place on the top of my favorites list. Laura Drake is a brilliant writer, she engages the reader from the first line to the end.





Brody by Emma Lang

Beth Williamson writing as Emma Lang's Brody in the Circle Eight series is still my favorite because the character Brody himself is the epitome of my alpha hero.To date, I base all my opinions on alpha heroes on Brody. When I first began this series with the first book, Matthew, I knew Brody's book was going to be something else with the spitfire Olivia Graham and the dedicated Texas Ranger. Their quest brings danger as well as romance and it's another book not to be missed.




Meet Kim

Kimberly Rocha is the founder of Book Obsessed Chicks book blog. She lives on Long Island with her family who patiently moves out of the way on book club night.  They lend a hand for the Book Obsessed Chicks annual BBQ, bringing authors and readers together on Long Island, NY. Kimberly is also a talented photographer with an infectious laugh. She contributes the monthly “Western Roundup” column to the Romance at Random blog, works full time for www.MyAuthorBiz.com and www.MyBookCRAVE.com on the marketing team.

Here's where you can find Kim:
Blog: www.BookObsessedChicks.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-Obsessed-Chicks/163870460350960
Website: www.MyAuthorBiz.com http://myauthorbiz.com/info/index.php
Newsletter: www.MyBookCRAVE.com

E.E.: I love reading your reviews because you've got such a passion for this genre. How did you get started as a reviewer/blogger?

Kim: In the Summer of 2010 I went to my very first author event in Boston for Lara Adrian. When I left that weekend I was so inspired that went home and started the Book Obsessed Chicks blog with another reader and also started my book club of the same name, which now has 5 chapters. The reviewer part came naturally since growing up I loved to write and loved to give my opinion! Well I found out that I am not an author, but I do love to tell people about the books I enjoy. 

E.E.: What do you love most about Western romance?

Kim: What grabs me most about Western romance is the state of mind. I live in New York where things happen so fast, it's hard to slow down sometimes, but the kicking up my heels and reading a Western brings me to a place I'd really like to get to know. I love the cowboy/ranch culture and the differences between East and West.

E.E.: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?

Kim: My Facebook friends are a constant source of smiles. Just from one post I can get a crowd of faithful followers to make me feel great. A great book will do that to me as well!

E.E.: Where do you read and how often?

Kim: I read everyday that I am home. When I am at a conference I can never concentrate, but there isn't one night at home, lying on my sofa, I don't have a book or my iPad in hand. I am also really OCD about finishing a book in a sitting. It doesn't matter if the birds are chirping and my eyes are burning when THE END appears, I have to get it done.


To celebrate my birthday, I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, as well as autographed copies of three of my books. Just comment and enter the raffle.

We want to know your favorites. What Western historical or contemporary romance should be on our list of "must reads"?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

55 comments:

  1. A HUGE Happy Birthday to you E.E. THANK YOU for having me! Us Western romance lovers have to stick together!

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  2. My favorite genre is the Western also. I love stories that keep me on the edge of my seat. I am not a big fan of super detailed sex scenes. I like reality in my Westerns to a certain extent. I guess that is why I am a huge Hell on Wheels fan. It is a series that comes on the AMC channel around August of each year. My favorite author is Heather Blanton! She writes stories that are considered Western, Romance and Christian. She does an excellent job of making them realistic and gritty as well as truly romanic with lots of romantic intensity between her main characters and fantastic witty banter without overt sex. Her books in her Romance in the Rockies series are about three sisters of a wide age span so we get three love stories for different age groups in each book! The plots are fantasic with twists you never see coming, especially in the second book. Honestly, I could not put either of them down. They are emotional and touch on topics that will surprise people and move them deeply. A producer is very interested in Heather's books for a TV movie or a TV series. She has even written a script for him. The first book is, A Lady in Defiance, and the second is, Hearts in Defiance. Each of them are best sellers on Amazon in their category. She also wrote a wonderful novella, In Time for Chrismas, which is full of surprises and twists! I cannot wait for book three, and she is just finishing a first book in a new series about a romance during the Johnson County War in Wyoming. Those books are on my list. I also want to read EE Burks' books as well as many books of authors in Pioneer Hearts as soon as I finish my pilot script.

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  4. So sorry it posted twice. I have a hard time commenting on this from my phone. I am commenting from my daughter's school. Please forgive me! Happy Birthday to you, E.E.! I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day! Thank you Kim Rocha for your great article and suggestions. I am bookmarking them for my list to read in the future. It's great to know the books others highly recommend. I also will check out your blog. and other sites.

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    1. I was laughing, Connie! I deleted the duplicate, no problem. So glad you came by and commented. I'll definitely check out Heather Blanton. The books sound awesome. And do let us know when you sell a script. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you!

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  5. Hi, Kim! and welcome to GLIAS! So wonderful to get to know you and your recent conversion to romance! LOLOL. You have a wonderful exuberance for life and books and I love that about you. Many hugs,

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    1. Hi Vicki!!! So nice to "see" you!! Thanks bunches!

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  6. So sorry it posted twice. I have a hard time commenting on this from my phone. I am commenting from my daughter's school. Please forgive me! Happy Birthday to you, E.E.! I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day! Thank you Kim Rocha for your great article and suggestions. I am bookmarking them for my list to read in the future. It's great to know the books others highly recommend. I also will check out your blog. and other sites.

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    1. Hi Connie! Thanks for taking the time to check them out... Have a great weekend!

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  7. Hi Kim! Thanks for being a guest at GLIAS this weekend and Happy Birthday E.E.! Your top five list of westerns has me intrigued. Looking forward to meeting you in July at the Book Obsessed Chick's Beach BBQ!

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    1. Hi there Jan!! I am so excited I get to have you as one of the authors down at the Beach Bash! Hoping we meet before at RWA!

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  8. Happy happy Birthday. I cut my reading teeth on Louis L'Amour. Nuff said. Though not listed as a romance, dang are his cowboys romantic.

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  9. Happy Happy B-day E.E.! :)
    I have a large must haves list... Brenda Novak & Diana Palmer's books are among them.

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    1. Thanks Colleen! My "must haves" list has just grown, too. Good thing it's my birthday. Wheee!

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  10. Kim is the bestest!!!! She lets us invade her house once as month and puts up with us the rest of the time!!!! I loves her lots!!!

    Karen

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    1. LOL Thanks for being one of my #BOC

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    2. And she's got great taste. Just check out her reviews, and her awesome fashion pics!

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  11. Hi Kim! Just stopping by to show some love and support! :)

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  12. Happy Birthday, E.E.! Thanks for letting me come to your birthday bash! I love Western romance! And trains! And (fictional) Pinkerton detectives! As you know, my first published books were western and I have happily returned to the West! I enjoyed meeting Kim Rocha and look forward to reading her recommendations. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Nice to "meet" you too Rebecca!!!

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    2. Oh, you two definitely need to meet! Kim, you need to check out the Borrowed Brides series Rebecca has written. Wonderful Western historical romance.

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  13. Trying again because my first post disappeared!! I love Western romance with Lorelei James being a favorite. I love both her Rough Riders series with Tied Up, Tied Down, Gone Country and Cowboy Take Me Away as my favorites and her Blacktop Cowboys series with Saddled & Spurred and Roped In being my favorites. I adore Cat Johnson's Studs In Spurs series with my favorites being Unridden, Thrown, and Champion. I've enjoyed her Oklahoma Nights series as well with Two Times as Hot being my favorite in that series. I also love Desiree Holt's Naked Cowboy series, every last one of them. I'm not much of a historical reader but Kimberly got me hooked on Beth Williamson/Emma Lang and I loved her Malloy Family series with Hell for Leather being my favorite in that one and her Devil's On Horseback series which I can't pick a favorite, I loved them all.

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  14. ACCK and in reposting I forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

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    1. Aww, thanks! I'm still writing down all the great recommends from your last post!

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  15. Hiya ladies. I've loved Kim forever and am so happy she's let me be part of the BOC group. Happy birthday EE Burke. I hope you have a fabulous birthday. Big. Huge. Hugs 💞

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    1. Happy Birthday! My favorite is Contemporary Romances.

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    2. Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. I'm so glad Kim could join me to celebrate, and delighted she brought friends to the party.

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  16. Happy Birthday! love Kim's reviews and blog have found some new authors from her and she is a lot like me loves to read and I have a book in my hands or in my purse all the time. love to meet her one day! fiorecarole1954@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes and for stopping by! I love Kim's reviews, too. She'll be at RT this year in Dallas. So will I. If you're anywhere nearby, there's a readers/writers event on Sunday. Just look for me at the table with bottles of wine. ;)

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    2. Hey there sweetie! I just know this is Carole! I adore you for following my reviews and recommendations. Thank you!!!

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  17. I love a good bash.

    For Western Historical I have to go with LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry.

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    1. Oh, Lonesome Dove is one of my all time favorite Westerns. Right up there with TRUE GRIT by Charles Portis.

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  18. First of all, happy birthday to you, E.E.

    I grew up watching westerns but only recently started to read in the genre - well, by recently, I mean back in late 2005, when I became member of a Yahoo group called Lancer Writers devoted to a Western series I used to watch when I was a teenager (Lancer). Up until last Fall, I was exclusively reading Lancer fanfiction stories (and writing some myself) and then, Cheryl Pierson, with who I became friends on Lancer Writers, invited me to a Fandango... and bang - that was it for me. I started reading Western Historicals/Romance. Through her, I met many wonderful ladies and made quite a few friends in the process.

    There are a few authors I will read almost automatically (provided I have money to buy their books - being on disability tends to "restrain" my buying capacity), among them: Cheryl (of course), Jacquie Rogers, Kathleen Rice Adams, C. Marie Bowen, Caroline Clemmons and a bunch of others. Of course, you are among those authors (after all, you've gifted me with two of your books a little while ago - they're on my getting-longer-by-the-minute TBR list).

    As for traditionally published authors, I have yet to get my hands onto Lonesome Dove. I've been wanting this book for a long time now (particularly after seeing the series a few years ago).

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Liette, and for sharing your wonderful story of how you became a Western romance fan.You have a great "go to" list of authors and I'm glad we could introduce to more. I'm getting a hankering to watch Lonesome Dove again now that we've been talking about it. I loved the miniseries as much as I enjoyed the book, and that's not usually the case.

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  19. Late to the party, but happy birthday, EE. Hope you had fun. My favorite western movie is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

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    1. Ah, I remember that one! Did you watch the TV series? Everyone was all agog over Bobby Sherman. I think Liz posted a picture of him on FB recently. It was pretty comical with him in a white glittery cowboy outfit.

      When I was younger (ahem, won't say how young) I read True Grit and just loved the book. I like the John Wayne movie, but I think the more current version with Jeff Bridges is the truest to the novel.

      Thanks for stopping by and wishing me Happy Birthday! I'm looking forward to reading your latest release about the female pony express rider. I love reading about heroines in unusual situations or doing the kind of tough jobs reserved for men.

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  20. Howdy, Kim, and happy birthday, Elisabeth! Like Becky, I'm late to the party. If y'all didn't save me some cake, I'll pout. ;-)

    Kim, those are excellent recommendations! All of those ladies give life to stories of the Old West.

    My list of favorite western romances is waaaaaaaaaay too long to pick just one or two. I'm a huge fan of Elisabeth's STEAM! series, and everything by Jodi Thomas and Linda Broday ranks right up there, too.

    Traditional westerns? Anything by Zane Grey: Riders of the Purple Sage, To the Last Man, Under the Tonto Rim, and my all-time Grey favorite, Robbers' Roost.

    Movies: High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. (Why yes, I do have a Clint Eastwood fixation. Why do you ask?)

    Elisabeth, I hope your birthday is the best ever. BIG HUGS, lady! :-)

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    1. Hi Kathleen!!! Thanks! I now have a load of new Western authors on my radar thanks to this post and the comments! You all are awesome!!

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    2. Tex, you just better go and admit Zane is your muse! I remember when I first read your book, Prodigal Gun, it gave me chills because I was sure he was sitting on your shoulder when you were writing it. Only, you do the love scenes better. Sorry, Zane.

      Zane Grey is also my "go to" for the traditional Westerns. One of my favorites is Lone Star Ranger, and the character of Buck Duane. (Now you know where I get my fixation with redeeming bad guys!)

      Clint Eastwood. Outlaw Josey Wales. Ahhh! One of my favorites, too! That character provided lost of inspiration for the hero in my book Her Bodyguard. Clint ROCKS.

      Thanks for coming to my party. And yes, I saved you a piece of cake. The part with all the icing because you're so sweet! ;)

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  21. Happy Birthday! And thanks for including your fans in the celebration.

    Among my definite romance go-to's: Lorelei James, Peggy Henderson, Cheryl PIerson, Kathleen Rice Adams, E.E. Burke, Jacquie Rogers, Jodi Thomas & Linda Lael Miller (especially their historic westerns), Caroline Fyffe, Debra Holland, Caroline Clemmons...OMG. There are just too many to continue.

    Traditional: I've read and reread Louis L'Amour's books too many times to count. Especially love his Sackett family series.

    Movies: Dances with Wolves, Open Range, ANY western with Sam Elliott

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes, Alisa! I'm delighted fans in my celebration, especially when Kim gives me such a great list to share! I'm with you, my list gets too long, too fast. I'm reading everyones' favs and saying, "Yep, me too...me too...me too." You listed two of my absolute favorite movies, DWW and Open Range. Brilliant movies, brilliant casts, they don't make them like that anymore, sadly. And yes, I have been a Sam Elliott fan girl for LONG time. I'd watch him sell cars. ;)

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  22. I loved your interview Kim. My visit with the bookclub was awesome and I can't wait to come to the BBQ this summer ! Wooot !

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    1. Angi I LOVE you! Your visit was a highlight of the Winter for us. We had fun freezing out butts off down at the beach... Can't wait to see you again!!!

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  23. Happy birthday, Elisabeth! Wonderful to meet you, Kim! Some of my favorite Western romances were written by Maureen McKade, Stacey Kayne, Jenna Kernan and of course my writing partners, birthday girl Elisabeth and Jennifer Jakes.

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  24. Happy birthday, E.E.! And welcome to the blog, Kim! :)

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  25. Happy birthday, Elisabeth! I hope you have a wonderful year.

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  26. Kim, this weekend has been a blast! Thanks so much for helping me celebrate my birthday, and for your wonderful top picks. See you in Dallas!

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  27. Congrats to all who won! E.E. I hope you had the best birthday ever!

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