E.E. Burke's BEST OF THE WEST with Cheryl Pierson

There's something about lawmen...especially dark, brooding lawmen like Jax McCall, the hero in Cheryl Pierson's latest Western historical romance, The Half-Breed's Woman. This full-length novel will be released next week as part of a limited boxed set for only 99 cents. You'll want to snap it up once you read the excerpt.

U.S. Deputy Marshal Jaxson McCall tracks runaway debutante Callie Buchanan from Washington, D.C., into the unforgiving badlands of Indian Territory. But once the sparks fly between them, can he bring himself to take the beautiful young woman in to face an attempted murder charge?

Callie's greedy stepfather, a powerful government official, has his own plans for her—a fate much worse than jail. Jaxson must protect her at all costs—even if it means his own death, or losing his heart.

Here's an excerpt:

The set up: U.S. Deputy Marshal Jaxson McCall has tracked down debutante Callie Buchanan in her flight across the country to get away from her powerful stepfather. Now, because of an overzealous cavalry commander, they have been forced to marry to save Callie’s reputation and Captain Tolbert’s military career from question. It’s their wedding night, but Jax is still uncertain that he’s the best thing for Callie—he wants her to have choices, not something forced on her. But Callie knows what she wants…in her heart, she will forever be THE HALF-BREED’S WOMAN…

     Jesus. A king’s ransom in rubies. But more important, the love of the woman kneeling beside him, offering him, truly, the only valuable she had left. The only thing that stood between her and destitution. She was handing him her future, and he held it in his hands, glittering in the lamplight.
     “Callie.” His voice was husky, rough, but infinitely tender. “You trust me so much, sweetheart? This is everything you own, isn’t it?”
     As Callie lay her head beside him, Jax laced his hands through her hair, thoughtfully fingering the silken mass of burnished copper. She nodded, not answering.
     “Think long and hard about what you’re saying, Callie. I’m…not your only choice. Once we’re out of here, we can get this marriage annulled—if you want—”
     Her head came up swiftly. “Is that what you want, Jaxson? Truly? To walk away and pretend we never knew each other, never made love together—”
     “Shh, no, baby, it’s not what I want.” He put a roughened finger against her lips.
     “Then, what? Is it the idea of marriage itself that repels you—or marriage to me?”
     “Dammit, Callie, you’re young, you’re beautiful—educated—”
     “A fugitive.”
     “We’ll get that set straight, sweetheart, and then your whole life will be open to all kinds of possibilities—not just marriage to a—a half-breed U.S. deputy marshal, for God’s sake!”
     “I happen to be in love with a half-breed U.S. deputy marshal! One that I want to spend my life with! Remember, Jax? Remember? ‘Laugh with me, love with me, have babies with me—’ Remember?” She moistened her lips, her voice carrying the husky edge of tears, her emotions raw.
     Roughly, with a muttered curse, he dropped the case on the bed and pulled her to him. He held her tightly as she scrambled to move herself away from him. He speared his fingers through her soft, tumbling hair, loving the feel of it against his fingertips and across the bare skin of his neck and shoulder.
     “Jax! Stop it! I don’t want to hurt—”
     “You aren’t going to hurt me, Callie. Not like you mean. Physical pain, I can deal with. Emotional pain, that’s a little harder.” He pulled her back against him, but she resisted, turning her head as he tried to kiss her. He shifted to his left side, throwing a bare leg across her, forcing her head around to look at him.
     “Can I trust you, Callie?” His eyes were hot, burning into hers. “If I give you my heart, can I trust you?”
     “Jax—” Callie murmured, stopping her thrashing at the hoarse, raw emotion in his voice, the intensity in his eyes. He held her arms tightly in his hands. “I will never hurt you, Jaxson. Never.” Their lips were only a hairsbreadth apart, her voice a soft whisper, gliding across his skin. “I love you, Jax.” She moistened her lips. “I love y-”
     His lips slanted across hers, cutting off the rest of her words. She opened her mouth for him, and his tongue entered her in a promise of what he planned to do to her body in a few short minutes. Boldly, she touched his tongue with hers, and his fingers tensed against her scalp. He had turned until his body almost completely covered hers, pinning her beneath him. Finally, he lifted his head. “I’ll never let you go, girl. That’s one thing you better know. If we make love tonight, you’re mine, Callie. Forever.”

Meet Cheryl

Cheryl is a native Oklahoman with eight novels to her credit as well as numerous short stories and novellas. Founding Prairie Rose Publications with Livia Reasoner is a dream-come-true for her—there’s something new every day. Helping other authors is at the top of her list, and she enjoys every minute of it. 

Cheryl is the current president of the Western Fictioneers writing group. She has two grown children and lives with her husband and her rescue dog, Embry, in Oklahoma City.

See Prairie Rose Publications’ website for more of Cheryl’s work: www.prairierosepublications.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cherokeegirl57


E.E.: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Cheryl: That’s a tough one. Probably something in first grade—See Dick and Jane run. I do remember reading those and being so thrilled that I was actually able to read the words for myself. I had a ton of books at home—since I had two older sisters, I had all their books handed down and of course, the ones I wanted to buy. And I loved the library—thrilling to get to walk in a pick out books to borrow! One story I remember starting to learn to read was The Color Kittens—it was a Little Golden Book about two kittens who were painters and all the colors they made accidentally. Reading is a great memory for me.

E.E.: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Cheryl: ONLY ONE? There are so many wonderful movies, but I’d have to say I have a tie for first place—Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird. Yes, they’re both “oldies” but those are both movies I could watch a hundred times and still want to see them again.

EE: Why do you write Western historical romance? 
Cheryl: I started writing my own western historical romance stories when I was about 20--after I had read Rosemary Rogers's SWEET SAVAGE LOVE. Oh lawzies! How I loved me some Steve and Ginny! I started a story about a young gunslinger who discovered he had a half-brother he'd never met. He was older by five years or so, and the story followed what happened when their father left the older son in charge of the ranch, taking the younger eastern-born son with him on a cattle drive. While they're away, the reformed gunfighter is fighting his feelings for a young woman his father has taken in to raise, and that's where the love interest comes in. It was my first long book, and it is VERY long. I don't know if it will ever see the light of day, but I may try to re-vamp it at some point. It has a wonderful storyline. But it has a LOT of headhopping. LOL  I love WHRs because I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and that western way of life is just ingrained in me. There is nothing better than a strong, sexy cowboy.

E.E.: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Cheryl: The main one—just having my work in print—a book that I can hold in my hand. I have other dreams—I’d love to make it to the NYT Bestsellers list, but even if I never do, I have seen my dream become a reality. Getting the acceptance letter, finishing the edits, waiting for “the day” when the book would be released, and finally holding that book in my hand, were all “firsts” that I will never forget. As a result of publishing my work, the dream has evolved to owning my own publishing company and that dream was realized two years ago, in August of 2013, when Livia Reasoner and I opened Prairie Rose Publications. We now have 6 imprints and are enjoying every minute of our publishing careers as well as continuing on with our writing careers as well.

E.E.: What’s the best birthday (or any holiday) present you ever received?
Cheryl: Years ago, when my daughter was 13 and my son was 10, they saved their money up for a Christmas present for me and their dad—very secretive. I was informed that I needed to take them and drop them off at the mall. I did, but I told them I would be back in an hour. I actually sat in the parking lot. When I picked them up they were all smiles and just pleased as they could be with themselves. About 3 weeks later, they made the same request. We did the same routine. They came out carrying a brown paper bag with no markings on it. I couldn’t imagine what was in that bag. On Christmas morning they could hardly wait for Gary and me to open their present. I ripped into the paper and could hardly believe my eyes. They had gone to JC Penney and had their pictures made and put into a collage frame. SO thoughtful. So precious. And there was nothing I would have liked better. My daughter told me the people at the portrait studio almost wouldn’t do it, but the manager said as long as it was paid for beforehand he’d make an exception. That collection of pictures has always meant the world to me because I know it cost a lot for them, and because of the pains they took to keep it a secret. Of course, the thoughtfulness they showed has always meant so much, too. Best present ever.

E.E.: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Cheryl: I wrote The Half-Breed’s Woman from one scene I couldn’t get out of my mind: the forced wedding. Who would be able to force one of my rakehell heroes to do something so totally out of character? The idea of Callie running away, and Jaxson being hired to bring her back, led me to all kinds of possibilities. Jaxson tracks her down, but as he gets to know her, he realizes that her stepfather wants her back for a totally different—and evil—reason, than what he’s told Jax. So can Jax figure out how he can save her from the man? And if he does, can he keep her from laying claim to his own heart? It’s going to be even harder once he’s been forced to marry her…

E.E.: What can you tell us about the other three books in the boxed set?
Cheryl: Oh, goodness—I am so honored to be among these other fantastic western romance authors—Livia Reasoner, Kit Prate, and Kathleen Rice Adams. They each have their own distinctive way with a story and these tales are all just wonderful. Here are the blurbs for each of them—and remember, ALL of these books, plus THE HALF-BREED’S WOMAN will be included in the 4-book set for only 99 cents:

Spirit Catcher by Livia Reasoner: In the restored ghost town of Fury, Colorado, actress Dallas James makes her living by reenacting life in the Old West. One day, her act becomes all too authentic--as she is joined by the ghost of one of Fury's past residents, Boone Cantrell. Soon Dallas finds herself falling in love with the ghost--but Boone's only chance to stay in her world requires unraveling the complex web of history that brought him back from the dead--and he's running out of time.

Prodigal Gun by Kathleen Rice Adams: Rancher Jessie Caine buried her heart with the childhood sweetheart Yankees killed on a distant battlefield. Sixteen years later, as a Texas range war looms and hired guns arrive to pursue a wealthy carpetbagger’s agenda, Jessie discovers the only man she ever loved isn’t dead. Embittered by a brother’s betrayal, notorious gunman Calhoun is a dangerous man, come home to do an unsavory job. With a price on his head, a debt to a wealthy employer around his neck, and a defiant woman tugging at his heart, Calhoun’s guns may not be enough to keep him from the grave. Caught between his enemies and hers, Jessie faces an agonizing choice: Which of her dreams will die?

Wild Texas Winds by Kit Prate: Dru Beltrain is on the hunt for the men who raped and murdered his wife. Texas drovers, part of the crew led by his friend and mentor Matt Latham, have robbed him of the woman he loves and now are a threat to his stepson Cass, who's seeking his own revenge against the men who killed his mother. Torn by a thirst for vengeance and the need to find Cass, Beltrain aligns himself with Latham's daughter Kate, a strong-willed woman who will protect her father at all costs. As the unlikely pair heads for Wichita, passion flares hot between them. When they reach Wichita, they part company despite their attraction. Dru's revenge still drives him to find Latham and his crew, and Kate is determined to help her powerful father build a railroad spur. And then, one by one, Matt Latham's men begin to die in a series of brutal killings. In a desperate bid to discover who the murderer is, will Latham be forced to seek Dru's help? Will Dru and Kate be able to rekindle the passion they'd discovered? Everything depends on what hidden truths the WILD TEXAS WINDS reveal before the killing ends. ** Strong language and sexual content**

Thanks everyone, for stopping by, and thanks to you, Elisabeth, for having me today!

Cheryl has a question for our readers:
Jax and Callie are about to have a very "different" kind of wedding night--one neither of them ever believed was going to happen like it's going to play out. Have you ever read or written a book that had an odd wedding night? Where things went wrong or happened differently than the characters had anticipated? I'd love to hear about it!

Today, Cheryl is giving away two boxed sets. Be sure to enter the drawing and take advantage of extra opportunities to increase your chance of winning.   

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Welcome to GLIAS Cheryl! I'm so delighted to be introducing you today as my BEST OF THE WEST guest. Your books are wonderful, and I so admire you and Liv for staring your own publishing company, Prairie Rose Publications. Wow. What an achievement!

    Can't wait to read the rest of the wedding night scene between Jax and Callie. My favorite wedding night scene? Jaime and Claire in Outlander. Turn on the air conditioning somebody!!!

    1. WHOO HOO!!!! I'm so happy to be here with you today, Elisabeth. My head is swelling with all these wonderful compliments, my friend. LOL

      Yes, starting Prairie Rose Publications has been one of the best things ever. REALLY enjoy it.

      This story, THE HALF-BREED'S WOMAN, is one of my older stories, but one of my very favorites. It's available for $2.99 right now, and is also available in print, if you just can't wait, but in a few days, it will be included with these other three wonderful stories for only .99!

      Thanks for having me, Elisabeth! I must go spread the word! LOL

  2. Hi Cheryl! Congrats on the new book. I haven't downloaded this yet into my Kindle but, oh man! I've got to remedy that. The scene you shared has me chomping at the bit. Jax is a sexy man! Love his name. And I've always been partial to Callie.

    Loved the interview. Found out some things I didn't know. I'll file them away and use them for blackmail. Sweet Christmas present. That tugs at my heart. You have two very special kids. :-)

    Big hugs, dear friend!

    1. Hi Linda! Thanks so much for coming by today! Yes, it is available as a single right now, and will continue to be, but in a few days it'll be part of the boxed set, and if you have not read these others--you are in for a treat. Some wonderful reading in this set, and I am really thrilled to have my book "amongst 'em".

      LOL Elisabeth DOES ask some great interview questions, doesn't she? Oh, I get teary every time I think about those sweet kids going in and having their pictures made, saving up their allowance money...I'm still putting my office back together after having it painted last YEAR! But one of the things I'm making a special place for is that gift of theirs.

      Hugs back atcha! XOXOXO

  3. Q: Have you ever read or written a book that had an odd wedding night? Where things went wrong or happened differently than the characters had anticipated?\

    Well, I am not an author, but an avid reader. I think the story that had me laughing until I cried reading the "wedding night" scenes was The Bride Wore Spurs (The Inconvenient Bride Series, Book 1) by Sharon Ihle.

    1. Kathy, I have not read that one, so now you have added a book to my reading list. I love books that have humor, but I'm not very good at injecting humor into my stories like so many good authors out there that do--Mary Coneally and Jacquie Rogers both are masters at this and just make you laugh out loud while you're reading. So NOW, I will be looking for Sharon Ihle!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Congrats on your latest release Cheryl. Love the excerpt!

    I can't say I've read any books with unusual or memorable wedding scenes. I'd definitely like to read yours!

    1. Thank you, Linda! I appreciate the kind words! The boxed set won't be available until the 23rd, but your name will definitely go into the ol' Stetson for the drawing!

  5. Welcome to GLIAS, Cheryl! And congratulations on your book.

    1. Thank you, Vicki! Hey, my cousin is married to a "Batman" too! LOL

  6. I have read some stories with interesting wedding nights... specific titles are not coming to mind at the moment... I like the sound of your book The Half-Breed's Woman! Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Thanks, Colleen. Oh, Jax is a very tough nut to crack, but if anyone can, it's Callie. Thanks again for stopping by and for your kind words.

  7. Replies
    1. Isn't that just the way of it? Try to think of specific books with certain scenes in them and they all disappear from the brain.

  8. Congrats on the boxed set release. I have yet to read this book of yours (not enough hours in any given day to read all the books I want to read). Love the title, of course. Aside from Jamie and Claire in Outlander, I can't think of any other (but that counts, doesn't it? Poor me brain is fried). :)

    1. Liette, my friend! So good to see you here! I know just what you mean about not enough hours. That's the truth! Oh, yes, that wedding night of Jamie and Claire's was a good one. So many good books out there, it's hard to think of a particular one when we're trying to think of one scene, isn't it? LOL Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. Congrats on your latest release. As always I love this blog and this interview. I found a new author to look into as well as a little about you. Love the cover and the experts sound very interesting.

    1. Thank you so much. This book is really dear to me--it's actually one that has been out for a while and will be included in the boxed set coming out on the 23rd, but it's one that I was able to truly follow my heart on. Fire Eyes, my first book, had to pared and cut to remove the secondary story line the first time it was published. It was disappointing to me because that secondary storyline was very important--but not to the company that published it because it didn't have to do with the main romance. Once I got my rights back and was able to publish it with Prairie Rose Publications, I was able to add back in the secondary story line. When THE HALF-BREED'S WOMAN was published, I was able to keep the characters in it, too, that made the story richer and fuller to the reader. I hope you enjoy THE HALF-BREED'S WOMAN. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  10. As usual, a day late and several dollars short. Great blog!! And thanks for including me in the bunch!

    1. Hi Kit! So glad you made it over here--no, we're running the contest on for a few days since we didn't have the collection out yet. I'm so glad you stopped by to say hi! And did I mention, I'm thrilled to have a book in the same boxed set as one of yours? Well I AM!


  11. Interesting interview. This sounds like a good box set.
    I have read many books with forced marriages, marriages of convenience, etc. Many of those do not have conventional wedding nights. One that comes to mind is Julie Garwood's THE WEDDING. On her way to an arranged marriage to someone she doesn't know, she is kidnapped by a band of fierce Highlanders. She is forced to wed the leader. For him it is an act to spite his enemy. For her, she isn't really sure why she agrees. They kidnap a priest to perform the ceremony in the glen before heading back to hike castle. He plans to bed his new wife in the circle around the fire where the other men are sleeping. She finally convinces him a little privacy might be in order. Poor thing.

    1. Oh, Pat, that sounds wonderful! I missed that one. I love Highlander stories. Now you've added to my to-be-read pile! LOL Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! And I'm thrilled about this boxed set--you talk about some wonderful stories -- and for only .99? You can't beat it!

  12. SQUEE!!!! Here is the link for the boxed set! Just went up at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Touch-Boxed-Four-Novels-ebook/dp/B0170BP7BI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1445548014&sr=8-3&keywords=A+cowboy%27s+touch

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  14. A BIG THANK YOU to Elisabeth Burke for having me here on her blog! Thanks to all who came by and read and commented. Patricia B. and Kathy H. are my winners! Congratulations, ladies, I will be in touch with you shortly.

  15. Thank you so much. I can't wait to read these stories.