E.E. Burke's Best of the West: Here Comes The Bride Train With a New Release and a Special Offer

E.E. Burke
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This Thursday, Aug. 11, the latest release in The Bride Train series arrives. Over the next three days we'll be featuring each of the books in this top-rated series along with interesting tidbits about the brides and grooms--plus, some cool giveaways.  

Hop aboard The Bride Train and hold onto your hat...

A little history on The Bride Train 

Ship in women to pacify rioting men? This idea was actually proposed in 1869 when settlers in Kansas were burning ties and tearing up tracks to protest what they viewed as unfair railroad land policies. The unusual matchmaking program never got off the ground, but what a great idea for a romance series!

The Bride Train follows seven women who are among those answering a railroad advertisement seeking single young ladies to become 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.

Meet the brides

While researching the railroad-sponsored bride immigration program, the first question that popped into my head was: “What kind of woman would answer an advertisement to leave everything behind and go to an uncivilized land to marry a virtual stranger? 

Valentine's RoseBook 1, features destitute Irish laundress Rose Muldoon, who grew up in Five Points, a crime-ridden slum in New York City that housed a large Irish immigrant population. 

The descriptions of this slum were so awful it made me wonder why more people didn’t leave. Crowded, unsanitary, crime-ridden…but to the immigrants who lived there, it was home. For Rose, it takes more than poverty to drive her away. After unimaginable tragedy strikes, she leaves behind the familiar and ventures into the unknown, longing to replace the family she’s lost and find a place to belong.

Valentine’s Rose, Book 1, The Bride Train Series
An English nobleman, an Irish laundress… Only in America could Fate be foolish enough to bring them together.

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One choice can change lives for better, or for worse. 

Constantine Valentine, the second son of an English baron is in America for one reason—to make a fortune so he can return home and repair a tarnished reputation. Wedding a destitute Irish laundress isn’t his first choice, but a strange twist of fate makes a hasty marriage the key to gaining riches.

Rose Muldoon, who grew up in a New York slum, has battled hardship, hunger and heartbreaking loss. Against impossible odds, she still trusts love—something her privileged husband has never experienced, and can't accept.

Rose longs for home and family. Val has no intention of staying in a marriage of convenience, not even for a beautiful woman who fires his blood and makes him yearn for what he doesn't have…or deserve. But when the unforeseen happens threatening everything Val holds dear, he must make a choice.

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The young bride in Patrick's Charm is far different from Rose, but in some ways, just as desperate. Charm LaBelle is a famous actress traveling incognito. Her character is loosely based on the famous 19th century performer Charlotte "Lotta" Crabtree, who got her start as a child entertaining miners in San Francisco. 

19th century actress Lotta Crabtree
Making acting a profession in the 1800s required enormous courage and fortitude, especially for women. Traveling through the wilds was bad enough. Performances were held in mining camps, saloons, or on makeshift stages. Only a famous few appeared in large theaters. 

Actresses who traveled the West were strong-willed and independent and certainly didn't fit the ideal of Victorian womanhood. In fact, the term "actress" was a euphemism for prostitute. Little wonder these women had difficulty finding suitable mates or forming relationships with ladies outside their circle.

Charm signs onto the bride train as a means of escaping danger. Rather than be forced to marry a stranger, she takes a job as a saloon singer. Her decision has far-reaching effects, but I won't spoil the story by going into them. I'll share more about Patrick's Charm tomorrow.

You'll meet Prudence Walker on Thursday when I introduce my latest book, Tempting Prudence. Like Rose and Charm, Prudence sets out in a desperate bid for a new and better life. In her case, she longs to escape loneliness as a spinster. Plain and unassuming, unable to inspire desire, Prudence is willing to settle for a husband who respects her...but she does have her standards.

Prudence is one of the many women of her day who strongly opposed drinking--the Western man's favorite past time. Although Prohibition didn't come about until after the turn of the century, women were campaigning for abstinence long before.

I wondered what might happen if a temperance crusader was mistakenly kidnapped to become the bride of a bootlegger?  Stay tuned for more on Prudence's story Thursday...

If you could travel back to the Old West, would you choose to be a mail-order bride or to make your living some other way besides marriage? 

Leave a comment and enter the drawing for a copy of all three eBooks in the series, an autographed copy of the book of your choice, or a $10 Amazon gift card.

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  1. I think I would be a mail order bride. :)

  2. Thanks for the chance
    I would love to be one

  3. I don't think I would like to be a mail order bride. You just may end up with an abusive man.

  4. I think I would be a mail order bride, being a woman back then and trying to make a living on your own wasn't exactly easy unless you were born into money. So mail order bride I would be! Thank you for the chance 😃

  5. Thanks everyone for coming by and commenting! Be sure to stop in and meet the grooms on Wednesday!