Tuesday, August 2, 2016

E.E. Burke's Best of the West: Win a cool boxed set filled with hot summer reads.

Summers are great for catching up on reading, and we're only in August, right? Here are five western historical romances for the five weeks between now and Labor Day. Fabulous authors, timeless stories, and the best part...? Only 99 cents for the boxed set from Prairie Rose Publications.

Available from Amazon
Hired gun, preacher, outlaw, orphan, time-traveling firefighter.... all discover love where they least expect it, and a kiss to remember. 

Today, the five authors who contributed to this Prairie Rose Publications new boxed set A Kiss to Remember will share a little about their stories along with unique historical tidbits that intrigued, charmed, and sometimes saddened them.

Regardless what an author writes—historical, contemporary, fantasy, science fiction—he or she must have some knowledge of the real world in order to create a world in which characters live and breathe. Good authors don’t beat readers over the head with their research, but what they dig up informs every aspect of their stories. Much of what we discover doesn’t make it into our books. Instead, the information clutters up our heads and trickles out at odd times.

This is one of those times.

Says Kathleen Rice Adams: "Since all of us are good authors and would never dream of beating readers over the head with our research in our books, we’re taking the opportunity to beat readers over the head with our research in a blog post. We can be sneaky that way..."

Cheryl Pierson: Gabriel’s Law

Brandon Gabriel is hired by the citizens of Spring Branch to hunt down the notorious Clayton Gang, never suspecting a double-cross. When Allison Taylor rides into town for supplies, she doesn’t expect to be sickened by the sight of a man being beaten to death by a mob—a man she recognizes from her past. Spring Branch’s upstanding citizens gather round to see a murder, but everything changes with the click of a gun—and Gabriel’s Law.

Cheryl: Orphanages of the 1800s and early 1900s were mainly what I needed to research. And what sad research it was! The Indian orphanages and “schools” were the worst. The Indian children were forced to “assimilate”: cut their hair, wear white man’s clothing, and speak only English. Punishment was swift and sure if they were caught speaking their native tongues. In essence, they were taught they had to forget everything they knew—even their families—and adopt the ways of the whites completely. This only ensured they would never be wholly at ease in either world, white or Indian.

Tracy Garrett: Her Sanctuary

Beautiful Maggie Flanaghan’s heart is broken when her father dies suddenly and the westward-bound wagon train moves on without her, leaving her stranded in River’s Bend. 

Reverend Kristoph Oltmann discovers the tender beginnings of love as he comforts Maggie, only to find she harbors a secret that could make their relationship impossible.

Tracy: I’m a “cradle Lutheran,” meaning I was born into a Lutheran family, baptized in the Lutheran church… You get the idea. 

Imagine my surprise when I began researching the history of the Lutheran church in Missouri and found they’d been in the state a lot longer than I thought.

Kathleen Rice Adams: The Dumont Way

The biggest ranch in Texas will give her all to save her children…but only the right woman’s love can save a man’s tortured soul. Nothing will stop this powerful family from doing things The Dumont Way. 

The trilogy of Civil War-era stories contains The Trouble with Honey, a new, never-before-published novella: One taste of honey can change a man’s life…if it doesn’t cause his death.

Kathleen: Did you realize George Armstrong Custer was part of the Union occupation force in Texas after the Civil War? I didn’t. 

While I was double-checking my facts about Reconstruction-era Texas, I ran across that piece of information. Texans may not have liked him any better than any other Yankee, but they were grateful for his kindness. 

During his five months in Texas, Custer was disliked by his own men because he strictly enforced Army regulations about “foraging” (read “stealing”) and poor treatment of civilians. I must admit I’m one of those who tended to view Custer as one of history’s real-life bad guys, but that one tidbit softened my impression. 

Funny how little things can make a big difference, isn’t it?

Tanya Hanson: Outlaw Heart

Making a new start has never been harder! Bronx Sanderson is determined to leave his old outlaw ways behind and become a decent man. 

Lila Brewster is certain that her destiny lies in keeping her late husband’s dream alive: a mission house for the down-and-out of Leadville, Colorado. But dreams change when love flares between an angel and a man with an Outlaw Heart.

Tanya: The research that fascinated me the most was meeting and getting to know Dr. John Henry Holliday. 

What a guy. I’ve quite fallen in love with him. This handsome, soft-spoken, peaches-n-cream Southern gentleman can bring me to tears. 

He died slowly from tuberculosis after losing his beloved mother to the disease when he was 15. Talented pianist, multilingual, skilled surgeon who won awards for denture design… Most of his “deadly dentist” stuff was contrived. He needed a bad reputation to keep himself safe from angry gamblers. I was thrilled and honored when he asked to be a character in Outlaw Heart.

Livia J. Washburn: Yesterday’s Flame

When smoke jumper Annabel Lowell’s duties propel her from San Francisco in 2000 back to 1906, she faces one of the worst earthquakes in history. But she also finds the passion of a lifetime in fellow fireman Cole Brady. Now she must choose between a future of certain danger and a present of certain love—no matter how short-lived it may be. 

“A timeless and haunting tale of love.” ~ The Literary Times

Livia: I really enjoyed learning about the firefighting companies in San Francisco. 

The massive earthquake in 1906 was followed by an equally devastating fire, and there were a lot of heroes among those early firefighters.

Have you ever been surprised, charmed, alarmed, or vexed by something you’ve read—in either fiction or non-fiction? What was it? Share in the comments. We love history, and discovering new things triggers our imagination. Who knows what might develop? 

Just comment and enter the drawing for your chance to win a copy of this awesome boxed set!

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Tanya Hanson said...

What a terrific shout-out, E.E. I had such fun writing this book even though I had a family crisis going on. Thank goodness Doc kept me going on. What charms me are books set in places I love, so I get to see "details" I remember. Great post today. ❤️

Mary Preston said...

I am constantly surprised by things I read. People/places/events throughout history do fascinate.

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

Elisabeth, you brave soul, thank you for hosting us today. The rowdy Roses of PRP can be a handful individually. In a herd, we're frightening.

A fascination with history is the lifeblood (<--Cliche alert!) of historical authors. I know how much research goes into YOUR stories. Tidbits we didn't know are delightful lagniappe.

Several of my stories are based on some little something I stumbled across while researching something else. How 'bout yours? ;-)

HUGS, lady!

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

Don't they? Have you taken a look at your family's history? You might be surprised what's back there. I was! Evidently, I'm not the first outlaw on my family tree. :-D

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I'm always impressed and interested in the obscure bits of history that turn up... Those things that you think... oh really!! And then you just do a routine search and there it is...

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

I love those, too! It's like unwrapping a gift when you find something like that, isn't it?

Livia J Washburn said...

The gems in history are always fun to find, aren't they? I was the nerdy girl that always picked up history books to read for fun.

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

You a history nerd, Livia? I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

Cheryl Pierson said...

Whoo hoo! I'm here! Let the party begin...oh...it's already started? LOL I'm LATE!???? You have to get up pretty early to beat these Texans--Livia and Kathleen! And Tanya is already here, too! She must have gotten up at the crack of dawn in her timezone!

Seriously--I love history so much. So much that I almost switched my major in college from English to history. One thing I discovered that really helped me through my college years? Take the period of literature that coincided with that period of history. That helped me understand what was going on in both realms and how they interconnected. It really shed a light on things and made them both easier to grasp.

Don't you wish you had a brain that could remember all the details of history that you've learned--I mean ALL the details? There are so many things I know that I don't remember. LOL

Elisabeth, thanks for having us all here today on your beautiful blog! I'm off to spread the word!

Linda said...

Charmed. I read romance. Lots n lots of romance!

Rosie Amber said...

I love all things Harry Potter there is plenty to be charmed, alarmed and vexed in those books.

E.E.Burke said...

I love your visits, Kathleen. Always entertaining. And I can't say enough good things about your books!

E.E.Burke said...

So glad we could feature you to GLIAS, Tanya. Can't wait to read this book! I'm fascinated by "Doc" Holliday, too.

E.E.Burke said...

Always a pleasure! Your books are chock-full of history, which is one reason I love them. The great writing, another reason. The fantastic storytelling, another reason...

I, too, am a history geek, and a sucker for a good love story. Thanks for sharing your with us today!

Renaissance Women said...

E.E.Burke, you are indeed a wonderful person. I'm ejoying these stories very much and at this price, it would be a shame to not spread the word. Each story is as unique as its author. Adding the pieces of history make the story even more enjoyable as I read it. Doris

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

Me, too! I'm a sucker for a happily-ever-after ending.

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

There really is! Gotta love JK Rowling for getting kids interested in reading. :-)

Kathleen Rice Adams said...

Doris, I'm expecting another winner from you any time now! Get busy with that WIP! :-D

bn100 said...

yes, when I come across poor writing

Bertha Chambers said...

The detail, songs, rich history, dialogue, plot... almost everything... in The Dragonlance Chronicles charmed me almost immediately after I sat down to read the book. My father bought me the collected fantasy series as a spur of the moment bookstore gift. It's not part of the history or romance genres, but there are aspects of real world history blended into the narrative and there is romance... as well as adventure and just a lot of fun. Worth the read. (Note: That said, don't watch the films. They are very poor renditions. Much better to read the books).


Cheryl Pierson said...

Thank you for the very kind words, dear friend! MUCH appreciated. I have been so glad to be one of your guests today! Thanks for having us!

E.E.Burke said...

Thank you, Doris! I agree, these all sound unique, and I love reading (and writing) real history woven into stories.

Diane Blaser said...

The one thing that really vexes (I love that word!) me is when the models on the covers of romance books look nothing like the characters described in the book! I appreciate the fact that each reader should be able to envision their own hero and heroine, but every time the photo and the description don't match I find myself vexed to high heaven. Ha!

Rose Arbor said...

I have been all of those things when reading my most reread book, Pride and Prejudice. I was charmed by Darcy and alarmed by Wickham. I was vexed and surprised by Darcy's aunt and her visit to Elizabeth. But, in truth, I am constantly charmed, alarmed, surprised, and vexed by all the wonderful books I read each day.

Jean B said...

I love history. Some things I read make me go "I hadn't thought about that before" and I tend to go do a little more research on my own. I love being able to tell that an author has done a lot of research. I think what vexes me and sometimes turns me off a book is an unrealistic cover. I like when I can look at a cover and get an idea of what the book may be about.