Thursday, August 11, 2016

New from E.E. Burke: Tempting Prudence, The Bride Train Series

"E.E. Burke's newest book in The Bride Train Series, Tempting Prudence, is a witty, phenomenal, edge-of-your-seat page turner." 
Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase today!

A bootlegger, a spinster... an unexpected chance at love.

Leaving the safety of her old life, Prudence Walker rides The Bride Train west to the end of the line...her last chance at matrimony. She's too plain to inspire desire, nor does she expect to find love. However, she does have her standards.

Arch Childers longs to put down roots, only he's too busy managing his family's illegal whiskey business to pursue his dreams. Deciding he needs help, his troublemaking brothers kidnap a spinster lady and present her, bound and gagged, as his bride. To protect her reputation and keep his brothers out of jail, Arch does the only honorable thing and offers marriage. 

Prudence isn't immune to the charming scoundrel, but a bootlegger is the last man on earth she would marry. That is, until Arch sacrifices his freedom to save her... 


The chemistry between Prudence and Arch is sizzling right from the start! 
Goodreads Reviewer
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The Bride Train series follows the fate of seven women who answer a railroad advertisement seeking single young ladies to become brides for settlers on the Western frontier. Other books available in the series include Valentine's RoseBook 1, and Patrick's CharmBook 2. 


Here's an excerpt from Book 3, Tempting Prudence.

Kidnapped to become the bootlegger's bride...

Prudence blinked. A flash of blue sky, a scowling, bearded face…and then she was hauled out of the coffin, passed from one set of rough hands to the next. Her limbs hung numb and useless. She could resist no more than a rag doll.
The bearded giant grabbed her hair, tore off the snood and fished out the hairpins. Gagged, she moaned in protest as her unbound hair tumbled down her back and into her face.
“That’s better,” he muttered. “Now get her loose.”
The burly man untied the binding around her ankles and released her wrists. She couldn’t feel her hands and feet and would’ve collapsed had someone not been holding her up.
“We don’t need this no more,” said the ginger-haired accomplice as he untied the gag. “You can scream all you want, nobody to hear you…except us.
Scream? She couldn’t produce a sound through her dry throat.
The wagon had come to a stop in a clearing about a stone’s throw from a small dwelling sided with unpainted clapboard that might’ve been shipped in by rail. Beside the open doorway, a red coonhound barked. The timbered area behind the house would indicate the presence of water, possibly a stream. Railroads tracks were laid near water, weren’t they?
She frantically scanned the landscape, praying she would recognize something, a landmark, anything that might help her find her way back after she managed to escape.
The sun hung low in the sky. That direction was west, and out there was nothing but a sea of tall grass, undulating like waves.
She had no idea where she might be, or which way she ought to run, or if she could run.
Feeling returned to her limbs with a vengeance, she flexed her fingers to speed the painful process. Her rubbery legs threatened to give way. She didn't have the strength to wrench away from the bearded man’s grip; was at the mercy of three brigands whose plans seemed abundantly clear. They’d brought her to this lonely place to ravish her and kill her afterwards.
The air smelled fresh like newly mown hay, but being able to breathe freely didn’t calm the sick churning in her stomach. Weakened, unable to hold back the nausea, she leaned over and vomited on the trampled grass.
With a grimace, the skinny abductor held out the handkerchief he’d used to gag her. “You almost got my shoes."
“Won’t make you smell any worse,” cracked the bearded man, who held her arms fast. If he released her, she would run. Even if she fell on her face, it was better than accepting her fate.
The shorter, heavyset man ambled toward the cabin. “Arch! Git out here…we brung you a present.”
A man’s figure darkened the doorway, his shoulders filled the framed-in entrance. Her heart accelerated as he emerged, half-dressed, his chest bare as a savage’s. Suspenders attached to the waistband of worn denims dangled on either side of his legs. He threaded his fingers through shoulder-length hair the color of a tarnished penny and his eyes narrowed beneath a fierce scowl.
Prudence tasted fear. The metallic essence in her mouth also seemed to permeate bones and muscle, rendering her paralyzed. Four strapping males, and this last one appeared to be half-wild. How could she hope to fight, or escape? She was doomed.
The man behind her tightened his grip, keeping her upright, holding her out like a prize. “Come meet yore new bride!”

"Charming western romance!" 
Reviewed for Books & Benches
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E.E. Burke
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Why did I choose to write about a bootlegger? Genealogy research revealed that members of my husband’s family tree were involved in the illegal whiskey trade back in mid-1800s. The character of Arch Childers is loosely based on stories about those enterprising ancestors.
In 1862, Congress passed a law making distilling liquor without a license a federal offense (mostly because the government needed tax money to pay for an expensive war). Thus was born the illegal distilling industry and a long history of American moonshiners and bootleggers.
The term moonshine originated in Europe and originally referred to occupational pursuits that necessitated night work, or work by the light of the moon. Moonshiners worked at night so the smoke from their stills couldn’t be seen. The term bootlegger is believed to have originated in colonial America in reference to those who sold alcohol to Native Americans. The practice was frowned on (for many reasons I won’t go into here), but determined peddlers wanting to trade spirits for material goods concealed bottles in the tops of their boots. The terms are often used interchangeably, but strictly speaking, the moonshiner manufactured the illegal whiskey and the bootlegger transported and distributed it. 
In the West, illegal stills became the source of running battles between moonshiners and law enforcement officials who sought to shut them down. To avoid detection, stills were often located in remote mountainous areas with thick forests, like the Missouri Ozarks. This is where Arch hails from and where my husband’s ancestors hid their stills.


What "surprises" have you found in your family's tree? I'd love to hear about them!

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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3 comments:

  1. I loved it! This was a delicious, juicy read for those that like a little meat to the story. Loved Prudence & Arch and their antics with each other.

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  2. I loved this book! It is my favorite so far.

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