E.E. Burke's Best of the West with Caroline Clemmons

Welcome back bestselling author Caroline Clemmons with a new release in her popular Bride Brigade series:

A shameful past…

Rachel Ross’ secret haunts her. She joins other women leaving Virginia for Texas, object matrimony. Vowing never to trust again, she is rebuilding her life. She likes the dusty little town of Tarnation and is attracted to Zane Evans. She accepts a job as his bookkeeper. Her past has made her cautious and she vows never to let down her guard. The attraction is there, and she allows him to court her.

Zane Evans is a former Pinkerton agent who wants to forget all he saw in that profession and in the war and build a good life in Tarnation, Texas. He has carefully planned his future. He’d never believed in love at first sight until he meets Rachel. Now he’s determined to discover and remove the reason her beautiful brown eyes look haunted.

One event reveals her past in a spectacular way. Will Zane forgive her silence?

Here's an excerpt:

Her beautiful, coffee-colored eyes appeared sad. “You’re going to miss the dance.”
He longed to crush her against his chest and comfort her. “Hate that, but I’ll make it up to you.”
She colored and lowered her gaze. “N-No need, I simply meant I’m sorry you’ll miss the fun. Everyone in town is invited.”
“In the meantime, I have a surprise today.”
The door opened and Mr. Gallagher entered carrying a violin.
“Have a seat in my office, Colin, and make yourself comfortable.”
“I only have an hour today. Doctor’s waiting for me to work on his house.” The carpenter walked into the back office.
Rachel stared at him, obviously puzzled.
From the next room came the sound of a violin being tuned.
“My dear, since I have to miss the dance, I asked Colin here to play for us so I can have the privilege of dancing with you.”
Her eyes widened and he could swear there were diamonds there. “That’s incredibly thoughtful, Zane.”
The music broke into a schottische. Zane grabbed her and they twirled around the office as if there were more dancers.
She laughed and her eyes sparkled with humor. “I see you’re taking care not to bump into other couples.”
“I’m a good dancer, don’t you agree?”
“Excellent, the best on the dance floor.”
They danced a quadrille next. “I’m glad everyone makes way for us.”
He smiled at her. “It’s the gruff stares I give them if they come too close.”
The next half hour, Colin played from one dance straight into another before he called, “Next one is the last one. I’ll make it a waltz.”
Zane pulled her into his arms, perhaps a little too closely, but he didn’t care. There was no one else to see. They sailed around the room as if they were one.
Rachel gazed up at him. “I love the waltz.” 
“As do I,” he whispered against her ear. “Especially when I’m holding you.” He nuzzled against her hair.
She melted against him as he’d dreamed since he’d met her. The sensation was even better than he’d imagined. He wanted this time to go on and on forever.
Unfortunately, the music ceased. Colin appeared, carrying his violin. “Sorry, but I have to get back to the doc’s house. Promised him I’d only be gone an hour.”

Meet Caroline

Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.
Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest.
Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.
Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?
         She loves to hear from her readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com

What kind of story do you get lost in?
I love falling into a romance that has a bit of mystery involved. Romances give readers the gift of entertaining and lifting their mood simultaneously. Through reading romances, I’ve learned about different parts of the country and the world that I’ll probably never visit. No matter how hectic life is at the moment, I’m ready to get lost in a story.

Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
I listen to Pandora or a CD when at the computer. When writing, I listen to classical music. I’ve heard doing so helps the rhythm of the words written. When answering email, checking Facebook, or posting a blog I listen to a variety from Carole King to Ella Fitzgerald.

If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Truthfully, I can’t imagine not being a writer. I’d be lost, but I suppose I’d go back to the antique business. My youngest daughter and I were in the antique business for several years and we loved every aspect. We each got so busy we were no longer able to buy merchandise, so we closed our three booths. If I ever win the lottery—which would be hard since I never buy a ticket—I would go back into the antique business at least part time. I’d still write books, though. I can’t help myself.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
My favorite is Beauty and the Beast. However, my theory is that the beast didn’t change his appearance—the heroine’s growing love for him changed the way she saw him. We see people we love with our heart’s eye and not our critical vision. At least, that’s my opinion.

What sound or noise do you love?
Laughter. Nothing sounds better than a child’s laughter, but hearing an adult laugh is also pleasant.

What was the first story you remember writing?
When I was a child I wrote stories and illustrated them with crayons. As I remember, they always featured a blonde princess and a castle and the princess always wore either blue or pink. Needless to say, there were no complicated plots.

What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
My husband, who I call Hero, can always make me smile. He is super sweet and very thoughtful. If I’m having a bad day, he sometimes brings me a Cherry Dr Pepper with crushed ice in my favorite glass. His smile brightens me from the inside out. I’m very lucky he married me.

What drew you to write in the genre you do?
Although I write contemporary westerns, most of my books are historical westerns. I believe my love for this era began when my dad used to regale me with stories of his family after they moved to Texas from Georgia. He was old enough to have been my grandfather—almost my great grandfather—and he was an excellent storyteller. I loved hearing his stories and they brought that period of history to life. I love Louis L’Amour’s westerns, but I prefer a little more romance in my westerns.

What story are you working on next, and what inspired it?
My next book is BRIDE’S SHADOW, and it’s a spin off from MURDOCH’S BRIDE. Young widow Amelia Douglas was a secondary character in MURDOCH’S BRIDE but now she has her own story. She is a woman in jeopardy, which I enjoy writing.

What do you think about when driving alone in your car?
The book I’m writing. I’ve missed exits from the freeway because I was lost in my story. I do pay attention to other cars, but look straight ahead. Hero wonders how I could miss my exit. Believe me, it’s not that difficult if your mind is in the late 1800s.

Caroline is generously giving way two books:  Josephine, the first in the Bride Brigade series, and Rachel, Book 5.

Just leave a comment and enter the raffle.

What draws you to romance, and Western historical romance in particular?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great post, Caroline, and 'Rachel' sounds like a great read. Although I write SF and fantasy romance, I really love historical westerns too - and I agree, a bit of mystery makes a story even better and I always try to incorporate some into my own stories. Wishing you even more success!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Lyn. Wishing you continued success, too.

  2. Wonderful interview :-) The Bride Brigade is one of my favorite series. I love mail-order bride stories and with a bit of intrigue thrown in, you have a winner.

    1. I never get tired of reading or writing mail-order bride stories--but I doubt I would have become one.

  3. Can't wait to read these books.

    1. Pam, I hope you'll read the series and enjoy them. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I love Western Historicals because I was born a century or two too late and am drawn to that life. Of course, I love modern conveniences too, like air conditioning. Guess I will just read about that life, for now.

    1. This is why I like reading and writing historical romances, but prefer life with all my conveniences.

  5. Replies
    1. Hi, Sue. Sorry your comment was cut off. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. What Stephanie said. :) I'm behind in the Bride Brigade series. Loved, loved, loved Josephine, so I'm anxious to read the rest.

    1. It's really best to read them in order but they are stand-alone books.

  7. Mary Lynne TownsendMarch 9, 2017 at 7:40 PM

    I haven't read many of your books, but I love the ones that I have read. Your books have the same western flavor as Louis L'Amour which is perfect because he is my favorite western author. I look forward to reading more of the Bride Brigade.

    1. Mary Lynne, Louis L'Amour is one of my favorite authors, too. We have all of his books and I reread them occasionally.

  8. A lovely excerpt, Caroline. Boy, you have a lot of books out. Best of luck with this new one.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I released eleven last year, but won't have that many this year. I do have two coming out later this month. Thanks for the good wishes.

  9. Sounds like an author, I need to read. Glad I've now heard of you!

    1. Goldie, I'm glad you've heard of me, too. I have around thirty books so get busy. :) I have a couple of free books to get you started, and a couple more are 99 cents. thanks for commenting.

  10. It's a wonderful interview. Your answers were delightful, and I love hearing how you love to write and how you actually get so involved in the process. I write scripts and also love to listen to music when I write and include music in my scripts. Thanks for letting Elisabeth interview you. I enjoy your books.

    1. Connie, thank you for the kind words. I'd love to know how to write a script. I have one book for which I'd like to write a movie script.