E.E. Burke's Best of The West with Holly Bush

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    1869 – Matthew Gentry joined the Confederate Army at eighteen years of age after an argument with his father, leaving Paradise, his Virginia home and famed horse breeding stables, for the fields of Gettysburg.Having survived the War Between the States, Gentry is haunted by the violence and inhumanity of the war. He continues to roam the country long after the conflict is over, finding solace in the arms of soiled doves and at the bottom of whiskey bottles. Finally traveling home after learning of a family tragedy, he nearly loses his life in a spring-flooded riverbed.

    Annie Campbell, lone survivor of her family, lives at a remote farm near the North River, raising pigs and trying to grow enough to feed herself, and to stay out of the cross hairs of the Thurmans, violent men who run the town of Bridgewater. Annie’s secrets threaten her safety, even as she rescues and nurses Matthew Gentry.
Matthew knows he must return to Paradise, to grieve with his family. Will his heart lead him back to Bridgewater and Annie Campbell?

    The rain had finally stopped long enough for Annie Campbell to feed the hogs and not get soaked to the skin. She pulled on her father’s brown hat, the brim bent down so far that it was barely recognizable as a brim any longer. She stepped into her brother’s boots, pushing down on the newsprint that lined the soles where the leather had worn through. She pulled on her coat over the heavy wool shirt she wore and tucked the legs of her flannel pants down into her boots. She threw another log on the fire before she left and stirred the soup in the back of the fireplace.
    Annie moved the shotgun from her right hand to her left and picked up the bucket sitting on her front porch beside the old rocker. There were plenty of scraps there to keep the hogs happy and fat, and the fatter they were the better price she’d get from Jeb Barlow, a neighbor man who took her hogs to auction in Harrisonburg when he took his heifers. For a price, of course.
    “Dinnertime!” she called. “The sun is finally coming out and I’m able to get out here and feed y’all.”
    Two great pigs and nine piglets came trotting over to the trough where Annie was dumping the scraps. They were snorting and oinking loud enough that she could barely hear herself think. But it was springtime, her hogs would sell soon, and it was a beautiful day. Even though she was not naturally happy or ebullient, the sun breaking through after endless weeks of wet, chilly spring weather was threatening to make her feel some joy. What an odd feeling, she thought, as she spun in the warm sunbeams. Maybe tomorrow she wouldn’t even need her coat when she went out to do her chores.
    She took a look along the fence line she intended to fix this spring, and fix it she would starting tomorrow, the whole way down to where it stopped at the stand of trees. Past those trees was the North River, just a large stream at this point but with all the rain, she imagined it was well over its banks as had happened on other occasions.

    There was something standing there just inside the tree line. She brought her shotgun up to her shoulder instinctively, but it wasn’t a who. It was a what. A deer? No. Her eyes were playing tricks on her now. She walked down the slope toward the trees to get a better look. She stopped dead in her tracks when she realized it was a horse. A horse meant a man. She turned and ran back to the house as fast as her feet would carry her. She threw the bar over the door and climbed on the stool to see out the slit on that side of the cabin. The horse had walked out of the trees and stopped in the tall grass. She climbed down, opened her mother’s sewing box, picked up the tray that held the spools of thread, and pulled out her father’s spyglass.

Meet Holly

“. . . Love does not end, even with tragedy and sadness, and has given us the will to go on.” Crawford Family Series

Holly Bush books are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s and the first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise, will release in the spring of 2017. Into the Evermore is the opening novella and where readers will meet Virginia horse breeders, Eleanor and Beauregard Gentry. The following books will feature their children, Adam, Matthew, and Olivia. For the Brave is Matthew’s story and is the first full length book of the series. 

The Crawford Family Series following the fortunes of the three Boston born Crawford sisters and includes Train Station Bride, Contract to Wed, Her Safe Harbor, and companion novella, The Maid’s Quarters. Cross the Ocean and Charming the Duke are both British set Victorian romances. Fan favorites stand-alone historical romance novels include Romancing Olive and Reconstructing Jackson. Her books are described as ‘emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance.’

Holly makes her home with her husband, one happy Labrador Retriever, and two difficult cats in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com, on Twitter @hollybushbooks, and on Facebook at Holly Bush.

E.E.: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it? 
Holly: I’m definitely a tea person, sweetened, and plenty of half & half!

E.E.: What’s your favorite movie of all time? 
Holly: I love the movies and have a list that I update occasionally!
  1. Ang Lee’s 1995 Sense and Sensibility is my all-time favorite. From the music to the casting to the costumes to the script. The acting was superb as was the cinematography. Is there a more nuanced depiction of love and love’s foes, money and power, ever told? Emma Thompson’s screenplay triumphs.
  2. A&E’s 1995 Pride and Prejudice originally aired as a six part television series on the BBC. Wonderful casting and a story line faithful to Jane Austen’s original. And I realize this was never a movie, a real movie, shown in a theatre – don’t care! It’s a favorite!
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 is the only movie that I liked as much as the book. Gregory Peck’s subtle strength showed and didn’t tell and Scout’s narration still makes me feel like she was talking directly to me. This is an American classic.
  4. Parenthood 1989. I know. This is a real curveball. But rarely do you see such a raw and funny depiction of a family – all their warts and all the joys when families merge and grow, inevitable when introducing unknowns to a closed group with a single uniting strand of love.
  5. It’s a Wonderful Life 1946. This Christmas classic reminds us that doing the right thing, even in a trivial circumstance or setting, are the bricks that build our character. No one could have portrayed the value of the Everyman like Jimmy Stewart.
  6. Godfather 1972. Brutal film examining the relationships of power, showcasing performances by arguably one the best casts ever assembled, including Brando, Pacino, Caan and Duvall.
  7. Annie Hall 1977. I can’t remove this movie from my list even knowing the creep level of Woody Allen. Brilliant and hysterical adult dialogue with a sprinkling of the absurd.
  8. Million Dollar Baby 2004. Eastwood’s piece de résistance of a long career. While Gran Torino and Unforgiven were perfect vehicles for Eastwood’s personal brand of heroic isolation, MDB is all about Eastwood and Swank’s relationship and their love for each other. I can honestly say that no movie has ever made me cry as hard or as long as this one.
  9. Gone with the Wind 1939. What more is there to be said? Could there be a more conniving, mean-spirited heroine than Scarlett O’Hara? Vivian Leigh managed to make us admire and root for this survivor, quite a feat. And seriously folks, Clark Gable was flat-out gorgeous.
  10. Open Range 2003. I’ve always been a sucker for a good western and they are so rarely made. Settlers in the West were depicted realistically as independent and inter-dependent. Costner’s no Pacino but he is easy on the eyes and delivers a subtle believable performance with the help of Benning and Duvall.
  11. Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981. This action adventure had me in the opening scene watching Harrison Ford be chased by a massive stone ball. Speaking of Harrison Ford, not classically beautiful, but so handsome and MASCULINE, whether he was in his professor bow tie or in an open neck shirt, leather bomber jacket and fedora.
  12. Lincoln 2012. Spielberg and Kushner’s adaptation of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of the 16th President may or may not be accurate but it was a glimpse of what ‘probably was’ during the worst crisis our country has ever faced. Spielberg focused on one piece of legislation as it made its way through Congress and how important that vote was as we look back at history. All this woven through the life of a man carrying significant personal burdens.
  13. Singin’ in the Rain 1952. I know all the songs and most of the words. Watching Gene Kelly and Donald O’Conner dance makes me smile and I think one of the all-time funniest scenes ever is when Lina Lamont is doing her first ‘talkie’ and they sew the microphone into her dress.
  14. The Patriot and Bull Durham are the runners up.
I can always count on Holly for a terrific interview and she hasn't let me down with this one. Her movie list is very close to mine! Speaking of Costner, I'd add Dances With Wolves.

Today, Holly is giving away 4 copies of Into the Evermore (prequel to The Gentrys of Paradise) and 2 copies of For the Brave. 

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What is your all time favorite movie(s)?

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  1. my favorite all time movie was Gone With The Wind. Thank you for offering so many book i sure hope they are print as i am disabled and fingers are crippled. Thank you for coming to our site with all of the wonderful info so good.

  2. My favorite has always been Gone With the Wind. Handsome leading man and beautiful leading lady. Such a wonderful love story. I never get tired of watching it.

    1. Was there anyone handsomer than Clark Gable, well, George Clooney maybe, but seriously when Rhett is at the bottom of the steps and he smiles up at her - wow.

  3. Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to read

    1. Thanks, Debra! I'd love to hear what you think!

  4. I would really love to read this book!
    Thank you!

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Donna! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Replies
    1. It's nice to meet you, Alice! Are you a historical romance fan?

  6. pride and prejudice

  7. Godfather is my favorite as well as gone with the wind. I need to check out the others. I also love westerns.

    1. Too bad there's not so many westerns made anymore! I love them too!