E.E. Burke's Best of the West: 12 Authors, 12 Books and a Brand New Series!

E.E. What happens when an author has a dream she can't get out of her head? 
Answer: It becomes a brand new series with a little help from her friends!

Last summer, the delightfully funny and incredibly creative Caroline Lee, a USA Today Bestselling author, asked me if was interested in working with her on a series idea. She said she'd had a dream and had come up with a title: The Twelve Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides.

That's all it took -- "SIGN ME UP RIGHT NOW!" I thought it was the most brilliant idea ever -- even better than MY ideas! She had already reached out to another bestselling author, Kit Morgan, so the three of us started talking and plotting out the storyline, and then we invited more USA Today and Amazon Bestselling authors to join us...

Mimi Milan, Peggy Henderson, Rachel Wesson, Danica Favorite, Jacqui Nelson, Piper Hugely, Shanna Hatfield, Merry Farmer, Amanda McIntyre...

... and we all started brainstorming characters and ideas, and now here we are, launching a brand new series inspired by a familiar old carol--with a twist!

Twelve men. Twelve brides. Twelve days to save a town.

Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year.

Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms.

Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle? The countdown starts on Christmas Day.


Kit Morgan kicks off the series on Day 1 with THE PARTRIDGE. 

When Reverend Chase Hammond set out to save the town of Noelle, Colorado, he knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but he never dreamed…well, read the book’s blurb for yourself.

Dear Mrs. Walters,

One of my fellow clergy told me of Denver’s Benevolent Society of Lost Lambs. I believe your organization is just what our town needs to become a community of virtuous men and women. To do that, our men need to be united in holy matrimony, start families and thus build a town of pure-hearted, respectable citizens …

At least that’s what Reverend Chase Hammond hoped when he came up with his marriage scheme to save Noelle. Unfortunately, if he didn’t get enough men married, his and every other man’s hopes of having the railroad come through would die, Noelle right along with it. But planning to marry the men off and actually doing it were two different things. Some didn’t like the idea, thinking a mining town should be mining, not marrying! But that was only one of Chase Hammond’s problems. Problems that if not fixed immediately, would seal Noelle’s fate.

Felicity Partridge was in trouble. Big trouble. An active voice for suffragettes, she’d managed to get herself arrested more than a few times. Now her father demanded that she marry to keep her out of trouble. How could she further the cause of women shackled to a husband? But when her father gave her the choice between marriage or jail, she decided it best to further her cause elsewhere, and Noelle, Colorado seemed just the place to do it! Especially when she found out who her husband would be. Unfortunately, someone forgot to mention he didn't order a bride.

Check out an excerpt:

Dear Mrs. Walters,

One of my fellow clergy told me of Denver’s Benevolent Society of Lost Lambs. I believe your organization is just what our town needs to become a community of virtuous men and women. To do that, our men need to be united in holy matrimony, start families and thus build a town of pure-hearted, respectable citizens …

Chase smiled at what he’d written so far, then promptly ducked as a half-filled glass of beer flew past his head. It hit the wall behind him hard, spraying shards and beer everywhere. Annoyed, he brushed several droplets from his shoulder and continued his letter as the usual Sunday afternoon brawl at the Golden Nugget went on as well.

…  Noelle is a peaceful town surrounded by the purple majesty of the Rockies, pristine forests and flower-dotted meadows. Clear mountain streams and bubbling brooks cut through this serene paradise …

A miner reeled from a punch to the face, hit the reverend’s table, righted himself, then jumped back into the fray. Chase had barely managed to snatch his letter out of the way in time. He smoothed out the paper on the table and went back to writing.

 Noelle boasts a fine dry goods store and grocery, a livery stable and blacksmith’s shop, land office, post office, a doctor’s office, a newspaper and …

He tapped the end of the pen against his chin in thought as he glanced up at the half-dozen men duking it out in the middle of the floor. Most of the chairs had been placed against the walls with the tables in anticipation of the men’s post-church ritual. After all, they had to blow off steam sometime. He smiled and put pen to paper again.

… various entertainments. Currently we’re building a new church and look forward to a new schoolhouse …

Chase sighed. “Just as soon as we have some children to put in it.” He looked at the middle of the saloon again as the last two miners standing staggered about, then fell in a heap near the others.

… We have more than two dozen fine, upstanding men in need of virtuous wives. I pray you can help us and look forward to your reply.

Respectfully yours,
Rev. Chase Hammond

Meet Kit Morgan

Kit Morgan, a consistent Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, is the author of over sixty books of historical and contemporary western romance. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, she loved playing cowboys and Indians as a child, not to mention watch westerns with her father, well into adulthood. She still watches westerns, but loves writing them even more!  You can check out her books and other musings at the following:

Blog           www.authorkitmorgan.blogspot.com
Twitter        twitter.com@authorkitmorgan

How did you get involved in this crazy (brilliant) scheme?
Kit: Something like this always takes a combination of creative minds. The basic storyline was developed by Caroline Lee, E.E. Burke and myself. Though I think Caroline and E. E. should get most of the credit. I’m always the comic relief in these sorts of things and tend to come up with ideas along those lines. Then, it was presented to our group of authors, who also began to chime in, and soon you go from peeling, reshaping and cutting up those ideas to throwing them in a pot, stirring it up, and then see what you got! If you don’t like the flavor, you change the seasoning (or in this case story elements) until you find what works. Just like cooking without the recipe. You kind of have the basics in your head of what’s needed, but put your own twist on it.

Was it hard writing the first book in the series?
Not really, as this isn’t my first rodeo along these lines, and I know the story has to act as a launch pad, introduce what the overarching story line is about, other authors' characters and so on. For me, it’s a lot of fun! I like doing it.

Was it fun getting to know all the other author’s characters while writing The Partridge?
  Yes! It was a blast! What’s fun about this project is these characters carry over into the subsequent book. My hero, Chase Hammond, as the town preacher, gets to appear in everyone’s book!

Which brings us to the question, what inspired your creation of Chase Hammond?
  Authors love to find inspiration in different things. I usually don’t match my characters up to actors or people I see in magazines and such, but this time I did. I picked one actor, but a different actor kept popping into my head and just wouldn’t go away. Sorry Clint Eastwood, but James Garner wins the role! In fact, when we held our FaceBook Party for the announcement of the series a few weeks ago, I posted a picture of James Garner, Randolph Scott, and Chuck Conners, and let the readers guess who was my inspiration for Chase. Out of 123 comments, James Garner got 86 votes! Even they thought he was perfect, and they know nothing about Chase yet. But they do know me. (Grin)

Off the topic of The Partridge, what are you reading right now?
 Me? Welllll … okay, I admit it! I’m an Outlander fan! I’m reading Diana Gabaldon’s Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. It’s book eight in her Outlander series. And when I’m done I’ll have to WAIT for book nine. It takes that woman two to three years to write one of those. Aren’t you glad there are twelve books in the Twelve Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides? Enough to keep you all occupied for a time!

The Twelve Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides Series

The first day: The Partridge by Kit Morgan - A clever man’s plan becomes a matchmaking disaster…and the countdown begins to save the town of Noelle.

The second day: The Dove by Shanna Hatfield - A bewitching gypsy and a beguiled blacksmith tangle over a hidden treasure…with only eleven days left to save the town.

The third day: The Hens by Merry Famer - A wandering woman finds exactly who she was looking for, but not who she was expecting...with only ten days left to save the town.

The fourth day: The Calling Birds by Jacqui Nelson - A wanted woman's flight, a man in pursuit of honesty not stolen gold...and only nine days left to save the town.

The fifth day: The Gold Ring by Caroline Lee - A dangerous masquerade and a twist of fate put Noelle’s future at risk…with only eight days left to save the town

The sixth day: The Goose by Peggy Henderson - A woman on the run, a man who doesn't want to be caught—it's one wild goose chase…with only seven days left to save the town.

The seventh day: The Swan by Piper Hugely - A beautiful woman with secrets comes to Noelle to confront a powerful person with the truth...and only six days left to save the town.

The eighth day: The Maid by Rachel Wesson - A convicted murderer, a young maid on the run...and five days left to save the town.

The ninth day: The Dancing Lady by Mimi Milan - A desirous diner owner and a disguised dancer waltz their way to love... with only four days left to save the town.

The tenth day: The Lord by Danica Favorite - An assayer and a ladies maid, each living a lie. Will the truth ruin everything...with only three days left to save the town.

The eleventh day: The Piper by Amanda McIntyre - A determined matchmaker, a stubborn mountain man...and only two days left to save the town!

The twelfth day: The Drum by E.E. Burke - A bad luck bride, an exploding disaster…can Noelle be saved in just one day?

To find out more about our series and go behind the scenes, check out our Twelve Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides Facebook group. Just for joining, you'll be entered into a drawing for a Kindle Fire! Plus, you get exclusive access to sneak peeks, excerpts and even more prizes as the fun kicks off starting Dec. 1. 

Today, Kit is giving away a copy of The Partridge to one lucky commenter. Just tell us which of the twelve-day gifts you'd like for your true love to leave under the tree.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I can hardly wait for these books to come out - The DOVE was an awesome book!!

  2. I’m so excited for this great 12 Days Of Christmas you all wrote. I’m super excited.

  3. Gold ring. I read the Dove as arc and lived it want to read all twelve.

  4. I’m so excited about these books! I knew the premise from the party but somehow missed that the town was under the gun to be “hitched up” by a certain date! That adds an element of awesome to the whole mix! If I were picking a 12 days gift, I’d have to go for the 5 gold rings (I’m not muck for birds)!

    Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. How exciting is this giveaway??? I'd love the opportunity to read this book! I need some holiday cheer, this is going to be a hard Christmas because of lack of funds. I love getting to read these books that I get a taste of multiple authors writings!!

  6. I am looking forward to reading this series! Love this great idea!

  7. I would so love to read this book. Kit Morgan is in a class by herself when if comes to Mail Order Brides. Thanks for the chance to win. (Millie Swank)

  8. I'm so blessed that The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides group asked me to join them. I now adore the town of Noelle and all the characters in it. Loved hearing how the first spark for the project began. I never asked. I was just too excited to join :)

  9. I'm with Jacqui! I was so excited to be asked to participate in such a fun project! Can't wait to share it with all our readers.

  10. Can't wait to read this series. I'm sure every book will be awesome.

  11. Love the Q&A and this new series sounds wonderful. I love each book cover and the entire concept.

  12. It was a shock for me to be asked but I'm so happy to be part of this project!

  13. I am in the group so I have been drooling over these books Kit and E.E. I am so happy that you came today to GLIAS and ans the questions as it is so nice to know a little back round of the authors that were involved in the wonderful series. I would love to read and review this book all of them are on my want to read in print list. ptclayton2@aol.com

  14. What a wonderful series! I’m excited to read them all. I’d wish for golden rings 😉

  15. I am an animal lover, but I will go with the 5 golden rings. :)

  16. I would love the chance to read this book. I would go with two turtle doves.

  17. Wow I think I would love for my true love to leave me The Gold Ring under the tree, thank you for this great chance!

  18. Going to love to read all these wonderful books.

  19. I would love the doves. They are so cute and they are two one for me and one for him.

  20. Thank you for this wonderful blog and a chance to enter to win Kit's book. I love all of Kit's books and would love to win this one. Then I have read an arc on Shanna's book The Dove and loved it so I got a hint of Kit's in there. Can't wait for this series if I can keep up with it. LOL Too many multi author series I can't keep up. LOL

  21. 5 golden rings would be my favorite to find under the tree!

  22. I'm so excited for these books! I absolutely loved The Dove, and I can't wait for the rest! This one sounds great!

  23. I would just take them all lol I have read The Dove and it was AMAZING I LOVED IT!!!

  24. I would love to receive the Dove, and I would love to receive any of the others. I can’t wait to read it if I win.

  25. I would have to go for the five gold rings. I’m not sure I want animals or people under my tree. ;)

  26. Oh, my some of my favorite authors, all teaming up for Christmas!

  27. Can't wait for these books, I love how you all work together to come up with ideas. I will be happy with anything under my tree. Last year my husband made a tree out of cardboard for me. We were in Seattle and I had just had a bone marrow transplant. This year I'm home and can't wait for a real tree. Every day is a beautiful gift.

  28. 10 lords a leaping! ☘️
    Can’t wait to start this series!!