11/20/2020

E.E.'s 10th Anniversary Celebration: PIcking Up Steam!

Ten years ago, I officially entered the world of romance writing when I submitted a manuscript to the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest. To my utter amazement and delight, I made the finals in November, 2010. That moment gave me the impetus and encouragement I needed to send me down a path to becoming a published author. 

This month, I’m celebrating with a special focus on my original
romance series, Steam! Romance and Rails
It all started with an idea and a friendship with two other 2010 Golden Heart finalists, Jacqui Nelson and Jennifer Jakes. I had been working on a railroad romance, and we were all ardent fans of the series Hell On Wheels. I proposed a joint effort, which we turned into three love stories woven together around a common historical event–a gritty, glamorous railroad race.



The anthology Passion’s Prize launched the series with Adella’s Enemy by Jacqui Nelson, Eden’s Sin by Jennifer Jakes and Kate’s Outlaw by yours truly. You can still pick up each of the novellas originally featured in this anthology. I’ll go into more detail on the historical underpinnings of the series in my next blog post. In the meantime, here is an interview I did shortly after publishing the first full-length novel of the series, Her Bodyguard.

What made you combine romance and rails?
That’s a good question. I guess something about the old steam railroads calls to my adventurous side, and to my romantic nature. But more specifically, when I touring a museum in Fort Scott, Kansas, a few years ago, I came across a small booklet about a railroad race. It had all the makings of an epic: crooked politics, underhanded landlords, angry mobs, liars, cheats, killers…I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting for a great love story. 

Tell us a little about the series.
The first books in the series are set against the background of a contentious construction race through southeastern Kansas between two powerful railroads with long names. The government promised the winning line free land grants and exclusive rights through this corridor into cattle-rich Texas so you can imagine how they pulled out all the stops and no one was above cheating. 

Her Bodyguard, revolves around the story of the Border Tier. While its crews were trying to win a race, the railroad was feuding with settlers over land rights. That’s really the focus of my book. The heroine, Amy Langford, is a wealthy widow who’s invested heavily in the railroad and is looking for ways to appease the settlers so they’ll stop vandalizing the tracks. Only, someone is out to kill her. The hero, Buck O’Connor, is an outlaw who comes out of hiding to help his cousin avoid financial ruin. Through a twist of fate, he ends up being Amy’s bodyguard. He uses his position to thwart her railroad and help his cousin, while at the same time trying to protect her. You can see that isn’t going to work. But it takes Buck awhile to recognize this. He’s pretty sure of himself.

How much of the story is based in fact?
Quite a bit, actually! Honestly, I couldn’t come up with better scenarios than those I find in history books. The race really happened pretty much as it’s written, the settler’s riots, too. I love to use real events and include historical characters. In this case, I put two people very attracted to each other but with opposing goals in the middle of a cutthroat railroad competition and a land war. It was fun to see how they reacted.

Your books are based in the American West during the nineteenth century. Why that place, and why that era?
 I write what I love best. I’ve always been a history geek, and particularly American history. I really got fascinated with the Western expansion when I first moved to Kansas. That period of expansion had such an impact on this country, good and bad. I don’t think people realize just how much. There are so many stories that haven’t been told and I want to tell them.
I try to strike a balance between gritty realism and romance, though I suppose I do err on the side of romance, but in many ways, that Victorian era was very romantic—even in the “Wild West.”

This month, all books in the series Steam! Romance and Rails are on sale for only 99 cents each. We’ve never offered this series at such a low price, so it’s a great time to forego that mocha latte and treat yourself to stories that will keep you warm all winter!


HER BODYGUARD: A determined railroad investor stalked by a mysterious killer seeks protection from a wanted gunslinger, who is hiding a dangerous secret.

KATE’S OUTLAW: After a railroad heiress is abducted, one of her captors becomes her protector. On the run from danger with enemies on all sides, they discover a love as powerful as it is forbidden.
Originally part of the anthology Passion’s Prize. Catch up on the stories of two other women caught up in a dangerous race for riches in Adella’s Enemy by Jacqui Nelson and Eden’s Sin by Jennifer Jakes.

A DANGEROUS PASSION: An inquisitive author sets out to expose a charismatic railroad baron and becomes ensnared in a deadly mystery and a dangerous passion.

FUGITIVE HEARTS: When a newly-made widow tries to cover up the truth behind her husband’s violent death, her plan backfires, sending her fleeing from a hardened lawman determined to bring her to justice.

Who out there has read books in this series? Do you have a favorite character? Who is it, and why are you drawn to them?

I’ll be doing a drawing to give away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one commenter.

GLIAS crew, thanks for being on this journey with me!

36 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary! No fav character yet
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  2. Happy anniversary, Elisabeth! I'm so honored and happy that I get to share the adventure of writing with you ❤️

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    1. One of the best things about starting down this path is the friendships I've made, especially yours!

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  3. Happy 10th anniversary. I haven't had the pleasure of reading any of your books but would like too.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. I hope you will check out the series while it's on sale.

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  4. Happy 10th anniversary! I look forward to reading any one of your books as you are a new author to me🙂

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  5. Happy anniversary! I'm an aspiring writer!

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    1. Thank you! Good luck in your endeavor. Best advice I can give you is to start writing and keep at it.

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  6. Happy Anniversary!! Haven't read yet but gonna buy it!❤

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    1. Thank you Ruth! I didn't realize you hadn't read this series. I do hope you enjoy it!

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  7. Happy Anniversary! I don’t think I have read any of your books yet, but they sound good. I will definitely check them out!

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    1. Thank you! This is a great time to read the series while its on sale!

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  8. Happy 10th author anniversary. I have not read any of the books. You are a new author to me.

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    1. Thank you Linda! I love meet readers! Hope you'll check out my books.

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    2. Linda, you are my winner! But I need your email address so can you post it or send it to me at eeburke@eeburke.com.

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  9. Congratulations! Happy 10th Anniversary!!

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  10. Happy Anniversary and keep the books coming. Love them all.

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    1. Thank you Frances! Sounds like you have read them, and that makes me super happy!

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  11. Happy Anniversary!! Love your books

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  12. Thank you for publishing your books I've not read any of them yet because I've not had time to find allot of new authors

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    1. Thank you Patricia. I know how hard it is to find time to read, but when you have a few minutes, I hope you'll try one of my books.

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  13. Linda Marie is the winner of my drawing! Thanks to all who commented. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  14. Love all your stories so much it is hard to choose. Villian, lawmen, good guys bad guys, women. I just love them all. Must be the way you spin a story. Lol👍😉

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  15. Happy Anniversary You are a New Author to me would love reading any of your books They sound amazing!

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  16. Happy Anniversary, haven't read any of these books yet, but I will be buying them soon.

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  17. Happy Anniversary so glad and happy for you! The book that i log all my print books in says i did so yes i have. I love all the characters the lawmen and the woman they are so good , Have a Happy Thanksgivimg and so good to hear from you again I saw a lot of your commenting when the lost in the story was Angi amd it was so good. I would love to read a print book of yours and i will review on a few sites/ Peggy clayton ptclayton2 at aol.com Have a great Thanksgiving

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