E.E. Burke's Best of the West: Linda Broday's Newest Outlaw Bride

Greetings, readers! After a hiatus, I am back with Best of the West, and wanted to kick off this holiday season with a spotlight on a new release in the Outlaw Bride series from New York Times bestselling author Linda Broday.

Buy It Today

Once Upon A Mail-Order Bride

Accused of crimes he didn't commit, ex-preacher Ridge Steele is forced to give up everything he knew and make his home with outlaws. Desperate for someone to confide in, he strikes up correspondence with mail-order bride Adeline Jancy, finding in her the open heart he's been searching for. Upon her arrival, Ridge discovers Addie only communicates through the written word, but he knows a little of what trauma can do to a person and vows to stand by her side.

Addie is eager to start a new life with the kind ex-preacher and the little boy she's stolen away from her father - a zealot priest of a terrorized flock. As her small family settles into life at Hope's Crossing, she even begins to find the voice, and confidence, she'd lost so long ago.

But danger is not far behind, and her father will not be denied. While Addie desperately fights the man who destroyed her childhood, a determined Ridge races to the rescue. The star-crossed lovers will need more than prayers to survive this final challenge...and find their way back to each other again.

Meet Linda

Linda Broday is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 24 full length western romance novels and short stories. She resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian, Comancheros, and early cowboys once roamed, and on a still day she can often hear their voices whispering in the breeze. She loves research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories and is inspired by historical events

Website: LindaBroday.com 

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/lindabrodayauthor  

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lbroday

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/linda.broday/  

Let's find out more about the new release...

Who are your favorite characters from this series?

This is a hard one. I’ve loved each one I breathed life into. Each had their own set of seemingly impossible challenges. But I think Adeline (Addie) Jancy in this one had so much more to overcome. She can’t speak and has to rely on writing everything down. She’s been through sheer hell. Whipped and put in prison by her own father, kept in the dark for two years then hunted once she’s released from the penitentiary. Addie doesn’t think anyone could ever love her—until she meets the outlaw, Ridge Steele. He shows her what unconditional love and a true marriage is. From the moment he meets her, he treats her as an equal. Her wishes and dreams are just as important as his. But then Ridge is the most caring, giving one of the outlaws. And when Addie is taken, he doesn’t stop until she’s back in his arms. I just love this couple who are so right for each other.

Is this the last book of the series?

Yes, this is the 4th and final book of the series and I’m so sad to leave this special outlaw town of Hope’s Crossing. The town has been a safe place of refuge for people seeking asylum and a new start. The four original outlaws who started the town have gotten amnesty and new lives with wives and children but there’s still much to do. They see themselves as caretakers of the land and the ones to find justice for those too weak to find it for themselves. Even so, they know they’re the last of a dying breed. The world is becoming more civilized and the law is fast catching up. They’re ready to turn over the reins to the lawmen though so it’s time to end the series.  

Are you taking your characters in new directions?

I certainly have in this book. The world is changing so fast and westward expansion has put settlements in the far reaches of Texas. Ridge knows his time as an outlaw is short so he works at gaining respectability and settling old scores. He wants to clear his name and get right with the law. He’s tired of looking over his shoulder and is constantly thinking about what he has to do to protect Addie and keep her safe. I’ve never written a non-speaking character before but I wanted Addie completely vulnerable. I found out exactly how hard it is to write someone who can’t utter a word and I can say that I probably won’t attempt it again. Still, I’m glad I did it with this book.

What have you loved most about this series?

I’ve loved writing about these men living outside the law—their honor, the rules they set down for themselves, and the lines they don’t cross. They have so much heart and the sense of justice beats inside them. They’ve been wronged and harshly judged but they keep working to make better lives and finding wives to share their lot with. They want to walk tall in the sunshine and they find a way to make it happen. There is no giving up in these men. They fight hard and love with as much enthusiasm. I would be proud to have any or all stand by my side when the going gets rough. They’re the best of the best and they live inside me.   

What’s next?

I begin a new series in April 2021—Lone Star Legends. Each book will feature one of the children who grew up on the famed Lone Star Ranch as an adult. A new generation of Legends to carry on the family name. Book 1 is The Cowboy of Legend and it features Gracie Legend who is neck deep in the Temperance Movement. She butts heads with a saloon owner in Fort Worth’s Hells Half Acre. Then I’ll have Book 2, A Cowboy’s Christmas Legend, in September 2021. 

Reader Question: Have you ever found yourself committed to an unexpected situation you get into? How did you handle it?

Giveaway:  A book (print or ebook) and a 2021 calendar that I designed.

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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!