7/22/2021

Steam! Special Edition: Fugitive Hearts from bestselling author E.E. Burke

Book 4, Steam! Romance and Rails

A lawman is determined to discover the simple truth. Justice--and love--are far more complicated.

Everyone in Parsons, Kansas, considers hotel owner Claire Daines a respectable, decent woman. Until she shocks the entire town when she rushes into a saloon in her nightclothes to confess to an inebriated lawman. “Sheriff, I shot my husband.” 

Is it an accident, as she claims? Or murder? 

As Sheriff Frank Garrity unravels the evasive widow’s subterfuge, the truth will challenge his notions about justice. The tough, uncompromising sheriff must choose between his desire to protect Claire and his duty to uphold the law.

This evocative Western romance takes readers back to Kansas in the 1870s on a wild chase for two fugitives, who inspire one man's hope for a second chance.

Buy Fugitive Hearts

E.E. Burke is a bestselling author of historical fiction and romances that combine her unique blend of wit and warmth. Her books have been nominated for numerous national and regional awards, including Booksellers' Best, National Readers' Choice and Kindle Best Book. She was also a finalist in the RWA's prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream--writing stories readers can get lost in.

Your stories are part of a series titled “Steam!” Does that mean they are “steamy” with lots of sex?

Let me start by saying that I write sex scenes if they fit with the storyline. I don’t do it just to titillate or fit some formula. I knew from the start that the books in this series would have sex scenes because the relationships that develop between the main characters are visceral and physical, as well as emotional. But I try to write it so that the scene is passionate not just sexual. The scene in Fugitive Hearts between Claire, who has been neglected and abused and has never experienced true physical passion, and Frank, who has withheld physical gratification from himself for so long as a kind of penance, is one of the best sex scenes I’ve ever written because it delves into the needs and vulnerabilities of these characters, as well as their strong attraction to each other. These two lonely souls, who carry around a lot of guilt over past failures, find themselves in opposition to each other, and at the same time, find solace with one another. Their struggle to heal and find peace with each other and with themselves is, I believe, one of tenderest stories I’ve written.

What is the historical setting for this book?

Fugitive Hearts takes place in 1873, during a period of transition, when the country fell into an economic depression and the Katy Railroad experienced numerous business failures, mostly due to the greedy, unethical people in charge. This book shifts its focus to the Henry’s sister Claire and the sheriff in Parsons, both of whom appeared in A Dangerous Passion. Another character who played a small role in that book, an outlaw named Jasper Byrnes, becomes more important in this book for reasons I can’t tell you without spoilers. Historically, this is the period when train robberies started in earnest—spurred on by a combination of the toxic effects of post-war violence and economic pressures. But’s it’s not only the outlaws who are crooked! 

After this, will you write more books in the series?

I’m currently working on book five, Lawless Hearts. It basically picks up where Fugitive Hearts leaves off. Right now, I envision six books in this series altogether. If readers want more, I’ll probably write more!

Steam! Romance and Rails New Edition. More adventure. More suspense. More romance. In a series you don’t want to miss. www.eeburke.com


A theme running through Fugitive Hearts is second chances. For the main characters, Claire and Frank, the orphan Billy, even the outlaw Jasper. Can you think of any books or movies you’ve seen lately that address this theme well? Do you enjoy "second chance" stories? Why?  

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of the books in the series! Leave a comment and don’t forget to add your email.


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7/16/2021

Jacqui’s Friday Flowers in July

July in Victoria is a great month for out-of-this-world looking Red Hot Pokers, simply-elegant looking White Shasta Daisies, and Victoria's iconic hanging flower baskets. I love taking photos of all of them. 

Here are some that I found and couldn't resist photographing during my walks around Victoria.  

Jacqui ❤️ ๐Ÿ’

Red Hot Pokers

Red Hot Pokers

White Shasta Daisies

Hanging baskets in front of Victoria's Christ Church Cathedral

Hanging baskets in front of Victoria's Christ Church Cathedral

Victoria's hanging flower baskets

Click here to see my June blog post and a plethora of peony pics ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’ 

To see more of my flower pictures (during the February to October flower season in Victoria, Canada), visit my Facebook and Instagram pages. 

~ * ~ 


Jacqui Nelson - Author Picture
Fall in love with a new Old West where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. I love writing stories about women who are Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, trick-riding superstars, and more. 

Read an excerpt from all of my books at JacquiNelson.com/my-books

Join my newsletter & read Rescuing Raven (my Deadwood 1876 gold-rush story) for FREE at JacquiNelson.com/download-my-free-read 

7/13/2021

Steam! Special Edition: A Dangerous Passion from bestselling author E.E. Burke

Book 3, Steam Romance and Rails 

She writes about villains and heroes. Then meets a man who might be both.

Lucy Forbes heads West to help her father with a difficult assignment—one that pits him against a railroad executive reputed to be as treacherous as he is charming. She anticipates having adventure, even dangerous thrills, to add to the stories she writes. What she doesn’t expect is how quickly she gets caught up in a deadly mystery.

Henry Stevens is more than ambitious. He’s an intense, driven man, guided by principles forged during an impoverished childhood. His carefully laid plan for success takes a sharp turn when an investigation is launched against him. Suddenly, he is fighting for his job and his life. It’s not the ideal time to become embroiled in a tumultuous, passionate relationship, especially with an inquisitive writer, who pens tales about heroism and high ideals. Astonishingly, she expects him to live up to them. Even more surprising, he wants to.

Inspired by a true events, this fiery Western romance takes readers to the southwestern frontier in the 1870s, a time of triumphs and travails for the Katy Railroad and the driven man who stakes his future--and his life--on it. 

Buy A Dangerous Passion

E.E. Burke is a bestselling author of historical fiction and romances that combine her unique blend of wit and warmth. Her books have been nominated for numerous national and regional awards, including Booksellers' Best, National Readers' Choice and Kindle Best Book. She was also a finalist in the RWA's prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream--writing stories readers can get lost in.

Your main character is based on a real person. Who is the “real” Henry Stevens?

His name was Robert S. Stevens. They called him “Colonel Stevens.” Described as a man with “dark flashing eyes and a meticulous style of dress,” he was a larger-than-life persona in the history of the Katy Railroad. In 1870, “the Colonel” was brought in by Katy president Judge Levi Parsons to build a railroad empire that would stretch from Chicago all the way down to Mexico City. The Katy’s birth and impressive growth is largely attributable to Robert Stevens, who took a “never surrender” approach to just about everything he attempted. Many of the events in this book are based on exploits written about this fascinating man and the railroad he built.

Are there other historical events woven into the story?

Oh yes. Another historical tidbit featured in A Dangerous Passion is a series of mysterious murders that took place near Parsons, Kansas. From a period stretching between 1871 and early 1873, numerous travelers through southeastern Kansas were reported missing. There were theories as to what happened to them, including one rumor that the railroads were to blame for their disappearance.

When a well-known doctor went missing, his brother, a U.S. Senator, tore through the area on a frantic search. Authorities ultimately discovered nearly a dozen bodies buried in a field behind a cabin that doubled as a wayside inn, serving meals to travelers. I won’t tell you who was to blame (spoiler!). You’ll have to read A Dangerous Passion to find out.

What is your personal favorite book in this series?

That’s a tough question to answer. I love all of them. Though I’ll admit that this book does hold a special place in my heart. Henry starts out in the series as what appears to be a ladder-climbing opportunist. Then we get to know him a little better and we see there’s more to him. We discover what drives him and what makes him vulnerable, and, ultimately, what makes him so lovable...and so heartbreakingly sad. He’s a man who has lost touch with himself. A proverbial Beast who has forgotten his true nature.

Oh, and this cover! When I first started working on A Dangerous Passion, I pinned some images to my Pinterest board for inspiration.

Check out the one I pinned for Henry... 

Wow. The cover model is a dead ringer, right? 

No, I didn't pay Richard Armitage to pose for my cover, but if this book ever gets made into a movie, I know who I'll be asking to play the lead role!

Join me on Tuesday, July 27 for facts about Book 4, Fugitive Hearts.

In a sense, A Dangerous Passion is a Western fairytale. The beast is transformed. A prince is revealed. It’s no coincidence that the heroine is an aspiring author whose favorite books are 19th century romantic adventures. Can you think of other books you've read that are inspired by fairy tales?

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the books in the series! Leave a comment and don’t forget to add your email.

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7/06/2021

Steam! New Edition: Her Bodyguard from bestselling author E.E. Burke

 

Book 1 in the Series Steam! Romance and Rails

An unredeemable man. An unstoppable woman. Will love be powerful enough to save them? 

As a wanted man, Buck O'Connor must guard his secrets when he returns to Kansas to see his brand of justice served. Then Fate—or a darker force—puts him in the path of a wealthy widow at an opportune moment. In the middle of a cutthroat railroad construction race to reach the Kansas border.

For investor Amy Langford, the contest isn’t about riches. She’s driven by her father’s dreams and haunted by his death. Now, someone wants her dead. Is it rioting settlers? Underhanded competitors? She needs a protector who isn’t involved in the race, but is stronger than her enemies...and more cunning.

Buck agrees to be her bodyguard, yet he hides his real purpose for getting close to her. A purpose that could destroy the remarkable woman who is destined to redeem him.

A thrilling Western romance set against the backdrop of a no-holds-barred railroad race across Kansas in 1870. With twists and turns that raise the stakes all the way to the end. 

Buy Her Bodyguard

E.E. Burke is a bestselling author of historical fiction and romances that combine her unique blend of wit and warmth. Her books have been nominated for numerous national and regional awards, including Booksellers' Best, National Readers' Choice and Kindle Best Book. She was also a finalist in the RWA's prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream--writing stories readers can get lost in. Find more about her books at www.eeburke.com.

Why did you release a new edition of this series? And this book, in particular? 

Seriously, that cover...right? No (ha ha) It's not just that awesome cover. I also went back and tweaked and revised to make it a more compelling read. The story is essentially the same. 

Would you call this a Western romance?

Technically, historical Western romance. The story is based on true events and even features numerous historical characters. It has a strong suspense element, there's plenty of action, and the passion that ignites between Buck and Amy produces enough steam to power a train.

What is the historical setting?

A great construction race between two railroads in 1870 that sparked settlers’ riots across Kansas. When I first started researching, I found surprisingly little written about this fascinating event that involved equally fascinating characters, many of whom make an appearance in my books. One, in particular, is Octave Chanute, a brilliant French-born engineer who built the first railroad bridge over the Missouri River, then went on to help the Wright Brothers learn to fly. 

The actual race had all the makings of a great epic: crooked politics, underhanded investors, angry mobs, liars, cheats and killers. It wasn’t difficult to craft a tale around the colorful characters who appeared in historical accounts. My challenge was developing primary characters as compelling as the supporting cast. Once again, I dove into the history books. The fiercely independent Kansas women who championed suffrage and equal rights served as models for Amy. The tough-as-nails, troubled survivors of Missouri’s guerrilla war gave me inspiration for Buck.

I hope readers enjoy this glimpse into an exciting era in America’s history. Although that time is far behind us, it left an indelible mark that helped shape our country into who and what we are today.

Come back next Tuesday to learn more about Book Three and the man who built the Katy Railroad. He was my inspiration for the main character, who could be a villain, a hero--or both.


At its heart, Her Bodyguard is a redemption story. Can you think of any books you’ve read recently that featured a hero who needed redeeming? What it is about these characters that draws you to them?

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the books in the series! Leave a comment and don’t forget to add your email.

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7/02/2021

JULY 4TH RECIPE SHARE

 


C.H.'s Family Favorite ~ Layered Fresh Fruit Salad

Guaranteed to cool you off on even the hottest Independence Day! It's as easy as you want it to be. Simply pick out your favorite fresh fruit (pictured: blueberries, sliced kiwi, sliced strawberries and raspberries) wash them gently so as not to bruise them and let them drain in a colander. Carefully scoop out into a clear glass bowl--looks so festive when you do! Optional topping: Whipped cream - fresh of course using heavy cream and if you like a teaspoon of vanilla extract or if you absolutely need the sugary pick-me-up sift a kitchen tablespoon of confectioner's sugar over the cream you've just whipped and fold it in. Dollop on top, of serve on the side. Enjoy!




Amanda

The fourth, when last we celebrated with family and friends, is usually spent at a dear friend’s house watching the fireworks from their deck. Before that, for many years we would take a picnic supper and blanket and sit in the lawn of the State capitol and watch the Symphony Pops Concert. So, recipes have been quite varied over the years. One of my favorites is a simple summer salad given to me by my aunt in Chicago. It has become a family favorite and is included in A Taste of Gratitude & Joy, put out in 2020 by C.H. Admirand and myself. (shameless plug!)

Taffy Apple Salad

Ingredients:

Amazon

1 can (16-20 ounce) drained, crushed pineapple

3 large Granny Smith Apples (cored and cut into bite-size chunks)

2-3 handfuls of Spanish peanuts

3- King-size Snicker candy bars (cut into bite size pieces)

1 medium container of Cool Whip

Directions:

Mix and serve. Doubtful there will be leftovers! Keep refrigerated until served!



6/29/2021

Steam! New Release: Redbird from bestselling author E.E. Burke

New Release 

A rich, white heiress. A Cherokee outlaw. They have nothing in common except a desire for peace—and each other.

Railroad heiress Kate Parsons is worth more than an inheritance, and she intends to prove it by resolving a land dispute between the Katy Railroad and the Cherokee Nation. Instead, she gets abducted by outlaws. 

Jake Colston has something to prove, too, which is why he breaks into a private railcar in a scheme to save his family’s land. Instead, the peace-loving Cherokee ends up in possession of a white woman whose spirit is as bold as her red hair. 

His decision to abduct her is made with the best intentions, but it puts into motion a series of  consequences that force Jake into a deadly confrontation he would do anything to avoid. Anything, except risk the life of the woman he calls Redbird. 

A captivating, cross-cultural love story inspired by a legend and based on true events. This story was originally released as a novella under the title Kate's Outlaw. It has been updated and expanded in a new edition for the series, Steam! Romance and Rails. 

Buy Redbird today

E.E. Burke is a bestselling author of historical fiction and romances that combine her unique blend of wit and warmth. Her books have been nominated for numerous national and regional awards, including Booksellers' Best, National Readers' Choice and Kindle Best Book. She was also a finalist in the RWA's prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream--writing stories readers can get lost in.

Why did you decide to expand and update this book?

I believed the story deserved it. When I first wrote it as a novella, it fit within a three-part anthology that I'd written with two other authors. I always felt that this book needed to be expanded to fit with the rest of the series. I added extra scenes to give readers insight into the main characters, as well as the secondary characters who become important in future books.

Tell us about the legend that inspired Redbird.

It's an old Cherokee legend about the daughter of the sun (called Redbird). Thematically, the story is about death and rebirth, which fit well with the overall theme of my novel. The main character in the book, Jake Colston, has had a vision that leads him to associate Kate with a legendary figure called Redbird. I can't tell you more without spoilers, but the way their relationship develops as a result of Jake's obsession with Redbird is one of the things I love most about this book.

What is the historical setting for Redbird?

A standoff in 1870 between between the Cherokee Nation and Katy Railroad about land rights--specifically, government-awarded land grants. The Cherokee Nation filed a lawsuit that challenged the land grants based on sovereignty. Specifically, the U.S. government's right to give away their land. 

In addition, the Cherokee people disliked and distrusted the railroads. They didn't want one passing through their nation, bringing in more white immigrants. Through this story, I strive to present a perspective that often gets lost in our glorification of Western expansion. Its central theme is hope--for peace, understanding, respect, and, ultimately, a sense of unity despite our differences.

Come back next week for fun facts about book 1, Her Bodyguard. 



I love reading about Native American legends, especially origin stories. Do you have any favorite legends that you'd like to see incorporated into a book?

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the books in the series! Leave a comment and don't forget to add your email.


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6/18/2021

Jacqui’s Friday Flowers in June

Peonies are the flowers that remind me the most of being a kid on the farm in the prairie province of Alberta. I love the peony's smell and its most common (at least to me) full pink variety. But I also love seeing the many new-to-me colors and shapes where I currently live on Canada's pacific southwest coast. 

Here are some of the peony photos I've taken during my walks around my neighborhood. 

Jacqui ❤️ ๐Ÿ’

Red Peony

White Peonies

Pink Peonies

White and pink Peonies

Pink Peonies with white center

Coral pink Peony

What I like to think of as "full pink" peony
What I like to think of as a "full pink" peony :) 

Click here to see my May blog post and my Iris pics ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’ 

To see more of my flower pictures (during the February to October flower season in Victoria, Canada), visit my Facebook and Instagram pages. 

~ * ~ 


Jacqui Nelson - Author Picture
Fall in love with a new Old West where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. I love writing stories about women who are Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, trick-riding superstars, and more. 

Read an excerpt from all of my books at JacquiNelson.com/my-books

Join my newsletter & read Rescuing Raven (my Deadwood 1876 gold-rush story) for FREE at JacquiNelson.com/download-my-free-read 

6/04/2021

WHAT'S ON YOUR MUG?

 

I totally stole this idea from our own Regan Black. Follow her on Instagram and you'll get mug after mug of inspiration!!  BEGIN is a great mug for writers. Maybe for coffee drinkers everywhere. We're sharing pictures of a favorite mug we own today. You can share yours on the Get Lost in a Story Facebook page or on the Reader's Spot group page.  Extra prizes will be awarded. Come and visit us.

I think I have a theme. Three mugs were given to me and I bought the fourth. I AM a very proud Dog Mom who doesn't drink coffee. And I adore Hallmark Christmas movies, I keep them on my DVR all year. I am always smiling after I watch one. And oh my goodness if you add a dog to the story I'm good for a week !! 

I’ve always been obsessed with flowers and in the last few years I’ve become obsessed with Corgis (and hope to one day share my home with a couple), so these mugs are some of my favorites. I bought the “Sploot Happens,” “Got Corgi?” and “Fluffy Butt” mugs from “My Dog is My Copilot” (aka Tracy) on Etsy. And I received the Corgi/Sushi mug this Christmas from my nephew. A brilliant addition because sushi is a favorite as well! 

Over the years we’ve amassed a great many mugs from friends and family-holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, trips, and more. In this picture is a sampling of each of those moments, those memories. From left to right—the snowman mug, lots of hot chocolate and coffee during holidays and winter nights. They match the snowman dinnerware that we’ve used for countless Christmas dinners. The ironstone mug from Betty’s Pies is some of the sweetest memories of lake shore trips to Grand Superior Lodge. If you’re up that way, stop in at Betty’s and try the many fabulous homemade pies with a generous mug of fresh coffee! Next is the mug I received this Christmas from my grandsons, ‘nuf said, other than what the cup states, “Blessed!” The brown mug is special as it was made for me by my artist/teacher daughter-in-law. It sits on my office desk, reminding me of how a lump of clay can be molded with patience and tenacity into something exquisitely beautiful! And the ornate china cup and saucer is one of many given to various grandchildren and great-grandchildren when my grandmother passed. Her example of humility, kindness, and resilience peppered with a wicked humor has been my inspiration and model as long as I can remember. In fact, my pen name of McIntyre is derived grandmother’s maiden name.


My favorite mugs are mugs...sort of <g> L to R: one of my great grandmother's demitasse cups (without the saucer), mini green and white cup and saucer, a mini demitasse cup (not sure who it belonged to as a little girl...probably my grandmother who loved her "coffee-tea.", in the back L to R my favorite holly Christmas mug (which has been cracked for 10 years...sadness) and a new favorite a pretty sweet pea mug from one of my dear friends. 

My husband and I have a problem collecting T-shirts. In fact, we have so many they don't fit in our drawers and live in piles on a dresser. The only thing that has to do with mugs, is that I have a problem collecting them as well. I've given more mugs and cups to Goodwill than I can count. I don't even buy most of them for myself--people love to give mugs! So, the ones I've kept are ones that really mean something fun to me. The ones here span a lot of history. Eeyore came from a reader and is perfect for THOSE days. Nanosaurus in the back was given to me by my granddaughter who will, I  have no doubt, always be a dinosaur expert! "I AM smiling," came from Alaska, where we lived for three years and fell in love with all things 49th State. The Yellow Submarine mug is essential to this Beatles freak -- and has window circles that clear up and reveal John, Paul, George and Ringo when the mug is filled with hot water. The blue and white mug reads "Moin moin," which is they way people say "good morning" and "hi" in far northern Germany--another place we lived two different times for a year each time. Finally, the funny little teacup is from my wonderful spunky grandmother whom I idolized. The woman is "Little Nell" and the funky man's face is a complete mystery. I'm thinking he's an author -- but I really have no idea, but Grandma thought things like this were funny, so I love this quirky cup! So--this is a smattering of my mug and cup collection. They're random choices (I adore random) and each brings up a wonderful memory or time in my life!

WIN AN INSPIRATIONAL MUG !!

Leave a comment here and on our Facebook or Readers' Spot to be entered to win an inspirational mug. 

Don't forget to share your mug on the Get Lost in a Story Facebook page or on the Reader's Spot group page.  Extra prizes will be awarded. Come and visit us.

6/02/2021

THROUGH MY LENS

 More Bluebonnets & Wildflowers

Ennis Bluebonnet Trail, 2021