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.
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?
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