OK, I confess, I’m a huge fan of the AMC TV series, Hell On Wheels. It’s a story set post-Civil War during the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. The main character, Cullen Bohannon, is a former Confederate soldier searching for the killers of his family. But his search is filled with danger, disappointment, and death.
Why am I telling you all this? Because my latest writing endeavor — along with fellow Golden Heart sisters E.E. Burke and Jacqui Nelson– was inspired by Hell On Wheels.
Outlaws, soldiers, and spies bedevil the Katy Railroad as construction crews race to reach Indian Territory before their rival. The prize—a fortune in land rights for the winning line. Stakes are just as high for three women whose lives hinge on the outcome.
Adella’s Enemy by Jacqui Nelson
The race heats up as former Rebel spy Adella Willows receives her mission from a Washington senator—play havoc with the Katy and derail its bid to win the race. The senator craves wealth. Adella craves revenge against the man responsible for her brother’s death. But her plans crumble into chaos when she matches wits with the railroad’s foreman, a handsome Irishman torn between two desires: winning the race or winning Adella’s heart.
Eden’s Sin by Jennifer Jakes
Passions rise when a beautiful madam must rely on an Army major for help. Eden Gabrielli lives by three rules: Never trust the wealthy, do whatever it takes to survive, and never again believe a decent man could love a whore. But when a blackmailer threatens, she will do anything to protect her sister—even if that means deceiving the handsome and determined Major Bradford, the one man who tempts her to break her rules.
Kate’s Outlaw by E.E. Burke.
Fortunes fall as the Katy struggles with the Cherokee Nation over land rights. The situation goes from bad to worse when railroad heiress Kate Parsons is abducted by outlaws and finds herself attracted to one of her Cherokee captors. Time is running out for the railroad and for Kate, who must escape before her captor becomes her lover and steals something much more valuable than her fortune—her heart.
So today, I’ve interviewed the 3 sexy heroes from the anthology:
Cormac McGrady from ADELLA’S ENEMY
Sinclair Bradford from EDEN’S SIN
Jake Colson from KATE’S OUTLAW
JJ : I’m here today with 3 men connected to the Katy Railroad. (And I don’t mind telling you readers this room is bursting with testosterone. These men are the definition of sexy. ) Please help me welcome, Cormac McGrady, Major Sinclair Bradford, and Jake Colson.
Cormac: Grateful to be here, Ms. Jakes
Sinclair: Thank you, ma’am.
Jake: Osiyo. Greetings.
JJ: Now, Cormac, I understand you’re a foreman for the Katy Railroad.
Cormac: Aye. But before we go any further, I need to set you straight on something. I’m not saying anything about Sinclair or Jake, but… (fidgets in his chair) I’m definitely not sexy; I’m just Irish.
JJ: (grins) Why not leave the definition of sexy to us ladies? Now, back to your job with the Katy—is that how you met Adella? And was it love at first sight?
Cormac: It was more shock at first sight. I was responsible for knocking her off her feet.
JJ: Oh dear! Not the best first impression! What happened?
Cormac: Well…my Addy insists I didn’t actually touch her, but when she saw me she fell off the train platform. Then she was stuck in the mud and nearly died when a saboteur— I don’t like to think about what could have happened. I’m just glad I pulled her to safety in time.
JJ: Yes, good thing you did! She must have been grateful for your help.
Cormac: (snorts a laugh) She offered to buy me and my workmen drinks at Eden’s saloon. I said that wasn’t necessary. I didn’t want her putting herself in more danger.
JJ: Did she listen?
Cormac: (sighs) No.
JJ: Your Addy—I mean Adella—sounds like a handful.
Cormac: (finally smiles) She is, but she’s a handful in the best possible way. She’s the kind of lass who once she commits to someone—whether it’s her brother, her friends or me—she’ll go to the ends of the earth for you.
JJ: And where is the “ends of the earth” these days?
Cormac: A tent that we pitch at the end of the line while I work on the Katy. Our home is a wee bit cramped, but I made sure we got a good bed. I also make sure I keep my Addy warm at night.
JJ: Oh, well, I’m sure you do. (Fans self.) Is it hot in here?
All men: No, ma’am.
JJ: Must just be me…Anyway, Major Sinclair Bradford, is that correct?
Sinclair: Yes, ma’am.
JJ: And Sinclair, you were dispatched to Ladore, Kansas, where Cormac’s crew was working because there was several robberies?
Sinclair: Yes. The army was sent because aside from the robberies, there was a string of
“accidents” sabotaging the Katy’s progress.
JJ: Ah. Sounds mysterious.
Sinclair: Not so much a mystery as ruthlessness. One man in particular intended to stop the Katy, and he was using my Eden as a pawn. I almost didn’t get to her in time…(his jaw hardens) Anyway, that’s government business now. We’d best talk about something else.
JJ: All right, I understand, Sinclair–could I call you Sin? It has such a naughty sound to it.
Sinclair: Ma’am, if it’s all the same to you, only Eden calls me Sin.
JJ: OK, fair enough…so tell us about Eden. That’s a beautiful name.
Sinclair: Yes, ma’am. And she lives up to it. Inside and out.
JJ: I’ve been told you and Eden met under false pretenses…that she actually owned the Garden of Eden, the town brothel. I take it you didn’t know that upon meeting her.
Sinclair: (fights a grin) No. Eden has a habit of “omitting the truth” as she calls it. Caused us more than a little bit of trouble, let me tell you. We worked it out, but I’ll leave that for readers to find out.
JJ: Oh, come on…just a few details ?
Sinclair: I don’t kiss and tell. (He winks)
JJ: OK, well, then speaking of kissing…who kissed whom first – you or Eden?
Sinclair: Let’s just say it was a mutual decision. Rainy night, dim lantern, whiskey…(he nods)…yep, let’s say it was mutual.
JJ: Mutually satisfying…?
JJ: (Fans self again) Whew, all right then…let’s move on to our next guest, Jake Colson.
JJ: So, Jake..or do you go by Jake? I have here your name is also Wa-ya, which means Wolf in Cherokee.
Jake: Call me Jake. Wa-ya is what my family calls me.
JJ: (laughs) And what do you call her?
JJ: Besides beautiful? (slow smile) She’s my Redbird.
JJ: That sounds like a story, but there’s something else I’d rather know. I have here in my notes that you kidnapped Kate to keep the railroad out of Cherokee territory. Is that true?
Jake: (straightens in his chair) Uh, no. Well, technically speaking, I did remove her from a railcar without her permission. But it was more of a rescue.
JJ: A rescue? I don’t see how you could call tying her up and gagging her a resc–
Jake: Hold on, now. Did she tell you that?”
JJ: She might’ve mentioned it.
Jake: Did she also mention she tried to bash my head in with a rock, and then tried to shoot me? That is, after she kissed me.
JJ: She kissed you?
Jake: (nods solemnly) Couldn’t keep her hands off me.
Sinclair: The way I hear it, you couldn’t keep your paws off her.
Jake: (frowning at the major) How do you know? Besides, Redbird likes my paws.
JJ: All right boys, settle down. Jake, how did you two ever manage to fall in love given the circumstances?
Jake: She couldn’t resist my animal magnetism.
Cormac: (snorts) That’s not the story I heard from my Addy.
Jake: (shrugs, looking innocent): Redbird is a goddess. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a goddess? As for why she loves me? You’ll have to ask her.
JJ: I’ll do that. Well, gentlemen. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today.
Jake: Wado. Thank you.
Cormac: Aye, thank you for inviting us, Ms. Jakes. It’s been a genuine pleasure talking with a lass as fine as yourself.
Sinclair: Very nice meeting you, ma’am. Thank you.
***Now take a sneak peek at some excerpts:
Excerpt from Adella’s Enemy:
Adella’s fingers brushed the telegram hidden in her cleavage and she went as still as Cormac. Blast! She’d forgotten about the telegram! She needed Cormac to stay in her hotel room, but she couldn’t let him see the telegram.
“How do you know what I want?” she whispered, stalling for time.
“I don’t. But this is what I want.” In two strides, he devoured the gap between them. Then his mouth claimed hers in a hot, heady possession.
Pressed against the door, all she could do was kiss him back. She did so with abandon. Her skin tingled, and her blood raced as if her body had woken from years of sleepwalking. She didn’t want the feeling to stop. She wrapped her arms around Cormac’s neck and pulled him closer.
He suddenly lifted his head. “I want more than one kiss,” he murmured against her lips. “And I don’t mean merely claiming everything that’s under this dress.” His hand slid up her ribcage to cup her breast.
The telegram! With a gasp, she covered her cleavage with both hands. The corner of the telegram brushed her palm. Thank Dixie. It was still there. But had he seen it? She pressed back against the door.
Cormac retreated as well, lifting his hand to rake it through hair that was already disheveled. Had she done that? He reached for the doorknob and she jumped aside.
“Stay away from the worksite, Adella.” He opened the door without his customary restraint. It banged against the wall. “And, for God’s sake, stay out of trouble. Don’t provoke a man beyond his patience.”
Excerpt from Eden’s Sin:
“Sinclair…” Her breath caught in the soft quiet of the dim room, her heartbeat throbbing beneath his fingers.
The longing in her voice was all it took.
His mouth brushed hers, once, twice …Christ, she tasted sweet. Like cinnamon and apples, like honey. Like nothing he’d ever tasted before.
“Oh, yes.” Her soft sigh was enough to make his heart kick. Heat flooded his veins, and a pounding started in his ears, as if he was coming alive for the first time in years. He pulled her closer, sliding one hand into her thick, silky hair, the other cupping her jaw, encouraging her to kiss him. Hell, he should stop. This was a bad idea, but surrender would be so easy, so enjoyable. They could enjoy a few nights until he had to return to Fort Hayes.
He deepened the kiss, sucking her tongue into his mouth, biting her lip, pulling her body tight against his, letting her feel his erection against her belly. He slid one hand down her back, pressing her against him, her ass firm in his palm. Hell, yes. So much to enjoy.
She moaned, the low, throaty sound hardening his cock even more. She swiped his tongue with hers, hot, quick flicks, and flattened her palm against his chest, caressing, stroking. Moaning. Pushing.
She backed out of his arms. “You—you should go.” Her breath came in soft pants, her eyes wide. She turned and gathered their empty glasses with shaky hands. “I appreciate the fact you’re willing to help find Mary Rose’s attacker. So…thank you.”
Oh, no. Hell, no. He knew when he was being dismissed. But he also knew what this was about.
“I don’t expect sex for free in return for hunting Mary’s rapist. I’m willing to pay your going rate.” Hell, he’d pay double to have her.
She whirled around, eyes wide and filled with hurt. “What?” The words were nothing more than a strangled whisper.
“I’ll pay you for your time.” He held out his hand. “Name your price.”
She backed away, slowly shaking her head. “Get out.”
Excerpt from Kate’s Outlaw:
“Redbird?” Kate’s hand flew to her hair. Lord knows, it’d been compared to worse than a cardinal’s bright coloring, but the jest hurt more because it reminded her that all men, even those regarded as savages, found her unattractive.
She smoothed the messy curls and retreated into her only defense—self-deprecating humor. “You shouldn’t insult the poor bird. It might take offense.”
The devilishly handsome Indian regarded her with that searching look she found so disconcerting. “Redbird is the daughter of the sun.”
What was he talking about, an Indian story?
“Did she look like me?” That seemed unlikely.
He stared at the top of Kate’s head. “The legend doesn’t say what Redbird looked like, but I always imagined she had hair like flames and eyes as blue as the sky vault.”
He hadn’t used the word beautiful, but the way he described Redbird made her feel that way. Her hand drifted up to her hair again. Had it changed since she’d last seen it? “You…you meant it as compliment?”
“It wasn’t an insult.” His gold-flecked eyes burned with a look she didn’t often get from men, especially handsome ones.
She tore her gaze away. “I…I believe I need another drink.”
Jacqui Nelson writes historical romantic adventures set in the American West and Victorian London. Her love of Western stories came from watching classic Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm. Her passion for Victorian London wasn’t far behind and only increased when she worked in England for four years and explored the nooks and crannies of London on her weekends. Jacqui currently lives in Victoria on the west coast of Canada where she works as a book seller. Her previous jobs have included animator, systems analyst and fundraising event coordinator.
Her debut release, Adella’s Enemy, is part of the Passion’s Prize anthology and the Steam! Romance and Rails series. She is a Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® winner and three-time finalist.
To learn more about Jacqui and her writing, please visit:
Author Jennifer Jakes tried several careers—everything from a beautician to a dump truck driver—before she finally returned to her first love, writing. Maybe it was all those Clint Eastwood movies she watched growing up, but in her opinion there is no better read than a steamy western historical.
Her debut novel, RAFE’S REDEMPTION, was a RWA Golden Heart® finalist and Won BEST ROMANCE 2011 at DITHR and many other awards. RAFE’S REDEMPTION has since become a #1 Best Seller on Amazon!
Her second book, TWICE IN A LIFETIME, was an International Digital Award finalist. It has also recently become a #1 Best Seller on Amazon!
Visit Jennifer Jakes at www.jenniferjakes.com or find all her books on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Jakes/e/B005OMTLWW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.jakes.33
or Twitter @JenniferJakes
E.E. Burke writes sexy, suspenseful historical romance set in the American west. Her debut release, Kate’s Outlaw, is part of a new series, Steam! Romance and Rails. Her writing has earned accolades in regional and national contests, including the prestigious Golden Heart®.
Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to pursuing her dream of writing novels. Her stories are as deeply rooted in American soil as her family, which she can trace back to the earliest colonists and through both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and three daughters.
To learn more about E.E. Burke and her writing, please visit: