Jen: Today we welcome Sara Walter Ellwood to Romancing the Book as her blog tour makes a stop with us. Sara, will you share a short bio with us?
Sara: Although Sara Walter Ellwood has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her contemporary westerns. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for over 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia. Sara Walter Ellwood is a multi-published and international Amazon bestselling author of the anthology set Cowboy Up. She also publishes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Sara: I really have no idea where the idea came from. The hero and heroine are supporting characters in book 2, Gambling On A Heart and since their back story included them both being partners on the Dallas PD Vice squad and working undercover to breakup drug gangs in the city, I decided to bring them back together using drug crimes.
With Everything At Stake….
It’s been years since Sheriff Dawn Madison said goodbye to Texas Ranger Wyatt McPherson. She’s closed the door on the heartache of her past. But when the sleepy town of Colton, Texas, is rocked by a series of shocking murders, Dawn has no choice but to trust the man who broke her heart if she wants to protect the ones she loves…
All Bets Are Off
Four years have passed. But Wyatt hasn’t forgotten the bold, Native American beauty who stole his heart . . . and broke it. Losing her and the life they had hoped to share left him an empty shell of himself. But if he wants to stop the deranged killer terrorizing the innocent kids of Colton, he’ll have to let Dawn back into his life. It’s a risk he’s willing to take, even if heartache is all he takes home…
When the door closed with a resounding click, Dawn pounded a fist onto the table with enough force to rattle their coffee mugs. “Dammit, who is he protecting?”
He glanced back at the door. Talon had always had it rough, but no worse than his sister or younger brother. Sure, being one of Jock Blackwell’s ill-begotten sons wasn’t something he’d wish on a rabid coyote. However, Tom Madison had treated Talon like a son all his life, even giving him a third of his ranch when he retired.
Talon had changed, and not for the better. His problems didn’t come from how he was raised, or even the occasional bullying. He was a troublemaker, and nothing would have changed him.
He sat in the chair Talon had vacated. “Or the question could be what is he hiding?”
She ran her hands over her dark hair to the tight bun at the base of her skull. With jerky movements, she pulled out the band holding the twisted braid captive. As she ran her fingers through the long mass of raven silk, heat coursed through him at the memories of all that hair covering him like a blanket while they’d made love. When she bent over the table and scratched her scalp in pure frustration, all he could think about was her hair hanging down her back to brush and tickle his thighs as she rode him–her favorite position–to orgasm.
The erection was fast and furious and nearly had him groaning. Thank God, he was sitting. He forced his numbed mind to focus on the case.
“We have to find someone else who may have seen or knows something.” She glanced across the table at him and straightened. If there was ever the perfect picture of a beautiful Indian maiden, it was Dawn with her hair down. Had she ever had the stuff cut? He swallowed hard and shifted in his chair as his jeans strangled his cock. How long had it been since he’d had sex? He couldn’t remember, but refused to believe he hadn’t been with someone since Dawn.
With swift, practiced motions, she broke the trance he was under by daftly braiding her hair and wrapping it into a bagel-sized knot at the back of her head. She snapped the hair band over the bun.
He cleared his throat. “When are we talking to Chris’s friends?” His voice came out sounding a bit husky, even to his ears.
She stood, taking their coffee cups with her, and refilled them. After she dumped that god-awful crap pretending to be creamer into hers, she handed him a mug of black joe. Sipping her coffee from the extra-large, bright green mug he’d given to her for her thirtieth birthday, she returned to her chair.
“Hendricks and Kennedy are getting a list, but according to Julie, he didn’t have many friends in Colton.”
“How about Justin Vaughn? He’s always been a known dealer. Maybe he knows something.” He sipped his coffee.
She smiled, and he almost choked as he swallowed the hot, bitter brew. “Haven’t thought of him. We should talk to him. They’re about the same age. Vaughn’s working over at his uncle’s farm and garden market.”
He set his mug on the table and glanced at his watch. “I can’t today.”
Grinning, he stood. “No. I’m buying the Estrada Ranch.”
Her dark eyes widened. “Really? I heard Luis and Stella were thinking of moving to New Mexico, but I didn’t know it was a done deal. I figured it would go to either Jose or Mary,” she said, referring to the Estradas’ son and daughter. “How long has their place been up for sale? I haven’t seen a sign in their yard.”
He shrugged and reached for his hat where it sat on the edge of the table. “Luis and Stella told Mom and Dad they planned to sell the place a couple of weeks ago while playing Bingo at the firehouse. When they told me, I called the Estradas and made an offer. It never officially made it on the market. I’ve been looking for a small ranch.”
“We’ll be neighbors when you settle in there.” She cocked her head to the side. “I never knew you wanted to be a rancher.”
“You never cared about a lot of things I wanted.” His bitterness surprised even him.
She stood and picked up her mug, leaving his where it sat. As she headed for the door, she nodded toward it. “We have a policy around here. We clean up after ourselves. Something I seem to remember you have a hard time with.”
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Sara: I’m a hybrid, but I’m more pantser than plotter. Though I had to do more overall plotting with the book I’m working on now than I ever had to.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Sara: Dramatic, Honest, Real.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Why?
Sara: Science fiction. I rediscovered writing after taking a very long hiatus ten years ago when I found Star Wars fan fiction. The first novel I began writing during this time that wasn’t fan fiction was a science fiction epic romance. Someday I’d really like to finish it.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Sara: Wow, this is tough, so let me break it down by genre.
Western: Linda Lael Miller, D’Ann Lindun
Contemporary: Rachel Gibson
Paranormal: Jeaniene Frost, Deborah Harkness
Science Fiction: James Luceno, Mike Stackpole
Historical Fiction: John Jakes
Right now I’m reading Paul Kemp’s Star Wars: Lords of the Sith (told you I’m a geek)
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Sara: When Kensington Publishing gave me a contract for the book I’m currently writing when I proposed it with just a blurb and a half-assed synopsis.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Sara: In November, the authors I’ve teamed up with to write the Amazon best-selling boxed sets Cowboy Up and Cowboy Up 2 are releasing a third one. In January, Kensington will release Heartsong, book 1 of the Singing to the Heart series. Book 2, Heartland (the book I’m currently writing) is set to release in the spring. Both of these books are set in the same world as my 2013 release Heartstrings.