Thursday, June 4, 2015

Writing a Sexy Contemporary Western Romance

The Colton Gamblers by Sara Walter Ellwood

A Sexy Contemporary Western Romance series with cowboys as hot as a Texas summer and the women who are sassy and strong enough to love them…

When you crack open the cover of one of the books in the Colton Gamblers series, you are also opening the door to the fictional town and county of Colton in Forest County, Texas.

Authors create fictional locals for many reasons. Two of the most common reasons, and the ones I fall into are 1) to prevent misrepresentation of the town and its people, and 2) to allow for complete creative freedom.

When I came up with Colton, Texas, I based it on a very real place:  Clifton in Bosque County. I found it to be perfect place in Central Texas for my story to take place. Not far from Dallas and Waco, but still rural enough to allow for my large ranches. Despite my creating a fictional place, I read everything I could find about the real Bosque County. And from that reading I found some inspiration. For example, Clifton was founded by four families who settled the town in the 1850’s—Colton is founded by three families in the late 1860s. One of the three founding families of my Colton—the Fergusons—is named in honor of Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first female governor of the state. I also kept the name of the county of sorts—Bosque is Spanish for forest; hence, I called my county Forest. In my parallel universe, Forest County replaces Bosque County, but I really tried to stay true to the real town and county.

Forest County is a place steeped in history and Texas pride and gets its name from the oak forests that covered the land along the creeks running through it on their journey to the Brazos River that boarders the county in the east, but the majority of the land is grassland. The people of Colton have a sense of community and look out for each other. They are patriotic to a fault, but proud of their Southern heritage. They love football, rodeo  and good gossip, to the point of even calling the gossip chain the Colton grapevine. But don’t let the idyllic quaintness fool you as the members of the founding families are about to find out.

Murder, theft, deceit, fraud and secrets are about to shake this little town to its very foundations.
And the only way to survive is to rediscover the only thing that matters….Love.

Gambling On A Secret 
Book 1: Gambling On A Secret 

****On Sale Until June 5 for $0.99****

When Charli bets everything on a secret... 

Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitches—the Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.

Will she find the deck stacked against her?

Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wife’s betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, Dylan’s even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her. When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

Gambling On A Heart
Book 2: Gambling On A Heart

****On Sale Until June 5 for $0.99****

She once lost his heart on a bluff.

Beautician Tracy Quinn spends her days making the women of Colton, Texas beautiful, while living down the nickname of Olive Oyl, given to her by the only man she has ever loved--Zack Cartwright. She spends her nights alone, despite what her ex husband wants their friends and neighbors to think.

Will she risk everything to win it back?

Ex-rodeo cowboy. Ex-bad-boy. Ex-Marine. Widower and single dad Sheriff Zack Cartwright can describe his life in exes. One ex in particular reminds him of what’s missing in his workaholic life: Tracy Quinn. For years since she broke his heart, he’s practically made avoiding her a second job. He still wants her, but can never go after her. When cattle rustlers target her brother’s ranch, Tracy and Zack are stuck working together. Her son could use a positive male role model, and his daughter is wild for a chance at a “substitute” mom. But Tracy’s ex threatens to sue if she lets Zack near her son, and the Colton grapevine is abuzz with rumors about their past relationship. Is it worth the gamble to see if what they have is more than lust?

Book 3: Gambling On A Dream
Gambling On A Dream


****Available for Pre-order—Releasing June 9, 2015****

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…

About Sara Walter Ellwood:
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.
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Find: Gambling On A Secret, Book 1 and Gambling On A Heart, Book 2


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