Romancing the West Blog Hop

cowboy, contemporary western, romance, suspense

Welcome to The Romancing the West Blog Hop

Why do we enjoy writing and reading about the West? What is it about cowboys that is just plain irresistible? Over thirty authors and bloggers tackle these and other questions by explaining why we love Romancing the West.

But that’s not all, as you enjoy some awesome blogs and find fantastic books, for every post you comment on with your email address, you will be entered for some amazing prizes.


Grand Prize: A swag pack which includes books (both ebooks and paper), Amazon gift card, custom made butterfly jewelry, book cards, magnets and much more all tucked away in a keepsake box. (Available to US residents only. Winner will be announced on February 26 at 10 PM EST)

Contemporary western romance suspense author Sara Walter Ellwood blog hop prize

My Prize: A $5 Amazon GiftCard.


Today on the Happy Ever Blog on USA Today, I’m talking about why cowboys make the perfect hero. So, here I’m talking about what makes the perfect heroine and why western women fit the bill.

Whether I’m reading or writing, I like heroines who are tough, independent and self-sufficient. There’s just something about a woman raised in the west that fits this bill.

A friend of mine embodies this to a tee. She recently posted a photo of herself going out in the snowy cold of the Colorado mountains to feed her animals, but she didn’t feel well. She couldn’t call the boss to call off work for the day and stay inside curled up under her covers. She didn’t ask someone else to take care of them for her. She pulled on her coat and boots and out she went.

This is that toughness I like in my heroines. They can take care of themselves and the last thing they need is a man around. They choose to have a man in their lives—and by God, he has to earn that choice. I want them to have true grit—as the saying goes.

My heroines are sassy and smart. They know what they want and they go after it. Hard work is a part of their lives and they don’t ever complain. And they can handle a spirited horse as well as a hard-headed cowboy, sometimes with the same set of skills.

I’m not saying a fashionista from LA or New York couldn’t have the same basic characteristics. In fact one of the heroines I’m currently writing is the sometimes spoiled granddaughter of a billionaire, has an MBA and wants to be the CEO of his energy company. She’s been raised prim and proper on a Dallas estate, not to mention she’s actually a European princess in hiding… BUT she also can shoot a gun, ride a horse like a pro and can hold her own against the occasionally arrogant and stubborn former Green Beret-turned-cowboy, who is hired against her will to protect her from the bad guys. However, what makes me like western heroines the most… Of course, it’s the cowboy trying to tame these ladies.

So, what kind of western heroine do you like best?


My books that have strong, independant women as heroines.

cowboy romance, contemporary western, romantic suspense, Texas romanceGambling On A Secret

Available now

When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?

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.

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?


Heartstringscontemporary, western, romance, romantic suspense, contemporary western romance, contemporary western, cowboy, cowboy romance, Texas romance, Native American romance, country music star romance, miltary romance

Available April 1, 2013

He’s determined to set things right, no matter the cost.

The last person Abby Crawford wants to face down is country music superstar Seth Kendall. Last time she did, she flat-out lied so he’d go to Nashville without her. She’s never understood why their mutual best friend proposed, but she went with it so her baby wouldn’t be fatherless. Now she’s a divorced mother of a teenager, and secretly Seth’s biggest fan.

\Seth is home in McAllister, Texas for his father’s funeral…and a chance to meet the daughter he’s never known. He’s willing to face the music of his own making and admit he’s known about his little girl all along. For fifteen years he’s kept his distance because Abby told him to follow his dreams without her, insisting she didn’t love him. But now he won’t leave until he knows his daughter and she knows him, even if it means facing the woman who broke his heart for good.

Confessing she’s lied about her daughter’s paternity all these years won’t be easy for Abby, especially with her ex blackmailing her to keep the secret. And Seth doesn’t know the hardest truth of all: Every love song he plays on his guitar still plucks her heartstrings.


contemporary western romantic suspesne, paranormal romanceA Hunter’s Blade


Cera duBois

Available now

(Although this book is published under my paranormal pen name, the book is set in the West and the heroine embodies the qualities I’ve metioned above.)

Brigit Wolfe, a born werewolf, hasn’t killed a human in over a hundred years, although now, she wonders if the animal attacking people in Silver Creek, Colorado, isn’t her. But she might have bigger problems when her cowboy neighbor, Austin Calhoun, ambles into her bar. Austin hasn’t been a vampire for long, but he is determined to prove to himself that he’s worthy of his hunter’s dagger. Brigit’s rare beauty and blade-sharp tongue enchants him. She ignites a passion he thought was dead, but is she the killer his master sent him to destroy? During Austin’s investigation regarding Brigit’s involvement in the deaths, an old crime surfaces connected to her human best friend. These two immortal enemies have to join forces to solve the mystery before someone else dies. But can they survive the heat of their own desire?


*To follow along on the hop click here* 

Categories: Blog Hop | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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37 thoughts on “Romancing the West Blog Hop

  1. Some of the first real novels that I read were westerns. I think it has to do with the spirit of the old west, men being men and doing manly things (hopefully with their shirts off) that keep us coming back for more.

    Bookworm (dot) judy (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. I love the whole rough and rugged aspect to Western romances, and it needs a heroine with a whole lot of spirit to keep up! Nice one, Sara!

  3. I like my western heroes and heroines to have grit. Be able to take care of themselves, at least by the end of the book though maybe not at first for the heroines. Haven’t done a tenderfoot hero…yet.

  4. ‘rough and ready’ – that’s why I love cowboys! Great post, Sara!

  5. JeanMP

    Enjoy reading about the heroines, who aren’t afraid to stand up for their beliefs, who can take on the bad guys and still charm the good guy.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  6. D'Ann Lindun

    LOL Wonder who that was? I love your books, can’t wait until the rest of the world finds them, too.

  7. I love a heroine who isn’t afraid to stand up to the men, even though it probably wasn’t “proper” in those days. Seems to me with all the work women did back then (without modern conveniences), they had to be tougher than the men. Great post, Sara.

  8. I love a real cowboy, not one of those rough-stock rodeo types. There’s a difference. Great post.
    sherifredricks @charter .net

  9. susan platt

    I love tough cowboys and sassy heroines!

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

  10. Tia

    Calamity Jane…Annie Oakley….Enough Said!

  11. I love the ruggedness of the cowboy novels as well. Thought I like my men rough and working 🙂 its pretty exciting!

    lilypondreads at gmail dot com

  12. I like heroine who hasn’t decide who she really is but through challenges grows stronger and smarter 🙂

  13. I love the rugged challenges that both the hero and heroine meet and overcome. I also love the brute strength and hard work the cowboy puts in. Make the play even more sweet.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  14. Beckey

    I like heroine to be strong determined with willingness to discover things….
    The hardworking…

    I have read so many books with the western themes from mail order brides to ones that are moving across the lands for the gold rush to find new places….


  15. Susan

    Hi Sara,
    Congratulations on being named a best selling author by Carolyn Brown at Happily Ever After for USA Today. Your friend in Colorado sounds like she loves her land and will do whatever she needs to in order to preserve it. She’s the antithesis to Paris Hilton but my guess is she can outshine Hilton whenever given the chance. That was something I saw on the old Oprah Winfrey shows when she did makeovers of everyday women — they looked better than models. Anyway, you are the first writer to admit that men have to earn the love of these women from the West. I agree 🙂
    susan_francesny [at] hotmail [dot] com

  16. Your books look amazing I will need to put them on my to be read list. I love sexy strong cowboys who love their women


  17. Mary Roya

    I really enjoyed the Hunter series. Loved the tease. I like those hunky strong cowboys.

  18. Ellen Thompson

    I like heroines who are strong, tough and spirited who can dish out sarcasm with the best of them. A strong woman is needed to keep her cowboy in line. Thanks for the great giveaway! I think the books sound great and I plan to get Heartstrings as soon as it comes out.
    thompsonem3 at aol dot com

  19. I think I love western heroines because they don’t take themselves too seriously, honestly, there’s no time.

  20. Margaret Taylor

    I like strong women, those that don’t curl up and wait for the hero to come riding to the rescue. My heroine has to be just as strong as my hero!


  21. Rita Wray

    I like a feisty strong heroine.

    • Great post! I love a strong and capable Western heroine. We’ve been talking about movies over on my page, and a slew of strong female roles comes to my mind: KIm Darby/Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit, Frances Fisher in Unforgiven, Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead, Maureen O’Hara in McClintock!, Shirley MacLaine in Two Mules for Sister Sara. And the list goes on. This has been such a fun hop, Sara. Thanks for hosting!

  22. Love your blurb for A Hunter’s Blade. A vampire Cowboy… Enjoy seeing paranormal mixed with cowboy characters! Sounds great!

  23. bn100

    I like a smart heroine.

  24. I love a strong spunky heroine and a man who just as feisty as her. Love cowboys.
    Sue B

  25. I love a heroine who is strong enough to be working right beside her cowboy.

  26. Pingback: Sneak Peek Sunday–More from Heartstrings | Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood

  27. My favorite heroines are sassy and headstrong, but not TSTL (which is very important to add). 😀

    anasmith1919 at gmail dot com

  28. pepper penn

    OMG. vampire cowboy!! can’t get any better than that.that is going right on my TBR!!!

    i love love love western books because of all the sass and independence. the heroes and heroines are the best in these books, because neither backs down to a challenge and it makes the conflict great, which in turn makes the getting together even better.

    pepperpenn42 at gmail dot com

  29. I love a strong independent heroine that can take care of herself and business but I also want her to still be feminine.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  30. I grew up on a farm and have been surrounded by agriculturey men and women my whole life.I can’t think of a single industry that routinely creates people with more love, enjoyment of life, willingness to work hard, and loyalty. My favorite heroines embody all of these traits.

  31. Mimi

    I like spunky, brave, unconventional ones.

    anasmithblue AT gmail DOT com

  32. I prefer the confident, take care of themselves.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. I love the confident enough to take care of their self when needed; but not to proud to let their man take on that role when he is there; submissive to his dominance.
    Thank you for the contest!
    bluebirdsub24 at gmail dot com

  34. I wasn’t into westerns until the whole save a horse ride a cowboy thing started catching on. Then I saw how sexy cowboys really are. I must prefer the heroines confident with a bunch of spunk!

    Thanks for the great giveaway,

  35. Mer

    I like strong heroines who challenges the hero, relationships where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I really like feisty western ladies who can keep up with their cowboys.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

  36. shadowluvs2read

    Hi! Thanks for sharing your books! They sound awesome! Ive read one, definitely gonna have to get the others! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
    Thank you for the awesome hop and giveaway!!! 🙂

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