Spring Is in the Air Blog Hop

Spring, flowers, XOXO Publishing Blog Hop

Welcome to the XOXO Publishing Spring Is In The Air Blog Hop! 

***YOU MUST leave  your email address to be eligible for either prize.***

 Grand Prize – An eBook prize package including from XOXO Publishing’s authors ebook prize, flowers, spring, XOXO Publishing blog hop

cowboy, contemporary western, romance, suspenseMy Prize – An eBook copy of my January release, Gambling On A Secret, a contemporary western romantic suspense set in Texas..



flowers, winter, gardening

Hard to believe only two days ago my back yard garden looked like this. I live in South Central Pennsylvania and we got a surprise snow storm on March 18. Guess we didn’t make St. Patrick very happy with us. Or that stupid groundhog lied to us. Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow—that’s supposed to spring, flowers, garden, Groundhog Day, Bill Murraymean an early spring. I’m with Bill Murray from the movie Groundhog Day on this one—drag him out of his hole and let’s eat that rodent. Okay, let’s not. I’ve never been into eating groundhog (also known as a woodchuck), or any other rodents for that matter. But I digress. Let’s talk one of my favorite things about spring—flowers..

I can’t wait until my garden looks more like this.

flowers, gardening, spring

Spring is my favorite season for many reasons, but mostly I love it because of the flowers. Most of my favorite flowers bloom from April to June. Daffodils, tulips, irises, peonies, lupine, bleeding hearts and roses. Not to mention all the flowering trees—cherry, crabapple and plum..

spring, flowers, gardening Spring, flowers, gardening spring, flowers, gardenign spring, gardening, flowers

spring, flowers, gardening contemporary western romantic suspesne authror Sara Walter Ellwood spring, flowers, gardening

From February to November, something is always in bloom in my garden. These are commonly called snowdrops, the botanical name is spring, flowers, gardeningGalanthus. Although they are not as gorgeous as tulips and daffodils, when I see them every late winter—sometimes even peeking their white flowers out of the snow—I know Spring Is in the Air and really isn’t that far away.spring, flowers, gardening

I also have tons of crocuses, too. These heralds of spring usually bloom in March and help bring a cheery reminder on bleak Pennsylvania days nothing will stop spring, and soon, I’ll be enjoying my garden again.

spring, flowers, gardening

I’m more anxious for this spring than most because my second contemporary western romance releases on April 1!


ccontemporary western romance, cowboy romance, Texas romance, Native American romance, country music singer romanceBlurb:

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.


Never Before Seen Excerpt:

His voice was husky, and he readjusted his guitar strap around his neck. “When I was seventeen, Jimmy Gatlin asked me to sing on this stage. All I had was my mother’s old acoustic guitar. It was enough, I guess, because Jimmy kept telling me to come back.” He paused and bowed his head as the audience erupted with applause and whistles. When he looked up, he smiled and winked at Abby. “So, here I am again with my biggest fan from then in the audience.”

Although the passion of the crowd swept her away, she didn’t miss the play of emotions on his face. She understood what he hadn’t said, that there was as much pain in the memories as there was joy of those early years. John Kendall’s lack of pride in his talent had hurt Seth deeply.

John had come to every single football game in which Seth had played quarterback and every fairground rodeo in which he’d roped calves, but his father had never wanted to hear him sing. As far as she knew, John hadn’t seen his son sing before an audience.

When he strummed the opening to one of his early hit songs, she was as captivated as everyone else in the honky-tonk.

Seth’s soulful voice spoke of love and loss, and she got lost in the words.

He seduced the entire room with his whiskey-smooth voice, and he pulled at the part of her soul that had always belonged to him. He couldn’t be more than a memory, but she sniffed at the burn in her sinuses as she wished Seth Kendall could be more.

Only a Memory wound down to the mournful accompaniment of the steel guitar, and he captured her gaze over the distance, singing only to her.

He’d written that song about her! Being thrown at full gallop couldn’t have jolted her harder. She gasped and leaned back in her chair.

Still dazed by the revelation, she couldn’t concentrate on the final four songs he performed. How many of his other songs were about her? The thought rattled her. She ordered another beer, and still her throat burned. Her mouth was dry.

Why hadn’t she figured it out sooner?

Only a Memory was one of her favorite songs. Probably because it resonated with her about him too.

The set finished, and he thanked the band for their backup. He walked off the stage to another standing ovation, rowdy applause, whistles and catcalls. Seth regained his chair beside her and took a long draw on a glass of water a waitress had brought him.

Mischief glimmered in his green eyes as he grinned. “So you just now figured it out?”

“I never realized that song was about me.”

He sipped his water and watched her. “A few of my songs are about you.”

She didn’t want to consider the possibility she’d inspired any of his songs. Most of his love songs were about lost or unrequited love. What did he really want from her?

She had to get away from him. Had to escape or she’d do something stupid and destroy her family. There was no doubt she wanted him, missed him, was lonely, and she was drunk. An extremely dangerous combination.

“I need to go home.” She wobbled to her feet and took off through the crowd toward the exit.


She didn’t stop, but rushed out the swinging doors.

At the door of her Silverado, he caught up and took her arm. “You aren’t in any condition to drive. Where’s your friend?”

She shook her head. “She’s going home with–with her boyfriend.” He was right; she was too drunk to drive home. Tears threatened to fall, and she swallowed her pride as she fell into his arms. “Please, take me home.”

Sign up for my newsletter for news and freebies like the first chapter of Heartstrings and of my paranormal romantic suspense A Hunter’s Blade.

Heartstrings will be available at retailers April 1, 2013.  Lyrical Press

Please click here to follow the hop!

Photo credits © Sara Walter Ellwood. (all photos except for movie still were taken from my garden)

© movie still from Groundhog Day, 1993, Sony Pictures.

Categories: Blog Hop, Heartstrings, Out In The Garden | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Spring Is in the Air Blog Hop

  1. Sheri Fredricks

    You have THE MOST gorgeous garden, Sara!! I don’t know whether to congratulate you on the flowers or the many fine books you have out.
    sherifredricks @charter .net

  2. I see your garden looks the same as mine this time of year – white! We seem to share a passion for gardening. Oh yea and I love the shot from Ground Hog day – a favourite family movie around here.
    Great excerpt – love the description of his whiskey smooth voice.

  3. I love that movie, Sara…and although I think the groundhog lied to us this year (not a *hint* of spring here, not one!), he’s still a cute little bugger.

    Thanks for sharing your excerpt!


  4. You have THE MOST gorgeous garden, Sara!! I don’t know whether to congratulate you on the flowers or the many fine books you have out.


  5. Your gardens are so pretty. I don’t garden. In fact, I am not allowed to get close to the garden because I am cursed. You see, I have two black thumbs and when the plants see me coming they dry up and perish out of fright. 🙂 Luckily, my husband is a great gardener. We live in the Sierra Mountains and are surrounded by beautiful trees. Hubby has built lots of tiered flower beds and has hanging baskets. They are so nice to stand back and admire.

    Good luck with the release of your new story.

  6. Your garden is lovely and Heartstrings sounds fantastic. Good luck with both and enjoy spring.

  7. Beautiful garden, Sara!!!!

  8. Pingback: Character Interview with Linda Kage | Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood

  9. bn100

    nice garden
    Thanks for participating

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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

  11. Meghan Stith

    Thanks for the giveaway! Spring is in the air, but unfortunately living in Upstate NY, it is not even close to arriving. It snowed again at my house just tonight. I’m looking forward to the warm weather and longer days though. Spring is the time of love and my favorite romance novel is entitled “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon. It’s not strictly a romance novel as it’s found in the literature section of a bookstore, but it has strong romantic elements. Jamie Fraser is my favorite romantic hero as he’s strong, sensitive, honorable and slightly flawed. Sometimes his pride gets in the way of making the right decision, but in the end, he’d do anything for Claire.
    I love this giveaway hop! And, I plan to keep on hopping!
    PS- Lovely, lovely garden.
    mestith at gmail dot com

  12. Cassandra Hicks

    So pretty!!!
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  13. Beautiful pictures! 🙂
    Thanks for being part of the hop.

  14. Catherine

    I used to live in a bleak part of Pennsylvania (in DuBois). My hubby told me we had to leave–we couldn’t plant until June and we were lucky if it stayed nice through August!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  15. jeannie Platt

    What a beautiful garden… I live in NC but used to live in WI(parents still live there) and I loved when the tigerlilies and lilacs started to bloom ment that spring was in full bloom… In NC i have to say may favorite is the Dogwood and cherry trees… they looks so beautiful in the spring but this crazy weather is messing with my spring.


  16. What a pretty garden!!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!! Happy spring!!
    Ashley A

  17. Shelly Hammond

    Thank you for the chance to enter the great giveaway. “Gambling on a Secret” has a really beautiful cover and the book sounds like it’s going to be great. Anyone would be very lucky to win a copy. I’m going to check it out over on Amazon as soon as I finish up typing here 😀

    Ah, you sure did get hit with some snow there! I am up in northeastern PA. I can’t recall if we got the snow on the 18th or not. I think we might have gotten some at that time, but this last one, just this past week, we got nothing but a few flurries. I think it hit everywhere but where we were so we got real lucky. We can see the grass right now among the snow patches! Of course we still have night snow and day flurries, but I think spring is trying to make an attempt at getting here. Hope it is for you as well.

    I read the blurb for “Heartstrings” and I am glad that April 1st isn’t very far away because it sounds really very good. I will need to check Amazon for that as well when I am checking out the other book there. I will just have to do a full on author search!

    Thank you again for the chance to enter and have a happy spring when it finds you everyone,

    Shelly H.

  18. Pingback: Author Spotlight–Heather Thurmeier | Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood

  19. Krysykat

    Thanks for the gorgeous pictures 🙂

    Krysta B.

  20. Thank you everyone for stopping by!

    Congratulations Shelly Hammond! You are the winner of the copy of Gambling On A Secret!

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