When Sparks Fly 4th of July Blog Hop–First Kisses

 Welcome to When Sparks Fly Blog Hop!!

             St. Louis Arch Fireworks

Looking for the weekend filled with fireworks, romance and happily ever afters?

Follow 140+ authors/bloggers at the  When Sparks Fly 4th of July Blog Hop! Visit them all for the chance to win TONS of goodies!

My Prize:

Coffee and Books

$10 Starbucks Gift Card and Your Choice of 2 Books from My Back List (Click on the titles for Blurbs and Excepts)

A Hunter’s Angel | A Hunter’s Blade | Heartstrings

A Hunter's Angel, Sara Walter Ellwood, Cera duBois, paranormal romance, vampire romance, romantic suspense     Cera duBois, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, vampires, werewolf, Sara Walter Ellwood      Sara Walter Ellwood, ccontemporary western romance, cowboy romance, Texas romance, Native American romance, country music singer romance

The Birthday Fantasy | Gambling On A Secret

The Birthday Fantasy, Sara Walter Ellwood, Beach read, Colorado romance, cowboy, contemporary western romance   Sara Walter Ellwood, cowboy romance, contemporary western, romantic suspense, Texas romance


No purchase necessary, open to US residents 18 years and older.

For the complete list of rules check out the Giveaway Rules Page.

Hot Heroes…. Cowboys, Military Men, Lawmen and Singers

What better way to get the sparks flying than a hot hero? For me, there are certain types of men that really set off all sorts of fireworks…Country singers, cowboys, military men and lawmen (sheriffs and Texas Rangers).

Today I’ve got some of the hottest heroes I’ve ever written here for some spark-laden excerpts of first kisses.

Sara Walter Ellwood, ccontemporary western romance, cowboy romance, Texas romance, Native American romance, country music singer romanceSuperstar country star Seth Kendall and RN Abby Crawford from Heartstrings.

He stepped toward her. The clean, masculine scent of his musky cologne and something entirely Seth enveloped her. His warmth surrounded her. Abby trembled from the heat in his deep mossy green eyes.

His breaths came faster, making that wonderful chest rise and fall, and she had to touch him. She laid her hand on the great expanse of toned muscle and curled her fingers in the soft cotton of his shirt. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed her against the stall door.

The horse’s snort seemed to come to her ears from a great distance as he tilted his head toward hers. His breath warmed her face as electricity coursed between them. Then he brushed his lips against hers.

She fisted her free hand into the hair at his nape, pulling him closer, as he deepened the kiss. His tongue was sweet and hot, a velvety reminder of the passion she’d only ever felt in his touch. He rubbed down her sides to her behind and lifted her up against him. She wrapped her legs around his thighs, pulling him closer.

She moaned when the hard length of his arousal pressed against her center. She chased his tongue, and as he tried to retreat, she sucked on it, eliciting a lusty groan from deep in his chest. She let her other hand roam over his shoulders, up into his hair, pushing off his hat.


They both froze at the softly spoken word. When she looked past his shoulder toward the door, Emily stood there peering at them with her mouth hanging slightly open, eyes wide.

Abby immediately untangled herself from him and tried to shove him away. “Seth is helping me with the horses.”

Seth and Emily gawked at her with nearly identical expressions of bemusement, and she shoved at him harder. He let her down, but positioned himself behind her and held her close. She glanced questioningly at him. He raised an eyebrow, grinned, and leaned in to whisper in her ear, “I don’t think you want me to move right now.” She closed her eyes and trembled at the low rumble of his voice. “I’m hard as a rock.”

“Oh. Don’t move,” she whispered and made sure she was directly in front of him.

Swallowing hard, she turned to face her daughter, feeling very much like a teenager caught by a parent. Who would have thought the same embarrassment could be inspired with the reversed situation?

Seth chuckled, leaned over to pick his hat off the floor, and slapped it on his thigh before putting it on his head.

As if she’d figured something out that had stumped her for a long time, Emily tapped her forehead and said, “Crap, I always knew I was doing something wrong when I saddle my horse. Now I know. I gotta get myself a cute guy and swap spit and play tonsil hockey with him to get the job done.”

She and Seth said at the same time, “I don’t think so.”


Former Special Forces captain Dylan Quinn and runaway-turned-heiress Charli Monroe from Gambling On A Secret.Sara Walter Ellwood, cowboy romance, contemporary western, romantic suspense, Texas romance

He let out another curse and more clanging followed. Bands of muscles rippled under the tan skin of his biceps and chest as he worked the wrench on the pipe. The eagle and flag tattooed on his upper arm took flight as he flexed the muscle beneath it.

Her gaze moved over the dark dusting of hair on his chest where he had another tattoo on his left pectoral–a green beret over a sword with some Latin words above it. Before she could figure out what it said, she noticed the jagged, silvery scars. Like some grotesque spider web glistening in the morning dew, they cut across his belly and down his right side to disappear under the edge of the faded Wranglers resting low on his hip.

Her eyes stopped at his belted waistband. The scars weren’t ugly to her, but in that defining moment, she visualized his war injuries. Sadness, and at least a half dozen other emotions she didn’t understand or want to analyze, bombarded her, quickening her heart. However, she couldn’t ignore the instant liquid heat pooling in her belly.

“What did they say?” His muffled voice came from under the sink and drew her back to where his head should have been.

“AhThe repairman can’t come out until tomorrow morning.” Her mouth was dry, and she gulped down some of the tea. The sudden spike in the temperature had nothing to do with her malfunctioning air conditioner.

He moved out from under the sink and looked at her. The fluid motion in which he stood–considering his bum leg–stunned her. He reached for the white t-shirt hanging over the towel rack. “I’m sorry. But it’s hot as hell under there.”

After setting the iced teas on the vanity top, she laid a hand on his arm to stop him. The sensation of his hot, damp skin under her cool palm overwhelmed her.

He turned blazing eyes on her and made no move to don the shirt.

Hadn’t she sworn off men? Hadn’t her life with Ricardo shown her men were nothing but total sadistic assholes? Didn’t she vow she’d never fall for another lying jerk who’d only break her heart when he was tired of her?

Her body betrayed her good sense and her voice came out breathy. “Don’t. It’s a furnace in here. If you’re more comfortable with your shirt off, it’s okay.”

His gray eyes darkened to a shimmery, bluish hue of a summer day. With jerky movements, Dylan opened the bottom of the shirt. “I don’t think either of us would be comfortable if I went shirtless.”

Oh, yeah, his working shirtless would make her squirm. When she’d first met him two months ago, his dark brown hair had been short, but now it fell over his forehead and curled around the tops of his ears. A small scar ran along the sharp angle of his right cheek under the dark shadow of beard he hadn’t shaved that morning.

She let her gaze slip down over his work-toned body. His shoulders were broad, biceps muscular. The scars and tattoos gave him a dangerous edge she should run from, not eat up like eye candy.

As he pulled the shirt over his head, she reached out and skimmed her fingertips over the largest of the scars on his abdomen. Dylan shivered, yanked the shirt off before putting it completely on, and dropped it on the floor. He grabbed her wrist to pull her against him, and held her.

Her head spun, and her heart sputtered as his mouth lowered hard on hers. He licked at her upper lip, and she opened for him to plunge his tongue into the depths of her mouth.

Worlds collided, stars collapsed into black holes and whole oceans turned to deserts in their kiss.

His hands moved to her hips. Without breaking the kiss, he lifted her unto the edge of the sink. She wrapped her legs around him and crossed her ankles over his behind. When she pulled him as close as he could get with their clothing in the way, he groaned. She couldn’t get enough of him and pressed her center into his impressive erection. He held her there, and somewhere in the cosmic haze, she realized they were dangerously close to giving in to the raw desire sizzling between them.

Her hands moved between their bodies through the soft curls up his chest. His hands molded over her breasts under her tank top. A moan escaped her when he flicked his thumbs over her aroused, satin-covered nipples. She wanted to touch him everywhere and wanted to be touched everywhere by him.


Sara Walter Ellwood, Gambling On A Heart, contemporary western roamnce, romantic suspense, cowboy romance, Texas romance,Former rodeo cowboy and Marine and Sheriff Zack Cartwright and Beautician Tracy Quinn from Gambling On A Heart.

“How do you like the house?” He asked when the silence stretched too long. Then realized how lame the question was. She’d lived in this monster maze of rooms as a teenager.

“I’m still getting used to it. But right now, I’m trying not to get lost going from my bed to the bathroom. I’ve never slept in the master bedroom before. Mom and Dad took the guest suite.”

Zack chuckled. “Well, I hope you drew a map. Otherwise, you could have dire consequences if you end up somewhere else.”

A grin lit up her face. “Oh, so very true.”

There were absolutely no signs of supper, but he smelled potatoes baking in the oven. Tracy’s mother was a chef. What kind of cook was his hostess?

As the lag in the conversation stretched uncomfortably, he twisted his hat in his hand, wishing he’d left it in the truck. She must have noticed his fidgeting and jumped away from the island. “I’m sorry. You can stow your hat in the closet through here. I really need to get a rack for the entry.” She led him into the mudroom and slid a door open. The coat closet was big and nearly empty. Reaching past her shoulder, he laid the old Stetson on a shelf. When she turned toward him, he brushed her breast with his upper arm, causing a flame to shoot through him.

Her thin sweater tightened over her pert breasts as she sucked in a deep breath, providing proof their proximity to each other affected her as powerfully as it did him. He pulled his gaze from her chest to lock with her eyes. They had darkened to a silvery blue, made more intense by the brilliant color of her top. Her breath hitched, and her eyes lowered to his lips. He knew what she wanted, because he wanted it even more.

Without thinking about exactly what he was doing, he lowered his lips to hers. His heart slammed into overdrive when she lifted her hands to his chest and moaned his name. He wrapped his hand around her nape and tilted her face to allow him better access to her mouth.

When he traced her upper lip with his tongue, she drew in a breath and opened her mouth under his. He took the invitation by thrusting his tongue deeply into the warm sweetness.

As their tongues dueled, she wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing her body in full contact with his. She sucked on his tongue when he pressed his hard-on into her lower belly.

Sweet mercy, he wanted to strip her right here and have his way with her on the cold tile floor of her mudroom. Damn the danger to his pride and self-respect.

And damn the alarm warning him to be careful.

But he couldn’t forget their kids were upstairs. Somehow, somewhere, he found the control to back off and eventually break the kiss. Tracy opened her eyes and peered at him, dazed. She blinked a few times as he ran the back of his fingers over her cheek. He couldn’t hold in the raspy laugh.

“What’s funny?”

“You had that exact same expression on your face the very first time I kissed you.” His voice seemed to come from his toes as he remembered their first kiss. He’d had no idea how innocent she was until that night. How could she still have that virginal look of awe?

Her cheeks turned a darker pink and embarrassment replaced the wonder, making her appear even more naive. “Is that a good thing?”

He continued to caress her cheek. “I don’t know.”

Her hold around his neck slackened as she slipped her hands from around his neck. She smoothed his shirt where her earlier kneading had wrinkled the chambray. Looking at her hands, she winced. “I’d better get the grill started. The potatoes should be done in thirty minutes.”

She moved away without looking at him, leaving him feeling bereft. What the hell had happened to put such chill in the air? Wishing he could take her back into his arms, he swallowed as she moved through the kitchen.


And from my WIP Gambling On A Dream, Texas Ranger Wyatt McPherson and new Sheriff Dawn MadisonHorse lovers

(This has not been professionally edited, so excuse any mistakes)

“Stop it, Taco. Go lay down.” Dawn pointed to the dog bed on the floor at the end of the couch. The dog gave one more disapproving bark and then waddled over to the bed, circled around the soft fleece inside and then settled. “Sorry about that.”

He patted his hand against his thigh. “No problem. She’s just looking out for her mistress. Who knows, I could be a bad guy.”

She snorted and headed into the kitchen.

“What?” He followed her and came to a stop behind her in the tiny space. “You don’t agree?”

She pulled down two bright red bowls from a cabinet and set them on the counter. Turning, she sucked in a breath.

Only inches separated them, and her scent surrounded him. Her eyes dilated with her need. He was lost. The ache in his cock shorted out his good sense, and he reached for her. She didn’t fight as she stepped into his arms. Her head tilted back and her pink tongue slipped out to moisten her lips. “I know you’re a bad boy.”

The husky words were like a mean sucker punch in the gut. He had to have her. Pulling her closer and backing her up to the edge of the counter, he made sure she felt the evidence of his desire. A soft moan escaped her moist lips as he lifted her to settle his cock into the cradle of her hips, and she rubbed her thigh against his. He wasn’t sure if he damned the clothing between them or was thankful for the barrier.

He came down hard on her pliable lips, demanding to be fed. She resisted his entry for a moment, but relaxed into him and opened her mouth under his. As he buried his fingers into her hair and held her to him, he plunged in, needing to conquer her. She tasted of sweet mint, coffee and the nirvana of a woman’s desire.

She gripped his shirt over his chest and moaned her surrender. But she demanded as much from him. Her tongue slid against his, her body moving in time with the stroke against his.

He grabbed the bottom of her sweater and slipped his hand under to find the satin of her bra. Her breast was hot and heavy beneath the cloth. He rolled his thumb over her nipple and it instantly tightened. She gasped and her hands flattened on his chest where they were trapped between their bodies.

Breaking the kiss, he nibbled his way along her jaw to her ear. “I want you,” he rasped between nips on her earlobe.

She shuddered and her breathing came in sharp, short spurts as she tilted her head to give him better access to her sweet spot under her ear. He sucked in her skin, tasted the sweet-saltiness of her and scented her musky desire.

He took her moaning his name as his cue and flicked open the front clasp of her bra.


Gambling On A Heart

Book 2 of The Colton Gamblers


She once lost his heart on a bluff. Will she risk everything to win it back?

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.

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?


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  1. jennifer mathis says:

    thanks for sharing bout ur great books my tbr pile thanks you as well

  2. Tarah Scott says:

    Wow, I can’t decide which book I like best! Thanks for the contest.

  3. Jessie L says:

    Enjoyed reading the excerpts from these books! I’ve seen Heartstrings around, but not the others. Tough decision on which to pick up first.

    JessieL62 AT comcast DOT net

  4. First kisses are so special! Lots of interesting reads, here. Don’t know where to begin LOL. Thanks Sara.

  5. Savannah miller says:

    Coffee and books I can’t think of a better prize 🙂
    My 4th of July is going to be a bit bland this year sadly my hubby has tooth ache 😦 I guess I can watch fireworks on tv

    Happy 4th of July!!

  6. katsrus says:

    Coffee and books together are great! Thank you for being part of the blog hop.
    Sue B

  7. What an awesome contest and blog hop. Happy 4th to you!

  8. Karen Arrowood says:

    Coffee and book is a marriage made in heaven! I really like the sound of your books, and will have a difficult time choosing which to read first!! Thank you for this opportunity. 🙂


  9. Coffee and books with military heroes! perfect! Enjoyed reading about your books!


  10. Sheriff Zach sounds like a man who needs a good woman. Thanks for the blog hop, Sara.


  11. Corinne Alexander says:

    Great giveaway! sassychassy333 at gmail dot com

  12. bn100 says:

    Nice excerpts

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  13. BookAttict says:

    Thanks for the amazing excerpts & giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com (subscribed)

  14. hotcha1 says:



  15. donnablhmistress says:

    More books to add to my neverending list 🙂


  16. Mer says:

    Some definite fireworks here, especially from Gambling on a Dream.

  17. Terri H says:

    Yay, more titles for my TBR pile. These sound really good. 🙂
    Thanks for being part of the blog hop!

  18. Wow…thanks for all the excerpts! I love reading about cowboys and military!!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  19. froggarita says:

    Thanks for the great giveaway and excerpts!!

  20. Jbst says:

    Thanks for the excerpts to your books and for being part of the Hop!
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot)com

  21. Jean Patton says:

    All great excerpts. Thanks for being part of this great blog hop.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  22. Joy F says:

    Thanks for the giveaway.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  23. esined615 says:

    Wow, all of these sound great! Thank you for the giveaway!
    esined615 at yahoo dot com

  24. jmesparza821 says:

    I enjoyed the book excerpts. They are keepers.

    jmesparza821 at gmail dot com

  25. BookLady says:

    Thanks for sharing the great book excerpts. Fantastic giveaway!

  26. Stacey says:

    thanks for sharing such a great excerpt!!


  27. sherry1969 says:

    All of the books sound very good. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  28. shadowluvs2read says:

    Your books look and sound awesome! Thank you for sharing them! And thank you for the awesome giveaway! 🙂

  29. Starbucks, you are a lady after my own heart. 🙂 Thanks for the hop.

  30. deathangyl says:

    Thanks for the hop! What goes better than coffee with books! Helps make up for all those late night reads. 😉

    Helena Ferrell

  31. Congratulations esined615! You are the winner. I will be contacting you for details….

Comments are closed.