Posts Tagged With: A Hunter’s Blade

Welcome to the World Baby Book–Your Title Is… How I Choose a Title #MFRWauthor

Titles are tricky.  They represent your story. And more importantly they need to hook a reader enough to read the blurb, if not buy your book.

I really don’t have a process for picking titles. Mostly they come to me as I’m coming up with the story. Some of my titles weren’t chosen by me initially for the book, but evolved either by suggestion from an editor, or from the need to redirect my thoughts.

Gambling On A Secret, Sara Walter Ellwood, contemporary western romance, romantic suspense, cowboy romance, Texas romance, small town romanceMy book Gambling On A Secret had been  originally submitted with the title of “Butterfly.” In the story, the metamorphosis of for the two main characters is an important theme of the story. Heroine even mentions this to the hero when she describes what her vision for the broken down ranch is. She wants to turn the ugly into something beautiful. Like a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly. She even calls her ranch the Butterfly Ranch.

But when I submitted the book, the acquiring editor asked me to change the title since it didn’t sound “western-y” enough. I don’t regret this. In fact, I’m glad for it. The title we came up with worA Hunter's Angel, The Hunter's Dagger Series, A Hunter's Demon, A Hunter's Blade, Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwoodks just as good if not better for the book and it allowed me to have a similarity in the titles for the other books in the series, which up until then had been untitled because I could never think of anything that worked with “Butterfly.”

With my title for Heartsrings, I chose to change it when I did the final rewrite of this story. At the time I didn’t know I’d turn it into a series, but I knew the working title of “The Long Road Home” just didn’t feel right for the story. This idea of coming home, is still a major theme in the story, but it seemed stale. I did some brainstorming and came up with the title Heartstrings. Then when I decided to create a series by adding books Heartsong and Heartland to the mix, I was glad I’d decided to change it.

A Hunter’s Angel got it’s title before I even knew what the story would be. This title came to me at the same time as I got the idea of a vampire who hunted vampires out of a need to redeem himself. Only it wasn’t doing good that would redeem him. It was the love of a woman.

A Hunter’s Blade got its title in a similar fashion. The newly turned vampire hero of that story, who we first meet as a cocky human in A Hunter’s Angel, only wants one thing–the right to carry a hunter’s dagger or blade.discovery-of-witches-web-1

One of my favorite books that I’ve ever read, I was attracted to simply because of the title. The novel is called A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and is the first book in the All Souls series.  I read the title in a blog comment about four years ago and it sparked my imagination. The blog commenter didn’t say much about the book, only the author’s name and that he liked it. I was piqued and looked the book up. Next, I bought it and devoured it. Then I bought the second and pre-ordered the third and went on an amazing ride. The books are a jumble of my favorite genres–fantasy, history, paranormal, time travel, and even a little science fiction. I recently read that the story will be made into a TV series–I can’t wait to see it.

Do you have any books that you’ve read simply because of a great title?
Check out other authors in the Challenge here:

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Categories: A Hunter's Angel, A Hunter's Blade, Gambling On a Secret, Heartstrings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Release Day, A HUNTER’S ANGEL & A HUNTER’S DEMON!!

Today is the official Release Day for A Hunter’s Angel and a brand new paranormal novella A Hunter’s Blade.

A Hunter’s Demon

prequel novella of A Hunter’s Angel

A Hunter's Angel, The Hunter's Dagger Series, A Hunter's Demon, A Hunter's Blade, Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwood

 

See where it all began….

With people disappearing from Philadelphia’s night streets, the Vampire Council fears they have a rogue on their hands. Special Agent Ian McHenry isn’t all that he seems. Not only is he the FBI’s expert on serial killers, he’s also the Council’s go-to vampire hunter. Detective Grace Wallace is tired of the FBI not believing her theory they have a serial killer on the loose—until Ian shows up on the case. Nothing prepared her for the instant attraction to the darkly handsome Irishman. As they close in on the killer, Ian’s desire for Grace grows stronger. But if he can’t control his inner demon, this true nature will destroy his only chance at love.

Excerpt:

“He wants you to meet the two new FBI agents assigned to the latest missing person case.”

“Hope these two have a better attitude about finding out what the hell’s happening to all these people than the last two.” Grace logged back off her computer and waited for Tony.

“Amen to that.” He stood and let out a long breath as they headed for Captain Elensky’s office. They both suspected the eighteen missing persons over the past ten years were all linked, but few others did, including the two pompous suits assigned to the last missing person case.

They entered the office with Captain Leo Elensky painted on the frosted glass, and Tony closed the door. Two men stood as they walked in, and Grace had a hard time not staring at the agent closest to the corner of the small office. His black hair curled around his ears and framed a stunning face constructed with strong aristocratic angles. Eyes the color of the midday sky entranced her.

Captain Elensky’s voice came to her as if from a fog. “Special Agent Ian McHenry.” She had to blink and forced herself to look away from his penetrating gaze as the captain introduced the tallest of the two—a dark-haired man with hazel eyes and a cocky smile. “And Special Agent Brad Morris.” Elensky gestured toward first Tony than to her. “Detectives Tony Ricci and Grace Wallace.”

As Tony and Brad shook in greeting, McHenry held his hand out to her and curled his full lips into a woman-killer smile. “A pleasure, Detective Wallace.”

An Irish accent? Oh, freakin’ God, could he get any more perfect?

She swallowed as their hands met. His touch was cool and the contact buzzed through her. Her breath caught and held. He must have felt the same impulse because his brows puckered slightly, and held her hand much longer than necessary.

“Nice to meet you, Detective.” His partner nodded toward her and spoke with a deep Texas twang.

Blinking again, she took a deep breath filled with a musky sweetness of cloves and leather like no cologne she’d ever smelled. She pulled her hand from McHenry’s and turned a shaky smile to Agent Morris. “Nice to meet you, too.”

She swallowed and sat in the chair farthest away from the handsome Irish FBI agent. How did an Irishman get into the FBI? She shook her head to dispel the question and concentrated on the captain. Despite the other two men sitting between them and her captain across the desk, she was drawn to Ian. More than once she’d caught him looking at her.

“Detective Wallace has a theory regarding the case.”

She swung her gaze to the captain. What did he say? She could barely think of anything except the handsome devil sitting in the corner. Clearing her throat, she tried to organize her thoughts and focused on her hands in her lap. “Ah… Yes. Tony and I have been working these missing persons’ cases for two years now. Tony has been working on them for ten years.” She glanced at her partner, and he nodded for her to continue. “Anyway, we think we’re dealing with a serial killer.”

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Read for free with KINDLE UNLIMITED

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A Hunter’s Angel

book 1 of The Hunter’s Dagger Series

A Hunter's Angel, The Hunter's Dagger Series, A Hunter's Demon, A Hunter's Blade, Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwood

 

The serial killer stalking Clayton, Pennsylvania, isn’t all that has Chief of Police Grace Wallace worried. For a year, she’s tried to forget Special Agent Ian McHenry and now he’s the expert the FBI sent to catch the killer. She can’t stay away from him, but something primal is telling her to run to save much more than her heart.

Despite the laws of the immortal council Ian vowed to follow as a vampire hunter, he fears Grace is his life mate which puts her humanity in peril. If he gives into the desire again to make her his forever, Ian will become one of the vampires his master destroys. But if he leaves Grace unprotected from the evil he’s hunted for over a century, she is in danger of losing her life…

***A Hunter’s Angel had previously been published by The Wild Rose Press under the pen name Cera duBois***

Excerpt:

Grace wanted to scream. Working with Ian McHenry could never happen again. Instead, she distractedly muttered, “I’m sure Pittsburgh has good agents, too.”

“But we are the best of the best, Chief Wallace.”

The impact of the cadence of his brogue hit her square in the chest. She gasped and didn’t want to look up. She didn’t want to see the man to whom the beautiful Irish voice belonged.

The weight of the world was nothing compared to the force she fought against to stand. Once she steadied her shaky legs, she stepped away from the body.

Grace dragged her eyes over him, from his muddy expensive-looking black shoes to impeccable navy slacks to the jacket covering a light blue shirt and stylish tie. Ian McHenry definitely commanded a presence. He was only six feet tall, but perfectly portioned with a broad chest and wide shoulders, long legs and tight muscles. She squashed the memory of what his incredible body looked like without clothing like the spider she’d smashed with her shoe that morning.

His inky black curls framed a strong chiseled face of striking paleness. When she couldn’t stall any longer, she met his gaze. Eyes, as blue as the Pennsylvania sky in mid-October and fringed with the longest black lashes she’d ever seen on a man, stared back at her.

“Grace, it’s good to see you again.” With his handsome face impassive and his hands stuffed into the pockets of his dark FBI jacket, he could have been greeting anyone. Did he find her that forgettable after everything they’d shared?

“Special Agent Ian McHenry, you’re a long way from Philly.” Grace was surprised at how calm she sounded as she fought the urge to either throw up or collapse.

From the first time she’d met the agent while working the Cavanaugh case in Philadelphia, she’d been pulled in two directions. She wanted to run to him and give him everything, while a part of her begged her to flee as far as she could and hide.

Ian glanced away and shrugged. “Pittsburgh called my team in to handle the investigation. As I said, we are the best at hunting down and catching serial killers.”

The people near them seemed to float in and out of her awareness, yet she knew exactly what they were doing. Her officers discussed the case with the state detectives and the other FBI agent, Ian’s partner. The coroner waited for the police to let him take the body to the morgue.

He snared her again with those fathomless blue eyes, and she ceased to be a part of any of the action around her. She only wanted to fall into his arms again.

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KINDLE UNLIMITED

Read for free with KINDLE UNLIMITED

 AVAILABLE IN PRINT with A Hunter’s Demon Included 

Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwood, A Hunter's Angel, A Hunter's Demon, The Hunter's Dagger Series, Vampires, Paranormal Romance

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Also Available from The Wild Rose Press

A Hunter’s Blade

book 2 of The Hunter’s Dagger Series

Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwood, A Hunter's Blade, The Hunter's Dagger Series, Vampires, Werewolf, Paranormal Romance

 

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 enchant 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?

Excerpt:

When preternatural power touched her nape, Brigit assumed Bo Reynard was back, which was unusual. He never came in on Wednesdays, the slowest night of the week. Brigit set a margarita before a woman flirting with one of the other regulars at the end of the bar and took the man’s money for the woman’s drink.

After closing the cash drawer, she turned and sucked in a breath. The most beautiful pair of hazel eyes she had ever seen stared back at her from the other end of the bar.

The cowboy vamp removed his hat and set it on the empty stool beside him. Grinning at her, he ran his fingers through his disheveled hair. “Hello, there. I’ll have a glass of red wine,” he said in a voice as smooth as Kentucky bourbon.

She swallowed hard, took a deep breath and earthy spiciness tickled her senses. How did he smell that damned good? He’s supposed to smell like a rotting corpse. “Uh…which one?”

He shrugged with wry amusement playing on his lips. “What was my friend drinking the other night?”

“Syrah…the most expensive red wine I have.”

He pulled his wallet from his back pocket and flipped it open to take out a bill. “I’ll have a glass of that.”

A moment later, she set the glass before him and told him the price.

He handed her a bill and smiled. “Keep the change.” Before she could turn away, he said, “So, how long have you lived here? I’m new in town.”

She narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms. “Yes, I know. You bought the Wagner ranch. Just moved in. Your name is Austin Calhoun.”

He raised an eyebrow and picked up the glass. “Checking up on me?”

“I like to know who all my neighbors are.” She bent closer and hissed, “So when they start dropping dead I know who the prime suspects are.”

He leaned over the edge of the bar, peered deeply into her eyes. The image of him closing the distance and covering her mouth in a kiss zapped through her. His low-pitched voice did nothing to ease the erotic vision.

“Interestingly, I like to know my neighbors for the same reason, Brigit Wolfe, werewolf.” She narrowed her eyes and fisted her hands. His voice dropped even lower as he said, “You didn’t answer my question. How long have you lived in Silver Creek?”

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AVAILABLE IN EBOOK AND PRINT

 

Categories: A Hunter's Angel, A Hunter's Blade, A Hunter's Demon, The Hunter's Dagger Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cover Reveal—A HUNTER’S DEMON & A HUNTER’S ANGEL releasing in May 2016

I’d love to reveal the beautiful covers for my latest project. Which is also a very old project. In July 2012, The Wild Rose Press released my very first published book under the pen name Cera duBois. Since then I’ve published 8 other books. I’ve learned so much and couldn’t wait to get my rights back so that I could re-edit the book. I got my rights back in 2014, but haven’t had time to do much with A Hunter’s Angel until now….

Cover design by the amazing Rhonda Duffy….

Introducing A Hunter’s Angel (book 1 of The Hunter’s Dagger Series) and it’s companion prequel novella, A Hunter’s Demon — Both coming in e-book and print in May 2016

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A Hunter's Angel, The Hunter's Dagger Series, A Hunter's Demon, A Hunter's Blade, Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwood

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Blurb:

The serial killer stalking Clayton, Pennsylvania, isn’t all that has Chief of Police Grace Wallace worried. For a year, she’s tried to forget Special Agent Ian McHenry and now he’s the expert the FBI sent to catch the killer. She can’t stay away from him, but something primal is telling her to run to save much more than her heart.

Despite the laws of the immortal council Ian vowed to follow as a vampire hunter, he fears Grace is his life mate which puts her humanity in peril. If he gives into the desire again to make her his forever, Ian will become one of the vampires his master destroys. But if he leaves Grace unprotected from the evil he’s hunted for over a century, she is in danger of losing her life…

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A Hunter's Angel, The Hunter's Dagger Series, A Hunter's Demon, A Hunter's Blade, Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwood

 

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Blurb:

See where it all began….

With people disappearing from Philadelphia’s night streets, the Vampire Council fears they have a rogue on their hands. Special Agent Ian McHenry isn’t all that he seems. Not only is he the FBI’s expert on serial killers, he’s also the Council’s go-to vampire hunter.

Detective Grace Wallace is tired of the FBI not believing her theory they have a serial killer on the loose—until Ian shows up on the case. Nothing prepared her for the instant attraction to the darkly handsome Irishman. As they close in on the killer, Ian’s desire for Grace grows stronger. But if he can’t control his inner demon, his true nature will destroy his only chance at love.

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Both books will be featured in the PRINT copy:

See where it all began…. With people disappearing from Philadelphia’s night streets, the Vampire Council fears they have a rogue on their hands. Special Agent Ian McHenry isn’t all that he seems. Not only is he the FBI’s expert on serial killers, he’s also the Council’s go-to vampire hunter. Detective Grace Wallace is tired of the FBI not believing her theory they have a serial killer on the loose—until Ian shows up on the case. Nothing prepared her for the instant attraction to the darkly handsome Irishman. As they close in on the killer, Ian’s desire for Grace grows stronger. But if he can’t control his inner demon, this true nature will destroy his only chance at love.

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Let me know what you think!!

Categories: A Hunter's Angel, A Hunter's Demon | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Casanova Blog Hop–5 Things I love About Cowboys

Welcome to the Cowboy Casanova Giveaway Hop

cowboycasanova

My Giveaway:

$5 Starbucks Gift Card

coffeeAnd an ebook copy of my novella The Birthday FantasyThe Birthday Fantasy, Sara Walter Ellwood, Beach read, Colorado romance, cowboy, contemporary western romance

Cowboys love their coffee and you can enjoy a cup on me as you read your copy of The Birthday Fantasy

  Please leave a comment with your email address to be eligible to win.

Must be 18 years old and a resident of the USA to win. No purchase necessary to win. Please go HERE to see the complete list of rules.

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Ever wonder what it is about cowboys that makes a girl’s heart beat faster?

There are tons of things, but here are my top five and the ones I try to incorporate in my cowboys.

1.      Cowboys ooze masculinity.

From Heartstrings:

She ran her hand over the chipped white paint of the banister.

“Remember when you, Mike and I painted this old thing?”Sara Walter Ellwood, ccontemporary western romance, cowboy romance, Texas romance, Native American romance, country music singer romance

At the sound of the deep voice, she spun, her hand going over her heart. Seth stood up

from the swing hanging from the rafters on the other side. “Seth…”

She sucked in a breath and it caught in her throat. Time had changed him, but it had also made him even more devastatingly handsome. The dark tailored pants showed off his long legs and above-average height. The white dress shirt fit like a custom glove, outlining his broad shoulders. He’d lost the power tie he’d worn to the funeral. The top two buttons of his shirt lay open, and he’d rolled the sleeves to his elbows, showing off powerful forearms.

His coppery-blond hair curled over his collar and fell over his high forehead. A trimmed ginger-colored goatee hid the scar on his chin from a riding accident. The green ice of his eyes captured her gaze and made her heart race.

He gestured toward the pasture with a tall glass of what looked and smelled like whiskey. “I saw you and Mike. So, what happened? I thought you two would be together forever.”

She shrugged and turned away from him as he took a long sip from the glass. “I don’t see how that’s any of your damned business.”

A board in the floor creaked as he approached. She looked over her shoulder. He was so close. Her heart stuttered over a beat or two and something warm curled in her belly. How could he still affect her after everything he’d done to her?

He smiled, but it never reached his eyes. They remained two stormy seas ready to devour her in their relentless waves. “Oh, but I think it is very much my business. I want to see my daughter, Abigail.”

“You lost that right when you drove away that night.” She fisted her hands and faced him. “You lost that right when you let another man take your place in her life.”

He narrowed his eyes and leaned closer. His breath reeked from the whiskey. She wrinkled her nose at the painful memories of her father’s addiction to alcohol as much as from the stench.

“You know why I had to leave. It was my one and only chance. Goddamn it, you didn’t give me any other option.”

She snorted and squared her shoulders. “You had fame and fortune to chase. I’m glad you achieved your dreams. But it came with a price.”

“I told you I’d be back. But when I returned you were married to my best friend.”

2.      Cowboys hold dear family, friends and country above all. And especially make great daddies.

From Gambling On A Heart:

With the worst of the dirt off her and on the washcloth, Mandy awakened enough to help him remove the dress and slip a nightgown over her head. He took her hand and led her into the bathroom across the hall where he helped her Sara Walter Ellwood, Gambling On A Heart, contemporary western roamnce, romantic suspense, cowboy romance, Texas romance,brush her teeth, then attempted to untangle her snarled hair with a brush.

Giving up on the hair, he carried her back to her bed and tucked the blankets around her small body. She yawned and folded her hands over her chest. With her eyes closed, she murmured the age-old bedtime prayer recited by children everywhere. “Now I lay me down to sleep…”

He sat on the edge of her bed and smiled as she asked God to take care of every member of her family, including her pony and horse.

“And let Momma know I love her, and me and Daddy miss her.”

He prepared for the twist in his gut when she asked God to send her mother home soon.

“And finally, Baby Jesus, keep Miz Tracy and Bobby safe. Amen.” She opened her eyes and smiled lazily up at him.

He swallowed past the thickness in his throat.

“I thought I should stop asking God to send Momma back to us, since I know now she can’t come home. It might make her sad because she can’t. But I thought it would be nice to add Miz Tracy and Bobby to my list.”

His smile grew stiff. He remembered their conversion over the wedding dinner. The little wheels in Mandy’s head were working. She hadn’t included Tracy and Bobby into her prayer without considering possibilities Zack didn’t even want to think about.

“That’s nice. Bobby is your friend,” he said past the dry tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth.

She yawned and shrugged under the hideously pink bedspread. The ruffle must have tickled her chin, because she pushed it away. “I like Miz Tracy, too. She’s your friend, isn’t she?”

Tracy and him friends…fat chance. He hoped he never had to deal with her again. “I suppose.” He patted her covered chest. “Nighty-night, baby girl. I love you.”

“Nighty-night, Daddy.” She grinned at him. “I love you more.”

He leaned over her and kissed her forehead. “I love you ’til the cows come home,” he whispered, and into her arms placed the stuffed bunny Lisa had given to her when she was a baby.

“We aren’t missin’ any cows.” She giggled and hugged the raggedy stuffed animal. “So, none of ’em needs to come home.”

It was an old ritual. He chuckled and stood, giving her one last kiss on her forehead and feathered back her black hair. “Then I’ll have an even longer time to love you. Now go to sleep.”

She nodded, yawning again. He tucked the sheet and comforter around her. For several moments after he’d turned out the light, he stood by the door until her breathing evened into sleep.

3.      Cowboys will never, ever hurt an animal and will take them in when they can.

From A Hunter’s Blade (although considered a paranormal romance, Austin is a cowboy):

He opened the door and got out of the truck. All this moping gloom and doom wasn’t like him. Somehow, he had to shake these feelings or he’d go crazy.Cera duBois, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, vampires, werewolf, Sara Walter Ellwood

“Meow.”

The soft sound came from the direction of the wood stacked up against the side of the garage. Austin peered in that direction and furrowed his brow. He was miles away from any neighbors and the previous owners had long ago vacated the property. He shook his head, convinced he’d imagined the cry, and headed toward the stairs to the front porch.

“Meow.” This time the sound was closer, more insistent. Austin turned and spotted the black kitten bounding toward him through the snow. “Meow.”

He glanced at the sky. The uncomfortable tingling over his skin told him dawn was fast approaching. He had to get inside and down into the room he’d created in the basement before the sun came up over the eastern mountains.

“Meow.” The kitten hopped onto the step of the porch and looked up at Austin with hopeful olive eyes.

The cat couldn’t have been more than three months old and was a pitiful looking thing with its black fur snagged with burs and its backbone sticking out bladelike. Austin knelt and smiled at his desolate visitor. The kitten was black with a spot of white on its chest and front left paw. Austin’s heart went out to the little fellow. It looked as lost as he was. “Hello, there. Where did you come from?”

“Meow.”

Chuckling, he held out his hand. The kitten sniffed his fingers and looked up at him curiously. With one last glance at the purpling sky in the east, Austin stood and passed the kitten on the steps to the porch. “Well, c’mon. I have no idea what I’ll feed you, but…”

The kitten followed him into the house. It sat in front of the door and waited for Austin to make the next move.

4.      Cowboys are sexy.

From current WIP Gambling On A Dream (this has not yet been professionally edited):

Whistling softly between her teeth, Dawn slowed her F-150 to take in the view in front of her. “Sweet mercy, isn’t that the sexiest thing on two legs.”

Wyatt pushed his vintage Harley on the side of dusty country road, the action showing off his muscular shoulders and forearms below his rolled up sleeves. His blue shirttails fluttered on either side of him indicating his shirt was open. His dark blue jeans hugged his ass and legs like a good pair of Levis should. The late afternoon sun glowed through his chestnut hair setting the red in it on fire. A black helmet hung from the handlebar and a black leather jacket folded over the worn leather seat of the bike.

He glanced over his shoulder as she approached and slowed. She wasn’t ready for the lusty clenching in her lower belly at the memories of Wyatt driving her crazy when they’d made love.

She bit the inside of her lip and tightened her grip on the steering wheel as primal need raked through her.

A pair of Aviator sunglasses covered his eyes. She pulled the truck off the side of the road next to one of the CW Ranch pastures. Wyatt propped the bike on its kickstand and ambled to the driver’s side window. Dust covered his boots and the bottoms of his jeans as if he’d been walking a great distance. But then, out here where miles and miles could separate one ranch house from another and the only living thing around were cattle and horses, getting stranded and hoofing it for miles before a person came along wasn’t uncommon.

“Aren’t you a sight for a weary man?” Wyatt smiled as he lifted his sunglasses to the top of his head and revealed eyes as blue and as the endless sky above them.

5.      Cowboys protect those they love unconditionally, even if they take a while to admit that they are in love.

From Gambling On A Secret:

He looked down at the floor and clenched his fist. He hated not telling her the whole truth. “After the poisoning, the work has doubled. I won’t buy hay again, and getting it in from your fields takes both of us.”cowboy, contemporary western, romance, suspense

“Oh.” She sniffed and didn’t look at him. “Maybe I should just hire a general contractor to do the work. Leon has offered his company.”

At the mention of the name, he turned her to look at him. “No. Not Ferguson.” Despite her glare, he headed off her argument. “If you want to hire someone to come in and do the work, that’s fine. As long as it’s not Ferguson.”

Her expression remained defiant. “What if I want Leon’s company to do the work? I’ve seen some of the houses his company has built. They’re beautiful.”

“And shoddy.”

She shook her head and pushed his hands away. “Dear God, Dylan, I know you don’t like him, but it’s not like Leon himself will be driving the nails and painting my walls.”

“No, he wants you on your back and your deed in his name.” He stepped away with clenched fists. Heat crawled up his neck. “Maybe he’s already gotten you into bed, but I won’t let him take this land the way he swindled my grandfather out of his.” The moment the words were out, he regretted them.

“I can’t believe you! Do you have any idea how insulting that is?” Charli shot him through with blue-green fire. “Yes, Leon wants me, but I haven’t slept with him. I don’t want to!

And I can’t believe you still think he wants my land. Why? Why the hell would he want my ranch when he can buy whatever land he wants?”

“You can’t be this blind or naive. Think! You know everyone in town was shocked when you took the bid for this place out from under Leon. In all the years I’ve known him, he has never gone after a local woman, and then you show up and suddenly he’s all over you. Is being socially accepted by this town so damned important, you’d willingly fall for his act?”

The tears misting her eyes extinguished the fire. Damn, he didn’t mean to hurt her. “But why? Why does he want my ranch so badly?” She hugged herself again. Her face went pale, and she sat in the old chair in the corner by the door. Finally, he’d made her think.

He leaned his backside against the desk, facing her. “I wish I knew why. I only know Leon has wanted this place for almost as long as I’ve known him.”

He looked down at his crossed boots. “When we were kids, my family came to Oak Springs for Christmas. I was about seven, Leon was twelve or thirteen, I think. Anyway, we were fooling around like boys do, and we snuck over here. He wanted to check out those old derricks.

When we got to the bridge, Leon stopped the four-wheeler we were riding. I looked toward the house and saw old Jock standing on the front porch with one of his girlfriends and Johnny–Jock’s first son. He’s about the same age as Leon. And I figured they probably knew each other.”

He stared into the past as he spoke. “Jock looked up at us, and it was almost as if there was some silent exchange between him and Leon. After a moment, Leon looked at me with so much hatred in his eyes it scared me.”

As he submerged himself into the long ago scene from that mild winter day, he remembered the way Leon’s face turned hard at seeing Jock with his family. Something tripped in him. He looked up to find her watching him. “We were about halfway back to Oak Springs when he said to me, ‘I’ll own that ranch someday.’ I laughed and said something about Jock’s kid, and Leon looked at me and said, ‘His bastards don’t matter. Blackwell Ranch will rightfully be mine.’”

He paused, his mind buzzed with a hunch so outrageous he didn’t believe it himself. “I didn’t think anything about it until I’d heard about Leon firing three of his lawyers and his secretary when he discovered you beat him to the bid on this place. Then it slipped out he’d been trying for years to buy the ranch from Jock. Then Jock destroyed his will. The consensus at the time was he was just being a son-of-a-bitch by not giving it to his sons and letting it go to probate. Everyone chalked it up to his craziness. I’d say it’s because the last person Jock Blackwell wanted to have this place was Leon and that’s who would have bought it from the Blackwell boys.” He kneeled before her. “Suddenly those childish declarations didn’t seem so silly. Don’t trust him, Peaches.” He skimmed his fingers over her pale, damp, cheek. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”

I don’t want to be hurt if you turn to him.

~*~

So you tell, what do you love about cowboys?  And remember to leave your email address to be entered into the giveaway.

Follow along with the hop to sample some awesome authors and books and to be entered into more prizes.

Categories: A Hunter's Blade, Blog Hop, Gambling On A Dream, Gambling On A Heart, Gambling On a Secret, Heartstrings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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

*PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO QUALIFY FOR THE DRAWING*

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.

“Momma?”

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Gambling On A Heart

Book 2 of The Colton Gamblers

Blurb:

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?

CONTENT WARNING: Spicy sex

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A WONDERFUL 4TH OF JULY!!!

.

Remember to follow along click HERE

Categories: Blog Hop, Gambling On A Heart, Gambling On a Secret, Heartstrings, The Birthday Fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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.

***PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO QUALIFY***

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

by

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?

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*To follow along on the hop click here* 

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

New Year’s Blog Hop

Floral Background in Black and Gold Colors

It’s another year over! Can you believe it? Well we authors, readers, and bloggers sure can’t. And to celebrate the New Year with bang, we’re going crazy and sending out so many prizes, fun parties, experiences, and other goodies, that it’s a bit scary. Each author has a favorite New Year memory, book, idea, or way to party and we’re going to show you! Can’t wait to see you January 1st – 6th!

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that’s not all….

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

****PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO QUALIFY****

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

(Swag Pack eligible to US residents only, an international prize is available. All other prizes are international.)

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 Now for my prize:

An ARC copy of Gambling On A Secret

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An Exciting 2013

This New Year will undoubtedly be a memorable one for me. I have two books coming out within days of each other. My alter ego’s A Hunter’s Blade

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...  click on the cover for more.

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… click on the cover for more.

is being released everywhere by The Wild Rose Press on January 2 and my debut contemporary western Gambling On A Secret will be released on January 7 by Lyrical Press.

The most exciting thing about the upcoming release of Gambling On A Secret came when I discovered bestselling author Carolyn Brown (Just a Cowboy and His Baby) named it, along with Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell, Cowboy Crazy by Joanne Kennedy, and A Creed in Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller, as one of her favorite romance reads of 2012 on the Happy Ever Blog on USA Today.gamblingonasecretUSATODAY

Her agreeing to read the book to give me a cover quote amazed me, but needless to say her naming me among other great romance authors floored me and made this release all the more thrilling.

So, do you have anything exciting to happen in 2013?

Happy and Healthy 2013!

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~*~

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Releasing January 7 from Lyrical Press

Available NOW!

Lyrical Press  | Amazon  | Bookstrand  | Barnes and Noble

 

Checkout the info for my mega book tour stops and some awesome prizes starting January 3 HERE

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

gamblingonasecretsmcqFormer 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?

CONTENT WARNING: Details abuse of a minor, drug abuse, alcoholism, swearing, spicy sex, murder.

COVER QUOTE: “Full of intrigue, tangled pasts, and raw emotions, this one is guaranteed to keep you turning pages from start to finish and then wishing for one more chapter!”
Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Just a Cowboy and His Baby.

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Excerpt:

“Ferguson, what are you doing here?” Dylan barked.

Leon ambled toward them on the stone path. “I’m saving a young maiden from torment. What are you doing here, playing the part of the devil?”

“I’m Miss Monroe’s new manager.” The deadly edge of his voice matched the flintiness of his eyes. “If there’s anyone to save the young maiden from, it’s you.”

“Mr. Quinn, please.” She turned to Leon. “Leon, is there something I can do for you?”

He smiled, showing off perfect white teeth in a face handsome enough to belong to an actor. “I was just passing by on my way home and decided to stop. How are the boys working out?”

Dylan’s stance widened and his hands flexed at his slides. “What boys?”

“Charli and I have entered into a business arrangement.”

She lost the battle with the urge to wrap her arms around herself. As much as she appreciated Leon’s kindness, respected him, and was even a little attracted to him, something about him didn’t sit right with her. He represented her peers in the community. According to Mrs. Pratt, besides the Cartwrights, she and Leon were undoubtedly the wealthiest residents in the county. No one in Colton could learn about her past. It would ruin her, and Leon, no doubt, had the means to dig up the dirt.

“Really?” Dylan stepped closer to her in a protective manner. Whiskey tainted his breath as the warmth of the exhalations tickled her cheek. “What kind of business arrangement?”

She could protect herself. Dylan Quinn wasn’t any safer than Leon Ferguson. Stepping away from him, she forced her arms to her sides. “Mr. Quinn, I can handle this.”

She faced Leon. “I’m amazed by how much the men got done since starting on Monday. The foreman told me last evening they’d be reseeding another fifty acres for hay this morning. And they have the corrals fixed and started on the fencing in the north pasture.”

“Good, good.” He glanced at Dylan. “I’ll be going, unless you need a more reliable exterminator. I couldn’t help but overhear about your snake infestation. I can give you the name of the company that has gotten rid of the snakes in our lakes over on Oak Springs for years.”

Although he presented the perfect solution, she didn’t the like way Leon had looked at Dylan as he said the word exterminator. “No, Mr. Quinn is quite capable of getting rid of the snake.”

“Oh, I’m sure he is.” Leon tipped his hat. “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you, Charli.” Dylan’s jaw tightened as his uncle glanced at him. “It’s good to see you up among the living again.”

Leon headed back to his Porsche. With no pretense of lowering his voice, Dylan said, “Now, there’s a snake no one wants in their garden.”

Upon hearing the jibe, Leon’s shoulders jerked in mid-stride.

Rattled by Leon’s attention and the snake fiasco, she turned on Dylan. “You aren’t off the hook. I want those snakes gone.”

“We’ll see.”

“I hate snakes.” She shuddered and put her hands on her hips. “Maybe I should have asked him who the exterminator is.”

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~*~

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Six Sentence Sunday

It’s Sunday again, so here is another six from A Hunter’s Blade, book 2 of the Hunter’s Dagger Series.

Setup: Austin really has no idea what he’s up against.  Brigit is definitely not a lap dog….

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“You don’t know much, do you, bloodsucker?”

“Why don’t you enlighten me?”

Brigit glowered at Austin for several moments. Then she closed her eyes and spoke in a language he didn’t understand. Before he knew it, a fire sparked to life in the old stone hearth across the room. A second later, he flew out of his chair and shoved hard against the edge of the bar behind him.

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Six Sentence Sunday

Cross-posted from Cera duBois

For the past two weeks here on Six Sentence Sunday, I’ve been leaving teases of book two of The Hunter’s Dagger Series, A Hunter’s Blade

Setup: This week we get a glimpse of Austin (a vampire who also hunts vamps and werewolves) meeting Brigit (a Lykan–a born werewolf) for the first time.

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“I follow a different code of ethics, you could say, than most of the damned and undead.”

With only an hour before closing, there were only a handful of people in the place. When he locked those shifting golden-gray-green eyes on hers, Brigit shivered.

“I think we should have a private chat after you close.” The serrated edge of his voice sawed through her. “I have some questions and want to get all the facts straight before I become judge, jury, and executioner.”

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Six Sentence Sunday

Cross-posted from Cera duBois

It’s Sunday again, which means it’s time for Six Sentence Sunday….Click the link to find some fantastic authors or to join the fun….

This is taken from A Hunter’s Blade, Book 2 of the Hunter’s Dagger Series.

Last week we met Brigit. This week meet Austin, a vampire, who follows a strict code, and is one of the hunters.  He’s been sent to Silver Creek, CO to track down and investigate the killing of humans in the area….  This from Chapter 2…..

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“She’s the one you told Lucas about?”

“Brigit Wolfe.” Reynard chuckled, and Austin turned back to him.

“You can’t be serious. Her name is Wolfe?”

“It has never been said werewolves were clever creatures.”

Categories: Six Sentence Sunday | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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