Posts Tagged With: Gardening

Out in My Garden…My Favorite Hobby #MFRWauthor

Besides writing, I love to garden. I have a substantial English/Cottage garden that surrounds my house and takes up most of my yard.  I also have a sizable vegetable garden and love to can the bounty that comes from it. I’m always changing something in it. Despite having a book to write this spring, I plan to rip things apart again and redesign some of it.  Today, I’m going to take you on a tour of my favorite place to be in the spring…

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Even in winter, I love my garden when it snows.  This picture was taken a couple of years ago.

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spring, flowers, gardening

From February to November, something is always in bloom in my garden. These are commonly called snowdrops, the botanical name is Galanthus. 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 not far away.

 

 

 

 

These pictures show some of my favorite April to June flowers.

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 spring, flowers, gardening

 

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I love butterflies… In fact, the premise for my story Gambling On A Secret came from watching one of these guys break out of it’s cocoon.

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Here is a great shot of my vegetable garden… And what I like to do with the tomatoes–home made spaghetti sauce. Yum!

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Just a few of the many garden pictures I’ve taken over the years. These pictures were taken about 10 years apart.

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plantsI even bring the garden inside….

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And finally, here are a few photos of my gardening partner….

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Hope you enjoyed the tour.

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Check out other authors in the Challenge here:

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Categories: Insights, Out In The Garden | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Author’s In Bloom Blog Hop–Space Saving Strawberry Garden Ideas….. Comment to win!

AIB Logo

 Welcome to the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

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GRAND PRIZE

This year’s grand prize is an Ereader of the winner’s choice (up to a $200 value) along with a $25 gift card for the ebook retailer of choice. Grand Prize winners will be Winners will be posted on both the first (Dianne Venetta) and last (BloominThyme’s) websites.

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***To win the grand prize, you must visit each and every author on the hop. *** 

Linky List link at the bottom of post

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MY PRIZE

I’m also giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card

(Open to USA residents 18 years or older. Click HERE for giveaway rules.)

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Prize winners will be announced on April 17th.

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****YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO BE ENTERED IN BOTH PRIZES***

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What’s better than fresh strawberries? I was looking for some ideas of how I could do a strawberry garden without taking up a ton of space, and of course, I checked out the greatest place for ideas–Pinterest.  I always find tons of great garden ideas there. Here are some of the Pins showing space-saving strawberry gardens that I’ve pinned to my own board. (which can be found HERE). Now, I don’t know which one I like best…

Click on the pictures to be taken to the Pin on Pinterest.

Copied from Pinterest Found on dumpaday.com

 

Growing strawberries in rain gutters hanging about 6 feet off the ground is a great idea if you have the extra room.

Maybe build the  them around the outside of your deck.

Sure would make for easy picking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copied from Pinterest. Found on maxicontainer.com

 

I love this idea!  This is a 55 gallon drum (barrel) with holes for the strawberries. You probably could plant something like Top Hat Blueberries around the top for the starters for a great fruit salad. Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copied from Pinterest. Found on diyready.com

 

Do you have an old shoe rack that you have no idea what to do with? Why not make a garden out of it!!

This neat idea shows herbs (which you could do too!), but another pin mentioned using one of these for strawberries, which is a great idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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These next ideas are probably for other plants, but I don’t see why they couldn’t be used for strawberries…

Copied from Pinterest. Found on voguehome.info

 

Copied from Pinterest. Found on hometalk.com

 

Copied from Pinterest. Found on garden-collection.com

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Do you have a favorite? Or have you done something like any of these before?

 

 

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Amazon Bestseller… 4.7 stars out of 21 Reviews!

 

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Sequel to Amazon Bestselling Western and Anthology

Cowboy Up

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AVAILABLE IN EBOOK AND PRINT at

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  Saddle Up with the best-selling authors who brought you Cowboy Up…

And fall for Six more Cowboys ready to steal your heart!

Click HERE for details

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Now available for pre-order!

 

Gambling On A Dream, Sara Walter Ellwood, contemporary western romance, romantic suspense, cowboy romance, Texas romance, small town romance, Colton Gamblers, Lyrical Press, Kensington Publishing, Native American romance

 .With Everything At Stake….

It’s been years since Sheriff Dawn Madison said goodbye to Texas Ranger Wyatt McPherson. She’s closed the door on the heartache of her past. But when the sleepy town of Colton, Texas, is rocked by a series of shocking murders, Dawn has no choice but to trust the man who broke her heart if she wants to protect the ones she loves…

All Bets Are Off

Four years have passed. But Wyatt hasn’t forgotten the bold, Native American beauty who stole his heart . . . and broke it. Losing her and the life they had hoped to share left him an empty shell of himself. But if he wants to stop the deranged killer terrorizing the innocent kids of Colton, he’ll have to let Dawn back into his life. It’s a risk he’s willing to take, even if heartache is all he takes home…

Excerpts

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.lyrical press   amazon  b&n Kobo 

Click HERE for details

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Also check out the sale from April 25 to June 5

 

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  For details on Gambling On A Secret click HERE

Available in EBOOK and PRINT

..lyrical press   amazon  b&nitunes     Kobo 

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For details on Gambling On A Heart click HERE

Available in EBOOK and PRINT

.lyrical press   amazon  b&n itunes     Kobo 

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Categories: A Cowboys Heaven, Blog Hop, Cowboy Up 2, Gambling On A Dream, Gambling On A Heart, Gambling On a Secret, Out In The Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop–I’m sharing some of my favorite Pinterest Gardening Tips

 

 

 Welcome to the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop!

GRAND PRIZE

This year’s grand prize is a  Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a $25 gift card for the same.

We are also giving away a 2nd prize of $25 gift card.

***To win the grand prize, you must visit each and every author on the hop. *** 

MY PRIZE

I’m also giving away a $5 Starbucks Gift Card

(Open to USA residents 18 years or older. Click HERE for giveaway rules.)

****YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO BE ENTERED***

  ~*~

I am  starting to really LOVE Pinterest. I’ve belonged to the site for a while now, but just recently started looking at the different stuff that site has. And I’m loving the gardening pins!

Here are a few ideas that I’ve found and pinned to my own board. (which can be found HERE).

 

Copied from PINTEREST: Found on diyhshp.blogspot.com
Copied from PINTEREST: Found on diyhshp.blogspot.com

Reuse water that you have boiled your eggs in. This water contains tons of calcium that your plants will love. Just let the water cool and dump it on your plants. You can also use the egg shells, rinse them out real well, smash them up, then mix them with dirt and/or potting soil before planting any plants, or use in a compost pile. (Tip copied from PINTEREST)

I personally would never have thought of doing this!!! Even though I know egg shells are fantastic garden additives.

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copied from PINTEREST: Found on cozylittlehouse.com

copied from PINTEREST:
Found on cozylittlehouse.com

Use pine cones in the bottom of a pot – makes them much lighter, better draining. (Tip copied from PINTEREST)

THIS I am definitely going to try!  I always use small stones that I’ve found in the garden or broken pottery. The only disadvantage I can see with the pine cones would be the potential oils and sap they could put into the soil, making it very acidic.

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Copied from PINTEREST: Found on finegardening.com
Copied from PINTEREST: Found on finegardening.com

Aspirin is a remedy for fungal plant problems, Black spot, powdery mildew, and rust are a terrible trio of fungi, which can attack and destroy your plants. Scientists have found that two uncoated aspirin tablets (325 milligrams each) dissolved in 1 quart of water and used as a foliar spray can thwart these diseases… 35 Pest, Disease and Weed Remedies–green and safe. (Tip copied from PINTEREST)

I always have trouble with fungal infections…. This looks like a great thing to try!

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Copied from PINTEREST: Found on justinelarbalestier.com

Copied from PINTEREST:
Found on justinelarbalestier.com

.Slugs will eat cornmeal, even though it kills them. Put cornmeal in a jar turned on its side near the affected plants. (Tip copied from PINTEREST)

Always knew they were STUPID!!!!

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Copied frFound on backyard-garden-101.blogspot.comom PINTEREST:

Copied from PINTEREST: Found on backyard-garden-101.blogspot.com

Just flatten a banana peel and bury it under one inch of soil at the base of a rosebush. The peel’s potassium feeds the plant and helps it resist disease…works for tomato plants too. (Tip copied from PINTEREST)

This has to be one of my favorite tips… Who would have thought to do this!!!

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Gambling On A Secret, Sara Walter Ellwood, contemporary western romance, romantic suspense, cowboy romance, Texas romance, small town romanceGambling On A Secret

Book 1 of The Colton Gamblers

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?

To read more about the Colton Gamblers Series CLICK HERE

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contemporary western romance, texas romance, cowboy romance, romantic suspense,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?

To read more about the Colton Gamblers Series CLICK HERE

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Sara Walter Ellwood, ccontemporary western romance, cowboy romance, Texas romance, Native American romance, country music singer romanceHeartstrings

Blurb:

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.

To learn more CLICK HERE

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Remember to qualify for the Grand Prize you must hop to all the participating blogs.

1. Dianne Venetta ~ Cozy Mystery/Romance (US) 41. Stacey Joy Netzel
2. Rose Anderson 42. Deb Sanders
3. Alexa Grace 43. Janette Harjo
4. Katharina Gerlach, YA Fantasy author 44. J.L. Campbell
5. Jennifer Lowery 45. Lorraine Paton (INTL)
6. Catheirne Chant (US) 46. Amy Saunders, Chick-Lit Mysteries (US)
7. S.D. Bancroft 47. Jencey Gortney
8. J.D. Faver ~ Bad Girls Need Love Too…(Intl) 48. Sandra Cox
9. Tara Manderino (Intl) 49. Alisia Compton
10. Judy Baker, Cowboys and Indian Romances 50. Cate Dean
11. Sharon Kleve 51. Lisa Lickel
12. Sara Walter Ellwood (US) 52. Iyana Jenna
13. Anna Patterson 53. Jesse Kimmel-Freeman (INT)
14. Karl Fields (Intl) 54. Sheila Seabrook
15. LENA HART 55. Rose Cooper
16. Janice Seagraves, author 56. Halimah bint David
17. Lakisha Spletzer 57. Grace Peterson
18. Gemma Juliana 58. Nancy Pi-Sunyer
19. Victoria Adams 59. Elena Williams
20. Daryl Devore 60. Scandalous Stories
21. Jeana E. Mann, New Adult Romance 61. Lisa Orgler
22. Not Neccesarily In That Order 62. L.A. Sartor
23. Brenda Maxfield’s Smart and Sassy Teen Reads (INT) 63. BloominThyme
24. Elizabeth McKenna 64. Margarita Matos (UF & Romance)
25. H. A. Somerled 65. Lisa Chalmers
26. Susana Ellis 66. Diane Burton
27. Aileen Fish 67. Rebecca J. Clark
28. Cheryl Bolen 68. Victoria Pinder
29. Elizabeth Rose 69. Zelda Benjamin
30. L. Alison Heller 70. Liz Allen (US)
31. Eleanor Moran 71. Stacy Juba’s Characters at a Crossroads
32. K C Maguire 72. Jennifer Conner Romance Author
33. Patricia W. Fischer 73. I Am A Reader
34. Mindy Hardwick, Author 74. Darcy Flynn (US)
35. Melanie Macek 75. Joanne Jaytanie
36. Karen McCullough 76. Cassandra L Shaw
37. Michelle Abbott 77. Janette Harjo
38. Mary Laudien 78. Louisa Mack
39. Aubrey Wynne 79. Tiffany Schlarman
40. Kimberly K. Comeau
Categories: Blog Hop | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

blog hop, gardening, flowers

Welcome to the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop.

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR *EMAIL ADDRESS* TO BE ENTERED INTO MY DRAWING AND COMMENT TO BE ENTERED INTO THE GRAND PRIZE DRAWING

*Be advised that your email will be added to my mailing (newsletter) list, UNLESS you request otherwise. *

GRAND PRIZE: We are giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook (winner’s choice) along with a $25 gift card for the same.

MY PRIZE: Your choice of any TWO (2) of my four books (Please let me know which ones you would like. Click on cover to read blurbs/excerpts and reviews. Heartstrings is featured below).

paranormal romance, romantic suspense, vampires, demons, werewolves, Sara Walter Ellwood, Cera duBois  contemporary western, romantic suspesne, paranormal romance, vampires, werewolves, demons, Cera duBois, Sara Walter Ellwood  cowboy romance, contemporary western, romantic suspense, Texas romance  ccontemporary western romance, cowboy romance, Texas romance, Native American romance, country music singer romance

It’s no secret that I love to garden, and spring is my favorite season. The past month (March) has been tough here in Central Pennsylvania. We had a lot of snow.

Anyway, that’s past and the other day I bought some of my favorite annuals to plant in pots to set on my porch.

Pansy flower, authors in bloom blog hop, sara walter ellwood, cera dubois, gardeningPansies…

Or as they are known in the botany world–violas

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of species of violets and pansies. They come in almost every color and combinations of colors.

They are so easy to grow that even those professed of having a black thumb can grow these lovelies with little or no care, other than some water when the soil is dry to the touch. contemporary western romantic suspesne authror Sara Walter Ellwood

I love to grow these charmers, which were as popular in Victorian England as they are today in our modern world, in containers. But I also have the smaller perennial variety, often called by the botanical name of viola, in my garden.  Here’s a photo of them with my antique cabbage rose.

Pansies are so hardy that they can be planted in the fall where winters are mild and add color to the garden until the temperatures begin to rise into the 80s in the spring.

Here in the Mid Atlantic region they are often planted in late February to Mid March and can survive snow falls and freezing temps. Pansies will raise their beautiful faces to the sun until about late June. That’s when the temperatures climb to high for them. But that’s okay, by then the garden is being taken over by summer flowers.

Thgardening, violets, violas, pansies, ey aren’t as popular in the northern areas of the country, but they are perfect for those cooler summer temperatures.

But believe it or not, one of my very FAVORITE varieties doesn’t grow in the garden at all. I will always love picking wild violets in the fields along the streets of my neignborhood and putting them in a vase on the table….

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Available from Lyrical Press

Lyrical PressAmazon   |  Barnes and NobleKobo  |  iTunes 

Heartstrings is on sale right now at Amazon!

Heartsrtings coverHe’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.

CONTENT WARNING: Spicy sex.

Excerpt:

Seth leaned in. His lips were close enough to kiss, and his scent of sandalwood and something exotic enveloped her, taking her back to that night on the beach. His eyes flashed with the dangerous fire of his temper. It was similar to the flame of the passion she’d once seen in the green depths. Abby didn’t expect or want the heat curling in her belly, and shivered with a sudden and fierce desire.

“I’m her father, Abigail. I wanted to be her father after she was born. It was you and Mike who insisted I had no business messing things up.”

“I never said any such thing. You never tried. You just left.”

He pounded a fist on the counter top so hard she jumped. “Yes, I left! I wasn’t welcome at home. Dad ran me off with a shotgun. Mike wouldn’t even let me see my daughter. He made it quite clear you and he were happily married, and I had no place in your life. I was under contract to be in Nashville to start recording my first album.”

What did he mean, Mike wouldn’t let him see Emily?

Before she had a chance to voice her question, his eyes darkened as the pupils dilated, obscuring the stormy green. “But I’m no longer nineteen and scared shitless. I could make things very rough for you and this fantasy you’ve got working.”

A cold lump quickly replaced the tangle of heat in her belly. “What-what do you mean?”

He backed off and tapped the countertop. “I’m talking a custody battle. I could have a judge order a paternity test. I think we both know the media hoopla the results would cause.”

Her heart slammed into her chest wall. “You wouldn’t do that.”

“Try me. Now that I’ve met Emily, I want to get to know her.” He walked over to look out the kitchen window. The hard line of his jaw melted, and he swallowed so hard his throat moved up and down. “I was a fool when I let Mike talk me out of being in her life after she was born.”

“What do you mean?”

He glanced at her. “Don’t pretend you don’t know.”

The strings of guitar music provided a soft counterpoint to the hard tension in the kitchen. Emily was outside on the patio playing around with her guitar, waiting for them to finish with the dishes she and Seth had insisted on doing.

“All I want is to have some time with my daughter. That’s all I’m asking for.” When he looked over his shoulder at her, sadness replaced the anger in his eyes. “I’ll keep your little secret. I’ll just be her favorite singer. The family friend who made it big in Nashville. I don’t want to hurt her. As much as it galls the hell out of me, I see what Mike means to her.”

He moved toward her and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Besides, I don’t want to hurt Carolann or Frank any more than you do.” He glanced outside again, his voice husky as he spoke. “But I’ll sue you if I have to.”

A part of her wanted to give in to him, but a larger part wanted to punish him. Let him take her to court; she’d make sure the world knew what kind of jerk Seth Kendall really was.

She gritted her teeth and fisted her hands by her sides. “I’ll let you have tonight, Seth. But don’t ask for more.”

She turned away and strode through the French doors.

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Click here to follow along to the next blog on the hop!

Categories: Blog Hop, Out In The Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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..

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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!

Heartstrings

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.

CONTENT WARNING: Spicy sex.

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.

“Abby?”

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.”

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

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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

Out In The Garden – Antique Roses

Hello, and welcome to my first segment of Out In The Garden.

contemporary western romantic suspesne authror Sara Walter Ellwood

Province Rose with Violets from my garden

Although my writing passion is contemporary western or paranormal romantic suspense, my hobby passion is gardening. About this time of year, I start to get spring fever BAD!  And I have it now. I’m itching to get out and start digging, planting and enjoying my garden. Here’s a picture of one of my pride and joys. A Province rose, an antique rose that I rescued from my grandparents’ home as a root cutting before my father regraded the yard a few years ago when my stepsister moved into the old farmhouse.

I’m a sucker for roses, and with Valentine’s Day next week, I thought roses—the flower of love—would make the perfect first article.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of rose varieties—and I’ve tried to grow several of them.  Tea, climbing, miniature… But the only ones that seem to ever do well are my antique roses.  I have two kinds, Province and a red China Rose, both propagated from root cuttings of roses planted by my grandparents—oh, probably—30-50 years ago. In fact, the Province rose I have, originally came from my great-great grandmother’s garden and was one of my grandfather’s favorites because it reminded him of his mother.

Antique or old garden roses are easy to grow and need very little maintenance. Once they are established, the rose bush will flourish for centuries—not just a few years as most modern roses do. They are extremely drought and insect resistant, and can survive heat waves and hard freezes without any special attention.

So, what makes a rose an antique rose?

Most antique roses were developed by English and Dutch gardeners between the 17th and early 19th centuries. Most old garden roses only bloom once, but when they do, they never fail to captivate with their simple elegant beauty or their deliciously wonderful perfume. Old-fashioned roses are some of the most fragrant roses around. In fact, it is from the Province rose, or otherwise known as the cabbage rose or scientifically as Rosa centifolia, that rose oil was derived.

So if you love roses like I do, but find them hard to grow, try an old-fashioned or antique rose. You won’t be disappointed.

A few of my favorite varieties:

Contemporary Western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodProvince (Cabbage or Centefoilia) Roses: Developed by Dutch hybridists in the 17th century. Most have a heavy “rose” scent and only bloom once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodGallica Roses: Originate from European and Western Asian old rose groups. Semi-single rose blooms once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Waler EllwoodDamask Roses: Originate from Damascus. They are a cross between a Gallica Rose and R. phoenicea. Some bloom in summer and some bloom in fall, but most only bloom once. Autumn Damasks bloom twice.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodMoss Roses: They are a deviation single petal flower from Centifolia roses. They also only bloom once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense authro Sara Walter EllwoodAlba Roses (or White Rose also known as The White Rose of York): A shrub rose with bluish-green foliage. They too, only bloom once in summer.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodChina Roses: There are four groups of China Roses that were brought to Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries from China and Eastern Asia. These are one of the few repeat bloomers of the antique roses. Most of the modern roses were derived from these rose groups.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodBourbon Roses: These were the first repeat bloomers and were created from the China Rose.

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contemporary western romantic suspense author Sara Walter EllwoodHybrid Perpetual Roses: This Victorian Rose came about from open field hybridization and were derived from Bourbon Roses.

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Contemporary western romance author Sara Walter EllwoodBriar Roses: These single petal roses originate from the 19th century. They only bloom once in summer. (They actually grow wild on several farms here in Central Pennsylvania. I used to pick them all the time as a kid along the edges of the pasture fields of my grandparents’ farm.)

Categories: Out In The Garden | Tags: , | 10 Comments

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