Guest Blog: Sara Walters Ellwood ~ Go West Young Writer


Go West Young Writer

A century and a half ago, the motto for the open frontier was “Go West Young Man!” And with this call thousands of young men (and women) did exactly that…they went West with the hope and dreams of finding a good life. Most of these people probably never dreamed of leaving their homes in the east, but neither could they deny their wish for adventure or the lure of opportunity.

When the call to go west came to me, I couldn’t believe it. I never considered myself a western writer. I never expected to find myself sharing space in the genre with Linda Lael Miller, Kat Martin and Carolyn Brown. But as with those pioneers of days past, I couldn’t fight where my muse took me.

Now, despite my foray in the paranormal genre which I’m published in under the pen name of Cera duBois, I definitely, solidly consider myself a writer of contemporary western romance. I love the West and dream of the day of traveling to Texas and Colorado and Montana. I love learning about ranching, rodeo and the western lifestyle, which very much still embraces that fearlessness of the men and women who answered the call to pack up and settle in this beautiful land.

The heroes and heroines in the stories I’m creating belong in the West. To try to force their stories to be set elsewhere would have been like forcing Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley to stop their Wild West show to perform Shakespeare.

To be honest, I never would have dreamed I’d end up writing westerns. I always tried to write Revolutionary and Civil War historicals because that’s what I loved reading, then I came up with a story with a country singing hero. Not only was it a contemporary romance, but it only seemed natural the hero would be from Texas. That story turned into Heartstrings (releasing April 1, 2013, Lyrical Press). Then I came up with Gambling On A Secret and the series The Colton Gamblers and have completely immerged myself in the contemporary Western genre and have no desire to be anywhere else…

Unless it’s writing the occasional paranormal romance. But hey, even my current paranormal release—A Hunter’s Blade (released January 2, 2013, The Wild Rose Press) is set in the mountains of Colorado and the vampire hero buys a ranch at the bottom of the mountain belonging to the werewolf, saloon-owning heroine.

If you’re a writer, does the genre you’ve settled into surprise you?


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?

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.


“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.”


Sara Walter Ellwood is an award winning author whose novel Gambling On A Secret was named by bestselling author Carolyn Brown in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today as one of her favorite romances of 2012. Although Sara has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her stories. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for nearly 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia.

She also writes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.

Buy Links:

Amazon: (Since the book releases on Jan 7, I won’t have bookseller links until then)

Barnes and Noble:


Lyrical Press:

Author links:







~One poster from every stop will win a Gambling On A Secret ebook

~One commenter from each stop will win a piece of custom jewelry.

(The winners of these two prizes will be announced the day after the tour stop.)

I also have 2 Grand Prizes!

~First Grand Prize is a SWAG PACK, including a signed copy of Carolyn Brown’s Just a Cowboy and His Baby. Also included is a copy of D’Ann Lindun’s Shot Through the Heart, a pen, a notebook, a horse themed mini calendar, a patriotic themed day planner, and more all tucked away in a reusable tote bag at the end of my blog tour.

~Second Grand Prize is a $10 Gift Card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you follow the tour and comment as often as possible, you increase your chances of winning!

(The winners of the Swag Pack and Gift Card will be announced on March 1, 2013.)

(Swag Pack is only eligible for US residents to win. The jewelry and gift card are eligible to US and Canada residents only. The ebook is eligible to anyone, unless prohibited by law.)

****BLOG HOSTS****

If you use a hosting site that supports Java Script (such as Blogger), here is the coding for my Rafflecopter if you’d like to use it. I know users cannot use this…



a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Sara Walters Ellwood ~ Go West Young Writer

  1. Cait says:

    Great interview as ever, Sara! As for my genre — having grown up on fantasy I SHOULD be writing it…hmm will get there one day 🙂 good luck with the sales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.