Welcome to the final stop of Sara Walter Elwood’s Book Tour for Gambling on a Dream! There are several stops on this tour so please be sure to check all of the below listed stops in the coming days. Plus every stop that you leave a comment at gains you one entry to win an Amazon or Barnes & Noble $25 gift card. Until then, Sara shares with us the tricks of the perfect story setting!
Why Do Author’s Create Fictional Locals?
When you crack open the cover of one of the books in the Colton Gamblers series, you are also opening the door to the fictional town and county of Colton, Forest County, Texas.
Authors create fictional locals for many reasons. Two of the most common reasons, and the ones I fall into are 1) to prevent misrepresentation of the town and its people, and 2) to allow for complete creative freedom.
When I came up with Colton, Texas, I based it on a very real place: Clifton in Bosque County. I found it to be perfect place in Central Texas for my story to take place. Not far from Dallas and Waco, but still rural enough to allow for my large ranches. Despite my creating a fictional place, I read everything I could find about the real Bosque County. And from that reading I found some inspiration. For example, Clifton was founded by four families who settled the town in the 1850’s—Colton is founded by three families in the late 1860s. One of the three founding families of my Colton—the Fergusons—is named in honor of Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first female governor of the state. I also kept the name of the county of sorts—Bosque is Spanish for forest; hence, I called my county Forest. In my parallel universe, Forest County replaces Bosque County, but I really tried to stay true to the real town and county.
Forest County is a place steeped in history and Texas pride and gets its name from the oak forests that covered the land along the creeks running through it on their journey to the Brazos River that boarders the county in the east, but the majority of the land is grassland. The people of Colton have a sense of community and look out for each other. They are patriotic to a fault, but proud of their Southern heritage. They love football, rodeo and good gossip, to the point of even calling the gossip chain the Colton grapevine. But don’t let the idyllic quaintness fool you as the members of the founding families are about to find out.
Murder, theft, deceit, fraud and secrets are about to shake this little town to its very foundations.
And the only way to survive is to rediscover the only thing that matters….Love.
Gambling On A Dream
Colton Gamblers Book 3 by Sara Walter Ellwood
June 9, 2015
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…
When the door closed with a resounding click behind her brother, Dawn pounded a fist onto the table with enough force to rattle their coffee mugs. “Dammit, who is he protecting?”
Wyatt glanced back at the door. Her older brother Talon had always had it rough, but no worse than Dawn and their younger brother. Sure, being one of Jock Blackwell’s ill-begotten sons wasn’t something he’d wish on a rabid coyote. However, Tom Madison had treated Talon like a son all his life, even giving him a third of his ranch when he retired.
Talon had changed, and not for the better. His problems didn’t come from how he was raised, or even the occasional bullying. He was a troublemaker, and nothing would have changed him.
He sat in the chair Talon had vacated. “Or the question could be what is he hiding?”
She ran her hands over her dark hair to the tight bun at the base of her skull. With jerky movements, she pulled out the band holding the twisted braid captive. As she ran her fingers through the long mass of raven silk, heat coursed through him at the memories of all that hair covering him like a blanket while they’d made love. When she bent over the table and scratched her scalp in pure frustration, all he could think about was her hair hanging down her back to brush and tickle his thighs as she rode him–her favorite position–to orgasm.
The erection was fast and furious and nearly had him groaning. Thank God, he was sitting. He forced his numbed mind to focus on the case.
“We have to find someone else who may have seen or knows something.” She glanced across the table at him and straightened. If there was ever the perfect picture of a beautiful Indian maiden, it was Dawn with her hair down. Had she ever had the stuff cut? He swallowed hard and shifted in his chair as his jeans strangled his cock. How long had it been since he’d had sex? He couldn’t remember, but refused to believe he hadn’t been with someone since Dawn.
With swift, practiced motions, she broke the trance he was under by daftly braiding her hair and wrapping it into a bagel-sized knot at the back of her head. She snapped the hair band over the bun.
He cleared his throat. “When are we talking to Chris’s friends?” His voice came out sounding a bit husky, even to his ears.
She stood, taking their coffee cups with her, and refilled them. After she dumped that god-awful crap pretending to be creamer into hers, she handed him a mug of black joe. Sipping her coffee from the extra-large, bright green mug he’d given to her for her thirtieth birthday, she returned to her chair.
“Hendricks and Kennedy are getting a list, but according to Julie, he didn’t have many friends in Colton.”
“How about Justin Vaughn? He’s always been a known dealer. Maybe he knows something.” He sipped his coffee.
She smiled, and he almost choked as he swallowed the hot, bitter brew. “Haven’t thought of him. We should talk to him. They’re about the same age. Vaughn’s working over at his uncle’s farm and garden market.”
He set his mug on the table and glanced at his watch. “I can’t today.”
Grinning, he stood. “No. I’m buying the Estrada Ranch.”
Her dark eyes widened. “Really? I heard Luis and Stella were thinking of moving to New Mexico, but I didn’t know it was a done deal. I figured it would go to either Jose or Mary,” she said, referring to the Estradas’ son and daughter. “How long has their place been up for sale? I haven’t seen a sign in their yard.”
He shrugged and reached for his hat where it sat on the edge of the table. “Luis and Stella told Mom and Dad they planned to sell the place a couple of weeks ago while playing Bingo at the firehouse. When they told me, I called the Estradas and made an offer. It never officially made it on the market. I’ve been looking for a small ranch.”
“We’ll be neighbors when you settle in there.” She cocked her head to the side. “I never knew you wanted to be a rancher.”
“You never cared about a lot of things I wanted.” His bitterness surprised even him.
She stood and picked up her mug, leaving his where it sat. As she headed for the door, she nodded toward it. “We have a policy around here. We clean up after ourselves. Something I seem to remember you have a hard time with.”
Although Sara Walter Ellwood 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 contemporary westerns. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for over 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. Sara Walter Ellwood is a multi-published and international Amazon bestselling author of the anthology set Cowboy Up. She also publishes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.
Gambling On A Secret, Book 1 and Gambling On A Heart, Book 2
For other links and book information check out my website page: https://sarawalterellwood.wordpress.com/the-colton-gamblers-contemporary-western-romance-suspense/
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