Tuesday, July 9, 2013

GAMBLING ON A HEART

Tuesday Tantalizers is pleased to welcome Sara Walter Ellwood and an interview with Tracy Quinn from her new contemporary Western romance novel, Gambling On A Heart. Tracy, would you like to introduce yourself?

Thank you, Christi, for having me here today. I’m Tracy Quinn. I guess, you’d call me the heroine, though I hate being called that.

        How do you feel being the main character of a book?
I’ve never thought I’d end up in a book, let alone one of the main characters. I was pretty content being a secondary character in my brother Dylan’s story. But I’m actually happy about it since things worked out better then I’d ever dreamed.

·       Who is the most interesting secondary character you’ve met and why?
Oh, wow… That’s a hard one. There’s so many to choose from.  My son, my parents, my brother and his wife, Logan and Mandy… The list goes on. But if we take them all out of the listing. I’d say my favorite character is my ex-husband’s grandmother. Granny Parker is 91 years old and a trip. She’s funny and likes to remind me to get over myself. She’s always supported my decision to leave the bad marriage I was in with her grandson, even though the rest of his family has tried to make me the villain for leaving him.

·       Why did you choose your current profession?
I really didn’t choose it. I became a beautician after I had to drop out of college to get married when I became pregnant with my son. My ex’s mother is a beautician and it seemed logical I become one. I like what I do, but it’s not the career I would have chosen.

·       How long did it take you to explain your predicament to the author?
This makes me laugh. I think Sara figured it out when she wrote my brother’s story. Zack and I worked together behind the scenes to get Dylan straightened out after he came back from Afghanistan. Zack understood him since he too had PTSD. I’ve always loved Zack, but had no idea how to go after him. Sara solved that problem easy enough.

·       If you could work in any profession outside of what you're doing now, what would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. My dream was to help people. Make them feel better. When I got pregnant with my son, I had to drop out of college. I’ve taken a few college classes after my divorce, but they focused on business to help me be able to run my salon better.

·       What is your favorite pastime?
Spending time with my son and with Zack’s daughter Mandy. Family is the most important thing to me. Always has been.

·       What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but just didn't have the courage or strength to follow through with?
I should have told Zack I loved him when we dated in high school. And I should have believed that he loved me enough not to do what I did. I was young and stupid. I had no self-confidence that Zack could love me and believed Jake’s lies. I’ve made such a mess out of things, just because I was afraid of saying three little words. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forgive myself of all the people I hurt in the process. Zack being the first.

·       What's your greatest failing?
I’ve always seen myself as ugly. I’m too tall and skinny. I had been bullied as a kid for being cross-eyed and buck-toothed. Even by Zack. When we were in sixth grade he nick-named me Olive Oyl, which to this day has stuck with a lot of my old classmates. He regrets it now, and I’ve forgiven him a long time ago for it. Now Zack’s helping me realize I’m not ugly and it’s a great feeling.

·       What makes you happiest?
Zack’s love. And my family. I’ve never been happier. I was thrilled when Sara gave Dylan and Charli their much deserved happy ever after. I never expected to she’d give me one too.

·       What annoys you most?
Oh, that’s easy. My ex-husband Jake Parker for the way he lied to me and for the way he treats our son. Also for all the lies he and his mother spread about me being a floozy. He makes me mad enough to want to rip him apart sometimes.

Thank you, Tracy. We're hoping everything works out for you and Zack. Sara, as the author of Tracy's story, why don't you step in and tell us a little bit about Gambling On a Heart.

Gambling On A Heart: Book 2 of The Colton Gamblers

She once lost his heart on a bluff. Will she risk everything to win it back?
Beautician Tracy Quinn spends her days making the women of Colton, Texas beautiful, while living down the nickname of Olive Oyl, given to her by the only man she has ever loved—Zack Cartwright. She spends her nights alone, despite what her ex husband wants their friends and neighbors to think.

Ex-rodeo cowboy. Ex-bad-boy. Ex-Marine. Widower and single dad Sheriff Zack Cartwright can describe his life in exes. One ex in particular reminds him of what’s missing in his workaholic life: Tracy Quinn. For years since she broke his heart, he’s practically made avoiding her a second job. He still wants her, but can never go after her.

When cattle rustlers target her brother’s ranch, Tracy and Zack are stuck working together. Her son could use a positive male role model, and his daughter is wild for a chance at a “substitute” mom. But Tracy’s ex threatens to sue if she lets Zack near her son, and the Colton grapevine is abuzz with rumors about their past relationship. Is it worth the gamble to see if what they have is more than lust?
CONTENT WARNING: Spicy sex

Ooo, spicy sex! Just what we're about here on Some Like It Hotter. Sara, please give us a little tantalizer from Gambling on a Heart.

“I was hoping you could keep me company this afternoon.” He skimmed his fingers over her cheek.
Her insides, heating up like lava under the surface of the earth, pooled in her low belly. Her lips parted.
Against her lips, he whispered, “Tracy, I want you.”

She had thought of little else since he’d left her standing on her porch Friday night. He was asking her to enter into a sexual relationship without any hope of a future--without love.
But she was already in love with Zack.

Both of their kids would benefit from them being together. Hadn’t that been what she’d decided while she tossed and turned in her big, empty bed?

With her gaze locked on his, she murmured, “I want you, too, but I have a stipulation.”

He leaned back. “What is it?”

“I’m no one’s bed-buddy, Zack. I know what my reputation is in this town, but it’s all wrong.” She swallowed her rapidly thumping heart back into place. “I’ll only go through with this, if you promise to treat me as a serious girlfriend. That means we date, we visit with our families and we share our kids.” When his expression hardened, she quickly added, “Mandy likes me. And I adore her. I’d like to bring her here, to the shop, for a few hours and play. And take her shopping. I know your mom tries, but she’s busy with her foundations and charities she does for the Junior League.”

The breath she sucked in was full of Zack’s scent of sage and leather. “Meanwhile, you can teach Bobby how to ride and maybe take him to the sheriff’s department and show him around. Jake won’t like it, but I’ll deal with him.” Having laid her demands out on the proverbial table, she held her breath, waiting for him to tell her what she could do with herself. After all, a man of Zack’s caliber could have any damned woman he wanted. Tracy was just handy, and according to the gossip of her ex-husband and mother-in-law, she was easy.

He studied her for a few moments. “That’s more than one stipulation.”

“Take it or leave it.”

“Tracy, it won’t change what I told you Friday night. I’m never getting married again.”

His words stung as much now as they had the other night, but she didn’t show him how much. She kept her face determined, as if she were haggling over one of his horses, rather than her body and soul.

“Fine. But I’m not a floozy. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. But I have my son to consider. And I’d hope you’d feel the same about Mandy. They’re bound to see us together. What do you plan on telling your six-year-old daughter when she asks about me? That I’m your friend with benefits? I know that isn’t what I want to be teaching my son.” Moreover, she didn’t want to give credence to Jake’s claim that she had no sexual morals.

“Okay,” he said at last. “We’ll play the game your way.” He pressed her against him. “Luck would have it I’m off this afternoon, too. I’ve already put in sixteen hours.”

When his lips captured hers, she knew she’d made a pact with the devil, but she couldn’t stop the elation surging through her. There was something he wanted from her. Sex was a big portion of it, but something else kept Zack from walking away and hooking up with any one of the many available women in town.

Please tell us about Sara Walter Ellwood. 

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 of Cera duBois.

Sara, how about some links to buy your books and find out more about you? 

Buy links:

Author links:
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Readers, please don't leave just yet. Sara has a big giveaway going on to celebrate the release of Gambling On A Heart: 

*Please leave your email address to qualify*
Tour Grand Prize is a swag pack full of goodies! A signed copy of Carolyn Brown’s Just a Cowboy and His Baby, an ebook copy of my last release Gambling On A Secret, a notebook, a pen, and a custom jewelry set—all tucked into a keepsake box. A $20 value.
*Swag pack is for the entire six-week tour. Winner will be announced on September 1, 2013
*Open to Continental US citizens 18 years and older and where not prohibited by law.


Readers, leave your comment with your email address to enter. And, as always, happy hot and sexy reading!

3 comments:

Liz Flaherty said...

Love a beautician heroine!

Renee Giraldy said...

Great blog post

D'Ann said...

I love Tracy! Great interview!