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Welcome back Kaye Spencer with a new Western historical romance featuring a lady gambler...
When beautiful lady gambler Lainie Conrad’s husband, Seaton, is murdered, she sets out for revenge. Lainie is certain that cardsharp Rutherford Tolliver is guilty, but she has to find a way to prove it—and when she does, she’s not about to let her own little ol’ arrest get in the way!
U.S. Deputy Marshal Nick Foster catches up with her, determined to get to the bottom of why she walked out on him months earlier. There’s a high bounty on Lainie’s head for a murder she didn’t commit, so Nick has no choice but to arrest her for her own protection—and to keep his heart safe, as well.
But Lainie has bought in to a high stakes poker tournament in Denver, Colorado, and nothing will keep her from facing the scheming Tolliver across the poker table in a final showdown that pits skill against skill and trickery against vengeance. She escapes from Nick once more and runs to Denver. She must keep her vow to her murdered husband, for only then will she be free to find love again.
The ghosts of the past are no match for The Lady of the Cards when her future is at stake. She can’t afford to lose when she’s GAMBLING WITH LOVE…
Excerpt from Gambling with Love
Lamp light shadows played off of Lainie’s swept-up golden tresses, and visions of their last night together in New Orleans seized him. Right then, Nick hated himself for how shamelessly he still loved her.
“You can only imagine my extreme disappointment when I saw you standing on the stairs. All this time I’d hoped you were dead.”
The teasing welcome in her tone belied her harsh words, and a warm rush of missing her made it hard to keep a clear head with a churning den of rattlers twisting around in his belly. He’d never loved a woman before Lainie waltzed into his life, and even though she’d run out on him almost as quickly as she’d arrived, there was no room in his heart for another woman. There never would be.
“Your aim was off. It was just a graze, but it rang my bell and bled like hell.” There wasn’t enough light for her to see it, but he turned his head and pointed to the scar that began at his right temple and ended over his ear.
“Why are you assuming my aim was off? By your own admission, it did knock you out, which was the object of my intent, I’ll have you know.”
Nick cocked an eyebrow, mocking her. “So you’re a sharpshooter?”
He loved the lyrical lilt of her laughter, and she laughed now.
“Next time you use that little parlor gun of yours, make sure you’re close enough to cram it right into the poor chump’s belly when you pull the trigger. You still might not kill him, but you’ll increase your chances of slowing him down, that’s for sure.”
“Why, thank you so much for the advice. However, in my defense, if you hadn’t tried to disarm me, I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger. It was your own fault that I shot you. Your ultimatum left me no choice, but to demonstrate the sincerity of my convictions.” Her voice dripped of syrupy sweet sarcasm.
Nick remembered all too well. “Are you planning on shooting me again?”
A grin played at the corners of her lips. “That depends upon your intentions toward my virtue.”
Lainie busied herself with adjusting the lamp wick until she was satisfied with the glow.
Her subtle jasmine fragrance made it difficult to keep his hands to himself. “You know my intentions toward your virtue have never been honorable.”
Native Coloradoan Kaye Spencer lives in a small, rural town located in the heart of the infamous Dust Bowl area of the 1930s. While drawn to cowboys and the Old West, all genres and time periods are within her story-creating realm. She refers to herself as a lover of words, a crafter of stories, and a hopelessly hopeful romantic.
Reading Louis L’Amour’s westerns, listening to Marty Robbins’ gunfighter ballads, watching the classic television westerns, and growing up on a cattle ranch all inspired her love of the American Old West—truths and myths alike. She admits to an obsession with Phantom of the Opera and the Arthurian legends. Her favorite book is The Mists of Avalon, and she never tires of the music from Les Misérables and La Bohème.
Retired from a career in education, Kaye enjoys the dual life of full-time writer and spoiler of grandchildren. Kaye is also afflicted with ACD (Accumulative Cat Disorder) for which there is no known cure.
Website/Blog – http://www.kayespencer.com
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How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Nine or ten years ago, I entered an on-line writing contest sponsored by The Romance Studio. It was a 3-Round competition. The first two stages of the contest were writing the first 1000 words of a story based on a pre-determined story prompt. The third stage was to create a newsletter. At each stage, you posted your entry, readers logged-in and read the entries, and then voted. If you 'finaled', you went on to the next level.
Anyway, Gambling with Love evolved from one of the story prompts of that contest. Here's the prompt:
Character A is in law enforcement and must find and arrest Character B. These characters have a romantic history that went sour. Character A's feelings are still strong for Character B. Write their reunion scene with the arrest in mind.
From there, Gambling with Love found a setting in 1883 in Denver, Colorado against the backdrop of a high-stakes poker tournament. The heroine, Lainie Conrad (Character B) is a professional poker player seeking revenge against the gambler responsible for her husband's murder. Her plans for revenge are compromised when U.S. Deputy Marshal Nick Foster (Character A) shows up to arrest and escort her back east to stand trial for suspected murder.
What could we find in your heroine's purse?
Lainie usually carries one of two matched derringers in her purse. Some people say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but Lainie’s found that a two-shot parlor gun never lets her down.
What one thing about your hero drives his heroine crazy?
While Lainie admires Nick’s devotion and duty to his profession as deputy marshal, it drives her to distraction that he doesn’t share her philosophy that rules are made to be broken, especially if it suits her purpose.
And what one thing about your heroine drives her hero nuts?
Nick Foster could throttle Lainie, because she brushes off how much trouble she’s in. He wants to help clear her of murder charges, and she’s bound and determined a poker game is more important.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
My favorite movie is The Princess Bride. Heroes, giants, villains, wizards, fencing, fighting, pirates, true love… It doesn’t get any better than this.
What is your favorite movie line?
My favorite movie line is from Quigley Down Under when Quigley is facing Marston at the end of the movie. The gunfight is over, and Quigley says to Marston (regarding his gun): “I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it."
Today Kaye will give away several copies of Gambling with Love. Just leave an answer to her question to enter the drawing (along with your email address).
I grew up in a card-playing family. While we didn’t play much poker, we did enjoy pitch, gin rummy, solitaire, and cribbage. How about you? Do you play cards and, if so, what do you like to play?