Behind the scenes: Gambling on Trouble

A burly bear security guard and a dragon diamond thief tangling in Las Vegas. Ever wonder how a love story like Gambling on Trouble that came about? Read about it right here!

The story

Gambling on Trouble was originally conceived as the prologue to Gambling on Her Bear. Sadly, I had to cut the backstory to keep the pace of that book moving. But I wanted to share that part of their love story with readers, so the moment I had the chance to focus on this story (and the opportunity to share it with readers in the form of a Halloween-themed box set), I went at it with a vengeance.

So I backed up in time to the day Karen met Tanner (which I already had worked out in my mind) and thought of a Halloween-ish theme that could fit Las Vegas. I grew up in Washington Irving country (the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow who lived in what was once Dutch colonial New York), so I decided to use the Headless Horseman as the theme for the pub where Karen and Tanner first set eyes on each other.

And zoom! The story wrote itself from there, from the moment they first set eyes on each other, to the motorcycle ride up to a ridge outside town (I love night rides in the desert), to Karen and Tanner’s very first night together under the stars. It’s a short story, but a good one, I think!

The characters

Gambling on Her Dragon

Karen and Tanner were already well developed (see Behind the scenes of Gambling on Her Bear) by the time I wrote their story, so this prequel was a chance to emphasize their defining traits. Karen is an impulsive risk-taker while Tanner is a cautious bear, and it’s so much fun to see those opposites attract and slowly rub off on each other!

My favorite scene

Well, I have a lot of favorite moments – one of which is when Amber and the other showgirls waltz into the pub and descend on Tanner like a flock of birds. I LOVE how Tanner turns just in time to avoid taking Amber’s kiss on the lips – and a minute later, how he turns to make sure he gets Karen’s kiss right on his mouth! And of course I love the idea of riding into the desert night on the back of a motorcycle with a handsome bear shifter. I can practically feel the wind in my hair, the warmth of his body, the hum of the engine…

I hope you enjoyed reading Gambling on Trouble and finding out how Karen and Tanner first met. What do you think? Are you ready to book your own trip to Vegas soon?