Whenever I start a book I always begin with the research. One by one the characters come to me, sit down and begin telling me their story. As I start to write I always find I have to do research.
You’d think after 40 books that I’d know all about Texas, but that will never be true I’m afraid. The research took me in a direction I never expected in BETTING THE RAINBOW. As with all my books I like to tell more than one story at a time but those stories weave around one another making readers feel like they are moving through a town with people getting mixed up in the problems of others at the same time they try to solve their own mysteries.
The story in BETTING THE RAINBOW is set amid a few weeks of summer when the whole town becomes involved in a fund raiser to benefit the town library. Instead of the usual things groups do to raise money, the friends of the library decide to hold a poker night with a grand prize being a buy-in to a huge game in Las Vegas.
Dusti Delaney sees the game as her one chance to change her and her sister’s lives. Betting the rainbow is a term used in poker when a player decides to bet it all on one pot and that is what Dusti is willing to do.
Only problem for me as the writer…I didn’t know how to play poker. Research. I talked a friend into taking me to a weekly game out in the country. Thirty bucks later, I had the basics of how to play. Next I read every book I could find on Texas Hold’em and how women survive in the game. I talked to poker players and asked endless questions. Then, one called me to join her at the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. In the middle of our pancakes she said, “I’m going to Vegas to play next week. Come along with me.” I booked my plane, talked a friend into going with me, and packed before lunch. I wasn’t there to watch the game. I was there to watch the people.
So, come along with me on a great adventure with the people of Harmony as they hunt wild hogs, learn to play poker and fall in love on a lake off Rainbow Lane.
Life is a gamble and like Kenny Rogers says, “You got to know when to hold’em. Know when to fold’em. And know when to walk away.”
I’m betting you’ll walk away happy when you finish BETTING THE RAINBOW.
BETTING THE RAINBOW Release date: April 1, 2014 Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 978-0-425-26840-7 Retail price: USA $7.99
Order BETTING THE RAINBOW at www.jodithomas.com
Thomas is a master at creating damaged yet appealing characters, and their expressions of love — as siblings, as friends, as partners — are intense and beautiful. Their paths to happiness are interwoven in an intricate tapestry with the tournament as backdrop, combining in an epic tale of the kind of love that lasts forever – Publishers Weekly (starred review) on BETTING THE RAINBOW.
Thanks for visiting, Jodi. I like the unique library fundraiser and the research you did for the story 🙂 I hope readers will come back later today to read my review of BETTING THE RAINBOW. Hint: I loved it!