Friday, April 17, 2020

Playlist for JASE


It's no secret that music plays a big part in all of my books, whether they are stand-alone books or parts of a series. Music actually plays a big part in my life - from the time we wake up in the morning until we go to bed, music is usually playing somewhere in the house.

What kind of music is the best music? All of it, really, depending on what else is going on. When I'm cooking, I'll shuffle through all 1432 songs on my iPhone. I have a playlist for when I'm working out, another for when I'm waiting in the carpool pick-up line at bebe's school. When I'm drafting, I'll either have my white-noise app playing (a mix of nature and mellow guitar music) or turn on the light classical station on our TV.

As I'm drafting, though, I'm thinking about pop, country, oldies, rock, and even holiday songs that fit my characters or the plot or a specific scene. And, when the draft is turned in and I'm beginning to think about polishing and revising, those songs become a new playlist - one that gets a pretty heavy workout of its own.

I'm just finishing up my Billionaire Cowboys trilogy - book three released in October - and for that series I actually had a series-specific playlist, and each book had it's own playlist, too. Some of the artists that made the series playlist include Elvis (how could he not? the books were set in Las Vegas, after all!), Kenny Chesney, Smokey Robinson, Train, and Wilson Phillips. Here's a peek into the songs that spoke to me while I was writing What the Gambler Risks:

Brothers Osborne - 21 Summer
Zac Brown Band - Beautiful Drug
Ashes Remain - On My Own
A Thousand Horses - Smoke & This Ain't No Drunk Dial
Chase Rice - MMM Girl
Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble
Dierks Bentley - Riser

But the song that got the most play? Sugarland's Run - it really evokes both Jase and Sabrina, for me.

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Hot Las Vegas nights get even steamier for these three powerful, wealthy businessmen with cowboy roots and the strong, independent women who fall for them. What happens in Vegas certainly won’t stay there as these successful tycoons win at love.


Gage: Nevada Cowboys Book 1 (Release Date 2/21/20)

Hot shot property developer Gage Reeves is taking Vegas by storm – that is, until his brother makes him the face of desperate bachelors everywhere. Enter Callie Holliday, who is trying to get a new, upscale spa off the ground. Callie’s connections in Vegas run just as deep as Gage’s, but unlike Gage’s family past Callie’s is pristine. They make a deal: her business venture, his building but what starts off strictly professional turned decidedly personal. Will Gage and Callie risk their professional success for a shot at love?

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Connor: Nevada Cowboys Book 2 (Release Date 3/17/20)

Vegas Nightly publisher Connor Reeves is close to meeting a big-time career goal: making his magazine a state-wide must-read. The only problem? His biggest competition, a larger publisher based in Colorado seems to know his every move. Miranda Clayton is tired of society parties and shopping, but her tycoon father refuses to take her seriously. Her solution? Beat him at his own game by going to work for his top competitor, Connor Reeves. Connor isn’t fooled by Miranda’s act for a second. He knows exactly who she is; the question is what does the lady want?
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Jase: Nevada Cowboys Book 3 (Release Date 4/17/20)

Jase Reeves lives his life by rules: never get emotional at the poker table and never get emotional with women. But when he meets self-help author Sabrina York all bets are off. Sabrina enjoys fame and fortune writing her female-empowerment books, but she could do without the reputation – that of the Oldest Living (Supposed) Virgin in Vegas. Blowing up her entire life because sexy gambler Jase Reeves has shown an interest in her? Sabrina has already written the book on that, but staying away from Jase isn’t as simple as closing the cover of her favorite book. And for Jase, melting the heart of the Vegas Virgin might be his greatest gamble yet…

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Excerpt:

Jase

 “One more hand. Winner buys the loser a drink?”
      She tilted her water bottle toward him. “I already have a drink.”
      Jase snickered but was careful to keep the sound light and friendly. “That’s not a drink.” He lifted his glass of soda water with lime to his mouth. Most people wouldn’t consider the contents of his glass a real drink, either, but he rarely drank when he played. Alcohol and cards did not mix well in Jase’s opinion. “What do you have to lose?” he pressed.
     “We’ll see,” she said, not meeting his gaze directly, and he was 75 percent positive she was on her way to a yes.
     The dealer switched decks and then dealt the cards. Jase had random cards in his hands, but he didn’t care. The woman studied her hand, one manicured nail tapping against the cards. Considering.
     “Twenty,” she said, throwing a chip on the table.
     “Raise to forty,” Jase said, tossing two chips on the table. The best plan of attack when the cards in his hand were useless was to make her think he held something amazing. He didn’t bluff in real card games, but despite her two wins, he didn’t peg this woman as a true card player. If she were a regular player, she wouldn’t be so transparent about what she held in her hands.
     The woman blinked, and her teeth began nibbling at her lower lip.
     “Are you in?” he asked, a bit more forcefully than was necessary.
     Her finger tapped faster against the cards in her hand. “I’ll take three,” she said and slid three cards to the dealer.
     As soon as her new cards were in her hands, Jase said, “I’ll stand.” And he stacked his worthless cards with all the careless confidence he used in high-stakes games around the globe. The kind of confidence that made big-time, big-money gamblers think twice about going against him in the second betting round.
     The woman circled her index finger around her remaining green chip, considering her options. Call, take the gamble, lose, and have a drink with him. Of course, it would take a truly pitiful hand to lose to what he held. She could fold and have a drink with him. She could also call his bluff and, depending on the cards in her own hand, win. He didn’t like the thought of her winning, but if her winning at the table landed the two of them at the bar, was it really a loss for him?
     “Call,” she said, and Jase felt a wave of admiration for his opponent. Which was not good, because if she was calling she had to have something in her hand, and he had a big, fat zero. Which meant she would win. Jase didn’t like to lose, especially at poker, not even when it was a friendly game instead of a high-stakes match with thousands of dollars to lose.
     She laid down her cards: three queens, a two, and a ten.
     “Three of a kind. Nice.”
     “I was hoping for a full house.”
     “I was hoping you’d fold, so I could buy you that drink,” he said and laid his cards—all four suits, random order—on the table.
     “Nice bluff, I almost folded.”
     “If it had been a better bluff, you would have folded.” He watched her for a moment across the table. “Now you have to buy me the drink; all in all, not a bad night at the table.”
     The woman pushed back from the table, pulling the pot in the middle to her side. Jase pocketed the chips he had left in his stack. “I never agreed to that bed,” she said, and her hands stilled over the chips. Her gaze flicked to his, and despite the dim light, he saw the flush that crept over her cheeks.
     “And here I thought we were just talking about a drink. I have to tell you, I’m not the kind of guy to go off to a strange woman’s hotel room after a lousy hand of poker,” he said with mock outrage.
     “Bet. I meant bet.”

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