About the Book

Title: A Game of Chance
Genre: western historical romance
Author Name: Lauren Linwood
Book heat level (based on movie ratings G, PG, PG13, R): PG13
Gambler Jed Stone journeys
to California to track down Simon Morgan, the man responsible for his best friend’s
death. Arrested for robbery and murder upon arrival, Jed is shocked to see his face
on a wanted poster. He escapes before his hanging, unaware that the man guilty of
those crimes is the twin brother he never knew existed. In a case of mistaken identity,
Jed acquires the most famous whorehouse in San Francisco
in a rigged card game his twin is meant to win.
Lily Frontiere takes
over running Lucky Lil’s from her dying mother, the house madam who shielded her
by sending her away to boarding school. Lily’s intelligence and astonishing resemblance
to her mother help in her charade, but she’s entered a world she knows little about.
She clashes with the handsome stranger who turns up with the deed to Lucky Lil’s
in hand, yet she is attracted to the charming risk taker.
But Simon Morgan seeks
both Lily’s hand and ownership of Lucky Lil’s—and he will go to any means to possess
both. Will Jed foil his nemesis while bringing his outlaw brother to justice and
win Lily’s love?

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About the Character

Name: Jed Stone
Age: 25
Gender: male
Birthplace: New York City
Profession: gambler
Ethnicity/Species (if not human): white
Describe his/her body build, skin tone, height and weight. Include
any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars:
Jed is 6’2″ and 180 pounds, with a muscled chest and thick,
dark-blonde hair and a mustache. He has crystal blue eyes and a killer smile that
melts hearts on both sides of the Mississippi. Think
Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid. Jed could be his younger brother!
Who is the significant
other in your character’s life (hero/heroine)?
Lily Frontiere, who is the daughter of the most famous whorehouse
in San Francisco. She was shielded from the house
life and sent back east to a fancy boarding school and has returned to her home
to find her mother dying and in debt. Lily wanted to be an actress, which her mother
refused to allow her to do so, so she is using her acting skills and incredible
similarity to her mother to “play” Madam Lil. With a dark wig and heavy
make-up and her curves poured into one of Lil’s dresses, she is Madam Lil—but incredibly naïve and having
to learn quickly on the job how to manage her girls and the clientele they service.
How educated is this character?
Is he/she book smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?
Jed went to public schools, where during recess he played poker
with his teacher during recess and honed his math and gambling skills. He dropped
out as a teen because the midwife who raised him grew ill, and he needed to support
them. He worked at everything from a boot factory to a brewery, even keeping the
books at a pub while pouring drinks. He fought for the Union
in the Civil War and after the war ended, he put his street smarts and luck together
and became a gambler, mostly playing poker.
What is your character’s
family like?
Jed is an orphan, raised by Elmira,
the gruff midwife who delivered him. He doesn’t know many details about his background,
but will find out the truth when he arrives in San Francisco.
His father Gordon was an actor who pretended to marry a young Boston Brahmin teenager.
She gave birth to a son, and Gordon took off with the child. He wanted the baby
to show his millionaire grandfather that he’d become respectable, hoping Max would
put him in the will. Little did he know his dying “wife” gave birth to
a second son minutes later—an identical twin to the first son. Jed possess a locket
with his mother’s initials, which will play a key role in unraveling the tangled
web of his past.
What inner doubt causes
your character the most difficulty?
Jed learns that his twin brother is wanted for robbery, rape,
and murder. He also discovers his father was a pretty shady character with a checkered
past. His fear is he’s got their “bad blood,” and he’ll never be able
to rise above it. He’s fallen in love, and he wants to be the best possible man
he can be for the woman he loves, but finding out about these two relatives creates
doubt in his mind.
What is your character’s
biggest need at the beginning of the story? As the story opens,
Jed’s biggest need is to get out of jail! He’s been arrested
based on a wanted poster and sentenced to be executed, but it’s actually his twin
who’s committed the crimes. Jed has no idea why his picture is on the poster, but
he’s not about to hang for another man’s crimes, so he needs to escape—and fast!
How emotionally expressive
is your character to others?
Jed is very self-contained, a reflection of his gambling skills
and instinct. He studies people and picks up on the little things about them. He’s
used many aliases in the past and holds his cards, literally and figuratively, close
to the chest. As he begins to fall in love with Lily, though, he opens up to the
possibilities of a life beyond gambling, and we see a very playful side to him.

About Your Writer: Questions for your character to answer about you.

Why do you think your
writer chose to write about you?
Lauren Linwood wanted to tell my story because she sees me as
very vulnerable. She was fascinated by the idea that identical twins could be separated
at birth and resemble each other so closely, yet turn out very differently.
What do you wish your
writer had not told others about you?
I can’t believe she let the cat out of the bag and told people
how I donate a portion of my poker winnings to various orphanages in each town I
pass through. Just because I’m an orphan and know how hard that life can be, I feel
she had no right revealing something so personal.
Why do you think your
writer loves to write?
Lauren loves to tell stories—the more complex and twisty, the
better. She loves creating people and their worlds and sharing them with readers.
She wants to entertain and make readers happy when they get that happily ever after
ending. I’m grateful that despite all the complications she threw at me, I was able
to find my golden ending with Lily, the love of my life, and learn about my true
roots.
What do you wish your
writer would write next?
When I have kids with Lily, I think their story would be an interesting
one to read about. They would come of age at the turn of a new century in America, so that alone would make for a special story. Besides,
who wouldn’t want to read the love story of their own children? Mine turned out
so well, and I hope Lauren would give my kids their own soul mates for life!
What other character from
your book do you think your writer should write a book about? Care to tell us why?
Lauren would never admit to this, but her two favorite characters
in A Game of Chance are Harold, the butler, and Cleveland Armstrong, a bank clerk.
Harold has a great sense of humor and is incredibly loyal. I think she should give
him a good woman to share his laughter and love. And in the epilogue, Lauren reveals
Cleveland is doing something very special with his
life. He’s the true hero in A Game of Chance, and I believe he deserves his own
book and happily ever after, just like Lily and I got.
Is there anything you’d
like to say to your writer?
Lauren knows how grateful I am to her for bringing Lily and me
together. We definitely had some bumps along the way, but I want her to know that
I truly am the man she thought I was, and I plan to be the best man I can be, for
both Lily and me. I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life, and I look forward
to my future—all thanks to Lauren and her vivid imagination.

Author Bio

As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends
together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating
memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she
became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of
teenage hormones.
Lauren’s novels focus on two of her favorite eras, medieval times
and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in
extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another
grows into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas
suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress
by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support
group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.

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