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Grab hold of a "Lawless" FIVE CARD STUD of your own! Click image for excerpt and purchase information.

Congratulations to blog email subscriber Andrea I., who won last week’s giveaway. If you’d like to be eligible for next week’s gift card prize, sign up for email updates and you’re IN!

Happy Monday! Joining us today is an author of smokin’ hot historicals, Gem Sivad, who is not only multi-published, but award-winning. Her erotic western romance, FIVE CARD STUD, is the winner of the 6th annual Passionate Plume award in the historical category. Adding fuel to what is already a sizzling fire, the readers are RAVING over this one, so if you want to go straight to the buy link, I totally understand. But come back and visit with us, wouldya? Gem is kind enough to offer a giveaway, and you aren’t going to want to miss it! **CONTEST CLOSED – Congratulations to our winner, Monica!**

Welcome, Gem, and congratulations on the success of FIVE CARD STUD. The reviews are outstanding—clearly historical western romance is your genre! What drew you to this setting and time? Is it one you frequent in your other work, or write in often?

Hi Sarah. Thanks for inviting me today and I really appreciate your congratulations. Being nominated for the EPIC Award is exciting.  Five Card Stud is part of my steamy, historical western series, Eclipse Heat, published by Ellora’s Cave.

Although I look longingly at other genre and am a voracious reader of paranormal and sci/fi, when I write, I usually visit the past. At the moment, I’m working on stories set in the Old West—Eclipse, Texas, 1880’s— to be more exact. J

There are seven books (for now) *cheeky grin* in the series. Three are currently available—Quincy’s Woman, Perfect Strangers, and Five Card Stud. Four more titles are contracted by the Ellora’s Cave Lawless Line to be released in 2012—Wolf’s Tender, Breed True, Whispering Grace, and Trouble in Disguise.

Clearly you rock this world! As familiar as it must be by now, you had to start somewhere. How do you research this era/setting? 

Every detail has to be period/era correct from the word choices to the costumes to the indoor/outdoor “conveniences”.  This means countless hours reading up on everything from Victorian corset stays to stud poker as it was played in the 19th century.

Dialogue, emotions, and word choice are dictated by the customs and language of the era.  Since I erroneously used the term “potholder” (coined in 1912) in a western set in 1883 and several readers caught it and chastised me, the Online Dictionary of Etymological Idioms and Terms has become my new best friend. No matter how hard I try to eliminate contemporaneous expressions my eagle-eyed editor always catches a few I’ve missed.

I’ve collected so many bits of trivia from the late 19th century I decided to publish Dreamcatcher Newsletter to share a spot of research Whimsy each month.

Wow, you’re really on top of this! I’m taking note of your links! And I’m amazed and impressed your readers caught the potholder. That’s such a compliment to you they paid so much attention! Judging by your wonderful reviews, they’ve had plenty else to say as well. What about FIVE CARD STUD have readers reacted to most strongly?

Most comments have involved the strength of the characters. Sam McCallister is a hard as nails, semi-illiterate bounty hunter, handsome as an angel, with devilish intentions toward any available female. Eden Pace is a woman on a mission, refusing to let Sam interfere with her pursuit of her husband’s killer.

It was tricky writing their character growth. Sam had to believably evolve from an unrepentant womanizer to a one-woman man, head-over-heels in love, not lust. Eden had to awaken from a widow’s grief and realize she’s given her heart and soul to Sam McCallister.

What an amazing transition—your talent for strong characterization must really shine here! As for the events which get them from one extreme to the other, how do you keep track of plot elements or twists?

I write in layers, leaving myself notes along the way, telling myself where to “insert plot detail” or “increase tension and deepen POV”.  Once I have completed the first draft, I use my notes to write the second draft. Five Card Stud had seven drafts before I subbed it. J

WOW! That’s some serious dedication, but it certainly shows in the final product. :c) What are you currently working on? 

Pinch of Naughty, a stand-alone steamy historical, is scheduled to debut from Ellora’s Cave this month. Four more titles in my Eclipse Heat series will be released in 2012 so I’m constantly involved in the editing process.  As for current wips, *rolling my eyes*, ahem,  I have three open right now, waiting for a character to pull me inside and anchor me ‘til I write my favorite words… “The End”.

I’m sure your readers are anxiously awaiting that moment with you, LOL! Let’s take a closer look at FIVE CARD STUD, and guys, stay tuned for the details on today’s giveaway!


When bounty hunter Sam McCallister sees Eden Pace playing poker for the first time, he loses all interest in the cards; instead, the thought of playing stud with the lady gambler stirs his lust to life. Eden’s the prettiest woman and the best card sharp Sam’s ever met and he’s determined to have her no matter the cost.

Eden’s doing her own outlaw hunting. She’s on the trail of her husband’s killer and Sam’s in her way. To get free of this hardheaded, softhearted, gorgeous man, Eden plays a hand of seduction—and  loses control  of the game as Sam ignites long forgotten passion.

When Sam discovers Eden’s wanted for murder, he figures his bed is the safest place for her. But taking Eden prisoner isn’t as easy as Sam expects. He’s in a high-stakes poker game with his heart on the line, because one taste of Eden just isn’t enough.


In appreciation for your hospitality, I’m randomly drawing a name from the comments and giving away winner’s choice of a title from my backlist. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Sarah.  

Five Card Stud is Available in ebook @ Amazon | B&N | ARE | Ellora’s Cave

Thanks so much, Gem! That’s incredibly generous of you. :c) You heard her guys! Leave a comment for a chance to win one of Gem Sivad’s books, then check out her links. Get friendly with one or two of them and you’ll never miss another one of her release days. (Sounds like a definite win for all of us!) It’s been a pleasure, Gem. :c)

GEM SIVAD author links: Gem’s Place  WEB  |  FB  |  TWITTER