Friday, December 16, 2016

Meet Lily's Gambler

. . . . Respectability is in the eye of the beholder.
. . . . Or so Lily Penhallow hopes when she assumes the guise of the widow Albright. She has learned the price of flaunting convention and is determined to obey society's rules from now on. After her lover, Nigel Albright, was killed in a duel over a card game, Lily dons widow’s weeds and travels to Grass Valley, California where she plans to marry the man her uncle works for, a respectable mine owner named Hugh Ogilvie. Then, on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets Creighton 'King' Callaway, a professional gambler, just the kind of man she should avoid.
 . . . . King believes that since life is a gamble, there's no point in planning for the future. You have to trust Lady Luck. After meeting Lily, King knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?
. . . .Only Lady Luck knows for sure...

Wild Women Authors is pleased to be part of the Holiday Recipe Exchange, featuring authors, their stories and a yummy recipe with a holiday flavor. Today Linda McLaughlin, author of Lily and the Gambler [Amber Quill Press] is visiting. Her 'hero' Creighton “King” Callaway tagged along and is up first.
Where are you from? Originally, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but for now Grass Valley, California, where I own a saloon.
Tell us a bit about Lily and the Gambler. I’m still bemused that someone thought my life was worth writing about, though I admit there was a bit of excitement toward the end of the book. It all started when she came into my life and upended everything.
What did you think the first time you saw Lily? She intrigued me. I’m not usually drawn to respectable women, but even dressed in widow’s weeds, she drew my eye. Something in the way she moved, as well as her beauty.
What was your second thought? That she was a self-righteous, judgmental female.
Clearly, not love at first sight. Not at the time, though now I suspect it was.
What do you like most about Lily? Her courage.
How would you describe her? Beautiful, strong, warm, caring.
How would Lily describe you? With a grin, Once a gambler, always a gambler.
What made you choose gambling for a career? I’m good at it, so running my own saloon seemed like a good idea. After all, the house always wins.
What is your biggest fear? Drowning.
How do you relax? When would I find time for that? I run a business that doesn’t wind down until the wee hours of the night. I’m lucky I have time to sleep.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Hawkeye from James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. He’s his own man.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My uncle telling me to make an honest woman of Lily.
Thank you, King. This has been most enlightening. Now it's Linda's turn at bat.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Historical fiction and romance, in general, probably starting with Elizabeth Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond, a favorite childhood book. Later I discovered Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Anya Seton. I love history, so I’ve always been drawn to read and write historical romance.
Ms. Seton was an early favorite for us, also. What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Mainly the setting. My husband and I took two trips through the California Gold Country, and the book was inspired by our visits to the Grass Valley area.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? The story was originally published in a shorter, steamier version by Amber Quill Press, in answer to a call for submissions for Western romance.
What project[s] are you working on now? My next project is a novella set during the French Revolution.
What's up next for you? I’m hoping to re-issue a paranormal romance called Tova’s Dragon, written under my Lyndi Lamont pseudonym, in the next month or two.
To learn more about Linda McLaughlin and the stories she creates, go to:
Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont

To purchase Lily and the Gambler, go to:

Now for the recipe portion of the program:
Lyndi's Cranberry-Blueberry Delight
1 14 oz. can of Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1 package of fresh blueberries (about 4 oz.)
1 cup of golden raisins
  Mix, chill and serve. That's it!

The recipe serves 8-10 ladies. (The attached photo doesn't reflect the full recipe. It's what is left over after a couple of days of snacking on it.) I’ve also spread it on turkey sandwiches in lieu of regular cranberry sauce. since it's so simple, it's easy to experiment. Add nuts for crunch or sweeten to taste, if it's too tart. I'm thinking about adding some of those little marshmallows next time for color and sweetness.


  1. Thanks for hosting me today. It was fun to interview my hero.

    Happy Holidays to all!

  2. Linda, So nice to meet you. Lily and the Gambler sounds delightful and just the kind that appeals to me. Oh and does Creighton ever sound like a great hero--love those gambler, live dangerously men who seem so strong and unmoveable until they meet the right lady. OH my! Looking forward to a great read. Nice cover too. Wishing you much success with this and all future stories, and also you and your family a very Happy Holidays.

    1. Beverly, thanks so much for the kind words. Happy a holidays!