Summer Reading Kick Off: Gambling on Love by Nancy Fraser & Patti Shenberger

Today, I'm welcoming authors Nancy Fraser & Patti Shenberger who are here to discuss their new book Gambling on Love and tell us a little about writing with a partner. Check out the link at the bottom to learn how to win a prize by following them on their blog tour.
Welcome Ladies!

Tell us a little about your new book, Gambling on Love, Book One of the McCade Legacy.  

Gambling on Love mixes a number of traditional tropes (e.g., forced marriage, opposites attract) with a modern assumption that the woman in the relationship isn’t some dutiful, simpering wife, but rather a feisty, sometimes naïve, bundle of energy and ambition. While the heroine comes from a wealthy family, she’s grounded in humanity. Our hero’s family is just as wealthy but have worked hard for their money and don’t use it as a bargaining chip to get what they want, as our heroine’s father does. When Jake’s and Felicity’s two distinct personalities clash, sparks are bound to fly … quite well.
Now, tell us a little about yourselves. Where you live, etc.

Nancy: I live in Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick to be exact), although I’m originally from Michigan. I married a Canadian many moons ago and moved to Ontario. I’m now happily divorced and have been following my military son and grandchildren around the country since 2002. Currently, I’m blessed with four wonderful grandchildren and another on the way in mid-July.
Patti: I live in Michigan, about thirty minutes north of Detroit.  I’m a true Michigander, complaining about the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter.  Along with being married for over 30 years, I’ve got two grown kids, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and a grandbaby on the way in August.  And of course, one mutt and one cat here at home, and six grand-mutts of various shapes and sizes.

Is this the first book you’ve written together? How did you become writing partners?

Actually, no. It’s the second. The first book together was published in 2007 and is no longer available. However, we do hope to re-issue it as the prequel to the McCade Legacy down the line. The long time break in between books was a result of both of us having serious health issues. However, the delay turned out to be a blessing because we have a new and wonderful publisher in Entangled to help us through the series!

We remember the “how” as if it were yesterday (and were discussing it the other day). We were at an RWA conference in Washington, DC. Patti had an editor appointment and wanted to pitch an idea she had for a book about a gambler who owns his own riverboat and falls in love with a woman from another century. We sat down to go over her pitch. Because I’m a buttinski, I started throwing out secondary character ideas (which is where Jake, the hero in Gambling on Love came from). The next thing you know … we’re plotting out a series and deciding to do it together.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write separately or do you work on each page together?

 We write separately … otherwise we’d never get anything done! Our style and voice are very different, yet we have an uncanny ability to see the “problem” with something the other does. For Gambling on Love, Nancy wrote the full and Patti did all the editing and acted as the contact/liaison with the publisher. The roles will reverse for coming books. As for writing schedule, we each do it a bit differently.

Nancy just completed the next contracted book in the series, tentatively titled The Lawman’s Agreement, in 31 days from start to final edit. To do this, she gave herself a goal of 1 chapter a day. At the end of every 5 chapters, the “block” was sent to Patti for edits. While Patti is editing, Nancy would work on the next block of five.

Patti is working on Book #4, tentatively titled, The Redemption of Isabella Monroe, based on a character from Gambling on Love. Her schedule may work a bit differently, depending on what suits her style and allows for other writing obligations.

You each come from different backgrounds and life experiences that you draw on when writing. What do you feel those differences add to your books?

Not as different as you might expect. There is a slight age difference (ok, Nancy’s older), but we both grew up with a Motown/auto capital influence, were educated in the same state-wide system, and actually worked together in the medical administrative field for a number of years. In addition to the medical admin field, Nancy has legal experience, teaching experience (creative writing) and training experience. Patti has experience in real estate, car sales and insurance. For the most part these differences mean we have to do less research if we base our characters in an area one of us is familiar with. If any of our differences translate into a book it’s likely our personalities. Patti is far more serious than Nancy. If Nancy had her way, every book would be a comedy.

Do you each have certain areas that are your specialty when writing together?

Nancy: Steamy love scenes

Patti: Dialogue

Do you ever disagree on what’s happening in the book, your characters, etc.?

Not very often but when we do, we work it out like ladies … probably because we’re too far apart to slug each other. (Patti adds – or I give in if Nancy whines too much!) (And Nancy’s rebuttal – I prefer to think of it as creative coercion.)
Who came up with the idea for Gambling on Love and the McCade Legacy series?

The storyline for Gambling on Love was a joint effort as we fleshed out the entire series. We knew it was Jake’s book and that he needed a feisty heroine to offset his outgoing personality. Once we knew what type of characters we wanted the rest was easy. Again, the original one-book idea was Patti’s. The idea for the series was a joint effort after far too much Pepsi (for Patti) and coffee (for Nancy). However, as wired as we were at the time, it seems to have worked out well.

Describe your favorite scene from Gambling on Love.

Probably the one we’ve received the most comments on, the deflowering scene. Our hero, Jake McCade, has a reputation as a ladies’ man. He was hurt badly once and wants nothing more to do with permanent relationships, preferring instead to play the field. However, when he’s forced into marriage to an innocent young woman, he realizes he must rein in his usual instincts and approach his wedding night with a totally different outlook. Despite his desire to ravish his new bride, he quickly learns giving pleasure is as important as receiving it.

How many books are in the series? Have you already written them? 

Currently we have eight books outlined and ready to be written. We’ve already contracted the first three, with the second one just turned in and the third one about halfway complete. We’re hoping the series develops a great following so that we have the opportunity to expand it even further.

Is there anything you would like to add?
In addition to our joint effort with the McCade Legacy, both Patti and Nancy have contracted/soon-to-be published books on their own. Patti has two books coming out in September, The Doctor’s Holiday Bonus, and Paging Dr Responsible. Nancy will soon be adding novella #4, April Love and #5, Dream Lover, to her vintage historical series, the Golden Decade of Rock and Roll, set between 1955 and 1964. More information on our individual careers can be found on our websites.

Entice us with a blurb and excerpt from Gambling on Love.

Gambling on Love is the story of Felicity Beaumont, a rich man's willful daughter with a heart of gold who wants more than anything to free her father's illegally indentured workers.

When she devises a plan to move them north with the help of Jake McCade, owner of the gambling boat known as the River Maiden, she finds she's run afoul of not only her father but of the man she's duped into helping her.

While Jake and Felicity find themselves in agreement about helping the slaves, they are at odds over everything else, including their quickly escalating feelings for one another.


The moment the door closed behind Felicity, Jake reached for the crystal-cut decanter of brandy and poured himself two fingers of amber warmth. Downing the entire glass in two swift mouthfuls, he poured another.

Now there’s a great idea: drunk on your wedding night.

Jake bit back a curse. He’d not been happy with the court-ordered marriage. Yet, it had saved him from a prison cell. And, if he were truthful with himself, marriage to Felicity held its promise. She was beautiful, highly intelligent, and knew how to deport herself as a lady. She would fit into the McCade family easily.

Along with the upside, came the down. How long would this gently raised young woman put up with a man who admittedly preferred the sights, sounds, and smells of a gambling boat to the simplicity of a home and family? How badly would it hurt when she decided to call an end to their arrangement? Surely it couldn’t hurt any worse than his previous broken engagement. Jake brushed the memory of his near miss and the thought of losing Felicity aside. For the moment, they were married, and he had no plans to end the arrangement any sooner than necessary.

He pictured Felicity on the other side of the solid oak doors, her beautiful evening gown falling to the floor in a pile of silk and lace, her undergarments tossed carelessly aside in her haste to reach his bed. He’d go to her, he decided, take her into his arms, lay her naked atop his bed and make slow, passionate love to her.

He could see it so clearly in his mind’s eye: she’d come to him willingly, open her heart, her mind, her body, for his touch, his taste. He’d tease her at first, taunt her with those kisses she was so fond of. He’d caress her in places she’d never been touched before: her breasts, the flat plane of her belly, the soft skin on the inside of her creamy thighs.

He’d suckle at her breast, first one and then the other, drawing on her gently until she whimpered for him to increase his ardor. He’d take her to places she had never imagined, places he’d rarely gone himself. There were certain types of lovemaking saved only for those who were special to you. He’d not much experience with these more personal touches, tastes, but enough to know what he was doing. He’d go there with Felicity because she was special.

Jake shifted his stance at the bar, making room for the swell of his body when he thought of making love to Felicity…his wife. Closing his eyes, he pictured her naked beneath him. He’d prepare her gently, thoroughly, and when she was ripe and wanting, he’d sheath himself inside…

Jake cursed his vivid imagination. In all his experience, he’d never once taken a woman’s virginity. The realization of what he was about to do made him wary. As tantalizing as his thoughts had been, Jake knew he’d need to take another approach, a more gentle awakening of Felicity’s rite of passage into womanhood.

Despite his own desires, he needed a plan, a good plan.
Buy Gambling on Love :



Name the Hotel!

As part of a tour-wide giveaway the authors are offering one lucky winner the chance to not only name the hotel which will appear in the second McCade Legacy novel, but will also have their name used as a character in the book as well!
Follow the Gambling on Love Blog Tour:

For more information on Nancy and her books visit:; @nfraserauthor;; and my blog:
For more information on Patti and her books visit:; @pattishenberger;;www.facebookcom/authorpattishenberger;



  1. Gloria,

    Thanks so much for having us and taking part in our blog tour! We look forward to coming back in the fall with Book 2 of the McCade Legacy series.



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