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Friday, March 18, 2011


Any time I blog, I try to throw in a little research whimsy. Since I write historical western erotic romance, my topics swing from Texas terrain to 19th century methods of birth control, with maybe a little stud poker mixed in between. 

Here’s an info snippet I used in my recent release, Five Card Stud.
In 1873 the U.S. Supreme Court established that bounty hunters had sweeping rights to the accused person they took into custody until that person was delivered to jail.

Five-card stud is the earliest form of the card game stud poker, originating during the American Civil War and popular for its “no limit” play.

How did I use these facts? Well, my hero is a bad boy, poker playing, bounty hunter named Sam McCallister—or Snake as he’s known by the outlaws. Sam wastes no time pampering prisoners—until he sits across a poker table from lady gambler, Eden Pace— and falls in lust.

Excerpt from Five Card Stud when Sam and Eden play poker for her freedom. 

Eden’s stomach twisted in anger as she met Sam’s gaze and he let her see truth. The man who stared at her with eyes as cold blue as a winter lake wasn’t going to let her leave.

Eden held up her hand and flashed the impressive emerald at their audience. “I’m afraid you don’t have enough cash to cover this jewel, Sam. It’s a family heirloom, anyway, and I could never part with my ring.”

Again she attempted to leave, this time with a sense of urgency beating a steady warning in her head.

“I think I can change your mind, Eden. Let’s put this in the pot. It’s the deed to some property I own.”

Eden opened the folded paper he pushed across the table and hesitantly looked at it. Shock rippled through her when she saw her own face staring up from a wanted poster.

Sam said, “One hand—high card wins and winner takes all.” It was a fool’s bet. There was no skill involved, just chance.

“Your deal or mine?” she asked sharply.


Sam handed her the deck. Without hesitation she revealed his card, the seven of spades. Her fingers trembled as she touched the back of the remaining deck. The odds had shifted in her favor.

He reached in his shirt pocket and pulled out a cigar, raising an eyebrow for consent. When she nodded, he struck a lucifer and squinted at her through the flame. Before she could turn the next card, he asked, “Care to add a side wager?”

When she didn’t answer, he prodded again. “Lost your nerve, pretty lady?” He sat forward on his chair and drew deep on the cigar, enjoying himself. Sam figured from her expression, she’d like to reach across the table and scratch lines across his face.

”Not a chance,” she muttered.

“If that card’s anything but a heart less than seven, you take your winnings and walk. I won’t bother you again,” Sam paused, before adding, “tonight. Might want to take care though,” he cautioned. “A piece of property like I just bet will get a lot of interest from other players. Hate to see you miss out on a sure thing and an easy ride home.”

Eden straightened, focusing on Sam’s offer of freedom on the turn of a card. Her trembling fingers stilled their movement and she asked coolly, “And if I lose?”

He growled, hunger for her thickening his voice, “You’re mine.”

Okay, maybe Sam is a little too cocky. Eden’s doing her own outlaw hunting and if using the smitten bounty hunter suits her game, she’s willing to play. —deal ‘em. 

In the past, Gem Sivad enjoyed short spots as a script writer and a columnist.  More often, though, she spent prosaic days crafting grant proposals and professional presentations. When her muse spoke, urging her to pursue her dream of writing romance, she kicked over the traces and took the plunge. Her first novel, Intimate Strangers, won the 2010 EPIC Award for Best Western and Best Erotic Western Romance. Since then, Gem has written five steamy historical cowboy tales where the men are guaranteed to set your pulses racing and the sassy women leave you with a smile. Her latest book, Quincy’s Woman is coming soon from Ellora’s Cave.

If you would like to know more about my books and me, please visit me @ Gem’s Place:


The Viking Princess said...

I've read several of your books in another series and I really need to read this one too. Just wanted to let you know that I think you have the best monthly newsletter. I look forward to it every month. Thanks.

Gem Sivad said...

Hi! *waving* @ Viking Princess. Dreamcatcher Newsletter is a hoot! I find the craziest things when I'm researching, lol. Every time I think the current world is nuts, all I have to do is re-read my research notes to confirm that it always was. :)

Hope you get a chance to read Five Card Stud and if/when you do, drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by,


Cara Bristol said...

Loved the excerpts, Gem. Fantastic writing.

Gem Sivad said...

Oh, Cara. Thank you so much. Sam is a little grittier than my usual heroes but I couldn't have written him any differently.

It always amazes me how these characters take on a life of their own and sort of dictate their stories.

Thanks for stopping by,


Janice said...

Aw, you left us hanging. You tease.