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Bet in the Dark by Rachel Higginson
Series: Bet on Love #1
on May 27th 2013
Buy on Amazon
All Ellie Harris wanted was a life of her own.
In a shortsighted decision, she follows her high school boyfriend to college, only to get cheated on and then dumped. And to add insult to injury, her overprotective family is suddenly clinging to her again, fighting to control every part of her life.
Bad luck follows her hasty decision and when her roommate steals her identity and leaves town, Ellie is left to clean up a gigantic mess.
Fin Hunter insists Ellie owes him seven thousand dollars from an online poker game and he won't stop until he collects it. Determined to keep her family out of her life, Ellie agrees to work for Fin in his illegal online poker operation. He's given her six weeks to pay off the debt.
Soon sparks are flying between them and the only thing keeping her from falling for him is the debt she still owes and the money she doesn't have.
At the end of those six weeks, Ellie will have to pay the mistaken debt or bet that her feelings for Fin will be worth more than the money.
This book was previously titled Bet in the Dark.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by nearly everything. And that’s very true. Music inspires me, reading inspires me, TV and movies and even my husband’s video games. I’m inspired by meeting new people and having conversations with friends and family. My kids and nature and life in general all inspires me. Almost anything can spark a new story in me. I really love to write stories that feel real. Even if they’re supernatural and weird or about zombies or angels or whatever! I love pulling from reality and weaving it through my fiction.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part for me is the genre! I am used to writing really big world-building stories. I write a lot in YA paranormal romance genres, I write a zombie dystopian series and even my adult contemporaries are really emotional, deep stories that take a lot of energy and research and plotting. This book is a fun, easy, lighthearted romantic comedy, so there just isn’t the world-building and layers of story I’m used to. Sometimes, as I was in the middle of writing it, I would panic, terrified that there wasn’t “enough” to the story. The genre was just a hard thing to step into and feel comfortable in. But I’m super happy with how Bet on Me turned out and the lightness of it is a great change of pace for me!
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I love writing the first chapter of every book. It’s like I’m meeting the world and the characters for the very first time and I love that discovery. I love stepping into a brand new story and discovering all the possibilities I can write about. This book was no different! Plus, this first chapter is a little sexy, so that makes it extra fun.
What is your favorite book?
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen! It’s the only book I’ve ever been able to read more than once. I get caught up in the tradition and rules of society and Mr. Darcy’s subtle romance. It still gives me butterflies if I get a chance to read it. And I’m a sucker for the movies, all three of them! (I’m counting Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as one of them!)
Is any part of the book based on someone you know or events in your own life?
I love pulling from real life to develop my characters and I always put a little something of myself in the main character just to make her real. I want my heroines to be authentic and honest. I want her to feel like the reader’s best friend or sister or self. With Britte, I made her a little neurotic. Her obsession with plans and to do lists and compartmentalizing everything is very much me! The location in Wisconsin is also a little homage to my mom. She is from Wisconsin and went to UW-La Crosse. I grew up spending summers up there and driving through La Crosse on our way to see family. We’d stop for lunch and admire the cliffs. My mom would tell us stories about her college years and it just became a little place near and dear to my heart. I’ve loved writing about it and featuring it in the Bet on Love books!
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to! Here is just a tiny excerpt!
Our gazes clashing together from a few feet apart shouldn’t have felt like something significant. It shouldn’t have felt like the world shifted beneath my feet or the stars aligned over my head. It shouldn’t have sucked the breath from my lungs or burst like fireworks in my blood.
It shouldn’t have made me feel like everything was about to change.
Like I would never be the same again.
Like this was some cataclysmic crashing of planets and worlds and souls. Like Beckett was more than a boy that wanted to make out with me. Like this was more than a second date.
Like I was more than just a girl trying to get through life without having her heart broken.
But it did.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a full time author and this is most definitely my dream job. I feel so blessed that I get to write books and be my own boss. It’s definitely a ton of work, but the good kind of work. I’m also a wife. I married my high school sweetheart. We started dating at seventeen and got married at twenty-one! We were so young!! We have four children with one on the way! Our life is crazy and messy and overwhelming, but filled with love and laughter. I graduated college with a double major in theology and intercultural studies. My biggest goal in life was to travel the world and I got to do quite a bit of that before I got married and now that I have this family, we are doing our best to travel the States as often as possible. I also teach a Bible study during the school year and blog for a parenting blog attached to the Omaha World Herald called Momaha!
Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to? / Tell us how you write.
I would love a set writing schedule! But right now it’s only a pipe dream. I have four kiddos and another one on the way, so I write in between school pick ups and drop offs and snack times and activities. Most of my writing is done after bedtime and on the weekends when I can sneak away to a coffee shop because my husband’s home to watch the kiddos. With all these kids, my life is pretty much chaos. And that’s how I would describe my writing right now too!
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
This book is part of a series. It’s the second book in a series of stand-alones. So each book is about a different couple and can be read by itself, separately from the rest of the series. The idea for the first book, Bet on Us, just came to me out of the blue. I heard a song on the radio and listened to the lyrics for the first time ever(Since You’ve Been Gone, by Kellie Clarkson) even though I’d heard it a bunch before. For whatever reason, that time it really caught my attention and I suddenly started wondering what that song would look like in real life. That developed into this fun college romance about a girl struggling to find herself away from her overbearing family until her roommate steals her identity and gets her into all sorts of trouble. I had only intended for Bet on Us to be a standalone, but my readers fell in love with the story and the characters in it and begged for more. That is when Bet on Me was born! It took me three years before I could write it, but it was so fun to be back in their world. I had a great time writing this book!
When you read, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I love mixing it up with both. Ebooks are so convenient! And they save my place. And I can tap words to find out their definitions. Also, I don’t have to get out of my pajamas or off the couch to get book #2 in the series. But there will always be something about holding an actual book in my hands and the smell and the feel and the hugging. Oh, wait. Minimal hugging.