by L.M. Bennett
Released: Oct 03, 2023
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Why this book and why now?
I used to watch the World Series of Poker on ESPN 28 hours a day, 9 days a week in 2003, the year Chris Moneymaker won his bracelet.
While I’ve fallen off with the circuit a lot since those days, I still peek in every now and then.
One day, I saw a video of Tony G and the Poker Brat, Phil Hellmuth, just antagonizing the hell out of each other at the table. Tony dared Phil to show everyone why he was so great! My brain lit up. I started taking notes and watching countless hours of poker, designing different scenarios by hand, and the first draft of Bad Beat tumbled out after that.
What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?
“Bad Beat” started out as a single-perspective story, from Jax’s dry, blunt and analytical perspective, and how Miri gleefully trolls her to throw her off her game. As the story went on, I grew more attached to the character of Miri.
I didn’t want to soften Miri or take the sting out of her words, but to show why she is that way, what she’s fighting for, and why she and Jax get under each other’s skin so much when they’re together. What they represent to each other as Black women navigating the poker circuit in contrasting ways. I think the story is much richer for it.
What TV show would your main character(s) most likely binge watch and why?
Jax would get a kick out of watching court shows all day with her old lady, her beloved grandma. Any show Judge Mablean is on, because she’s just the right mix of empathetic and firm, just like her grandma is.
One of your main characters is planning a romantic night. Tell us about it.
Miri doesn’t plan romantic evenings, they’re planned for her. If someone wanted to woo her, they’d whisk her off to a stunning, cliffside-view restaurant in Santorini, Greece.
Publishing a book is a huge accomplishment and it’s time to party! Choose a celebratory beverage for one of your main characters to toast the release of your new book.
Definitely a mule, because it’s my favorite cocktail. There’s so many different variations of mules. Moscow, Kentucky, Irish, Mexican, you name it. I’d probably make it a variation involving Mezcal, strawberry and basil somehow, because that’s a tasty and unique combination!