Betting the Rainbow with Jodi Thomas

Jodi in the Garden Headshot Good


The idea for my new book, BETTING THE RAINBOW, came from the question, “If you had a chance to change your life, what would you be willing to risk?”

My character Dusti Delaney and her sister were stuck on a small farm , on a little lake, near Harmony, Texas.  They made enough to live but nothing more.  Both had dreams of what could have been if one had been able to finish nursing school and the other had followed her dream of being a professional photographer.

On their once-a-month night out Dusti learns of a charity poker game and sees her one chance to change.  Though she has her goals too, she wants to see her sister follow her dream first.

One man knows enough about poker to teach her to win.  Only problem is, if she makes it to the final table, she’ll be playing against him.  As he teaches her about Texas Hold’em and love, she sees the possibility of her dream coming true.

Betting the RainbowI think I loved this story so much because I once pushed all my chips in on a dream.  I wanted to write but with teaching, going to grad school and raising two boys, there was never any time.  Finally, with the help of my husband, I quit, drew out my retirement and lived on it while I wrote.  Forty books later I’d say the gamble paid off.

The name, BETTING THE RAINBOW, comes from a poker term when a player shoves in all colors of his chips.

The game of Texas Hold’em originated in Texas. Legend has it that the first game was played by Robstown, Texas in a saloon in back of a mercantile.

Dallas already had card games called “Poker” that were popular.  Poker comes from the German word “pochen,” which means, “to knock.”

Many say that Texas Hold’em is a thinking man’s game.

Now, of course, if I’m going to write about poker, I’ve got to learn to play.  So I talked a friend of mind into letting me sit in on a game out in the country.  The men were very polite and nice.  The lesson cost me 30 dollars.

Then, a woman who plays poker in Las Vegas invited me to go along and watch her play.  I couldn’t turn that down, so Phyliss Miranda and I flew to Vegas and had a great time.

You’ll love meeting all the people who live on a little road called Rainbow Lane.  Three love stories will touch your heart and as always the folks of Harmony will welcome you in for a visit.

Let me know if you know of anyone who ever “bet the rainbow” with their life and if the gamble paid off.

To two lucky readers, I am giving away a copy of “Betting the Rainbow”!

“Thomas is a master at creating damaged yet appealing characters, and their expressions of love—as siblings, as friends, as partners—are intense and beautiful. Their paths to happiness are interwoven in an intricate tapestry with the tournament as backdrop, combining in an epic tale of the kind of love that lasts forever.”      Publishers Weekly (starred review)