Vice. Compulsive gambling and its effect on my family.

They say some stories write themselves.

For a long time, I’ve had a story burning inside me, one itching to be told, and that is Vice, my upcoming contemporary with Samhain Publishing.


Vice is the story of Kate Callender, a woman who runs a Las Vegas support group for families of compulsive gamblers. She never expects to fall in love with Liam Doyle, owner of a hot casino called Vice. And when she does, her world is upended. Liam is exactly the sort of man she’s always despised. She sees him as an enabler. How can she possibly reconcile her feelings for him and walk off into the sunset? This was a question with which I grappled as I wrote this novel.

Kate’s story is a personal one. She could, in fact, be me. I have lived some of her experiences and I certainly understand her motivations.

My father is a compulsive gambler and his addiction has affected our family in so many ways. So much so, he can no longer be a part of our lives. I would never wish this sort of addiction on anyone. It tears at the fabric of a family and it can be hard to bounce back. It was for us.

Although there are many differences between Kate and I (I have never fallen in love with a sexy casino owner), there are lots of similarities, too. It was easy for me to assume a bias as I wrote the book, but also important that I took a step back. I didn’t want to sound judgmental. Gambling will never be my activity of choice, but I would never begrudge anyone a fun weekend in Vegas.

Would I have made Kate’s choices? Probably not. But that’s the fun part of writing romance. We get to provide happy endings, and it was important to me that she get a happy ending. Even still, she does not come through her trials unscathed. Yes, I wanted this book to end on a positive note, but I also needed to inject a measure of realism. And the reality is most people dealing with this addiction don’t always get their happy endings.

Without divulging too much about my own family’s experiences, I will tell you this. Our collective world fell apart twenty years ago, and it wasn’t the first time. Two decades later, there are days when I still question how we persevered. Seeing my family hit rock bottom, a theme that is crucial to Vice, was something I never care to see again. However, we had the assistance of professionals, people who helped us claw our way back to life. Having this support made all the difference and I would urge anyone who needs help to seek support in their communities.

If you know someone who is affected by compulsive gambling, contact your local chapter of Gam-Anon.

Vice releases Sept. 22, but is available for preorder at, as well as at Amazon, ARE, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

Thank you.


14 thoughts on “Vice. Compulsive gambling and its effect on my family.

    • Thanks, Casey. Hugs back. I am good now. It was very hard when we were going through these trials. The trick is knowing what you can do to help the gambler, and being able to accept when you can no longer help.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sort of like dealing with an alcoholic. It comes down to them admitting they have a problem. Even then, if they don’t want help after that, there’s nothing you can do but hope they figure it out for themselves.
        My step-father was an alcoholic, so I understand what it’s like to grow up on a home that’s not exactly ‘normal’.
        I’m glad you’re doing good now. 🙂


      • Thanks Casey. I’m sorry to hear you had similar issues in your family. Sadly, we just can’t help those who refuse help. This is a big theme in Vice.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so very sorry that you had to go through that. It’s wonderful that you were able to turn such terrible experience into something positive. Addiction affects so many people and I’m sure many of your readers will be able to relate to Vice personally. It can be very comforting to know that someone else has gone through the same thing. Although I’ve (fortunately) never had a family member with a gambling addiction, I could really relate to Kate and the complicated relationship she had with her parents. It must have been very difficult for you to write, but maybe therapeutic, too? ((hugs))


    • Definitely therapeutic, Jessica. I knew this book would have to come one day , and hope I’ve managed to make it a thing of joy as well as sadness. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rosanna, I love that you wrote such a personal, meaningful book. I was really grabbed to root for Kate while I read it. Of course, I’m so glad she and you came out on top. I know you can’t wait to share this well done story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Joni! I’m glad you liked the post and the book. My experiences left me with vso many emotions and I really had no choice but to explore them. I hope my readers enjoy the journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Vice. Compulsive gambling and its effect on my family. | For the Love of Sex and Romance- Author Brooklyn Berry

  4. Pingback: ✧VICE by Rosanna Leo✧ ~My ARC Review – ♡ Luv My Books' Reviews ♡

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