When my guest today was in her twenties on a summer hiatus from teaching in North Carolina, she drove to California and became a dealer at a casino in Lake Tahoe. She says that after teaching high school, handling an unruly gambler was a piece of cake.

Eventually, she succumbed to pressure from her family, returned east to take a high-tech job in Boston, and worked on an MFA in writing at Emerson. But casinos were still calling, and she was offered the opportunity to join Princess Cruises. She spent the next five years circling the globe and returned home with a unique souvenir: her husband Ray.

Authors are always advised to write about what they know; my guest knows a lot about casinos. Her mystery, Casino Queen, widely acclaimed, is proof of that knowledge.

She now lives in Florida, where she writes while gazing at the ocean. She can see the cruise ships sailing out of Port Everglades and sometimes gets a little bit jealous. Welcome to Authors Over 50, Cara Bertoia.

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