Friday, March 13, 2015


FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS, my first NA rom-com, releases March 20--just one week from today! To gear up for the release, I'm sharing a sneak peek.


When Mable Barker, a “mutt from Queens,” accidentally snags a job walking a snarly Pekingese belonging to the “purebred” but awkwardly shy New Yorker, Jason Mead, she expects to spend her days dealing with yet another creature’s crap—literally…Only to find, to her surprise, that love is unleashed, as she and Jason both fall completely for the Peke—and for each other. But can three imperfect beings come together to create utter perfection at the Westminster Dog Show? A modern-day, humorous fairy tale in which dogs, not dragons, rule the land.

In this scene, Mable and Jason meet for the first time. Both are having a rough go of it: Mable's just lost yet another Manhattan job in her attempt to find her true talent, and has come to the HEADLINES newsstand for the Classifieds. Jason's come to HEADLINES to see his dog Innis (his first attempt at breeding) featured in The Orient Express--a magazine devoted to Pekingeses...only to find that the picture of Innis depicts him in a very un-show-dog manner. The both reach for a pair of foo dog statuettes for sale at HEADLINES at the same time; this is what happens...

“I got a hit out right now on anybody in uniform. You guys are bringin’ me down.” It was true—losing her job made Mable hate the look of a uniform or a briefcase or a business suit with the intensity of ten thousand suns. And, as she had walked toward HEADLINES, she had imagined hanging new posters on all NYC utility poles: posters that showed Mable pointing a water submachine gun at various uniformed pros beneath the phrase, “They got in her way and now they’re dead.—A warning from Ma Barker.”
But somehow, standing there, saying it out loud—a hit on anybody in uniform—and watching this stranger’s eyes light up had also suddenly made her stop feeling desperate. Instead, it all just seemed laughable. “I would love to give one ‘a you my creepin’ crud,” she added, because somehow, it had also become overwhelmingly important to get a full-on laugh from this man—whoever he was. The kind of laugh that Mable had always interpreted, throughout her nineteen years, to mean I approve or I like you or that Mable—she’s something.
She grinned happily when it came—the full-on guffaw.
But Jason quickly recovered, slathered on a serious expression, and explained, “This doesn’t exactly help my cause, since you’re apparently against all professionals, but I’m not a nurse. I’m a vet.”
“Like from Afghanistan?”
“Like rabies shots. Dogs, see?” He pointed at the figures with his free hand, still refusing to let go of the foo dog.
“That’s as tough gig. I mean, I had a pet rock when I was little, and boy, was that work.”
“The anatomy of pet rocks happens to be incredibly complex,” Jason informed her, fighting another grin.
“Yeah, really. Now, hands off my sculpture.”
“Hands off my sculpture.”
They lingered there a moment, his hand on hers, their fingers tangled. Somehow, though, it didn’t have the feel of accidentally bumping a stranger’s hands while reaching for the “down” arrow on an elevator. It felt familiar; it was sitting next to the one person who didn’t give a damn that you were in your holey Friday night sweats. It was babbling about anything, without the worried pressure of having to impress anyone. It was neither one of them finding it strange that Jason’s face was hovering now nearly as close to Mable’s as Gavin’s had the last time she’d seen him—when he’d thought he might be able to free her from the parking meter.
“That’s a single set,” Carl interrupted, making them both jump. He pointed at the foo dogs. “I could, though, be persuaded to break the pair.”
“I need a little good luck,” Mable admitted. “Some kind of protective guardian. Somebody to snarl at the world on my behalf. I only need one. I can share with the vet-slash-President of the Pet Rock Society over here.”
“Done,” Jason said, reaching for his wallet.
“It’s a male and a female,” Carl said, sliding each dog closer to its proper recipient. “Perfect way to divvy them up, eh?”
Money was forked over; Mable disappeared around the corner before Jason could think to ask for her name. Or before Mable could think to ask Jason’s.
But names didn’t matter. It wasn’t like they were going to see each other again.


To read more of FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS, order at Amazon or Kobo.

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