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Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Journey From Pug Hill to the Creation of The Manhattan Dinner Cllub

    Homer, my pug, is my muse and closest friend. It's because of him and our previous  one, Pugsy, that I discovered Pug Hill in Central Park. 
   I'd heard other pug owners in the Park talk about it. It became a fabled spot. After a bit of searching, I found it. 
   What a perfect place! It was grassy and big enough so that the pugs wouldn't escape or get lost. And there were pugs there, plenty of them, all off the leash --wiggling, running free, and chasing each other in the hilarious way only pugs do. 
     It got me thinking, germinating a story in my head. It all started with "what if?" The usual beginning for me of a new book or series. So what if four, single women met at pug hill and became friends? Would they get together for dinner, regularly?
   Yes. And they'd talk about the men in their lives and come to each other for help and advice. Thus The Manhattan Dinner Club series was born. Here are the newly designed covers. 

   As I got into the concept, individual stories began to unfold in my head. I wanted to write about the reckless bike riders in the park and the people I've seen them injure. And so, "Rescue My Heart", was written. It's the first in the series, and on sale, like all the others, for only $2.99 in ebook form. Only $9.99 in paperback.


OVERFLOWING WITH PASSION and suspense, this mouthwatering romance by a master storyteller starts with a bang -- literally. Rory Sampson, dog walker and aspiring writer, is mowed down in Central Park by an oblivious hunk on his bike -- Hack Roberts.  Smug, hostile and holier-than-thou, he tries to pin the blame on Rory. But a Judge delivers an unorthodox sentence, angering both parties.
   Seeking revenge, Hack finds himself too vulnerable to Rory’s voluptuous charms – despite having a fiancĂ©e. Wary after a break-up, she protects her wounded heart with a barrage of sarcastic come-backs as they each struggle to squelch the sizzling chemistry that threatens to turn their lives upside down.
    Will loneliness and frustration force her to settle for the hot and heavy attentions of her ex, Mr. Not Quite Right? Confused, and tormented by desire, Rory seeks the comfort and advice of her four smart, sassy girlfriends, The Manhattan Night Dinner Club. 

Here's a bit about the books & where you can get Rescue My Heart.

Book 2 - Seducing His Heart 
   Inside a fashionable apartment house on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, sparks fly when tenant, Bess Cooper, as delectable as the desserts she whips up on her TV baking show, bumps into her gorgeous new neighbor Whit Bass. A well-known broadcast journalist, he’s locked in a hot and heavy embrace with a sophisticated model, like those who accessorize his every outfit, and boudoir.   
    Just as sweet and luscious as her famous apple pie, Bess has a handsome cop boyfriend, her Friday night sleepover, who claims undercover police business prevents him from crawling under her covers more often -- and a constant companion, her pug, Dumpling.  Whit, aka Mr. No Commit, is a smooth-talking womanizer. Bess is the kind of Happily Ever After girl you make the mother of your children. Yet, against their will, they’re drawn together as powerfully as the poles of a magnet. Will she have the fortitude to survive a shattered heart – again?  Is Whit chasing a dream of success half a world away -- or running  scared?  Desperate, Bess turns to her Monday Night Dinner Club – her four faithful friends, all pug-owners! Combining high level corporate hi-jinks and the stunning climax of a top secret, headline-blasting crime, this torrid tale will take your breath away

Book 3 - Shine Your Love On Me
   When a hot career and a hot romance collide in this sensuous romance,  Brooke Felsen’s life goes up in flames and her visions of corporate glory turn to ashes….She’s worked her gorgeous rear off in a Madison Avenue advertising agency 24/7, winning fame, fortune, and the steamy passion of her sexy, single boss. Until he suddenly dumps her -- and her carefully constructed existence crumbles like day old bread….
    Desperate to put her life back together like Humpty Dumpty, Brooke turns to her girlfriends  at The Monday Night Dinner Club, all pug owners, and to her grandmother, her “rock” since her hippie parents’ sudden death. Savvy, stylish, wise and witty at 70 plus, Nan introduces  her to Pres Carpenter, the hand-some, hunky dog-walker for her pugs, who’s got the hots for Brooke. Is he just a struggling writer, eager to earn extra money? Or an unlikely “catch,” a real life Prince Charming, hiding his own heartbreak and family secrets.  Struck by their sizzling chemistry, Brooke can’t ignore the melting desire she feels for Pres, the very opposite of everything she ever thought she wanted! And she’s surprised and delighted by Nan’s friends, smart, lovable, laugh-out-loud seniors, who help her rebuild her life beyond her wildest dreams….
Book 4, To Love or Not to Love
   At 28, beautiful  Miranda Bradford had given up on men ( since they seemed to have given up on her!) She’d put her life on hold to support her sick mother and a sister in college. Which meant: she wasn’t available for “overnight dates,” walked dogs to feed her family, and had little time to pursue what she loved most: playwriting….  
   When real estate tycoon Penn Roberts was knocked down in Central Park by one of her dogs, he realized it was Miranda who was the knockout  with her voluptuous figure, teal blue eyes, peaches-and-cream complexion, and long hair dark as midnight. Their attraction was instantaneous: like a flash fire setting them each aflame – unexpected and undeniable. And neither of them would ever be the same….
   Was it fate they met – or fatal? Would Penn, aka Mr. Sexy-as-Hell, prove to be Mira’s best friend and most sizzling lover or the architect of her greatest betrayal? Compassionate like his late mother – or ruthless like his father? Woo her beyond her wildest dreams or wound her savagely? Heart-broken and confused, she turns to her girlfriends (and their pugs!) at The Manhattan Dinner Club….
   Churning with emotion, burning with passion, deep-rooted conflicts, long-buried family secrets, and dazzling plot twists, TO LOVE OR NOT TO LOVE will take your breath away.

  Each woman is different, as is her man and...her pug or pugs! Yes, there are pugs in every book. They provide solace and comic relief to each story. All the books are on sale for $2.99. I don't know how long the price will remain that low. 
   Rescue My Heart, book 1, is a good place to start. But don't quit there. To Love or Not to Love, book 4, tied for second place in the New England RWA Reader's Choice awards this past year,  you might want stay with the series until the end. 
   Then again, you might want to scoop them all up before the price goes up again. Thanks for stopping by. Homer thanks you, too. 

Find the  books on my website: Manhattan Dinner Club

Buy links:

eBook  $2.99

Paperback  $9.99

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Monday, December 28, 2015


   Welcome! The word prompt this week is "shoe". Since Trunk's story is about to be published, I'm writing about the next hero in the First & Ten series, Harley Brennan, Running Back. 
This is a scene between Harley and his old flame, Shyla Hollings. They rode to L.A. on the same plane and are staying at the same hotel. The scene takes place in his room.

   In his frustration at not being able to find another "woman of his dreams", he's consented to go on the program, "Marriage Minded". But before he gives up completely and opens himself up to meeting someone else, he makes one more play for Shyla.


“You and your crazy schemes.” She shook her head.
“What do you mean ‘crazy schemes’?”
“How quickly you forget the scheme to sneak into the pool at the hotel in Costa Rica?”
“I wanted a midnight swim.”
“You wanted to go skinny dipping at three a.m. and have sex in the pool.”
“Seeing you naked made me horny.”
“And we got caught. Flood lights. Alarms.” She laughed as color flooded her face.
“You were even more beautiful in the floodlights.” He brushed her hair back from her face.
“I could’ve killed you.”
“But you fell for me, instead.”
Her face got the glow he’d seen so many times before. The one that told him she loved him. He eased her closer and kissed her. She responded, opening for him and he angled his head to deepen the kiss.
“Shyla, honey, it’s you that I want,” he whispered into her hair.
She hugged him, then let go. “Let’s not go down that road again. Nothing’s changed. You’re still playing football, I’m still traveling all the time. You broke my heart once. I can’t do it again.”
 Shy pushed off the bed and stood up on wobbly legs. 
The heel of her shoe broke. Harley caught her, held her against his chest for a moment, then let her go.
“Don’t forget why you’re here. To find the love of your life.”
“Or a woman who’s at least in the same city I am.”
“That might help.” She smiled.
He walked her to her room. They kissed goodnight and he returned to his suite. There was a basket of fruit and flowers in the living room. He flipped on the TV, ordered room service and grabbed an apple. Sleep was the farthest thing from his mind.