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The Dog Walker

by Leslie Schnur

Part voyeur, part dreamer, Nina Shepard, a Manhattan dog walker, has been around the block, so to speak, a few times and yearns to find that something -- or someone -- she can be passionate about. She may not have a boyfriend or a real purpose in life, but she does have a job that offers her one great opportunity: the keys to her clients' apartments. And with these keys, Nina has the freedom to cross several foyers -- and a moral boundary -- and gain access to their lives. . . where she just might find the things that are missing in her own. Enter Daniel, a man she thinks she knows from snooping far past his doorway when she comes to pick up Sid, his Weimaraner. Except for owning a designer dog (rather than a stray from the pound), he seems perfect in every way. Now if only she could meet him. For anyone else that might seem simple, but for Nina life is complicated. Claire, her best friend, is an actress who loses every audition due to nervous sweats. Bono, a sullen and sarcastic eight-year-old, is neglected by his U2 groupie mom, one of Nina's clients. Mrs. Chandler, her eccentric neighbor, would rather discuss Barry Bonds than why the IRS is hounding her. And Isaiah, Nina's ex-con dog-walking colleague, champions the rights of pit bulls. And, of course, there are the dogs themselves: Wallis and Edward, the spoiled dachsunds; Che, the stone-deaf beagle; Safire, the bulldog who stares at walls; and Nina's own beloved mutt Sam. But it is Daniel who holds the key to Nina's heart. One moonlit night on a pier overlooking the Hudson River they are pulled into the treacherous waters of love. What she doesn't know is that Daniel is an imposter, pretending to be what he is not. And by the time she learns who he really is, after mishaps and mistaken identities, deception and lost dogs, it's too late. She's fallen for someone she never would have expected. The Dog Walker is the hilarious and heartwarming story about one woman's quest for fulfillment. It is about city life -- any city, all cities -- and the struggle to make real connections. It is about allowing oneself to love fully while being fully oneself. And finally, it is about life itself: unpredictable, joyful, and not to be missed.

Late Night Talking

by Leslie Schnur

From the acclaimed author of The Dog Walker comes Late Night Talking, a tender and funny novel about bad behavior, the fragility of friendship and family, and how we cannot choose whom we love. Jeannie Sterling, host of a late-night NYC talk show, vents with her listeners about everyday injustices, from rude cell phone users and poor gym etiquette to bad drivers and negligent pet owners -- the many aggravations of modern urban life. An idealistic California girl raised by two free-spirited parents, Jeannie believes in a life of value through activism. She's passionate about making a difference, about making the world a better place, one annoying person at a time. For as long as she can remember, success in her career has been more than enough. But after all these years of being single, Jeannie realizes that some of the pieces of her perfect puzzle aren't fitting quite right. The people she thought she knew best all harbor secrets, secrets Jeannie isn't prepared for, secrets that can't be digested, processed, and solved in the neat three-hour window of her show. Her best friend, Luce, is growing distant and distracted; her wayward father unexpectedly moves in; and an ambiguous relationship with her college crush ignites. When the radio station is bought by the maverick mogul Nicholas Moss, Jeannie's career, her one safe haven, also descends into chaos. She is pushed to increase ratings and goes too far, risking the loss of everything and everyone important to her. Delightfully real and deliciously flawed, Jeannie Sterling is a character we can't help but root for as she faces her life's most hilarious -- and heartbreaking -- challenges.

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