I’m mean, she’s nice, and genuine, and probably pretty enough. After all, this could be what the universe has been planning for her, placing her on the quiet, light dappled street where he lives, walking dogs in the Hollywood Hills. This could be why, at 33, she is still single, why the International Playboy wasn’t the ‘one!’ The universe has been saving her for THIS!
The only hitch is that in order to fall in love, Estella will have to talk to Johnny Von. It’s going to be a problem. And not just a logistics problem, being that she is a dog walker with tendencies towards shyness and he is a big, beautiful movie star. Creating a meeting is one thing, but actually opening her mouth to speak to him is going to be an Everest of a challenge for Estella!
If only he were someone like, say, Johnny Von the Priest, battling his faith in 1574 in love with a young orphaned Estella, or Johnny Von the Bossman in 1901 and Estella was a young girl running the plantation, all on her own. Yep. That would be easier. If it was 1592 and he was a Venetian Silk Trader and she was a famous courtesan! She would really have confidence then. Or 2574, and Johnny Von the Scientist is about to save the world by solving Xbox 6000!
So, maybe Estella doesn’t have a network of supportive girl friends to bolster her confidence, but she has the dogs. She has Moochie. And, she is about to learn that sometimes that’s all you need, the love of a good dog and a little imagination…to get you where you need to be; to get you home to the big love that’s meant to be yours.
Targeted Age Group: 16+
Genre: chick lit, romance, women’s fiction, contemporary
The Book Excerpt:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. No, that’s silly, I’ll never pass that off as mine. It’s not that kind of story, anyway. It was a dark and stormy night. Well, see, that’s just a lie, and frankly, hard to pull off if you’re not a cartoon dog. Call me Ishmael! It’s the pressure. The pressure of that crucial opening line, the first impression I’m trying to make with you — wanting it to be good, it’s my Achilles heel. Look, I’ll just tell you this: it’s important to me, telling you this story. It’s important to my heart, and when things are important to me, sometimes I choke and sputter and stumble all over myself without a word in my head. I can’t come up with anything that articulates what is bursting inside to get out. How about this… All of this happened, more or less. Would Kurt Vonnegut really mind if I used his opening line? It’s an homage. Everyone likes that, right? Or even better, Billy Pilgrim (aka Johnny Von) has become unstuck in time. That could work. I could just change the name. Besides, you always have to change the names…so lawyers and agents and movie stars don’t get upset. Oh, hells-bells. I’m going to come up with something, because I want you to see what I see. I want you to know what I know now, how the universe dances and converges and brings events that answer the call of your heart. How the mystical behind the mundane came to change me. And how Johnny Von fits into all of it. Tall, beautiful, Johnny Von. I’d like to tell this story so that by the end, we’d understand what the poet William Blake is talking about in all his lovely writings. We would know that a story, even just the ones you tell yourself, can help move you forward and give you courage — that a story has tangible power to change who you are. And while poetry may no longer have the power to spark a revolution, or attract the attention of the masses, in a world that has YouTube and TMZ, I know it can spark a revolution inside a person. Even a person who didn’t do well in 10th grade English, a woman who still doesn’t know what iambic pentameter is. I’d like to tell you this story so that by the end we’d understand that outside of the 10th grade, poetry is trying to say what is pushing from inside you, bursting to get out. And like William Blake, with the close of this story we’d all understand the power of desire and imagination, the birthplace of love and art. We’d seek it out; knowing its value to a life well lived. Rank it up there with good food, great sex and big money. That’s my hope, outside of just having a good time. Don’t get me wrong, I think just plain having a good time is also very important. I don’t want to mislead you already with all this grandiose talk of poetry and the power of desire; words like “birthplace.” I’m not a dramatic person. I’m not full of big words. I’m not like that at all. I should tell you now before we start, I’m more “comfort fit,” more t-shirts, worn jeans and bare feet. Quite possibly, my toenails are painted red. But that’s about as fancy as I go on a regular basis. So look, I’ll just stop now and make it easy. I’ll start where it all started. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And then some time after that, God made me.
About 33 years after that, God made Moochie, my brown Labrador, and we were walking up Valley Glen Drive in the Hollywood Hills to get the other dogs when the first thing happened.
EDITH M. CORTESE is a freelance writer, a sometime novelist and a mom. She was once, a lifetime ago, a dog walker. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and an old, good dog named Moochie.
To learn more please visit www.trumpetboypress.com