Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Guest Post and Sneak Peek of Fifth Avenue Fidos by Holly Schindler

Publication Date: March 20th, 2015
354 pages

Ever feel like a dog? I mean a real mutt. Mable did…until she realized she was the princess starring in her own fairy tale.
Mable Barker, a frizzy-haired mongrel from Queens with no real life direction, is never going to snag a man like Jason Mead, a purebred Upper East Side veterinarian. Besides, the shy but adorable Dr. Mead’s awkward ways around women have him dreaming not of finding love for himself but of playing canine matchmaker—breeding blue ribbon champions.

Jason’s first breeding attempt yields Innis, Fifth Avenue’s snarliest Pekingese. A dog whose temperament, it appears, will never fit show-dog standards…until he meets Mable, whom Jason hires as a dog walker.

Could Mable actually have what it takes to handle Innis and Jason? Can three imperfect beings ever come together to create utter perfection at the Westminster Dog Show—and beyond? Will Mable and Jason ever trust their feelings, allow love to be unleashed?

Fifth Avenue Fidos offers a deceptively simple tale that is both a sweet romantic comedy and a satirical look at modern relationships. A smart exploration of the fairy tale promise of a one-size-fits-all happily ever after—and a heartwarming story of love and dreams in dog-eat-dog NYC.
FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS does focus primarily on Mable and Jason—and Innis. On their journey toward realizing that what makes us all beautiful are our deviations from the norm—the things that don’t quite fit “conformation show” standards—those quirks that make us unique.
But FIDOS is actually two books in one. Running side-by-side with Mable and Jason’s story, the reader is treated to a modern-day fairy tale. Each time we hit a new major section or turning point in Mable and Jason’s story, we pause for a moment to catch up with Princess Rosy, who functions as Mable’s fairy tale alter ego. These short Princess Rosy sections offer running commentary on Mable’s own story as it unfolds, and push FIDOS beyond the ordinary sweet, simple romantic comedy, giving the book its satirical slant.
Rosy’s sections use the conventions of the fairy tale to address changing social values. Right now, more Americans than ever are staying single; more Americans are supportive of same-sex marriages. We’re in the midst of revising what happily ever after means. Right now, happily ever after is in no way one-size-fits-all. And the Rosy sections allowed me to address that—to ask the reader to think about what happily ever after means for them. Sure, sometimes a happy ending involves a traditional love match. Other times, it involves (as we see in Rosy’s sections) a brachycephalic dragon.
In all honesty, the Princess Rosy sections were great fun for me to write. I really just let it fly—let myself have an absolute blast with them. Most times, when you’re enjoying a project that much, it becomes something your readers enjoy right along with you. Hopefully, that will be the case with FIDOS.
The following is from the first “Princess Rosy” section in FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS:
Once Upon a Time.....
Once upon a time, in a magical metropolitan kingdom, Princess Rosalind lived on the top floor of a high-rise tower in the Frog District. Oh, but don’t start pitying the not-so-fair (in truth, her complexion was more medium-beige) young maiden; she wasn’t being held captive. She hadn’t been banished to the tower by an evil queen who was jealous of her beauty (again, in truth, “beauty” was not a word often associated with Princess Rosy). Nor had she been betrothed to a prince who’d rejected her with the swift and unrelenting judgment of a Twitter troll.
No, Rosy had not befallen some grim fate. It just so happened that towers were part of life for all the princesses in this magical metropolitan kingdom. In this land, every father was a king, every wife a queen, every child a prince or princess. And upon her sixteenth birthday, each princess was placed in the safety of a glass-topped tower, where she was also on display (either like a new pair of Louboutin shoes or baked goods about to expire, depending on your point of view).
Princes, by contrast, were allowed to move freely on the streets below. They were living their lives, exploring their interests and passions, driving too fast and drinking too much—until they grew tired of the constantly-dizzy feeling of thrill seeking, and happened to glance up, at the myriad of princesses they could call their very own.
A few boys waved at our princess; she did, after all, have the friendliest face of any of the princesses in their glass towers. But in reality, Ronald McDonald was blessed with a friendly face, too, and did you ever hear of anyone scaling the side of a high-rise tower to proclaim their undying love for him?
…As time passes, Rosy watches princes call other princesses down from their towers. Unchosen, growing discouraged, Rosy becomes infatuated with the bridges of the magical kingdom. She fantasizes about where they might lead. Slowly, her ideas of what is expected of a princess begin to evolve. Instead of waiting on a prince to free her from the glass top of her tower, she looks at her own feet—which happen to work just fine, thank you very much. And glances once more at the bridges, which appear to have no stipulation about who may cross them. And she asks herself, “What the freak am I waiting for?”
Take the journey! Find out what happens when Mable crosses the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan in pursuit of her dreams—and what happens to Princess Rosy as she also begins to explore the bridges in her magical metropolitan kingdom.


Praise for Fifth Avenue Fidos

“A fun and funny read with adorable, quirky characters of both the human and four-legged variety. Readers who love dogs, romance, and fairytale endings will be charmed by this book.” – Author Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

About the Author

Holly Schindler is the author of four traditionally published books; her work has received starred reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly, has won silver and gold medals in ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and the IPPY Awards, respectively, has been featured on Booklist’s Best First Novels for Youth and School Library Journal’s What’s Hot in YA, and has been a PW Pick of the Week. Fifth Avenue Fidos is her first independently published book. She is owned by a Pekingese named Jake and can be found working on her next book in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri.
You can find out more about Holly on her website, or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook. And don't forget to sign up for her newsletter for sneak peaks, writing tips, giveaways and more!





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