–Cover art by Nancy Schutt
Shimoni was born into a purebred litter of a broken home.  His father was an absentee parent; his mother, a neurotic mess unable to keep up with the demands of her nine pups.
At an usually young age, Shimoni opened his eyes into life as the small dog of an aristocratic family.  He, his Count, and his Contessa, divide their time between a top floor apartment near Piazza del Popolo in Rome, and a sprawling Tuscan vineyard in the countryside near Siena, where he is known to all as “JACK OF HEARTS”

  JACK OF HEARTS is a novel of literary fiction told from the point of view of a small, aristocratic dog named Shimoni.  This imaginative first novel explores themes of fidelity and honor and offers a fresh perspective of Italian culture and amore.  Shimoni’s passions for Italian cuisine and Elvis are rivaled only by his devotion to his masters, a Roman Count and Contess.  However, his discovery that Il Conte is having an affair imperils his comfortable life and plunges Shimoni into a quest to rekindle his masters’ love and preserve his home.  The path to reconciliation leads Shimoni from the bustling streets of Rome to his owners’ rustic villa in the Italian Countryside, where he outwits man and beast to save his family, all while making time to fall in love and sample the local Chianti.  Shimoni’s (mis)adventures yield poignant observations about the nature of love and longing, and the soul’s ability to find satisfaction.  An intoxicating blend of adventure, romance, and joi de vivre, JACK OF HEARTS will appeal to literary devotees, Italophiles and dog-lovers.  Ms. Gainey dishes up a sensuous story with plenty of heart, and empathy for the human, as well as the canine condition.

 Now available anywhere eBooks are sold/Available as a paperback. June, 2014

Author Reviews

“A wonderful, funny and touching novel.  Shimoni is not simply a dog, he is our guide; he is our friend.   Stay by his side, stay with his heart, and he will take you places you haven’t been, and show you things you haven’t seen: after reading Jack Of Hearts you will understand the true depths of love and devotion.”

                    —Garth SteinThe Art Of Racing In The Rain

“This novel has freshness, originality and a huge heart of gold. Shimoni is one of the most unforgettable narrators I’ve ever read, and does he have a story to tell! I loved everything about this book.”

Susan Wiggs, NY Times Best-Selling Romance Novelist, Just Breathe

“This is a most heartfelt and extraordinary work for a first novel.  Ms. Gainey moves easily out of the realities of our everyday lives into an unexpected turn of canine spirit.  It is an intriguing and wonderful read.”

Lynn Andrews, NY Times Best-Selling Author of Medicine Woman

4 responses

22 03 2008

What a cute idea for a blog! Writing from a dog’s point of view. Nice painting, too. So vibrant. And the dog has such a doubtful look on his face that I have to wonder what he’s thinking.

16 01 2009


Stumbled in to your blog today. Just as a FYI – we have a Beagle named Laz. Will be checking in on your writings 😉

6 03 2012

Live half time in Florence with my little dog, Chia, where we do shopping tours! If you are ever in Florence, please be in touch so we can have coffee or vino! Discuss the olden days at Bush, or PNB! Maren

10 03 2012

Ciao, Maren! Great to hear from you. Will be in Italy soon, I hope. Maybe we can connect? Did you know PNB will be participating in the Spoleto festival in July? My new novel, Jack of Hearts, set in Tuscany, will be released as an ebook in June. Hope you can find it if you like a small dog’s point of view….LOL. Best!!

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