August 31, 2009

In Search of Pug Hill

Why are there no pugs at Pug Hill?

One of my favorite books is Pug Hill by Alison Pace. It tells the story of a young woman with an unrelenting crush on one of her co-workers who finds solace at Pug Hill in New York City. Pug Hill is a particular spot in Central Park where pugs and their pug-loving owners get together to romp and play.

After reading Pug Hill, I became fascinated with the idea of such a magical place. Well, magical for dog lovers, anyway. I googled pug hill to see if it was real. Turns out, yes, there was once an actual pug hill. Right there in Central Park, near the Alice in Wonderland statue. But, once Alison Pace wrote about pug hill in her book, the pug lovers pulled the pug – oops, I mean plug – and stopped going. That’s right. No more pugs.

I had hoped to visit pug hill someday. In fact, the next time I’m in New York, I’m going there anyway. Maybe I’ll find a few rogue pugs there. The thought of no pug hill made me sad. It also made me want to write my own book about a place as delightful as pug hill. My search for the elusive pug hill is, in part, what led me to write my new novella, Once Upon a Collar.

No, there aren’t any pugs in Once Upon a Collar. But a big part of the story – the better part of the romantic moments, anyway – happen at the dog park. The heroine meets her hero there. And it seems nothing can go wrong.

Until they bump into each other away from the dog park. And then all H-E-double hockey sticks breaks loose.

But, the best part about Once Upon a Collar is that it is FREE. Yep, that’s right. My publisher, White Rose Publishing, is serializing my novella. They’ll release it, one chapter at a time, beginning on Friday, September 18.

All you need to do is join the White Rose Publishing Yahoo Group to get the free weekly downloads. The link to join the group is:

So, come join the fun. We will also be having a fun discussion about the book along the way.

In the meantime, if you leave a comment on this blog telling me that you joined the White Rose Yahoo Group (or that you are already a member), I’ll put your name in a drawing to receive my two Hoofbeats & Heartstrings books from The Wild Rose Press, Do You Hear What I Hear? and Love, Lilies & the Unbroken Straw. Either the print or e-book versions. Be sure and check back here tomorrow (in the comments section) to see who won!

Here’s a little sneak peak at Once Upon a Collar…


Whenever Emilie Bonner meets a man, she can’t help but imagine what he would look like on top of a wedding cake. Since she spends most of her waking hours designing wedding cake toppers, it’s somewhat of an occupational hazard.

Somewhere along the way--perhaps after the first two hundred or so--hand-crafted bridegrooms, Emilie begins to doubt she’ll ever find her own happily-ever-after.

Then, after a mysterious encounter with a woman who could be an angel, Emilie meets a handsome stranger at the dog park. At first, it seems as though Matt, with his big dopey dog and irrepressible charm, is the Prince Charming she’s been waiting for. Not only is he a sweetheart, but he’d look great on top of a wedding cake.

Soon, however, she discovers something about him that changes everything and leaves her wondering…does God believe in fairy tales?


“Would you care for some company?”

Butterflies take flight in the pit of my stomach until I realize that no, God is not answering me in an audible fashion. Rather, someone is addressing me right here in the dog park. A man, if the deep voice is any indication. A man who is, apparently, not intimidated by outrageously large dogs.

Bright sunlight assaults my vision as my eyelids flutter open. I can’t see the stranger belonging to the manly inflection, only a dark shadow backlit by rays of glittering sunshine.

“I’m sorry to disturb you. I just thought you might enjoy some company.” The shadow gestures to the slightly smaller shadow next to him. “I figured we big dog people need to stick together.”

Big dog people? But I thought I was the only one, as in big dog person. Singular. I shift on the bench and squint at the smaller shadow. When the bright spots clouding my vision finally clear, I see a panting dog staring back at me. A very large, panting dog. Not a St. Bernard, but the next best thing.

“A Newfoundland!” I squeal, unable to contain my enthusiasm at finally finding a suitable buddy for Bernard. “I can’t believe it. You have a Newfoundland.”

I offer my hand, palm up, to the shaggy black dog for an introductory sniff. The Newfie responds with a long swipe of his tongue across my knuckles.

“Bear, didn’t anyone tell you it’s not nice to go around kissing strangers?”

At last, I tear my gaze from the Newfie and get my first glimpse of his owner. And, oh my, his shadow didn’t do him justice. Mr. Big Dog has soulful blue eyes and short, thick hair the exact same color as Annabelle’s chocolate ganache. I must say, it’s every bit as mouthwatering as a hair color. I am momentarily rendered dumbstruck, so I blurt out the first thing that enters my head. “Oh, it’s no bother. I don’t mind being kissed. I rather like it.”

I hope to see you at the White Rose loop!

Blessings, Teri

Teri Wilson ~ Romancing the pet lover's soul

Coming soon from White Rose Publishing:

Once Upon a Collar & Cup of Joe


JoAnn said...

Wow, what a history Pug Hill has! Too bad there are no more pugs though.

I hope you will get to see the park one day, you never know who may come strolling by. Would you take your beautiful dog with you?

I know I've told you this already, but I can't wait for your story to be released. It sounds so interesting!

Enjoy your day chatting with Anna.

Anonymous said...

Oh this sounds like a great story. and by reading the except makes me want to see more of it.
I will definately look for the free chapters


Tammy Doherty said...

Just dropped in to say "Hi Teri!" Cool history fact about Pug Hill. I love those somewhat odd things you find in research.

Looking forward to "Once Upon a Collar"

Blessings always,

E.A. West said...

Love the excerpt, Teri! I can't wait to read the whole story. :)

Anonymous said...

I love reading books with pets in them and these sound good. I am a member of the White Rose group

JoAnn said...


Guess what?! I stopped by the library on my way to the store and saw the book, Pug Hill. I wasn't even looking for it, but as soon as it caught my eye it made me think of you. :)

Kara Lynn Russell said...

As you know, I'm already a member of the WRP yahoo group. But if I weren't I'd sign up just to get Once Upon a Collar. I'm impatiently waiting for the release date.

Judy said...

I really enjoyed the Pug Hill story. I think pugs are so cute. You can learn all kinds of things researching for your books:) I really enjoy finding out all the tidbits:)

I already belong to WRP group.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Teri, chiming in late to say welcome (I had to go wedding dress shopping with my daughter today....and we found a dress, beaudtiful and even better, a great price).

Anyway, I enjoyed your post. It's always interesting to learn how authors get their spark of inspiration.

Cherie J said...

Rally interesting post about Pug Hill. I just joined the White Rose Yahoo Group and I am looking forward to reading Once Upon a Collar. It sounds great!


SharonJM said...

I would like to read more chapters and I'm a New Yorker, never knew about pug hill. Maybe because I've owned two mystery mixes and a Rhodesian Ridgeback,

Teri Wilson, Romancing the pet lover's soul said...

Congrats CherieJ! You are the winner!!! I'll send you an email shortly. Thanks everyone for reading and commenting!

I hope to see you all on Sept. 18 for the free release of Once Upon a Collar!

Blessings, Teri

Teri Wilson ~ Romancing the pet lover's soul