Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the book tour for Heart and the City written by Cecilia Fyre.
It is my honour and pleasure to introduce a guest post written this talented author.
Writing about New York City
Everyone who’s ever been to New York has their own version of the city. I’ve been to New York many times, and I fall in love with it more on every visit. So it was only a matter of time before the city would become an inspiration for my writing.
When I first started on the novella series, my favourite part of the city were Chinatown, the Bowery and the Lower East Side. I’d always go up to the theatre district, of course, and frequently to Central Park. But I got really familiar with the lower part of Manhattan. I love walking the streets there, it’s so diverse and never boring. And shopping is great on Broadway.
For this guest post I want to do a little tour of the New York that inspired the setting of the novellas. I feel that New York deserves a tribute at this juncture in history and a little virtual tour might help tide us over until we’re able to travel again!
Where to stay?
Hotels in Manhattan can be really expensive, so when I first investigated accommodation I was delighted to discover the Bowery House . It’s a hostel and quite basic, but the history of the building is really interesting. The cabins were first set up to house homeless soldiers coming back from the war.
Ricco, the love interest in the novellas, lives in a penthouse in Chinatown, and when Lea first moves to the city that’s where she happens to end up as well.
Chinatown might seem an odd choice for a famous actor. When you walk the streets you’d never imagine that anyone with money would want to live there. But it’s quirky and different, and it’s Ricco’s kind of place. His penthouse is in a fairly nondescript street that’s otherwise home to Chinese restaurants and printing businesses.
A lot of famous cast-iron dwellings are dotted around the neighbourhood. Stop at a street corner and look up. You can see the penthouse terraces on the roofs of many of those buildings.
I tried to capture a little of the strange vibe of the area in the novellas. It’s popular with tourists who shop in the souvenir shops, take photos with the weird window displays, eat in the restaurants and sit outside cafés where Chinatown becomes Little Italy. But go down into one of the streets without garlands and lanterns strung across, where all the signs are in Chinese, and suddenly the atmosphere is residential and you can sense what it was like when the tenements were full of immigrant families, and garment sweatshops, laundries and butchers provided employment for the local community.
A little bit of real history
There’s one Lower East Side institution that didn’t make it into the novellas, even though I would’ve loved to mention it – the Tenement Museum. If you’re interested in the New York of the 19th and early 20th century, then this is where you have to go. The apartments in the building are made up to reflect different times. You learn about the actual families that lived there until the law changed and the tenement was closed in 1935. It is the place to go to learn about immigration to the United States. I really recommend taking part in the Tastings at the Tenement event, too. You find out what the various immigrant communities would eat and then you can try food sourced from shops and restaurants still operating in the neighbourhood.
What about Queens?
When you fly into JFK airport and travel to the Bowery, you take the sky train from the airport through Queens to Jamaica Station where it connects to the A and the F subway trains. I had the idea for Lea’s more permanent home from those journeys. I’ve never walked through Queens, but you get quite a nice bird’s eye view as the train rattles towards Manhattan. It’s a pretty long journey, and you see a much more residential and middle-class part of New York that way. I think that now the novellas are coming out, for my next trip to New York (which I honestly can’t wait for) I’ll make it a special mission to discover Queens!
Heart and the City (Book 1 in the Love Medicine series)
British doctor Lea Holm has come to New York to work in her chosen field of emergency medicine. She loves her new life in this exciting city and can’t wait to get started with her research project. The last thing she needs are distractions.
But then she meets famous actor Ricco Como in her building – a distraction if ever there was one. He’s gorgeous and sweet, and there’s an immediate connection between them. Lea tries to resist temptation, but when he comes to her for help dealing with his steadily worsening migraine she can’t turn away from his plight.
As Ricco’s health takes a turn for the worse, their lives become more and more entwined. But can their growing attraction withstand the strain of his ill health, and can he let Lea be more than just his doctor?
**This novella series contains detailed descriptions of long-term health conditions, cheating and a bereavement.**
The series is set in New York City and was written before COVID-19. It makes no reference to recent events.
Publication Date: 26th May
About Cecilia Fyre
Cecilia Fyre is the pen name of a romance author trying out something new.
She likes sunny, crisp autumn days. Cups of hot cocoa with little marshmallows floating on top. The roaring of the sea. Laughing until your face hurts. The silence when you curl up with a good book.
Her stories are about people. Some of them are strange, some think they’re boring. They all have secrets, they’re all scared sometimes. Cecilia writes about life, about love. About how hard it is to do it right. Usually, there’s a happy ending, or at least there might be one, someday.
But life’s not all sunshine and roses, and that’s why Cecilia tells her stories.
In the real world, Cecilia lives in England.
Win 2 x A Complete set of all 5 novellas in the Love Medicine series, in an ebook format (Open INT)
The five novellas are:
Book 1 – Heart and the City
Book 2 – Unexpected Truth
Book 3 – Been There Before
Book 4 – Wish The Pain Away
Book 5 – A Thousand Little Pieces
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you add this novella to your reading lists and enjoy this lovely story set in New York!