Jack of Hearts

Released 2012, Available on Amazon, and goodreads

Cover art by Nancy Schutt
Cover art by Nancy Schutt

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.


“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 Stein, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 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, #1 New York Times best-selling author
“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, New York Times best-selling author of MEDICINE WOMAN

Light of the Northern Dancers

A story of two desperate and dynamic nineteenth century women, each with a unique style. Fiery aristocrat, Eden Rose, uprooted from her native Scotland, has tended a foundering marriage and failing ranch at the corner of Crazy Woman Creek and the Powder River for a decade. Best friend, backwoods spitfire Maddie True, has her own woes a few miles away: widowed with six young children and caretaker to her addled father. Abandoned by her husband during the height of Wyoming Territory’s worst drought in history, Eden depends on her inept brother, Aiden, to see her through the coming winter. But when he disappears into the wild Bighorn mountains, she shuns Maddie’s fearful cautions, teaming with enigmatic Lakota Holy Man, Intah, to find him before the wicked snow holds them all hostage. Guided by spirit and love, their lives are transformed.

Light of the Northern Dancers is optioned and currently in development for a limited television series.

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