His Brand of Passion and The Big Apple, by Kate Hewitt

by Kate Hewitt, author of His Brand of Passion (Harlequin Presents, July 2013)

When I began His Brand of Passion, the third book in my Bryant Brothers ‘Powerful and Proud’ Trilogy, I decided I wanted to set the story in New York City. I lived in New York for two years as a young single woman, and then for three years when I was married with four children. My family and I moved from New York to rural England two years ago, and I still miss the buzz of the Big Apple.

So writing about it was tons of fun, as well as a trip down memory lane. The story starts at a wedding at the iconic Plaza Hotel, where I’ve had afternoon tea. Central Park features briefly for the photos after, as does the lesser known but equally beautiful Riverside Park, where I’ve taken my children.

Central ParkThe heroine, Zoe Parker, is a struggling artist who lives in the East Village, where I lived when I was a single, struggling writer. Aaron, the business tycoon hero, lives on the Upper West Side, in a neighborhood similar to the one I lived in with my husband and kids.

It’s always fun to include bits of life in your books, and I hope my love of New York shines through in this book. Yes, it’s a huge, overwhelming, frantic city. The price of everything is outrageous ($1400 for ten children’s swimming lessons, anyone?) and people can seem  busy or rude or both. But I loved the energy I felt living there, the feeling that I was in the middle of everything. And I love writing about it, not only in His Brand of Passion, but in a women’s fiction, This Fragile Life, I have out in August with Carina UK.

PlazaHave you been to New York City? Did you like it? Tell me what you did or didn’t like about the city. I’ll pick one random commenter to win copies of all three of my Bryant Brothers books, digital or paper.

Happy reading, Kate

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UPDATE: Thanks to Kate for offering the giveaway! The contest is now closed and LIDIA was the lucky winner! Congrats Lidia, and please check your email 🙂

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Comments ( 14 )
  1. Laney4
    June 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Yo! (LOL) Great blog!

    The only time I was in the Big Apple was when I was 17 years of age – for my Grade 12 end-of-year school trip way back in 1976. We took two coach buses from a small village in southern Ontario, crossed the border, and eventually made it to NYC. (Our coach driver started to take a wrong on-ramp and decided to drive in REVERSE back to the main highway when he realized he was going the wrong way; he wouldn’t have tried this today – I hope! – especially since we have GPS, cell phones, etc. today….)

    My first memory was of our local doctor’s son thinking he was pretty smart. He got the nickname of $24 man (around the time of the Six Million Dollar Man TV show) – because he paid $2 for a taxi, paid $20 for a hooker, and then paid $2 back to our hotel in another taxi.

    My own memories in NYC included walking “downtown” and having people everywhere drawing caricatures … looking out from the Empire State Building at the sea of yellow below (taxi cabs) … and seeing my first hotel. Girls weren’t allowed to leave their rooms without male chaperones. I bought my first record album near the hotel (by Olivia Newton John), as I’d never been in a store that had that many albums available (and many not “current”).

  2. Melanie J
    June 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I went to NYC in 2012. It was about 6 months or so after 9/11 so the ground was still fresh and there was still quite abit of damage still around.

    I went in March so it was still pretty cold, but I went to Times Square, Central Park.. I loved it.

    I need to go back!

  3. Kate Hewitt
    June 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Great memories of NYC! The first time I went to NYC I was four years old for a shopping trip with my parents for a flower girl dress. I kept asking them if we could just stay in a hotel because I was so tired and they were adamant that we could not. No idea of prices, etc–and NYC in the early 70s was a very different place than it is today!

    Laney, I’m from southern Ontario originally 🙂

  4. bn100
    June 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I have; like the museums

  5. Laura Russell
    June 27, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Hi Kate! I just spend the weekend in NYC- big treat for me because I live out west. Well, the energy, the everything is intoxicating but those rush-hour sidewalks are not a lot of fun, everyone racing and bumping into those of us gawking at everything. I enjoy reading your books so much and it’s great you’ve set the next one in NYC.

  6. Mary Preston
    June 27, 2013 at 4:27 am

    I’ve never been to New York City, but it is firmly on my travel wish list. My sister has been twice and just loved it.

  7. Kate Hewitt
    June 27, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I agree with the crowded sidewalks, Laura! Those can be a nightmare, especially with children in tow. I don’t miss that aspect 🙂 Thank you for your kind comments about my books. I’m so glad you enjoy them.

    Definitely worth a visit, Mary. There is just so much to see. Although when you actually live there you don’t do the touristy things so much, but I think that is true wherever you live!

  8. Lori
    June 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I love everything about NYC except that it can be soooo expensive.

  9. lidia
    June 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Kate, I lived in NYC from the time I was 5 until 18. I loved the varied cultural and ethnic shops and restaurants. You can’t walk for more than two block without passing at least one Pizza store. You can find fabulous food in small neighborhood cafes that equal or are better than some of the fancy restaurants.

    You also need to know where to go to shop/find specific items. You’ve got Chinatown, Littly Italy, etc… Do you prefer the upper East Side or the West Side? That says a lot about you as a person.

    And who gets tired of visiting the Museum of Natural History? Or the Planetarium? Or the hands-on Children’s Museum?

    What about Broadway and all of the great shows?

    The best thing about NYC is that for a huge city it is relatively safe.

    At Christmas time there is nothing better than going to Rockerfeller Center to see the huge tree, buy some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor and take a horse & buggy ride through Central Park. You can also go look at the windows in SAKS, Lord Taylors, etc… all showing festive scenes.

    NYC sometimes gets a bad rap, but it is definitely a place that everyone should visit at least once if you get the chance. It is a very unique city. Nothing quite matches it.

  10. Runner10
    June 28, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I love NYC. Visiting next month. The energy there is the best.

  11. Indigo
    June 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I spent a week in NYC city in March and fell in love with it, crowds and all. Central Park was more beautiful than I’d imagined. I loved the New York Library with it’s Lion’s and Fresco’s. I plan to move there later this summer, and hope to be a fixture in the Library!!

  12. Kate Hewitt
    June 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks everybody for your terrific comments! NYC really is such a special place–and Lidia, you’re absolutely right, very safe for a big city. I’ll ask for a winner of my three Bryant Brother books to be drawn on Monday, but do continue to comment and enter for the giveaway 🙂

  13. Lisa
    July 1, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Unfortunately, I’ve never been to New York. It’s on my bucket list!! I hope to get there within the next two years. It sounds so exciting…the city that never sleeps…or so I’m told!

  14. Pantaeva
    July 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I never actually been to New York before.But I might add that I’ve been to New York through, reading books that place in the magical city! but one day really soon I’ll go and see the wonders that actually take place in the books to see for myself!!