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<DIV><p>"The storytelling has vitality and a spirit of rebellion, giving us hope for the future of all those bad girls with dirty faces and bad boys on bikes."—<I>The New York Times</I></p><p>"There is about Maggie Estep's work a directness, a clear determination—a drive to cut through, to break through, to claw through—that is impressive."—A.M. Homes, author of <I>The Mistress’s Daughter</I></p><p>"Maggie Estep is the bastard daughter of Raymond Chandler and Anaïs Nin. Her prose is hard-boiled and sexy; she turns a good phrase and shows some leg."—Jonathan Ames, author of <I>Wake Up, Sir!</I></p><p>Alice Hunter is a thirty-six-year-old professional gambler living in Queens, New York. She is modestly successful as a horseplayer and enjoys her work. Though avidly pursued by her lover, Clayton, who she refers to as The Big Oaf, Alice's closest companion is Candy, a small spotted dog, and Alice likes it that way. When Clayton's overzealousness leads Alice to ask one of her racetrack cronies to intimidate Clayton into leaving her, a few things go wrong and Alice turns to her half-sister Eloise, a toy maker, whose own lover has just been killed in a freak accident.</p><p>There is fierce love between Alice, Eloise, and Kimberly (their unconventional mother), but it takes Alice's accidental discovery of an awful secret Kimberly has been keeping to truly bring three eccentric women, seventeen dogs, and assorted lovers together.</p><p><B>Maggie Estep</B> has published six books, including <I>Hex</I>, a <I>New York Times</I> Notable Book of 2003. Her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies including: <I>Brooklyn Noir</I>, <I>Queens Noir</I>, <I>Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café</I>, <I>The Best American Erotica</I>, and <I>The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry</I>. She has performed her work in a wide variety of venues ranging from Lincoln Center to Lollapalooza, <I>Charlie Rose</I>, and HBO's <I>Def Poetry Jam</I>. She lives in Woodstock, New York.</p></DIV>