Thursday, 29 May 2014

Deathbed Dimes by Naomi Zener

Deathbed Dimes exposes the reality that if you can outlive your relatives, friends and sometimes even strangers, your odds of hitting the inheritance jackpot are better than playing the lottery! Joely Zeller is a beautiful and ambitious 32 year-old attorney and only daughter of Hollywood film royalty, who is determined to build a successful career, find love and marriage without their help. To emerge from under her parents’ cloud of notoriety, Joely fled to New York upon graduation from Stanford Law School to practice Estates and Trust law at a blue chip Wall Street law firm. Over the next eight years she endured ninety-hour work weeks and sacrificed her love life (jilted by her fiancĂ© for his best man) only to have her career efforts foiled by her male and incredibly incompetent counterpart. A serendipitous encounter with a former professor reminds her that with the impending inevitable demise of aging baby boomers, an unprecedented wealth transfer would take place, making Joely realize that with her experience, Hollywood connections, she could start her own law firm back in L.A. With her two best friends and former law classmates, as her partners in her new L.A. law firm, Joely sets about helping the recently disowned, dispossessed and penniless sharpen their claws as they stake their claim to the fortune of the dearly departed. 
As I walked home, weighed down by a large greasy bag of

Chinese takeout, a laptop bag and my purse, I yammered on to
myself about my shitty day. I’m sure those around me thought I
was crazy. I pushed open my apartment door with my hip,
expecting that Yan would stride over and ease my burden. I
made it halfway into the living room before realizing that we had
been robbed bare, right down to the walls. I had no art, no
furniture, no flat-screen TV.
Spinning frantically for the phone, I saw a little yellow square
where the portable used to be. Fantastic, I thought to myself. My
friendly neighbourhood robbers left a thank-you note. That
ought to help with my insurance claim. As a stain of leaky
orange beef spread across my blouse, it occurred to me that the
handwriting was familiar. Yan had left me a Post-it.
Obviously Yan had been abducted. I returned to the remnants
of a twisted home invasion. What’s the term for snatching a
grown man? Adult-napping? I dropped the takeout and
ransacked my purse for my iPhone. With the unread ransom note
stuck to my index finger, I dialed 9-1-1. After an eternity, a surly
dispatcher answered with a tone that implied my crisis had
interrupted her efforts to bring about an end to world hunger.
2 | Deathbed Dimes
“9-1-1. What’s your emergency? How may I help you?” the
operator inquired.
“You’ve gotta help me!” I shrieked into the phone. “I am the
victim of a robbery and… and an adult-napping!”
“Please try to remain calm. What is the nature of your
emergency?” the operator stated flatly. A grating sound in the
background suggested she was filing her nails.
“Are you out of your fucking mind? How can you tell me to
be calm?” I shrieked.
“Ma’am, there’s no need to swear at me,” the operator
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I was incredulous. “There’s
nothing left but a Post-it Note. All of my stuff is gone.
Everything that was here this morning is gone. Gone, gone,
gone!” I screeched, “Put down your goddamned nail file and
send me the cops!”
“Ma’am,” sighed the operator, “you’re going to have to calm
down. We get a lot of cranks, honey, and for the record, there’s
no such thing as an adult-napping.” I swear I heard her chuckle
to herself. “I think you’re in a state of shock. Why don’t you
read me the note?”
I quickly voiced the words stuck to my finger.
“Excuse me. Ma’am, please read the note more slowly. I’m
not sure I understood you correctly,” the operator said. I detected
a note of disbelief in her voice and wondered what the IQ
requirements were for her position.
I reread the letter to the operator as though she were a fouryear-
old. “It says ‘I’ve moved out. Don’t worry. I am safe. All my
love, Yan. PS: I’m gay and I want the engagement ring back.’”
“You ain’t been robbed, honey. You’ve been dumped, with a
capital D.” The operator howled with laughter. “You don’t need
9-1-1; you need a therapist!"

Praise for Deathbed Dimes

"Deathbed Dimes' humorous and heartwarming urgency will have you turning pages and up all night rooting for the novel's neurotic narrator. Readers of Naomi Zener's entertaining and hilarious debut will lose themselves in the fascinating world, and recognize themselves in the novel's honest and revealing portrayal of one woman's desperate search for a place in the world."- Julia Fierro, author of Cutting Teeth: A Novel

“Deathbed Dimes is a funny, acerbic, and raucous read written by someone who clearly knows the world she’s so vividly created.” Terry Fallis, author of Best Laid Plans (winner of the Stephen Leacock Award), Up and Down and No Relation.

"I absolutely loved the humor in Deathbed Dimes. The characters jumped off the page - a matter of fact, it was so fun and suspenseful, I wanted to be in the story. Bravo!" Ophira Eisenberg, author of "Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy" and host of NPR's "Ask Me Another."
"Deathbed Dimes is an edgy and witty debut novel - I can't wait for the sequel."  Paula Froelich, NYT best-selling author of "Mercury in Retrograde" and Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Travel.
"This book is an hilarious, incredibly well-written, shrewd insider's look at the zeitgeist of greed predominating battles people fight to inherit wealth. Reminding me of Nora Ephron's quick wit, this contemporary story's humour, married with intrigue and its relatable characters, had me in their grasp from page one and I couldn't put it down." Rebecca Eckler, author of How To Raise A Boyfriend and The Mommy Mob.

"Deathbed Dimes is a hilariously witty novel that proves you can't keep a strong woman down. I hope there's a sequel!" - Bunmi Laditan,  author of The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting.

"Deathbed Dimes is a sassy and energetic novel about women making the best out of the worst. With Naomi Zener's  satirical edge, even "rock bottom" is hilarious. Readers are bound  to have fun watching Joely as she claws her way back to the top. (Go, Joely!)" Angie Abdou, CBC Canada Reads 2011 finalist and author of Anything Boys Can Do, The Canterbury Trail and The Bone Cage.

About Naomi Zener

Naomi Zener is a new writer and her debut novel, "Deathbed Dime$," will be released on May 30, 2014. In addition to her freshman novel, she has a  satire fiction blog read by the likes of literary bigwigs including Giller-prize winning Vincent Lam, Robert Rotenberg, Rebecca Eckler, and Paula Froelich: Her author site is She is also a practising entertainment lawyer, called to the bar in both Ontario, Canada and California, U.S.A., and a wife and mom of two kids, currently living in Toronto, Ontario.

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