Sex and the Salt City: Romance author writes new book in Syracuse

Meet Rachel Parker: A woman in her late twenties who fell in love with the wrong guy, was heartbroken, and now returns to Syracuse to find herself.

And she’s looking for love in Salt City.

That’s the plot of “Stupid Love,” by author Danielle Dexter, which aims to make it the first book in the self-published “The Salt City Diaries” series.

While the book is fun and light-hearted, Dexter said she wanted to mix heartbreak and happiness to make readers say, “I’ve been there.”

“I wanted to create something that connected with people because no one understands their fairy tale or expects everything to be easy,” Dexter said. “Show me the hard parts. Show me how we overcome these bad relationships.

Like the novel’s main character, Dexter also decided to return to central New York after attending college in Arizona. Originally from Auburn, Dexter now lives outside of Syracuse near Oswego. She has worked in human resources, including a short stint at | The Post Standard. More recently, she’s been devoting more time to her writing, she says.

Dexter said the novel borders on autofiction, a combination of autobiography and fiction.

The characters and situations in the story are fictional, but the experiences and emotions are real, she said.

“Stupid Love” is loosely based on my own personal experience,” Dexter said. “I was in a relationship, ended up moving back to the area and starting to figure things out again.”

Readers will find fictional locations in the novel reminiscent of locations in Syracuse. Although Dexter said she didn’t use real names, readers may recognize some of the restaurants and hotspots mentioned in the book, such as eateries such as Laci’s Tapas or Stella’s Diner.

“I love Stella’s,” Dexter said of putting his title character in the North Side restaurant. “And I wanted to put a place where she would go and it gives you an intimate feeling.”

Support from the local community has helped spread the word and publicize her work, Dexter said. Parthenon Books, Syracuse’s premier independent bookstore, will host Dexter for a book signing from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, August 13.

Eden Majewski, Parthenon’s chief bookseller and marketing manager, said the downtown store was thrilled to get a Syracuse version of “Sex and the City” and add it to a special display.

“We quickly added local authors to our inventory,” she said. “We have our local authors section just as you come in on the right.”

Like Carrie Bradshaw from the hit HBO show, Rachel tells the story with her writing.

“Rachel writes in her blog, and she tells you the lessons she learns, you find out with her. And I wanted that to kind of translate to you sitting down with your girlfriends and having a conversation “said Dexter.

However, unlike “Sex and the City”, the novel is a little more PG-13 and does not contain any of the graphic sex scenes often seen in the romance genre. Dexter said his ideal reader is anyone who loves contemporary romance or romantic comedy.

Dexter began writing “Stupid Love” seven years ago in his mid-twenties. As her own life progressed through this time, Dexter said she hoped readers would also grow with the characters as the Salt City Diaries continued.

“My goal is for you to see these characters grow,” Dexter said. “I wanted my readers to be at a certain point in their lives where they could say, okay, I can relate to this now too.”

“Stupid Love” can be found in the local authors section of Parthenon Books as well as on Amazon.

Lola R. McClure