of high society, Avery Stowe is taking back her life. All she wants
is a little privacy and a quiet place to raise her autistic daughter,
Hailey. Redwood Ridge, Oregon, seems to offer all the right
ingredients. Except for the problem of the local sexy veterinarian.
The last thing she needs in her life is to fall for his irresistible
allure, even if he is a nice guy who keeps doing her favors. But the
well-meaning patrons of her new hometown have other ideas, and it
appears playing Cupid is one of them.
couldn't handle, but when Avery Stowe walks into his office late one
night cradling an injured puppy, he’s struck stupid. Which might
explain her total lack of interest in him. But now that she’s
working for his family’s clinic, he doesn't have to lust from a
distance. He might just have a chance at convincing Avery—and her
too-guarded heart—that falling for the right man isn't a mistake .
Kensington/Lyrical launched the first story in my new small town rom-com series Redwood Ridge in February. Puppy Love is about a veterinarian, Cade, who's the youngest O'Grady brother and known as a bit of a playboy. What I loved most about this book (and the two releases following) is that the animals are like secondary characters. There's a clinic cockatoo, a great dane, and a cat, plus the characters' pets. So fun.
I'd been wanting to write a small town series for quite awhile and also had veterinarians in mind for potential heroes. I've always been an animal lover and my best friend is a vet tech. The stories she tells me? Hilarious! My main inspiration, though, was my beloved black lab, Willow. She was a rescue dog and was about 9 months old when we adopted her. The husband and I didn't have kids yet, but we recognized from day one she'd be great with anyone.
Gentle and intuitive, she knew I was pregnant before I did. She followed me around everywhere and kept nudging my belly. From the time we brought our twin boys home from the hospital--and 4 years later, our youngest son, too--Willow was the perfect dog. She would commando-crawl on the floor to lay beside them, careful not to smother. When they started toddling, she watched them from a distance, giving a wide berth to not topple them. And as they got older, she handled their rough-housing without batting an eyelash.
I used to study her and them, thinking to myself, this needs to be in a book. The way they interacted and played was something truly special, and so the idea for Puppy Love (later to become a series) was born. Animals have instincts we don't. They see the world in a way we, as humans, never will. They are a gift and a blessing we so often take for granted, and enrich our lives with unconditional love.
Sadly, after 15 wonderful years with our Willow, she passed away just a few weeks before Puppy Love's release. We're heartbroken and miss her terribly. Losing her is a void we won't fill. There was no other dog quite like her, but she's in a place where she can play forever. I can't help but think of the irony as well. That having her as part of our family spurned the idea to write this book, and after years of idly thinking, I finally did it, then she crossed the rainbow bridge right before its release. Almost as if to say, the boys are growing up and you're all good now. My quest is complete.
I suspect, when a decade passes and our boys are settling into their own futures, I'll look back and remember how we didn't raise them alone. How a furbaby we happened to check out at a shelter taught my husband and I more about patience and understanding than any instruction manual or piece of advice. We rescued her, but we were the lucky ones.
she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her and
there’s always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her
bats an eyelash when she talks to herself, and no one is safe from
becoming her next fictional character. She is a Catherine
Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, Holt Medallion Finalist, and
earned one of the 10 Best Reads by USA
She is also a Romance Writers of America member. Her interests
include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping
when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but
don’t tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three
sons, and two dogs. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she
spends a lot of time there as well. She loves hearing from her