Summer and Harlequin go hand in hand and what could be better than a romance with puppies. Enjoy my showcase and review of Amy Woods Puppy Love for the Veterinarian featuring a Q&A with Amy, her novel playlist and a recipe just perfect for a Peach Leaf Texas (Where the story takes place) Summer BBQ and lots more too!
Enjoy and YeeHa!
A New Leash On Love
When June Leavy finds two puppies abandoned outside during a storm, she immediately feels a bond with the adorable animals. Swindled out of her life savings by her no-good ex, she, too, was left with nothing but heartache and struggles of her own. But when she arrives at the local veterinary clinic, June is met by dangerously handsome Dr. Ethan Singh, whose sexy smile threatens to disarm her hard-won emotional strength.
Back in Peach Leaf, Texas, to recover from an ugly breakup, Ethan gently tends to the puppies and their charming caretaker. But as the storm rages, so does the electric attraction between Ethan and June. Is this real, or a cruel phantom of lost love? Stranded alone at the clinic, only one thing is certain: they've got all night to figure it out…
Q&A for Puppy Love for the Veterinarian
- What’s your favorite part about writing in Texas?
I grew up, and still live, in Austin, a place with a healthy writing community and many events for writers at all levels. From the Texas Book Festival to Writer’s League of Texas classes, to the local chapter of RWA, I feel like I’ve always had plenty of publishing resources available at my fingertips. Not to mention that Texas, and the south as a whole, is full of interesting characters. I’m never short of inspiration!
- List two books you’ve read more than three times.
-Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
-Starting Out in the Evening, by Brian Morton
-Starting Out in the Evening, by Brian Morton
- Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
While I never actively try to base my books on real life, I think little parts of my experience do sometimes work their way into my stories. For example, though the hero, Ethan Singh, is not based on anyone from my life, he does share a heritage with someone I knew growing up. My best friend in high school was from India, and I absolutely fell in love with her family and their culture. I’ve always wanted to write about an Indian-American character, and Ethan became that person.
- How much research goes into your books?
The amount of research required varies with each book. Actually, one of my favorite parts of the writing process is researching interesting jobs for my characters. I’ve had a blast populating my little fictional town of Peach Leaf, Texas with: an elementary school principal, an astronomer, a pioneer museum worker, an art therapist, and a baker, among others. Because I am an absolute lover of animals, studying the basics of clinical veterinary medicine and polar bears for Ethan Singh’s job as a veterinarian in my latest book was immensely rewarding.
- Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do hear from readers fairly often, and it’s always wonderful to get an email from someone who’s taken time out of his or her busy life to dip into one of my books. I’m happy to say I’ve received only kind words from readers so far (*knock on wood*). The very best compliment I’ve gotten is that my book was hard to put down, and the reader stayed up late to finish it; there are no sweeter words for a writer. I encourage anyone who enjoys a book not to hesitate to contact that writer or to leave a review—it’s such a privilege to discover that someone has taken joy in your story.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading is my absolute favorite thing to do when I’m not writing (and, let’s be honest, sometimes when I’m supposed to be writing!). I especially love Regency historical romance. My husband and I have a rescue dog, Maggie, and playing with her and taking her for long walks is a favorite activity. We just moved to a busy new neighborhood, so we have lots of new places to explore together. And when I’m not reading or spending time with Maggie, my husband and I absolutely love going to the movies. There is a dine-in cinema within walking distance of our condo; they have great food and all the movies we could possibly want. I will be spending a lot of time there this summer!
- What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I try my best to keep somewhat normal work hours when I’m drafting a book, though occasionally life does get in the way. The beauty and challenge of being a work-from-home writer is that I get to choose my schedule, and it’s great most of the time to be able to set my own hours; however, it also means that I have no boss to make sure I stay on task. Keeping a disciplined writing practice is not always easy, but I wouldn’t trade my job for anything. Except maybe professional puppy petter—anyone know of any openings? J
- Do you have a favorite book cover from your series?
Harlequin has done a fabulous job with the books in my Peach Leaf, Texas series, and I’ve been super pleased with all of them. It’s always so much fun to get that email saying my cover is ready. Having said that, the cover for Puppy Love for the Veterinarian has won my heart. The designers captured June and Ethan so beautifully—I couldn’t have asked for more perfect models for my hero and heroine—and the puppies are border collies, like in the book. You can see the delight on the models’ faces as they hold the furry babies, and it’s just delightful to look at! I challenge you to take a peek and not smile.
- How do you decide on the setting of your book?
All of my books for Harlequin are set in fictional Peach Leaf, Texas. Because readers love series, because Texas is a favorite among readers of small-town contemporary romance, and because I grew up in this state and know it well, I’ve opted to stay in that setting for the time being. In the future, I’d also love to write books set in some of the places I’ve traveled and enjoyed—particularly Estes Park, Colorado, and San Diego, California.
- What is your favorite summer read?
Texas is so hot in the summer that it’s the perfect time of year to stay inside (with the air conditioning on, of course!) and curl up with a good book and a tall glass of iced sweet tea. For me, summer books are all about escape from everyday life. I mentioned before that I love Regency romance—give me anything by Mary Balogh, Sarah MacLean, or my new favorite, Vivienne Lorret, and I’m in heaven for the afternoon. I’d only stop to take a dip in the pool!
In one of my favorite scenes from Puppy Love for the Veterinarian, June bakes up a special treat for Ethan. Stranded overnight during a snow storm, June shows Ethan how to whip up brownies in a mug. The warm, gooey goodies are just the beginning of June working her way into Ethan’s heart on a cold night, and I know you’ll enjoy them just as much. Happy baking!
Brownie in a Mug (from SimplyRecipes.com)
*Some mugs don’t microwave well because there is metal in their ceramic glaze. They’ll work but they may get very hot. Best to use a plain old everyday un-fancy mug.
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
Yield: Makes one serving
-1/4 cup flour (50 g)
-1/4 cup sugar (70 g)
-2 Tbsp (13 g) cocoa (natural, unsweetened)
-pinch of salt
-tiny pinch of cinnamon
-1/4 cup water (60 ml)
-2 Tbsp canola oil or vegetable oil (NOT extra virgin olive oil)
-1 to 2 drops vanilla extract
-1 small scoop of ice cream or 1 or 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream to serve
1. Place flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon in a microwave safe ceramic mug. Stir with a fork or spoon to mix well and break up any clumps.
2. Add the oil, water, and vanilla to the cup and stir until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.
3. Place in microwave and heat on high until the mixture is cooked through, about 1 minute and 40 seconds for a 1000 watt microwave. You may have to experiment and adjust the time for less or more powerful microwaves. If you don’t know the power level on your microwave, start with 60 seconds and increase until the brownie is done. It should still be moist when cooked through, not dry.
4. Let cool for a minute and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a teaspoon or two of whipping cream poured over.
Amy's Novel playlist
It’s no secret to those who know me that my very favorite movie is Sleepless in Seattle. And it just so happens that June and Ethan’s journey to love in Puppy Love for the Veterinarian shares some of the same themes of that film – learning to open up again after loss, discovering who you are and what you really want in life, and finding someone who gets you, who loves you for all of the weirdly wonderful things that make you…you. Here are a few songs that embody June and Ethan’s love story, and kudos to you if you can pick out the songs from, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest romantic movies of all time.
-I Want To Hold Your Hand, The Beatles
-Accidentally In Love, Counting Crows
-Make Someone Happy, Jimmy Durante
-Crazy In Love, Beyoncé
-When I Fall In Love, Edward Heyman
Puppy Love for the Veterinarian Movie Star Cast
Hero: Ethan Singh
Star: Sendhil Ramamurthy
This gorgeous actor, with his incredible ebony wavy hair and deep brown eyes, embodies the phrase, “tall, dark, and handsome.” He’s the perfect guy to play pensive, intelligent, compassionate veterinarian, Ethan Singh.
Heroine: June Leavy
Star: Emma Stone
This adorable actress is spot-on to play sweet-hearted, optimistic June. The two share beautiful red locks, big, expressive eyes, and contagious laughs.
Fried Okra recipe
For many barbecue lovers, it’s all about the meat. Not so for this Texas girl—give me sides over the main course any day! I love all the classic southern barbecue pairings—mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, pinto beans, potato salad…and the list goes on. But my favorite of all, hands-down, no contest, is fried okra. I could seriously eat bucket-loads of this breaded, crispy, deliciousness, and it’s one of those rare treats that I love so much I don’t even think about the calories. And anyway, it can’t be that bad, right? After all, okra is a vegetable! ;-)
Fried Okra (from Allrecipes.com)
Prep: 15 m
Cook: 15 m
Ready In: 30 m
Recipe By: Linda Martin
-10 pods okra, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
-1 egg, beaten
-1 cup cornmeal
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
1. In a small bowl, soak okra in egg for 5 to 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge okra in the cornmeal mixture, coating evenly. Carefully place okra in hot oil; stir continuously. Reduce heat to medium when okra first starts to brown, and cook until golden. Drain on paper towels.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2016 Allrecipes.com
My Review courtesy RT Book Reviews
The hubby and I both work from home, and we share a workspace. Needless to say, space is limited! So when we were in the market for a new desk, storage was at the top of the list of must-haves, and, after much shopping online (great for procrastination; not so great for deadlines), we finally settled on one. Our new desk has so many spaces to put supplies and materials that sometimes I tuck something away and completely forget where it is! No joke, but that is part of what I love about it. The other thing I enjoy about my writing space is the nearby window. Watching the light flood in as day breaks, basking in the afternoon sunshine post-lunch, and seeing it soften as evening comes are a true joy during my writing day.
Where do you love to read or write?
Today's Gonereading item is:
Books Books Books tote bag
Books Books Books tote bag
perfect for all your summer stuff!
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