by Liwen Y. Ho
An animal hater and an animal lover’s paths collide the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Melvin Lai inherited the last thing he ever wanted from his favorite uncle: a cocker spaniel. Now he’s on the verge of losing his home to the unruly puppy and, much to his surprise, his heart when he meets Dr. Chu, Sparkle’s vet.
Vivian Chu loves caring for her furry friends, so she can’t fathom how anyone could think poorly of her new patient, especially his owner. To her, first impressions are everything, and the one Melvin left has her feeling disheartened and bruised–quite literally.
With a pair of matchmaking mothers and unexpected animal escapades, they encounter more trouble than they can handle. He longs to make her his valentine; she can’t wait to escape him. Can Melvin and Vivian pull together to find common ground?
“So cute! I really enjoyed this story. I thought Melvin was hilarious and the dog, Sparkle, was adorable. I loved the Asian aspect too and how the Chinese moms were trying to arrange the marriages of their kids.”
“I needed a light, pick-me-up kind of read when I picked up Puppy Dog Tales, and this romantic comedy was just the ticket.”
“I took this funny, sweet, uplifting novella on a road trip and it made the time pass so pleasantly. I love this author’s sensitive handling of character growth. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves sweet romantic comedies, and animals!”
CIR: What inspired this love story?
HO: This book was inspired by our family dog Sparkle who we were lucky enough to have in our lives for 10 years. And also by a character from another one of my books, True To You. One of my beta readers wished Melvin Chu could have his own happily-ever-after, so I gave him one!
CIR: What was your favorite part of writing this story?
HO: My favorite part was incorporating real-life events (aka. mishaps!) to infuse the “funny” into this story. I saw the scenes play out so clearly in my mind that all I had to do was write them down!
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing Puppy Dog Tales?
HO: The hardest part was making the story complete, despite its length, and also balancing the humor with romance.
CIR: Who is your favorite character and why?
HO: Melvin Chu, the male main character is my favorite because he’s a good guy with a lot of heart but also a very keen sense of smell that doesn’t bode well for his love life (poor Melvin!). He reminds me of an Asian Hugh Grant.
CIR: What themes do you address?
HO: This story addresses the theme of second chances and how everyone, humans and animals alike, deserve a second chance.