by Liwen Y. Ho
Book 1: The More the Merrier
Fed up with a string of bad blind dates, health blogger Alyssa Wu just wants to drown her sorrows in ice cream. But there’s one more evening she must endure – a fake date with her best friend Barry Chang. They must convince her family they are in love, an act which may (or may not) be easy to pull off, thanks to the magic of some mistletoe.
“Absolutely heart-warming. It’s funny, sweet, charming, and romantic.”
“It was so refreshing to read a story focused on true romance.”
“This story is sure to banish any bah-humbugs.”
Book 2: A Spoonful of Spice
Josh Pepper has one goal: to become the next manager in the IT department. But his career plan gets sidelined when the first woman, bubbly Cin Thomas, joins his team. He now needs to keep everyone from being distracted by her presence, a task that appears easy to accomplish … until her piercing green eyes start invading his dreams.
“Liwen Ho is a masterful storyteller. It takes a deft touch to get a short story romance just right and she concocted this one wonderfully. Highly recommended for fans of sweet romances that have depth and humor and happy endings.”
“This short story is long on sweet and spicy.”
“Sweet with a little bit of humor and a lot of heart. This is the second of these short romances I’ve read, and this one was my favorite of the two. I actually choked up a bit because this charted a very real emotional arc for the leads.”
Book 3: Of Buds and Blossoms
Librarian Chloe McAlister finds solace in her books—and hats—but doesn’t know where to turn when her longtime crush gets engaged. On a whim, she signs up for a speed-dating mixer and convinces her best friend, Dill Thomas, to attend. All goes as planned until she realizes Dill means more to her than she thought … and he goes and falls for someone else.
“Liwen Ho writes with such empathy for her characters and the result is character driven storytelling — my favorite kind. It takes a deft touch to make a short story or novella feel complete, and this author has mastered it.”
“Heartwarming story. Although the main theme is a romantic love, this story is much more.”
“Liwen Ho is the queen of romantic short stories!”
CIR: What inspired The More the Merrier?
HO: I really love the idea of friends becoming something-more so I wanted to base this book on that idea. Also, since I wrote it during a summer heat wave, ice cream played a big part in shaping the story.
CIR: What makes this holiday book a unique must-read for the season?
HO: This story is centered around two Asian American characters, and includes some fun cultural references that readers of all backgrounds will enjoy.
CIR: What message do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
HO: I hope readers will come to see that what we want may not always be what we need, and that there’s more to a person than his/her career or bank account.
CIR: Tell us about your favorite character in the book.
HO: My favorite character is the male lead, Barry Chang. I named him after two men I admire who have a big heart for others: Barry Allen of The Flash and my maternal grandfather, Dr. Chang. Barry brings a lot of fun to the story and is an all-around sweet guy.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing either of these?
HO: It was hard to write a believable story arc that included bringing two strangers together within 10k words.