Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Puppy Dog Tales Excerpt by Liwen Y. Ho

I know some of us are a little "holiday-ed out" with all the year-end celebrations we just had, but I can't help but be excited about the next big day coming up. Yes, I'm talking about a romance author's favorite holiday: Valentine's Day! 

We're still about a month away, but most stores are already decorated in shades of pink and red. I've had this day on my mind for a while now because I'm working on a Valentine's story, which will be released February 1st. I'll have more details about it for you soon, but in the meantime, I'd like to share about a rom-com I wrote last year. Puppy Dog Tales has all the makings of a total disaster—opposites attracting, matchmaking mamas, and animal antics—and also the warm fuzzies of a sweet romance.

Here's the blurb:

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—literally. 

He longs to make her his valentine; she can’t wait to escape him. It’s going to take a miracle for Melvin to win Vivian’s heart, but nothing’s impossible when four-legged conspirators are involved.

And here's an excerpt:
When the middle-aged lawyer with the bad comb-over recited Uncle Bruce’s last will and testament twenty minutes later, he paused before announcing Melvin’s inheritance. Not only did he pause, he might have snickered as well.

“I bequeath unto the persons named below the following property: To my beloved nephew, Dr. Melvin Lai, I leave my beloved cocker spaniel, Sparkle. To my beloved nephew Calvin Lai, I leave my 80s music collection. To my beloved nephew, Erwin Lai, I leave my set of golf clubs. To my beloved niece—”

“No ....” Melvin finally overcame his shock enough to speak. “What did you say? I’m Melvin Lai. Can you repeat what you said about me? Please.”

The lawyer’s body trembled with suppressed laughter. “It says your uncle left you his dog.”

“His … dog?” Melvin shook his head so hard his neck hurt. “You must be mistaken. I hate dogs.”

A collective gasp resounded in the room. His female relatives all shook their heads in disbelief. They were without a doubt second generation Chinese Americans because their foreign-born parents considered canines a delicacy. Having a dog for a pet was a western way of thinking and the “right” way, according to everyone glaring at him. He waved his hands in a gesture of peace. “Wait, I don’t mean I hate dogs. Hate’s too strong a word. Dislike, maybe?”

The next gasp was quieter, but still disapproving.

“Why would Uncle Bruce leave me his dog? Are you sure he was, you know, in a clear state of mind when he wrote the will?”

“I assure you he was,” the lawyer insisted with a stern look. “He stated he wanted you, and only you, to get the dog.”

Melvin released a long breath. This was unexpected. What was Uncle Bruce up to? If only he were still alive, he could provide some answers. Better yet, if he were still around, he could keep his dog for himself. He had no intentions of bringing a slobbery, smelly animal to live with him in his condo. “May I contest the will?”

“You don’t want the dog?” Stray pieces of the lawyer’s comb-over swayed back and forth as he shook his head in dismay. “Are you saying you don’t want to respect your beloved uncle’s last wishes?”

The lawyer sure had a way with words and, not to mention, guilt trips. He’d heard enough of those from his mother that they didn’t affect his conscience anymore, but this one was different. This one was about his uncle, his favorite uncle. The surgeon who’d sparked his interest in medicine. “Wait, what did you say the dog’s name was?”

“It’s Sparkle. Like what the stars do at night.”

Sparkle. Well, well. Maybe this dog was supposed to spark something in his life. A new interest, perhaps? There was only one way to find out. Melvin ran his hands through his hair and uttered the words he never thought he’d say. “Okay, fine. I’ll take the dog.”


Poor Melvin! He's in for a wild ride when he meets Sparkle and Sparkle's beautiful vet, Vivian. Don't worry though (spoiler alert!), he's going to thank his uncle big-time for giving him a dog. :)

Puppy Dog Tales is also now available as an audiobook. My narrator, Satauna Howery, did an amazing job bringing the story to life with her comedic timing. You can listen to her narrate the excerpt above in this sample clip

Are you looking forward to Valentine's Day? Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? Let me know in the comments below!

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