Thanks for having me on Fresh Fiction. My newest release in the Love Unexpected Series is NEVER EXPECTED YOU. This story features two veterinarians. Obviously, they love animals, but more than that, they both find comfort and strength in them. When Stella is hurting, curling up with her dogs soothes her. When Zach needed an outlet for his teenage frustration, helping Stella’s dad with the animals in his clinic brought him a sense of peace. I think that’s what animals can do for a lot of people. I will admit that I have not always been the biggest animal person. While I was growing up, we had a LOT of dogs. Actually, we had dogs, cats, fish, a ferret, gerbils, and hamsters. Sometimes all at the same time. When I got older, I wasn’t sure I wanted to have animals, but my now-husband really wanted dogs. In our twenty years together, we’ve had six dogs together. Each of them made an impact on us and our family. While I was finishing up the first draft of this story, last June, we lost one of our two dogs. Though we’d lost animals before, this one hit harder because she used to sit on my feet no matter what I was doing. My feet were suddenly…cold. And as much as we couldn’t replace Lola, we convinced my husband to get another dog. The one we had was super lonely without her best friend and we were all saddened by the loss of our Pomeranian.
It was an interesting lesson to teach our daughters that you can still miss someone/something and move on. That you can enjoy the next stage, or puppy, without forgetting about what came before. I think that theme, the idea that saying goodbye doesn’t erase all that happened, is a theme in NEVER EXPECTED YOU.
In our case, we brought home a three-and-a-half pound chihuahua/shih tzu. We thought she’d grow. She hasn’t. What she has done is made us and our daughters laugh. She’s made our other dog run around and chase toys again. When they play together, we’re all smiling. That doesn’t mean we don’t miss Lola. We do. My daughter asked the other day if it was okay to enjoy our newest addition so much when the reason we got her was so sad.
It might seem strange, especially if you haven’t read the book yet, but I think this is part of what Stella struggles within the book. She’s scared that if she changes too much, if she messes up or fails, she’ll not only let down her father’s memory, but she’ll lose a piece of him. He’s gone, but she hasn’t figured out how to say goodbye. She’s held off on doing so because that would make it real. And like Stella (our pup who never grew) helped us heal the broken part of our hearts, it hasn’t lessened anything we felt for the dog we lost. Moving on and forward doesn’t have to mean letting go. Not entirely, anyway.
Both animals and people teach us things about life, love, and friendship. In this way, the book imitates life because Zach and Stella both seek refuge in the animals. Have you ever had a pet that left a permanent impact on your heart?
Love Unexpected #2
When Zach Mason, former army sergeant turned veterinarian
for war-wounded animals, returns home, the decision to stay is easy.
But convincing the only other vet in town to hire him is a good
deal harder. It doesn’t help that the beautiful, intelligent, and
stubborn Stella Lane is determined to make his life hell.
Stella doesn’t take outside help easily—she’s been let down
in the past, most recently by her ex, just as she’d begun to plan their
wedding. Trusting Zach with her animals is one thing, but trusting
him with more is a hard pass. Too bad the handsome vet is nothing but temptation.And her new roommate…
Each book in the Love Unexpected series is STANDALONE:
*Let It Be Me
*Never Expected You
Romance Contemporary [Entangled Amara, On Sale: September 24, 2018, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9789781640636 / eISBN: 9781640636514]
About Jody Holford
Jody Holford lives in British Columbia with her family. She’s a huge fan of Rainbow Rowell and Nora Roberts. She’s unintentionally funny and rarely on time for anything. She writes multiple genres but her favorite is romance.