Spotlight & Giveaway: Hush, Puppy by Roxanne St. Claire

Posted July 9th, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 53 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Roxanne St. Claire to HJ!

Hi Roxanne and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Hush, Puppy!

Hello again, HJ readers! I hope you are staying healthy and safe in these uncertain times. It’s an honor, as always, to be here!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Hush, Puppy is a feel-good, big-joy, happy-tears love story about a businessman who thinks too much and needs to learn how to feel, a young widow who suffers from guilt and wants to let it go, a little girl who stutters and has to sing when she needs to talk, two octogenarian matchmakers, and the precious 10 week old puppy named Maverick who bring them all to one great big “stand up and cheer” happy ending.

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

“We met yesterday in the square,” Summer supplied, also laughing. “This poor man was finishing a call, and my daughter openly tried to kidnap little Mav.”
“She almost had him, too,” John joked, looking at Destiny, curled into a chair, quietly talking to the puppy. “Ten more minutes and…”
“Uh-uh.” Summer gave him a look. “I see you teetering on the edge of surrender there, Yianni.”
He grinned, loving the way his name sounded on her lips. Loving everything about her lips, to be honest. “What else did they tell you about me, other than my formal Greek name?”
“Oh, just how awful you are, how terribly you run your business, and…” She squinted playfully at Yiayia. “That you are generally the least attractive and most unavailable bachelor in Bitter Bark. No brains and…” She pointed to her daughter. “Clearly, you’re heartless.”
His grandmother jabbed him with her elbow. “I like a little sarcasm in a woman, don’t you?”
“I like you, Yiayia, don’t I?” Turning to Summer, he angled his head in apology. “Forgive these ladies. They are on a mission, firm in their belief that I cannot manage my own social life.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

I wrote Hush, Puppy during the height of the pandemic, in March and April, when life was frightfully uncertain and scary. Like so many of you, I woke in the middle of the night, worried about my loved ones, and prayed that we all stayed safe and healthy. Every morning, I escaped by writing this book. I tucked myself into my sunny studio and created the happiest, lightest, funniest, feel-goodiest book I’ve written in years. And I’m thrilled that readers seem to agree that it is the escape they have needed during this time.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

I like to know their wounds and their touchpoints, their strengths and weaknesses, and their deepest desires and biggest fears. But I don’t always know that when I start. Sometimes it takes writing the whole book to figure that out: that is a hellish book. Sometimes I know from the moment they land on the page — and that’s what happened with Hush, Puppy. An easy, fun, joyous writing experience!


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

I laughed a LOT while writing this book. The little girl and the puppy (owned by the hero but coveted by the child) cracked me up from beginning to end. Also, the hero and heroine are both Top Gun fans and they frequently quote great lines from the movie. Like this…

He laughed, settling in next to her and placing the popcorn on the ottoman. “Wine?”
“Yes, please. And then I’ll take Lieutenant Pete Mitchell for days.”
He rolled his eyes as he poured her a glass. “The blonde’s not bad, either, you know.”
“So you’re the one,” Summer said in a sultry Kelly McGillis voice.
He laughed softly. “Yes, ma’am. Four G’s in an inverted flyby.”
“Too aggressive,” she teased, doing her best to remember some random lines even if they didn’t track with the movie dialogue.
“I can see it’s dangerous for you.” He leaned his shoulder into hers. “But if the government trusts me…maybe you could.”
“It takes a lot more than just fancy flying.” She cracked up. “Do we really need to watch this movie?” she asked. “Or can we just recite it to each other?”
“We have to watch. It’s a first.”
“A first? The first time you’ve watched it…this week?”
He laughed. “First time with a…date.”
“Seriously?” She turned to him, mulling over this new information. “I can’t believe this isn’t your go-to for the girls, John. You can show off your knowledge of planes and great movie lines.”
“I didn’t know there are women who even like the movie, let alone quote every line.”
“Women like sexy guys who fly planes,” she teased.
He raised his glass in a toast. “Let’s drink to our favorite character,” he said.
“Actually, mine’s Goose. Loyal to a fault, has his priorities straight, and is, frankly, the brains of the operation in Ghost Rider.”
She considered that, nodding. “I forgot their plane was Ghost Rider. Well, I think my favorite character is Mrs. Goose.”
“Carole,” he supplied. At her surprised reaction, he added, “Little-known fact, but that is the name of Meg Ryan’s character.”
“You’re hard-core, Santorini.”


Readers should read this book….

Because it’s so much fun from beginning to end. And even if you haven’t read any of the books in the Dogmothers series, every one stands alone. You can start here or at the beginning, but you will fall in love with this massive family and all their wonderful, unforgettable dogs!


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

The next book in the series! I haven’t announced the title or released the cover yet, but I will! (Readers on my private FB group get it first!) I’m hoping to have it out in September or early October! (Hint: hero is a firefighter and the awesome dog in the story is a Alaskan Malamute/Siberian Husky mix named Judah.)

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: A signed copy of Hush, Puppy and a Dogfather mug!


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Who’s a Top Gun fan? Favorite movie line?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from Hush, Puppy:

“Hey, baby.” She switched on the lamp next to the twin bed, finding Destiny’s tear-stained face barely above the blankets. “Did you have a bad dream?”
“Wh-wh-where am I?”
“At a house in the North Carolina mountains, sweet angel.” She sat on the edge of the bed and inched the blanket down over her shoulders, then smoothed her wild corkscrews of hair. “Remember? We’re spending the summer in Bitter Bark, and you…” She leaned over her and kissed her nose. “Are going to Tails and Trails camp on Monday morning.”
A faint smile pulled. “Where’s Mavvie?” she whispered.
“I think he’s asleep, honey, like all—”
A bark echoed from right outside the sliders, and Destiny instantly shot up. “Mavvie!” she cried. “Mavvie!”
Mav barked again in response.
“Can I let him see her?” John called from the living room.
“Doubt we can keep them apart,” Summer replied.
A few seconds later, John stayed behind the doorjamb and held Mav with two hands, poking his little head into the room.
“Hi, Dessie,” he said in a high-pitched cartoon voice, making them laugh. “Why aren’t you asleep?”
Des giggled and sat up more, reaching her hands out. “Mavvie!”
John stepped into the room, keeping Mav front and center. “Here he is,” he said. “Ready to give you a nice lick on the cheek for the night.”
At Summer’s nod, he set the puppy on the bed next to Destiny, who immediately smothered him with love and got plenty in return. While they had their reunion, Summer looked up at John with a grateful smile.
His return look wasn’t exactly…grateful. It was intense and dark and, holy hell, sexy. All the feelings that had bubbled up down by the fire came roaring back to the surface.
“Can he s-s-s-sleep with me?”
Good question, Summer thought. Can he sleep with me?
“Um…” John lifted a shoulder. “I don’t know if your mom wants that.”
So, so bad. She shook off the sexy musings and turned her concentration to Destiny and the dog she held. “Honey, you can’t just sleep with…” She stole a glance at him, just in time to see his brow flick in interest. “He’s not yours to sleep with.”
“But he could be.”
Oh yes, he could. “No, he is John’s dog and…”
“Why doesn’t he stay for a little bit?” John suggested. “Maybe until you fall asleep. Then your mommy can bring him back to me.”
“I wa-wa-want him all night.”
“Sometimes he has to go outside in the middle of the night,” John said without hesitation. “And I don’t think you want to go all the way down those stairs and stand out in the middle of the night while he does…”
“Business,” she finished with a little smile. “Ew. No.”
Summer laughed softly. “Then you can cuddle with him for a little bit, honey, then when you’re asleep, he goes home.”
“’Kay.” She snuggled down in the blankets and brought Mav with her, curling him into her side. “Night.”
“Good night,” Summer said, standing and turning out the light. “Love you, baby girl.”
“Love you, Mommy. And g-g-good night, nice man.”
John closed his eyes and tried not to laugh. “Night, Destiny.”
They stepped out into the hall as Summer closed the door behind her.
“I can’t change her,” he said, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her close so he could whisper in her ear. “But I can make you promise to never call me that again.”
Laughing, she turned her face up to his, letting their lips brush. “I make no such promises.”
They walked back into the dimly lit living room, and for a moment, they just stood very still, their arms around each other again. It felt natural, holding him like this and looking into his eyes. But if she let this go one more minute without telling him exactly why she’d come to Bitter Bark, she might wake up in his arms tomorrow—covered in guilt.
“I was right,” she finally said.
“It’s complicated. Any time there’s a kid involved, it is complicated.”
He frowned slightly. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that maybe I need a little time and space to…adjust to all this.”
He studied her face for a long time, stroking his knuckles along her jaw, silent for a good many heartbeats. “It will not surprise you in the least that I will gladly give you time, space, air, and whatever you need until you don’t need them anymore. Then…” He dipped his head and gave her one more long, sweet, tender kiss that sent fireworks through her body and turned her knees to water. “You’ll find out just how nice I can be.”
“Oh…okay.” She leaned back, her eyes still closed. “I’ll bring Mav down when she’s asleep,” she said on a sigh.
“The door will be unlocked.” He added with a light kiss on her forehead, then stepped away and disappeared onto the darkened deck.
She stayed right where she was, frozen in place, until his footsteps quieted and his sliding glass door rumbled to a close.
Oh, Summer. You came to Bitter Bark to find one man and somehow found yourself falling hard for another.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

John Santorini has his hands full this summer and not just with Maverick, the wild and willful puppy he’s adopted. He’s trying to franchise his business, he’s got serious staffing issues, and his biggest investor still hasn’t committed to financing. But all of those problems fade away when a five year-old girl pounces on his puppy in the park and pronounces him “Mine!” John can handle a kid with a crush on little Mav. But he’s not so sure he can handle his instant attraction to her mother, a beautiful young widow who brightens his world the minute she arrives in town.

Summer Jackson has come to Bitter Bark for one reason: to meet a man. But the man she’s supposed to connect with isn’t there. Instead, she finds two hilarious grannies, discovers an extended and colorful family, and crushes hard on a Greek charmer who offers a place to stay and a job for the season. He may not have been the man Summer intended to find, but John steals her heart almost instantly. He’s smart, sexy, and his outrageous puppy is working magic to help Summer’s daughter conquer her debilitating fears.

It doesn’t take long before Summer is wrapped in John’s strong arms and dreaming of the happy ending she’s been denied. But then the past comes back to wreak havoc on all their lives, and Summer’s real reason for coming to town threatens to break their hearts and destroy this budding little family.

Will John have to settle for a Summer fling…or do the Dogmothers have the recipe for romance one more time?
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Published since 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly sixty romance and suspense novels. She has written several popular series, including The Dogfather, The Dogmothers, Barefoot Bay, the Guardian Angelinos, and the Bullet Catchers. Several of her books have been optioned for film and many have been translated into dozens of languages.

In addition to being an ten-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA™ Award for the best in romance writing, Roxanne has won the National Reader’s Choice Award four times, as well as dozens of other writing and industry awards. A frequent and popular national speaker on the subject of writing and the writer’s life, Roxanne is a graduate of UCLA, a mother of two, and recent empty-nester. She lives on the east coast of Florida with her husband and two dogs.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |

53 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Hush, Puppy by Roxanne St. Claire”

  1. Mary Preston

    I have watched TOP GUN a lot over the years. No favorite line, but I’d be happy to watch them play volleyball any time.

  2. Jeanna Massman

    I love Top Gun but I cannot remember any of the lines. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. laurieg72

    Yes, I enjoy that movie. I do get a little sick of the Danger Zone song. What flying!

    Favorite quote: “I feel the need… the need for speed! Love the song Take My Breath Away and the scene with him on his motorcycle coming to visit her ( her place) for the first time.

  4. Lori R

    I love Top Gun but I don’t remember any lines from the movie. I may have to go watch it again!

  5. dbranigan

    It’s been a long time since I thought of that movie and I am a fan.I suppose a favorite would be “You can be my wingman any time.”

  6. Vicki Clevinger

    Yes, I am a Top Gun fan. One of my favorite lines , I feel the need…the need for speed

  7. Cheryl C.

    I loved Top Gun. What really stands out for me is not the quotes, but the music in the movie.

  8. Nancy Payette

    It’s a good movie but I haven’t seen it in so long that I can’t recall any lines from the movie.

  9. Teresa Warner

    I enjoyed the movie and I’m looking forward to the new one Maverick! Whenever it comes out.

  10. Kay Garrett

    It’s been ages since I’ve seen TOP GUN. Now I’m going to have to go pull out our copy and see it again. Honestly, it’s been so long I can’t remember any of the lines. I do know that it was the movie that they brought with them to test our new surround sound system back years ago when they first came out with such a thing. Yep, I’m a dinasaur!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  11. Joye

    I like the movie and the music. I have been to some of the places in San Diego where it was filmed.
    I like when they are in the bar and Tom says he has lost that loving feeling and Goose says “No you don’t, no you don’t.” Great scene.
    There are a lot of unforgettable lines in the movie.

  12. joab4424

    It’s been so long since I watched Top Gun that I can’t remember any of the lines. I should watch it again. What’s it called when you have a list of movies you want to watch? It’s like a TBR list so I guess it’s TBW.

  13. EC

    I like the movie and can’t wait to watch the sequel. I also can’t remember some good lines from the movie.

  14. Crystal

    I think this book sounds like a great read. Would love to read and review print format of book.
    This may come as a shock but never saw Top Gun but always wanted to.
    I really want to win this giveaway.

  15. Diana Hardt

    I liked Top Gun. I don’t remember any of the lines. I can’t wait to see the sequel. Some of the movie scenes were filmed in the city where I live (San Diego).

  16. Glenda M

    While I really love the movie and it’s music – and did when it came out – if I hadn’t read lines while scrolling down, I wouldn’t have been able to mention a favorite.

  17. Tammy Y

    I watched Top Gun many years ago, I went to high school with Anthony Edwards who played Goose. I not remember the line but it was something Meg Ryan as his wife said to Goose

  18. Nicole (Nicky) Ortiz

    I love Top Gun. I feel the need… The need for speed and “Son, Your Ego Is Writing Checks Your Body Can’t Cash.”

    Thanks for the chance!

  19. Patricia B.

    I did enjoy the movie when it came out. My husband and I watched it together a few times. I am going to have to find our copy and have a watch party with popcorn. He is my very own Air Force Top Gun. Retired now after 24 years, with a great group of fliers and a great plane for a good part of that time. The FB-111 was a special plane and the crews were a select group of great people.

    I do not remember any of the lines, but I did love the scene when he carried her out of her workplace. We were visiting ‘NAS Whidbey Island’ in Oak Harbor, Washington last summer and there was a lot of buzz about part of Top Gun 2 being filmed there. A few people said parts of the original were filmed there, but I couldn’t verify it. I’ll have to watch the movie to see if I recognize anything.

  20. Ellen C.

    Liked Top Gun. Favorite line, I feel the need the need for speed. Loved the scene with Goose playing piano. Love the Dogfather and Dogmother books.

  21. Amy R

    Favorite movie line? I feel the need, the need for speed, negative ghost rider the patter is full, take me to bed or lose me forever

  22. Tina R

    Top Gun is one of my favorite movies. “Great, then I won’t have to worry about you making your living as a singer.”

  23. Terrill R.

    I will always remember “Take me to bed, or lose me forever!” I think we all fell in love with Meg Ryan after that movie. Even though her role was short, it stood out.

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