Hi Beth and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, In Dog We Trust!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs. Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together.
This book has it all, you guys: intrigue, drama, scandal, betrayal…and shedding. So much shedding.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
“Why are you running like it’s your money or your life?”
Jocelyn Hillier’s runner’s high plummeted as she answered her cell phone midstride and heard her mother’s voice.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- This story was inspired by a National Geographic Kids article about the world’s richest pets. The article featured a photo of a German Shepherd who had inherited millions of dollars upon the death of a doting owner. The article mentioned that the dog’s trustee was able to buy, like, sports cars and Rolexes on the dog’s behalf. I was fascinated and started Googling inheritance laws, and 400 pages later, here we are.
- An estate attorney filled me in on the finer points of inheritance law as it relates to pets. I was worried he’d think it was a crazy idea, but he really got into it and sent details from real-life cases my way. I assumed it would be dry and boring, but it was surprisingly juicy. People get very specific about their posthumous directives for their pets.
- I also went to a bunch of dog shows to watch conformation competitions and talk shop with the owners and handlers. I spent several Saturday mornings shamelessly ingratiating myself with dogs I’d just met. These are the sacrifices I make for my craft.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
Jocelyn and her mother, Rachel, are longtime local residents in a tourist town that’s becoming increasingly posh and unaffordable. They run a linen supply company that stocks rental houses and hotel with towels and sheets, so they deal with other people’s dirty laundry all day—literally and figuratively. Jocelyn has spent her whole life feeling as though she’s on the outside looking in, and so when she finally gets to chance to join the inner circle of wealth and social influence, she has very mixed feelings. As does her mother. As does her blue-blooded boyfriend, who’s used to having more money and status than she does.
I love all of my protagonists, of course, but I always end up having a soft spot for the villains, schemers, and unrepentant grinches. In this book, I found myself sympathizing with Mr. Allardyce, who is basically the Ebeneezer Scrooge of the Delaware beaches. Yes, he’s surly and stingy and totally rude—but at least he’s upfront about it. And he treats his dogs like royalty, so he can’t be all bad. Plus, it was fun to read a bunch of upscale home and garden magazines and decorate his imaginary mansion.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
One of the themes in this book is “your money or your life” and I think most people can relate to the challenge of trying to balance family and work, obligation and opportunity, practicality and passion. Almost every character in this story is trying to heal and forgive while also protecting themselves from being hurt again, and we all struggle with that at some point.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Print copy of IN DOG WE TRUST by Beth Kendrick
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: After the heroine of this book effectively inherits a huge amount of money and property, she experiences immediate differences in the way she is treated and perceived by others. How do you think your social, familial, and/or romantic relationships might be affected if you unexpectedly inherited tens of millions of dollars?
Excerpt from In Dog We Trust:
Rachel touched Jocelyn’s arm. “I never wanted the high life.” She leveled her gaze. “I don’t need diamonds and trips to Paris to be happy.”
Rather than resuming their earlier squabble, Jocelyn agreed with her mother. “I know. It’s like you always said, having more just makes you want more.”
“I always think about that when I go to Mr. Allardyce’s house. He spent gobs of money to build it and fill it with furniture and art, and for what?” Jocelyn allowed a hint of annoyance to creep into her voice. “His house takes up some of the most beautiful beachfront property in town, and he only spends two months a year here. He spends most of his time in his even bigger mansion in Virginia, and no one else gets to enjoy the beach, and he has to pay for lawn maintenance and utilities and upkeep all year long. It’s very selfish. Not to mention environmentally irresponsible.”
“Preach it,” Rachel said.
“And it doesn’t make him happy. He’s the sourest sourpuss I’ve ever met. I’ve never heard him talk about his family, and I don’t think he has any friends.”
“His own dogs probably don’t even like him.”
“No, they do.” Jocelyn smiled. “That’s probably why he has three of them. They’re always happy to see him and they never want anything from him, except belly rubs and walks and food.”
“And he can’t even give them that,” Rachel pointed out. “He outsourced the walking and playing to you.”
“I’m telling you, if I had money, I wouldn’t waste it. I wouldn’t buy a giant empty house, hogging all the good views and natural resources for myself.”
“You say that, but money changes people.”
“Not me,” Jocelyn vowed.
“Uh huh. That’s what they all say—until they become one-percenters.”
“Try me,” Jocelyn said. “Give me an environmental disaster of a beach house and a bunch of cash I didn’t earn and I’ll give it all away.”
Famous last words.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
When everything has gone to the dogs . . .
When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.
Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the “Best in Show” standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.
Meet the Author:
Beth Kendrick is the author of Once Upon a Wine, Put a Ring On It, New Uses for Old Boyfriends, Cure for the Common Breakup, The Week Before the Wedding, The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service, and Nearlyweds, which was turned into a Hallmark Channel original movie.