HOT UNDER THE COLLAR
by Roxanne St. Claire
he Dogmothers #1
Release Date: May 31, 2019
Firefighter Braden Mahoney is devastated when his beloved Weimaraner, Jelly Bean, fails the canine arson investigator test. Faced with the challenge of raising the money for advanced training, it’s Braden’s sweet grandmother and her best friend who suggest he use the services of the new event planner in town. Not that he needs a push in Cassie Santorini’s direction. Ever since she arrived, Braden has had his eye on the sassy Greek goddess…and can’t stop thinking about getting the rest of him on her, too.
Cassie has spent years putting family first, even moving to Bitter Bark when her mother falls in love with the local veterinarian. Having a huge new extended “family” is fun, especially when one smokeshow of a firefighter attends the gatherings, but Cassie has no plans to remain in this small town. She’s ready to pursue her big city dreams. But when Braden asks for an assist for his precious pup, Cassie agrees to help him set up a town-wide scavenger hunt. It isn’t exactly a hardship to be around those blue eyes and brawny shoulders, especially since they both agree everything – even the undeniable sparks that crackle between them – is temporary.
But when temporary gets complicated by feelings that might lead to forever, Braden and Cassie start to question the direction they're headed. Should they follow their dreams…or their hearts? It’ll take a dog with a bad nose and a sweet soul, two particularly meddlesome grandmas, and some help from the clan that loves them to make sure Cassie and Braden follow the clues and find their way to each other’s arms.
About the Author:
I don’t know about you, but when I check out an author's bio, it’s usually because I’ve read a book I liked and wondered about the person behind it. Let's skip the formal bio and I'll give you the inside scoop on who Roxanne St. Claire really is.
First of all, call me Rocki. Everyone does. Evidently, when my mother brought me home from the hospital I seemed too scrawny and small to pull off “Roxanne” (she’d read Cyrano de Bergerac while pregnant or I would have been Judy) so they called me Rocki.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, the youngest of five (overachievers, every one), and fell in love with words and stories the summer I read Gone With The Wind. That year, for my twelfth birthday, my parents gave me a typewriter (with italic font – it was the coolest thing) and from that day on, I’ve had my fingers on a keyboard, pounding out love stories for fun. My AP English teacher taught me the two most important lessons an aspiring author ever needs: 1) verbs are the key to life and 2) a writer should get a real job. After attending UCLA and graduating with a degree in communications, I tried acting and television broadcasting. Oh, they aren’t real jobs? I learned that the hard way. I changed my last name from Zink to St. Claire because a news producer told me Roxanne Zink had too many harsh consonants for a TV personality – apparently Katie Couric didn’t get the memo. I got some fun gigs, and even met Tom Hanks when I did a guest appearance on Bosom Buddies. I liked on camera work, but wasn’t too crazy about starvation, so I moved to Boston and got that “real” job. In fact, I placed my foot on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder and didn’t look down until I’d climbed all the way up to the level of Senior Vice President at the world’s largest public relations firm. On the way up, I met the man of my dreams in an elevator. Two years later – in the same elevator! – he asked me to marry him and I wisely said yes.
I stayed in PR, moved to Miami, had a few babies, lost my home in a hurricane, built another one a few hours north and all along, I kept writing my “stories” for fun. One night, I read a particularly fabulous romance novel that changed my life for good. That night, I decided I wanted to make someone else feel as whole and happy as that author made me feel. (Everyone asks! It was Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.) With two small children and one big “real” job, writing my first novel wasn’t easy, but I did finish a manuscript that managed to get the attention of a literary agent. She told me to do one thing and one thing fast: write another book. (The first one is usually a “learner” book, honestly.) That second manuscript sold to Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books and was released in 2003 as Tropical Getaway. Since then, I’ve written almost thirty more, in multiple genres, and long ago replaced the corporate ladder with the rollercoaster of publishing as a full-time novelist. Finally, writing is my real job.
Today, I live in a small beach community in Florida with my husband and two dogs. Our kids are off to college and law school, which means my nest is empty! I spend my time writing, working with the kids at my church, enjoying my husband's gourmet cooking, and hanging with my many writer friends. Of course, I love to read. I’m still crazy about words and stories and hope to write at least a hundred books in my lifetime. And, yes, verbs are the key to life. My favorites? Love. Work. Believe.