Dana Mentink concludes her Love Unleashed series with Paws for Love (Harvest House). Misty becomes the violin tutor of a famous movie star, but she also becomes a new companion for his tag-along terrier, Jellybean. Misty’s reserved personality would have never led her to Bill Woodson candy shop, but Jellybean has other plans. As Misty deals with a high-maintenance movie star and his higher maintenance pup, she can’t help but deny her budding feelings for Bill and the fact that all she wants to do is tuck tail and run. In this Q&A, Dana explains her inspiration for the novel, the overarching theme of the series, and what she researched for the novel…
Where did the inspiration for this novel come from?
My life has gone to the dogs, so to speak! From fostering rescues to owning several of our own canine companions I’ve always had a heart for pups. Recently we adopted a very naughty terrier from the Animal Rescue Foundation and she has provided a wealth of material!
Can you describe your plot in one sentence?
When over the hill screen star Lawrence Tucker brings his naughty terrier Jellybean on location to the beachside town of Albatross, California and Jellybean develops a rapport with Tucker’s violin tutor, Misty Agnelli, Jellybean leads Misty into the candy store of Bill Woodson, a hunky chocolatier with a painful secret and a three-year-old niece to raise.
What is the overarching theme in this series?
The Love Unleashed books explore the conflict between our earthly identities and our godly ones.
Can you tell us about any research you did for this novel?
I learned quite a bit about the violin, but I still can’t play a lick! Also, I studied the art of making chocolate and, of course, I consumed quite a bit of the stuff, purely for research purposes you understand.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
I would have to say Bill Woodson. He’s a single guy who bravely dives in to raise his niece without any of the required parenting skills or experience but he boldly trusts that God will equip him.
What makes your protagonist an interesting character?
He’s hiding a very big secret that impacts every facet of his life.
Are any parts of the plot or characters pulled from real life?
Our mutt Junie is a force to be reckoned with. She has a very cavalier attitude towards other people’s personal property, so that pops up in the book quite a bit!
What influences your writing the most?
My own life experiences and those of people around me. It’s incredible to hear about the journeys people have undergone and how God has brought them through trials. There is absolutely nothing more inspiring than listening to the testimony of incredible, resilient people.
Paws for Love