This is Anni, an adorable little dog who lives in Miami. Her human-mom is my niece Shelly. For months I heard stories about Anni and I received the cutest pictures. The photos were titled things like, "Anni being lazy" & "Anni in her sweater" & "Anni looking guilty." Besides being oh-so-cute, Anni has a very sweet personality. Believe me, this dog is much loved and the love goes in both directions.
Around the same time as I was hearing about Anni, a friend made an offhand comment that, "Dogs are the new baby," which struck me as being exactly right.
I'd long had the thought that it would be fun to write a novel from two alternating points of view, especially if the characters didn't know each other, but kept crossing paths again and again. As a structural device, this would enable the reader to know more than the characters, which is always fun. As the story took shape in my head, I realized that a lost dog would play a role in the book, and the image of Anni popped up. I asked my niece for permission to use her dog in my book, and she said yes. For inspiration, I tacked up photos of Anni next to my desk.
The resulting novel, Hello Love, came out yesterday. I think the cover designer did a wonderful job finding a stand-in for Anni. The dog on the cover is precious. Look at that face!
A year after the death of his wife, Christine, Dan is barely holding on. But one thing gets him through the long, lonely nights and that is his cherished dog, Anni. When she is stolen from his front yard, Dan and his daughter, Lindsay, are devastated. Meanwhile in another part of town, Andrea Keller is recovering from the heartbreak of a messy divorce. After she rescues a defenseless dog from an abusive tenant, her life changes in ways she never could have anticipated.
Dan and Andrea cross paths again and again, only to keep missing each other and the opportunity of a lifetime. As Anni works to find her way home, can she bring together these two lost souls desperately in need of a second chance at happiness?
Here's Anni, playing it cool, but secretly thrilled with her new celebrity status.