Friday Feature: Excerpt from The Truth About Hope

Erica here! It’s my pleasure to share an excerpt from Kate James’ new Harlequin Heartwarming title, The Truth About Hope (Erica insert: I love the title already and can’t wait to read this one!). I’ve been a fan of the Heartwarming line since it was revamped, and I hope you’ll enjoy this line of clean reads that pack an emotional one-two punch combo that will have you snot-crying and happy sighing in turn. You can learn more about the line’s author’s here. Now let’s dip a toe into The Truth About Hope!

In the pet store, Hope pushed the shopping cart up and down the aisles and tried to set her negative thoughts aside. But she found it more challenging to put Luke out of her mind.

            “That’s a lot of dog food,” the young clerk behind the counter commented as she rang up the two thirty-pound bags, a box of dog treats and a couple of chew toys.

“Yeah, and you’ll be seeing me back sooner than you’d think,” Hope said as she slipped her credit card and the receipt in her wallet. The clerk was too young to know her. After the encounter with Miranda, it was nice to have a pleasant interaction, free of tension. Hope slid the shopping bag over her arm, then hefted the first of the two large bags of kibble.

“Let me give you a hand with that.” The clerk came around to help just as the phone started ringing.

“Go ahead and answer that. I can manage,” Hope told her.

“You sure?”

Hope nodded.

“Thanks,” the clerk said as she rushed to answer the phone.

Hope pushed the plastic bag farther up her arm and hoisted the other bag of dog food. Weighed down and barely able to see over her load, she was glad her Jeep was only a few steps outside the shop. She maneuvered one of the bags farther up as it began to slide and raised her leg to balance the other one so she could reach for the door.

Just as she was about to open it, the door was pulled out of her grasp. She lurched forward and tumbled out the doorway. She hit the sidewalk hard, landing inelegantly on her hands and knees, her purchases scattered about. One of the bags of dog food had split and kibble was strewn around her.

Hope pushed to her knees and winced as raw skin scraped across the rough cement.

“I’m so sorry. Here, let me help…” A pair of large hands reached toward her. They froze and withdrew abruptly as Hope looked up and, from under the brim of her baseball cap, made eye contact with a pair of gold-flecked amber eyes—Luke Carter’s lion eyes.

The man before her was tall and fit. His face had matured in a rugged, handsome way. He looked the same and yet he didn’t.

Hope’s immediate reaction was excitement, that little thrill she’d always experienced when she’d been with him as a teen.

She lowered her head. “Great. Just great,” she muttered. Those mischievous fates just had to have another go at her today, didn’t they? Of all the people they could’ve thrown in her path, it had to be Luke. Probably served her right for not being able to keep her mind off him.

Erica again. Don’t you just love an awkward meeting? And apparently it’s not the first that Hope has had. I’m already wondering why Luke drew away so abruptly when he realized who Hope was, and why she’s been thinking aobut him. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read this one!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Truth About Hope
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Who is Hope Wilson?

Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved–and maybe still does?

When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her father’s last wishes, there’s only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father’s fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek–but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.

Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers’ Published Beacon Contest and ACRA’s Heart of Excellence Readers? Choice Award. Her November Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child’s Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence!

Kate married her husband, Ken, in an elegant, ocean-front wedding on a tropical island. When they are not traveling, they split their time between their properties in southern and central Ontario in Canada, with their beloved black Labs, Harley and Logan.

Kate?s next novel is the first book in her K-9 Squad Trilogy, and is scheduled for release on October 1, 2015.

Follow the Tour:

Tour Giveaway

$30 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
5 Print Copies of The Truth About Hope (US/CAN Only)
1 ebook of The Truth About Hope (INT)

Ends May 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Finale Blitz: One Perfect Year by Melinda Curtis

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We’re blitzing the GRAND FINALE for
One Perfect Year
By Melinda Curtis

Did you miss any of the tour? Go back and check out these exclusive excerpts and reviews…

Launch – Intro to the Series

Old clashes against new with fun and heartwarming results. Although each book is a step closer to bringing the town back to life, each book also stands alone (because I hate it when you need to read from book 1 to enjoy the series).

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I loved returning to Harmony Valley. The characters are quirky and endearing and the setting is heavenly. I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this story and felt a lot of emotion in relationship to the events that happened.”

JoJo’s Corner – Review

I love reunion love stories and Melinda has crafted a fabulously romantic story about love and loss and hope for the future. . . . This is a fantastic story that you won’t be able to put down! I love this town and can’t wait to revisit it in the other books in the series.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Excerpt

The day he met Shelby, she’d stumbled into his high school science class during his senior year. He’d felt as if he’d been sucker punched. Unbelievably, he, who’d always relied on proof and facts, had fallen in love at first sight. How else could he describe how discombobulated he felt just seeing Shelby? But while he’d over-analyzed those strange, new feelings, Nick, who’d never hesitated in his too-short life, acted right after Gage introduced them.

Getting Your Read On – Review

I haven’t read the first three books in the series but I never felt like I was missing out on anything. I’d love to go back and read the whole series though. . . . This is a sweet story of love and friendship. I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

i blog 4 books – Review

Oh what a fun book! I enjoy books where characters already know each other. I’ve found that it can move the story along a little quicker while still allowing for plenty of tension. Melinda Curtis did a great job using Gage and Shelby’s friendship from years ago to create a lot of believable drama in One Perfect Year.

Melinda Curtis is a new-to-me author, but I will definitely be searching out more of her wonderful stories! Don’t miss One Perfect Year! [4.5 stars]

Mel’s Shelves – Review

This book is a clean, fun read! There was more to it than I thought there would be and I enjoyed that! I liked the different storylines that came together in the end. I also like that it’s part of a series yet easily stands alone. I want to read the other books to see what other fun characters are in this series and I look forward to future installments!

Southern Chelle – Review

I love a good homecoming, animals-horses in particular, and opposites attract love story, so this was a great novel for me (and so very easy for me to love). Gage and Shelby’s story can easily ring true with a wide variety of readers and is a short, wonderful read.

Bookworm Lisa – Excerpt

“Accept my apology, Sugar Lips?” Gage Jamero was up to his elbows in trouble with his latest lady love.

Well, at least one elbow.

Sugar Lips’ contraction built like a blood pressure cuff around Gage’s right bicep. His face heated, his fingers numbed, his body felt as if it was wrapped in a too-tight ace bandage.

“Breathe easy, honey.” Gage tried to follow his own advice. During his internship and residency, he’d gained quite a reputation as a horse whisperer when it came to peevish, pregnant horses.

I Am A Reader – Excerpt

“I can’t talk to you as if I just saw you yesterday.”

But she wanted to. That once young, innocent part of her she’d assumed was long dead and buried—that stumbling, lonely misfit—wanted to.

What if she lost Gage, too?

Her vision blurred around the edges, tunneling to Gage’s bare, muscular chest.

“Shelby!” Gage’s voice sounded far away.

And in that faraway place, Shelby dreamed of Gage’s lips pressed to her forehead, of him tenderly whispering her name.

Christian Chick’s Thoughts – Review

One Perfect Year is … nice. That is to say, it’s a very pleasant romance with likable characters and an enjoyable plot. I very much liked Gage and could understand his hesitance to commit to staying in Harmony Valley. I also actually found the description of the wine business to be very interesting (this surprised me greatly).

“Friendships take time, too, in case you’d forgotten,” Shelby countered. “I’d rather have a dog.”
“You’ve given up on relationships? That explains a lot.” Looking grim, Gage finally took a bite of spaghetti.
“I don’t…I haven’t…You know nothing.”

One Perfect Year (A Harmony Valley Novel)One Perfect Year
(Harmony Valley #4)
Melinda Curtis
Adult Contemporary Romance
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He’s coming up on her blind side

How can Shelby Hawkley forgive Gage Jamero for bailing on her when she needed him most? He and her husband, Nick, were the best part of her life. Now her former best friend is back, shaking up the widowed wine harvester’s world. The safest bet is to protect herself. Except Gage is awakening feelings that are decidedly unfriend-like.

Shelby is the woman Gage has secretly loved since high school. Starting over—together—could be the best dream he’s ever had. If only he can find the courage to say what he should have said all those years ago.

AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKoboGoogle PlayHarlequin

Award winning, USA Today bestseller Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, and the indie pubbed Bridesmaid series. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: An Autographed Set of the first 3 Harmony Valley Books (Dandelion Wishes, Summer Kisses, and Season of Change) (US only or ebooks to an international)

Additional Prizes:

– Happy Bee Day Mug with candy and Sweet and Heartwarming Bracelet (US only – if international winner pulled then a single ebook from author’s back list)

– Bee Salt and Pepper Shaker and Sweet and Heartwarming Bracelet (US only – if international winner pulled then a single ebook from author’s back list)

Ends March 15th

The Weather Girl Grand Finale

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours

It’s the GRAND FINALE for the April Showers Book Tour for
The Weather Girl by Amy Vastine

Did you enjoy getting to know more about Summer and Travis and their story?
If you missed any of the tour stops, you can go back and check them out now…

4/21 – Tour Launch – Interview
What do you hope readers will take with them when they read your book?
I hope people walk away with the idea that love doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice who you are for someone else. When you follow your heart and your dreams, everything else will fall into place.

4/22
Copywrite1985 – Weather Research
Summer tends to rattle off some pretty obscure weather facts when she’s nervous, so finding interesting tidbits took some time but made me a fan of Mother Nature. The photographs I saw while researching this story blew me away! From Texas hail the size of baseballs to lightning storms in Venezuela, there are some amazing stories out there.

Rhiannon Paille – YA Fantasy Author – Excerpt
“Summer Raines.” She left off her usual “pleasure to meet you.” She was madder than a wet hen but was determined to maintain her composure.

“Summer Raines, the weather girl,” he said with a chuckle. “That’s a good one. Who came up with that name?”

“My parents,” she replied flatly, turning her attention back to the suffering butterfly population. “And my title is meteorologist. Not weather girl.”

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Interview
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
Well, I have to say I love football, so I probably would have been one of those people who were fawning all over Travis in the beginning. In the book, Summer is also into lots of extreme sports. She bungee jumps out of a hot-air balloon. I can tell you I would never in a million years jump out of a perfectly good hot-air balloon if I didn’t have to. I hate the feeling that comes with free falling!

4/23
Mel’s Shelves – Review
“This is a fun, clean read!…I haven’t read a Harlequin in years, but this is now the second book I’ve read in the Harlequin Heartwarming line in the last couple of months and it won’t be the last. I love this clean line of romances and look forward to reading more!”

The Bookish Fairy – Character Description: Summer
What I love about Summer is the amazing way her brain works. She has so much information in her head related to the weather, she can spout of facts at any given time. Of course, she sometimes sees it more as a curse than a blessing. Until Travis Lockwood comes to town. Travis is the first person to show some interest in what she has to say. No wonder she falls for him – who doesn’t love a guy who actually listens to you?

4/24
Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
What are you working on right now?
I just submitted my second manuscript and am working on my third. These are two of three books I have been contracted to write for Harlequin Heartwarming . They’re part of series set in Chicago about three sisters, who each find love in the most unexpected places. THE BETTER MAN is set for release in September. THE BETTER PLAN is scheduled for February 2015 and THE BETTER FIGHT is due sometime in fall of 2015.

Getting Your Read On – Review
“There sure are plenty of bumps along the way. Like I said before, I love Travis. He is the one that made this book great for me. This was a fun, romantic read. A kick back and relax sort of book.”

Cherry Mischievous – Excerpt
“I don’t control the weather, I just predict it.” She turned her attention back to her monitor. Her soft-looking curls fell down like a curtain, shielding her face from him. He wanted to reach out and push them behind her ear so he could see those cheeks, those eyes. Her eyes really were amazing. They were big and blue like the Texas sky…

4/25
Brooke Blogs – Character Description: Travis
What I love about Travis is his pure heart. There isn’t a mean bone in this guy’s body. He’s been fortunate and lived a charmed life up until now but still has a wonderful humbleness about him. In fact, sometimes he can be darn right self-deprecating. But he’s strong physically and emotionally. Strong enough to make the tough choices when he needs to.

4/27
Tressa’s Wishful Endings – Review
“Overall, this was pretty much a perfect romance. It’s light and heavy in all the right places. There’s tension and some sweet kisses and some difficult choices that these characters had to make. It all comes together in the end and left me with that happy-ever-after feeling that I love. I would definitely recommend it to romance lovers everywhere!”

Seasons of Humility – Review
“With clever characterization, relevant conflicts, and an ending that is adorable and absolutely perfect for the story, The Weather Girl is a sunny read for a rainy day. Harlequin Heartwarming at its finest!”

4/28
Kindle and Me – Excerpt
Summer sat up on her elbows. Just then, water shot out of the in-ground sprinkler, hitting her with a force she couldn’t have expected.

They both jumped up as the entire field came to life, showering the dried-up grass and the two friends with shockingly cold water. Travis protected his camera and ran for the track. The old groundskeeper shouted at the younger man, who must have accidentally turned the system on. He was now oblivious because of the music being pumped into his ears.

Instead of running, Summer stood in the middle of the field and laughed. Once she got used to it, the cool water felt nice. She lifted her arms and tilted her face up to the sky. She closed her eyes and spun around as if dancing in the rain like when she was little…

Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – The Book Cover
Since this is an April showers book blog tour and rain makes me think of umbrellas, I thought it would be fun to talk about the cover of the book. First, you should know that Harlequin authors don’t have too much say in what their cover will look like. We provide information to the art department regarding characters, setting, and some key scenes. However, it is the talented group over there then takes that info and creates the cover art.

JRRichardson Fics – Review
“She’s perky and driven. He’s broken and sexy. And there are not many writers that can pull off giving me heart fail and swelly hearts and steamy scenes without one ounce of sex in their story. Amy is one of those who can. She doesn’t need it either. The banter between these two is just one of the things I love about it. Their tender moments as they get to know each other are another.”

4/29
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review
“Naturally, this was the perfect story for me. I love a clean romance that tells the tale of how two people meet and their course to falling in love. It isn’t easy; it isn’t always pleasant; there can be a lot of misunderstandings and assumptions that stand in the way. Take this sweet romance and add weather and it’s the perfect combination.”

Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Excerpt
When they were alone and she had no menu to hide behind, Travis continued, with his dimples in full effect. “I think you’ve finally stopped hating me.”

“I never hated you. I tried to hate you, but you’re too likable.” He liked that answer. He liked that answer a lot. “I am, am I?” “Less and less by the minute.”

He wasn’t buying it. “Admit it. You like me.”

“I don’t know. You never return the things you borrow, you drive a pretentious car. The list of reasons not to like you goes on and on.”

“Your umbrella is sitting right by my front door. I never remember it because it hasn’t rained in weeks.”

“Don’t make me come get it,” she warned.

He laughed. “You aren’t as scary as you used to be, Weather Girl.”

The Written Adventure – Interview
1) What is your favorite thing about writing?
What I love most about writing is seeing an idea come to life. Sometimes the original idea is just this one scene or this one character that I love. To be able to take that one piece of the puzzle and put it all together into something rich and full is very satisfying.

4/30
Paulette’s Papers – Spring
The only thing I don’t like, that my heroine in The Weather Girl had the ability to predict thanks to a sort of sixth sense, is rain. I don’t really enjoy grey skies or wet, soggy grass. We have a dog who always finds the mud, no matter how hard we try to keep her away from it. And my weather girl may find tornados thrilling, but I only fear the damage they can do. I will admit that there are some very impressive pictures of tornados out there that I will happily look at from the safety of my computer.

Library of a Book Witch – Excerpt
“I should go inside,” Summer said for the twentieth time. She kept saying it, but never actually got out of the car. Not that he minded. He was waiting for the perfect moment to kiss her goodbye. He’d have to initiate this time, but he couldn’t help being smug that she had kissed him first, as he had predicted.

“Thanks for driving,” she said.

“You’re welcome.” He reached out and squeezed her hand, afraid they were getting close to really saying goodbye. His thumbs brushed the soft skin on the back of her hand as he tried to remind himself it would be wrong to kidnap her from her grandparents’ driveway.

“I should go,” she said again. He didn’t want her to go. He wanted to keep her forever…

5/1
The Wonderings of One Person – Top Ten Weather/Football Movies
I thought since the book is about a weather girl and a former football quarterback, it would be fun to share my list of the top ten weather-related/football movies with everyone. Maybe you’ll find something you can rent for next Friday night!

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Review
“This is such a sweet story of finding friendship that can turn to true love. Those are my favorite kinds of love stories. I enjoy when there is more to the relationship than the “insta” love. Travis and Summer connected as friends before they truly allowed themselves to be connected in a real relationship.”

I Am A Reader – How Amy Became an Author
I have been dabbling in writing as a hobby for about nine years. It started as a way for me to organize my thoughts and daydreams. I am a dreamer. I can entertain myself for hours by telling myself stories in my head. Music inspires me and drives a lot of the plots in there.

5/2
Lola’s Reviews – Review
“The Weather Girl is a sweet story and I really enjoyed it. Once I picked it up I didn’t want to stop reading, it was addictive and I just wanted to read more about the two awesome characters. Ir’s a sweet and heartwarming story about finding love and finding your dream.”

Deal Sharing Aunt – Excerpt
“Summer, we love you,” Mimi said, taking hold of her hands. “We want you to be happy. Tell me this job with Ryan won’t make you happy.”

“It will and it won’t.” She couldn’t ignore the way her heart ached when she imagined telling Travis about the other job. It would have been hard enough to leave her grandparents, but Summer had to go and fall in love with a man who had broken down all of her walls so effortlessly.

“Any of this indecision have to do with that mighty fine looking man who’s walking your dog with Big D right now?”

Summer shrugged, unable to speak around the lump in her throat. Maybe it had more to do with Travis than she wanted to admit.

The Weather Girl
by Amy Vastine
Clean Adult Contemporary Romance
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin

Turbulence is in their forecast.

Summer Raines knows when it’s going to rain. She can feel it. That’s why the local weather girl’s so good at her job. Too bad she couldn’t have foreseen the tumultuous arrival of Travis Lockwood, everybody’s favorite star NFL quarterback. Make that former star NFL quarterback. Sidelined back to Texas after an injury, the golden boy is trying to steal her precious on-air time. Summer is reduced to reporting from…football games. It’s enough to make her quit and become a storm-chaser like her parents. She’s stuck with a career that’s going nowhere and a man who delights in her refusal to be charmed. Falling in love isn’t nearly as easy as predicting the weather.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Harlequin

 

Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read.In September of 2012, she saw a tweet about Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. She entered, hoping for nothing more than a little feedback from some people in the business. Amazingly, The Weather Girl made it into the semi-finals, thanks to the many wonderful voters out there! The manuscript didn’t make it to the finals, but the editors over Harlequin were still interested. A few revisions later and The Weather Girl was contacted for publication with Harlequin Heartwarming – a dream come true!Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card, red umbrella, signed copy of THE WEATHER GIRL, umbrella bookmark, and decorative box (US Only)
– 5 ebooks of The Weather Girl (INT)
– April 21 – May 11

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Author Amy Vastine Talks Up a Storm about The Weather Girl

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A themed tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my stop for the April Showers Book Tour for

The Weather Girl

by Amy Vastine

The Weather Girl Book Cover

 

The Weather Girl
by Amy Vastine
Clean Adult Contemporary Romance
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin

Erica: Today, I am pleased to bring you guys a guest post from the lovely and talented Amy  Vastine! I’ve been following Amy’s journey since before she was published and was so excited when I saw that her debut, The Weather Girl,  was being published by Harlequin. I’ll be back in to give a review of her debut in a future post, but right now, I’m turning over Copywrite1985 to Amy. Enjoy!

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today! I am so excited to be here and be able to promote my debut novel, The Weather Girl. In the book, Summer Raines is a quirky meteorologist in West Texas who falls in love with the fallen football hero, Travis Lockwood.

 

Having grown up with two brothers and a father who still talks about the good ol’ days playing ball in high school as well as being the mother of two boys who play, I felt pretty confident about my football knowledge. The weather, on the other hand, was something on which I needed to do a little research.

 

Summer tends to rattle off some pretty obscure weather facts when she’s nervous, so finding interesting tidbits took some time but made me a fan of Mother Nature. The photographs I saw while researching this story blew me away! From Texas hail the size of baseballs to lightning storms in Venezuela, there are some amazing stories out there.

 

One of the dilemmas that Summer faces is should she or shouldn’t she take the job of her dreams, a job that would allow her to travel around the world and see these weather phenomena first-hand. An old family friend tries to lure her by sending her examples of some of the adventures she would go on if she took the job. My favorite is when he tempts her to come to Finland to see the northern lights from a glass igloo.

 

In reality, there is this incredible resort in the Laplands where you can stay in these glass igloo rooms. Here’s a link to the website if you’re interested – http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/. There’s something about the northern lights that intrigues me. I hope to go see them someday, maybe not in Finland but perhaps in Canada!

 

I also have a Pinterest board for The Weather Girl where I have a bunch of weather-related pictures – http://www.pinterest.com/vastine7/the-weather-girl/. My favorite picture on there is either of the sky punch or the sky wave. They make the boring clouds drifting over my house seem very boring. If you get a chance, check it out!

 

Do you have a favorite weather event? Are you thrilled by tornados or maybe love to watch it rain?

Weather Girl - Amy Vastine

 Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read.

In September of 2012, she saw a tweet about Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. She entered, hoping for nothing more than a little feedback from some people in the business. Amazingly, The Weather Girl made it into the semi-finals, thanks to the many wonderful voters out there! The manuscript didn’t make it to the finals, but the editors over Harlequin were still interested. A few revisions later and The Weather Girl was contacted for publication with Harlequin Heartwarming – a dream come true!
Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.