1. I hear you have dogs in your novels. Tell us about the books.
In Love Takes Flight, dogs bring Erin and Drew together. Erin owns a golden retriever and runs a dog kennel business. A daring jet pilot, Drew leaves his Border collie at her kennel but soon gets stranded there in a huge, prairie blizzard. Forced together, Erin and Drew overcome an icy start, but secret fears threaten to keep them apart.
In Love Leads the Way, Tessa and Mark clash at work when his boss forces him to enroll in the leadership program she manages. They both own golden retrievers, and at first, a love of dogs is the only thing they share in common. But both are single parents and have mothers with dementia…and even though she’s his coach, maybe they both need lessons in love.
2. Why did you add dogs to these books?
I’ve always loved dogs because they are cute, funny, and loyal, and I like people—and characters—who also love dogs. I think it’s a sign of a good heart. In a book, dogs add fun, love, and connections.
On a windowsill in our home, I display a little plaque that says, “Home is where the dog is,” and I believe it’s true. One of our walls is decorated with quirky artwork featuring dogs. Over the years, I’ve owned three golden retrievers and a Border collie, and all were a big part of our family. My daughters joked that sometimes they thought I liked the dog better than them. (The dog definitely listened better!)
Our thirteen-year-old golden retriever, Sophie, inspired the golden retrievers in my books with her gentle, friendly nature, her ability to sense moods, and her endearing habit of carrying soft objects in her mouth. We said a sad goodbye to our Border collie, Jake, when he became ill two years ago. Our house is definitely calmer and quieter without him, but we still miss him.
3. What other books have you written?
I write feel-good stories about women who chase their dreams and bump into romance along the way. They live in small communities near my home in the Canadian prairies, and they count on an eclectic mix of family and friends (and often dogs) to make their lives interesting and fun.
As well as Love Takes Flight and Love Leads the Way, I have a new release, Let it Snowball, a Christmas novella that’s part of The Wild Rose Press Christmas Cookie series. It’s the first book in a planned, three-book series. A Sweetheart Tour adventure (led by Merilee, the heroine from Let it Snowball) is in the works right now, and I hope it will be released in time for Valentine’s Day. Merilee doesn’t yet have a dog, but maybe someday she’ll realize what she’s been missing!
In Let it Snowball, Merilee shares her famous cookie recipe for chocolate snowballs. Maybe you’ll want to add it to your Christmas baking list.
Merilee’s Famous Chocolate Snowballs:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup 2% or whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg, milk, and vanilla and mix well.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Shape into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake until tops crackle (7-8 minutes).
Remove to wire racks and cool. Roll in icing sugar.
4. Tell us about your kudos or reviews.
I’m really excited about this review from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh:
“I loved Let It Snowball. From the first page I wanted to book a place on Merilee’s nightly Season’s Eatings Christmas tour bus with its three stops at cookie shops to sample and buy. On the last page I wanted to book ahead for the Valentine’s tour! Margot Johnson has a way of making a festive atmosphere seem very real. Combine that with a warm and gentle love story that feels truly authentic, and you have a winner of a story.”
I love hearing feedback from readers. I hope everyone who reads Love Takes Flight, Love Leads the Way, and Let it Snowball will post a review.
5. How do you promote your books?
I promote on Facebook, Twitter, and through author blogs and websites. Local media were great about covering the launch of my first two books because of the local setting.
6. Where can readers learn more about your books and connect with you online?
I’m online on Facebook and Twitter, and I’d love to have readers visit my new website and sign up for email updates so we can stay in touch.
From Marcia: Thank you, Margot, for being my December interviewee! I love discovering stories that feature dogs and look forward to reading your books!
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