Welcome to my stop on the Justice Mission blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours! Thanks to TLC for the invitation! I wanted to spotlight this book because of how it features dogs in the line of duty! Please read on to learn more about the book and to read a short excerpt.
About the Book:
Caught in a killer’s sights…
Introducing the True Blue K-9 Unit series
After K-9 unit administrative assistant Sophie Walters spots a suspicious stranger lurking at the K-9 graduation, the man kidnaps her—and she barely escapes. With Sophie’s boss missing and someone determined to silence her, NYPD officer Luke Hathaway vows he and his K-9 partner will guard her. But he must keep an emotional distance to ensure this mission ends in justice…not cold-blooded murder.
Sophie Walters stood back to count the rows of chairs and relished the thought of the upcoming graduation ceremony that would take place shortly in the auditorium near the NYC K-9 Command Unit headquarters where she worked in Forest Hills, Queens. Today, several new four-legged recruits and their handlers would graduate and join the force in keeping New York City safe.
The unit was made up of officers who handled dogs with a variety of specialties. While based out of their office in Queens, the officers were assigned to divisions of the NYPD throughout the five boroughs of New York City where needed.
As the administrative assistant to Chief Jordan Jameson who headed up the NYC K-9 Command Unit, Sophie had a wide range of duties, but she’d be the first to admit, she loved the graduation ceremonies most.
Hands down, she loved her job and took pride in the fact that she was very good at it. Something the chief often praised her for. “You have an eye for detail and organization, Sophie,” he’d said on more than one occasion. “I don’t know what this place would do without you.”
If only he knew how hard she’d worked to develop that eye for detail. Sophie smiled, her heart grateful for the man who’d taken a chance on a young green college graduate three years ago.
A thud from the back of the auditorium drew her attention to the left-hand corner and she frowned. “Hello? Is someone there?”
Stillness settled over the large room. When nothing more happened and no one announced their presence, she returned her attention to the ceremony preparations.
Something was wrong. Off. But what?
A little prickle at the base of her neck sent shivers down her spine and she turned to assess the area once more. The auditorium chairs sat empty. She’d unlocked all of the doors in case she had some early arrivals, but the place was quiet for now. Quiet as a tomb. Now why would she think that? There’d been no more strange noises and nothing that should spark her unease. But she couldn’t help feeling like someone was watching.
“No one,” she muttered. “Quit jumping at shadows.” But something still nagged at her.
Sophie scanned the stage trying to put her finger on it. Six chairs aligned just right on the artificial turf. The podium with the chief’s notes for his presentation within easy reach, the mic was at exactly the right height, the graduation certificates were laid out in alphabetical order on the table…
She huffed. She’d placed everything on it without putting the black cloth on. Where was her mind this morning?
Definitely on her brother and the attention-stealing phone call she’d received last night. He’d called to tell her he was quitting college to join the Marines.
Seriously? He was nineteen years old. “What does a nineteen-year-old know?” she muttered. Nothing. Which was probably why he wanted to join the Marines.
But who was she to say it was a bad idea? He was right. They were different people with different lives, but she’d been ten years old when their mother had left and she’d taken on the role of mother figure for Trey. For the past fourteen years, he’d looked at her that way. And now he wanted her to just step aside while he made an important decision without discussing it? A small part of her reminded herself that he was technically an adult.
“But I’m the one who attended the parent/teacher conferences when Dad couldn’t get off work,” she muttered. “I’m the one who fixed his snacks and washed his clothes and held him when he got his heart broken by the girl who dumped him his sophomore year of high school.”
Stop it. Let it go for now and do your job.
Sophie removed the black tablecloth from the supply closet in the hallway, then hurried back toward the auditorium, her mind tuned in to the graduation details now.
She pushed through the auditorium door to the right of the stage and stumbled to a halt. A man in a baseball cap and sunglasses stood next to the podium with Chief Jameson’s red remarks folder open.
“Excuse me, what are you doing?” Sophie asked. He’d frozen for a slight second when she entered but closed the folder as she strode toward him. Her low heels clicked on the wooden steps and rang through the empty room. She approached him, intent on rescuing Jordan’s notes if need be. “The ceremony doesn’t start for another forty-five minutes. Did you need help with something?”
“Ah. No.” He turned toward her. “Thanks, but—” He kept his head lowered and she couldn’t make out a thing about his features.
A little niggle of fear curled in her belly and she remembered the loud noise, the feeling of someone watching her. She stopped so suddenly, she actually slid a couple of more inches on the wood floor. Had he been in the auditorium the whole time? Watching her? Waiting for her to leave so he could look through Jordan’s folder?
No, of course not. She was being silly.
“But?” She encouraged him to finish his statement even while she could feel his laser-like stare shooting at her from behind the dark glasses. “Were you looking for something in the folder? It’s just notes for a speech.”
Once again unease shook her. Maybe she wasn’t being so silly after all. Something wasn’t right with this.
Get away from him.
Goose bumps pebbled her arms, and she turned to run. His left hand shot out and closed around her right bicep as his right hand came up, fingers wrapped around the grip of a gun. Sophie screamed when he placed the barrel of the weapon against her head. “Shut up,” he hissed. “Cooperate, and I might let you live.”
About the Author:
Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and then obtained her masters in education from Converse College. Author of twenty inspirational romantic suspense books, she is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In 1996, Lynette married “the boy next door” and now she and her husband and their two children make their home in Simpsonville, South Carolina.
Connect with Lynette
Have you read Justice Mission, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR