With: Elizabeth Heiter
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My newest release, K-9 Defense, features a Malinois-German Shepherd who served in the Marines as a Combat Tracker Dog. When I decided to write a book about a K-9, I wanted to do something new, so when I came across Combat Tracker Dogs, I was intrigued. It’s a relatively new specialty within the military, so I’ve never seen these particular K-9s featured in novels.
Combat Tracker Dogs are usually assigned to Military Police and it’s a program that’s unique to the Marines. Their specialty is a specific kind of tracking, starting at the site of an explosion or ambush and tracking back to the person who set it.
Rebel, the K-9 hero in K-9 Defense, was a Combat Tracker Dog. She’s the partner of my hero, ex-Marine Colter Hayes. When Colter and Rebel showed up at the scene of an explosion, they – along with an entire Marine Special Operations Team – were ambushed. Rebel knocked Colter down into the site of the explosion, saving their lives, but also landing them on a twisted piece of metal that ended both of their careers.
When K-9 Defense starts, the two of them are hiding and healing in the remote town of Desparre, Alaska. Both did damage to their legs that will never fully heal, but it’s nothing compared to the PTSD they’re fighting. And the survivor’s guilt that weighs on Colter every day, since he and Rebel were the only ones to make it out of that ambush alive.
As the two of them are just trying to make it through each day without any flashbacks or re-injuring their legs (Colter’s right leg is held together with a rod and screws and Rebel’s back left leg went through multiple surgeries to put it back together), Kensie Morgan shows up. She’s desperately searching for the sister who went missing fourteen years ago. A new clue has surfaced, suggesting her sister could be in Desparre, but Kensie has no idea where to start – until she discovers that Rebel was a tracker.
Here’s a snippet from that scene:
There was too much hope in her voice. A dozen swear words lodged in Colter’s brain. “Not that kind of tracker.”
“She tracked back to perpetrators from explosion sites.” Just saying the words filled his mind up with images of a military convoy, blown to bits. Bomb fragments lodged in everything. Limbs not attached to people. Friends, gone in an instant.
An L-shaped ambush that had come in two waves, one for the people he’d come to help and one for the responders. His chest started to compress again, the edges of his vision dulling.
“But couldn’t she—”
“No,” Colter snapped, more harshly than he’d intended.
Even if he and Rebel did the kind of tracking she wanted, she had no idea what she was asking. If he tried to help her, he knew what would happen. He’d have a mission again. A reason to reconnect with the world.
And connections meant pain.
For a chance to win a signed copy of K-9 Defense, tell me your favorite book with an animal in it…
To help a desperate woman’s search, he’ll have to brave treacherous territory.
In the wilds of Alaska, grieving former marine Colter Hayes shuts out the world…until he and his combat tracker dog become Kensie Morgan’s last hope of finding her long-missing sister. The improbable mission starts to rekindle Colter’s desire to rejoin the world—while saving Kensie from a killer unsettles his heart. Can they find all they are searching for before it’s too late?
Buy Links for K-9 Defense
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Elizabeth_Heiter_K_9_Defense?id=OZNvDwAAQBAJ
About Elizabeth Heiter
Critically acclaimed and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages; they've also been shortlisted for the HOLT Medallion, the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers' Choice award and the Booksellers' Best award and won the RT Reviewers' Choice award.
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