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About the author:
Jacki Delecki is a bestselling romantic suspense author whose stories are filled with heart-pounding adventure, danger, intrigue, and romance. Her books have consistently received rave reviews, and AN INNER FIRE was chosen as an Editor's Selection by USA Today. Currently, she has three series: the contemporary romantic suspense Impossible Mission, featuring Delta Force operatives; Grayce Walters, contemporary romantic suspense following a Seattle animal acupuncturist with a nose for crime; and the Code Breakers, Regency suspenses set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. Delecki's stories reflect her lifelong love affair with the arts and history. When not writing, she volunteers for Seattle's Ballet and Opera Companies, and leads children's tours of Pike Street Market.
What inspired you to write your book?
I wanted to tell the story of Grayce Walters's assistant, Hollie Thomas. Set in Seattle, Washington, my hometown, the Grayce Walters novels frequently feature military heroes and heroines battling the threat of terrorism as a tribute to human and canine service members. I also incorporate many of the city's unique and colorful locations into my stories, and my volunteer work with Seattle's homeless shelters inspired one of her main characters. My two Golden Labs, Gus and Talley, were my constant companions. Their years of devotion and intuition influenced me to write dogs as main characters alongside my strong heroines.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Sergeant Nick Welby forced himself to look up at the plane roaring above him and ignore his primitive instinct to break into a run. His heart punched against his chest in painful thuds. A Boeing 737—not enemy fire. Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood—not Afghanistan.
He took a calming breath and then another. The hipster neighborhood, filled with buzzing cars and rushing crowds, ratcheted his already revved-up nervous system, making every sound and movement chafe against his jangled nerves like an open wound.
Talley, Nick’s military partner, a bomb-sniffing canine, strained against her lead.
The golden lab, like him, was tense and hyper-alert, waiting for disaster to strike. Both he and his dog were on sick leave. A month had helped to heal their physical injuries, but neither had made progress in calming their stress reactions. They both saw and felt danger everywhere, every day.
He stared up at the refurbished warehouse situated on the waterway to Puget Sound. Adrenaline surged through his body at the idea of walking into the unknown building. He was sweating heavily, as if he were still in the heat of the Registan desert instead of the August summer day in the Northwest.
A white-and-black sign hung on the warehouse: Grayce Walters, DVM, Animal Acupuncturist. He bent and petted the attentive dog. Talley’s soft chocolate eyes echoed the feelings stuck in his throat. “I don’t like it any better than you do, but this doctor will help you.”
Nick didn’t have a lot of hope for his own recovery, but he couldn’t let his partner suffer. Doc Samson, the Welby family’s veterinarian, had sworn by the amazing skill of this doctor. He paused and blew the air out of his constricted lungs and then pulled the door open. He’d do anything to help his partner heal from the IED explosion that had almost taken both their lives, even walk into this dangerous unknown.