Friday, April 17, 2020

Copycat Killer by Laura Scott: Author Q & A, Review and Excerpt


About the Author

Laura Scott is honored to write for the Love Inspired Suspense line, where a reader can find a heartwarming journey of faith amid the thrilling danger. She lives with her husband of twenty-five years and has two children, a daughter and a son, who are both in college. She works as a critical-care nurse during the day at a large level-one trauma center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and spends her spare time writing romance. Visit Laura at www.laurascottbooks.com.
Q and A with Laura Scott

Did you always want to write romance novels?

LS: Yes! I wrote my first romance novel when I was 16 years old and submitted it to Harlequin. They turned me down which in hindsight was a very good thing as it was awful. I kept going though, and honed my craft. When I sold my first book to Harlequin I was so excited! It was like a dream come true. I have been reading Harlequin for so long, it's an honor to be writing for them.
Aerial view of a man typing on a retro typewriter | rawpixel.com
Share in your own words what it means to experience That Harlequin Feeling.

LS: For me, its like being swept into a great adventure! I read across all lines, but the romantic suspense remains my favorite. I love the action, suspense, mystery and of course the romance! When I open a Harlequin novel I can leave all my day to day worries behind. These days with the stress of Covid-19 and everything else going on, that's twice as important. 

Falsely Accused (FBI: Special Crimes Unit Book 5) by [Shirlee McCoy]
Can you share a recent book that you have read that you would like to recommend?

LS: I have just finished reading FalselyAccused by Shirlee McCoy. This is one of the books in her FBI Special Crimes Unit and as always Shirlee crafts a great story that has you rooting for the characters all the way to the end! I cannot wait for her next book to come out.
About Copycat Killer

Murder strikes close to home for a new K-9 unit in Brooklyn. When a double homicide is strikingly familiar to a twenty-year-old cold case, Detective Nate Slater is rattled by the parallels. With a child as the only witness, he and his K-9 partner must protect little Lucy and her aunt, Willow Emery. Nate’s rough past means he always keeps an emotional distance…but in this case getting closer is the only way they’ll all survive.
German Shepherd  K9 Unit
My Thoughts

Copycat Killer by Laura Scott has Willow Emery finding her brother and sister-in-law dead with their toddler, Lucy crying nearby.  The killings are identical to a crime that occurred twenty years prior.  Detective Nate Slater and his K-9 partner, Murphy take the traumatized pair home to find Willow’s apartment ransacked.  Are the crimes tied together?  Slater works to keep Willow and Lucy safe while searching for the elusive criminal.  As Slater spends time with Willow, he begins to fall for her.  Slater knows, though, that marriage and family are not in his future.  Can Willow change his mind?  Copycat Killer is the first book in True Blue K-9 Unit:  Brooklyn series. We are introduced to the staff of the newly formed Brooklyn K-9 Unit.  Detective Nate Slater is nearby when Willow calls 9-1-1.  He is surprised at the similarities to a 20-year-old cold case where the killer left 4-year-old Penelope McGregor as the only witness.  Her older brother, Bradley was at a sleepover.  Bradley is now a K-9 officer with their unit and Penelope is the desk clerk.  I thought Copycat Killer was a suspenseful story.  There is action that kept the book moving forward at a fast pace.  I liked the camaraderie between the members of the K-9 unit and how sweet they were to Lucy.  I, of course, loved following the investigation as they searched for the guilty party.  The romance is sweet and natural.  I was amazed at the talents of the K-9 dogs.  They have amazing sniffers.  I was disappointed that the murder investigation is not wrapped up in Copycat Killer.  I hope we get the answers in the next True Blue K-9 Unit:  Brooklyn novel.  I especially enjoyed Willow’s strong faith and how she shared it with Lucy and Nate.  Copycat Killer is an intriguing suspense with clever canines, a crazed killer, a cute kid, an affectionate aunt and determined detectives.
K-9
Excerpt from Copycat Killer

Nate suddenly heard a panicked shout. “Help! Police! Help!”

What in the world? He turned to look over his shoulder. A young man in a baseball cap and a Yankees jersey was waving his arms in a frantic attempt to get his attention.  

“Help! Someone is being attacked!”
He hesitated, unwilling to leave Willow and Lucy there alone. Willow was still chatting with Angela, the two women cooing over Lucy, so he made a split-second decision to respond. “Willow? Stay here. I’ll be right back. Come, Murphy.”  “This way!” The Yankees fan turned and disappeared around the corner, clearly expecting Nate and Murphy to follow.

Nate broke into a jog, dodging pedestrians while keeping Murphy close to his side. He listened intently but didn’t hear any sounds indicating an attack. He hoped he wasn’t going to be too late. As they turned the corner, he raked his gaze over the area, searching for anything suspicious. There was no obvious sign of an attack, but the Yankees fan was still several paces ahead. “Hurry! Over here! In the alley!”

Nate darted around a group of tourists. He came to the spot where the Yankees fan had been, in front of a long narrow alley, but the guy was gone. He’d vanished like some sort of magician’s trick.  There was no attack. His gut clenched with fear. Willow! Lucy!
Narrow alley by Giancarlo Gallo
He whirled around and instantly ran back to the café. The sidewalk seemed to stretch forever.  He’d followed the stupid Yankees fan farther than he’d realized.  And it had been nothing but a clever ploy to get him and Murphy out of the way. No! How could he have been so gullible? He quickened his pace, unable to bear the thought of something happening to Willow and Lucy.

He wheeled around the corner, his heart lodged in his throat. Even more people crowded the sidewalks now. Lucy was crying, loud screeching sobs. “Aunt Willow! Aunt Willow! Come back!” A pedestrian got in his way and he nearly plowed the guy over in his haste to reach Willow and Lucy.
New scam threatens your family with violence!  New scam threatens #violence, we also talk about #SocialSecurity and #secretshopper #scams
“No! Stop!” Willow’s voice was muffled. He caught a glimpse of someone dressed in black with a hat pulled low over his forehead dragging her toward a black sedan double-parked a few spots up from the café. 

“Stop! Police!” He shouted as loud as he could to be heard above the din. Realizing he might be too late, he reached down and released Murphy’s leash. “Get him, Murphy. Get him!” Murphy took off running. Like a racehorse, he closed the gap between him and Willow faster than Nate ever could.
The man with the hat must have realized the same thing, because he abruptly pushed Willow toward Murphy, then spun and took off running in the opposite direction.  It all happened like a scene unfolding in slow motion. Willow tripped over Murphy. His partner yelped as the two of them tangled together. Then Willow hit the pavement with a thud. Lucy was still crying, her stroller several feet away from Willow and Murphy.

“Willow! Are you okay?” He finally caught up to them, crouching down to check Willow and his partner. Murphy had managed to free himself from Willow. He was up on his feet, staring in the direction the intruder had gone. “Get him,” Nate repeated. He didn’t like sending his partner off alone, but he couldn’t leave Willow and Lucy.
Wow.  I don't really like the picture, but you've GOTTA appreciate the talent to catch this shot.
The yellow Lab took off, trotting fast, his nose periodically going to the ground.  Murphy could track just about anything, but he wasn’t trained to go into subway stations without Nate. A fact he hoped the assailant didn’t know, as there was a subway entrance at the opposite end of the block.

“What happened?” He helped Willow to her feet.  “He—came out of nowhere.” Her voice was shaky, her hands trembling. Her palms were scraped and bleeding, but she didn’t seem to care. “I didn’t notice until he grabbed me.”

“Shh, it’s okay.” He caught her in his arms for a quick hug, then turned toward Lucy. Some instinct had him lifting the girl from her stroller and handing her over to Willow. They clung to each other, much the way they had outside the scene of the Emery murders.
Shallow focus photo of black Mercedes Benz sedan  Cars
His gaze fell on the license plate of the black sedan abandoned by the would-be kidnapper. He quickly memorized the plate number, hoping it would be a clue as to who’d attacked Willow. A sharp dog bark caught his attention. His heart was hammering, and he desperately wanted to go after Murphy. What if the assailant tried to hurt him? Nate took one step forward, then another, but stopped.

He couldn’t leave Willow. He had to trust in his partner’s training. The K-9 would soon return.  Murphy came running through the crowd of onlookers, returning to Nate’s side. “Murph!” He went down to his knee and wrapped his arms around his partner. From what he could tell, Mur-phy wasn’t hurt. Unfortunately, the assailant had gotten away.
True Blue K-9 Unit: Brooklyn
Are you ready to read Copycat Killer and meet the Brooklyn K-9 Unit?  Copycat Killer is available from Amazon*, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Goodreads, Indiebound, and Harlequin.  The other novels in a True Blue K-9 Unit:  Brooklyn are Chasing Secrets by Heather Woodhaven (May 1), Deadly Connection by Lenora Worth (June 1), Explosive Situation by Terri Reed (July 1), Tracking a Kidnapper by Valerie Hansen (August 1), and Scene of the Crime by Sharon Dunn (September 1).  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep.  I hope you have an enchanting day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

Kris
The Avid Reader

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