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Elizabeth Heiter | Writing an Injured Ex-Marine Hero

April 16, 2019

Meet Colter Hayes. He’s 6’2” tall, 180 pounds of mostly muscle, with close-cropped dark blond hair and intense blue eyes. He’s loyal to a fault, loves dogs (he lives with the Combat Tracker Dog who was his partner in the Marines), and can make a woman feel dangerous things.

But all he sees is a man who’s damaged. Someone who came home from war with an injury that left him less than whole. Partly it’s his leg, now held together by a rod and screws. It’s accepting that the things he could do in the military police, alongside his K-9 partner Rebel – like tracking an explosion back to the person who set it – are now out of reach.

But mostly it’s the way he and Rebel came home. Both forced out of the military because of injuries that would never have them back to “fighting shape.” And alone. Without the teammates he’d come to see as brothers.

Overseas, Rebel saved Colter’s life by jumping on him and knocking him down into a bomb crater during an ambush. The rest of his team died that day and the attackers never realized Colter and Rebel were still alive. There are a lot of things Colter can do – like help a woman searching for her long-lost sister in the dangerous Alaskan wilderness. But forgiving himself for living when his Marine brothers died isn’t one of them.

When I started writing K-9 DEFENSE, I knew my hero was going to be hiding from the world – and really, hiding from himself and from living his life again. I also knew it was going to take a woman on a mission – the last thing Colter Hayes wants – to help him get there.

Kensie Morgan sees Colter’s injury and how it holds him back – but mostly, she sees the man. Someone who’s capable and too tempting. She has no idea the survivor’s guilt he still feels. All she knows is that the former Marine has investigative training and his K-9 partner knows how to track. They seem like the answer to her prayers – a way to find the sister who’s been missing for fourteen years.

As Kensie and Colter work together and slowly earn each other’s trust, Kensie realizes she’s falling for him. But the more she falls, the less sure she is that Colter can save anyone – unless he finds a way to save himself first.

Learn more about Kensie, Colter, and Rebel at my website.

About Elizabeth Heiter

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 Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers’ Choice award and the Booksellers’ Best award and won the RT Reviewers’ Choice award.

The heroine of Elizabeth’s Profiler novels was called “one of the most amazing characters created in print” by Fresh Fiction. Her novels have received praise from Lee Child, J.T. Ellison, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, R.L. Stine, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Suzanne Brockmann, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Zoë Sharp.

The Profiler | Lawmen | Bullets and Brawn


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