“A major thrill ride with some fascinating twists…”
~RT Book Reviews 4 Stars
I’m super excited to share my latest release, Blind Spot, with you all. It’s the third book in my Chesapeake Valor series, which focuses on the lives of four boyhood friends who’ve all grown up and gone into law enforcement careers. Blind Spot is Federal Agent Declan Grey and crisis-counselor Tanner Shaw’s story as they face down one of the greatest terrorist threats to America since 9/11.
Research for Blind Spot involved a wide array of topics—everything from motorcycle skills, to weapon choices, police procedure, bombs, and, most heartbreaking, the epidemic of human trafficking. I spent a lot of hands-on time researching their story and it was extremely helpful that the series is set in my own backyard, including the historic neighborhood where Declan lives.
Baltimore’s Little Italy is an amazingly quaint Italian neighborhood in Baltimore City that has thrived for multiple generations. Its original immigrants from Italy emigrated between the mid-1800s through the early 1900s. By 1920, the entire neighborhood was 100% Italian. The neighborhood is comprised of century-old row homes, family-run restaurants, open-air movie nights and bocce courts. Little Italy is home to the Star-Spangled Banner Flag house. It is also the setting of Nora Robert’s book Blue Smoke (and its film adaptation). My family and I always hit Vaccaro’s for coffee and dessert after enjoying a wonderful Italian feast at one of our favorite Little Italy restaurants. Our top two restaurants of choice are La Scala and Sabatino’s. If you’re ever in Baltimore, be sure to drop by.
Now, if all this talk of Italian restaurants is making you hungry, never fear. Here are recipes from my Chesapeake Valor series to make and enjoy your own Italian feast:
Now for a taste of Blind Spot….
FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life–but isn’t sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw for help. She has sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.
Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor, which means she now has even more opportunities to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same way. However, before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell–and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost thousands of lives.
If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, don’t worry. Each book in Chesapeake Valor focuses on a different friend, his case and romance. They all serve as standalones, but I hope you’ll check out the entire series. And, yes, there will be a book four. I’m excited to announce that Dead Drift will be releasing next summer! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Declan and Tanner’s thrill ride.
Luke crouched behind an orange shipping container, dreading to think what it held.
Captain Jose Augero puffed on a cigar on the dock beside the Bainbridge. The stale breeze coming off the water was scant relief from Kuala Lumpur’s sticky night air.
Flicking a mosquito from his neck, Luke turned from his study of the captain to watch headlights sweep over the shipping yard. Creaking echoed above him as the crane arm swung overhead, settling on a metal container three over from his position. Clamping ahold, the crane lifted the massive container high in the dark, starless sky and settled it onto the ship.
Luke held his breath as a black sedan stopped less than ten feet from the captain, spotlighting the man in a glare of headlights. Seconds later Harris Sayid stepped out of the car with a lift of his chin. “Jose.”
This is it. Luke exhaled as adrenaline coursed through his veins. Inching closer, he prayed the shadows concealed him from the men, and that the container he was using for cover wasn’t the next to be transferred to the ship.
“Sir.” Jose gave a curt nod, his dark eyes illuminated by the headlights. “I told you I have this under control. No need for you to oversee.”
Sayid stepped forward. “Need I remind you what happened to your predecessor?”
“There’s the difference. I’m not foolish enough to let a federal agent aboard my vessel.”
Sayid waved off the cigar Jose offered him.
Jose shook his head. “You and all those rules . . .”
Sayid ignored the comment, disgust for Jose evident in his narrowing eyes. “I’m here to inform you we have a change in plans.”
“Oh?” Jose flicked ashes on the pavement. “Hopefully not a cargo switch. The weapons and parts have just finished loading.”
“No. Not the cargo—the destination. And it would do you well not to utter such words about what you carry.”
“It’s only my men here, and unlike Jackson’s, my men fear and obey me.”
Every fiber of Luke’s being burned with the urge to stop this shipment in its tracks, to take the men out now, before the weapons and whatever parts they were referring to reached his homeland, but he’d been ordered to stand fast. Listen and report. While he understood the reasoning behind it, it felt innately wrong not to act. But if he did, it wouldn’t stop the threat. It would only fuel it. A war was headed for U.S. soil, and tonight there wasn’t a thing he could do to stop it.
“Why the change?” Jose asked at Sayid’s silence.
“Baltimore is too hot right now. There’s a fed there who has latched on to the paltry information he thinks he uncovered on the Hiram.”
Jose chuckled. “You can’t stop one federal agent?”
“He’s been relentless—not to mention extremely lucky—but his days are numbered.”
Luke swallowed, knowing exactly whom they were referring to. His contact in Baltimore had informed him that has childhood friend Declan Grey had uncovered the arrival of Anajay Darmadi on the Hiram and was doggedly pursuing what he believed, correctly, was a pattern of terrorist activity. Luke’s finger itched on the trigger, every instinct whispering to squeeze it—to protect Declan, to protect them all.
“In the meantime, take the shipment into Galveston. Our man from Houston will transport the cargo back east.”
“You’re the boss, but isn’t Houston and the Galveston port how the other fed got onto us in the first place?”
“That needn’t concern you. That fed is dead. Soon the Baltimore one will be as well.”
“Fine, but it’s going to cost a hefty sum to get the manifest changed at this late date—to cut through the red tape.”
“I understand. Just take care of it.”
Jose nodded, exhaling a gray puff of smoke.
Sayid’s jaw tightened in the lights bouncing off his profile.
“And the doctor?” Jose asked.
“He’ll be liberated when the time is right.” Sayid swatted a bug off his damp white shirt, clinging to his back in the thick humidity. He studied Jose. “Why does the doctor matter so much to you?”
“I told you,” Jose said. “The doc and I made nice on his journey over. I don’t like him rotting in some prison cell.”
“He won’t be there much longer.” Sayid’s smile turned to one of malice. “And then their empire will crumble into dust.”
Declan Grey started his day as he did every other. He showered, shaved, dressed, drank a strong cup of black coffee, ate two slices of cinnamon-and-sugar toast, and then headed out the door to work, calling his friend Griffin for a quick chat as he drove.
The office was humming when he arrived, and he was pleased he’d made it nearly half an hour early, despite 695’s horrific morning commute.
Today was the meeting he’d been pushing for with his boss for nigh on a month. An attack was headed for U.S. soil, and no one was doing a thing to acknowledge it—let alone stop it.
He entered the meeting room, planning to have time to run back through his argument before Alan King showed, but his boss was already there, deep in conversation with a woman. Both had their backs to him.
The woman was five foot seven, athletically lean and toned, her brown hair almost identical in shade to Tanner’s. His gut sunk. Tanner.
It was Tanner. He knew her—knew the way she angled her head so her hair fell slightly over her right shoulder when she was deep in thought, knew the graceful curve of her neck, knew . . . too much. He cleared his throat, and they both turned.
The black dress she wore fit well, falling mid-knee, a few inches of fabric caressing the subtle line across her shoulders, leaving him wanting to . . . He shook off the thought, frustrated.
Something captivatingly drew him to her . . . and yet strangled him at the same time—as if he were underwater in her presence. All sound evaporated, he couldn’t breathe, his vision grew limited, until all he saw was her. It was surprisingly peaceful, albeit alarmingly disorienting.
It had begun the day she’d entered his life, nearly a year earlier, showing up in his hospital room, dressed like a nurse, bent on obtaining answers about her friend’s murder.
The surprising sensation he experienced in her presence had steadily grown in intensity until it now engulfed all else. He wasn’t sure if he liked the effect or if he was drowning in it. His heart said the first, his head the latter.
One plus was his certainty that he no longer felt anything but friendship for Kate Maxwell—hadn’t for months now—and considering how deeply in love she was with Luke Gallagher, the man who’d been his best friend for years, before his disappearance over seven years ago . . . it was a very good change. His crush on Kate was over, and in hindsight that’s all it had been—a crush, along with genuine friendship, of course. But now . . . now he was drowning in the middle of an unanticipated ocean and a part of him reveled in being surrounded by the unknown.
He had the decision before him: fight the undertow or give in to his feelings and see where the current pulled him.
“Agent Grey,” Alan said, stealing back his attention, “I’d like you to meet the Bureau’s newest crisis counselor.”
Declan blinked. Had Alan seriously just said—?
“We’re well acquainted,” Tanner said, before he could finish his thought.
She settled into one of the conference room chairs, and he sat down beside her, his shoulders stiff. “Not sure I’d say well . . .”
There was so much about her he didn’t know, so much he longed to. What she liked and didn’t like. How she spent her downtime. What scared her, if anything. What thrilled her, though he already knew rushes of adrenaline did. At least she spent most of the year finding it through healthy means via rock climbing, white-water rafting, kayaking, snowboarding, and the list went on. She was an all-weather and all-season athlete much like him.
She sighed. “Of course you’d say that.”
He tucked his chin in. “Meaning?” He’d meant it as a compliment, an indication that he wanted to know more, but it didn’t appear she was taking it as such.
She flipped open her folder, shaking her head. “Never mind.”
“All right then.” Moving on . . . He opened his case folder, convinced he’d never understand women—Tanner Shaw least of all.
Dani Pettrey, Blind Spot Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2017. Used by permission.
FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life–but isn’t
sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a
terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something
horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his
investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he
turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She’s sought justice for
refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s
anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.
Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . .
meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with
Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t
deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same. But
before anything can develop between them, they discover
evidence of a terror cell–and soon are in a race against
the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost
thousands their lives.