by Toby Neal
GENRE: Mystery/Police Procedural
‘Wired in’ to her computers, MMA-fighting tech agent Sophie Ang has been content in her clean, cool tech lab, where she chases criminals online, continuing a dance in the dark with the enigmatic vigilante known as the Ghost. Tumultuous changes from without and within eject her from her agency cocoon to the front lines, where she finds herself in partnership with a brilliant, overbearing, larger-than-life ex-Special Forces operative, Jake Dunn. They climb walls, dodge bullets, kidnap children and dig up bodies for a case that might cost her life—and has already taken her badge.
Sophie set the unconscious child on the ground and stripped off her pack, tossing it into the nearby water, black and slick as tar in the faint light of the moon. Their packs splashed and sank, bubbling, as she picked the girl back up and ran after Dunn’s already retreating form.
The dogs were gaining. Sophie could hear their barking as they headed back up the rugged goat track. They couldn’t follow on the quad on this rough ground with its rapid elevation, but it slowed her and Jake Dunn, too.
Sophie could hear the chopper directly overhead.
If she could just make it to the rendezvous point…
Her whole focus narrowed to the path in front of her, steep, rough with stones and protruding branches, rendered in shades of shallow green by the NV goggles. Her arms ached with the weight of the little girl, a solid sixty or seventy pounds. Her legs burned. Her breath tore through her lungs in hot, rending breaths that left the taste of blood at the back of her throat. But she was keeping up with Dunn. They were going to make it.
The dog caught her from behind by the pants, his teeth leaving a fiery pinch. Sophie fell with a cry, rolling desperately to the side so as not to land on the child.
The dog didn’t let go, dragging her by the leg, shaking her, growling—and he was big enough that she slid backward down the steep, rough path, letting go of the child. “Dunn!” She screamed.
Dunn appeared through the otherworldly green of the NV vision like a demon rising from hell, a knife in one fist and the tranq gun in the other. He kicked the Shepherd and caught it in the side, lifting it off Sophie with a yelp—just in time for the second dog to leap at him from the trail. Sophie scrambled to her feet, hefting the girl, and ran. She didn’t have time to see if Dunn was going to be okay—she had to get the child to safety.
Social worker turned author Toby Neal grew up on the island of Kaua`i in Hawaii.
Neal is the author of more than twenty novels in the mystery, romance and young adult genres, including the twelve-book USA Today bestselling, award-winning Lei Crime Series. This police procedural mystery series centers on Leilani “Lei” Matsumoto Texeira, a multicultural detective with issues, her dog Keiki, and her love interest, Stevens, as they solve a range of complicated crimes in the Hawaiian Islands.
The Lei Crime Series has sold over a million books since its debut in December of 2011, and in 2015, Amazon launched the Lei Crime Kindle World, which allows authors to build licensed fan fiction upon Neal’s characters. There are close to fifty fan fiction spinoff works in the World currently.
Neal is a 2016 Independent Publisher Book (“IPPY”) winner for Best Mystery/Thriller for Rip Tides and in 2015 for Twisted Vine. She’s a Notable Indie 2016 Winner, 2015 National Indie Excellence® awards winner, Best Multicultural Novel winner for Torch Ginger, and many more.
Outside of counseling work and writing, Toby volunteers in a nonprofit for children and enjoys life in Hawaii through beach walking, swimming, gardening, photography and hiking.
Twitter: @tobywneal ~~ Facebook: Toby Neal Books
Instagram: Tobyneal0 ~~ Google+: Toby Nea
Toby Neal will be awarding $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.