This morning had started like any other day. I’d opened one eye and looked up as Chloe stirred next to me, pulling the blanket away from me as she moved, allowing the cool morning air to sweep over my body. As she threw her legs over the edge of the bed, rubbing her eyes as she did so, I figured it really was time to get up. Rolling onto all fours, I pushed my butt in the air and stretched. Once that was done, I shook myself, fluffing my glorious fur until I resembled a fluff ball. Morning routine complete. . .tick.
“Good morning Dude,” said Chloe, rubbing me behind the ears. Oooh that felt good. Just a little scratch would be better. . .yep right there. . .that’s it. I blew out a blissful sigh as she kissed the top of my head before making her way to the bathroom.
My name is Theo and apparently I’m a Chihuahua. My doppelganger was on television last night, and they kept calling him The Rock. Looking at him was almost like looking in the mirror. He was tall, strong and all the girls swooned when he smiled at them. I have that same effect on the women. One look from me and they’re putty in my little paws. Which is really how I came to live with Chloe. You see, she was supposed to hand me in to the animal shelter, but I used my big puppy dog eyes and she couldn’t resist. And really, it’s worked out the best for both of us. I get treated like a king and she gets my little kisses. Win, win!
Chloe’s a parcel courier with the local post office and most days I get to ride along with her. That means I get to travel in the van, and get to meet the residents of Westport. Today started like any other work day. We went to the sorting shed, I was given lots of treats, pats and tickles from her co-workers, and then we were on the road, the wind blowing in my face—from the air conditioning vent that is. There’s no way I’m sticking my head out the car window—what do you think I am? A dog? Pfft! The first disappointment came when Chloe stopped at Jimmy’s house and I had to wait in the car because it was raining. I quite like Jimmy. He’s retired now and has nothing better to do than buy me treats. But instead of getting spoilt, I had to stand on a stack of packages, my paws resting on the van door, pressing my nose against the cold glass window, watching them. I whimpered quietly—alright it wasn’t quiet. It was quite loud really, not that they seemed to notice me. The men sitting in the car opposite us noticed me though. They’d been watching Jimmy’s house as we pulled up, but as soon as I started to howl, they turned their full attention to me. Maybe that was the point where I should have quietened down, because I’ve since realized that sometimes in life, it’s better to go unnoticed.
You see, the day changed dramatically after that. When that same car pulled up in our street at home, and the guy got out and spoke to Chloe, I knew he wasn’t a good man. I knew that someone had to scare him away from her. I was the Rock. It was my duty to keep her safe. But Chloe had placed me inside our home, so I couldn’t get to him, to warn him that I was on the job. Thankfully, whatever Chloe said to him made him go away and life returned to normal. Until another man showed up, opening our gate and strutting up the front path. I had the perfect view looking down on him from the window seat in the bedroom. He had that look about him and I knew he wasn’t good. I needed to show him that I was the boss and I would protect Chloe, even if my life depended on it. Which it turns out, it may just.
I tried to tell the man to go away. I tried to tell him that he was not welcome. I ran down the stairs, growling, barking, and baring my teeth. I was ferocious! But instead of running away, instead of being scared, he opened the door, picked me and left, taking me with him.
As Chloe’s screams echoed in my ears, the home I loved disappeared in his rear-view mirror.
Shivering and shaking, I reassessed my plan of action. Maybe I wasn’t ferocious, maybe I wasn’t strong, but I could be darned annoying when I put my mind to it. I stepped over to the man, used my big puppy-dog eyes and tapped him unrelentingly with my paw. Give him a night of this treatment, and I’d be home before I knew it.
You can read more about Theo in Deadly Tails, the second book in the “Unleashed” mystery series.
Chloe McDermott’s life in Westport is pretty close to perfect. She has a good job, a gorgeous boyfriend, Brody, and an adorable little dog, Theo.
But when Chloe receives a gift of an old chessboard from an elderly friend, her perfect life unexpectedly falls apart. Theo is dognapped, the chessboard is stolen, and her friend apparently commits suicide in his home. But when the autopsy reveals a murder, Chloe knows something doesn’t add up, and she suspects the old game board is at the center of it all. She enlists the help of her boyfriend’s hot-headed father and her flamboyantly fabulous BFF to get to the heart of the truth. Can she solve the riddle and find a killer before Theo is added to the body count? Or will she lose her little furry friend forever?
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of Deadly Tails. The giveaway ends August 12, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
Beth Prentice is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Westport Mysteries. Killer Unleashed, her GHP debut novel, received a bronze medal in the 2016 Readers Favorite International Book Awards.
She was born in Manchester, England, but after moving backwards and forwards across the world 13 times in 14 years she decided that at the age of 18 that Australia was to be her home. She now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia where every day is a good one. She is the lucky mother of two grown up children, and, along with her ever-patient husband, she is the proud but sometimes flustered owner of four dogs, a cat, and a canary. She has always had a love of reading, and even though her background is in accounting, she has now discovered her love of writing. Her main wish is to write books you can sit back, relax with, and escape from your everyday life. . .and ones that you walk away from with a smile! When she’s not writing you will usually find her at the beach with a coffee in hand, pursuing her favorite pastime –people watching!
All comments are welcomed.