In the Shadow of the Shield
When a police officer falls, justice must be served.
Donnie Massey was an honest, skilled police officer. That’s probably what got him killed. When his wife Diana watches him die in front of her, the worst part is going to be telling their son, Jackson.
After a year of mourning, Diana decides it’s time to move on with their lives. The first step to getting closure is to visit Donnie’s grave. But when she gets there, she’s not alone...
Good cops are rare. Carter Ryan is one of them.
Mentored by Donnie, Carter is at the grave when his widow shows up. It may not be the best timing, but he needs her help. Carter admits the fallen shield may not have died in the line of duty, but was likely murdered while involved in a secret investigation with deep criminal ties. Diana agrees to aid in unveiling the truth. Donnie deserves that much.
The definition of insanity...
As the two work side by side, a new and delicate romance begins to bloom. But would falling for another cop be the worst mistake of Diana’s life, or the best decision she’s ever made? When the investigation leads them to an underground meth ring, their mission goes from risky to down right perilous.
After a brush with death hits too close to home, will Diana risk loving another cop? Or will their chance at happiness be forever buried in the shadow of the shield?
They were standing very close. Too close. She could smell that musky soap of his again, and it was all she could do to stay where she was. He sure looked good in that uniform. Too good. She moistened her suddenly dry lips with the tip of her tongue.
“Don’t do that.”
“Lick your lips that way. I have to get back on the road in a minute, and that might make me quit my job so I can see you do that again.”
She giggled like a schoolgirl. “Oh, you can’t do that. Your uniform is half the appeal. Don’t you know, once a badge bunny, always a badge bunny?” She tapped the badge on his chest with one finger. “Badge bunny, huh?”
In one smooth move, his arm slipped around her and his lips pressed to hers in a quick kiss. “I hate to leave, Madam Bunny, but the streets of Virginia Beach are begging to be kept safe.”
“What kind of crime is there in a resort town in the middle of the winter?”
“You’d be surprised. Hookers still got pimps to pay, no matter how cold it is. Crack heads still need a fix, and drive-bys are very popular this time of year. The discerning gangster prefers not to freeze the family jewels to get the weekly quota of shootings in.”
“I suppose that makes sense, since it was this time last year when Donnie got mixed up in that supposed meth case.” No sooner had the words left her mouth that they heard the ringing of a cell phone.
Carter let her go and dug into one of his pockets. “That’s the Louie phone number. A text message.”
“What’s it say?”
“He says he wants a pizza with his Snickers and his Mountain Dew.”
“Hold on. Another message is coming in. It’s a photograph.”
“A photo of what?”
“Hard to tell. It’s pretty dark, but it looks like three people. He says he caught them leaving the house, and they are the same guys he saw the other night.”
“Ask him who they are.” Her heart rate picked up at the thought of a possible lead. “Are they cops?”
Carter tapped out a message and then waited for Louie to reply. “Okay, he says they left and locked the place up tight. He doesn’t know who they are, but he is certain they are the same guys he saw the other night.”
Carter typed in another message, then set the phone down on the counter by his radio. It buzzed almost immediately with a message from Louie, promising to let them know the second the men returned, as long as he could have an extra-large double cheese pie. “All right, as much as I hate to go, I need to get back out on patrol. Lunchtime is over.”
“Lunch time? Was I supposed to be a quickie on your lunch break?”
Carter grabbed his radio and clipped it back on his belt. “Trust me, baby, if that was why I was here, there would be nothing quick about it.”
Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.
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Questions for Authors
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Thank you for allowing me to visit with your readers once again this month. Last time I was here, I shared my book Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos, the first romantic mystery in my Secret Lives series. This time I am here with my new release In the Shadow of the Shield, the next book in the series. In this book, Diana’s husband and high school sweetheart dies in the line of duty. Although she is led to believe it was an accident, she always has the suspicion that there is more to his death. When she meets Carter Ryan, another officer that had worked with Donnie and discovers he has the same thoughts, they team up to try and clear Donnie’s name. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with the strong, handsome, dedicated officer that is also eight years her junior. A running theme in the series is that love, passion and even sex don’t suddenly come to a halt when one hits thirty five. In this book, I wanted to show that not only is it possible for a woman in her forties to love not once but twice with passion and excitement but that age is also not a factor in any sense.
Was there an Author who inspired you to write?
When I run up against writer’s block, which happens more often than I’d like to admit, I go on a reading binge. In one of my blocked states I picked up a copy of Janet Evanovich’s One For the Money, the first book in her Stephanie Plum series. By the time I finished the book, I was in love with Janet’s fun loving style and colorful characters. I wanted to create a world like hers where people were actually real and relatable. That was the initiator for the series.
How did you come up with the characters in your books?
I’m not really sure. Sometimes ideas just come to me. Like Johnny the bartender in Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos—originally he was going to be the traditional bartender type; a good listener and little rough around the edges maybe. I’m not really sure how he became a cross dresser that preferred women’s underwear to jockey shorts.
What are your current projects?
I’ve just finished the third book in the series, When First They Practice to Deceive and submitted it to my publisher. I also have another series in the works. This one steps away from police and crimes and is set on the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod.
Do you see writing as a career?
Do you ever picture yourself and one of your heroines? If so, which one?
Nope. While my heroes are often influenced by husband, I never directly think of any of my heroines as being a shade of me.
Do you have a favorite heroine/hero from one of your books? If so, who?
I really like Diana in In the Shadow of the Shield. She is strong willed, has many unusual talents and is not afraid to go after what she wants.
What kind of research do you do for your books?
It really depends on the book. A lot of the elements in this series come from my real life and the books are set in a city I know well. The new series has involved a lot of internet research and the kindness of a friend who regularly visits Cape Cod.
What is the hardest part of writing your book?
Not being able to type fast enough! My brain moves a lot faster than my fingers!
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
Read something every day. There is no better escape for the mind than a good book
What is your favorite Genre and why?
It’s a tie between a good mystery and a romance with a happy ending.
Do you prefer to write alone or do you like to collaborate with other authors?
I’ve actually done both and depending on the work being created, either works for me.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?
I get it quite often. When it happens, I go on reading binges until my creative juices start flowing again. I am currently reading Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing and in there he states quite adamantly that the best writers are avid readers.
When you are reading a book, who is your favorite author?
I don’t think I have a favorite. I love so many different series. I will say that I am currently totally into Indie writers. So many fantastic books have come my way since breaking into publishing that I read whatever I can get my hands on.
Do you come up with the cover or does someone else do it?
The publisher has an awesome cover design department. Wicked By Design is the creator of my current cover and they did a fabulous job.
If you could change anything in your writing what would that be?
My relationship with commas. I either use way too many or not nearly enough.
What book if any would you want to be made into a movie?
I think any book in this series would make a great movie.
Who would you want to play the hero/heroine?
I have no idea! I’d leave that up to the casting people, I suppose.
Everyone uses computers, tablets, phones and no one uses handwritten form or typewriters, what do you prefer to use?
I prefer my laptop, by far. I can’t write a single word unless it is on a computer.
Is there a ritual you do everything before you begin your book?
I’m not really a ritual kind of gal. I have to work hard to squeeze in writing time so I just write as much as I can, every chance I get.
What do you do when you finish your book and turn it in to the editor?
Start the next book!