Blinded and scarred in a freak accident a year ago, Teresa has finally found love and a new career with the help of her companion dog, Red. Red appears to be a typical German shepherd, but he shares a mental communication link with his owner that is anything but ordinary. He’s articulate, sassy and opinionated- he’s also scary smart, and has a talent for tracking.
Teresa and Red, have partnered with ex-Navy men, David, and Bastian, to form Team Red. This unique Team helps the local police department sift through evidence to find forensic clues that only a Red's sensitive nose, and Teresa's ability to ask the right questions can uncover. A twist of fate brings Team Red to the attention of the Military, and the Team gets ready for their first undercover mission (we can only divulge at this point that Red looks adorable in his tux).
Team Red – Book 2
By T. Hammond
Copyright © 2013 by T. Hammond
“Banzai!” I heard the scratch of dog claws scramble across the deck and straight off the edge.
Ken’s laughter started indoors and got louder as he rolled the screen door open so he could step outside to stand by me on the back deck. “Teresa, your dog is totally wicked. He must have launched himself eight feet out to catch that.”
“Catch what?” I needed a clue here. Maybe I could ask for a vowel? “All I heard was him yelling ‘Banzai’ as he dashed past me out from his dog door.”
“Damn it! Red!” David’s voice shouted from the kitchen area as he stormed through the house and joined us outside. “Where did he go?”
Oh, oh, someone’s in trouble. In my mind I heard what sounded like “Mwah ha ha.” A very satisfied, doggy version of maniacal laughter.
“I hear evil chuckles emanating from under the deck,” I tattled.
“Red!” David yelled again, stomping down the six steps leading to the back lawn. “You promised you’d leave them alone.”
“What?” I asked. Sometimes being blind is so frustrating. “What did he promise to leave alone? What’s happening?”
“Red just took out one of the mini-drones,” Ken explained. “He leapt right off the deck and caught one in mid-air. It was totally awesome!”
“Not so awesome, Ken,” I replied with the Voice of Reason. “Do you have any idea how much those things cost?”
A voice interrupted from under the deck: “According to the Rules of Engagement, it was flying over the DMZ. Per our contract, I’m allowed to take out anything in the red zone.”
“What contract? You’re a one-year old, you’re too young to contract with anyone.” I sighed, shaking my head, “Geez, what am I saying? You’re a dog, who would be crazy enough to make a contract with you in the first place? And, what are you talking about? Rules of Engagement and Demilitarized Zones?”
Ken figured out the conversation based on my replies to the dog. “David and Bas are testing the mini-drone maneuverability portion of the program they’re developing,” Ken explained. “Red promised to stop snatching them out of the air as long as David kept them away from the deck area, henceforth to be known as the demilitarized zone.”
Henceforth, huh? I think that’s the first time I’ve heard a real person say that word in a conversation. I kept my snarky thoughts to myself.
“Geez Red,” I heard David’s muffled grumble from under the deck below my feet. “Just how many of these do you have down here?” There was a short pause. “Eight? You caught eight drones?”
I joined Ken in another peal of laughter. “What do you expect David? He’s a dog, he’s going to chase them,” I reasoned. “Isn’t that why you started having them made of hard rubber, instead of metal?” Personally, I thought he was fortunate Red only collected drones and didn’t feel an urge to bury them too.
“I caught most of them before we set up the Rules of Engagement,” Red rebutted. “The other two were within jumping distance of the deck, so I’m allowed to catch them.”
I repeated Red’s words for David’s benefit.
“We were flying a pattern ten feet away from the deck rail,” David protested.
“Ah, I underestimated his jump by two feet,” Ken confided in me, sounding like a proud parent. In a louder voice, “That was a ten foot leap Red. Most excellent!”
I jabbed a playful elbow in Ken’s side. “Stop encouraging him. What if he accidentally swallows one?”
Secretly, I agreed with Ken. The drones David used to refine his software were vaguely shaped like helicopters for maneuverability. Not much larger than golf balls with two inch tails, they measured three to three and a half inches in total length. I could hear them constantly buzzing around our property as the guys ran their simulations. While we had established speed limits around the house, some of the drones were capable of moving very fast, depending on the program being tested. It was impressive that Red, from a running leap, could take one out of the air.
David’s booted footsteps were heavy as he clomped up the steps. He stopped in front of me. “Here hold on to these,” he requested. I heard a clacking sound as he, presumably, dropped the retrieved hardware in Ken’s hands. Then he speared fingers through my hair tilting my face up for a warm kiss. “Good morning, Beautiful.”
“Hey, Gorgeous,” I replied, melting into the sexiest mouth in the Inland Northwest, sliding my free arm behind his neck to deepen the contact; I mustn’t spill the coffee held in my other hand. David tasted faintly of Columbian roast and… was that a donut? No one offered Me a donut this morning.
“Oh, Puh-leeze. Get a room for goodness sakes,” Ken complained, sounding mock-disgusted. “Here, let me grab your mug before you spill this last swallow down David’s back. I’m making a fresh pot so I’ll refresh your coffee when it’s ready. I need to check on the chicken I’m marinating for lunch.” The mug was pried from my surprisingly firm grip (I am serious about my java), leaving me free to slide the second arm completely around David’s wide back as Ken wandered back to his kitchen.
About the Author
T. Hammond lives in Spokane, WA with her goofy, neurotic, long-coat German shepherd, Dexter; he's noble and brave, until someone turns on the microwave, then she has 100lbs of quivering dog trying to hide behind her chair or bury his head under a pillow (Little known fact: a 100lb German Shepherd CAN fit under a coffee table).
T. writes two concurrent versions of the Team Red series for both the Adult and New Adult audiences. Blind Seduction and Color Blind are part of the Blind series - featuring adult-themed erotic romance combined with a humorous paranormal storyline. The Red series featuring Red Rover and Red Zone (release date Aug 23rd) is a funny paranormal romance series with a lighter PG13 type storyline. While both series contain the same character names and a lot of shared dialogue, the Red series is stripped of sexual content and language.
T feels that writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, and (re)direct stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. She is fully convinced that the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale. Some tools, of course, are more appropriate for the job than others. Here's hoping, you feel she did her stories proud.
T. has a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management from Whitworth University, and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and before becoming a writer she was a bookkeeper, technical/manual writer, Call Center Manager and the owner of a freshwater aquarium store, Guppy Tales.